Wilding: The return of nature to a British farm by Isabella Tree

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Wilding: The Return of Nature to a British Farm by Isabella Tree

Summary:

In Wilding, Isabella Tree tells the story of the ‘Knepp experiment’, a pioneering rewilding project in West Sussex, using free-roaming grazing animals to create new habitats for wildlife. Part gripping memoir, part fascinating account of the ecology of our countryside, Wilding is, above all, an inspiring story of hope.

Forced to accept that intensive farming on the heavy clay of their land at Knepp was economically unsustainable, Isabella Tree and her husband Charlie Burrell made a spectacular leap of faith: they decided to step back and let nature take over. Thanks to the introduction of free-roaming cattle, ponies, pigs and deer – proxies of the large animals that once roamed Britain – the 3,500 acre project has seen extraordinary increases in wildlife numbers and diversity in little over a decade.

Extremely rare species, including turtle doves, nightingales, peregrine falcons, lesser spotted woodpeckers and purple emperor butterflies, are now breeding at Knepp, and populations of other species are rocketing. The Burrells’ degraded agricultural land has become a functioning ecosystem again, heaving with life – all by itself.

Personal and inspirational, Wilding is an astonishing account of the beauty and strength of nature, when it is given as much freedom as possible.

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My review:

I could give Wilding by Isabella Tree so many plaudits. But inspirational and outstanding are just two. This is a story of how a 3,500-acre farm in Knepp in West Sussex owned by Isabella’s husband Charlie Burrell was returned to nature. I am so delighted to see this book now longlisted for the 2019 Wainwright Golden Beer Book Prize.

The project on the farm started back in 2000 and the difference now is nothing short of incredible. From the intensive modern farming methods to the point where the farm was no longer a viable going concern and something had to be done to turn this around.

This was a risk but it was a risk well worth taking despite some complaints and objections they tore down the fences and slowly returned the farm to its past. They brought in a select breed of pigs as well as cattle and Exmoor ponies and let them roam free. The ‘rewilding’ of the farm was underway.

The UK has a whole has seen its wildlife plummet with some of our species flora and fauna close to extinction. What has been created on their farm is nothing short of incredible. To see what the farm has become today and the species that have now returned to the farm. Nightingales have returned to the farm where nationally they have crashed and Turtle Doves have started to return to the farm and Purple Emperor Butterflies have also been seen and are now breeding on the estate long with Orchids and other rare plants have been found. This is no coincidence.

This is a part memoir and also I believe a book of hope for the future of farming. A move away from the intensive agricultural policies of the past and what I liked was that Isabella talks about rewilding of farms and also that you can at the same time feed the populations of the world.

Wilding: The return of nature to a British farm is nothing short of astonishing and proves we can bring back nature to our countryside and also farm at the same time. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.

The Shortlist for the 2019 Wainwright Golden Beer Prize will be announced at midday on the 2nd July.

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384 Pages.

Wilding: The Return of Nature to a British Farm by Isabella Tree was published by Picador and was published in Paperback on 21st March 2019 and is available through Waterstones, Amazon and through your local independent bookshop.

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The Exhausting Summer of São Martino by Simon Carr

SIMON CARR

The Exhausting Summer of São Martino

by Simon Carr

Narrated by Steven Pacey

Summary:

Prospero is the mayor of a small town that has escaped the attention of the modern world. In Tapoli, news still travels by word of mouth – and it travels fast, since everyone knows everyone else in the town’s latticework of narrow streets. We first encounter Prospero at a local summer festival, where his attention is caught by a visiting Englishwoman who seems oddly familiar. As the couple embark on a curious friendship, and then an even more curious love affair, Prospero discovers the woman’s connections with his own past. As his personal life grows complicated, so does his role as the town’s mayor – especially when strangers arrive, rubbing up against the entrenched local community and against local traditions. Prospero’s own role as mayor comes under growing public scrutiny as he struggles with the conflicting advice of his head and his heart.

My Review:

My second Audible book review and what a beautifully narrated story this is. You the listener are transported to the heat of the day in Tapoli. Life has always been in a time warp of bygone sleepy long summer days. The modern era has not reached this town in Portugal.

