Drift Stumble Fall by M.Jonathan Lee #BookReview #PublicationDay

THE BLURB

The author of five novels, M Jonathan Lee is a tireless mental health awareness campaigner, working closely with organisations including Mind, Time to Change and Rethink and blogs regularly for Huffington Post. Having personally experienced anxiety and depression during his life, Jonathan draws on his experiences to inform his writing.

Richard feels trapped in his hectic life of commitment and responsibility. From the daily mayhem of having young children, an exhausted wife and pushy in-laws who frequently outstay their welcome, Richards existence fills him with panic and resentment. The only place he can escape the dark cloud descending upon him is the bathroom, where he hides for hours on end, door locked, wondering how on earth he can escape.

Often staring out of his window, Richard enviously observes the tranquil life of Bill, his neighbour living in the bungalow across the road. From the outside, Bills world appears filled with comfort and peace. Yet underneath the apparent domestic bliss of both lives are lies, secrets, imperfections, sadness and suffering far greater than either could have imagined. Beneath the surface, a family tragedy has left Bill frozen in time and unable to move on. As he waits for a daughter who may never return, Bill watches Richards bustling family life and yearns for the joy it brings. As the two men watch each other from afar, it soon becomes apparent that other peoples lives are not always what they seem.

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Publisher Hideaway Fall

Publication Date – 12th April 2018

Buying Links

Amazon UK

Book Depository

Wordery

MY REVIEW

The simplicity of this book is stunning! And that is how it gets you!! You follow the thoughts of two main starting with Richard Brown who seemingly has it all living in a nice house with his wife and 2 children, but feels trapped, restless and dissatisfied with life and is planning his escape. And he spends his time with envy watching Bill who lives across the street who he sees as having the perfect quiet life as it is just Bill and his wife Rosie.

But Bill is watching Richard and having the same envious thoughts about his lifestyle – sometimes the grass isn’t always greener.

The routine of day to day living is taking its’ toll on Richard, the little quirks he used to love about his wife now annoy him, and the only thought that gets him through each day is planning his new life.

What this book cleverly does is discuss normal life which makes it easier for the reader to connect with. We all have those thoughts that someone else is having a better life than us, without knowing the truth behind the curtains and as more is revealed throughout this story it hits you that appearances can be deceiving. You understand the frustrations they feel, the doubts that creep in their mind that the choices they’ve made are the wrong ones. But still reluctant to change things and so the daily routines go on…

I loved how the author created this world with very little action, but it’s the observations that the characters make that resonate with you as a reader. It’s the assumptions we all jump to about others which make the truth even more devastating when it is revealed and I did find myself shedding a tear or two whilst the lives of these two men played out on the pages. My heart was a little bit broken by the end!!

A stunning read and one that will stay with me for some time.

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Watch for me by Candlelight by Kirsty Ferry #BlogTour #BookReview

THE BLURB

Perfect for fans of Susanna Kearsley, Barbara Erskine and Diana Gabaldon. Another gripping atmospheric time-slip from Kirsty Ferry.

“The stars are aligning and it’s time again …”

Working at the Folk Museum in Hartsford village means that Kate Howard is surrounded by all sorts of unusual vintage items. Of course she has her favourites; particularly the Victorian ice skates with a name – ‘CAT’ – mysteriously painted on the sides.
But what Kate doesn’t realise is how much she has in common with Catriona Aphrodite Tredegar, the original owner of the skates, or how their lives will become strangely entwined. All Kate knows is that as soon as she bumps into farrier Theo Kent, things start getting weird: there’s the vivid, disconcerting visions and then of course the overwhelming sense that she’s met Theo before …

Publisher –  Choc Lit

Publication Date – 3rd April 2018

Buying Links

Amazon UK

 
 
 
 

MY REVIEW

A welcome return to Hartsford, in the next installment of the Hartsford Mysteries Series by Kirsty Ferry, and this time we get to enjoy the character of Kate who runs the Hartsford Folk Museum. She loves being surrounded by so much history and has her favourite pieces at the museum, one of which is a pair of victorian ice skates that have the initials CAT on the side of them – the name intrigues her and she soon finds that she becomes a little more tuned into their past with a series of flashbacks.

And when she meets Theo, who is staying at the nearby campsite, she has an extraordinary feeling that she knows him but can’t quite figure out where from.  His presence unsettles her a little as the bond they appear to have is strong despite only fleeting meetings near to the museum.

I love the community feel of the Hartsford series and it’s great to meet up with old ‘friends’ from book one, although this is a story that can still be enjoyed as a stand alone read!  It has a gentle feel to it throughout in an idyllic setting, and the time slip element is crafted so well that it just feels so normal to flit between the dual timelines.

