#BookReview THE IMPOSSIBLE TRUTHS OF LOVE by HANNAH BECKERMAN



ABOUT THE BOOK


From bestselling author Hannah Beckerman comes a moving story about memory, secrets, and what it really means to feel that you’re one of the family.

When Nell’s father makes a deathbed declaration that hints at a long-held secret, it reignites feelings of isolation that have plagued her for years. Her suspicions about the family’s past only deepen when her mother, Annie, who is losing her memories to dementia, starts making cryptic comments of her own.

Thirty-five years earlier, Annie’s life was upended by a series of traumas—one shock after another that she buried deep in her heart. The decisions she made at the time were motivated by love, but she knew even then that nobody could ever understand—let alone forgive—what she did.

As the two women’s stories unravel, a generation apart, Nell finally discovers the devastating truth about her mother’s past, and her own.

In this beautifully observed and emotionally powerful story of identity, memory and the nature of family, Hannah Beckerman asks: To what lengths would you go to protect the ones you love?


PUBLISHED BY LAKE UNION PUBLISHING


PURCHASE LINK


Amazon


MY REVIEW


Emotional. Powerful. Perfection!

This was one of those stories that I found myself completely under its’ spell immediately! Beautifully written, it captures all the emotions and frustrations of a family dealing with grief, dementia and secrets. From the punchy and emotional opening you are seeing the story through the eyes of Nell, who is faced with watching her father die and on his deathbed he says something to her that rocks her and she can’t get it out of her head.

So she’s on a quest to discover the reality and face some uncomfortable home truths as the storyline flits from the now to then, and this way of telling the story works perfectly, especially as the truth begins to reveal itself.

It’s full of the drama of a family who are emotional but dealing with the realities of life. Her mothers’ dementia also starts to throw up little cryptic clues that cause more confusion for Nell, and going back to the past through the eyes of Annie (the mother) also becomes an extremely emotional story and I just found myself transfixed by the drama playing out in both timelines. The author does a wonderful job of capturing all the differing emotions between family members, the resentments, the tensions, and you can’t help but get caught up in the emotion of some devastating revelations. A wonderful and compelling piece of storytelling.


★★★★★

#BookReview CHRISTMAS WITH THE SURPLUS GIRLS by POLLY HERON @Polly_Heron



ABOUT THE BOOK


Nancy Pike is out of her depth. A pupil at the Miss Heskeths’ school for surplus girls, she’s blundering through her lessons and her job placements. She never wanted to leave her beloved pie-shop job, but she knows she needs to better herself. Her only joy is getting to know the children at St Anthony’s orphanage. And working for Mr Zachary Milner twice a week.

Zachary’s new business is off to a flying start. Alone in the world since the death of his brother, he’s determined to do well for the both of them. And Nancy’s presence has brought a little sunshine back into his life. But when she makes a terrible mistake that puts his livelihood in jeopardy, he has no choice but to let her go.

As Nancy struggles to find a way to make it up to him, she must also try to make this Christmas the best the orphans have ever seen – or risk losing yet another chance to help her family. As she battles the prejudices around her, and her own fear, can she bring a little Christmas cheer to the orphanage, and maybe even to Zachary Milner?


PUBLISHED BY CORVUS

PURCHASE LINK


Amazon £7.64

WHSmith £6.55

MY REVIEW

The Surplus Girls are back with a fabulous festive offering (can be easily read as a standalone!), and it was just wonderful to be back with old friends again to see what life is throwing their way and how acts of support and compassion carry them all through, amidst some twists and turns.

This book features the story of Nancy, but does feature previous characters so it’s always brilliant to catch up with their lives and see how things are panning out – especially when there’s good news to be shared!! sshhh no spoilers!

Nancy is a great character as she is fairly settled working at the local pie shop, but her father wants more for her so she is sent to the local business school, run by Miss Hesketh, and it’s fair to say she doesn’t settle in too well! But life begins to fall into place for her when she is given a job at the local orphanage and she really shines as a young woman amongst the children. I fell in love with Nancy as she is one of those characters who always gives of her best, even if things don’t always work to plan!

There’s always a villain to despise in this series, and the character to boo in this story is another evil creation! The supporting cast of characters always help bring a great depth to the story and add so many layers of interest to the goings on of the time and issues that people were facing.

The real strength of these books are the characters and the empathy you feel for them on a number of levels. They were all doing their best for their families despite the many pressures of the day and it really brings home that warm feeling as you read their tales and it’s just another wonderful addition to a super series!

★★★★★

#BookReview WINTER GARDENS:REINVENTING THE SEASON by CEDRIC POLLET #gardening #gardens



ABOUT THE BOOK


In this stunning reimagination of an entire season, acclaimed and award-winning author and photographer Cedric Pollet presents 20 of the most beautiful winter gardens accross France and the UK.

Winner of the Garden Media Guild – Garden Book of the Year award, Pollet showcases these breathtaking winter gardens which are at their best when most gardens are at their barest.

Rich with blazes of colour and light, these gardens use creative structural planning and subtle textures to greate masterful visual and sensory ensembles.

From berries and barks to vibrant shrubs and evergreens, these gardens will delight and inspire in equal measure, all captured in extroardinary photographs by Pollet, one of today’s masters of garden photography and accompanied by insightful text which picks out the reasons these gardens are so special.

The second half of the book is an illustrated directory of over 300 plants which encourage you to achieve these effects in their own gardens.

From the author of bestselling Bark: An Intimate Look at the World’s Trees, this beautiful guide is a unique and unmissable book on some of the most creative and inspiring gardens around today. 


PUBLISHED BY FRANCES LINCOLN


PURCHASE LINK


Amazon  £20

Blackwell’s £14.99



MY REVIEW

I now have Winter Garden envy thanks to this book! It’s a stunning collection of photographs across a a variety of gardens in France and the UK, showing just how wonderful a garden can look during the winter months, when most people think there’s nothing going on in gardens! Here’s a book that proves that wrong!

Alongside the beautiful photos, there’s wonderful text and useful information shared on the history of gardens and how they’ve evolved over the years and how more people are making an emphasis now on keeping the gardens looking good all year round. He looks in depth at the gardens that excel at this and if the photos don’t inspire you then there’s something wrong with you!

It looks at the plants that are often overlooked, and how during winter you rely more on structure and colour and goes into depth of various plants and trees and how they can be used to keep the interest going. I loved the lists of plants used and they are a really helpful guide for plant shopping as I’m definitely determined now to put more effort into my winter garden as this book has been a real inspiration and opened my eyes to a new way of using the garden all year round!


★★★★★