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Sunday, 15 May 2016

Book Reviews - two for one!

The sun has shone, and I've taken advantage by sitting on a nice comfy bench in the back garden and managed to get 2 books finished - the TBR pile shrinks a little again.... but not for long i bet!

The Book - The Blurb

Weathering by Lucy Wood

Pearl doesn't know how she's ended up in the river - the same messy, cacophonous river in the same rain-soaked valley she'd been stuck in for years. Or why, for that matter, she'd been stupid enough to fall down those rickety stairs.

Ada, Pearl's daughter, doesn't know how she's ended up back in the house she left thirteen years ago - with no heating apart from a fire she can't light, no way of getting around apart from an old car she's scared to drive, and no company apart from echoing footsteps on the damp floorboards.  With her daughter, Pepper, she starts to sort through Pearl's things, clearing the house so she can leave and not look back.

Pepper has grown used to following her restless mother from place to place, but this house, with its faded photographs, its boxes of cameras and its stuff jackdaw, is something new. Fascinated by the scattering of people she meets, by the river that unfurls through the valley and by the strange old woman who sits on the bank with her feet in the cold, coppery water, Pepper doesn't know why anyone would ever want to leave.

As the first frosts of Autumn herald the coming of a long winter, and Pepper and Ada find themselves irresistably entangled with the life of the valley, each will discover the ways that places can take root inside us and bind us together.

Weathering is a beautiful, bewitching novel of memories, mothers, daughters and ghosts.

My Review

As this book was part of a subsciption box from A Book and A Brew, I have to admit that it wouldn't have been a normal pick of a book for me, although if I'd seen the cover on a bookshelf somewhere I would have been intrigued! But this has worked out well as it was a fascinating read focusing on the lives of 3 generations of women and the past, present and future.   It wasn't action packed and was quite slow at times which did distract a little, but the strength of the descriptions of the setting and the fascination of the lure of this house was enough to keep me reading and keep me intrigued.  Pepper was my favourite character in the book as her innocence shone through and it was lovely to read her thoughts and experiences inside the house and out exploring.  Will definitely be looking out for more from this author in the future as she has a wonderful way with woods in capturing simple moments.

The Book - The Blurb

The Girl of Ink and Stars by Kiran Millwood Hargrave

Forbidden to leave her island, Isabella dreams of the faraway lands her father once mapped.  When her best friend disappears, she's determined to be part of the search party.  Guided by an ancient map and her knowledge of the stars, Isabella navigates the island's dangerous Forgotten Territories. But beneath the dry rivers and dead forests, a fiery myth is stirring from its sleep......

My Review

My weakness for a gorgeous cover got the best of me when i saw this book advertised, so it had to be added to my TBR pile and I have just spent a wonderful afternoon in the sunshine swept along in this magical adventure! One of those books written for middle grade children that can be appreciated by readers of all ages as it is reminiscent of an old fashioned fairy tale, driven by an extremely courageous and brave young girl, Isabella, who has strong beliefs and convictions and who values the strength of friendship and family.  So when her best friend, the governors daughter, goes missing, her only thought is to be part of the search party to try and find her.

It's a beautiful book inside with each page illustrated with maps and stars which feature heavily in the background for this story and the pace never lets up - myths and legends feature highly and the fear of the unknown all add to the depth that this story has.  Highly recommended!

So now to decide what to read next.............  aarrgghhh!! how do you decide?! Release dates?! Subject matter?! I am tempted to write all the books down on bits of paper and pick that way! Might make my life a little easier! ;)

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