My main criteria is to choose books which have stayed with me in some way. There are quite a few books which I read, love and give a great review or rating to but a few months later they have faded. If I can read my review and remember the great feeling the book engendered or feel as though I'm revisiting old friends THAT'S when I call a book a raging success.
It always surprises me a little to discover how many of the books I enjoyed most are historical fiction and period dramas. I read a lot of psychological chillers hence many of these make it through but often the books I really lose myself most deeply in are the epic historical dramas with quirky everyday characters in unusual settings, and there are actually too few of these around which fit the bill.
To read my review of any of them click on the title.
A brilliant, heartstopping, thriller which begins rather gently then explodes midway into a grippingly twisted storyline about Jenna trying to rebuild her life whilst re-living nightmares about the hit and run which killed Little Joshua.
A wonderful, epic historical drama with a great sense of place and brilliant characters who stayed with me a long time after finishing it. It tells the life story of Harry who abandons his life and family to become a homesteader in remote aerly 20th century Canada.
An atmospheric historical novel which lives up to its promise. Set in turn of the century New York and Coney Island, with circus acts, sword swallowing women, asylums, night soil ceaners and illegitimate babies its brimming with authentic drama.
Emotional wonderful romantic fiction which tore my heart in two and sewed it back together as only a book set in a hospice and peopled by wonderful characters created by the wonderful Rowan Coleman can.
A truly magical historical romantic, drama set in a slightly alternative steampunkesque London and featuring a clockwork octopus you'll fall in love with. Unique, original and highly entertaining.
Compelling and poignant, bleak and haunting world war 2 drama that is both thought provoking and dreamlike. It's about the journey made and people met by Owen. trying to find his way home after awakening in a field in 1945 with no memory of who he is or how he got there.
A nostalgic and somewhat tragic story set in the 1980s with a lonely teenage girl becoming invloved with a rather bohemian family. Very atmospheric with a dreamlike reminiscent quality.
This historical novel seized me by the wrist and dragged me back in time to the late 18th century where it beguiled me throughout. Two womens paths cross and shape their lives - convicted criminal Mary Jebb transported to Australia and naive young bride Grace trying to adapt to marriage and life in a crumbling old mansion in England.
A thriller chiller set in Social media land. This murderously scary, twisty who-dunnit is peppered with larger than life characters, scary events and a touch of tongue in cheek quirkiness making it a fun yet dark page turner.