Wednesday, 5 March 2014

Year in Books - March

Firstly I want to thank all you lovely people for the wonderful comments you left on my last post about John retiring. I/we were very touched by the encouragement and inspiration you gave us both. I love blogging - its a very special place to be.

Another book to read and review for the Year in Books challenge which you can find here organised by Laura at a Circle of Pine Trees. For the month of March I am reading

a biography by Wendy Moore published in 2008 

which tells the story of  Mary Eleanor Bowes who was the richest heiress in eighteenth-century Britain. A compelling tale of her life and loves, where the torrent of biography sweeps the reader along. The research that went into this book must have been phenomenal as the author relates not only to Mary's story but others who came in and out of her life and many more besides. Lots of factual history about life at that time.

Precocious and indulged, Mary Eleanor Bowes (a distant 3xgreat grandmother of our own late Elizabeth Bowes Lyon - HRH The Queen Mother) fell under the spell of a handsome Irish soldier, Andrew Robinson Stoney. When Mary heard her gallant hero was mortally wounded in a duel fought to defend her honour, she felt she could hardly refuse his dying wish to marry her. Yet within hours of the ceremony, Stoney seemed to be in the grip of a miraculous recovery....and Mary found herself trapped in an appallingly brutal marriage - a remarkable tale of triumph in the face of overwhelming betrayal. More about this when I have finished the book - otherwise I'll spoil it for myself.

Another book that I've begun on my Kindle is The Virgin Widow by Anne O'Brien
(I know - I'm meant to be weaning myself off of historical novels - but this is part of the weaning off process !!)

Anne Neville is the heiress and daughter of the greatest powerbroker in the land, Warwick the Kingmaker. Trapped in a deadly tangle of political intrigue, she is a pawn in an uncertain game, used by the houses of Neville, York and Lancaster alike. Again, I need to read the book through before I review it. More about this next month.

February's book East of the Sun which you can find here ticked all the boxes for me. As I mentioned before I chose it because of its setting in India. Well, I definitely recalled all the wonderful smells, sounds, sights and culture of that memorable holiday. This was an utterly engaging novel and one that I couldn't put down.

Happy reading
Back soon x


  1. Hello Patricia:

    It is always so good to be alerted to books which one may not have read and to have the recommendations of other people. Very sadly, and this surely says something of us, we have never been captivated by historical novels. Perhaps we should try again?!!

  2. I like the sound of both of these books, Patricia. The first one sounds intriguing and the second is of interest because of my love of anything about the Wars of the Roses and especially Richard III. Thanks for the recommendations:)

  3. Don't worry, I can't get enough of historical fiction. I was just saying yesterday that springtime always makes me want to dig back into some of my favorite Philippa Gregory novels. The first book sounds especially interesting to me, and when I saw "Bowes" my first thought was whether she was an ancestor of the Queen Mother. I will have to look for that one. Thank you for the suggestions. Hope you're having a good week. :)

  4. I missed your last post, but popped back for a look. I hope that life in retirement goes really well for you both and that you have many happy years together doing all sorts of fun things together! xx

  5. Sounds like some great books.

  6. Patricia, I've seen on TV a film about the Mary Eleanor Bowes' life. Don't remember its name. It was very interesting woman and her story. I hope you will like this book. Have a nice week!

  7. Both sound fascinating Patricia.

  8. Wedlock looks particularly interesting, Patricia. It seems H.M. the Queen Mother came from a very spirited and interesting family!

  9. This is quite a n inspiring collection- I rarely read historical books- so maybe these are a good starting point:)

  10. Thanks for the reviews, we had Wedlock at my reading group last year and I didn't much enjoy it although I can't remember why! I'll be interested to see what you think at the end.

  11. Hello dear Patricia.
    I am late catching up on posts.. had such a busy time recently.
    Congratulations on your hubbies retirement.. you can get in your motorhome and just set off to nowhere);.
    I am just looking at books on my tablet to read.
    I think I am a fussy reader.
    I like fact.. and cant seem to get into fiction.
    Now I have my reader on my tablet.. i might read more.
    Happy reading Patricia..
    val x x x

  12. Sounds good! Now I'll have to go get the book! Well... not the part about him being mean.

  13. The 1st book you mention sounds interesting so I just went and reserved it from my local library :-)

  14. I’ll make a note of that first book – I like biographies. Last month when we went to the Antique and Flea Market in Atlanta I bought 5 volumes of John Steinbeck’s books. So I started Grapes of Wrath – it is not going to be a fun book to read – the people in it speak kind of dialect English and it is hard for me to sometimes understand it. I like to read 3 or 4 books at the same time, so on my Kindle I am reading Red Badge of Courage, another American classic – a Civil War novel. For fun I found an old Agatha Christie. I just finished “Paris in the 1950s” and enjoyed that a lot.

  15. I m catching up with all your news ,congrats to you and your husband I know from reading your blog you both will have a fabulous time visiting interesting places. Hope you have lots of fun

  16. Lovely historical choices.


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