Archive | November 2015

The Years of loving you – Ella Harper.

Back of the book : 

What if your first love was your only love ?

When Molly is diagnosed with a life-changing illness, it feels like her whole world has come crashing down. She hopes the news will make her marriage to Sam stronger. But why does Molly always call Ed in a crisis ?

Ed. The very same Ed that Molly fell in love with at a party when they were teenagers, underneath a star-filled sky. Then life took then in different directions.

Molly starts to question every decision she’s ever made.

What if they could turn back the clock ?

When the only certainty they shared was each other …

 

What I think : 

Molly and Ed have been friends since they were teenagers and fell in love. They were never together, life seemed to get in the way. However they did stay in each others lives and remained very good friends, always there for each other. Molly went on to meet and marry Sam and Ed has had many girlfriends since.

When Molly gets her diagnosis, the first person she wants to tell is Ed, However its her husband, Sam, who she does tell and all he seems to want to do is collect information about Molly’s illness and not actually comfort her. Ed on the other hand gives her all the comfort and support that she needs. As time goes on she feels slightly let down by Sam and seems to need Ed more and more.

Should she tell Ed how she has really felt all this time ?

Is it finally their time to be together ?

This is a really beautiful book, I could not put it down.  Although the subject matter is quite serious, it is quite uplifting also. With its wonderfully written characters its like you are there with them, involved with whats going on. Molly is a very strong character and handles what is thrown at her really well. Ed is my book hero ! He is gorgeous, so sweet and caring and loyal to all those that he cares about. I believe that everyone should have a Ed in their lives !

I’ve read Ella’s other book, which I thought was brilliant, I hoped that this book would be just as good and believe me I wasn’t disappointed, this one is as good as the last if not better, however I didn’t need quite as many tissues for this one, which has got to be a good thing !

I will looking out for Ella’s next one and be recommending this book to all my friends.

I give this wonderful book 10/10.

Published by Avon books on 19/11/15.

 

Little Girl Gone – Alexandra Burt.

 

Back of the book : 

When Estelle Paradise’s baby daughter is taken from her crib, she doesn’t report her missing. Days later, Estelle is found in a wrecked car with a wound to the head and no memory. Estelle knows she holds the key to what happened that night – but what she doesn’t know is whether she was responsible.

 

What I think : 

When Estelle wakes up in a hospital room, she can’t remember why. It turns out that she has had a car accident. She was found down a ravine, miles from home, she has very bad head injuries and was possibly shot.

One thing she does remember though is that her seven month old daughter, Mia is missing. She was missing before the accident, Estelle got up the morning before the accident and everything belonging to Mia was gone. The only thing that was left was the empty crib.

Her husband Jack, is at the end of his tether with Estelle, he’s had enough of Estelle’s behaviour and secretly thinks that Estelle may have done something to their daughter. Estelle had been behaving very strangely in the months leading up to the disappearance and really doesn’t trust her anymore.

I must admit I’m really not sure about this book, I mean why would any mother in their right mind not report the disappearance of their baby straightaway to the police ? I find the the whole thing slightly unbelievable if I’m really honest. I know if it was my child I would be shouting to anyone that would listen that he/she had been kidnapped. There is also far too much information, which makes it really confusing. You’re wading through so much back story for the characters that it’s really hard to actually work out which is story and which bits are history.

I really usually enjoy a thriller, not able to put it down until I find out what’s going on, however with this one I found myself getting bored quite quickly.

Sadly this one wasn’t for me, I give it 6/10.

Published on 24/09/15 by Avon Books.

A big Thank you to Avon Books for the review copy in return for a honest review.

 

The Marble Collector – Cecelia Ahern.

Back of the book :

What if you only had one day to find out who you really were ? 

When Sabrina Boggs stumbles upon a mysterious collection of her fathers possessions, she discovers a truth where she never knew there was a lie. The familiar man she grew up with is suddenly a stranger to her.

