#BookReview SISTERSONG by LUCY HOLLAND @BlackCrow_PR @panmacmillan @UKTor @silvanhistorian



ABOUT THE BOOK


535 AD. In the ancient kingdom of Dumnonia, King Cador’s children inherit a fragmented land abandoned by the Romans.

Riva, scarred in a terrible fire, fears she will never heal.
Keyne battles to be seen as the king’s son, when born a daughter.
And Sinne, the spoiled youngest girl, yearns for romance.

All three fear a life of confinement within the walls of the hold – a last bastion of strength against the invading Saxons. But change comes on the day ash falls from the sky, bringing Myrddhin, meddler and magician, and Tristan, a warrior whose secrets will tear the siblings apart. Riva, Keyne and Sinne must take fate into their own hands, or risk being tangled in a story they could never have imagined; one of treachery, love and ultimately, murder. It’s a story that will shape the destiny of Britain.


PUBLISHED BY MACMILLAN

PURCHASE LINKS


Amazon

Goldsboro – signed edition

Blackwell’s

MY REVIEW

I found this to be a wonderful historical story, with fantasy elements, that centres around 3 very different sisters who are all struggling to deal with finding their place and their role in a world that is changing around them.

They are the children of King Cador and while he sets out to protect them, they are the kind of women who want to break free, to follow their own paths and that is proving ever more difficult. I loved how different the sisters – Riva, Keyne and Sinne – are from one another. Their outlooks, their strengths, weaknesses…. it really does help you to connect to each character as their stories are told separately against the backdrop of the world around them proving to be a very dark place.

It also brings to the fore the struggles we can all face growing up – the expectations of others and ourselves, wanting to be heard and seen despite feeling like we’re being oppressed – and these young women face all of this and it’s a challenging time. We get to witness young women learning things about themselves – not all good! – and facing adversity and sibling rivalry. And dealing with a father who won’t listen to them or give them credit is never a good thing to factor in to the mix!

This was an epic and absorbing story that I totally lost myself in and couldn’t read quick enough to see how their stories played out! There’s action,angst and magic throughout, and it was amazing to watch these women find their feet and their voices!

★★★★★

#GuestPost #PublicationDay A SUMMER OF SECOND CHANCES by CAROL THOMAS @ChocLituk @carol_thomas2



A huge delight to be handing over the blog today to the lovely Carol Thomas to help celebrate publication day of A SUMMER OF SECOND CHANCES!
Over to you Carol….

Thank you so much for your support and for having me on your blog, Karen. I hope this is OK; I enjoyed writing it. xx

Release Day for A Summer of Second Chances: Hidden Stories and Family Secrets

Sometimes inspiration strikes in a single moment. That is what happened when I got the idea for A Summer of Second Chances. A few years ago, I was volunteering in my local charity shop when a donation was brought in. Nothing unusual there, of course. However, in the box, amongst other things, were a stack of photo albums. We always check the quality of donations, and so I flicked through the albums. They were all empty apart from a single photograph that had accidentally been left. The picture was of a woman holding a baby.

My mind started weaving stories. What if that photograph held a secret? Who were the people? What was the occasion? What happened before and after that picture? I made notes in my notebook, something I always did between customers. Charity shops, in general, are inspirational places; everything around you has its own tale to tell.

In A Summer of Second Chances, Ava Flynn runs a charity shop to support her mum’s beloved animal rescue centre – All Critters Great and Small. She is at a point in her life where she feels bogged down by the donations; Ava recognizes that they all have a story but sees that as a sign that the things around her have lived more than she has.

But Ava’s life is about to change in more ways than one. When Ava’s first love, Henry Bramlington, returns to the village of Dapplebury, it is not just the donation he makes to the shop that unlocks secrets and emotions related to her youth.

