New Beginnings at the Old Bakehouse by Christie Barlow @ChristieJBarlow #LoveHeartLane #contemporaryfiction #romance #NetGalley @OneMoreChapter_ #bookreview

I am delighted to share my review today for the latest book in the Love Heart Lane series. New Beginnings at the Old Bakehouse by CHristie Barlow is a gorgeous read. If you have read any of the books in this series, then you are going to adore this one.

My huge thanks to One More Chapter for inviting me to read this title via NetGalley.

This is the 9/20 book in my #20booksofsummer reading challenge. I really must get caught up with the rest of the reviews for this!

Love Heart Lane – where friends are there for you no matter what

‘A letter, a death, and a baby girl whose name will begin with “L”…’

When Heartcross’ resident clairvoyant tells Molly McKendrick to expect a whole lot of scandal and upset to blow in with the approaching winter storm, Molly doesn’t know what to think.

With a baby on the way any week now, and Christmas not far off, the last thing Molly needs is drama, but when she crosses paths with Bree, a sixteen-year-old homeless girl, and takes her in from the cold, secrets from the past flood the present and Molly, her partner Cam, and their son George, are soon experiencing a holiday season filled with unexpected festive surprises… 

MY REVIEW

This was a refreshing book to read as it has a right chilly feel as winter sets in at Heartcross in Book 9 of the Love Heart Lane series. Refreshing because I was sitting out reading this in a very hot garden at the beginning of July!

This book takes us back to the Old Bakehouse, obviously, the title gives this away and it was great to catch up with Molly and Cam. This is a lovely couple and they work together so well, but things are a little off with them and it’s not just down to Molly being pregnant. There is something more going on and things don’t improve when Molly brings in an unknown girl who was at the local shelter for those who are homeless. This is something that Cam normally would not have minded, but as I mentioned things are not quite as happy and rosy as they should be in the Bakehouse.

I adore this series and this latest book was great to read as it took us back to one of the couples featured in some of the earlier books. While getting the Bakehouse up and running has been tough, things could get tougher still and with the pressure of another addition to their family, he is a little wound up.

The community of Heartcross is a close-knit one, some families go back generations and some residents have lived there all their lives and have seen many comings and goings. There isn’t much that goes on without someone being in the know or at least noticing something that reminds them of things past.

Another story means getting to know the characters a little more and also a chance to introduce others. In this case, Bree, is a young girl who is homeless and a little edgy but has a heart of gold. The only thing is will anyone see past the stereotype of a homeless person image she has?

Once again there are a couple of very serious subjects tackled, there are some wonderful heartfelt moments and also a sense of dread. I will say that there are also a couple of damp-eye moments in this one as the story and the mystery of the past began to emerge.

If you have read any of the books in the series then you are going to adore this one. It can be read as a stand-alone but these are much better read in order. This is one for those who like a wonderful community, family and friendship feel of a story, some serious and fun moments and an all-around fabulous read. It is one I would definitely recommend.

About the Author

Christie Barlow is the international bestselling author of twelve romantic comedies including the iconic Love Heart Lane Series, A Home at Honeysuckle Farm and Kitty’s Countryside Dream. She lives in a ramshackle cottage in a quaint village in the heart of Staffordshire with her four children and two dogs.
Her writing career has come as a lovely surprise when Christie decided to write a book to teach her children a valuable life lesson and show them that they are capable of achieving their dreams. Christie’s dream was to become a writer and the book she wrote to prove a point went on to become a #1 international bestseller in the UK, USA, Canada and Australia.
When Christie isn’t writing she enjoys playing the piano, is a keen gardener and loves to paint and upcycle furniture.
Christie is an ambassador for the @ZuriProject alongside Patron of the charity, Emmerdale’s Bhasker Patel. They raise money and awareness for communities in Uganda.
Christie loves to hear from her readers and you can get in touch via Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.

www.christiebarlow.com

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

The Halfways by Nilopar Uddin #20booksofsummer #contemporaryfiction #NetGalley #bookreview

I am delighted to share my review today for The Halfways by Nilopar Uddin. This is a stunning book to read about a family that is spread between New York, Bangladesh, Wales and London.

