The Goose Road Blog Tour

Goose road jacket

Hello!

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.

thumbnail_Rowena House headshot (Walker)

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

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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.
@organdie84

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

Amazon

Waterstones

Wordery

Organdie. x

Update 25th April – the winners have now been contacted 😊

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Healthy Back Bag – The Big Bag Review

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As you may know I was kindly sent a Healthy Back Bag to try out as an alternative camera bag by the lovely people at The Healthy Back Bag Company. (You can see my first post about it here)

I have been using the bag for a few weeks now, and it has been great.  It is big – as the name suggests – and comes with so many pockets, that even fully loaded I was still a few pockets to the good! I found that lugging a lot of heavy camera equipment about with me felt a lot easier, even if I was carrying two cameras and lots of accessories.  It seemed to distribute the weight nicely across my back, and it didn’t seem overly heavy even when it was! You can see more about why the bags are healthy for your back on the website here.

I have used loads of different camera bags in the past, and when I looked at how heavy some of them were (up to 1250g) without anything in them, I began to see why I was getting achy shoulders and a sore back.  I was surprised when I saw that the big bag weighed in at 590g – it does feel a lot heavier than my medium sized bag, but it is a lot bigger, and I suppose the zips and accessories that come with the bag must add up a little!  But compared to some of the bags I have been using, it is lovely and lightweight!

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I guess the only thing wrong with this bag is that it is – get ready for a slightly silly statement – a bit big!  I wouldn’t want to take this one with me for an evening out for example, and even sometimes finding things in the depths of the big bag was tricky – I think this might have been because everything was a little bit floppy and unless the pockets were full they have a tendency to fold in and obscure the inside of the bag – something that I have not found happening with the smaller version.  I would also have like to see a fastening on the pocket behind the large zipped pocket on the side of the bag, as this part just flopped open which didn’t make me feel safe putting much in it.

Model

I think this bag would be great for a weekend away, or for those of you with kids and all the daily bits and bobs that goes along with them!  It is a great, comfy way to carry a lot of things.  Is it a perfect camera bag?  Honestly, no, but it is a welcome change to the boring black (horrible) camera bags that you usually see around.  I think with the right camera insert it could come close to being a perfect camera bag – I think my insert was a little bit too small for the bag, hence all the flopping of the pockets and obscuring of contents.  And anything that helps my back from the strains of everyday carrying is always welcome in my opinion.

These bags are fantastic for so many things – and truly do help you carry a load without feeling like you are carrying much at all.  If you are struggling with any kind of back pain, or even if you want to keep all your day to day bits and bobs organised – did I mention the pockets?! amazing – then you could do a lot worse than to take a look at these bags.  There will be a style and colour to suit you almost certainly!

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So while this bag did not answer all my camera bag wants (to be honest, what bag is every really going to do that?) I am still loving using it, and my trusty medium sized bag which has been with me for years.  Will I still keep searching for my perfect camera bag? Probably, but in the meantime I will relish using my bright, cheerful and back friendly bags!

Organdie. x

PS – I was sent this Big Bag for review by the Healthy Back Bag Company – all thoughts and opinions are my own and this did not change my review in any way.  I was already the proud owner of the medium sized bag,  and I am sure in the future will be adding to my little collection!

(The photographs were sent to me by the company from their website)