Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Three wishes for Miss. Winthrop by Shirley Kennedy

Three Wishes for Miss Winthrop

This is the kind of book I desperately need when I have had my share of murder, psychological thrillers and general mayhem. 

There is a Lord and a governess who definitely knows her place. There is the all important mother of the Lord with the eye on the main chance and that includes a very suitable marriage with the lady of her choice. The son seemingly seems to be going along with the plan very amicably until the Governess catches his eye, makes him see the wrongness of his ways in bringing up/ignoring his three children and upsets the entire apple cart of the Granville household.

One other character which came into her own in the story was the invalid sister of the Lord who has also been kept under the thumb of the autocratic mother. She finds love and the courage to go against the mother which I found very comforting!!!

Nice read.

On a non book note, reading still erratic because I am busy doing the baby laundry and baby sitting!!! quite enjoyable but it is going to be dull post Sunday when they all leave.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Mailbox Monday/It's Monday! What are you reading? Coming late!!!!

Mailbox Monday is late all due to my little grand daughter taking all our time!!! A nice change though from the routine.

Books which came this week are

Kindle edition of this book. I like the cover as well.

Military cum history - a new genre for me so looking forward to this read.

The Cinderella Debutante

A Regency romance. I need this after all the hard work.....


A mystery/crime book a new author for me. Just to add some mix to the dish!


Hosted by Sheila at Book Journey.

Three Wishes for Miss Winthrop

In the middle of this one. Light and frothy!

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Two Short Reviews - Born of Persuasion and 1932

1832 is not a good year for women. They are considered property of their husbands, fathers and brothers.  Julia is orphaned and finds herself in the hands of an unknown guardian whose plans are to send her to far off Scotland and more ominously it seems plans an unexpected accident and an inconvenience could be quietly forgotton.

Julia has a childhood sweetheart in Edward and she has two months to try to find him as he is missing and then to get married to avoid the empty future spreading ahead of her. Finding Edward she also finds him bitter and a vicar which is totally unexpected and completely at odds with the person she knew before. She also finds out that several people whom she trusted knew about the circumstances and manner of Edward's turn of mind but never bothered to tell her. 

Offered a way out by a shrewd dowager of finding a partner Julia finds herself as a pawn and cats paw in a game between several characters. Her father who upto now has been unknown who also turns out to be her guardian, Lord Macy a suitor for her hand, Edward her former love .  Julia is uncertain of her own heart now as she is strongly attracted to Macy and now must decide whom she would love and most importantly trust.

Lots of detail and description this was a good book.

I like spin offs from P& P - this is a really unusual one. Set in 1932, we have Mr. Bennet as an English literature professor who has just lost his job. With that he is in financial difficulty having lost the means to pay the mortgage. The only option is to go back to farming - land which his brother owns. He takes his brood (fortunately Mrs. Bennet is not given to much drama in this one) and the children and goes back.

We find our Mr. Darcy here again a land owner of vast acres, Mr. Bingley an owner of a store (I couldn't get over the "trading" part), the Misses Bingley are portrayed as his spinster aunts but still trying to rule him totally and Elizabeth, Jane and all the girls now working in whatever ways possible to eke an income.

For the first time I've read of the love of Darcy for Elizabeth but for Elizabeth the acceptance of Darcy is as a marriage of convenience. She certainly likes him, she admires him but she is not in love with him - at the beginning anyway and this difference added a certain piquancy to the story. Every story of P & P has the immediate attraction between Elizabeth and Darcy. A gradual onset of love on the part of Elizabeth has never been seen before!!!!

This was a good variation and I certainly enjoyed it.

Our long ten days holiday comes to an end with Easter. Happy Easter to all.

Thursday, April 17, 2014


Hawthorne Author Sarah Ballance

Noah has never forgotton Emma. I also did not know it was a ghost story till the end. Maybe because I do not read much of this genre I was quite unaware of what was happening!

The story proceeds with Noah at the Hawthorne Manor discovering a document that may cost him everything. The house is full of secrets but this document that he discovers will allow Emma to walk away free but the cost to Noah was immeasurable.

Emma returns home only because of her grandmother passing away. She hopes to find peace and closure and discovers an old love, a very mixed up family history and a wrong that she only can set right.

This is a ghost story also a love story dealing with two characters and you want them to reunite and be together. The ending is brilliant. I was not the only one who was stupefied by it!

