Monday, 30 September 2013

September Books

I was sent The Valley of Amazement by Amy Tan to review for Good Reads - the book will be published in early November.

The story spans 50 years and two continents and tells of the lives of three women connected by blood and history and an evocative painting known as the Valley of Amazement.

The story highlights moments in history – China’s Imperial Dynasty and secret lives of those working in Courtesan Houses.  Violet is the much loved daughter of Lucia Minturn, the American mistress of the most renowned Courtesan House in turn of the century Shanghai and a Chinese father whom she knows little about.

Revolution and a cruel twist of fate separate Violet and her mother and she is forced to become a Virgin Courtesan.  She becomes friends with Magic Gourd (an ex-courtesan) who teaches her the art of seduction and she becomes one of the most desired women in the city.  Violet has a daughter, Flora who has cruelly been taken from her.

There are moments of joy, sorrow, pain and love and the ending is so bittersweet. I loved this book, a great and fascinating read and would highly recommend it.

My second book is A Serpentine Affair by Tina Seskis. I simply loved this book and couldn't put it down.  It follows the story of 7 friends from University and their annual meet up, this time a picnic at Hyde Park by the Serpentine.  Each chapter is told from a different viewpoint of one in the group (and others connected to the story) and it jumps between the past and the present. There are loads of twists and turns and the suspense is brilliant you are just racing to the end to find out what happens.  Can't wait for Tina's next book.  You can see my review of Tina's first book One Step too Far here. Highly recommend both these books.

My third book this month is Penny Hancock's The Darkening Hour which follows the story of Dora, eldest daughter who volunteers to look after her ageing father when her mother dies. Unable to cope she employs Mona, a migrant worker. The story is told by both Dora and Mona and is an unputdownable read with twists and unexpected turns.  I reviewed Penny's first book Tideline here.

What have you been reading this month?


  1. They both sound amazing. I'm a voracious reader so thank you for the recommendations :o). Xx

  2. OOh interesting choices, I need to update my books read section on here, great reminder x

    Beautyqueenuk xx

    1. All great reads! Look forward to checking out your books x

  3. A Serpentine Affair sounds great, I love reading books that have different viewpoints xx

    Quite Frankly She Said - UK Lifestyle Blog

    1. It is just brilliant & I didn't quite see the ending coming! x

  4. All look good there Sandra, especially The Valley of Amazement and A Serpentine Affair. I am soooo far behind on my book blogs, hardly had time to read anything the past couple of months :( but will add these two to my wish list x