This summer, I decided to take a break from the crime genre, turning my attention instead to novels about families, relationships and the odd romance. I’m enjoying my summer reads, and there are still plenty of books left on my ‘to read’ pile.
Between Twitter and good old Amazon, I continually see more titles that capture my attention.
So here are my top 3 summer reads so far...
The Woman Who Kept Everything – Jane Gilley
It made a refreshing change to read a book about the older generation having fun.
Written in a heart-warming fun-to-read style, Gloria and her friends leap off the pages, showing us that you’re never too old to enjoy life and have adventures.
Gloria is a hoarder, safe amongst her collection of boxes, magazines and other stuff stacked in every room. Forced to leave her home when it becomes unsafe, she feels like a prisoner in her son’s house and is determined that she’s not quite ready for a care home. With her old friend Tilbury, she sets off on an adventure.
The characters she meets as one adventure leads to another; her impulsiveness and humour keep the pages turning. There was never a dull moment, that’s for sure!
The Girl at the Window – Rowan Coleman
This was my first Rowan Coleman read, and it won’t be my last. A page-turner of the best kind with a present-day love story tinged with a tragic loss, with the heart-rending love story of 17th century Agnes told through diary entries is equally compelling.
Trudy is bereft after her husband is missing presumed dead. She returns to Ponden Hall, her family home in Yorkshire, and her mother who she hasn’t seen in over fifteen years. The house is in poor repair and in her quest to restore it to its former glory, Trudy uncovers secrets from the past while building bridges with her mother.
What stood out most to me in this book was Rowan’s exquisite use of language. She gives us a powerful sense of place whether on the wild Yorkshire Moors or inside the dilapidated Ponden Hall. Emotionally I was with the characters all the way and had many goosebumps and spine-tingling moments with the ghostly goings-on.
I can’t wait to meet Rowan on my next writing retreat at Chez Castillon in October!
My Lemon Grove Summer – Jo Thomas
This book is pure escapism and romance at its best.
Not only will you fall in love with the beautiful characters, like Zelda and Luca, but you will also fall in love with Sicily and be set to pack your bags for a new life in the sun!
Zelda and her best friend, Lennie packed up their UK lives to follow an advertisement recruiting people to move to a small Sicilian village overlooked by Mount Etna.
Things aren’t quite as they thought when the new residents arrive, not everyone is pleased to see them. Determined not to let their new lives slip away, Zelda and the other residents take action.
With lots of love, laughs and delicious meals you can almost taste, you’ll feel like you’ve had a holiday in the sun without leaving your armchair.
If you’ve read any great books this summer, I’d love to hear about them.