This is the 8th book on my #20booksofsummer reading challenge. My huge thanks to HQ Stories for acce[pting my request to read and review this title.

Nasrin and Sabrina are two sisters, who on the face of things live successful and enviable lives in London and New York. When their father, Shamsur suddenly dies, they rush to be with their mother at the family home and restaurant in Wales, and reluctantly step back into the stifling world of their childhood.

When Shamsur’s will is read, a devastating secret is revealed that challenges all that people thought and loved about him. It also profoundly changes the lives and identities of the sisters, and creates an irreparable family rift…

Moving between London, Wales, New York and Bangladesh, this is an epic family drama that spans over four decades. A story of mothers and daughters, of fathers and daughters, of sisterhood, it is a tale that explores belonging, family and what makes forgiveness and redemption possible.

MY REVIEW

This is a wonderful book to read and a first for me by this author. The story is one about differing opinions between family members. The family emigrated from Bangladesh to the Brecon Beacons in Wales. Their father has recently passed away and the sisters Nasrin and Sabrina have returned back to Wales from London and New York.

While the story focuses a lot on the two girls, the author has included other family members and relations. This was a brilliant way of giving different perspectives and it gave a better idea of the opinions other people had. Their parents wanted their girls to live and experience the ways of the West, but even on this, they disagreed as their mother felt they should be more away from their home, religion, culture and heritage of Bangladesh.

The author has created an extremely poignant story of the differences between cultures religions, traditions and expectations. Trying to live your life between two different cultures does bring arguments and disagreements. While both sisters try to be modern and to be more like those around them, they are still aware that their skin is of a different colour. Both have compromised to be more accepted and this is shown through some very heart-breaking scenes.

Getting to know more about family and also the culture was so interesting and the author made it so addictive. The story is deep and moving and does explore the stigmas and perceptions of people, especially those within this family. Backstories are explored for the parents and for several others and this helps build a fuller picture.

I adored this story, it has some fun moments, but it is also very heartbreaking. A gorgeously told story with additional information in the glossary at the end. It is a family in turmoil, one that is struggling and trying to overcome the death of a father and husband and also trying to keep things together. They are trying so hard to keep things going and not everything goes to plan.

This is one for those who love to explore different cultures, religions and lives, contemporary fiction as well as dipping into the past. Addictive reading and one I would definitely recommend.

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

What’s Next by Shari Low @sharilow @rararesources @BoldwoodBooks #boldwoodbloggers #NetGalley #contemoraryfiction #bookreview

I am delighted to share my review today for What’s Next by Shari Low. This was a wonderful read and one that is great for those who like reading contemporary fiction and family life scenarios.

My huge thanks to Rachel at Rachel’s Random Resources for my spot on the Blog Tour and for arranging my e-copy from the publisher Boldwood Books via NetGalley.

What Next?
Two weeks, four friends and one big bucket list of secrets to unravel…

Val Murray and her best friend, Josie had been planning a ‘Thelma and Louise’ bucket list style holiday.
Now Josie is gone, and Val needs to make the trip before it’s too late.
But Val doesn’t want to do it alone, so she enlists the help of her nieces, Carly and Carole, and their best pal, Jess, who jump at the chance to join Val on a trip of a lifetime.
What Val doesn’t realise is that Carly, Carole and Jess are all at turning points in their own lives, nursing crushing secrets, lies and betrayals.
Somewhere between Los Angeles, Las Vegas and New York they all hit a crossroads and have to decide if they want to return to the lives they left behind or let Josie’s last wishes take them on a brand new adventure.
Purchase Link – HERE

MY REVIEW

Having read a few of this author’s books now, I have to say this one is one of my favourites – well, so far!

It starts with a bucket list that Val and her friend Josie had thought up. Now that Josie has passed on, Val decides it’s time to get something done about this list. You soon get to realise that Val is incorrigible and so she sort of organises and hi-jacks her nieces and they all go off to America to tick off the items.

