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It's nearly Christmas...

Well what a few months it's been, travelling both literally and through my reading.

I started in Greece with The Figurine by Victoria Hislop.

In my opinion...

I found this quite a slow read to start with, but by the end felt I'd learned an embarrassing amount of modern Greek history and had a new awareness of the problem of artefacts being stolen.

Victoria Hislop's passion for Greece comes through, maybe one to stash away until a sunny holiday next year?

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When Helena inherits her grandparents' apartment in Athens, she is overwhelmed with memories of the summers she spent there as a child in the 1960s. Her remote, cruel grandfather was a general in the brutal military dictatorship and as she sifts through the dusty rooms, Helena discovers an array of valuable objects and antiquities. How did her grandfather amass such a trove? What human price was paid for them?

Helena's desire to find answers dovetails with a growing fascination for archaeology, ignited by a summer spent with volunteers on a dig on an Aegean island. Their finds fuel her determination to protect the precious fragments recovered from the baked earth - and to understand the origins of her grandfather's collection.

Along the way, she falls in love with the narrow streets of Athens and the city's big-hearted residents, who show her the murky underbelly of the antiques world - and help her understand the meaning of home. But can she finally make amends for her grandfather's actions? And what price should be paid for the return of such ancient and beautiful artefacts?

Next I went on a Night Train to Marrakech with Dinah Jefferies

In my opinion...

As always a trip with Dinah Jefferies is interesting, evocative and feels very well researched.

After many twists and turns, with multiple points of view, the many strands of the story are pulled together, and questions answered, some of which make for extremely uncomfortable


An escapist tale of many secrets.

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Vicky Baudin steps onto a train winding through Morocco, looking for the grandmother she has never met.

It’s an epic journey that’ll take her to the edge of Atlas Mountains – and closer to the answers she’s been craving all her life.

But dark secrets whisper amongst the dunes. And in unlocking the mystery of Clemence’s past, Vicky will unearth great danger too . .

Finally, I have just returned from the wonderful Maple Sugar Hotel, courtesy of The Christmas Book Club by Sarah Morgan.

In my opinion....

And what a joy it was- this book is as warm & comforting as a lovely glass of mulled wine.

This does not mean that the story is lacking structure & conflict, there are problems and secrets between the friends , dealt with in a very realistic way.

It left me believing in the characters , and thinking what a great concept it is to go away with a group of friends to discuss a book. Sounds perfect!

If there's one last minute book to pop on your list this Christmas, I'd suggest this one...

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A long-lasting friendship

Every year, Erica, Claudia, and Anna reunite for their book club holiday. They’re bonded by years of friendship and a deep love of books, but there is still so much they keep from each other . . .

A perfect Christmas escape

At the cosy Maple Sugar Inn, Hattie specialises in making her guests’ dreams come true, but this Christmas all she wants is to survive the festive season. Between running the inn and being a single mother, Hattie is close to breaking point.

The start of a brand-new story…?

Over the course of an eventful week, Hattie sees that the friends are each carrying around unspoken truths, but nothing prepares her for how deeply her story will become entwined in theirs. Will this Christmas be the end of the book club’s story or the start of a whole new chapter?

With thanks to HQ, Headline and Readers First for my copies of these novels.

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