Monday 31 October 2022

The books that I read on holiday

Over half term I was lucky enough to enjoy a wonderful week away in Athens. There was plenty of sightseeing of course, but we also had some time to chill out and I was able to make an excellent dent in my "to be read" list! 

I decided to concentrate on the out of sight books that I have piling up on my Kindle, and I thought I'd share what I read as I can recommend them all. As a bonus, all of these books were free for me as an Amazon Prime member, either borrowed from Prime Reading or from the monthly Amazon First Reads selection. 

The Beautiful Little Things - Melissa Hall (Prime Reading)

A heart-warming Christmas novel about a family that has fallen apart after the death of a beloved wife and mother. The book follows the family as they gather for Christmas both before and after their loss and how their relationships change as they deal with their grief. It was a good read and although maybe slightly exaggerated in both the highs and the lows it kept me interested and wanting to find out how all the characters would fare.

The Bookstore Sisters - Alice Hoffman (First Reads)

A short story about two sisters that have grown apart but come together in their parent's old bookshop. It's a very sweet and magical story, and I can't resist any story about books and bookshops!

Winter Cottage - Mary Ellen Taylor (Prime Reading)

One of my favourite genres, what I like to call 'inherited house romance'. This one ticks all the boxes - a woman inherits a house from a mysterious stranger in a distant location, a handsome local man is on hand to help her with any renovation assistance and to introduce her to the close-knit community, a backstory is revealed piece by piece as the story progresses, a secret romance is brought to light, and a happy ending takes place as the heroine discovers her place within the story. I've read lots of books like this that are all very similar, but I still love them!

Yellow Crocus - Laila Ibrahim (Prime Reading)

A story about slavery  and a young woman who is separated from her own son to be a wet nurse for Lisbeth, the privileged daughter of the slave owning family. As Lisbeth grows the two women become close despite each taking a very different journey. The story discusses the reality of slavery but it is told in a simple way which makes it very effective.

Well Behaved Wives - Amy Sue Nathan (Prime Reading)

Set in 1960s America in a world of rich young women that are brought up to be nothing more than the perfect wives for their successful husbands. There was a great deal of emphasis on the fact that these women were very much inferior to their husbands and relied upon them for absolutely everything. Perhaps this was emphasised a little too much, but the story was told well and it does make you realise how much a woman's place in the world has changed in just a few decades. 

A Feather on the Water - Lindsay Jayne Ashford (First Reads)

I've read plenty of Second World War historical fiction but this angle was new to me - a story set in a Displaced Persons camp at the end of the war. When the war had ended it was a massive logistical exercise to help all the traumatised people that had been displaced by the events of war and to help them get back to where they wanted to be, whether that was their original homeland or somewhere new. The story follows three women who each have a different reason for helping out in the camp, and by the end of the book they have managed to make sense of their own pasts and move forward to enjoy a hopeful future.

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