Moonlight and the Pearler’s Daughter by Lizzie Pook @LizziePook @RandomTTours @MantleBooks #historicalfiction #mystery #bookreview

I am delighted to share my review today for Moonlight and the Pearler’s Daughter by Lizzie Pook. This is a wonderful historical fiction set in 1886 in Western Australia.

My huge thanks to Anne at Random Things Tours for my copy of this book from Mantle Books.

Fortune favours the brave . . .
It is 1886 and the Brightwell family has sailed from England to make their new home in
Western Australia. Ten-year-old Eliza knows little of what awaits them in Bannin Bay beyond
stories of shimmering pearls and shells the size of soup plates – the very things her father has
promised will make their fortune.


Ten years later, as the pearling ships return after months at sea, Eliza waits impatiently for
her father to return with them. When his lugger finally arrives, however, Charles Brightwell,
master pearler, is declared missing. Whispers from the townsfolk point to mutiny or murder,
but Eliza knows her father and, convinced there is more to the story, sets out to uncover
the truth. She soon learns that in a town teeming with corruption, prejudice and blackmail,
answers can cost more than pearls, and must decide just how much she is willing to pay, and
how far she is willing to go, to find them.


A gloriously rich and wonderfully assured debut, Moonlight and the Pearler’s Daughter is set
in a mesmerising yet unforgiving land, where both profit and peril lie deep beneath the
ocean surface rendered with astonishing clarity, it is a novel that marks Lizzie Pook
as a name to watch.

MY REVIEW

Eliza Brightwell starts a new life with her parents and siblings in Bannin Bay, N.W region of Australia. Her father is hoping to make his fortune from pearl diving. The voyage from the UK to Australia has been long and arduous. It is 1866.

This is a historical fiction that tells of Eliza and her arrival in Bannin Bay at the age of 10 and back and forth to her life in her 20s. The earlier years tell of sadness, filling in the details of how her father has successfully made a living as a Pearler. It also tells of the hardships of those in the Bay. A mix of cultures, classes and backgrounds. The author builds a wonderful image of this desolate, dusty and dry region, and it is easy to see how quickly one could fall into poverty.

Eliza is a little bit of an enigma, she isn’t interested in the frivolity and frippery as some women are. She is more interested in the natural world, in plants, animals and about what she sees around her. Life is very different from where she first began.

When the boats return from their latest trips her father’s boat is the last one in. It is without her father, her brother is dismissive as are the rest of the crew. She is bewildered, confused and concerned. Not one for being fobbed off she decides to discover what happened herself.

Well now, there is no doubt that this is a headstrong and determined character who knows her own mind. She will take advice but she is also willing to follow what she believes is right. When she senses that there is more to her father’s disappearance she just has to go with her gut.

In this era of history, slavery is common, a time of British Colonialism and of discovery. The pearling industry is something I don’t think I have read about before so this was a really interesting read. There was enough of the basics to make me more curious for further reading.

Eliza was a character I wasn’t sure about at the beginning, but the more I read the more I started to understand her. She would be seen as a feminist and therefore not really accepted into certain circles. In fact, she is her own circle and the author has done a brilliant job with her.

This is a story that ebbs and flows at its own pace. Sometimes it is faster like the storm in the ocean, other times it is slower more languorous and this slower pace gives a chance for the literary side to tease itself out. This at times has a really lovely literary fiction flow, as well as being a mystery and historical fiction in genres. It didn’t take me long to get into this story and I did find the book nagging for me to be picked back up when I had put it down. A fabulous debut from this author and one I would happily recommend.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Lizzie Pook is an award-winning journalist and travel writer contributing to The Sunday
Times, Lonely Planet, Rough Guides, Condé Nast Traveller and more. Her assignments have
taken her to some of the most remote parts of the planet, from the uninhabited east coast of
Greenland in search of roaming polar bears, to the foothills of the Himalayas to track
endangered snow leopards.


She was inspired to write Moonlight and the Pearler’s Daughter, her debut novel, after
spending time in north-western Australia researching the dangerous and
fascinating pearl-diving industry. She lives in London.
You can find Lizzie on Twitter and Instagram.

