Lighthouse Bay by Kimberley Freeman
Plot Summary (via Fantastic Fiction) : “From the author of Wildflower Hill, this breathtaking novel travels more than a century between two love stories set in the Australian seaside town of Lighthouse Bay.
In 1901, a ship sinks off the coast of Queensland, Australia. The only survivor is Isabella Winterbourne, who clutches a priceless gift meant for the Australian Parliament. This gift could be her ticket to a new life, free from the bonds of her husband and his overbearing family. But whom can she trust in Lighthouse Bay? Fast-forward to 2011: after losing her lover, Libby Slater leaves her life in Paris to return to her hometown of Lighthouse Bay, hoping to gain some perspective and grieve her recent loss. Libby also attempts to reconcile with her sister, Juliet, to whom she hasn’t spoken in twenty years. Libby did something so unforgivable, Juliet is unsure if she can ever trust her sister again. In these two adventurous love stories, both Isabella and Libby must learn that letting go of the past is the only way to move into the future. The answers they seek lie in Lighthouse Bay”.
Review : This is a story about women – about their capacity to be good, strong people, who make choices they have to live with: as mothers, sisters, friends and citizens. An absolutely wonderful read. I like to read about Australian locations, and the Sunshine Coast is a wonderful location.
I heartily recommend this book if you are after a well-written easy to follow, yet intriguing story
Hilary Mantel has won The Man Booker Prize for 2012 with the second in her trilogy about Henry VIII’s right hand man, Thomas Cromwell, Bring Up the Bodies. The judges commended Bring Up the Bodies for its vitality, fierce intelligence and for its prose.
Hilary won the Man Booker Prize in 2009 with her first novel in the trilogy, Wolf Hall. Ms Mantel is only the third author to win the award twice (JM Coetzee won in 1983 and 1999 and Peter Carey in 1988 and 2001.) She is, however, the first author to win with a sequel. The third book, The Mirror and the Light, is currently being written.
“This double accolade is uniquely deserved,” said Sir Peter Stothard, chair of the judges. “Hilary Mantel has rewritten the rules for historical fiction.”
Not only does Ms Mantel go home £50,000 richer but winning the Man Booker Prize has a significant impact on the sales of the winning novel. Although, according to the latest figures, Mantel’s Bring up the Bodies has sold 108,342 copies, which is more than the other 11 Man Booker longlisted novels combined!
This lovely slideshow on the Guardian’s DataBlog site gives you an idea of what is required to win this presitgious prize.
The other novels short-listed for the award were:
Saw a promo for Les Miserables last night and now can’t wait for it to be released at the end of the year!
With Aussies Hugh Jackman (as Jean Valjean) and Russell Crowe (as Javert) in the lead roles, I’m sure it will be a huge hit this summer.
While you are waiting, brush up on the story by getting a copy of Les Miserables from the Library. You’ll find it on the Adult Fiction shelves at HUGO.
We also have the 2000 film version on DVD at LES on the DVD shelves. This one stars Gerard Depardieu and John Malkovitch
Any other fans of Thomas Cromwell out there? I’m very excited to hear (via The Bookseller + Publisher) that Hilary Mantel’s Man Booker Prize-winner, Wolf Hall, is to beturned into a BBC2 costume drama by the man who brought Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy to the big screen.
It was announced at the Edinburgh International Television Festival that Peter Straughan, who co-wrote the script for the adaptation of Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy by John Le Carre, will turn Mantel’s novel about Thomas Cromwell into a six-part series. Making the announcement, BBC2s director, Janice Hadlow, described the project as: “a great contemporary novel, a great adaptation”.
Production for the series is expected to start in late 2013.
Who do you fancy playing Henry VIIIs favourite head-kicker? I think Ray Winstone would be great. It’s not the first time Thomas Cromwell has been portrayed of course, but Kenneth Williams has surely got to be the least likely Thomas Cromwell?
Sebastian Barry beat five other shortlisted authors: Patrick de Witt who wrote The Sisters Brothers which I thoroughly enjoyed and which I can imagine the Coen brothers making into a film, Pure by Andrew Miller which I quite enjoyed, Half Blood Blues by Esi Edugyan, The Stranger’s Child by Alan Hollinghurst and The Quality of Mercy by Barry Unsworth, none of which I can comment on.
The Dovekeepers by Alice Hoffman
Published 2011 by Simon & Schuster, 504 pages
Found on the Adult Fiction shelves under HOFFMAN
Plot Summary from Fantastic Fiction : The lives of four sensuous, bold and remarkable women intersect in the year 70AD, in the desperate days of the siege of Masada, when supplies are dwindling and the Romans are drawing near. All are dovekeepers, and all are keepers of secrets – about who they are, where they come from, who fathered them, and whom they love. There is Yael, the assassin’s daughter whose heartbreak leads to her true path in the ruins of the desert; Revka, the baker’s wife who loses her dearest treasure on earth and yet finds the strength to protect her family; Aziza, the warrior’s beloved who leads a secret life not even those closest to her could imagine; and Marit, beautiful witch of Moab, a woman as loyal as she is dangerous.
Only two women and five children of more than 900 people survived the Roman siege of Masada in the year 73 C.E. after the suicide pact of the Jewish rebels there, according to the historian Josephus. In this well-researched novel, Hoffman (The Red Garden) vividly brings this tragedy to life, as four women who take care of the dovecote at the fortress tell their stories.
Review : This is a powerful and gripping novel about survival and endurance and I enjoyed it as it was so different from what I usually read. It is told in four parts and is a feminist tale, a story of strong and intelligent women wedded to destiny by love and sacrifice.
Reviewed by : Carolyn