The Life and Times of the Thunderbolt  Kid | Bill Bryson | Minireview

Official Blurb

Bill Bryson’s first travel book opened with the immortal line, ‘I come from Des Moines. Somebody had to.’ In his deeply funny new memoir, he travels back in time to explore the ordinary kid he once was, and the curious world of 1950s America. It was a happy time, when almost everything was good for you, including DDT, cigarettes and nuclear fallout. This is a book about growing up in a specific time and place. But in Bryson’s hands, it becomes everyone’s story, one that will speak volumes – especially to anyone who has ever been young.

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I must improve my Blog – are you kidding? #101in1001

Blogging challenges….

Ok when do I stop working on this challenge?

Fact is, because I have been so hell-bent on this doing this challenge, most of the others on my 101in1001 list have been neglected. Blogging is the sole reason why I have, to date, completed less than half of my challenges. Oh well, I don’t care that much – I love it.

I can tell that you are confused. This blog that you are reading isn’t that great, I only post occasionally and in fits and starts, when I picked my challenges I did envision that Sammioneill was going to become huge and I was going to be the middle aged equivalent of Zoella. Hahahaha *kidding.

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Behind Closed Doors | B A Paris | Minireview

Official Blurb

 

Everyone knows a couple like Jack and Grace. He has looks and wealth, she has charm and elegance. You might not want to like them, but you do.
You’d like to get to know Grace better.
But it’s difficult, because you realise Jack and Grace are never apart.
Some might call this true love. Others might ask why Grace never answers the phone. Or how she can never meet for coffee, even though she doesn’t work. How she can cook such elaborate meals but remain so slim. And why there are bars on one of the bedroom windows.
Sometimes, the perfect marriage is the perfect lie.

 

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The Tea Planter’s Wife – Dinah Jefferies | Minireview

Official Blurb

Nineteen-year-old Gwendolyn Hooper steps off a steamer in Ceylon full of optimism, eager to join her new husband. But the man who greets her at the tea plantation is not the same one she fell in love with in London.

Distant and brooding, Laurence spends long days wrapped up in his work, leaving his young bride to explore the plantation alone. It’s a place filled with clues to the past – locked doors, a yellowed wedding dress in a dusty trunk, an overgrown grave hidden in the grounds, far too small for an adult…

Gwen soon falls pregnant and her husband is overjoyed, but she has little time to celebrate. In the delivery room the new mother is faced with a terrible choice, one she knows no one in her upper class set will understand – least of all Laurence. Forced to bury a secret at the heart of her marriage, Gwen is more isolated than ever. When the time comes, how will her husband ever understand what she has done?

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The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry – Rachel Joyce | MiniReview

Official Blurb

When Harold Fry nips out one morning to post a letter, leaving his wife hoovering upstairs, he has no idea that he is about to walk from one end of the country to the other. He has no hiking boots or map, let alone a compass, waterproof or mobile phone. All he knows is that he must keep walking. To save someone else’s life.

 

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Attend an Opera #101in1001 #54

Don’t you love it when a plan comes together?

When I was putting my list of 101 things to do in 1001 days, there were two challenges I was quite keen to do, to attend my first full-length ballet and also my first full length Opera.

I must admit, although I enjoyed and appreciated the ballet, it didn’t quite rock my boat ( a little too genteel), but last week’s visit to the Opera certainly did! I saw Verdi’s La Traviata at the invitation of The Hawth, Crawley and Amande Concerts to review for Theatre South East. I was excited but also a little bit nervous as I always get when I have to review something I know nothing about.

But oh, it was lovely! You can read about my experiences here – I shall certainly be returning to continue my education. A great challenge.

The Girl On The Train | Paula Hawkins | Review 

 

Official Blurb

What the blurb says: “Rachel catches the same commuter train every morning. She knows it will wait at the same signal each time, overlooking a row of back gardens. She’s even started to feel like she knows the people who live in one of the houses. ‘Jess and Jason’, she calls them. Their life – as she sees it – is perfect. If only Rachel could be that happy.

And then she sees something shocking. It’s only a minute until the train moves on, but it’s enough. Now everything’s changed. Now Rachel has a chance to become a part of the lives she’s only watched from afar. Now they’ll see; she’s much more than just the girl on the train.”

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Theatre Reviews 2015

Even though I have transferred all my reviews to www.theatresoutheast.com I am still aware that people are checking back on this site for them. Please forgive me, I shall add links here so that no-one misses out on some of the wonderful experiences that I have had.

These are only the reviews that I have done personally, for my guest reviewer’s reviews you need to visit Theatre South East… Happy Reading. Continue reading

Kettners | A perfect pre-theatre dining experience in London

As I go to the theatre regularly I am usually juggling which train to catch and I grab a quick sandwich to eat on the train or if I am late, I eat on the way home. On the rare occasion I I do eat in London it is usually fast food on the hoof.

So when Official Theatre and Kettners asked me to sample a pre-theatre dining experience I was a little bemused not to mention delighted. A quick look at their menu on the Kettner’s website and I was sold – it looked DE-LI-CIOUS!

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And the Mountains Echoed – Khaled Hosseini | Book Mini Review

Official Blurb

So, then. You want a story and I will tell you one…

Afghanistan, 1952. Abdullah and his sister Pari live with their father and stepmother in the small village of Shadbagh. Their father, Saboor, is constantly in search of work and they struggle together through poverty and brutal winters. To Abdullah, Pari – as beautiful and sweet-natured as the fairy for which she was named – is everything. More like a parent than a brother, Abdullah will do anything for her, even trading his only pair of shoes for a feather for her treasured collection. Each night they sleep together in their cot, their heads touching, their limbs tangled.

One day the siblings journey across the desert to Kabul with their father. Pari and Abdullah have no sense of the fate that awaits them there, for the event which unfolds will tear their lives apart; sometimes a finger must be cut to save the hand.

Crossing generations and continents, moving from Kabul, to Paris, to San Francisco, to the Greek island of Tinos, with profound wisdom, depth, insight and compassion, Khaled Hosseini writes about the bonds that define us and shape our lives, the ways in which we help our loved ones in need, how the choices we make resonate through history and how we are often surprised by the people closest to us.

 

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