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The Silence of Scheherazade by Defne Suman trns Betsy Göksel @HoZ_Books #NetGalley

I am delighted to share my review today for The Silence of Scheherazade by Defne Suman, translated by Betsy Göksel.

I had requested this book via NetGalley and the publisher Head of Zeus very kindly accepted my request to read this fabulous title.

Set in the ancient city of Smyrna, this powerful novel follows the intertwining fates of four families as their peaceful city is ripped apart by the dissolution of the Ottoman Empire.

On an orange-tinted evening in September 1905, Scheherazade is born to an opium-dazed mother in the ancient city of Smyrna. At the very same moment, a dashing Indian spy arrives in the harbour with a secret mission from the British Empire. He sails into golden-hued spires and minarets, scents of fig and sycamore, and the cries of street hawkers selling their wares. When he leaves, seventeen years later, it will be to the heavy smell of kerosene and smoke as the city, and its people, are engulfed in flames.

But let us not rush, for much will happen between then and now. Birth, death, romance and grief are all to come as these peaceful, cosmopolitan streets are used as bargaining chips in the wake of the First World War.

Told through the intertwining fates of a Levantine, a Greek, a Turkish and an Armenian family, this unforgettable novel reveals a city, and a culture, now lost to time. 

MY REVIEW

This is a book that is a mix of historical fiction with a definite lean towards the literary fiction genre. It is the story of four families, an Armenian, a Levantine, a Greek and a Turkish. Starting in 1905 in the Aegean port city of Smyrna.

This book took me quite a few chapters before I could get to grips with it, and I found myself turning to the synopsis a couple of times in the first few chapters to try to get a better understanding of it. There are four different families to get your head around and also the alternating timelines. These timelines flit back and forth with the different family members and at times I found myself stumped as to who was who. I am however really glad I stuck with this book as things gradually started to make sense and I could start to recognise the characters and also their roles within the story.

Even though I was struggling with the characters I did find the writing to be evocative and completely enthralling. I know this may sound odd, the writing style is definitely on the literary side and I found it to be very mesmerising.

The story of the families in Smyrna is one that is wound up in tradition and also of a changing world. I did have a wander onto the internet so I could learn more about this period of history, it is an area that I didn’t really know much about so I found it really interesting to find photos, maps and other information about this ancient city.

The story of the families is one that has skeletons, heartache, loss, love and deception. As I got to know the main players I was able to recognise them, I could sympathise with the situations they found themselves in. Having families from different ethnicities gave differing perspectives of the world and of the trouble coming to the city. I found myself warming to several of the characters and was eagerly awaiting their next appearance in the story.

While this is very much a historical fiction book I did love the more literary writing style, it gave a more romanticised feel to the writing, and I do think this may lead some readers not to fully engage with it. I am so glad I persevered with the book and I found a story that was not only engaging but also very addictive. It is one I would definitely recommend.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Defne Suman was born in Istanbul and grew up on Prinkipo Island. She gained a Masters in sociology from the Bosphorus University and then worked as a teacher in Thailand and Laos, where she studied Far Eastern philosophy and mystic disciplines. She later continued her studies in Oregon, USA and now lives in Athens with her husband. The Silence of Scheherazade was first published in Turkey and Greece in 2016 and is her English language debut.

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The Survivors by Alex Schulman #NetGalley #mystery #thriller #literaryfiction #bookreview

I am delighted to share my review today for The Survivors by Alex Schulman. This was a title I saw on NetGalley and my request to review it was granted. This is a mystery, thriller story that I found to be very addictive.

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Years ago, they fled the lake house.

Now, the brothers have returned.

Three brothers return to the family cottage by the lake where, more than two decades earlier, a catastrophe changed the course of their lives. Now, they are here to scatter their mother’s ashes – young men, estranged but bound together by the history that defines them. Their lives have been spent competing for their father’s favour and their mother’s love, in a household more like a minefield than a home. What really happened that summer day when everything was blown to pieces?

The Survivors is a suspenseful, haunting novel about three brothers and their reckoning with the events of one disputed, disastrous summer.

