On What Cathy Read Next last week
Monday – I published my review of A Lifetime of Men by Ciahnan Darrell.
Tuesday – This week’s Top Ten Tuesday topic was a freebie on the theme of Spring Cleaning. I also published my review of Saving the World: Women – The Twenty-First Century’s Factor for Change by Paola Diana.
Wednesday – WWW Wednesday is the opportunity to share what I’ve just read, what I’m currently reading and what I plan to read next…as well as have a good nose around to see what books others have plucked from their shelves. I also shared my review of Saving Missy by Beth Morrey as part of the blog tour.
Thursday – I shared my publication day review of How Beautiful We Were by Imbolo Mbue.
Saturday – I published my review of The Incendium Plot by A. D. Swanston.
As always, thanks to everyone who has liked, commented on or shared my blog posts on social media.
A bumper haul this week including books for blog tours, ARCs from NetGalley and some that were simply irresistible purchases.
Love After Love by Ingrid Persaud (paperback)
Meet the Ramdin-Chetan family: forged through loneliness, broken by secrets, saved by love.
Irrepressible Betty Ramdin, her shy son Solo and their marvellous lodger, Mr Chetan, form an unconventional household, happy in their differences, as they build a home together. Home: the place where your navel string is buried, keeping these three safe from an increasingly dangerous world. Happy and loving they are, until the night when a glass of rum, a heart to heart and a terrible truth explodes the family unit, driving them apart.
A Net For Small Fishes by Lucy Jago (hardcover)
Frances Howard has beauty and a powerful family – and is the most unhappy creature in the world. Anne Turner has wit and talent – but no stage on which to display them. Little stands between her and the abyss of destitution.
When these two very different women meet in the strangest of circumstances, a powerful friendship is sparked. Frankie sweeps Anne into a world of splendour that exceeds all she imagined: a Court whose foreign king is a stranger to his own subjects; where ancient families fight for power, and where the sovereign’s favourite may rise and rise – so long as he remains in favour.
With the marriage of their talents, Anne and Frankie enter this extravagant, savage hunting ground, seeking a little happiness for themselves. But as they gain notice, they also gain enemies; what began as a search for love and safety leads to desperate acts that could cost them everything.
The Year Without Summer by Guinevere Glasfurd (paperback)
1815, Sumbawa Island, Indonesia. Mount Tambora explodes in a cataclysmic eruption, killing thousands. Sent to investigate, ship’s surgeon Henry Hogg can barely believe his eyes. Once a paradise, the island is now solid ash, the surrounding sea turned to stone. But worse is yet to come: as the ash cloud rises and covers the sun, the seasons will fail.
1816. In Switzerland, Mary Shelley finds dark inspiration. Confined inside by the unseasonable weather, thousands of famine refugees stream past her door. In Vermont, preacher Charles Whitlock begs his followers to keep faith as drought dries their wells and their livestock starve. In Suffolk, the ambitious and lovesick painter John Constable struggles to reconcile the idyllic England he paints with the misery that surrounds him. In the Fens, farm labourer Sarah Hobbs has had enough of going hungry while the farmers flaunt their wealth. And Hope Peter, returned from the Napoleonic wars, finds his family home demolished and a fence gone up in its place. He flees to London, where he falls in with a group of revolutionaries who speak of a better life, whatever the cost. As desperation sets in, Britain becomes beset by riots – rebellion is in the air.
Six separate lives, connected only by an event many thousands of miles away. Few had heard of Tambora – but none could escape its effects.
The Tuscan House by Angela Petch (eARC, courtesy of Bookouture via NetGalley)
Corbello, Italy, 1947. A woman and a little boy stagger into the ruins of an old house deep in the forest, wild roses overwhelming the crumbling terracotta walls. Since the war, nowhere has been safe. But they both freeze in shock when a voice calls out from the shadows…
For young mother Fosca Sentino, accepting refuge from ex-British soldier Richard – in Tuscany to escape his tragic past – is the only way to keep her little family safe. She once risked everything to spy on Nazi commanders and pass secret information to the resistenza. But after a heartbreaking betrayal, Fosca’s best friend Simonetta disappeared without trace. The whole community was torn apart, and now Fosca and her son are outcasts.
Wary of this handsome stranger at first, Fosca slowly starts to feel safe as she watches him play with her son in the overgrown orchard. But her fragile peace is shattered the moment a silver brooch is found in the garden, and she recognises it as Simonetta’s…
Fosca has always suspected that another member of the resistenza betrayed her. With Richard by her side, she must find out if Simonetta is still alive, and clear her own name. But how did the brooch end up at the house? And with a traitor hiding in the village, willing to do anything to keep this secret buried, has Fosca put herself and her young son in terrible danger?
Together by Luke Adam Hawker (review copy, courtesy of Kyle Books and Random Things Tours)
Used to drawing out on location, the lockdown of 2020 suddenly limited artist Luke Hawker’s day to day work. Like many of us he spent months at home, and, unable to go out and about found himself inspired to depict the day to day effects of the extraordinary challenges unfolding across the world.
Together takes a gentle and philosophical look at the events of 2020. Using the metaphor of a monumental storm, we follow a man and his dog through the uncertainty and change that it brings to their lives. Through their eyes we see the difficulties of being apart, the rollercoaster of emotions that we have all shared, and the realisation that by pulling together we can move forward with new perspective, hope, and an appreciation of what matters most in life.
