These are the last 4 of my top 12 books for this year.
A WOMAN OF SUBSTANCE Barbara Taylor Bradford
One of the top-ten bestselling novels ever written. “An extravagant, absorbing novel of love, courage, ambition, war, death and passion.” —The New York Times
Barbara Taylor Bradford’s The Emma Harte Saga begins with this record-shattering New York Times bestseller that traces Emma Harte’s legacy through multiple generations of indomitable women.
From the servants’ quarters of a manor house on the brooding Yorkshire moors to the helm of a profitable international business, Emma Harte’s life is a sweeping saga of unbreakable spirit and resolve. Rising from abject poverty to glittering wealth at the upper echelons of society, there is only one man the indomitable Emma cannot have—and only one she yearns for. For me, this series has stood the test of time.
THE MUNICH GIRL Phyllis Edgerly Ring
Anna Dahlberg grew up eating dinner under her father’s war-trophy portrait of Eva Braun.
Fifty years after the war, she discovers what he never did—that her mother and Hitler’s mistress were friends.
Plunged into the world of the “ordinary” Munich girl who was her mother’s confidante—and a tyrant’s lover—Anna finds her every belief about right and wrong challenged. With Hannes’s help, she retraces the path of two women who met as teenagers, shared a friendship that spanned the years that Eva Braun was Hitler’s mistress, yet never knew that the men they loved had opposing ambitions.
Eva’s story reveals that she never joined the Nazi party, had Jewish friends, and was credited at the Nuremberg Trials with saving 35,000 Allied lives. As Anna’s journey leads back through the treacherous years in wartime Germany, it uncovers long-buried secrets and unknown reaches of her heart to reveal the enduring power of love in the legacies that always outlast war.
This is an interesting take on a woman most of us know little about. It certainly provides food for thought. It’s been on my kindle for years and I wished I had read it sooner.
THE CHAINMAKERS’ DAUGHTER Rebecca Bryn
“Some make chains. Some wear them.” Rosie Wallace survives on three slices of bread a day. Scarred by flame and metal, she makes her life as her ancestors have: making chains for the rich chain master, Matthew Joshua. There is no hope for a better future. No hope even for a green vegetable on the table. Her life will be making chains, marrying Jack, the boy she loves, and babies every year. But when an assault by the chain master’s son threatens the very fabric of her tenuous existence, Rosie finds the courage and the reason to fight for her own survival and the lives of her family and neighbours. Set in the first decade of the 20th century The Chainmakers’ Daughter is a haunting portrayal of abject poverty, ever-present death, and modern-day slavery. The Chainmakers’ Daughter is set in England, the Black Country from 1901 – 1910.
I have shown book one, but all three in this amazing family saga were a truly great read and contain shocking historical facts of which /I was totally unaware.
This last book is one that is so well written I lived in the story, I was there, lying helpless, and how terrifying that was. The dishes went unwashed, the bed unmade as nothing was going to tear me away from my kindle.
SOMEONE CLOSE TO HOME Alex Craigie
Talented pianist Megan Youngblood has it all – fame, fortune and Gideon.
But Gideon isn’t good enough for Megan’s ambitious, manipulative mother, whose meddling has devastating repercussions for Megan and for those close to her.
Now, trapped inside her own body, she is unable to communicate her needs or fears as she faces institutional neglect in an inadequate care home.
And she faces Annie. Sadistic Annie who has reason to hate her. Damaged Annie who shouldn’t work with vulnerable people. Just how far will Annie go?
I have found a new author in Alex Craigie and I love her work. As I read this book I could feel and experience what it must be like to lie helpless, dependent on others, not even able to speak. A chilling and emotive a book I will remember for years.
I’ve read over a hundred books this year, not all listed in my Goodreads challenge, but I have listed the top twelve that stood out for me and enriched my life. A huge thank you to all the authors, even if many are not on this list, but so many books have enriched my life.
Lucinda Spain December 2021