An unexpected break in her monotonous daily routine leaves her just one day to unlock the secrets of the man she thought she knew. A day that unearths memories, stories and people she never knew existed. A day that changes her and those around her forever.

 

What I think : 

Sabrina Boggs is living a normal, boring life. She has a husband, three children and a job as a life guard in a up-market care home for elderly people. Oh ! and a lot of the time she forgets to breathe !

Her Dad Fergus, has had a stroke and is currently in hospital. he’s lost a large part of his memory and can’t remember much about his past only his present. One day after Sabrina is sent home from work early, a nurse that is caring for her father at the hospital telephones her to tell her that some boxes have been delivered at the hospital containing her fathers belongings. After Sabrina opens them she discovers that they contain amongst other things, marbles, lots and lots of marbles. Marbles of all different kinds, in sets with a inventory detailing all the marbles in the box. It’s then that she discovers that some of the marble sets are missing, in fact they are the most expensive ones. Sabrina didn’t know that her father collected marbles, this is part of her fathers life that she knew nothing about. She has one day to discover where the marbles have gone to and who her father really was …..

The book is written in two sections, present day with Sabrina and the past with Fergus. Sabrina’s parts are entitled ‘Pool Rules’ and  ‘Playing with marbles’ are Fergus’ chapters. In Fergus’ parts we find out about Fergus’ childhood, teenage years and early married years, in Sabrina’s it’s the here and now and her quest to ‘find’ her father. However, somehow along the way I think she also finds out a few things about herself.

This is a fabulously written book, I always really look forward to a Cecelia Ahern novel and I’m never disappointed. The characters are wonderfully written and you really feel like you are there and in the thick of things. Cecelia’s books are always warm and witty with lots of wisdom thrown in for good measure. Another un-put-downable book.

I give this wonderful book 9/10.

Published by Harper Collins on 05/11/15.

I purchased my copy from Tesco £6:00.

House of Dreams – Fanny Blake – Blog Tour.

Back of the book : 

It’s only a long weekend – What could possibly go wrong ?

In the hilltop villa with it’s spectacular view across rolling  countryside to the straits of Gibraltar, Lucy anxiously awaits the arrival of her brother and sister.

They’re spending the weekend together to say farewell to Casa de Suenos, the house in the mountains of Southern Spain where they grew up.

Her Sister Jo, landing at the airport with her fractious four year old, dreads the prospect of this time with her family which will fulfil their mothers last instructions that they celebrate her birthday, with a party, together. Only this time their mother wont be there.

Tom, their brother, remembers the chaos of his bohemian upbringing and wants nothing more than for their stay to go off without a hitch, Then a beautiful face from the past appears at the villa …

Over one long, hot weekend, past secrets will spill out, making the siblings question themselves, the choices they’ve made and where their future lies …

What I think : 

Jo, Lucy and Tom have recently lost their Hope mother to cancer. She has always lived in Southern Spain, however when Hope knew that her Cancer was terminal, she moved back to the UK to be with her children for her last weeks. It was there with Lucy that she passed away.

The three siblings and their families have returned to their mothers house in Spain for one last time. To celebrate her birthday with one last party for family and friends and then after that to close and sell Casa de Suenos, the family home.

There is a lot of tension between the siblings, the two girls don’t seem to get on with Tom’s wife Belle and Tom feels he’s stuck in the middle, Lucy is having problems in her marriage to Art and Jo just feels alone, being a single parent.

Over the course of the long hot weekend as secrets emerge, will life ever be the same again ..?

This is a fabulous book, with wonderful descriptions of the Spanish countryside, I could almost feel the sun on my face. The lovely characters all fitted together really well, the two girls characters were really well written, Tom however I thought was slightly ineffectual and his wife, Belle was a very strong person, but maybe that wasn’t a bad thing as they did work well together.

I really loved the style of writing with its funny, yet serious side, it really made me chuckle in places, especially the airport/ lost bag scene.

Yes, I really did love this book, its a gorgeous tale of family life and having to pull together when a parent dies, however you feel about each other.

