The Foundling

Title: The Foundling Writer: Stacey Halls Publishing House: Manilla Press Date of Publication:  February 18th 2020 (paperback edition published April 7th 2020) Rating: 5 stars ”People tossed all sorts into the river, including themselves.” London, 1754. Bess is one of the unfortunate mothers who have to leave their children in the Foundling Hospital, with the desperate hope that…

Dear Mrs Bird

Title: Dear Mrs Bird Writer: A.J.Pearce Publishing House: Picador Date of Publication: April 5th 2018 Rating: 4 stars ”Μrs Bird says if people get themselves into a silly pickle, they’ve only themselves to blame.” London is trying to survive in the middle of the Blitz. The Londoners are doing their best to go on with their lives, amidst the…

At Freddie’s

Title: At Freddie’s Writer: Penelope Fitzgerald Publishing House: Fourth Estate Date of Publication: March 7th 2013 (first published 1982) Rating: 5 stars ”Although Freddie usually began by saying something gracious, the caller’s first instinct was that of self-preservation, or even to make sure that the door, now to the rear, could be reached in a hurry. Yet in fact, no…

Lancelot

Title: Lancelot Writer: Giles Kristian Publishing House: Random House UK Date of Publication: May 31st 2018 Rating: 5 stars ”I smell the rising fog of the crowd’s breath. It warms my feathers against the thin dawn air and I watch. I feel, too. More than a bird should feel. The sorrow which lies over the assembly like a shroud….

Devil’s Day

Title:Devil’s Day Writer: Andrew Michael Hurley Publishing House: John Murray Date of Publication: October 19th 2017 Rating: 4 stars ”Oh, the day is done, the honest’s won- The apples and the hay, The leaves will wither on the bough, And all will fall by Devil’s Day.” Decades ago, the Endlands were attacked by the Blizzard. Livestock and residents fell…

Gossip From The Forest

Title: Gossip From the Forest Writer: Sara Maitland Publishing House: Granta Books Date of Publication: November 1st 2012 Rating: 1 star I won’t write an elaborate (and boring…) Introduction about how much I longed to read this book. It was one of my most coveted treasures from the moment I bought it and I wanted to savour it and…

Orkney Folk Tales

Title: Orkney Folk Tales (Folk Tales from the British Isles_) Writer: Tom Muir Publishing House: The History Press Date of Publication: May 1st 2014 Rating: 5 stars ”Sometimes, during the summer months, you can see phantom islands floating on the sea where there shouldn’t be land at all. There were said to be the summer abodes of the fin folk,…

Sisters

Title: Sisters Writer: Daisy Johnson Publishing House: Random House UK Date of Publication: July 2nd 2020 Rating: 5 stars ”My sister is a black hole. My sister is a tornado. My sister is the end of the line my sister is the locked door my sister is a shot in the dark. My sister is waiting for me. My…

Alan Turing (Little People, Big Dreams)

Title: Alan Turing (Little People, Big Dreams) Writer:  Mª Isabel Sánchez Vegara (illustrated by Ashling Lindsay) Publishing House:Frances Lincoln Children’s Books Date of Publication:April 7th 2020 Rating:5 stars ”Even a broken clock is right twice a day.” (quote from the 2014 film The Imitation Game) Alan was a shy boy. His brain could work in such mysterious,…

The Ninth Child

Title:The Ninth Child Writer:Sally Magnusson Publishing House:John Murray Press Date of Publication:March 19th 2020 Rating: 4 stars ”’Tis thin, this place of water and stone and tree. Here meet north and south, Highland and Lowland, Gael and Scot. Here are mountains made too thin for awe; burns that idle over-prettily, the maist o’them, for the making…

The Doll Factory

Title:The Doll Factory Writer:Elizabeth Macneal Publishing House:Picador Date of Publication:May 2nd 2019 Rating:5 stars ”When the streets are at the darkest and quitest, a girl settles at a small desk in the cellar of a dollmaker’s shop. A bald china head sits in front of her and watches her with a vacant stare. She squeezes…

The Book Collector

Title: The Book Collector Writer: Alice Thompson Publishing House: Salt Publishing Date of Publication:November 5th 2015 Rating:5 stars ”Once I have owned a book I am longing for the next one. Collecting is a creative act. One of perpetual longing and desire. One is never fully fulfilled. Collections live in dread of satisfaction. There is that brief,…

Magical Folk: British and Irish Fairies – 500 AD to the Present

Title: Magical Folk: British and Irish Fairies – 500 AD to the Present Writer: Simon Young, Ceri Houlbrook Publishing House: Gibson Square Date of Publication: November 22nd 2017 Rating: 5 stars ”Why is it that so many fairy sightings occur while we are in bed? Why do so many children see fairies? Is it significant that several of…

Midwinter Mysteries:A Christmas Crime Anthology

Title: Midwinter Mysteries: A Christmas Crime Anthology Writer:Various Publishing House:Sapere Books Date of Publication:October 30th 2019 Rating:4 stars ”I think you can let the baby Jesus go”, Slonsky said. ”He’s innocent, just like the real one.” Behind the shiny ornaments, the bright lights, the laughter, the flowing wine, and the presents, dark intentions may find a…

Pine

Title:Pine Writer:Francine Toon Publishing House: Doubleday Date of Publication: January 23rd 2020 Rating:5 stars ”With all the lights on, there is still a darkness in the house.” In a small community in the haunting Scottish Highlands, the strange disappearance of a mother has cast a shadow over the lives of the residents. Lauren, a 10-year-old girl, lives…

A Treasury Of British Folklore: Maypoles, Mandrakes and Mistletoe

Title: A Treasury of British Folklore: Maypoles, Mandrakes & Mistletoe Writer: Dee Dee Chainey Publishing House: National Trust Date of Publication:April 5th 2018 Ratings:5 stars ”As we get older, we still sense the wonder of those takes we know from childhood. They whisper to us with every fleeting glimpse of what might just be a fairy in…

A Christmas Cornucopia

Title: A Christmas Cornucopia Writer: Mark Forsyth Publishing House: Viking Date of Publication:November 3rd 2016 Rating:5 stars ”There’s a lovely story about a Tokyo department store, back in the days when Christmas was unknown in Japan. The head of this store had heard rumours of a Western tradition that involved a massive shopping spree and he wanted to…

The Christmas Card Crime and Other Stories

Title: The Christmas Card Crime and Other Stories Writer: Various edited by Martin Edwards Publishing House: British Library Crime Classics Date of Publication: May 2nd 2018 Rating: 5 stars ”Although one snowflake had already sifted past the lights, the great doors of the house stood open. It seemed less a snowflake than a shadow; for a bitter wind…

Wrecker

Title: Wrecker Writer: Noel O’Reilly Publishing House: HarperCollins Date of Publication: June 14th 2018 Rating: 5 stars ”Time had stopped and God had turned His back on the world.” Cornwall, 20 years after the Napoleonic Wars. Life in the isolated village of Porthmorvoren is hard. Living in extreme poverty, battling with the formidable weather conditions and the sea, the villagers…

Star over Bethlehem: Poems and Holiday Stories

Title:Star over Bethlehem: Poems and Holiday Stories Writer: Agatha Christie Publishing House: William Morrow Date of Publication: October 25th 2011  (first published 1965) Rating: 5 stars ”She thought of the pictures that had been shown her – of the agony in the garden of the shameful death, of a man who, at the hour of death, was forsaken…