Prospero is the Mayor of Tapoli and all he wants is the town to become successful and modern as well as a town that remains quintessentially still of a time gone by feel. This is a challenge for Prospero as the town is reluctant to wake up to the modern ways of the world. Imagine going to buy your bread at the bakery and getting the local news of the day at the same time. This is Tapoli. Like all towns there are the usual issues to solve but not like anywhere else though. Then there is the Englishwoman who visits the town and Prospero and the woman begin a friendship that leads to love but what is it about the Woman that seems familiar?

This is a story written by Simon Carr who moved to Portugal some years ago so this is a story he has wanted to write about the home he has adopted. There is humour in the story which is so wonderfully told by Steven Pacey as he plays each role so wonderfully. I just loved the gentle style of how the story flowed that you could almost feel the heat of the day and the sound of crickets in the background. You are transported to Tapoli through the words of Simon Carr and gentle narration of Steven Pacey.

About the author

Simon Carr was for a dozen years the parliamentary sketch writer of the UK national newspaper the Independent. His retirement – earlier than expected – ultimately led to an abandoned smallholding in the depth of central Portugal. With the help of a digger, a tractor and with the long-suffering support of the Medelim community, he developed the wild, bramble-covered property into an idyllic little domain.

About the narrator Steven Pacey.

Steven Pacey needs little introduction. A star from our screens, radios and audiobooks, he has played and read an extraordinary number of parts. You may know him for his roles in musical theatre – such as La Cage Aux Folles (2009) or Spamalot (2012/13) – or from his appearances in shows such as King Lear (2013/14) and Peter Pan (2011). More recently, he has become a prodigious narrator, turning his voice to an array of books across genres: fiction, children’s novels and more. In his own words, the great joy of audiobooks is ‘that you get to play all the parts that you wouldn’t possibly be considered for visually’. He does so here with characteristic vivacity and verve.

Thank you to Phoebe Swinburn (Midas PR) for the review copy of the audio book of The Exhausting Summer of Sao Martino by Simon Carr. Available now via Audible.co.uk

The Last Widow by Karin Slaughter

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The Last Widow by Karin Slaughter

Summary:

It begins with an abduction. The routine of a family shopping trip is shattered when Michelle Spivey is snatched as she leaves the mall with her young daughter. The police search for her, her partner pleads for her release, but in the end…they find nothing. It’s as if she disappeared into thin air.
A month later, on a sleepy Sunday afternoon, medical examiner Sara Linton is at lunch with her boyfriend Will Trent, an agent with the Georgia Bureau of Investigation. But the serenity of the summer’s day is broken by the wail of sirens.
Sara and Will are trained to help in an emergency. Their jobs – their vocations – mean that they run towards a crisis, not away from it. But on this one terrible day that instinct betrays them both. Within hours the situation has spiralled out of control; Sara is taken prisoner; Will is forced undercover. And the fallout will lead them into the Appalachian mountains, to the terrible truth about what really happened to Michelle, and to a remote compound where a radical group has murder in mind…

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My Review:

Shock! I have only just discovered the international bestselling author Karin Slaughter. I cannot believe this either. But I am so pleased I have. I am new to the Will Trent series but this did not deter me and can be read as a standalone novel.

This is a terrifying thriller and you will need to prepare yourself for some parts of the storyline as it contains some scenes which will make you angry. Do not let this deter you from reading as the tension is heart-stopping with some brilliant characters written into the plot and there is no let-up in the action as the story begins when a family head off to a shopping mall. As Michelle Spivey leaves the mall with her young daughter it is Michelle who is kidnapped. But who has taken her and why? Despite everything there is no sign of Michelle.

If this is not scary enough then the story really ignites as Will Trent and Sara Linton are enjoying what was going to be a relaxing lunch, but sound of explosions means their lunch will go cold but the action now really hots up as they speed to help and find a car accident and they stop to help. Home-grown terrorists have attacked Georgia leaving many dead and wounded.

These are bad guys and Sara is taken. Will is hurt but one of the bad guys is taken prisoner. Now the situation is rapidly getting out of control and there are some difficult moments in this story. Will is lost and hurt at prospect of allowing Sara to be taken by the gang members. This is Will at his most vulnerable but he must regain control to have any attempt of finding Sara alive as he now goes undercover and finds these murderous white young men are planning something more horrific and terrifying.

