Book reviews from East Devon Resident

Timelines of Everything

Timelines of Everything - Credit: Archant

A new year is a good time to turn over a new leaf. So what better way of doing it than ‘leafing through’ a book! Jane Corry, Sunday Times best-selling author, has some suggestions to get you going.

Before I Find You

Before I Find You - Credit: Archant

BECOMING by Michelle Obama. Published by Penguin Viking. £25.

There’s been a lot of hype about this book so I was in two minds about reading it.

But I have to say that I was very quickly engrossed.

The former First Lady gives us a fascinating insight into her personal life.

The Bonbon Girl

The Bonbon Girl - Credit: Archant

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She’s not ashamed to describe her grief over her father’s death or the challenges in a high-profile marriage.

‘Becoming’ is one to keep on the family bookshelf for future generations.

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THE SEA, WAR AND BARBED WIRE: A STORY OF MERCHANT NAVY MEN by Philip Algar. Published by Fonthill Media. £20

The Sea, War and Barbed Wire.

The Sea, War and Barbed Wire. - Credit: Archant

This is an extraordinary book written by a Devon author, based on the true life story of his father Captain Stanley Algar, an oil tank master.

During World War Two, he and his men were captured in the Atlantic and then spent four years behind barbed wire.

I was very moved by the harrowing description of life in a POW camp, the relationship with their guards and – finally – their liberation. Philip Algar skilfully describes individual lives in a world conflict to ensure we will not forget.

‘My father’s diaries were written in the POW camp, and hidden from the Germans,’ says the author. ‘Yet ironically he never discussed his wartime experiences with me.’


Becoming - Credit: Archant

THE BONBON GIRL by Linda Finlay. Published by HQ. £7.99

Another great read by a local author, described as ‘the queen of south-western sagas’.

This lovely warm novel, set in 19th century Cornwall, tells the tale of a pretty young woman who runs away to escape the local mine owner’s attention.

I won’t spoil the plot by revealing what happens but I can guarantee that this will warm up the winter nights!

Do take a look at Linda’s other books too.

BEFORE I FIND YOU by Ali Knight. Published by Hodder & Stoughton. £7.99

A gripping psychological thriller which will make you keep reading until the final page.

Maggie runs her own private detective agency.

But is she who she seems? Helene is one of her clients. Alice appears to be the perfect daughter.

As for her father, Gabe Moreau, well that would be telling.

Sometimes murder is the only way to find out the truth.

TIMELINES OF EVERYTHING. Published by DK and Smithsonian Institution. £9.99

A great way of telling history!

This clever book with 130 different timelines, talks us through the progress of jazz music, surgery, slavery, Antarctic exploration and more.

It’s publicised as being suitable for children from eight onwards but is just as relevant for adults.

Another one to keep for years to come.

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