Life is full of terrible things. Ghosts of dead relatives, heartbreak... burnt toast.
In 1987, Sue Bowl's world changes for ever. Her mother dies, leaving her feeling like she's lost a vital part of herself. And then her father shacks up with an awful golddigger called Ivana.
But Sue's mother always told her to make the most of what she's got - and what she's got is a love of writing and some interesting relatives. So Sue moves to her Aunt Coral's crumbling ancestral home, Green Place, along with a growing bunch of oddballs and eccentrics. Not to mention the odd badger or two...
There she fully intends to write a book, fall in love, and learn to live decadently.
I mentioned Campari for Breakfast in my Top 5 books I'm most excited for in 2014 post at the start of the year and I've actually already started reading it. I'm only about 100 pages in but so far I'm really enjoying it. I love the setting and the characters and I'm already fairly certain that this one is going to end up being a favourite.
Fabulously fashionable Polly Hampton - with her startling good looks and excellent social connections - is beginning to wilt under the glare. Groomed for the perfect marriage by her mother, Lady Montdore, Polly instead scandalises society by declaring her love for her uncle 'Boy' Dougdale, the Lecherous Lecturer, and promptly eloping to France.Love in a Cold Climate is the sequel/companion to Mitford's The Pursuit of Love, which I read earlier this year. I found The Pursuit of Love a little hard to get into at first but did ultimately really enjoy the story and the writing style and I've heard that Love in a Cold Climate is considered by some people to be the better of the two books so I'm really looking forward to reading it this month.
3. Tigers in Red Weather by Liza Klausmann
Nick and her cousin, Helena, have grown up sharing sultry summers at Tiger House, the glorious old family estate on the island of Martha's Vineyard. As World War II ends they are on the cusp of adulthood, the world seeming to offer itself up to them. Helena is leaving for Hollywood and a new marriage, while Nick is to be reunited with her young husband Hughes, due to return from London and the war. Everything is about to change.
Neither quite finds the life she had imagined, and as the years pass, the trips to Tiger House take on a new complexity. Then, on the brink of the 1960s, Nick's daughter Daisy and Helena's son Ed make a sinister discovery. It plunges the island's bright heat into private shadow and sends a depth-charge to the heart of the family.I bought Tigers in Red Weather sort of on a whim last summer and at the time I was really excited to read it but I guess I just got distracted or something and it's been sitting on my TBR shelf ever since. I really am hoping to finally get around to it this month though because all the synopses I've read make it sound really interesting and exciting and definitely like something I would enjoy.
4. To the Lighthouse by Virginia Woolf
For years now the Ramsays have spent every summer in their holiday home in Scotland, and they expect these summers will go on forever; but as the First World War looms, the integrity of family and society will be fatally challenged.
Okay so maybe I was supposed to read To the Lighthouse when I was still at uni and maybe I just sort of skipped the accompanying lecture and seminar because I had already decided what book I wanted to write my essay on but I have honestly been intending to actually read this one ever since then. I read Mrs Dalloway in my first year of uni and enjoyed it despite the stream of consciousness narrative so I'm really hoping that I'll like this one too. And hey, Virginia Woolf was after all the woman who said 'For most of history, Anonymous was a woman' so it seems only right to acknowledge her work during Read Women Month.
A high-school sex scandal jolts a group of teenage girls into a new awareness of their own potency and power. But when the local drama school decides to turn the scandal into a show, the real world and the world of the theatre are forced to meet, and soon the boundaries between private and public begin to dissolve.One of my favourite university lecturers actually recommended The Rehearsal to me after she read some of my own work but with all of the books that we had to read for university I almost forgot about it until a few months ago when I spotted the kindle version being sold for a discounted price in the amazon store as part of a kindle daily deal. I've read the first few chapters already but I'm really hoping to finish it this month.
6. Uncommon Criminals by Ally Carter
Katarina Bishop has worn a lot of labels in her short life. Friend. Niece. Daughter. Thief. But for the last two months she's simply been known as the girl who ran the crew that robbed the greatest museum in the world. That's why Kat isn't surprised when she's asked to steal the the infamous Cleopatra Emerald so it can be returned to its rightful owners.
There are only three problems. First, the gem hasn't been seen in public in thirty years. Second, since the fall of the Egyptian empire and the suicide of Cleopatra, no one who holds the emerald itself keeps it for long, and in Kat's world, history almost always repeats itself. But it's the third problem that makes Kat's crew the most nervous and that is simply... The emerald is cursed.
Kat might be in way over her head, but she's not going down without a fight. After all she has her best friend - the gorgeous Hale - and the rest of her crew with her as they chase the Cleopatra around the globe, dodging curses, realising that the same tricks and cons her family has used for centuries are useless this time.
Which means, this time, Katarina Bishop is making up her own rules.
I read and reviewed Heist Society, the first book in this series, last month and really enjoyed it so I'm sure I'm going to enjoy the other two books in the series. I'm hoping I'll have time to at least read the second book, Uncommon Criminals, this month and maybe even the third, Perfect Scoundrels, but we'll see about that. I think 6 books might already be pushing it!
Are you planning on taking part in Read Women Month (you can click that handy little link to find out more if this is the first you're hearing of it)? If you are then what books are you planning on reading for it?