What they find is utterly shocking as there is an ultra-right wing group with one thing on their mind. Murder! This group of young white supremacists with an agenda and they will not be stopped. Something we are hearing a lot of in the sad times for real.

As much as some of the scenes are shocking I believe you can move quickly to avoid any upset to the reader. The characters of Will and Sara are strong and they both bring so much to this rollercoaster of a story.

Nothing is left to chance in this pulsating read as fans of Karin Slaughter will know from her previous novels. The author has researched well for the plot line and the superb characters she brings to her novels as well as emotions that are at times plainly raw.

The start may seem slow but persevere as this story just comes to life quickly and there is so much going one that you wonder how it will all end. A brilliant if at times disturbing read but we are living in troubled times. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED

464 Pages.

Thank you to Rebecca Bryant (Harper Collins) for the review copy of The Last Widow by Karin Slaughter

The Last Widow by Karin Slaughter was published by Harper Collins and was published on 13th June 2019 and is available through Waterstones, Amazon and through your local independent bookshop.

The Last Widow – The Blog Tour

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New Titles from Candlestick Press

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Ten Poems about Childhood

Selected and Introduced by Mimi Khalvati

We all have memories about childhood or are reminded of our childhood by those that are close to us. Our childhood years make us become who we are. Sometimes I find looking at photos can suddenly take me back to one moment back then or a piece of music but also it is poetry that can reflect the childhood years really well.

One of the very latest poetry pamphlets by Candlestick Press is Ten Poems about Childhood. Selected and introduced by Mimi Khalvati. Ten wonderful poems that speak to us of childhood. Poems by Poems by Kayo ChingonyiJane DuranLouise GlückSeamus HeaneyElizabeth JenningsMimi KhalvatiHannah LoweJames MerrillTracy K Smith and James Womack.

The poem The Railway Children by Seamus Heaney just reminded me of my young days sat watching the trains at a station. I was fascinated. What is Written by Jane Duran. The opening lines:

The way you look at your book:

crawl round, lie over it,

turn number of pages at a time

and sit and put your face down

to look deeply into the words,

These opening lines of the poem could by anyone of us when we were young. It was certainly me.

Ten Poems about Childhood available now to order through Candlestick Press.

 

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Ten Poems about Bees

 Introduced by Brigit Strawbridge Howard

Another of the latest of the poetry pamphlets is Ten Poems about Bees introduced by Brigit Strawbridge Howard is just sublime. Bees right now need our help.

The Honeybee provides us with that wonderful golden honey that we spread on our morning toast as well as many recipes. But just imagine a world without the bee? Too frightening to contemplate but the threat is more than just real. We are so closely intertwined with the bee.

There is even a poem by the nature writer Miriam Darlington called Beekeeper and it deserves to be read. As a child I was scared of bees as I did not understand them until I discovered nature and I became fascinated by the lives of bees, from the honeybee to the solitary bee each one so unique and wonderful. I have been stung far too many times so seeing the poem Stung by Heid E. Erdrich tells of a person being stung.

These poems are just delightful and ones to treasure. Ten Poems about Bees avaialble to order through Candlestick press.

 

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Thank you to Kathy Towers of Candlestick Press for the review copies of Ten Poems about Childhood and Ten Poems about Bees both now available to order through Candlestick Press website.

 

Candlestick Press are a small independent publisher based in Nottingham and were founded in 2008. The team consists of four dedicated people in Di Slaney (Publisher), Kathy Towers (Assistant Editor) and two admin assistants. Their aim is simple to spread the joy of poetry to adults and children alike who love poetry and or may be just beginning their journey in to enjoying poetry. These small pamphlets are just ideal for bedtime reading or like I have been doing and that is enjoying them on journeys.

They have published so many of these beautiful pamphlets on a wide range of topics from Christmas to Cricket, from Dogs to Sheep and even Clouds and walking and even breakfast. These wonderful poetry pamphlets make the ideal gift to send to friends and loved ones. For more information, please visit the Candlestick Press website: Candlestick Press

The Dragon Lady by Louisa Treger

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The Dragon Lady by Louisa Treger

Summary:

Opening with the shooting of Lady Virginia ‘Ginie’ Courtauld in her tranquil garden in 1950s Rhodesia, The Dragon Lady tells Ginie’s extraordinary story, so called for the exotic tattoo snaking up her leg. From the glamorous Italian Riviera before the Great War to the Art Deco glory of Eltham Palace in the thirties, and from the secluded Scottish Highlands to segregated Rhodesia in the fifties, the narrative spans enormous cultural and social change. Lady Virginia Courtauld was a boundary-breaking, colourful and unconventional person who rejected the submissive role women were expected to play.