The three nieces, Carly, Carol and Jess are, well sort of stuck in their lives or have something going on with them. It gives the 4 women a chance to not only kick back and have some fun but to assess.

This is a fabulous book and I have to say Val is such an amazing character. She is one of those characters who is the cornerstone of the story. While she is loud, bright and a real hoot, she also has another softer and hugely caring side. She is also a dangerous woman to go out anywhere with as she will definitely lead you astray, this makes for some hilarious and raucous moments in the story.

Each of the women has something they need to deal with, none of them is upfront about it. They need a trigger for the secret to be released. So while this trip is for the purpose of fulfilling a friend’s wish, it is also about discovering what needs to change for each of them.

The author has got the balance spot on with this story mixing humour with worries about life, health and family. There are changes and challenges and some wonderful moments that just make you feel that you are not alone in the world. Life for the women has been portrayed very differently for each one, and this was a great way of seeing different perspectives on life and how success is seen or happiness is measured.

This is a fabulous read, it is heartwarming and yeah there were a couple of moments when I had a lump in my throat. Ideal for readers of contemporary fiction, life, family and friendship. A gorgeous read and one I would definitely recommend.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Shari Low is the #1 bestselling author of over 25 novels, including One Day In Summer and My One Month Marriage and a collection of parenthood memories called Because Mummy Said So. She lives near Glasgow.
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Orphans of the Storm by Celia Imrie #historicalfiction #NetGalley @BloomsburyBooks #bookreview

I am delighted to share my review today for Orphans of the Storm by Celia Imrie. This is a fabulous historical fiction that has been wonderfully researched and offers a glimpse into those on the Titanic.

My huge thanks to Bloomsbury Books for granting my request to read this book via NetGalley. I do wish I had read it sooner as it was a wonderful read.

From internationally bestselling author and celebrated actress Celia Imrie, an epic novel set against the backdrop of the sinking of the Titanic.

Nice, France, 1911: After three years of marriage, Marcella Navratil has finally had enough. Her husband, Michael, an ambitious tailor, may have charmed her during their courtship, but their few years of marriage have revealed a cruel and controlling streak. The 21-year-old mother of two is determined to get a divorce.

But while awaiting the Judges’ decision on the custody of their children, Michael receives news that changes everything.

Meanwhile, fun-loving New York socialite Margaret Hays is touring Europe with some friends. Restless, she resolves to head home aboard the most celebrated steamer in the world.

But as the ship sets sail for America, carrying two infants bearing false names, the paths of Marcella, Michael and Margaret cross and nothing will ever be the same again.

Orphans of the Storm dives into the waters of the past to unearth a sweeping, epic tale of the sinking of the Titanic that radiates with humanity and hums with life.

MY REVIEW

I know I am not the only reader who sees a book and thinks “I really want to read that” and then it gets lost in the mountain of other books. Orphans of the Storm was one of those books and I am so glad I finally got to read it. If you have this on your TBR then I suggest bumping it up and reading it.

When I first saw this I knew it was one that I would enjoy, historical fiction and one that also includes the Titanic. The book is set in 1911, Nice, France. Marcella is going through the motions of divorcing her husband Michael a tailor. The story then goes back and fills in how the couple met, their life together, their two children and how the Titanic is involved.

This story grabbed me from the first few chapters, more so just before the jump back in time! The first half of the book concerns itself more with Marcella and Michael and how things change for her when her children are born. Michael is not the person she thought she had married, and she lives a very fraught life. He is a tyrant and a manipulator to say the least and not a likeable person at all.

The second half of the book introduces Margaret, a woman who has done the “European Tour” and decides to get an early boat back to America. She boards the Titanic along with around 2,24 other people including the crew. We know from history what happens to this ship.

The author has woven such an amazingly heartbreaking story and I didn’t realise how much research had gone into this until the end of the book. This is so interesting to read and it also gave me the chance to hop on the internet for more information.

