Sadie’s Wars – Rosemary Noble 

With my impending move to Australia, I am reading everything and anything about Australia or novels by Australian authors. So, this was a perfect book for me. 

Sadie’s war is the third book in the ‘Currency Girls’ series. 

Although I have never read any of the previous novels I managed to get sucked into the story very quickly. There are a lot of characters within the novel, however, once you are introduced to them you can see they are all an integral part of the story telling process. We are transported to two different locations and timelines, Grimbsy and Cleethorpes during World War II and Australia during the twentieth century.

We follow Sadie’s childhood whilst she was in Australia and her father’s career. We get a glimpse of her first marriage which does not end well. The descriptions of the landscape and environment just transports you directly there with her. You can feel, touch and smell where she is and you are overwhelmed by both the beauty and harshness of the remoteness of the outback. 

You are transported to Cleethorpes during World War II, Rosemary does an amazing job of again describing the landscape and the contrast between Cleethorpes and Australia are fascinating. Here we follow Sadie and her two sons and the impact war has on families and communities. We live through the emotional impact war has on Sadie when her sons are serveing in the military. I could feel empathy with my own husband serving in the Royal Air Force. We experience Sadie’s inner emotional wars and the guilt and her choices whether positive or negative she has made. 

What I admire about Sadie is her independence especially during a male dominated world and her fiesty character, without being harsh as you experience her emotions and inner monologue. 

I adored this book, Rosemary covered many topics that are close to my heart and some of the inner emotional issues that I myself experience, it felt relevant and I admired this book. Rosemary took a story that obviously had a great impact on her and shared this with us all, thank you Rosemary what a great book, an amazing story and one that should be read. 

About The Book 

An astonishing tale, spanning continents, where truth is stranger than fiction. This historical saga of an extraordinary Australian pioneer family continues into a new generation. 

Sadie is brought-up amongst the vineyards of the Yarra Valley while her work-obsessed father reaps riches from the boom years before the Great War. 

With post-war depression looming, Sadie’s only option is to flee from her disatrous marriage, seeking refuge in Cleethorpes, a small seaside town in northern England. 

Years later, when her sons are in RAF Bomber Command, she receives a letter from her long-lost brother which forces her to confront the past and her part in her family’s downfall. 

Can old wounds be healed?

Will she find new love?

Will this second war destroy everyone she saved? 

About the Author 

Rosemary worked as a librarian, mostly with young people, so books have been her life, ever since she first stepped into a libraray and found a magical treasure trove. Her other love is social history. Retirement gave Rosemary the opportunity to travel to Australia where she discovered stories that deserved to be written. She found a new career as an author which gave her immense pleasure.

If you would like to find out more about Rosemary or her books, please click here

Big thanks to Rachel for arranging this book tour, if you would like to know about the services offered, please click here

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Me Mam. Me Dad. Me – Malcolm Duffy 

This novel is a fascinating read and covers a topic that does not really get discussed, domestic violence. The story comes from the perspective of a young person, Danny witnessing violence and abuse and trying desperately to get his mother out of the situation. 

We follow Danny and his worry and concerns around his mothers relationship with her new partner. Initially, it seemed that Danny and his mother had an amazing new life with money and material things he could only dream of, however, things are not all that they seem. 

Danny seems to recognise early on the issues arising in his mothers relationship and despite his age, is incredibly mature and researches domestic violence and desperately shows his mother and vocally raises concerns with her – this of course is ignored and he is treated like a child who knows nothing. 

Danny is desperate to get support from an adult, his extended family know a lot more is going on behind close doors but keep their distance. This means Danny has to take matters into his own hands and goes in search for his mystery father for help. 

I found this story just fascinating in that Danny has such maturity and tries desperately to protect his mother from harm and to try and seek a resolution (his idea may not be a great one). Malcolm’s story telling just opens your eyes to the issues surrounding domestic violence and the impact it can have on the family. I believe this book should be given to secondary school children to give them an insight into domestic violence and it should be a topic that is openly discussed and not shyed away. 

Bravo Malcolm a great debut and I cannot wait to read more.

About the Book 

Things I learned when I was fourteen: 

Never keep secrets from your girlfriend. 

Never get into a scrap with a bigger lad. 

Never play football with a black ball when it’s dark. 

And never let anyone hurt your mam. 

Ever. 