I enjoyed writing Ava’s journey of discovery. She grows as a person through the story. Part of that comes from gaining a greater understanding of her past. I am interested in family secrets – not least because my family has one. We all know there’s a secret. My granddad was very strict about us not trying to find out what it is, forbidding us to do our family tree. Hmm, now what would you do in that situation, many years after his passing?


ABOUT THE BOOK

A heart-warming romance full of love, friendship and four legged friends!

Does first love deserve a second chance?

Ava Flynn sometimes feels like the clothes donated to her charity shop have seen more life than her, but ‘maximum dedication for a minimal wage’ is what it takes to keep her mother’s beloved wildlife charity, All Critters Great and Small,

running especially in the village of Dapplebury, where business is certainly not booming.

But when Ava’s first love, Henry Bramlington, returns to the village, suddenly life becomes a little too eventful. Henry escaped Dapplebury many years before, but now he has the power to make or break the village he left behind All Critters Great and Small included. Can Ava trust the boy who ran away to give both her and her charity a second chance?

Genre: Romantic Comedy

Published by: Choc Lit

Buying Links:

Amazon: http://getbook.at/SOSCAmazon

Kobo: https://www.kobo.com/gb/en/ebook/a-summer-of-second-chances-1

Choc Lit: https://www.choc-lit.com/dd-product/a-summer-of-second-chances/

About the Author:

Carol Thomas lives on the south coast of England with her husband, four children and lively Labrador. She has been a primary school teacher for over twenty years and has a passion for reading, writing and people watching. When she is not in school, chasing after her children, or stopping her dog from eating things he shouldn’t, she can be found loitering in cafes drinking too much tea and working on her next book. She also volunteers for her local Cancer Research UK charity shop.

Carol writes contemporary romance novels, with relatable heroines whose stories are layered with emotion, sprinkled with laughter and topped with irresistible male leads.

Website and Social Media Links:

http://carol-thomas.co.uk

http://carol-thomas.co.uk/blog

http://facebook.com/carolthomasauthor

http://twitter.com/carol_thomas2

https://www.instagram.com/carol_thomas2/

My Bookish Weekly Wrap Up – 24th April 2021



Hello all and Happy Saturday! It’s my birthday weekend – I’m 21 AGAIN! – so you may all eat cake with no guilt this weekend!  I don’t actually think there’ll be many bookish presents heading my way this weekend – I may be proved wrong – but I’m hoping for gift vouchers so fingers crossed!
On the bookish front it’s been a good reading week, as there’s been sunshine!, so I’ve managed to finish 5 books this week! And no visits to Netgalley! But there has been some bookpost and I did make it to a Waterstones this week so may have treated myself!!
here’s my look back…


BOOKS FINISHED


SUMMER AT LUCERNE LODGE by MORTON S.GRAY – 5 STARS

KATHERINE PARR:THE SIXTH WIFE by ALISON WEIR – 5 STARS

WHISPER DOWN THE LANE by CLAY MCLEOD CHAPMAN – 4 STARS

THREE WEDDINGS AND A PROPOSAL by SHEILA O’FLANAGAN – 4 STARS

JUST FRIENDS IN VEGAS by LUCY KEELING – 5 STARS

BOOKPOST


Very lucky to have received 2 books to review this week..


THE SCREAMING SKY by CHARLES FOSTER

published by Little Toller Books

Swifts live in perpetual summer. They inhabit the air like nothing on the planet. They watched the continents shuffle to their present places and the mammals evolve.

They are not ours, though we like to claim them. They defy all our categories, and present no passports as they surf the winds across the worlds. They sleep in the high thin air – their wings controlled by an alert half-brain.

This is a radical new look at the Common Swift – a numerous but profoundly un-common bird – by Charles Foster, author of Being a Beast.

Foster follows the swifts throughout the world, manically, lyrically, yet scientifically. The poetry of swifts is in their facts, and this book, in Little Toller’s monograph series, draws deeply on the latest extraordinary discoveries.


