Rather surprising myself, I managed to read fifteen books in May. You can find details of my five favourite of the books I read last month below. Click on the book title to view the book description on Goodreads.
First up is memoir Where the Hornbeam Grows by Beth Lynch. Subtitled A Journey in Search of a Garden, the book describes the author’s move to Switzerland and her struggles to make a life – and a garden – in a new country.
Next up it’s historical fiction in the form of Storm of Steel by Matthew Harffy. The book is the sixth in his ‘Bernicia Chronicles’ series set in 7th century Anglo-Saxon Britain. I described it as ‘action-packed, dramatic and realistic: historical fiction at its best’ but you can read my full review here.
Staying with historical fiction but with more of a romantic feel, my next pick is Stealing Roses by Heather Cooper. Set in 1862, in the seaside town of Cowes on the Isle of Wight, its heroine is Eveline Stanhope whom I described as ‘independent-minded, intelligent, bookish and with a little bit of a rebellious streak’. Eveline rebels against the social expectations that seem to limit her life finding romance and a ‘different sort of freedom’ along the way. Read my full review here.
Past and present combine in my next pick, The Lost Shrine by Nicola Ford, the second in the author’s ‘Hills & Barbrook’ series. With its mixture of archaeology and crime mystery, I playfully described it as the intriguing love child of TV’s Midsomer Murders and Time Team. Read my full review to find out why.
Finally, and perhaps fittingly on the day we commemorate the 75th anniversary of the D-Day landings, there’s The Long Take by Robin Robertson. One of the books shortlisted for The Walter Scott Prize for Historical Fiction 2019, it tells the story of Walker, a young Canadian recently demobilised after active service, including at the Normandy landings. A novel in verse, it’s haunting and atmospheric (and I wouldn’t be surprised if it scooped the prize).
What were some of your favourite books you read in May? Have you read any of my picks?