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Monday, 30 September 2019

#OneWinterMorning @Isabelle_Broom @MichaelJBooks

About One Winter Morning 

Genie isn't feeling very festive this December. The frosty mornings and twinkling fairy lights only remind her it's been a whole year since she lost her adoptive mother, who took her in as a baby and raised her as her own.

She's never felt more alone - until she discovers her birth mother's identity. 

And where to find her: New Zealand, half the world away. 

Travelling there could be her one chance to meet the woman who gave her up. 

But will she find the answers she has been looking for? Or something she could never have expected? 

 One Winter Morning is a heart-warming, moving and life-affirming story for fans of Hannah Beckerman, Lucy Diamond and Paige Toon.

My review of One Winter Morning

One Winter Morning is a book about love, loss, the importance of family and that everyone is deserving of happiness. This book is filled with so much warmth and heart and humour, that I couldn't help but love it. Such a joy to read. 

One Winter Morning tackles difficult subjects, such as bereavement and depression, with great sensitivity and insight. Genie is a young woman who is struggling with life, stuck in a type of limbo, not quite sure of where to go or what to do. It's her father who gives her the push and encouragement she needs to explore the world, to search for her birth mother and to forge a new life for herself. Genie is such an interesting character and I warmed to her immediately. I wanted  her to be happy, to have a happy life.

We also get to travel to New Zealand and explore its people, culture and stunning scenery. This aspect of the book was beautifully done. I now feel as if I know New Zealand, and the allure it held for Genie. Of course, she travels their to find her birth mother, Bonnie, but as in all great fiction, nothing ever goes to plan, and as a result we read an absorbing and hugely enjoyable story with so much heart and emotion.

One Winter Morning is such an emotional read. I felt as if I really knew Bonnie and Genie by the end of the book. They had become good friends to me and I didn't want to let them go. Such a joyful book that is full of hope. I loved it.

With thanks to the publisher for the Advanced Reader Copy.

One Winter Morning is published by Michael Joseph on 17th October. 

Wednesday, 25 September 2019

#Postscript @Cecelia_Ahern @fictionpubteam

About Postscript

The long-awaited sequel to the bestselling PS, I Love You

It's been seven years since Holly Kennedy's husband died – six since she read his final letter, urging Holly to find the courage to forge a new life.

She’s proud of all the ways in which she has grown and evolved. But when a group inspired by Gerry's letters, calling themselves the PS, I Love You Club, approaches Holly asking for help, she finds herself drawn back into a world that she worked so hard to leave behind.

Reluctantly, Holly beings a relationship with the club, even as their friendship threatens to destroy the peace she believes she has achieved. As each of these people calls upon Holly to help them leave something meaningful behind for their loved ones,

Holly will embark on a remarkable journey – one that will challenge her to ask whether embracing the future means betraying the past, and what it means to love someone forever

My review of Postscript

Oh where on earth do I start with this beautifully emotive and sensitively written book? It's stunning. It made me laugh. It made me cry. It made me want to stop time and to be thankful for the people in my life. It made me think about the people I have lost. Holly's  story had a deep and resonating impact upon me, and I loved it. 

We meet Holly seven years after Gerry's passing. It was so lovely to be in her company again. It was like being reunited with an old friend. We find that life has moved on, that Holly now works with her sister and is in a relationship with a good man, Gabriel. But has she really moved on? It's when Holly is introduced to the PS I Love You Club that old wounds are reopened and Holly begins to examine her life, her future and if helping the members of the club will heal or destroy her.

Postscript is a highly emotional read. It deals with death and terminal illness in a sensitive and empathetic manner. But it's important to add that there is humour in this book. You can't have shade without light, and this is the balance that is struck so beautifully in this book. It makes you laugh. It makes you cry. It makes you value life. 

Holly's story is very much about moving on. About being brave and striving for a future that is unknown, but which is one of your own choosing. Life isn't static, it is ever moving. We read Holly's thoughts and feelings, in that she doesn't want to forget Gerry, the man she loved from age fourteen, and I completely understood this. She wants his memory to live on. She doesn't want to forget him. But can she do so while forging her own path in life? One that takes her further away from him.

I thoroughly enjoyed this story of love, friendship and the fact that people come together in times of adversity to support and nurture each other. It's a beautiful story about bereavement and hope and a future that is uncertain for us all. I loved it very much. 

With thanks to the publisher for the Advanced Reader Copy for review purposes.

Postscript is published by Harper Collins and is available now. 

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Monday, 23 September 2019

#IWillMakeYouPay @TeresaDriscoll @AmazonPub

I Will Make You Pay

Every Wednesday, like clockwork, the terror returns.

