At last!!!!!! Song of Songs by Beverley Hughesdon

 

GREAT NEWS!!!!  Newly released as a Kindle read by Canelo books,  AND at last Eve will be published, too, can’t wait!

Song of Songs  is my most favorite book of all time and I read it every now  and then.  I was given it in a proof edition with a bland cover, the one here I think spoils it. The story is far more noble than this trashy piccie!

Born into rich Edwardian family,  Helena is always the ungainly, awkward one, who loves her twin brothers, Robbie and Eddie.  In several traumas, she is recued by the footman Jem, which explains a lot of her later actions, although the text doesn’t make any hooks into it, so maybe its my interpretation.  Oh, how I wish I was born then, with no housework, allowed to sit about and read and write, waited on hand and foot, but most of all, horses to ride, at will, for pleasure,and no mucking out! The life in a way prefaces that of Downton Abbey. I’m telling a lot of the plot here,  but only because I need to explain how it relates to my enjoyment!

Helena grows to a teenager and after a misalliance with her cousin gets shifted off to Germany to learn music, as a punishment, which turns out into a blessing as she has a real ability to sing.  First world war arrives, and Helena trains as a Nurse – and the descriptions of this culture shock are wonderful, as are the accounts of her duty in the Hospitals on the warfields in France.  One twin dies, another survives but is damaged in his lungs.

Helena has this romantic fantasy about Gerald, her Officer love, who she does eventually get engaged to, but he is killed.  During the war, Helena meets  Ben, who is working class engine driver in peace time.  They meet after the war, and it is to him Helena flees when she helps in he suicide of her dying brother.  Ben takes advantage of Helena, coercing her into marrying him.  They begin life in his home town, another culture shock for Helena, but it is only when Helena finds out her Gerald was gay, she has a nervous breakdown, also born of her war work.  Recovering, she returns home, and through her healing, finally realises that she loves Ben and the book ends with the birth of  their son

This is a real beauty and beast tale, something which is in Beverley’s other books.   Helena is so human, but courageous.  Her breakdown is a way to healing.  Maybe I like this because I identify with her, in having earlier in life stupid love affairs, and then finding my own beast !!!!!!!!!!!!

 

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Alex Cotton, Writer Review

 


I felt bound to do an author review as I haven’t enjoyed someone’s work so much for a long time!

I picked up the first of Alex’s books on the freebies and I was so hooked, that I had to read them all. Born the same year, we share many of the same experiences from childhood through to teenage and marriage – but  I’m not saying exactly which apart from the country dancing!  However, what struck me through reading these parallel experiences, is as you’re growing, you feel that you are unique and have no conception that others are going through the same experiences and same culture shock – and although we don’t share this one, I never realized just how many other kids went off and got the make-up out after David Bowie’s Starman performance on TOTP until I heard it on a tv programme!

The now completed Quadrology (my word) takes us through Alex’s marriage, birth and  childhood of her daughter until today, and her family doesn’t get any less wacky. The four could easily make one volume, hilarious and well rounded.

Alex has a unique and funny style. The books could have been written as deeply dark and traumatic, but no, they’re treated with humour, tolerance with a straightforward voice that keeps you gripped and want to read on. I hope she never has an editor tell her to change her style, do this and that to the editing of the works, she is unique, but I imagine form reading her work, she would probably just tell the aforesaid editor to get stuffed! I’d love to see her try some fiction!

So any ladies born in the early sixties, who were teenagers in the 70s, read and just enjoy, and see a another perceptive on your own growing years!

I felt bound to do an author review as I haven’t enjoyed someone’s work so much for a long time!

I picked up the first of Alex’s books on the freebies and I was so hooked, that I had to read them all. Born the same year, we share many of the same experiences from childhood through to teenage and marriage – but  I’m not saying exactly which apart from the country dancing!  However, what struck me through reading these parallel experiences, is as you’re growing, you feel that you are unique and have no conception that others are going through the same experiences and same culture shock – and although we don’t share this one, I never realized just how many other kids went off and got the make-up out after David Bowie’s Starman performance on TOTP until I heard it on a tv programme!

The now completed Quadrology (my word) takes us through Alex’s marriage, birth and  childhood of her daughter until today, and her family doesn’t get any less wacky. The four could easily make one volume, hilarious and well rounded.

Alex has a unique and funny style. The books could have been written as deeply dark and traumatic, but no, they’re treated with humour, tolerance with a straightforward voice that keeps you gripped and want to read on. I hope she never has an editor tell her to change her style, do this and that to the editing of the works, she is unique, but I imagine form reading her work, she would probably just tell the aforesaid editor to get stuffed! I’d love to see her try some fiction!

So any ladies born in the early sixties, who were teenagers in the 70s, read and just enjoy, and see a another perceptive on your own growing years!

