The Last Runaway By Tracey Chevalier
Armed only with the Bible, Dickens and a set of quilts, in 1850 Honor Bright decides to accompany her sister Grace from Bridport, Dorset to Ohio (Grace is travelling there to marry her fiancé Adam Cox; Honor is fleeing a broken engagement and a broken heart) she leaves behind a loving extended family as well as a tightly knit Quaker community.
The sea trip over is one of we travel-sickness-prone-people's nightmare, she is sick ALL the way so realises she can never go back to England if she wants (at times this seems preferable to life in America)
The book is a fascinating mix of stories of Quaker life as well as the pioneering rise of America, complete with Slaves.
Quakers do not support slavery, but it is against the law at that time in Ohio to help runaway slaves. Even inadvertently when they hide in your barn!!
It was interesting to read at the time that I also saw LINCOLN the movie, and the struggle for slave emancipation
A great Read 9/10
A Darker Music Maris Morton (loaned to me by Julie Stone)
won the inaugural CAL Scribe Fiction Prize in 2010, for Australian writers over 35, regardless of publishing history. The novel is the first publication for Maris Morton – at age 72 – a considerable achievement. Hope for you all yet!!!
Mary takes a temporary housekeeping job at Downe, a famous Merino stud in Western Australia. When she arrives, however, she finds the homestead in decline and the owner’s wife, Clio, seriously ill, barely venturing from her room. Mary’s job is to feed Clio’s taciturn and often absent husband, Paul, and son, Martin, and prepare the house for Martin’s upcoming wedding. Family secrets and quiet tragedy play out against a rural Australian backdrop. The novel is about the contrast between Clio's love of music and her husband's complete denial of any need for this in HIS house.
It is not the best book Literary wise I have read but I did enjoy it, for its setting, and plot.
The One Hundred Year old Man who climbed out a window and disappeared. Jonas Jonasson
The adventures in the life of Alan, a 100 years old Swede, who while waitign for his 100th birthday party in an old peoples home decides to leave, and the presumptions and missed interpretation that means he gets away. And so begins his picaresque and unlikely journey involving criminals, several murders, a suitcase full of cash, and incompetent police. As his escapades unfold, we learn something of Allan's earlier life in which - remarkably - he helped to make the atom bomb, became friends with American presidents, Russian tyrants, and Chinese leaders, and was a participant behind the scenes in many key events of the twentieth century.
It is a bit of Forrest Gump and at times beggars belief (but it is a story!) but great fun and a real lesson that it's never over till it's over! 8/10
Will decide on May when I have read more
But choices are
Gone Girl Gillian Glynn
The Good Muslim Tahmona Anam
A Tale for the time Being Ruth Ozeki