The author is not one I have read before, but I was aware of her name as regards being an actor. I think in some ways it was her name that caught my eye first.

The story of Marcella, Michael and her children as well as her family and friends was a wonderful yet very sad story. It gave a glimpse into life for women as wives, employees and mothers. Michael is a person who has charm and you soon see how she was won over.

The section of the story dealing with the going down of the Titanic and then the rescue of some of the 2,224 by the passing ship Carpathia was so well done. It gave an account of what was happening to the main people of the story as well as those around them. When the survivors embarked in America the media frenzy was shocking.

This was such a wonderful story to read, I quickly flew through the pages and was gripped. The historical notes and research information at the end of the book are brilliant and very informative.

If you are a lover of historical fiction that is well researched then you really should look at picking this book. I am so glad I finally got around to reading it and wished I had done so sooner. It is a book I would definitely recommend.

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

Under One Roof by Samantha Tonge @SamTongeWriter @rararesources @BoldwoodBooks #boldwoodbloggers #contemporaryfiction #bookreview

I am delighted to be one of the Bloggers to open the Blog Tour today and to share my review for Under one Roof by Samantha Tonge. This is a wonderful mix of contemporary fiction, family and life, I thoroughly enjoyed it.

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 book from Boldwood Books via NetGalley.

One forgotten discovery will change three women’s lives for ever…


Robin hasn’t been home for decades. After running away to London, she never expected to see her cantankerous mother, Faye, again. But when Faye has a fall, the two women are thrown together once more.


The years apart have not made their hearts grow fonder and the ground between them is unsteady. Then Robin finds an unopened scroll – the last of the treasure hunts her much-missed father used to take them on every Sunday. A hunt he believed might change everything. 


Yet, not even this gift from her beloved father can smooth the way until Robin’s daughter, Amber, arrives to meet her grandmother for the first time.  Amber is determined that the decades-old mystery be solved.
Can a 30-year-old treasure hunt really ‘change everything’?


Purchase Link: HERE

MY REVIEW

I have read a couple of this authors books and have really enjoyed them. Her latest one, Under One Roof, is a wonderful mix of contemporary fiction and family life.

Faye has a fall and her daughter, Robin, is persuaded to go to stop with her Mother to help her while she heals and recovers. It may sound odd that a daughter has to be persuaded, but the close bond that many have is just not there between Faye and Robin. To say that the long-overdue reunion is tense would be an understatement. You could cut the tension with a knife! The author has done a great job of creating animosity and tenseness between mother and daughter that you can really feel as you read.

When Robin’s daughter, Amber, also needs a helping hand, it is to Faye’s house she also stayed at. Three generations of women Under One Roof should be something that you would expect to be a time of reminiscing, chatting over stories and memories. Instead, each of the women is a closed book. They are short with each other with just the occasional glimmer of emotion underneath.#

I really enjoyed the dynamics between the three women, each feel hard done by, but why! The author gradually reveals some interesting pasts to Faye and Robin, it will go a long way to bridging the gap, it will also help Amber to see why the women are so aloof with each other.

The author brings into this story some tough things for the women to explain. Not only why there isn’t the closeness, but also why Robin ran away from home. Yes to a certain extent this is about these two women, but the help of a third is also needed and this is where Amber becomes the centre for this see-saw. She gives them a push and in doing so learns more about her family.

This is a wonderfully written story about understanding and opening up to feelings, fears and emotions. Through the three generations, there are different perspectives and opinions. While there is a sadness to some of the secrets that finally are revealed it isn’t overly done. There is a nice lightness to the writing that makes it a very addictive story to read.

This is one for those who like a story that centres around family, secrets and misunderstood people. I adored this story a lot and I would definitely recommend it.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Samantha Tonge lives in Manchester UK and studied German and French at university. She has worked abroad, including a stint at Disneyland Paris as part of the Opening Crew, and has travelled widely. She enjoys family time, baking and walking and always knew that one day she would write. Samantha finally took the plunge seriously in her late thirties, and hasn’t stopped since. Under One Roof will be her sixteenth book and she has also sold many dozens of short stories to women’s magazines.

