Book Reviews

The Husband’s Secret………..by Liane Moriarty

You have to admit it. The title has caught your imagination already. Well it did mine or it would have caught mine if I’d seen it on a shelf. As it happens a friend had offered it for the borrowing.

This is a story about a group of women and their families with “warts and all”.  One character finds a letter from her husband that is only to be opened upon his death. Need I say more? Most of the characters have lived in the same community all of their lives. You may well relate to them at all stages of their lives.

I did not get much done around the house in the week that it took me to read these four hundred pages and I’d love for you to submerge yourself into the fictional world of a group of families on the other side of the world. Liane Moriarty is Australian and you’ll find your comfort zone with her use of English expressions and sense of humor.

I thought this was a compelling and humorous novel with an unexpected glitch which can happen in life. Can it not ?

What Alice Forgot…………..by Liane Moriarty

I’m hooked. I just love the writing style and speed of Liane Moriarty’s books. This story is about a young woman who has lost ten years of her memory at the age of forty. She can’t remember her children being born or the breakup of her marriage. This is the story of little segments of her past being revealed, one page at a time!

Once more I was spellbound by a “back to front” story filled with both humor and sadness.


The Kitchen House…..by Kathleen Grissom

An elder friend of mine had broken her hip and had nothing else to do but read. She passed this book onto me for borrowing.
The year is 1810 and a young girl is left without a family at the end of a passage from Ireland to America. The captain of the ship takes her as his property and gives her to his kitchen staff for the caring and training. The workers on the Virginian plantation are all African. Need I say more? This is a first novel. It’s very well written and moves quickly over many years to encompass this very emotional saga.
I don’t remember getting much done around the house while I read this book either!

– Sandra Brown

How We Lived Then, by Norman Longmate, Random House Books, available on Amazon. 

This book is about the Second World War, however it’s not a book about war; it’s about the ordinary populace, the people of Britain, how they lived through the war, and how it changed Britain forever in our everyday lives. The author is a historian and a journalist for both the BBC and in Fleet Street, has written over twenty books of history, and is a fellow of the Royal Historical Society. He also works as a historical adviser on movies and television productions.

Mr. Longmate solicited reminiscences from all over the British Isles and compiled this fascinating account from over a thousand replies. The forty chapters cover a wide range of subjects, from rationing and blackouts and blitzes to evacuations, transportation and land girls, with more than a little humor thrown in. The British character shines through in every chapter. Anderson shelters, gas masks, people getting lost in blackouts, and weird-tasting wedding cakes, are just a few examples.

This is the time our parents and grandparents lived through. For the X-generation, it explains a lot about the way we grew up. For us all, it’s a very interesting read, very well written, although very long (you don’t have to read it all at once, or even in order!) This is the stuff that moulded post-war Britain.

– Gail Pritchard.

 

The Illegal Gardener, by Sarah Alexi, Book 1 in the Greek Village Series, Oneiro Press, available on Amazon.

This is the first of a series of nine books about a tiny, obscure Greek village. Set in the present day, all the books contain most of the same characters but each book centers around a different person, some British and some Greek (this one is about an English lady). The characters are well-rounded and likable, and the author’s love of Greece shines through There is some romance in these books, but not enough to be a central theme (or annoying). Much thought-provoking philosophy in here, and the descriptions of everyday Greek life in a small community will transport you overseas, the next-best thing to an actual visit. However, it will provoke a strong desire to jump on an aeroplane.

The author divides her time between Greece and England and is a best-selling author in Britain. I was initially annoyed by her use of the present, third-part tense, and there are a (very) few typos and grammatical errors in each book (I tend to be picky), but the beautiful, lyrical prose more than makes up for this.

– Gail Pritchard.

 

Have you read any good books recently? We love contributions from our Members! If you have read a book which would be of interest, please review it and send it to me – I’d love to include it.

 

Women from the UK in Raleigh & Cary