Thursday, 15 October 2020

QuickLit October 2020

 Back to linking up with Modern Mrs Darcy for QuickLit after a September trip to see family in Dorset, England (and play in the sand and eat lots of cake). Plus, the local bookshop owner agreed to stock my novel set in Dorset!

Local fame for A Dorset Summer :)

Fun family fact - the Seaweeds book next to it was published under a project my brother was involved in! Here's a few reading highlights from the last couple of months:

Daphne Du Maurier - Mary Anne

This is another of Du Maurier's fictionalized family biographies, this time of her notorious great-great grandmother, Mary Anne Clarke, who pulled herself out of poverty to become a courtesan, and was for a short time the mistress of the Prince of Wales - until she reached too far. Du Maurier does not paint a pretty world or likeable characters, but this is the eighteenth century where reputation, money and a woman's body are commodities in the game of politics. Not as riveting as her fiction, but interesting if you are already a Du Maurier fan and want to know more about her family.

Jane Borodale - The Book of Fires

Keeping to the eighteenth century for this literary historical novel, shortlisted for the Orange prize. Agnes is seventeen and pregnant out of wedlock. When an unexpected way out presents itself, she flees to London and ends up as the apprentice to a fireworks maker, from whom she hides her shame. But her salvation has a time limit, and her all choices are desperate. Lyrical, lots of fascinating details about pyrotechnics, and a surprise happy ending.

My book stash from the UK, with the new Kindle I bought there on top

Jenny Colgan - The Endless Beach

My Mum gave me The Book of Fires to read, and I left her this when I was done (because my bags couldn't take one. more. thing). A sequel to The Summer Seaside Kitchen (or The Cafe by the Sea if you are in the US). Flora wonders if her new relationship with Joel is actually getting anywhere. Lorna, her friend and headmistress of the tiny island school, is wrestling with her love for refugee doctor Saif, whose wife and sons are missing. Only Flora's brother seems to enjoy unalloyed happiness with Colton - but their new love is about to be tested to the full. Typical delicious Colgan fare that will keep you turning the pages.

Plenty of new publications from my critique group this past month or so. Here' s a sampling:

Ursula Thompson - Brothers of the Sun. Book 1: All at Sea.   Piratical debut.

Katherine Pym - Begotten. Fantasy based on the ancient Sumer civilisation.

Maggi Andersen - Introducing Miss Joanna. Second in her romance novella series Once a Wallflower. Plus The Heir's Proposal. Maggi is prolific :) Oh, and a romance novella collection she contributed to, The Midnight Hour: All Hallows Brides, won the RONE award!

Anne Marie Brear - Market Stall Girl. Historical family saga set in Yorkshire.

Hope you are having a safe and happy October. I confess this is the time of year when I am grateful I have moved back to Europe and only have to think about Christmas :)


  1. Haha, I went to look up The Book of Fires because it sounded great and turns out I read it about 10 years ago! I guess I'm consistent...

  2. Oh, I got a new-looking paperback, so I didn't even realise it was ten years old!

  3. I haven't heard about Mary Anne. I really enjoyed Rebecca and have been wanting to start My Cousin Rachel soon! I don't usually read creepy novels, but hers have just enough to keep me in suspense without totally freaking me out and keeping me up at night.

    Here are my recent reads, if interested:

    1. I found My Cousin Rachel to be a real page-turner, though Rebecca is still my favourite. I also really enjoyed The Scapegoat, which is her take on the "swapping identities" theme. I'll hop over to check out your reads now!