THE RAILWAY GIRLS IN LOVE by MAISIE THOMAS


Love is in the air, and together the railway girls can overcome even the hardest of times.

Mabel has finally put the past behind her, and her relationship with the dashing Harry is stronger than ever. That is, until an old flame shows up, leaving Mabel questioning her future.

Meanwhile Joan has made amends with Bob – if only she could do the same with Gran. And there’s still that family mystery she wants answer to, isn’t there?

As a mother and grandmother, Dot Green has always put her family first. Her job as a parcels porter has brought new purpose to her life, so is it finally time to start following her heart . . .

Life as a railway girl is busy but as war rages on and air raids disrupt daily life, the women realise they need each other more than ever, especially when there might be wedding bells on the horizon

.And I treated myself to this one in Waterstones this week..


PEOPLE OF ABANDONED CHARACTER by CLARE WHITFIELD

Marry in haste . . . Murder at leisure?

London, 1888: Susannah rushes into marriage to a young and wealthy surgeon. After a passionate honeymoon, she returns home with her new husband wrapped around her little finger. But then everything changes.

Thomas’s behavior becomes increasingly volatile and violent. He stays out all night, returning home bloodied and full of secrets. The gentle caresses she enjoyed on her wedding night are now just a honeyed memory.

When the first woman is murdered in Whitechapel, Susannah’s interest is piqued. But as she follows the reports of the ongoing hunt for the killer, her mind takes her down the darkest path imaginable. Every time Thomas stays out late, another victim is found dead.

Is it coincidence? Or is her husband the man they call Jack the Ripper?


CURRENTLY READING


THE QUEEN’S RIVAL by ANNE O’BRIEN


HAPPY READING!!

#BookReview WHISPER DOWN THE LANE by CLAY McLEOD CHAPMAN @quirkbooks



ABOUT THE BOOK


Inspired by the McMartin preschool trials and the Satanic Panic of the ‘80s, the critically acclaimed author of The Remaking delivers another pulse pounding, true-crime-based horror novel.

Richard doesn’t have a past. For him, there is only the present: a new marriage to Tamara, a first chance at fatherhood to her son Elijah, and a quiet but pleasant life as an art teacher at Elijah’s elementary school in Danvers, Virginia. Then the body of a rabbit, ritualistically murdered, appears on the school grounds with a birthday card for Richard tucked beneath it. Richard doesn’t have a birthday—but Sean does . . .

Sean is a five-year-old boy who has just moved to Greenfield, Virginia, with his mother. Like most mothers of the 1980s, she’s worried about bills, childcare, putting food on the table . . . and an encroaching threat to American life that can take the face of anyone: a politician, a friendly neighbor, or even a teacher. When Sean’s school sends a letter to the parents revealing that Sean’s favorite teacher is under investigation, a white lie from Sean lights a fire that engulfs the entire nation—and Sean and his mother are left holding the match.

Now, thirty years later, someone is here to remind Richard that they remember what Sean did. And though Sean doesn’t exist anymore, someone needs to pay the price for his lies.

 
PUBLISHED BY QUIRK BOOKS


PURCHASE LINK


Amazon

MY REVIEW

This is a book that is loosely based on a true crime event and that’s what makes it even more chilling as you read! It’s scary enough to think of the situations as pure fiction, but knowing that the real world can be this horrific just adds to the atmosphere created throughout this story, and it kept me thrilled and chilled on every page!

Richard is an art teacher with no past. He’s a married man with a young child and an art teacher – what could be more normal?! But when the school rabbit is found ritualistically killed on the school field, Richard has a sick sense that this was meant for him to see.

Back in the 1980’s we’re introduced to 5 year old Sean. Life is a struggle for him and his mother, and at school he is the target for bullies. When his mum finds bruises on him, he seems unable to say what happened and she assumes that the teacher was to blame…. Sean could stop the stories before they get out of hand, but he finds he’s being listened to for a change, and the centre of attention… what harm can it do to just go along with the others?

