Books Read In January & February 2020.

Books, Books, Books, I have been on quite a roll ( for me) with my reading these past couple of months.

The Secret Life Of Evie Hamilton ~ Catherine Alliot ( 2009). Evie seems to have the perfect life. Happily married with a beautiful daughter and gorgeous home , she has no need to work. Her existence compared to most other characters in the book seems way too charmed. That is until she discovers her husband has another daughter from a fling he had before they were married. This bolt from the blue forces Evie to re-evaluate her life decisions. Chick lit with humour and dollops of emotion. ⭐⭐⭐

Foraging With kids ~ Adele Nozedar ( 2019). Thanks to a lovely friend who bought me this wonderful book for my birthday back in November. Ok so I’m not a child or a parent to one, but I think this handy foraging guide is a useful addition to any nature lovers bookshelf. It is surprising just how many wild plants can be made into delicious dishes. Dandelion, Onion and Red Pepper Frittata, Fraughan Pie, Tagliatelle with Jack-by-the-hedge sauce, anyone? Plenty of recipes & hints and tips of where to find and how to recognise edible plants. It’s just a shame that the lovely illustrations are in black & white. ⭐⭐⭐⭐

Home Fire ~ Kamila Shamise (2017). A troubling fictional ( but I suspect ever so relevent for many) account of family life torn apart by jihadism and western attitudes towards loved ones left behind. Slow at first but by the end I was gripped. A powerful read. ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Psycho ~ Robert Bloch (1959 ). I’ve never actually seen the famous Hitchcock movie , but I can understand how this story attracted the director, it’s short and not exactly sweet, perfect fodder for a horror film. I enjoyed the suspense and the clever way Norman’s relationship with his mother is played out . A shocker. ⭐⭐⭐⭐

The Secret Life Of Bees ~ Sue Monk Kidd ( 2001 ). Another book that has been made into a film, I would love to see it. Set in South Carolina in the sixties , this is the tale of Lily ,a young white girl who lives with her abusive father on a peach farm. Her only friend in the world seems to be their black housekeeper Rosaleen. On her way to vote one day Rosaleen is attacked by three racists and daring to fight back, is thrown into jail. Lily somehow manages to spring Rosaleen out and after fleeing they are taken in by three eccentric bee keeping siblings. Sounds a bit far fetched , but the novel is beautifully written and well worth a read. ⭐⭐⭐⭐

A Place To Lie ~ Rebecca Griffith’s (2018). When Joanna’s estranged sister Caroline dies in violent circumstances, Joanna finds herself revisiting their childhood summer at Witchwood, a seemingly idyllic place until their stay was cut short after a young girl is murdered. Caroline’s troubled life had been shaped by the sinister events that happened back then, and Joanna needs to make sense of the past to gain closure following her sisters death. The best parts of this eerie thriller are those set in Witchwood itself, where every character appears to have something to hide. ⭐⭐⭐⭐

The Bird In The Tree ( The Elliot Chronicles) ~ Elizabeth Goudge ( 1940). I’m not sure how I found this book ( now downloaded onto my kindle) but the writing is such that I have fallen in love with Damerosehay, the beloved house at the centre of the story. The storyline itself follows Grandmother Lucilla Elliots mission to keep Damerosehay as a sanctuary for her family. Problems arise when her heir embarks on a romance that could destroy Damerosehays future. I enjoyed Goudge’s vivid descriptions of nature, the sea, the children and the families pets. There’s whimsy, nostalgia and a touch of the supernatural. I am sure I will be revisiting the chronicles soon. ⭐⭐⭐⭐

Read any good books lately?

Photo An Hour ~ February 2020.

Hello, I haven’t done much blogging recently due to the weather and a persistent cold ( now happily on the way out) , so I thought I would join in with Janey and Louisa’s #photoanhour challenge on Instagram. Here is a photo taken every hour on a rainy Saturday in February.

8am ~ A bed full of pets. Hugo snuck up to wake us up this morning. Slinky sleeps upstairs anyway.

9am ~ After trying to sleep in we are up and Wil oven baked the Tesco frozen almond croissants from the freezer. A yummy breakfast.

10am ~ Out and about with Hugo in blustery wet conditions.

11am ~ That was a battle of a walk! Discovered my waterproof pants have given up and I’m sodden. We are back home and these are the snowdrops in the back yard.

Noon ~ Changed the bedding and no sooner had I done it……..

1pm ~ Tomato and 3 bean soup for lunch.

2pm ~ A few errands in town.

3pm ~ Half hearted attempt to tidy some drawers.

4pm ~ Just a chillin type of day really. Closed the curtains and shut the world out.

5pm ~ Hugo is also chilling.

6pm ~ Made Tuna pasta bake for tea.

7pm ~ Watching the film Dunkirk for the first time. Enjoyed it. My favourite characters must have been the father and son team who went out in their little boat to rescue allied troops, and of course Tom Hardy’s brave pilot.

8.15pm ~ But watching Dunkirk made me completely forget about my Saturday Night Guilty Pleasure! At least I caught the last 15 minutes of ‘The Masked Singer Final’ and saw Hedgehog & Queen Bee revealed…..

9pm ~ Bought this lovely candle earlier in town. Watched a bit more telly before bed.

Hope you are keeping safe in the stormy weather.

❤️