Review

Home Fires. Fiona Lowe

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Published: Harlequin Australia
Date: 18th February 2019
Genre: Women’s fiction

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I am still dabbing my eyes and swallowing the back taste of smoke as I finish Home Fires by Fiona Lowe. As I read into the book I just couldn’t put it down,  I was drawn into the lives of the people of Myrtle in Victoria, Australia.

We all watch devastating events happening most nights as they play out on our TV screens. As I read this book I am hearing about a fire devastate a town in my own country.  Home Fires explores the terrible destruction of fire that can spring up and engulf a community.

This is a book not only about the horror of fire out of control, but the lives of people both before and after the fire. There is the shock of loss of life and home and animals. Add into that the people who survive and the huge stress that is placed on them. The world forgets them, but they are left to pick up the pieces.

Home Fires presents us with a wonderful group of characters all who are dealing with fire related issues, and issues that were already present and greatly exacerbated by the fire. We see a motley group of people struggle and fall, challenge each other and support each other until… something new arises.

So worth reading! A fabulous Australian setting,a disaster event and the courageous response to it, family upheaval, violence and marriage issues, PTSD, crime, and above all family and community supporting each other. This book has it all. The title of the book is totally apt and the cover gorgeous.

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It’s Monday! What Are You Reading?

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It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? a place to meet up and share what you have been, and are about to be reading over the week. It’s a great post to organise yourself. It’s an opportunity to visit and comment and er… add to your groaning TBR pile! So welcome in everyone. This meme started on J Kaye’s blog and then was hosted by Sheila from Book Journey. Sheila then passed it on to Kathryn here at The Book Date.
Jen Vincent, Teach Mentor Texts, and Kellee of Unleashing Readers decided to give It’s Monday! a kidlit focus. If you read and review books in children’s literature – picture books, chapter books, middle grade novels, young adult novels or anything in those genres – join them.

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So this week we are using the new Inlinkz, hopefully no different to what it was like before. I’ll monitor to make sure its working. If unsure check here how to link but should be okay.

Hope most of you are surviving your winter. We are having a hot summer with very little  rain. Let’s just say everything is brown!  This last week after eating breakfast I have been out stacking a load of firewood delivered to the front that I have to wheelbarrow to the back and stack. Almost done.

What I read last week:

I loved The Wednesday Wars – it was so good and definitely deserving of the Newbery Honor Medal that it received. If you ever feel drawn to reading a middle grade book – read this one. Or Okay for Now by the same author which I totally adored. Both books are for 12/13 year olds and up to whatever age.

What I am reading now:

Still listening to The Moon Sister by Lucinda Riley.

And reading

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Up next:

I haven’t made my mind up on what I will read next. 

Last Week’s Posts

The Victory Garden   Rhys Bowen

War and It’s Impact – 5 Connect Books.

You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!

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Book Connections, Reading challenge

War and its Impact.

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War is something that affects many. If you are like me so far you are lucky to have escaped. The closest I have come to it is a Grandfather injured in WW1. Fortunately my father was deaf and never saw active duty although he did join the air force during WW2. But war does have an emotional, physical, psychological and social impact on many. These books are all connected because of their link to war and the way in which they highlight these things.

Book coverSuitcase of Dreams by Tania Blanchard tells the story of a German family who emigrate to Australia to find freedom and new opportunities. They do eventually find that but they still carry with them the tensions of their past rooted in WW11.

Also impinging upon them are the horrors of the Vietnam war, again they are haunted by what war can do and its dreadful waste.

Book CoverIn Tides of Honour we meet Danny Baker a World War 1 soldier badly wounded and sent home. The loss of a leg in those times was even more challenging than it would be today. And not only that, what he has witnessed – seeing his friends blown apart has to have placed upon him a heavy burden.

Audrey, the woman he meets in France turns out to be someone who loves him and helps him battle the inner demons… until those demons become very challenging. It turns out that another disaster is a turning point for them.

book cover The Spitfire Girls by Soraya M. Lane details for us the excellent contribution young women pilots in England and the USA made to WW2. They had to make their way among the world of men and public prejudice at time. But they worked on bravely in difficult conditions.

 

book coverThe Victory Garden by Rhys Bowen explores the upheaval of World War 1 and the far flung impact on the people in England. Hardly one family was left untouched by loss, and if not loss – men who return who are deeply scarred by the experience.  Class barriers begin to tone down, women take on new roles, in this case the role of land girls.

book cover In The Military Wife by Laura Trentham  we explore modern war and its repercussions through the eyes of SEALS and their challenges and struggles with injury and PTSD. We also see the effects and challenges for their wives and family.

In 2019 have you read a book that could fit into this book connect?

Review

The Victory Garden by Rhys Bowen

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Published: Lake Union
Date: 12th February 2019
Source:  Little Bird Publicity via NetGalley
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The Victory Garden by Rhys Bowen explores the upheaval of World War 1 and the far flung impact on the people in England. Hardly one family was left untouched by loss, and if not loss – men who return deeply scarred by the experience.  Class barriers begin to tone down, women take on new roles – and The Victory Garden gave me, the reader a taste of that.

