A two week holiday meant I managed to get through 15 books in February. However, it did mean I had a LOT of reviews to write when I got back. That might be why I made it back into the UK 100 Most Popular Reviewers on Goodreads – but, I suspect, only for one week. If we’re not already friends on Goodreads, send me a friend request or follow my reviews.
While January was an embarrassment of riches with multiple 5 star reads, February was full of good books but only a few outstanding ones. Click on the book title to read my full review. You can find a complete list of all the books I’ve read so far this year here, with links to my reviews.
The Secret Life of Mrs. London by Rebecca Rosenberg
A fascinating fictional account of the passionate but tempestuous marriage of Charmian and Jack London that explores the tension in their relationship when Charmian finds herself drawn to the daring Harry Houdini.
Caligula by Simon Turney
Eschewing the more lurid myths commonly associated with Caligula, the author sets out to explore the events that transformed a loving brother and intelligent young man into a cruel tyrant. The atmosphere of intrigue in the Imperial household is brilliantly evoked.
The Mermaid and Mrs. Hancock by Imogen Hermes Gowar
This was an impressive debut that I loved for its cast of colourful, largely female, characters, its exquisite period detail conjuring up all the sights, sounds and smells of 18th century London and its engaging story line that had just a touch of the bawdy. Apart from anything else, how could you resist that gorgeous cover?
The Optickal Illusion by Rachel Halliburton
Another great debut in which the author takes a real life scandal that enveloped the art world of London in the 1790s and fashions it into an intriguing story of artistic rivalry and deception, and a debate about the position of women in society. The frequent changes in timeline left it just short of perfect for me.
Brother by David Chariandy
A complete change of genre and subject matter for my final choice. It’s the emotional story of brothers, Michael and Francis, the bright, ambitious sons of Trinidadian immigrants to Canada. Powerfully dramatizing the immigrant experience, it tells a story of hope thwarted by tragedy.
What were your favourite reads last month?