It seems like an ordinary Wednesday, until the phone rings. A mysterious caller with a chilling threat. Journalist Alice Henderson hangs up, ready to dismiss it as a hoax against the newspaper. But the next Wednesday, the stalker makes another move—and it becomes clear that this is all about Alice.
Someone wants her to suffer, but for what? Her articles have made her a popular local champion—could it be her past rather than her work that’s put her life in danger? Alice is determined not to give in to fear, but with the police investigation at a dead end, her boyfriend insists on hiring private investigator Matthew Hill.
With every Wednesday the warnings escalate, until it’s not only Alice but also her family in the stalker’s sights. As her tormentor closes in, can Alice uncover what she’s being punished for before the terrifying threats become an unthinkable reality?

My review Of I Will Make You Pay

I Will Make You Pay is an addictive psychological thriller that I didn't want to put down. The story revolves around journalist, Alice Henderson, and a threatening phone call at the news desk that sets in motion an unsettling and gripping story. 

Who is the mysterious caller? What is the significance of Wednesday? These are the big questions I asked myself while immersed in this fascinating and dark tale. Another big question was that of it the threats were related to her past, of which we learn about as we progress through the book, or if the motive is a more recent one, that is linked to her journalist work in the local community? 

I really liked Alice and empathised completely with her situation. I had a huge respect for the decisions she made under such difficult circumstances. I also.wondered why she was being targeted? Who could hate her so much? I also.found the scenes between Alice and her mother particularly poignant. 

We then have Matthew Hill, the private investigator who is brought in by Alice's boyfriend to try and solve the mystery.  Matthew is a wonderful character, with so much heart that I was genuinely worried for him, hoping that he wouldn't get huft. His own backstory is also insightful and engaging.

l Will.Make You Pay is an unsettling, dark and disturbing resd. It tackles serious issues that really make you think about how someone's past affects their future. But hosting all it is a riveting read. I wanted to find out why Alice was being targeted and who was behind it all. It really is a compulsive read and I thoroughly enjoyed the story. 

With thanks to the publisher for the Advanced Reader Copy.

I Will Make You Pay is published on 10th October by Thomas and Mercer Amazon Pub. 

Sunday, 15 September 2019

#TheGiverOfStars @jojomoyes @MichaelJBooks

About The Giver of Stars 

Alice had come halfway across the world to find that, yet again, she was considered wanting. Well, she thought, if that was what everyone thought, she might as well live up  to it.'

England, late 1930s, and Alice Wright - restless, stifled - makes an impulsive decision to marry wealthy American Bennett van Cleve and leave her home and family behind.

But stuffy, disapproving Baileyville, Kentucky, where her husband favours work over his wife, and is dominated by his overbearing father, is not the adventure - or the escape - that she hoped for.

That is, until she meets Margery O'Hare - daughter of a notorious felon and a troublesome woman the town wishes to forget.

Margery's on a mission to spread the wonder of books and reading to the poor and lost - and she needs Alice's help.

Trekking alone under big open skies, through wild mountain forests, Alice, Margery and their fellow sisters of the trail discover freedom, friendship - and a life to call their own.

But when Baileyville turns against them, will their belief in one another - and the power of the written word - be enough to save them?

Inspired by a remarkable true story, The Giver of Stars features five incredible women who will prove to be every bit as beloved as Lou Clark, the unforgettable heroine of Me Before You.

My review of The Giver of Stars 

I loved, LOVED this book so much. I can't stop thinking about this story, about these five courageous women and the story they had to tell. I didn't want to say goodbye to them or to the 1930s backdrop of Baileyville, Kentucky. What an absolutely stunning, absorbing and emotional story. I can't praise it highly enough.

Set in 1937 after the Great Depression, we read about the first travelling librarians, who deliver books and magazines to the rural community, who would otherwise never receive such reading material, other than the Bible. The story was inspired by the real  life Pack Horse Librarians of Virginia, all women who dedicated their time to delivering books via horseback up and down the mountains. The story involves a group of women, all from different backgrounds, but whom all want to educate and bring the community together. It's a book about women empowering other women, standing up for their rights and for each other. 

We have Margery O'Hare, a woman who is fiercely independent and who sets up the library. She does exactly what she wants and does not conform to society's rules or expectations, and I loved her for this.  I especially enjoyed her interactions with Sven, (we all need a Sven in our lives). We also have Alice van Cleve, a newly married woman who has left England to start a new life with Bennett, her American husband, but her life doesn't turn out as she expected and her only comfort and stability is to be found in the library and the women she meets there. 

The Giver of Stars is beautifully written. The characters come to life on the page, and I had a real sense offense it must be like to live in this claustrophobic society.  This is a story about how women support other women. About friendship and love and doing the right thing. It's a story with so much heart and feeling and with characters that you just can't help falling in love with. It's about prejudices formed and broken and that wit the right support system you can overcome any obstacle. I loved this story and it's one I will read again and again. All the stars. 

