War Clouds Over Blackberry Farm by Rosie Clarke @AnneHerries @rararesources @BoldwoodBooks #boldwoodbloggers #histfic #saga #bookreview

I am delighted to share my review today for War Clouds Over Blackberry Farm by Rosie Clarke. I have read a few books by this author and have thoroughly enjoyed them. Her latest book is the start of a new series, it was a brilliant book to read.

As always, my huge thanks to Rachel at Rachel’s Random Resources for my spot on the Blog Tour and for arranging my e-copy of the book via NetGalley.

Cambridgeshire – March 1939


As the clouds of war begin to gather in Europe, the Talbot family of rural Blackberry Farm will be torn apart, just as so many families all over the world will be. Life will never be the same again.


Whilst in London, the Salmons family will feel the pain of parting and loss.


Brought together by war, the two families become intertwined and, as the outlook looks bleak, they must draw on each other’s strength to fight through the hard times.


Lizzie Johnson and Tom were sweethearts until a mistake caused a terrible rift. Lizzie takes herself off to London to heal the pain in a glamorous new job but she still loves Tom. His pride has been hurt – but deep down inside Tom still cares. Can they find happiness before their chance is gone and the whole world is swept into the terrible madness of war?


Purchase Link – HERE

MY REVIEW

War Clouds Over Blackberry Farm is a new series from the author and it is another fabulous historical fiction set in 1939.

Blackberry Farm is a delightful sounding farm where the Talbot’s, a hard-working and well-respected family in Cambridgeshire. Tom and Lizzie have been together for a while, but one night something happens that leaves her embarrassed and she decides to leave the village and try to find a job in a London hair salon. She falls on her feet when she finds not only a job but also a wonderful family to stay with.

The Salmon’s are another close-knit family who is welcoming and Lizzie soon finds herself feeling welcomed. She finally decides that she needs to confront what happened in the past come what may. She needs to know if Tom will accept her explanation as to what happened and if there is a chance for a future between them.

I thoroughly enjoyed this first book in this new series. It didn’t take me long to work out the characters and their roles in the families. Working between the city and the countryside brings different views and of course ways of living.

As the war is becoming more definite, people are thinking towards the weeks, months ad possible years to come. Some men sign up, others decide to wait to be called and some will apply for exemptions to work in their job. As the inevitable begins, wounded men are starting to return, women are thinking of training to be nurses as well as becoming land girls.

Bringing two new families means that I get to know a whole new set of characters. There are some glimpses of backstories and of course, not all the characters are nice to meet. The way the families live and work is laid out well and the mentions of foods and especially cakes sound amazing. I did like how the author used the soon to begin war as a way for her characters to make use of what they have while they have it.

I liked the contrast between the city and the country and how well the author bridged the gap between the two and also how the families become connected. I was gutted when I realised I had gotten to the end of the book. I did that whole thing of swiping back a page, and forward again, then back again before it sunk in that I had actually got to the end.

This is a book for those readers who like historical fiction and romance, for sagas and women’s fiction set in the early days of WW II. A brilliant opener to the series and one I would definitely recommend.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Rosie Clarke is a #1 bestselling saga writer whose most recent books include The Shop Girls of Harpers and The Mulberry Lane series. She has written over 100 novels under different pseudonyms and is an RNA Award winner. She lives in Cambridgeshire.

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Secrets of the Jam Factory Girls by Mary Wood @Authormary #panmacmillan @RandomTTours #histfic #saga #bookreview

I am delighted to share my review today for Secrets of the Jam Factory Girls by Mary Wood. I am a huge fan of this author and her books and this is the second book in the series.

My huge thanks to Anne at Random Things Tours for my spot on the Blog Tour and for arranging my copy of this fabulous book.

A heart-warming saga about female friendship from the bestselling author of The Jam Factory Girls.
Secrets of the Jam Factory Girls is a moving saga novel of friendship set in the heart of pre-WWI London from
bestselling author, Mary Wood.


Elsie’s worked her way up at Swift’s Jam Factory from the shop floor to the top, and now it’s her time to shine. But
when she’s involved in an incident involving her half-sister Millie’s new husband, she is forced to keep it secret – the
truth could threaten their sisterly bond.


