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.

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

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!

Social Media Links – Facebook Twitter Instagram Amazon Author Page

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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.

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

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.

Purchase Links – Amazon UK or US

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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Six Steps To Happiness by Suzie Tullett @SuzieTullett @BOTBSPublicity #Bookreview

I am delighted to share my thoughts on Six Steps To Happiness by Suzie Tullett. I have read a couple of books by Suzie and enjoyed them a lot, so it was a no brainer when I saw the Blog Tour sign up for her latest book. My huge thanks to Sarah at Book On The Bright Side Publicity for my spot on the tour and also for arranging my copy of Six Steps To Happiness.

Let me show you what it is all about…

When Ronnie’s husband, Nick, leaves her for their next-door neighbour, Gaye, Ronnie’s life starts to fall apart.

Devastated by the break-up of her marriage, Ronnie is desperate for Nick and Gaye to set up home elsewhere. But Nick and Gaye won’t budge.

To add to her problems, Ronnie’s daughter and mother-in-law decide to stage an intervention. With her family keeping a close eye on her, Ronnie is forced to become more devious in her actions to get rid of Nick and Gaye.

But just how far will she go?

And is moving on ever that easy?

Six Steps to Happiness is a hilarious look at just how far one woman will go to recover from a broken heart and find happiness again.


Ronnie has been struggling to come to terms with life after the end of her marriage. he fact that her husband Nick lives next door with his new girlfriend Gaye with an “e”, doesn’t really help the situation either. Ronnie takes to playing tricks on Gaye and this leads to a local PC, Jack, on her doorstep. Luckily for Ronnie she still has the support of her Mother in Law Bea and Willow, Ronnie’s daughter.

I really enjoyed the way that the author dealt with life after a marriage breakdown. Ronnie and Nick had been married for 25 years, they’d had a daughter together and this seemed to be the entirety of her life. So coming to terms with being alone has hit her hard, and especially as he has moved in with the woman next door. Talk about a constant reminder of how tings have gone wrong!

The antics of Ronnie were good fun and imaginative, but at the same time I didn’t approve at how she was focusing all her energy on trying to get her own back, although it does make for some really entertaining reading! Luckily I wasn’t the only one that wasn’t completely taken with Ronnie’s tactics, Bea and Willow are on hand to create a set of six steps to try to get Ronnie out of the rut she is in. While these are wonderful ideas, they don’t always go according to plan and again add to the humour of the story.

The characters are brilliant, and so well developed. There were times when I could see their facial expressions as they encountered some of the situations in the story, it great when this happens. Even as I type this review up I an sniggering to myself!

This is a fabulous story and one that I was easily able to sit and read in a single afternoon. It has some fun moments as well as more serious ones that add a nice balance to the whole feel of the story. It does have a very satisfying ending and it did have me wondering as to how the author would wrap it all up, the ending was great btw!

A very enjoyable read with fabulous characters and a story line that was full of surprises, it had a lovely heartwarming feel and if you are a fan of Rom-com then you are going to love it. I would definitely recommend it.

Suzie Tullett is an author or contemporary humorous fiction and romantic comedy. She has a Masters Degree in Television & Radio Scriptwriting and worked as a scriptwriter before becoming a full-time novelist. Her motto is ‘live, laugh, love’ and when she’s not busy creating her own literary masterpieces, she usually has her head in someone else’s.

Suzie lives in a tiny hamlet in the middle of the French countryside, along with her husband and two Greek rescue dogs.

Social Media follow Links – Facebook TwitterGoodreads Author PageBlogWebsite

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The Seven or Eight Deaths of Stella Fortuna by Juliet Grames #Bookreview

I am absolutely delighted to share my thoughts on The Seven or Eight Deaths of Stella Fortuna by Juliet Grames. This book surprised me as the title made me think it would be more of a mystery read, while there was a mysterious element to it, it was actually a historical fiction and I loved it.

Before I get too carried away, let me share the synopsis with you…

Hundred-year-old Stella Fortuna sits alone in her house in Wethersfield, Connecticut, crocheting blankets and angrily ignoring her sister, Tina, who lives across the street. The sisters, once the best of friends, have not spoken for thirty years, not since The Accident—the eighth time Stella nearly died.

But what unspeakable betrayal made Stella turn on her sister? Born in a mountaintop village in southern Italy, Stella and Tina had grown up in abject poverty in the years between the two World Wars, abandoned by their father, who had left to seek his fortune in L’America, and forced to drop out of school after first grade to work in the olive groves. Tough, vivacious, and fiercely loyal, the inseparable sisters were foils for each other, Stella precocious and charismatic, Tina obedient and hard-working. But as Stella suffered ever more serious near-death experiences—beginning in their childhood with the time she was burned by frying oil (“the eggplant attack”)—the girls’ beloved mother, Assunta, became convinced her eldest daughter was cursed, a victim of the Evil Eye or a malevolent ghost. But what was really trying to kill Stella Fortuna, eight (or maybe seven) different times?

Now, after a century of trauma, Stella has turned on those who she once thought loved her most. It is up to the family historian to unravel the life and deaths of Stella Fortuna and to connect the inexplicable dots in her dramatic story—to suggest, finally, a redemption of the battle-scarred and misunderstood woman known now to the family as “crazy Stella.” 