The Deception of Harriet Fleet by Helen Scarlett (proof copy, courtesy of Quercus)
1871. An age of discovery and progress. But for the Wainwright family, residents of the gloomy Teesbank Hall in County Durham the secrets of the past continue to overshadow their lives.
Harriet would not have taken the job of governess in such a remote place unless she wanted to hide from something or someone. Her charge is Eleanor, the daughter of the house, a fiercely bright eighteen-year-old, tortured by demons and feared by relations and staff alike. But it soon becomes apparent that Harriet is not there to teach Eleanor, but rather to monitor her erratic and dangerous behaviour – to spy on her.
Worn down by Eleanor’s unpredictable hostility, Harriet soon finds herself embroiled in Eleanor’s obsession – the Wainwright’s dark, tragic history. As family secrets are unearthed, Harriet’s own begin to haunt her and she becomes convinced that ghosts from the past are determined to reveal her shameful story. For Harriet, like Eleanor, is plagued by deception and untruths.
Beyond This Broken Sky by Siobhan Curham (eARC, courtesy of Bookouture via NetGalley)
1940, London. As a volunteer for the ambulance service, Ruby has the dangerous task of driving along pitch-dark roads during the blackout. With each survivor she pulls from the rubble, she is helping to fight back against the enemy bombers, who leave nothing but destruction in their wake.
Assigned to her crew is Joseph, who is unable to fight but will stop at nothing to save innocent lives. Because he is not in uniform, people treat him with suspicion and Ruby becomes determined to protect this brave, compassionate man who has rescued so many, and captured her heart. Even if it means making an unthinkable choice between saving her own life and risking everything for his…
2019: Recently divorced Edi feels lost and alone when she moves to London to start a new life. Until she makes a discovery, hidden beneath a loose floorboard in her attic, that reveals a secret about the people who lived there in the 1940s. As she gradually uncovers a wartime love story full of danger and betrayal, Edi becomes inspired by the heroism of one incredible woman and the legacy that can be left behind by a single act of courage…
A Ration Book Daughter (East End Ration #5) by Jean Fullerton (eARC, courtesy of Atlantic Books and Rachel’s Random Resources)
Cathy was a happy, blushing bride when Britain went to war with Germany three years ago. But her youthful dreams were crushed by her violent husband Stanley’s involvement with the fascist black-shirts, and even when he’s conscripted to fight she knows it’s only a brief respite – divorce is not an option. Cathy’s only solace is her little son Peter.
When a telegram arrives declaring that her husband is missing in action, Cathy can finally allow herself to hope – she only has to wait 6 months before she is legally a widow and can move on with her life. But in the meantime she has to keep Peter safe and fed. So she advertises for a lodger, and Sergeant Archie McIntosh of the Royal Engineers’ Bomb Disposal Squad turns up. Kind, clever and thoughtful, their mutual attraction is instant. But with Stanley’s fate still unclear, and the Blitz still raging in London’s East End, will Cathy ever have the love she deserves?
The Heart Stone by Judith Barrow (giveaway prize courtesy of Honno Press and Random Things Tours)
1914 – and everything changes for Jessie on a day trip to Blackpool. She realises her true feelings for her childhood friend, Arthur. Then just as they are travelling home from this rare treat, war is declared.
Arthur lies about his age to join his Pals’ Regiment. Jessie’s widowed mother is so frightened of the future, she agrees to marry the vicious Amos Morgan, making Jessie’s home an unsafe place for her. Before he leaves, Arthur and Jessie admit their feelings and promise to wait for each other. Arthur gives Jessie a heart-shaped stone to remember him. But with Arthur far away, their love leaves Jessie with a secret that will see her thrown from her home and terribly abused when she can hide the truth no longer.
Faced with a desperate choice between love and safety, Jessie must fight for survival, whatever the cost
The Hunting Season (Daniel Leicester, #2) by Tom Benjamin (e-book, courtesy of the author and Random Things Tours)
It’s truffle season and in the hills around Bologna the hunt is on for the legendary Boscuri White, the golden nugget of Italian gastronomy. But when an American truffle ‘supertaster’ goes missing, English detective Daniel Leicester discovers not all truffles are created equal. Did the missing supertaster bite off more than he could chew?
As he goes on the hunt for Ryan Lee, Daniel discovers the secrets behind ‘Food City’, from the immigrant kitchen staff to the full scale of a multi-million Euro business. After a key witness is found dead at the foot of one of Bologna’s famous towers, the stakes could not be higher. Daniel teams up with a glamorous TV reporter, but the deeper he goes into the disappearance of the supertaster the darker things become. Murder is once again on the menu, but this time Daniel himself stands accused. And the only way he can clear his name is by finding Ryan Lee…
On What Cathy Read Next this week
- Blog Tour/Book Review: The Forgotten Life of Arthur Pettinger by Suzanne Fortin
- Top Ten Tuesday: Books On My Spring 2021 TBR
- Waiting on Wednesday
- Blog Tour/Book Review: The Consequences of Fear by Jacqueline Winspear
- Blog Tour/Book Review: The Spanish Girl by Jules Hayes
- Blog Tour/Extract: Every Last Fear by Alex Finlay