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The Italian wife / by Furnivall, Kate,

Publication: . 376 pages ; 24 cm.

I have just finished reading this gripping novel. It is set in the early years of Mussolini 's Italy around 1930s and has a lot of historical background. There is a romance at the heart of the story but there are also sub plots, treachery and intrigue . Once I started I had difficulty putting it down so be warned . I am off to see what else this author has written.

Added 06/02/2015 by Lynne

The Italians at Cleat's Corner Store / by Riccioni, Jo,

Publication: . 336 pages ; 21 cm.

Set in England and Italy in 1949, the arrival of an Italian family in an English village intrigues a young shop assistant and opens her eyes to a wider world and greater ambitions. She becomes aware of the cruelty of local gossip and entranced by the mural painting of one of the Italians. The story also reveals the horrifying impact the war has had on Italian civilians. Written with a carefully observed sense of history and setting. Added 05/02/2015 by Heather

Dishonour / by Lord, Gabrielle,

Publication: . 372 pages ; 24 cm.

Have waited a long time for another adult book by Lord. Dishonour doesn't disappoint. Added 25/01/2015 by Kath

Mr Wigg / by Simpson, Inga,

Publication: Sydney : Hachette Australia, 2013 . 296 p. ; 21 cm. Date: 2013

A lovely gentle story of a newly-widowed elderly man, missing his wife, reminiscing about their past family life, enjoying his grandchildren's visits and cooking with them, caring for his large orchard and garden and working on a secret project for his community. Added 04/01/2015 by Heather

Dinner at Rose's / by Hawkins, Danielle,

Publication: Crows Nest, N.S.W. : Arena/Allen & Unwin, 2012 . 409 p. ; 20 cm. Date: 2012

I loved this story it was full of great characters and well set in New Zealand. It was natural and easy to read and I hope this author has written more novels. It dealt with a feisty aunt who calls a spade a spade - and her niece who is recovering from a broken engagement. Cancer raises it's ugly head too but in a realistic manner. Well worth reading give it a go over summer. Lynne Added 29/12/2014 by Lynne

Amber Scott is starting over / by Saberton, Ruth,

Publication: Oxford : ISIS, 2013 . 466 p. ; 24 cm. Date: 2013

The central character of this novel is an almost 30 year old woman, doing extremely well in the dog eats dog field of magazine publishing and engaged to a lawyer. At the same time she has an engaging openness and naivety which makes her very appealing. To suit her fiancée they move from her beloved London to the depths of the country in Cornwall, which, against all her expectations, she actually begins to enjoy. Meeting some great men is a bonus, even though she does her best to stay true to her fiancée until it turns out he has a mistress who is now pregnant. All ends happily, of course. There is some bad language but, generally, the story romps light heartedly along with many 'chuckle worthy' moments. A very light weight book but one which I enjoyed immensely. Recommended romantic/comic reading.

Personal / by Child, Lee,

Publication: London : Bantam Press, 2014 . 432 pages ; 24 cm. Date: 2014

A very satisfactory tale of international intrigue and more dead baddies than you can shake a stick at! Added 14/12/2014 by Kath

Rosalee station / by Magro, Mandy,

Publication: Camberwell, Vic. : Penguin Books, 2012 . 281 p. ; 20 cm. Date: 2012

Not much to say about this book but do Australian farmers really talk like that? Not the ones I've met. This book consists of more slang than standard language and I found it very hard to cope with. No more, please!

Chocolate cake for breakfast / by Hawkins, Danielle,

Publication: Crows Nest, N.S.W. : Arena/Allen & Unwin, 2013 . 360 p. ; 24 cm. Date: 2013

A romantic and humorous yarn telling the story of a young and somewhat unsure of herself, lady vet and a gorgeous young man who is an All Black and a male model plus being an all-round nice guy. Despite the somewhat unlikely setting, this is a great book. Ms Hawkins has a very deft touch and the humour had me laughing out loud on occasions. The country vet bits are very true and she seems to have a spy in the All Blacks camp. Well done, Ms Hawkins, please write some more!

