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About cherrypie

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    Permanent Resident
  • Birthday 14/11/61

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  • Gender
  • Location
    Bedfordshire, UK
  • Interests
    Reading!!! Spectator sport (esp. tennis and cricket), gardening, travelling when possible, getting together with friends & family
  • Current Book
    The Sound and The Fury - William Faulkner

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  1. John Banville

    Look forward to reading what you think of it Binker. I hope you find it as engrossing as I did.
  2. H.E. Bates

    I loved both Love for Lydia and The Jacaranda Tree too Meg. Along with The Larkin novels and Fair Stood the Wind for France they are the only H E Bates novels that I have read too but I do have his two novels set in India on my TBR shelf. I am glad to see that others are beginning to read him too. As Momac has said he has a way of drawing the reader into his books. At times I felt as if I was there with the characters, almost looking over their shoulders. He certainly made me care about the outcomes of the three main novels which I always feel is an indication of a good writer.
  3. John Banville

    Thank you for your kind remarks Dan and Luna. I love reading the comments of other BGO readers and have read many books based on such postings. Like you Dan I have read very little Banville but have loved what I have read so much so that I have ordered Ancient Light today.
  4. I bought this book earlier this year at random having read The Sea by the same author. Although not necessarily an easy read I felt The Sea to be compelling reading and had high hopes of this book merely because it was by the same author. I did not even bother to read what the book was about before buying it I was that sure of the author! I was not disappointed! The story is told by one person, the main character Oliver Orme, who describes himself as a thief and successful painter. As he admits himself he always desires what belongs to others to such an extent that he has an affair with his best friends' wife. When his friend finds out about the affair instead of facing the fallout Oliver simply runs away and ends up at his old childhood home. He finds himself unable to paint and tries through memories of the past to work out how he has arrived at this point in his life having so casually ruined not only his own life but also those of the people who mean the most to him. Once again I have found Banville to be a compelling read, I simply did not want to put the book down. The language used is wonderful and Orme himself although a completely self absorbed and selfish person is strangely likable as he slowly comes to terms with the mess that he has made and how little he has left himself with. The reader spends virtually of the whole of the book within the mind of Oliver Orme and is made aware of his every thought. I felt that I was in a strange way learning a little about myself as Oliver admitted his failings to himself and dealt with not just his present feelings but his feelings too about past events. Sounds a bit over the top I know but Banville seems to understand the human state to such an event that some of the conclusions that Orme comes to about himself and his life could apply to almost anybody. He seems to think about things that I have thought too but have not realised! A book that I am sorry to finish. As stories go not a great deal happens but the characterisation is brilliant. I think that I need to order another Banville book! One I would recommend.
  5. H.E. Bates

