Reading roundup 02/03/22

Apologies, but this is going to be a bare bones post this week as I am feeling very ill today and can hardly type. I managed to read one book this week:

The Kingdoms by Natasha Pulley

The sharp eyed amongst you may spot that lighthouses are a part of another book, after Emma Stonex’s The Lamplighters from a couple of weeks ago! This one is The Kingdoms by Natasha Pulley.

First we have the blurb:

“A time twisting alternative history that asks whether it’s worth changing the past to save the future, even if it costs you everyone you’ve ever loved.

Joe Tournier has a bad case of amnesia. His first memory is of stepping off a train in the nineteenth-century French colony of England. The only clue Joe has about his identity is a century-old postcard of a Scottish lighthouse that arrives in London the same month he does. Written in illegal English—instead of French—the postcard is signed only with the letter “M,” but Joe is certain whoever wrote it knows him far better than he currently knows himself, and he’s determined to find the writer. The search for M, though, will drive Joe from French-ruled London to rebel-owned Scotland and finally onto the battle ships of a lost empire’s Royal Navy. In the process, Joe will remake history, and himself.”

Then my response as written of the Goodreads website:

The KingdomsThe Kingdoms by Natasha Pulley
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Oh goodness! I have no idea how to write a review of this weird, wonderful and confusing book. For anyone who has read any of my reviews: you must be tired of my mentioning the stroke that befell me in 2019, but that event is very pertinent here. The plot jumps across a range of timelines from the 18th century up to the 20th, with subtle and not-so-subtle changes to events, people and settings. Major historical events either didn’t happen or happened in a different way, battles lost or won, people died or did not die or were even not born. For most people the book is a wonderful and clever puzzle.

But for me? Since I struggle to remember a previous chapter when I return to a book the next day, this plot was a complete nightmare!!! I could see how amazing it was, after all I have awarded it four stars, but my brain now feels totally tangled. Perhaps I should have left it alone!

View all my reviews

For all that, I feel that the book deserved at least four stars. After all, it’s not the author’s fault that my brain isn’t firing on all cylinders! Those of you who don’t have any comprehension issues might find the book well worth consideration. There are many five star responses on Goodreads that confirm this.

And now I will try to rest my brain. It is not up to reading today, which just goes to show just how ill I am feeling!

Happy Reading to you all!

Love and best wishes,



About The Librain

Retired School Librarian
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