Beneath an Irish sky / by Connor, Isabella,

Publication: Camberley, Surrey : Choc Lit Ltd, 2013 . 414 pages ; 20 cm. Date: 2013

Isabella Connor is the pen name for a writing duo and quite new to me. This book chronicles the storyof the wealthy and almost aristocratic Stewart family and their involvement with the Kiernan family of Irish tinkers or travelling people. Jack Stewart's wife, a Kiernan, had left him shortly after their marriage some twenty years ago and now has been killed in a road accident, leaving a 20 year old son, Luke, who hates his putative father, Jack Stewart. With a few, easily followed, flashbacks we slowly come to understand the reasons for the strong feelings which both these men hold. With the help of friends, especially an Irish counsellor, the difficulties and misunderstandings are slowly resolved. Well written in a style easy to follow, this is a very believable tale. I will be looking for more from this author (s). Well recommended

Gods of heavenly punishment / by Epstein, Jennifer Cody,

Publication: [S.l.] : W W Norton, 2014 . 382 p. ; 21 cm. Date: 2014

This novel contains some interesting information and insights into World War 2 from the viewpoints of American airmen and of Japanese residents of Tokyo during the horrific fire bombing of the city by American aircraft. We hear about the atomic bombs dropped on Hiroshima but not much of the comparatively devastating fire bombs dropped on Tokyo. Added 27/11/2014 by Heather

Around India in 80 trains / by Rajesh, Monica,

Publication: London : Nicholas Brealey, 2012 . xix, 248 p. ; 22 cm. Date: 2012

This book is a delight! Monisha has largely grown up in England, but returns to India to embark on a 40,000km adventure in all sorts of trains - city commuter-crowded, rural hospital, mountain tiny, large luxury - all sorts! She meets all sorts of people too and they tell her all sorts of stories. Well-written, witty humorous and enjoyable . Added 19/11/2014 by Heather

Snowdrops / by Miller, Andrew,

Publication: Bath : Paragon, 2011 . 218 p. (large print) ; 25 cm. Date: 2011

The title comes from the Russian term for frozen dead bodies which come to light in the spring melt. This is a clue that the book is rather chilling! The main character Nicholas, an English lawyer, becomes involved with two Russian girls in Moscow and is drawn into a corrupt underworld. A psychological drama which is quite gripping. Added 19/11/2014 by Heather

Nest / by Simpson, Inga,

Publication: . 296 pages ; 21 cm.

Jen is an artist who returns after some personal difficulties to the small town where she grew up. She lives in a property where she enjoys the garden and the birds. She has a drawing student who tells her about a little girl who has gone missing. This brings back uncomfortable memories for Jen and leads her to finally work through some personal issues. A heart-warming and lovely book Added 19/11/2014 by Heather

Blackpeak Station / by Ford, Holly.

Publication: Auckland, N.Z. : Black Swan, 2012 . 312 p. ; 24 cm. Date: 2012

Holly Ford is a new author for me and I quite enjoyed this book of hers. Set in the South Island high country, it tells the story of a high country station and, in particular, the daughter of the family who only wants to be a farmer, despite difficulties. Add in the usual problems encountered on a sheep station plus quite a dash of romance, a villain you just know is not honest and you have this book. Well written and either well researched or, perhaps, Ms Ford knows the high country. Recommended to all those who like books set in NZ.

Ultimate celebration cards : over 200 card designs for special occasions throughout the year /

Publication: Cincinnati, OH : David & Charles, 2008 . 184 p. : 28 cm. Date: 2008

I enjoyed leafing through and choosing designs to try. Not all the occasions likely to be relevant ( USA book ) but plenty to think about. Added 22/10/2014 by

Paris letters / by MacLeod, Janice,

Publication: . 258 pages : 21 cm.

I enjoyed hearing of Janice's experiences , and those of her correspondences. A little too much of an internal journal in parts but great to hear of someone making their dream happen. Added 22/10/2014 by

The homesteader's sweetheart by Williams, Lacy

Publication: . 415 pages ; 22 cm

You knew what was going to happen at the end of the story at the beginning - love story. Added 22/10/2014 by

Bugs / by Hereaka, Whiti,

Publication: . 242 p. ; 19 cm.

I longed for the 3 young people to realize their potential. I waited in fear as they put themselves in danger. I was grateful for some good news at the end. Some interesting and hard-hitting insights. Coarse language warning. Added 22/10/2014 by

The fault in our stars / by Green, John,

Publication: New York : Dutton Books, 2012 . 318 p. ; 22 cm. Date: 2012

I knew what was coming at the end. SAD! But can't help wondering what happens to Hazel and Issac? Loved the book! Added 21/10/2014 by

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