Make yourself comfy for my little review of The Goose Road by Rowena House! I will also share a little extract with you to really get you in the mood to read this lovely book. Mine is the 4th extract to be shared so I would really recommend reading the other blogs on the tour in order to get a real sense of the book. (Part 1 can be found here, part 2 is here and part 3 here.)
France 1916. Angélique Lacroix is haymaking when the postman delivers the news: her father is dead, killed on a distant battlefield. She makes herself a promise: the farm will remain exactly the same until her beloved older brother comes home from the Front. “I think of it like a magical spell. If I can stop time, if nothing ever changes, then maybe he won’t change either.” But a storm ruins the harvest, her mother falls ill and then the requisition appears… In a last-ditch attempt to save the farm from bankruptcy, Angélique embarks on a journey across France with her brother’s flock of magnificent Toulouse geese.
I am also able to give you the chance to win one of 2 copies of The Goose Road. I’ll tell you how once you have had a taster of the book below. (The Giveaway is UK only, sorry!)
Thank you to Jo and Walker Books who sent me my copy of The Goose Road and is providing me with 2 copies to give away to you. 🙂
In angry silence, I watch her manoeuvre the palanche through the gate and into the lane.
Grim-faced, she turns uphill, towards the woods and the long, long road to Monville. I know how hard her day will be, but still I can’t forgive her.
A slight breeze rattles the overripe seeds in the corn field on the far side of the lane. She glances towards the sound.
“If you want to help Pascal, start the harvest – and don’t give me any nonsense about wash day, not when there’s work to be done.”
Without waiting for an answer, she trudges off, weighed down, a thin black figure under a cloudless sky. The scraping noise of her clogs on the hard-baked earth is quickly swallowed by the seething, rasping insects and the heat.
I turn my back on her and walk down to the orchard, where the geese are grazing on the last few blades of parched grass.
They’re tall, handsome birds with greyish-brown backs and dusky orange beaks. Toulouse geese. Pascal’s pride and joy. We call the biggest gander Napoleon Bonaparte.
He raises his head when he sees me and waddles over to the fence, expecting me to feed him. Poor thing. They’re all so hungry in this drought.
I hurry over to the corn field and gather a handful of grain for them. The seed heads clatter and sigh, and grey patches of mould catch my eye.
If only I knew Pascal was on his way home I’d happily start the harvest for him – and finish it, too. I’d scythe the whole field and thresh the grain, and mill it as well, if that would bring him back any sooner.
But Friday is my day, the only time I see my friends now we’ve all left school. We do our washing together at
the old stone lavoir in the village, then swim in the river afterwards.
As I return with the grain, Napoleon snaps at me greedily through the fence. I jump away from his beak, which could take my eye out with one peck – or so Pascal once said.
Back in the house, I pick up Pascal’s bed sheet from the floor and put it into our big wicker washing basket. Then I look round for his letter.
I search the pockets of Mother’s apron first, then the dresser, the bread drawer, the sooty shelf in the brick chimney breast.
I lift up rugs and examine nooks and crannies, then try the pantry.
It’s cool and cramped, white-tiled with a pitted stone counter. I look behind Mother’s butter churn, under her bottles of pickles, in the crate of potatoes. I even check the wire cheese cage which hangs from a rafter, out of the reach of the mice.
Finally, with a sense of trepidation, I climb the stairs to Mother’s bedroom.
Father’s coat still hangs from a nail in the wall. I squeeze past it, avoiding its touch. On her bedside table, she’s draped her black veil around the photograph of Father in his uniform. The picture of Pascal as a soldier stands beside it.
And there it is, between the two photographs. His letter. Snatching it up, I run to my room to read it.
This was a wonderful book – evocative and beautifully written. I can highly recommend this lovely book if you are after a warm hearted read.
The rules are simple for this giveaway.
1: Follow me on Twitter, I will contact you here if you have won.
2: Retweet my giveaway tweet (it will be pinned to my page)
3: Sorry but this is a UK only giveaway
4: BONUS ENTRY! Comment below and tell me one of your recent favourite reads.
The Goose Road published 5th April 2018, I hope this inspires you to pick up a copy
Update 25th April – the winners have now been contacted 😊
I am still here I promise – just seem to be taking ages to get back into the swing of things this year. It’s already April, and I am not sure what has happened there…
I will be back this time next week with a very exciting blog tour for The Goose Road by Rowena House with a giveaway – how cool?
So I’ll speak to you properly next week – hope you have some spring sunshine where you are, and that you all had a lovely Easter weekend.
