📚Based On A Real Event. Robbie reviews #WW2 #HistoricalFiction The Peaceful Village by @MahurinPaulette for Rosie’s #Bookreview Team #RBRT

Today’s team review is from Robbie.

Find out more about Robbie here https://robbiesinspiration.wordpress.com/

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Rosie’s Book Review Team

Robbie has been reading The Peaceful Village by Paulette Mahurin

Book cover for World War Two story The Peaceful Village by Paulette Mahurin
The Peaceful Village by Paulette Mahurin

I enjoy reading books about World War II and I’ve read and enjoyed another book by this author, so when I saw The Peaceful Village, I knew I had to read it. I knew it would be a tough read before I started but I must admit that this particular event shocked me to my core. It seems beyond comprehension that any normal human being with a soul can behave in such a callous and brutal way towards civilians.

This book is historical fiction and based on a real event so I knew the ending before I began. Reading a couple of paragraphs about a tragedy of this nature is, however, quite a different experience to reading a fictionalized account of it. The author’s great strength with this book is the detailed manner in which she depicted the main characters and the specifics of their lives and how she made the reader care about them. Even the supporting characters feel like neighbours and friends.

Francoise is one of the main characters. The wife of a French carrot farmer, she is worn down from years of working the land and her spirit is ailing due to the German occupation. Francoise is given an opportunity of a job at the local church in the village of Oradour-sur-Glane, which leads to her becoming involved in a small way with the French resistance and their efforts to hide Jewish families. Francoise blossoms in her new role and becomes the reader’s measure of normality and representation of the comfortable and peaceful lifestyles of the villagers.

The story moves between life in the village, largely told through the eyes of Francoise, and the activities of the French resistance who are using terrorist tactics to fight the occupying German forces. This tactic works well as the reader knows more about what is happening with the French resistance and the Nazi occupiers than the villagers of Oradour. It creates a lot of tension as the reader can see how the events are likely to unfold as the villagers go about their daily lives.

This is a beautifully written and heart rending book which has been well researched and presented. Anyone who is interested in WW2 and the effect of the Nazi regime on the local population in France will appreciate this book. 

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Book description

During the German occupation of France, nestled in the lush, verdant countryside in the Haute-Vienne department of central France was the peaceful village of Oradour-sur-Glane. It was a community where villagers woke to the medley of nature’s songs, roosters crowing, birds chirping, cats purring, and cows plodding on their way out to pasture. The people who lived there loved the tranquil nature of their beautiful home, a tranquility that existed year-round. Even with the German occupation, Oradour-sur-Glane – the village with cafés, shops, and a commuter tram to Limoges – remained relatively untouched by the stress of the occupation.

While Oradour-sur-Glane enjoyed the lack of German presence, twenty-two kilometers to the northwest in Limoges, the Germans were reacting with increasing cruelty to organized attacks on their soldiers by the armed resistance organization Francs-Tireurs et Partisans (FTP). Headed by Amédé Fauré, the Limoges FTP was considered the most effective of the French Resistance groups. Fauré’s missions prompted the German military to kill and incarcerate in concentration camps anyone perceived as supporters or sympathizers of the Resistance.

Up until the middle of 1944, the German anti-partisan actions in France never rose to the level of brutality or number of civilian casualties that had occurred in eastern Europe. A little before the Allies landed in Normandy, all that changed, when German troops, and in particular the Waffen-SS, stationed on the Eastern Front were transferred to France. It was then that FTP’s increasing efforts to disrupt German communications and supply lines were met with disproportionate counter attacks, involving civilians. Fauré’s response was to target German officers. When he set his sights on two particular German officers, all hell broke loose.

Based on actual events as told by survivors, The Peaceful Village is the fictionalized story of the unfolding of the events that led up to one of the biggest World War II massacres on French soil. Much more than an account of Nazi brutality and the futility of war, this is a story of love.The love of family. The love of neighbor. The love of country. Compassion and courage burn from the pages as the villagers’ stories come alive. Written by the international bestselling author of The Seven Year Dress, Paulette Mahurin, this book pays homage to the villagers who lived and loved in Oradour-sur-Glane.

AmazonUK | AmazonUS

📚Book #1 of a #YoungAdult #Scifi Series. @SueBavey Reviews Shadow House by @arsilverberry for Rosie’s #Bookreview Team #RBRT

Today’s team review is from Sue.