This was a terrifying look at the danger of how things can spiral out of control so quickly, made even more pertinent in the times we live in when people can be ‘cancelled’ and have their lives destroyed on the say so of someone else, whether they are telling the truth or not. The power that people feel over others, with no conscience or thoughts of the consequences involved.

I loved how the story goes back and forwards in time – the way history is repeating itself and those catch your breath moments when the truth starts to unravel. It was often unsettling to read and a real eye opener as to how quickly lives can be destroyed.

It’s terrifying, thrilling and a terrific read!!


★★★★★

#GuestPost #PublicationDay SUMMER AT LUCERNE LODGE by MORTON S GRAY @ChocLituk @MortonSGray

Delighted to be able to share a guest post today from Morton S. Gray, who is celebrating Publication Day for SUMMER AT LUCERNE LODGE!! Hope you’ll all be grabbing a copy to escape in to very soon!!!

Over to you Morton…….

My sixth book for Choc Lit, Summer at Lucerne Lodge tells the story of Tanner Bryant and Rosie Phillips. They first meet at a charity auction held in the grounds of Lucerne Lodge on the outskirts of my fictional seaside town of Borteen. However, that first meeting isn’t as innocent as it sounds, because Tanner has found a private investigator’s file on his father’s desk about Rosie and wants to know why …

The back of the book says:-

Could a beautiful old house and a handsome stranger hold the key to a life-changing secret?

Rosie Phillips could be forgiven for not being immediately won over by Tanner Bryant. After all, their first meeting involves him knocking a tray of prawn cocktail over her very expensive dress at a charity event in the grounds of Lucerne Lodge.

But little does Rosie know how pivotal that awkward first meeting will be, or how the Lodge will become the unexpected backdrop for a summer spent finding out who she really is, and who she could be …

This is a stand-alone novel, but there are cameo appearances from characters who have been in my previous books, such as Justin Sadler the solicitor who was the hero in Christmas at the Little Beach Café.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Morton lives with her husband, two sons and Lily, the tiny white dog, in Worcestershire, U.K. She has been reading and writing fiction for as long as she can remember, penning her first attempt at a novel aged fourteen. She is a member of the Romantic Novelists’ Association and The Society of Authors.

Her debut novel The Girl on the Beach was published after she won the Choc Lit Publishing’s Search for a Star competition in 2016. This story follows a woman with a troubled past as she tries to unravel the mystery surrounding her son’s new headteacher, Harry Dixon.

Her other books for Choc Lit are The Truth Lies Buried, Christmas at Borteen Bay, Sunny Days at the Beach, and Christmas at the Little Beach Café.

Morton previously worked in the electricity industry in committee services, staff development and training. She has a Business Studies degree and is a fully qualified Clinical Hypnotherapist and Reiki Master. She also has diplomas in Tuina acupressure massage and energy field therapy. She enjoys crafts, history and loves tracing family trees. Having a hunger for learning new things is a bonus for the research behind her books.

You can catch up with Morton with the following links:- Website and blog at www.mortonsgray.com Twitter @MortonSGray Author – https://www.facebook.com/mortonsgray/ Instagram – https://www.instagram.com/morton_s_gray/

Buying Links for Summer at Lucerne Lodge –

Amazon 

Choc Lit for other retailers

My Bookish Weekly Wrap Up – 17th April 2021



Hello! Happy Saturday! We meet again! And this week I got to stand in an actual real life bookshop again, after the lockdown restrictions were lifted and it felt wonderful! Time to clear some space on my bookshelves again so I can have a good spend up!
On the bookish front, it’s been a fairly steady week! Managed to finish 3 books, got 3 from Netgalley and one lovely piece of bookpost!  So here’s my look back at the week…


BOOKS FINISHED


THE METAL HEART by CAROLINE LEA – 4 STARS

THE SWEETNESS OF WATER by NATHAN HARRIS – 5 STARS

SISTERSONG by LUCY HOLLAND – 4 STARS

BOOKHAUL

3 tempted me at Netgalley this week…

MY MESS IS A BIT OF A LIFE by GEORGIA PRITCHETT 

Publication Date – July 2021

Multi-award-winning television writer and producer Georgia Pritchett knows a thing or two about anxiety.