Welcome to real life 2.0. Are you ready to play?
Imagine a game so addictive you’ll never want it to end. There are no screens, no controls. You don’t just see and hear it – you taste, smell and touch it too. In this new reality, there are no laws to break or rules to obey. You can indulge your every desire. Why would you ever want to leave? Step into the Otherworld. Leave your body behind.
Otherworld is the first book in a new YA sci-fi gaming thriller series from Jason Segel and long time co-author Kirsten Miller. Ideal for fans of Westworld and Black Mirror and readers of James Dashner and Veronica Roth, Otherworld is an exciting, fast paced, imaginative and timely adventure, exploring VR and the advance of a brilliant and terrifying technology that’s not too far from taking on a momentum of its own.
When 18 year old Simon – an avid gamer, who uses gaming to avoid his tedious real life – hears about a new top of the range virtual reality game called Otherworld, he cannot wait to be one of the first people to play. He gets his hands on a headset for himself and for his friend Kat. Simon has drifted apart from Kat, and sees Otherworld as a perfect chance to talk to her again.
All too soon, the game becomes much more serious, some people can feel pain and even die while in the incredible virtual world. It suddenly becomes a fight to the death for Simon – the only way to escape Otherworld is to finish the game, and he finds himself battling through wonderous and terrifying realms to try and save Kat.
This is a fast paced read, involving a thoroughly addictive world where nothing is quite a straightforward as it seems.
I was kindly sent a copy of the book from the Publisher for review on this blog tour (my first – how exciting!)
You can find yourself a copy of the book if it sounds like something you would like to read by visiting one of the links below (please note, that the Wordery link is an affiliate link, so if you choose to purchase using that link, I will receive a small commission. The other links are not affiliate links).
Is it too early for the C word? I’ll whisper – it’s coming up to Christmas! We are attending two lovely Christmas fairs this year as Saltmarsh and Samphire and I thought I would share them with you.
Getting in a little bit early is North Creake Abbey Barns with their Christmas Gift Fair on 25th November 2017. We will be getting in the festive spirit from 10-3, and we are really looking forward to it.
The weekend after is our big fair of the year, we are very excited to be part of Deepdale Christmas Market this year. This is a three day event – Friday 1st December, Saturday 2nd December and Sunday 3rd December, each day we will be open from 10-5 – and it should be enough to get everyone in a Christmassy mood.
We have transformed into elves for a while, and we are busy working getting lots of lovely images ready to share with you at the fairs. We will have present ideas ranging from little stocking fillers right up to the bigger pieces just perfect for that special someone.
We hope that you will be able to come to one or both of these events – we are very much looking forward to both.
In the meantime, if you are in Wells – pop and see us in the gallery!
I was kindly sent an advanced copy of The Diary of a Bookseller by Shaun Bythell recently by Profile Books, and was very eager to get stuck in straight away.
As an ex-bookseller and current small business owner I identified with so many things in this book.
“At 5 p.m a woman asked if her husband had left, so I told her that I had no idea who her husband was or what he looked like. She scowled and left”
The book takes us through a whole year in the life of The Bookshop, Wigtown, Scotland and is full of anecdotes about staff and customers, alongside insights into the day to day running of the shop. It even includes how many customers came in each day, the till totals and number of orders fulfilled, which was very interesting to me as I make the same notes in the gallery too.
“A customer came to the counter and said, ‘I’ve looked under the W section of the fiction and I can’t find anything by Rider Haggard.’ I suggested that he had a look under the H section.”
It’s laugh out loud on minute and a poignant look at the book industry the next, and I thoroughly enjoyed every page.
“An old man with a walking stick accosted Nicky as she was riling through a box of books that was destined for Cash for Clothes – ‘I’m looking for a book, but I don’t know what it’s called. I know what it looks like, though. It’s a very old book.'”
How brilliant ( and frustrating) to be in a business that goes from one extreme (above), to the other;
“In the afternoon a customer asked where we keep the ‘illustrated poetry books’. I explained that we don’t have a specific section and that he would have to trawl through the whole poetry section. He emerged two hours later, looking delighted with a pile of £200 worth of books, explaining that he had just taken up book collecting and thought that illustrated poetry was an interesting subject on which to build up a collection. I genuinely thought that this type of person had ceased to exist. I could have hugged him.”
Just brilliant, I highly recommend to everyone – but a little bit more if you have some experience of the book industry, just so you can roll your eyes in full recognition of the cast of characters you come across in this book.