It's Monday! What Are You Reading?

This weekly meme is hosted by Sheila at Book Journey

Another good reading week for me. I completed Sir Harry Hotspur of Humblethwaite, followed by When Shadows Fall which was a quick read. I'm nearing the end of Gallipoli Street having devoted most of my reading time to it last week, only starting Footsteps in an Empty Room because I'd left Gallipoli Street downstairs and was too lazy to go and get it.

What I Read Last Week

Sir Harry Hotspur of Humblethwaite by Anthony Trollope

Since its first appearance in 1870, "Sir Harry Hotspur of Humblethwaite" has been regarded as one of Trollope's finest short novels. Trollope wrote the book with what he considered to be more 'romance proper' than his other works; his object here was to tell a single 'pathetic incident' rather than to portray 'a number of living human beings.' This is a tale of a conscientious father vacillating between a desire to marry his daughter to a cousin destined to inherit the family title, and his fear that the cousin, reportedly a scheming wastrel, in unworthy of her. "Sir Harry Hotspur" has been called Trollope's saddest story, and at the same time the superlative exception to the rule that Trollope's long, comfortable books are his best.

This was indeed a sad story, but an enjoyable one. I'm looking forward to reading more of Anthony Trollope's novels.

When Shadows Fall by Lilly Sommers

Kate O’Hara rents an old stone cottage on the banks of a Tasmanian river to try to get some peace after the death of her husband, and to plan her future.
But there are mysterious footsteps in the night.
The soft plash of oars on the river.
An old picture of a boatman hanging on the cottage wall.
And a rent in the fabric of time itself …

This was a quick read. A simple and entertaining time slip novel from one of my favourite authors. It switches back and forth from the present day to Tasmania in the late 1820s.

What I'm Reading Today

Gallipoli Street by Mary Anne O'Connor

An Anzac tale of three families whose destinies are entwined by war, tragedy and passion.
At 17, Veronica O’Shay is happier running wild on the family farm than behaving in the ladylike manner her mother requires, and she despairs both of her secret passion for her brother’s friend Jack Murphy and what promises to be a future of restraint and compliance.
But this is 1913 and the genteel tranquillity of rural Beecroft is about to change forever as the O’Shay and Murphy families, along with their friends the Dwyers, are caught up in the theatre of war and their fates become intertwined.
From the horrors of Gallipoli to the bloody battles of the Somme, through love lost and found, the Great Depression and the desperate jungle war along the Kokoda Track, this sprawling family drama brings to life a time long past… a time of desperate love born in desperate times and acts of friendship against impossible odds.
A love letter to Australian landscape and character, Gallipoli Street celebrates both mateship and the enduring quality of real love. But more than that, this book shows us where we have come from as a nation, by revealing the adversity and passions that forged us.
A stunning novel that brings to life the love and courage that formed our Anzac tradition.

Footsteps in an Empty Room by Lilly Sommers

At the turn of the last century, Alice is a 12-year-old servant girl at Colonsay, the big house on the Victorian coast belonging to wily political strategist Cosmo Cunningham and his beautiful young wife Ambrosine.
In the present day, Rosamund becomes the reluctant inheritor of Colonsay, her childhood home. But as the extensive renovation work begins, odd things start happening: a thumping in the empty attic that dislodges plaster from the ceiling of the room below. A lingering scent of honeysuckle. Then the building crew suffer not one but two nasty accidents. And suddenly there is talk of prayers and clairvoyants and messages from the dead…
What terrible secret lies within Colonsay? Can Rosamund make peace with the past and free her own future?

What I Hope to Read Next

From the batch of library books I brought home last week, this one is still on the top of the pile.

The House of War and Witness by Mike, Linda and Louise Carey

In the year 1740, with the whole of Europe balanced on the brink of war, a company of Austrian soldiers is sent to the village of Narutsin to defend the border with Prussia. But what should be a routine posting is quickly revealed to be anything but. The previous garrison is gone, the great house of Pokoj, where they're to be billeted, a dilapidated ruin, and the people of Narutsin sullen and belligerent. Convinced the villagers are keeping secrets - and possibly consorting with the enemy - the commanding officer orders his junior lieutenant, Klaes, to investigate. While Klaes sifts through the villagers' truths, half-truths and lies, Drozde, the quartermaster's woman, is making uncomfortable discoveries of her own - about herself, her man, and the house where they've all been thrown together. Because far from being the empty shell it appears to be, Pokoj is actually teeming with people. It's just that they're all dead. And the dead know things - about Drozde, about the history of Pokoj, and about the terrible event that is rushing towards them all, seemingly unstoppable. The ghosts of Pokoj, the soldiers of the empress and the villagers of Narutsin are about to find themselves actors in a story that has been unfolding for centuries. It will end in blood - that much is written - but how much blood will depend on Klaes' honour, Drozde's skill and courage, and the keeping of an impossible promise ...


  1. I'm hoping to read my first trollope later on this year. Many bloggers have been joining in a Barchester towers readalong, but I knew I couldn't manage it yet. They sound fabulous though.

    My It's Monday post is here

    1. I read Sir Harry Hotspur because it was one of Trollope's shorter novels. I'm hoping his others have happy endings!