It's Monday! What Are You Reading?

This weekly meme is hosted by Sheila at Book Journey.

I'm a few days late with this post. Being away from home for over a week has upset my routine and so not much has happened on the reading front. A Place of Secrets by Rachel Hore was the only book I finished last week.

This week Rachel Ray by Anthony Trollope is proving to be very entertaining. More of a straight romance, it does deal with women's lives in the 19th century, a subject Trollope's novels are famous for, while also being a comment on life in a small town. I'm also reading another of Rachel Hore's novels, The Silent Tide.  She writes very easy to read and engrossing dual time frame novels and is one of my favourite authors in that genre. My reading this week still includes Lady of the Butterflies by Fiona Mountain and more short stories from Curious, If True  by Elizabeth Gaskell.

Courtesy of the library, I've added a number of books to my reading pile: Songs of Love and War by Santa Montefiore, The Beast's Garden by Kate Forsyth, Dacre's War by Rosemary Goring, Girl on the Golden Coin by Marci Jefferson, The Last Embrace (a.k.a. The Last Summer at Chelsea Beach) by Pam Jenoff, The Highwayman's Daughter by Henriette Gyland, After Clare  by Marjorie Eccles, Letters to the Lost by Iona Grey and The Lost Child by Caryl Phillips. Most of these were holds and, as is usually the case, all became available at the same time. Not that I'm complaining, it just makes it harder to choose what to read next.

Also in my library check outs this week are some older novels: Nocturne by Diane Armstrong, Australia Street by Ann Whitehead and Scarlet Shadows by Elizabeth Darrell (a.k.a. Emma Drummond).

Out of the above, I've short listed two books I'd like to read next: The Last Embrace by Pam Jenoff and The Lost Child by Caryl Phillips. The latter piqued my interest with the mention of the childhood story of Heathcliffe, the anti-hero of Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte.

What I Read Last Week

A Place of Secrets by Rachel Hore

The night before it all begins, Jude has the dream again ...Can dreams be passed down through families? As a child Jude suffered a recurrent nightmare: running through a dark forest, crying for her mother. Now her six-year-old niece, Summer, is having the same dream, and Jude is frightened for her. A successful auctioneer, Jude is struggling to come to terms with the death of her husband. When she's asked to value a collection of scientific instruments and manuscripts belonging to Anthony Wickham, a lonely 18th century astronomer, she leaps at the chance to escape London for the untamed beauty of Norfolk, where she grew up. As Jude untangles Wickham's tragic story, she discovers threatening links to the present. What have Summer's nightmares to do with Starbrough folly, the eerie crumbling tower in the forest from which Wickham and his adopted daughter Esther once viewed the night sky? With the help of Euan, a local naturalist, Jude searches for answers in the wild, haunting splendour of the Norfolk woods. Dare she leave behind the sadness in her own life, and learn to love again?

What I'm Reading Today

Lady of the Butterflies by Fiona Mountain

Born into a world seething with treachery and suspicion, Eleanor Goodricke grows up on the Somerset Levels just after the English Civil Wars, heiress to her late mother's estates and daughter of a Puritan soldier who fears for his brilliant daughter with her dangerous passion for natural history - and for butterflies in particular. Her reckless courage will take her to places where no woman of her day ever dared to go. Her fearless ambition will give her a place in history for all time. But it is her passionate heart which will lead her into a consuming love - and mortal peril.

Rachel Ray by Anthony Trollope

Luke Rowan has inherited a share of the Bengall and Tappitt Brewery in Baselhurst, Devon. He travels there from London and is welcomed into the home of the Tappitts. He meets Rachel Ray, a friend of the Tappitt daughters, and falls in love. Luke and Rachel become engaged, but the relationship causes controversy in the town. When Luke returns to London after a dispute with Mr. Tappitt over the brewery, rumours circulate that he has not behaved in a gentlemanly fashion and Rachel is advised to break off the engagement ...

The Silent Tide by Rachel Hore

When Emily Gordon, editor at a London publishing house, commissions an account of great English novelist Hugh Morton, she finds herself steering a tricky path between Morton's formidable widow, Jacqueline, who's determined to protect his secrets, and the biographer, charming and ambitious Joel Richards. But someone is sending Emily mysterious missives about Hugh Morton's past and she discovers a buried story that simply has to be told… One winter's day in 1948, nineteen year old Isabel Barber arrives at her Aunt Penelope's house in Earl's Court having run away from home to follow her star. A chance meeting with an East European refugee poet leads to a job with his publisher, McKinnon & Holt, and a fascinating career beckons. But when she develops a close editorial relationship with charismatic young debut novelist Hugh Morton and the professional becomes passionately personal, not only are all her plans put to flight, but she finds herself in a struggle for her very survival. Rachel Hore's intriguing and suspenseful new novel magnificently evokes the milieux of London publishing past and present and connects the very different worlds of two young women, Emily and Isabel, who through their individual quests for truth, love and happiness become inextricably linked.

Curious, If True by Elizabeth Gaskell

A collection of Victorian tales of suspense, horror, mood and mystery by Elizabeth Gaskell, published variously between 1852 and 1861. Includes "The Old Nurse's Story," "The Poor Clare," "Lois The Witch," "The Grey Woman," and "Curious, If True."

What I Hope to Read Next

The Last Embrace by Pam Jenoff

August 1940 and 16-year-old refugee Addie escapes Fascist Italy to live with her aunt and uncle in Atlantic City. As WW2 breaks, she finds acceptance and love with Charlie Connelly and his family. But war changes everything: secrets and passions abound, and when one brother's destructive choices lead to the tragic death of another, the Connelly family is decimated, and Addie along with them. Now 18, she flees, first to Washington and then to war-torn London where she is swept up with life as a correspondent. But when Charlie, now a paratrooper, re-appears, Addie discovers that the past is impossible to outrun. Now she must make one last desperate attempt to find within herself the answers that will lead the way home.

The Lost Child by Caryl Phillips

Caryl Phillips's "The Lost Child "is a sweeping story of orphans and outcasts, haunted by the past and fighting to liberate themselves from it. At its center is Monica Johnson--cut off from her parents after falling in love with a foreigner--and her bitter struggle to raise her sons in the shadow of the wild moors of the north of England. Phillips intertwines his modern narrative with the childhood of one of literature's most enigmatic lost boys, as he deftly conjures young Heathcliff, the anti-hero of "Wuthering Heights," and his ragged existence before Mr. Earnshaw brought him home to his family. "The Lost Child" is a multifaceted, deeply original response to Emily Bronte's masterpiece, "Wuthering Heights." A critically acclaimed and sublimely talented storyteller, Caryl Phillips is "in a league with Toni Morrison and V. S. Naipaul" ("Booklist") and "his novels have a way of growing on you, staying with you long after you've closed the book." ("The New York Times Book Review") A true literary feat, "The Lost Child" recovers the mysteries of the past to illuminate the predicaments of the present, getting at the heart of alienation, exile, and family by transforming a classic into a profound story that is singularly its own.


  1. Very nice week of reading.

    I read LADY OF THE BUTTERFLIES a while ago. I enjoyed it.

    I hope you have a wonderful reading week this week.

    Silver's Reviews
    My It's Monday, What Are You Reading