Jubilee Violin by Jenny Worstall

I was having a browse around the Kindle Store the other day to see what the authors I enjoy reading had published recently when I realised that I hadn't read Jubilee Violin by Jenny Worstall.

I've enjoyed this author's writing already (see previous reviews of Peacock and Dragon; Infant Barbarian and Make a Joyful Noise) and as I fancied a quick read decided to try Jubilee Violin: a collection of three short stories.

One of the reasons Jenny Worstall is an interesting writer is that her experience of teaching and her love of music shines through her work. This collection is no exception as the theme of the first story is a shared love of the violin between an older and a younger player and the second story features a teacher struggling to achieve a work / life balance.

The third story draws on different sources and has an unexpected, rather macabre, twist in the ending.

Jenny Worstall writes in a clear, direct style and gives enough detail to create images in the reader's mind without losing the concise precision that makes a good short story. She is skilful at hinting and leaving readers to work it out for themselves. In fact the endings to the first and second stories are ambiguous and cleverly open-ended. The characters and their situations are very real and their emotions and dilemmas are easy to empathise with.

I enjoyed reading this collection which I think you might describe as a 'coffee break' read and for that it was ideal. You can get details of Jubilee Violin and all Jenny Worstall's other books on her Amazon author page or visit her website.

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Best Wishes,
Cathy

One Summer in France by Bev Spicer

Have you read Bunny on a Bike by Bev Spicer? If not check out my review here and the many other four and five star reviews in the Kindle Store. It's a really funny and entertaining book where you meet Bev and Carol as they start out in adult life. A really good read!

One Summer in France is what it says in the sub-title: the prequel to Bunny on a Bike and I found it even more funny and entertaining than the Bunny Book. In fact it's hilarious and if you're feeling a bit down in the dumps Bev and Carol will lift your spirits right up.

The Summer of '79: vegetable oil perfumed with patchouli for the perfect all-over tan!

Set in the days when a university education wasn't just a must-have on the C.V. for your next job and when the authorities paid you rather than you paying them, this book epitomises an era and reminded me of when I was young (or at least youngish). 

The purpose of the trip, and the university grant that pays for most of it, is to be immersed in French Culture. And Bev and Carol are certainly immersed but maybe not quite in the culture the university bursar had in mind when handing over the cheque; although at least Bev reads a lot of books.

Boys, booze and bikinis is a recipe for a great memoir and Bev Spicer has delivered this with style and a wonderful sense of humour.

What makes this such a good book is that as well as being so funny and entertaining it's beautifully written. Subtle inter-cutting of Bev's deeper thoughts and observations; scenes depicted with a poetic use of language demonstrate, once again, what a talented writer Bev Spicer is. Her ability to move between this type of book and her novels is very impressive. 

I'm looking out for more Bev and Carol memoirs and have A Good Day for Jumping waiting to be read on my Kindle.

You can get details of all Bev Spicer's book on her Amazon author page (she also writes as B.A. Spicer) and on her Blog.

Thanks for reading.

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Best Wishes,
Cathy