Dot is dogged by fear, coming to terms with her mother’s rejection of her. She should be enjoying the happiness she
craves with her beloved Cess; instead, she’s trapped in an asylum, haunted by the horrifying cries of inmates. All she
wants is to get married, but what chance is there for her if she’s locked away?


Millie is trying to build a life with her new husband. But the man she loves is not all he seems . . .


Can the Jam Factory girls create the future they all deserve?


This historical saga series begins with The Jam Factory Girls.

My Review…

This is the second book in the Jam Factory Girls series and it does continue on from the previous book, but you could read it as a stand-alone, but you would miss out on a great story and intro to the girls.

Life has changed for Elise and Millie as their sisterly bond becomes closer. In fact, the bond between Cess, Bert and all the characters becomes closer. Within this closeness, there is still the feeling of not belonging as Millie has lived a very different lifestyle to that of her new fond family. These differences can be overcome and realisations are discussed as each person finds where they feel more at home.

This closeness is going to be tested, and not in a way I had ever envisioned. I don’t ever read the synopsis for any of this authors books, I just know I want to read them and that is just what I do. The Jam Factory is improving, and not just in the profits but also in production since Elsie and Millie have had more of an input. Working conditions and the health and well being of their mostly female staff has worked wonders.

With the slowly changing attitudes, things do have the appearance of looking up, there is however the old fashioned attitude that is still very strong, an attitude of ” this is how things have always been” still has a firm foothold. Challenging this attitude both on the work and homelife front is something that will be a strength of will.

This is a wonderful historical fiction that I adored, as I mentioned this is a continuation and it was great to catch up with the girls and their families. The author really does encompass so many things in the time of the setting. Hints and nudges towards working condition, family life, status, a little of the politics and of course it is all wrapped up in a wonderful story.

the author never makes things easy for her characters, or for that matter her readers as she does put us all through the wringer. I did find this book angered me a lot as the attitudes of the time and of particular characters are so bloody-minded and it is the strength of the writing that brings out the feelings.

A superb read as always from a fabulous author. If you are a fan of historical fiction, sagas and family dramas from a time gone by then you are going to get on so well with this author. I would definitely recommend this book.

About the Author…

Born the thirteenth child of fifteen to a middle-class mother and an East End barrow boy, Mary Wood’s family was poor, but rich in love. Mary raised four children and has numerous grandchildren, step-grandchildren and great-grandchildren.


An avid reader, she first put pen to paper in 1989 and is now a full-time novelist. She is the bestselling author of
numerous books, including The Abandoned Daughter and The Brave Daughters.

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Don’t Ask by Paul Carroll @paulcarrollink @RandomTTours #RandomTTours @matadorbooks #contemporaryfiction #bookreview

I am delighted to share my review today for Don’t Ask by Paul Carroll. This was a fabulous read and one that really caught my attention.

My huge thanks to Anne at Random Things Tours for my spot on the Blog Tour and for arranging my wonderful copy of this book.

A DNA ancestry test opens up a Pandora’s Box of secrets.

When Elsa Watson takes a DNA ancestry test out of idle curiosity she little imagines the devastating consequences she is about to unleash.
Two families become reluctantly entwined as inconvenient truths and long suppressed memories resurface.

A #whodunnit with a difference, Don’t Ask visits the glam rock Seventies, Britpop, Operation Yewtree and #metoo within its alternating past and present chapter structure.

Purchase link – Amazon UK

My Review…

This really was a fabulous book to sit and read over a couple of days. The synopsis does mention some things that may be a trigger for some readers with the #metoo and Operation Yewtree, a police investigation into child abuse by TV personalities.

Given that this story does contain some hard to read themes, the author has approached it with care. For me, the story is about family and finding out the truth. A simple DNA test that you buy off the shelf to discover your ancestry is the catalyst for the story. A simple test to discover your heritage and where your roots hark back to. Sounds great until you discover that you have a close relationship with someone else.

Using this as the basis the author has woven a story that I found to be compelling reading. Family secrets are at the heart of the story and also embarrassment, shame and guilt. The author has taken the story to include many twists and turns that kept me guessing even when I knew some of the answers. Having the answers is not enough and the author has given an intriguing route for the reasons why. This does involve some unpleasantness, but it is kept in context and not embellished or over dramatised in my opinion.

