Showing posts from June, 2013

Dark Triumph by Robin LaFevers

I have already reviewed this title for Ink and Paper Hearts and you can see my review here.

The Orpheus Descent

This review was originally published as a guest review earlier this week over at Shaz's Book Blog. You can check out Sharon's great blog here and see the original review here
I was delighted to be given the chance to do a guest review for Shaz’s Book Blog as it has introduced me to a new author I really liked. This is my first encounter with Tom Harper which surprises me as he has written a number of historical mystery novels and his books will appeal to fans of Kate Mosse and Manda Scott. The Orpheus Descent is a dual time mystery following the philosopher Plato as he journeys to Italy to meet a friend and discovers a tiny golden orphic tablet; the secret to a life changing mystery, before returning home to write the texts which made him famous. The book is also the story of Lily an archaeologist who while working at a dig in Italy discovers a tiny golden t…

The Misbegotten By Katherine Webb

Although The Misbegotten is Katherine Webb’s fourth novel it is the first I’ve read and it certainly won’t be the last because her storytelling skills are enchanting. The Misbegotten is the story of four people; Starling an abandoned child who grows up as neither servant nor lady, Alice the determined young woman who takes her in, Jonathan the grandson of Alice’s benefactor and Rachel who meets Starling and Jonathan twelve years after Alice’s mysterious disappearance which has left both of them devastated. Rachel has married to escape the drudgery of her life as a governess.  Through her husband she meets the Alleyn family and is employed as a companion to Jonathan to read to him and encourage his return to health and society. Through Starling and Jonathan she learns Alice’s story and the part they have played in her strange disappearance. Gradually she begins to piece together the puzzle and she discovers that her husband also has secrets. This is engrossing storytelling reminiscent…

The Dolls' Hospital Diaries

The Dolls' Hospital is a Dublin landmark recently saved from closure and now established in new premises at The Powerscourt Townhouse Centre. Many people don't realise the long history and truly fascinating stories that are associated with the store. This short and beautifully illustrated book is the perfect present for any doll enthusiast young or old. The History Press have put together a wonderful collection of stories and pictures giving an insight into the history of toys and the craft of doll and teddy bear making. The first Dolls' Hospital was established by Tommy and Freda Noyek in 1938 at a premises in Mary Street and after it closed in 1977 it was seven years before a new Dolls' Hospital was opened in 1984 by Chris and Melissa Nolan at South Great George's Street, it moved to the new premises in March 2012 and now also incorporates a Museum of Childhood. Some of the stories is this book will break your heart; tales of teddy bears destroyed by parents who …

The Language of Spells by Sarah Painter

This is a first novel from journalist Sarah Painter which I found utterly enchanting. The Language of Spells is the story of Gwen Harper, she has just inherited her great aunt's cottage in the picturesque Wiltshire village of Pendleford. She should be delighted, but Gwen left Pendleford thirteen years ago having been accused of witchcraft. Since then she has lived on the road, never staying anywhere for too long while her Mum has packed up and moved to Australia and her sister has settled to a life of seeming domestic bliss in nearby Bath. A caveat in the will means that she can't sell the house for at least six months so she must resign herself to staying put and dealing with the constant stream of visitors who assume that Gwen will be continuing to provide the same things that her great aunt did. You see Gwen comes from a family of witches and healers and although she has tried to deny her abilities all these years now that she's back in Pendleford they are all coming b…

Calling Me Home by Julie Kibler

I have been wanting to read this book for so long. I first heard about it through Julie's facebook page and of course the American edition was published first. Now at last book lovers in the UK and Ireland will be able to get their hands on a copy as it is published by Pan on 20th June 2012. Calling Me Home is being compared to The Help and while there are similarities I feel that if anything Calling Me Home is a better book dealing as it does with the harsh realities of the racial divide in 1930s America. The plot of the novel was inspired by real events in the life of Julie's grandmother; who fell in love with a black man when she was a teenager only to have their families separate them. Julie also discovered that her father's home town had a sign warning black people to be gone before sundown. The novel features two strong female characters Dorrie Curtis a feisty black hairdresser raising a family alone and afraid to let the new man in her life get too close and Miss I…

In the Postbox

I'll hopefully be giving the post man a spring in his step over the coming months because as I am now closed to new requests I'll be getting a lot less book post but before I closet myself away to read all my lovely books here is a sneak peak at some of the books I'll be reading this summer, which have recently arrived.

I was lucky enough to win two competitions recently with Two Roads Books who publish Z and Hodder who publish My Life in Black and White, both books came today and both look gorgeous and fascinating.

I have also received more review copies and only after taking these photos I realised I hadn't included everything. 
This pic includes a good mixture of the books I have received with Historical Fiction  such as My Notorious Life by Madame X and Fantasy such as The Bone Season but also some of the kids books I will be reviewing for my other blog including The Rithmatist and The Oathbreaker's Shadow. I have forgotten to include some more prizes I won re…

Some News

I have been quiet lately and that's for a number of reasons. I am working on a novel, reviewing for and and very involved with my book club which meets fortnightly and my writing group The Saltwater Scribblers which meets weekly. I also have a home, a family and a part time job so I keep quite busy. I have been promising some changes to the blog for a while now and one of those changes is that I will no longer be accepting kids books for review on The Madwoman in the Attic. This blog will in future be dedicated solely to historical fiction and non-fiction, gothic, mystery, classics and fantasy with the occasional crime and contemporary novel thrown into the mix. But what about the children's books you ask? Well I have started a new venture with my two lovely friends Lisa C and Mara who are also involved with The Saltwater Scribblers and we have just begun our blogging journey at This will be …