Sue blogs here https://suelbavey.wordpress.com/

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Rosie’s Book Review Team

Sue Has been reading Shadow House by A R Silverberry

Book cover for young adult story Shadow House by A R Silverberry
Shadow House by A R Silverberry

Shadow House is a fairly short novel, but it is not lacking in depth of story. I found it sucked me in almost immediately and it was very difficult to put down.

The story is set in the not too distant future on “New Earth”, a dystopian future following the breakdown of society as we know it:

“History, as taught in school, proclaimed that New Earth had sprouted from a chaotic lawless time in human history, when small bands preyed on and slaughtered each other over dwindling resources. Johari believed that part of the account. It was the next part that seemed iffy. All at once, something happened. A mutation—a new species, some people claimed—appeared, like Cro-Magnon beside the Neanderthals. This new “more advanced” group broke away from the old one and traveled to New Earth. How that was done was sketchy at best. But even today people talked about the Freedom, a mass migration of millions to a new world. And the new world they created was, so they said, superior in every way to the one they left. It was a perfect society.”

I would have liked a little more information regarding this migration. I felt the author brushed it aside somewhat, but I am hoping perhaps it will be given more explanation in the next book. Perhaps it is another mystery that the main character, Johari, will need to solve.

The major portion of Shadow House revolves around four teenagers’ time inside the House, a kind of glorified magical escape room filled with monsters and peril, which teens must enter once during their lives. Not everyone comes out again and those who do not escape are never seen again. Once inside, stairways and doors disappear, herding the four main characters to desired destinations, where they have to face their pasts and personalities and be tested in sometimes terrifying situations.

“…he had difficulty shaking off the feeling that the House would be their tomb.“

““People get out; people get out,” he told himself. And some don’t. “

However no one knows what they will discover once inside, as it is forbidden for the survivors to discuss their experiences. The House itself is described really well, it sounds like the kind of building you might cross the street to keep away from:

“The House had a curious tinge, like an early photograph, faded and discolored. It was three stories and old beyond reckoning. The paint had peeled off. The wooden walls were weathered and sun-bleached a mottled gray. He wondered why termites hadn’t consumed the whole thing long ago. The house bulged on the right to accommodate a semi-circular tower rising two stories and culminating in a conical roof. A lower gable above the front porch was ornamented with scrollwork. But it was the upper gable that arrested his attention. The woodwork was much more complex, filling the whole triangular shape of the gable. In the center was a symbol of some sort. It might have been a flaming candle, but it seemed to Johari it was more like a hand held up in warning.”

The four teens had very different characters. Johari is the main point of view character and hero of the book. He is a mixed race orphan with gorgeous features who spent his childhood being tossed from one foster family to another, never really knowing love and suffering bullying. This often ended in his getting blamed and eventually in him being saddled with a criminal record. Despite his horrible childhood, Johari is very likeable, brave, and a team player. He is a natural leader and caring – concerned for Calista’s health. He is also the love interest for another of the characters, Greta. He is determined that if one of them manages to leave then they all must. Greta is observant and makes notes in each of the rooms as they explore the House. She is kindhearted and beautiful and Johari fell in love with her at a recent party where they first met. Due to a misunderstanding caused by Brice, the ridiculously wealthy party host, they are now unsure of each other’s feelings. This leads to expertly written romantic tension between Johari and Greta and typical teen angst which the reader experiences through Johari’s inner monologue. Greta’s friend Calista is also in the House. An asthmatic, she struggles with the dusty House but retains her wit and feisty nature. She proves to be resourceful, having grabbed bread from the kitchen, which they can no longer access once they reach the attic. The fourth main character is the entitled and unlikeable Brice, who was instrumental in Johari being arrested for stealing Brice’s father’s anti-grav car, when Brice actually leant it to him. He also paid Greta’s Mom to keep her grounded at home when she would have been a useful witness in Johari’s court case. He wants Greta to fall in love with him and is jealous of her attraction to Johari.

Sentenced to elimination in his court case, Johari sees the House as the only way out. If he is able to find his way out of the House he expects that his criminal record will be cleared. Society believes that only the very best people are able to survive and in this way it rids the world of evil:

‘It purifies,’ ‘It perfects,’ ‘It protects,’ ‘It eliminates war, disease, and poverty.’

