Follow me on Twitter @bookkaz

Saturday, 27 February 2021

My Bookish Weekly Wrap Up - 27th February 2021

 


Hello all! And another month is almost over! February seemed to fly by here - am hoping March feels a little slower! And hopefully sunnier! My garden is already beginning to bloom and I'm excited for the tulips to start showing off soon too!

On to books!  And it's been another good reading week - wish I could say the same for reviewing.. anyone care to do some reviews for me?! - with another 5 books finished.  Still making no impact on the TBR mountain or Netgalley bookshelf thinning though! Maybe next month....

Here's my look back!

BOOKS FINISHED 




BOOKHAUL

 A more restrained week for me this week.... about blooming time! Just 1 from Netgalley..

THE ROOKERY by DEBORAH HEWITT
publication date - August 2021

Will she give her life to save its secrets?

The Rookery, city of secrets, lies and magic, is facing destruction. But does Alice have the power to save her new home?

When Alice discovered this alternate London, her life changed forever. She discovered she was seeing Nightjars – miraculous birds that guard our souls. But her newfound magic has a dark side. So in an effort to protect her friends, Alice is training to wield her rare abilities under House Mielikki – the House of Life. Yet something isn't right. And after a series of attacks leaves her reeling, it's clear someone wants her to fail.

Alice must plunge into a world of seductive magic and unimaginable perils to uncover the conspiracy. And when she discovers why Rookery itself is at risk, she realizes the price she must pay to save it.

The Rookery is the dazzling sequel to The Nightjar by Deborah Hewitt.
 

CURRENTLY READING







Thursday, 25 February 2021

#BookReview THE RAIN HERON by ROBBIE ARNOTT

 


ABOUT THE BOOK

Ren lives alone on the remote frontier of a country devastated by a coup. High on the forested slopes, she survives by hunting and trading—and forgetting.

But when a young soldier comes to the mountains in search of a local myth, Ren is inexorably drawn into her impossible mission. As their lives entwine, unravel and erupt—as myths merge with reality—both Ren and the soldier are forced to confront what they regret, what they love, and what they fear.

The Rain Heron is the dizzying, dazzling new novel from the author of Flames.

PUBLISHED BY ATLANTIC BOOKS

PURCHASE LINK



MY REVIEW

Having loved his previous book, Flames, I was eager to see what Robbie Arnott had in store for us next - I have not been disappointed!

This is one of those books that take you out of yourself! With the imagery and world created, you become part of the backdrop watching over the struggles of the characters and feeling their emotions - all while the mythical rain heron affects the weather that will deeply affect the characters we follow.

This is a really subtle book, with nods to the damage that climate change causes to the daily lives of those working the land, affecting not only their livelihoods but their mental wellbeing too.

The story starts with a female farmer who is pivotal to the wellbeing of the local community - her farm had struggled for years leading her to the brink of life, but the appearance of the heron changes the fortunes of the farm and she shares this upturn in her luck with those around her. Not all those around her see the good in her charity, and shows the ugliness of jealousy when all is not well in their lives.

And then there is Ren who is living a very hermit existence on the side of a mountain. It's a brutal life but she has learnt to thrive thanks to her survival skills and she is helped by some who meet her. But there's always those questions in your head as to why she has decided to live the way she does and why she won't change her ways for an easier life.

The darker side is portrayed brilliantly by the soldiers sent out to track down the Rain Heron and capture it. Ruthless in their approach, they seem almost brainwashed into following orders and never questioning why they've been given this objective. It's only when they start to see life a little differently that they begin to show their humanity. And there's more good vs bad in the story of Zoe, when we see people working with nature versus those who see it just for greed and their own gain, and how that changes the balance and brings despair to many.

This is a book that gets you thinking about your actions and how it impacts on the wider world. It makes you notice the little things. About how you treat people, and how they treat you! It's weird, quirky, compelling, magical, captivating and will leave you pondering for long after you finish that final page. Loved it!!

★★★★★

Tuesday, 23 February 2021

#BookReview ANGEL OF THE LOST TREASURE by MARIE LAVAL

 


ABOUT THE BOOK

An ancient secret hidden within a mother’s song ...

When young widow, Marie-Ange Norton is invited to Beauregard in France by the mysterious Monsieur Malleval to collect an inheritance, she has no choice but to accept.

