Torley Grange, Gwendoline Courtney. Confirms my opinion that the author’s scarcer books are scarce for a reason.
Second Honeymoon. Joanna Trollope. Readable as ever.
Crow Lake, Mary Lawson. Lately I’ve read a lot of books set in Canada and perhaps that’s why, while reading this, I kept thinking it was set much further in the past than it really is. I liked it a lot. The plot and characters are reminiscent of Jodi Picoult but unlike her books this one is sparely written, with no padding.
Books by Jane Shaw
Susan Pulls the Strings
No Trouble for Susan
A Job for Susan
Susan Rushes In
Susan at School
Susan’s Trying Term
Susan Muddles Through
Susan’s Helping Hand
Books by Anthony Buckeridge
When I was very young I was seriously ill and had a year off school. For years afterwards I had to have an annual check up at one of the big London hospitals. In my memory it was always very cold, there was a two-bus journey with long waits for the buses and then a lot of waiting at the hospital, so it took all day. In order to sweeten this pill, my dear mother always bought me a bran new book. Not a Children's Press or Puffin, either, but a 5/- one, which she could ill afford. One year it was Jennings' Diary. I suppose I was about seven and a lifelong love affair began. These books still make me laugh out loud.
According to Jennings
Jennings & Darbishire
Curtain Up, Noel Streatfeild
White Boots, Noel Streatfeild
Summer of the Great Secret, Monica Edwards
The White Riders, Monica Edwards.
Oh dear, this was a disappointment. I love Monica Edwards and have had this book since I was a child. I always liked it because it was set in autumn and had all those lovely, cosy farmhouse scenes. This time, the magic failed to work. There's all the illegal driving and use of firearms, which look different to the adult reader. Then Meryon is insufferably arrogant in this book. He is condescending to the girls and worse, to Mike Merrow. Imagine a fifteen year old schoolboy telling an older, experienced farmer not to worry about the cow about to give birth because 'calves are born every day without any trouble.' It's a wonder Mike didn't clock him one.
Cranford, Mrs Gaskell
Read this as preparation for the TV series but nothing could have prepared me for what appeared on the screen. For some reason it put into my head Our Village by Miss Mitford. I'd never read this before and found it such hard going that I didn't finish it. I know it is much loved by its admirers: any here?
Wings Over Witchend, Malcolm Saville
Katherine at Feather Ghyll, Anne Bradley
This is a lovely, cosy girls' book. If you like the later Gwendoline Courtneys, you'd enjoy it.
Penny Plain, O Douglas
Strange to think how recently I've discovered O Douglas and how quickly she's become established as a top comfort read.
Keeping Faith, Jodi Picoult
I said I wouldn't bother with any more Jodi Picoult books but I was gripped by this and am now reading another one.