There were elements of the book which reminded me of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory or the horror movies where one by one the main characters are callously picked off. It was a very enjoyable read and I would recommend it to readers who enjoy YA thrillers or dystopian mysteries.

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Book description

What Do You Do If You’re Trapped In A Nightmare …

New Earth’s Supreme Council dooms Johari Hightower to Elimination. Never mind that he’s innocent. His only hope is the House, a rite shrouded in mystery. No one says what happens inside. And those who don’t make it out are never seen again.

But what do you do if the girl you love is inside?
What do you do if she’s cozy with the guy who set you up?
What do you do if you’re running for your life?

AmazonUK | AmazonUS

📚Set In The 1700s, Rosie’s #Bookreview of #HistoricalRomance The Pirate Duchess by Rue Allyn.

The Pirate Duchess by Rue Allyn

The Pirate Duchess by Rue Allyn

My rating: 3 of 5 stars


The Pirate Duchess is set in the late 1700s and is an historical romance.


Esmeralda Crobbin, also known as Irish Red, is an infamous privateer who sails in the Caribbean seas. It’s here that she first meets British Naval Officer Brandon Gilroy, but they part ways during a skirmish. We next meet the duo in Britain during a storm; Gilroy is still working for the Navy while Esme is searching for details about her parentage. Their encounter is short but they meet for a third time in Scotland.


There is a lot going on in this story and apart from the opening scene much of the interesting action happens ‘off-screen’. I thought that the story tried to fit in too much at the expense of giving the reader time to really enjoy the two main characters. It’s not a bad story, but I didn’t love it as much as I hoped.

View all my reviews on Goodreads

THEY MEET DURING A BRAWL

Esmeralda Crobbin first encounters Brandon Gilroy during a brawl. Once their opponents are vanquished, she admires the man’s skill with his fists, his intelligence, and a number of other attributes until she learns that he is a British Naval Officer. He would be eager to see her hang, if he knew she was the American privateer, Irish Red.

AmazonUK | AmazonUS (Expected publication 22nd March 2023)

📚A Ghost Story Set In The Lake District. Rosie’s #Bookreview Of Kindred Spirits by Eva Barker @bookmousetweets #GhostStory #Paranormal

Kindred Spirits: a ghost storyKindred Spirits: a ghost story by Eva Barker
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Kindred Spirits is a contemporary ghost story set in the Lake District.

Grace has left her long-term boyfriend after confirming her suspicions that he was being unfaithful. Taking advice from a friend she rents a cottage for the summer, hoping to spend time sorting out her feelings and her future.

Living in the cottage next to Grace is widower Danny. Throw into the mix the fact that Grace can communicate with ghosts, and a complicated story unravels.

I liked the ghostly element of this story and there were some great secondary characters. The story bounced back and forth between Grace, before and after her move, and Danny’s point of view.

At first I thought that this would be a simple story with Grace helping Danny come to terms with his loss, but the story headed into a complex twist involving friends and relationships. There were plenty of surprises to keep the story interesting and by the end I was particularly invested in the outcome.

View all my reviews on Goodreads

Grace Tapp can see ghosts. (Although she doesn’t particularly want to talk about it.)

When her relationship ends on the worst possible terms, Grace flees her boyfriend and arrives in the Lake District determined to have an uneventful summer. Her new home is calm and picturesque, just what she wanted, but looks can be deceiving…

Next door, single parent Danny is reeling from his beloved wife’s death, struggling to come to terms with the secrets she took to the grave. He knows something truly awful must have happened if she felt she couldn’t confide in him – but he can’t imagine what on earth it could be.

As Grace gets to know Danny, it becomes clear there are dark secrets hidden in this seemingly idyllic village. And, whether she likes it or not, her talent for communicating with the dead puts her in a unique position to uncover the truth.

Grace becomes obsessed with piecing together what really happened – and she must work quickly, because when her past threatens to catch up with her, she’ll need to know whom among her new friends she can trust, and whom she most certainly can’t.

AmazonUK | AmazonUS

 

🃏’I loved the uniqueness of the playing card theme’. @SueBavey reviews #YA #Fantasy Bloody Spade by @BMWillows for Rosie’s #Bookreview Team #RBRT #TuesdayBookBlog

Today’s team review is from Sue.

