Jenny T. Colgan - Resistance is Futile
Jenny Colgan is better known for her award-winning romantic comedy books, but she writes in another genre, which is science fiction. This book is a mixture of both - a romantic comedy with a sci-fi twist. Maths whizz Connie is drafted in along with several other top brains to work on deciphering a signal coming from outer space. The other mathematicians are a varied lot, including Se, who is Connie's former fling. But enigmatic Luke is the one who draws her attention most acutely. The group begin to bond and rebel against the strict regime they are subject to. But Connie perceives a pattern in the extra-terrestrial message, and when her attraction to Luke is reciprocated, the story takes an unexpected turn, including a chase across Europe to save the world. Full of Jenny Colgan's warm humour and characters, the novel also explores how we regard those who are different to ourselves. Unusual and entertaining.
Santa Montefiore - Daughters of Castle Deverill
This is the second novel in a trilogy (which I only discovered once I had started reading) so I won't disclose too much for those who wish to start with the first book. Written in Santa Montefiore's polished style, full of flavourful characters and family secrets, this is an excellent read. Based around the females of the family and their connections, we follow the stories of Kitty, Celia and Bridie which started in Songs of Love and War. Again their lives entwine, and those of the men they love, the story travelling across the sea from Ireland to England and America. Another engrossing novel by this accomplished author. I shall now obtain the first book in the trilogy and catch up with the earlier part of the story!
Fionna Carothers - A Grass Bank Beyond
This is a non-fiction book that I purchased on my summer holiday on the beautiful Scottish island of Mull. Fionna Carothers was born early in World War II, and her father died during this conflict. As a young child she regularly visited her mother's family on Mull, but financial worries led them to move there to live with her grandparents, while Fionna boarded at school during term times. This is a delightful account of life when the island had no electricity, the roads were tracks and there was no television and very little radio available. We meet Grandpop, retired doctor and inventor, Kitten (Grandma, a Gaelic speaker), Uncle John who returned between his deployment overseas, and Puddy (Mother). They all inhabited a large house near Fionnphort, where the ferry crosses to the sacred island of Iona. Local characters and engaging animals fill the pages of the book. An engrossing story of an innocent childhood lived in harmony with the seasons and the traditions of island Scotland.