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Showing posts from February, 2020

Under A Wartime Sky By Liz Trenow

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Liz Trenow's latest historical novel focuses on the secret research station at Bawdsey Manor during the late 1930s as young physicist Vikram sets to work on techniques to improve communications for the RAF. He had been recruited from Cambridge where he was a gifted PhD student working on radio waves and those who recruited him think his ideas might just help Britain to win the coming war. It is at Bawdsey that Vic meets local girl Kath, she has recently left school and is searching for a purpose. When war is declared Kath thinks she may have found it as she signs up to join the WAAFs. The war however also separates the two young people, as they both get moved around the country for further training and war work but they write to each other and try to meet up when the can, their love story unfolding across the years and the miles. Liz Trenow is a gifted storyteller with an enviable skill in  conveying character development and emotion with a deft touch. Under a Wartime Sky is a pa…

The Italian Villa by Daniela Sacerdoti

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I have been a fan of Daniela Sacerdoti's writing for years and I was thrilled to be asked to take part in the blog tour for her new novel The Italian Villa. The book is set in two time periods; Italy in the thirties and forties and Present day Texas. Callie is a waitress who grew up in care and on her twenty first birthday she discovers that the parents she lost in a fire as a child were not her biological parents. She receives the keys to a Villa in Italy that she has inherited from her biological mother and the diary of a woman called Elisa. Desperate to learn more, she travels to Montevino in Italy to the Villa, captivated by Elisa's story and eager to discover the connection between them. Through the diary she learns about Elisa's struggle to become one of Italy's first woman doctors and her time during World War Two as the town and the people she loves are ripped apart. Sacerdoti is a powerful storyteller, she brings characters vividly to life so that you want to…

Tyll by Daniel Kehlmann

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Daniel Kehlmann is a German/Austrian author of novels and plays who is probably best known; at least amongst English-speaking readers for Measuring the World; which was an historical novel featuring two famous German scientists of the enlightenment Alexander von Humboldt and Carl Friedrich Gauss and while it explores ideas of science and mathematics it is at heart a novel of wonderfully realised characters and powerful storytelling. Tyll is an excellent follow up to this earlier novel, opening nearly two hundred years earlier at the beginning of the Seventeenth Century just as the thirty years war begins and featuring a curious young boy who becomes a legendary figure in German folklore. Tyll is the son of a miller who prefers books to milling and who uses his knowledge to help and to heal his neighbours and friends. When his father is accused of working with the devil Tyll makes his escape and becomes a wandering entertainer. He learns to juggle, to walk a tightrope and to captivate…