Sunday Connection – This Week’s #BookReviews Plus Links To The Blogosphere #SundayBlogShare

This week we’ve been reviewing the following books:

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Monday – Barb reviewed fantasy The Jack Of Ruin by Stephen C Merlino

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I reviewed non fiction The Friendship Cure by Kate Leaver

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Tuesday – I reviewed mild thriller The Intruder by P.S Hogan

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Wednesday – Eleanor reviewed historical romance The Viscount And The Vicar’s Daughter by Mimi Matthews

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Thursday – Judith W reviews scifi The Happy Chip by Dennis Meredith

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Friday – Jessie reviewed historical fantasy The Falcon Flies Alone by Gabrielle Mattieu

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Saturday – Alison reviewed family memoir Castles In The Air by Alison Ripley

Plus Links To The Blogosphere

Good advice for pitching your book

https://thisislitblog.com/2018/03/18/authorsgetlit-the-real-reason-your-book-pitch-keeps-getting-rejected/

Modern demands for word-counts in books

http://annerallen.com/2018/03/word-count-guidelines-by-genre/

Drew tackles a common theme among book bloggers

https://thetattooedbookgeek.wordpress.com/2018/03/20/reasons-why-a-blogger-declines-your-review-request-and-doesnt-want-you-on-their-blog-bookbloggers-bookblogger-bloggers-blogger-authors-blogpost/

Can Authors vote on Amazon reviews of their own book?

https://buildbookbuzz.com/vote-on-amazon-reviews/

Help understanding Goodreads bookshelves

http://avalinahsbooks.space/guide-to-goodreads/

 

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Rosie’s #BookReview Team #RBRT #memoir Castles In The Air by @lambertnagle

Today’s team review is from Alison, she blogs here http://alisonwilliamswriting.wordpress.com/

#RBRT Review Team

Alison has been reading Castles In The Air by Alison Ripley Cubitt

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Using letters and journal entries, this book traces the life of the author’s mother, Molly, from her childhood in Hong Kong and Malaya, through marriage and motherhood, detailing her career in nursing, living in New Zealand and her struggles in adult life.

I enjoyed the letters -they give an honest and authentic glimpse into Molly’s life and the upheaval she faces in the war years. As the book progresses, the narrative is unflinching. The author hides nothing, and even though Molly has demons to struggle with, and even though these must have affected the author in her childhood and beyond, the love and affection she felt for her children  shines through and brings a real warmth to the book.

I found the historical detail fascinating and thought that Molly was so interesting. She must have been a fascinating lady, with so many experiences to share. That said, there was some repetition, and some details that, while I can see how they would be interest for the family, did become a little monotonous.

The book is well-written, and the author is obviously a competent writer. I found myself wishing that she’d taken the letters and journals and made them into a novel. I feel this would be much more interesting for most readers and there’s an absolute wealth of material here.

An enjoyable read, but something I felt had the potential to be a great deal more.

3.5 out of 5 stars

Book description

After writing this review I have looked for Castles in the Air on Amazon. There are some good five star reviews there; it may be this was just not the style of memoir I enjoy.A daughter is forced to confront the uncomfortable truth of her mother’s seemingly ordinary life. By trying to make sense of the past, will she feel able to move on with her future? Honest yet unsentimental and told with abundant love and compassion, Castles in the Air is a profoundly moving portrait of a woman’s life, hopes and dreams, in an era when women couldn’t have it all.

About the author

Alison was born in Malaysia and like many an expat child, was sent away to boarding school in England at a young age. At the age of eight she moved with her family to New Zealand, where she went to school and university.

Bitten by the travel bug, she moved to Australia, then to the United Kingdom where she landed a job in TV and film production, working for companies including the BBC and Walt Disney. But her passion has always been for writing.

She is an author, memoirist, novelist, and screenwriter and co-writes thrillers with Sean Cubitt, writing as Lambert Nagle. Sean’s day job is Professor of Film and Television, Goldsmiths, University of London. He has been published by leading academic publishers.

Serial expats, Lambert Nagle have also lived in Canada and although now based in Hampshire, travel back and forwards to New Zealand whenever they can.

