Monday, 19 February 2018

The Mirror (Northwest Passage Book 5) by John A Heldt



The Mirror is the fifth book in the Northwest Passage series and sequel to The Mine and The Show. Precis below.

The first John A Heldt book I read was The Mine, also the first book in this series. Not being a sci fi fan I was reluctant to accept the request for a review, but I was seriously hooked on this author from the start.

Like his other books I was drawn into the story from the first page of The Mirror. Heldt does not write your average time travel science fiction. He writes adventure, romance and historical fiction. He writes stories where you will quickly become familiar with the believable characters, have clear images of the scenes and feel the emotions. And, as always, you’ll get a history lesson. 

While The Mirror is readable as a stand-alone story, I recommend reading The Mine and The Show first for greater enjoyment and appreciation.

Having been a young teen in the 1960s I completely related to the period, especially the obsession with The Beatles and hemlines gradually creeping up. 

Heldt has become known among his fans as writing great endings and The Mirror is no different. There were some wonderful sincere and sentimental moments at the end and I loved it all.

There is one comment I feel I must make in relation to a few of the reviews and that is in relation to intimacy between the girls and their boyfriends. Some reviews read as though there are descriptive passages. This is not the case. We know the girls sleep with the boys, that is all. There is suggestion by some reviewers that in the sixties teens were not sexually active. This is also untrue. John Heldt has told it as it was, and he has done it tastefully and honestly.

Precis

On September 11, 2020, Ginny and Katie Smith celebrate their nineteenth birthday at a country fair near Seattle. Ignoring the warnings of a fortune-teller, they enter a house of mirrors and exit in May 1964. Armed with the knowledge they need to return to their time, they try to make the most of what they believe will be a four-month vacation. But their sixties adventure becomes complicated when they meet a revered great-grandmother and fall in love with local boys. In The Mirror the sisters find happiness and heartbreak as they confront unexpected challenges and gut-wrenching choices in the age of civil rights, the Beatles, and Vietnam.

My rating 5*

Thursday, 15 February 2018

Marley & Me: Life and love with the world's worst dog by John Grogan



This was wonderful holiday reading. It tells the story Marley, a Labrador, who is constantly getting himself into trouble through his disobedience and destructive ways. 


It is brilliantly written by an author with a great sense of humour. 

Grogan sees the funny side of life including his dog’s antics, people who are derisive about his attempts to train Marley, life in general and even the disappointing attempts for his wife to fall pregnant.


If you love dogs, you’ll love this book. More importantly if you have dogs, ridden out the waves of their mischief, and still love them, you’ll love this book even more.


You’ll laugh, and you’ll shed a few tears, you will fall in love not with just the story but Marley himself. It is a tender, yet amusing tribute to man’s best friend.


My rating 5*

Sunday, 28 January 2018

Shadows of the Workhouse by Jennifer Worth



Many will be familiar with the television series Call the Midwife based on the life and books by Jennifer Worth.

In Shadows of the Workhouse, Worth relates particular stories from people she met who spent time in the London workhouses of the 1950s.

They are an interesting and important account of life and attitudes of the time that was not all that long ago and must not be forgotten.

While it highlights the poverty, suffering and hardships of the people, it also tells of their resilience, faith and humour.
It is beautifully written with tenderness and caring of the people she encountered without being overly depressing.

I borrowed the audio edition from my local library which is beautifully read by Nicola Barber

My rating 4*