Monday, 8 April 2013

Time Between Us

Time Between Us
"Make every second count."
Time Between Us by Tamara Ireland Stone
Published 25 October 2012 Doubleday
Fans of The Time Traveller's Wife, this is the book for you. Non-fans of The Time Traveller's Wife (me) - give it a go. not everything is explained. As you read, you end up with a list of hows? and whys? which make the story feel incomplete but put that aside (if you can) and you get a very sweet romantic story.
Anna lives in Chicago. She's a cross-country runner and dreams of travelling the world. It is 1995.
Bennett lives in San Francisco. He skaeboards and...he can time travel. He dreams of staying in one place. It is 2012.
When events send Bennett back, he meets Anna'll just have to read the rest yourself!
The best part of this book are the characters. Anna and Bennett are a joy to read about.
Tamara lives near San Francisco and is working on her second novel. 

22 Britannia Road

22 Britannia Road
22 Britannia Road by Amanda Hodgkinson
Published 22 April 2011 Fig Tree
Picked this one from the library and its been sitting on my TBR pile for some time. When I did *finally* get around to reading it, what a treat!
Silvana and her son Aurek arrive in England at the end of WW2 to join husband Janusz, a soldier in the Polish army who, having been based in England has decided to make it their home.
Janusz has bought them a house in Ipswich and works hard making a proper English house and garden for his wife and son who he had not seen for six years. But six years is a long time, and time changes everything.
I enjoyed this novel. The social history was interesting - the learning of customs, the neighbours' reactions, Aurek starting school. It is a portrait of post-war family life. Did not see the shattering confession coming and my heart went out to Janusz who had been trying hard to make his family whole again.The father/son relationship is very well portrayed - how Aurek saw this man as 'the enemy' coming between him and his mother. I can fully recommend this powerful family drama.
Amanda lives in France. 22 Britannia Road is her debut novel.

The Twelve Tribes of Hattie

The Twelve Tribes of Hattie
The Twelve Tribes of Hattie by Ayana Mathis
Published 17 January 2013 Hutchinson
I put this book on my TBR list after reading about it in The Bookseller.
Hattie Shepherd is fifteen, newly married and bound for Philadelphia with husband August, full of dreams of a new life. Her story spans sixty years. Sixty years of heartbreak, hardship and loss.
This is not a cheerful read, I was welling up at the first chapter (read the book and you will see why...). The book is a snapshot of social history in 20th century America. It depicts Hattie's life, and the lives of many other women of the time who suffered the same, or worse.
Oprah Winfrey likens it to Toni Morrison and says "I can't remember when I read anything that moved me quite this way...".

The tragic events (child death, infidelity, illness, war) happening to the Shepherd family were told in a very matter-of-fact way. I would be sitting open mouthed at an occurrence and the book would stream into another family tale. This shows these events as common occurrences - that they have happened before and will happen again. Very sad, very human, very powerful.

Ayana was born in Philadelphia and has written since she was a child.