MY REVIEW

This is one of those books that I think you are either going to like or not. A story of three brothers, their lives growing up and also of their lives as they are now and trying to recall certain events.

It was a book that I wasn’t too sure about, or at least that was what I thought, but there was something about the writing and the story that captured my attention. It kept me turning the pages and a few hours later I had finished reading the book!

The story is told in a past and present way, and the timeline of the story isn’t quite what I expected. The present time was told backwards and while this may sound a bit strange it really worked for the story. It is a story that is in some ways a mystery but I didn’t realise until further into the book.

The author uses a cottage in the woods for the main section of the story as the three brothers grow up, their parents are a strange pair and the main character of Benjamin, one of the brothers, is always aware of tensions within the family. Quite why it is mainly him does get explained further along with the story.

It is a story that isn’t happy, but as I mentioned earlier there is something quite magnetic about it. A slow burner that veers towards literary fiction that focuses on a family and what life brings. It is not until almost the end of the book when suddenly things slot into place and there is a Eureka moment as I realised what the whole point of this story was. It was a journey through the life of the family but the destination was something that had happened in the past.

I really enjoyed this one and I could not put it down, it was mesmerising, heartbreaking and I adored it. I would definitely recommend it.

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In the Sweep of the Bay by Cath Barton #InTheSweepOfTheBay @CathBarton1 @LouiseWalters12 @damppebbles #damppebblesblogtours #bookreview

I am delighted to share my review today for In the Sweep of the Bay by Cath Barton. This is a lovely and delightful novella that I adored. My thanks to Emma at damppebbles blog tours for my spot on the Blog Tour and for arranging my e-copy of this book.

Let me show you more…

Synopsis…

This warm-hearted tale explores marriage, love, and longing, set against the majestic backdrop of Morecambe Bay, the Lakeland Fells, and the faded splendour of the Midland Hotel.

Ted Marshall meets Rene in the dance halls of Morecambe and they marry during the frail optimism of the 1950s. They adopt the roles expected of man and wife at the time: he the breadwinner at the family ceramics firm, and she the loyal housewife. But as the years go by, they find themselves wishing for more…

After Ted survives a heart attack, both see it as a new beginning… but can a faded love like theirs ever be rekindled?

“A tender and moving study of a marriage” Alison Moore, author of the Booker short listed
The Lighthouse

Purchase Links:

Louise Walters Books: https://www.louisewaltersbooks.co.uk/shop-1

Amazon UK: https://amzn.to/3ez3EwP

Amazon US: https://amzn.to/3k7aVF6

Foyles: https://bit.ly/2U0o3Bs

Book Depository: https://bit.ly/3ka6d9Hhttps://bit.ly/3ka6d9H

Kobo: https://bit.ly/2U5Nm5c

My Review…

This is a wonderfully written story about Ted and Rene and their life in Morecombe. They are the main characters but others do come and pause a while. In some respects this is a story about falling in love, getting married and falling into the routines of life, but it feels like much more than that.

This is such a lovely story and I found myself really caring about the characters, this feels odd as the book is only 100’ish pages long. This gives an indication as to the wonderful ability of the author to draw the reader into a story quickly.

The story itself spans decades and has been cleverly laid out, given the overall length I didn’t feel like things had been skipped over but I still felt the heartbreak and heartwarming feeling that I would expect in a longer novel.

In the Sweep of the Bay has a quietness to it and it also feels very realistic. Normal people living normal everyday lives, basically very similar to this reader and many others, not too much drama or dramatics. Just getting on with life just as other people do. I think this is why I think this story works so well.

This is a story that is a lovely little read and that has been so well written. One for lovers of contemporary and literary fiction and one I would definitely recommend.

About the Author…

Cath Barton lives in Abergavenny. She won the New Welsh Writing AmeriCymru Prize for the Novella in 2017 for The Plankton Collector, which was published in September 2018 by New Welsh Review under their Rarebyte imprint. She also writes short stories and flash fiction and, with her critical writing, is a regular contributor to Wales Arts Review. In the Sweep of the Bay is her second novella. 