About the Author    

Malcolm is Geordie born and bred. This is his first novel which was inspired by his time at Comic Relief, visiting projects that support women and children who have suffered as a result of domestic abuse. Malcolm lives in Surrey with his wife and two daughters. Malcolm works as an advertising copywriter. 

Me Mam. Me Dad. Me is published by Zephyr 

“I wasn’t a hundred per cent sure what to make of me Mam’s new bloke. Think he wanted us to be mates, what with the money, and the hair rubbing, and the car ride and calling me General, like he really wanted me to like him.” 

James and the Giant Peach – Roald Dahl 

I am currently going through a Roald Dahl phase, I love him always have and always will and my little ones love his books. Even though they are quite small, they laugh and love the language that he has used. This book is published by Puffin Books

James Henry Trotter lives with two ghastly hags. Aunt Sponge is enormously fat with a face that looks boiled, and Aunt Spiker is bony and screeching. 

He’s very lonely until one day something peculiar happens. At the end of the garden a peach starts to grow and grow and grow. Inside that peach are seven very unusal insects – all waiting to take James on a magical adventure.  

Past Life – Dominic Nolan 

I had a nice surprise when this dropped through my door, very unexpected but I am very pleased. Past Life is due out 7 March 2019. 

Waking up beside the dead girl, she couldn’t remember anything. Who she was. Who had taken her. How to escape. 

Detective Abigail Boone had been missing for four days when she is finally found, confused and broken. Suffering retrograde amnesia, she is a stranger to her despairing husband and bewildered son. 

Hopelessly lost in her own life, with no leads on her abduction, Boone’s only instinct is to revisit the case she was investigating when she vanished, the baffling disappearance of a young woman, Sarah Still. 

Defying her family and the police, Boone obsessively follows a deadly trail to the darkest edges of human cruelty. But even if she finds Sarah, will Boone ever be the same again. 

Past Life is published by Headline 

The Body In The Boat – A. J Mackenzie 

I wanted to say a big thank you to Bonnier Zaffre  for sending me a copy of The Body In The Boat. 

Spies, smugglers and brutal murder on the Kent coast…..

Across the still, dark English Channel comes the smugglers. But tonight they carry an unusual cargo; a coffin. Several miles inland, a respected banker holds a birthday party for his wife. Within days, one of the guest is found shot dead. 

What links this apparently senseless killing to the smugglers lurking in the mists? Why has the local bank been buying and hoarding gold? And who was in the mysterious coffin?

Reverent Hardcastle and Mrs Chaytor find themselves drawn into the worlds of high finance and organised crime in this dramatic and dark Georgian mystery. With a unique cast of characters and captivating sleuths The Body In The Boat is a twisting tale that vividly brings to life eighteenth-century Kent and draws readers into its pages. 

The Light In The Dark A Winter Journal – Horatio Clare 

I hate the Winter, that is partly why we are moving to Australia. I hate the dark evenings, damp cold weather and I tend to hibinate more and not want to come out. 

However, when reading Horatio’s journal although I still hate Winter his writing about Winter did kind of sell it to me why Winters can be a beautiful and amazing adventure that all need to experience. Horatio’s beautiful way with words is just enchanting and inspirational. His brutal honesty about how harsh the Winters can be and the impact it has on his family and the wider community and just because it snows does not necessarily mean everything comes to a hault, you just make do. 

This book is a beautiful insight to the magic Winter can bring. But, I will still be getting on the plane to Australia in January I am afraid. 

A must buy book!

About the Book 

As November stubs out the glow of Autumn and the days tighten into shorter hours, Winter’s occupation begins. Preparing for Winter has its own rhythms, as old as our exchanges with the land. Of all the seasons, it draws us together. But Winter can be tough. 

It is a time of introspection, of looking inwards. Seasonal sadness, Winter blues, depression – such feelings are widespread in the darker months. But by looking outwards, by being in and observing nature, we can appreciate, its rhythms. Mountains make sense in any weather. The voices of a wood always speak consolation. A brush of frost, subtle colours, days as bright as a magpie’s cackle. 

About the Author 

Horatio lives in West Yorkshire. He is a critically acclaimed author and journalist. 

This book is published by Elliott & Thompson

A big thank you to  Emma Finnigan PR  for introducing me to this book 

Darling Winston – David Lough 

I am a massive fan of reading about Winston Churchill. I remember the fascination started when my history teacher spoke about him with such passion and enthusiasm that it was infectious. 

When I recieved this book it was simply wonderful to get a real insight into the letters from Winston and his mother. I rather felt like I was being a nosy neighbour. 