From worrying about the monsters under her bed as a child (Were they comfy enough?), to embracing womanhood, (One way of knowing you have crossed from girlhood to womanhood is that men stop furtively masturbating at you from bushes and start shouting things at you from cars. It’s a beautiful moment) worry has accompanied her at every turn.

This memoir is a joyful reflection on just how to live – and sometimes even thrive (sometimes not) – with anxiety.


THE WOMAN IN THE PURPLE SKIRT by NATSUKO IMAMURA

publication date – June 2021

A bestselling, prizewinning novel of obsession and psychological intrigue about two enigmatic unmarried women, one of whom manipulates the other from afar, by one of Japan’s most acclaimed young writers

Almost every day, the Woman in the Purple Skirt buys a single cream bun and goes to the park, where she sits on a bench to eat it as the local children taunt her. She is observed at all times by the undetected narrator, the Woman in the Yellow Cardigan. From a distance the Woman in the Purple Skirt looks like a schoolgirl, but there are age spots on her face, and her hair is dry and stiff. Like the Woman in the Yellow Cardigan, she is single, she lives in a small, run-down apartment, and she is short on money. The Woman in the Yellow Cardigan lures her to a job where she herself works, as a hotel housekeeper; soon the Woman in the Purple Skirt is having an affair with the boss. Unfortunately, no one knows or cares about the Woman in the Yellow Cardigan. That’s the difference between her and the Woman in the Purple Skirt.

Studiously deadpan, highly original, and unsettling, The Woman in the Purple Skirt explores the dynamics of envy, the mechanisms of power in the workplace, and the vulnerability of unmarried women in a taut, voyeuristic narrative about the sometimes desperate desire to be seen.


SONGS IN URSA MAJOR by EMMA BRODIE

publication date – June 2021

A scintillating debut from a major new voice in fiction, Songs in Ursa Major is a love story set in 1969, alive with music, sex, and the trappings of fame.

Raised on an island off Massachusetts by a mother who wrote songs for famous musicians, Jane Quinn is singing in her own band before she’s old enough to even read music. When folk legend Jesse Reid hears about Jane’s performance at the island’s music festival, a star is born–and so is a passionate love affair: they become inseparable when her band joins his on tour. Wary of being cast as his girlfriend–and haunted by her mother’s shattered ambitions– Jane shields her relationship from the public eye, but Jesse’s star power pulls her into his orbit of fame. Caught up in the thrill of the road and the profound and lustful connection she has with Jesse, Jane is blind-sided by the discovery she makes about the dark secret beneath his music. Heartbroken and blackballed by the industry, Jane is now truly on her own: to make the music she loves, and to make peace with her family Shot through with the lyrics, the icons, the lore, the adrenaline of the early 70s music scene, Songs in Ursa Major pulses with romantic longing and asks the question so many female artists must face: What are we willing to sacrifice for our dreams? 


And in the post from Amazon Vine to review…..

SIX TUDOR QUEENS; KATHERINE PARR by ALISON WEIR

publication date – may 2021

A WOMAN TORN BETWEEN LOVE AND DUTY.

Two husbands dead, a boy and a sick man. And now Katharine is free to make her own choice.

The ageing King’s eye falls upon her. She cannot refuse him… or betray that she wanted another.

She becomes the sixth wife – a queen and a friend. Henry loves and trusts her. But Katharine is hiding another secret in her heart, a deeply held faith that could see her burn…

KATHARINE PARR. HENRY’S FINAL QUEEN. HER STORY.

