The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry

haroldfry

A middle aged man sets off to post a letter and ends up walking without money, proper shoes, map, or food, for nearly 90 days, towards a destination over 600 miles away whose exact location he doesn’t even know. His mission: to save a life.

After several of the early pages wondering where on earth this story was going, I found myself drawn towards Harold, his wife, and the terminally ill woman he has decided to visit. Curiosity got the better of me and before long I was turning pages avidly, needing to know the outcome. Would he make it in time? What damage had he done to his marriage? What was the mystery surrounding his estranged son?

And it gradually dawned on me that this story is about living an extraordinary life, about having the courage to live in the unknown, to commit, and to take action, no matter how ‘dull and ordinary’ one’s circumstances are.

Harold is joined and subsequently deserted by a motley crew of well-wishers and fame seekers. Even Dog, who had, as Harold said, ‘chosen to walk with Harold for a while, and then it had chosen to stop, and walk instead with the young girl. Life was like that.’

To quote Alfred Hickling in The Guardian, Rachel Joyce successfully conveys ‘profound emotions in simple, unaffected language’.

And for me, therein lies both its charm and its success.

 

Link to book on local Amazon

 

A Slice of Bread & Jam

A Slice of Bread & Jam

A Slice of Bread & Jam by Tommy Rattigan

Hulme, Manchester 1963

97809932423 copy.jpg

Hulme was probably one of the largest slum-come-demolition sites in the whole of Manchester, with its blighted wastelands, Victorian slums, dark streets and derelict houses and factories. Every day, we would find the heavy bulldozers hard at work, doing what the blitz of 1940 had done to the city of Manchester but had failed to do to Hulme and the neighbouring towns. There seemed to be a sense of urgency – a keenness – to eradicate all evidence of the Victorian era and innumerable smoking chimneys, which had blocked out the sun and poisoned the air-and our lungs. And so the mills and the factories and the slums, would constantly meet their fate, as day after day the blighted landscape around us, steadily became more blighted by the high-rise curved tower blocks and their concrete pedestrian walkways above the streets. This new regeneration plan for Hulme, had an ugliness about it, which the  grownups said was all too reminiscent of a Communist country, though they’d never said, which country they’d been talking about. The neighbourliness inherited from bygone years had been slowly deteriorating for a long while, along with its sense of community, as a new concrete jungle steadily rose up, as did its new and more sinister culture, The Cresents.

I hope to take you with me on my journeys throughout this one particular year, 1963, living with my family of fourteen others in a three up two down Victorian slum in Hulme, leading up to my encounter with Myra Hindley and Ian Brady, and to share with you, my thoughts, my feelings, and the unbearable overwhelming instinct which had bore down on me, to go! Get out!

Link to book on your local Amazon

Save

Save

Brinwood

Brinwood

Small town cults linger around our communities. They’re hidden among us, picking up believers and working to grow strong, though most remain invisible to us. What would happen if a heavily religious cult took over one of our towns? How much damage would it cause us? Casper is an exile from his home, but when he finds out his brother has died, he returns to save his family from the ravenous followers who have taken over. Returning for his sister and mother, the young man must fight against the brainwashed folks he used to call neighbors. Can he save them? Or will his return cause the demise of the rest of his family? Welcome to the cold walls of Brinwood.

Link to book on your local Amazon

Second Skin The Pack

Second Skin The Pack

Alex Thomas’ family has just moved back to Greenwood on the edge of the city, a sleepy woodland town where Alex’s father grew up.
However, his father’s family holds a secret, and Alex’s life changes when he finds out he is much more than he appears to be.
As a fight for dominance among two family legacies begins.

image.jpeg

Link to book on your local Amazon

The Ghost of You

The Ghost of You

Kaitlyn Vandere just wants to feel safe; safe from the panic attacks she suffers on a regular basis, safe from the ghosts of her troubled childhood, and safe from her damaged heart.

ghosttiny.jpg

When she meets Luke Denevan, the new company IT Director with the dark eyes and the hypnotic smile, she finally understands the meaning of ‘love at first sight’. There’s only one problem: he’s married.

Fueled by mutual attraction and undeniable passion, Luke and Kaitlyn embark on a secret affair, until Chris Anderson, a handsome coworker who’s is madly in love with Kaitlyn, offers her a real chance at love.

When tragedy strikes without warning, Kaitlyn realizes the importance of taking a chance and following her heart, but discovers a secret that forces her to make the most difficult decision of her life; a decision that will both alter her future and keep her trapped by her past.

Link to book on local Amazon

The Second Coming

The Second Coming

God looks down on Earth and is disgusted with what he sees his creation has become. He decides that humanity is a failed experiment, and he orders Earth and all of humanity destroyed. He will start again from scratch. Jesus, however, intervenes and requests one more opportunity to thesecondcomingturn mankind around. He is given one year to see if he can make a significant difference.

If you are a fan of the “Left Behind” series, this is your type of book. Asking the big; What If?

