The Battle of Trafalgar Square – David Winship

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The Battle of Trafalgar Square david winship history author goodreads netgalley book books review blog diary of difference diaryofdifference

★★

I have this rule about books being sent to me – I try to read and review them all, because people spent time, effort and resources to write and share their works with readers. I received this book through a giveaway on LibraryThing almost a year ago, and decided it was time to give it a go. 

This being said, my readers are the most important thing in the world. My reviews simply cannot be compromised, no matter how I acquire a book.

I think I should stop babbling now, and start talking about this book.

I dived into ‘’The Battle of Trafalgar Square’ not knowing what to expect. This is a book where two pigeons are the main characters and through dialogue and presentation they share this historic battle, but from their point of view.

It is lucky that this book is only 120 pages long, because otherwise I wouldn’t have finished it. It is a boring book, where one pigeon is desperately trying to tell this story of the battle, and the other pigeon is disturbingly annoying and keeps interrupting. The second pigeon also has terrible grammar knowledge. And even though I know this is on purpose, I applaud the author for the wittiness, but couldn’t enjoy it. Some people might find this funny though, and that’s also okay.

The idea of pigeons telling a story is quite interesting and unique to me, and this is something I admire about this book (therefore, the two stars). However, the plot is unstable, and the story keeps being interrupted and delayed to a point where I started to get fed up. I also expected some more references of the actual historical moment. The only references in the book are the pigeons that were in the battle and had names of famous leaders. However, their pigeon story was not similar to our history books. I really think that keeping the story as close as possible to the real event would have made a difference in this book.

Not an enjoyable read for me, but if the plot sounds like something you might enjoy – go for it. Try it out. Your opinion is also valid!

Until next time! x

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Once Upon a River – Diane Setterfield [BOOK REVIEW]

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★★

‘’A river no more begins at its source than a story begins with the first page.’’

Once Upon a River by Diane Setterfield is a story that had the perfect plot potential to be amazing, but it didn’t deliver at all. As a huge fan of storytelling, this was a big disappointment for me, the biggest one so far in 2019. 

‘’There are stories that may be told aloud, and stories that must be told in whispers, and there are stories that are never told at all.’’

The story happens in a small city, on the river Thames. It features the pub Swan, where people gather every night, and everyone knows each other, and they all tell stories all night and enjoy their company.

If you have ever been to England, it is so easy to imagine the setting of a pub, warm place, crowded with people laughing and talking loudly, glasses clinking and people singing random songs in the background. A lot of positive noise and enchanting atmosphere.

And one night, the usual setting is being disturbed, when a man enters the pub with a little girl in his arms, and then passes away. The girl appears to not be breathing for a while, and everyone thinks she is dead, but suddenly, she is breathing again. And the man that is with her is not her father.

As the town is used to, they make stories of it. How it happened, who is the father, does she have a family, why was she drowning in the river… The plot entangles when the family is to be found of the little girl, but a few people claim she is their relative.

‘’Something happens and then something else happens and then all sorts of other things happen, expected and unexpected, unusual and ordinary.’’

The storytelling and the writing of the author was beautiful. At times. The beginning was a paradise for booklovers. The best first chapters I read this year. But after the plot opening, everything started going downhill.

It felt like being on this rollercoaster,excited, going slowly upwards, slowly reaching the top, ready to fall so fast, ready for an adventure, only for them to tell you that there is a fault, and you have to get back and exit the ride without even making the adventure out of it.

I wanted to love it. The writing at parts was great, and I am including a lot of quotes throughout the review, because I loved those parts. But the chapters and characters were too many, and things were happening too fast and without a purpose, that it was hard for me to pick up the pace. I had to leave the book and pick it up again, and it took me three months to complete it. A hard book to swallow and process.

Thank you to Netgalley and the publisher, Random House UK, Transworld Publsihers for sending me an e-copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

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Day Of The Accident – Nuala Ellwood [BOOK REVIEW]

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★★★★★

When Maggie wakes up from a coma, her whole life has changed. The nurse tells her that she has been in an accident, her little daughter is dead, and her husband sold the house and left her.

Maggie doesn’t remember a thing.

With no home, no family, and no memory, she has to find a way and discover what happened that day.

A thriller that will uncover the greatest of secrets everyone could have. A nail-biter, this one, I tell you.

