Posted in Weekly Posts

WWW Wednesday (March 12)

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 Toy Taker which is the third in the DI Corrigan Series written by former Detective is certainly feeling authentic!

The Toy Taker
Blurb

Your child has been taken…
Snatched in the dead of night from the safety of the family home. There’s no sign of forced entry, no one heard or saw a thing.
DI Sean Corrigan investigates.
He needs to find four-year-old George Bridgeman before abduction becomes murder. But his ability to see into dark minds, to think like those he hunts, has deserted him – just when he needs it most.
Another child vanishes.
What kind of monster is Corrigan hunting? And will he work it out in time to save the children? Goodreads

I have recently finished reading the epic dual time-line tale of Anahita Chevran with the historical setting around World War I
Click on the book cover to read my review.
The Midnight Rose

Next I am going to read The Other Half by Sarah Rayner, an author I love for her realistic portrayal of characters.

The Other Half

Blurb

Chloe, bright, hip and single, is a feature writer with ambitions to launch a magazine of her own. When she meets James, her potential new boss, she knows she shouldn’t mix business with pleasure, but finds it impossible to resist… Maggie appears to have it all. She’s beautiful, a talented writer, and has a gorgeous husband. But something’s not quite right: his job as a magazine publisher is keeping him in the city until late most evenings, and some nights he doesn’t come home at all… Told in the alternating voices of the mistress and the wife, this story of an affair is a sharp, seductive take on modern love. Who, if anyone, comes out unscathed? NetGalley

What are you reading this week? Please share your link or let me know by leaving a comment.

Posted in Books I have read

The Midnight Rose – Lucinda Riley

Historical Fiction 4*'s
Historical Fiction
4*’s

I’m a big fan of fiction written against a well-researched historical background and this 688 page novel delivers the tale of young Indian Anahita Chevran which weaves between her homeland and England where she is trapped at the beginning of World War I.  During her time in England she spent time at Astbury Hall as the companion to Princess Indira.  Lady Maud Astbury makes it quite clear that poor Anahita is an unwelcome addition to the household but with few options as an orphan, it is clear that she has to endure her time spent in this remote stately home.

In the present day Rebecca Bradley is an actress filming a period drama set in the 1920’s at Astbury Hall, in Dartmoor.  Rebecca is eager to escape the press interest about her private life and so the trip to England is the perfect solution.  There is a surprise in store when she becomes friendly with the resident Lord Astbury who is amazed at her likeness to his Grandmother Violet.

I can only admire Lucinda Riley’s story-telling as a large part of this story not only demanded that the historical details felt authentic, but also that the tale of Anahita’s life in India felt equally genuine and on both counts she succeeded.  Although romantic attachments are key to the lives of a number of the characters there is also a dark mystery to be uncovered.

For me the power of a dual time-line novel depends on the past and the present being equally believable and although for me understanding what the truth was of Anahita’s life was what kept me reading the tie-in to the present day story was integral to the whole tale, one could simply not have existed without the other.

The pacing of this story is masterfully done, after all this is a long book yet one that I immersed myself in  as letters, diaries and long-held family secrets were slowly uncovered.  The central character in this book is Anahita and her character was well fleshed out although what stopped me awarding this book five stars is although there were other engaging characters including Princess Indira and Mrs Trevathan I did find a few of them quite wishy-washy but this wasn’t enough to spoil what is an epic story which beautifully contrasts different cultures, different times all wrapped up with a tale set perfectly within its time period.

I received a free copy of this book from the publishers Atria Books in return for my honest review.

This is the fourth novel  Lucinda Riley has published her previous books are:

The Hothouse Flower which I have just realised is on my bookshelf, unread.  This was one of the Richard and Judy picks for 2011.

The Hothouse Flower

Blurb

A heart-rending page turner which sweeps from war-torn Europe to Thailand and back again . . .
As a child Julia Forrester spent many idyllic hours in the hothouse of Wharton Park estate, where her grandfather tended the exotic flowers.
So when a family tragedy strikes, Julia returns to the tranquility of Wharton Park and its hothouse. Recently inherited by charismatic Kit Crawford, the estate is undergoing renovation. This leads to the discovery of an old diary, prompting the pair to seek out Julia’s grandmother to learn the truth behind a love affair that almost destroyed Wharton Park.
Julia is taken back to the 1940s where the fortunes of young couple Olivia and Harry Crawford will have terrible consequences on generations to come. For as war breaks out Olivia and Harry are cruelly separated . . .Goodreads