The synopsis does a brilliant job of explaining what to expect from this wonderful book.

As I began reading I was reminded of another book I read many years ago, that was One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez, in that book there was a repetition of family names being handed down to the next generation. While The Seven or Eight Deaths also has a similar naming tradition it was not as confusing as Marquez’s.

The author depicts a very simple life for the Fortuna family in the small remote Italian village that they call home. It is simple but also a very hard life. The main focus is on Stella and her sister Tina and their parents Assunta and Antonio. It is the females of this story that are the strength and I think their hard lifestyle in Italy has helped them in their strength and determination as the book proceeds further with their story.

Antonio is a father who has not spent a lot of time with the family, he goes off to work and eventually ends up in America where he then sends for the rest of his family to join him. I have to say I really did not like him, he is very much a “do as I say because I am your husband” character. It is typical of the traditional family dynamic of the time. As much as it really grated it was right for the story.

Because the author has used a time span of 100 hundred years there is a lot of world history things that could have been included, the author has picked out a couple of key events and this makes the reading very fluid and relevant to the females in the Fortuna family. I very much enjoyed their arrival in America and witnessing Stella and Tina’s reaction to the American way of life, the social differences made me smile. But life as a recently arrived immigrant is not all smiles and roses and the women have to work hard.

The author has a wonderful style of writing that made it so easy for me to disappear into the pages for 2-3 hours at a time. She showed the differences in the way of life for the family from a cultural as well as a social point of view. I liked how she touched on traditional local dishes that Assunta would have made, then being Americanised. It is little touches like this that appealed to me, it is a way of seeing the subtle changes and adaptations in culture and society.

The Seven or Eight deaths of Stella are explained throughout the story, and also the disagreements that gradually cause a rift between the sisters. The deaths part of the story does have a slight spookiness to it and this is why it is also listed in horror/occult and I, I do hope that does not put people off because for me this was just a small part of a bigger story. As I mentioned earlier, the women of the story are strong and determined and so I can see why the rift had been caused. The women are fabulously developed characters that grow and evolve with the story, they are joined at intervals by various other relatives and friends.

This is an emotional story but also one that I did not feel emotional about as I was reading it. This sounds a rather odd thing to say, as yes the story is emotional but the characters have a very firm and solid outlook on life. They do show emotion as such but as they are such strong characters they are more able to hold it in, although there are times when the dam breaks for them.

This is such a wonderful story that is set through the 1900’s, it gives a century of family history and at times has a literary fiction style to it. I found it to be very addictive reading and when I wasn’t reading I did often find myself thinking about it.

This is one that I think other historical fiction readers would really enjoy. It is heartwarming and also heartbreaking but without being overly emotional and does have some hard reading moments, it is about family and new starts and also tipping a nod to the past. I would definitely recommend.


Many thanks for reading my post, a like or share is always appreciated 🙂 xx

Letters To My Daughters by Emma Hannigan #20booksofsummer #bookreview

I am delighted to welcome you to my thoughts on Letters To My Daughters by Emma Hannigan. This book is another read for the Readin Challenge #20 Books Of Summer that I took part in this summer.

Let me show you what this book is all about…

Her three girls were her world. It was time to let them know. 

To sisters Bea, Jeannie and Rose, the death of their beloved childhood nanny is a devastating loss. As the girls grew up, Nanny May had become so much more to them all: confidant, advocate, comforter, friend. In whom will they confide their hopes, fears and failures now she has gone? Especially now each sister needs a mother’s wisdom more than ever…

Martha cannot understand why her daughters are so upset about losing their childhood nanny. Yes, Martha was always in demand as a busy midwife, but that doesn’t mean she loved her own children any less. But why don’t the girls realise that? And has she left it too late to let them know…?

I think this is such a nice title for a book. The daughters are Bea, Jeannie and Rose, their parents are Jim and Martha. As both parents worked it fell to Nanny May to help raise the girls. Nanny May was an invaluable part of the household and they all kept in touch over the years as the girls grew up and left home to begin their own lives. The death of Nanny May hit the girls and Jim hard, but Martha isn’t quite affected in the same way by the death as the others.

Over the course of the story the author built up and developed a story that delves into all their pasts. It is told in the Now, with glimpses back in time. The author has created a story about a family that appears perfect from the outside, I say appears because there are cracks and some of those cracks are widening.

The story weaves its way at a pleasant pace and it was quite suprising how time just simply passed by as I was immersed in the book. I gradually got to know each of the main characters and found myself warming to them as I discovered more about them as a family as well as individuals. I discovered their secrets, their dreams and their wishes, what made them scared and what made them anxious.

It’s a story of a family, and with that came so many emotions as I read, anger, frustration, joy, hope, exasperation and doubt. As it progressed I did wonder how this family could stop the cracks from widening, if they could find compromises and if they could pull things back. By the end of the story I was surprised at the ending, I did not expect that, but at the same time it did feel right and so worked well.

It is one of those stories that I want to say is a delightful and lovely read. It has some tense moments that lead to distrust and dismay but also has a solid glimmer of hope and is heartwarming.

Letters to My Daughters is a book I would happily Recommend!


Book #18 of 20

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