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Persuasion by Jane Austen

Persuasion by Jane AustenBlurb

Written at the end of the Napoleonic Wars, Persuasion is a tale of love, heartache and the determination of one woman as she strives to reignite a lost love. Anne Elliot is persuaded by her friends and family to reject a marriage proposal from Captain Wentworth because he lacks in fortune and rank. More than seven years later, when he returns home from the Navy, Anne realises she still has strong feelings for him, but Wentworth only appears to have eyes for a friend of Anne’s. 

My Perspective

As i mentioned in my review of Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen, after visiting The Jane Austen Centre in Bath when we were traveling through the UK, I had an urge to start reading all of her novels.

Persuasion is the story of Anne Elliot. Having been persuaded to break off her engagement at 19 to Mr Wentworth, she is now 27 and no man has ever been able to replace him. Having left on bitter terms, he vowing never to forgive her, it has been eight years since they last met. However through family circumstance, their worlds soon collide once more.

Having watched the newest version of “Persuasion”, I already knew the general gist of the storyline. This did not take away from the story though as the book is a lot richer in detail.

It was well written in true Jane Austen style. For those not used to older novels, it was a little slow to start off with however that is the style of the time and I still found it interesting. You are given a lot of back story and information and it helps to give a greater depth to the story.

I loved Anne. She was sweet, good natured and steady. I also really liked Wentworth. The other characters were equal mixtures of frustrating, loveable, loathsome and charming.

I found that the ending fell a little flat. There was quite a bit of drama and suspense throughout the book and the ending didn’t seem to match.

Overall I really enjoyed the book and I would definitely recommend it to those who like period fiction.

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Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen

Northanger Abbey by Jane AustenBlurb

In Northanger Abbey, a young woman’s penchant for sensational Gothic novels leads to misunderstandings in the matters of the heart. Austen’s first, this is considered by many to be among her most charming novels.

My Perspective

After visiting The Jane Austen Centre in Bath when we were traveling through the UK, I had an urge to start reading all of her novels. I’ve read the more popular ones: Pride and Prejudice, Sense and Sensibility, and Emma already, however I hadn’t read Northanger Abbey nor Persuasion. As both of these are set in Bath, I wanted to read them almost immediately! I started with the one that was written first, Northanger Abbey.

Northanger Abbey is about Catherine Morland, the eldest daughter of a clergyman. She is invited to travel to Bath with a childless couple she is family friends with in the village. Rather naive and innocent, her visit introduces to her both friendship and love as well as lies and betrayal.

If you’re not used to older novels, then the wordiness may probably get to you. I however, find it does not lose my interest at all.

The beginning took you almost straight into the story and it was a page turner from then onwards. Most of the time I could not turn the page fast enough in knowing what would happen next.

The characters were brilliantly written and you went from love to hate to outrage and everything in between. There were parts where I could have throttled some of the characters and I was in dread of what they would do next.

I really enjoyed the book and I love Jane Austen and her writing style. Her books always please. I wouldn’t say this was my favourite of her novels, I much prefer Pride and Prejudice and Sense and Sensibility – I found this wasn’t as well written as either of those – however it is shorter and was quite a quick read.

Overall I would definitely recommend this book however not as Jane Austen’s best – it is however, still amazing as Jane Austen is a brilliant author!

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Terra by Gretchen Powell

Terra by Gretchen PowellBlurb

A broken and desolate Earth. A young girl simply trying to survive. A lost boy with a powerful secret.

A discovery that will change everything.

In the distant wake of a plague that has decimated the Earth’s population, humanity is split in two: The rich and powerful live in skycities that float overhead, while those who remain on the ground have gathered in settlements strewn across a dying planet. Eighteen-year-old Terra Rhodon is a terrestrial–a denizen of the barren groundworld–who makes her living as a scav. Long abandoned by her father, her caregivers gone, Terra supports herself and her younger brother, Mica, by scouring the earth for discarded scraps and metals to recycle for profit. One day, while on a routine scavenging run, she discovers something that shocks her home settlement of Genesis X-16. When the value of her discovery is revealed, Terra’s world is turned upside down.

Terra suddenly finds herself asking questions no one will answer. Her search for the truth leads her to Adam–a beguiling skydweller unlike any she has ever met. But Adam has secrets and a quest of his own. With him by her side, the world Terra thought she knew begins to unravel. Soon her discoveries unearth a terrifying conspiracy that has the potential to shatter everything–a revelation that will test the bonds of loyalty, family, and love.

