The Bird in the Bamboo Cage by @HazelGaynor ~ Courage and Friendship in China During WWII #HistoricalFiction #NetGalley #FridayReads

Author: Hazel Gaynor

Due for release on 20th August, published by HarperCollins

Category: Historical Fiction, WWII, Book Review

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China, 1941. Elspeth Kent has fled an unhappy life in England for a teaching post at a missionary school in northern China. But when Japan declares war on the Allies and occupies the school, security and home comforts are replaced by privation, uncertainty and fear.

For ten-year-old Nancy Plummer and her school friends, now separated from their parents indefinitely, Miss Kent’s new Girl Guide patrol provides a precious reminder of home in a land where they are now the enemy.

Hazel Gaynor has taken a unique slant on Second World War fiction with her latest novel, The Bird in the Bamboo Cage. It was inspired by true events which took place following the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor.  As with all her books, the factual subject matter gives the story depth, authenticity and realism.

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The Cottingley Secret by @HazelGaynor #BookReview #DualTimeline #Fairies #TuesdayBookBlog

Author: Hazel Gaynor

Published: January 2018 by HarperCollins

Category: Dual Timeline, Fairies, Myths, Book Review

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1917… It was inexplicable, impossible, but it had to be true–didn’t it? When two young cousins, Frances Griffiths and Elsie Wright from Cottingley, England, claim to have photographed fairies at the bottom of the garden, their parents are astonished.

One hundred years later… When Olivia Kavanagh finds an old manuscript in her late grandfather’s bookshop she becomes fascinated by the story it tells of two young girls who mystified the world.

Being familiar with, and fascinated by, the story of the Cottingley fairies, I was looking forward to Hazel Gaynor’s re-imagining of this incredible tale based on true events. I wasn’t disappointed.

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The Girl Who Came Home: A Novel of the #Titanic ~ Based on a true story @HazelGaynor #DualTimeLine #TuesdayBookBlog

Author: Hazel Gaynor

Published: April 2014 by William Morrow Paperbacks

Category: Dual Timeline, Historical Fiction, Based on Fact, Contemporary, Book Review

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Ireland, 1912

Fourteen members of a small village set sail on RMS Titanic, hoping to find a better life in America. For seventeen-year-old Maggie Murphy, the journey is bittersweet. Though her future lies in an unknown new place, her heart remains in Ireland with Séamus, the sweetheart she left behind. When disaster strikes, Maggie is one of the few passengers in steerage to survive. Waking up alone in a New York hospital, she vows never to speak of the terror and panic of that fateful night again.

My first experience of Hazel Gaynor’s books was The Lighthouse Keeper’s Daughter, based on the life of Grace Darling, which I loved. I enjoy the fact there’s truth mixed in with fiction and The Girl Who Came Home is no exception. It tells the story of Maggie Murphy from Ballysheen, Ireland, who was travelling with a group of women from the village, bound for New York and booked on the Titanic for the ship’s maiden voyage in 1912. The story was inspired by events surrounding the true story of the Addergoole Fourteen, Irish emigrants from County Mayo.

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Top 20 Favourite Reads of 2019 #Books #AmReading #BookBlogger #BookLove

As the end of 2019 is almost upon us, it’s favourite books of the year time!

It’s always a difficult choice to narrow the list down to twenty, but I do enjoy looking back at the books I’ve read during the year.

So, in no particular order…

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#Books I’d Like To Read in 2020 #BookBlogger #AmReading

The time has come to either buy another bookcase, a bigger house or be ruthless and part company with some books. I haven’t read anywhere near half of several hundred physical books and I’ve no idea of how many more are waiting on my kindle. Another few hundred, I’m sure. I never keep count for fear of a meltdown 😉 So, in 2020 I’m going to make a conscious effort to read more of my own books. 

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The Lighthouse Keeper’s Daughter by @HazelGaynor ~ #HistoricalFiction based on fact #TuesdayBookBlog

Author: Hazel Gaynor

Published: September 2018 by Harper Collins

Category: Historical Fiction, Book Review

“They call me a heroine, but I am not deserving of such accolades. I am just an ordinary young woman who did her duty.”

1838: when a terrible storm blows up off the Northumberland coast, Grace Darling, the lighthouse-keeper’s daughter, knows there is little chance of survival for the passengers on the small ship battling the waves.

1938: when nineteen-year-old Matilda Emmerson sails across the Atlantic to New England, she faces an uncertain future.

I love books that mix fact with fiction, giving a real authenticity to the story. The Lighthouse Keeper’s Daughter incorporates the true story of Grace Darling.

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