Saturday, 24 October 2015

52 books in 52 weeks, week 42

"First Impressions" by Charlie Lovett and "The Heroes' Welcome" by Louisa Young. Oh two book reviews in one blog post,  two blog posts in two days, and hopefully one tomorrow. Feast or famine. I have just read Sandra's post on balancing out blogging and sewing and not blogging and commenting. I find the two really are interlinked. I like to sew and I like to share what I sew but the blogging and more so reading blogs can take up a lot of time.

But move on, this is a book review post. "First Impressions" and "The Heroes' Welcome" were two books I bought on my jaunts through the summer, the first from Blackwells in Oxford and the second from Daunt Books in Fulham, London.

First Impressions is from the Jane Austen genre, not by Jane Austen but in the style of Jane Austen and based around Jane Austen. ~Sophie is a lover of Jane Austen (not in the literal sense) and in her new job in an antiquarian booksellers she is sent on the quest of an obscure book by an even more obscure author who was a contemporary of Miss Austen. The book's chapters interweave between Sophie's search for this book and Jane Austen's growing relationship with the obscure Rev Mansfield.  But where is Sophie's  relationships with Eric, the quiet American book lover and Winston, the extrovert publisher headed?
I must admit I did enjoy this book. I always enjoy any of these Jane Austen linked novels no matter how banal. Some of them are real chick lit and pretty feeble but I love them all. In fairness to Charlie Lovett, this novel has good potential. It is not really chick lit, it starts off very promising but the ending is rather feeble. Don't want to spoil it, still glad I read it, but starts well, could have ended better.

Having finished the first novel I rebound straight into The Heroes' Welcome by Louisa Young. Louisa Young's novels are very good, very strong. They fall into the category of chick lit but this is rather unfair. Louisa's books could well be read by anyone, not just women. The story lines are good well thought out and very plausible, this is no exception. Rile and his Commanding Officer Peter Locke are returned from the Somme and Battle of Loos. They are not so much the conquering heroes but the wounded heroes, both physically and more importantly mentally. They both have the support of their women, Riley has Nadine and Peter has Julia . They both have Rose, friend of Nadine and cousin of Peter. But the world is not the same in 1918, the class structure is different, their relationships are different. Peace is difficult to cope with as well. I found myself really drawn into this story. I carried it about in the car and in my handbag, reading it at every opportunity. Even reading it in a café whilst daughter was in the "ladies room". And this book didn't disappoint. There is not necessarily a happy ending in life, but life does go on and we must make of it what we can. My best friend Liz who blogs as the wheelontheschoolhouse had previously reviewed this book. We had both bought it. I didn't reread her review, I wanted to read the book with open eyes. Now I am off to read her review.

sorry about the rather dark photos, winter Saturday night light now I'm afraid.

Helen x
linking up with 52booksin52weeks


  1. I just loved 'the Heroes' welcome' although it was desperately sad. I think that generation definitely were more 'stiff upper lip' and get on with it! 'First impressions' sounds like a nice comfort read, maybe borrow please? Xx

  2. The Heroes Welcome is a depressive reading, don't you think? I first found the summary at where they wrote that it should be read in several steps and not in one day. When my wife read it, I could hardly comfort her.


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