My Perspective

This is the second book I read from my post Credit Where Credit’s Due. I read about Terra by Gretchen Powell from Cely at Running Off The Reese’s. Unfortunately you can’t read her thoughts on the book anymore as her blog was hacked and her posts deleted :(

Terra is a dystopian novel. The Earth is dying and the population have been split between the rich Skydwellers and the poorer Terrestrials. Terra is a Terrestrial, an earth dweller, and her only means of survival is scavenging the wastelands outside the compound that she and her brother, Mica live in. However one day whilst scavenging she finds an item that changes the course of her future.

Terra was an enjoyable read. The beginning really sucked me into the story. It was interesting, kept me turning the pages and flowed well. However I did notice there was a subtle change in the book when Adam was introduced. It became slightly cheesy and even though I was still interested in finding out what happened, it lost the appeal it had before.

I really liked Terra’s character except I found she irked me when Adam was introduced. I liked Adam as a character though – again there was something that changed and I’m not sure it was for the better. Mica was your typical teenager however you couldn’t help having a soft spot for him.

I found some of the story a bit unbelievable. The romance in particular. The novel is aimed at young adults though so it would most likely appeal to them.

The book leaves you on a pretty large cliffhanger – I didn’t realise it was a series! I must admit that even though it was quite cheesy the cliffhanger definitely makes me want to read the sequel.

Overall I did enjoy the book and I would recommend it to those who like young adult dystopian fiction.

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Summers In Supino: Becoming Italian by Maria Coletta McLean

Summers In Supino: Becoming Italian by Maria Coletta McLeanBlurb

An Italian Canadian woman recounts her annual summer trips with her husband to her ancestral village of Supino, Italy, in this heartwarming hybrid of travel guide and memoir. Written with humor and heart, it describes her process of adjusting to life in her father’s hometown, as well as the eccentricities of its people. Supino’s colorful landscapes and citizens make for vivid stories, from pizzerias in sheep pastures and fish restaurants hidden in the woods to village-wide celebrations of figs, watermelon, azaleas, and artichokes. The book goes on to explain how with every trip, the budding Italian gains a deeper understanding of her connection to Supino and comes to more fully embrace her cultural heritage. Filled with brilliant stories about a fascinating land, this engaging narrative explores notions of identity and the restorative power of community.

My Perspective

This is the first book I read from my post Credit Where Credit’s Due. I read about Summers In Supino: Becoming Italian by Maria Coletta McLean from Ionia at Readful Things Blog. You can read her thoughts on the book here.

Summers In Supino: Becoming Italian is a true story of Maria’s memories of her summers in Supino, Italy from when she and her husband bought a house there.

The story was written in an unusual format. It was in chronological order however apart from that it kind of was just written as a continuous memory. Some parts was almost summarised and other parts were intrinsically detailed. Sometimes it flowed beautifully and other times it was jolted. The style didn’t bother me majorly however I did find that sometimes I was taken out of the story because of it.

Supino sounds like a truly fascinating place and I was actually reading this while we traveled through Italy on our European adventure. I was sad that it was not near where we were visiting because I would have liked to have visited and seen what I read about.

I loved reading about the Italian way of life. The comparisons between the Supinese culture and the North American culture were so different and it was sad to see how the North American culture started influencing the area and changing it.

I loved reading about the food too – it all sounded so delicious!

The humour was subtle and I really enjoyed it. It was also quite a sad book.

I enjoyed reading this book and I would recommend it to anyone who enjoys memoirs and reading about other cultures.

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A Tiny Bit Marvellous by Dawn French

A Tiny Bit Marvellous by Dawn FrenchBlurb

Everyone hates the perfect family.

So you’ll love the Battles.

Meet Mo Battle, about to turn 50 and mum to two helpless, hormonal teenagers. There’s 17-year-old daughter Dora who blames Mo for, like, EVERYTHING and Peter who believes he’s quite simply as darling and marvellous as his hero Oscar Wilde. Somewhere, keeping quiet, is Dad . . . who’s just, well… Dad.

However, Mo is having a crisis. She’s about to do something unusually wild and selfish, which will leave the entire family teetering on the edge of a precipice. Will the family fall? Or will they, when it really matters, be there for each other?

My Perspective

This was the first book that i read on our epic adventure. I read it on the plane ride over to Beijing.

A Tiny Bit Marvellous is about the Battle family. Mo, the Mum, is a child psychologist and is practically starting a mid life crisis. Dora, the teenage daughter, is struggling with her relationship with her mother and navigating through her last year of high school. Peter/Oscar, the sixteen year old son, is very well to do. And then there is Husband/Dad. He is the rock of the family.

