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Showing posts from November, 2014

Review: Sense and Sensibility by Joanna Trollope

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I, along with I suspect the majority of all English Literature graduates, am well versed in all things Jane Austen. Admittedly I'm not her biggest fan (some of her books I love, others not so much), but when I heard about The Austen Project - the idea of popular authors updating her work and setting it in the 21st century - I was intrigued. I enjoyed Val McDermid's interpretation of Northanger Abbey (my review of which can be found here), and so I was eager to see what the next installment in the series would bring. Sense and Sensibility isn't one of my favourite Austen novels, but I did see an excellent stage adaptation of it this summer by Chapterhouse Theatre Company which reignited my interest in it. Despite her impressive back catalogue, I hadn't read any of Trollope's work before, so I had no preconceptions of what to expect from her.

Of course I knew exactly what to expect from the plot, which made it very easy to follow, almost too easy. The county estates, …

Review: The Chestnut Tree by Jo Thomas

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When Ellie Russet leaves home and her restaurant in the wake of disaster to housesit in the Kent countryside, the last thing she wants to do is cook for a living - ever again.

Ellie's new neighbour, Daniel Fender, is struggling to make ends meet as a furniture maker. Could the answer to his problems lie in the chestnut orchard at the bottom of the garden?

Only Ellie can help Daniel unlock the delicious secret that will bring them the fresh starts they need. And as autumn approaches, romance will blossom amid the glowing embers of the chestnut fire...

I started this story as soon as I finished The Oyster Catcher, also by Jo Thomas. The themes in both are very similar: outsider girl meets outsider boy and they try to integrate into the local community. Being from a tiny village myself I can completely relate- we too have a few 'blow-ins' from towns and cities; some happily throw themselves into village life whilst others we barely see! Suspicion of newcomers is therefore entire…

Review: The Oyster Catcher by Jo Thomas

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Dooleybridge, County Galway. Population: 482 (or thereabouts). The last place Fiona Clutterbuck expects to end up, alone, on her wedding night.
But after the words 'I do' have barely left her mouth, that's exactly where she is - with only her sequined shoes and a crashed camper van for company.
One thing is certain: Fi can't go back. So when the opportunity arises to work for Sean Thornton, the local oyster farmer, she jumps at the chance. Now Fi must navigate suspicious locals, jealous rivals and a wild, unpredictable boss if she's to find a new life, and love, on the Irish coast. And nothing - not even a chronic fear of water - is going to hold her back.
Join Fi on her romantic, unpredictable adventure as she learns the rules of the ocean - and picks up a few pearls of Irish wisdom along the way...


As I have mentioned in previous posts I had got myself into a bit of a rut with chick-lit; I'd read so many that even the not so predictable ones had become predictabl…