Wednesday 28 June 2023

What I’ve been reading in June

As I was confined to home for the first few weeks of the month I had a lot of time to read so there are four books to share this month.

 I heard this book being discussed on a podcast, I think it may have been Jenny Eclair on the Older and Wider podcast.  {If you are looking for a fun podcast to listen to, give it a try!} It sparked my interest so I downloaded it to my kindle.  Sun Damage by Sabine Durrant.

Sean and Ali work as a team.  They are 'con artists' operating all over the world, preying on people with money then moving onto the next scam.  Sean is obviously the driving force in the partnership, Ali has a troubled past and it seems that she is intimidated by Sean and when a con goes disastrously wrong, Ali feels she has no option but to make her escape, even though she knows that Sean will try to hunt her down.

She finds herself working as a cook for a group of friends who have rented a villa in the South of France for a holiday.  As the week unfolds Ali discovers that she is not the only one at the villa hiding a secret.

I really enjoyed this book, I guess it comes under the genre of 'psychological thriller' and I thought the author portrayed all the characters very well. There are a few twists and turns along the way and it was definitely a 'just one chapter more' kind of book!

Something very different next!  The Maid by Nita Prose.

Oh I did enjoy this book!  I loved the main character Molly and my heart went out to her as people took advantage of her innocence and good nature.

No one notices housekeeping staff in a hotel, and Molly is more than happy to quietly go about her business doing a perfect job.  Until the day that Molly discovers one of the guests dead in his bed.  Events take a dreadful turn when evidence seems to suggest that Molly had murdered him.  

Oh how I became angry when I learnt how people were implicating Molly and you could see how she had unwittingly been drawn into a dreadful scenario.  

I heartily recommend you read this!

Next I thought I would try something that didn't involve a crime!  Coming Home by Fern Britton.  

I know that she uses the area near where she lives for inspiration of the locations in her books and as the story unfolded I was taken back to family holidays in Cornwall when I was a child.  Her lovely descriptions meant that I could vividly imagine the little streets and pathways down to the sea. 

Many years ago Sennen left the small Cornish village where she had grown up seeking the man who has unknowingly fathered her two young children.  The children are brought up by their grandparents who are devastated by her disappearance and cannot understand where their mother has gone.  

Following the death of their grandmother, they return to the family home to find out the contents of her will.  Also returning to Cornwall is Sennen, who is hoping to be able to beg them for forgiveness and to try and explain how circumstances meant that she cold not return to care for them.  

It was a little predictable in places but if you want a nice warm, easy read, set by the beautiful English seaside, I think you would enjoy it.

Next up was The People on Platform 5 by Clare Pooley

If you've ever commuted on a train into London, you will visualise this situation very easily.  The same people in the same carriage every day, no one talking to anyone else, imagining the lives that their fellow commuters may lead.  

So we meet a random group of strangers who, as the chapters unfold, get to know each other and build friendships, all thanks to the central character Iona.  I think we could all do with an Iona in our lives - someone to nudge us in the right direction and speak up for us when needed.

This reminded me of the Chinese proverb which says that the beating of the wings of a butterfly can be felt on the other side of the world.  One small action can cause larger ones far away.  So when the passenger sitting opposite Iona starts to choke on a grape one day, it starts a chain reaction which links all the characters in that part of the carriage.

Again, this was easy to read, had a nice feel-good feeling and it was interesting to see how the author managed to intertwine so many different storylines.

It was a good month for sitting in the shade in the garden reading!  Four very different books and I can recommend them all.


Patio Postcards said...

Thanks for the book recommendations. I've read The People on Platform 5 & I really enjoyed it. I am a great believer that we are all connected. I've requested The Maid from the library & I am #3 on the waiting list.

Barbara Eads said...

I loved The Maid, but that's the only one on your list that I've read. I'll be adding a couple of the others. said...

I remember you mentioning The Maid in another post. It is at the top of my list. Trying to finish this month's book club read, which I have enjoyed. And also listening to The Perfect Marriage, which some of the gals highly recommended but it has me blushing at times. The Platform 5 book sounds very intriguing. Like a story that will stay with you. Pinning it on Pinterest.