All the Fun of the Fair – Lynda Page

Lynda is a new author to me but I was drawn to the interesting story;

It’s the 1950s and Grundy’s Travelling Fair arrives in town with a bang.

When night falls, the local town is drawn to the Fair. But when the fairgoers head home, the Grundys are left behind. Hours are long and the work back-breaking. But family and friends hold things together.

Gemma married into the lifestyle, her reliable husband Solomon making the work worthwhile. Solly’s Dad Samson is still the boss, but his other son, known as Sonny, is getting a reputation…

Times are changing. Can the family – and the fair – survive?

This is a saga (and it looks like the first of many books) which centres on the Grundy family and their lives and most of all the fair they own, run and travel with around the country. If you thought being in the fair was one of the best jobs in the world then this book will certainly change your mind.

The community of the Grundy Fair is strong and it needs to be with everything that they have to deal with in the pages of the book and this fair season. Gemma made a choice to be with the man she loves, Solomon known as Solly and leave behind another life to live this one. A life that will see them treated as gypsies, tinkers, thieves and vagrants.

Sonny made a choice about love and it seems that his was not going to be the happy ending that he wanted. So he is out to prove a point about people who work in the fair.

Then there is a cast of characters who populate and run the fair, Velda can read the future, predict what happens with her gift, but can anyone guess her secret? Ren and her candy floss may be small but she is feisty and stands up for what she believes in and knows that she needs to be heard.

Donny and Susie, have started married life together for very different reasons. Is the fair the right place to save a marriage.

A girl turns up at many of the stops of the fair, she is looking for someone, but who? And what do the shaven, suited thug looking men want on their frequent visits?

This story has so much packed into it, I thought I would be reading forever, but like all good novels it came to an end and left me wanting more. I was transported to the fair, to the hard work, the back-breaking work in all weathers to bring some joy to people in local villages only a once a year. The strength of friendship and the value of community.

A great read and an author who I want to read more of.

Thank you to the publisher and netgalley for the opportunity to read this book 

All the Fun of the Fair is published on the 19 February.



Book Spotlight – All the Fun of the Fair

Title: All the Fun of the Fair

Author Name: Lynda Page

Genre: Historical Fiction, Saga, Women’s Fiction

Release Date: 19th February 2018

Publisher: Canelo

Book Blurb: The unmissable new saga from bestselling author Lynda Page

It’s the 1950s and Grundy’s Travelling Fair arrives in town with a bang.

When night falls, the local town is drawn to the Fair. But when the fairgoers head home, the Grundys are left behind. Hours are long and the work back-breaking. But family and friends hold things together.

Gemma married into the lifestyle, her reliable husband Solomon making the work worthwhile. Solly’s Dad Samson is still the boss, but his other son, known as Sonny, is getting a reputation…

Times are changing. Can the family – and the fair – survive?

A saga with a twist, join the Grundy family in a gritty but heartwarming novel of love, friendship and secrets. Perfect for fans of Kitty Neale, Lyn Andrews and Rosie Goodwin.

Links to Book:

Amazon (UK)

Kobo (UK)

Google Books (UK)

Apple Books (UK)

Author Bio:
Bestselling author Lynda Page has written over thirty books, and is a well-loved and critically acclaimed saga author. Born and raised in Leicester, where many of her novels take place, she began her prolific writing career in her forty-five minute lunch breaks. Best known for her Jolly’s Holiday Camp series, Lynda is writing a new series exploring life at a travelling fair in the 1950s for Canelo, with the first book, All the Fun of the Fair, out in February 2018.

If you want to know what I thought about the book then please pop back tomorrow to read my review. 


The Inaugural Meeting of the Fairvale Ladies Book Club – Sophie Green

In this book I was transported to Australia, to the Northern Territory, to the end of the Seventies and the early Eighties where I got to meet a group of women who knew little of each other initially but grew from a small book club to a community to a close-knit family.

Sybil lives out on Fairvale Station, she moved their from Sydney to be with her husband and subsequently has two sons Lachlan who has chosen a very different path in life and Ben who finds Fairvale the place he wants to be.

Kate is Ben’s wife and thousands of miles away from her home in London. She is struggling to deal with defining moments of the wet and dry season.

Della is also thousands of miles away from her Texan home but the station and the land whilst similar to that of her ranch at home gives her more opportunities. She meets Stan and she thinks she may have found what she has been running away from.

Sallyanne is struggling, three children, a drunken husband and isolation from everything all she has is her dreams and they are slowly being turned into nightmares.

Rita is Sybil’s oldest friend and is a nurse in the Flying Doctors service and lives the furthest from her friend.

These women are brought together by the book club that was started by Sybil for Kate to meet some other people. It was clear that this book was more about their lives and their friendships then it was about the books. Although of course the books they choose to read are important and can give you a further reading list if you needed one. The books gave them a chance to escape their world as any book can do.

All of these women were faced with differing problems and the book dealt with, death, life, abuse, racism, sexism, depression and loneliness without actually having to wave a big flag saying this is what we are dealing with. These are the best books, the ones that deal with issues which are still so relevant today, even though the books setting is around forty years previously. Aimed at women readers there is something within these pages that most women will relate to. And if you perhaps don’t then put yourself in their shoes, int heir lives and think about how you would deal with the events as they play out in the book.

