Mr Peacock’s Possessions by Lydia Syson (eARC, Netgalley)
Oceania 1879. A family of settlers from New Zealand are the sole inhabitants of a remote volcanic island.
For two years they have struggled with the harsh reality of trying to make this unforgiving place a paradise they can call their own. At last, a ship appears. The six Pacific Islanders on board have travelled eight-hundred miles across the ocean in search of work and new horizons. Hopes are high for all, until a vulnerable boy vanishes. In their search for the lost child, settlers and newcomers together uncover far more than they were looking for. The island¹s secrets force them all to question their deepest convictions.
Entanglement by Katy Mahood (eARC, NetGalley)
2007: At the end of a momentous day, Charlie, Stella and John cross paths under the arches of Paddington Station. As Charlie locks eyes with Stella across the platform, a brief, powerful spark of recognition flashes between them. But they are strangers…aren’t they?
Plunging back thirty years we watch as, unknown to them all, the lives of Stella and John, and Charlie and his girlfriend Beth, are pulled ever closer, an invisible thread connecting them across the decades and through London’s busy streets.
For Stella, becoming a young mother in the 1970s puts an end to her bright academic career in a way John can’t seem to understand. Meanwhile Charlie gambles all future happiness with Beth when his inner demons threaten to defeat him.
In rhythmic and captivating prose, Katy Mahood effortlessly interweaves the stories of these two families who increasingly come to define one another in the most vital and astounding ways. With this soaring debut, she explores the choices and encounters that make up a lifetime, reminding us just how closely we are all connected.
Suitors and Sabotage by Cindy Anstey (eARC, NetGalley)
Shy aspiring artist Imogene Chively has just had a successful Season in London, complete with a suitor of her father’s approval. Imogene is ambivalent about the young gentleman until he comes to visit her at the Chively estate with his younger brother in tow. When her interest is piqued, however, it is for the wrong brother.
Charming Ben Steeple has a secret: despite being an architectural apprentice, he has no drawing aptitude. When Imogene offers to teach him, Ben is soon smitten by the young lady he considers his brother’s intended. But hiding their true feelings becomes the least of their problems when, after a series of “accidents,” it becomes apparent that someone means Ben harm. And as their affection for each other grows – despite their efforts to remain just friends – so does the danger…
The Gallows Pole by Benjamin Myers (ebook)
“I saw them. Stag-headed men dancing at on the moor at midnight, nostrils flared and steam rising…”
An England divided. From his remote moorland home, David Hartley assembles a gang of weavers and land-workers to embark upon a criminal enterprise that will capsize the economy and become the biggest fraud in British history. They are the Cragg Vale Coiners and their business is ‘clipping’ – the forging of coins, a treasonous offence punishable by death. A charismatic leader, Hartley cares for the poor and uses violence and intimidation against his opponents. He is also prone to self-delusion and strange visions of mythical creatures.
When excise officer William Deighton vows to bring down the Coiners and one of their own becomes turncoat, Hartley’s empire begins to crumble. With the industrial age set to change the face of England forever, the fate of his empire is under threat.
Forensically assembled from historical accounts and legal documents, The Gallows Pole is a true story of resistance that combines poetry, landscape, crime and historical fiction, whose themes continue to resonate. Here is a rarely-told alternative history of the North.
On What Cathy Read Next last week
Monday – I took part in the blog tour for Nothing Bad Happens Here by Nikki Crutchley with a spotlight feature. I also my review of The Rain Never Came by Lachlan Walter, a story about a drought-stricken Australia with a distinctly post-apocalyptic theme.
Wednesday – WWW Wednesday is the opportunity to share what I’ve just finished reading, what I’m reading now and what I’ll be reading next. I also published my review of Caligula by Simon Turney, a different take on that infamous Roman Emperor.
Thursday – I took part in the blog tour for The Secret Life of Mrs. London by Rebecca Rosenberg, a fantastic fictionalised portrait of the tempestuous marriage of Charmian and Jack London and Charmian’s relationship with Harry Houdini.
Friday – I shared my Five Favourite books I read in February and also my thoughts on the longlist for The Walter Scott Prize for Historical Fiction. I’m aiming to read the ten books on the list I haven’t already read before the shortlist is announced in April. Note the word ‘aiming’, not ‘going to’!
Saturday – I took part in the weekend book blitz for The Study of Silence by Malia Zaidi by hosting a guest post from the author. I also shared my list for the next Classics Club spin. The spin number will be announced on 9th March. Finally, I participated in the 6 Degrees of Separation meme, creating a list of six books linked in some way to this month’s starting book, The Beauty Myth by Naomi Wolf. If you fancy taking part next month, April’s starting book is Memoirs of a Geisha by Arthur Golden.
Sunday – I published my review of Killed by Thomas Enger as part of the blog tour for this the fifth and final outing for investigative journalist, Henning Juul.
- Goodreads 2018 Reading Challenge – 31 out of 156 books read, 2 more than last 3 weeks
- Classics Club Challenge – 11 out of 50 books read, same as last week
- NetGalley/Edelweiss Reading Challenge 2018 (Silver) – 10 ARCs read and reviewed out of 25, 2 more than last week
- From Page to Screen– 10 book/film comparisons out of 15 completed, same as last update
- 2018 TBR Pile Challenge – 3 out of 12 books read, same as last week
- Historical Fiction Reading Challenge 2018 – 15 books out of 50 read, 2 more than last week
- When Are You Reading? Challenge 2018 – 6 out of 12 books read, 1 more than last update
- What’s In A Name Reading Challenge – 0 out of 6 books read, same as last week
- Buchan of the Month – 2 out of 12 books read, same as last week
On What Cathy Read Next this week
- Blog Tour/Guest Post: Walk With Me by Debra Schoenberger
- Review: All the Beautiful Girls by Elizabeth Church
- Review: Brewing Up Murder by Neila Young
- Blog Tour/Review: Waking Isabella by Melissa Muldoon
- Blog Tour/Spotlight: Far Cry from the Turquoise Room by Kate Rigby
- Throwback Thursday: Memento Mori by Muriel Spark
- Blog Tour/Spotlight: Fanny Newcomb and Irish Channel Ripper by Ana Brazil