The story involves different generations of two families, their backgrounds are told across a timeslip style. They flit back and forth between time and character. There is no warning or indication about these switches, but to be perfectly honest, once I got to know the characters I soon found it very easy to follow.

Discovering that you don’t know all about your family must be very hard. The author gives a feel of loss as the characters involved are discovering their truths. The story was a slow-paced one and this helped with getting to know the characters and how they have changed over the years, the memories that have been suropressed and their relationships with each other.

This is a novel that I really got on with and I do think the author has hit the balance well with the themes he has included. A mix of contemporary fiction and a mystery as the truth is finally revealed. The story of two families and their everyday lives is rocked by a simple and innocent DNA test. A sad story but one I would definitely recommend.

About the Author…

Paul Carroll has been drawn to ink and the written word since launching a rock fanzine in his late teens.

Born and bred in Leeds, Paul crossed the Pennines in the mid-70s to study English Language and English Literature at the University of Manchester. 

Chasing a job in journalism he stumbled into the world of PR and ten years after starting his career set up his own PR consultancy, Communique PR, in Manchester.

There he worked on many well-known brands including Boddingtons, Heineken, Thorntons Chocolate, Chicago Town Pizza, Big D peanuts, Co-op Funerals and Manchester Airport.

These days, Paul concentrates on his writing.

Paul’s books are full of dark humour and satirical takes.  His writing has been compared to that of Ben Elton, Nick Hornby and Jonathan Coe in tackling serious contemporary issues in a highly engaging and entertaining way.

Don’t Ask (Matador 2021) is Paul Carroll’s fourth novel, following A Matter of Life and Death (Matador, 2012), Written Off (Matador, 2016), and Trouble Brewing (Matador, 2017).

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One Day in Summer by Shari Low @sharilow @rararesources #contemporaryfiction #bookreview

I am delighted to share my review today for One Day in Summer by Shari Low. My huge thanks to Rachel at Rachel’s Random Resources for my spot on the Blog Tour and for arranging my e-copy of this brilliant book.

Let me show you what it’s all about…

One Day In Summer


Coming soon from #1 bestseller Shari Low, an emotional roller-coaster, that keeps you guessing…

One day in summer, three lives are about to change forever.

After two decades of looking after others, this is the day that Agnetha McMaster is reclaiming her life. It’s her turn, her time but will she have the courage to start again?

Ten years ago, Mitchell McMaster divorced Agnetha and married her best friend, Celeste. Now he suspects his second wife is having an affair. This is the day he’ll discover if karma has come back to bite him.

Thanks to a DNA test, this is the day that Hope McTeer will finally meet her biological father. But will the reunion bring Hope the answers that she’s looking for?

Three people. Twenty-four hours. A lifetime of secrets to unravel.

Purchase Link – Amazon

How gorgeous is that cover? 😍

This is the first time I have read a book by this author and I absolutely loved it. The story is set on one day though that particular day has several threads that are wonderfully woven to create such a compelling story.

The synopsis give a very good idea of the basic story line to this book, and within a few paragraphs I was already hooked and curious. The story flits between characters and also time and this gradually gives a fuller picture. There is a lot more to the story than meets the eye and the author has allowed the story to flow and felt like effortless reading.

Understanding events of the past helps to realise how things stand in the present, but even when you think you know everything do you? A betrayal, a twisted version of events, things coming full circle and having the support of family and loyal friends will help.

I found this was such a well paced story that kept my attention from start to finish. I has warmth, hope, dreams and definitely a few surprises. The author was crafty in the way she laid things out and it kept me on my toes and this again is another way of keeping my attention.

Once I began to see the threads being pulled together I could start to make connections, I started to understand the why’s of tensions and how the fear of missing out and wanting more can be twisted.

There are several characters I loved and I could definitively see myself getting on with if they were real, they added a dynamic and mixed set of traits and personalities. Though not everyone was likeable!

This is a fabulous story that I had a couple of teary eyed moments with, it was wonderful to sit and read this book literally in the course of One day and in the sunshine it definitely felt like summer. A fabulous read and one I would definitely recommend.

Shari Low is the #1 bestselling author of over 20 novels, including One Day In Winter and My One Month Marriage and a collection of parenthood memories called Because Mummy Said So. She lives near Glasgow.

