Archive | May 2015

We Are All Made of Stars – Rowan Coleman.

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Back of the book : 

Do not miss me, because I will always be with you … I am the air, the moon, the stars. For we are all made of stars, My beloved … Wherever you look, I will be there …

Stella Carey exists in a world of night.

Married to a soldier who has returned from Afghanistan injured in body and mind, she leaves the house every evening as Vincent locks himself away, along with the secrets he brought home from the war.

During her nursing shifts, Stella writes letters for her patients to their loved ones – some full of humour, love and practical advice, others steeped in regret or pain – and promises to post theses messages after their deaths.

Until one night Stella writes a letter that could give her patient one last chance at redemption, if she delivers it in time ….

What I think :

Stella is married to an injured soldier. Her marriage is all but over. She is a night nurse at her local hospice, The Marie Francis Hospice and Rehab Centre. She works nights so she can avoid her husband, who since coming back from Afgan hasn’t been able look at her let alone talk to her. Whilst at work, She has become ‘friends’ with some of the patients who haven’t got long live and she writes letters for them, to their loved ones. Some of these letters contain simple instructions of how to look after the children when they’re gone or others are sorry’s for things they have done, But mostly they are letters of how much the person who has died, loved the one that is left behind.

However, one day a lady is brought into the Hospice and its clear that she hasn’t got long left to live. When she asks Stella to write a letter for her and not give it to the person until she has gone, Stella knows that she can’t wait, She must give the letter now. For there is a chance that things could be put right ….

This is such a beautiful book, with such gorgeous characters, you just want to jump into the pages and give them a hug. There is Hope, she has Cystic Fibrosis. When she is brought into the Hospice she is very ill. But with the help of Stella and her partner in crime, best friend Ben, she makes a good recovery. Next is Hugh that once had a girlfriend, now he’s only got a pet cat for company. Lastly Issy, she has terminal Cancer, she’s living her last days at the Hospice with her mum Thea.

Dotted throughout the book are the letters that Stella has written for the people that have passed away, but don’t get me wrong it doesn’t make it a sad book in the slightest, some are really quite funny, whilst others say that they had the best time and wouldn’t have changed a thing. It really makes you want to live your live to the full. I myself have always enjoyed getting a letter through the letterbox, this book is a perfect example of how much joy the simple act of getting a letter can bring.

Rowan’s books will always have a special place in my heart because it was Rowan and her lovely book ‘The Memory book’ that started me off on my path as a book reviewer. Rowan always writes so wonderfully with such wit and wisdom. I should have known it was going to be a corker when it reduced me to happy tears after the first few pages. I absolutely loved this book, its definitely on my top 5 list for the year so far.

I give this brilliant book 10/10.

Published by Ebury on 21/05/15

I purchased my copy from WHSmith £9:99

One Small Act of Kindness – Lucy Dillon.

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Back of the book : 

What can you do to make the world a better place ? 

Libby and her husband Jason have moved back to his hometown to turn the family B&B into a boutique hotel. They have left London behind and all the memories – good and bad – that went with it.

The injured woman Libby finds lying in the remote country lane has lost her memory. She doesn’t know why she came to be there, and no one seems to be looking for her. When Libby offers to take her in, this one small act of kindness sets in motion a chain of events that will change many people’s lives …..

What I think : 

Libby is married to Jason, on the face of it they have a good marriage, however as time goes on cracks begin to show. They have taken over the his parents’ B&B, the Swan Hotel in deepest Longhampton. Jason’s father has recently died and his mother can’t cope on her own. They are trying to renovate the place, which is proving to be quite time consuming.

