I found these two books on Borrowbox. They are both fiction intended to be read by adults.
The Weaver’s Daughter by Sarah E. Ladd is a historical novel. It is described as a Regency romance novel. The genres it falls into include Christian Fiction although the Christian element is only shown in a few church services and the character of the eponymous heroine. During the industrial revolution people employed in cottage industries connected to the textile trade were likely to be put out of work by increasing mechanisation in the large textile mills. This novel is set in a precise historical time with soldiers returning from the war in Spain. It is a good story with lots of excitement and a theme of reconciliation. It left me wanting to learn more about the Luddites and the history of Yorkshire.
The Last Family in England by Matt Haig is described as comedy. To me it was more like tragedy or irony. I enjoyed it less than other books I have read by Matt Haig. The pet Labrador narrates the story of the family he is pledged to protect at all costs. He learns the truth about all the events, which occur – some of them surprising. His interventions do some good, but at what personal (or rather doggy) cost? Humour is not universal. What makes one person laugh does not necessarily amuse another. It was an interesting, haunting story.
The Young Adult books I am reviewing here are both from BorrowBox. On Midnight Beach will also appeal to older readers.
The Bookweaver’s Daughter by Malavika Kannan is a very exciting book. It has many elements expected of the genre – conflict between groups of people, adventure, fighting with weapons and with magic while a main protagonist discovers her identity. Additionally it is set in ancient Indian Kingdom of Kasmiri. Perhaps it was the result of magic that some of the scenes seemed to begin in new places with no explanation of how the people had arrived there. I enjoyed the book and was surprised to learn how young Malavika Kannan was when she wrote it. A friendship and the opening location in this book reminded me of The Red Ribbon.
On Midnight Beach by Marie-Louise Fitzpatrick
On Midnight Beach is set in Ireland in the hot summer of 1976. There is a sense of impending disaster from the very beginning. This is reinforced by the mention of The Lord of the Flies, a book I had to read at school and disliked intensely. However I found this story fascinating, if haunting. It is about teenagers rather than younger children. Relationships between teenagers and within their families are explored. The culture of the time is reflected in the well-crafted story, which ends with (at least to my mind) a ray of hope.
I have not been visiting the library as I have lots of reading matter to choose from. The two books reviewed here are one from BorrowBox and a paperback which came into my possession recently. (Regular readers may be amused to learn that I have now discovered how to navigate around a book on BorrowBox. Until October I could only turn the pages one at a time. Now I can find chapters, maps, and anything else which makes up the book! I still find it a little frustrating that it can take much longer to open an electronic book than a printed one, but there are some advantages to reading on a phone.)
The Phone Box at the Edge of the World by Laura Imai Messina
This book was available on BorrowBox. It has the tagline: we all have something left tell those we have lost. It is set in Japan in the aftermath of the tsunami of 2011. This novel is written very simply, but is very powerful evoking empathy for the emotions of the characters. It is a story of hope. The book has been translated from Italian as the author is Italian, but living in Japan. The phone box on the edge of the world is real. It is not a tourist attraction, but people still visit it to voice the thoughts they wish to share with their departed loved ones. In the story it has great therapeutic value (although it is not something I’d advocate as a Christian).
My not so Perfect Life by Sophie Kinsella
This contemporary novel is set in London and Somerset. There are huge contrasts in the protagonist’s life in the two places. She is hardly the same person. Coming to terms with her true identity has some remarkable consequences not only for her. The twists in the plot make it a page-turner. There is humour as well as characters with interesting back-stories. If you enjoyed It started with a Tweet by Anna Bell, you’d probably enjoy My not so Perfect Life.