Social Media:

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The Heat by Sean O’Leary #TheHeat #SeanOLeary @damppebbles #damppebblesblogtours #bookreview

I am delighted to share my review today for The Heat by Sean O’Leary. This is a quick-ish read and a first for me by this author. My thanks to Emma for arranging my copy and for my spot on the Blog Tour. Let me show you what this book is all about…

Synopsis…

Jake is a loner who works nights in a Darwin motel and lives at the YMCA. He’s in love with Angel, a Thai prostitute who works out of the low-rent Shark Motel.

A vicious murder turns Jake’s life into a nightmare. He must fight for his life on the heat-soaked streets of Darwin and Bangkok in the wet season to get revenge, and to get his life back

Purchase from Amazon UK (this is an affiliate link) also –

Amazon AUS US Australian Bookseller

My Review…

This is a reasonably quick read and the story took me to Australia, not the gorgeous scenic side either. The main protagonist is a young man, a drug user, I suppose what you would consider to be a drop out.

The author has created a story that has a slow feeling pace but is also quite compelling reading. Taking the reader into the murkier world of drug use, prostitution and corruption. However, this young man does have more to him that first glance suggests.

The further into the story I got the more intriguing I found it. It has a moralistic sense to it as the main character tries to do what is best after the death of one of his friends.

The feeling I got from this was that it wasn’t a story about doing what was right, although that is part of the story. It is also about self discovery and also laying some demons to rest.

I did like this slower paced story, it is told from the perspective of the main character and this gives a more personal feel to this story. It is gritty given some of the subject matter involved but also it has a heartwarming sense of justice to it.

A story for contemporary fiction readers and I do think it also crosses into literary fiction. This is a human interest story that I found to be very addictive, I don’t think this will be for everyone but I thoroughly enjoyed it and I would be more than happy to recommend it.

About the Author…

Sean O’Leary has published two short story collections, ‘My Town’ and ‘Walking’.  His novella ‘Drifting’ was the winner of the ‘Great Novella Search 2016’ and published in September 2017. He has published over thirty individual short stories and is a regular contributor of short fiction to Quadrant, FourW, Sudo, Close to the Bone (UK) and other literary and crime magazines. His crime novella ‘The Heat’, set in Darwin and Bangkok, was published in August 2019. Drifting and The Heat are both available on Amazon. His interviews with crime writers appear online in Crime Time magazine.

He has worked in a variety of jobs including motel receptionist, rubbish removalist/tree lopper, farm hand, short-order cook and night manager in various hotels in Sydney’s notorious, Kings Cross. He has lived in: Melbourne; Naracoorte; Sydney; Adelaide; Perth; Fremantle; Norseman; Geraldton; Carnarvon; Broome; Yulara; Alice Springs; Kakadu; Darwin and on Elcho Island-Galiwinku. He now lives in the northern suburbs of Melbourne, thinks that test cricket is the greatest game of all and supports Melbourne Football Club (a life sentence). He writes every day, likes travelling and tries to walk everywhere.

Social Media – Facebook Website Instagram

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When All Is Said by Anne Griffin @AnneGriffin_ #fiction #bookreview

I am delighted to share my review for When All Is Said by Anne Griffin. I read this a few weeks ago and I absolutely loved it. Let me show you what it is all about…

A tale of a single night. The story of a lifetime.

If you had to pick five people to sum up your life, who would they be? If you were to raise a glass to each of them, what would you say? And what would you learn about yourself, when all is said and done?

This is the story of Maurice Hannigan, who, over the course of a Saturday night in June, orders five different drinks at the Rainford House Hotel. With each he toasts a person vital to him: his doomed older brother, his troubled sister-in-law, his daughter of fifteen minutes, his son far off in America, and his late, lamented wife. And through these people, the ones who left him behind, he tells the story of his own life, with all its regrets and feuds, loves and triumphs.

Purchase Link – Amazon UK

As I sit and prepare to write up a review for this book I am a little at a loss to try and find the right words to be able to do this book the justice it deserves.

The reader joins Maurice Hannigan as he sits at a bar in Ireland. Over the course of the night he drinks 5 toasts to the 5 people who have meant the most to him in his life.

