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The Wartime Book Club by Kate Thompson #Review

  The Wartime Book Club is a marvellous historical novel set on Jersey in World War Two. Written by Kate Thompson , it was published by Hodder $ Stoughton on February 13th. Jersey, 1943. Once a warm and neighbourly community, now German soldiers patrol the cobbled streets, imposing a harsh rule on the people of the island. Grace La Mottée, the island's only librarian, is ordered to destroy books which threaten the new regime. Instead, she hides the stories away in secret. Along with her headstrong best friend, postwoman Bea Rose, she wants to fight back. So she forms the wartime book club: a lifeline, offering fearful islanders the joy and escapism of reading. But as the occupation drags on, the women's quiet acts of bravery become more perilous - and more important - than ever before. And, when tensions turn to violence, they are forced to face the true, terrible cost of resistance . . . Based on astonishing real events, The Wartime Book Club is a love letter

After Alice by Gregory Maguire

    After Alice by Gregory Maguire is a re-imagining of Lewis Carroll's Alice's Adventures in Wonderland. Ada, who is mentioned in Lewis Carroll's work, sets off to find Alice and a minute late, tumbles down the rabbit hole herself. We follow her search for Alice in the subterranean world of inconsistent rules and strange happenings, as she meets some of the familiar characters found in the original. Above the ground, Lydia, Alice's sister and Ada's governess are on the lookout for the girls. 

    The premise of the book sounded quite interesting. Modern takes on Victorian literature always appeal to me but I found that the style of writing made it a difficult read. The vocabulary and sentence structure were self- consciously complicated. I also found that that two parallel plotlines, one above and one below the ground seemed separate and unconnected. Including real life people such as Charles Darwin was a nice touch however and Victorian Oxford was a welcome character in the book. 

In short: a slightly disappointing journey down the rabbit hole. 

Thanks to the publishers, Headline, for a copy of the book via Bookbridgr. 


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