Friday 24 June 2016

The Cephalopod Coffeehouse June 2016

The Cephalopod Coffeehouse: June 2016

The Cephalopod Coffeehouse, is a cosy gathering of book lovers, hosted by 

The Armchair Squid

is a meeting to discuss their thoughts regarding the works they enjoyed most over the previous month.  Pull up a chair, order your cappuccino and join in the fun.  If you wish to add your own review to the conversation, here is the link:

I would like to recommend two books this month, both are very different, one is under 200 pages so more a novella than a book and the other one is a full, more light-hearted novel. 

Product Description from  Amazon
Sometimes a glimpse into the past can help make sense of the future … 
Everyone thinks Lexi is crazy when she falls in love with Hollingsworth House – a crumbling old Georgian mansion in Yorkshire – and nobody more so than her husband, Dylan. But there’s something very special about the place, and Lexi can sense it. 

Whilst exploring the grounds she stumbles across an old diary and, within its pages, she meets Allie – an Australian nurse working in France during the First World War. 

Lexi finally realises her dream of buying Hollingsworth but her obsession with the house leaves her marriage in tatters. In the lonely nights that follow, Allie’s diary becomes Lexi’s companion, comforting her in moments of darkness and pain. And as Lexi reads, the nurse’s scandalous connection to the house is revealed …


4 ½ *

For a shortish novel (under 200 pages) this had me gripped.  We have two stories in one as Lexi buys a house and finds a diary from the previous occupant.

This is well written, the transitions between now and then (WWI) are seamless, the horrors of war time and the different troubles of modern day Britain, the romance of a nurse and a soldier, the bond of love that ties them together with the struggles the modern day marriage is going through.

This is my type of book which I thoroughly enjoyed reading. 

My second book is: 

Product Description from Amazon
For twenty-five-year-old Willow Watts, life has settled into a predictably dull routine: days behind the counter at her father's antique shop; nights watching fuzzy telly whilst the elderly residents of Britain's Ugliest Village bed down for yet another early night. But everything changes when Willow's epically embarrassing Marilyn Monroe impersonation is uploaded to YouTube. A canny viewer spots Marilyn's ghostly image hidden in the film and Willow becomes an international sensation. Her dire little town is suddenly overrun with fans proclaiming her to be the 'new Marilyn'. 

Egged on by the villagers - whose shops and businesses are cashing in - Willow eagerly embraces her new identity, dying her hair platinum and scoffing cakes to achieve Marilyn's legendary curves. But when the only man she has ever truly loved returns, seeking the old Willow, it's decision time. Should she risk stardom and the village's new-found fortune on love? Or is being Marilyn Willow's real ticket to happiness?



A lovely read, light hearted but with substance, a well written novel, lovely touches of small town England also encompassing the wider world of show business, shady practices, lost loves and new loves.

It is nicely paced, a novel that could have easily become farcical but the author kept the characters true to life. 

A lovely, well written book.  

N.B. both books are set in England and as such will give global readers a very good taste of the English way of life. 


  1. These both do look interesting. It is fun too to read a book set in another country to learn more about it.

    I just finished They Almost Always Come Home by Cynthia Ruchti. It has a bit of a Christian theme in it, but its not overwhelming so that if someone who doesn't believe feels like they are getting a sermon or a lecture, but the story line is a really good one and gripping. Plus I could relate to the main character in so many ways.

    Always good to read, isn't it?


  2. Thanks for the reviews, I love books set in England. I find London and Paris romantic and Australia and New Zealand have more of the adventurous feel. I have got to start traveling to see if that's the case! :) Thanks, Sally!

  3. Thanks for sharing. Both books sound intriguing! That Marilyn one does sound like a romp.

  4. News out of England is so heavy right now. A little light from the literary world is most welcome.

  5. I don't know why but I usually can't get into stories that have parallel timelines - or maybe it's more that I don't even want to start reading them.

    I think I have had Talli's book on my TBR for many years now. Need to get a copy quick smart!