The importance of reading.

When I read an article in The Guadian, about book clubs in Prison libraries, I was reminded of the power of reading to change lives.

When I was a young girl, I spent my life in a virtual day dream and my reading ability suffered. Until a retired teacher took me and others aside and gave us focused reading lessons. He had faith in us and soon I had not only caught up, but strode ahead of my peers. My love of reading was ignited and has remained with me since that time.

There are many people out there, that have not been so lucky. Maybe they have been excluded from school, come from chaotic family backgrounds and ended up in prison as the result of poor personal choices!

Knowing that librarians and prisoners are working in this environment to encourage reading and learning, is heartening and goes someway to dismissing the negative attitude people have towards the notion of reform.

It’s a very positive article. Please give it a read.


Inside stories from a prison book group. Guardian On-line. Emily Rhodes, 27 April 2016.


World Book Night 2016.

World Book Night and World Book Day are such amazing events!

Tonight’s celebrations go to show how important reading remains in Britain and around the world. The community of readers will be giving out books to encourage people to read, or to widen their reading horizons. How wonderful is that?

I maybe be wrong, but I’m not aware of events where volunteers give up there time to hand out computer games for example! I know some will say it’s because reading is a dying past time, but book sales prove that statement wrong. It’s taking place because readers are passionate about books of all genres and want to share the books they love.

#WorldBookDay #WorldBookNight



Wake by Anna Hope

Anna Hope’s tale of loss and redemption skilfully weaves the journey of the unknown soldier from the battle fields of Europe to his final resting place in Westminster, with the lives of her three main characters Hettie, Evelyn and Ada.  Though unknown to each other, they are connected by events that took place during the war, by a destructive secret, which holds them and their families hostage to its devastating consequences.

It’s a beautifully told tale of a nation that was on the cusp of change, its collective grief over the deaths of so many men turning towards a future filled with hope and faith.  What the country needed and the three women of the tale need, is a catalyst to engineer this wholesale and individual healing process.  But can the three women except it’s time to move forward?

Anna Hope clearly shows that the only winner in war is war itself and illustrates this by exploring the crippling grief suffered especially by Evelyn and Ada. Neither woman at the opening of the tale has come to terms with the loss of their lover in the case of Evelyn and  Ada’s young son. Hettie has not suffered physical loss, her brother survived the war, but won’t speak, traumatized by the horrors he witnessed. For her, it’s the frustration of not being able to live her life, because she’s tied by obligation to her family.

I enjoyed this beautifully told tale, it spoke to me of pain and loss, but also of hope and regeneration, faith and love. The author captures the post war period with an intrinsic understanding of a nation left devastated by the brutal loss of a whole generation of men. Remarkably it’s not a tale that leaves the reader emotionally crippled by the focus on such utter devastation. For the three main characters and the larger supporting cast, there is hope for a life worth living, if they can only reach out and embrace it.

If you love fictional tales set around the time of the First World War, I would certainly recommend Wake by Anna Hope. It shares it emphasis on the quiet suffering of those who survived the war, with the superb and haunting -The Lie by Helen Dunmore.