November 6th, 2015


New books I’ve been reading

The Seventh Wife, T Kingfisher
This would have been a good book choice for YA readers wanting a spooky book for Hallowe’en.

There’s rather a muddle over the title of this book and the author’s name. I received The Seventh Wife from NetGalley (many thanks!) but look on Amazon and you’ll find The Seventh Bride. The author writes YA novels as T Kingfisher but for adults as Ursula Vernon. On her website she describes the book as a fairy tale. She writes ‘Rhea is an ordinary miller’s daughter, engaged to be married under suspicious circumstances to a man not of her choosing. He has unknown powers and a manor house full of mysterious women. Rhea has a hedgehog. It claims to be ordinary, but normal hedgehogs don’t act like that. It’s probably not going to be enough.’

As you begin reading, there’s a strange contrast between a mythical/medieval past where magic co-exists with religion and the saints, and the Americanisms, e.g. ‘gotten’ and Rhea’s mother calling her ‘Honey’. Rhea is instructed by her future husband to follow a path (previously non-existent) to his house. She knows this can’t be right and once she gets there, realises she will never be able to leave. It’s a house of horrors! Strong meat for the young but as it’s written for a younger audience, you remain convinced that somehow things will come right. Crevan, Rhea’s betrothed, sets her a nightly task, saying that if she doesn’t complete it, ‘I will marry you.’ By now out heroine has a good idea what happens to Crevan’s wives, so when she is set a task she can’t possibly complete, she dreads what he will do to her. Can she escape? By the time I reached the last few chapters, I didn’t move until I’d finished the book and found out. Wow. And I absolutely loved the hedgehog.
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October Books

Fall of a Philanderer, Carola Dunn
Gunpowder Plot, Carola Dunn
The Bloody Tower, Carola Dunn
The Black Ship, Carola Dunn
Sheer Folly, Carola Dunn
The Brontë Plot, Katherine Reay
Cold Comfort Farm, Stella Gibbons
Anthem for Doomed Youth, Carola Dunn
A Youthful Indiscretion, Elizabeth Edmondson
US, David Nicholls
Gone West, Carola Dunn
Finding Philippe: Lost in France, Elizabeth Edmondson
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