All Fall Down
A Review By Mia Dunnakey, aged 11
Isabel and Robin are just 14 years old when they are forced to take care of two children whose parents have tragically died. To save them, they have to run away from their village before it’s too late…
From their home to York, Isabel and Robin must find a way to escape the horrendous disease that is killing families across England. But how…?
This book is an amazing love story set in 1349, with adventure, sadness and hope to suit all readers. I really recommend this book to ages 10-15.
A Review By Hannah Smith
The best thing about Dunmore’s novels is the atmosphere she creates. From the siege on Stalingrad to a seaside village in Cornwall, she manages to transport the reader instantly and totally to that world. Likewise, The Greatcoat is set in a small Yorkshire town still struggling to recover from the Second World War, and Dunmore evokes this depression and hardship to subtle but brilliant effect.
Isabel Carey has just moved to the area with her husband, who has taken up a position as the local doctor. Expected to be a gentle and uncomplaining housewife, Isabel is soon overcome with boredom, not to mention the freezing weather. She finds an old RAF greatcoat in the back of a cupboard and spreads it over the bed to keep warm. That same evening, she wakes to hear a tapping sound at the window, and finds a young pilot outside, asking to be let in. What follows will turn the past and the present on their heads…
A spine-chillingly good story, perfect for those long winter evenings.
More Than This
A Review by Hannah Smith
I finished this book in three days – it really sucks you in and the fast pace keeps every page interesting. More Than This tells the story of Seth, a teenager who has lived for most of his life in a cold, damp corner of Washington State, and one night, drowns, completely alone, in the ocean.
When he wakes up, he believes he has reached some kind of afterlife. He finds himself in his childhood home in England, and, venturing outside, discovers that the entire town is deserted and covered in years of dust and grime. If this is heaven, or indeed hell, where is everyone else? And there are other mysteries too: why did he wake up, wrapped in strange bandages, bruised and desperately hungry? As Seth tries to come to terms with what has happened to him, he thinks about the life he left behind, and the line between dream and reality begins to blur.
My Pick for Christmas…..Keith
I just had to pick one of our customers’ books – Brian Halford’s ‘The Real Jeeves’ as it has so many strands going for it. Not only does it tell the story of the cricketer who so impressed P G Wodehouse that he named his character after him, and that is fascinating tale enough. But it tells the life-story of a Warwickshire cricketer who many thought would be one of England’s very best for years to come, but whose life, like so many, was cut tragically short in the appalling tragedy of The First World War. Brian did a terrific amount of research for the book, and he filled in any gaps with great aplomb so that we really think we are getting to know this loveable and straightforward man before he is taken from us. With good reason has it been nominated for the MCC/Cricket Society Cricket Book of the Year for 2014. Not just for fathers and grandfathers, it would make a superb and thoughtful gift.
My Pick for Christmas……Hannah
For all lovers of Bryson’s previous books, and also those who are new to him, this latest work will not disappoint. One Summer:America 1927 is written with Bryson’s classic wit and an incredible amount of research, and documents every weird and wonderful event from May to September of that iconic year.
As always, Bryson’s boundless enthusiasm for his subject is infectious. He charts the stories of adventurers, authors, aviators and many more, recording their often bittersweet lives with exactly the right amount of detail, and showing how this was an undeniably world-changing year – arguably the beginning of the end for the Roaring Twenties.