I am reviewing 2 books this week that are so completely different to each other, but, l have enjoyed both in their own way.
Joanna Trollope has also written romance novels and this too could be called a romance novel; but there is so much more. At the heart of the story is the bond between the twin sisters, Lizzie and Frances. Trollope explores this relationship with one twin having ‘everything’, a husband, children, money, grand house, while the other, although successful in her business, is wrapped in singledom and somehow seen as less for it Then she embarks on a passionate affair with a Spanish Lover.
I suppose you would call this novel female literature. It deals with sisterhood, motherhood and the world mainly from the female perspective. Trollope gives an accurate portrayal of a childless female being seen as having a wasted life because there is no partner, no children by her family, including her twin sister. The novel is 20 years old and, yet, society still judges childless males and females differently ( in my opinion )
It’s well written with a story that flows and an ending that may just surprise you.
What a discovery hearing about Joseph Campbell has been for me. Thank you Sally for setting me on this path.
The book is a collection of lectures Joseph Campbell gave at the famed Esalen Institute in Big Sur, California in 1984. Along with 10 students, Campbell discussed the insights from his long scholarly pursuits.
What wise words; “The privilege of a lifetime is being who you are.” “Follow your bliss.”, Joseph Campbell. Reading a book like this is a revelation. We lost Professor Campbell in 1987, but, thankfully we still have his words.
This book was not on the library bookshelves, rather, it was in the stacks along with The Hero with a Thousand Faces. I have The Power of Myth on order at my local bookshop and l follow The Joseph Campbell Foundation. Yes, it has made big impression on me.
Read some Joseph Campbell yourself and see what it brings to life for you.
Seagulls on the Ganges is the fictionalized story of Julie and Bruce Stafford.
Ellie and Michael (Julie and Bruce) are living a very happy life together. Ellie is a well known cookery writer and Michael is a survivor of cancer. In fact, Ellie starts her health food journey by trying to help cure Michael of cancer. This becomes the Taste of Life series and they are both blissful happy until a second, unrelated cancer comes into their lives. This time there is no cure and Michael passes away in 2006.
Then into Ellie’s life comes a seagull.
This is a book written very much from the heart. The author has been so honest with her emotions as she deals with overwhelming grief. Meaningful coincidences, solo travel and bravery all lead Ellie (Julie) to a place where she can mend her broken spirit. It is, quite simply, a beautifully written book about love and life; and how does the Ganges tie into the story, you’ll have to read the book.
These days Julie Stafford is known for being a fearless solo traveller who spends every Summer in Dubrovnik. She has known a lot of love and loss in her life and l thank her for sharing her story with us.
** If you would like to read more about Julie Stafford she can be reached at
This is the story of a lost man and the rescue cat who saved him.
In 2014 Richard East thought he had everything that mattered. He had a well paid job in IT and a house in the suburbs of Hobart. He was also desperately unhappy and going through a crises.
Into his life came a rescue cat called Willow. Richard was struggling with a stressful job and had locked himself into a mortgage for many years into his future. He hit rock bottom before getting treatment and working out who he was and what he wanted to be. He sold everything, re-kitted a van, grabbed the cat and set off to see Australia. Somewhere along the way his soul healed and, to this day, he and Willow are still nomads travelling the country.
I love reading about people who are travelling. This is a well written book and keeps the reader interested in where they have gone and how he supports himself and Willow. Richard also writes about simple living, what’s important in life and the lessons he has learned from his cat.
A book l would recommend to any armchair traveller. You can follow Rich and Willow on their own blog http://www.vancatmeow.com and also on Instagram.
**Normally when l buy a book l leave in public somewhere to, hopefully, continue its journey. This time, however, l will be donating it to the RSPCA as they care for rescue animals like Willow.
Many of you will be familiar with the Sue Grafton alphabet mysteries. I’ve read several over the years, and a few weeks ago saw Y for Yellow at my local library. I borrowed it, read it and enjoyed it.
Thinking that it must be time for Z to appear l googled Sue Grafton to see when it would be published. That’s when l found out that she had passed away at the end of 2017. It left me feeling sad. I liked her as a writer and l liked her female detective Kinsey Millhone.
So, to honour Sue Grafton l am going to go back and read all the books from A to Y.
I’ve just finished A and have read a few pages of B. This is my way of paying respect to a writer l enjoyed reading.