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…
Kindle Edition Published October 2018
Category: Fiction based on fact, 1970’s, Australia, Family Drama, Book Review
The thunderclap of sexual revolution collides with the black cloud of illegitimacy.
Reflecting the social changes of 1970s Australia, The Swooping Magpie is a chilling psychological tale of love, loss and grief, and, through collective memory, finding we are not alone.
Lindsay Townsend, a pretty and popular sixteen year old, has set her sights on Jon Halliwell, the P.E. teacher at her school, regardless of the fact he is married.
I can’t believe it’s that time again! And yet again, the choice wasn’t easy. It’s been a good reading/listening year with lots of fabulous books, and so, after much deliberation and in no particular order, here are my top reads/listens for this year.
Clicking on the book cover takes you to Amazon UK. Other links are included in the full review.
The Chalk Pit ~ Elly Griffiths
The Chalk Pit finds Ruth investigating the discovery of bones in the chalk tunnels below Norwich, excavating and testing the bones to calculate their age. They appears to more recent than anticipated and DCI Nelson is called into the investigation. Running concurrently is the police investigation into the disappearance and murders of rough sleepers in the Kings Lynn area. The plight of the homeless, the unpredictable nature of their situation, how they are viewed by others is a main focus of the storyline and was approached objectively, with thoughtfulness. The concept of an underground community and history of the Norwich tunnels is sad and fascinating at the same time and the combination of social and criminal issues, plus historical facts works well.
***** Continue reading
- Author: Liza Perrat
- Published: November 2015 by Perrat Publishing
- Category: Historical Fiction, Book Review, Books, Reading
1348. A bone-sculpted angel and the woman who wears it––heretic, Devil’s servant, saint.
Midwife Héloïse has always known that her bastard status threatens her standing in the French village of Lucie-sur-Vionne. Yet her midwifery and healing skills have gained the people’s respect, and she has won the heart of the handsome Raoul Stonemason. The future looks hopeful. Until the Black Death sweeps into France.
The story begins in the year 1334 and focuses on Héloïse, growing up in Lucie-sur-Vionne and cared for by her aunt, the village midwife Isa, her dead mother’s twin. She’s taunted mercilessly about being a ‘non-born’ by some of the superstitious village folk. Continue reading
- Author: Liza Perrat
- Published: October 2013 by Perrat Publishing
- Category: Historical Fiction, WWII, Book Review, Books, Reading
Seven decades after German troops march into her village, Céleste Roussel is still unable to assuage her guilt.
1943. German soldiers occupy provincial Lucie-sur-Vionne, and as the villagers pursue treacherous schemes to deceive and swindle the enemy, Céleste embarks on her own perilous mission as her passion for a Reich officer flourishes.
We first meet Céleste Roussel as an elderly lady attending a memorial ceremony with the remaining survivors of their village, along with their families. The atrocities and personal losses of WWII still weigh heavily and as Céleste reads the engraved names she is assaulted by memories, the decisions she made, actions she took, the feelings of guilt and sorrow which never truly leave her. Her granddaughter now wears the bone angel talisman passed down through the women of her family for generations. Continue reading
- Author: Liza Perrat
- Published: May 2012 by Perrat Publishing
- Category: Historical, Fiction, Book Review, Books, Reading
Her mother executed for witchcraft, her father dead at the hand of a noble, Victoire Charpentier vows to rise above her poor peasant roots.
Spirit of Lost Angels is the story of Victoire Charpentier. Born in the village of Lucie-sur-Vionne in rural 18th century France during the years leading up to the French Revolution, she lives with her parents and siblings. Madam Charpentier is a healer and the local midwife, her husband a carpenter travelling from town to town plying his trade. A fierce storm when Victoire was six years old brought about a terrible tragedy and the family’s fortunes are about to take a devastating turn for the worst. Victoire is forced to take a domestic position in Paris, with a letter of recommendation from the village priest.
Victoire’s troubles are only just beginning. She is now at the mercy of her employer, the Marquis de Barberon. Her belief in the cruelty and indifference of the aristocracy to the common people, born when her father was killed, only intensified and chafed. It was wholly due to the help of Claudine, the cook, she survived the Marquis’ visits and the eventual outcome. Continue reading
Welcome, Liza. Tell us a little about yourself and what you like to do when you’re not writing.
When my head is not buried in a book, I love hiking in the hills of the rural French village in which I live. I’m obsessed with travel and swimming and play a decent game of tennis.
What was the inspiration behind The Silent Kookaburra?
Growing up in 1970s Australia.
When did first realise you wanted to be a writer?
I loved the idea of being a writer when I was a child, probably due to being an avid reader, but didn’t begin writing until the year 2000. Continue reading