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From Venice With Love by Rosanna Ley #contemporaryfiction #romance #BookReview

I am so delighted to share my review for From Venice With Love by Rosanna Ley, this is a book I read a few weeks ago and it is absolutely gorgeous. A must for readers who love a story about family, relationships and romance.

Let me show you more about this book…

The best-selling author of The Lemon Tree Hotel returns with an enchanting new holiday listen about family bonds and following your heart, wherever it might take you….

With her marriage in danger of falling apart, Joanna returns home to the beautiful but dilapidated Mulberry Farm Cottage in rural Dorset, where her sister Harriet is struggling to keep the farm afloat and cope with their eccentric mother.

When Joanna discovers a bundle of love letters in the attic, written by a watercolourist named Emmy, she is intrigued and sets out to discover Emmy’s true story. Emmy’s letters take Joanna to the picturesque alleyways and bridges of Lisbon, Prague, and the most romantic place of all: Venice – where a whole new magical world seems to unfold in front of her.

Meanwhile, back at Mulberry Farm Cottage, a mysterious prowler adds to Harriet’s problems and interrupts her search for a perfect partner. Will she ever find true love? Where will Emmy’s mesmerising pathway lead? And more importantly, will Joanna and Harriet be able to rescue the cottage and finally be able to rediscover their sisterly bond? 

What an absolutely wonderful read this was, and a first by this author for me, even though I do own several of her books! This is the story of two sisters, the elder Henrietta lives in the family farm of Mulberry Farm Cottage in Dorset with the Audrey their mother. Joanna has been living and working in London but has just moved back to the family after her husband admitted to having an affair. Going home will give her the chance to look at her life and decide what she wants to do next.

This was such an amazing book to read, the author has such a wonderful way of describing the various settings in the book. If like me, you love to disappear into a different country or country, then this is a book you really want to pick up as her descriptions are so good.

The story itself is one of self discovery for various characters, yes, they are adults and therefore to a point they should kind of have an idea of what they want to do with their lives. But the thing is that they have had some major change in their lives and this has left them wondering what role they have within the family as well as what direction they would now like to go in.

Joanne discovers old love letters, these set her off on a trail and takes her to Venice, it also fits in with her job so she can combine two things in one. Her latest is to write some travel guides that have something a little different to them. The letters lead her on a wonderful journey that I thoroughly enjoyed.

I really want to go into more details about the sisters, their mother, then Owen and Nicholas, as well as the journeys that are made, but I don’t want to spoil it for you. It is such a wonderfully evocative book that I started to read and didn’t put down until I had finished.

The author looks at family dynamics, there is the odd secret that emerges. The expectations of others and also the expectations of the characters as well. There are problems, dilemmas, but also something slightly whimsical that has such a fabulous impact on the story. For Joanna, the journey she takes to discover more about the letters also, in turn, takes her on a journey. It was like the past was showing her a way to the future.

This is a slower-paced book and it is perfect for the pace of life on the farm and also for one of the other characters. The descriptions of Dorset and Cornwall, as well as other European cities, add to this ambling pace and it is wonderful.

I cannot say anything but good about this book, well I do have one bad point… it ended! I didn’t want it to end at all!

If you are a fan of slower-paced books that delve into family and how changes impact their lives then this is a book for you. If you like descriptions of settings then this is a book for you. It is a fabulous read and I absolutely adored it and I would highly recommend it.

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The Memories We Bury by Helene Leuschel @HALeuschel #PublicationDay #PsychologicalFiction #BookReview

Happy Publication Day to you Helene Leuschel for The Memories We Bury, and many thanks for my review copy for an unbiased review xx

Let me show you what this book is all about…

An emotionally charged and captivating novel about the complexities of female friendship and motherhood, from the author of Manipulated Lives.

Lizzie Thomson has landed her first job as a music teacher, and after a whirlwind romance with Markus, the newlywed couple move into a beautiful new home in the outskirts of Edinburgh. Lizzie quickly befriends their neighbour Morag, an elderly, resourceful yet lonely widow, who’s own children rarely visit her. Everything seems perfect in Lizzie’s life until she finds out she is pregnant and her relationship with both Morag and Markus change beyond her control. 

Can Lizzie really trust Morag and why is Markus keeping secrets from her? 

