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I decided to read this as there has just been a film released based on the book.
The book is very descriptive in parts, and I can see how this would translate into film, saying that, it would probably cut out a lot of the story itself, and make for a short film. However the latter parts of the book where one of the characters has internal dialogue with himself, may possibly be better on film. I haven't seen the film, so I don't know.

Anyway, the blurb from the back of the book.

On the hottest day of the summer of 1934, thirteen-year-old Briony Tallis sees her sister strip off her clothes and plunge into the fountain in the garden of their coutry house. Watching her is Robbie Turner, her childhood friend who, like Cecilia, has recently come down from Cambridge.

By the end of the day the lives of all three will have changed forever. Robbie and Cecilia will have crossed a boundary they had not imagined at its start, and will have become victims of the younger girl's imagination. Briony will have witnessed mysteries, and commited a crime for which she will spend the rest of her life trying to atone.

I thought the book was going to be a slow read, but it soon pulled me in, and ended up sitting up to finish it last night. The blurb is deceptive, as the book is a lot more accesible than I thought it would be.

This was a bit of a departure from what I usually read. Not in the subject matter of the book, just that it is a book of short stories, and I don't usually go for short stories.
This is a great selection, all by the same author, and spans life's milestones. My personal favourite was a story called "The Sanctuary of Hands" . It tells of a woman tourist wanting to escape from the "rat race" after divorce, and she is holidaying alone, and intends to keep herself apart for the whole of the holiday. She decides on a cave tour one day, thinking she can keep apart, and I won't spoil the story. But she realsies that she can't keep herself apart from the human race because of the encounter that ensues.


Okay, first of all, I should state that I enjoy pretty much any fictionalisation of the Knights Templar and the time in which they lived. I have seen pretty much everything on the History Channel about them.
This is the second book in what is called the Brethren trilogy. I bought the first book, Brethren whilst in England last year and thoroughly enjoyed it. Although it was a slow read, I enjoyed every moment of it. This is the follow-up which I've already begun reading. Much of the action could easily be misinterpreted as events of today, so it serves to show how long this battle of faiths has been going on.

When I read all the blurb and whatnot on the covers of this book, I thought that they might be a little over stated. But as I read more and more I found myself agreeing with them.
The book is about a young girl and her quest for the "Truth" behind finding her teacher dead.
The blurb on the back of the book says;

She found her teacher dead - hanging by a piece of electrical cord.
The North Carolina police think it was suicide. Her former friends - the Bluebloods - blame her fro being there. And her father tells her to leave it alone. But Blue van Meer is a student of books and can't let a mystery go. Because all her life puzzles both complicated and intricate have littered her path - her mother's death in a car crash; a childhood spent roaming from town to town; her Dad's serial affairs.

Are these the fantasies of a teenager too lonely or too clever for her own good? Or has Blue stumbled on something so dark, so devious that her whole world is about to be flipped upside down?

Another bit on the cover compares the novel with The Secret History and The Virgin Suicides, I haven't read the second, but it is every bit as engaging as Tartt's novel. I would add another to compare it with, the end of this novel throws up similar questions as does Life of Pi, leaving the reader to decide on what they want to believe the novel to have meant.
As a first novel it is certainly memorable, and I would definitely be interested in another by the same author.

Anyone who's read at least the first book of the Harry Potter series will recognise the name of the main character of this book. One Nicholas Flamel, to the best of my knowledge the only real person featured in the HP series. He was a real alchemyst in the 1300s. This book also takes place in the 21st century and features Nicholas and his wife, Perenelle, also immortal, and a pair of teenaged twins they meet in San Francisco, California.

I actually stumbled across this book about a week ago while looking up information for a question on Yahoo Answers. It caught my eye enough that I immediately rang my local Borders Books and had them hold a copy for me. I didn't start reading immediately because I had to finish Tunnels which turned out to be a disappointment. *sigh*

If you like books involving magic (not the stage variety either), I highly recommend this book.

The cover of this book says, " A powerful blend of murder, mystery and romance set in the Ottoman court."

The book is set in 1886, and starts with the discovery of a naked woman's body washed up on the shores of the Bosphorus. It soon comes out that the woman is a foreigner. The investigator, Kamil, goes to the British Embassy in order to find out who the mystery woman could be. The chapters are short and to the point. At first the story seems disjointed until Kamil weaves all the threads together in his quest to discoverwho the woman was, and why she has been murdered. Sybil, the daughter of the English Ambassador helps him in his quest, by going amongst the women to find out what she can. (It being a Muslim country Kamil is iunable to question the women himself.) I ended up not being able to put this book down.

Compared to her other books, this is quite a thin book.
But in true Cornwell fashion it keeps you engaged, from start to finish.

A Massachusetts state investigator is aclled home from the National Forsensic Academy in Tennessee. His boss, an attractive but hard-charging woman, is running for governor, and as a showcase plans to use a new crime initiative called At Risk - motto: 'Any crime, any time.' She's looking for a way to employ cutting - edge DNA technology, and thinks she's found it in a twenty-year-old murder - in Tennessee. If her officer solves the case, they'll look pretty good, right?

Her investigator is not so sure, but before he can open his mouth a shoking piece of violence intervenes, an act that shakes up not only their lives but the lives of everyone around them.....

I really enjoyed this book, and as a stand alone novel it is good, but a little complex. If Cornwell is starting a new character, it's a brilliant introduction, as she gives the main character some good connections that could prove interesting in future books.

[Type in green, blurb from back of book.]

Have finished reading this book now. It had me totally hooked.The two narrators are searching for something they can't quite remember, their lives that they had before. Henry Day's almost obsessive search for his life before is misunderstood by his wife. Aniday's search, and the fact he doesn't age causes him to mix up people.It is worth going to the library and borrowing this. I knew little about the changeling myth, other than the fact Faeries were said to steal babies and young children, and leave one of their own in it's place. This takes that idea , and explores what could happen.

"The Stolen Child is a truly remarkable work, ringing unique changes on the ancient legend of the changeling, the child kidnapped into Faery, with a soulless double left in its place. Keith Donohue's poignant take ion the myth, rooting it in our time, and retelling it from alternating viewpoints of the two changelings, makes for one of the most touching and absorbing fantasies I have read for years." [Peter Beagle, author of The Last Unicorn]

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