Samantha’s uplifting stories are about identity and self-discovery, about friendships and communities. She enjoys creating diverse characters and writing about relatable issues that make the reader feel it’s not just me. Her books have hit the AmazonUK overall chart Top Ten position twice and she has won two awards.

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Anything You Can Do by B.R. Maycock @BRMaycock @rararesources #romcom #family #bookrevier

I am delighted to share my review today for Anything You Can Do by B.R. Maycock. I have read a couple of this author’s books before and found them very enjoyable, so I was delighted to get a spot on the One Day Blog Blitz for her latest book.

My huge thanks to Rachel at Rachel’s Random Resources for my spot on the Blitz and for arranging my e-copy of this book.

Anything You Can Do
What would you do if the stars aligned to put everything right in your home?
If Roles Were Reversed …

Caroline and Noel Morton are two people who need a change. One wants to escape the rat race while the other hopes to join it!

When Noel is asked to begin working from home he’s quick to say yes. More time with his three children? How could he not? Meanwhile, Caroline is considering starting a new job. How amazing would it be to hit goals and targets and have people actually thank you for a change? And when she receives an offer from the failing Eden Street box company, an organisation in chaos, she’s ready to change the world!

But is an organisation brimming with employees who are tired, disillusioned and waiting to be let go of what she really needs? And can Noel work from a chaotic home with three children, an obsessed work colleague and a disillusioned mother ready to thwart his plans at every turn?

Join Caroline and Noel as we return to Riverside to see if everyday changes can guide a relationship back to solid ground or if they’ll further tear it apart!

For fans of Fiona Gibson, Christie Barlow and Tracy Bloom this is a laugh out loud comedy you won’t want to miss!

Purchase Links – AMAZON – UK GERMANYAU US

MY REVIEW

At 168 pages this is an enjoyable quick read that I sat and read over a couple of hours or so. A family of Mum, Dad and three children. Mum stays at home while Dad goes to work, normal run of the mill stuff but Mum, Caroline is feeling like she is at everyone’s beck and call, while Dad, Noel can’t understand why the housework isn’t all done and a meal ready for when he gets home!

This is one of those scenarios that many of us will be aware of, it doesn’t matter if you are a stay at home Mum or Dad you will get this as you not only juggle school schedules, visits from people and try to keep on top of everything. Not only that, but you can feel like you are starting to lose yourself and your identity as the rest of the family expect things to be done, cleaned, organised or washed when they need it.

A snapshot of family life is something that does work well in stories and this one had me chuckling, especially when the roles are reversed, yes I sniggered as I saw the realisation set in for Noel. But, I was also aware that this was not the only change, Caroline had become the one going out to work and little bits of her were also starting to show signs as well.

This is a role reversal story, but one that has a few other elements in it. Working parents, relationships, friendships and family are all things that need to be managed, it is easy to see how a little thing like a wet sock, a missing lunch box or a forgotten item can throw the day into disarray before it has even begun!

Enjoyable read and one that will appeal to readers who like lighter contemporary fiction and family life story. One I would happily recommend.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Hi Readers, I’m Berni and I’m a rom-commer!
My start: Enid Blyton, Roald Dahl and the entire contents of our local library, then Sweet Valley High, Point Horror, Babysitters Club and The Saddle Club before drifting into adulthood where I found Jenny Colgan, Marian Keyes, Patricia Cornwall, Stephen King and John Grisham.
I am now an absolute chick-lit, rom-com, and thriller addict and former book blogger (you might know me from B R Maycock’s book blog).
My goal is always to give someone something they can settle down with for a bit of escapism and a laugh with small-town series, ‘mom lit’ books and sparkly standalones.
Then there’s the official line…
B R Maycock (Berni to all you lovely people!) writes romantic comedies that are warm, sparkly and fun. She can be found in Co. Westmeath, Ireland with her brilliantly out there husband, Keith, their four epic little men, and four cats She has one goal and that’s simply to make readers smile and/ or laugh (a splutter rates highest;)).
  Connect with me below on social media…

Social Media Links – WEBSITE BLOG TWITTER

The Story of Our Secrets by Shari Low @sharilow @rararesources #contemporaryfiction #BoldwoodBooks #boldwoodbloggers #NetGalley #bookreview

I am delighted to share my review today for The Story of Our Secrets by Shari Low. This is a gorgeously written and very emotional book.

