Book Connections

Library Pile Up.

I had planned to read two or maybe three library books this month. But now I have a pile up and while I am just finishing one, and have another ready to start reading tomorrow, now I need to go collect five more. I may or may not get to them before having to return  them.

I will prioritise those that have someone else after me on the reserve list. If no reserves there is a good chance I can renew them and keep them longer. I’ll do my best to read them all because I want to. Meanwhile all the ones I bought recently. plus all the old TBR ones wait!!

I also went nuts asking for a number of quilting books from other libraries. I have six to collect. They are pleasure browsing ones so that’s okay. But it makes 11 books sitting on the library shelf waiting for me to collect. Bliss!

Digging Up DirtBy Australian author Pamela Hart. It is the start of a new mystery series and involves a renovation of a heritage house and the finding of a dead body.

Five copies of this and I think they are all out and I am the only reserve. Safe to say I can put this near the end.

Rachel to the RescueThis sounds good and I saw it at least in one place (Laurel Rain’s blog). Rachel Klein is sacked from her job at the White House after she sends an email criticising Donald Trump. As she is escorted off the premises she is hit by a speeding car, driven by what the press will discreetly call ‘a personal friend of the president’. 

No reserves at the moment so doesn’t have to be read straight away. Library has two copies.

The Sweet Taste of MuscadinesThis is a debut novel I mentioned earlier in the year and I’ve been waiting for it to be available at the library.

Women’s fiction with some suspense. Two copies at the library, the other one will be due in before mine so that should protect me if someone else wants to read it before I get to it.

The Kitchen frontI’ve enjoyed the couple of other books by this author and so I’ve seen some of you say this was good and I want to read it.

Four women compete for a spot hosting a wartime cookery program called The Kitchen Front – based on the actual BBC program of the same name – as well as a chance to better their lives.

Two copies and while no one has it on reserve now, my copy will come due first so needs to be read earlier rather than later.

Twisted threadsThe first in a mystery series recommended by Katherine over at I wish I lived in a library!

Set in Maine and involves a needle pointing business. I don’t do that craft but its rather pretty. If I had time! Next life!

Angie is returning home after the remains of her mother are discovered.

One copy. I am the only one wanting it, and as written in 2015 probably I won’t be hassled by anyone else wanting it immediately.


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A Letter From Italy Pamela Hart

book cover

Published: Hachette NZ
Date: March 14th 2017
Format: Trade Paperback
Pages: 356
Genre: Historical Fiction
Source:Hachette NZ
4.5 stars                    Add to Goodreads

1917, Italy. Australian journalist Rebecca Quinn is an unconventional woman. At the height of World War I, she has given up the safety of her Sydney home for the bloody battlefields of Europe, following her journalist husband to the frontline as a war correspondent in Italy.

Reporting the horrors of the Italian campaign, Rebecca finds herself thrown together with American-born Italian photographer Alessandro Panucci, and soon discovers another battleground every bit as dangerous and unpredictable: the human heart.

My thoughts banner
A Letter From Italy is set in Italy during World War 1. Rebecca an Australian, has arrived with her husband Jack Quinn to report the war to an English and Australian newspaper. It is still a time when women news correspondents were really not in existence or not accepted. Rebecca comes from a family where women’s rights were strong, her mother an active suffragette. The Italian attitude to women comes as both a bit of a shock and a challenge to Rebecca.
Rebecca is a strong woman, with flaws, but passionate about her work. She is determined to prove herself and report what she sees and hears about. She is relentless in her pursuit of what might make a news story and report to those at home what is going on. And she does so with a woman’s heart and compassion.  Along the way she learns how her husband Jack is not all that she first thought, which brings out actually the best in her.
Along with Rebecca we meet Sandro, or Al as he is known back in New York. He is helping out his Nonna, Nonna Rosa a woman with a story of her own I am sure. Sandro has been unable to join the war efforts and up until now has struggled with it. But alongside Rebecca he finds something that he can accomplish and so participate in the war effort.
The story is really well told, small details make it feel like a factual, real account. We meet some of the actual heroes in that war and witness the pain and loss of the young men that went off to fight that war. 
As well Italy is brought to life, the countryside, the food, the people and their way of life at that time. 
Well worth the read.  Once begun hard to put down.
About the Author
Pamela is an award-winning author for adults and children. She has a Doctorate in Creative Arts from the University of Technology, Sydney. Under the name of Pamela Freeman she wrote the historical novel The Black Dress, which won the NSW Premier’s History Prize for 2006. Pamela lives in Sydney, with her husband and their son, and teaches at the Australian Writers’ Centre. A Letter From Italy is her thirtieth book.
Find her at her website Pamela Hart


The War Bride. Pamela Hart

The War Bride book cover

Published: Hachette NZ
Date: 22nd March 2016
Format: Trade Paperback
Pages: 354
Genre: Historical Fiction
Source:Thanks to Hachette NZ
4.5 stars                  Add to Goodreads

January, 1920. Young Englishwoman Margaret Dalton is full of excitement as she arrives to begin a new life in the warm, golden land of Australia. She leaves behind the horrors of WWI and can’t wait to see her husband, Frank, after two years’ separation. But when Margaret’s ship docks, Frank isn’t there to greet her and Margaret is informed that he already has a wife . . .

Devastated, Margaret must swap her hopes and dreams for the reality of living and working in a strange new city. And just as a growing friendship with army sergeant Tom McBride gives her a steady person to rely on, news arrives that Frank may not have abandoned her. Where should Margaret’s loyalties lie: with the old life or with the new?

My thoughts banner
The War Bride by Pamela Hart turned out to be a delightful and really absorbing read. I loved the time it was set in – just at the end of World War. I also loved the geographical setting – Sydney, Australia. Margaret finds herself in Sydney with no one to meet her. Fortunately Tom a local soldier, helps her out and eventually she finds herself at a boarding house with the delightful landlady – Burnsie and her daughter Jane.
It is quite a culture shock for Margaret, Australia is really a different country to England, already by that time the Australian culture was evolving rapidly. Women had the vote and went swimming with gusto. The language was English but of course there are many sayings that were new to her and words she hadn’t ever heard before. 
The book explores what it is like for those who are returning from war and settling back into ordinary life again. After all that’s what they fought for – so that ordinary life might go on. Many of them are still dealing with the inner and outer wounds of war. Tom was relatively unscathed physically but he still has nightmares.  Tom is a Catholic though and Margaret a Methodist. In those days, never the two should meet. I really enjoyed seeing  the characters and their thoughts and feelings about religion. The attitudes of people towards various events too was interesting. Society has changed, however I grew up in the 1950’s and things were pretty similar to the book’s era I have to say.
Tom and Margaret begin to form a relationship and it is really going somewhere when Margaret hears that her husband Frank didn’t desert her, he is living with Gladys and his daughter Violet. This throws Margaret into a quandary.  What should she do? 
The characters are very real, I liked them all, the dilemma that faced Margaret was really difficult. I liked too that the story is based on what actually happened to some real life brides. It opened up a small window for me on that era.
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