Ostracised by society for being a foreign divorcée at the time of Edward VIII and Mrs Simpson, Ginie and her second husband ,Stephen Courtauld, leave the confines of post-war Britain to forge a new life in Rhodesia, only to find that being progressive liberals during segregation proves mortally dangerous. Many people had reason to dislike Ginie, but who had reason enough to pull the trigger?

Deeply evocative of time and place, The Dragon Lady subtly blends fact and fiction to paint the portrait of an extraordinary woman in an era of great social and cultural change.

My Review:

Following on from her first book The Lodger published in 2014 I have patiently been waiting for Lousa Treger to release another novel. The wait is over today as The Dragon Lady (Bloomsbury Caravel) is published this very day.

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A mix of fiction and non-fiction and a real blend of history, crime and a dash of romance thrown in. The Dragon Lady is the story of a rather intriguing woman Lady Virginia Courtauld. Ginnie as she was more widely known was something of a real intoxicating figure. She was known for the incredible snake tattoo that seemed to be working its way up her leg.

The book begins in 1950’s Rhodesia and Ginnie has been shot in the gardens of her and husband Stephen’s beautiful gardens. The story finds its way from Italy to the rugged Scottish Highlands to the British ruled Rhodesia the world was changing around them during these times but Ginnie was not one to be away from the headlines as she was a woman of immense character and no ordinary woman.

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We never quite know who shot Ginnie or why as you read and you do begin to look for clues. It is true she had those who did not like or agree with her thoughts or attitude. While settling in hot climate of Rhodesia both Ginnie and Stephen became outspoken at what they saw as racist behaviour. So could this have been the motive for Ginnie’s shooting in the gardens of their home La Rochelle.

Many who met Ginnie Courtauld certainly would never forget they had met her. A woman of adventure and intrigue. A remarkable woman and an even more remarkable life and when it came to the suffering of native Rhodesia Ginnie steps up to the mark to stand up for them and it is through the pages that Louisa Treger talks of the oppression the natives of this land suffered.

This is beautifully written and told by Louisa Treger and the reader is carried along through the story of Ginnie. This is why I really became a fan of Louisa’s writing after her first novel and is absorbing and captivating and a book I became really attached to and could not put down.

In the 1958 New Year’s Honours Stephen was Knighted. In 1967 and Lady Virginia Courtauld then moved to Jersey were she died in 1972. Their home that was La Rochelle was bequeathed to the National Trust of Rhodesia (Now The National Trust of Zimbabwe) in 1970. If you enjoy books that involve both fiction and non-fiction, then I am delighted to highly recommend The Dragon Lady.

I am delighted to say that I will be interviewing Louisa Treger for a special podcast to talk about The Dragon Lady and Louisa’s writing process.

@louisatreger http/louisatreger.com/

#TheDragonLady @caravelbooks

320 Pages.

Thank you to Bloomsbury Caravel for the review copy of The Dragon Lady by Louisa Treger

The Dragon Lady by Louisa Treger is published by Bloomsbury Caravel and published on 13th June 2019. Available through Waterstones, Amazon and through your local independent bookshop.

Bird Therapy by Joe Harkness

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Bird Therapy by Joe Harkness

Summary:

When Joe Harkness suffered a breakdown in 2013, he tried all the things his doctor recommended: medication helped, counselling was enlightening, and mindfulness grounded him. But nothing came close to nature, particularly birds. How had he never noticed such beauty before? Soon, every avian encounter took him one step closer to accepting who he is.

The positive change in Joe’s wellbeing was so profound that he started a blog to record his experience. Three years later he has become a spokesperson for the benefits of birdwatching, spreading the word everywhere from Radio 4 to Downing Street.

In this groundbreaking book filled with practical advice, Joe explains the impact that birdwatching had on his life, and invites the reader to discover these extraordinary effects for themselves.