Just Under the Sky

Just Under the Sky

You are invited on a ride you’ll surely not forget. R.K. Gold brings us Just Under the Sky, a novella commenting on harsh political turmoil. Jasper and McMichaels work as journalists trying to cover up the looming food shortage happening in their village secluded in the mountains. One day, Jasper wakes up in the uncertain forest lingering by his home and from there has to find his way back through the ever changing landscape. Two friends trudge through this mystical place as they are forced to confront of the importance of their village.

Link to book on local Amazon

11738044_10153464288808684_5335910684181364712_n.jpg

Narcissus and Goldmund

Narcissus is a teacher at Mariabronn, a monastery in medieval Germany, and Goldmund his favourite pupil. While Narcissus remains detached from the world in prayer and meditation, Goldmund runs away from the monastery in pursuit of love. Thereafter he lives an&g picaresque wanderer s life, his amatory adventures resulting in pain as well as ecstasy. His eventual reunion with Narcissus brings into focus the diversity between artist and thinker, Dionysian and Apollonian. This new edition features a forward from the musician and artist Graham Coxon: ‘The clean simplicity of Hesse’s writing offers a vast space in which to push your weightless mind, and, although you can see the universe between the lines, he never forces you to venture too deeply but rather leaves it entirely up to you as to how far in you might like to travel. This is not just a story. This book is a gentle arm around the shoulder.’

Reviews

A novel that dramatises Nietzsche’s conception of the Apollonian and the Dionysian. At the medieval monastery of Mariabronn, the restless Goldmund realises he isn’t cut out for a cloistered life under the tutelage of his friend and mentor, the ascetic Narziss, and so begins a series of travels that see him work his way through most of the seven deadly sins before finding a psychic resolution of sorts in an apprenticeship to a master sculptor. Only by feeding his appetite for worldly experience does Goldmund finally find the courage to face death. –The Guardian 1000 Novels Everyone Must Read

His greatest novel –New York Times

One of his masterpieces . . . without doubt a great novel –Observer

His greatest novel –New York Times

One of his masterpieces . . . without doubt a great novel –Observer

His greatest novel –New York Times

One of his masterpieces . . . without doubt a great novel –Observer

About the Author

Counted among the leading thinkers of the twentieth century, HERMANN HESSE was born in 1877. Rebelling against a stern monastic education, he worked as a locksmith and a bookseller before embarking on a 65-year writing career. Having travelled as far as India, he settled in Switzerland in 1911 in opposition to German militarism. Awarded the Nobel Prize in 1946, he died in 1963 aged eighty-five.

Link to book on local Amazon

Darkly Wood

Darkly Wood

When a new arrival to the village of Cranby discovers a small leather bound book called ‘Tales of Darkly Wood’ she soon discovers that not all of the stories within are as fantastic as they first appear.

The book tells of supposedly terrible events which have occurred in the Wood that overlooks the village. What begins as an innocent stroll with her new admirer up by Darkly Wood soon turns into a nightmare for young Daisy, one from which it seems impossible to escape.

The line between reality and fantasy soon begins to blur, as a fledgling love affair is tested in the most terrifying circumstances. Swept up in her emotions, the young girl soon discovers that while sometimes love is all you need, sometimes love is not enough. There is something wrong up in Darkly Wood, and soon Daisy has to fight to save more than her life.

This spine chilling love story builds momentum and maintains excitement and pace right to the astonishing and jaw dropping climax. Along the way stories from the book ‘Tales of Darkly Wood’ help reveal the strange truth behind the mysterious Wood high on the hill above Cranby.
If you like a thrilling ride and enjoy storytelling at its best, Darkly Wood will keep you on the edge of your seat and lead you into a wonderful world of storytelling all at the same time.

Link to book on local Amazon

DW2.jpg

Golden Promise by Heather Whipp

Golden Promise by Heather Whipp

033015-Golden_Promise_Front_CoverIt is 19th century London and transportation to Australia for petty crimes remains the easy option for the English judiciary. So when young Matt Tobin becomes embroiled in the crimes of his older brother, he is forced to leave London aboard a transport ship and start a new life in the Antipodes.

Unlike his older brother, Matt is ambitious and strives to make a success of his life. Working hard to acquire a range of skills and cast off the shame of his convict background, the boy grows into an industrious employee and settles into life on one of the new colony’s sprawling sheep stations.

Things go well for Matt until he meets Sarah, the spoilt and determined daughter of his employer. Despite his single-minded focus, Matt is unable to ignore her amorous advances and the heat of their desire soon results in the announcement of an unplanned pregnancy, and the wrath of Sarah’s self-righteous father.

The couple marry, and after their attempts to turn virgin bush into a profitable sheep property fail, they set off for a new life in a burgeoning gold mining town. But soon Matt’s past revisits him, with a force so powerful that everything he values, including his marriage, will be tested to the limit.

 

Click here to see this book on your local Amazon store