Five more books I read in December 2020

The first four of these books were from BorrowBox. As for my previous book review post I am working from memory, having returned all these books. The Art Fiasco was a Christmas present. While many of the links in this post are to Amazon, I urge you to support high street bookshops and libraries.

Book cover

I owe you one: Love means all debts are off by Sophie Kinsella

I owe you one was a light read. A chance meeting set the scene for lots of twists and turns. I raced through it, enjoying the description of the characters and development of the plot. It was the second of Sophie Kinsella’s books I have read.

A tale of two families by Dodie Smith is a story of its time. Long ago I had read two books by Dodie Smith: The Hundred and One Dalmations and I capture the castle, but I was unaware of A tale of two families. Like Josephine Tey and Margery Allingham, Dodie Smith was writing in the 20th century. This book is set in the 1970s. The families in the story become neighbours. I found the characters fascinating; some of them were decidedly eccentric. All the loose ends were tied up in the best possible way. I am unsure whether the number in the title refers to one extended family and another family nearby or two nuclear families from the extended family.

In search of a name: a novel Marjoliju van Heemstra

This book read like real-life. An expectant mother researches her family history to decide whether to honour the promise she had made about naming her son.Book cover There are a lot of medical details about her pregnancy as well as the story of her research. Events following WW2 are remembered in archived documents and by characters in the story. It is a very interesting book set in the Netherlands.

Red Dust Road by Jackie Kay

Jackie Kay’s memoir Red Dust Road has much in common with In search of a name. Jackie was adopted and decided as an adult to find her birth parents. The story is not told in chronological order. It flips from accounts retold by others of events in her childhood to her own accounts of more recent events. This could make it disjointed, but in fact it works very well. There is intercontinental  travel cover


The Art Fiasco: Poppy Denby Investigates by Fiona Veitch Smith

The Art Fiasco is the fifth Poppy Denby book. It is set in the North East of England and includes a historical map of Newcastle-upon-Tyne. There are two mysteries, which Poppy finds herself drawn into while on a visit to relatives. There is also some romantic interest. The status of women in the early 20th century is important in this novel and indeed in all the Poppy Denby series. There is enough background that the books may be read as stand-alone historical novels.Book cover