Renowned, bestselling historian Alison Weir reveals a warm, clever woman of great fortitude who rose boldly to every turn her life took.



CURRENTLY READING

WHISPER DOWN THE LANE by CLAY MCLEOD CHAPMAN




HAPPY READING!

#GuestPost JUST FRIENDS IN VEGAS by LUCY KEELING #PublicationDay @ChocLituk @Lucy_K_Author



Hello! Welcome to the blog today where I’m super happy to be handing things over to the lovely Lucy Keeling, on publication day for JUST FRIENDS IN VEGAS!!!  Time to celebrate!!
Over to you Lucy…..

Hi, I’m Lucy Keeling and I am delighted to be back on Karen’s blog to talk

about Just Friends in Vegas. Thank you for having me back Karen, I really

appreciate it.

Just Friends in Vegas is the third book in the Friends series – but don’t

worry if you haven’t read the others as it can be read as a standalone.

Sophie, Polly, Mya and Paige are friends that have been in each other’s

lives for quite a while. They’ve seen each other at their worst, but more

endearingly they help each other to be at their best. In book one the focus

is on Sophie as she reluctantly starts to fall for Polly’s older brother,

Marcus the grumpy but sexy gardener. In book two we focus on Polly and how

her feelings for her brother’s best friend Bailey change drastically after

one fake kiss, as she questions whether or not their fake relationship can

remain fake. So, in book three the focus is on Mya and her super secret

career.

Mya is gorgeous, confident and absolutely amazing. I have adored writing

about Mya. So many people have contacted me, asking to know what Mya’s

profession is. Luckily it’s confirmed pretty quickly in Just Friends in

Vegas. But I also don’t want to give it away so I can’t say much else.

Other than Mya may have met her match with Smithy. He’s the designer

suit-wearing, smouldering, intelligent, swoon-worthy hero she didn’t know

she needed.

Writing about these two has been a wonderful experience. It has not always

been easy – no, in fact it was incredibly difficult in – to write and edit a

book over the last twelve months but Mya and Smithy have definitely made it

worthwhile.

So sit back, relax and I hope that the banter, the charm, and the erm

*cough* sexual tension of these two make for an enjoyable read.

Thank you

Lucy K xx

About the book:

Is love always a losing game?

When Mya is with Smithy, it feels like her eyes are constantly rolling. His wheeling and dealing charisma charms everyone but her. Well, that’s not strictly true – Mya is only human after all, and there’s no doubt the man is hot with his suits and swagger. It’s just that Smithy knows Mya’s secret, and she’s not sure she can trust him to keep it from their group of friends.

As they immerse themselves in the glamorous and mysterious world of ‘The Suits’, growing closer as a result, Smithy has to question whether his time with Mya is destined to become a case of ‘what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas’ …

PURCHASE LINKS

Kindle

 Kobo

 . Apple Books .

 Nook .

 Google Books

About the author:

Lucy Keeling is an author writing fun, sexy, stories with all of the happily ever afters. When she’s not typing at the kitchen table, she’s arranging and then re-arranging to see her friends for the occasional spot of day drinking. Lucy is currently writing the third book in a contemporary romance series, the first of which was runner-up in Choc Lit’s ‘Search for a Star’ competition which was sponsored by Your Cat magazine.

Lucy lives in Greater Manchester with her family.

Follow Lucy on Twitter @Lucy_K_Author on Instagram Lucy_K_Author on Facebook Lucy Keeling – Author Check out her website: https://lucykeeling.com/

#BookReview THE LAMPLIGHTERS by EMMA STONEX



ABOUT THE BOOK 


They say we’ll never know what happened to those men.

They say the sea keeps its secrets…

Cornwall, 1972. Three keepers vanish from a remote lighthouse, miles from the shore. The entrance door is locked from the inside. The clocks have stopped. The Principal Keeper’s weather log describes a mighty storm, but the skies have been clear all week.

