Quickfire Reviews

Time for a little bit of a bookish catch up I think; I also think the quickest and most efficient way to do that right now is with a handful of Quickfire Reviews. 

Quickfire Reviews is a thing I do very sporadically when there are books to talk about that I should have reviewed but haven’t. Sometimes there's a theme; other times, like now, there is not.

What’s it About? It's about the Scottish Highlands and about Flora in 1940 when her little village becomes a Naval base and about her daughter Lexi, in the late 1970's who returns with her own daughter to try and find out about her Mother's past.
What I liked Always and forever here for historical fiction, especially that set in WWII, this was lovely. This is the second WWII book I've read this year actually, set in Scotland, and I really enjoyed it. I loved Flora's story, her work as a WREN, how despite the war going on the Navy being stationed on their doorstep, in many ways highland village life carried on as normal. I loved Davy and Stuart, the two evacuees that Flora takes under her wing, I loved her romance with Alec and the friendship she has with her two best girlfriends. I was so so here for all of that. 
What I liked Less I wasn't so taken with having to jump forward to 1978 and Lexie's story. I really loved The Dressmaker's Gift which followed a similar formula; there, I felt the jump forward added to the story but here I just felt like it took away. I wanted less Lexie; more Flora. It was bit sentiment; for me too, at times,

What’s it About? Barry, aged 74, husband, father, grandfather, has been in love with his best friend Morris for 60 years.
What I liked  This was a lovely read - it had a split narrative between Barry and his wife Carmel - who's sections were told almost in verse and put me in mind of Girl, Woman, Other which I also loved. It was a lovely exploration of love, and familiar obligation, and of race and identity and at its heart a tender story of a man, and old man, who just wants to be able to love who he loves but who, whilst he'd never admit it, is scared of so many things. It's really interesting watching this old man, despite having being embroiled in a love affair with a man for 60 years, slowly come to terms with who he is, and how the people around him do the same.
What I liked Less Oh but I found every singe character in this book to be infuriating. I was utterly invested in all of them, but they all drove me crazy. 

What’s it About? A retirement village where 4 elderly resident meet every Thursday and discuss unsolved crimes. The name Thursday Murder Club is a little tongue in cheek until somebody actually gets murdered.
What I liked  Ok, so show me a more heartwarming book than this from this year,  I dare you. This book is a delight. This is such a wholesome British murder mystery and I am so so here for it. 4 fabulous old people, both helping and hindering the police in solving the murder, it's fabulous, and as well as being a smashing mystery with all the twists and turns and red herring you could want, with a cast of characters you want to pop in your pocket, there's just enough realism in there to keep you grounded. I've heard Spielberg has bought the rights to this already. I am so excited - imagine the cast.
What I liked Less I just liked it. I honestly can't think of a reason for everybody not to be reading this book - it's the perfect escape from those pandemic blues.

What’s it About?  Set in the 1950's when Grace Kelly met Prince Rainier, this is really the story of French perfumer Sophie and British photographer James - Grace his from paparazzi James in Sophie's perfume shop in Cannes and it sets this whole thing in motion...
What I liked This was a good read. I loved the whole South of France / Provence setting - we drove through Provence last summer but reading this book has made me really want to go back and spend some time there. I loved the whole Hollywood glitz and glam of the Grace Kelly side-story, but this was far more the story of Sophie and James, and it was a good one. I loved Sophie, her loyalty to her family, how desperate she was to make a success of the family perfume business, how conflicted she is over her feelings for James, and watching the two of them get to know each other in this gorgeous setting with a shrinking of Grace Kelly is a treat.
What I liked Less Sophie is in a joke of a relationship when the book starts with this absolute asshat who is not right for her and that really bugged me, because stopping in that situation was at odds with her character. Also the end. I almost threw the book across the room. The end made me grumpy.

What’s it About? Laurel has created the perfect life in the suburbs for her and her family - until she finds her 14 year old neighbour dead in her pool. Everybody says it was an accident but Laurel isn't sure and slowly everything starts to fall apart and she starts to discover uncomfortable truths about her own family and what happened in the woods when she was a child.  
What I liked This wasn't as good as Gods in Alabama for me, but I did really like it. Part murder mystery, part family sags, all round good read. I am officially now a Joshilyn Jackson fan, I think. She's this year's Taylor Jenkins Reid for me.
What I liked Less There's a supernatural element that I feel like the book might have been stronger without.