In The Memories We Bury the author explores the dangerous bonds we can create with strangers and how past memories can cast long shadows over the present.

As the title indicates, this book is about memories, and particularly memories that have been buried been mis-remembered.

The author has taken this story and woven such a compelling read. Lizzie had not had the best of childhoods and her memories are not the best. his leaves her vulnerable to stronger personalities like that of her husband Markus. The couple move next door to Morag, a woman who is lonely and who is eager to help out Lizzie. Her help is invaluable as Lizzie gives birth to her son Jamie.

Over the next few weeks Lizzie and Jamie find the help that Morag gives them to be wonderful, but gradually this help progresses into more. Lizzie is struggling with being a new mum, feeling insecure and it doesn’t help that her husband works away. While the help Morag provides is good, Lizzie would like more time with her son alone.

This is such a deceptive novel and starts quite innocently enough, a neighbour willing to help out and provide aupport when needed, but then the author does something quite special and adds such a good psychological twist to it.

The story alternates between Lizzie and Morag, it delves into their past and their present lives. It builds a bigger picture over the story and had me completely and utterly hooked.

If you are a fan of family life and relationship reads that have secrets and mistrust, deception and manipulation then you are going to love this one. I did! A fabulous read that I would definitely recommend.

Helene Andrea Leuschel gained a Master in Journalism & Communication, which led to a career in radio and television in Brussels, London and Edinburgh. She later acquired a Master in Philosophy, specializing in the study of the mind. 

Helene has a particular interest in emotional, psychological and social well-being and this led her to write her first novel, Manipulated Lives, a fictional collection of five novellas, each highlighting the dangers of interacting with narcissists. 

She lives with her husband and two children in Portugal.

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Mine by Clare Empson @ClareEmpson2 @Tr4cyF3nt0n #CompulsiveReaders #OrionBooks #BookReview

I am delighted to be sharing my review today for Mine by Clare Empson. I would like to say a big thank you Tracy at Compulsive Readers for my spot onthe Blog Tour and for arranging my copy of this wonderful book.

Let me show you what it is all about…

Who am I? Why am I here? Why did my mother give me away?’

On the surface, Luke and his girlfriend Hannah seem to have a perfect life. He’s an A&R man, she’s an arts correspondent and they are devoted to their new-born son Samuel.

But beneath the gloss Luke has always felt like an outsider. So when he finds his birth mother Alice, the instant connection with her is a little like falling in love.

When Hannah goes back to work, Luke asks Alice to look after their son. But Alice – fuelled with grief from when her baby was taken from her 27 years ago – starts to fall in love with Samuel. And Luke won’t settle for his mother pushing him aside once again…

One word…Wow!

What an emotional story Mine was, I say emotional but actually it was an emotional roller-coaster. The synopsis tells you the basics you need to know about this story and to be honest I am not going to really expand on that.

The story is essentially two stories that are intertwined in a Now and Then format. The Now part of the story of Luke and how he finally gets to meet Alice, his birth mother, and how their relationship builds. The second story is about Alice and her journey through Art school, life and to the point of giving her son up for adoption.

There are obviously others in the story, Hannah is Luke’s partner and together they have Samuel, there is Luke’s mother as well. In the past there are those important to Alice, such as renowned artist Rick.

During this slower paced story the there are various aspects that the author has dealt with and I think has done very well. There is an obvious impact of reconnecting with a birth parent, expectations, questions, guilt are just the tip of the iceberg. The impact is felt for all that are part of the family and in someways careful managing is needed.

The emotion aspect of the story was gradually built up, from the initial nervousness of a first meeting to Alice becoming part of the family. While the story does have a psychological thriller feel to it, it is more about family relationships, and it has a more dramatic second half.

A fabulous read that had some surprises, and though I did have a nervous feeling I wasn’t quite expecting the way the author played her story line out. A cracking read for readers who like a book that has a slower build-up, that is as much about family life and relationships as it is the psychological thriller. It is one I would definitely recommend.

Clare Empson is a journalist with a background in national newspapers and has worked as a small business editor, finance correspondent and fashion at the Mail on Sunday and the Daily Express. Clare freelances for The Sunday Telegraph, The Sunday Times, the Evening Standard and Tatler amongst others. She currently works as editor/founder of experiential lifestyle website http://www.countrycalling.co.uk.