This is a thoughtfully written book, which whilst dealing with emotive subjects does a wonderful job is showing what life is like on a cattle station in Australia, when it takes days to cross the land and muster the cattle, where you can’t pop to the shops when you run out of milk without taking a two-hour drive and when it rains you are trapped with only radio as your means of communication with the outside world. For me fascinating stuff.

I enjoyed this book and would recommend it for anyone wanting a change from perhaps the normal run of the mill commercial women’s fiction – this book has a story to tell in itself.

Thank you to the publisher and netgalley for the opportunity to read this book. 

The Inaugural Meeting of the Fairvale Ladies Book Club is out on the 1 March. 



Coming Soon…….

….. to the blog you are currently reading.

Two books which I have really enjoyed so far this year.

Come back on the 25th February to see the spotlight and then the review of the book.

Then in March we have what some people have been hoping and dreaming about for a while

What have you got coming soon to your blog?



The Seven Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle – Stuart Turton

How do you stop a murder that’s already happened?

At a gala party thrown by her parents, Evelyn Hardcastle will be killed–again. She’s been murdered hundreds of times, and each day, Aiden Bishop is too late to save her. Doomed to repeat the same day over and over, Aiden’s only escape is to solve Evelyn Hardcastle’s murder and conquer the shadows of an enemy he struggles to even comprehend–but nothing and no one are quite what they seem.

This book intrigued me – which is why I chose it. As I started on the adventure I was immediately reminded of the film Groundhog Day where the same day is relived, in the case of Aiden Bishop he is reliving the murder of Evelyn Hardcastle every day but in a different person’s body.

So far so good.

Then I ran into trouble. I was getting confused with who was who, and whilst I have no aversion of reading on my kindle this was one of those times when I wish I had a ‘real’ copy so I flick back to the beginning and get a sense of who these people were.

I persevered because the book is clever, the concept of seeing something happen again and again but in the guise of someone else is intriguing. The twist of being able to stop it to save yourself gives it another added layer.

But I wonder whether this book was simply too clever for me? I think it might have been. It had all the right elements I like in novels, a cast of characters both masters and servants, a big house, set in the past, a mystery, a twist but it whilst it held my attention enough to keep me reading I was left feeling rather flat at the end.

For me this book didn’t work. If you choose it, it might work for you.

Thank you to the publisher and netgalley for the opportunity to read this book. 

The Seven Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle is out on the 8 Feb. 

Books · Jottings

January Roundup

Been a funny month, been reading but not had the inclination to blog, then not had the time because I have been knitting and then not had time to knit because I have been working or away. February is more of the same and I cannot wait!

It has been a slow start to the year, especially when I had a week at the beginning to get stuck into some books. But finishing my challenge of 100 in a year seems a long way off at the moment.

Got really into sagas this month and was surprised with Jennifer Wells – The Murderess which had more than the average saga.

I was swept up with Elaine Everest – The Woolworths Girls a book I bought myself last year and wanting to make a dent in actual books thought I would read. Which then led me to read Elaine Everest – Carols at Woolworths so I could continue the tale. The next book is a Christmas one and although I would not normally read such themed books in February it looks like I might have to so I can keep up with all the characters that I have grown to love.

I fell for the latest serialised Holly Hepburn by accident but have read book two now Holly Hepburn – Frosty Mornings at Castle Court now I have started I am going to have to finish!

A book that I wish I had not started and should have not finished was Stuart Turton – The Seven Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle the idea of the book sounded great, the delivery of it was clever but it just did nothing for me. I was disappointed with it and with myself for perhaps wasting time on pursuing it to the end.

Sophie Green – The Inaugural meeting of the Fairvale Ladies Book Club – this was an interesting book which took me all the way to the outback, to a cattle station, to Australia. It was a strong female character led novel and it had me intrigued about the isolation. It reminded me of another book I have read by Monica McInerney which then reminded me I have one of hers waiting to be read…….

But in the meantime I picked up another saga to read for a blog tour, a new author to me with a cracking good story to tell.

How was your first month of 2018 reading wise?


Crafts · Knitting

Knitting Unicorns

There is rather a niche market at the moment for anything to do with Unicorns – the list of unicorn related items to purchase is probably endless. I fell into this trap when I spotted a pattern for said knitted unicorn whilst I was at the Knitting and Stitching show back in October. I think I loved the colours and the wool more than the unicorn.

It was a really quick knit and took shape well and whilst the pattern actually has a tail, I did not include it as it just didn’t look right compared to the rest of it.

Then I foolishly thought I would make another two for Christmas presents, roughly four weeks before the big day! I got the two recipients to choose the colours they wanted – although they had no idea what they were choosing the colours for and off I knitted.

I must have been mad, the four weeks up to Christmas is one of the busiest times at work and adding that sort of pressure onto myself despite the fact that they knit up quickly was perhaps a tad risky. However the last one was knitted, stuffed and stitched together on the 23rd December and they then went on their way to await their new owners. A close friend’s daughter and daughter in law, both unicorn mad.

Luckily they remembered the colours they chose and the unicorns are now being well looked and well-loved. It does bring me such joy that something so simple as a knitted gift can mean more than a flashy one.

And whilst I am still finding bits of fluff off the wool, I have gone and done it to myself again – to knit some socks before the 15th February – luckily I have given myself about six weeks for this as the socks have a pattern and I have never knitted patterned socks before – I am onto sock two – more about that in another post.

For those that are interested in the pattern and wool it was Sirdar Touch Wool and everything about it can be found here.