I felt bound to do an author review as I haven’t enjoyed someone’s work so much for a long time!

I picked up the first of Alex’s books on the freebies and I was so hooked, that I had to read them all. Born the same year, we share many of the same experiences from childhood through to teenage and marriage – but  I’m not saying exactly which apart from the country dancing!  However, what struck me through reading these parallel experiences, is as you’re growing, you feel that you are unique and have no conception that others are going through the same experiences and same culture shock – and although we don’t share this one, I never realized just how many other kids went off and got the make-up out after David Bowie’s Starman performance on TOTP until I heard it on a tv programme!

The now completed Quadrology (my word) takes us through Alex’s marriage, birth and  childhood of her daughter until today, and her family doesn’t get any less wacky. The four could easily make one volume, hilarious and well rounded.

Alex has a unique and funny style. The books could have been written as deeply dark and traumatic, but no, they’re treated with humour, tolerance with a straightforward voice that keeps you gripped and want to read on. I hope she never has an editor tell her to change her style, do this and that to the editing of the works, she is unique, but I imagine form reading her work, she would probably just tell the aforesaid editor to get stuffed! I’d love to see her try some fiction!

So any ladies born in the early sixties, who were teenagers in the 70s, read and just enjoy, and see a another perceptive on your own growing years!

The Nothing girl by Jodi Taylor

I haven’t read a great book for ages, and suddenly two come along at once, the other I will review presently. This book is going to be a strong contender for my favourite book ever, (Sorry Beverley Hughesdon)  I may even buy a hard copy for the shelf.

Jenny is obviously better than her family make her out to be, and I sort of guessed what was up from the start, but it didn’t matter. Here is the most masterful growth of a heroine to fullness and love.  Russell, is almost a Shakespearean flawed hero and the plot is superb. I’m not going to talk about the plot, except to say, it has it all, thwarted loves, misunderstandings, comic pauses, grand denouements, bad baddies and a mega ending, not to mention, countryside, old houses and the horses and donkey.

But what made it most for me was, Thomas, Jenny’s mystic horse/angel. I thought at first as a Christian, this is not good. I did wonder if she was ever observed talking to him- that would have given the family grounds……. But it took me back some years ago, when Dave and I were having problems and I had a weekend away to myself. I took myself for a walk and I was off my beaten track, map reading and so on edge. As I turned a corner along a hedgeline, I was suddenly aware I was not alone, I was being followed by a large brown horse, he was with me and protecting me. (We strode on home together, him behind me. I must go and find my diary recording of this to check!). So Thomas, I have no problem with, and the ending, for a stiff necked old trout like me, had me in tears. Wonderful.

So long, farewell…..

I’m afraid that the constraints on my time mean I have little time these days for book reviews. When I read something really good, I’m now going to put a small review straight onto Amazon, which is of course the best thing for all authors. I might occasionally put a review on my other blog too. I will leave this open for the books I have already reviewed in case its some help….. so, farewell, aufwiedersehen, adieu……..

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This blog about my life and times in Austria continues!

Studs and Stilettos by Bev Pettersen

I seem to be finding firm favourites on my Kindle trips and Bev is one of them. I just love the mix of horses, romance and a good mystery. Emily was such a nice bimbo at the start and Dan just a bit dumb but they both muscled up through the course of the book, through the course of misunderstandings and a sneaky little sub plot that eventually took over.  This was a guzzle book that I haven’t had for a long time. Bravo!

I didn’t realise it was a follow up to Thoroughbreds and Trailer Trash, wish I’d read that first, never mind!

The Convict, the Rookie and the redemption of Gertie Thump by Becky Lyn Rickman

I picked this up as the title was a bit unusual and found myself a real treat. This lady knows people, our hypocracies, our bad and good sides. At first I thought it was going to be a homely, Christian book, but I’m not sure now on which side it falls.  The larger than life Gertie is such a nightmare, but in fact, by the end of the book, she appears one of the more honest characters. Its such an enjoyable slice of town life, and  I think she may be an distant relative of Agatha Raisin who has this same, blunt, hard yet funny look on life. A lot of the book is in dialogue, which is not easy to write or read so much. Brilliant. More please!

Cupboard Love by Laura Lockington

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Another autobiography, unusual for me, but this I loved. A girl of my era, I just so enjoyed the short anecdotes and tales from Laura’s childhood. Of the same era, I identified with her, and her pain – I took my rebellion in a slightly different way though(!) She is my favourite author at the moment and this  makes her books so much more enjoyable and as a writer/analyst, I see how she informs her work – often unconsciously. Her books have such charm and originality.

Therefore its such a shame that at present I’m struggling through Before and After. Totally original, great plot, but I just can’t get on with Flora, I reckon the problem is that she just doesn’t have the Lockington charm – see how I feel when I finish!!!

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