Him was her debut novel. Her second novel Mine is an exploration of the fraught relationship between a birth mother and her adopted son set against a backdrop of a passionate love affair in the 70s.

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The Runaway by Linda Huber @LindaHuber19 #BOTBSPublicity #BookReview

I am delighted to share my review for The Runaway by Linda Huber. This is the first time I have read anything by this author and I am so looking forward to catching up with more of her books.

My thanks to Sarah at Book On The Bright Side Publicity for my spot on the Blog Tour and for arranging my e-copy of the book.

Let me show you what it is all about…

Keep your secrets close to home…

Bad things happen in threes – or so it seems to Nicola. The death of her mother-in-law coincides with husband Ed losing his job and daughter Kelly getting into trouble with the police. Time to abandon their London lifestyle and start again by the sea in far-away Cornwall.

It should be the answer to everything – a new home, a new job for Ed and a smaller, more personal school for fifteen-year-old Kelly. But the teenager hates her new life, and it doesn’t take long before events spiral out of control and the second set of bad things starts for Nicola.

Some secrets can’t be buried.
Or… can they?

This is the first time I have read a book by this author and I have to say I enjoyed The Runaway a huge amount.

This is a book that is told from the perspectives of the three main characters. They are husband and wife, Ed and Nicola and their daughter Kelly. After Ed’s mother dies the family leave London and move into Ed’s old family home in St. Ives, Cornwall.

As the story unfolds it becomes apparent that Ed does not have the happy family memories of home, in fact the memories still haunt him. It is through his recollections and memories that I gradually found out more about him. He is unsettled and distracted and it is noticed by Nicola and Kelly.

The family are in the midst of upheaval of moving to a new house, new school, new jobs and trying to get settled. Kelly isn’t happy about leaving her friends and cracks start to show within the family.

The author has done a great job of gradually upping the tension in this story. When I started the story there were little hints at things not being well with Ed’s Cornwall home, but it is only as the story progresses that /i started to get a better picture. The story line is quite dramatic and as I said the tension is ever present.

The full impact of the story is quite an unsettling one as things take a turn. While I did get the main plot this wasn’t about “working it out” it was very much about each of the characters journeys. I enjoyed the way the story was laid out and the quick changes of perspectives between the characters and it meant that I could really get each ones point of view.

A wonderful and atmospheric character driven read. The pacing was good, not too fast but at a pace that kept my attention completely. The story line is captivating and from the start I felt its grip. Ideal for readers who like a tense, and in someways it is a domestic thriller but it also has a good psychological aspect to it as well as being a family drama. I thoroughly enjoyed it and I am looking forward to checking out and reading some of the other books by this author. I would definitely recommend it.

Linda Huber grew up in Glasgow, Scotland, but went to work in Switzerland for a year aged twenty-two, and has lived there ever since. Her day jobs have included working as a physiotherapist in hospitals and schools for handicapped children, and teaching English in a medieval castle. Currently she teaches one day a week, and writes psychological suspense novels and feel-good novellas with (most of) the rest of her time.

Her writing career began in the nineties, when she had over fifty short stories published in women’s magazines before turning to psychological suspense fiction. The Runaway is her ninth book, and is set mostly in Cornwall, where she spent several happy holidays as a child.

Linda’s other project is a series of feel-good novellas written under the pen name Melinda Huber and set on the banks of Lake Constance, just minutes from her home in north-east Switzerland. She really appreciates having the views enjoyed by her characters right on her own doorstep!

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Magpie Lane by Lucy Atkins #BookReview

I am delighted to share my review for Magpie Lane by Lucy Atkins and what an absolutely brilliant read this was.

Let me show you what it is all about…

When the eight-year-old daughter of an Oxford College Master vanishes in the middle of the night, police turn to the Scottish nanny, Dee, for answers.

As Dee looks back over her time in the Master’s Lodging – an eerie and ancient house – a picture of a high achieving but dysfunctional family emerges: Nick, the fiercely intelligent and powerful father; his beautiful Danish wife Mariah, pregnant with their child; and the lost little girl, Felicity, almost mute, seeing ghosts, grieving her dead mother.

But is Dee telling the whole story? Is her growing friendship with the eccentric house historian, Linklater, any cause for concern? And most of all, why was Felicity silent?

