book reviews, Books, Reviews

Books read in June 2015

The Enchanted April by Elizabeth Von Armin


A notice in The Times addressed to ‘Those who Appreciate Wistaria and Sunshine’ advertises a ‘small mediaeval Italian Castle on the shores of the Mediterranean to be let furnished for the month of April’. Four very different women take up the offer, escaping dreary London for the sunshine of Italy. Among the party are Mrs Wilkins and Mrs Arthuthnot, both fleeing unappreciative husbands; beautiful Lady Caroline, sick of being ‘grabbed’ by lovestruck men; and the imperious Mrs Fisher, who spends her time remembering the bearded ‘great men’ she knew in her Victorian childhood. By the end of their holiday, all the women will fall completely under the spell of Italy in this funny, insightful and very charming novel.

Endgame by C.J Daugherty (book 5 in the Night School series)


The spy is gone but the cost has been high – the rebels at Cimmeria Academy have lost their leader and Carter West is missing. Nathaniel can taste victory. But Allie and the other survivors aren’t done yet. First they have to get Carter back. Then they plan to make Nathaniel pay.

One Small Act Of Kindness by Lucy Dillon


Libby and her husband Jason have moved back to his hometown to turn the family B&B into a boutique hotel. They have left London behind and all the memories – good and bad – that went with it.
The injured woman Libby finds lying in the remote country road has lost her memory. She doesn’t know why she came to be there, and no one seems to be looking for her.
When Libby offers to take her in, this one small act of kindness sets in motion a chain of events that will change many people’s lives . . .

Book of the month:

Wild by Cheryl Strayed


At twenty-six, Cheryl Strayed thought she had lost everything. In the wake of her mother’s rapid death from cancer, her family disbanded and her marriage crumbled. With nothing to lose, she made the most impulsive decision of her life: to walk eleven-hundred miles of the west coast of America and to do it alone. She had no experience of long-distance hiking and the journey was nothing more than a line on a map. But it held a promise – a promise of piecing together a life that lay shattered at her feet…

I read Wild after enjoying the film adaptation but wanting to know more about her story. I’m so glad I read the book as, so often the case, it was definitely a deeper and richer experience. Wild is a memoir, a travel journal, of Cheryl’s time walking the Pacific Crest Trail but it also delves into her past and her reasons for tackling the trail, and how it changed her. I do not read a lot of non-fiction but Cheryl is a great writer and her story proves the truth is often stranger than fiction. You have to admire her strength and perseverance during her hike, and there are a lot of emotional moments as she looks back on her mother’s death and how she struggled to deal with it. It’s an inspiring, brave and honest story. I shall be definitely looking into her other work.

The last line of the book will stick with me for a long time I think:




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