Friday, 25 April 2014

The Cephalopod Coffeehouse: April 2014


The Cephalopod Coffeehouse is an online gathering of bloggers who love books hosted by 

The idea is simple: on the last Friday of each month, post about the best book you've finished over the past month while visiting other bloggers doing the same.  In this way, we'll all have the opportunity to share our thoughts with other enthusiastic readers.  

This month has been quite tough in various ways and I’ve read fewer books than I would usually only managing to read four.

One was a recommendation from last month’s meeting - Open Minds by Susan Kaye Quinn which I would give four stars to and thoroughly enjoyed reading.

I won’t review it as it was reviewed brilliantly last month.

My pick this month is from one of my favourite authors, Faith Mortimer.

This is Book two in the series of Diana Rivers but all the books in the series can be read as stand-alone books.   

Approximately 216 pages


All of the Diana Rivers series of stories are stand-alone books which is just as well because I seem to have read the first three out of order.

‘Children of the Plantation’ is the second in a series of six (so far) that the lovely Diana Rivers is part of and this book is set in Malaysia.  Diana spent some of her childhood in Malaysia and now she has returned with her husband on holiday.  

The owner of the small hotel they are staying in recognises Diana as an author she enjoys reading and asks if she would look over some diaries and perhaps work it into one of her books.  The dairies cover a period of late 50’s and early 60’s when morals and the way of life were different to modern day living.

The transition between now and then is seamlessly woven by Faith who has a great flair in describing landscapes and the countryside so well so that you feel part of that scenery even though you may never have been there. 

Diana is drawn into the diaries and realises that there is more to them than just a straightforward family affair of running a rubber plantation.  Themes of the 50’s when the male word was law run through it; themes of sexual orientation are hidden but not always successfully, themes of pubescent stirrings also run through the book, a touch of racism and insurgency lead to a drastic outcome which reverberates on years after as Diana delves deeper and deeper in to the lives of the family of the plantation.   

This is a well written book that kept me guessing until the very end. 



  1. Susan has an excellent series of books in Debt Collector. Thanks for pointing me to Diana Rivers.

  2. That looks very intriguing! I love books set in faraway places, and if it's got a good mystery to keep the plot ticking along, so much the better.

  3. Have you read more of the series?

  4. Malaysia - fascinating part of the world. Glad to know people are writing about it.

  5. I didn't know about this series, but thank you for introducing me. I think I might enjoy this, sort of a historical novel kind of thing.

  6. I love the 50's and 60's, not to mention exotic settings and mystery. I have to look this series up!

  7. Cool. There are a few literary tricks that always draw me in, and this is one of them: a present-day person slowly going through an old document (diary, etc.) and discovering deep, ongoing links between the past and present. Even better is when it's made explicit that you, the reader, are a link in this chain, reading about the person reading about someone else. :-)

  8. How do you read so many books? I'm so impressed. I always have 1 or 2 books going at a time but it might take me weeks to get through them. I usually read myself to sleep. You must be a really fast reader.
    I'm just stopping by to say hello..... I must have missed your A to Z today.

  9. Thanks for the review--it sounds like an intriguing series.

    I'm so glad you liked OPEN MINDS. It's a fave of mine--not only because I know Sue Quinn personally....her stuff just rocks.