With thanks to the publisher for the Advanced Reader Copy.

The Giver of Stars is published by Michael Joseph on 3rd October.

Wednesday, 11 September 2019

BeforeTheCoffeeGetsCold #ToshikazuKawaguchi

About Before the Coffee Gets Cold

In a small back alley in Tokyo, there is a café which has been serving carefully brewed coffee for more than one hundred years. But this coffee shop offers its customers a unique experience: the chance to travel back in time.

In Before the Coffee Gets Cold, we meet four visitors, each of whom is hoping to make use of the café’s time-travelling offer, in order to: confront the man who left them, receive a letter from their husband whose memory has been taken by early onset Alzheimer's, to see their sister one last time, and to meet the daughter they never got the chance to know.

But the journey into the past does not come without risks: customers must sit in a particular seat, they cannot leave the café, and finally, they must return to the present before the coffee gets cold . . .

Toshikazu Kawaguchi’s beautiful, moving story – translated from Japanese by Geoffrey Trousselot – explores the age-old question: what would you change if you could travel back in time? More importantly, who would you want to meet, maybe for one last time?

For fans of The Guest Cat and If Cats Disappeared from the World, Before the Coffee Gets Cold is a touching story about second chances and how we find and lose the ones we love.

My review of Before the Coffee Gets Cold

Before the Coffee Gets Cold is a beautifully written book about love, loss and second chances. I loved every page.

When I found out that this was a book about time travel set in a coffee shop,  well, I just knew that I had to read it. What lured me in was the notion of having one last chance to see a loved one again. The lover who got away, or a loved one who died too young. Who wouldn't grab this chance if it was offered to them? And this is what makes the book work. The fairytale becomes reality. 

Each of the four stories are told as a kind of parable. Each has its own distinct meaning and message that we take away with us. The story about a wife revisiting the cafe to meet her husband before his Alzheimer's diagnosis was particularly touching. We meet all of these four characters, all of them are reoccurring characters, as they are all frequent visitors to this small cafe in Tokyo.

Before the Coffee Gets Cold is an emotive read. It makes you question your own life and the people in it. It makes you question, and then appreciate what is really important in life. It's a breath of fresh air and it's one of those books that I will read again and again. 

With thanks to the publisher for the Advanced Reader Copy.

Before the Coffee Gets Cold is published by Picador on 19th September

Monday, 9 September 2019

#EdenInterrupted @BevHarvey_ #BookReview

About Eden Interrupted 

90s popstar Ben Wilde and his 
bride Lisa return from honeymoon to find a cuckoo in the nest and a surprise European tour in the diary.

Lisa befriends neighbour Rosemary, who is also home alone while husband Nigel travels for work. But will the women's grim suspicions be confirmed, or does absence make the heart grow paranoid?

In the village, Eden Hill's coffee shop is under new management with the arrival of divorced Mum, Chloe, and troubled teen son, Jake. But serving flat whites leaves Chloe feeling, well, flat until she meets Caleb, a widowed father of two; if only Jake and Caleb weren't at loggerheads.

New to Eden Hill are Jan and Martin Bevan, but a frosty reception leaves them wondering if they've made a huge mistake.

From the writer of Seeking Eden, Eden Interrupted is another sizzling slice-of-life drama where paths (and swords) cross, and misunderstandings abound. Perfect for fans of Fiona Gibson and Marian Keyes.

My review of Eden Interrupted

Eden Interrupted is the much anticipated follow up to Seeking Eden and I loved it. Once again we are introduced to some wonderful, colourful characters (some old, some new) and their ever complicated lives. It was a pure joy to read. 

Taking place over a year, the story is told from each family's point of view. At first these seem to be isolated stories, but what soon become clear is that these stories are all interlinked. And what we read is both heart-warming and shocking. It's very clever storytelling.

What I also enjoyed about this book was that each family had their own distinct voice and way of talking to you, reeling you in and making you want to turn the pages faster until you unearth the truth.  

All of the characters intrigued me. Some made my blood boil, while others I just wanted to hug. For me, the character I found most interesting was Chloe, one of the newcomers. Single mum to teenager Jake, she moved to Eden Hill for a fresh start and to set up her dream cafe. But was it all worth the effort? Will their lives be any better? This is what I needed to find out. 

This is a book that reads like a soap opera and it's packed with every emotion. But what Ms Harvey has managed to do so effortlessly, and beautifully, is to tackle some serious topics in her writing such as dementia and depression. It's a book with so much heart and depth.

Eden Interrupted is a book about community and friendship, which I think is so important to read about in our troubled times. It highlights the fact that we are all social beings and that we need each other. A fantastic read which I heartily recommend. 

I purchased my own copy.
Eden Interrupted is published by Urbane Publications and is available to buy now.