When Will There Be Good News? – Kate Atkinson

5 Nov

When Will There Be Good News  Paperback

ISBN: 9780552772437

Published: First published 2008 by Doubleday.  This edition 2009

Imprint: Black Swan

Extent: 480 pages

Subject: Mystery

 

Well I have been reading When Will There Be  Good News? by Kate Atkinson. A well written book that seems at first to contain many storylines that have no apparent connection.  Further reading sees these stories converging with a number of surprises for the reader.  This was a book that I did not skip pages or skim the text.  I read it all the way from start to finish over a week and enjoyed the journey.

 

The plot of the book from the publishers is as follows:

In rural Devon, six-year-old Joanna Mason witnesses an appalling crime. Thirty years later the man convicted of the crime is released from prison. In Edinburgh, sixteen-year-old Reggie works as a nanny for a G.P. But Dr Hunter has gone missing and Reggie seems to be the only person who is worried. Across town, Detective Chief Inspector Louise Monroe is also looking for a missing person, unaware that hurtling towards her is an old friend — Jackson Brodie — himself on a journey that becomes fatally interrupted.

 

This is a Jackson Brodie book and while reading I feel there must be more of him from this author.

This book is filled wth a lot of coincidences which makes it difficult for the crime lover to take seriously.  There is a lot of mystery and there is quite brutal crime. Luck, both good and bad, plays a big part, as does the treatment of memories by Atkinson.

There seems to be a lot of characters with similar backgrounds of hardship or trauma to keep track of and sort out, and they keep running into each other in really unlikely ways.  Some of those ways seem so unlikely they are unbelievable until much later in the book.

But these coincidences pave the way for the plot to reveal the main two protagonists with a much deeper connection that leads to questions of destiny and fate.  Very much surprising this reader.

The story flows well and you really don’t need a lot of concentration to sort everyone out.  A good read from a surprising and at times very funny author who provides a good story in easy to read language.  It is a smart, entertaining story giving a sense of closure and some things to think about.

I bought this book, I will keep and probably read it again.  I will also be on the look out for more of Atkinson’s books as I like her style.

Lauren

 

 

Lydia Fielding – Susan Sallis

14 Oct

Lydia Fielding Paperback

ISBN: 9780552160797

Published: 15/03/2010

Imprint: Corgi

Extent: 400 pages

Subject: Sagas – Historical Romance

The book I was reading over the last few days has been Lydia Fielding by Susan Sallis.  A book set in rural England in the 19th Century, almost a social diary of everyday life with some sordidness, a huge cast of characters, and everyday life passing by. It is also a social history, since it covers some political issues such as caring for ‘fallen women’, educating poor children, and rights for women.

The plot of the book from the publishers is as follows:  “When Lydia celebrated her coming of age, the whole of her Exmoor village celebrated with her. Two men attracted her interest that night: handsome, ambitious Gus Pascoe, who coveted the land her father farmed; and Wesley Peters, brought up as a strict Methodist, whose seemingly upright religious family hid a terrible secret.”

I found the book easy reading and although somewhat slow to start, with many details of everyday life in rural England in that era.  In parts the book covers sordid or unpleasant events and although taken for granted, they are often unfamiliar to the reader.  These events are necessary in the molding of Lydia.

Lydia is a likeable character and gained the sympathy of this reader.  The overall plot does follow Lydia’s emotions relating to her two suitors as she is struggles with her feelings before she realizes where they lie.

Overall it is a good read about everyday life in rural England in the 19th Century.  I bought it, I will keep it and will probably read it again.

Lauren

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14 Oct

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