Book Review – Mark of the Loon by Molly Greene

August 8, 2017

I loved the banter between the lady protagonists who were wonderful characters.  The male characters were not drawn quite as well.  The plot was a little convoluted particularly towards the end and I had difficulty following.  However, I liked the house with its secret passages, locked doors and hidden keys.  The search to uncover the truth behind these was fascinating and kept me reading to the end.  The book seems to be the first in the series featuring one of the central female characters as a private detective.  I hope the series pans out well as the author has a fine aptitude for mystery and dialogue.

Mark of the Loon is available as a
free ebook on the Amazon Kindle Store

 

Keith Jahans

 

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Book Review – Never Run Away by Julie C Round

April 23, 2015

I must confess that I have become a big fan of Julie Round’s writing and have reviewed her excellent Lane trilogy (Lane’s End, Un-stable Lane & The Third Lane) elsewhere in this blog. She is expert at describing the strains and stresses of married life. This is evident in the Lane series and is very evident when explored here. She gets to the heart of the flaws and the strengths of her characters that are all too apparent in the human condition.

The novel tells of how fifty year old Barbara leaves her husband after years of putting up with his bitterness and neglect for her feelings, and his attempts to find her and win her back. The inclusion of the “Lady Havisham” character, Ellen, in the story is a nice touch and acts as a great counterpoint to the other characters. It is a touching account of modern times and a good read. I highly recommend it.

Keith Jahans
Editor, Peatmore Press.

NRAwaycover

Never Run Away by Julie C Round
is published in paperback by Old Stick Books
and is also available from Amazon in Kindle Format


Book Review – Orange Juice and Cod Liver Oil by Peter Morley

November 7, 2014

This is an honest account of a chemical engineer from his childhood to his retirement. As a “Baby Boomer” myself, this is a narrative I can relate to, particularly his childhood in the post World War II period of depression.

I found his family history with his rise from poverty in rural southern England fascinating. I was also intrigued by his account of his development as an extremely proficient engineer despite not being able to grasp the technicalities of some of the details he describes. His political and religious views on the times he has lived through are understandable given his humble upbringing but will not be shared by everyone. However, I agree with him that we were indeed a lucky generation owing a lot to those who went through the war years immediately before us.

This is a well crafted book by an excellent storyteller which has been written with great charm and humour and should provide a valuable insight to anyone interested in the contemporary history of our generation.

Keith Jahans
Editor, Peatmore Press

Orange Juice & Cod Liver Oil

Orange Juice & Cod Liver Oil by Peter Morley is published by Perfect Publishers Ltd and is available in paperback at £8.99


Book Review – ALEX y ROBERT by Wena Poon

November 27, 2013

Bullfighting is a practice (I hesitate to call it a sport) which a great many people find distasteful and is often condemned.  I was taken as a teenager by my father along with my brother to bullfights in Barcelona and Terragona in the 1960s and found the process of killing six animals one after the other repetitive, boring and thought it an unnecessary way of dispatching animals.  I certainly did not think of it as sport or indeed art but perhaps this was because I was not brought up in that culture.  The most famous writings on the subject are those of Ernest Hemingway but I am not sure reading those works will provide much enlightenment.

Many domestic animals would not exist if we did not keep them to kill and eat.  Even if a person is a meat eater or a vegetarian, they perhaps at some stage in their lives should witness an animal being killed so they can appreciate the spirituality of the event.  When I witnessed bullfighting I confess that I could not tell if the bull was suffering.  It was apparent that it felt pain and there was blood.  But is the infliction of pain always wrong and the animal experiencing that pain suffering torture?  I must admit to wanting to strike a doctor who jabbed my newborn daughter in the foot with a needle to deliberately draw blood for a biomedical test.  She certainly felt pain, did not understand why it happened and cried.

ALEX y ROBERT does not go into any great detail about bullfights and is more about culture and tradition, its relevance to modern times and the role of men and women in that culture.  The characters are beautifully drawn.  Alex is a feisty young woman of Spanish origin brought up in the USA and determined to break into a male dominated world because the life of the matador is an integral part of her family’s past.  She is managed by Roberto, a retired matador of her own age, because their childhood experiences are intertwined.  It is an extremely good read and I am not surprised that it was chosen as a BBC Radio 4 Book At Bedtime.

Alex y Robert Cover

Alex y Robert by Wena Poon is available in Paperback and for Kindle from Salt Publishing

 Keith Jahans
Editor, Peatmore Press.


Book Review – The Third Lane by Julie C Round

July 3, 2013

This is the third novel in Julie Round’s “Lane Trilogy”.  Once again it follows the life of the Longman family and describes how they cope with the strains and stresses of everyday living.  The author sympathetically describes how people may not be able to follow their dreams through circumstances beyond their control.  However, she tells how by adapting to these changes they can still lead happy and fulfilling lives.  Mother Katie’s dreams of romance, Father Bernard’s struggle with literacy, Son Robbie’s desire to care for animals and Daughter Heather’s ambition to become a champion athlete, convey this central theme.  All the books in this trilogy can be read in any order and are a delight to read.

Third Lane Cover

The Third Lane by Julie C Round is Published by Old Stick Books

Keith Jahans
Editor, Peatmore Press.


Book Review – The Confessions of Becky Sharp by David James

April 25, 2013

Becky Sharp is possibly the first most rounded woman character in literary fiction. Originally created by William Makepeace Thackeray in Vanity Fair she is a woman of low station forced to survive in a world of status and snobbery dominated by the whims of wealthy men. Thackeray describes her warts and all with a tinge of sympathy but she is one of several such characters paraded in his famous novel. David James takes her character a stage further as he explores how she became the woman she is.

When the book opens she is old and reflecting on her life as she writes her memoirs and counts herself among the literary contemporaries of her time, Charles Dickens and Elizabeth Gaskell. She is motivated more by money than by any ambition to be a great novelist as she hints that for the right financial rewards she can leave out some of the more scandalous exploits of her much richer acquaintances and endeavours to put right the injustices done to her by Thackeray in his novel. It is a fascinating device used by a skilful storyteller and the book is well worth the read.

Becky Sharp Cover

The Confessions of Becky Sharp by David James is published by Vanguard Press.

Keith Jahans,
Editor, Peatmore Press


Book Review – The Invisible Man by H. G. Wells

January 21, 2013

A classic tale of what can happen when a scientific experiment produces an irreversible result.  Wells was a Master of Science Fiction.  He describes the science of visibility in great detail so that his protagonist’s experiment becomes believable.  The attempts of the protagonist to regain normality are cautionary and shocking.  This is a tale that has been imitated many times on film and TV but the original outshines all these and remains well worth reading.

ivman coverpic

The Invisible Man by H. G. Well is out of copyright and can be downloaded free of charge in a variety of ebook formats from Project Gutenberg or as a pdf from http://peatmore.com/library.htm.