A Week in Books · Books · Carol Drinkwater · Charlotte Mosley · Emma Mitchell · fiction · Kate McQuaile · Literary Lowdown · Non-Fiction · Shelf Control

Sarah’s Vignettes Literary Lowdown ~ 17 November 2019

Welcome to this week’s round-up of what’s been going on here at Sarah’s Vignettes, on social media, the books I’ve been adding to my shelves and other bookish delights. Keep scrolling to get the lowdown.

~ On the blog ~

Shelf Control, Bookshelf Fantasies

On Wednesday, I took part in a meme run by fellow book blogger Lisa over at Bookshelf Fantasies called Shelf Control. The idea is to choose a book on your bookshelf that you haven’t read yet and talk about when you got it and why you want to read it.

For this week’s post, I chose Without a Word by Kate McQuaile.

~ On social media ~

For #ThrowbackThursday, I chose The Lost Girl by Carol Drinkwater. The tweet below says it all!

~ On my bookshelf ~

I added 1 book to my bookshelf this week. I think my bookshelf might groan under the weight though as it’s 842 pages and in hardback.

An impromptu visit to Nymans (National Trust) this weekend, led to a mooch around their second-hand books shed. Of course, I couldn’t leave empty handed and this book stood out for me.

The Mitfords: Letters Between Six Sisters, edited by Charlotte Mosley

Carefree, revelatory and intimate, this selection of unpublished letters between the six legendary Mitford sisters, compiled by Diana Mitford’s daughter-in-law, is alive with wit, passion and heartbreak.

The letters chronicle the social quirks and political upheavals of the twentieth century but also chart the stormy, enduring relationships between the uniquely gifted – and collectively notorious – Mitford sisters. There’s Nancy, the scalding wit and bestselling novelist; Pamela, who craved a quiet country life; Diana, the fascist wife of Sir Oswald Mosley; Unity, whose obsession with Adolf Hitler led to personal tragedy; Jessica, the runaway communist; and Deborah, the socialite who became Duchess of Devonshire.

Writing to one another to confide, tease, rage and gossip, the Mitford sisters set out, above all, to amuse. A correspondence of this scope is rare; a collection penned by six born storytellers is irreplaceable.

~ On my bedside table ~

When Stars Will Shine: Helping our Heroes One Page at a Time, compiled by Emma Mitchell

I’m reading When Stars Will Shine, compiled by Emma Mitchell, ahead of my stop next month on the blog tour. I love reading short stories and the ones I have read so far in this collection are great.


What books you been reading and buying this week? Let me know by leaving a reply in the box below.

Until next week, happy reading!

Advanced Review Copy · Books · fiction · Kate McQuaile · Shelf Control

Shelf Control at Sarah’s Vignettes: Without a Word by Kate McQuaile

Shelf Control, Bookshelf Fantasies

Shelf Control is a meme run by Lisa @ Bookshelf Fantasies.  It is a weekly celebration of the unread books on our shelves.  Pick a book you own but haven’t read, write a post about it (suggestions: include what it’s about, why you want to read it, and when you got it), and link up!

For more info on what Shelf Control is all about, check out Lisa’s introductory post.


I love this idea of celebrating books on our book shelves that have been published for a while and we are yet to discover. I’m not choosing in any particular order. I’m just perusing my shelves and seeing what stands out for me at that moment.

This week, I have chosen:

Without a Word by Kate McQuaile

It was published in the UK by Quercus in October 2017.

~ What it’s about ~

I was there when it happened. I watched her disappear.

An emotional psychological drama from the author of the critically acclaimed novel What She Never Told Me.

Lillian had phoned telling her to get Skype up and running. ‘I have so much to tell you’. Lillian was wearing a white bathrobe and she was in for the evening. Then, suddenly, the knock on the door. ‘Sorry Orla, I’d better see who it is’ she said, getting up from the sofa. Orla waited. But the seconds became minutes. She didn’t know how long she waited before she realised that something terrible had happened.

For more than a decade, Lillian’s mysterious disappearance has remained unsolved, and Orla has found it impossible to move on. Then she receives an unexpected visit from Ned Moynihan, the Dublin detective who led the original investigation into Lillian’s vanishing. Moynihan has been receiving anonymous notes accusing him of having failed to investigate the case properly. He assumes the notes are coming from Orla. Yet Orla knows nothing of these letters – is somebody trying to tell them the truth about what really happened to Lillian that night?

~ When I added it to my book shelf ~

I won this proof copy of Without a Word after Quercus ran a competition on their Twitter page in December 2017.

~ Why I want to read it ~

Without a Word sounds like an engaging, absorbing page turner of a thriller! I remember hearing a lot of good things about it at the time too.