AUTHOR

My Review:

I have loved nature since I was a young boy. But the one thing I have always felt is that nature has a way of mending. But I have always felt the same way about books and reading. Many months ago I had a phone call from Joe Harkness and we had a long conversation and he told me all about himself and the book he wanted to write after all the planning and the writing and the worry Joe Harkness has written an astonishingly open book called Bird Therapy (Unbound) and this is a book that really does go a long way to heal.

Joe was a broken sole, he was at the lowest point any human being can get, life seemed dark and devoid of any hope. Jo had suffered a breakdown in 2013 and was looking into a void with no light.  There is hope and there is help even when we don’t think there is.

Thankfully Joe got the help he needed and through this the first steps were taken and it was then Joe started bird watching and whether Joe found nature or nature found Joe it does not matter as in the end the light at the end of the tunnel was this. It has been proven how important nature is to mental health. Taking time out and looking at and even listening to nature is so important to all of us.

Joe has written in Bird Therapy a book from the heart. At the very start he talks in great courage to us about how low he mental health problems had got. But kit is through watching birds that has really helped Joe and his passion just pours out of the pages. Nature and people are connected and without nature we literally do not have a soul. Watching and studying birds requires time and patience not chasing around after rarities that are just a tick on a spreadsheet. But watching how birds interact with each other. We learn many things by watching each species and we learn many things that in turn help us.

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I have spent many happy days in Norfolk birdwatching as it is one the premier counties from the coasts to the Norfolk Broads to the marshes and this is also home to Joe Harkness and how he talks about his home as he travels to watch birds. Home is where the heart is and this is really where Joe’s heart belongs.

The first pages of Bird Therapy may seem dark and difficult to read but to understand a broken soul you have to be honest and open and Joes does this. There is a foreword by Chris Packham that discusses the stigma about Mental Health even in today’s world and there should not be any stigma at all. Being allowed to talk about problems is the start of the journey to recovery.

As Chris Packham says in his foreword this book will save lives. It will. Joe it was a real pleasure talking to you all those months ago. I knew just by talking with you that something incredible was coming. You have created something very special in Bird Therapy I wish nothing but success. Many will read your book and empathise with your words and your honesty. Bird Therapy is Natures Cure in its own right.

272 Pages.

Thank you to Unbound and also Joe Harkness for the review copy of Bird Therapy by Joe Harkness

Bird Therapy by Joe Harkness is published by Unbound and will be published on 13th June 2019 and is available through Waterstones, Amazon and through your local independent bookshop.

 

10 Minutes 38 Seconds in this Strange World by Elif Shafak

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10 Minutes 38 Seconds in this Strange World by Elif Shafak

Summary:

‘In the first minute following her death, Tequila Leila’s consciousness began to ebb, slowly and steadily, like a tide receding from the shore. Her brain cells, having run out of blood, were now completely deprived of oxygen. But they did not shut down. Not right away…’

For Leila, each minute after her death brings a sensuous memory: the taste of spiced goat stew, sacrificed by her father to celebrate the long-awaited birth of a son; the sight of bubbling vats of lemon and sugar which the women use to wax their legs while the men attend mosque; the scent of cardamom coffee that Leila shares with a handsome student in the brothel where she works. Each memory, too, recalls the friends she made at each key moment in her life – friends who are now desperately trying to find her. . .

My Review:

I cannot believe that this is my first review of a book written by one of our foremost critically acclaimed female writers of our time in Elif Shafak. After reading her latest novel set in the bustling city of Istanbul. 10 Minutes 38 Seconds in This Strange World is just breath-taking.

AUTHOR

10 Minutes 38 Seconds in This Strange World is in fact the last moments of the life of Tequila Leila’s life. These are her dying moments and each one a memory.

Tequila was a prostitute and her body has been dumped within the city and left to die. It is during these last moments of her life that she recalls her own past in flashbacks to her childhood and growing up, her family and the tastes and the smells of the Istanbul. But also her five friends that gave her the life and also peace of mind. Through these last minutes we see these friends that became close to Tequila they like her were surviving as only they knew how. They left the families and made their own lives. Living from one day to another they had created their own unique community looking out for one another. Each one is different and it is down to the reader to find one that you become fond of. I became attached to all of them just because they were so supportive of each other. I just warmed to their individual lifestyles.

