Book Review: Small Island by Andrea Levy

Small IslandSmall Island by Andrea Levy

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Set in 1948, both Hortense and Gilbert’s desire for living the dream in the ‘mother Country’ land them together in their struggle to make their way in a new World. This World is not the one they thought it was and it takes time to make sense of it all. Their lives intertwine with an English couple who are also stumbling blindly through the war and the aftermath, reassessing their own moral compasses
This is, quite frankly, the best novel I’ve read in some time. Insightful and full of revelations, Levy teaches us a lessons in misconceptions of identity. Along with learning some valuable British and Jamaican history, I rejoiced in such well written characters and was immersed in the evoking plot from start to finish.
Structurally, the novel was not ordered in a traditional way. Each chapter represented the perspective of one character. They were not divided equally nor in chronological order. No, they were strategically ordered in a way to reveal each characters past and how it effected their present circumstances.
I miss this book and would love to read about these characters further on in their lives.

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Book Review: The Crooked House by Christobel Kent

The Crooked HouseThe Crooked House by Christobel Kent
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

An old murder case is dug up despite nobody wanting to relive it. Alison goes back to her old hometown with a longing for the truth. A guilt ridden detective, and old friend with secrets and lots of locals intertwined in this mysterious past. Thirteen years previously, Esme’s family was gruesomely murdered while she hid in her attic room in the crooked house. The story dealt with her memories and the piecing together of what really happened.
It was haunting, tense and atmospheric from the start. Suspense hung at every corner, and the reader was left hanging throughout with new potential suspects.
From page 210 I began to get frustrated with the number of characters still involved in the main plot. The three brothers, old friends, the locals from the pub, friends back in London, and that didn’t even include her boyfriend Paul or the family of the wedding Alison was attending. I think the plot should have been narrower at this stage.
While Paul was involved in dark and suspect scenes and dialogue, my favourite character was Morgan. Despite being in the background she played a huge role in the story. There was always a desire to know more about her. The main characters were all believable and highly visual.
The flashbacks and dreams were written well. The reader was brought back in time and forward with ease and the story emerged in this fractured style of writing.
I would recommend this book to those who like to read crime and mystery. There are lots of hooks and intertwining subplots to keep the readers interest. I found the first half much more gripping. However, for me, over halfway through the book I found myself rushing through to get to the finish. I needed more suspense and less characters involved at that stage.

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The Gap by Ira Glass: some wise and inspiring words


<p><a href=”https://vimeo.com/85040589″>THE GAP by Ira Glass</a> from <a href=”https://vimeo.com/frohlocke”>Daniel Sax</a> on <a href=”https://vimeo.com”>Vimeo</a&gt;.</p>

Today is International Women’s Day. The Women of Ireland are taking to the streets.

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And what a perfect day for Ireland’s Repeal the 8th campaign to take to the streets wearing black  in protest of how Irish women are treated in their own Country. This is a simple overview of what’s going on and why.

The Irish Women’s Council among others are wearing black today and marching on the streets of Dublin in protest.

http://www.repealeight.ie/event/march4repeal-international-womens-day-2017/

‘The Coalition to Repeal the Eighth Amendment is a growing alliance of over 80 organisations including human rights, feminist and pro-choice organisations, trade unions, health organizations, NGOs, community organisations and many others.’

So what is the problem here? What’s all the fuss and what do these people want?

All abortion is banned in Ireland unless a doctor deems the woman’s life is at risk. Apart from the obvious choice, control, dis-empowering, disabling  issues here, with not allowing women to make their own choices regarding their own bodies,  women die at the hands of doctors who are biased or are simply against abortion.

Remember ‘you’re in Catholic Ireland now’?

Despite promises of a referendum nothing has happened. The Eighth Amendment is an archaic display of matriarchy and church rule. It is no more than deeply discriminatory and a ‘national shame for Ireland’

‘The presence of the Eighth Amendment in the Irish Constitution is a source of discrimination against all women living in Ireland. It creates a discriminatory health system where a pregnant woman only has a qualified right to health care. International human rights organisations have repeatedly taken the state to task for its draconian abortion regime, observing that it violates women’s right to bodily integrity and self-determination’

It violates International Human Rights

and Women’s Right standards.

  • Every day TEN Irish females leave their Country to have a termination. That’s THREE THOUSAND & SIX HUNDRED women, in a population of 4.5 million who travel abroad (mostly to the UK) to have terminations.
  • Women and girls who cannot travel, cannot have a termination and are therefore discriminated against.
  • It does not reflect the opinion of the Irish public.

All data taken from http://www.repealeight.ie/event/march4repeal-international-womens-day-2017/

Book Review:The Watchmaker of Filigree Street

The Watchmaker of Filigree StreetThe Watchmaker of Filigree Street by Natasha Pulley

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

It was a charming period tale with engaging characters. I mostly enjoyed the read but felt myself rushing through some chapters to get back to the main character’s story. Overall, the plot didn’t conclude well for me and I found movement between scenes and chapters a bit ‘clunky’.

I read in another review that it needed more editing and I tend to agree. This novel had huge potential but needed some polishing to grip the reader more.

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Book Review: Apple Tree Yard by Louise Doughty

Apple Tree YardApple Tree Yard by Louise Doughty

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I didn’t finish this book as I found the narrator’s voice dull and slow moving. However I did like the plot and may get back to it just to find out what happens.

While some of the imagery was good I didn’t find her voice believable and therefore the sex scenes were far from provocative or erotic for me, or for the narrator according to her tone. But she went back for more and got stung.

Coming soon to BBC as a TV series, I expect it will be a little easier to swallow visually.

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