Wednesday, 10 September 2014

Here's Another One

It might be a bit late to be reviewing a summer read but I really loved the following book and wanted to spread the word.  It is:

The Little Beach Street Bakery by Jenny Colgan

Set in a remote part of Cornwall (largely unspoilt by the tourist trade).  I felt as though I was enjoying my own sojourn by the sea as I smelt the salt in the air, listened to the waves crashing against the harbour wall and saw the light from the lighthouse flashing past my bedroom window.  Perfect for anyone who has not been away or even if you want to be reminded of salty sea air.

The main character, Polly, has lost everything; her business, her flat, her boyfriend and has been declared bankrupt.  The only place she can afford to rent is an almost uninhabitable flat above a disused bakery. 

Polly cuts herself off from her family and friends and starts her life again.  With her skill for baking helping her to make friends, she also finds a new career.  But all does not go smoothly for Polly as she tries to get back on her feet and find a new happiness.

This is a light, easy read but the characters and the setting were so likeable that I didn’t want to put I down. As ever, with Jenny’s books, though it also made me quite hungry.  The thought of all that freshly baked bread did nothing for my diet!

Saturday, 6 September 2014

Book Review Time

As I've been doing a lot more reading that writing recently, I thought it was time for a book review, so here goes.

The Silent Tide – Rachel Hore

This is Rachel’s sixth book and was published in September 2013.  So far I’ve read them all and loved each one.  The Silent Tide is no exception. 

Written partly in the present day and also post WWII, The Silent Tide follows Emily, an editor in a London publishing house who is commissioned to work on a biography of  Hugh Morton, a great British Novelist, first published in the late 1940’s.  There is a mystery surrounding the first wife of Hugh Morton (Isabel) a young ambitious women who began her career editing Hugh’s first novel. It’s a mystery that Hugh’s second wife and his biographer seem keen to overlook. 

Information which is being secretly passed to Emily though proves that there is someone out there who wants Isabel’s story to be told. 

The novel is told from Isabel’s point of view.  Gradually we are drawn into her story as she struggles to forge a career for herself, meets the man of her dreams and then is expected to give up on all her ambitions to become a typical 1950’s housewife and mother.

As we are drawn into Isabel’s story, so is Emily, who is also struggling with her own relationships. 

The storylines in both the past and present kept me turning the pages and I found this book both compelling and satisfying.  Rachel Hore pens a story with such a sense of place and time that you can’t help but become involved in the story.  Fans of Kate Morton will love this book.

Thursday, 4 September 2014

Back To School

Not only was yesterday back to school for the boys but for me too as I attended a course in Manchester.

Unfortunately it wasn’t a writing course, that would have been much more fun, but was a fundraising course for work.

It was an early start, leaving the house at 7.30, and making sure that both the boys were up and ready for school before I left, and a bit of shock to the system.  But it was a lovely day, typical that the weather has turned so warm and dry now that school is back.

I had a lovely hour on the train reading and writing, a rare bit of peace with no interruptions from email and technology.  I love train journeys, they are like being in your own special bubble.

The course itself was very intense, lasting from 9.30 – 4.30 and by the end of it I felt as though my brain was in complete overload.  I’m just not used to studying so hard anymore and I felt complete sympathy for the boys being in school all day, I’d forgotten how tough it can be.

I met some lovely people though and even one who only lives round the corner from me so I hope that we will keep in touch and be able to help each other in our jobs.  A small world hey?

By the time I got home it was gone 6, and my husband took us all to the pub for tea.  A lovely end to a long, hard day.

Monday, 1 September 2014

A New Year!

One more day and then I can breathe a sigh of relief because the kids are going back to school on Wednesday – yeh!

Part of me is sad that the summer has passed and the weather is already turning distinctly autumnal.  The nights are drawing in and we will soon be shivering by our fires and getting up in the dark – yeuck!

But I find the summers really difficult to cope with, with full on work and juggling childcare and seemingly little time for writing. 

Admittedly it is getting easier now that the boys are older but they are definitely ready to get back to routine – I can tell because the decibel levels of the squabbling have definitely increased recently.

I’ve always thought of September as the new year – probably because I’ve spent years working in an academic environment.  But even when I was younger I looked forward to the new challenges of learning and that doesn’t seem to change even now.

I’ve been mulling round the idea of writing some articles for a while now but I don’t seem to have the confidence to move forward with this and so I have decided to sign up for Writing Magazine's  online Article Writing and Journalism course. 

I hope that this will give me a kick up the whatsit and get me writing and submitting again.  I’m also determined to be a better blogger from this month onwards as well.

Watch this space.