The Year of the Ladybird by Graham Joyce (Gollanz)
SKEGNESS is a holiday resort in Lincolnshire on the east coast of the UK which I visited many times as a child.
In the past it was a hugely popular seaside town, especially with working class visitors from the East Midlands.
But since the arrival of cut-price overseas holidays in the 70s ,it has suffered a decline and now looks rather faded and jaded.
The Suicide Club by Andrew Williams (Hodder & Stoughton)
THE never-ending slaughter of the First World War is the backdrop for this novel but mainly seen through the eyes of those involved in the murky world of the spy.
The central character is Alexander Innes, a captain wounded at the Somme, and now working with the resistance in Belgium.
He is called back to London for a briefing and then dispatched to just behind the front line to Field-Marshall Haig’s army headquarters in France.
The Green Room by Anne Enright (Vintage) by Patrick O’Connor THIS is a fascinating multi-faceted look at a dysfunctional family. It focuses on the Madigans, mother Rosaleen and her children Dan, Emmet, Constance and Hanna who meet up for a Christmas gathering in the west of Ireland for the first time in many years. Different […]
Narrow Road to the Deep North by Richard Flanagan (Vintage)
THE horrors of life in a Japanese prisoner-of-war camp during the Second World War are graphically explored in this novel.
But a parallel story-line also traces Australian army surgeon Dorrigo Evans’ love affair with his uncle’s wife back in Aussie and his luke-warm relationship with his own wife Ella.
Evans is a complex character, hailed after the war as a hero, but a serial adulterer consumed by self-loathing.
The author’s father survived the Burma death railway, and the atrocities imposed by the Japanese on Australian soldiers are described in great detail.
The Silence of Ghosts by Jonathan Aycliffe (Corsair)
IF you love a good ghost story, this book is a real treat. It has all the classic ingredients, a spooky house, things which go bump in the night, and a remote isolated setting in the Lake District.
Dominic Lancaster has been badly injured serving in the Navy during the Second World War, having a leg amputated as a result. When the Blitz makes life in London dangerous, his wealthy family send him off to the family summer home in the Lakes, along with his partially deaf young sister Octavia.