I’m not sure what i expected the book to be like however it wasn’t what I expected. If that makes any sense at all.

I enjoyed reading it and I was interested in the story however I did find that it was a bit disjointed. The book is written in diary entry formats and from the perspectives of all of the different characters. This was super interesting as you saw situations from all angles however if you have to be really careful that it flows properly, which i found it didn’t. It was quite eye opening as well.

The characters are what really make this book. They are developed really well over the entire length of the book and you truly get to know them.

Even though the pacing was steady, I did find in parts that my interest waned slightly. It was also slightly predictable.

Altogether I don’t know what to make of the book. I enjoyed it however found it lacking. The writing was unique however I’m not sure it worked.

Overall I would recommend this book however not highly. It was an interesting book to read while on the plane and it might appeal to those who like reading stories that explore inner thoughts with a bit of humour.

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I Have Returned…

Well I’m back. I have been for around two weeks now so I thought it was high time I posted my “I’m back post” so I can start posting normal stuff again!

Obviously we had an amazing time away and I would really like to share our trip with you all even though I only tend to post book related posts on here. However we have to go through all the photos yet (around 40GB) so stay tuned for that…

I didn’t read a huge number of books while I was away as I was obviously enjoying the sights etc. however I did read a small number that I’m looking forward to sharing my thoughts on.

I am also looking forward to connecting with you all again – I’ve started catching up on my blog reading so watch out for likes/comments on your posts from two months ago!

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Credit Where Credit’s Due

Obviously as a good blogger one must connect with and follow other blogs. To be honest i do find this challenging. As an introvert, i am quite happy to be by myself, drawing my energy from being alone. However even if i was happy having no one follow me, really the point of a blog is to connect, share etc. so as my personality also dictates, if i’m going to do something at all, by jingo i’m going to do it well! (And to be honest, much as it horrifies the introvert in me, i really am enjoying the connections that i have made so far)

Anyway, this post is meant to be about the 28 books that i have read about from a few of the blogs that i follow. From reading their perspective/reviews, i was interested in reading the different books, so i downloaded the preview for each book (if there was one) and i have to say that i am looking forward EVEN MORE to reading them!

They are:

~ Summers In Supino: Becoming Italian by Maria Coletta McLean

~ Lincoln’s Grave Robbers by Steve Sheinkin

~ Last Chance for Justice by Kathi Macias

~ Untangling the Knot by Deanne Wilsted

~ French Illusions: My Story as an American Au Pair in the Loire Valley by Linda Kovic-Skow

~ Sihpromatum – I Grew my Boobs in China by Savannah Grace

~ The Apple Orchard by Susan Wiggs

~ Rose Harbor In Bloom by Debbie Macomber

~ The Violets of March by Sarah Jio

~ Chose the Wrong Guy, Gave Him the Wrong Finger by Beth Harbison

~ The Fairest of Them All by Carolyn Turgeon

~ Gone South – A Novel by Meg Moseley

~ One Day In Apple Grove by C H Admirand

~ The Perfume Collector by Kathleen Tessaro

~ Splintered by A.G. Howard

~ Rewrite Redemption by J.H. Walker

~ Planet of the Apes by Pierre Boulle

~ Beautiful Ruins by Jess Walter

~ Gaining Ground: A Story of Farmers’ Markets, Local Food, and Saving The Family Farm by Forrest Pritchard

~ Lady Almina and the Real Downton Abbey: The Lost Legacy of Highclere Castle by The Countess of Carnarvon

~ Terra by Gretchen Powell

~ Seraphina by Rachel Hartman

~ How To Be An American Housewife by Margaret Dilloway

~ The Wife, the Maid and the Mistress by Ariel Lawhon

~ Murder at Honeychurch Hall by Hannah Dennison

~ Rose Cottage by Mary Stewart

~ Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi

There was also a book that a blogger mentioned that they want to read and it sounded so intriguing i want to read it now too!

~ London Under by Peter Ackroyd

Anyway i have placed all of these books on my various wishlists and so i have quite a supply of gift ideas for my family ;) I will be sure to review each book and it will be interesting if i share the same views of the blogger who posted about them!

Also in case you didn’t know (you would if you followed my other blog www.thechefandthewaitress.wordpress.com – yes a shameless self promotion!), Kel and i will be traveling to Europe and the UK via China for the next six weeks. Yep, that’s right. So i probably won’t be posting anything while we’re away due to limited WI-FI access plus I’m hoping that i will be too busy having too much fun!