Being Liverpool born and bred, I had to get this book! ‘In My Liverpool Home’ is a very popular local Liverpool folk song I heard many times growing up, but I confess I never knew all the words! What sticks in my mind are the lyrics: ‘We speak with an accent exceedingly rare; we’re under a statue exceedingly bare; and if you want a cathedral we’ve got one to spare; in my Liverpool home!’ My dad used to sing it, as well as his other favourite, ‘Liverpool Lou’. I never knew, though, that ‘In My Liverpool Home’ just kept going on and on. It’s true about the 163 verses: they are all written down here and more keep being added by anyone who wants to contribute! It has to go into the Guinness Book of World Records as the song that just goes on and on.
For those who may be interested in the verse I’ve quoted above, the statue is Dicky Lewis, named locally, proudly naked above the door of what was the iconic Liverpool’s own Lewis’s department store (now sadly turned into flats and not to be confused with John Lewis, which is still going) and we have two cathedrals: the Anglican, completed in 1978 and which took 100 years to build, and the Metropolitan Cathedral of Christ the King (affectionately known by all denominations as Paddy’s Wigwam because of its shape). Other cities may boast two cathedrals, too, but ours are bigger and harder!
I loved this book and knowing that John and Gerry have written others on local song I now need to get my hands on those!
The Poldark saga continues in the aftermath of the death of Ross and Demelza’s daughter Julia. More heartache awaits the couple: Ross is to go before the Bodmin Assizes accused of wrecking two ships and Demelza does all she can to support him through this dark time. She remains dedicated to him, despite the obvious tension in their marriage. Ross needs her support against the scheming rich banker George Warleggan, who will stop at nothing to see Ross hang.
The theme of uncertainty and worry weighs heavily throughout the book, but does not distract from the enjoyment of the story. Elsewhere, the world goes on turning. Despite the darkness and despair, there is still the welcome relief of comedy, provided as usual by Jud and Prudie, a nervous Verity meets her stepchildren for the first time, Dr Enys continues to feel confused by his feelings for the spoilt, rich Caroline Pendeven and Francis Poldark is in the depths of despair. There is also talk of war with France, where revolution is raging. When Jeremy Poldark makes his entrance into the world, however, there is hope for the future.
This review is available on Goodreads and Amazon.co.uk.
Above you see the queue of books currently on my reading list, starting with:
- These happy golden years by Laura Ingalls Wilder. The last book in her autobiographical series tracing her fascinating pioneer life in the American west will complete the series of seven books I’ve been reading over the years
- In my Liverpool home by Gerry Jones and John Haines. John is a Facebook friend of mine. I’ve had a quick flick through and oh, the happy memories of my childhood and early adulthood in Liverpool! I’ve always been homesick for my home city, but I think this might tip me over the edge!
- Warleggan by Winston Graham. Book four of the twelve book Poldark series I began reading last Christmas. I love them: there’s humour mixed with poignancy and drama. Better than any soap opera!
- How to be a heroine: or what I’ve learned by reading too much by Samantha Ellis, who studies the heroines of all the novels she has read. Looks like an interesting non-fiction read
- The Stepney doorstep society by Kate Thompson. Like the title above, this was a Christmas present from the in-laws, and again non-fiction. Not coming from Stepney or indeed London I’m not sure how I’ll get on with it, but I’m prepared to give it a go
I wish you all happy reading as well as writing!
A few months ago, I joined Instagram, knowing it to be a growing popular social media platform. The problem was I couldn’t get into it, so I binned it off. I’m on Facebook, but I’ve always preferred Twitter. I actually see Instagram as Twitter in reverse: on Instagram you have to put up a photo and say something about it and I’m a lousy photographer with a real camera and a smart phone, especially at selfies: I’m a point-and-shoot-and-hope-for-the-best-kinda-gal! Preferring words, I feel much more comfortable with Twitter where you can just post without having to put a picture up, and you can post using a PC. Instagram has to use a tablet or a smart phone. It didn’t help that my phone, being a bit old, wasn’t great at taking pictures, either; however, this year Father Christmas brought me a brand new model, and after reading an article about what Instagram can do for authors, I decided to try my hand at it again. After all, it’s another promotional tool and that can only be a good thing, eh?