The Girl on the Cliff which was an enjoyable read also set around the time of World War I
The Girl on the Cliff

Blurb

Why has a secret from 1914 caused a century of heartache?
Troubled by recent loss, Grania Ryan has returned to Ireland and the arms of her loving family. And it is here, on a cliff edge, that she first meets a young girl, Aurora, who will profoundly change her life.
Mysteriously drawn to Aurora, Grania discovers that the histories of their families are strangely and deeply entwined . . .
From a bittersweet romance in wartime London to a troubled relationship in contemporary New York, from devotion to a foundling child to forgotten memories of a lost brother, the Ryans and the Lisles, past and present, have been entangled for a century. Ultimately, it will be Aurora whose intuition and remarkable spirit help break the spell and unlock the chains of the past.
Haunting, uplifting and deeply moving, Aurora’s story tells of the triumph of hope over loss.Goodreads

and my favourite, The Light Behind The Window whose historical setting was World War II

The Light Behind The Window

Blurb

The present
Emilie de la Martiniéres has always fought against her aristocratic background, but after the death of her glamorous, distant mother, she finds herself alone in the world and sole inheritor of her grand childhood home in the south of France. An old notebook of poems leads her in search of the mysterious and beautiful Sophia, whose tragic love affair changed the course of her family history. As Emilie unravels the story, she too embarks on her own journey of discovery, realising that the château may provide clues to her own difficult past and finally unlock the future.
The past
London 1943. A young office clerk, Constance Carruthers, is drafted into the SOE, arriving in occupied Paris during the climax of the conflict. Separated from her contact in her very first hours in France, she stumbles into the heart of a wealthy family who are caught up in a deadly game of secrets and lies. Forced to surrender her identity and all ties to her homeland and her beloved husband, Constance finds herself drawn into a complex web of deception, the repercussions of which will affect generations to come.
From the author of the international bestseller, Hothouse Flower, Lucinda Riley’s new novel is a breathtaking and intense story of love, war and, above all, forgiveness. Goodreads

The Midnight Rose

Posted in Weekly Posts

WWW Wednesday (March 5)

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 That Dark Remembered Day by Tom Vowler

That Dark Remembered Day

Blurb

One family, one town, devastated by one tragic event.
Can you ever know what those closest to you are really capable of?
When Stephen gets a phone call to say his mother isn’t well, he knows he must go to her straight away. But he dreads going back there. He has never been able to understand why his mother chose to stay in the town he grew up in, after everything that happened. One day’s tragic events years before had left no one living there untouched.
Stephen’s own dark memories are still poisoning his life, as well as his marriage. Perhaps now is the time to go back and confront the place and the people of his shattered childhood. But will he ever be able to understand the crime that punctured their lives so brutally? How can a community move on from such a terrible legacy? Amazon

I have just finished another five star read, Sleep Tight by Rachel Abbott
Click on the book cover to read my review

Sleep Tight

This is an absolute page-turner of a book about obsession with brilliant characterisation that keeps you believing in the events that unfold….

Next up is something completely different. The Midnight Rose by Lucinda Riley

The Midnight Rose

Blurb

Spanning four generations, The Midnight Rose sweeps from the glittering palaces of the great maharajas of India to the majestic stately homes of England, following the extraordinary life of a remarkable girl, Anahita Chaval, from 1911 to the present day . . .
In the heyday of the British Raj, eleven-year-old Anahita, from a noble but impov­erished family, forms a lifelong friendship with the headstrong Princess Indira, the privileged daughter of Indian royalty. As the princess’s official companion, Anahita accompanies her friend to England just before the outbreak of WorldWar I. There, she meets young Donald Astbury—reluctant heir to the magnifi­cent, remote Astbury Estate—and his scheming mother.
Ninety years later, Rebecca Bradley, a young American film star, has the world at her feet. But when her turbulent relationship with her equally famous boyfriend takes an unexpected turn, she’s relieved that her latest role, playing a 1920s debutante, will take her away from the glare of publicity to a distant cor­ner of the English countryside. Shortly after filming begins at the now-crumbling Astbury Hall, Ari Malik, Anahita’s great-grandson, arrives unexpectedly, on a quest for his family’s past. What he and Rebecca discover begins to unravel the dark secrets that haunt the Astbury dynasty . NetGalley

I love this meme as it is good to see what everyone is reading so please share your links with me.

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