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28 Feb 2009 – The Methodist Book Sale

I bought this mid-1930s volume because of the horse picture on the front! It’s not actually a pony book, although ponies do feature, but a rather moralistic but still fun tale of southerner Gundry, plunged into the wilds of the North Country (the Borders) and the lives of her neighbours, who have a Doom over the family.  A bit of religion mixed in with the doom and teenage self-improvement – very much of its time but readable and with delightful illustrations.

MONICA ALI – Alentejo Blue

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Acquired via BookCrossing 04 Apr 2009 – at the Shrewsbury meetup, although brought along by Ali!

This was a book I’d been flirting with reading for a while, as I loved Brick Lane, but I was never sure about it.  I’m still not, really.  Interlinked short stories set around a Portuguese village, some of the characters were interesting and beautifully drawn, others a little predictable, maybe.  Quite a few icky moments but I was OK with them.  I don’t really think this was up to the standard of Brick Lane, although some of the descriptions and what she notices were very well done.  I think I liked the story of Teresa the best, and wasn’t that interested in the hippy family.  Oh well, I’ve read it now so can stop wondering!


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Acquired via BookCrossing 26 May 2009 – on a Book Spiral

No 2 in the Benni Harper series.

Read on a short trip to Hay-on-Wye.

It’s hard to review these cosy mysteries without giving the plot away, but a nice satisfying read where our feisty cow-owning heroine Benni gets too involved in another crime. This time it’s two older folks in a home, and she has to recocile her involvement with her relationship with Gabe Ortiz, the acting chief of police.  Details of her relationship with Gramna Dove and her best friend, the arts co-op and the research she’s doing into Japanese internments in WWII make this far from one-dimensional, and I’m pleased I’ve got the next one lined up ready to read.

K.M. PEYTON – Greater Gains (May read)

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Borrowed from Jennifer

A historical novel, which didn’t exactly work as we weren’t told what period this was set in – early 19th century apparently.  Second in a set of two, the whole of the first book is retold in the early chapters (and it seems a bit bleak!) We meet Ellen and Clara Fortune; initially Ellen seems the sister who the author is keenest on, but when a prank goes wrong and she injures a local landowner, she is sent away and comes back a different woman.  Meanwhile, Clara has decisions to make and choices between herself and her family, although she always makes sure her horses are central to her life.  A good story with common Peyton themes of the handsome but arrogant lord of the manor, the horsey girl and the miscreant.

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