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!
The Secrets of Primrose Square by Claudia Carroll (hardcover, prize courtesy of Readers First)
There are so many stories hidden behind closed doors . . .
It’s late at night and the rain is pouring down on the Dublin city streets. A mother is grieving for her dead child. She stands silently outside the home of the teenage boy she believes responsible. She watches . . .
In a kitchen on the same square, a girl waits anxiously for her mum to come home. She knows exactly where she is, but she knows she cannot reach her.
A few doors down, and a widow sits alone in her room. She has just delivered a bombshell to her family during dinner and her life is about to change forever.
And an aspiring theatre director has just moved in to a flat across the street. Her landlord is absent, but there are already things about him that don’t quite add up . . .
Welcome to Primrose Square.
The Pagoda Tree by Claire Scobie (paperback, review copy courtesy of Unbound and Random Things Tours)
Tamil Nadu, southern India, 1765. Maya plays among the towering granite temples in the ancient city of Tanjore. Like her mother before her, she is destined to become a devadasi, a dancer for the temple. On the day of her initiation, a stranger arrives in town. Walter Sutcliffe, a black-frocked clergyman, strives to offer moral guidance to the British troops stationed in Tanjore, but is beset by his own demons.
When the British tear apart her princely kingdom, Maya heads to the steamy port city of Madras, where Thomas Pearce, an ambitious young Englishman, is entranced from the moment he first sees her.
The Pagoda Tree takes us deep into the heart of a country struggling under brutal occupation. As East and West collide, Walter Sutcliffe unknowingly plays the decisive card in Maya’s destiny.
Recently finished (click on title for review)
Hold by Michael Donkor (eARC, NetGalley)
Belinda knows how to follow the rules. As a housegirl, she has learnt the right way to polish water glasses, to wash and fold a hundred handkerchiefs, and to keep a tight lid on memories of the village she left behind when she came to Kumasi.
Mary is still learning the rules. Eleven-years old and irrepressible, the young housegirl-in-training is the little sister Belinda never had.
Amma has had enough of the rules. A straight-A pupil at her exclusive South-London school, she has always been the pride of her Ghanaian parents. Until now. Watching their once-confident teenager grow sullen and wayward, they decide that sensible Belinda might be just the shining example Amma needs.
So Belinda is summoned from Ghana to London, and must leave Mary to befriend a troubled girl who shows no desire for her friendship. She encounters a city as bewildering as it is thrilling, and tries to impose order on her unsettling new world.
As the Brixton summer turns to Autumn, Belinda and Amma are surprised to discover the beginnings of an unexpected kinship. But when the cracks in their defences open up, the secrets they have both been holding tightly threaten to seep out.
The Vanished Child (Jayne Sinclair Genealogical Mystery#4) by M. J. Lee (ebook, review copy courtesy of Rachel’s Random Resources)
Every childhood lasts a lifetime.
On her deathbed, Freda Duckworth confesses to giving birth to an illegitimate child in 1944 and placing him in a children’s home. Seven years later she went back but he had vanished. What happened to the child? Why did he disappear? Where did he go?
Jayne Sinclair, genealogical investigator, is faced with lies, secrets and one of the most shameful episodes in recent British history. Can she find the vanished child?
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. (Review to follow.)
The Story Keeper by Anna Mazzola (eARC, NetGalley)
Audrey Hart is on the Isle of Skye to collect the word-of-mouth folk tales of the people and communities around her. It is 1857, the Highland Clearances have left devastation and poverty, and the crofters are suspicious and hostile, claiming they no longer know their stories. Then Audrey discovers the body of a young girl washed up on the beach and the crofters tell her that it is only a matter of weeks since another girl has disappeared. They believe the girls are the victims of the spirits of the unforgiven dead.
Initially, Audrey is sure the girls are being abducted, but then she is reminded of her own mother, a Skye woman who disappeared in mysterious circumstances. It seems there is a link to be explored, and Audrey may uncover just what her family have been hiding from her all these years. (Review to follow.)
What Cathy (will) Read Next
The Assassin of Verona by Benet Brandreth (hardcover, review copy courtesy of Bonnier Zaffre)
All is not well in Venice.
Threatened daily by Papal assassins, William Shakespeare and his close friends Oldcastle and Hemminges are increasingly isolated – the lies that have protected them so far beginning to wear thin. His companions want desperately to leave, but Will is tied to the city – his lover, the beautiful Isabella, is growing ever more sick. As tensions reach breaking point, their company is forced to split…
Once more full of swaggering charm, breathless action and rapier-sharp dialogue, this is the second novel in Benet Brandreth’s highly acclaimed series reimagining the lost years of William Shakespeare.
Smile of the Wolf by Tim Leach (eARC, review copy courtesy of Head of Zeus)
Eleventh-century Iceland. One night in the darkness of winter, two friends set out on an adventure but end up killing a man. Kjaran, a traveling poet who trades songs for food and shelter, and Gunnar, a feared warrior, must make a choice: conceal the deed or confess to the crime and pay the blood price to the family. But their decision leads to a brutal feud: one man is outlawed, free to be killed by anyone without consequence; the other remorselessly hunted by the dead man’s kin.
Set in a world of ice and snow, this is an epic story of exile and revenge, of duels and betrayals, and two friends struggling to survive in a desolate landscape, where honour is the only code that men abide by.