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Book review: – Soul Music

Soul Music was definitely lighter than our recent reads, but turned out not to be everybody’s taste, common finding with humour. Terry Pratchett’s Discworld series are well loved but as an introduction it was probably not the best choice. It is the sixteenth in the series and so if you have read the books in […]

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Book review: – The Invention of Wings

We all enjoyed ‘The Invention of Wings’ by Sue Monk Kidd. Set between Charleston, South Carolina and Philadelphia in the early 19th century it is a fictionalised account of the early life of Sarah Grimke, an abolitionist, writer, and member of the women’s suffrage movement. The book is told through two voices – Sarah herself […]

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Book Review: – Silencing Anna

Silencing Anna sparked a lot of discussion about domestic abuse which I suspect was Sadie Mitchell’s intention. The framing device of Anna in hospital in a locked in state, which was fascinating, hardly featured. The back story of Anna’s two major relationships – the almost ‘too good to be true’ time with Dylan followed by […]

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Book review: – The witchfinder’s sister

Beth Underdown has taken a real character from history – Matthew Hopkins – who was behind a surge in executions for witchcraft in Essex during the Civil War, and retold his story through the eyes of a fictional sister. In reality there is very little known about Hopkins as a private individual although there is […]

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Book Review: – The couple next door

We were all agreed that this book was a quick and easy read, a page turner – more than one of us had completed it in two days. However the general feeling was that the plot lacked credibility with poorly developed characters. With its basic premise of a baby being kidnapped whilst the parents are […]

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Book Review: – Gilead

Gilead takes the form of a long and rambling letter from an elderly preacher to his young son. John Ames is ailing and wants to leave a letter to his much beloved son whom he will not see become an adult. He hopes to guide his son but also to explain himself and where he has […]

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Book Review: – Inside the wave

We read a volume of poetry this month – a challenge for many of us (the last time I had seriously looked at poetry was school). Helen Dunmore died in 2017, and the collection was written through her last months and many of the poems are” concerned with the borderline between the living and the […]

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Book Review: – Tinker, tailor, soldier spy

First published in 1974 Tinker, tailor, soldier, spy is John Le Carre’s features George Smiley – a spymaster who has been forced to retire following the failure of an operation.  After evidence of a soviet mole is behind the failure of recent operations Smiley is asked to investigate in total secrecy since all senior Circus […]

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Book Review: – A passage to India

Published in 1924 A Passage to India is set in the fictional city of Chandrapore during the British Raj. It won the James Tait Black Memorial Prize for fiction and is regarded as a classic. Newly arrived in India, Adela Quested is keen to experience ‘the real India’, however on an ill-fated expedition to some […]

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Book Review: – The Christmas train

We were hoping for a festive read and David Baldacci’s book promised a ‘heart warming holiday tale’. It focuses on Tom Langdon, a disillusioned journalist as he travels from Washington to LA to be with his current girlfriend by Christmas Eve. Baldacci is well known as a thriller writer and this is somewhat out of […]

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Book Review: – Cartes postales from Greece

The structure of Victoria Hislop’s book is unusual – a set of short stories with what feels like two framing devices. First we meet Ellie who has received a series of postcards from Greece intended for a previous occupant of her flat. Her interest is piqued, and fed up with her life she decides to visit Greece. […]

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