Monday, 25 June 2007

Roots and All, A History of the Eaton & Hastings families by Dinah Eaton

From the back cover

"There are more skeletons and high dramas within Dinah Eaton’s family than most family historians could ever wish for. She has traced her own and her husband’s forebears back to the mid-eighteenth century with contributions from around the world. Family members, and lovers of family history, will find this a fascinating story. The story of the EATONS, firmly ensconced in Kent (Rochester and Gravesend), starts with George Eaton (1761) joining the West Kent Militia during the Napoleonic Wars. The MATTHEWS and MERRITT families were from Market Lavington in Wiltshire. William Merritt was an informer during the local Swing Riots in 1832. His illegitimate granddaughter was brought up by a member of the aristocratic Knollys family. The FINCHES from Aylesford and the GOODWINS from Northfleet (both in Kent) led more conventional lives and were pawnbrokers, publicans, coopers and thatchers. Generations of the HASTINGS family joined the Royal Navy. Charles (1788) was killed in Australia, son Charles was shipwrecked off Chile in 1835 and rescued by Captain FitzRoy of Beagle fame. The RAYNERS from Yorkshire had mining and medical connections. Follow the lives of six children orphaned in 1866 when both parents died. The HEATHS worked in the lace industry in Nottingham and the JONES were from Margate in Kent. Dinah’s German great great grandfather was a LOEWENSTEIN lost over-board in the North Sea in 1863. Later generations led chequered lives with intrigue and scandal which shocked the family in the early 1900s."

The author's web page is HERE

I've been asked to review this book for the Hampshire Genealogical Society, whose website is HERE

ISBN - 09552605-0-7

Here is my review:

At just under 500 pages, Roots and All, A History of the Eaton & Hastings families, is an impressive account of the author's family and that of her husband. Complete with 30 genealogical trees indicating line of descent, 340 photographs, 12 maps & original pen & ink sketches. Thoroughly researched, indexed and footnoted, this is a fascinating account of the author's family history and an ideal source of inspiration to fellow Genealogists, and not to mention a very enjoyable read!

Night by Elie Wiesel

I hadn't intended to start reading this one as soon as it was opened from the delightful NSSSS parcel, but I did. The front cover reveals "A slim volume of terrifying power - The New York Times", That is a very accurate assessment of this little book, which contains only 120 pages. The harrowing story of the author and his struggle for survival.

I'm going to rate this little book a 9/10. Not because It was a good read, like isisjem, I don't feel that I can rate it with that in mind, but purely because a piece of the book remains with me.

Thursday, 21 June 2007

The Dangerous Sports Euthanasia Society by Christine Coleman

What a super book, Only put down once I started it because various life events made me! The characters were written and developed with a sense of realness to them. I loved the character of Agnes, who at nearly 75 years "escapes" the old people's home she is residing in to visit her grandchildren. Once she has embarked upon her journey she meets new people and makes friends with those who want her to succeed in her quest. While Agnes is on her journey, her son Jack is on a different type of journey, he is struggling with his inner being, thinking back on perhaps the things he could have done differently, with his ex wife, his mother and with Monica his new partner. Jack is worried that something terrible has happened to Agnes. Meanwhile, a young and inexperienced policeman believes Jack is guilty of a serious crime.

This signed copy going into my permanent collection for a while.

Friday, 15 June 2007

The Perfect Paragon (An Agatha Raisin Mystery) by M C Beaton

Another wonderful read in the life of Agatha, with her friend Charles and all the usual village friends. Agatha is pining for James Lacey,is getting on with her detective business, but is she keeping out of trouble?!!

Toast: The Story of a Boy's Hunger by Nigel Slater

This was one of the Times reads for 99p range earlier this year. A delightful book, written as a series of small recollectings of past times. Funny in places with some sad bits and lots of descriptive bits about food, and his childhood.

I enjoyed this, as I read it I also took a trip down memory lane, school milk, which has a very similiar effect on me to that of the author, having suffered a similiar fate as a child at junior school. The ponderings of an artic roll, we had one for desert about three days after I read this, the first time in probably 25 years! not to mention the walnut whips I purchased and consumed as a result of memory lane!

Capability's Eden by Diana Saville

I wasn't sure how I felt about this book when I finished it a few weeks ago, and I am still not sure now.

It is the story of Robert, a landscape architect who has devoted his life to his work and the cost of his wife, well ex wife and daughter. Offered a job in the South West of England to create The Garden of Eden. Robert accepts the job and is soon caught up in the work and things spiral out of control.

Knitting by Anne Bartlett

I read this over the last week or so, while my internet connection was done, by coincidence almost a year to the day from placing on a teetering mount TBR.

A really gentle story of Sandra who is a widow, who helps a stranger in the street who has had an accident. She leaves her card with a fellow bystander, Martha. As time progresses the three of them meet, each wrestling with their innerselves and trying to deal with their personal issues. Martha is a very keen knitter who helps Sandra host an exhibition of women's knitting and textiles.

This is more than a story about a couple of women interested in wool. It is the story of acceptance,grief,understanding and tolerance; and most of all, friendship.


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