DIANA’S APRIL REVIEW ~ The Alchemist by Paulo Coehlo

DIANA’S APRIL REVIEW ~ The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho

Maybe I’m one of the last people to read this magical little book. If you read my series about allegories on my other blog http://www.selectionsofreflections.wordpress.com you will know that I adore stories with a meaning, especially if they are in the form of a pilgrimage ~ The Alchemist ticks all of these boxes for me.

I was with Santiago all the way as he gave up his relatively successful life as a shepherd in search of treasure. His travels through North Africa, overcoming danger, befriending enemies, gaining much and then losing it once more was a gripping tale and I felt each of his highs and lows as personal pain and pleasure.

His lesson ~ listening to your heart. It spoke to me at a very special time in my life and, as many readers have said on finishing this little tome, my world will never be quite the same again.

DIANA’S MARCH REVIEW ~ Wildflower Hill by Kimberley Freeman

Emma’s world fell apart. She breaks up with a long term boyfriends and then has an accident, leaving her career as a successful ballet dancer in jeopardy.

Beattie, Emma’s grandmother, becomes pregnant in the 1930’s and so she runs away to Australia with her married lover and settles in Tasmania. It is a harrowing life which she turns around in the most inventive and unexpected way. Times were not always easy though, with a hidden past and secrets which she shared with no-one.

As Emma is bequeathed Beattie’s farmhouse she begins to heal and unravels the truth about her grandmother.

A gripping tale ~ an epic with everything, love, tragedy, travel into the unknown ~ a dram spanning generations. I can recommend this book.

DIANA’S FEBRUARY REVIEW ~ An Accidental Murder by J New

I must admit that I didn’t realise this novel involved the supernatural and was tempted to put it down, but I’m really glad I didn’t. I really enjoyed it. (My latest work  involves a kind of time travel and so, although I had a momentary pause, I continued to read on.)
The apparitions played their part in solving this unusual mystery. Ella was a warm character who discovered The Yellow Cottage, a memory from happy family holidays. As she unpacked strange things began to happen. The cottage itself was quirky, still holding much content and style from its previous occupants.
The unfortunate ‘so called’ fatal accidents of several children in care aroused Ella’s suspicion and her brother and sister-in-law and also Uncle Albert, a police commissioner became involved in solving what turned out to be several murders.
A clever plot which I thoroughly enjoyed and will look out for the next in the series, where I also hope to read more about the island on which the cottage stands.

A great read!

DIANA JACKSON’S JANUARY 2017 BOOK REVIEW ~ THE WHITE CAMELLIA by JULIET GREENWOOD

Reading The White Camellia reminded me why I like historical novels and being a lover of Daphne du Maurier and fond of Cornwall too, this was the perfect read for me. Like good historical fiction Juliet Greenwood invents the setting of The Camellia Tea Rooms and also The Suffrage League of Artists and Journalists following extensive research. They were truly believable, giving us a distinctive flavour of the tumultuous times in which the novel was set. Both Sybil and Bea were extremely strong and likeable protagonists. The former held dark secrets, although somehow I did not doubt her genuine belief in goodness and righting wrongs, unlike her brother who continued to seek revenge and could never forgive. The mystery of lesser characters such as Lillian added intrigue. The reader was soon aware that there were connections deep beneath the surface, but it was only in the final chapters that the truth was revealed, as was the true nature of all concerned.

A gripping tale of women fighting for what they believed in, caring for the unloved and, following success, returning the complement to humanity in kind. A great read. I enjoyed every minute.