So I’m there again as traceymoraitauthor and I’m making the effort and building up followers. Other articles mention the use of hashtags, only I keep forgetting about those because I see hashtags as part of Twitter, but I’ll try and remember, and I can use more characters than I can on Twitter, up to 2200. My smart phone is much better quality, too. I’ve had a bit of fun with stickers, but I am sorry to say that my selfies still aren’t great! I need more practice! I’ve also posted screenshots of my Twitter and Facebook accounts and my website and blog pages to show followers where else they can see my stuff.
Oh, I nearly forgot: if you’re one of those people who does New Year, all the best for 2019. I don’t do it. I just don’t want to be another year older! Humbug!
That’s it! I’ve done it! After four gruelling years of angst and strife, I’ve finally finished my sixth book for children, Episode, a fantasy story about 14-year-old Ali, who suffers with epilepsy. On holiday in Cyprus she wakes in the middle of the night to strange singing coming from a half-woman, half-bird creature sitting by the pool below her balcony. Then a beautiful girl with multicoloured hair appears before her, introducing herself as Iris, the Messenger Goddess of the Rainbow, Sea and Sky, who tells Ali that the creature is a Siren with a message from Selene, Goddess of the Moon. Iris has been sent to explain what the message means, that Ali has been chosen to go back to ancient Greece to help Helen, princess of Sparta, to escape her marriage to King Menelaus. Once in Sparta, Ali meets Travis, a time-traveller from the future, whose epilepsy is already powerful enough to transport him through time. Together they’re taken on a journey of adventure as they try to rescue Helen and on the way they have to contend with the Trojan War and meddling gods and goddesses, determined to control the lives of the mortals who believe in them. There’s further confusion when Helen reveals a startling revelation about her relationship with Paris, the prince of Troy. Will the Epic Cycle of poems, including The Iliad and The Odyssey, survive into the future?
Readers will remember Travis from my third book, Epiworld. I’ve reintroduced him to Episode as a sort of mentor to Ali, to help her understand the power of her seizures. He does play an integral part in the plot, but I have tried not to let him take over. I hope I’ve succeeded!
Once the editing is done, and the cover designed, I hope to see Episode published in the New Year, a few months later than planned.
The second book in the Poldark series focuses on the story of Demelza Carne, the scullery maid Ross Poldark rescued from a fairground brawl, who is now his wife. Her efforts to prove herself as a gentlewoman and also as a naturally good-natured and well-meaning woman, sensitive to the feelings of others, begin to pay off: society is slowly starting to accept her, although she believes she is always falling short with her husband. She is mindful that he married her on the rebound after he lost Elizabeth to his cousin Francis and fails to appreciate how much he really treasures and loves her, even when she incurs his wrath for interfering in his cousin Verity’s life, causing Francis to unfairly blame Ross. The birth of her and Ross’s daughter Julia adds to her happiness, but Elizabeth’s shadow refused to go away. When Elizabeth, Francis and their son Geoffrey Charles take ill with fever, it is Demelza who comes to their aid. This in some way helps them to appreciate her, but she is about to pay a heavy price for her compassion and her pain is heartily felt by the reader.
I watched the TV series before reading the books and I have to say that so far the adaptation stays as close to the original story as possible, although the drama surrounding the new doctor Dwight Enys is an unexpected surprise. Also at this stage the character of George Warleggan doesn’t seem fully developed, although he makes his present felt, and he isn’t nasty enough yet in my opinion: he comes across as nastier on television!
I found Demelza as enjoyable as the first book and now I’m progressing with book three, Jeremy Poldark.