Now I know why so many people love and totally respect the writing of Elif Shafak, only Elife can bring a story set in Turkey and breathe such life into such a story. There are of course many sad moments that will leave you asking many questions but there are some moments of real humanity and warmth. This is the story of Tequila Leila’s life and how she met her death. Leila is strong and this really comes across in this simply magnificent novel. Istanbul is vibrant and colourful. Her friends are bereft and devastated at the loss of their friend and cannot give her the burial she deserves. I am now a fan of Elif Shafak and will be seeking out further novels in the future.

For more information on Elif Shafak: http://www.elifsafak.com.tr/

Twitter: @Elif_Safak; Instagram @shafakelif

320 Pages.

Thank you to Viking Books UK for the review copy of 10 Minutes 38 Seconds in this Strange World by Elif Shafak

10 Minutes 38 Seconds in this Strange Worldby Elif Shafak is published by Viking UK and was published on 6th June 2019 and is available through Waterstones, Amazon and through your local independent bookshop.

If I Had Two Lives by Abbigail N. Rosewood

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If I Had Two Lives by Abbigail N. Rosewood

Summary:

As a child, isolated from the world in a secretive military encampment with her distant mother, she turns for affection to a sympathetic soldier and to the only other girl in the camp, forming two friendships that will shape the rest of her life.

As a young adult in New York, cut off from her native country and haunted by the scars of her youth, she is still in search of a home. She falls in love with a married woman who is the image of her childhood friend, and follows strangers because they remind her of her soldier. When tragedy arises, she must return to Vietnam to confront the memories of her youth – and recover her identity.

An inspiring meditation on love, loss, and the presence of a past that never dies, the novel explores the ancient question: do we value the people in our lives because of who they are, or because of what we need them to be?

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A novel that is separated into two parts with the first part beginning the story in Vietnam in the 1990’s and is focussed on a young girl who remains nameless throughout and is brought to this decaying military camp with her mother. If I Had Two Lives (Europa Editions) by Abbigail N. Rosewood tells the story of the young girl who from the age of four through to the age of twelve is kept behind the wire fence in the camp along with her mother. The story is very much in the first person narrative and we learn of how she copes in the camp and the only friends are another young girl and a soldier with whom she befriends and he repays this friendship by teaching her.

We learn that they a brought to the camp to protect them as the regime is very much against her. The child clearly has psychological problems as she was abused and left. At the age of twelve her mother manages to arrange her escape to the USA and begins a new life with relatives. Her mother will very soon follow, albeit an empty promise as her mother is soon embroiled in a political twist and turns back in Vietnam and never follows her daughter to America. She has been abandoned once again. For our young girl the past is haunting her and she struggles to move on with memories if the past.

It is one day that she spots a woman who shows a remarkable resemblance to the young girl in the camp she befriended and she falls in love with Lilah. But she is married. What happens next is that she has a child for the couple and then the story takes on a sadder route as we watch from afar our young girl and her young daughter head back to Vietnam not only to find her mother and the girl in the camp but it is also a healing process.

A remarkable story with an even more remarkable ending told with such detail and written with such beauty and a story of bravery and trying to heal the past and look to a new future. This one book I heartily recommend.

240 Pages.

Thank you to Daniela Petracco for the review copy of If I Had Two Lives by Abbigail N. Rosewood

If I Had Two Lives by Abbigail N. Rosewood was published by Europa Editions and was published on 11th April 2019 and is available through Waterstones, Amazon and through your local independent bookshop.

 

The Never Game by Jeffery Deaver

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The Never Game by Jeffery Deaver

Summary:

A student kidnapped from the park.
Nineteen-year-old Sophie disappears one summer afternoon. She wakes up to find herself locked inside a derelict warehouse, surrounded by five objects. If she uses them wisely, she will escape her prison. Otherwise she will die.

An investigator running out of time.
Sophie’s distraught father calls in the one man who can help find his daughter: unique investigator Colter Shaw. Raised in the wilderness by survivalist parents, he is an expert tracker with a forensic mind trained to solve the most challenging cases. But this will be a test even for him.

