Tag Archives: Book review

Celebrating Scottish Authors Month ~ Buddhada by Anne Donovan


Buddhada on Amazon

This is a gem or a novel lent to me by a neighbour. Anne Donovan is an author from Glasgow and so her descriptions and characters are spot on, charming you with their down to earth sense of humour ~ well except Jimmy of course, the main character, who is going through a bit of a mid life crisis.

Jimmy, a Glaswegian painter and decorator,has a pretty ordinary but happy life with his wife and daughter, that is until he becomes interested in meditation through a local Buddhist Centre. In short he leaves his wife of thirteen years, the love of his life, in search of something. Enlightenment? The meaning of life? Peace? The lamas are in the background watching his journey in a quiet, non judgmental way and he lives at the Centre for a while.

You read the story from Jimmy’s point of view, but also from his wife, Liz, a very down to earth lady whose whole life revolves around family and friends. Also from Anne Marie’s perspective; their twelve year old daughter.

I loved the local dialect and have been living in Fife long enough, just about, to hear the voices. Some might find this aspect difficult to read but please try not to be put off. I’m sure most readers will be able to slip into a truly Glaswegian experience ~ with a difference.

I do believe that, if Buddhada were on my own bookshelf, that I’d keep it to read it again, and I can’t give higher praise than that 🙂



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Celebrating Scottish Authors December ~ The Death of Bees by Lisa O’Donnell

Death of BeesThis was a Kindle purchase although I have seen The Death of Bees in Waterstones. Wow, what a powerful beginning which hit me and intrigued me. The former emotion was not a positive one. The first chapter is intended to revolt.

Fortunately I was so intrigued that I continued to get to know the characters well. The novel is unusual in that each chapter is written in the voice of a different person. Marnie and Eve, two teenage sisters, have a deep dark secret  leaving them to fend for themselves. The contrasting qualities of the girls would highlight the angst of any normal teenage life. This however draws the reader in, with all the more empathy to their plight, due to their dire circumstances.

There’s Lennie the kindly neighbour and the long lost Grandfather who causes further tugs in their lives and several other lesser but pivotal characters. All in all The Death of the Bees had me gripped to the very end. Be prepared to be shocked though.

The Death of Bees is set in Lisa O’Donnell’s city of Glasgow.

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Scottish Contemporary Authors Month ~ The Wrong Box by Andrew C Ferguson

41F7vzbbgpL._SX322_BO1,204,203,200_The Wrong Box is the debut novel by a Fife author in his venture away from serious non fiction. It is produced by Thunderpoint, an Edinburgh based publishing company. Andrew got in touch with me himself through a mutual friend and I downloaded The Wrong Box on Kindle.

Simon English, a visiting lawyer from London, wakes up to find a dead body in the bath of the flat he’s renting from a colleague. He tries to prove he is innocent and uncover the culprits as well as their motives, which are far more reaching than just one murder. Then he comes across Karen, a bored eighteen stone lady living in a council block, who is adept at uncovering corruption in the council. She becomes the most unlikely sleuth, adding mirth to the proceedings, but also saving Simon’s life on at least one occasion.

The dark side of Edinburgh life was an eye opener to me, although Ian Rankin should have prepared me for it, and I was immediately struck by the contrasting societies, living side by side. I enjoyed the story line, which was quirky but gripping enough to shock and keep me ‘on my toes’ as it were. The characters were amusing, well formed and beautifully described, both good, evil and unexpected. Humour ran through the novel.  The lapse into Karen’s local dialect added to the flavour of the novel.

On the down side, and this is a personal comment, I’m not used to reading so much blatant swearing in a novel, or the inner thoughts of a man thinking about his sexual needs ~ but for some these factors could be a bonus. More realistic maybe.

(I’ve led a bit of a sheltered life 🙂 )

I wish Andrew the best of luck, especially if he makes this into a series.


Filed under Book reading, Book reviews, Scotland, Scottish authors