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!
Katastrophe by Graham Hurley (ARC, Head of Zeus)
Berlin, January 1945. Wherever you look on the map, the Thousand Year Reich is shrinking. Even Goebbels has run out of lies to sweeten the reckoning to come. An Allied victory is inevitable, but who will reap the spoils of war?
Two years ago, Werner Nehmann’s war came to an abrupt end in Stalingrad. With the city in ruins, the remains of General Paulus’ Sixth Army surrendered to the Soviets, and Nehmann was taken captive. But now he’s riding on the back of one of Marshal Zhukov’s T-34 tanks, heading home with a message for the man who consigned him to the Stalingrad Cauldron.
Although the Red Army are about to fall on Berlin, Stalin fears his sometime allies are conspiring to deny him his prize. He needs to speak to Goebbels – and who better to broker the contact than Nehmann, Goebbels’ one-time confidant?
Having swapped the ruins of Stalingrad for the wreckage of Berlin, the influence of Goebbels for the machinations of Stalin, and Gulag rags for a Red Army uniform, Nehmann’s war has taken a turn for the worse. The Germans have a word for it: Katastrophe.
Learwife by J. R. Thorp (Canongate)
“I am the queen of two crowns, banished fifteen years, the famed and gilded woman, bad-luck baleful girl, mother of three small animals, now gone. I am fifty-five years old. I am Lear’s wife. I am here.”
Word has come. Care-bent King Lear is dead, driven mad and betrayed. His three daughters too, broken in battle. But someone has survived: Lear’s queen. Exiled to a nunnery years ago, written out of history, her name forgotten. Now she can tell her story.
Though her grief and rage may threaten to crack the earth open, she knows she must seek answers. Why was she sent away in shame and disgrace? What has happened to Kent, her oldest friend and ally? And what will become of her now, in this place of women? To find peace she must reckon with her past and make a terrible choice – one upon which her destiny, and that of the entire abbey, rests.
Storyland: A New Mythology of Britain by Amy Jeffs (riverrun)
Think of Me by Frances Liardet (4th Estate)
1942, Alexandria, Egypt. Covered in dust, Yvette and James hold hands for the first time as bombs explode above them. As the war rages on, they will find their way back to each other time and again, their love a beacon for their survival. After the war, their happiness takes root in England and blossoms, until a tragic event drives a wedge between them. The way back to one another is uncharted territory that both must be brave enough to face.
1974. Ten years after his wife’s death and with his son now at university, James craves change. He moves to the beautiful English village of Upton not thirty minutes from the city where he brought his bride Yvette, nearly twenty-five years ago. There he discovers a scarf that lights the dark edges of his memory. Could it be Yvette’s? As James makes a new home for himself and gently presses into the feelings the scarf evokes, he begins to unlock new revelations about his past that change everything he believes. Revelations that just might give James a new reason to live and the possibility of new love at last, after ten years alone. (Review to follow)
What Cathy (will) Read Next
The Cleaner of Chartres by Salley Vickers (Penguin)
There is something special about the ancient cathedral of Chartres, with its mismatched spires, astonishing stained glass and strange labyrinth. And there is something special too about Agnès Morel, the mysterious woman who is to be found cleaning it each morning.
No one quite knows where she came from – not the diffident Abbé Paul, who discovered her one morning twenty years ago, sleeping in the north porch; nor lonely Professor Jones, whose chaotic existence she helps to organise; nor Philippe Nevers, whose neurotic sister and newborn child she cares for; nor even the irreverent young restorer, Alain Fleury, who works alongside her each day and whose attention she catches with her tawny eyes, her colourful clothes and elusive manner. And yet everyone she encounters would surely agree that she is subtly transforming their lives, even if they couldn’t quite say how.
But with a chance meeting in the cathedral one day, the spectre of Agnès’ past returns, provoking malicious rumours from the prejudiced Madame Beck and her gossipy companion Madame Picot. As the hearsay grows uglier, Agnès is forced to confront her history, and the mystery of her origins finally unfolds.