Reading roundup 24/08/22

I do hope that your own reading has been great recently. I have enjoyed two books since I last wrote one of these posts.

The Girl Behind the Wall by Mandy Robotham

The Girl Behind the Wall by Mandy Robotham was one of those random choices from the Library’s ebook catalogue – and such a good choice.

Here is the blurb:

“A city divided.

When the Berlin Wall goes up, Karin is on the wrong side of the city. Overnight, she’s trapped under Soviet rule in unforgiving East Berlin and separated from her twin sister, Jutta.

Two sisters torn apart.

Karin and Jutta lead parallel lives for years, cut off by the Wall. But Karin finds one reason to keep going: Otto, the man who gives her hope, even amidst the brutal East German regime.

One impossible choice…

When Jutta finds a hidden way through the wall, the twins are reunited. But the Stasi have eyes everywhere, and soon Karin is faced with a terrible decision: to flee to the West and be with her sister, or sacrifice it all to follow her heart?”

I may have been a little harsh in my review of the book. Certainly, other readers have been more generous in their ratings. Anyway, this is mine:

The Girl Behind the WallThe Girl Behind the Wall by Mandy Robotham
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I enjoyed this book, however it fell just short of being a really good read.

What I liked: I can remember the Berlin Wall coming down and over the years leading to that, I often read about incidents at the wall. So I found the subject of the book interesting. The main characters were quite well drawn and there was a good sense of tension and suspense at times. It was also interesting to read about life in East Berlin. The final chapters lead to a satisfying ending.

What I didn’t like: the alternate points of view didn’t quite work for me. Perhaps longer sections should have been given to both sides as it all felt too rushed. There were tense moments, but everything ended far too neatly. I kept waiting for a serious betrayal or something really “gritty” to happen. The book seemed as if it was written for a younger audience, not for adults.

Verdict: worth reading, but could have been a lot better!

View all my reviews

From one historical fiction book to another, this time set in the early 18th century:

The Winter Sea by Susannah Kearsley

I went against all my librarian’s training and…

… chose a book because I liked the cover!!!!! Eek!

Seriously, I also liked the blurb:

“History has all but forgotten…

In the spring of 1708, an invading Jacobite fleet of French and Scottish soldiers nearly succeeded in landing the exiled James Stewart in Scotland to reclaim his crown.

Now, Carrie McClelland hopes to turn that story into her next bestselling novel. Settling herself in the shadow of Slains Castle, she creates a heroine named for one of her own ancestors and starts to write.

But when she discovers her novel is more fact than fiction, Carrie wonders if she might be dealing with ancestral memory, making her the only living person who knows the truth-the ultimate betrayal-that happened all those years ago, and that knowledge comes very close to destroying her…”

Perhaps I was a bit over generous with this response!

The Winter SeaThe Winter Sea by Susanna Kearsley
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Well, I really loved this book. Just for once, I decided to indulge in a historical romance and it worked as pure escapism from my daily life.

OK, perhaps I’m being a little indulgent with the full five stars. There were flaws, such as the often-done alternating timelines and the DNA/memories, but the whole tale transported me out of my worries and onto a wind-swept coast with a gorgeous view of the sea.

I simply refuse to be cynical. At school, I studied the Jacobite “Rebellions” but not this earlier episode, so the setting was very interesting. Especially knowing that it would all end in tragedy. The book itself, however, although very sad in places, has given me a real lift.

Now to find more by the same author!

View all my reviews

Well, that has certainly been a lovely week of reading. I hope I can make such good choices for next week!

Happy Reading to you all…

Love and best wishes,



About The Librain

Retired School Librarian
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