But when she embarks on the voyage with her fiery-tempered travelling companion Capitaine Hugo Saintclair, little does she know what waits for her across the sea in turbulent nineteenth-century France on the eve of Napoleon’s return from exile. When she arrives, she is taken aback by Malleval’s fascination with her family – seemingly inspired by his belief they are connected to a sacred relic he’s read about in coded manuscripts by the Knights Templar.

As it becomes clear that Malleval’s obsession has driven him to madness, Marie-Ange is horrified to realise she is more the man’s prisoner than his guest. Not only that, but Hugo is the only person who might be able to help her, and he could represent a different kind of danger ...

This was previously published as Angel Heart by Accent Press in 2015. This is a revised, edited and updated version. Published February 2021 by Choc Lit.

PURCHASE LINK

Amazon


MY REVIEW


This was a fascinating piece of historical fiction - full of intrigue, mystery and romance - that takes you on a thrilling adventure through France in the search of hidden treasure!


Marie-Ange is at the centre of the story, a widow for 6 years and now set to travel to France for a family inheritance that is much needed. It isn't right for a woman to travel alone, so she is set to be accompanied by Capitaine Saintclair, a dashing escort to say the least, but with a bit of a brusque attitude so sparks fly almost instantly! And is there more to his role than he is letting on to Marie?!

I loved the setting of this whole story - the political landscape of France is changing fast over there, and there is seemingly danger round every corner! She sees a face from the past which really rocks her while she is travelling, and then meeting her long lost relative adds more intrigue as he is obsessed by a piece of treasure and seems set to go to extreme lengths to get his hands on it, no matter the consequences. Marie-Ange needs to keep her wits about her, and knowing who to trust is a minefield of its' own!

This was such fun and quite tense too! You really get involved in the history and supernatural elements of the storyline, and the hold that the Templar Knights legend has over everyone is clear for all to see. Hugo is a pretty mysterious character as he escorts her around France, and you're always second guessing his motives but the connection between them is pretty electric and you're always willing them to find happiness - amongst the madness!!

★★★★★

#GuestPost ANGEL OF THE LOST TREASURE by MARIE LAVAL #PublicationDay @ChocLituk @MarieLaval1

 


A huge delight to welcome Marie Laval to the Blog today to share some thoughts behind her book ANGEL OF THE LOST TREASURE which celebrates publication day TODAY!!!

Over to you Marie......

ANGEL OF THE LOST TREASURE – Fact or Fiction?

There can’t be anything more fascinating for me to write about than eternal life, secret societies and lost Knight Templar treasures… and of course romance between a brave heroine confronted to dark, sinister forces and a gorgeous hero torn between his heart and his ambition.

I loved every minute of writing and researching ANGEL OF THE LOST TREASURE, my historical romance published by Choc Lit on February 23rd, and I hope readers will love the story too.

The novel is set in early nineteenth century France, mostly in and around Lyon and the Beaujolais region, and some readers may be surprised to learn that most of the story is actually based on facts.



For example the ‘Société Angélique’, which existed in Lyon from the Middle Ages onwards, included well-known members such as artist Poussin and writers Rabelais and George Sand who genuinely believed that they could work out a way of communicating with angels, incredible as this may seem.

The elusive and very mysterious Count Saint-Germain is the heroine’s godfather and a central figure in the novel although he never actually puts in an appearance. He is a man who has puzzled and fascinated many over the centuries. Some claimed he was the illegitimate son of European royals, others that he was a spy and a conman; some believed that he was an alchemist and a Rosicrucian who had mastered the secrets of eternal life, others that he was only a charlatan. In his correspondence with Frederick the Great of Prussia, Voltaire called him ‘Der Wundermann’ and said that he was ‘a man who knows everything and who never dies’ (although the philosopher being known for his irony, we can presume that he was joking).



The story features locations such as the village of Malleval in the Pilat region near Lyon which is a wild place I would love to visit one day, now that it’s no longer the lair of the ruthless bandits who used to live there. And of course I would also love to explore the old chateau of Arginy, which has for centuries been linked to the lost Knight Templars treasure. As for Lyon, my hometown, it is a beautiful city with many secrets and links to the occult, and I cannot wait to return once it is safe to do so and travel restrictions are lifted.


ABOUT THE BOOK

An ancient secret hidden within a mother’s song ... 

When young widow, Marie-Ange Norton is invited to Beauregard in France by the mysterious Monsieur Malleval to collect an inheritance, she has no choice but to accept. 