Sue blogs here https://suelbavey.wordpress.com/

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Rosie’s Book Review Team

Sue has been reading Bloody Spade by Brittany M Willows.

Book cover for young adult fantasy Bloody Spade by Brittany M Willows, set against a free photo of a woman throwing playing cards from Pixabay.
Bloody Spade by Brittany M Willows

Bloody Spade is Book 1 in the Cardplay Duology, and is a YA urban fantasy. I enjoyed this book immensely! I was initially drawn to the cover of this book, since purple is my favourite colour and I love to play card games. The figure with the cat ears was also intriguing!

The premise of the novel is that seven years ago real, powerful, dangerous magic returned to a world whose inhabitants were used to thinking of magic as cheap tricks and sleight of hand, entertainment for the masses. The new magic which reentered their world was far from tricks, however. Magic users have a varied range of abilities. Some can harness the wind, others can control light, or fire.

I loved the uniqueness of the playing card theme that ran through this novel with Cardplay being the good guys, taking on Blackjack, the shady underground organization, and with each Suit having a Keeper.

I found the world-building in Bloody Spade mostly solid, although in some places there was a little too much information given all at once, which made it hard for me to remember details, and the different levels of the realms were somewhat confusing – I am still not completely clear on the connection between the Void, the Domain, the Dreamscape and the human world and how they relate to one another.

Bloody Spade is a unique take on the age-old good versus evil theme. A fast paced novel with plenty of action, believable characters and relationships, a little romance, teenage angst, fear of rejection, of being different and fear of lack of acceptance by peers. I would recommend it to anyone who loves superhero type stories, or fans of fiction similar to that of Cassandra Clare’s novels or Buffy the Vampire Slayer.

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Book description

The era of magic was once thought to be a myth, but after the Reemergence ushered forces both dark and light into the mundane world, it has since become a harsh reality. Now those affected by this strange power—a specialized group of Empowered called Jokers, known collectively as Cardplay—must protect their world from the darkness that threatens to consume it, all the while fighting for equality in a society clinging to normalcy.

But the Reemergence was only the beginning.

When another influx occurs on the seventh anniversary of that fateful event, an unfortunate encounter at ground zero lands Iori Ryone, a teenage boy in possession of a corrupt and legendary magic, in the care of recent Joker graduate Ellen Amelia Jane. From him, she learns the Reemergence may not have been the inevitable natural disaster it first seemed. Someone is trying to tear down the barrier that separates the magical realms from the mundane. The question is, can Cardplay stop them before it’s too late?

AmazonUK | AmazonUS

🧙‍♀️’For Fans Of The Macabre And Light #Horror’ @JillianChantal reviews Legacy Witches by @CassKayWrites for Rosie’s #Bookreview Team #RBRT

Today’s team review is from Sherry.

Sherry blogs here https://sherryfowlerchancellor.com/

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Rosie’s Book Review Team

Sherry has been reading Legacy Witches by Cass Kay.

Book cover for urban fantasy Legacy Witches by Cass Kay, set against a background of a moon from a free photo from Pixabay.

Vianna Roots is a reluctant witch from a Salem family which has a long history of witchcraft.  She also sees the dead which is not a normal characteristic of a witch. She’s never fit in—either with the town or her family and she had a bad relationship with her mother. As soon as she was able, she escaped in the middle of the night and had no intention of ever returning to her childhood home.

Fate had other plans for Vianna. Her mother died and she had to return home to take part in the burial ritual. But Vianna had other plans than performing the ritual as it is supposed to go. She wanted to tie her mother to the grave so she couldn’t come back and harass her like her other dead relatives—especially her grandmother Susannah.

When Vianna arrives in Salem, she has an accident in her old truck with, of all things, a local policeman.  Then, when she gets to the house she inherited, which she can’t wait to sell off, the house won’t let her in and things continue to go downhill for her from there.

She doesn’t want to wear witch robes to the cemetery and chooses a red dress from her mother’s closet which turns out to be the dress her mother wore when she was initiated into her role as a witch. Something Vianna is determined not to let happen to herself.

At the cemetery, we meet a number of other characters who all have distinct personalities and who do not much care for the rebel Vianna. The scene is set for more drama in her life.