Each drink is for a special person and the story of his relationship with each of them is gradually told. It serves not only as a way of getting to know Maurice but also fills in his history from a child to the 84-year-old man he is now.

The author has done such a wonderful and poignant job of creating a character and a family and in a style that is so absorbing to a reader. It was like being led on a gentle amble through the life, love, and loss of Maurice. It was a journey through the good, the bad and all that fell in between.

This was a wonderful and easy story to read. It is so beautifully written and also emotional, I didn’t shed tears and this quite surprised me. But the story was one about a life lived.

A gentle and slower paced story that completely wrapped me up in its covers, transported me to rural Ireland and into the life of Maurice. A gorgeous and beautiful read that readers who love stories about family, family history and life over the years will thoroughly enjoy. I know I did and I would definitely recommend it.

Image taken from Goodreads

Anne Griffin is an Irish novelist. She was educated at University College Dublin where she received her MA in Creative Writing

Anne was awarded the John McGahern Award for Literature, recognising previous and current works. Amongst others, she has been shortlisted for the Hennessy New Irish Writing Award and the Sunday Business Post Short Story Award.

Anne’s debut novel ‘When All Is Said’ will be published by Sceptre in the UK and Ireland on 24th January, 2019 and by Thomas Dunne Books in the US and Canada on the 5th March, 2019. It will also be published by Rowohlt Verlag in Germany, Delcourt in France, by Harper Collins Holland in the Netherlands, by Wydawnictwo Czarna in Poland, and by Tyto Alba in Lithuania .

Author links – WebsiteTwitter

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Swallowtail Summer by Erica James #contemporaryfiction #holidayfiction #bookreview

I am delighted to share my review for Swallowtail Summer by Erica James. This is an author who I have not read before and after reading Swallowtail Summer I will be keeping my eye for more by her.

Let me show you what this is all about…

It was the summer it all ended . . . It was the summer a new story began.

Linston End has been the summer home to three families for several decades. The memories of their time there are ingrained in their hearts: picnics on the river, gin and tonics in the pavilion at dusk, hours spent seeking out the local swallowtail butterflies. Everyone together. But recently widowed Alastair is about to shock his circle of friends with the decisions he has made – and the changes it will mean for them all… Can these friends learn to live life to its fullest?

Fans of Fern Britton and Katie Fforde will love escaping into summertime with this warm-hearted, uplifting story set in the beauty of the Norfolk Broads.

Do not be taken in by this beautiful cover, there is something dark lurking behind it.

Linston End was left to Alistair, it is a house on the Norfolk Broads and is a place where he and his friends have met up every year. Alistair, Simon and Danny have always been friends, well more brothers than friends. They have all married and some have children. Summer holidays are taken at the house with the families coming together.

This summer is different, this summer Alistair is bringing someone new and his friends are nervous and worried. The newcomer is Valentina, she is the new lady in his life and has a chance at a new start. With changes ahead, tension is ever-present during the summer holiday.

The author has done a wonderful job are creating a stunning setting for Swallowtail Summer, the house sounds like such an idyllic place for old friends and their families to come together. A chance to catch-up and reminisce about old times. But with the arrival of Valentina things are different. There is an air of mistrust at her arrival. The author mentions, partway through the story, that some things from the past have been swept under the carpet, they have been things that others may have been aware of but not voiced. With the added tension of Valentina nerves are a little frayed. Comments are made and past events alluded to, and gradually the ticking time-bomb of the past ignites.

This is a story that is quite captivating as I do like a story with a past, with secrets and with a touch of the dramatic, and this story does have those. It also has the dynamics of family and friends who are close, but apparently not quite as close as they like to think as they have all held something back.

There is quite a lot of intrigue throughout and as to have a fresh start you do have to deal with the past first, it means admitting your part in the events before moving on. I like the way this had all been laid out and then gradually pulled together for quite an ending.

A very enjoyable read that will appeal to readers of a slower-paced story about family, friends, secrets, the past and the future. It is one I would recommend.

