I’ve just come back from my hols in France. Enjoyable, but damp. We went down to Biarritz to play in the surf, (which was fantastic) and to toast ourselves on the Grande Plage with all the celebs. They must have loved us with our buckets and spades – all that was needed was the knotted handkerchief to make the parody perfect!
I took my trusty Kindle of course, having first dropped into NetGalley to add a couple of reads.
The first was The Christmas we met by Kate Lord Brown, published this October by Orion Books.
It tells the story of jewellery designer, Grace Manners down on her luck following the disappearance of her husband. The writing is mellifluous, just as the research in depth. I make my own jewellery so I know quite a bit about gemstones and metal work, but even I learnt a few things. The story is convoluted, folding back on itself like silk to bring us into wartime Paris – by using this approach Kate leaves false trails and tantalising leads that guide us to a very satisfying conclusion. In short a perfect glamorous read for posh Biarritz – they weren’t to know that we were only camping and not staying in luxury now were they!
The second book was by trusty favourite Veronica Henry, whom I view as an old friend (probably not so old, but I’m sure she won’t take offence). I see her name staring down at me from the shelves of Waitrose every time I nip in for my tea bags and, like the Mona Lisa her books seem to follow me!
Veronica can always be relied upon for a pure escapism read and here again she delivers.
Funnily enough a recent book I reviewed by Jane Lovering (I don’t want to talk about it, ChocLit) begins in a churchyard, this one begins with funerals – The funerals of two very different people in the small coastal village of Pennfleet.
The story interweaves the tale of the two women most affected by these deaths, one a daughter, one a wife and how the small community mopes them up and carries them through – Just as life carries on, so must they.
This was just the book I needed as, by this time we’d moved North from Biarritz to the Dordogne (Perigord Noir, Sarlat etc) and it rained! This wasn’t the little drizzly piddly showers we get in the summer this was a 48 hour deluge that has left me with very different memories of this usually delightful place.
We did manage to go to Sarlat’s Saturday market, but we had to buy three extra umbrellas – Just as we managed to visit the 35,000 year old caves in Eyzies (photo above), but my trusty Kindle came in for a bashing in between times, when with dripping hair and toes I curled up under my sleeping bag and withdrew back into Pennfleet.
Now back home, with the washing all done I’m desperate to get back to my latest read, Clare Chase, So you think you know me. But I’m not allowing myself the pleasure. This is a debut novel under the ChocLit label and it is too good to even talk about until I’ve turned that last page – more later x