feather_ghyll: Close-up of white flower aganst dark background (Black and white flower)
While We Still Live: Helen MacInnes, Titan, January 2013

In a way, the setting of this book is timely – I don’t think I’d read about Poland’s experiences during the end of 1939 before and they are salutary. Read more... )
feather_ghyll: Black and white photograph of early C20 girl with plait reading (Girl with a plait reading)
This has to be the most ill-timed review I've ever posted, but I also read and enjoyed this book over the weekend, before I knew that there was going to be a Storm Doris. I've overheard a conversation bemoaning the use of the name 'Doris' - it's associated with nice women, apparently!

Doris’s High School Days: Clarice March. Blackie

A few pages in, Read more... )
feather_ghyll: Photograph of L M Montgomery at the seaside (L M Montgomery)
Magic for Marigold: L.M. Montgomery Harrap 1935

This story of Marigold and her clan, the Lesleys (of Cloud of Spruce, Prince Edward Island), starts like a fairy story, with a baby in need of a name. Read more... )
feather_ghyll: Girl reading a book that is resting on her knees (Default)
A book-related post!

It’s perhaps unfair to compare these two children’s books about two civil wars, but I read them quite close to each other, so the comparison came readily. Irene Hunt wrote ‘Across Five Aprils’ about the American civil war, as experienced by one Jethro Creighton, while Dorothea Moore (whom I've never posted about here before although I have copies of her books) wrote ‘Perdita, Prisoner of War’ - yes, I admit the title made me grab for it – about Perdita Eynescliffe’s experiences in the English civil war.

I say it’s unfair to compare them chiefly because Read more... )
feather_ghyll: Girl reading a book that is resting on her knees (Default)
I haven’t posted for quite a while, during which time I haven’t read many feather-ghyllesque books. That is, I read Dead in the Water, one of Carola Dunn’s Daisy Dalrymple mysteries, in which she and Alec solve a murder over a weekend – a book I happily read while day-tripping.

In the meantime, the news about Maria Sharapova has come out. Some thoughts )

As I said in the review, reading Barbed Wire-Keep Out! made me eager to revisit its prequel Snowed-up With a Secret, also by Agnes M. Miall, which I think I could have bought twenty years ago, which may be why I didn’t remember it.

In this story, Read more... )
feather_ghyll: Girl reading a book that is resting on her knees (Default)
I’ll post an overview of a few books I’ve read over the holidays eventually, but this post is a look back at 2015, following a tradition started by my first post of 2015 when I said I looked forward to the next adventures of Wells and Wong. Well, Arsenic for Tea by Robin Stevens (in which the 1930s schoolgirls investigate another mystery, this time in Daisy Wells’s country house home) lived up to my expectations. I enjoyed Kate Saunders’s Beswitched, originally published a few years ago, but taking the reader back to a 1930s boarding school, a fraction more, even. I loved reading Jane of Lantern Hill by L.M. Montgomery and Gail Carriger’s Etiquette & Espionage.

Turning to hadrbacks, I enjoyed The Little Betty Wilkinson by Evelyn Smith, even though I think she’s written better books. I did read a book each by the ‘big four’: Elinor M. Brent-Dyer’s Chudleigh Hold, Sally’s Summer Term by Dorita Fairlie Bruce, Tomboys at the Abbey by Elsie J. Oxenham, which I didn’t review, and For the School Colours by Angela Brazil.

(In the first paragraph, I build up to my favourite and do the opposite in the second.)

Perhaps the best book I read this year was ‘Rose Under Fire’ by Elizabeth Wein, which is wonderful and harrowing, and I feel incapable of writing about it. I also really loved Helena McEwen’s Invisible River.

I reread Katherine L. Oldmeadow’s The Fortunes of Jacky, which stands the test of time, and now I have no more Oldmeadows to reread. I am, obviously, looking out for more by her in all the shops that sell second-hand books! I hope to read the next case Hazel Wong writes up and the second in the Finishing School series, but I expect to read EBD's 'Fardingales' as I have a copy in the depths of my 'to read' pile.
feather_ghyll: Boat with white sail on water (Sailboat adventure)
Barbed Wire—Keep Out!: Agnes M. Miall Brock Press 1950

Isn’t this one of the most brilliant titles for a children’s book ever? It demands that the reader dives in, just like the barbed wire and the injunction to keep out has no influence on the main characters of this adventure.

They are Perry (really Perilla, poor thing) and her sister Prue and their chums Hump and Noel. They have appeared in other books, one of which, Snowed Up With a Secret, I own and had read years and years ago, but don’t remember a thing about. Perry and Hump are aged about sixteen, Prue’s about fourteen and Noel about eleven. So, if you like books about gangs of children bringing down gangs of criminals, you’ll like this.

Read more... )
feather_ghyll: Photograph of L M Montgomery at the seaside (L M Montgomery)
The Children in the Square: Pamela Mansbridge Nelson. This edition 1960

I was a bit hesitant about buying this book, because while I enjoyed Mansbridge’s A Case for Caroline, I didn’t like The Larchwood Mystery as much. I also started reading it when I hadn’t a hope of finishing it in one sitting, life got busy and I had to put it down and pick it up a lot over a relatively long period of time, although was somewhat partly abetted by it being quite a substantial book of its type, coming to 208 pages.

