Category Archives: Book reviews

Diana’s January Book Review ~ The Strawberry Thief by Joanna Harris

Diana’s January Book Review ~ The Strawberry Thief by Joanna Harris. I must be the last person to read Chocolat, so when I spotted this paperback in Waterstones before Christmas, I was drawn to it. I think it is the fourth in the series, but great as a standalone novel too.

I’m not strictly following the theme running through many books I choose to review this time, for reasons you’ll read in my review:

  • They tell a tale linked to history
  • The books are often set in two time periods
  • The location is a place either I have an affection for, or one I would dearly love to visit.

Why did I choose this book?

Strawberry Thief was set in a small (imaginary) village in south west France near Bordeaux, where some of my family live, and so it was easy for me to imagine the scene from the start. I did not know at the time, but Vianne tries to make sense of the present by reflecting on her time with her mother in the past… but above all, I chose it because I love chocolate; and wild strawberries too.

Did you feel empathy for any particular character?

I could not help but feel Vianne a kindred spirit, trying to settle into a new home – a quiet village; quite a contrast to her last base in the city. Suddenly coping with all the joys and drawbacks of living in a smaller tight knit community. Mind you, as a chocolatier she had an advantage; chocolate.

Is there a lasting thought or memory of the book which remains with you?

Yes ~ What will the wind blow in today?

A mysterious book of life’s struggled, neighbourly conflict, misunderstandings, guilt and love ~ maternal and romantic and of course CHOCOLATE!

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Diana’s Book Review ~ The Girl From the Island by Lorna Cook

I’m still following the theme running through many books I choose to review:

  • They tell a tale linked to history
  • The books are often set in two time periods
  • The location is a place either I have an affection for, or one I would dearly love to visit.

Why did I choose this book?

The Girl from the Island was set on Guernsey, the island where Grandpa and Great Grandfather were born. They moved to Woolston Southampton when Grandpa was a toddler but Great Grandfather eventually returned, but died there during WW2. This book is set in modern times, but also on the island during WW2. I know this history well, but was intrigued to see if another novel could be written to grip my attention. It did!

Did you feel empathy for any particular character?

Where can I start? Of the two sisters during WW2 it was Persephone I was drawn to most; her willingness to put her life on the line for the cause; her tug of emotions as she tried to distance herself from the man she had fallen in love with ten years before, but who had arrived at her house, a Nazi who was taking over her late mother’s bedroom. What a complex but wonderful character.

Is there a lasting thought or memory of the book which remains with you?

One scene I just cannot share with you, because it would be a spoiler but it was poignant, tragic, full of tension ~ everything really to draw me closer to Persy and like her even more intensely. You’ll just have to read the book to find out.

Available on Amazon

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Indie Stars Bookshop

Hello folks

It’s very nearly Advent and I am happy to link hands with many of my author friends in a special bookshop for this festive season!

There are lots of festive treats

to buy,

to win

and to browse.

Why don’t you click on the link above and check it out?

YES, THERE ARE PRIZES AND GAMES TOO!

Do take a look. I’m working though reading works by the authors included in the ‘shop’ because, as you know’, I really like to promote books I’ve read and enjoyed.

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Filed under Book reading, Book reviews, Book Shops, Events, Marketing your novel