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 book via NetGalley.

Colm O’Flynn was loved by his close circle of family and friends, however, his death came too soon for everyone to make peace with their past.


Shauna, his second wife, adored him. But one night she broke their marriage vows and didn’t get time to ask Colm’s forgiveness.
Jess was the first Mrs O’Flynn. Her heart is set on someone new, but will the last one night stand she shared with Colm come back to haunt her?


Colm’s best friend, Dan, is recently divorced. Can he take a second shot at happiness if it means betraying the one person who always had his back?


What no one knows is that somewhere out there Colm left messages that could set them free to start over again.


Can divine intervention help them find Colm’s last wishes before it’s too late to love again?


Purchase Link – HERE

MY REVIEW


What an absolutely gorgeous and emotional book the author has created with Thre Story of Our Secrets. When Colm is diagnosed with a brain tumour, he doesn’t sit and discuss the practical things about life after his death with his wife Shauna. He has never discussed anything important that would involve emotions. Shauna is not the only person he left behind, there is his daughter Beth, his ex-wife Jess and their twin sons, and also his business partner and best mate Dan.

This is an emotional roller coaster as I gradually got to know the people that are important in the life of Shauna. She is good friends with Jess, the ex-wife and both of their families fit together as one. Trying to cope with grief and also the anger of not knowing what to do for the best, Shauna is struggling, Dan is also struggling as is Jess. These three need to move on, but they are finding it difficult. Life is not the same with Colm.

While this story is obviously sad at times, there is also a lot of good happy things going on in it. The biggest feeling that came through for me was that very tentative thread of hope and wanting the characters to move forward in their lives. And did the author make these characters go through it or what!!! SHe didn’t give them an easy route and this made the story so much the better. Nothing about life is particularly easy and before any of the characters can move forward they have to face some truths, and also hear some secrets.

This is a fabulous book to snuggle up and read. It had me with watery eyes with several of the scenes, but also feeling that it was time for the next step. The author has created some amazing characters and with them comes some fabulous dramatics and drama. The storyline is one that fans of romance and contemporary fiction will really enjoy. I adored this book and I would definitely recommend it.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Shari Low is the #1 bestselling author of over 25 novels, including One Day In Summer, My One Month Marriage, and a collection of parenthood memories called Because Mummy Said So. She lives near Glasgow.

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Freecycling For Beginners by Misha Herwin @MishaHerwin @rararesources #contemporaryfiction #bookreview

I am delighted to share my review today for Recycling For Beginners by Misha Herwin. I have read several of Misha’s books in the past and I was delighted to be able to grab a spot on the Blog Tour for her latest book.

My huge thanks to Rachel at Rachel’s Random Resources for my spot ont he tour and for arranging my e-copy of this fabulous book.

The time has come for Jane to sell the family home. Downsizing to a flat means that everything must go, but her late husband’s favourite chair is far too precious for the tip.


Meanwhile, Robyn, balancing her precarious career as a portrait artist with raising an autistic son, is searching for a chair with panache that will allow her sitters to pose in comfort.


Elsewhere in the city, Tracey is clearing out her wardrobe at the same moment that divorced and cash-strapped Debbie is frantically seeking a prom dress for her daughter.


None of these women have ever met until Freecycle brings them together and their lives are about to be changed in ways they could never have imagined.

Purchase Links – AMAZON UK US

MY REVIEW…

Jane decides that it is time to get rid of her late husband’s chair, too good to dump but not good enough to sell. She decides to advertise it on her local Freecycle site. From this chair, a connection is formed that stretches further than just one chair moving from one household to another.

