‘The best moments in reading are when you come across something - a thought, a feeling, a way of looking at things - which you had thought special and particular to you. And now, here it is, set down by someone else, a person you have never met, someone even who is long dead. And it is as if a hand has come out, and taken yours.’ Alan Bennett
“Many a book is like a key to unknown chambers within the castle of one’s own self.” ― Franz Kafka
Thursday, 18 December 2014
Monday, 17 November 2014
'She felt herself slipping far away beneath the surface of life, where nothing could reach her, where there was no love, no pain, and there was no point in hoping.'
'Sometimes I felt the world was too unfair, so when things got really bad I wrote stories. I loved the way you could make up anything you wanted.'
It was powerful stuff for me as a reader, to know what each of them was going through, and I was desperately willing things to come right, for the truth to be revealed. The structure was one I liked; chapters with Emma narrating in the first person, and then Lydia's experiences told of in the third person, and both voices held my attention, though I admit to warming most of all to Emma. My favourite passage from the book is one of Emma's thoughts;
'...I imagined a fine line that wound halfway round the world. It was the invisible thread that stretched from west to east and back again; one end was attached to my mother's heart and the other to mine. And, I knew, whatever might happen, that thread would never be broken.'
Those words really struck me and felt so heartfelt and moving, they conveyed to me how strong the emotional attachment was between Lydia and Emma, that it could not and would not be broken despite them not being together physically.
I don't want to slip into giving any spoilers as to how the tale unfolds; I would say that I liked in particular the characters Emma and Lydia and the very strong bond between them, and I admired Veronica on how she conducted herself. Lydia showed courage and kindness in caring for the young child Maz whose mother has abandoned him we are told. One character's deceitful behaviour was to me unbearably, terribly cruel and I could not wait for the moment when this might finally be exposed. There are various intriguing strands to the story, beginning right at the prologue, which made me wonder and which are brought together and resolved by the end of the novel in a successful way.
I found this an absorbing story that took me to a destination unfamiliar to me, opened my eyes to another place and time in our history, and it is a beautifully written story with plenty of tension and depth. A very good read throughout with a heart wrenching last hundred pages or so; I felt emotional towards the end as the last few stages of the story were played out. I had been deeply drawn into Emma's and Lydia's worlds and still think about them after closing the book. A gorgeous book cover too. Many thanks to the author for kindly sending me a copy of her novel to read and give an honest review
Thursday, 13 November 2014
Monday, 29 September 2014
Firstly, thanks again to all the lovely folk who have kindly read review books and written guest reviews of them for the blog, which it's been great to share over the last few weeks or so, and thank you to the authors who've shared guest posts and taken part in interviews.
Thank you too to Jane at Booketta's Book Blog for the One Lovely Blog Award nomination and Jacqui at Jacqui Wine's Journal for the Very Inspiring Blogger Award nomination, both very gratefully and happily received. I will try and pass them on soon.
I've not updated the blog much lately with what I've been reading myself, or with book reviews of my own; I've found I haven't been able to write much of one for a while, for various reasons. I've been trying to write a post about why for a while now, and I keep starting it, changing it, starting again, and then getting frustrated and leaving it, then coming back. In the end I just wanted to post something, so even if this doesn't go into too much detail, it will at least be a little bit of an update.
Basically, I've ended up cutting back on blogging time recently. I got to a stage where I was finding the amount of reading and posting, that I felt had become a bit of a requirement, was becoming excessive, and when you're at the point of lying awake worrying about your book blog and the piles of books that are all demanding to be read and reviewed and end up in tears, something's not right is it? It was affecting my health negatively; such a shame as blogging had started for me as a happy hobby and something to help me with my low mood and self-esteem. But I was putting so many other people and other things above my own wellbeing. Also worrying me was the thought of all the lovely books I've bought over recent years, that I had really wanted to read, that are still sitting on my bookshelves unread.
Apologies to anyone I have let down by not reviewing your book. And I am incredibly grateful for the books that I have had the opportunity to read which I might not have otherwise discovered. I was very keen when I started blogging and never realised how overwhelming it could become if I didn't keep on top of it. I wanted to help and support authors and I thought I could please all of the people all of the time but I wasn't looking after myself.
So many people have said to me that reading ought to be for pleasure and not be a chore or a pressure. If this means that I can't read every new book going right now and I can't manage to review stacks of new books and try to please all of the people all of the time etc then that might have to be how it is, because it's darn hard trying to do that, and then it's not always met with thanks, which can be dispiriting.
I had the aim of writing honest, intelligent reviews of books I wanted to read, and I hope I did manage that, at least sometimes. I still hope to post on the blog when I can, but I'm not sure how frequent this will be or how in depth the posts might be when they do appear. I hope some folk will stick with me and pop back now and then to see if I am still here :) In the meantime I'll keep reading the blogs I enjoy, there are some wonderful book blogs and book tubers and a great community out there, and I'll keep following and commenting as much as I can.
So basically I am trying to rediscover my love of reading, for pleasure, relaxation, enjoyment and discovery, and I am trying to look after myself better and improve my health. And so far, so good.
Thursday, 18 September 2014
Author Links ~ find David on twitter @EbsworthDavid
About the novel ~
Wednesday, 17 September 2014
3. embrasure (noun)