Category Archives: Reading a novel

Celebrating Scottish Authors ~ J David Simons ~ An Exquisite Sense of What is Beautiful

It was browsing the books in Kinghorn Library that I decided I needed to investigate contemporary Scottish writers and I’m so glad I did. All of my blog posts this December will celebrate Scottish authors.

An exquitise

Available on Amazon

Here’s my review of ‘An Exquisite Sense of What is Beautiful‘ by J David Simons:

“I found J David Simons’ novel beautiful, shocking, informative, gripping in places and haunting. It was one of those books which lived on with me long after I had read the final page.
Edward was fascinated by Japan and a legacy enabled him to realise his dream to live and work there. His view of the culture and his surroundings, as well as delving into the morality of the war, took you into an exotic but scarred and unfamiliar world. An escape which included a love affair with a Japanese maid and the realisation of Edward’s other dream, to be a successful writer.
His success unfortunately led to his return to England, a bitter sweet time in his life when he married an artist beginning a tumultuous off/on relationship. Hidden truths festered, only resurfacing when Edward was an old man before his time and he revisited Japan, meeting his first love Sumiko once more.
A clever plot with an unexpected ending, which I will not spoil for you, but which left me haunted for some time.”



Filed under Book reading, Reading a novel, Scotland, Scottish authors

Celebrating Scottish Authors ~ Margaret Skea ~ The Turn of the Tide

Turn of theTide

Available on Amazon

My next Scottish writer ~ in no particular order I might add ~ is Margaret Skea who lives in the Scottish borders. I ‘met’ her on social media and hope our paths will meet in person in the not too distant future.

Here is my review of ‘Turn of the Tide.

“After avidly reading some of Nigel Tranter’s novels whilst living up in Scotland in 2013 it was a pleasure to read ‘Turn of the Tide.‘ The long lasting feud between the Cunninghams and the Montgomeries in 16th Century Scotland reaches an uneasy truce due to King James but Kate, a character I felt so much empathy for, and her husband Munro endured the burden of past deeds and divided loyalties, leading to tragic consequences for some. The surprise that even enemies can be human and even quite pleasant resonated with me. You feel all the emotions in this well written novel, with language evocative of the period, from the joy of family life to fear, devastating loss and a heightened sense of danger.”

I look forward to Margaret Skea’s next novel ‘Katharina’ which has recently been released.

Leave a comment

Filed under Book reading, Book reviews, Reading a novel, Scotland, Scottish authors

Celebrating Scottish Authors ~ Mark Douglas Home ~ ‘The Woman who Walked into the Sea’

The woman who walked into the sea

Available on Amazon

The first Scottish author I’ve chosen to review this December, Mark Douglas Home, had me spellbound with this novel ‘The Woman who Walked into the Sea‘, which I bought in Waterstones as a paperback.

Here’s my review:

“Violet Well’s travels to a small community near Ullapool in the Highlands of Scotland in search of her mother, or information about why she was abandoned as a baby. She finds a strange community in the imaginary town of Poltown some on the surface who are warm and welcoming, a man who is kindly but appears to have learning difficulties and others who appear to be downright sinister. Nothing is as it first appears.

Not wanting to find any romantic involvement she stumbles upon Duncan Mc Call, an expert in tides and currents who often finds himself working to investigate missing bodies thought to have drowned. He becomes a rock to protect her but although ever watchful, he keeps a respectful distance from Violet in accordance to her wishes.

The plot is complex but extremely well written leading the reader ever deeper. Was it an accident? Was it suicide? Was it murder?

It is quite an emotional journey for this lass from Glasgow and the story kept me guessing to the end. I can recommend this novel for anyone who like a good mystery with a difference.”

Mark Douglas Home has certainly gone on to my list of authors to watch out for in the future.

Having moved to Fife, Scotland, two years ago this December I thought I would celebrate with a Scottish author month of blog book reviews.


Filed under Book reading, Book reviews, Reading a novel, Scotland, Scottish authors