Sally’s Cafe and Bookstore – Author Update #Reviews – Robbie Cheadle, Leslie Tate, Peter Weisz

Welcome to the Friday edition of the Cafe and Bookstore where I share recent reviews for authors on the shelves.

The first author is Robbie Cheadle who is also a frequent contributor with her excellent book reviews for other authors. Here is a recent review for While the Bombs Fell  that she co-wrote with her mother Elsie Hancy Eaton.

About While the Bombs Fell

What was it like for children growing up in rural Suffolk during World War 2?

Elsie and her family live in a small double-storey cottage in Bungay, Suffolk. Every night she lies awake listening anxiously for the sound of the German bomber planes. Often they come and the air raid siren sounds signalling that the family must leave their beds and venture out to the air raid shelter in the garden.

Despite the war raging across the English channel, daily life continues with its highlights, such as Christmas and the traditional Boxing Day fox hunt, and its wary moments when Elsie learns the stories of Jack Frost and the ghostly and terrifying Black Shuck that haunts the coastline and countryside of East Anglia. Includes some authentic World War 2 recipes

One of the recent reviews for the book

May 02, 2019 Jacquie rated it Five Stars

The story of life behind war zones.

Elsie is born in England during a tumultuous period in history- WWII. Her family must learn to live on rations, restricted power, blackout posters, and food stamps while still providing milk to the nearby village.

Elsie understands the threat of war. The fear of German bombers is a backdrop to an everyday life without extras, but the family still manages to enjoy simple pleasures such as summer swims, afternoon tea, and on special occasions small gifts and treats.

I found it fascinating to read the lives of those not directly involved in the war effort. The average citizens just trying to survive what must have been a frightening time. While Elsie is young, she still grasps the stress her parents are under to provide a safe, warm home for their family.

Standout lines:

Britain had been at war with Nazi Germany since 1 September 1939, and the little girl could not remember a time when the distribution of food, coal, and clothing had not been controlled. She listened for the sound of bomber planes and air raid sirens without even realising it and even possessed her own gas mask.

While the Bombs Fell- Robbie Cheadle & Elsie Hancy Eaton
The air raid shelter smelled damp and musty, and the dark felt as thick as velvet curtains before Father lit the paraffin lamp.

While the Bombs Fell- Robbie Cheadle & Elsie Hancy Eaton
This is an enlightening read about village life in wartorn times.

I give While the Bombs Fell 5 lovely Kisses!

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A selection of other books by Robbie and Michael Cheadle

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The next author with a recent review is Leslie Tate for the final novel in the Lavender Blues Trilogy.. Violet

About Violet

The passionate, late-life love of Beth and James begins in 2003 on a blind date in a London restaurant. Attracted by James’s cheerful openness, Beth is drawn into an unlikely encounter between his larkiness and her own romantic faith. From then on they bond, exchanging love-texts, exploring sea walks and gardens and sharing their past lives with flashbacks to Beth’s rural childhood and her marriage to a dark, charismatic minister.

Telling stories runs in Beth’s family, so she keeps up with her friends, following their efforts to find love in a soulless, materialistic world. But Beth’s own passion for giving and commitment is pushed to the limits as she and James struggle with her divorce, problems with each other’s children, and life-threatening illness. In the end, tested by pain, they discover something larger than themselves that goes beyond suffering and loss.
Violet, with its in-depth portrait of contemporary relationships, gallery of characters and links to Purple and Blue, is the climax to the Lavender Blues trilogy, and a powerfully observed, realistic account of modern love.

One of the recent reviews for the book in by

The final novel in the Lavender Blues trilogy by British author Leslie Tate moves us beyond the earlier books’ explorations of free love, traditional courtship and open marriage into a lyrical and poignant meditation on late-life love.

Functioning perfectly as a stand-alone novel as well as drawing the trilogy to a close, Violet is narrated by deep-thinking Beth and high-spirited James. It opens with the blind date that changes the remaining course of both their lives, capturing the childlike exuberance of early-stage romance as well as the inevitable trepidation of those on whom love has already left a deep scar. And it turns out that both Beth and James have good reason to fear.

Structured to resemble the workings of memory, Violet reaches backwards as well as forwards in time, finally excavating the dark pit of Beth’s past. The warmth offered by her parents and the wider family of their liberal church, it turns out, has done little to help her resist the magnetism of Conrad, an aspiring preacher. After they wed, her husband’s enigma soon shades into coldness, his conviction into the exertion of an unbending will. The romantic Beth, whose parents provided her with such a fine example of enduring love, has always believed in the sanctity of marriage. But her own experiences as both a wife and mother force her to face up to life’s complexity.

Easy-going James has made his peace with his previous marriage before he embarks on the romance with Beth. But, for him, the future will prove more perilous than the past, and Beth will be the source of both his sorrow and solace.

Although Violet’s setting and characters are unmistakably and endearingly British, in its insistence on nuance, its insight into the extraordinariness of the ordinary, and its investigation of faith, it shares its DNA with great North American novelists. Bringing to mind writers such as Carol Shields and Marilynne Robinson, Violet dares to offer neither the false consolation of easy answers nor the luxury of adolescent despair – a quietly courageous novel about the bravery of the everyday.

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The final author today is Peter Weisz (Dip. Psych, HND, BACP), with his non-fiction book The Universal Mind.

About The Universal Mind

Are we all slaves to a gross illusion? Who are we? What is the mind, what is consciousness and what is reality? This book offers educated answers and explanations to all these questions and more.

This book motivates the reader to reconsider everything they think they know about themselves and the world today, examining the different models of creation, evolution of humanity and the universe, the essence of matter and of life itself, exploring all manner of scientific, theological, psychological and philosophical and metaphysical hypotheses and offering insights into ancient mystical wisdom and the road to enlightenment. Can it be, that this complex, living, breathing, sophisticated, opinionated, creative and conscious entity that we call human, is made up merely from a few invisible atoms of nothingness?

We are not simply made from flesh and blood – we are beings of an infinity of dimensions, too vast to contemplate, but our brains and our senses are only able to perceive that which is rooted in matter, for that is the substance from which we believe we are made. What we call reality, is most definitely not what it appears to be.

One of the recent reviews for the book

Apr 19, 2019 Freda Roetjens rated it five stars

This interesting book has taught me a thing or two and is very thought provoking indeed. All explained in layman’s terms for everyone to understand. It’s well explained and takes you to a place where you want to know more. I am looking forward to this author’s next book. If it is anything like this one I am sure to buy the next one as well.

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Thank you for dropping in today and I hope that you will be leaving with some books under your arm….Sally