Wednesday, 24 December 2014

Book Review: How I Wonder What You Are

How I Wonder What You AreHow I Wonder What You Are by Jane Lovering
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Despite its nursery-rhyme title, 'How I Wonder What You Are' is a sophisticated read. I wanted to say 'adult' but that would imply a 50 shades-esque level of steam, whereas 'How I Wonder' simmers gently with sexual tension throughout.
Molly finds Phinn lying naked on the moors and carts him home with the help of an obstructive pony named Stan, so she knows a good deal from the start about his impressive physique. However, despite his high public profile as a professor of Astrophysics, Phinn turns out to have secrets galore, while Molly herself isn't quite the open book she pretends to be.
Like so many of Jane Lovering's books, this is a story of two wounded souls finding healing through a relationship which is by turns hilarious and touching. The romance is always front and centre, and plays out against a delightful backdrop of village life and the quest Phinn and Molly share, to understand the origins of the mysterious lights which hover over the moors at night. Could they be UFOs? Or even UAPs (Unidentified Aerial Phenomena, which is apparently the latest term for mysterious flying objects)?
The mystery is finally solved in a whimsical but believable way, while the romance too is perfectly wrapped up at the end of the story. In Choc Lit's ever-expanding galaxy of romance writers, Jane Lovering is surely one of the brightest stars, and 'How I Wonder' is the perfect story of love, redemption, and of course, celestial bodies, to curl up with this Christmas.

View all my reviews

Tuesday, 9 December 2014

Possibly the oddest short story collection I have read this year. Definitely the most fun.


What, No Pudding
by Sheila North
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I thoroughly enjoyed these stories by Sine fm presenter Sheila North. I'm particularly fond of Penelope, Queen of the Dole Queue. Sometimes it seems as if people in stories just don't live in the same world as us, but in this story Sheila North drags a mythical character kicking and screaming into reality. When Odysseus clears off on his round the world voyage, Penelope struggles to make ends meet, and soon finds herself pondering just how to answer the question about marital status on the benefit application form.
Turf Wars similarly blends reality and fantasy, in an improbable but oh-so-entertaining account of garden fairies running wild in a South Yorkshire backwater.
Then there are Bill the dragon and the defenestrated Bede.  I've been waiting a long time for a story which justifiably uses the word 'defenestrated'.  Sheila makes it worth the wait, with her charming tale of a nearly-flameless dragon and a life-changing encounter in an alehouse.
Quirky, funny and feisty, this is a story collection with a difference. Oh, and it's a quick read, with an adorable dragon on the cover, drawn by the talented Tom Brown!  What's not to love?!

View all my reviews