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text 2017-07-15 15:59
The Hand Of God In Medieval England
Alfred the Great: The Man Who Made England - Justin Pollard

Pollard's biography of Alfred is classic narrative history. There is just enough context to give meaning to the central character's actions but not so much as to upstage him. The focus is always on Alfred's personality, his mistakes, his insights, and the impact he had on the England that he helped bring into being.

 

Alfred's story is, of course, also the story of the Vikings and Pollard is particularly good at depicting his attitude to the cunning and ruthless Norsemen whom Alfred must have believed had been sent by God as a scourge upon an age that had failed to live up to its responsibilities.

 

The medieval mind-set is often difficult for the modern reader to fully take on board.  The hand of God in perceived in every twist of and turn of the plot; the imminence of divine judgement is always just around the corner; and in a world where life-expectancy was as much as thirty-five years less than for contemporary people, perhaps that is not so surprising. All of this, Pollard incorporates into his story. It forms the background against which the portrait emerges of the only English king to be given the soubriquet "Great". From Pollard's account it would appear to be a title justly deserved.

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text 2017-07-12 21:01
Exciting July Releases That Are On My TBR
A Paris All Your Own: Bestselling Women Writers on the City of Light - Eleanor Brown
A Name Unknown (Shadows Over England) - Roseanna M. White
The Diplomat's Daughter: A Novel - Karin Tanabe
Where the Light Falls: A Novel of the French Revolution - Owen Pataki,Allison Pataki
Seducing Abby Rhodes - J.D. Mason
Edward VII: The Prince of Wales and the Women He Loved - Catharine Arnold
The One I've Waited For (The Crystal Series) - Mary B. Morrison
The Cartel 7: Illuminati: Roundtable of Bosses - Ashley and JaQuavis,JaQuavis Coleman
The Truth We Bury: A Novel - Barbara Taylor Sissel

I finished only one book in June. I was quite shocked. I've started many and am hopeful that July will be a better month for reading. I've been out of sorts personally and physically. However, this list of books are right up my street and I'm sure are going to be awesome reads. I'm revisiting favorite authors and genres.

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review 2017-07-01 01:13
THE CURIOUS CHARMS OF ARTHUR PEPPERY by Phaedra Patrick
The Curious Charms of Arthur Pepper - Phaedra Patrick
  I loved it! Arthur finds a charm bracelet in a shoe as he is cleaning out his late wife's cupboards. He is curious about it and begins a journey to find out about the bracelet. The bracelet tells the story of her past. As he learns about his wife, he also learns about himself and where he fits in the world now that she is gone.

An excellent character study. We learn of Miriam, Arthur's wife, as he learns of her. She was not only who he lived with. She was a different person from whom he spent 40 years with. As he discovers her anew, he discovers himself also. I loved him and the characters he meets in his travels and in his neighborhood. He is many different men depending on who is around him. He reconnects with people. I liked the mystery surrounding the bracelet and how each charm on it pulls back another layer of his wife. I wanted to know the meaning of the charms and where they fit into Miriam's life.

I will read this author again. This is a keeper book.
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review 2017-06-30 13:53
The Child - Fiona Barton
The Child - Fiona Barton

Fiona Barton returns with her new book after her bestseller „The Widow“. “The Child” is a very complex and elaborated. I was not a huge fan of her first book, I thought it was OK. But she has a talent for creating unique stories with interesting characters. So when I read the blurb of this book, I thought I give it another try.

“The Child” tells a complex story. The skeleton of a baby is found on a construction site. Three women are affected by that. One of them is journalist Kate Waters, who we know already from “The Widow”. She takes an interest in this story and is determined to find out who this baby was. Slowly she untangles a dark and sad story.

I must admit I am still not a huge fan although I enjoyed reading this book. I can’t put my finger on it what it is but something is missing for me. Barton’s writing style is beautiful but maybe a bit aloof. The story is also a slow-burner and goes into every detail. It is a character driven story and the main point is how Kate finds her way through this mystery. Unfortunately I had an idea how everything could be quite early in the book but I discarded it while going on further. But I was right; I figured the end-twist. Usually I am not so clever and I hardly think much about figuring out the end or the killer etc. while reading. So at the end the surprise for me was that my idea was right.

Despite my little nagging about the book I enjoyed reading it. It is an unusual story, the writing is good. It is unique. I like that. I enjoyed “The Child” more than “The Widow” and I am looking forward to her next book.

I received an ARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review

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review 2017-06-26 22:44
Lucy Clarke - Last Seen
Last Seen - Lucy Clarke
Sarah and Isla know each other since they were kids. They are still close friends. They got pregnant almost at the same time. Sarah is married to Isla’s ex-lover- Isla is a single mother. Both bought beach huts on the English coastline where they spent their summers. All is perfect until one day the boys went swimming but only Jacob, Sarah’s son, returned. Marley, Isla’s boy, was never found and presumed drowned. Isla is desperate. But despite this happened on this sandbank she returns every year to to visit Sarah and her family and feel close to Marley. She loves remembering how happy her little boy was while they were at the hut. How he played with Jacob. But after a few years she senses little fractions in her friendship to Sarah. It seems as Sarah doesn’t want to share her family any more with Isla.

The book begins after Jacob disappears. He is 17 know and he did not come home after a beach party. Isla just left after the anniversary of Marley’s death. It is obvious that something happened between the two women.

The story is told alternating from Sarah an Islas point of view. We learn that everybody has secrets. Especially one of them has a huge problem with telling the truth. One lie leads to the next and soon there are many layers of lies which build up to a tragedy.

The author did a great job in creating a very atmospheric story. I loved the setting of this English sandbank and the little beach huts. Both women love their huts where they spent so many happy summers with their sons. Especially Isla loves to return to the hut because it reminds her so much of Marley. For me this was a dark and sad story. I felt especially sorry for Isla and poor Marley. Lies are told to protect somebody but mostly to protect oneself. But these lies destroyed two families. A little boy died tragically and another life was ruined.

The characters in this book are very realistic and strong. I felt with both women although I started to despise one of them while reading. It is a complex and clever story but also a slow burner. It is not a fast paced book but it is worth your reading time.

This was my second book from Lucy Clarke but definitely not my last one

 
 
 
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