But when she embarks on the voyage with her fiery-tempered travelling companion Capitaine Hugo Saintclair, little does she know what waits for her across the sea in turbulent nineteenth-century France on the eve of Napoleon’s return from exile.

 When she arrives, she is taken aback by Malleval’s fascination with her family – seemingly inspired by his belief they are connected to a sacred relic he’s read about in coded manuscripts by the Knights Templar. 

As it becomes clear that Malleval’s obsession has driven him to madness, Marie-Ange is horrified to realise she is more the man’s prisoner than his guest. Not only that, but Hugo is the only person who might be able to help her, and he could represent a different kind of danger ... 


PURCHASE LINKS

KINDLE UK

KINDLE US

KOBO

NOOK

APPLE


ABOUT THE AUTHOR



Originally from Lyon in France, Marie has lived in the Rossendale Valley in Lancashire for the past few years. She writes both contemporary and historical romance. Her novels are published by Choc Lit and include best selling contemporary romantic suspense novels LITTLE PINK TAXI and ESCAPE TO THE LITTLE CHATEAU, shortlisted for the Jackie Collins Romantic Suspense category of the 2021 RNA Awards, as well as A PARIS FAIRY TALE and BLUEBELL'S CHRISTMAS MAGIC. Her latest novel, ANGEL OF THE LOST TREASURE, will be released in February 2021.

Marie also contributes to the best selling Miss Moonshine's Emporium anthologies together with eight author friends from Yorkshire and Lancashire. You can get in touch with Marie on https://www.facebook.com/marie.laval.9/ and https://twitter.com/MarieLaval1

Saturday, 20 February 2021

My Bookish Weekly Wrap Up - 20th February 2021

 


Hello and Happy Saturday once more! They feel like they're coming round quicker than ever now! That's despite all the days blending into one!  And now we've seen the back of the snow it's time to look forward to Spring and longer days!!

On the book front it's been a bit slower me this week as I've been catching up on a few things! But I've still managed to finish 4 books and made a couple of visits to Netgalley despite my best efforts to stay away!

Here's my look back!

BOOKS FINISHED










BOOKHAUL

Netgalley did it again - but it also had help from What Cathy Read Next with one of her reviews tempting me to request a book!

THE STRANDING by KATE SAWYER
publication date - June 2021

Ruth lives in the heart of the city. Working, drinking, falling in love: the rhythm of her vivid and complicated life there is set against a background hum of darkening news reports from which she deliberately turns away.

As a new relationship becomes increasingly claustrophobic, and the discussions of impending political crisis are harder to avoid, she starts to dream of water; of escaping entwining tentacles through deep blue seas. She sets out to the other side of the globe to find that vision of freedom, and to decide who she wants to be when she returns.

But when she arrives at her destination, she finds instead that the world, and life, she left behind no longer exists.

Starting at the end and eventually returning there, with alternate chapters set Before and After, THE STRANDING is a story of how to make a life, what it is to be a woman, and what remains when everything we know is stripped away.

MADAM by PHOEBE WYNNE
Light a fire they can't put out...
For 150 years, above the Scottish cliffs, Caldonbrae Hall has sat as a beacon of excellence in the ancestral castle of Lord William Hope. A boarding school for girls, it promises a future where its pupils will emerge 'resilient and ready to serve society'.
Rose Christie, a 26-year-old Classics teacher, is the first new hire for the school in over a decade. At first, Rose feels overwhelmed in the face of this elite establishment, but soon after her arrival she begins to understand that she may have more to fear than her own ineptitude.
When Rose stumbles across the secret circumstances surrounding the abrupt departure of her predecessor - a woman whose ghost lingers over everything and who no one will discuss - she realises that there is much more to this institution than she has been led to believe.
As she uncovers the darkness that beats at the heart of Caldonbrae, Rose becomes embroiled in a battle that will threaten her sanity as well as her safety...

THE GHOST IN THE GARDEN by JUDE PIESSE
publication date - MAY 2021



The forgotten garden which inspired Charles Darwin becomes the modern-day setting for an exploration of memory, family, and the legacy of genius.

Darwin never stopped thinking about the garden at his childhood home, The Mount. It was here, under the tutelage of his green-fingered mother and sisters, that he first examined the reproductive life of flowers, collected birds’ eggs, and began the experiments that would lead to his theory of evolution.

