Category Archives: Marcia Preston

West Of The Wall – Marcia Preston

Note – this review has spoilers, I couldn’t write it without them, sorry.

The lovely people of New Books Magazine ( had sent me the latest Marcia Preston ‘West of the Wall’ to read and review. I say this like I have a clue who Marcia Preston is and sadly I didn’t, it turns out that she is the writer of several books in fact so I am clearly not the fountain of all knowledge. This, her latest, is set in the time of The Berlin Wall and is all about the struggles of people on either side of it. I haven’t read anything around the Berlin Wall, and it has made me research that in depth, so full marks for an original subject. I was also really looking forward to reading a new author; you are hoping you find a new voice that you want to have the whole collection of.

The story follows Trudy; her husband has been helping people flee from East to West Berlin and has had to make the switch as his ‘secret’ work has meant he has endangered himself and his family. So he flees only once he cannot be caught Trudy herself falls under scrutiny and rumour and she too must escape. In doing so she leaves behind her mother in law and most heartbreakingly for her, her son. How can she get him to her side of the wall safely when she is destitute and has no contacts?

Oh throwing herself in front of the President’s car when he visits Berlin, being flown by a diplomat to America where he buys her a fabulous new wardrobe, makes her into some sort of celebrity before hitting her and blackmailing her, she flees and becomes Jackie Kennedy’s best friend. She comes back to Germany and you can guess the rest, or can you?

Until the American part of the book started I must admit that despite my first reservations of Marcia Preston’s novel she had hooked me in, I was really enjoying the novel until then. Also the final part back in Germany is very good too and she almost redeemed herself, but sadly not quite. Oh I haven’t mentioned my original reservations have I? From the cover and blurb I thought this was going to be a big granny romance, you know Mills & Boon but much, much longer and actually not as good. I was half write as it ended up like Pretty Woman with guns, regimes and some vicious American Politician. For some this will be the perfect read, sadly for me it was two thirds of a good novel, not a great one.


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Filed under Marcia Preston, Mira Books, Review

Whoops More Book Ban Breakage

I don’t normally count readitswapit books as part of the book ban as to me its simply an exchanging of the number of books I already own, in fact on occasion I have swapped on behalf of others decreasing my numbers, I’ll admit this is rare! I have however included one on here as two arrive in the post today along with some that arrived via me and the shops, oops, the latter were meant to be 5 for a pound… I got 7 for a pound. Charity shops are making life hard for book lovers of late.

West of the Wall – Marcia Preston
I didnt buy this or readitswapit, this is a book for review for New Books Magazine and I will be cracking on with this on the weekend. The guys there have sent me some good (The Palace of Strange Girls) bokos to review and some not so (Tales of Kipling Audiobook) so will be interesting to see how this fares.

Beneath The Blonde – Stella Duffy
The third Saz Martin novel in the series of lesbian crime or if we arent going to pigeon hole it, bloody good fiction with a criminal hint! Have started the series this month and now have this so am very excited.

The Untouchable – John Banville
I already have this biy bought it for Dom. Gay spies who work for the Queen in a novel based on true events, sometimes you couldnt make it up, eager to try a Banville this year.

Calendar Girl – Stella Duffy
This is another book for Polly, she really is a lucky madam, read it this month and its grand.

Breathing Lessons – Anne Tyler
I have mentioned the love of Digging To America and how I am determined to read more and more, this one won the Pulitzer Prize winner so thought it would be worth ago frankly. My mum really loves Anne Tyler.

Never Let Me Go – Kazuo Ishiguro
I have been recommended this book so many times that I think I need to knuckle down and read it. I have to say Artist of the Floating World was one of my lesser favourite book group books, but the man wrote Remains of the Day (also on my TBR pile) so am hoping this lives up to the hype.

Out – Natsuo Kirino
You are so right, I wasnt the biggest fan of her second book ‘Grotesque’ this month however this has won so many crime awards I thought would give her a go. This was my readitswapit book, am actually looking forward to this one a lot.

Book Of Evidence – John Banville
Loved the blurb, the idea of someone being a ‘murderer second’ I think sounds very clever, plus would like to try a shorter Banville first I think as though he is highly recommended have heard that he can be quite difficult. We’ll see if its true.

Feather Man – Rhyll McMaster
So many people were saying that this should have been on the Booker Longlist, plus it has an amazing cover. This will be read very soon I think, I dont want to be the last to be raving about a book, that happens far too often on this blog. They had another copy maybe should run and get Polly one?

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Filed under Anne Tyler, Book Thoughts, Kazuo Ishiguro, Marcia Preston, Natsuo Kirino, Stella Duffy