Vianna ties her mother to her grave and once she returns home, she starts to clear out some of the old things lying around. In searching a drawer, she finds a rotting hand. A vision of a woman reliving her death in the bathroom shows her where the hand originated. And now Vianna is on a quest to help this spirit to rest—a spirit she happens to know quite well. But she doesn’t plan to embrace her legacy as a witch. She is going to solve this issue with this spirit and sell the house and leave again as soon as she can.

Along the way to her goal, Vianna goes on a date with a man she had a crush on in high school. She finds, not only is he weird and possessive, but his mother has issues, too. He’s persistent and annoying. She’s mystified about why he’s suddenly attracted to her. Old school mates wreak havoc in her life, and, when danger arises, she even has to head back to the cemetery to dig up another ancestor and get a bone from her—not because she wants to embrace her legacy, but because it’s necessary to do so.

The cemetery caretaker is someone she knew in the past who is not welcome in the witching community either and they strike up a friendship. I loved their relationship. It was nice to have someone that the heroine could rely on and who was a great character. She offered some relief from the gloomy atmosphere and danger the heroine was in.

This book was delightful to read. A lot of great action, a mystery about some paintings and a dead girl in the bathroom as well as the friendship that arises between two people who don’t fit in, makes for a great story. The author also gives us fans of the macabre and light horror a lot of great, descriptive scenes.  This is no white witch, light comedy type story that glosses over some of the darker sides of the craft. I quite enjoyed the change of pace from those type of stories.  

I recommend this one as it is chockful of great scenes, some humor and a compelling story, not least of which is how misfits can find their place and make the home/family they need.

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Book description

Coming from a long line of murderous witches hasn’t exactly been sunshine and rainbows for Vianna Roots. When she inherits the family’s haunted house after her mother dies, she decides flipping the rundown dump is her smartest move—but the ghosts that haunt her have a different plan.

When Vianna finds the ghost of her childhood friend Nancy, she’s drawn into the mystery surrounding her friend’s death. Her meddling attracts the attention of the oldest coven in Salem. In order to get her out of town, they make an offer on the house, but Vianna hesitates. She’s no longer sure she wants to abandon the demon familiar who possesses her home, the transgender outcast witch—who may just be the best friend she never knew she needed—and her high school crush, who now wants her in his life.

Vianna must find a way to solve the case of her murdered friend, stay out of the hands of the most powerful coven in Salem, and face the past she’s so desperately tried to run away from.

AmazonUK | AmazonUS (Due out Oct)

🕵🏻‍♀️’For Anyone Who Likes A Good #Mystery’ Fiona reviews Inhuman Acts by @BrookeLFrench1 for Rosie’s #Bookreview Team #RBRT

Today’s team review is from Fiona.

Find out more about Fiona here https://fionaforsythauthor.co.uk/blog/

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Rosie’s Book Review Team

Fiona has been reading Inhuman Acts by Brooke L. French.

Book cover for Inhuman Acts by Brooke L French set against a sculpture of a man from a free photo from Pixabay.
Inhuman Acts by Brooke L. French

I’ve seen arguments over what the word “competent” means in a book review and let me make it clear that in my world it is a compliment. In this book, the plotting, pace and sense of disaster are all more than competent, they work together to result in a read-in-one-go thriller with a hugely attractive hero and an intriguing thread of environmental questioning running through it. The signs are that it is the first in a series and I am very glad of it!

Lettuce Duquesne has friends, and a job she loves, but she also has the tragedy of her sister’s death hanging over her. She is an intelligent and likeable main character, and cleverly, the author lets you see her through other people’s eyes as you are making up your mind about her. And other people like her.
When a case of rabies transmission arises in Chattanooga, Letty sees the potential for a disaster and though she is unable to persuade everyone of the seriousness of the situation,  she handles their skepticism as a scientist should, by collecting and testing the data. She teams up with Andrew, a cop on enforced leave, and Pete a local vet, to track down what could be the worst outbreak of rabies in the USA for decades.

French handles the science extremely well, managing that crucial balance between scientific jargon and readability. She doesn’t hype the fear of the disease any more than the plot demands, so we don’t get overblown panic and doom, but we do feel the tension as Letty discovers more about what is happening in Chattanooga. I found this approach made the book credible and a page-turner. Oh and I didn’t see the end coming until way past I should! French treats her readers fairly in the “working out of the puzzle” part of the book.

