Posted in Book Review, Books I have read

The Legacy of Elizabeth Pringle – Kirsty Wark

Contemporary Fiction 4*'s
Contemporary Fiction

I’ll answer the most popular question first; Can Kirsty Wark write? The answer is yes, The Legacy of Elizabeth Pringle is well-written, has unusual but believable characters that include a passionate gardener, a Buddhist monk and a Duchess. The pace of this book, while leisurely, doesn’t feel as if it has been deliberately slowed down with unnecessary details.

Undoubtedly aimed at a female audience, the tale told is unusual where spinster Elizabeth Pringle leaves her home, Holmlea in Lamlash on the Isle of Arran, to a woman who asked her to contact her if she were ever to sell it. The letter was written some thirty years previously and Anna, the writer, is now suffering from dementia so her daughter Martha accepts the legacy on her behalf.

Elizabeth’s story begins at the start of World War I where the Isle of Arran had the judgement of the media for only sending one man to the front although they did load 80 horses to help with the war effort. This isn’t just the story about Elizabeth though, we also learn about her mother Izzy and her best friend the Duchess of Montrose.
This is a story told alternatively by Elizabeth, in the form of a memoir, and through Martha’s eyes in the present. I have to admit I preferred Elizabeth’s story of a long-life tinged with regrets and sadness to Martha’s contemporary struggle which contained the ubiquitous bad relationship, fraught relationship with her younger sister as well as her mother’s pressing illness. For me, Martha’s life sorted itself out a little too neatly for my liking with a string of instant friendships to help smooth the path for Martha to spend her time re-furbishing her new home and discover the truth about Elizabeth’s life.

The setting of the Isle of Arran was an inspired choice and I could easily picture this beautiful setting, more so when accompanied by descriptions of the sometimes harsh weather and sometimes small town claustrophobic feel.
An easy light read which has an almost soothing feel to it this books looks at the lives of ‘ordinary’ women and their ‘ordinary’ lives in a memorable setting.

Lamlash, Isle of Arran
Lamlash, Isle of Arran

I received a copy of this book from Amazon Vine in return for this honest review.

Posted in Weekly Posts

WWW Wednesday (May 7)

WWW Wednesday green

Hosted by Miz B at Should be Reading
To play along, just answer the following three (3) questions…
• What are you currently reading?
• What did you recently finish reading?
• What do you think you’ll read next?

I am currently reading The Ties That Bind by Erin Kelly which tells the tale of Luke a man researching the murder of Jacky Nye who was strangled and thrown into the sea many decades ago. Was the murderer actually the gangster’s partner Joss Grand? With a good mix of characters this is shaping up to be a great read.

The Ties That Bind

I have just finished reading The Secrets We Left Behind by Susan Elliot Wright.

click on the cover to read my review

The Secrets We Left Behind


She has built a good life: a husband who adores her, a daughter she is fiercely proud of, a home with warmth and love at its heart. But things were not always so good, and the truth is that she has done things she can never admit.
Then one evening a phone call comes out of the blue. It is a voice from long ago, from a past that she has tried so hard to hide. Scott knows who she really is and what she has done. Now he is dying and he gives her an ultimatum: either she tells the truth, or he will.
And so we are taken back to that long hot summer of 1976 to a house by the sea, where her story begins and where the truth will be revealed… NetGalley

Next on my list is The Legacy of Elizabeth Pringle by Kirsty Wark

The Legacy of Elizabeth Pringle


Elizabeth Pringle has lived on the beautiful island of Arran for over 90 years; the retired teacher and spinster is a familiar and yet solitary figure tending her garden and riding her bicycle around the island. When she dies she leaves her beloved house, “Holmlea” to a woman she merely saw pushing a pram down the road over thirty years ago. That young mother, Anna, had put a letter through Elizabeth’s door asking to buy the house, but Elizabeth never pursued her. But time passed and Anna is now in a home with dementia and it falls to her daughter Martha, the baby in the pram, to come and take up their inheritance. Goodreads

What are you reading this week?

Posted in Weekly Posts

Friday Finds (April 4)

Friday Finds Hosted by Should be Reading

FRIDAY FINDS showcases the books you ‘found’ and added to your To Be Read (TBR) list… whether you found them online, or in a bookstore, or in the library — wherever! (they aren’t necessarily books you purchased).

So, come on — share with us your FRIDAY FINDS!

Well my addiction to NetGalley has returned with a vengeance and I am grateful to have received some great finds this week.

Starting with A Dark and Twisted Tide by Sharon Bolton which is due to be published on 8 May 2014 by Random House UK, I am delighted to have book four in the Lacey Flint series and it sounds so good! The OH saw my face when I read the acceptance email and said ‘Is that another book? It is, isn’t it, I know that smile!’

