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Reading Along with Flaxmere Book Chat

flbc sept 1

Some of these books are sure to be passed around the table multiple times following some glowing reviews. Click on the titles for catalogue information.

Children of Eve by Deirdre Purcell
This is one of those Irish novels that meanders a little in its writing style but turned into a very good read none-the-less. It follows the story of Eve Moraghan who abandoned her children when they were only toddlers. Now grown up, the children – Arabella, Willow and Rowan - receive a call out of the blue to say she’s been in an accident. Flying out to finally see her again, will they learn why she left them, and can they forgive her?

One Special Village by Anna Jacobs
This book is the third in the Ellindale saga and is set in 1930s Lancashire. Widower Harry Makepeace has a sickly child whose health is aggravated by the smoky Manchester skies. He finds some land in Ellindale and an old railway carriage which he can turn into a home. But with the depression he struggles to find work. A novel about the importance of community and second chances.

Bookclubbed to Death by V M Burns
This cosy novel is the eighth in the Mystery Bookshop series featuring Sam Washington, an aspiring writer and owner of a bookstore specialising in mystery novels. When acerbic literary critic Della Marshall winds up dead in her bookshop, Sam finds herself a prime suspect. She’ll need the help of her friends to find the real culprit. A lively mystery with plenty of laughs, and poodles.

The Devil Inside by D L Hicks
Is a serial killer is at work at the peaceful seaside town of Gull Bay? Local police officer Charlotte Callaghan is on the case when the body of a young woman is found with a piece paper bearing Biblical scripture in her hand. A well written story about secrets and betrayal with a surprise twist as well an ending that might shock.

Into the Forest: a Holocaust story of survival, triumph, and love by Rebecca Frankel
This is a biographical account following the lives of a Jewish family living in Poland at the time of the Nazi occupation. The Rabinowitz family narrowly escape the ghetto by fleeing into the Bialowieza Forest where they hide out for two years, eventually making their way to the United States. A chance meeting at a wedding reveals more surprises. An inspirational read.

Cilka’s Journey by Heather Morris
This is a novel based on the true story of Cilka, a Russian Jew who was just sixteen when she was transported to Auschwitz-Birkenau in 1942. Doing what she had to to survive, she is later sent to a Siberian prison camp following liberation and her return to USSR. This is such a compelling read, beautifully written, and looks to be a book that the whole table at Book Chat will want to read.

Letters to My Daughter’s Killer by Cath Staincliffe
When she finds herself burdened by grief and hatred following the murder of her daughter, Ruth writes to the man she believes to be the killer, hoping to find a release from these toxic feelings against him. Is there any hope for reconciliation or forgiveness following justice? This book is more than just the letters – it also carries a cleverly written twist.

flbc sept 2

The Man on Hackpen Hill by J S Monroe
Bella is an aspiring journalist when she receives a tip-off about a big scoop in rural Wiltshire. At first things don’t look promising but then her best friend is found dead in the middle of a crop circle. While Detective Silas Hart is on the case, Emma thinks back to her memories of Erin at university. But why is there so much she can’t remember? More murders ensue, and there’s a major twist near the end.

No Life for a Lady by Hannah Dolby
This book is set in 1890s Hastings, England, and is part comedy of manners, part historical rom-com with an element of mystery thrown in. Violet is 28 and with no plans to marry is a worry to her father. More than anything Violet wants to find her mother who disappeared from the Hastings Pier 10 years ago. But some things you just have to do yourself, so Violet sets out to learn the art of detection, in spite of the effects on her reputation. Lots of fun.

The Sinner’s Mark by S W Perry
A grittier historical mystery this time, set in 1600, England. Elizabeth I is ailing and her realm is in chaos due to war, famine and revolt. Our main character, physician and spy Nicholas Selby is racing against time to save his father who has been accused of treason against the Queen. Meanwhile a young boy actor in Shakespeare’s company goes missing, with Bianca, Nicholas’s wife investigating. Lots happening but also an interesting look into the court of the Queen and the politics of the time. Quite utterly brilliant.

The Three Musketeers by Alexandre Dumas
An old favourite that is well worth a reread. This is the first of Dumas’s novels of swashbuckling bravery as we follow the seventeenth century elite guard of King Louis XIII. There’s political intrigue, duels and romance as D’Artagnan and his friends the musketeers work to protect the honour of the Queen. You get a brilliant glimpse of this period in France as well plenty of page-turning action.

Long Live the Queens by Emma Marriott is a YA non-fiction book about the forgotten queens of history - from Queen Zenobia, a rebel queen of the Middle East to Matilda of Flanders, William the Conqueror’s wife, a powerful woman in her own right. An interesting book about the most famous and inspiring women rulers down the centuries and from all around the world that you’ve never heard about before.

The Silver Ladies Do Lunch by Judy Leigh
Judy Leigh is the goods when it comes to light, fun, humorous reads about women in their autumn years and beyond. In this novel we have three friends who were at school together, all of whom have some issues around loneliness or a problem in their marriage. Into the mix rides their old teacher, ninety-year-old Miss Hamilton, seated atop a purple mobility scooter. Another feel-good novel about the power of friendship and community.

5 October 2023

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