Guilt -free reading time

Just had a lovely week away doing all the usual holiday stuff of sight seeing, walking, relaxing in the warm sun, but above all,  guilt-free reading. As there are no chores, no ‘I ought to be doings ‘ no distractions etc.  I can read more slowly, savouring whole swathes of time immersed in a book. I read six in total, but  two were ‘flight reads’ i.e.. compulsive but light books to take my mind off the thin, metal tube, improbably WP_20150121_007miles high in the air, conveying me to my destination.

The following three were the ones I enjoyed the most, especially  when accompanied by the glorious sunsets.

The Miniaturist By Jessie Burton.

This was a very different read full of unexpected twist and turns. The basic plot concerning a miniature replica of a Dutch merchant’s house in 1686, is based on a real ‘doll’s’ house  displayed in the Rijksmuseum. I found the historical Amsterdam background a well-researched and convincing peg on which to hang a magical, compelling story full of complex characters, intrigue and mystery.                                                                                          I only wish I had read it in book form, not on my Kindle so I could have referred more easily to the glossary and been able to flick back to follow the compressed  timeline .

  The Girl Who Came Home by Hazel Gaynor

This story of a Titanic survivor is based on the true stories of a real group of Irish passengers. It is clearly well-researched and an intriguing interweaving of many different accounts, those of different classes of  passengers, those who reluctantly waved them off  and those who waited for their arrival. Although I have read several other Titanic-based books, I still learned a lot from this especially about the immediate aftermath of the disaster,  the reaction to the news in America and the subsequent treatment of the steerage survivors.  A moving and absorbing story.

This Boy by Alan Johnson

WP_20150125_002As if my withers hadn’t been wrung enough by the Titanic story, I then embarked on this heartbreaking account of Alan’s early impoverished childhood and the two amazing women in his life, Lily his worn -out, hard-working mother, and Linda, his enterprising, battling sister.  An un-putdownable and thought-provoking read.

The best one of the holiday, in spite of its tough subject matter .

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