‘In the Prince of Wales Hotel and the terraces and tearooms of Westbourne, retired lives run their course…’ Bygone Englishness personified and brilliantly portrayed in the shabby seaside town. The characters were insufferable- there wasn’t one likeable person, apart, maybe, from Mrs Carpenter, but you still wanted to shake her for putting up with her thoroughly objectionable husband. Deidre Fount seems to invoke sympathy, until you realise she is developing into her thoroughly entitled and possessive mother as the narrative progresses. The plot slowly, but surely unfolds to both a satisfactory, but unsatisfactory, conclusion – Susan Hill is an with absolute master of her craft.
I absolutely love a travelogue in any shape or form.
A series of postcards are sent to Ellie’s flat destined, presumably, for the previous tenant, from a former suitor, apparently now in Greece. After a few months the postcards stop coming, but Ellie is hooked and on her way to Greece.
I enjoyed travelling around Greece with the writer of the postcards, listening to the Greek stories and narratives. The slow pace of life and the meditative tone was theraputic. I finished listening to this feeling revitalised and refreshed and with a burning desire to jump on the next plane to Athens and re-explore the Greece and Greek islands I first discovered inter-railing across Europe in the summer of ’83.
An island, a family and a secret. Set on an island off Poole in Dorset and close to Brownsea Island- recently visited on a road trip (and of course a ferry crossing) made this even more interesting. All a bit sinister- anyone of the islanders could have been guilty and I guess more than one are! Kept me guessing for a week!
Road trip with a couple of mismatched passengers: Max a ninety year old lady with Alzheimer’s and Alex, a young man battling severe depression. It was funny, a bit drawn out, but unexpectedly touching. I love a road trip, so was always going to like this!
It was OK. Predictable but quite sweet. Baker Liv goes to France to work in her aunts bakers while said aunt has an operation; and while she’s there she searches for the father of her child- a holiday romance from twenty years ago. Yes it was that exciting! It did give me a yearning to revisit the Cote d’Azur and had me looking into opening a bakery, or at the very least, a cake baking business.
Just finished watching the first two series of this and looking forward to the third series starting this Monday 10th August.
Button House is a crumbling English country mansion home to a gang of restless ghosts. Each ghost is from a different century and a product of their time, all squabbling with other for eternity over everyday trivial matters. In the meantime the young couple who have inherited this crumbling pile, struggle to turn the house into a moneymaking venture as well as a home.
Very modern English. Endearing, funny and well worth a watch.
I liked the idea of this book. Write a challenge in an exercise book then leave it for someone to pick up, rise to that challenge, write their own story and then leave it somewhere for the next person to discover, read and record. Thinking of a trip to Waterstones to buy a classy exercise book and set the ball rolling in Eastbourne. Interesting characters, especially the very flamboyant Julian and stereotypical Aussie surfer Riley, together with a fabulous Fulham Road setting. Felt a bit ‘chick- lit’- but sort of went a bit beyond that. This was a perfect Summer Read- I listened on audio- but reading and listening are the same thing. feel I should have given it four stars now!
This was a proper summer holiday beach read. Four college friends share a holiday in France with their families. Only it’s not the happy carefree reunion it promised to be. Secrets and tensions threaten the status quo. You think you have the plot all worked out, then every time you are side-lined. Uncomfortable and brilliant.
John Boyne reviewed Hendrik’s diary as ‘beyond comedy’- very true. This spot on portrayal of a care home and it’s residents is funny and sad, but pragmatic too, putting the issue of loss of independence into perspective. Stereotypical elderly folk, on a par with Catherine Tate’s ‘Nan’ and an authoritarian Care Home manager. Brilliant!
Blooming loved this. 1950’s Brighton- built on a reputation derived from Graham Greene’s Brighton Rock. It had me turning straight to the internet to see whether the last Brighton Laughing Policeman was really put to the flame on the instructions of a police inspector and whether phrenology is really a thing. Cosy crime and Englishness at it’s best with a whole cast of brilliant stereotypical characters.