This is a dense but very readable novel based on the life of Henry VIII’s first queen, Katherine of Aragon, whom he divorced to marry Ann Boleyn and so changed the course of English history. Alison Weir is also a historian, so the novel is full of letters and factual material that bring Katherine and Henry to life with that ring of authority, making it seem as if you’ve read a very enjoyable history book. Her next book, about Ann Boleyn, is out this year.
Victoria by Daisy Goodwin
This is the book that ties in with the recent costume drama that appeared on our tellies. The story follows the early part of Victoria’s reign, her relationship with Lord Melbourne and her agreement to marry Albert and the birth of her first child. Based on Victoria’s own diaries, it also has a wealth of research behind it, with a degree of invention thrown in. A very enjoyable read.
Strange Shores by Arnaldur Indridason
This is the ninth novel by Indridason featuring Inspector Erlendur who specialises in missing persons, a field dear to his heart. This story begins with a woman walking into a frozen fjord, never to be seen again and has connections to the disappearance of Erlendur’s young brother when he was a child. It’s a complete page-turner but turns the story from Erlendur’s usual Reykjavik beat to the wilds of Iceland and focuses more on our main character. Probably best to read some of the earlier Erlendur books first.
A Time to Rejoice by Anna Jacobs
Set in post-war England this is the third book in the Rivenshaw series. It follows four friends who have recently been demobbed and their hopes to start a building firm in Lancashire. There are ups and downs along the way, marriage problems and an unexpected discovery that threatens to derail their plans. In the background are the privations of rationing and the ongoing effects of the war.
Dog Medicine by Julie Barton
This is one of those lovely memoirs where the writer’s life is rescued by the arrival of a pet, in this case a golden retriever named Bunker. Julie has been suffering from severe depression and at only 22 has her mother and doctors very concerned. Dog Medicine captures in beautiful, elegiac language the anguish of depression, the slow path to recovery, and the astonishing way animals can heal even the most broken hearts and minds.
Posted by Flaxmere Library Book Chat