A century and a half later, with one small child in tow and another on the way, Jude Piesse finds herself living next door to this secret garden. Two acres of the original site remain, now resplendent with overgrown ashes, sycamores, and hollies. The carefully tended beds and circular flower garden are buried under suburban housing; the hothouses where the Darwins and their skilful gardeners grew pineapples are long gone. Walking the pathways with her new baby, Piesse starts to discover what impact the garden and the people who tended it had on Darwin’s work.

Blending biography, nature writing, and memoir, The Ghost in the Garden traces the origins of the theory of evolution and uncovers the lost histories that inspired it, ultimately evoking the interconnectedness of all things.

CURRENTLY READING





📚📚📚





Tuesday, 16 February 2021

#BookReview IT STARTED WITH A PIRATE by KIRSTY FERRY

 


ABOUT THE BOOK

Coffee, cake and cats ...

These are a few of Lexie Farrington’s favourite things, and when she walks into the Thistledean Café in Edinburgh, she’s delighted to find all three: coffee, cake, a big black cat on a purple lead being held by a very grumpy-looking pirate. Okay, maybe she wasn’t quite expecting that one ...

Of course, Billy McCreadie isn’t really a pirate; he just knows a lot about them and is on his way to give a historical talk to school kids, hence the get-up. He’s also in desperate need of a cat sitter.

When Lexie steps in, little does she realise that Billy will be the key to a hidden Edinburgh she would have never discovered herself, and he might also be the man to help solve a certain piratical puzzle of her own ...

PUBLISHED BY CHOC LIT

PURCHASE LINKS

Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Started-Pirate-fabulous-romantic-Schubert-ebook/dp/B08R679NSB/

 

Amazon US: https://www.amazon.com/Started-Pirate-fabulous-romantic-Schubert-ebook/dp/B08R679NSB/

 

Kobo: https://www.kobo.com/gb/en/ebook/it-started-with-a-pirate

 

Apple: https://books.apple.com/gb/book/it-started-with-a-pirate/id1546080295

 

Google: https://play.google.com/store/books/details/Kirsty_Ferry_It_Started_with_a_Pirate?id=V6kSEAAAQBAJ

 

Nook: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/it-started-with-a-pirate-kirsty-ferry/1138511497?ean=2940162708896 



MY REVIEW


The world always seems like a happier place when Schubert is around, so I was so glad to read the latest installment of the series - although these books are easily read as standalone!  


Schubert appears in the life of Lexie this time around and  he's being looked after by Nessa's brother Billy. It's not the ideal situation for Billy as he's got some historical talks to do and finds himself dressed as a Pirate ...!  But the pirate look grabs the attention of Lexie when she visits the cafe he is in, and Schubert works his magic once more in introducing them to each other!


Their shared love of history and cemeteries bond them quickly, and they soon find themselves on a quest to find out more about a mysterious woman who appears in their life.  This is no ordinary search though as it opens up fascinating stories from the past and adds a twist to their time spent in cemeteries!!  The historical rabbit hole they find themselves disappearing down was brilliant!


I always love reconnecting with Schubert and the cast of characters around him - this is another fun read that you'll find yourself racing through and wishing you had a chatty, helpful, meddlesome cat in your life!!


★★★★★




#BlogTour BAD HABITS by FLYNN MEANEY @penguinplatform @The_WriteReads #BookReview

 


Delighted to be with you today to share my thoughts on BAD HABITS by FLYNN MEANEY - all part of a wonderful Blog Tour put together by The Write Reads!


ABOUT THE BOOK




Hilarious, bold, sparky and surprising, this is the funniest feminist book you'll read all year.

Alex is a rebel from the tip of her purple fauxhawk to the toes of her biker boots. She's tried everything she can think of to get expelled from her strict Catholic boarding school. Nothing has worked so far - but now, Alex has a new plan.

Tired of the sexism she sees in every corner of St Mary's, Alex decides to stage the school's first ever production of The Vagina Monologues. Which is going to be a challenge, as no one else at St Mary's can even bear to say the word 'vagina' out loud . . .

published by Penguin Books


PURCHASE LINK



ABOUT THE AUTHOR





Flynn Meaney is the author of The Boy Recession and Bloodthirsty. She studied marketing and French at the University of Notre Dame, where she barely survived the terrifying array of priests and nuns, campus ghosts, and bone-crushing athletes who inspired Bad Habits. Since completing a very practical MFA in Poetry, she works for a French company and travels often between New York (when she's in the mood for bagels) and Paris (when she's in the mood for croissants).


