As you might expect, December has been a light month on the making-time-for-reading front.
The New Mrs Clifton by Elizabeth Buchan: “As the Second World War draws to a close, Gus Clifton, having been working with the interrogation teams in Germany and out of touch with his family, surprises his sisters at their home. But an even greater shock is the woman he brings home, Krista – the German wife whom he has married secretly in Berlin.” This turned out to be not what I expected … the opening few pages reveal the discovery of a skeleton in a South London back garden. But whose body and how did it get there? I enjoyed the story, although it’s more than a little bleak in parts, and the author kept the reader in suspense until the final paragraph before revealing the true reason behind Gus and Krista’s marriage.
The Keeper of Lost Things by Ruth Hogan: Once a celebrated author of short stories now in his twilight years, Anthony Peardew has spent half his life lovingly collecting lost objects, trying to atone for a promise broken many years before. Realising he is running out of time, he leaves his house and all its lost treasures to his assistant Laura, the one person he can trust to fulfil his legacy and reunite the thousands of objects with their rightful owners. But the final wishes of the Keeper of Lost Things have unforeseen repercussions which trigger a most serendipitous series of encounters… I loved, loved, loved this story! There are actually two stories running together (with snippets of others thrown in along the way), albeit over mostly different timelines, but as the story progresses you can almost guess how things will work out. Almost but not quite.
A Country Christmas by Veronica Henry (on Kindle): As Lucy Liddiard plans the festive lunch for her nearest and dearest, she has little idea of the dramas about to play out before the crackers are pulled and the corks popped. She knows the family brewery, Honeycote Ales, has seen better days. She knows her husband, Mickey, is an incorrigible flirt. But does she realise how close both are edging towards disaster? I would classify this novel under the genre of Chick Lit and it’s very much in the style of Jilly Cooper’s Riders and Rivals (but with much less explicit sex), which is not necessarily a bad thing. If you’re looking for a quick and light read, then this would probably fit the bill. It’s also the first in a trilogy, so I’ll probably read books 2 and 3 as well at some point. (Veronica Henry also wrote How to Find Love in a Book Shop.)