#Top22of22 Part 1
#Top22of22 Part 1
Jean Swinney writes for a small-time newspaper in Great Britain in the 1950‘s, not in a cabin in the woods in Concord, Massachusetts. Still, she easily could have penned the phrase, “Most women lead lives of quiet desperation.” When she gets the chance to investigate a story about a virgin birth, seemingly made more likely by the recent discovery of parthenogenesis in rabbits, she might finally find a life that‘s slightly louder and happier. 👇🏻
I was pleasantly surprised by this book. I say that not because I expected it to be bad, but because the story I read was not at all what I had expected when reading the summary. I throughly enjoyed the book and feel that even though it‘s categorized as a historical romance, the story and the well written human connections, feelings and struggles would lend itself to any fan of reading. I loved every plot and sub-plot included in this novel.
This book is bleak AF but for some reason it felt like a cosy, comforting hug. My first Clare Chambers but it certainly won‘t be my last. 👍🏼
I enjoyed this on audio. 4⭐️ I didn‘t fall in love with the characters, but it was an engaging historical novel with taboo breakers. I appreciated the end because I had completely forgotten the foreshadowing.
I would say Aunt Edie deserves her own spin-off!
I‘ve just started this and I can already tell that it‘s absolutely my sort of read!
Thanks again to @Cathythoughts for this lovely gift. 😘😘
It's book-hangover time again!
A reporter on a local paper investigates a claim of immaculate conception in 1950s Sidcup? Well, Clare Chambers, you've a hard sell on your hands there! Or so I thought: I loved it. She wrote her characters with real pathos amidst the shitty compromises of their lives. Not sure how I feel about that ending, though.
My second read of the year, recommended by a good friend. I really enjoyed this and found myself making time to read it (always a good sign). The characters are a rich tapestry of human life, love and interaction. and I loved how well the author conjured up what life was like in Kent and London in the 1950s. The ending was a bit of a surprise and perhaps my least favourite part, but I decided to be hopeful for all the characters involved. 4/5
Somewhere between a pick and a so so for me. I find 1950s Britain one of the most depressing places in history. I feel grey and repressed now. Explains a lot about my mum I can tell you! She once berated me for sending her a card and not putting Mrs on it….in case the postman didn‘t know she was married. I would say who cares, but she did, a lot.
So, well written but didn‘t thrill me. And that bloody ending!!
Hairdresser reading, thankfully had an app already this week. Given who knows what‘s going to happen (again).
12-18-21: My 127th finished book of 2021! What a lovely story. Jean, a reporter at a local Kent newspaper, is tasked with interviewing a woman, Gretchen, who claims to have had a “virgin birth”. While taking care of her ailing mom by night, during the day Jean starts the arduous task of finding proof to this woman‘s claim. She gets close to Gretchen and her family especially the child. ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ 👍🏼📖#️⃣1️⃣2️⃣7️⃣
Thank you so much, Cathy!!! The lovely Xmas dog-walking card only arrived yesterday and the book arrived today. How clever are you to tell me the initials of the title so that I knew this Book Depository delivery was from you?? 😆 I HAVEN‘T read it but I‘ve really wanted to … it‘s absolutely wonderful!
I wasn‘t quite as sharp as you but I did order a book for you this week from Book Depository (initials = TF).
Thanks again, sweet friend! 😘😘
This book was a pleasure to read, but I had to suspend my knowledge about journalism to believe it. It‘s 1957 and Jean is a spinster living with and caring for her mother while working as a reporter for the local daily. When a woman writes in saying that her daughter is the product of a virgin birth, Jean sets out to investigate while the woman and her daughter go for medical testing. Jean becomes compromisingly involved in the family‘s life. 😬
Another #NewYearWhoDis pick going on my TBR, this time from @LeeRHarry 🌸.
The story centers around a purported Virgin Birth & a lonely reporter who gets all tangled up with the family making the claim. It sounds like there‘s a lot of tenderness, as well as a “ripple of darkness.”
*Longlisted for the Women‘s Prize for Fiction*
Wow ! What a wonderful wonderful read ! A bookclub choice for us and I was alittle unsure about it , but it blew me away . The writing style quick and engaging a beautiful story I‘m amazed it‘s so poorly rated on goodreads ! Now want to read everything by this wonderful author
A lovely quiet novel of loneliness and duty with an unusual mystery and a surprising love affair thrown in. Told with simple prose and keenly observed period detail, I was swept along with the story. It‘s a beautifully written 50‘s suburban period piece, where Jean, a young journalist who takes care of her ailing mother, investigates the possibility of a woman‘s virgin birth after receiving an intriguing letter to her local paper.
This was good. Not amazing but a solid 3. Chambers combined 2 historical events that did not take place in the same time or place which I find a bit bizarre. She also barely touches on one of them but make a point of explaining in an author's note why she wrote about both.
Mostly a character study this is a fairly slow read that would have benefited from more action and depth. But I did keep picking it up to finish
A quiet but captivating story set in the 1950s of Jean, a journalist wanting to prove herself but held back by her demanding mother, and the relationship she forms with the Tilbury family whilst investigating Mrs Tilbury‘s claim of a virgin birth. Jean‘s quiet frustrations and loneliness are so well written and you‘re rooting for her throughout.
I really enjoyed this book. It didn't get on the shortlist for the Women's Price for Fiction. Jean is a journalist and investigates the case of Gretchen who claims to have given birth to a daughter without involvement of a man. Jean becomes friends with the whole family and spends lots of time with them. Which causes a few problems with her own mother who needs help. It is part mystery. It is quite gripping as you want to find out the truth.
Really enjoyed this one. I wasn‘t at all sure that a book about a small town newspaper journalist, in 1957, investigating a story about a woman claiming to have had a virgin birth was going to be up my street but it very much was. Lots of fab female characters and it manages to be uplifting as well as desperately sad.
It‘s the 1950s and Jean is working as a writer at the local newspaper. Jean is almost 40, never moved out and therefore still lives with her mother whom she takes care of.
One day at work she gets a letter from a woman claiming that the birth of her now 10 yr old daughter was a virgin birth.
Before Jean knows it, she is more involved in this family than she ever expected to be.
This book had a nostalgic feel to it.
All ready with my May #bookspin picks. I finally finished my April book yesterday afternoon. Hopefully the extra day in May will help this month! [Struggling to post this, will it be fourth time lucky?]
I‘ve just finished this book ... OMG what an ending ! Set in 1957 in London & Kent. There were times I could have killed Jean Swinney for all her goodness .. but I never expected that ending. A most engaging story & some lovely writing. I‘d like to read more by this author. So good 👍🏻❤️ another favorite from this year.
Book 11 of the #womensprize longlist.
Loved this tale of a suspected virgin birth in 1950s England. I thought I had the plot all worked out fairly early on, but I was wrong! it would certainly be near the top of my ‘favourites‘ shortlist. I‘m not sure however if it‘s quirky / groundbreaking / different enough to make the actual prize shortlist but I hope it does.
I need to pick up my pace with the reading ... So , I‘ve ordered some new books from Book Depository & just picked the tagged one up on kindle 🤞🏻
Still on audio with The Lying Life of Adults .. & completely blown away by it
Uhm... nope. I felt very uncomfortable reading about the main character inserting herself into this family and then even cheat on the wife, her *friend* with her husband??
#womensprize @squirrelbrain @BookishTrish