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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

Buttercups in the Basement by Jane Harvey #Review


I am delighted to feature Buttercups in the Basement, the second in Jane Harvey's Hummingbird House series, on the blog today.  

 1967: the summer of love and the year Betty moves into her first home.

Independent. Open. Inexperienced. She is excited to be living with her new husband, William, and committed to returning Hummingbird House to its former glory.

But when she invites captivating new tenants into her home and settles into married life, her world begins to transform in ways she could never have imagined.

She thought she was on a journey toward domesticity and devotion – but her experiences that summer prove to be anything but traditional.

Alternating between the1960s and the present day, Buttercups in the Basement is a delightful exploration of personal awakening, friendships – and what it means to be happy.

My Thoughts

This second in the series takes you back to 1967, when the owner of Hummingbird House was a young woman who bought the house.  I found Betty's early life to be very surprising. You alternate between her life as a newly married wife and the present day when she is quite elderly. She keeps a watching brief on her tenants and in the present day, you feel that she is desperate for them to live fulfilled lives and to avoid some of the mistakes she has seen in the past. She is such a kind and caring person but there is a certain sadness in her which is explained as the story develops.

    The story in the present day revisits the events of Book 1 but this time, you see them through Betty's eyes. In 1967, you see the different attitudes and values of the time and how they impact on people's lives, especially on women. Betty seems so innocent when you first meet her and her friendship with her first tenant brings her out of her shell. William, her husband, is an inscrutable character and some of his decisions will make your blood boil! I enjoyed Betty's relationship with her mother who saw more than she let on at times. As this is the second in the series, I am wondering how events will develop, especially given a certain unexpected twist at the end. With the past and present woven together, the pace of the story never falters and draws you into the characters' lives. 

In short: 1967 and all that...

About the Author

Jane Harvey is a pen name (shhh). She crafts fun fiction for the thinking woman, where she enjoys exploring unexpected friendships and writing happy endings. This is lucky, because in real life her (prize-winning) fiction is a little bleaker. She was born and raised on the island of Jersey, and lives with two males and a dog. She owns an admirable collection of animal vases and unusual lighting.

 You can follow Jane here: Instagram |  Facebook  |  Twitter 

Book links:  Amazon UK |   Amazon US

Thanks to Jane Harvey and Rachel of Rachel's Random Resources for a copy of the book and a place on the tour.

 Check out the rest of the tour



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