Characters are human, realistic and fallible, and I particularly liked the Andrew/Mary dynamic where every serious cop conversation took place against the background of shuttling the kids around or making banana pudding.

A book for anyone who likes a good mystery, intelligently told.

Orange rose book description
Book description

A deadly, incurable disease creeps silent through Chattanooga. And its victims aren’t random.

When inexplicable human rabies cases appear in Tennessee, disease ecologist Letty Duquesne jumps at the chance to trace the virus back to its source. But the closer Letty gets to finding the outbreak’s origin, the further someone will go to stop her.

With an unwanted promotion threatening to take Letty far from the fieldwork she loves, this outbreak feels like her last chance to make a difference. It’s not something she can ignore, especially now. The spillover of zoonotic diseases to the human population is on the rise and violent animal attacks-like the one that killed her sister-are becoming all too common.

Something in nature has gone very wrong.

Local authorities would rather she go home, but Letty can track a source animal like no one else. With the help of disgraced detective Andrew Marsh, Letty follows the virus’s epidemiological trail. But her every move is watched. And the source animal is closer than she thinks.

Inhuman Acts is a pulse-pounding thriller. Gripping and intricately paced, Brooke L. French’s debut novel will keep you on the edge of your seat.

AmazonUK | AmazonUS

📚A Light-Hearted Mock-Memoir. @CathyRy reviews Price’s Price by Chris Maden, for Rosie’s #Bookreview Team #RBRT

Today’s team review is from Cathy.

Cathy blogs here https://betweenthelinesbookblog.wordpress.com/

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Rosie’s Book Review Team

Cathy has been reading Price’s Price by Chris Maden

Book cover for historical fiction set in Hong Kong, Price's Price by Chris Maden.

Price’s Price is described as ‘a light-hearted and elegiac mock-memoir’ and I think that sums it up pretty well. Stanley Featherstonehaugh Price spent his childhood in Zimbabwe and his boyhood in English schools. He had dreams of exploration in deepest Africa and beyond just as soon as he came into his inheritance, which he believed would become his when he reached his eighteenth birthday. It came as a huge blow to discover he wouldn’t get anything until he was either twenty-five or married. Stanley tried for the second option but his marriage strategy was scuppered when his intended married someone else.

‘Thus, I formed my creed. What the Fates have in store is beyond the ken of any mortal, but the point is to face their whims with a sense of adventure and fun. Not fatalism, which is an abnegation of life, but rather a vicarious acceptance of all that they threw in my path.’

Stanley decided to join the army, believing they might be persuaded to fund an expedition. After a year at Sandhurst and another in the mountains of Nepal with the Gurkhas, he was asked where he wanted to be stationed. Anywhere but Hong Kong was Stanley’s answer. So Hong Kong it was.

Stanley seemed to drift through life, at the mercy of his desires but lamenting at times the non realisation of his dreams of exploration. His was a louche lifestyle fuelled in large parts by sex, booze and the desire for wealth. With descriptive prose Chris Maden portrays a vivid picture of Stanley’s life in Hong Kong with all its ups and downs, bars, clubs, brief (and longer) encounters, businesses and wealth made then lost.

A very expressive, unusual and at times poignant read, with a memorable protagonist. I enjoyed it.

Orange rose book description
Book description

Stanley Price has dreamt since childhood of exploring the world. But, when the army posts him to Hong Kong in the 1960s, this officer, scoundrel and rake falls for the glamour, the girls and the gung-ho attitude. Swept along and seduced by this free-wheeling city, he is sucked into a delightful vortex of beer, women and bribes. His dreams remain ever-present but out of reach. Until, that is, he falls for a young lady who could be his redemption – or his nemesis.

AmazonUK | AmazonUS

📚Set in North Carolina. Rosie’s #Bookreview Of Where The Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens. #TuesdayBookBlog

Where the Crawdads SingWhere the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Where The Crawdads Sing is a fictional story set between the 1950s and the 1970s on the North Carolina coast. It tells the story of Kya, the youngest child of a family that lives in a remote shack in the marshlands.

It is a haunting tale of loneliness and one of wonder at the natural world. Kya was just six when her mother left and never returned. Her siblings all left soon after until it was just Kya and her drunk, violent father. Using basic survival, the kindness of a few folks and the lessons she learnt from her Ma and her older brother, Kya was forced to look after herself.