Roaming Oxford’s secret passages and hidden graveyards, Magpie Lane explores the true meaning of family – and what it is to be denied one.

What an absolutely amazing read this book was. Occasionally books are referred to as being memorising and for me, Magpie Lane was just that.

The story is told from the perspective of Dee, she is answering questions at the police station in Oxford regarding the disappearance of her charge Felicity Law. This is a little girl who has been through a lot. Her father Nick and Stepmother Mariah both have intensive jobs and Dee seems to be the right fit.

The story of Dee’s past, her job with the Law family is gradually teased out through Dee’s memories as she is being interviewed. The quotations she is asked is the spark for each of these memories.

A bigger picture is gradually revealed in a very atmospheric, haunting and heartbreaking tale. A picture of a dysfunctional, hardworking and stress filled family emerges. It is an intricately woven plot that was easy to follow.

This is a slow burner of a tale that just wrapped itself around me, it was a sombre and subtle read that was so well written. I suppose you could call it a domestic thriller and yes it is but in an almost understated way. It is a story of lives hit by grief, expectations, worry and hurt but it also has a strong feeling of friendship, trust and acceptance.

I adored this book from the first few pages and as much as I wanted to discover how the book would end, I didn’t want it to. It is a book that was so beautifully written and had such an atmospheric feel to it.

This is a book that readers who like a quieter read that at the same time has a tense and dramatic edge to it. It slowly unwraps and tells the story and is a gripping read. I absolutely adored it and I would Highly Recommend it.

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The Widows Mite by Allie Cresswell @Alliescribbler @rararesources #BookReview

I am absolutely delighted to share my review for The Widow’s Mite by Allie Cresswell with you all today. My huge thanks to Rachel for my spot on the Blog Tour and for also arranging an e-copy of this terrific book for me to read.

Let me show you what it is all about…

Minnie Price married late in life. Now she is widowed. And starving.
No one suspects this respectable church-goer can barely keep body and soul together. Why would they, while she resides in the magnificent home she shared with Peter?


Her friends and neighbours are oblivious to her plight and her adult step-children have their own reasons to make things worse rather than better. But she is thrown a lifeline when an associate of her late husband arrives with news of an investment about which her step-children know nothing.
Can she release the funds before she finds herself homeless and destitute?

Fans of ‘The Hoarder’s Widow’ will enjoy this sequel, but it reads equally well as a standalone.

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Minnie had married Peter and had a life that she loved with a man that she loved. His sudden death understandably shocks her and leaves her feeling vulnerable, luckily Peter’s grown up children are on hand to help take care of the will and finances. Unfortunately it appears that Peter has made no allowance for Minnie, or so it seems.

This is such a wonderful read, it is heartbreaking at times to see Minnie so destitute but still helping others out. Minnie is a proud woman and will not admit to the position she finds herself in. From those outside looking in they see a woman who is tight and miserly, I mean how can a woman who lives in a large 5 bedroom house have any worries?

The author has created a network who gradually become part of Minnie’s life, they can possibly see changes in Minnie but they never know the full extent of Minnie’s life. It is that old saying “that you never know what goes on behind closed doors” that constantly sprang to mind as I read this story.

Minnie’s predicament is one that many people find themselves in, it is one that leaves them vulnerable and open to being taken advantage of. There is always the hope that something will work out, finding it easier to deal with hope than deal with the cold hard truth!

This is a story of friendship, pride and denial and was a wonderful read. It had my heart going out to Minnie and also some of her friends. The author has included tantelising snippets about them that shows that Minnie isn’t the only one with problems. A story that I would definitely recommend.

Allie Cresswell was born in Stockport, UK and began writing fiction as soon as she could hold a pencil. 

She did a BA in English Literature at Birmingham University and an MA at Queen Mary College, London.

She has been a print-buyer, a pub landlady, a book-keeper, run a B & B and a group of boutique holiday cottages. Nowadays Allie writes full time having retired from teaching literature to lifelong learners.

She has two grown-up children, two granddaughters, two grandsons and two cockapoos but just one husband – Tim. They live in Cumbria, NW England.

The Widow’s Mite is her tenth novel.

You can contact her via her- WebsiteFacebookTwitter

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