Posted in Weekly Posts

Weekly Wrap Up (July 29)

This Week on the Blog

This was another week where all my reviews were for books being published during this week, starting with my thoughts on The Story Keeper by Anna Mazzola .

My excerpt post was from The Liar’s Room by Simon Lelic which will be published on 9 August 2018.

This Week in Books featured the authors P.D. James, Stephen Bates and Lisa Ballantyne.

My second review of the week was for the superb Fatal Inheritance by Rachel Rhys (aka Tammy Cohen), a novel set on the Riviera in 1948 which was published on 26 July 2018.

That was followed by my review for another exceptionally good psychological thriller; Open Your Eyes by Paula Daly.

My week concluded with me choosing my titles for The Classics Club Spin #18 – I have to wait for Wednesday to find out the result so fingers crossed it’s a good (and short) one!

This Time Last Year…

I was reading Shelter by Sarah Franklin. Set in the time of WWII and featuring lumberjill’s working in the Forest of Dean as part of the war effort.

Reading this book was a somewhat strange experience as I lived in the area from the age of nine until I left home and yet I had no idea about this part of its history.

The chief protagonist Connie hails from Coventry and wanted more from life than working in a factory followed by marriage meanwhile Seppe is a POW caught while fighting a war he didn’t believe in. There stories take in the local characters and captured the essence of life in a small community which was still evident when I lived there, decades later.

You can read my full review here or click on the book cover.


Early spring 1944.

Connie Granger has escaped her bombed-out city home, finding refuge in the Women’s Timber Corps. For her, this remote community must now serve a secret purpose.

Seppe, an Italian prisoner of war, is haunted by his memories. In the forest camp, he finds a strange kind of freedom.

Their meeting signals new beginnings. But as they are drawn together, the world outside their forest haven is being torn apart. Old certainties are crumbling, and both must now make a life-defining choice.

What price will they pay for freedom? What will they fight to protect? Amazon

Stacking the Shelves

I was recently contacted to see if I would like to read James Henry’s second book in the DS Lowry series, Yellowhammer. Having greatly enjoyed visiting Essex during the 1980s in the first book Blackwater, I jumped at the chance.


July 1983, Essex. A boy playing hide-and-seek sees a fox tugging at something up on a railway embankment. He approaches it cautiously. Seconds later, a blast is heard, and rooks ascend from the poplars surrounding the farmhouse at which the boy is spending his summer holiday with cousins.

DI Nick Lowry is called upon to investigate two deaths at Fox Farm, the home of eminent historian Christopher Cliff. The body in the farmhouse kitchen is Cliff himself, having seemingly taking his own with an antique shotgun. The fox-disturbed body on the property boundary is as yet unidentified.

Lowry is already under pressure: County Chief Merrydown was at college with Cliff and knows the family. He must enlist colleagues Daniel Kenton and Jane Gabriel to answer two key questions: just who was at the house with Cliff that morning, and just what has since happened to Cliff’s wife? Amazon

Having built up three whole book tokens I went on a spending spree and spent the lot, although one book is yet to be delivered.

Those of you who read my review of Life After Life by Kate Atkinson won’t be at all surprised to hear that I bought a copy of A God in Ruins which takes up the story of Teddy Todd who appeared in the former novel.


A God in Ruins relates the life of Teddy Todd – would-be poet, heroic World War II bomber pilot, husband, father, and grandfather – as he navigates the perils and progress of the 20th century. For all Teddy endures in battle, his greatest challenge will be to face living in a future he never expected to have.

This gripping, often deliriously funny yet emotionally devastating book looks at war – that great fall of Man from grace – and the effect it has, not only on those who live through it, but on the lives of the subsequent generations. It is also about the infinite magic of fiction. Few will dispute that it proves once again that Kate Atkinson is one of the most exceptional novelists of our age.

I also have a copy of The One I Was by Eliza Graham, an author who has greatly impressed me with her historical novels, my most recent read being Another Day Gone


Restless, troubled Rosamond Hunter has spent most of her life running away from the past, filled with guilt about her involuntary role in her mother’s death. When her nursing job brings her back to Fairfleet, her childhood home, to care for an elderly refugee, she is forced to confront the ghosts that have haunted her for so long.

Her patient, Benny Gault, first came to Fairfleet, England, in 1939, having fled Nazi Germany on a Kindertransport train.

As his health fails, he and Rosamond begin to confide in each other. At first their tentative friendship revolves around the love they both shared for Rosamond’s glamorous grandmother, Harriet, but as their trust in each other grows, guilty secrets are exposed and history is turned on its head.
From the acclaimed author of Playing with the Moon and Restitution comes a beautiful and haunting tale of friendship, redemption and forgiveness across generations. Amazon


What have you found to read this week?


Sadly I’m back to only having finished 2 books this week and have gained 3 that brings the total to  171!
Physical Books – 114
Kindle Books – 41
NetGalley Books –15
Audio Books –1



I have added no reviews of my own books this week so technically I have 1 1/3 books (but one of those has been spent so it’ll disappear very soon)



A book lover who clearly has issues as obsessed with crime despite leading a respectable life

15 thoughts on “Weekly Wrap Up (July 29)

    1. I’m waiting for a time when I cam devote some real time to A God in Ruins… I did enjoy Shelter enormously and it even made me quite fond of the place where I lived (I hated it when I was there!)


  1. Glad to see your TBR has gone up this week – I’ve been worried about you! I’m halfway through The Story Keeper now and still haven’t made up my mind about it. It’s keeping me turning the pages though…


  2. You had a good week of reading, Cleo, and I’m glad. I’m intrigued by both the Atkinson and the Henry. Atkinson is so talented; I enjoy reading the different sorts of stories she tells. And I like both the setting and premise for t he Henry. I’ll be keen to know what you think of them.


    1. I had to have the follow up book to A Life After Life as I adored it so much… I first read Behind the Scenes at the Museum soon after it was published and loved that too – as well as many of the next ones, I really don’t know why I didn’t read these earlier.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I knew those book tokens would disappear before long – ha! Yes, the books you talked about this week were very interesting, but not out in my part of the world for a while or ever. I’m trying to take note of them, but put them in the ‘maybe later’ category of my mind. If that’s possible. LOL


  4. Oooh, I *just* finished Life After Life (yes, I’m a bit behind, hahaha), and I’ve been wondering whether Teddy’s story (A God of Ruins) would be worth tracking down… can’t wait to see what you think of it!!


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