Winter is coming…I’m not a big fan of winter but I am looking forward to homemade nourishing soups, woolly blankets on my knees and, of course, stacks of reading whilst it’s wild and wintery outside…
Last three great books I have read:
The Signature of All Things, by Elizabeth Gilbert
‘5 January 1800′
Alma Whittaker is born into a perfect Philadelphia winter. Her father Henry is a bold and charismatic botanical explorer whose vast fortune belies his lowly beginnings as a vagrant in Sir Joseph Banks’s Kew Gardens and as a deck hand on Captain Cook’s HMS Resolution. Alma’s mother, a strict woman from an esteemed Dutch family, is conversant in five living languages (and two dead ones). It is not long before Alma, an independent girl with a thirst for knowledge, comes into her own within the world of botany. But as her careful studies of moss take her deeper into the mysteries of evolution, the man she comes to love draws her in the opposite direction – towards the mystical, the spiritual, the divine…’
Wow, what a gem of a book. It covers a century and soars across the globe from London to Tasmania, to Philadelphia, Tahiti and finishing in Amsterdam. There is so much knowledge in this book, the research Elizabeth Gilbert must have done blows me away. I found myself compelled to google certain characters to see if they indeed were real. I am waiting patiently for the movie to be made. This is up there as one of my favourite books of all time. Incredible.
Somewhere Inside of Happy, by Anna McPartlin
‘and just like that my boy was gone.’
‘Maisie Brennan is standing on a podium on the twentieth anniversary of the death of her son, trying to find the first breath that will help her start talking to a room full of strangers. A daunting task at the the best of times, but she’s also menopausal and one hot flush away from totally losing it.’
If you loved The Last Days of Rabbit Hayes as much as I did, then you will love this book too. I was very reluctant to begin this book as I knew it would be heartbreakingly sad at times. I chose to put my faith in Anna’s brilliant storytelling and the knowledge that she would weave the story in such a way that I could get through it. And I did, with a little bit of sneaky reading ahead. Another moving story with laugh out loud moments. Brilliant.
We Never Asked For Wings, by Vanessa Diffenburgh
When Letty’s parents move back to Mexico she is forced into raising her own children herself. Motherhood has always terrified her, she’s never been good at it, and doesn’t think she ever will be. Letty’s teenage son Alex struggles to forgive his mother for choices she made in the past and is on a mission to discover the father he never knew, as well as falling in love with someone more desperate than himself. The younger child Luna is dragged from pillar to post as Letty tries to earn enough money and struggles with her new role.
I loved Vanessa Diffenburgh’s first book The Language of Flowers, so I was a wee bit nervous that her second book would not live up to the first. But it did. A wonderful read.
The Lucuna, by Barbara Kingsolver
Shame and the Captives, by Tom Keneally
Looking forward to:
I can not wait to get my hands on The French Wedding, by Hannah Tunnicliffe.