A killer playing a dangerous game.
Soon a blogger called Henry is abducted – left to die in the dark heart of a remote forest – and the whole case gets turned on its head. Because this killer isn’t following the rules; he’s changing them. One murder at a time…

 

Jeffery-Deaver

My Review:

This is the first in a new series from the master thriller writer Jeffery Deaver. I was delighted to receive a copy in the post and a thumping page turner it really is. So much so that I am actually a few days late with my review as I kept re-writing the review. A good sign.

Our main character is Colter Shaw who is by definition a reward seeker pure and simple. Shaw’s skill is tracking after being brought up within a family that honed his skills and now he puts them to good use in this tense thriller The Never Game (Harper Collins). His services have been requested to search for a missing woman Sophie Mulliner after her father becomes worried for his missing daughter. Frank has heard so much of Shaw’s experiences and is frustrated at the lack of a breakthrough by the local police.

But soon this becomes a tale of red herrings and murder. One centre of attention is Sophie’s boyfriend Kyle who had a bit of a reputation for mistreating her. What does Kyle know? But there is another twist when Kyle himself is killed when they end up in a disused factory. Was Kyle himself silenced?

This is a fast paced thriller and there is a link to video games within the plot, well this is a first in a thriller for me. But found our main character Colter Shaw to be one interesting character with a past of his own. If you are a fan of Jefferyy Deaver’s novels, then you will not be disappointed and I am now already looking forward to the next instalment.

416 Pages.

Thank you to Rebecca Bryant for the review copy of The Never Game by Jeffrey Deaver

The Never Game by Jeffrey Deaver was published by Harper Collins and was published on 16th May 2019 and is available through Waterstones, Amazon and through your local independent bookshop.

The Good Bee: A Celebration of Bees and How to Save Them by Alison Benjamin & Brian McCallum

 

The Good Bee

The Good Bee: A Celebration of Bees and How to Save Them by Alison Benjamin & Brian McCallum

Summary:

Bees are our most loyal ally. These fascinating, enigmatic creatures are a key lynchpin in the working of our planet. Without them the landscape, as well as every aisle in our supermarkets would look radically different.

And we’re not just talking about honey bees. There are more than 20,000 species of bee worldwide and only a handful make honey. Some live in colonies and others are solitary. We can all help protect them – and they desperately need protecting – but you can’t save what you don’t love. And you can’t love what you don’t know.

The Good Bee is a celebration of this most vital and mysterious of nature’s wizards. Here you’ll discover the complexities of bee behaviour – as well as the bits that still baffle us – the part they play in the natural world, their relationship with us throughout history, how they are coming under threat and what we can all do about it.

Beautifully produced, with hand-made illustrations throughout, it is a story for our times and a book to treasure.

 My Review:

Honeybees have been around for around 100 million years, just think about that for a moment. Pollinating flowers and making honey. Yet in 2019 they are facing extinction, but the fate of the bee goes hand in hand with the fate of mankind. In simple and plain terms if we allow the bees to be wiped out then life on our planet will never be the same again. They need our help.

Both Alison Benjamin and Brian McCallum have written the most wonderful book on the subject of bees. A look at the life of an insect that is so close to man.

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With superb illustrations from James Nunn we embark on a journey into the private life of the bee. There are over 25,000 species of Bees but not all make bees make honey. Yet all the species have one thing in common. They are great pollinators and that is why they play such a vital role in our planets existence.

Bumblebees are the first bees to appear but their body temperature must be around 80 °F or they cannot take off and at any one time they are only 40 minutes from starvation.

In this beautiful little book, we take a look at some of the species you may see as they go from one flower to another. There is also a look at why bees are so close to being lost forever and how each of us can create a garden that will attract different species of bees.

If we all just created a little space for nature and bees, then we would not be facing such a dramatic loss that would impact every single human on our planet.

The fate of the bee is in our hands and so is our future and it is only now that we are just beginning to understand what is at stake. We can all make a difference. Time to show a little love to the bees we see every Summer and give them a hand. Next time you spread some honey on your morning toast, just stop a moment and think about how this came to be.

192 Pages.

Thank you to for the review copy of The Good Bee: A Celebration of Bees and How to Save Them by Alison Benjamin & Brian McCallum

The Good Bee: A Celebration of Bees and How to Save Them by Alison Benjamin and Brian McCallum was published by Michael O’Mara Books and was published on 2nd May 2019 and is available through Waterstones, Amazon and through your local independent bookshop.

 

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