WWW Wednesdays – 21st March ‘18


Hosted by Taking on a World of Words, this meme is all about the three Ws:

  • What are you currently reading?
  • What did you recently finish reading?
  • What do you think you’ll read next?

Why not join in too?  Leave a comment with your link at Taking on a World of Words and then go blog hopping!

Currently reading

Dear Mrs BirdDear Mrs. Bird by A. J. Pearce (eARC, NetGalley)

London, 1940. Emmeline Lake and her best friend Bunty are trying to stay cheerful despite the Luftwaffe making life thoroughly annoying for everyone. Emmy dreams of becoming a Lady War Correspondent and when she spots a job advertisement in the newspaper she seizes her chance – but after a rather unfortunate misunderstanding, she finds herself typing letters for the formidable Henrietta Bird, the renowned agony aunt of Woman’s Friend magazine.

Mrs Bird is very clear: letters containing any form of Unpleasantness must go straight into the bin. Emmy finds herself dismissing problems from lovelorn, grief-stricken and morally conflicted readers in favour of those who fear their ankles are unsightly or have trouble untangling lengths of wool. But soon the thought of desperate women going unanswered becomes too much to bear and Emmy decides the only thing for it is to secretly write back…

From a Low and Quiet SeaFrom A Low and Quiet Sea by Donal Ryan (ebook, review copy courtesy of Doubleday/Transworld)

Farouk’s country has been torn apart by war. Lampy’s heart has been laid waste by Chloe. John’s past torments him as he nears his end.

The refugee. The dreamer. The penitent. From war-torn Syria to small-town Ireland, three men, scarred by all they have loved and lost, are searching for some version of home. Each is drawn towards a powerful reckoning, one that will bring them together in the most unexpected of ways.

Recently finished (click on title for review)

The Summer Will ComeThe Summer Will Come by Soulla Christodoulou (eARC, courtesy of Rachel’s Random Resources)

Set in 1950s Cyprus, EOKA, British rule, the fight for Enosis and two Cypriot families, living in different villages on the island, are coping with the unpredictability of this fractious time.  Circumstances over a five-year period push both families to emigrate to London where, as immigrants, they struggle to settle, face new challenges, trauma and cope with missing traditions and culture.  Both families’ lives cross paths in London and it seems that happier beginnings could be theirs.  But at what cost?

A story of passion for a country in turmoil, family love, loyalty and treachery and how, sometimes, starting over isn’t always as imagined.

The House of Mirth2House of Mirth by Edith Wharton (ebook)

Lily Bart, beautiful, witty and sophisticated, is accepted by ‘old money’ and courted by the growing tribe of nouveaux riches. But as she nears thirty, her foothold becomes precarious; a poor girl with expensive tastes, she needs a husband to preserve her social standing and to maintain her in the luxury she has come to expect. Whilst many have sought her, something – fastidiousness or integrity- prevents her from making a ‘suitable’ match. (Review to follow 23rd March)

CharlemagneCharlemagne by in60Learning (ebook)

Charlemagne’s name means “Charles the Great,” a title he earned after an impressive life filled with military conquests. After the fall of the Roman Empire, invaders came from all sides, and Charlemagne fought out of loyalty to his people and the Catholic Church. While he led many campaigns that helped to reunite Europe during the “Migratory Period,” Charlemagne primarily aimed just to claim land where he and his people – the Franks – could live in peace. His life inspired countless tales, including the legends that he was twenty feet tall, that he slept under the guard of 100 armed knights, and that he rose from the dead to aid in the Crusades. While these fantastical tales are false, the truth is equally fantastic: by the end of his life, Charlemagne had been king of the Franks, king of the Lombards, and the first emperor of the newly formed Holy Roman Empire.   (Review to follow 6th April)

What Cathy (will) Read Next

JohnBuchanThrillersMr. Standfast by John Buchan (hardcover)

It is 1917 and Richard Hannay is brought out of the battlefield to perform the desperate task of tracking down and destroying a network of German spies.  Hannay’s opponent is Moxon Ivery, the bland master of disguise, who seeks to outwit Hannay as he and his agents are pursued through England, Scotland, France and Switzerland.

For its pace and suspense, its changes of scene, and thrilling descriptions of the last great battles against the Germans, Mr Standfast offers everything that has made its author so enduringly popular.

Drift Stumble Fall 1Drift Stumble Fall by M. Jonathan Lee (ARC, courtesy of Hideaway Fall)

Richard feels trapped in his hectic life of commitment and responsibility. From the daily mayhem of having young children, an exhausted wife and pushy in-laws who frequently outstay their welcome, Richard’s existence fills him with panic and resentment. The only place he can escape the dark cloud descending upon him is the bathroom, where he hides for hours on end, door locked, wondering how on earth he can escape.

Often staring out of his window, Richard enviously observes the tranquil life of Bill, his neighbour living in the bungalow across the road. From the outside, Bills world appears filled with comfort and peace. Yet underneath the apparent domestic bliss of both lives are lies, secrets, imperfections, sadness and suffering far greater than either could have imagined. Beneath the surface, a family tragedy has left Bill frozen in time and unable to move on. As he waits for a daughter who may never return, Bill watches Richards bustling family life and yearns for the joy it brings. As the two men watch each other from afar, it soon becomes apparent that other peoples lives are not always what they seem.

TightropeTightrope by Simon Mawer (hardcover)

As Allied forces close in on Berlin in spring 1945, a solitary figure emerges from the wreckage that is Germany. It is Marian Sutro, whose existence was last known to her British controllers in autumn 1943 in Paris. One of a handful of surviving agents of the Special Operations Executive, she has withstood arrest, interrogation, incarceration, and the horrors of Ravensbrück concentration camp, but at what cost? Returned to an England she barely knows and a post-war world she doesn’t understand, Marian searches for something on which to ground the rest of her life. Family and friends surround her, but she is haunted by her experiences and by the guilt of knowing that her contribution to the war effort helped lead to the monstrosities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. When the mysterious Major Fawley, the man who hijacked her wartime mission to Paris, emerges from the shadows to draw her into the ambiguities and uncertainties of the Cold War, she sees a way to make amends for the past and at the same time to find the identity that has never been hers.

22 thoughts on “WWW Wednesdays – 21st March ‘18

    1. It’s easy to overlook something – I’m in constant fear of it myself. Actually this meme does help because it makes me check what I need to read next. I am looking forward to reading Drift Stumble Fall

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    1. Thanks, I’ve not read the first book b u t I’m hoping that won’t matter. It’s my book club read for March as the theme is award winners so I thought I’d pick this as it won The Walter Scott Prize in 2016.

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    1. I thought it was brilliant. It took me quite by surprise at the direction it went at the end. I hope I can do justice to it when I write my review. It was the first book by Edith Wharton I’ve read but I’m going to have to add more of her books to my reading list now.


  1. These are all tempting me, especially Tightrope! I’ve really enjoyed some of Simon Mawer’s books and have The Girl Who Fell From the Sky (the previous book to Tightrope) on my shelves to read.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I really love the sound of Dear Mrs Bird… agony aunt columns from that time are so fascinating. I’d never thought about the letters that didn’t get published…

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