Learning about the structure and warfare of the Roman Army, made this a solid history read. It had a great cast of characters. But, every now and again the modern style of writing and language would hit me. This of course makes the story very readable but it does loose some authenticity.
A liesurely-paced historical fiction. A family moves to Australia after they lose their Irish ancestral home. But the past does not stay in the past and secrets finally come to the surface. Beautiful descriptions, a happy ending but somehow the characters did not fully interest me.
It’s 1969 and James Bond is sent to a fictional, but clearly based on Nigeria/Biafra, country in Africa, to finish a war. Things do not go according to plan, and Bond decides to take matters into his own hands. There is a lot of smart dressing, a couple of beautiful women, disfigured villains, twists and double twists, and much derring-do, as is to be expected. There is a bit more depth to Bond, than in the films, and it is just as much fun.
All the way up to five stars for the Howards End connection. This is an intricate book about the complicated and messy people in two families. People who are struggling to find where they belong, what true love is, and who they really are. It is emotional, political, thought provoking, and I loved it.
A story that reimagines the beginning of the little mermaid story, full of friendship (love), revenge and magic. The pace builds throughout the story, making the second half of the story more enjoyable.
I never knew before that this was a novel studied at school, but I can see why. It has the twists and turns, and treachery of an adventure filled spy novel, but it relentlessly dark, bleak even, and so very clever. Alec Leamas, after years of spying in Berlin, wants out, but agrees to one more assignment, which will take him into Communist Germany. It’s about how complicated politics, war, and life itself is; complicated, cruel, seemingly pointless, yet with the glimmer of light – love, kindness and what is deeply right – to strive for. I found it enthralling, powerful, and darkly beautiful.
Scrublands is Australian rural noir, set in a fictional town in the Riverina. A year ago, a priest shot a number of men dead, and was then shot himself by the local policeman. A journalist, with his own demons, arrives to write a piece about how the town is coping, only to uncover, and become entangled, in layers of secrets. There is a great sense of place; the oppressive heat and bleak landscape mirroring the tension between the townspeople, the police and the news people. The mystery is deep and complex, the characters compelling, and the plight of the small country town in drought, utterly believable.
The reader knows the truth of the story, but it is how each of the characters deal with and treat this truth, that makes the story interesting. I had to keep reminding myself that the story is set in the 1910s and crime investigation worked so differently then. Kristen adds layers to the story, dealing with race and wealth, and how each is regarded and treated. The story is based on a real case and I was glad I read about it after reading Half Moon Lake – it would of ruined the building tension throughout the story – everything had to turn out right, didn’t it?
What would you do if you knew the world was to end in just a few months? After a short, nuclear war in the northern hemisphere, the only people left alive are down south, but radiation sickness is slowly heading towards them. Less technical than many Shute novels, this is a fascinating look at what could have happened if war broke out in the sixties, and how people might have dealt with impending death. It’s thoughtful, sweet, amusingly old-fashioned (the female characters!), and ultimately moving.
Despite feeling that I would get more out of these if I reread the earlier ones before I start a new one, coming back to London with Peter, Nightingale, Beverley and Molly is always wonderful. A bit of history, some surprises, plenty of magic and a lot of laughs, all in London – a pleasure.