The Dodger – review

Tim Carroll has written a fascinating book about Churchill’s cousin Johnny Dodge who was part of the Great Escape.

I usually avoid non-fiction but this kept me engrossed, especially when it deviated from the film. The TV programme on at the moment reinforced my interest but the complex character in this book made it a compelling read. We think we know the facts but, boy, are we mistaken!

I had not realised the family lived quite close to my present home, or that poor Christopher Reeve was approached to play Dodge in another recreation of events that was even more inaccurate than ” The Great Escape.” I found the personal letters absolutely indicative of the time and thus, slightly unnerving. Otherwise the book is an excellent read for anyone interested in recent history.


Entering Normal review

I thought it was time I wrote about something else other than my diet and as I have just finished reading this novel I am posting a little review. Of course, it all depends on what type of story you like and this sort of relationship tale is not to everyone’s taste. I must admit I usually like thrillers but this story was so absorbing that I hated to leave it. The characters were beautifully drawn and the plot so engaging that I felt as If I was a witness to the action.

Two women, a single mother and an unhappy middle aged woman give the reader an insight into their past and what motivates them. In their different ways they struggle with regrets. I think this is a book I will not forget. The author is Anne LeClaire.

I am devouring books at a rate during this pandemic. Luckily I have a charity shop nearby which sells them for 50pence. I still take them back as there isn’t room in our bungalow for tons of books. I keep a record on Goodreads.

I don’t believe it! Dr Zhivago.

Thank you, wordpress, for giving me back the system I understand.

I can now go back to writing in a relaxed state of mind. You wouldn’t believe how upsetting it was to flounder around among those blocks, looking for words and just seeing symbols.

To all my followers, I’ll try harder to write something interesting. I have been writing reviews on Goodreads and it is amazing how different people give different stars and comments about a book. This one had everything from one to five, with some people giving up half way and others saying it was brilliant. The Secrets We Kept by Lara Prescott is about the book Dr Zhivago and how it was published even though the Russians didn’t want it to be. The multiple viewpoints made it hard to follow but there was such a feeling of the time that it didn’t always matter.bookwormclipart

The Other Wife. Review and news.

This is the first book by Claire McGowan I have read and I thoroughly enjoyed the twists and turns of a compelling  thriller. Maybe the controlling husband scenario has been done many times before but having two women involved made it a bit special. A book that takes one away from what is happening in real life and leaves one satisfied with the ending is quite rare.

I am spending more time reading than writing at present but I am grateful to people who are buying my latest little story and phoning me to say they enjoyed it. It will give me an incentive to get creating again once things begin to get back to normal. I bought some reusable face masks today as I don’t like the idea of getting fifty and throwing them away after one use. A man on the bus sat there with his round his neck for the whole journey. Nobody said anything.


Last night we watched the film ” The Green Mile” which has probably been seen by many of you. I had read the book ( by Stephen King) years ago and knew it was going to keep us awake although it went on after midnight.

It was such a change from watching repeats as we don’t seem to like all the usual stuff on the terrestrial channels in the evenings and haven’t got sky or netflix.

I thought it was brilliantly done and was interested to see that the Astaire film they used was one we had watched a few days before. Thanks to the lockdown we are able to catch a few good films in the afternoons. It seems a shame to stay in watching TV when the weather is so good but something is making us very tired and we do try to get out each morning for our permitted exercise or shopping.

I’ll try to post each day while I can and hope I’ll be able to use the classic system when it comes in next week.

What a surprise!

Standing in the front garden after hubby had cut the grass and a big car turned up. Out stepped a familiar figure clutching a box of goodies. Our son was delivering food and drink and a large book. It was a lovely surprise and changed my mood completely.

Of course, we couldn’t let him in but chatted for a while at a safe distance. I hadn’t realised how we missed seeing the rest of the family. We had talked on the phone but having him there in person made all the difference.

I have delivered some of my own novels to a lady along the street who is putting books out for people to take. She says she disinfects them but I know mine are OK as they have only been in the loft. I’m waiting to see if anyone looks at my website to find more. That would make it worth while.

I put a review of Alchemist on Goodreads. If you like a scary book with black magic and corrupt businessmen you’d love that. Now to search out more Peter James novels.

Time for a Review. Star island.

I know being retired means we should be used to organising our own time but even posting on line doesn’t seem so urgent anymore.

I would tell you all about the sparrow hawk that frightened the woodpigeons off the bird feeder but it didn’t stay long enough to get a photo.

Instead, here is a review of Carl Hiaason’s Star Island. He is a new author for me and perhaps I would not have enjoyed it so much if it hadn’t been a change from the gritty crime stories and soppy love novels that I have been reading since I was stuck at home.

All my books were picked up from a charity shop before the lock down and this is the only one I have really enjoyed. I don’t usually go for American novels, except for Koontz and King but it was a relief to find a book written with humour that kept the action going without pages of turgid description. It has been said that all his books are variations of a theme. If I find more I’ll let you know.

Meanwhile, if you want a fast paced, snarky jaunt through the social strata of commercial USA with paparazzi and drug taking, fashion and fame try Star Island.

Incredible book. Fugitive Pieces.

I should wait until I have completed this story but I am so enthralled by it I want everyone to know about it now. I didn’t realise an author could write with such beauty, such command of language and such heart rending honesty that it actually hurts to read each page. No other book I read will have such a profound effect on me. I’m sorry that it had been made into a film because each word is precious and no two people will imagine it in the same way. I wanted to pluck examples of imagery out of the text and save them. If you can bear the horrifying historical subject matter, read it. You’ll never forget it.

( Written in 1996 by Anne Michaels)

Book series and reviews

As I review every book I read on Goodreads maybe that’s where this should go, but I do know I have some writer/readers who follow me and I have become aware of a real problem with the books I have been getting out of the library. As I choose books by reading the blurb on the back I don’t often follow one author and I have been picking up random books and finding when I got them home they are part of a series, and usually not the first book.

I have also written a series, although I didn’t realise that’s what it would be when I wrote the first book. I think there should be instructions on how to follow on with the same characters in a new story. Recently I have found the books I am reading either tell me too much about the previous book, going over old ground in a ‘tell not show’ fashion which holds up the action, or tells me too little so I have no idea about the connections between the characters and often cannot identify with the main protagonist because I am expected to have carried over my sympathy from the previous book.

Then the most recent book, by Koontz, ends like one of those programmes on TV when one problem is solved but another looms so you are expected to wait eagerly for the next instalment. Such a shame, as I like his writing style, but I don’t feel I need to continue with the story as I found it rather confusing.

The book I’m reading now, The Silver Stain, by Paul Johnston is the fourth book in an Alex Mavros detective series and it is having a strange effect on me. I am very aware of the author. I almost feel compelled to edit it as I go along. I have never felt like that about a book that I have read for pleasure before. I feel distanced from the plot. I don’t know if I’ll finish it. Anyone else feel like that?bookwormclipart

Film Review. British Made 2019

This ‘social comment’ film was shown at the Chichester Film Festival but has also been seen around the world. It is directed by Simon Rickards with James Knapp as a young nationalist just released from prison. This young man has star quality and the locations and photography were superb, the dialogue realistic. The whole package is worth a larger audience and thoroughly deserves the awards it has already received.