Two books I read in January 2021

Both the books I am reviewing here are described as Young Adult having teenage girls as the main protagonists. They both have historic events from World War 2 as a background. The holocaust was important for the plots of both these books. I hadn’t realised reading them, or indeed when I began to review them, that Holocaust Memorial Day in the UK is on 27 January, six days after this post is published.

Cover of Being Lena LeviBeing Lena Levi by Bobbie Ann Cole

In 1950 Marlene Roberts finds out her true identity and has to make a decision. The settings of post-war Canterbury, Germany before WW2 and overseas travel to Israel are described vividly. I was drawn into Lena’s dilemma and found that the book was a page-turner. The characters are credible and the events could not be predicted. It is a very informative, emotional read.

Being Lena Levi is a recent publication from Instant Apostle, which I received as a Christmas present. My review of one of Bobbie Ann Cole’s earlier books, Love Triangles, is here.

Cover of The Red RibbonThe Red Ribbon by Lucy Adlington

The Red Ribbon: Every dress she makes could mean the difference between life and death is the January book club book from Cumbria Libraries (and other UK public libraries). I read it as an e-book on BorrowBox. It is set during 1944-5 against the backdrop of the holocaust. It is a story of friendship and creativity inside a notorious concentration camp. The details about dress-making are accurate – the author has an interest in costume, also writing nonfiction books. There are complex characters and twists and turns in the plot. Each chapter has the name of a colour. Again there is excitement and the reader is drawn into the story emotionally.



What I read in 2015

In 2015 I read at least 22 books.  (These are the ones I read from beginning to end.)  I have been reading others, but have not yet reached the end.  There are some I don’t count.  For example I use some Bible reading notes, New Daylight from BRF and I study the Bible privately and with others.  Last year the ladies’ Bible study group used Be that girl by Charlotte Gambill.  It is a book I recommend.  The Bible passages are mostly not well known and the videos reflections are inspiring.  I took away from the course at least one idea or resolution.  “Own your zone!”  (Take responsibility for your immediate surroundings.)  There are also cake recipes, although some of these caused practical problems for those members, who baked.

I finished reading another book after Christmas.  The author’s writing was familiar to me from her contributions over the years to New DaylightFinding Myself in Britain by Amy Boucher Pye is a delightful book.  It is entertaining and revealing.  Readers on both sides of the Atlantic Ocean may understand each other better by reading this book about living in England.  There are also recipes handed down in the author’s family.  I do not usually try out new recipes, so I cannot say whether they work or not!  Judging by the way the book has been edited and produced, I expect they have been tried and tested before publication.

Although I used to read crime fiction years ago, I have not enjoyed this genre recently.  (In the past I read many of Agatha Christie’s books.  Other authors I read and enjoyed include Patricia Highsmith, GK Chesterton (Father Brown), Ruth Rendell, PD James, Ellis Peters and Dorothy L Sayers.)  I read one book in this genre during the year, which I found disappointing.

I have already written about some of the books I read last year:-

Also in December I read another book by Alexander McCall Smith, The Saturday Big Tent Wedding Party.  Although it involves detective work, being in The No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency series, there are no dead bodies.

I have already linked with emily p. freeman for a What I learned in 2015 post, but I am also linking this post.