My Year In Books :: July

July Books
During July my reading was mainly lighthearted and I finished four books; the first three, as the titles suggest, being about ladies walking dogs. The fourth novel is the first of book of a family saga set in Ireland.

The Gordonston Ladies Dog Walking Club – Trilogy by Duncan Whitehead
When browsing the Kindle Daily Deals, the graphic and colours of the cover of this book caught my eye, and I’m glad they did. I raced through the first book in this trilogy and so badly wanted to know what happened next, immediately downloaded the next two in the series to my Kindle. All three stories take place in Savannah, Georgia, with a little back story excursion for one of the characters in the first book to Argentina.

The main dog walking club members are ladies (shall we say ‘of a certain age’?) who meet every afternoon to walk their dogs in the private park that serves the residents of Gordonston. Dog walking being the least of their activity, they sit in the park gossiping and drinking afternoon cocktails they’ve previously prepared and surreptitiously taken with them, while they leave the dogs to rush around and exercise themselves. When mourning the death of their friend who had been the founder of the club, jealousies centred on her bereaved husband arise. An infamous uncle, plots to avenge a wrong, memories that haunt a once successful children’s writer, a neighbour who has won the trip of a lifetime and someone marked for an unmarked grave are all part of the ever thickening plot. ‘He took one final draw on his cigarette before flicking the wet butt into the hole he had just dug’ is the opening line and from there on in I was hooked. Add to this the involvement of professional assassins and the secret service, all sprinkled with some lovely humour, the whole trilogy is a delightful, funny and clever tale.

A Pocket Full of Shells – Jean Reinhardt
This is book one of an Irish family saga in which a baby girl is born in 1846 to a young fisherman and his wife. The story unfolds during the Great Hunger of the Irish potato famine and follows the young family’s progress from the fishing village of Blackrock, near Dundalk, to Liverpool and Sunderland, telling of the effects it had on their lives and survival. A story of a young man’s love for his wife and child as he struggles to provide for a family in one of the darkest periods of Ireland’s history, is their love for each other and their homeland enough to sustain them or will they be forced to join the one and a half million who emigrate?

I found this to be a short and enjoyable read and look forward to reading the next two books in the saga.

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