Top Five Tuesday was originally created by Shanah @ Bionic Book Worm, but is now hosted by Meeghan @ Meeghan Reads. To participate, link your post back to Meeghan’s blog or leave a comment on her weekly post.
This is my first attempt at a Top Five Tuesday post. This week it’s about books with plants on their covers, so here are mine. I’ve read all of them except for one.
Heat Wave by Penelope Lively, with its cover full of summer flowers, reflecting the long hot summer in the English countryside.
Pauline is spending the summer at World’s End, a cottage somewhere in the middle of England. This year the adjoining cottage is occupied by her daughter Teresa and baby grandson Luke; and, of course, Maurice, the man Teresa married. As the hot months unfold, Maurice grows ever more involved in the book he is writing – and with his female copy editor – and Pauline can only watch in dismay and anger as her daughter repeats her own mistakes in love. The heat and tension will lead to a violent, startling climax.
In Heat Wave, Penelope Lively gives us a moving portrayal of a fragile family damaged and defined by adultery, and the lengths to which a mother will go to protect the ones she loves.
The Lady of the Ravens by Joanna Hickson – a striking cover for this historical fiction about the early years of Henry VII’s reign.
My baptismal name may be Giovanna but here in my mother’s adopted country I have become plain Joan; I am not pink-cheeked and golden-haired like the beauties they admire. I have olive skin and dark features – black brows over ebony eyes and hair the colour of a raven’s wing…
When Joan Vaux is sent to live in the shadow of the Tower of London, she must learn to navigate the treacherous waters of this new England under the Tudors. Like the ravens, Joan must use her eyes and her senses, if Henry and his new dynasty are to prosper and thrive.
A Month in the Country by J L Carr. I loved this quiet novel, in which not a lot happens and yet so much happens as Tom describes the events of that summer month in the country. And it has a gorgeous cover too!
A damaged survivor of the First World War, Tom Birkin finds refuge in the quiet village church of Oxgodby where he is to spend the summer uncovering a huge medieval wall-painting. Immersed in the peace and beauty of the countryside and the unchanging rhythms of village life he experiences a sense of renewal and belief in the future. Now an old man, Birkin looks back on the idyllic summer of 1920, remembering a vanished place of blissful calm, untouched by change, a precious moment he has carried with him through the disappointments of the years. Adapted into a film starring Colin Firth, Natasha Richardson and Kenneth Branagh, A Month in the Country traces the slow revival of the primeval rhythms of life so cruelly disorientated by the Great War.
The Overstory by Richard Powers. This was recommended to me by a friend and I bought this last year but I still haven’t read it yet. I love its cover.
An artist inherits a hundred years of photographic portraits, all of the same doomed American chestnut. A hard-partying undergraduate in the late 1980s electrocutes herself, dies, and is sent back into life by creatures of air and light. A hearing- and speech-impaired scientist discovers that trees are communicating with one another. An Air Force crewmember in the Vietnam War is shot out of the sky, then saved by falling into a banyan.
This is the story of these and five other strangers, each summoned in different ways by the natural world, who are brought together in a last stand to save it from catastrophe.
The Way Through the Woods by Colin Dexter – an Inspector Morse book. An atmospheric cover for this mystery that Morse solves from crossword type clues, with plenty of twists and turns and vivid descriptions of the scenery and locations.
They called her the Swedish Maiden – the beautiful young tourist who disappeared on a hot summer’s day somewhere in North Oxford. Twelve months later the case remained unsolved – pending further developments.
On holiday in Lyme Regis, Chief Inspector Morse is startled to read a tantalizing article in The Times about the missing woman. An article which lures him back to Wytham Woods near Oxford . . . and straight into the most extraordinary murder investigation of his career.