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Saturday, March 23, 2019

The Mistress of Novels about Broken Relationships. The Best of Friends by Joanna Trollope

Joanna Trollope proves that she is the mistress of novels about broken relationships in this moving account of how the selfishness of adults affects their teenage children. She has sympathy for all of her characters, but her true heroes are the teenagers who are forced to reinvent their lives when one breakup causes chaos. Sophie is especially realistic and memorable.

A quiet, lonely girl, Sophie, an only child, seeks refuge with her friend Gus and his two brothers and happily married parents at their hotel, The Bee Hive. Her mother and Gus's father, Laurence have been best friends for years and have a strange relationship, although Hilary is also friendly with Gina. When Sophie's father Fergus leaves, he starts a trail of misery which Sophie finds difficult to cope with as she gradually finds that she can hardly depend on anyone and her illusions are being shattered, one by one.

I have read most of Joanna Trollope's novels, and this is the best one I have read. I found it difficult to put down. Although it was a quiet domestic story, it was extremely dramatic, and certainly kept me wondering what would happen next!

This is highly recommended.

Friday, March 15, 2019

Living Dangerously by Katie Fforde

This fairy-tale like romance by Katie Ffordewas great holiday reading, although it was wordier than most of her novels. The likeable hero and heroine, attractive settings and involved story made it enjoyable reading. It was a bit silly, but I was sorry to finish it.

Polly, the heroine, is a thirty-five year old struggling potter who works as a waitress in her Cotswold village to support her tiny business. She has had trouble with boyfriends and is much more passionate about trying to save some historic shops from demolition. However, she decides that she is in a rut after a lecture by her colleagues and wants to 'live dangerously'. An affair with a toy boy might be the answer, but is smooth-talking journalist Tristan what she needs? Why does she feel attracted by the stiff-upper-lipped and older David Locking-Hill?

SPOILER

 When Polly gets the morning-after pill from the doctor, I was a bit upset, so I was extremely pleased when she threw it down the toilet!

Katie Fforde's novels are mostly fairly light and frothy, but well-written. I have almost read them all, and they are definitely my preferred reading.


Saturday, March 02, 2019

Becoming Mrs. Lewis The Improbable Love Story of Joy Davidman and C.S. Lewis By Patti Callahan

One reviewer called this novel the 'book that Patti Callahan was born to write'. Indeed, it is. She makes the moving love story of Joy Davidman and C.S. Lewis come alive in this luminously written book with its evocative descriptions of New York and England and excellent characterization. The great couple almost leap from the page!

This is mainly Joy's story, though. Joy had a tough time - she felt rejected by her parents and ultimately by her husband because she could never be the perfect daughter or the perfect wife. She was searching for most of her life, experiencing 'sexual exploration and teenage narcissism' in her youth and attempting to find happiness with her husband and sons. But destiny had other plans for Joy. When she read an article by C.S. Lewis, she became fascinated with his story and soon she read everything that he had written. She started to turn toward Christianity and began writing to C.S. Lewis. Soon, the letters were flying back and forth, and Joy's life began to change irrevocably. As C.S. Lewis told her in the novel:  'God is the Storyteller and Providence is his own storyline'.

When she visits C.S. Lewis and his brother Warnie, she begins to fall in love with C.S. without realising it.  She also falls in love with London and England and the quiet peaceful life in the brother's sprawling house near Oxford, but she is unsure what the much older Lewis's feelings are. Will she have the courage to leave a disastrous marriage and take her sons with her to England, taking a chance on a bright future with the man she loves?

This is a wonderful tribute to this brilliant couple.

I received this book free from the publisher through the BookLook Bloggers Booklook Bloggers' Review Program . I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”