One day just outside the B&B there is a road accident and a young woman is knocked down. She hasn’t got anything with her, no handbag, purse or phone. Nobody seems to know who she is, and its seems she’s lost her memory, so the young woman herself isn’t any help either. She’s taken to the local Hospital and kept in for treatment. Libby visits the woman in hospital and they strike up a friendship, so much so Libby names the young lady ‘Pippa’. When its time for Pippa to leave the hospital Libby takes her home to the B&B with her. Its whilst she’s there recovering she begins to remember some things about her self and her life …

This is another fabulous book from the pen of Lucy Dillon. I have always really enjoyed her books. I especially like the way that there is always a gorgeous dog in all of her books, this one is certainly no exception with the very regal ‘Lord Bob’ the beagle. and towards the end the really cute ‘Fido’.

This is such a enjoyable, easy read with plenty of well rounded, believe-able characters, Libby is such a lovely lady, all she wants to do is help people and make them happy. Even Margaret, Libby’s mother in law has her heart in the right place however grumpy she may appear at first. I did feel quite sorry for ‘Pippa’ not knowing who she is, I can’t quite imagine not knowing who I am. Lucy really manages to write Pippa’s character with just the right vulnerability. The one person however I really couldn’t like was Gethin. He really rubbed me up the wrong way.

There are really many wonderful things I could say about this this book, I could be here all day singing it’s praises, It’s such a brilliantly tender book with a really gorgeous ending, Roll on the next one is all I can say !!

I loved the idea of the ‘Tree of Kindness’ Its such a small thing but a big thing all at the same time.

I give this book a really well deserved 10/10.

Published by Hodder books on 23/04/15.

I purchased my copy from Tesco £3:85.

Mad couple of weeks ….. 

Hey Lovely Book People 🙂 

Just to let everyone know, I’ve got a mad couple of weeks coming up at work :/ so I’m not going to be able to post many reviews 😦  

I shall still be reading as much as I can, so as soon as I’m able, I’ll be reviewing once again 🙂 Please bear with me lovely people, I will be back …. 

That’s all for now folks 🙂 

Happy reading xxx 

Under a Cornish Sky – Liz Fenwick.

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Back of the book : 

Demi desperately needs her luck to change. She’s missed out on her dream job and has been betrayed by her boyfriend. Pitching up at her Grandfathers Cornish cottage is her only option.

Victoria thinks she’s finally got what she wanted : the gorgeous Cornish estate her family owned for generations is now hers following her husbands sudden death. After years of a loveless marriage and many secret affairs of her own, Victoria thinks widowhood will suit her very well indeed …

But both Demi and Victoria are in for a surprise. Can these two very different women find a way forward when luck changes their lives so drastically.

What I think : 

Victoria is married to Charles, but she also has a very much younger toyboy,  oh and she fancies the gardener as well. Her husband brought back her family home in Cornwall after her brother died and it was sold to someone else. ”Boscowen” is very special to Victoria, its been in her family since 1500’s, She grew up there and she doesn’t want anything to change. For the last couple of years, since Charles brought it back for her shes been trying to get the many acres of garden back to it former glory. Then suddenly, one night, her husband dies in a car accident. She thinks that finally the house and the estate will finally belong to her, However, Charles had other plans ….

Demi’s life is not going quite how she planned it. Her mum has died quite suddenly, She’s lost her dream job to someone she helped who then in return, stole her work from under her nose when she had time off grieving for her mum and was attending her funeral. She then discovers her boyfriend is not who she thought he was, he seems to have developed strange sexual ‘preferences’. There is only one thing left to do, she runs away to her Grandad’s house in Cornwall. She only has the clothes she stands up in, so she visits the charity shop and there she meets Peta, who turns out to be just the sort of friend she needs. Then quite out of the blue, whilst she is still staying at her Grandad’s she receives a letter from a solicitor that changes her life forever ….

This is the first of Liz’s books that I’ve actually read, and I’ve been missing a treat. I really enjoyed this book. Liz has a brilliant style of writing and I really loved the wonderful cast of characters. Take Victoria for instance, when we first meet her I thought she was a bit of a gold-digging bitch that only seemed to be concerned with how much money she could fleece out of her husband for her ‘garden’, but as the book goes on and things happen to her she becomes a lot more human and likeable. Demi however, when we meet her is very ‘mousey’ and ‘put upon’ but throughout the book she grows into a very strong independent person who really knows what she wants.

