I seem to have been AWOL for months but in fact it's only been two weeks, one of which I spent in Cornwall on my hols... 'reading'. Well not just reading, we met up with lovely relatives and mooched around the cliffs and gardens of west Cornwall and generally had a nice time. I zoomed through three books too so I'll do a quick catch-up in this post.
First up, The Search by Nora Roberts.
Fiona Bristow lives on the island of Orcas off the coast of Washington State. Her life and business revolve around training dogs, although she always says it's as much about training their owners as it is about training the dogs. She and her own three dogs are also an important part of the region's canine rescue centre. Fiona is also a survivor. Some years ago she was kidnapped by a serial killer but managed to escape and it was down to her that he was eventually caught. But it came at a dreadful price and all she wants to do now is live a quiet life and forget what happened. But someone does not. A woman is killed using the original killer's trademarks but it can't be him as he's safely locked up in prison. When more murders follow, the FBI and Fiona realise that he is moving up the coast towards her and the safe life she's constructed for herself could be destroyed forever. Well, this was an excellent thriller type book. But it was a lot more than that. I learnt so much about dog training from this book and although that's not really my thing I thoroughly enjoyed it. Fiona's dogs, all named after movie stars from way back, were great characters in the story, every bit as much as the people. There is some romance, I wasn't mad keen on the love interest but that's ok. And the setting of coastal Washington State was absolutely 'wonderful'. Nora Roberts continues to impress with her standalone thrillers. I like how the books are not all about the killings, they concentrate a lot on people's lives and families and what makes them all tick. Pleased to say I have several more from her on my library pile.
Next, The West Country Winery by Lizzie Lovell. A lovely cousin gave me a bag of books while I was visiting and these next two are from that selection.
Chrissie and her family, husband and two girls, both from previous relationships, live a busy life in London and Chrissie likes it that way. She's an events manager and constantly juggling family life and career. She thinks they're all happy with life as it is but her husband, Rob, drops a bombshell one day. He says he's always wanted to cycle from Cape Town to Cairo, which is news to Chrissie, but Rob is adamant and plans to do it. Soon. Then Chrissie's parents, who own a winery in Devon, call for help. The grape harvest is ready but they can't manage alone, they need assistance. Chrissie decides to take the two girls to live in Devon while Rob is away for a year, but is she doing the right thing? There are thousands of these sorts of contemporary lit books around these days. I don't read them all the time but occasionally they're just what I'm in the mood for and this one was great fun. The author does a lovely line in gentle humour as the only adult in the room, Chrissie, deals with the demands, quirks and tantrums of just about everyone else in the story. I loved the Polish cleaner, Melina, who ends up going with them and turns out to know all about wine production. Priceless. Nicely written and I'll read more by this author as and when she writes it as I believe there are only two books available by her so far.
Lastly, Thursdays at Eight by Debbie Macomber.
Four women meet every Thursday morning at 8am to talk about what's going on in their lives and support each other. (I forget how they met but it came to an end and they wanted to continue meeting.) Liz is in her late fifties, widowed a few years ago and has a responsible job in a hospital. She's wondering whether or not start on a new relationship with a doctor. Clare, is very recently divorced, her husband having left her and their two older teenage sons for a much younger woman. Then something happens to him. Julia, happily married with two teens, a boy and a girl, suddenly finds she's pregnant. This is not necessarily welcome news... Karen is the youngest of the four, she's in her twenties and wants to be an actor. Her family are against this, parents and married sister, so life is a constant battle for her. Basically, we follow these four women for about a year as life happens to them. It was a good book, Macomber always concentrates on people and their stories and always has so much happening that you're on the edge of your seat a bit, wondering what's going to happen next. I didn't really feel I had a lot in common with any of the characters but that was fine, a good storyteller can make a reader interested in people no matter who or what they are. And our human problems are universal after all. This is set in California but that didn't really come over for me, I felt like it could've been anywhere apart from the acting mad Karen who I think might be quite typical of California. But not a bad read, all in all, I find I quite enjoy these contemporary stories, usually written by women and about women's lives. Makes a change from heaps of dead bodies and carnage all over the place. :-)
And it's now May already and I have no idea how we can be a third of the way through 2022. I turned 69 on Sunday too and am also wondering how that happened! I hope all is well with you and that you're finding some good books to read.
