“The book is written in a gentle way, it completely reflects the behaviours and feelings of the characters. This quiet welsh town where people are very careful of the way they act and speak and emotions and secrets are kept very much to themselves.”
“This book made me laugh and made me sad. I thought the depiction of lifestyle and social thinking of the 1920s was well done. All the characters were well described. There are several beautifully written descriptive passages”
“At first I thought that this a nicely written but slow story. Then I realised this is to balance the second half of the book which moves more quickly – we know the characters well and are emotionally involved with them. Very much a story of its time and setting. The events wouldn’t occur now because society thinks differently. An intense thought provoking tale.”
“My thoughts having read thirty pages were “what a load of nothing, rubbish”. I was so glad that I read on. Within another thirty pages I was won over. The ending was a complete surprise. A lovely read. Let’s have more of this authors work.”
For further details of Wetherby’s and other library readers group, click here. If this has whetted your appetite you can reserve The Thoughts and Happenings of Wilfred Price online and pick it up from your nearest library.
Some of the newspaper comments put me off – I don’t want my heart broken or my gut wrenched. However having got into the book I found it very well written, very clever in giving everything from a child’s view, and absorbing.
There is no cloying sentimentality, and no dwelling on sensational aspects. I admired ‘Ma’ for her dedication in shielding him from the dreadfulness of their situation, she made a positive out of the most awful circumstances.
Whether a ‘real life’ mother could have coped so well – I doubt. Her behaviour after thir release – more erratic, occasionally losing her temper – did show her returning to the world and to ‘normality’. A really good read.
A Halton Library Readers Group Member
You can reserve a copy of Room online and pick up from your nearest library.
It does indeed do so, but in a very small scale and human way. The event in question is the mugging of Charlotte, an elderly ex-teacher. She breaks her hip, and has to move in with her daughter Rose whilst she recovers. This causes Rose to miss a trip to Manchester with her employer Henry , who is accompanied instead by his niece Marion. What happens in Manchester has implications for both Henry and Marion, and for their friends, family and acquaintances.
And so it goes on. Like a pebble dropped into a pond, the ripples reach out, and Charlotte’s mishap affects the lives of a whole circle of people she will never know, in ways that she could not imagine.
It’s not a book that is driven by the plot, although there is quite a lot going on. Its strength is in the closely-observed characterisation, and the seemingly mundane detail of everyday life. The central concept of spiralling consequences underpins the story, but it is never laboured. Altogether a very satisfying read for anyone who is fascinated by the secret everyday lives of other people.
Book Review by a Leeds Library Reader
You can reserve How it all Began online and pick it up at your local library.
A short novel but is one that it is packed and one that is very easy to read. It deals the past and how we can often our memories of events can be affected by the passage of time. Are we remembering events or are we remembering our interpretation of events?
The book is in two parts. The first part deals with the narrator, Tony Webster, his life at school and his friendship with three chums including the very intelligent Adrian Finn. The four friends discover girls, sex and university and swear to stay friends for ever. Tony meets the enigmatic Veronica and spends a really awkward weekend with her family. The relationship fails and Adrian subsequently takes up with Veronica. Letters are exchanged between Adrian and Tony that will haunt Tony later in the book. Adrian’s suicide is a shock to all his friends. Tony drifts away from his school friends and has a fairly dreary and meaningless life. He marries but divorces but is still on good terms with his ex-wife and has a close relationship with his daughter.
The second part of the book begins with Tony receiving a letter out of the blue from solicitors saying that Veronica’s mother has died but has left him a bequest. The bequest leads him into contact with Veronica and her brother once again and an eventual re-examination of the events told in part one of the book.
There is a twist at the end of the book that I did not foresee. Personally I would have preferred more background information about events leading up to the twist. The characters in the book are excellently portrayed. There is humour in the book. I thoroughly enjoyed it and would heartily recommend it.
A Leeds Libraries borrower
Reserve a copy of Sense of an Ending online and pick it up from your nearest library.
I’ve just read and really enjoyed “The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry by Rachel Joyce. Probably not my usual read but it was recommended to me by a friend – it follows Harold as he makes an unexpected journey to see a friend. The journey is the journey of a lifetime and has all sorts of unintended consequences. A gentle but thought provoking read.
The Girl who fell from the Sky by Simon Mawer is a gripping story of the selection and training of an inexperienced 20-year-old English girl – Marian Sutro – who, with a Swiss/French background, is recruited into the Special Operations Executive soon after the start of World War ll. As she learns how to “fall from the sky” and becomes an undercover operative, Mawer really captures the constant fear of being an agent in German occupied France and you really feel the tension of being permanently afraid of discovery. Although there are some uneveness in the plotting and the ending (not wishing to give anything away) this is still an absorbing read that gives a good historical background to the group of women who were trained in this work and who risked their lives.
I have just read French Lessons by Ellen Sussman and really enjoyed it, I picked it up as a maybe when I needed something to read and couldn’t put it down. In some ways it is 3 short stories all set on the same day in Paris. Each of the tutors take their pupil into Paris to learn the language in a practical way by shopping and visiting sights. We learn about the background off the pupils as each story begins and then follow them on their lesson around Paris as relations build with the tutors. The book is well written, erotic in parts and has some lovely illustrations.
Submitted by Ann Day
This was really not my sort of book. I read it because I had seen a good review about another one of Moyes’ books. That being said, it was well written with some nice characterisations. There were many touches of humour, but I failed to be sufficiently moved by the plight of the central character, Will Traynor.
Will is a quadriplegic following an accident. He is understandably angry and bitter at the circumstances in which he finds himself, and hates his total dependency on other people. Lou Clark is employed to be his very unlikely PA. Inevitably a close relationship develops between Lou and Will. I won’t give too much of the plot away, suffice to say that Lou is shocked at the course of action Will has decided upon and tries to change his mind.
I am sure parts of this book would reduce many readers to tears, but perhaps I am made of sterner stuff because it did not have that effect on me.
Reserve a copy of Me Before You online, and collect from your nearest library.
I don’t think I’ve ever read before a book written in this kind of narrative. The wife tells the story to the reader as if you were there with her in the house, which drags you into the story and makes it very easy to read.
The last few chapters are crazy and funny. I’d recommend this book to commuters.
Central Library Readers’ Group member
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