It's Monday! What Are You Reading?

This weekly meme is hosted by Kathryn at The Book Date.

I had a much better week than last week, though my reading plans did go slightly awry.  The Blood On My Hands by Shannon O'Leary, one of the two books I had intended to finish, remained untouched with only a few chapters to go. The reason why? After I'd finished When the Sky Fell Apart by Caroline Lea, which was a great read but left me feeling a little sad, I needed  a comfort read. So, I opted for Blake's Reach by Catherine Gaskin rather than finish those remaining chapters.  A light-hearted regency romance by Janet Woods, Foxing the Geese, quickly followed. Read my review here.

Though To Name Those Lost by Rohan Wilson was intended to be my next read, I shelved this in favour of In the Silence of the Snow by Jessica Blair, which is a family saga spanning the two world wars. Hopefully, after this I'll be in the mood to finish Shannon O'Leary's memoir and tackle Rohan Wilson's novel.

What I Read Last Week

When the Sky Fell Apart by Caroline Lea

The black cloud of war brewing in Europe remains far from the rustic, sea-swept Channel Island of Jersey. That's until ten-year-old Claudine sees the burning man on the beach. Within weeks, 12,000 German troops have landed, bringing with them a terrifying regime led by the brutal Commandant. In the midst of the occupation, Claudine is taken under the wing of Edith, the island's brilliant herbalist. Together with local fisherman Maurice and the English doctor, Carter, they form an unlikely yet powerful friendship. But as the Germans' iron grip on Jersey tightens, an unforeseen event forces them to make a most difficult-and perilous-decision.

Blake's Reach by Catherine Gaskin

Tavern-bred English girl seeks to restore shabby manor house with the profits from smuggling along the Kentish coast, during the French Revolution.

Born illegitimately, Jane Howard inherits nothing but the fiery hair and indomitable spirit of her mother's family, the Blakes. When Anne Blake dies, it is Jane who disposes of the debt-ridden London household. Then Charles Blake returns, fleeing the French Revolution, to claim his inheritance.

Foxing the Geese by Janet Woods

She is a spinster with a secret fortune . . . He is an impoverished earl who must marry money or face ruin . . . Theirs is a love match to be reckoned with"
1812. Clever, strong-willed Vivienne Fox is unexpectedly endowed with riches beyond her wildest dreams when a remote cousin dies, leaving her his fortune. Unwed at twenty-four, Vivienne still hopes the right man is out there, but she despairs of ever finding him, and she is determined that rumours of her new-found wealth be quashed, lest she be courted for her purse rather than her heart.
Renowned rake Lord Alex LeSayres comes to an unpleasant decision after the death of his father. If he is to save their family lands, he must marry a wealthy woman and quickly. Introduced to Miss Fox, his interest is soon piqued. But he must set aside his rising feelings, or else his family will face disaster . . .

What I'm Reading Today

The Blood On My Hands by Shannon O'Leary

Set in 1960s and '70s Australia, "The Blood on My Hands" is the dramatic tale of Shannon O'Leary's childhood years. O'Leary grew up under the shadow of horrific domestic violence, sexual and physical abuse, and serial murder. Her story is one of courageous resilience in the face of unimaginable horrors.
The responses of those whom O'Leary and her immediate family reach out to for help are almost as disturbing as the crimes of her violent father. Relatives are afraid to bring disgrace to the family's good name, nuns condemn the child's objections as disobedience and noncompliance, and laws at the time prevent the police from interfering unless someone is killed.
"The Blood on My Hands" is a heartbreaking-yet riveting-narrative of a childhood spent in pain and terror, betrayed by the people who are supposed to provide safety and understanding, and the strength and courage it takes, not just to survive and escape, but to flourish and thrive.

In the Silence of the Snow by Jessica Blair

French-born Marie Gabin forms a friendship with Veronica Attwood in their final two years at school, but this is tested when Marie is forced to disclose a secret to her friend.

The First World War takes its toll when Marie loses the man she loves. Veronica's husband suffers injuries which eventually leave her a widow, but she finds consolation in her love for the land. Returning to France, Marie marries her childhood sweetheart, but once again life brings involvement in war for the two friends.

Loving their Yorkshire land, Veronica and her daughters enlist in the Land Army. When a bomber squadron arrives on a newly constructed airfield on part of the estate, relationships are formed. Veronica's daughter Elise joins the RAF and is recruited into the SOE. But secrets will out. On a mission to France, Elise faces dangers she did not expect as she searches for Marie and the truth - a truth that will have an outcome she never envisaged.

What I Hope to Read Next

To Name Those Lost by Rohan Wilson

Summer 1874, and Launceston teeters on the brink of anarchy. After abandoning his wife and child many years ago, the Black War veteran Thomas Toosey must return to the city to search for William, his now motherless twelve-year-old son. He travels through the island's northern districts during a time of impossible hardship - hardship that has left its mark on him too. Arriving in Launceston, however, Toosey discovers a town in chaos. He is desperate to find his son amid the looting and destruction, but at every turn he is confronted by the Irish transportee Fitheal Flynn and his companion, the hooded man, to whom Toosey owes a debt that he must repay.
To Name Those Lost is the story of a father's journey. Wilson has an eye for the dirt, the hardness, the sheer dog-eat-doggedness of the lives of the poor. Human nature is revealed in all its horror and beauty as Thomas Toosey struggles with the good and the vile in himself and learns what he holds important.


  1. I like your spontaneity. I write the books I plan to read on my calendar and seldom deviate from my plan. Come see my week here. Happy reading!

    1. I would love to be that organized. I try to have a plan, but sometimes it just doesn't work. What I read next is often influenced by the book I've just finished.

  2. "When the Sky Fell Apart" sounds fascinating!

    1. It was a good read, but I wasn't prepared for the ending.

  3. Sometimes I agree you just need to swap it around and read something else depending on reading matter. Sometimes I do that if I have read to much sweet stuff!

  4. I tend to read whatever I'm in the mood for. I, too, have abandoned a book for a new one. Thus I usually have several going! Happy Reading!

    1. I do this all the time. Eventually I do finish all the books I've started and rarely have a DNF.

  5. These all look good! I'm always readjusting reading lists and picking up what appeals to me at the moment.

    1. I get a bit anxious when I've gone through my TBR pile and nothing appeals to me. Happily this doesn't happen very often. I usually find a book that matches my mood.