So glad you had a chance for a holiday, Cath! It sounds lovely. And the books sound like the perfect accompaniment, too. They're different sorts of books, and that variety just makes the reading experience all the better, I think. And you've reminded me I've not read Nora Roberts in a while. Must remedy that...
A belated Happy Birthday! Dave and I both celebrate our 64th Birthdays in May too, so it must have been a very good month! :)
We have had a lengthy conversation about the merits of Nora Roberts's books, although I have still to follow through and read any more yet, so that's still a pending action.
I can't believe I have never read a Debbie Macomber book either!
Basically all three sound good to me, so when I begin yet another list (we already have TBR and 'wish list' so now I need to think of something different), I shall have my first titles to kick things off!
Welcome Back :)
You read some great books. I’ve added some to my list. I’m glad you had a nice holiday. Have a wonderful day.
I did miss your posts but I was having a slowdown of my own for less happy reasons (jury duty). I am glad that yours was due to a nice vacation in Cornwall.
69 is young, but I do know how it sneaks up on you. I felt old at 69 because I was still working and it was too much for me. Now I am 73.
You do make the Nora Roberts book sound very good. Maybe I will look for some of her books at the book sale next year. The West Country Winery sounded interesting too.
I just might try the Nora Roberts one. Sounds like you had a good holiday! And happy belated birthday!
Belated Birthday Wishes, Cath. It sounds as though you've had a lovely holiday. I haven't read any books by these authors, although I have Birthright by Nora Roberts, so I'm glad you enjoyed The Search. They all sound just the right books for reading on holiday - we could all do with some rest and relaxation. You've encouraged me to dig out Birthright!
I'm envious of the week you got to spend in Cornwall! I'd love to go there someday. And it sounds like you had some very good books to read on your vacation. All three sound good to me. Happy belated birthday! :D
Glad you got to get away for a bit and happy belated birthday. We are the same age (well for a while but, I have another birthday in 2022. LOL I haven't read a lot of Nora Roberts but I loved Northern Lights which was a standalone suspense from what I recall. I'll add this to the list. Macomber is another author I've only read a couple of mostly because I don't care for romance in my fiction reads.
I've been reading a lot but as usual I need to play catch up on reviews.
Margot: Thank you, it was nice to get away for a week even though it was a very casual, laidback sort of holiday. Yes, the books were all very different which suits me nicely. I'm not the sort who wants to binge-watch an entire book series straight off, I would get bored.
Yvonne: Thanks for your birthday wishes. Yes, I had a feeling you were a little bit younger than me. Peter finds it hard to believe that he's 73 this year.
I've had a complete change of heart about Nora Roberts, 'although' I still don't want to read her entire output, some of them would just not be for me.
Lists are good, my entire life revolves around them I think. Especially bookish lists.
Rue: Thank you so much.
Tracy: Oh heck, jury duty. Some people seem to love that but I don't think I would.
69 doesn't always feel young, especially after your first stint digging in the garden. I needed a day to get over it. LOL My husband, Peter, will be 73 this year.
I've had a real change of heart about Nora Roberts but have no intention of trying to read her entire output. I shall cherry-pick her standalones.
Jeane: The setting and the dogs made the Nora Roberts book for me. It was so much more than a thriller.
Margaret: Thank you! It was just nice to get away for a change of scenery to be honest.
Oddly enough I have Birthright on my list of NR books I want to read. I think my daughter recommended that one and looking at it on Goodreads it does sound like a good one. It's archaeology themed and set in Maryland. I've just nabbed it for my Kindle.
Lark: It was a pretty nice week... lots of luscious ice-cream and Cornish pasties. :-) Yep, you can't have a good holiday without good books! Thank you.
Diane: Thank you. Yes, I had a feeling we were pretty much of a similar age. Yes, I read Northern Lights in January, thought it was very good and it started me on this Nora Roberts journey. Never say 'never'! Yes, Macomber may not be for you if you're not keen on romance, although it's not an overwhelmingly romantic book, more about 'life' and its problems really.
A reading holiday sounds lovely, Cath. I really must read some Nora Roberts one of these days. Her books are so often recommended. What joy to be given a bag of books too!
Val: It was rather nice. We didn't always feel like rushing out every morning so would sit quietly reading until we wanted to venture out. It was lovely. Yes, my lovely cousin is very generous with passing her books along.
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