Good afternoon from an unexpectedly sunny afternoon in New Zealand, where we are still in lockdown. Areas outside of Auckland will drop to Level 3 on Wednesday, which someone has famously dubbed lockdown with takeaways. Auckland remains at Level 4 as all but 15 cases of Covid are there and new cases are still occurring at around 80 a day.
Currently I am reading The Restarting Point by Marci Bolden. What a wonderful read! With warm, unlikely friendships, and wonderful characters, I have both laughed and cried while reading this.
I am also reading Lost Angels (Nikki Hunt #3) by Stacy Green which is every bit as good as her previous books.
And I am listening to Whisper Cottage, written by Ann Wyn Clark, and narrated by Lauren Moakes. I really am on a roll this week as so far this, too, is excellent.
This coming week I am planning on reading All About Ella by Meredith Appleyard. Don’t you just love this cover!
At 70, and widowed, Ella is about to find out that blood is not always thicker than water. A wise and warm-hearted story about aging, family and community for readers of Tricia Stringer and Liz Byrski.
At 70, Ella’s world is upended, leaving her at odds with her three adult children, whose attention is fixed more firmly on her money than her ongoing welfare. After an argument with her son Anthony, she flees his Adelaide home for Cutlers Bay, a seaside town on the Yorke Peninsula. There she befriends Angie, a 40-year-old drifter, and becomes an irritant to local cop Zach. He’s keen to shift Ella off his turf, because Anthony phones daily, demanding his mother be sent home. And besides, Zach just doesn’t trust Angie.
Ella warms to Cutlers Bay, and it warms to her. In a defiant act of self-determination, she buys an entirely unsuitable house on the outskirts of town, and Angie agrees to help make it habitable. Zach is drawn to the house on the clifftop, and finds himself revising his earlier opinions of Ella, and Angie.
The Heron’s Cry by Ann Cleeves, #2 in her new series Two Rivers. I loved the first, The Long Call, and can’t wait to get stuck into this.
North Devon is enjoying a rare hot summer with tourists flocking to its coastline. Detective Matthew Venn is called out to a rural crime scene at the home of a group of artists. What he finds is an elaborately staged murder–Dr Nigel Yeo has been fatally stabbed with a shard of one of his glassblower daughter’s broken vases.
Dr Yeo seems an unlikely murder victim. He’s a good man, a public servant, beloved by his daughter. Matthew is unnerved, though, to find that she is a close friend of Jonathan, his husband.
Then another body is found–killed in a similar way. Matthew soon finds himself treading carefully through the lies that fester at the heart of his community and a case that is dangerously close to home.
And Snow Country by Sebastian Faulks, an author I admire greatly.
1914: Young Anton Heideck has arrived in Vienna, eager to make his name as a journalist. While working part-time as a private tutor, he encounters Delphine, a woman who mixes startling candour with deep reserve. Entranced by the light of first love, Anton feels himself blessed. Until his country declares war on hers.
1927: For Lena, life with a drunken mother in a small town has been impoverished and cold. She is convinced she can amount to nothing until a young lawyer, Rudolf Plischke, spirits her away to Vienna. But the capital proves unforgiving. Lena leaves her metropolitan dream behind to take a menial job at the snow-bound sanatorium, the Schloss Seeblick.
1933: Still struggling to come terms with the loss of so many friends on the Eastern Front, Anton, now an established writer, is commissioned by a magazine to visit the mysterious Schloss Seeblick. In this place of healing, on the banks of a silvery lake, where the depths of human suffering and the chances of redemption are explored, two people will see each other as if for the first time.
This week I received five new digital ARCs, and two audiobooks. It’s a lovely mix of new and favourite authors.
The books are: Birds of a Feather by Tricia Stringer
The Parents by Claire Seeber
Her Perfect Twin by Sarah Bonner
The Curse of Morton Abbey by Clarissa Harwood
And 1979 by Val McDermid
The two audiobooks I received are: A Dream to Die For by Susan Z. Ritz and narrated by Rachel Perry
And Over My Dead Body by Jeffrey Archer, narrated by George Blagden
Over the past week I have very briefly been in Boston, Massachusetts; spent more time in Hull, East Yorkshire; Salterley, somewhere in England; France, Belgium and Amsterdam; Stillwater, Minnesota; Chammont Point, East Virginia; and Avoncot, Wiltshire. Have our paths crossed this week? Where have you been on your bookish travels?
I still have 25 Netgalley requests pending.
Have a great week of reading, and stay safe my friends.