Yes, there's more book reviews on today's blog - I'm nearly catching up, I promise.
The Perfect Hero – Victoria Connelly
I loved A Weekend With Mr Darcy and couldn’t wait to read Victoria’s next novel. Knowing that it was based on Persuasion, I decided to re-read the original first. I’m glad I did because I hadn’t read Persuasion for a very long time and probably wouldn’t have ‘got’ some of the references if the novel hadn't been fresh in my mind.
I do love Austen, and anything which brings her characters into the present, which Victoria Connelly does so well, but I did find some of the plotting predictable. Within the modern day romance the big question is will our main character, Kay, end up with her perfect hero? Unfortunately I became so frustrated with Kay's blindness to who the real hero was that I kept wanting to shout out ‘he’s behind you!’ Despite that it was still an enjoyable read and it hasn’t put me off reading the next book in the trilogy, Mr Darcy Forever, which I have just downloaded onto my Kindle.
Daughters In Law
The last Joanna Trollope I read was Friday Nights. In the past I've been a big fan of Joanna Trollope but this book, quite frankly, bored me senseless. I kept reading it though, because I believed that it would, surely, get better. Sadly it didn't and this book put me off reading any future ones. However, this, and my next review, were recommended to me by a friend who's tastes are very similar to my own and so I decided to give it ago.
In style, Daughter's In Law was written very much in the style of Second Honeymoon, which was a book I loved. It is the story of a mother of three boys who has to deal with the fact that once they are all married, she is no longer the central person in their lives and takes second place in the new regime.
I must admit I did enjoy the book and it was definitely a page turner but it did annoy me the way the family over-analysed every single set-back in everyone's relationships. I think if my family behaved like this I would have to emigrate. However, then there would be no story. An enjoyable read nevertheless.
The Best Of Friends
This book, I think, was the better of the two. Its the story of two friends - one male, one female - who marry other people and have families. The two couples remain close friends but when one of the marriages breaks down the whole dynamic falls apart.
I really enjoyed this book and raced through it to the end and I was disappointed to turn the last page and leave the story behind, always the sign of a good read.
Things I Couldn't Tell My Mother - Sue Johnston
I'm not a lover of celebrity autobiographies but I was prepared to make an exception for Sue. I've been a big fan of hers since the start of Brookside and have loved the roles she has played in many other programmes since, especially Waking The Dead. I particularly admire her role in this programme because it highlights the benefit of the experience over youth. Anything which champions the older woman rather than casting her aside because she may not be in her first flush of youth is good in my book. Besides which, she seems to have a knack for choosing good programmes so I will always be interested in watching anything she appears in.
The writing style of this book is lovely. Sue draws you in with her down to earth voice and its easy to become a part of the picture she paints of her life. She is a northern girl, as I am, and was brought up not a million miles away from where I was. Even though we were brought up in different generations, I don't think that working class principles changed that much from her childhood to mine, and I easily identified with her family's values.
I can honestly say that I devoured this book. If I had had the time I would have read it in one sitting and, in fact, the only thing that prevented me from reading long into the night was that I couldn't resist reading bits out to my husband and he had an early start the next day so I took pity on him. I can thoroughly recommend this book and I would defy anyone not to enjoy it.
Well, that's all from me for now. Enjoy your Sunday.