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The Camelot Shadow – Sean Gibson [BOOK REVIEW]

‘’I can either tell you my tale, or I can respond to your feeble witticisms. I cannot, in my mildly inebriated state, do both.’’

This is not your usual story related to King Arthur, Merlin and Camelot. This will, in fact, be quite different story and not only unusual, but one of a kind.

We go back in time when Queen Victoria was ruling over England. In a time when the author really liked to point out the fact that the characters are using trains. It was pointed out so much, that I had to do a bit of research to see if trains existed in that time. They did – apparently England had the oldest rail transport in the world. And Queen Victoria was one of the first royals to use that form of transport too.

Now, I am not even sure why I kept going on about trains… Back to the story…

The Camelot Shadow covers the story of Lord Alfred Fitzwilliam, a man whose wife is ill from an incurable illness. When an opportunity arises, giving him the chance and hope that he might save the life of his lover, he goes on a mission to find an object from the time when King Arthur was the ruler of England, and Merlin was his companion.

With a help from a group of people, Alfred digs the history and the stories of the past, only to discover that not everything he believed in was true, and not everyone that he trusted is his ally.

A story that reminded me of Dan Brown’s work. Quite similar in the sense of clues, history, what is a myth and what is a fact, though also quite distinctive, as it covers people’s characters so well, describing their personalities in a powerful way.

‘’Wealth. Status. Happiness. A perfect life. All built on an ephemeral foundation, an impossibility masking a lie that, if exposed, if openly acknowledged, would bring it all crashing down around our heads.’’

When a great disappointment comes around, and all hope is gone, people change, and people feel things. A person starts to wonder what they did wrong, what could they have done differently, what if… Alfred is one of the people where we will see his change over the chapters. For better or for worse, I’ll let you decide.

‘’It was Guinevere’s infidelity that brought down Arthur’s Camelot’’ – he said, wiping a trickle of Scotch from his chin with the back of his sleeve. ‘’It was God’s cruelty that brought down mine.’’

A book that explains good and evil in the unusual way. I thought I could explain good and evil, but sometimes my evil can do you good, and your good can do harm to everyone. And power… oh what people are capable to do for power…

‘’Power, Arthur had taught him, was not something to covet, but rather something to treat in the same manner one might handle a wild mastiff – with considerable respect, constant vigilance, and a trace of fear. ‘’

If you are a fan of history fiction, and stories about Arthur and Merlin, you would definitely want to dive in into this book and get lost into the world. And that is not the only thing that this book covers… It covers hope, faith, loss, love, good, evil, power, guilt and everything in between. Get ready for an adventure. One full of bravery and magic. And maybe… maybe some hope.

A huge thank you to the author, Sean Gibson, who was kind enough to give me an e-copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

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Wrebbit 3D Puzzle CAMELOT King Arthur’s Camelot 3D Puzzle (865-Piece)

Coming Home – Fern Britton [BOOK REVIEW]

I had the pleasure to receive a copy of this book from GoodReads and HarperCollins. This was the first book I have read from Fern Britton, and I know it won’t be my last for sure!

Coming Home is based in Cornwall, England, a beautiful seaside area with loads of fisherman around. The author describes the place so well, that it made me want to go there, just to see it and be close to the characters. It reminds me of South Shields very much as well.

This is a story of one family, three generations and their difficult lives entwined with love, pain, leaving and coming back home.

Sennen is a woman that leaves her hometown, her parents and her two little children (Ella and Henry) at 17-years-old because life gets too hard to handle.

Ella and Henry are raised by their grandparents and live their whole life without their mother in their lives – until one day, Sennen comes back and wants to be a part of their lives. But are they ready for it?

We see the story through the eyes of Sennen, Ella and Henry and the grandparents. We travel from one generation to the other through the years, and we learn a lot for each of the characters. It is so well-written, that I wasn’t confused at all. Usually I get confused when authors try to do this in other books, but this one was definitely not the case.

This is one of those books that will hook you from the very first pages! The characters are so warm and close to the heart, that I felt like I have known them forever. I felt close to them and their feelings and thoughts, that I could have easily gone out and have a conversation with them. It is one of those books that fills you with anticipation, then gives you a back-story, and just when you thought things will happen as you thought, you will discover a surprise.

Wonderful plot and beautifully written – this is a book of love, family, broken and fixed hearts. This is a book that will make you cry while waiting for a train, and laugh out loud while drinking a hot chocolate in a coffee shop.

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