Monthly Favourites – April 2019

I’m generally able to be brief and concise when the time comes to reveal my monthly favourites. But I don’t believe that will be the case today. Although I read a couple of good books, my reading month wasn’t exceptional by any means. I’m even on the verge of a reading slump. However, I have many opinions to share about my favourite TV show of this month. I’m going leave that to the very end, because (also unusually) spoilers will abound then!

Seeing that this is overall a book blog, I’ll start by mentioning my favourite book from the ones that I read in April – Life After Life by Kate Atkinson. Ursula Todd, the main character, wasn’t born only once. She had various opportunities to live. So, the reader is presented with various possible stories about her life, because even a small change in a previous event can make a difference. Ursula’s lives are not all equally gripping. Nevertheless, this novel is full of vivid scenes and heart-breaking moments. It also paints a picture of the first half of the 20th century in Europe.

Music-wise, I loved listening to ‘Gold’ by Band of Skulls, my favourite song from their latest album Love Is All You Love. But I also listened on repeat to the hauntingly beautiful ‘Jenny of Oldstones’ by Florence + The Machine, a song they recorded for Game of Thrones. Continue reading

‘Life After Life’ by Kate Atkinson

My rating: 4 stars

Occasionally, incidents that can be perceived as inconsequential, such as a stolen kiss, can have a huge impact on someone’s life. Their future effects may compel people to adjust their hopes and dreams. What if we could change those events? Ursula Todd, the main character in Life After Life by Kate Atkinson, was born and died various times. She had the opportunity to live her life over and over again. Sometimes little changes in her or others’ actions completely transformed her personality and her future. Readers are presented with various possible stories in which Ursula takes centre stage and that also serve to paint a picture of the first half of the 20th century in Europe.

Ursula was born on 11 February 1910. She would have died with her chord around her neck if Dr Fellowes hadn’t arrived on the exact moment to save her. Her mother was called Sylvie, and she was her third child. Sylvie had met her husband, Hugh, when she was 17 years old. Her father was a gambler and, when he died, she and her mother had to deal with the creditors. Hugh, who was becoming much respected in the world of banking, saved her from poverty. Ursula managed to survive until her fifth summer, when she died drowned in the sea.

That wasn’t the first time she perished, though. The first chapter of the book recalls the moment when Ursula tried to kill Hitler in November 1930. She died in the process. Next, she didn’t survive her birth. The chord was wrapped around her neck and Dr Fellowes arrived too late to save her. Continue reading

Book Haul – February 2019

I managed to wait until February to buy books for the first time in 2019! It was really difficult to resist the urge to get new books until the second month of the year, although I still had a few unread ones on my shelves. I bought a total of eight books, unintentionally almost all of them were written by women.

 

Silent Companions by Laura Purcell

Soon after getting married, Elsie became a widow. She has no friends amongst the servants nor the villagers. Her only company seems to be her late husband’s awkward cousin, until she finds a locked room where there is a wooden figure which strongly resembles herself. I am eager to be frightened by this book!

 

The Mermaid and Mrs Hancock by Imogen Hermes Gowar

This historical novel immediately caught my interest at the time of its release last year, but I decided to wait for the paperback edition. I started reading it soon after it was delivered and am now more than halfway through. Although I am enjoying discovering more about the characters, I was expecting more in terms of plot. One of Jonah Hancock’s captains sells his ship in exchange for what appears to be a mermaid. At first, he is appalled by the loss of his ship. However, his captain convinces him that by exhibiting the mermaid he can make a big profit. It’s thanks to his mermaid that he meets the beautiful courtesan Angelica. Continue reading