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The 24-Hour Cafe by Libby Page @LibbyPAgeWrites @orionbooks #CompulsiveReaders @Tr4cyF3nt0n #24HourCafe #BookReview

I am delighted to share my review for The 24 Hour Cafe by Libby Page. I am joining with Tracy at Compulsive Readers as part of the Blog Tour. I read it way back in November and I can now finally share my thoughts…

Let me show you what this book is all about…

Welcome to the café that never sleeps. Day and night Stella’s Café opens its doors for the lonely and the lost, the morning people and the night owls. It is many things to many people but most of all it is a place where life can wait at the door. A place of small kindnesses. A place where anyone can be whoever they want, where everyone is always welcome.

Meet Hannah and Mona: best friends, waitresses, dreamers. They work at Stella’s but they dream of more, of leaving the café behind and making their own way in life.

Come inside and spend twenty-four hours at Stella’s Café; a day when Hannah and Mona’s friendship will be tested, when the community will come together and when lives will be changed…

I read this book over a couple of sittings and found it such a relaxing book. This book is about the people who visit or work in the 24-hour cafe called Stella’s. It is told in 24 chapters as the clock marks each hour.

There are two main characters, Mona and Hannah. They are friends and also work as waitresses in Stella’s, each works a 12-hour shift and so I got to see the customers that they met of their shift. I really liked how the book was laid out because not only did I get to read about each of the main customers for each hour of the story, I also got details into the lives of Hannah and Mona.

Their backgrounds are told through a series of memories and go through their backstories up until they work at the cafe. It delves into their hopes, dreams, disappointments and frustrations. I did really like both of these characters and their stories. As I said there is a focus on a customer for each hour. Now, this is what I really liked because it was like people watching from the perspective of either Mona or Hannah, and also you get the story from the customer themselves. For me, this worked really well and though it is only a snapshot into a persons life, it is very representative of the cafe life.

So with the customers’ stories, this is almost like a story of short stories that intersperse the main story of Mona and Hannah. Their stories come across as more like short stories as they are not told in chunks instead they are interrupted as customers take priority.

This is a slower read and I liked the quietness of the story, there is drama and emotion throughout the story, it is not overwhelming, it is more subtle than that. The whole book was just one of those books that you can quite happily lose yourself in as I did over two sittings.

A lovely read that I thoroughly enjoyed and was a delight to read. The 24-Hour Cafe is a book I would definitely recommend.

Libby Page wrote The Lido while working in marketing and moonlighting as a writer. The Lido has sold in over twenty territories around the world and film rights have been sold to Catalyst Global Media. Libby lives in London where she enjoys finding pockets of community within the city. Follow Libby on Twitter

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The Missing Letters of Mrs Bright by Beth Miller @drbethmiller @bookouture @sarahhardy681 #BookReview

I am delighted to be sharing my review for The Missing Letters of Mrs Bright by Beth Miller. My huge thanks to Sarah for the invite for this Blog Tour and for arranging my e-copy of this heartwarming and fabulous family saga book.

Before I get to carried away here, let me show you what it is all about…

Sometimes it takes losing something to see where you truly belong.

For the past twenty-nine years, Kay Bright’s days have had a familiar rhythm: she works in her husband’s stationery shop hoping to finally sell the legendary gold pen, cooks for her family, tries to remember to practice yoga, and every other month she writes to her best friend, Ursula. Kay could set her calendar by their letters: her heart lifts when the blue airmail envelope, addressed in Ursula’s slanting handwriting, falls gently onto the mat.

But now Ursula has stopped writing and everything is a little bit worse.

Ursula is the only one who knows Kay’s deepest secret, something that happened decades ago that could tear Kay’s life apart today. She has always been the person Kay relies on.

Worried, Kay gets out her shoebox of Ursula’s letters and as she reads, her unease starts to grow. And then at ten o’clock in the morning, Kay walks out of her yellow front door with just a rucksack, leaving her wedding ring on the table…

This emotional and heart-warming novel is for anyone who knows it’s never too late to look for happiness. Fans of Eleanor Oliphant is Completely FineA Man Called Ove and The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry will fall in love with this feel-good and moving story that shows you that the best friendships truly last forever.