The author has used the act of offering items that still have use and life in them for free. From this, she has then woven such a fabulous story that delves into the lives of various people. An artist, a single mum, and a very stressed mum. None of the women knows each other, but it is the chair that brings in a link to them.

I loved everything about this story, it gave a glimpse into the lives of the characters, their homes and their families. Bringing up children, tackling problems with finances, with illness and then the general coming and going of life, work, and love. Relationships can be brittle and there are times when you need support, sometimes it can be a simple act of kindness that can make the world of difference to someone. From the smallest act of help to giving a large amount of time, the author has included it in some form within this story of stories.

It is a story of different lives and therefore different threads, these have been tweaked and nurtured wonderfully by the author. This was a wonderful book that I adored, the stories of each family were emotional but in very different ways.

This is one for readers who like a good heart-warming contemporary fiction story about families doing what families do. An absolutely wonderful book and one I would definitely recommend.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR…

Misha M Herwin is a Staffordshire based writer. When not writing she runs workshops for adults and children, including youth groups at the New Vic Theatre, and events such as the 6×6 Story Café for Stoke Libraries. She spends what spare time she has with family and friends, reading, working in her garden and baking. Scones are a speciality.


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The Best, Most Awful Job: Twenty Writers Talk Honestly About Motherhood edited by Katherine May @_katherine_may_ @eandtbooks @alisonmenziespr #nonfic #motherhood #bookreview

I am delighted to share my review today for The Best, Most Awful Job edited by Katherine May. A book that features 20 women writers who have each wrote about motherhood, the good, the bad and the heart breaking.

My huge thanks to Alison for arranging my copy from Eliot & Thompson Publishers.

Motherhood is life-changing. Joyful. Disorientating. Overwhelming. Intense on every level. It’s the best, most awful job.

The Best, Most Awful Job brings together twenty bold and brilliant women to speak about motherhood in all its raw, heart-wrenching, gloriously impossible forms.

Overturning assumptions, breaking down myths and shattering stereotypes, these writers challenge our perceptions of what it means to be a mother – and ask you to listen.

Contributors include:

Michelle Adams – Javaria Akbar – Charlene Allcott – MiMi Aye – Jodi Bartle – Sharmila Chauhan – Josie George – Leah Hazard – Joanne Limburg – Katherine May – Susana Moreira Marques – Dani McClain – Hollie McNish – Saima Mir – Carolina Alvarado Molk – Emily Morris – Jenny Parrott – Huma Qureshi – Peggy Riley – Michelle Tea – Tiphanie Yanique

You can purchase a copy HERE

My Review…


This is a book of experiences from 20 writers, their experiences of motherhood. Being a mum myself I was intrigued by this title. The Best, Most Awful Job. Yes, being a mum is one of the best things but why is it also the most awful? This book is an open and honest selection of accounts from women who are mothers and from however their path to motherhood was.

The book explored things that are not spoken about after the birth of your child, you know, things down below, will they ever be the same again or how on earth will I ever be able to walk normally! Obviously, things do return and you do walk normally, but often these are not spoken about.

Some of the stories are very poignant and how while pregnant you tend to lose your identity and are often asked “How’s Mum doing?” then after the birth, you are then ignored as people asked about “baby”. I remember knowing loads of mums at school but often didn’t know their names. I was one of the many who became so and so’s Mum.

The 20 authors are from a range of backgrounds and ethnicities. Different countries and cultures. Yet some things are the same no matter where you are from. There are stereotypes and stigmas in all aspects of society and there are some that are very much worse than others.

I can remember with my first child, being in hospital and being treated well as I was a married young mum. The unmarried young mum, who was similar in age discharged herself after two nights as she was not given the same level of support. This was in 1989, and I still remember feeling so sorry for her, but afraid to say anything as the midwife at the hospital tended to be older and if I am honestly quite scary. I will say that by the time I had my final child things had improved, younger more patient-centred midwives were around and they had no prejudice at all.

