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!
Hmm, I seem to have quite a few on the go at the moment thanks to blog tour commitments, trying to get up-to-date with my ARCs from NetGalley AND read the books shortlisted for The Walter Scott Prize for Historical Fiction 2019.
The Dollmaker by Nina Allen (eARC, courtesy of Quercus and NetGalley)
Stitch by perfect stitch, Andrew Garvie makes exquisite dolls in the finest antique style. Like him, they are diminutive but graceful, unique, and with surprising depths. Perhaps that’s why he answers the enigmatic personal ad in his collector’s magazine.
Letter by letter, Bramber Winters reveals more of her strange, sheltered life in an institution on Bodmin Moor, and the terrible events that put her there as a child. Andrew knows what it is to be trapped, and as they knit closer together, he weaves a curious plan to rescue her.
On his journey through the old towns of England, he reads the fairy tales of Ewa Chaplin – potent, eldritch stories which, like her lifelike dolls, pluck at the edges of reality and thread their way into his mind. When Andrew and Bramber meet at last, they will have a choice – to break free and, unlike their dolls, come to life.
A love story of two very real, unusual people, The Dollmaker is also a novel rich with wonders: Andrew’s quest and Bramber’s letters unspool around the dark fables that give our familiar world an uncanny edge. It is this touch of magic that, like the blink of a doll’s eyes, tricks our own.
The New Achilles by Christian Cameron (eARC, courtesy of Orion and NetGalley)
Meet the greatest Greek general you’ve never heard of: Philopoemen. In his day, a leader as skilled and as dangerous as Hannibal: a ferocious fighter, a superb general, and credited as the inventor of modern ‘special operations’. More importantly, he was a brilliant political leader.
He commanded Greek forces at the turn of the third century BC, when mighty Rome, fresh from the destruction of Carthage, and Imperial Macedon, the greatest power of the day, chose Greece as their battlefield.
In a world of rival empires, slave-taking cartels, piracy, terrorism and failed states, will Philopoemen be able to hold anything together?
Where the Hornbeam Grows: A Journey in Search of a Garden by Beth Lynch (eARC, courtesy of Orion and NetGalley)
What do you do when you find yourself living as a stranger? When Beth Lynch moved to Switzerland, she quickly realised that the sheer will to connect with people would not guarantee a happy relocation.
Out of place and lonely, Beth knows that she needs to get her hands dirty if she is to put down roots. And so she sets about making herself at home in the way she knows best – by tending a garden, growing things. The search for a garden takes her across the country, through meadows and on mountain paths where familiar garden plants run wild, to the rugged hills of the Swiss Jura. In this remote and unfamiliar place of glow worms and dormice and singing toads she learns to garden in a new way, taking her cue from the natural world. As she plants her paradise with hellebores and aquilegias, cornflowers and Japanese anemones, these cherished species forge green and deepening connections: to her new soil, to her old life in England, and to her deceased parents, whose Sussex garden continues to flourish in her heart.
Where the Hornbeam Grows is a memoir about carrying a garden inwardly through loss, dislocation and relocation, about finding a sense of wellbeing in a green place of your own, and about the limits of paradise in a peopled world. It is a powerful exploration by a dazzling new literary voice of how, in nurturing a corner of the natural world, we ourselves are nurtured.
The Long Take by Robin Robertson (audiobook)
Walker, a young Canadian recently demobilised after war and his active service in the Normandy landings and subsequent European operations. Suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder, and unable to face a return to his family home in rural Nova Scotia, he goes in search of freedom, change, anonymity and repair. We follow Walker through a sequence of poems as he moves through post-war American cities of New York, Los Angles and San Francisco.
Recently finished (click on title for review)
Pleased to have finished a fair few this week (aided by blog tour deadlines!) but I still have a few reviews needing to be written up.
The Golden Hour (The Lady Evelyn Mysteries #4) by Malia Zaidi (ebook, courtesy of Damppebbles Blog Tours)
Lady Evelyn Carlisle has barely arrived in London when familial duty calls her away again. Her cousin Gemma is desperate for help with her ailing mother before her imminent wedding, which Evelyn knew nothing about! Aunt Agnes in tow, she journeys to Scotland, expecting to find Malmo Manor in turmoil. To her surprise, her Scottish family has been keeping far more secrets than the troubled state of their matriarch.
