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Kristin Hannah -The Four Winds #bookreviews #positiveonly #5*

MY VERDICT? Elsa is an intriguing character whose resilience is at the core of the story. Although the story catalogues a series of depressing events, it’s an ultimately uplifting book. I found the historical details particularly interesting. An excellent 5* read from an author who never disappoints.

THE BLURB: The Four Winds is a deeply moving, powerful story about the strength and resilience of women and the bond between mother and daughter, by the multi-million copy number one bestselling author of The Nightingale, Kristin Hannah.

She will discover the best of herself in the worst of times …

Texas, 1934. Elsa Martinelli had finally found the life she’d yearned for. A family, a home and a livelihood on a farm on the Great Plains. But when drought threatens all she and her community hold dear, Elsa’s world is shattered to the winds.

Fearful of the future, when Elsa wakes to find her husband has fled, she is forced to make the most agonizing decision of her life. Fight for the land she loves or take her beloved children, Loreda and Ant, west to California in search of a better life. Will it be the land of milk and honey? Or will their experience challenge every ounce of strength they possess?

From the overriding love of a mother for her child, the value of female friendship and the ability to love again – against all odds, Elsa’s incredible journey is a story of survival, hope and what we do for the ones we love.

Buy from Waterstones: https://www.waterstones.com/book/the-four-winds/kristin-hannah/9781529054583

The Four Winds
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What I'm Reading

The Doll – Yrsa Sigurdardottir #bookreview #positiveonly #5*

MY VERDICT? I wasn’t disappointed by this creepy atmospheric story and the twists and turns of the plot kept me racing through the pages. I hadn’ t realised it was part of a series, but it made sense as a standalone and now I’m going to read the rest. I love discovering a new favourite author.

THE BLURB
: It was meant to be a quiet family fishing trip, a chance for mother and daughter to talk. But it changes the course of their lives forever.

They catch nothing except a broken doll that gets tangled in the net. After years in the ocean, the doll a terrifying sight and the mother’s first instinct is to throw it back, but she relents when her daughter pleads to keep it. This simple act of kindness proves fatal. That evening, the mother posts a picture of the doll on social media. By the morning, she is dead and the doll has disappeared.

Several years later and Detective Huldar is in his least favourite place – on a boat in rough waters, searching for possible human remains. However, identifying the skeleton they find on the seabed proves harder than initially thought, and Huldar must draw on psychologist Freyja’s experience to help him. As the mystery of the unidentified body deepens, Huldar is also drawn into an investigation of a homeless drug addict’s murder, and Freyja investigates a suspected case of child abuse at a foster care home.

What swiftly becomes clear is that the cases are linked through a single, missing, vulnerable witness: the young girl who wanted the doll all those years ago.

Buy from Hive: https://www.hive.co.uk/Product/Yrsa-Sigurdardottir/The-Doll/24124018

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Shuggie Bain Review #bookreview #positiveonly #5*

MY VERDICT? This prizewinning novel is not for the faint-hearted. The eponymous Shuggie suffers appalling neglect and abuse and the author is unflinching in his portrayal of poverty. A stunning telling of a painful story.

THE BLURB: It is 1981. Glasgow is dying and good families must grift to survive. Agnes Bain has always expected more from life. She dreams of greater things: a house with its own front door and a life bought and paid for outright (like her perfect, but false, teeth). But Agnes is abandoned by her philandering husband, and soon she and her three children find themselves trapped in a decimated mining town. As she descends deeper into drink, the children try their best to save her, yet one by one they must abandon her to save themselves. It is her son Shuggie who holds out hope the longest. Shuggie is different. Fastidious and fussy, he shares his mother’s sense of snobbish propriety. The miners’ children pick on him and adults condemn him as no’ right. But Shuggie believes that if he tries his hardest, he can be normal like the other boys and help his mother escape this hopeless place.

Buy from Bert’s Books: https://bertsbooks.co.uk/product/shuggie-bain-booker-longlist-2020-6th-august-2020/

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The Pull of the Stars Review #bookreview #positiveonly #5*

 

MY VERDICT? Be prepared for a lot of graphic childbirth descriptions! Beautifully written Irish fiction set in the 1918 pandemic. A story about love and loss between women that seems eerily relevant today.

THE BLURB: Dublin, 1918. In a country doubly ravaged by war and disease, Nurse Julia Power works at an understaffed hospital in the city centre, where expectant mothers who have come down with an unfamiliar flu are quarantined together. Into Julia’s regimented world step two outsiders: Doctor Kathleen Lynn, on the run from the police, and a young volunteer helper, Bridie Sweeney. In the darkness and intensity of this tiny ward, over the course of three days, these women change each other’s lives in unexpected ways. They lose patients to this baffling pandemic, but they also shepherd new life into a fearful world. With tireless tenderness and humanity, carers and mothers alike somehow do their impossible work.

Buy from Waterstones: https://www.waterstones.com/book/the-pull-of-the-stars/emma-donoghue//