Emily – the main character was someone I came to really like and admire. She is a middle class woman with a Judge as a father. Her mother is very cognisant of class and was rather a sad case to behold. Because they had lost their son in the first year of the war they kept a tight hold on Emily and would not allow her to help out in the war effort. And the question of them is – when the chips are down “Does family matter?”

When Emily turns twenty one though all that changes and she sets off to become a land girl. The work is hard, but she is willing to give it a go and in doing so forms meaningful relationships with women of lower class and means.

The story moves along at a good pace and I found myself picking up the book happily at any chance I had. I loved the journey Emily had to take to find herself and her place among community. And she is supported by a very likeable group of people. I don’t want to give away all that happens to her, so no more.

If you enjoy books about the English countryside, people banding together in hard times and a heroine who ‘comes of age’ then I think you’d enjoy this.

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It’s Monday! What Are You Reading?

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It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? a place to meet up and share what you have been, and are about to be reading over the week. It’s a great post to organise yourself. It’s an opportunity to visit and comment and er… add to your groaning TBR pile! So welcome in everyone. This meme started on J Kaye’s blog and then was hosted by Sheila from Book Journey. Sheila then passed it on to Kathryn here at The Book Date.
Jen Vincent, Teach Mentor Texts, and Kellee of Unleashing Readers decided to give It’s Monday! a kidlit focus. If you read and review books in children’s literature – picture books, chapter books, middle grade novels, young adult novels or anything in those genres – join them.

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Welcome in all. Rushing a little this week, hope all is well with everyone.  InLinkz is changing, I just signed into the new one, but realised I didn’t know how it works, so will study it this week and set it up for next week. So using the old one for this week! But next week may be a little different but not much. They explain how to link up here, but I will also link that next week. Probably really no different.

What I read last week:

What I am reading now:

A middle grade book I’ve been promising myself I’d read for a long time.

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And listening to…

Up next:

This review book

 

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Last Week’s Posts

The Military Wife by Laura Trentham.    Review

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Review

The Military Wife by Laura Trentham

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Published: St Martin’s Press
Date: 5th February 2019
Genre: General Fiction
Source: Publisher via NetGalley

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Right from the first page I was hooked into this story that explores military life from so many different viewpoints. Firstly the men themselves, then the women who love them and the children in the family.  Military men are tough but they are also human, Laura Trentham explores PTSD, grief and loss, women who worry about their men and children who have either lost a parent to war or must tiptoe around because their dad just isn’t who he once was.

Harper Wilcox is a wonderful Mom to Ben. She has been through the mill – losing her husband Noah in a military mission. Fortunately she has the support of her mother and a delightful Ben. She wants more though about how Noah died beyond the terse military report. She believes Bennett who was on that mission may hold some answers.

Allison is Harper’s friend, she has three children and a husband who since returning from active duty has been morose and the family have had to tiptoe around him.

I liked the way the story unfolded, the characters were ones I could take into my mind and heart. The story moved along at a good pace and I think gave me a good insight into the challenges, struggles and losses of those involved in military service. While I smiled from time to time, I also teared up. So an emotional read!

Such a mixture of loss, guilt, anger, despair coupled with love, strength, support, new hope and second chances. I will most certainly look for the next book in The Heart of a Hero series.

photo of authorLaura Trentham is the award winning author of contemporary and historical romance. She is a member of RWA and has been a finalist multiple times in the Golden Heart competition. A chemical engineer by training and a lover of books by nature, she lives in South Carolina.

 

Buy links can be found here.

 

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#IMWAYR

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading?

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It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? a place to meet up and share what you have been, and are about to be reading over the week. It’s a great post to organise yourself. It’s an opportunity to visit and comment and er… add to your groaning TBR pile! So welcome in everyone. This meme started on J Kaye’s blog and then was hosted by Sheila from Book Journey. Sheila then passed it on to Kathryn here at The Book Date.
Jen Vincent, Teach Mentor Texts, and Kellee of Unleashing Readers decided to give It’s Monday! a kidlit focus. If you read and review books in children’s literature – picture books, chapter books, middle grade novels, young adult novels or anything in those genres – join them.

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Well February is already wending its way across our lives. Hope all those in cold climes are managing to stay warm. I’m trying to stay cool and even went for a swim yesterday at our local beach. Well, only because I was with a friend who swims at every opportunity.

What I read last week:

What I am reading now:

I will be reading In Pieces slowly and am making good progress through it. I usually night read it for awhile most evenings.

I am also continuing to listen to Royal Blood. Truthfully the narrator Katherine Kellgren is so good I’d listen to her read the phone book!

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Up next:

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Month in Review

January Reading Month in Review

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Total books read this month: 13.

