There were some new reads however mixed in and I enjoyed four of these enough to mention here.
Princess and the Suffragette by Holly Webb.
Back in 2015 I was very excited by Webb's updated sequel to A Secret Garden and I'm really pleased to say that she's done it again! This is a follow on to another Hodgson Burnett story (A Little Princess) and follows the lives of the girls left at Miss Minchin's seminary after Sara left. As stated in the title it is about the women's suffrage movement and I found it gripping - one that really should get lots and lots of attention next year as we mark 100 years of women getting the (limited) vote.
Wonder by R. J. Palaccio
I'm not sure how I've missed this book for so long, I know that colleagues have loved it and recommended it to me but somehow it just never rose to the top of the pile. However Mr Norfolkbookworm went to a preview of the film adaptation and was really impressed so I read the book. It is powerful and moving, as being a good tale. It borders on being didactic, saccharine and predictable but through beautiful writing and clever narration it stays just the right side of these line (for me) and was just a wonderful book that did make me cry.
Why Mummy Drinks by Gill Simms
I love reading Simms posts on Facebook where she chronicles her chaotic life in the form of spoof Peter and Jane tales. I expected that this book was going to be just a collection of these social media posts but instead it was a full novel, told in diary form, using the same style as the posts. I laughed a lot.
White Chrysanthemum - Mary Lynn Bracht
This book was a proof thanks to Net Galley and is set in Korea starting in the Second World War. It deals with the Japanese occupation and atrocities, then the internal problems caused by the politics post war which ultimately led to the Korean War, the ramifications of these two conflicts then echo down the generations to the modern day. I knew a little of the history here, especially regarding the Japanese history but what came next horrified me.
In following the lives of two sisters we get up close and personal to this history and it isn't easy reading at all, at times it is horrific. However I feel that this is an important part of history all too often glossed over in the name of reconciliation and rehabilitation - there are a lot of lost stories in this part of the world that need to be told, whether in history books or in fantastic fiction like this.