I give this beautiful and heartwarming tale of love and loss 9/10.

Published on 05/11/15 by Orion.

A very big thank you to Elaine Egan at Orion for the review copy of the book in exchange for a honest review.

House of Dreams Blog Tour (2)

A Snow Garden – Rachel Joyce – Blog Tour.

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Back of the book : 

In the course of a fortnight at the end of a year … a woman finds a cure for a broken heart where she least expects it ; a husband and wife build their son a bicycle and in the process, deconstruct their happy marriage ; freak weather brings the airport to a standstill on Christmas day ; a young woman will change her life by saying one word.

Here are seven linked stories. Each of them a small masterpiece, but as one character steps forward and another steps back, it is the way they interweave that Rachel Joyce pinpoints much of the humour and tragedy of our everyday experience.

What I think : 

This is a wonderful little collection of seven stories.

All the characters are interwoven and interlocked with each other in a small way. There is Binny, a single parent of two children with her broken heart, Alice and Alan and their son, Will. They are building a bicycle on Christmas eve, for Will for Christmas, but all they seem to do is unravel their long marriage. And we mustn’t forget Magda who is very pregnant ….

Some of the stories have a touch of Christmas magic and others are just about coping with family life. However all the stories are just wonderful and meaningful in their own way.

I really enjoyed Rachel’s two previous books, ‘The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry’ and my personal favourite ‘The Love song of Miss Queenie Hennessy’, So when I won a copy of ‘A Snow Garden’ I couldn’t wait to get reading and I wasn’t disappointed. Right from the wonderful ‘Foreward’ at the beginning of the book, to the end of the very last story it’s truly an un-put-downable book. If you only read one Christmassy book this festive holiday, make sure it’s this one.

I give this book a very festive 10/10.

Published by Doubleday (Penguin Random House) on 05/11/15.

A very big thank you to the publishers Doubleday and to Alison Barrow for the copy of the book.

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Here We Lie – Sophie McKenzie.

Back of the book: 

On holiday with family and her adoring fiance, Jed , Emily couldn’t be happier. But overnight, the trip turns into a walking nightmare when one of the group is found dead in what appears to be a terrible accident.

The devastated party returns to London to cope with their loss while trying to resume their normal lives. But new revelations shed a shocking light on the holiday tragedy and set Emily on a perilous journey to discover the truth about what happened. Soon a terrifying series of threats and lies bring her face to face with the dark truths at the heart of her family.

What I think :

Emily’s parents died in a car accident when she was very young. She has a brother, Martin and a sister, Rose who brought her up after their parents died.

Emily is on holiday in France with her brother, sister and fiance, Jed and his two children, Dee-Dee and Lish. They are having lovely time, everything is how it should be, when about half way through the holiday a tragic accident happens. They cut the holiday short to come home and try and get on with their lives as best they can. However Emily’s fiance Jed cannot let the matter drop and is pretty soon involved in investigations and court cases.

Emily herself is dragged into it all by a face from the past and its not long before Emily is fearing for her life after a series of threats. What was it that happened that fateful night, and what exactly was it that Dee-Dee saw on the boat that day …. ?

This is a pretty suspensfull novel with lots of twists and turns. The characters for the most part are pretty well written. Jed, the fiance seems quite odd to me, he never seems to call Emily by her name he just calls her ‘Baby’ and when they are in bed the calls himself ‘daddy’ which would ring alarm bells for me ! Emily also I found to be pretty drippy (for want of a better word.) She doesn’t seem to be all there and have a opinion of her own, she just listens to everyone else and is led by them.

The ending twist, when it finally is revealed, is not what I expected, I did sit and say to myself ‘Ok then’ as I thought it was quite a build up for a bit of a disappointing ending. Having said that, the book is quite un-put-downable for the most part its just a shame that the ending is a bit tame. I would certainly read any of the the authors other books.

I give this book 7/10.

Published by Simon and Schuster on 10/09/15.

I purchased my copy from Tesco £3:85.