I think September 2022 is a month not many of us will forget, it is almost like decades happened in those two weeks following the death of HM Queen Elizabeth II.
I have had the honour of watching the practice of the RN Gun Carriage Procession for many years due to my work. It was somewhat sobering to know that I was now watching the actual rehearsal. The noise of the boots walking in step and Beethoven’s Funeral March No 1 almost haunted me every day as they practiced, practiced and then some more. Pretty much for around 12 hours a day.
I made the decision to go to the lying in state. Words cannot do it justice, the emotion was overwhelming. I can say it was one of the best lived experiences of my life.
As someone who has a passion for history, I felt I have lived through a lot of it in September.
And in a seamless segue that takes me to the first completed book of September, Sara Sheridan – The Fair Botanists. Back to Scotland, back to 1822 and the potential visit of King George IV but the wonderful female characters that dominated the book and the plot as we learn about botanicas, art and of course love.
Fast forward some hundred years or so and I find myself in the Roaring Twenties in Kate Atkinson – Shrines of Gaiety. The latest from this author and one I would heartily recommend, it probably deserves a second reading as it was so rich in character and plot I am sure I missed much.
Then only a few years further on to Vicki Beeby – A Wren’s Wartime Christmas where I caught up with this saga and with a Christmas theme as well, which pretty much set the tone for the rest of the month.
Sarah Bennett – Happy Endings at Mermaids Point concludes this delightful series from the author. Taken full circle we are joined by the mermaid that caused all the bother in the first place but brought us all to such a wonderful place. To be there at Christmas, with big family dinners, lost dogs, weddings and romance is the best when it comes to loosing yourself in a book.
Losing yourself is the only way when you read Heidi Swain – A Christmas Celebration. Back for the Winter Wonderland at Wynthorpe Hall where it seems everyone comes to be healed and brought back to life. The wonderful backdrop enables you to dream about those perfect Christmases which we all perhaps hanker after. When actually the perfect Christmas is with those you love around you. This books has that in spades!
Escaping for Christmas is perhaps everyone else’s idea of fun, which is why in Julie Caplin – The Christmas Castle in Scotland we are there to see Izzy now the owner of a castle preparing Christmas for some people who have paid handsomely for it. Despite other waifs and strays turning up along the way to add to the hard work but also the fun.
Sticking in Scotland and moving from a castle to another iconic building in Sharon Gosling – The Lighthouse Bookshop. This building has a secret and when the owner dies it seems that the secret could be lost forever. A cast of wonderful characters and setting that was as strong as her first novel. An author to watch out for.
Right to the other end of the country with another final book in a series with Liz Eeles – The Key to the Last House Before the Sea. An abandoned village, a part derelict cottage and a challenge to leave a legacy for everyone.
All but one of these books was read on my kindle and it reminds me of the convenience of kindle and my ever burgeoning netgalley list but I do miss holding that book in my hands. More of that in October, I hope!