The Page Turner and Annabel’s Other Half have kindly contributed these two book reviews. Two entirely different reads; the first one – fact, and the second – fiction, but possibly based on the author’s experiences. Both though are good reads.
FROM RUSSIA WITH BLOOD reviewed by Annabel’s OH
Whoever said and I quote, ‘Fact is stranger than fiction’, could never have had a better example than with the award winning book, FROM RUSSIA WITH BLOOD: Putin’s Ruthless Killing Campaign and Secret War on the West from author Heidi Blake.
This book chronicles the rise of Vladimir Putin from minor KGB operative to President of Russia. How he systematically authorised the killing of every opponent and sometimes mere friends of his opponents. At least 14 such persons were assassinated in the UK alone, during the period between 2000 and 2017.
This book is written with the style and pace of a James Bond thriller, but this time the events are for real. Convenient ‘heart attacks, slipping under oncoming trains, and of course falling off balconies’ but respective governments led by Blair, Brown, Cameron and May did not want to jeopardise their relationship with Russia, until it was too late and the Salisbury poisonings were a consequence.
Once you have read this book you will remain forever fearful when being in a bar or restaurant and hearing men whispering with Russian accents!
A brilliant read.
ALISON’S NEW BEGINNINGS by Fiona Fieldhouse reviewed by The Page Turner
Alison’s New Beginnings is a moving and beautifully written novel. It is a story which is all so familiar for people who reach retirement expecting life to go in one direction and then find for whatever reason, it goes in a totally different direction. They then have to learn to adapt to new ways of living.
Alison has been a caring and supportive Wife and Mother all her married life. She has followed her husband James around the world. She has lived in his shadow, dutifully attending dinners, cocktail parties and has been involved in charitable good causes. So, when James dropped the bombshell that they were not going to retire together she was stunned. James was going back on the Diplomatic circuit with Elspeth. A young and upcoming ambitious Diplomat.
The story of Alison’s life, after this shock, is written sensitively by Fiona. It depicts a physical and emotional journey. One that takes Alison out of her comfort zone of town life into that of living in a village in the Countryside. Alison meets various different village characters. She builds a firm friendship with Aiden, a Bohemian Art Tutor. Makes friends with a number of women in the art class and comes a cross the arrogant ex RAF pilot, David.
Over the following months Alison learns that she is a person in her own right. She has a flare for Art which she is at last able to explore. She gets involved with organising an Art Exhibition and this leads her into an African Water Project.
Through these experiences she learns to look at herself and her pent-up emotions of anger and sadness and realises that she no longer has to think of herself as the Diplomats Wife.
Fiona has written this with her own knowledge of being someone who has travelled with her Family round the world and experiencing the expat’s life style. She too has been involved in a number of charitable projects. I feel her knowledge has really contributed to this very enjoyable and thought-provoking book. I really recommend it as a book to read this Summer.
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