#WWWWednesday – 8th April 2020

WWWWednesdays

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

A NetGalley ARC, a book for a blog tour and a book from my TBR pile.

A Thousand MoonsA Thousand Moons by Sebastian Barry (eARC, courtesy of Faber & Faber and NetGalley)

Even when you come out of bloodshed and disaster in the end you have got to learn to live.

Narrated by Winona, the young Lakota orphan adopted by soldiers Thomas McNulty and John Cole in Days Without End, A Thousand Moons continues Sebastian Barry’s extraordinary fictional exploration of late nineteenth century America.

Living with Thomas and John on the farm they work in 1870s Tennessee, educated and loved, Winona is employed by the lawyer Briscoe in the nearby town of Paris, as she tries to forge a life for herself beyond the violence and dispossession of her past. But the fragile harmony of this shared world, in the aftermath of the Civil War, is soon threatened by a further traumatic event, one which Winona struggles to confront let alone understand.

Told in Sebastian Barry’s gorgeous, lyrical prose, A Thousand Moons is a powerful, moving study of one woman’s journey, about her determination to write her own future, and about the enduring human capacity for love.

I Am DustI Am Dust by Louise Beech (ebook, courtesy of Orenda Books and Random Things Tours)

When iconic musical Dust is revived twenty years after the leading actress was murdered in her dressing room, a series of eerie events haunts the new cast, in a bewitching, beguiling and terrifyingly dark psychological thriller…

The Dean Wilson Theatre is believed to be haunted by a long-dead actress, singing her last song, waiting for her final cue, looking for her killer… Now Dust, the iconic musical, is returning after twenty years. But who will be brave enough to take on the role of ghostly goddess Esme Black, last played by Morgan Miller, who was murdered in her dressing room?

Theatre usher Chloe Dee is caught up in the spectacle. As the new actors arrive, including an unexpected face from her past, everything changes. Are the eerie sounds and sightings backstage real or just her imagination? Is someone playing games? Is the role of Esme Black cursed? Could witchcraft be at the heart of the tragedy? And are dark deeds from Chloe’s past about to catch up with her?

Not all the drama takes place onstage. Sometimes murder, magic, obsession and the biggest of betrayals are real life. When you’re in the theatre shadows, you see everything. And Chloe has been watching…

The Unfortunate EnglishmanThe Unfortunate Englishman (Joe Wilderness #2) by John Lawton (hardcover)

Having shot someone in what he believed was self-defence in the chaos of 1963 Berlin, Wilderness finds himself locked up with little chance of escape. But an official pardon through his father-in-law Burne-Jones, a senior agent at MI6, means he is free to go – although forever in Burne-Jones’s service.

His newest operation will take him back to Berlin, which is now the dividing line between the West and the Soviets. A backstory of innocence and intrigue unravels, one in which Wilderness is in and out of Berlin and Vienna like a jack-in-the-box. When the Russians started building the Berlin wall in 1961, two unfortunate Englishmen were trapped on opposite sides. Geoffrey Masefield in the Lubyanka, and Bernard Alleyn (alias KGB Captain Leonid Liubimov) in Wormwood Scrubs.

In 1965 there is a new plan. To exchange the prisoners, a swap upon Berlin’s bridge of spies. But, as ever, Joe has something on the side, just to make it interesting, just to make it profitable. The Unfortunate Englishman is a thrilling tale of Khrushchev, Kennedy, a spy exchange . . . and ten thousand bottles of fine Bordeaux. What can possibly go wrong?


Recently finished
(Links from titles will take you to my review)

The Far FieldThe Far Field by Madhuri Vijay (paperback, courtesy of Grove Press and Midas PR)

In the wake of her mother’s death, Shalini, a privileged and restless young woman from Bangalore, sets out for a remote Himalayan village in the troubled northern region of Kashmir. Certain that the loss of her mother is somehow connected to the decade-old disappearance of Bashir Ahmed, a charming Kashmiri salesman who frequented her childhood home, she is determined to confront him. But upon her arrival, Shalini is brought face to face with Kashmir’s politics, as well as the tangled history of the local family that takes her in. And when life in the village turns volatile and old hatreds threaten to erupt into violence, Shalini finds herself forced to make a series of choices that could hold dangerous repercussions for the very people she has come to love.

With rare acumen and evocative prose, in The Far Field Madhuri Vijay masterfully examines Indian politics, class prejudice, and sexuality through the lens of an outsider, offering a profound meditation on grief, guilt, and the limits of compassion.

cover185432-mediumSummer in Provence by Lucy Coleman (ebook, courtesy of Boldwood Books and Rachel’s Random Resources)

Is a change as good as a rest?

When married couple Fern and Aiden have a windfall, their reactions could not be more different. While Fern is content to pay off their mortgage and build a nest egg before starting a family, her husband is set on traveling the world.

Fern’s not much of a back-packer so, before she knows it, the idea of a ‘marriage gap year’ takes shape. And, as Aiden heads off to the wilds of Australia, Fern chooses the more restful Provence for her year out.

Set amidst the glorious French scenery, Château de Vernon offers a retreat from the hustle and bustle of normal life, and Fern agrees to help out in return for painting lessons from the owner – renowned, but rather troubled, painter Nico.

As their year unfolds in very different ways, will the time apart transform their marriage, or will it drive Fern and Aiden even further apart…

HamnetHamnet by Maggie O’Farrell (ebook, courtesy of Tinder Press and Random Things Tours)

Warwickshire in the 1580s. Agnes is a woman as feared as she is sought after for her unusual gifts. She settles with her husband in Henley street, Stratford, and has three children: a daughter, Susanna, and then twins, Hamnet and Judith. The boy, Hamnet, dies in 1596, aged eleven. Four years or so later, the husband writes a play called Hamlet.

Award-winning author Maggie O’Farrell’s new novel breathes full-blooded life into the story of a loss usually consigned to literary footnotes, and provides an unforgettable vindication of Agnes, a woman intriguingly absent from history.


What Cathy (will) Read Next

A Life Without EndA Life Without End by Frédéric Beigbeder, trans. by Frank Wynne (advance review copy, courtesy of World Editions)

What does the man who has everything – fame, fortune, a new love, and a new baby – want for his fiftieth birthday? The answer is simple: eternal life.

Determined to shake off the first intimations of his approaching demise, Frédéric tries every possible procedure to ward off death, examining both legal and illegal research into techniques that could lead to the imminent replacement of man with a post-human species. Accompanied by his ten-year-old daughter and her robot friend, Frédéric crisscrosses the globe to meet the world’s foremost researchers on human longevity, who – from cell rejuvenation and telomere lengthening to 3D-printed organs and digitally stored DNA – reveal their latest discoveries.

With his blend of deadpan humor and clear-eyed perception, Beigbeder has penned a brutal and brilliant exposé of the enduring issue of our own mortality.

510+6-1hr3L._SX398_BO1,204,203,200_Youth and the Bright Medusa by Willa Cather (ebook)

A collection of short stories by Willa Cather, published in 1920, including ‘Coming, Aphrodite!’, an unforgettable novella of a young artist in New York and his relationship with a girl who hopes to become an opera star, and ‘Paul’s Case’ which reveals the frustration and pain of a lonely youth from the provinces who escapes to New York City for a brief, tragic time.

 

 

 

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