New to me authors:

Genevieve Graham
Sarah McCoy
Laura Trentham
Sonja Yoerg
Sofia Lundberg

Reading Challenge Update:

Started well. 4 audiobooks in one month is good for me and gives me a good beginning.

Reading Club Update:

I joined the Modern Mrs Darcy book club again. I am a little out of my league there, the members tend to be a little more of literary readers than I am. But I will persevere as the books themselves are within my reading range.

I didn’t read the Books With Heart book because the theme of sickness in the book was just too much for me. And I listened in to Rachael Johns discussion of her book which I had read towards the latter part of 2018 but was the book for January discussion.

Outside Reading Highlights

What can I say, January has gone by so quickly. Summer in our part of the world. Last night I slept with a fan going all night. First time ever! I read online that putting a bowl of iced water in front of the fan can help. May just try that. Or a cold “hot water bottle”. I am not so sure about that!

I joined a tai chi class which is proving enjoyable. I was going to go to beginners’ yoga but found a really good yoga class that is online for older women and while it was a cost, it is very economical as if I went to class once a week after 10-15 weeks I would have paid the same. This way I get to do it every day. Most likely better for me. I also found a DVD in my cupboard for stretching and that proved good too. Ah January is a good place to start new habits!

Top Book for January

Hard to choose – so many good reads this month. However I did get caught up in this one so will choose it and I enjoyed the narrator Lisa Flanagan

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Looking forward to reading in February

This month there are some unknowns to read – review books of authors I haven’t read before and the same with the library books, although I look forward to Strawberry Hill by Catherine Anderson from the library.

Main Reading Goals for February

In January I had two books I stopped and DNF. So for February I’d like to stop reading any book that doesn’t work for me.

Incoming Books during January…

Purchased

Library Books

From NetGalley or Edelweiss

Audio Books

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This will be the last time I host a link up for the end of month review. I’d like to thank you all for supporting this and joining in. I really appreciated it. From February onwards I am going to link up to Nicole’s link up at Feed Your Fiction Addiction – which I know some of you do already. See you over there!

Book Connections, Reading challenge

Connect Five Books – January/February

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Join me for 2019 in Connect Five – Books.

Remember you didn’t need to sign up for this challenge you can just join in as you see you have five connections.

When you have five that connect in whatever way you are able to group them then link up. How might you do this?

  • Write and link up a blog post
  • Share the five books on Instagram and link up
  • Have a Goodreads shelf and link that up – this may be a little different but maybe use it in combination with a comment would be helpful.
  • Or… if you belong to none of these places, share five books in a comment.

What’s the Challenge?

To look for connections between books you read. There will be  many connections that just float over our awareness. Let’s see can we raise that a bit, whether its fairly surface level or something deeper.

If you need some guidelines for this then see the original post. Connect Five Books.

Remember:

  • A book can only be used once for this challenge in the year.
  • The books must be read in 2019.
  • Books can be carried over until you have five of something. It may take a few months to gather five of something.
  • You may have  many connections of five to link up . So if you have two groups of five then you can link up twice and so on within a month.
  • You may just link one group of five during the year, or many each month. It depends on how many connections you come across!
  •  Use the hashtag  #connect5books2019 if sharing on social media.

When?

Each month I will post a link up on the last Wednesday of the month. The link up will be open until the  Tuesday before the last Wednesday of the next month. The first link is today January 30th 2019.

#connect5books2019

A Giveaway

For those who have a five book connection and link up there will be a random prize draw for one reader who will win a book of their choice for that month from the Book Depository. The last link up will be posted in November and go through December. At the end of the year there will be one draw as well for all those who have participated during the year, –  a book of choice from the Book Depository up to the value of $18 U.S.

#IMWAYR

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading?

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It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? a place to meet up and share what you have been, and are about to be reading over the week. It’s a great post to organise yourself. It’s an opportunity to visit and comment and er… add to your groaning TBR pile! So welcome in everyone. This meme started on J Kaye’s blog and then was hosted by Sheila from Book Journey. Sheila then passed it on to Kathryn here at The Book Date.
Jen Vincent, Teach Mentor Texts, and Kellee of Unleashing Readers decided to give It’s Monday! a kidlit focus. If you read and review books in children’s literature – picture books, chapter books, middle grade novels, young adult novels or anything in those genres – join them.

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Hope you are all enjoying your reading. I had another good week, mostly audiobook as I listened a lot as I am sewing a quilt for my sister for her bed.

It’s meant to be summer here, but wet and drizzly last couple of days. On Friday the tree people came and cut back my trees – now I am feeling exposed! But they will grow quickly enough. I never thought of how much money I’d spend on trees when I was planting them!

What I read last week:

These were all good reads. I raced through True Places which was so good on audio.

What I am reading now:

Some fiction and a memoir.

And I will start listening to Royal Blood. A cozy mystery is perfect after the emotional last audiobook.

Up next:

A review book – publishing date February 26th

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Last Week’s Posts

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