    Think you will enjoy it Momac. I have suggested that RG read it but as he has just finished Birdsong I suspect that he may want to read something a bit less demanding next! I have a couple of other books by H E Bates which I am looking forward to. I find his characters very real and the feelings that they describe very human. It is a shame that he is considered a little old fashioned now and so less widely read.
  6. I was lent this book some time ago and for some reason have kept bypassing it when choosing a fresh book to read. However I felt like a change and so without reading the back of the book I decided to give this book a go. Am I glad I did! The book tells of the lives of four people, Lynnie a women with an intellectual disability and Homan a deaf man with only sign language to guide him both of whom have escaped from The school for the Incurable and Feebleminded, Lynnies daughter Julia and Martha who answers their desperate knock on her door while they are on the run. The story has a number of storytellers and moves easily between them all as the years unfold. The reader slowly learns about the brutal institutions to which those with learning disabilities were sent. The book starts in 1968 and finishes in 2011 and the reader travels with the four through some harrowing times. It is the sort of book which will make you cry in many places but will also make you smile. Although it tells of the horrible lives which some of the most vulnerable in society have been forced to live it also tells of great love and great kindnesses. I loved this book and found it very difficult to put down. In fact I read it in just a few days. Certainly one which will stay with me and certainly one which I would recommend. The characters were very well drawn and easily believable and the story was beautifully told. I was really sorry to come to the end. The Story of Beautiful Girl is described on the back cover as "a mesmerising novel which will captivate readers everywhere." For once I did not feel the praise to be over egged!
  7. This is a story of friendship and the muddles that we all get ourselves into through misunderstandings and through trying to do the right thing. The main story reveals itself through the memories of Marnie and Ralph so in a way is told almost backwards. The story starts with Marnie in her orderly life. One phone call from an old friend, oliver, changes all that and she travels to a remote cottage where two old friends, Oliver and Ralph, are living. Ralph is near death and as I have said the story is really the one that happened in the past. Slowly, through the memories of Ralph and Marnie, the reader begins to understand what all three have been through and how they have arrived in the house. I found the first half of the book interesting reading. Nicci Gerrard has an easy writing style so the book is easy to read. I found the book on my book shelf and have no idea how it got there! I have never heard of the author and as I did not read the back cover before starting had no idea what the story was about! As the past story began to reveal itself I found that my interest increased for a while. However I found that the second half of the book dragged a bit and as the story revealed itself more and more it all became a bit obvious. I plodded on to the end of the book but cannot say that it is a book that will stay with me for long. I felt that the book was overly long and the story rather weak. Not one that I will be recommending to others!
  8. On the back cover this book is described as "perhaps the finest novel of the war". I am not sure about that but it is certainly a fine novel. It tells the story of Franklin, a British airman, and Francoise, a young French girl living with her father and grandmother on a small farm next to the family mill. Franklin is flying his crew back to Britain after a sortie over Europe during the second world war when the he is forced to make an emergency landing over France. He and the crew all survive but Franklin injures his arm quite badly as a result of the landing. They are forced to make their way as best they can through occupied France. Eventually they are all hiding in the grounds around the mill owned by the father of Francoise when Franklin presents himself to Francoise. The family take the airmen in and hide them in the mill while papers can be obtained for them all to enable them to make their way out of occupied France and thus find their way back to Britain. Due to his injuries Franklin is forced to stay behind when the others depart until he is fit enough to travel and a relationship springs up between him and Francoise. The book however is about so much more than a love affair during wartime. It is as much about loss as it is about love as well as a human beings need for a sense of identity. The book is beautifully written and I found it very difficult to put down. I came to care deeply for Franklin and Francoise worried throughout for the outcome of their story. I found the whole book to be bathed in a feeling of pathos which added to this feeling and shed more than a tear or two as I read my way to the end. Although the book described many harrowing events my overall impression upon finishing the novel was of human endurance and the lengths to which many are prepared to go to help others no matter what the cost to themselves. Within the one story are many far smaller ones all of equal importance the overall feeling of the novel. This is a book which I suspect will stay with me for some time and I would certainly recommend it to others.
  9. Conditions here much more pleasant today thank goodness. I even managed a walk this morning which was a bonus. After the exhibition I made of myself passing out at church on Sunday I have not attempted to walk in the heat. Ruby is much happier in the cooler weather too. Being long haired her coat is really thick so the really hot weather did not agree with her. She is loving being back outside again.
  10. Another scorcher here today, well over 30 degrees. Too hot for both Ruby and I so I spent the afternoon watching the tennis while Ruby slept underneath the coffee table!! She comes in each evening at the moment with half of the garden in her tail so I am having to brush her each evening. She is amazing and turns this way and that to enable me to do it. I think that she is grateful of the help at the moment!
  11. This is the first novel by this author based in the fictional Diocese of Lindchester. It is described on the back cover as an affectionate homage to Trollope's Barchester Chronicles, six books that I adored! The book covers a whole year of the lives of those living in Cathedral Close as well as of those in the ordinary urban and rural parishes. Having read both The Barchester Chronicles and the three previous books by this author I came to this book with a completely open mind. Catherine Fox is married to a bishop (may be retired by now) in The C of E Church so will have a great deal of first hand knowledge of the workings of The Church. She also has a great understanding of the real people connected with any church and the lives that they live. In this book she deals with the treatment of both women and gay people by the church, same sex marriage, sex before marriage and many other real life struggles that real people have. Paul Henderson, The Bishop, is a happily married man with grown up daughters. Matt, The Archdeacon, is a widower whose main job seems to be to pick up the pieces of everyone else's lives. And then there is Freddie May, a troubled former choir boy and probably the character for whom the reader aches the most. Woven around the stories of these three are so many more little stories and characters, just like real life. What I have found so wonderful about this book is the way in which Catherine Fox has managed to weave both the life of the church and the lives of her characters together. Her characters really do seem like real people to me in all their messy glory and being a member of a close knit church community myself I felt that I could really relate to some of them and understand their struggles. Having said that I do not think that you have to have any understanding of the church to enjoy this book. In many ways it could be any group of people and their struggles, the church element is just another aspect. I have loved this book from start to finish and would highly recommend it. Certainly her best so far. I am just glad that there is a second.
  12. I have been away from BGO for a few days ( busy and emotional time with the family) and seem to have missed a fair bit!! I hope that everyone is on their way to recovery. The craft work us brilliant Luna. I am making a cot blanket for he expected baby but I am pretty slow I am afraid. I am not sure that it is going to look quite as professional as your toys Luna, more home-made I suspect. Still at least it will be made with love!!
  13. Hope you feel better soon Luna.
  14. The poppy we have is a perennial but it has a different leaf to those in the picture. It is also a slightly paler orange I think. If I could work out how to post a picture I would but I could not even do that with the old set up!!
  15. This is the third novel written by this author and although it is based around the life of Isobel Knox characters from the previous two books do still play a part from time to time. Unlike the previous two books this book is not based at a theological college but in an actual parish. Although it is partly a love story as with her previous two books it is so much more. I found the first half of the book a little slow although being part of such a parish I did find the portrayal of the life a curate interesting and very true to life. The real action if you like to call it that happens within the last quarter of the book, the first three quarters build up to it. I finished this book this morning and have been pondering it on and off all morning. Because the main character Isobel Knox is a curate in a C of E parish very similar to ours I even thought about parts of it while at church! Sounds odd I know but at times with this book I found it as much about religious instruction as I did about the story. Like her previous two books set around the same rough group of people this book is very character driven and the reader spends as much time within the mind of Isobel as they do within the story itself. Some of the characters from the previous books I came to like more than I did before, some less. It has been interesting to see such complicated characters develop over time On the back of the book it is described as "a wonderful novel about faith and forgiveness, love and loss; about holding on and letting go". I found that it was as much about understanding and forgiving oneself as about forgiving others. We all have an image of ourselves and the way that we appear to others. We also like to know our place and purpose in life. In all our lives we have to cope with change and all that life throws at us and in many ways we have to almost reinvent ourselves from time to time. I felt that this was what Isobel had to do. To do this she had to understand who she was and how she had come to be that person. I enjoyed this book, especially the last quarter, and feel that parts of it may well stay with me for some time. Once again I wondered as I read it what readers that have no knowledge of being part of a church community would make of parts of the book. Would they find the descriptions of the everyday life of a curate interesting or a complete bore?! All in all I have enjoyed the three books, although not a series exactly they do roughly follow one another. I would hesitate to recommend this one to others however because of the reasons already mentioned.