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Having reviewed over 1200 books on this blog, I have now written two myself. Motherdarling is a story about a search for a missing Will which reveals long-hidden family secrets. The Kids of God is a thriller set in a dystopia ruled by fascist paramilitaries. Both are available as paperbacks and on Kindle through Amazon. I live in Canterbury, England. I lived for more than thirty years in Bedford. Having retired from teaching; I became a research student at the University of Bedfordshire researching into Liminality. I achieved my PhD in 2019. I am now properly retired. I love reading! I enjoy in particular fiction (mostly great and classic fiction although I also enjoy whodunnits), biography, history and smart thinking. Follow me on twitter: @daja57

Sunday, 19 May 2019

"The Felicity Hunters" by Deirdre Connolly

Lara's grandmother was in a Japanese prison camp during the second world war; the first Lara hears of this is at her funeral. Lara determines to investigate her family history and her new job teaching in Singapore provides the perfect opportunity to meet relatives in Australia. But why are they hostile? And who is the person in the floppy hat who stalks her around the world? And what has all this to do with Lara's inherited trusteeship of a family charity?

This is a well-written first novel; a Robert Goddard style mystery (for example, Play to the End) in which the past exerts a long shadow over the present. It also gives a fascinating insight into the conditions faced by expatriate teachers in Singapore. There are some great descriptions:

  • "The ebbing tide had created a canvas of yellow rippled sand sculptures around sapphire ponds" (C 5)
  • "I pulled myself away and ambled deeper into the gorge, a living masterpiece with layer upon layer of interest, from birdsong echoing against the cliff walls to wallabies making fleeting appearances in the bushland bordering the contrasting Victorian gardens." (C 11)

And other great lines:

  • "In my experience, people either want to talk about things like that interminably, or not at all." (C 3)
  • "We sampled introductory offers at spas, enjoying hours of scrubs, massages and ginger tea until our bodies had no more toxins to surrender." (C 8)
  • "The first splinter of dawn pierced the skies outside my window" (C 11)
  • "You know that glow I always wear in Singapore, well that’s calories seeping out through my pores." (C 22)
Well worth a read. May 2019

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