A Mile Of River

A Mile Of River

Wednesday, 31 August 2011

Black Diamonds

by Catherine Bailey
Black Diamonds
This book has been one of my favourite reads this year. The book is non fiction and tells of the Fitzwilliam family who were coal mine owners. Tells of the rise and fall of this aristocratic family. There are lots of dark secrets that the family went out of their way to conceal. There is however, a lot more to this story of the Fitzwilliam family, its also a very interesting account of social history of the 20th century and the change in coal industry that had originally made their fortune.

Extremely well researched by Catherine Bailey, who tells how the Fitzwilliam family were well respected by their workers and how the family supported the miners through the general strike. The book tells of the awfull working conditions that the miners were exposed to for a very low wage.

Such a shame that so much of the documentation and letters were deliberately burnt but Catherine Bailey does a fantastic job in restructuring the history.

Thursday, 7 July 2011

A Mile of River

A Mile of River by Judith Allnate.

The book is set in the countryside in England in 1976. There is a severe drought and the family farm is already under financial difficulties and the drought just makes the burden even more of a struggle. The father, Henry lives on the remote farm with daughter, Jess and son Tom. Their mother Sylvie walked out on the family years before and the family have heard nothing from her since.

Jess becomes a mother to her younger brother Tom and has a lot of added work given to her helping her father on the farm. Jess wants to do well at school and go to university to study medicine. Jess tries hard to free herself from the restrictive life she is forced to lead. Jess and her mother's life have some parallels, the longing for some independence.  Jess' father is a very controlling man I found him to be such a selfish jealous character and could not help but have sympathy for Jess.

The foreboding increases along with the drought and the reader discovers the mystery of Jess's mother's disappearance.

Easy read with good believable characterisation. 

Monday, 4 July 2011

The Long Shadow

Continuing my reading of the Morland Dynasty by Cynthia Harrod Eagles. This months read has been the 'Long Shadow' this is the sixth book in the series and is set in Yorkshire. The book covers the reign of King James 11 during the restoration.
There was a continuation of the characters from the previous book, Annunciata and Ralph Morland. Indeed, Anunciatia is not the most likeable of characters I found her to be very self centred but yet again on the other hand, her character is one of strength, determination and grit which I found compelling to read. Themes in the book are jealousy, betrayal and also the feature of a violent death.
Once again looking forward to reading the next in the series.
I decided to add some photos of my needle work to my blog seeing as how they are bookish. The designs are from littlehouse needle works, This is the first time I have worked on linen.

Saturday, 11 June 2011

The Reader

The Reader by Bernard Schlink.

The book begins with the story of fifteen year old Michael Berg and Hanna who is twice his age. Michael meets Hannah as he falls ill on the way home from school and Hanna comes to his aid. Michael returns to thank  her and then is seduced by Hanna and they become lovers. Michael is asked to read aloud to Hanna and he spends time reading to her daily.

I began to think that their infatuation for one another was the main focus of the story. However, Hanna then completely disappears from Michael's life and the next time he sees her is when he is a law student and Hanna is on trial for the crimes she has committed as a prison guard.

Hanna tries to defend herself but does so badly and then Micheal realises Hanna's  secret that she finds more shameful than her war crimes in Nazi Germany. After the trial Michael carries the knowledge of Hanna's secret with him until he realises he needs to put the past behind him.

The book brings up numerous themes guilt, shame, secrets and betrayal

Sunday, 29 May 2011

The Coffin Trail

The Coffin Trail by Martin Edwards.

This book is set in the Lake District and is the first in the series of Lake District mysteries.

The book features Daniel Kind an Oxford Historian and Hannah Scarlett who is leading a cold case review team. Great characterisation even down to the minor characters who are all very believable. The novel is drawn together with a clever twist at the end and kept me in suspense right to the last chapter. Plenty of secret pasts and intriguing revelations come to the forefront.

Martin Edwards has written a great book here and I will definitely be following the characters of Daniel and Hannah in the rest of the series.

Sunday, 22 May 2011

The Black Pearl

The Black Pearl by Cynthia Harrod Eagles is the fifth book in the Morland Dynasty.

The book tells the story of the Morland family's attempt to regain its wealth and position after the devastation of the English Civil War. The book focuses on Annunciata who is the centre of attraction and is both beautiful and aspiring. Annunciata travels to London to join King Charles's court and it is here she discovers the secret of her illegitimacy. The book holds a certain amount of tragic events but draws together with the love between Ralph and Annunciata.
Looking forward to reading the next in the series.

Wednesday, 18 May 2011

Morbid Taste For Bones By Ellis Peters

This is the First Chronicle of Brother Cadfael.

A young monk  of the Benedictine Abbey at Shrewsbury believes he has had encounters with St Winifred.  The monk claims that St Winifred tells him that the Saint is unhappy with the lack of care and dedication that her grave receives in the small village in Wales. He also claims that St Winifred wants her bones to be removed and brought to Shrewsbury Abbey in England. The Abbot believes that the monk has real visions and Cadfael is given the job of leading a group from the order to the village in Wales to acquire the bones of St Winifred . Cadfael being Welsh and speaking of the Welsh language is the ideal candidate.
 Murder mystery with romance. An easy read with good characterisation.

Wednesday, 27 April 2011

Reading Blogger

I love to read so have decided today to start a blogg to share my thoughts on the books I read. I like to read Victorian classics, history, both nonfiction and fiction, diaries and letters some of my favourite authors are Charles Dickens, Thomas Hardy, George Eliot, Charlotte Bronte, Alison Plowden and Claire Tomlin.

 I am currently reading my way through the Morland series by Cynthia Harrod Eagles. This series starts in 1443 with 'The war of the Roses' and continues through to 'The Dancing Years' The series was originally intended to compromise of twelve books but has proved to be so popular that it has now been extended to thirty four.