A Dark and Twisted Tide NG


Former detective Lacey Flint quit the force for a safer, quieter life. Or that’s what she thought.
Now living alone on her houseboat, she is trying to get over the man she loves, undercover detective Mark Joesbury. But Mark is missing in action and impossible to forget. And danger won’t leave Lacey alone.
When she finds a body floating in the river near her home, wrapped in burial cloths, she can’t resist asking questions. Who is this woman, and why was she hidden in the fast-flowing depths? And who has been delivering unwanted gifts to Lacey?
Someone is watching Lacey Flint closely.
Someone who knows exactly what makes her tick . NetGalley

After reading an excellent review written by The Writes of Women of The Last Boat Home by Dea Brovig which was published on 13 March 2014 by Random House UK (they are very good to me!)

The Last Boat Home

On the wind-swept southern coast of Norway, sixteen-year-old Else is out on the icy sea, dragging her oars through the waves while, above her, storm clouds are gathering. Surrounded by mountains, snow and white-capped water, she looks across the fjord and dreams of another life, of escape and faraway lands.Back on shore, her father sits alone in his boathouse with a jar of homebrew. In the Best Room, her mother covers her bruises and seeks solace in prayer. Each tries to hide the truth from this isolated, God-fearing community they call home.Until one night changes everything.More than thirty years later, the return of an old friend forces Else to relive the events that marked the end of her childhood. NetGalley

So if NetGalley finds weren’t enough this review on I Read Novels of The Perfect Affair by Claire Dyer .  Those of you who visit regularly will know I am fascinated by affairs so I simply had to get a copy, fortunately it was an absolute bargain on kindle so I now own this one too!

The Perfect Affair


What happens if you fall in love with the wrong person?
Rose knows only too well the exhilaration and devastation of loving a married man. So she watches with a keen eye as Eve – her closest companion, the granddaughter she never had – meets Myles, the new tenant in her downstairs flat.
Quietly and softly and against the backdrop of their own unsatisfactory marriages, Myles and Eve fall in love and, as they try to have the perfect affair like Rose did before them, they come to learn about the pain of lost opportunities, to decide whether it is ever better to follow your head or your heart, to know what it is to be torn between love and duty. Amazon

From Amazon Vine I have a copy of The Legacy of Elizabeth Pringle by Kirsty Wark
which was published on 13 March 2014 by Two Roads. The blurb had me intrigued so on the TBR mountain it went!

The Legacy of Elizabeth Pringle


Born just before the First World War, Elizabeth Pringle has been a familiar yet solitary figure on the Scottish island of Arran. A dutiful daughter, an inspirational teacher, a gardener. But did anyone really know her? When Elizabeth dies, her will contains a surprise. She has left her home and her belongings to someone who is all but a stranger, a young mother she watched pushing a pram down the road more than thirty years ago.
Now it falls to Martha, the baby in that pram, to find out how her mother inherited the house in such strange circumstances, and in doing so, perhaps leave her own past behind. But first she has to find the answer to the question: who was Elizabeth Pringle?
A captivating and haunting story of the richness beneath so-called ordinary lives and the secrets and threads that hold women together.
~ ~ ~
Dear Mrs Morrison,

A long time ago, almost thirty-four years past, you wrote to me requesting that I contact you should I ever wish to leave my home. I knew then that I would never live anywhere else, and so there was no point in my replying to you.
I saw you almost every day, pushing your pram along Shore Road. You looked very young. I remember that on one occasion you waved to me, and I think I tilted my head towards you. Perhaps you did not see. There have been times when that scene has come to me vividly, and I have wondered what has become of you both.
I am instructing my solicitor to write to you at the address on your letter. Holmlea is yours if you still wish it.

Elizabeth Pringle Amazon

Finally I have discovered that another favourite author of mine, Heather Gudenkauf fourth book, Little Mercies is out on 4 July 2014.

Little Mercies


As a veteran social worker, Ellen Moore has seen it all – the vilest acts one person can commit against another. The only thing that gets her through the workday is knowing her job helps children. That, and her family: her husband, Adam, and three beautiful kids, twins Leah and Lucas, and eleven-month-old Avery. But with a blink of an eye – with one small mistake – Ellen is suddenly at the mercy of the system she works for. Avery is ripped from her clutches, and her whole world begins crashing down around her.
Meanwhile, ten-year-old Jenny Briard has been living with her well-meaning but good-for-nothing father since her mother left them. When her father decides to pack their belongings and move to a new state, Jenny thinks she might be on the road to a better life. But soon she finds herself on her own, forced to survive with nothing but a few dollars and her street smarts. Evading police and the social system, Jenny finds refuge with a kind-hearted waitress. The last thing she needs is a social worker, but when Ellen and Jenny’s lives collide unexpectedly, little do they know just how much they can help one another. Amazon

So a little bit of a mixture this week… what have you found?