What I Read On Holiday
Hello, hello. I hope you are all well. This is actually the first post I am writing after our holiday. (Last week's posts were written before we travelled) and I'm still getting into the swing of things over here. We are knee deep in packing boxes at the moment, getting ready for our move and trying desperately not to panic. As they say in Yorkshire 'It'll be reet'.
This weekend also saw the hen do of one of my most gorgeous friends. This, along with her wedding, had been postponed twice. The wedding has now taken place and it was our chance to celebrate the Bride, which we did with cocktail-making, an Escape Room, Massages, a nice meal and a little bit of alcohol. Ahem! It was such a fab weekend and my face ached from so much laughing.
Our holiday was truly wonderful. We visited the beautiful island of Barbados, which is a very special place for me and my husband as it was where we were married 4 years ago. I don't think either of us realised how much we actually needed the holiday. We had a wonderful, relaxing time sunbathing, swimming and eating. Oh and of course lots of reading! I thought it would be a good idea to recap what I read and to fill you in on what the other guests were reading. So after the longest preamble in the world, let's get to it.
The Chateau by Catherine Cooper
🏝🏝🏝/ 🏝🏝🏝🏝🏝 3/5
Aura and Nick don’t talk about what happened in England. They’ve bought a chateau in France to make a fresh start, and their kids need them to stay together – whatever it costs. The expat community is welcoming, but when a neighbour is murdered at a lavish party, Aura and Nick don’t know who to trust.The expat community is welcoming, but when a neighbour is murdered at a lavish party, Aura and Nick don’t know who to trust.Someone knows exactly why they really came to the chateau. And someone is going to give them what they deserve.
If you are a fan of Lucy Foley, then please do give the Catherine Cooper books a go. This is the second book by this author and is extremely readable. During the book, we have no idea who has been murdered. Full of ghastly self-absorbed characters. Apart from a small twist at the end, I did work out who the murderer was. The book was a great page-turner and perfect for getting me in the holiday spirit. Great fun. I'm already looking forward to the next book by this author.
Those who Are Loved by Victoria Hislop
🏝🏝🏝/ 🏝🏝🏝🏝🏝 3/5
After decades of political uncertainty, Greece is polarised between Right- and Left-wing views when the Germans invade.Fifteen-year-old Themis comes from a family divided by these political differences. The Nazi occupation deepens the fault-lines between those she loves just as it reduces Greece to destitution. In the civil war that follows the end of the occupation, Themis joins the Communist army, where she experiences the extremes of love and hatred.As she looks back on her life, Themis realises how tightly the personal and political can become entangled. While some wounds heal, others deepen.
I began reading this on the way to the airport and realised I had already read it. Doh! But I read it anyway. This family saga set during Greece's troubled history is immensely well-researched about a country I know little about. At times, due to the subject matter it was hard to read.
The characters in the novel are wonderful and undergo a 180 degree turn particularly Thananis. At the start I really disliked him, by the end I was devastated by his death. Victoria Hislop has such a gift for making you care deeply about these characters. Themis is a great anchor to the story. It was a good book, but if you enjoy your holiday reading more on the light and frothy side, this is definitely not the book for you. Read it when you get back instead and savour the characters!
U is for Undertow by Sue Grafton
In 1960s Santa Teresa, California, a child is kidnapped and never returned . . .
When the case is reopened after twenty years, a man - Michael Sutton - contacts private detective Kinsey Millhone for help. He claims to have recalled a strange and disturbing memory which just might provide the key to the mystery. He may have stumbled across the kidnappers burying Mary Claire Fitzhugh’s body . . .
But Michael’s account is indistinct – he was only six years old at the time of the kidnapping; and even members of his family try to discredit his evidence. But Kinsey can’t quite let go of the case.
As Kinsey gradually brings to light the stories of the protagonists involved in the tragedy, from Country Club parents to their free-living, hippy children, the truth finally begins to emerge. And while stepping back into the past, Kinsey discovers more about her own history too.
This is the 21st in the Kinsey Millhone series and can be read as a standalone novel. I loved it! The plot is very involved and really needs to be read slowly to enjoy the novel. I loved the back and forth between the 1960s and 1980s. I also enjoyed the involvement of a novelist echoing Grafton's own writing. Very clever. This is an author top of her game. Blooming love these books!
The Castaways by Lucy Clarke
You wake on a beautiful, remote island. Sparkling blue seas, golden sunsets, barely a footprint in the sand. Yet this is no ordinary escape.
Next to the wreck of a plane, a stranger paces. Another sharpens a knife, scoring a list of the dead onto a palm tree. Others watch from the shadows of a campfire – all with untold stories, and closely-guarded secrets…
Well this was a book that differed from the blurb on the back and also, not the ideal book to read just before flying back home. It was a good thriller and a real page-turner. The narrative is split between 2 sisters; Lori and Erin. Erin is investigating the disappearance of a plane which her sister Lori was a passenger on. Suddenly 2 years later, the pilot turns up in a different country.
I loved the back and forth between Erin and Lori as well as between then and now. The book had a slightly claustrophobic, Lord of the Flies feel about it. But it was a good thriller that had an unusual ending.
I did also read a Christmas book whilst on holiday, but haven't featured it here as it is going to be on my #12booksofchristmas list. Woohoo!!!
I love looking at what people are reading, especially when I can do this from behind a pair of sunglasses. On the beach, there were a lot of thriller being read. In particular, I saw about 5 guests with the Lucy Foley books.
Lianne Moriarty was also a popular choice. And I am not sure if there had been a guest giveaway but I saw about 10 guests reading the Bob Mortimer biography. A few guests had also decided to take the first Richard Osman on holiday with them
It made me wonder, when people buy their books for their holiday as there were quite a few airport editions kicking around which made me realise a lot of people buy books at the airport. Obviously. I tend to buy my books before, or download them ready to go on my kindle. How about you?
I'd best bring this post to a close before it becomes as long as 'The Stand'. I'll be back on Friday. See you then!