What happened to those three men, out on the tower? The heavy sea whispers their names. The tide shifts beneath the swell, drowning ghosts. Can their secrets ever be recovered from the waves?

Twenty years later, the women they left behind are still struggling to move on. Helen, Jenny and Michelle should have been united by the tragedy, but instead it drove them apart. And then a writer approaches them. He wants to give them a chance to tell their side of the story. But only in confronting their darkest fears can the truth begin to surface . . .

The Lamplighters is a heart-stopping mystery rich with the salty air of the Cornish coast, and an unforgettable story of love and grief that explores the way our fears blur the line between the real and the imagined.

PUBLISHED BY PICADOR

PURCHASE LINKS

Amazon

Blackwell’s

MY REVIEW

Holy Moly!! This is one of those books that leaves you feeling bereft when it ends! The characters take over your every thought and you’re left experiencing every kind of emotion as you read their stories unfold in front of your eyes. And all set against the backdrop of an imposing lighthouse and the unpredictability of the sea.

The story is told as now and then! Looking back at the families of the men who worked on the lighthouse and how they dealt with the mystery of the men’s disappearance on one fateful night. There’s no sign of a struggle, they left no trace behind … so where did they go and what happened to them? The book is based on a real life event, but the author has a wonderful time reimagining the events surrounding the disappearance and the impact on the families left behind.

With the story being told from both the viewpoint of the men as they worked on the lighthouse, and to the women dealing with life married to them and the years that followed after their disappearance, you really get a wonderful sense of how the isolation the men often felt, alongside how the women coped and tried to come to terms with their lives after – their own theories of what happened and the letters shared between the women as their friendships shattered.

There’s so much going on within each chapter and revelation. I loved the way the story came back to life as the mystery was looked into by a writer who wanted to try and get to the bottom of it all. Old wounds are reopened and feelings have to be confronted.

A wonderfully evocative book that has a little bit of every genre in it and I adored every single second of it!!

★★★★★

#BookReview THE SWEETNESS OF WATER by NATHAN HARRIS #TheSweetnessOfWater



ABOUT THE BOOK


In the spirit of The Known World and The Underground Railroad, a profound debut about the unlikely bond between two freedmen who are brothers and the Georgia farmer whose alliance will alter their lives, and his, forever.

In the waning days of the Civil War, brothers Prentiss and Landry—freed by the Emancipation Proclamation—seek refuge on the homestead of George Walker and his wife, Isabelle. The Walkers, wracked by the loss of their only son to the war, hire the brothers to work their farm, hoping through an unexpected friendship to stanch their grief. Prentiss and Landry, meanwhile, plan to save money for the journey north and a chance to reunite with their mother, who was sold away when they were boys.

Parallel to their story runs a forbidden romance between two Confederate soldiers. The young men, recently returned from the war to the town of Old Ox, hold their trysts in the woods. But when their secret is discovered, the resulting chaos, including a murder, unleashes convulsive repercussions on the entire community. In the aftermath of so much turmoil, it is Isabelle who emerges as an unlikely leader, proffering a healing vision for the land and for the newly free citizens of Old Ox.

With candor and sympathy, debut novelist Nathan Harris creates an unforgettable cast of characters, depicting Georgia in the violent crucible of Reconstruction. Equal parts beauty and terror, as gripping as it is moving, The Sweetness of Water is an epic whose grandeur locates humanity and love amid the most harrowing circumstances. 

PUBLISHED BY TINDER PRESS

PUBLICATION DATE – 15TH JUNE 2021

MY REVIEW

This is a beautifully written, understated story that looks into the complexities of human relationships, especially at the time in America when the Civil War had just ended so many people were dealing with loss and a new way of life.

It centres around 2 brothers and their relationship with George, a local man who shuns most human contact and finds it difficult to express his emotions. But the moment he finds these brothers on his land, he seems to connect with them and finds it easier to open up to them than his own wife.

