Welcome to the Friday Cafe and Bookstore update with recent reviews for authors on the shelves.
The first review is for Matilda Windsor is Coming Home a contemporary novel by Anne Goodwin.
About the book
“In the dying days of the old asylums, three paths intersect.
A brother and sister separated for fifty years and the idealistic young social worker who tries to reunite them. Will truth prevail over bigotry, or will the buried secret keep family apart?
Told with compassion and humour, Anne Goodwin’s third novel is a poignant, compelling and brilliantly authentic portrayal of asylum life, with a quirky protagonist you won’t easily forget. Published by Inspired Quill.”
One of the recent reviews for the book
Oh my goodness, Anne Goodwin’s new novel is completely heartbreaking. I felt so incredibly upset and angry at events fifty years in the past that altered the course of Matty and Henry’s lives. It’s so annoying to think of how differently their lives could have turned out if one selfish action hadn’t tore them apart.
Henry barely remembers his sister Matilda who left when he was a small child; all he has to remember her by is a conker that she gave him when she left. It’s almost as if Henry’s life has been put on hold waiting for Matilda to return home. Meanwhile, Matilda has been hidden away in a psychiatric hospital for over fifty years; her mind creating butlers and maids out of the staff to help her cope with her new life and to keep her safe from the evil prince who destroyed her life. With the hospital facing closure, Matty’s life is set to be changed once more.
The whole story is actually written very cleverly and this really makes Matty so unbelievably endearing to readers. I was sometimes a little confused and unable to differentiate between memories and actual events, which is exactly how Matty must be feeling. I felt as if I was not only stepping into her shoes but seeing right inside her head. It’s strange but I never really felt as if Matty’s memories were unreliable, however, Henry’s were a little more cloudy but this is most likely due to him being a child when they were separated.
I absolutely adored Matty; she may be a batty septuagenarian (Anne Goodwin’s words) but she’s really quite a character. I am delighted that Anne is writing a sequel so we can continue Matty’s journey as I’m missing her already and I really need to know what happens next.
Matilda Windsor is Coming Home is a truly immersive story that really gets under your skin and you can’t help but fall in love with Matty, a wonderfully quirky and charming main character of whom I felt incredibly protective.
Also by Anne Goodwin
The next review is for The Last Pilgrim by Noelle Granger,
About the book
This book captures and celebrates the grit and struggle of the Pilgrim women who stepped off the Mayflower in the winter of 1620 to an unknown world – one filled with hardship, danger and death. The Plymouth Colony would not have survived without them.
Mary Allerton Cushman was the last surviving passenger of the Mayflower, dying at age 88 in 1699.
Mary’s life is set against the real background of that time. The Last Pilgrim begins from her father’s point of view – she was, after all, only four when she descended into the cramped and dank living space below deck on the Mayflower – but gradually assumes Mary’s voice, as the colony achieves a foothold in the New England’s rocky soil.
What was a woman’s life like in the Plymouth Colony? The Last Pilgrim will tell you.
A recent review for the book
Bought this originally for my granddaughter as she descends from Pilgrim Susanna Jackson White. She is 14. Noelle warned me her book contained adult themes, so I thought would read it first. Mesmerizing. Every pilgrim descendant should read this and I went ahead and sent to my granddaughter.
I have known Plymouth Colony fared better than Jamestowne because of the four women who survived the first year and help build the community that created our great country. Noelle brings to life what they did in a very compelling narrative of the struggle they faced and how they overcame adversity. This is a story of family, religion, relationships, war, love, death, and with a perseverance like none I have read before. Huzzah to Mary Allerton Cushman and her ilk. We owe them — and we owe Noelle for telling us.
D. Michael Beard Editor The Pilgrim William White Society Newsletter
Also by N.A. Granger
The final review today is for Mahoney by Andrew Joyce
In this compelling, richly researched novel, author Andrew Joyce tells a story of determination and grit as the Mahoney clan fights to gain a foothold in America. From the first page to the last, fans of Edward Rutherford and W. Michael Gear will enjoy this riveting, historically accurate tale of adventure, endurance, and hope.
In the second year of An Gorta Mhór—the Great Famine—nineteen-year-old Devin Mahoney lies on the dirt floor of his small, dark cabin. He has not eaten in five days. His only hope of survival is to get to America, the land of milk and honey. After surviving disease and storms at sea that decimate crew and passengers alike, Devin’s ship limps into New York Harbor three days before Christmas, 1849. Thus starts an epic journey that will take him and his descendants through one hundred and fourteen years of American history, including the Civil War, the Wild West, and the Great Depression.
A recent review for the book
This book was written with heart and soul. From the first page you are taken into the life on Mr Mahoney and through three generations you “live ‘ with him . The story line allows you to enter into the life of the lead character and by the end of the book you are left with a sense of gratification but also for me a sense of good bye and loss as the story has ended and i no longer am with “my friend” that I have grown to care for and root for
My first read of Mr Joyce BUT not my last
A selection of other books by Andrew Joyce
Thanks for dropping in today and I hope you will be leaving with some books.. thanks Sally.