1.The first book I have to mention is Masie goes to Morningside. I loved the Masie series when I was a child. Eileen Paterson was an idle to me and I believe my life and literary skills were moulded by her. I remember when I was five or six , sitting cross-legged on the worn out carpet in the hall above the library with a handle full of other children listening to Eileen reading the newest Masie adventure.
2. Hetty Feather has to be my second choice. Not only does it sound the same as my name or the fact my Nana gave it to me but for some reason this book holds a special place in my heart. I think Jaqueline Wilson books are underrated. As a pre teen I loved devouring her easy to read books with female protagonists but Hetty Feather Definitely stood out to me. Not only does it have similarities with the classic Jane Eyre but even on its own the book has a good story line. Based In the Victorian era we follow Hettys horrific journey as she is ripped away from her comfortable foster family and beloved brother Jem and dumped into a workhouse where she experiences many horrors.
3. A third choice for me is Goodnight Mr Tom. I studied this book in school. The story as a whole is a very warm one. When an evacuee is sent to live with Mr tom he gradually starts to grow into a healthy boy. Until he is sent back to London and to his neglecter mother. However, Mr tom manages to safe him.
4. The Woman In Black. I studied the woman in black at school for my National 5 English. It brings back fond memories for me. Sitting for hours analysing this novel and picking it apart. This book contains many themes such as loss, the battle between good and evil and fear.
5. Black and Blue. I read this book as a 16 year old when I was in a really dark place and for some reason the grittiness and reality of this crime novel resonated with me.
6. Jane Eyre. As an adult now 19(nearly 20) this classic love story connects with me. You feel Jane’s pain and isolation. As she suffers under the harsh hand of her aunt and cousins to then losing her friend at Lowood school. And then the passionate love affair.
Knots and Crosses Is the first book in the Inspector Rebus Series by Ian Rankin. The book is mainly used as an introduction to the main character Inspector Rebus whom we follow throughout the series. The Series are popular for Ian’s masterful depiction of reality. He manages to successfully dig beneath the surface of Scotland’s facades and create a gritty picture of Scotland’s underclass and reveal its flaws.
The stories are told through Rebuses eyes. As a detective, he has access to some of the most chilling crimes and settings and we see some of the harsh truths of Scotland from his perspective. The personality of his character is important. He is not a character that a reader can easily fall in love with he can be grumpy, callous and perhaps even stoic at some points. He suffers from person flaws such as being a divorcee maintaining a weak relationship with his daughter and suffering from alcohol abuse. Despite this we trust as the characters flaws make him appear more human.
The plot of the book centres around young girls going missing and getting murdered in Edinburgh. The reader is given an insight into Inspector Rebuses past before his life in the police force when he is put under hypnosis by his brother Michael. We discover that Inspector Rebus used to be in the SAS and was captured as a prisoner of war and tortured by being placed in solitary confident. After escaping he suffered a breakdown and left to join the police force. We discover that this has a relation to the kidnappings and the main antagonist in the book was also in solitary confinement with Rebus in the SAS. The book climaxes at the end when Inspector Rebuses own daughter Sammy is kidnapped. The kidnapper is framing as an innocent role of librarian and this is how he is gaining access to the young girl’s identity’s.
Overall the book is an exciting short introduction to the series and the adventures of Inspector Rebus which are yet to come……
The Lion The Witch And The Wardrobe is probably a familiar title to most. However I neglected to read this popular childhood Classic when I was young . Yet when I spied a book containing a collection of the entire Narnia series by C.S Lewis for 99p In a charity shop I had a moment of childish excitement and had to get it. I knew from experience that the Lion The Witch And The Wardrobe was one of my favourite films as a child so I had high hopes for the story. And it did not fail me. I loved the plot line and the characterisation (Mr tummus being my favourite character) and although I’ve never been a massive fan of fantasy, I was not let down by this story. Someone recommended C.S Lewis to me a while back (A person at my church possibly because C.S Lewis’s stories or adult books are quite heavily Christian) However what I have read so far of his children’s writing this has not been the case and I wouldn’t let it put you off because his writing style is lovely.
I think the main thing I loved about this classic tale was the narrative. His style was really warm and Whitty, and made you become very engaged and fond of the story as it went along and the characters. There were quite a few sections where you could sense the writer himself coming through the narrative as he had added his own real life wisdom to the fiction story which I loved (as I’m not one for shallow writing even if the plot is great)
The main theme or moral of the story that I took from it was honesty. There is a lot of character development surrounding this theme. For example, at the beginning of the book after Lucy first finds Narnia, her older brothers and sister do not believe her tale. They think she is lying, or has gone mad as it is not a logical story. They take it to the professor (who they are staying with in his country mansion after being evacuated from the London blitz, this house is also where they find the wardrobe and entrance into Narnia) They expect the Professor to support that it is a lie as the truth seems impossible or stupid. But he only tells them that if they know a person to have been honest in the past they must assume they are telling the truth if they have no other evidence to support otherwise. The reader is taught subtle lessons like this throughout the story. Another example in the story surrounding the theme of honesty is an action that is taken by one of the main characters in complete Juxtaposition with it. Edward the youngest brother of the four siblings goes into Narnia on his own after Lucy has been the first time, however encounters the main antagonist of the story The White Witch. She feeds him enchanted Turkish delight and tells him to come to her castle if he wants more, but only with his other brother and sisters. Edward is then set to achieve this goal at any cost and deceives his brothers and sister’s numerous times, but this then leads to devastating consequences for him when he is imprisoned by the White Witch later on in the story. In relation to this another theme is forgiveness, after his brothers and sisters forgive him for deceiving them.
I wouldn’t like to give away to much of the story but overall this tale deffinetly deserves its place as a classic. It is an exciting , warm , impactful fantasy story that is perfect to cosy up with at bed time (even In adulthood) 🙂