His relationship with these 2 brothers angers many of the locals who find it strange and seems to antagonise many. With his wife on board for his vision for his land, we get to explore a number of relationships and the intricacies that come with them – friends, family, lovers.. – and it’s the exploration of the male side of things that I really enjoyed reading about. How awkward someone can be with someone so close, yet so open and free with a ‘stranger’.

With resistance from the locals to his plans, George and his family find themselves being shunned because of their relationship with the brothers, and what followed is a story that’s full of heartbreak, hope, determination and fight.

The brothers share an extraordinary bond which makes their scenes even more touching, and makes some of the situations they find themselves in even more heartwrenching as things unfold. I loved the style of writing throughout, the action builds up slowly which allows you to connect more to each character and giving a number of characters their own voice allowed you to see more of the picture and understand the times.

A staggering debut and a story that stays with you.

★★★★★

My thanks to amazon vine for the advanced reader copy in return for a fair and honest review.

My Bookish Weekly Wrap Up – 10th April 2021



Hello! Happy Saturday! We made it through another week – well done us!!  There has also been chocolate this week thanks to Easter – always makes the world a better place!
On the book front, things are slowing down! I’ve hit a bit of a reading slump – finished 2 books this week, had 1 bit of bookpost and just 1 new addition over at Netgalley.  I’m sure this slump will pass!
Here’s my look back…


BOOKS FINISHED

THE HARD WAY by DUNCAN BROCKWELL – 4 STARS

TRAP FOR CINDERELLA by SEBASTIEN JAPRISOT – 4 STARS


BOOKHAUL


Starting over at Netgalley…


THE DREAM WEAVERS by BARBARA ERSKINE

out April 15th 2021

The new gripping historical novel from the Sunday Times bestselling author of Lady of Hay.

A nest of vipers, they called us. But that is not how it was.

Mercia, 775 AD. In the grand Saxon halls of Mercia, King Offa rules with ruthless ambition. Aggressive and relentlessly acquisitive, his three daughters are destined to marry advantageously in service of their country. Eadburh, the youngest, is neither the cleverest nor the most beautiful of the three. But, with her father’s ruthless spirit and the secret gifts passed down from her mother, she is determined to carve her own path in the world.

2021. Simon Armstrong has escaped to a secluded cottage on the English-Welsh borders, desperate to finish his book about Anglo-Saxon King Offa. But he soon finds himself disturbed by unsettling noises and visions. Calling in local expert Bea to identify the issue, Simon hopes to get back some peace – but soon Bea is as embroiled as he is, feeling increasingly connected to a ghostly presence that is growing ever-stronger in its desire for revenge.

And when Simon’s daughter disappears, centuries of secrets and resentment begin to tumble out…

An epic tale of deceit, revenge and exile from the queen of timeslip historical fiction.

Time is running out as the past and present collide…

And in the post, I received this from Amazon Vine for review…


THREE WEDDINGS AND A PROPOSAL by SHEILA O’FLANAGAN

out 20th May 2021

At the first wedding, there‘s a shock

The second wedding is unexpected

By the third, Delphie thinks nothing could surprise her. But she’s wrong . . .

Delphie is enjoying her brother’s wedding. Her surprise last-minute Plus One has stunned her family – and it’s also stopped any of them asking again why she’s still single. But when she sees all the missed calls that evening, she knows it can’t be good news. And she’s right.

Delphie has been living her best life, loving her job, her friends, her no-strings relationships and her dream house by the sea. Now she has to question everything she believed about who she is and what she wants. Is her mum right – is it time to settle down? Or does she want to keep on trying to have it all?

Each wedding of a glorious summer brings a new surprise. And as everything Delphie thought she had is threatened, she has the chance to reshape her future . . .

CURRENTLY READING

THE SWEETNESS OF WATER by NATHAN HARRIS


HAPPY READING!!