'Oh, to be in England now that April's there'
It's been a miserable month weather-wise. There was a spell of lovely warm weather, which fooled all the plants into thinking Spring was here... but for this past week we've been having cold Arctic winds, cancelling out the heat of the sun when it appeared. Sleety showers and strong winds yesterday made it feel more like winter than spring in my corner of the county. Despite that, the spring bulbs have been gorgeous this year.
But at least the bad weather means less time to spend in the garden, even if I do only potter these days. So what to do? Ho hum.... clean out a cupboard, have a sort out of my wardrobe, Spring clean? Maybe later, for now there were books to be read...
'Jonathan Livingston Seagull' by Richard Bach... is considerd a timeless classic by many and is the story of a seagull learning about life and flight. He even has his own website ... jonathanlivingstonseagull.com. The story is basically all about finding your own way to live your life and not follow the herd, to be grateful for the freedoms to live our own lives as we choose. And for being brave enough to do that perhaps too.
'Poppy Day' by Amanda Prowse... normally I have no trouble getting into her books, but for some reason, I would read a few pages of this, then put it aside in favour of something else, and this went on for several days. At this point I would normally give up, but such is her writing that it had got under my skin by then, and I had to read it. I will admit there were times I speed read a few pages when I felt it wasn't holding my attention any more, but on the whole, I'm pleased to have persisted. Poppy Day's husband Martin joins the Armed Forces to give them a better life, but he is sent to Afghanistan where he gets captured and held prisoner. The soldier with him was beheaded, and nobody knows if this is what will happen to Martin. Poppy feels the Army and the powers that be aren't doing enough to get him out; they are doing what they always do, working quietly away, diplomatically, behind the scenes and away from the glare of publicity. But that doesn't suit Poppy, who decided to get to Afghanistan and bring him home herself. By devious means she gets there, and gets herself an interview with Martin's captors. She does get him released, but has to pay a high personal price, and when she tells Martin what that price was, it threatens their relationship.
'Wintering' by Derek Johns... is the story of Billy Palmer, a young lad who's taken away from the big house, the posh car, the nice life in Bath, and transported to a sleepy village, all thanks to his Dad's business collapsing. This is the story of Billy growing up, of his Dad's philandering, his Mother's struggle to come to terms with her change of circumstances. I've read this book before, now it's had it's second read it's off to the charity shop... and having discovered there are two follow-up novels about Billy, I'm off to Amazon!
'The Forever Girl' by Alexander McCall Smith... a departure for Mr Smith, a romance. I like his writing, my favourites being the Isabel Dalhousie novels, and so I knew I'd enjoy this too. Clover, who was named Sally by her parents but decided at the age of four she wanted to be known as Clover, grows up on Grand Cayman Island with her parents. She falls in love with her best friend James, at the same time as her mother realises she's fallen out of love with her husband, and is interested in someone else. Clover realises James is growing away from her when they are sent back to the UK to go to boarding school, and later university. She wants to move on in her life, but can't rid herself of thoughts and hopes, of James. A beautifully written novel of love and life.
'Beautiful Day' by Elin Hilderbrand... A summer wedding on the island of Nantucket brings together two families, the Carmichaels and the Grahams, and whilst the bride and her groom-to-be are blissfully happy, sadly those around them aren't. The Notebook, written by the bride's mother before she died of cancer, lists all the preparations for the wedding, how it should run, the music played at the reception, what the bride and her bridesmaids should wear, and whilst this should make life easier for all concerned, there are times when The Notebook causes a few problems.
'The Third Wife' by Lisa Jewell... Maya is the third, and younger, wife of Adrian. She was loved by everyone, got on with his exes and their children, in fact they all got on like one big happy family. She had a job she loved, a great circle of friends, a great life. So, the morning she seemingly walked into the path of an oncoming bus and died left unanswered questions. Did she do it deliberately and if so why? Or was it just a tragic accident? In trying to find out, Adrian discovers the flaws in his own, seemingly perfect, world.
So, there you have my latest reads - well, the best of them anyway.
I hope you are all having a marvellous Spring and thanks for visiting.