Alison Ripley Cubitt

Goodreads | AmazonUK | AmazonUS | Twitter

 

 

Sunday Connection – Books We’ve Reviewed This Week, Plus Links To The Blogosphere #SundayBlogShare

On This Week’s Sunday Connection:

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Monday – I reviewed WW2 Histfic The Secrets Between Us by Laura Madeleine

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Tuesday Noelle reviewed Histfic The Likeness by Bill Kirton

Wednesday – Judith reviewed family memoir Castles In The Air by Allison Cubitt

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Thursday – I reviewed romance Break The Line by Allison Mullinax

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Friday – Shelley reviewed action thriller Savage Isle by Beverley Scherberger

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And I reviewed Romcom The Single Girl’s Calendar by Erin Green

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Saturday – Jenny R reviewed travel autobiography Living In Italy by Stef Smulders

Discussion post

Are you A Butterfly Reader?

Plus Links To The Blogosphere:

A look at Hybrid -publishers

https://storyempire.com/2018/03/07/throwing-darts-blindfolded-author-considerations/

Tips for character names

http://annerallen.com/2018/03/9-tips-character-names/

Indie friendly book reviewers

http://triskelebooks.blogspot.co.uk/2013/03/indie-friendly-book-reviewers.html

 

Rosie’s #Bookreview Team #RBRT family #memoir Castles In The Air by Alison Cubitt @lambertnagle

Today’s team review is from Judith, she blogs here http://judithbarrowblog.com/

#RBRT Review Team

Judith has been reading Castles In The Air by Alison R Cubitt

Castles in the Air is a form of an epistolary memoir, written by the daughter of Molly Ripley. That, through diary journals belonging to the author’s father, Don, and letters sent by Molly to a family friend, Steve, traces  her mother’s life through childhood  in wartime and later through her education and work. From the tone of the letters it seems her attraction to Steve lasts well into adulthood. I wondered why his letters were not kept.

The story begins when Molly’ is eleven in 1937. Her letters date from when she and her parents were about to leave England to go to  the Far East where her father has important work. These are minutely detailed and, I’m afraid to say, laborious letters of life on the ship, shopping  trips, parties, friendships. I would have loved some setting, some information of the world around Molly at this time but, of course, it needs to be kept in mind that this was a child writing. The father’s journals are really sparse notes also.

I found the second half of the story more interesting; the accounts of the family’s struggles, financially and emotionally, from the author’s point of view as she sees her parents from a distance. There is both sadness and poignancy threaded throughout the text after Molly’s marriage, the move to Malaysia, to a rubber plantation,back to England, and then on to New Zealand. there is also the interesting/curious continuing friendship with Steve (seemingly resented by Molly’s husband?) And copious accounts of Molly’s drug addiction.

Time and again throughout Castles in the Air it occurred to me that it would have been  fascinating to use all of Molly’s letter and journals as research for a fictitious story. But I am aware that this is a memoir; lovingly  and obviously sometimes painfully written by  Alison Ripley Cubitt.

The Book Description is so enticing I was eager to read this memoir but I have to say I was disappointed overall. It is a good family memoir which is surely fascinating to and for the author’s family. I think what I wanted more of, was a greater sense of place and more rounded characters. I realise this is probably impossible to glean from the scant details through letters and journals.

Book description

After writing this review I have looked for Castles in the Air on Amazon. There are some good five star reviews there; it may be this was just not the style of memoir I enjoy.A daughter is forced to confront the uncomfortable truth of her mother’s seemingly ordinary life. By trying to make sense of the past, will she feel able to move on with her future? Honest yet unsentimental and told with abundant love and compassion, Castles in the Air is a profoundly moving portrait of a woman’s life, hopes and dreams, in an era when women couldn’t have it all.

About the author

Alison was born in Malaysia and like many an expat child, was sent away to boarding school in England at a young age. At the age of eight she moved with her family to New Zealand, where she went to school and university.

Bitten by the travel bug, she moved to Australia, then to the United Kingdom where she landed a job in TV and film production, working for companies including the BBC and Walt Disney. But her passion has always been for writing.

She is an author, memoirist, novelist, and screenwriter and co-writes thrillers with Sean Cubitt, writing as Lambert Nagle. Sean’s day job is Professor of Film and Television, Goldsmiths, University of London. He has been published by leading academic publishers.

Serial expats, Lambert Nagle have also lived in Canada and although now based in Hampshire, travel back and forwards to New Zealand whenever they can.

Alison Ripley Cubitt

Goodreads | AmazonUK | AmazonUS | Twitter