he Notebook, The Proof, The Third Lie: Three Novels

Read from April 02 to 03, 2014

 

Book 1 – The Notebook

Book 2 – The Proof

Book 3 – The Third Lie

Three novellas rolled into one of the most powerful reads I have experienced about how ordinary people try to cope from day to day in times of war and political upheaval. Does it still have relevance in today’s world? You just have to look at Crimea to arrive at the correct answer to that particular question: within a week the area changed nationality, a perimeter minefield was dug in, barbed wires fences raised, old troops replaced by foreign troops, people executed or gone missing, certain books, songs and flags have become unacceptable, curfews in place and Whoosh!! a time-zone change. I bet the people there have either fled or are having to use new tactics just to survive.

I’m thinking a re-read will be needed now I know the story; a little more attention to detail to see if there were any cracks I could have prised open earlier.

A fantastic trilogy that was utterly jarring on the emotions and galling in its dispassionate cruelty.

Empty Cradles

bookshelves: nonfiction, nottingham, politics, published-1994, winter-20132014, under-1000-ratings, true-grime, tragedy, tbr-busting-2014, lifestyles-deathstyles, families, australia, catholic, bdsm

Read on January 30, 2014

Emily Watson … Margaret Humphreys

Description: In 1986 Margaret Humphreys, a Nottingham social worker, investigated the case of a woman who claimed that, at the age of four, she had been put on a boat to Australia by the British government. Margaret Humphreys soon discovered that as many as 150,000 children had in fact been deported from children’s homes in Britian and shipped off to a “new life” in distant parts of the Empire—the last as recently as 1967. For numerous children it was to be a life of horrendous physical and sexual abuse in institutions in Western Australia and elsewhere. Margaret Humphreys reveals how she gradually unravelled this shocking secret, how she became drawn into the lives of some of these innocent and unwilling exiles, and how it became her mission to reunite them with their families.

The woman whose claim that she was exported at 4 year’s old, started off Humphrey’s investigation.

The Trailer

Margaret Humphreys

Constructing Bindoon


The song from the film: Cat Stevens ‘Wild World’

‘Bindoon and I’ll slip you one’ seems to have been the Roman Catholic nose tap between the Brothers. UGH!

I can’t comment on the book or the writing style but I can tell you that this horror story has sickened me to the core.

24th Feb 2010, Gordon Brown Apologises for the abuse of children transported thousands of miles from home.

The French Orphan

bookshelves: published-2012, net-galley, e-book, historical-fiction, winter-20132014, under-50-ratings, france, adventure, young-adult, spies, paris, newtome-author, bdsm, glbt, filthy-lucre

Read from January 27 to 29, 2014

 

Netgalley/Cameron Publicity & Marketing Ltd. First published 2012

Description: The year is 1640, and Louis XIII is on the French throne. However, as far as you’re concerned, this is all pretty meaningless. After all, as a teenage orphan living in a monastery school in Reims, all you have to worry about is dodging the unpleasant advances of a few unsavoury monks and looking forward to a life of penniless and celibate servitude in a religious order.

After a childhood and adolescence plagued by a constant longing to know who he really is, orphan Pierre has not the slightest idea that his questions are about to be answered. But you know what they say – be careful what you wish for…

Suddenly finding out who you are can bring with it not only happiness and fortune, but danger, friendship and the sort of swift education that the monastery could never have provided! The discovery of who Pierre really is affects not only Pierre and his friends, but has ramifications for the French nobility, the English crown, and most dangerous of all, the machinations of Cardinal Richelieu and his fierce ambition for the Church and for himself.

Dedication: To Polly – thanks for your support
To Katharine – thanks for making it happen

Palais-Cardinal c1642

Cardinal Richelieu was born in 1585 and died in 1642. Richelieu dominated the history of France from 1624 to his death as Louis XIII?s chief minister

Opening to the prologue: The log burning in the imposing marble fireplace disintegrated and sent a shower of dancing red-gold sparks into the air. The sound of the small explosion echoed in the library of the new palatial building known to everyone in Paris simply as le palais du cardinal, the home of His Eminence, Cardinal Richeleu, the revered – as much as reviled – the prime minister of France.

Reims

The story itself opens up in the monastery school in Reims, where the sadistic, paedophile overseer, Brother Heironymous, shows favour towards a comely youth, Armand, who is a friend of our protagonist Pierre, the orphan of the title. The hunt is on to find out just who was Pierre’s parents, and they must have had class because Reims never takes on just anyone to nurture.

That’s as far as I can take you without spoilers galore.

The writing is somewhat pedestrian and as such this is not an engrossing novel for hard-core historical fiction readers, however if it’s a light read you are after, albeit with male rape, as a palate cleanser, this may be the one for you.

The next in the series:

The Secrets of Montrésor (The French Orphan, #2)
Under the Spell of The Serenissima (The French Orphan, #3)

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