Review! Q&A & Giveaway to Follow! The Speech by Andrew Smith 5* Genius.

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The Speech by Andrew Smith – 5* Genius!

The synopsis:

The Speech is a gripping and challenging novel that will thrill readers of historical and political fiction – and provides a unique snapshot into Britain’s recent turbulent social history.
His words threatened rivers of blood…and they fought him with hope….

April 20th, 1968: Enoch Powell, MP for Wolverhampton South West, gives a speech that shakes a community — and Britain — to its very core. Words that provoke, that divide …. that profoundly affect the lives of those they touch.
Mrs. Georgina Verington-Delaunay is an administrator working in the Conservative riding office of Enoch Powell. Frank and Christine are art students inadvertently caught in an undercurrent of intolerance. Nelson and his Aunt Irene are Jamaican immigrants striving to make a life for themselves in a turbulent atmosphere.
In the shadow of Powell’s speech, a violent crime brings these disparate characters together as they struggle to find their places in the swiftly changing society of 1960s Britain. Set against a background of ‘subversive’ music, radical fashions, and profound change in ‘moral values’, they attempt against all odds to bring a fair conclusion to an unjust investigation. As they work together against murky elements of self-interest and bigotry, they’re forced to confront their own consciences and prejudices, and the reader is taken on a compelling journey into the beating heart of a community in turmoil.

My Review:

WOW! This novel makes for intense reading, even in 2016!
I think it is fairly obvious why this novel is appealing it features politics, race and racism. key issues in todays media, albeit slightly different.
The novel is written exceptionally well, it is detailed, educational and informative exactly what you want from this type of fiction.
The characters are a diverse mix and this is hugely appealing to me, so few books reflect modern society or even the society of the era. Nelson is extremely likeable and throughout the book, you are rooting for him and is struggle in racist Britain.
Enoch Powell is written very well, this is not a case where the author demonises a figure head to achieve a narrative. Enoch is shown to be a politician who’s grasp on race and immigration is self serving & majorly flawed. I think he represents the form of closeted racism & bigotry, obviously until the day he makes the speech and out’s himself, as such. Although I despised the Character and the belief systems he holds. The issue of immigration is one still being played out in media, even this very day! So I feel this book is an important form of breaking down the barriers and showing readers the sins of the past.
The last chapter really is the icing on the cake for me, it shows (despite media hype of pre-Brexit) how far Britain really has come in terms of race relations and multiculturalism. I was so glad the author had included this fast forward to the future type chapter.
Huge respect to the author for such a detailed, polished novel. a very thought provoking 5* read! (review from 2016)
* I received a Ebook copy via net galley in return for an honest review.

New release/Debut: The Witch Finder’s Sister by Beth Underdown 4*

This review is shorter than I would like, I read & reviewed the novel many months ago before I started my blog in January. However it is a very worthy read!

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The Witch Finder’s Sister by Beth Underdown

The blurb:

‘The number of women my brother Matthew killed, so far as I can reckon it, is one hundred and six…’
1645. When Alice Hopkins’ husband dies in a tragic accident, she returns to the small Essex town of Manningtree, where her brother Matthew still lives.
But home is no longer a place of safety. Matthew has changed, and there are rumours spreading through the town: whispers of witchcraft, and of a great book, in which he is gathering women’s names.

To what lengths will Matthew’s obsession drive him?
And what choice will Alice make, when she finds herself at the very heart of his plan?

Based on the true story of the man known as the Witchfinder General, this exquisitely rendered novel transports you to a time and place almost unimaginable, where survival might mean betraying those closest to you, and danger lurks outside every door.

My review:

A historical novel of witchcraft, mystery & suspicion!
I grew up in Lancashire where you could see Pendle hill from my Granma’s house. As children she would fill our heads with tales of the Pendle witches. This novel reminded me very much of those stories,
The novel is fundamentally a story of suspicion, when the fear of being named as a witch would ultimately be a death sentence. The novel is written very well & the characters have huge appeal to the readers, even the not so nice ones. 4*

Congratulations to the author on it’s release today!

*I received an Ebook copy via netgalley in return for an honest review.

Violette Szabo theme Day 4: The Shadow Ally by Dianne Ascroft 5*

Product Details

The Shadow Ally By Dianne Ascroft.

My review:

The shadow ally is book 1 in a Yankee years series. They each have a variety of themes and centre around the lives of women during ww2 in Northern Ireland. Each book is a short story.

The shadow Ally opens up in the rural countryside of northern Irelands. It centres around the relationship between Ruth & Harry. Although the novel centres around a romantic relationship, I wouldn’t class this as romantic fiction. What the author does is cleverly waive real issues into the plot & dialogue. Ruth & Harry’s story is one of a 1940’s courtship and describes the reality of the 1940’s era’s influence on relationships. It shows the power divide between men & women, ultimately this was the era when women were just starting to find their voices. I absolutely love the subtle feminism within the story & I was glad it was written so very well

‘careless talk costs lives’

The plot primarily focuses on the secrecy, mystery & suspicion that was engrained into society. With the Americans not in the war yet, spies lurking in the midst & Lord Haw Haw on the radio. This was a time of fear and suspicion of even those closest to us! Ruth helps her mother run a local hotel. The hotel has many Americans residing and in particular handsome Frank. This is the story of how Ruth, Harry & Frank make it through the war. This novel is very well written & very well researched. A brilliant 5* short story!

The Shadow Ally is available on Kindle Unlimited for members or just £1.21 on Kindle Ebook.

The Blurb:

America is not yet at war, but the country is preparing for it. And it is essential that this remain secret.

June 1941: Ruth Corey is puzzled by the attractive, enigmatic Italian-American civilian contractor, Frank Long, who is staying at her family’s hotel in Irvinestown, County Fermanagh, Northern Ireland. Serious and reserved, he is nothing like the friendly, outgoing British and Canadian servicemen she knows. Nor, she discovers, does he even use his real surname.

War is a time of alliances and secrets. The biggest secret in the county is the construction of an American flying boat base outside Irvinestown. Since their country is not at war, the American contractors must conceal the building project. America’s neutrality will be destroyed if Germany discovers its existence.

Ambitious local reporter, and Ruth’s almost fiancé, Harry Coalter is consumed with curiosity about the new American airbase. But why? When Ruth finds a letter Harry has written about the flying boat base she fears he is pursuing a path that will land him in serious trouble. She enlists Frank’s help to stop Harry from making a terrible mistake.

Can Ruth safeguard a military secret that will have a profound impact on the course of the war and protect her beau?

My Favourite reads of 2016! Out of 242 read.

Although we are already in February, I didn’t have my blog during the new year & I want people to know the type of book I love. These are picked from the 242 read during 2016. there is 20 fiction and 5 non-fiction. Lots of different Genres, something for everybody!

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All of these are in my opinion 5* genius! Also not forgetting restless coffins by MP Wright (due for release soon!).

Top 5 would be: 13 Minutes, Stasi wolf, Restless coffins, The underground railroad & wrong kind of Muslim.

Update! Cover Teaser for The restless coffins by MP Wright- 5* – Due for release soon!