Freda and Dick Ford are Read more... )
feather_ghyll: Boat with white sail on water (Sailboat adventure)
Torridons’ Triumph: Marie Muir Collins 1967

This is the first book by Muir that I’ve read – I think there were others by her in the shop where I saw this, but I decided to just buy one as a taster – and it was a really enjoyable and satisfying story. It falls into that sub-genre where a family of youngsters must band together to make enough money to keep the family going. Here, Read more... )
feather_ghyll: One girl seated by an easel with a watching girl standing behind (Girl painter)
Invisible River: Helena McEwen Bloomsbury 2012

The quality of writing in this book impressed me from the outset, although I didn’t know if there would be enough story to carry the style. I needn’t have worried; the novel grew on me, taking me from admiration to somewhere warmer. Read more... )
feather_ghyll: Photograph of L M Montgomery at the seaside (L M Montgomery)
Jane of Lantern Hill: L.M. Montgomery. Virago Modern Classics 2014

What a treat it was to read a new-to-me L.M. Montgomery book (and one that doesn’t disappoint as ‘Mistress Pat’ did). Of course, most of the Anne books are old, old friends and this has the touch of a fairy story, so you know there’ll be a happy ending, all of which led to a certain familiarity. However, I forgot quite how Montgomery’s phrasings transmit the characters’ rapture, and how can you not love words like ‘morningish’ and ‘foretokens’?

Victoria Jane Stuart is Read more... )
feather_ghyll: Boat with white sail on water (Sailboat adventure)
Glenallan’s Daughters: Bessie Marchant Nelson (no date, although it was awarded as a Sunday school book in 1935)

I misread the title and thought this was about Glenallan’s Daughter, assuming for a few chapters in that it would be around the first of the two girls introduced, Kitty, who is perhaps the more prominent. (I have no excuse, the illustration on the front is of two girls.)

First things first, however, Read more... )
feather_ghyll: Close-up of white flower aganst dark background (Black and white flower)
Earlier this week, I finished Sheridan Morley's biography of Katharine Hepburn. I must have started it in December. I'd nearly finished it but didn't take it with me on Christmas holidays (and then I couldn't find where I'd left my copy.)

There are probably more in-depth biographies, because if I had to summarise it in one word, it would be 'breezy'. Still, it was interesting to learn how her career developed, to see how she prevailed through critical disapproval and popular lack of interest,
feather_ghyll: Girl reading a book that is resting on her knees (Default)
The Luck of the Melicotts: Monica Marsden Brock Books 1951

The title struck me, as I’d been making comparisons with Saville’s books when reviewing the pervious book in this series The Manor House Mystery. As with The Luck of the Sallowbys, the word ‘luck’ refers to Read more... )
feather_ghyll: Boat with white sail on water (Sailboat adventure)
The Manor House Mystery: Monica Marsden 1950 Brock Books

I enjoyed this more than I expected to – I hadn’t thought much of the last couple of books by Marsden that I’d read (I looked, and I only mentioned them in passing here, I’m thinking more of ‘A Matter of Clues’ than ‘Behind the Dragon’s Teeth’ although this is more similar to the latter than the former), although I’d liked her books a lot as a child. This book is part of the AMPs series – the AMPs being the siblings Angela, Michael and Patricia Thompson.Read more... )
feather_ghyll: Girl reading a book that is resting on her knees (Default)
Adorkable: Sarra Manning Atom 2012

I don’t want to pull apart this book, because I enjoyed it a lot, but I don’t want to praise it too highly either. It made me nostalgic for Read more... )
feather_ghyll: Lavendar flowers against white background (Beautiful flower (lavender))
Assignment in Brittany is an early book by Helen MacInnes, set in occupied France during world war two, with one of her very competent heroes, although the challenges he has to face keep mounting. It’s a different setting to her usual Cold War stories, but certainly suspenseful.

Rules by Jane Beaton is the second in the Dorney House series, (I reviewed the first book Class here). It ends with a cliffhanger for the main character, which left me wondering where all the other books in the series the writer claims to have planned in the afterword are. This was published in 2009.

Read more... )

A Red Herring Without Mustard by Alan Bradley is the latest Flavie de Luce book that I read. Looking back, I see that I haven’t posted anything about the previous books that I read. Flavia’s a rummy girl, isn’t she!? I kept putting this book down, which isn’t like me and I don’t remember finding the other books in the series such a slog. Apart from stumbling across crime scenes and ruining dresses with her intrepid investigating, Flavia has to deal with a lot of family drama - her relationship with her older sisters is particularly twisted - and her dead mother Harriet seems to be much more of a presence, and naturally (or supernaturally), a mysterious one, than in the previous books.

I see that I read much more traditional girls own books over last Easter. Hmm.
feather_ghyll: Boat with white sail on water (Sailboat adventure)
Oh dear, over a month since I posted last! I haven't read that many books and I didn't feel that it was worth posting merely to say that I dipped in and out of the Statoil Masters Championship on the Saturday. None of the matches fully grabbed my attention, not even the last doubles (Macenroe and Barani vs Wilander and Macnamara), but it was perfect background TV.

On the Track: Bessie Marchant. Sampson Low

I bought this with a vague idea that it was about trains. It’s not, the track is something to do with mining for silver. The subtitle is ‘Among the Torches of the Andres’.

I believe it’s the first Bessie Marchant book that I’ve read without a significant female character, although it’s very much her type of adventure story, with the hero going through several incredible events.

Read more... )

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