MY REVIEW

This was the much needed lighter read that I needed in these darker times we find ourselves in!  Alex is a fun and funky character who doesn't know the meaning of the word 'conforming' and is desperate to do things her own way - no matter the consequences!!  She's standing up for her rights but that isn't always going to be well accepted at her very straight laced boarding school!!

You do feel sorry for her as a person as the school has become her family - her own parents are way too busy to do the 'parenting' thing so have shipped her off to a Catholic Boarding School - so you can understand why she's desperate to rebel.  She wants some attention and she doesn't care how she gets it!  Wanting to perform the Vagina Monologues with her Feminist Club isn't going to have too many fans amongst the staff, but they set her a challenge and she is ready to accept that challenge!!

There's lots of the normal teen stuff in this book that you can always relate to - friend issues, teen angst, boys being boys - and it made for a really entertaining read to follow her on her quest for success with her play!  This is no Mallory Towers though and this is a book of the times, with buzz words galore!!

Alex is a character who is not backwards in coming forwards, and I loved her attitude and 'can do' attitude! A funny and pleasing story!

★★★★

#GuestPost IT STARTED WITH A PIRATE by KIRSTY FERRY #PublicationDay @ChocLituk @kirsty_ferry

 


Hello!! Happily handing over my blog today to the lovely Kirsty Ferry, to help her celebrate publication day for IT STARTED WITH A PIRATE! Schubert is back and the world is a happier place when he's around!!

Over to you Kirsty......


Welcome to the fourth instalment of Schubert’s series. I’m so happy that Schubert, my fat, black, mystical witch’s cat has garnered such a following in a fun little series which started with Every Witch Way.

When I started the series with Nessa’s tale, it was a rewrite of a long-ish short story that I did in a coffee shop, many years ago, when I worked in a bank and would get into town early. So I’d head off to Boskoops Café in Old Eldon Square, and have cinnamon toast and an Americano, and do a bit of writing in a notebook. The café where Nessa finds the mysterious book that starts the events of the story off is based on Boskoops and there would sometimes be a gaggle of middle-aged women sitting in the window seat, which was the seat I preferred, and also the seat they preferred. I’m ashamed to say that became a battle of wills each morning as to who would get that seat first…

Boskooops was situated on the first floor of an old Georgian house, one of the original houses in the square – number 1, Eldon Square. A few years later, I did a local history course and we had to choose a building to do a project on, and I chose that one. In a sale in the library, I found a book called A Doctor’s Diary. I randomly picked it up, flicked through it, and realised the chap who had written it had come as a young man in the nineteenth century to be a doctor in Newcastle upon Tyne – and he lodged at that very building! It was a weird feeling, thinking I might have been scribbling away, drinking coffee, in a room that he had walked around in.

I just love old buildings and the history attached to them, and I think that’s why I enjoy the historical research so much in my books. It Started with a Pirate was no exception with research. I’ve always loved the romantic side of pirates, but, in a similar way to my obsession with highwaymen, I doubt they’d be very good company really if you met one in real life, doing his actual piratical/highwayman-like job! However, fortunately, we can inhabit the world of fiction and enjoy these bad boys safely, which is lovely.

When I began the research for It Started with a Pirate, it kind of spiralled, and then all came together in the book. The further I dug, and the further I fell down the Google rabbit hole, I came to see a way that pirates, Edinburgh and even the Jacobites could all fit together – and they all do, in this book. Much of my character Mhairi’s story is true – I doubt it all happened to one girl, but the historical records, trials and locations in the book, as well as the connection to the Jacobites, the Orkneys and shipwrecks – were all based on fact. I must also give a shout out to Joanne Baird from Portobello Book Blog for helping me with those locations and answering my questions – so if an author ever messages you and says something like, “um, can you tell me what the Sands of Leith look like now, please, because I believe pirates got hanged there,’ then please be kind, like Joanne was, and answer them! They may have done what I did – found a really interesting article about the skeleton of a pirate turning up in a school playground, and suddenly decide they want to write about it! The culmination of that research is It Started With a Pirate – and I hope you love reading it, as much as I enjoyed writing and researching it!

📚📚📚

About the book:

Coffee, cake and cats ...

These are a few of Lexie Farrington’s favourite things, and when she walks into the Thistledean Café in Edinburgh, she’s delighted to find all three: coffee, cake, a big black cat on a purple lead being held by a very grumpy-looking pirate. Okay, maybe she wasn’t quite expecting that one ...