As well as this being a coming of age story there is also a darker side. A body is found in the opening pages of the book and most of the townsfolk accuse (adult) Kya because she was seen as strange and she was an easy scapegoat. The story then goes back to Kya’s youth and what led to her arrest. It is so well written that I was right there in the story wanting to reach out and help Kya.

This book has been on my TBR list for ages and I am so glad that I finally got a chance to read it.

View all my reviews on Goodreads

 

Orange rose book description
Book description

For years, rumors of the “Marsh Girl” haunted Barkley Cove, a quiet fishing village. Kya Clark is barefoot and wild; unfit for polite society. So in late 1969, when the popular Chase Andrews is found dead, locals immediately suspect her.

But Kya is not what they say. A born naturalist with just one day of school, she takes life’s lessons from the land, learning the real ways of the world from the dishonest signals of fireflies. But while she has the skills to live in solitude forever, the time comes when she yearns to be touched and loved. Drawn to two young men from town, who are each intrigued by her wild beauty, Kya opens herself to a new and startling world—until the unthinkable happens.

In Where the Crawdads Sing, Owens juxtaposes an exquisite ode to the natural world against a profound coming of age story and haunting mystery. Thought-provoking, wise, and deeply moving, Owens’s debut novel reminds us that we are forever shaped by the child within us, while also subject to the beautiful and violent secrets that nature keeps.

The story asks how isolation influences the behavior of a young woman, who like all of us, has the genetic propensity to belong to a group. The clues to the mystery are brushed into the lush habitat and natural histories of its wild creatures. 

AmazonUK | AmazonUS

📚’Here is a man who takes risks almost as a matter of course’. Fiona reviews Tudor #Histfic Raleigh by @tonyriches for Rosie’s #Bookreview Team #RBRT

Today’s team review is from Fiona.

Find out more about her here https://fionaforsythauthor.co.uk/blog/

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Rosie’s Book Review Team

Fiona has been reading Raleigh by Tony Riches.

Book cover for Raleigh: Tudor Adventurer by Tony Riches
Raleigh: Tudor Adventurer by Tony Riches

It is particularly important that, as well as telling a good story, an historical novel makes the reader feel comfortable with the era being covered: informative enough to be interesting, entertaining enough to make one want to find out more. It is so easy for a book to turn into an information dump.

Fortunately, within a few pages, I knew I was in expert hands, and settled down to enjoy “Raleigh”, marvelling at the life of a true adventurer. I loved that fact that Riches sets the opening scenes in the London of the theatre, introducing the romantic poetry-writing side of Raleigh which runs through the novel. The reader is reminded of the many facets of a true Elizabethan, the intelligence and fascination with learning, as well as the thirst for war and adventure which is nowadays so alien.

And this is what I take away from this book, that a man like Raleigh was so full of schemes, so outward-looking that he never seems to stay still. I had not been aware of his own many voyages nor of his exploits in Ireland, and it gave me a much better understanding of his willingness to risk his wealth in setting up a colony in Virginia. Here is a man who takes risks almost as a matter of course, for whom the horizon is always thousands of miles in front of him, and nevertheless makes straight for it whenever he can.

Raleigh is narrator in this book, and a straightforward one, though he lets more slip than maybe he realises: notably, his personal relationships, despite the protestations of love for his wife and sons, clearly take second place to his restless spirit. When he is younger, his loyalty to his Queen and his need for her favour seem to be a result of this restlessness and it is an older and wiser Raleigh who, at the end of the book, grieves for his royal mistress and cannot trust her successor.

On reaching the end I did expect that Riches would be continuing Raleigh’s story with the exploits under James 1, surely as fascinating as anything in his earlier life. But this book is the third in a trilogy of Elizabethan characters, and the author’s note indicates that he is heading in another direction. I am hoping there may be a time when Raleigh is called for duty once more.

Orange rose book description
Book description

Tudor adventurer, courtier, explorer and poet, Sir Walter Raleigh has been called the last true Elizabethan.

He didn’t dance or joust, didn’t come from a noble family, or marry into one. So how did an impoverished law student become a favourite of the queen, and Captain of the Guard?

The story which began with the Tudor trilogy follows Walter Raleigh from his first days at the Elizabethan Court to the end of the Tudor dynasty.

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