Welcome one and all to the Cephalopod Coffeehouse, a cozy gathering of
book lovers, 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.
After a rather average couple of months in the reading
sphere I was lucky enough to be able to read this book as an Advanced Readers
Copy. I am delighted to say it is the best
book I've read this year, ten months in.
In my view it worth more than 5*.
THE SORROW STONE
Here is the blurb on the
Would you pay someone to bear your
sorrow? During the middle ages, a peasant's superstition
held that a mother mourning the death of her child could "sell her
sorrow" by selling a nail from her child's coffin to a travelling peddler.
Lady Celeste is overwhelmed with grief when her
infant son dies. Desperate to find relief, she escapes the convent where her
husband has sent her to recover and begs a passing peddler to buy her sorrow.
Jean, the cynical peddler she meets, is nobody’s fool; he does not believe in
superstitions and insists Celeste include the valuable ruby ring on her finger
along with the nail in return for his coin. Jean and Celeste both find
themselves changed greatly by their transaction, but all their attempts to reverse
the effects of their fateful choice fail.
When Celeste learns that without her wedding
ring her husband may set her aside, she determines to retrieve it—without
reclaiming her sorrow. But how will she find the peddler and convince him to
give up the precious ruby ring?
If you like realistic medieval fiction with
evocative prose, compelling characters and a unique story, you’ll love this
incredible, introspective journey into the south of France in the 12th Century.
Buy The Sorrow Stone and begin your journey today.
Now here is my 5* review:
WOW! This is the best book I've read this
year. Superbly written.
in South of France during 12 Century it is the story of Lady Celeste and a
peddler called Jean. The book gripped me
from the beginning to the end.
almost stuck for words – good, superb, brilliant and many more adjectives in
the same vein, to try and do this book justice.
story encompasses the time brilliantly, from barbaric acts to acts of kindness,
from superstition to religion to heretics, the poor and the rich. It evokes everyday living from the smells and
sounds of the straw on the floor to the dangers of travelling the road
alone. How grief can consume somebody’s
mind, how superstitions can play havoc with the mind.
you like historical fiction set in medieval times then this is a book you will
was gripped by the story, by the writing, by the emotions evoked by this
I do hope there are more books to
come by this author.
Graham and Laura waved them off,
calling out, take care, drive safely. Tanya
nodded, giving them a wry smile and said, of course she’d drive safely.
Tanya hated driving home late at
night in the dark. Her boyfriend persuaded her it was her turn to drive so she drank
lemonade and water. It was a 40 minute
drive back to their place and the weather was closing in. The clouds scudded across the bright moon,
darkening the night, the wind picked up as she turned the key in the ignition.
The small, low-slung sports car
started up with its unique rumble. She felt the throb of the engine through her
feet resting lightly on the pedals, up through her bottom sitting on the hard
bucket seat, supposedly the best seating for this type of sports car, not for
her bony bum though. The vibration travelled
up her body, down her arms reaching her fingertips gripping the steering wheel
tightly. She tried to relax as she let go of the clutch and slowly drove out
their friends’ driveway.
Within minutes her boyfriend,
Ben, was asleep, snoring his head off. A
few beers did that to him. She wasn’t a very confident driver, add in darkness,
a storm, thunder and lightning and she was a nervous wreck. Shaking her head Tanya steeled herself for
the drive home. He must trust her driving
ability to fall asleep like that.
No, it was an alcoholic stupor he was in.
She jumped out of her seat as a
clap of thunder reverberated through the car.
Her heart was beating nineteen to the dozen, her grip on the steering
wheel tightened, her knuckles white with the effort of controlling the
Relax, relax, relax. There’s
nothing to be afraid of, it’s just a storm.
Yeah, just a storm at nearly
midnight on Halloween. Up ahead she
could see red brake lights, thank goodness there was another car on the
road. It was so eerie when she couldn't
see anyone else about. She pressed down
on the accelerator, keeping an eye on the speedometer as the needle climbed
steadily up. The engine began to whine,
she eased off the pedal, checked the gear stick, yep, she was in the right
gear. She looked at the road and
couldn't see anything in front of her as the rain pelted down. The windscreen
wipers were going at full blast, barely clearing a space for her to peer out
Relax, Tanya, it’s just a storm.
She could have sworn it was her
father’s voice in her mind. That film
they’d watched at their friends’ house was playing on her mind. ‘An American Werewolf in London.’ Not a
lot of plot but she was jumping all over the place at the scary bits as Graham
and Ben laughed at her reactions. Laura
didn’t seem to mind the film, so Tanya went with it.
Approaching the crossroads she
struggled to remember which turn to take, left or right. She shook Ben’s leg and shook him again. ‘Which way, Ben?’ No response.
She screamed as she shook him again.
‘Which way?’ Tears threatened to
fall from her eyes as he slowly came to.
He took in their surroundings, pointed left before he slumped and
started snoring again. She would not
forget this night in a hurry.
Oh, thank goodness, a main road
at last with some street lighting. Just
as Tanya relaxed a bit, bright lightning lit up the sky in front of her. Blinding her with its intensity it forked
across the road showing up the shadows in the hedgerow, she could have sworn
there were figures there waiting to jump out at the car and claw their way
through the soft top vinyl covering.
Relax duck, relax and concentrate on your driving.
There was her dad’s voice
again. Oh, she wished he was here. He wouldn't have fallen asleep as a
passenger. It was so rude of her
boyfriend. Maybe Ben wouldn't last much
longer. It depends on how he treated her
Now the storm moved to the side
and followed her. It shadowed the car. It kept parallel to their route. She could see it in her peripheral
vision. She looked to her left, past the
snoring profile of the man sitting beside her, the thunder bellowed its power
at her, mocking her for looking at it.
The forked lightning struck the hillside, lighting up the fields below,
an eerie white light suffused her vision. She tried to control the car as her trembling
limbs juddered on the accelerator. Her
hands tensed on the wheel. They tyres
seemed to lose their grip on the road, she steered round a blind bend, just
missing a lamp post on the side of the road.
The pavement reared up to meet them, she bumped over the kerb and
managed to manoeuvre the car back on to the roadway.
That was a close call. The car stopped. She had to get going again. The lashing rain
took that moment to lessen to a drizzle and then petered out completely. Tanya looked in the rear view mirror, it was
pitch black behind her, the street lights had gone out. She looked ahead as she slowly edged forward
again. The moonlight lit up the road, the clouds had gone, the lunar glow shone
clearly on the road ahead which was dry as a bone, as though the storm hadn't
reached this part of the route.
Well done, darling, well done.
She parked outside their house, breathing
sighs of relief. Ben woke up, stumbled
out of the car barely waiting for her to lock the vehicle and open the door
with her key. He stumbled to the sofa
and instantly started snoring again.
She couldn't believe what had
just happened. OK so it was
Halloween. Did that really make such a
difference? One thing she knew, she
would never drive home late at night during a storm on 31st October
lead to many things in my mind and I sure you all have a view of what a farm
is. You can have something as simple as a pitch fork, so the view of an
entire farm whether it be filled with animals or plants. Let’s see how
creative you can get with this topic.
Here Is My Contribution To This Week’s
Fields and farmhouse/farm
buildings in the distance