From reading this book, it was a real insight as to why Winston was who he was. During his younger days he never seemed to be good enough and his mother seemed easily distracted, however, I did feel love between them both. Winston’s mother seemed to be an advisory for his future political ambitions and perhaps Winston wanted to hear from his mother that she was proud of him. 

What an amazing book, the research David undertook is mindblowing and I devoured this book within a couple of days. Even if you are not keen on Churchill, its a great insight into his early days and his struggles and the fact that he knew he was not perfect but with his determination he managed to make such big strides to reach his eventual goal – to be prime minister. 

A highly recommended read. 

About the Book 

Winston Churchill adored his mother Jennie, Lady Randolph Churchill. Between 1881, when Churchill was six, and 1921, the year of Jennie’s death, mother and son were prolific letter writers. 

Churchill’s life across this period follows a trajectory of adventure and political ambition – army service in India, escape from a Boer POW camp, swift ascent from Conservative MP for Oldham to Liberal First Lord of the Admirality, resignation in the wake of the debacle of Gallipoli, and eventual return to the cabinet in 1917. His mother’s life, by contrast, follows a downward spiral; her second marriage founders and she becomes a lonely figure, moving forlornly around the country homes of her wealthy friends. As Winston joins Asquith’s cabinet and meets his wife-to-be Clementine, Jennie is getting divorced and making faltering attempts to embark on a literary career. Darling Winston reflects Churchill’s emotional, intellectual and political development as confided to Jennie as his mentor, but it also charts a mother-son relationsip characterised at the outset by Winston’s dependence on Jennie, which is dramatically reversed as her life crumbles towards the end. 

About the Author 

David is the author of No More Champagne, a much praised study of Winston’s finances. David studied history at Oxford, where he gained a first-class degree. 

Darling Winston is published by Head of Zeus 

The Librarian – Salley Vickers 

I do not think I need to say much more, its a book about books – ticks all of the boxes enough said. 

In 1958, Sylvia Blackwell, fresh from one of the new post-war Library Schools, takes up a job as children’s librarian in a run-down library in the market town of East Mole. 

Her mission is to fire the enthusiasm of the children of East Mole for reading. But her love affair with the local married GP, and her befriending of his precious daughter, her neighbour’s son and her landlady’s neglected grandchild, ignite the prejudices of the town, threatening her job and the very existence of the library with dramatic consequences for them all. 

The Librarian is published by Penguin

Educated – Tara Westover 

I am not meant to be buying books at the moment, because with moving across the world my book collection has to be slimmed down. However, I have wanted this book for such a long time and just could not resist. 

Tara Westover and her family grew up preparing for the End of Days, but according to the government, she didn’t exist. She hadn’t been registered for a birth certificate. She had no school records because she’d never set foot in a classroom, and no medical records because her father didn’t believe in hospitals. 

As she grew older, her father became more radical and her brother more violent. At sixteen, Tara knew she had to leave home. In doing so, she discovered both the transformative power of education, and the price she had to pay for it. 

This novel is published by Windmill Books

Bloody Brilliant Women – Cathy Newman 

I loved this book so so much and cannot stop thinking about it. Cathy has written about all of those women in history that we either did not think existed or you just could not put your finger on the name of the woman. 

I have to say I was rather disappointed in myself not knowing some of these amazing women and wish that there names were integrated into the current education of young people. I am not saying they need to have separate lessons, I just believe there names should be integrated and the pionneering matters they have created. I was blown away at what some of the women achieved in such difficult circumstances and they are all a true inspriation. I have talked non-stop to both my husband and my two young boys about some of the amazing women in this book and plan to continue this discussion when they are older. 

Big thank you to Cathy for inspiring me and sharing these amazing womens names and what they have achieved. 

About the Book 

In this novel, Cathy writes about the pioneering women who defied the odds to make careers for themselves and alter the course of recent history; women who achieved what they set out to do while dismantling hostile, entrenched views about their place in society. Their role in transforming Britain is fundamental, and far greater than has generally been acknowledged. 

About the Author 

Cathy is one of Channel 4 News’ main studio presenters. An award winning investigative journalist, she joined Channel 4 news as political correspondent in January 2006 after seven years writing for the Financial Times. In 2000, Cathy won the prestigious Laurence Stern Fellowship, spending four months following in the footsteps of Woodward and Bernstein at the Washington Post. She is married with two children. 

Bloody Brilliant Women is published by William Collins