Middlemere by Judith Lennox

Middlemere cover

This is the first book by Judith Lennox which I’ve read and I’ll definitely be reading more. It was a fairly recent library book sale purchase and it’s quite a tome at 503 pages but it’s such a smooth read that it didn’t take me long to get through it.

The story begins during World War II with the young Romy witnessing a family tragedy, then moves quickly to 1953 when another traumatic event prompts Romy to move to London where she gets a job in an hotel and begins the work of bettering her situation and making herself an independent woman.

The task isn’t made any easier by her family who all seem to lean on her as they are a pretty feckless bunch. For me anyway there were loads of unexpected twists and turns to the storyline and it helped that there were some really likeable characters to enjoy as well as some sleazebags to have a bit of a hiss at!

I think this is the first book which I’ve read which has 18 year old lads going off for their 2 years National Service in the army which they all had to do until it was abolished in the late 1950s. I’m so glad that it was abolished because I don’t think I would have been able to cope with that at all. I can imagine I would have been hiding my sons to save them from the horror of it all. Some poor souls actually lost their lives in the Korean war while they were doing their NS. People put up with such a lot in those days but I bet all of the politicians made sure that their sons were kept out of harm’s way!

If you enjoy books full of plot then this is for you.

Library Book Sale Haul

Books from library sale

We had already promised to drive my brother to the airport on Saturday before we realised that it was also the library book sale day, so we had to dash around the books in about 10 minutes flat. I didn’t even get a glimpse of the non-fiction, the crowd was still too dense by the time we had to leave. But it was worthwhile I think.

Consider the Lily by Elizabeth Buchan
The Sugar Camp Quilt by Jennifer Chiaverini
The Unexpected Guest by Agatha Christie
On Green Dolphin Street by Sebastian Faulks
Diary of an Ordinary Woman by Margaret Forster
The Pure in Heart by Susan Hill
A Step in the Dark by Judith Lennox

Gosh, now that I look at the list I think I must have just got about half-way around the alphabet!

I admit that I chose The Sugar Camp Quilt because of the cover and the word ‘quilt’.

The Unexpected Guest is actually an adaptation of a Christie play and it was adapted by Charles Osborne.

I bought a Judith Lennox book at the last library sale but haven’t read it yet, I have high hopes of getting around to it soon. I’ve just realised that I don’t have the new one in the photo, it has skipped off somewhere!

Has anyone read any of these ones?

Library book sale

You know what it’s like when you look forward to something for ages, you can almost guarantee that you’re going to be disappointed. Well that’s how I felt when I got to the library sale at the Adam Smith Theatre last Saturday.

Mind you after having perused my haul again – I’ve got a bit of a cheek not being happy with it, it’s just that I didn’t get anything which I had really been looking for.

So this is my haul:

The Borley Rectory Incident by Terrance Dicks
Morning Tide by Neil M Gunn
Faro’s Daughter by Georgette Heyer
The Foundling by Georgette Heyer
The Nonsuch by Georgette Heyer
Arabella by Georgette Heyer
Middlemere by Judith Lennox
Flambards by K M Peyton
Right Royal Friend by Nigel Tranter
Gertrude and Claudius by John Updike
To the Lighthouse by Virginia Woolf

I must admit that I prefer Heyer’s detective stories to her romances but I’ll get around to these ones sometime.

Nigel Tranter is a Scottish writer who writes good historical fiction.

I can hardly believe that I’ve not read To the Lighthouse yet.

I enjoyed Updike’s Rabbit series so I thought I’d give this one a go although it seems to be very different being about the king and queen of Denmark before the action of Shakespeare’s Hamlet begins.

Neil Gunn is another Scottish author of the 1930s.

I had meant to borrow something by Judith Lennox for a while now but hadn’t got around to it.

Flambards was a bit of pure serendipity because I had seen the book somewhere on the internet just a few days before and I hadn’t even realised till then that it was a book. I really enjoyed the series of that name when it was on the TV years ago. This was in the childrens section and I left it until late on before picking it up in case a kiddywink should want it – but it was left there looking forlorn so I didn’t feel that I was depriving anyone of it.

The Borley Rectory Incident is another junior library book and it’s written by the chap who wrote a lot of the Doctor Who books. Gordon went through a phase of wanting those books as bedtime stories and I just want to know what this one is like compared with them.

Now that I look at them all carefully I don’t know what I was moaning about at the beginning of this post, I’m quite pleased with my haul. Now I just need the time to read them all.