janine marsh

My Good Life in France: In Pursuit of the Rural Dream

Author: Janine Marsh

Language: English

Summary: One grey dismal day, Janine Marsh was on a trip to northern France to pick up some cheap wine. She returned to England a few hours later having put in an offer on a rundown old barn in the rural Seven Valleys area of Pas de Calais. This was not something she’d expected or planned for. Janine eventually gave up her job in London to move with her husband to live the good life in France. Or so she hoped. While getting to grips with the locals and la vie Française, and renovating her dilapidated new house, a building lacking the comforts of mains drainage, heating or proper rooms, and with little money and less of a clue, she started to realize there was lot more to her new home than she could ever have imagined.Ten years ago, Janine Marsh decided to leave her corporate life behind to fix up a run-down barn in northern France. This is the true story of her rollercoaster ride, in many ways a love story, with her sharp observations on the very different way of life, culture and etiquette of France. From her early struggles and homesickness through personal tragedy, to her attempts to become self-sufficient and to breed ‘the fattest chickens in the village’, Janine learned that there was more to her new home than she could ever have imagined. – Source: Amazon.com

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Ghana must go

Author: Taiye Selasi

Language: English

Summary: Electric, exhilarating, and beautifully crafted, Ghana Must Go introduces the world to Taiye Selasi, a novelist of extraordinary talent. In a sweeping narrative that takes readers from Accra to Lagos to London to New York, it is at once a portrait of a modern family and an exploration of the importance of where we come from to who we are. A renowned surgeon and failed husband, Kweku Sai dies suddenly at dawn outside his home in suburban Accra. The news of his death sends a ripple around the world, bringing together the family he abandoned years before. Moving with great elegance through time and place, Ghana Must Go charts their circuitous journey to one another and, along the way, teaches us that the truths we speak can heal the wounds we hide. – Source: Amazon.com

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Minaret: A novel

Author: Leila Aboulela

Language: English

Summary: Leila Aboulela’s American debut is a provocative, timely, and engaging novel about a young Muslim woman — once privileged and secular in her native land and now impoverished in London — gradually embracing her orthodox faith. With her Muslim hijab and down-turned gaze, Najwa is invisible to most eyes, especially to the rich families whose houses she cleans in London. Twenty years ago, Najwa, then at university in Khartoum, would never have imagined that one day she would be a maid. An upper-class Westernized Sudanese, her dreams were to marry well and raise a family. But a coup forces the young woman and her family into political exile in London. Soon orphaned, she finds solace and companionship within the Muslim community. Then Najwa meets Tamer, the intense, lonely younger brother of her employer. They find a common bond in faith and slowly, silently, begin to fall in love. Written with directness and force, Minaret is a lyric and insightful novel about Islam and an alluring glimpse into a culture Westerners are only just beginning to understand. – Source: Amazon.com

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Call the midwife: a true story of the East End in the 1950s

Author: Jennifer Worth

Language: English

Summary: Jennifer Worth came from a sheltered background when she became a midwife in the Docklands in the 1950s. The conditions in which many women gave birth just half a century ago were horrifying, not only because of their grimly impoverished surroundings, but also because of what they were expected to endure. But while Jennifer witnessed brutality and tragedy, she also met with amazing kindness and understanding, tempered by a great deal of Cockney humour. She also earned the confidences of some whose lives were truly stranger, more poignant and more terrifying than could ever be recounted in fiction. Attached to an order of nuns who had been working in the slums since the 1870s, Jennifer tells the story not only of the women she treated, but also of the community of nuns (including one who was accused of stealing jewels from Hatton Garden) and the camaraderie of the midwives with whom she trained. Funny, disturbing and incredibly moving, Jennifer’s stories bring to life the colourful world of the East End in the 1950s. – Source: Amazon.com

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Mind the gap: a London underground miscellany

Author: Emily Kearns

Language: English

Summary: This fascinating miscellany takes us on a round-trip through every aspect of the London Underground, from the history of its construction to its many appearances in books, films and popular music, giving a glimpse into the technical marvels beneath our feet and the many human stories that play out in its trains and tunnels every day. Source: amazon.co.uk

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Walking the Thames river path: one woman’s solo journey of adventure and self-discovery

 

Author: Joyce Mackie

Language: English

Summary: This inspiring memoir traces the 184-mile solo walk taken by a sixty-nine year old woman as she follows the Thames River from its source in the Cotswolds to its estuary at the North Sea. Past picturesque locks, breathtaking vistas, and ancient sites in the charming
English countryside, then through the more populated areas of Oxford, Henley, Windsor, and London, this journey of adventure and self-mastery will capture your imagination and send you off to plan a journey of your own.
Totally lost on the first day of her walk and failing to reach her destination before dark, she struggles to stay calm each day and deal with uncertainty and the unexpected—falling backwards into a bed of brambles, threading her way through a herd of cattle on deserted miles of countryside, and discovering one day that the Path was closed due to hoof and mouth disease.
“History buffs will delight in the book’s historical details”, says one reader. And they will enjoy the author’s perspective on famous sites of London—Soho, Piccadilly Circus, Trafalgar Square, St. Paul’s Cathedral, and the Tower of London. Hikers will be pleased with the travel tips, and a list of what to pack. Whether you decide to walk the Path, or are content to enjoy the tale from your armchair, you will want to select this book now. Source: amazon.com

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