March Reads – What have you been reading?

Another busy old month here but still no sign of the reading slowing down. It seems to be catching too, one at least 2 occasions last week I found both M & V sitting reading quietly WITHOUT BEING TOLD TO! Hurray!

I seem to have reverted back to reading ‘proper’ books as opposed to my Kindle but as I’m trying to reduce some of the piles of books around the place, this is no bad thing. I’m even going old school and reading library books once more. Is there anything better than leaving the library with armfuls of books – the ultimate in reading hope. The challenge for me is taking them back before the fines cost more than it would have to buy the actual books.

So what has been on the reading agenda this month?

One that I forgot to mention (and I’m not sure how because I was completely engrossed in this story) was The Girl You Left Behind by Jojo Moyes. I read my first Jojo Moyes, Me Before You last year in France and knew I had to read another. The Girl You Left Behind was very different than Me Before You and even better in a lot of ways. The story was much more involved and switched easily between current day and WWII.

The story of a piece of artwork that finds its way to England after the Second World War and the legal battle that ensues to find its rightful owner. The story of the painting begins in France in 1916 with a family living with effects of German occupation. I completely fell in love with the character of Sophie who literally does everything she can think of to save her family. This was definitely a book I was sad to finish. A rare easy 5 stars.

I have seen my next read hanging around various shops and picked it up on a whim – After The Fall by Charity Norman

About a family who move from the UK to Australia to escape the demons of the father’s drink problem but end up in much deeper trouble. An easy read but one that hooked me straightaway. For the few days it took to read this book, I was mentally living a life in Australia – its just a good job my passport was nowhere to hand.

A young boy falls from the balcony of a house, the story then looks at the events that lead up to this fall. It wasn’t obvious who it could have been responsible although I did guess about 3/4 way through – I’m not telling though. Its definitely worth a read to find out yourself. PS In case you are a bit squeamish about children getting injured like me, don’t worry, its bearable to read. 4 out of 5 stars.

A Modern Military Mother: Tales From The Domestic Frontline by Clare McNaughton– Since meeting Andy Reid at the beginning of the year and devouring his book, Standing Tall, I’ve become really interested in life as part of the military. My friend, Liz, a military wife herself must be sick of all the questions by now (but much too polite to say). This is definitely a ‘no holds barred’ account of Clare’s life married to a member of the Armed Forces (I’m finding it really hard not to spout cliches describing Clare and her book here). If you want brutally honest, witty, and quite frankly very realistic, then this is the book for you. I loved the sections about learning to readjust with each other after a period apart – how refreshing that it isn’t always immediately romance and flowers. Clare is self-promoting this book and working damn hard at doing so – I encourage you to have a gander. A 4 out of 5 stars only because I wanted more – I finished it far too quickly. Good news though, I have heard on the grapevine that a sequel is planned.

The Two-Week Wait by Sarah Rayner. Not at all sure what possessed me to pick up a book about fertility problems and the workings of IVF. Luckily, I’ve never had to consider fertility treatment but it doesn’t mean that the subject wasn’t interesting. 2 couples embark on the ups and downs of IVF – I won’t spoil it by telling you the outcome. An easy read – I did want to find out how they got on. The author has obviously got a lot of knowledge regarding IVF which was interesting to read without being too medical. A generous 4 stars here (looking back maybe more like a 3.5)

Alone in Berlin by Hans Fellada.
Every now and then comes along a book that I wish I enjoyed more than I did. The failings of this book are definitely mine and not the story or the author. Alone in Berlin is also known as Every Man Dies Alone – Set in Germany during the Second World War, a couple set out to challenge Hitler’s reign by anonymously dropping postcards with anti-war messages on them. I loved the idea of the story (which is based on a true story), there was just so much detail for me and the book was incredibly long. About 100 pages in, I felt a surge as I seemed to speed up and thought, hey, we’re into it now. Sadly this didn’t last for me and I felt I was wading through some sections – In the book’s defence though, I do know that it is possible to read this book quickly in a couple of days. A 3 out of 5 for this book but please do read other reviews as they are so much more favourable than mine.

In other book news, Violet and myself are nearing the end of ‘The Wishing Chair Again’ by Enid Blyton. It is a complete joy to read these books with her – we have started having lengthly chats about the characters, these are some of my favourite parenting moments so far. We even found the Wishing Chair in one of our favourite pubs, The Britannia at Elterwater last week – of course, we were the only ones that knew it was the Wishing Chair!

All images have been taken from Amazon where the books are available to download and buy.


  1. says

    I love these posts and will definitely be reading Alone in Berlin despite it not being your favourite. I’ve read The Girl you Left Behind and the Two Week Wait too – enjoyed both but not amazing :).
    Did you read Rayner’s semi-connected other novel?

    • Helen says

      Hi Beth, Hope you are enjoying Alone in Berlin – think my mum is about to give up after 300 pages! I haven’t read the sort-of prequel to the Two-Week Wait – is it worth it?

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