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About Viccie

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    reading, writing, wine, dawdling around
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  1. Book Chain

    People of the Book - Geraldie Brooks
  2. Book Chain

    One Hundred and One Dalmatians - Dodie Smith
  3. Book Chain

    How to Find Love in a Bookshop - Veronica Henry
  4. Driven to murder...?

    Perhaps the reaction is just a little exreme, but don't you understand how he felt? https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-6332895/Scientist-tried-kill-colleague-kept-giving-away-endings-books-reading.html
  5. Currently Reading

    I've had that sitting in the TBR pile for ages, time to dig it out I think, especially as I have some good recoùùendations from you MM
  6. Scrublands

    This sounds like my cup of tea! Thanks.
  7. I bought both books at the same time as a special offer on Kobo, though I didn't realise when I was reading The Last Hours that it's part 1 and not a stand alone start to a series.
  8. what is everyone doing?

    My last Dalmatian was so fond of carrots that I had to buy a vegetable rack with pull out drawers as she regarded open sheves as help yourself.
  9. Minette Walters made her name as a writer of tense, gory, often harrowing psychological thrillers. She must have felt that she'd written herself out because this is her first book for ten years and it's a sweeping historical saga in the style of Ken Follett. I say sweeping but in fact she's working on a small canvas; it's 1348 and Lady Anne of the manor of Devilish in Dorset hears of a strange and devestating pestilence sweeping the countryside and orders all her serfs within the walls to sit out out the spread of the disease. Needess to say conflicts start developing among the 200 souls who are confined closely together. This is a bit of a curates egg of a book. It is full of wild anachronisms- Lady Anne is incredibly well educated and has a grasp of how infection is spread that many people didn't have in the 19th century, her ideas on equlity, the poor improving their lot, high birth not necessarilymeaning that you have an automatic right to the service of others, consideration to your servants, sexual abuse and the right of women not to sleep with their husbands are very 21st century and definitely not medieval. Some of the charecters come straight out of central casting too; the spoilt daughter of the house, the noble base born steward, the quiet little woman who is so much cleverer than anyone notices. But for me the good bits outweigh the clunky stuff completely (I'm a historian's grandaughter and normally I can't stand that sort of stuff.) Minette Walters is very good indeed at creating atmosphereand a sense of place. Her descriptions of the confinement where no-one knows how the disease is spreading, if there is anyone left alive is compêlling as is the ways she describes the life of the serf. There is a long part near the end of the book where the base born steward and five youths go out to search for supplies, none of them have ever been outside the boundaries of the manor lands before, have ever seen a differnt style of house or as it turns out, a cat.The world; the one very small corner of Dorset they visit, is bigger, more exciting and infinitely more frightening than any of them imagine. All in all this was a very good read. However, be warned it's part of a series and ends very abruptly.
  10. I've just finished The Girl in the Tower. Loved it.
  11. Currently Reading

    We were C of E and the headmistress liked to think she was forward thinking.
  12. what is everyone doing?

    We live in the middle of the vines and I'm afraid to say it's impossible to stop the dogs from eating grapes. It's not too bad when the bunches are still on the vine but after the grape picking machine has passed there are grapes lying on the ground. Touch wood no-one has ever had any problems. Our dogs always get left over food - my mother in law had a theory that dogs are like dustbins, they are designed to take in everything and she said you were probably not doing them any favours by restricting their diet to commercial dog food. I don't cook vast quantities so they don't get an awful lot. Anyone anyone with Labradors knows that it's imossible to stop them having human food.If you don't give it to them they just steal it....
  13. Currently Reading

    We used to get that read to us sometimes in prayers at school. it was the only time they were ever interesting. I'm really struggling with White by Rosie Thomas, a read for my book group and so not my kind of book. I've done 90 pages, think I'll skim the next 300 and just read the last chapter...
  14. Book Chain

    What A Carve Up - Jonathen Coe
  15. If you're asking was there a neat answer - no. Was it immensely satisfying and intrigueing? Yes.