Of course, Billy McCreadie isn’t really a pirate; he just knows a lot about them and is on his way to give a historical talk to school kids, hence the get-up. He’s also in desperate need of a cat sitter.

When Lexie steps in, little does she realise that Billy will be the key to a hidden Edinburgh she would have never discovered herself, and he might also be the man to help solve a certain piratical puzzle of her own ...

Buying links: 

Amazon UK

Amazon US .

 Kobo 

iBooks 

. Nook


About the author:



Kirsty Ferry is from the North East of England and lives there with her husband and son. She won the English Heritage/Belsay Hall National Creative Writing competition and has had articles and short stories published in various magazines. Her work also appears in several anthologies, incorporating such diverse themes as vampires, crime, angels and more.

Kirsty loves writing ghostly mysteries and interweaving fact and fiction. The research is almost as much fun as writing the book itself, and if she can add a wonderful setting and a dollop of history, that’s even better.

Her day job involves sharing a building with an eclectic collection of ghosts, which can often prove rather interesting. 

Follow Kirsty on Twitter: @kirsty_ferry

 Like Kirsty on Facebook: Kirsty Ferry author




#BlogTour NICK by MICHAEL FARRIS SMITH #BookReview #NickNovel @noexitpress @michael_f_smith

 



Delighted to be with you today to share my review for the forthcoming release of NICK by MICHAEL FARRIS SMITH.  My thanks to the author and the publishers for letting me be part of this wonderful Blog Tour, and I hope you're just as excited for the release of this book as I am!

ABOUT THE BOOK




This rich and imaginative novel from critically acclaimed author Michael Farris Smith breathes new life into a character that many know only from the periphery. 

Before Nick Carraway moved to West Egg and into Gatsby’s world, he was at the centre of a very different story – one taking place along the trenches and deep within the tunnels of World War I. Floundering in the wake of the destruction he witnessed first-hand, Nick embarks on a redemptive journey that takes him from a whirlwind Paris romance – doomed from the very beginning – to the dizzying frenzy of New Orleans, rife with its own flavour of debauchery and violence. 

An epic portrait of a truly singular era and a sweeping, romantic story of self-discovery, this rich and imaginative novel breathes new life into a character that many know only from the periphery. Charged with enough alcohol, heartbreak, and profound yearning to transfix even the heartiest of golden age scribes, Nick reveals the man behind the narrator who has captivated readers for decades.


‘NICK is so pitch-perfect, so rich in character and action, so remarkable a combination of elegance and passion, so striking in felt originality that I am almost tempted to say – book gods forgive me – that The Great Gatsby will forever feel like NICK’s splendid but somewhat paler sequel. Almost tempted to say. But I have no intention of taking back the sincere passing thought of it. Michael Farris Smith’s book is that good’ Robert Olen Butler 

2021 WILL MARK 125TH ANNIVERSARY OF F. SCOTT FITZGERALD’S BIRTH

PUBLISHED BY No Exit Press

PRE-ORDER LINKS








On release day itself, there will be a virtal book launch that you're all invited to! And it's free!! Just click on the link below and get yourself signed up! Look forward to seeing you there!!



MY REVIEW

Ever wondered about a character in a book and their life before that story came to be?!  Well in this stunning story, the character of Nick, of whom we learn so little about in The Great Gatsby as he's there to talk about others, is pushed to the fore and what a story he has to tell of his own!!

This explores the life of Nick Carraway before he came to be the narrator in the world of West Egg and Gatsby.  And it sees him in the trenches in World War I and how that whole experience shapes the young men sent to fight.  The sights they had to witness, the decisions they had to make in the name of war, and how that affected their mind and outlook on life.

Life in the trenches is portrayed in stark brutality here, which really just gets you.  The despair, the pointlessness, the horror witnessed day in and day out. Would today be their last day? And they'd get brief respites with leave when Nick would wander the streets of Paris desperate to find some normality, some meaning - some hope to cling on to.  He feels so disconnected from the world he finds himself living in and that feeling continues with him when he returns to the United States, as prohibition time begins.

The nightmares don't stop for him and I found his journey to be so harrowing.  He was just looking for a connection with something or someone so he'd find himself staying in various places, becoming involved in the drama of other people and never really feeling a peace.

Reading this has made me want to relive the Great Gatsby experience, and I think the author has done an amazing job of giving this character the backstory he deserves!

★★★★★