With a wonderful sounding synopsis, how could I not want to read this book…

Life is unpredictable and you never know what is round the corner. Plans made as a teenager with lists of things you would like to do before a certain age are not guaranteed. Years go by and before you know it you are older, children have left home and you find yourself looking back at your life. This is what happened to Kay Bright. Stuck in a rut and feeling unappreciated.

This is a story that has elements that will resonate with many people, how quickly time passes. Kay feels that she has spent most of her life supporting her husband, he owns and runs four stationary shops leaving Kay doing the main bulk of the parenting, household management and also spending time working in one of the shops. Because they are business owners holidays have been quick or cut short.

Feeling unhappy and wishing for more Kay decides she is leaving, she wants to travel and needs her own space to work out what she wants out of life. Walking out of her 29 year marriage causes more ripples than she had originally bargained for, there are tears, anger and frustrations.

Keeping in touch with her friends has been part of Kay’s life, one of her friends lives a long way away and it was through letters that they kept in touch. The letters are included in this story and fill in gaps and gives Kay the incentive to visit her friend who has mysteriously stopped writing.

I think what makes this books so special is the way you see various perspectives, not just from Kay but also from her daughter Stella. It shows the emotions that are part of a breakup and also as part of your parents breaking up. It is not all straight forward and there are some eye-opening moments and some quite emotional ones as well. I did have a few watery eye moments with this book.

I enjoyed the flow of this story and if I didn’t have to go to work I would have easily sat and read this book in one sitting. It is a story of life, growing up and getting older. A story of family, friendship, truths and forgiveness, it has the feel of a family saga and is a truly wonderful book that I would definitely recommend.

I have been told that I write like a tall blonde, so that’s how I’d like you to picture me.

I’ve published three novels, with one more about to be born, in January 2020. I’ve also published two non-fiction books. I work as a book coach and creative writing tutor.

Before writing books, I did a lot of different jobs. I worked in schools, shops, offices, hospitals, students’ unions, basements, from home, in my car, and up a tree. OK, not up a tree. I’ve been a sexual health trainer, a journalist, a psychology lecturer, a PhD student, a lousy alcohol counsellor, and an inept audio-typist. I sold pens, bread, and condoms. Not in the same shop. I taught parents how to tell if their teenagers are taking drugs (clue: they act like teenagers), and taught teenagers how to put on condoms (clue: there won’t really be a cucumber). I taught rabbis how to tell if their teenagers are druggedly putting condoms on cucumbers.

Throughout this, I always wrote, and always drank a lot of tea. I’m now pretty much unbeatable at drinking tea.  

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Buy Links: AmazonKoboApple BooksGoogle Play:  https://bit.ly/2ZLpiGH

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#TopReads – Books that I have loved this year (2019) by genre – (Part 1) Crime, Thriller, Mystery & Fiction Books #MeAndMyBooks

Now I know we still have another week to go before the actual end of the year, but I always do my Top Reads list before Christmas so I can maybe tempt anyone with a final Christmas present purchase, or for those who are lucky – to help you spend your Christmas book vouchers 😁I am listing my favourite reads by genre and the books are all the books I have chosen are ones I have read this year.

I have read 220 books at the time of writing this post so that means the books I have loved this year is vast. Because I have read for as long as I can remember, it means I have got very good at knowing the sort of books I like and think I will enjoy. This doesn’t mean I only stick with what I know, I do experiment and try new genres and styles.

Many books cross genres, I am going to list them by the genre that works for me 😁

Crime, Thriller, Mystery

Fiction

Come back tomorrow (Dec 22nd) to see my favourite book in Romance, Rom-Com & Historical fiction.

On the 23rd December I will be sharing my Top Reads in Fantasy, Distopia, Young Readers and Non-Fiction.

With all these amazing books I wonder which ones will make My Top 10 on Christmas Eve. I have picked 10 books that are special for many reasons. Then I do have one, yes One! Book that will take the Top Spot of – “My #1 Read of the Year!” Okay, I just made that up 🙂

Many thanks for reading my post, a like or share would be amazing 🙂 xx