Wednesday, January 14, 2015

A Familiar Landscape: Daughter

A marvellous book, "Daughter" is unbelievably good for a
first novel.  It was totally compelling and I've read it over three days and two nights, reluctant to put it down to do the other things I must.

Jane Shemilt's starting point has been what she knows: family life for two doctors (Dad a neurosurgeon, Mum a GP) living and working in Bristol.  However, she takes this normal family into a hellish situation that is every parents' nightmare, and charts its destructive effect.  Is anything ever what it seems?  How can we survive compound losses and tragedies?

The writing is poignant, insightful and engaging, the characters all too familiar and sympathetic, and the plot is finely wrought and well-paced.  Highly recommended, and I hope her next book is published soon!

Different Travels in my Magic Armchair - The Great British Knit Off

So, one way to travel in my magic armchair is by curling up with a good book.  I love to do so, and do so voraciously.

I the run-up to Christmas I read The Great Christmas Knit Off by Alexandra Brown and this is what I thought about it:-

A book full of comfort and joy: an absolute joy to read at Christmas, but this charming story of love, betrayal and starting again is an equal pleasure at any time of year.

A weekend in the countryside to escape London, where everything is going wrong for Sybil, leads to the chance to recover her spirits and find  new directions in life, both in work and in love.  Having myself experienced the therapeutic effect of knitting and the benefits of swapping capital living for a home in a country village, I enjoyed these aspects of the tale.  Sybil is fortunate to be taken into the hearts of the locals, and manages to make friends and save Hetty's House of Haberdashery from ruin and redevelopment by a neat bit of community work.  She also finds love again, and a whole new future.

I am looking forward to revisitng Tindledale in future stories - this is glorious and well-written escapism from a hard, cold world.

eBook cover of The Great Christmas Knit Off