When I first started to read the book I did wonder how the main characters would actually link up, but without giving too much away, they do all do tie-up wonderfully.  I especially liked the wonderful Sam, he sounds like the sort of person everybody should have in their life, solid and trust-worthy. 

This is a book that you can curl up in a chair and lose yourself in. It has plenty of twists and turns in that make you want to gasp out loud. But also some really lovely tender moments too.

All in all this is a fabulous book that I would really recommend to all my friends, I’m certainly going to invest in liz’s other books too. 

I give this lovely tale 10/10.

A very BIG Thank you to the author Liz Fenwick for sending me the signed  copy of the book to read and review.

Published by Orion on 07/05/15.

Letters to the Lost – Iona Grey.

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Back of the book : 

He promised to love her forever.

Now time is running out …

1943, in the ruins of blitzed London Stella Thorne and Dan Rosinski meet by chance and fall in love by accident. Theirs is a reluctant, unstoppable affair in which all the odds are stacked against them : she is newly married, he is an American bomber pilot whose chance of survival is just one in five.

Seventy years later Dan makes one final attempt to find the girl he has never forgotten, and sends one last letter to the house where they shared a brief yet perfect happiness. But Stella has gone, and the letter is opened by Jess, a young girl hiding from problems of her own. And as Jess reads Dan’s words, she is captivated by the story of love affair that burned so bright and dimmed too soon.

Can she help Dan find Stella before it’s too late ?

What I think : 

When Jess finds an abandoned house in the middle of a London suburb, she takes a chance and breaks in. She is really frightened, she fears for her life as she has run away from her abusive boyfriend. She only has the clothes she stands up in and fifty pounds, she hasn’t even got any shoes on as they were too high for her to run in. She stays the night and the next morning the postman brings a letter to the house, it’s addressed to a ‘Stella Thorne’. With her interest piqued Jess opens the letter and discovers it from some one called Dan, He’s looking for his lost love from 70 years ago. Jess decides she wants to help Dan and goes about trying to find Stella.

The year is 1943 and Stella has just married the local vicar, Charles Thorne. They live in the local parish of Kings Oak, which is just outside London. She tries really hard to make her marriage work, but the truth is that Charles is a very distant, cold man and he doesn’t really love her. Stella is very unhappy. One evening she goes to London on a night out with her friend Nancy. She’s in a bombed out church when she meets Dan, He’s there taking photo’s. They become friends and then slowly they fall in love ..

Back in 2011, we also meet Will. He works for a probate office, he’s looking for Nancy Price, (Who we know as Stella’s bestfriend) He goes to the house that Jess is staying in and they meet. Jess and Will become friends, and Will ends up helping Jess to try and find the mysterious Stella.

This book has two timelines, one in wartime 1943 and the other in present day 2011. I always really like different timeline books because you can see all the differences and also all the similarities of then and now.

We discover quite early on that Stella and Dan didn’t spend any time together after the war because of the letter that Dan send trying to find Stella at the start of the book. Although the main story is really Stella and Dan’s, I really also think that there is a bit of a love story in modern times with Jess and Will. It certainly mirrors Stella and Dan’s story.

All four main characters are really superb, Stella’s story is really heartbreaking in places however, she is a very strong person and battle’s through. All the way throughout the book I was really rooting for Dan and really hoped that he found her again, even if it was just for a short while. These were times when sometimes there just wasn’t a happy ending.

I really enjoyed this tender, beautiful story, about lost love and also new love and the fact that whatever age you are it’s never ever too late. It really is the kind of book that you read and you don’t want to end. It drew me in from the very first page right up until that last one. However this book should come with a warning !! This book will make you cry ! tissues needed !!

I give this fabulous book 10/10.

Published by Simon and Schuster on the 23/04/15.

I purchased my copy from WHSmith – £7:99.