This was another free Amazon download. I have been very lucky with the free downloads. Have got so many good reads.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

The Towers of Tuscany by Carol M. Cram

The Towers of Tuscany

Medieval Italy and its a men's world. Sofia the only child of a famous painter in San Gimignano is a talented painter herself. She knows it herself, her father himself knows it though he never wants to acknowledge it, she not being the longed for son whom he never has but he cannily knows that her talent is useful to him in advertising his business. Her paintings are beautiful and she has the "touch" that only a gifted painter has.

Fast forward to Sofia growing up and her desperate need to be a painter in her own right. She knows this is impossible as it is prohibited. Sofia's first error is persuading her father to let her marry someone of her choice - she falls in love with him and the marriage turns out to be disastrous. She does not provide him with the longed for children and this becomes the point at which the marriage disintegrates. Throughout her marriage though she continues to paint secretly for her father and you know that her talent and manner of painting is improving by the day.

Sofia feels stifled by her life and seeks a way out by disguising herself as a young man and escaping to Siena to the painting house of someone who was known to her father. This happens after her father's murder due to a vendetta and the general mayhem that follows in San Gimignano.  Luckily for her she is accepted at the painter's house where his wife also helps Sofia in continuing her disguise as a young man. Sofia is very happy with her life though she has always got to be on guard that her gender will not be discovered. It will spell death for her and destruction to the house that has give her employment.
Falling in love with a client and being discovered by him did not fall into her agenda and this is where the story unravells.

Beautifully descriptively told, meticulously researched history and the story of an unusual woman in turbulent times. This was another book from Amazon which I was able to download free (thank you to all those bloggers who put up these posts re the free downloads). I would never have got to this book otherwise. 

The holidays are surely but slowly coming to an end. Buses are once more on the road and people returning to their urban homes. Life proper will start on Monday and offices as well. It has been a very lazy week for me. Tomorrow my eldest daughter, husband and most importantly the baby will be coming on an Easter break from Melbourne!!!! 

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Love in a time of war - Suzanne Elizabeth Anderson

Love in a Time of War

Set in the WWII era when Hitler was in full flight, the setting is eerily recognisable. Germany has swallowed Poland and is determined to swallow Europe whole. 

We have Natalie a children's writer and her sister Anna with early onset dementia and their niece Mila. We have another sister Ilona who is desperately in love with Bela. Those are our main characters. We have Hungary on the eve of being taken over by the Nazis and everyone who can escape trying their best to do so.

Natalie is the stalwart one in the family. Having arranged for five tickets to get on to the last train out of Hungary, she realizes at the very end that Ilona through Bela has no intention of getting tickets for all of them, and only has thoughts of getting herself and Bela out of the country. Faced with this problem and most importantly the fact that Mila is a Jew and will face every obstacle possible, the next course of action for Natalie is to find an alternative way to either hide Mila or send her out of the country in another way.

Who is friend and who is an enemy, who will sell them out - questions of family loyalty and the heartbreak that one has to face when you think that your own sister will be your enemy are subjects that no one should have to face. 

The story reiterates the suffering faced by families in Europe during this period and the stunning fact that very few people outside did anything to help. It is true that some people did more than their fair share of trying to help at least some people but you always felt that more could have been done. 

A story of love of different kinds - romantic as well as family love. Also a story of history of a time which must be documented well just to make sure that it does not get repeated. 

I got this free on an Amazon download and am so glad I did. Not very often that a historical fiction novel comes up free on Amazon!

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Mailbox Monday/It's Monday! What are you reading?

Just  a couple of books, but all very good.

I was a tad disappointed with the last read. Hoping this one will live upto my expectations.

Hawthorne Author Sarah Ballance

On several blogs and a free download on Amazon. Not my usual genre but I am trying to branch out!

Love in a Time of War

This is going to be good. Romance and history. Also a period I like very much. Another free Amazon download.

The Blue-Ribbon Jalapeno Society Jubilee

Four friends growing up in the best jalapeno area in the country! Amazon download.


Hosted by Sheila at Book Journey.

Reading now and enjoying every minute of it.

The Towers of Tuscany

Medieval Italy, meticulously detailed historical settings, a very strong woman. What more could one ask for?

The New Year has dawned today. A time for reflection as well on an year gone by and a new one to follow. Also absolute freedom - four days holiday!