Mobile Library Reading Group and Twitter

Three authors got in touch via twitter to ask the group to read their new books

Reading Group

The Mobile Library Reading Group have been busy with all the new books that have been sent to us via Twitter. Twitter is a great way to get in touch with authors – to chat about books – and make lots of new friends who just love to read and talk about books.

Erin Green got in touch via Twitter and ask if we could read her book – she sent two copies to the Mobile Library Reading Group
Erin is a local lady born and raised in Warwickshire , New Beginnings at Rose Cottage was published in august 2019 her new book Taking a Chance on Love is out January 2020. She writes contemporary romance and romcoms drawing together a healthy mixture of love and romance amidst the realities of life. ‘Welcome to my world – filled with love, laughter and happy ever afters’

New Beginnings at Rose Cottage

This book is exactly as the author describes it above! Not my usual kind of read, but enough twists and turns in the story to keep me interested. It’s the perfect summer holiday read in that it won’t interfere with other activities by making you wonder what happens next!! I liked the way the women regained their selves and used their holiday to think about and make new beginnings. It tackles the conventional roles women take on – carer of the elderly, compromising wife and mother, lonely unloved fat girl, and explores why these roles came about and the possibilities for changing them / breaking out / living for oneself. More to this read than I first imagined!! Su R

Louisa Treger also got in touch via Twitter and sent two copies of her book for the Birmingham Mobile Library to read
Born in London, Louisa began her career as a classical violinist. The lodger was her first book published in 2014, the Dragon Lady was published in 2019 and she is currently working on her third novel.

The Dragon Lady

What a fascinating book! Before reading it I knew nothing of the Courtaulds a part form the name being associated with wealth. The 1950s history of Rhodesia is worthy of a new look, as it encapsulates the embedded racism of white rule in Africa at that of huge change and revolt. I loved the history and the fascinating story of the Courtaulds and the way their wealth enabled them to live their altruistic lifestyle – rather like our Royals, as demons hated in the story by the Queen Mother! It’s easy to democratic and equalitarian if you’re rich!! Su R

The story is set from the 1920's until the 1950's for the most part, in Rhodesia. Now known as Zimbabwe. Virginia was the daughter of a Romanian shipping agent. The inspiration for the title of this book is a snake tattoo from her ankle to her thigh, that she had done while in her teens. Unusual and daring for the times. After a disastrous first marriage to an Italian Count, she met and fell in love with Stephen Courtald. He arranged for her marriage to be annulled and they went on to marry in 1923.

During their time in London they renovated Eltham Palace. Although they were wealthy they found it difficult to enjoy life. Ginie was a divorcee which was frowned upon at the time. They decided to move to Rhodesia, now called Zimbabwe. They began their new life building up their huge estate which they named La Rochelle. Their support of racial inequality, the building of a school and community craft centre and lastly a Theatre in town, to whom it was their desire, for all to enjoy, including the black nation. This brought them into conflict with their ex pat British neighbours. Soon a campaign began to try and drive them out of Africa. They never had children and Ginie adopted a pet lemur who she took to Rhodesia with them. This is a story of great love and friendship between Stephen and Ginie, I found the descriptions of the political situation interesting and enjoyed the way the author has portrayed some well-known leaders. Having lived in Rhodesia and South Africa for many years, I have to say that I felt like I was sitting in my garden under the African sky . Beautifully written. Ann U

Thank you Dorothy Koomson for giving the Birmingham Mobile Library Service the chance to read the proof copies of her new book Tell Me Your Secret. Best-selling author of My Best Friend's Girl, The Ice Cream Girls and The Brighton Mermaid.

Tell Me Your Secret

The book is about a stalker who puts women in fear of their lives. Found it hard to get into this book. Too much information: he said, she said – what everyone was wearing - unnecessary. Pace of book: when you found the plot nit to bad. I thought the ending a little weak. Would you recommend to a friend? Not a good friend. Eric S

We start with the premise that there is a serial killer called "The Blindfolder" who, guess what, blindfolds his victims. He then lets them go, threatening them to keep quiet or he will come after them, and can you believe it, they do. Ten years later he starts killing them which is where the book starts. Enter our heroine, Pieta, pronounced Peter, who has kept her own ordeal at the hands of "The Blindfolder" secret for the decade. There are many characters entering the plot at this point, and also the story switches time frames a lot, this takes some keeping up with. There is a very negative feel to the narrative, particularly in the early stages, as they all seem to have deep problems and issues to deal with making them all miserable and anxious. I was waiting for an injection of upbeat action but it just seemed to drag on through their mental perambulations. At around part 3 it starts to liven up with some plot movement but the pace and the narrative tension did not ramp up along with it. Likewise credibility and entertainment are in short supply, while navel-gazing and a great deal of emotional thinking and fuzzy decisions seem to get made to the max. It should be the other way round. When the villain is finally unmasked, that too is an anti-climax, as he only has one brief mention in the book up to that point so you don't really care that much. At this point I read on with an increasing sense of disbelief as our characters start taking their own decisions, by-passing the police, risking their lives for all kinds of unbelievable reasons and the plot moves on into unknown territory. I just couldn't buy into it at all. Margaret H

I’ve tried to answer the book club questions but find it too much like an exam!! Sorry here are my thoughts. ‘Tell me your Secret’ kept me interested and reading in a disjointed way, as I found it really irritating and predictable that the story jumped between Pieta and Jody every chapter. “Difference” was a major theme for me everything from names that aren’t pronounced as they’ve been written, to complete inability to accept equality in sex, background, skin colour, class etc. etc. by Callie. It’s a love/hate read for me. Too long winded and full of stuff I can’t really care about – superficial as well as very wordy. Tackling difficult subjects but skimming over them. Looking for big answers, but then twisting the plot to provide them. However, it is a huge subject to tackle – trauma in youth and how it affects decisions and actions in lived later. Loved the insight into the lives and thoughts of Pieta and Jody. Wasn’t convinced by Callie and brother story. A very long book that felt stretched for effect and thin on reasoning. Enjoyable in an odd way and couldn’t wait to the end which was pretty convincing after all! Su R

Jackie, I’d never come across this author before, although she’s written 14 other novels. I liked that the main character is a black female senior police officer. The thickness of the book put me off slightly to begin with – 472 pages. I was a bit confused by the story going back and forth date wise e.g. 2011 then back to2009 then 1988 etc. (However I’m easily confused!). On page 169 I liked her pointing out racism and sexism, (One of your lot is out there...My lot? You mean a human Being? “A coloured girl blathering on ...I thought it was a good read. Didn’t have any idea until I got to the last few pages how it would end. Email from Margaret S

Article posted on 15 October 2019

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