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!
Grace by Paul Lynch (ebook)
Early one October morning, Grace’s mother snatches her from sleep and brutally cuts off her hair, declaring, ‘You are the strong one now.’ With winter close at hand and Ireland already suffering, Grace is no longer safe at home. And so her mother outfits her in men’s clothing and casts her out. When her younger brother Colly follows after her, the two set off on a remarkable journey in the looming shadow of their country’s darkest hour.
The broken land they pass through reveals untold suffering as well as unexpected beauty. To survive, Grace must become a boy, a bandit, a penitent and, finally, a woman – all the while afflicted by inner voices that arise out of what she has seen and what she has lost.
Song by Michelle Jana Chan (review copy courtesy of Unbound and Random Things Tours)
Opening in the mid-nineteenth-century, this dazzling debut novel traces the voyage of Song, a boy who leaves his impoverished family in rural China to seek his fortune. Song may have survived the perilous journey to the colony of British Guiana in the Caribbean, but once there he discovers riches are hard to come by, as he finds himself working as an indentured plantation worker.
Between places, between peoples, and increasingly aware that circumstances of birth carry more weight than accomplishments or good deeds, Song fears he may live as an outsider forever. This is a far-reaching and atmospheric story spanning nearly half a century and half the globe, and though it is set in the past, Song’s story of emigration and the quest for opportunity is, in many ways, a very contemporary tale.
Recently finished (click on title for review)
The Devil’s Half Mile by Paddy Hirsch (hardcover, prize courtesy of Readers First and Corvus)
New York, 1799: Justy Flanagan, lawyer, soldier, policeman, has returned to his native city, bloodied and battered after fighting in the Irish Rebellion against the English. Determined to hunt down the man who murdered his father, his inquiries lead him to Wall Street and the fledgling stock market there. But as his investigations into the past move ahead, the horrific murders of young slave women in the present start to occupy his time. Convinced that there is a link between his father’s murder, the deaths of the young women, and a massive fraud that nearly destroyed New York’s economy, Justy can trust no one.
As the conspiracy deepens, it becomes clear that those involved will stop atnothing to keep their secrets. Justy is forced to choose: will he betray his father’s memory, compromise his integrity, and risk the lives of his closest friends, to get to the bottom of a tale so dangerous it could change the landscape of America forever?
The Half-Hearted by John Buchan (ebook)
Set in the closing years of the nineteenth century, The Half-Hearted tells the story of Lewis Haystoun, a young Scottish laird, who finds himself unable to commit wholeheartedly to any course of action.
When he fails to seize an opportunity, he interprets this as a sign of cowardice and departs for the Empire’s dangerous North West Frontier to prove himself.
The Year of the Snake by M. J. Trow and Maryanne Coleman (eARC, courtesy of NetGalley and Endeavour Media)
Sometimes, a snake is just a snake. And sometimes…
First-century Rome. Senator Gaius Lucius Nerva is taken ill at a dinner party and dies a few days later. His heartbroken wife, Flavia, is told it was a natural death. Calidus, Nerva’s recently freed slave, suspects otherwise. As he embarks upon the funeral ceremonies, Calidus becomes more and more convinced that his master was murdered and begins an investigation, seeking out everyone who had attended the dinner party.
His enquiries lead him to rub shoulders with the ‘great and good’ of Rome; senators, soldiers, even the ruthless and mercurial Emperor Nero. And his former lover, Julia Eusabia, who seems intent on rekindling their romance and luring him away from his wife and daughter. Calidus’ quest is by no means easy or safe as he encounters the darkest and most dangerous people in Rome. But he knows he must keep searching for the person responsible, to bring justice to the master he had loved.
This racy historical whodunnit brings to life the sights, smells and sounds of ancient Rome, with sharp humour and a Christie-style finale to boot.
Call of the Curlew by Elizabeth Brooks (ebook, courtesy of Random Things Tours and Doubleday)
Virginia Wrathmell has always known she will meet her death on the marsh in reparation for the mistakes of her childhood.
On New Year’s Eve, at the age of eighty-six, Virginia feels the time has finally come.
In 1939, Virginia is ten, an orphan arriving to meet her new adoptive parents, Clem and Lorna Wrathmell, at their mysterious house, Salt Winds. The house sits right on the edge of a vast marsh, a beautiful but dangerous place. It’s the start of a new life for Virginia, but she quickly senses that all is not right between Clem and Lorna – in particular, the presence of their wealthy neighbour Max Deering, who takes an unhealthy interest in the family. When a German fighter plane crashes into the marsh, Clem ventures onto the deadly sands to rescue the airman. And that is when things really begin to go wrong… (Review to follow as part of blog tour)
What Cathy (will) Read Next
Legionary: The Blood Road (Legionary #7) by Gordon Doherty (eARC, courtesy of the author)
81 AD: The Gothic War draws to a brutal climax, and the victor’s name will be written in blood…
The great struggle between the Eastern Roman Empire and the Gothic Horde rumbles into its fifth year. It seems that there can be no end to the conflict, for although the Goths are masters of the land, they cannot topple the last of the imperial cities. But heralds bring news that might change it all: Emperor Gratian readies to lead his Western legions into the fray, to turn matters on their head, to crush the horde and save the East!
The men of the XI Claudia legion long for their homeland’s salvation, but Tribunus Pavo knows these hopes drip with danger. For he and his soldiers are Gratian’s quarry as much as any Goth. The road ahead will be fraught with broken oaths, enemy blades… and tides of blood. Published on 10th July 2018. Pre-order via Amazon here
A Long Island Story by Rick Gekoski (eARC, courtesy of NetGalley and Canongate Books)
It is 1953, a heat wave is sweeping across America and the Grossmans – Ben, Addie and their two children – are moving their lives from the political heart of Washington DC to suburban Long Island. Benny was a successful lawyer in the Department of Justice, but all that has come tumbling down. With the McCarthy era of paranoia, persecution, and propaganda at its height, his past has come back to haunt him, forcing him to pack up his family and leave the capital behind.
With their future uncertain, life in Long Island starts to open old wounds for Ben and Addie, both start to wonder if they were meant for more, whether their future might look different than they planned, and whether their marriage – their family – is worth fighting for . . .
A Long Island Story is a portrait of a marriage in crisis, of a unique and fascinating period in US history and of a seemingly perfect family fighting their demons behind closed doors.