Book 29: The Light Between Oceans by M.L.Steadman

The Light Between Oceans is a post WW1 novel, featuring Tom Sherbourne, a recently returned war hero who takes up a position as lighthouse keeper on Janus Rock. He marries Isabel and they live in an ideal life on the island. They long for a family but miscarriages and a still-born birth hinder any hope of a child to join them. A crying baby in a boat fond beside its dead fathe just off-shore, is a welcome sight. Believing God has shown them mercy at last, Isabel persuades Tom to pass the child off as their own. This action alone will bring nothing but sadness and regret in their life to follow.

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Book 28: His Bloody Project by Graeme Macrae Burnet

A brutal triple murder in a remote community in the Scottish Highlands leads to the arrest of a young man by the name of Roderick Macrae. A memoir written by the accused makes it clear that he is guilty, but it falls to the country’s finest legal and psychiatric minds to uncover what drove him to commit such merciless acts of violence. Was he mad? Only the persuasive powers of his advocate stand between Macrae and the gallows. Graeme Macrae Burnet tells an irresistible and original story about the provisional nature of truth, even when the facts seem clear. His Bloody Project is a mesmerising literary thriller set in an unforgiving landscape where the exercise of power is arbitrary.

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Book 27: First Lady by Sonia Purnell

Without Churchill’s inspiring leadership Britain could not have survived its darkest hour
and repelled the Nazi menace. Without his wife Clementine, however, he might never have become Prime Minister. By his own admission, the Second World War would have been ‘impossible without her’. Clementine was Winston’s emotional rock and his most trusted confidante; not only was she involved in some of the most crucial decisions of war, but she exerted an influence over her husband and the Government that would appear scandalous to modern eyes.

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Book 26: All The Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr

All The Light We Cannot See is a tale of two teenagers on the opposite sides of war and all-the-lighthow events eventually bring them together to help them save each other and to touch each other’s lives in unexpected ways. Marie-Laure is a blind girl living with her father in Paris and Werner is a young German boy living in a mining village who comes to the attention of the Hitler Youth.

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Book 25: What Have I Done? by Amanda Prowse

Desperation comes out in many forms. This book explores the only way out for one woman whatafter years of psychological and physical abuse from a loathsome husband. As mother to his children the thoughts of leaving were never far away but what would happen to them if she left? A harrowing, yet interesting story of control, deceit and eventual comeuppance.

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Book 24: The Trouble With Goats and Sheep by Joanna Cannon

goatsWhen a woman unexpectedly disappears, the whole street is in shock.  Curtains are twitching, washing lines are overwhelmed with gossip and men waft their hankies in the 1976 heatwave without anything to say on the matter. Two girls respond by trying to find God. According to Matthew – you are a sheep or a goat, as they try to find God, we also discover that all is not as it seems, and secrets have a way of getting out.

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Book 23: A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman

Living a simple and yet rewarding life, Ove spends his days concocting a plan to join his recently deceased wife in heaven. His neighbours on the other hand, have other ideas for ovehim and before he is aware, he is mending fences,reversing trailers and all sorts. There are not many books out there you can call a ‘feel good’ read but this certainly is.

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Book 22 – The Green Road by Anne Enright

Irish mothers have been well known to run tight ships, have exemplary behaviour from greenroadtheir off-spring at all times and to bestow their beliefs onto generations of their family until their last breath. Anne Enright manages to do just that as she takes you through the lives of one such family and the matriarch that sits at the helm.

This book certainly divided our book group as we came from many angles when dissecting the storyline. We all agreed that the mum, Rosaleen was a remarkable woman, one not to be crossed, which I’m sure has resonated with us all.

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Book 21 – We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves by Karen Joy Fowler

Memories of 70s TV newsreels confirming that some towns in America were introducing chimpanzees into the family unit, will stick in the minds of those around then to believe it. Beside OurselvesRosemary takes you on her journey and the loss of her family through various means, as she tries to live a normal life after such an interesting childhood full of secrets and disappointments. Karen Joy Fowler excels in creating a world that you will not leave until the last page has been read.

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Book 20 – The Importance of Being Kennedy by Laurie Graham

The Kennedy clan have always been a family that has interested the world since well Importancebefore Marilyn Monroe sang a fantastic version of happy birthday and Jackie O set the trend for larger sunglasses. This book is written from the point of view of the nanny, Nora Brennan, who was brought into to their home to care for the brood of youngsters destined for the white house and so much more.

Initially, I couldn’t get excited about the book and felt as if I was going to suffer each page I had to turn to get to the end. But, thankfully, it warmed up and the content, if not the writing, kept me going. I, of course, had grown up hearing about the Kennedy Clan and knew, like us, they were a Catholic family and very high profile but I have to say it was a real eye opener to read (although a novel used maybe some poetic licence about the circumstances and reasoning behind the decisions made, particularly the lobotomy) how cruel and calculating Joe and Rose Kennedy were when they thought anything might interfere with their quest to have a son in the White House. To me, they were not good Catholics at all, a disgrace to the name. I have since read up about poor Rose Marie and some of the troubles her brothers and sisters invited/encountered and is it any wonder that they were such a dysfunctional family with that kind of example. The prose wasn’t great in the book but I did warm to the lovable, loving and down to earth story telling of nanny, Nora. 3.5/5

There is a morbid sense of fascination with the elite that adorn our TV’s while watching the news. I loved the way Laurie Graham tackled the events that Nora would have seen in her time with them. A fly on the wall look at one of the world’s most famous families but I wanted more. 3/5 

TOTAL SCORE: 23/35

https://wordery.com/the-importance-of-being-kennedy-laurie-graham-9780007228836

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