Ghosts by Daylight by Janine di Giovanni

About the book

Janine and Bruno first fell in love as young reporters in the besieged city of Sarajevo. Years later – after endless phone calls, much of what the French call malentendu, secret trysts in foreign cities, numerous break-ups, three miscarriages, countless stories of rebel armies and a dozen wars that had passed between them – they arrive in Paris one rainy January to begin a new life together. The remnants of their separate lives, now left behind, are tentatively unpacked into their shared apartment on the Right Bank: Bruno’s heavy blanket from Ethiopia, a set of long feathered arrows from Brazil, an ash tray stolen from a hotel in Algeria, and Janine’s flak-jacket and canvas boots, still full of sand from the Western Desert in Iraq. But having met in another lifetime – in another world – ordinary, civilian life doesn’t come easily. War has become part of them: it had brought them together, and, though both are damaged by it, neither can quite leave it behind. And the difficult journey that follows, through their mix of joy and terror at becoming parents, Bruno’s battle with post-traumatic stress and addiction, and Janine’s determination to make France her home, leads to an understanding of the truth that people who deeply love each other cannot always live together.

Reviewed by Bridewell Beauties

“The timeline was confusing. A vivid and detailed account about the horrors of war. Brilliantly written and atmospheric. An in depth account re the effects on correspondents”

star rating ***

 

Read this book

Request to borrow a reading book set

http://www3.hants.gov.uk/borrow-book-sets.htm

The Boy With No Shoes by William Horwood

About the book

Five-year-old Jimmy Rova is the unwanted child of a mother who rejects him, and whose other children bully him. The one thing he can call his own is a pair of shoes, a present from the only person he feels has ever loved him. When they are cruelly taken away, Jimmy spirals down into a state of loneliness and terrible loss from which there seems no recovery. This triumphant story of a boy’s struggle with early trauma and his remarkable journey into adulthood is based on William Horwood’s own remarkable childhood in south-east England after the Second World War. Using all the skills that went into the creation of his modern classics, Horwood has written an inspiring story of a journey from a past too painful to imagine to the future every child deserves.

Reviewed by Ladies of an Age Reading Group:

Made some of us laugh and cry. An evocative view of childhood in a coastal town in post-war Britain. Prompted lots of discussion within our group. Glad to see a happy ending!

Star rating: ***

Read the book

Request to borrow a reading group set