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!
Sugar Money by Jane Harris (hardcover)
Martinique, 1765, and brothers Emile and Lucien are charged by their French master, Father Cleophas, with a mission. They must return to Grenada, the island they once called home, and smuggle back the 42 slaves claimed by English invaders at the hospital plantation in Fort Royal. While Lucien, barely in his teens, sees the trip as a great adventure, the older and worldlier Emile has no illusions about the dangers they will face. But with no choice other than to obey Cleophas – and sensing the possibility, however remote, of finding his first love Celeste – he sets out with his brother on this ‘reckless venture’.
Spirit of Lost Angels (The Bone Angel #1) by Liza Perrat (ebook, review copy courtesy of the author)
Her mother executed for witchcraft, her father dead at the hand of a noble, Victoire Charpentier vows to rise above her poor peasant roots. Forced to leave her village of Lucie-sur-Vionne for domestic work in Paris, Victoire is raped and threatened by her Marquis master, and must abandon her newborn, Rubie, on the church steps.
Accused of a heinous crime, Victoire is imprisoned in La Salpêtrière mental asylum, where she bonds with fellow prisoner, Jeanne de Valois – conwoman of the infamous Necklace Affair that brought down Queen Marie Antoinette. She dreams of escaping the asylum but wonders if the price of freedom – losing Jeanne – is worth it.
Enmeshed in the fervour of the 1789 Bastille storming, Victoire hears the name ‘Rubie’ called. Could her foundling daughter be alive, and living in Paris?
Recently finished (click on title for review)
A Woman’s Lot (Meonbridge Chronicles #2) by Carolyn Hughes (eARC, courtesy of the author)
How can mere women resist the misogyny of men?
A resentful peasant rages against a woman’s efforts to build up her flock of sheep… A husband, grown melancholy and ill-tempered, succumbs to idle talk that his wife’s a scold… A priest, fearful of women’s “unnatural” power, determines to keep them in their place.
The devastation wrought two years ago by the Black Death changed the balance of society: more women saw their chance to build a business, to learn a trade, to play a greater part. But many men still hold fast to the teachings of the Church and fear the havoc the “daughters of Eve” might wreak if they’re allowed to usurp men’s roles and gain control over their own lives.
Not all men resist women’s desire for change – indeed, they want it for themselves. Yet it takes only one or two to unleash the hounds of hostility and hatred…
The Concubine’s Child by Carol Jones (eARC, NetGalley)
In 1930s Malaysia, sixteen-year-old Yu Lan is in love with her best friend, Ming, whose father owns one of the busiest kopi shops in Petaling Street. But Ming’s family don’t see the apothecary’s daughter as a suitable wife – for Yu Lan’s father, Lim, spends more time playing mahjong than selling herbal remedies. It’s not long before Lim makes a terrible decision that will change Yu Lan’s life forever, selling her as a concubine to the wealthy, ageing Towkay Chan who is desperate for a male heir.
The consequences of Lim’s betrayal resonate through four generations and into the present day, where Yu Lan’s great-grandson, Nick, is searching for his lost family history. His wife, Sarah, begins to be very afraid of what he will find as past and present meld into one.
The Shady Side of Town: Reading’s Trees by Adrian Lawson & Geoff Sawers (paperback)
Three hundred years ago, an acorn germinated at the edge of a field; today a mighty oak stands in the middle of a congested roundabout. What has it witnessed and what can we discover from it?
The stories of towns are so often told in terms of their architecture, or the humans that have lived in them. This book brings trees to the fore, with evocative illustrations and beautifully told stories of the natural wonders of Reading.
After the Party by Cressida Connolly (eARC, NetGalley)
‘Had it not been for my weakness, someone who is now dead could still be alive. That is what I believed and consequently lived with every day in prison.’
It is the summer of 1938 and Phyllis Forrester has returned to England after years abroad. Moving into her sister’s grand country house, she soon finds herself entangled in a new world of idealistic beliefs and seemingly innocent friendships. Fevered talk of another war infiltrates their small, privileged circle, giving way to a thrilling solution: a great and charismatic leader, who will restore England to its former glory.
At a party hosted by her new friends, Phyllis lets down her guard for a single moment, with devastating consequences. Years later, Phyllis, alone and embittered, recounts the dramatic events which led to her imprisonment and changed the course of her life forever. (Review to follow.)
What Cathy (will) Read Next
The Poison Bed by E. C. Fremantle (eARC, NetGalley)
A king, his lover and his lover’s wife. One is a killer.
In the autumn of 1615 scandal rocks the Jacobean court when a celebrated couple are imprisoned on suspicion of murder. She is young, captivating and from a notorious family. He is one of the richest and most powerful men in the kingdom.
Some believe she is innocent; others think her wicked or insane. He claims no knowledge of the murder. The king suspects them both, though it is his secret at stake.
Who is telling the truth? Who has the most to lose? And who is willing to commit murder?
Old Baggage by Lissa Evans (eARC, NetGalley)
What do you do next, after you’ve changed the world?
It is 1928. Matilda Simpkin, rooting through a cupboard, comes across a small wooden club – an old possession of hers, unseen for more than a decade.
Mattie is a woman with a thrilling past and a chafingly uneventful present. During the Women’s Suffrage Campaign she was a militant. Jailed five times, she marched, sang, gave speeches, smashed windows and heckled Winston Churchill, and nothing – nothing – since then has had the same depth, the same excitement.
Now in middle age, she is still looking for a fresh mould into which to pour her energies. Giving the wooden club a thoughtful twirl, she is struck by an idea – but what starts as a brilliantly idealistic plan is derailed by a connection with Mattie’s militant past, one which begins to threaten every principle that she stands for.