This book looks at motherhood from the perspective of each authors viewpoint. Whether it is a step mum, mum with a disability, mixed-race mum, and many others. I will not mention them all as I want to leave plenty for other readers to discuss.

After reading this book I understand the title much more. Yes, being a mum can have some awful moments, but there are also many, many of the best moments ever.

This is a book that anyone can read, it will be eye-openeing for some, it will make others nod knowingly but most of all it brings the doubts, worries and stereotypes out in the open. We discuss many things and this is another thing we must talk about more, be more open about and not keep the horrible bits hidden. Being open and discussing things makes life so much easier.

A fabulous collection of experiences and it was a pleasure to read. Some are very sad, others warm and hopeful and others make a stand. It is a book that I would definitely recommend.

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

Would I Lie To You? by Aliya Ali-Afzal #NetGalley #20booksofsummer @HoZ_Books #contemporaryfiction

I am delighted to share my review today for Would I Lie To You? by Aliya Ali-Afzal. This is a book I requested to read from House of Zeus via NetGalley and I am so glad I did because it is fabulous.

I am including this as part of #20booksofsummer reading challenge, this is a change to my list! 🙂

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From fresh new voice Aliya Ali-Afzal, Would I Lie to You? is a page-turning, warm and funny debut about what happens when you have your dream life – and are about to lose it.

At the school gates, Faiza fits in. It took a few years, but now the snobbish mothers who mistook her for the nanny treat her as one of their own. She’s learned to crack their subtle codes, speak their language of handbags and haircuts and discreet silver watches. You’d never guess, at the glamorous kids’ parties and the leisurely coffee mornings, that Faiza’s childhood was spent following her parents round the Tooting Cash ‘n’ Carry.

When her husband Tom loses his job in finance, he stays calm. Something will come along, and in the meantime, they can live off their savings. But Faiza starts to unravel. Raising the perfect family comes at a cost – and the money Tom put aside has gone. When Tom’s redundancy package ends, Faiza will have to tell him she’s spent it all.

Unless she doesn’t…

It only takes a second to lie to Tom. Now Faiza has six weeks to find £75,000 before her lie spirals out of control. If anyone can do it, Faiza can: she’s had to fight for what she has, and she’ll fight to keep it. But as the clock ticks down, and Faiza desperately tries to put things right, she has to ask herself: how much more should she sacrifice to protect her family?

My Review…

This is a debut and one that I immediately fell for as I began reading. The pages flew by as I read this over the course of one day. The author made it so easy to submerge me into the life of Faiza’s life.

Faiza is a character who is so desperate to fit in, no matter the cost. This isn’t really a problem until her husband Tom loses his job. Their savings have been decimated as Faiza gets sucked into keeping up with the elite mums at school. Wanting to be one of the clique. Not wanting to be on the outside, to be part of a group and to feel as good as those around her.

Initially, I couldn’t understand why Faiza would want to be part of this group of upper-class mothers until I got further into the story. I started to understand her upbringing and the reasons behind her spending. Faiza is a Pakistani Muslim, she is in a multicultural marriage and has three children. She, as many other parents stay at home, runs the house, looks after the children and her husband works long hours to provide for them. They do have a lavish lifestyle and not wanting others to notice the lack of money Faiza does what she can to keep the charade of “being fine” going as long as she can.

The author has brought many things to this story, money worries that lead to marriage problems, arguments, stress and keeping their heads above water. Having a change of roles for the parents was such a good route to go down, but then this route turned dark and highlighted other issues. Being a woman working in a high powered city job has a whole set of other problems.

This is a brilliant story, one that had me engrossed from start o finish. It has such good pacing to it and it reflects the spiral and panic as Faiza tries to keep juggling various problems. Cultural differences become a problem and Faiza is not the only one to notice this, rather than confront it head-on, the author uses Faiza to approach this in a different way. There are several eye-opening moments in the book and not just the more obvious ones either.

This is a great read and I am really looking forward to reading more by this author. This is one for readers who like contemporary fiction, family life and relationships. It is one I would definitely recommend.

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