Lynda Rutledge - West With Giraffes
This was a refreshingly different novel, which captivated me from beginning to end. Set slightly in the future, in a time when giraffes have become extinct in the wild, Woody Nickel, now aged 105, is in a nursing home. He begins to write the story of his amazing journey across America as a teenager in the company of two giraffes who had survived a hurricane while being brought across the Atlantic in 1938. Heading for the San Diego zoo in California, the seventeen-year-old dust bowl orphan is inspired to follow them to the place where he believes he can fulfil his dreams. By blagging, feinting and sheer bravado he ends up partnering the elderly zoo keeper he calls 'The Old Man' on a precarious trip with their priceless cargo across the southern states of America. Set mostly in the final years of the Depression before World War 2, it's a coming-of-age novel with a difference.
Zara Thorne - Escape to Sunrise Cottage
This is a gentle book, satisfyingly warm. Artist Violet has been betrayed by her fiance Jayden. She decides to spend the summer alone in the Sussex cottage which was left to her by her grandmother, after whom she was named. She's realised that her relationship is over, and wants time to repair her emotions. But there's an attractive antique dealer, Max, living nearby, who begins to break down her barriers. Is it time to move on; can she trust him? - And who is sending her threatening letters? The village atmosphere is delightful in this romantic excursion.
Jeff Wheeler - Broken Veil (Harbinger book 5)
Another satisfying read from this fantasy author for young adults. I had read the first four in the series some time ago, but finally returned to this concluding book. I was glad I'd read the Kingfountain series in the meantime as I would have missed the significance of two characters who came into the story. But somehow all the threads of the plots throughout the five books were drawn together, and I felt it worked well. The author's imagination always captivates me.