Here we are in August. If ever there was a time I was grateful for books to get lost in this is it. As Covid 19 continues to reign over the world, escapism between pages is most welcome.
The Light Within Us by Charlotte Betts
Talented painter Edith Fairchild is poised to begin a life of newlywed bliss and artistic creation in the inspiring setting of Spindrift House, freshly inherited by her charming husband, Benedict, and overlooking the stunning harbour of Port Isaac.
Things don’t bode well for Edith from the start of her marriage. Whilst they honeymoon in France, accompanied by friends, things take an unwelcome turn. Upon the return to Spindrift, joined by friends Clarissa, Dora & Pascal, Edith discovers all is not as well with Spindrift as appeared. Hugh Penrose is incredibly annoyed that Benedict is the owner of a house that he believes is rightfully his. Thus there is a lot of contempt towards the Fairchilds and their friends.
Benedict doesn’t prove to be the husband and father Edith expected and she soon finds herself turning Spindrift into an artists community by the sea. As the artists’ talents flourish, life proves far from easy. Secrets continuously threaten to destroy the community they have worked so hard to build.
This is book one of a trilogy. I thoroughly enjoyed it. It is beautifully written and I very much look forward to the next instalments.
The Sleeper Lies by Andrea Mara
It’s 2018 and as Ireland experiences immense snowfall, Marianne finds herself working from home in her cottage in the country. As she looks out at the snowfall one morning, Marianne notices footprints. On further inspection she realises they stop under her bedroom window. Marianne’s cottage is in the middle of nowhere, who and why was someone in her garden when everyone has been ordered to stay indoors?
As the snow worsens, more disturbing things happen at Marianne’s house. Distant memories are unearthed, old arguments brought back to the surface and her own mothers’ death returns to Marianne’s focus. Marianne wonders if the police are taking her seriously enough. Is her interest in unsolved murders playing tricks with her mind or are the similarities cause for concern? Her oldest friend Linda is growing distant and is no help. Jamie is concerned their past causes tension between them.
I struggled to put this book down, it was so brilliant. Every time I thought I know what was going on I soon realised I was wrong. Full of twists and turns, and bolts from the blue, this another exceptional read from Andrea Mara.
The Goddess Village by Nuala Woulfe
Cloonsheeda Village, a new Eco Village is being built in the heart of the Irish countryside in the hopes of attracting buyers from all over to this tranquil setting.
Cornish sex therapist, Demelza Spargo has moved into Cloonsheeda with her cat, Bast. Demelza opens a Goddess Therapy Clinic and is soon helping various women in Cloonsheeda.
There are a lot of characters in this book to keep track of but. Initially, I did wonder if I would lose track however it was easy enough to keep up with who was who. This book is very much focused on empowering women, which is always a good thing in my opinion.
I enjoyed it, it was a nice easy read.
Queenie by Candice Carty-Williams
Queenie is 25 years old, lives in London and works for the Daily Read national newspaper. She has her life together, no scratch that, she had her life together. She was going to marry her boyfriend Tom but then they went on a break.
Following her break from Tom, Queenie seeks comfort in all the wrong places. She’s on a journey of self-destruction, the men she’s sleeping with don’t treat her well at all, yet she accepts their treatment as being all she deserves. She takes some form of responsibility for herself by visiting a sexual health clinic, where the staff express their concern for her.
As her work flounders, her good friend Darcy does her best to help but she can only do so much. Queenie really wants to write about Black Lives Matter but her editor rebukes all of her attempts.
The first half of this book is an account of Queenie’s self destruct journey. While it could be easy to feel frustrated with Queenie, it’s easier to feel only empathy for this young woman. She has a good support network of friends. Her family too are supportive in their own way. Whist seeking help for mental health problems is frowned upon by her Grandmother initially, she supports Queenie in the ways she knows how.
I really enjoyed this book. Whilst the main focus is Queenie and her problems, it also dips into Black Lives Matter, harassment, racism and so many other issues that black people are still facing today.
A Room Made of Leaves by Kate Grenville
Inspired by the real-life of a remarkable woman, this is an extraordinarily rich, beautifully wrought novel of resilience, courage and the mystery of human desire.
It’s 1798 & young Elizabeth Veale, a girl with an appetite for life, makes a mistake which affects the rest of her life.
She finds herself married to soldier, John Macarthur and sailing for six months to Australia where he is to take up a new position. He’s a brash man, full of his own self importance. He has great plans and even greater schemes.
Elizabeth quickly learns how to live alongside her husband. She discovers an inner strength she never knew she had and over time carves a good life for herself.
I liked this book, Elizabeth flourished despite her circumstances and built a good life. She became a wonderfully respected woman.
Three Women by Marita Conlon-McKenna
Erin Harris has always known she and her brother Jack were adopted. As her friend discovers she is pregnant and unsure of what she will do, Erin decides she wants to know more about her past and where she has come from.
Nina Harris is a family woman. Her home has family at the heart of it. When her husband becomes distant, her son decides to go to Australia and her daughter wants to delve into the past, Nina can’t help but wonder if her family is about to crumble around her.
Kate Cassidy and her husband Paddy are about to celebrate 25 years of marriage. It also looks like Kate’s past is about to throw a spanner in the works and this is making Kate very anxious.
This was an easy listen on borrowbox, though parts of it I did find irritating if I’m honest.
There is a wealth of book reviews here on the blog to provide you with lots of inspiration.
Disclaimer: Unless otherwise stated, all of the books I mention in these monthly posts are bought and paid for by myself, downloaded from NetGalley or borrowed from the Library. Anyone can join NetGalley and provide reviews in exchange for reading books.