Friday, 24 January 2014

Book Review - Astor Place Vintage by Stephanie Lehmann

*****


I came across a review of this book on one of the blogs I read, but I can't remember which one. Anyhow I'm so glad I did because otherwise I'd never have known about it and it is real gem.

It tells the tale of two women living in Manhattan, New York - Olive and Amanda. Olive lives in 1907 and Amanda in 2007, the places they visit intertwine as their lives twist and turn. Even better are the turn of the century illustrations to help you envisage Manhattan 107 years ago. I have to admit I hit the google image button a few times too.

It has social history and relationships all mixed up and was an absolute delight to read.
I loved this book and read it all too quickly. 

Saturday, 11 January 2014

Book Review - C J Sansom, Dominion

Rating *****

There are moments in history when a different decision by politicians would have caused ordinary people to live very different lives. William of Normandy's decision to invade England, Henry VIII's decision to divorce Catherine of Aragon, Chamberlain's decision to appease Hitler and Churchill's decision to fight on after Dunkirk.

But what if the politician's had made a different decision? What would life be like for the rest of us? Counter factual history explores these scenarios and considers what would have happened instead of what did happen. When written well the alternative life is believable and in the case of Dominion spine tingling.

Imagine Britain signed a peace treaty with the Nazi's in 1940 and didn't fight on............. well that is what is imagined by C J Sansom in Dominion. The story itself begins in November 1952 and follows the lives of various people living in a Nazi dominated Britain; the story cleverly weaves fact and fiction and without giving too much away - comes to a tense and gripping finale.

In a smog filled London the resistance (lead of course by Churchill) fight for freedom and try to get scientist Frank Muncaster out of the country before the Nazis get hold of his secret. Muncaster's story will stay with you long after you close the book on the last page for all sorts of reasons, but I can't say more than that here.

If you like history read this book, you won't be disappointed. 

Knitting Knotes - Celtic Beanie

Using the pattern  Oxenhope  I made this bigger by adding another pattern repeat, I also wanted a fold over 2x2 cuff - but I didn't ...