Adding to the tension in the house a neighbour has opened his home, Elderbrooke Park, as a retreat for artistic veterans of the Great War. This development does not sit well with everyone in the community. Is the suspicion towards the residents a catalyst for murder? A tragedy at Elderbrooke Park’s May Day celebration awakens Evelyn’s sleuthing instinct, which is strengthened when the story of another unsolved death emerges, connected to her own family. What she uncovers on her quest to expose the truth will change several lives forever, including her own.
With the shadow of history looming over her, Evelyn must trust in her instinct and ability to comb through the past to understand the present, before the murderer can stop her and tragedy strikes again.
Beyond the Thirty-Nine Steps: A Life of John Buchan by Ursula Buchan (hardcover, advance review copy courtesy of Bloomsbury Publishing)
John Buchan’s name is known across the world for The Thirty-Nine Steps. In the past one hundred years the classic thriller has never been out of print and has inspired numerous adaptations for film, television, radio and stage, beginning with the celebrated version by Alfred Hitchcock.
Yet there was vastly more to ‘JB’. He wrote more than a hundred books, fiction and non-fiction and about a thousand articles for newspapers and magazines. He was a scholar, antiquarian, barrister, colonial administrator, journal editor, literary critic, publisher, war correspondent, director of wartime propaganda, member of parliament and imperial proconsul – given a state funeral when he died, a deeply admired and loved Governor-General of Canada.
His teenage years in Glasgow’s Gorbals, where his father was the Free Church minister, contributed to his ease with shepherds and ambassadors, fur-trappers and prime ministers. His improbable marriage to a member of the aristocratic Grosvenor family means that this account of his life contains, at its heart, an enduring love story.
Ursula Buchan, his granddaughter, has drawn on recently discovered family documents to write this comprehensive and illuminating biography. With perception, style, wit, and a penetratingly clear eye, she brings vividly to life this remarkable man and his times. (Review to follow)
The Confessions of Frannie Langston by Sara Collins (eARC, courtesy of Penguin and NetGalley)
They say I must be put to death for what happened to Madame, and they want me to confess. But how can I confess what I don’t believe I’ve done?
1826, and all of London is in a frenzy. Crowds gather at the gates of the Old Bailey to watch as Frannie Langton, maid to Mr and Mrs Benham, goes on trial for their murder. The testimonies against her are damning – slave, whore, seductress. And they may be the truth. But they are not the whole truth.
For the first time Frannie must tell her story. It begins with a girl learning to read on a plantation in Jamaica, and it ends in a grand house in London, where a beautiful woman waits to be freed.
But through her fevered confessions, one burning question haunts Frannie Langton: could she have murdered the only person she ever loved? (Giveaway (UK & ROI only) for hardcover copy open for entries until 19th April 2019 – follow link in review to enter)
Pilgrim by Louise Hall (ebook, courtesy of Mercier Press and Random Things Tours)
After a major row with his wife, Sarah, Charlie Carthy storms out of the family home. Just hours later he finds out that Sarah has become the victim of a hit and run driver and is in critical condition in hospital. Sarah’s death and Charlie’s self-absorbing grief throws their daughter Jen’s life into turmoil. Will an unwanted pilgrimage to Medjugorje heal Jen and Charlie’s relationship, or, should Jen prepare to lose her remaining parent?
Told with a deep humanity and grace, Pilgrim is a story about a man who feels he has nothing to live for, and a daughter who is determined to prove him wrong. (Review to follow)
What Cathy (will) Read Next
Dark Sky Island (Jennifer Dorey Mystery #2) by Lara Dearman (eARC, courtesy of Orion and NetGalley)
There’s a killer on the island – and someone knows who…
When human bones are found in a remote bay in the Channel Islands, DCI Michael Gilbert is plunged into an investigation to find out who they belong to. The remains are decades old – but after another body is discovered, the police realise they could be dealing with a serial killer.
Journalist Jennifer Dorey is desperate for answers, driven by a secret of her own – but it soon becomes clear that nobody on the island is quite what they seem. Will anyone tell the truth before it’s too late? Or will the killer on the island strike again…?