During the flashbacks, we learn more of the character of Catriona and her story of life in a much different time, with her struggles and expectations. And when Will appears in her life it becomes  clear that they are meant for each other, but others don’t agree.

I loved the relationship between Kate and Theo – they don’t rush things and are aware that each other has baggage, but sometimes other forces are at work and they more they try and stay away from each other, the  more the opposite happens!  There are laughs, loves and tragedy

Another fabulous read that had me captivated from start to finish – and any book that features vampire ducks is fine by me! 😉

Bookish Weekly Wrap Up!

I apologise and beg your forgiveness for ignoring my blog this week!  Would love to have a wonderful excuse to share with you – I don’t!  But there was sunshine – hence the pretty butterfly pic snapped in the back garden this week – so I’ve tried to make the most of it and catch up with a bit of garden pottering and weed control!

But that doesn’t mean there hasn’t been any bookish goings on this week!! There has been plenty!! And more bookshelf space is required!! I’m sure one week I’ll be able to say there has been no additions to my ‘book hoarding’ but you’re going to have to wait a while for it to actually happen!!  

So on with the sharing….

BOOKS READ

Click on the book title for my GoodReads review!

Kings of Georgian Britain by Catherine Curzon

For over a century of turmoil, upheaval and scandal, Great Britain was a Georgian land. From the day the German-speaking George I stepped off the boat from Hanover, to the night that George IV, bloated and diseased, breathed his last at Windsor, the four kings had presided over a changing nation.

Kings Georgian Britain offers a fresh perspective on the lives of the four Georges and the events that shaped their characters and reigns. From love affairs to family feuds, political wrangling and beyond, it is a chance to peer behind the pomp and follow these iconic figures from cradle to grave. As their very different lives will show, being a king isn’t always about grand parties and jaw-dropping jewels, and sometimes following in a father’s footsteps can be the hardest job around.

Take a step back in time and meet the wives, mistresses, friends and foes of these remarkable kings who shaped the nation, and find out what really went on behind closed palace doors. Whether dodging assassins, marrying for money, digging up their ancestors or sparking domestic disputes that echoed down the generations, the Georgian kings of Great Britain were never short on drama.

Amazon UK

Little Nothing by Marisa Silver

A stunning, provocative new novel from New York Times bestselling author Marisa Silver, Little Nothing is the story of Pavla, a child scorned for her physical deformity, whose passion and salvation lie in her otherworldly ability to transform herself and the world around her.

In an unnamed country at the beginning of the last century, a child called Pavla is born to peasant parents. Her arrival, fervently anticipated and conceived in part by gypsy tonics and archaic prescriptions, stuns her parents and brings outrage and disgust from her community. Pavla has been born a dwarf, beautiful in face, but as the years pass, she grows no further than the edge of her crib. When her parents turn to the treatments of a local doctor and freak sideshow proprietor, his terrifying cure opens the floodgates persecution for Pavla. Little Nothing unfolds across a lifetime of unimaginable, magical transformation in and out of human form, as this outcast woman is hunted down and incarcerated for her desires, her body broken and her identity stripped away until her soul is strong enough to transcend all physical bounds. Woven throughout is the journey of Danilo, the young man entranced by Pavla, obsessed only with protecting her. Part allegory about the shifting nature of being, part subversive fairy tale of love in all its uncanny guises, Little Nothing spans the beginning of a new century, the disintegration of ancient superstitions and the adoption of industry and invention. With a cast of remarkable characters, a wholly shocking and original story, and extraordinary, page-turning prose, Silver delivers a novel of sheer electricity.

Amazon UK

The Dragon’s Legacy by Deborah .A.Wolf

The last Aturan King is dying, and as his strength fades so does his hold on sa and ka. Control of this power is a deadly lure; the Emperor stirs in his Forbidden City to the East, while deep in the Seared Lands, the whispering voices of Eth bring secret death. Eight men and women take their first steps along the paths to war, barely realizing that their world will soon face a much greater threat; at the heart of the world, the Dragon stirs in her sleep. A warrior would become Queen, a Queen would become a monster, and a young boy plays his bird-skull flute to keep the shadows of death at bay.

Amazon UK

It has been a good week for reading!!  I need to stop being so scared of ‘chunky’ fantasy books and dive right in instead of leaving them on my shelves in the hope that they’ll read themselves LOL!! 

BOOK POST

The postman hasn’t been that overworked this week – thankfully – and I’ve also managed to avoid the lure of the bookshops… although saying that there may currently be a couple (or more!) books on their way that I may have treated myself to online… well it is my birthday month and that’s my excuse and I’m sticking to it!!

LOST FOR WORDS by STEPHANIE BUTLAND

You can trust a book to keep your secret . . .

Loveday Cardew prefers books to people. If you look closely, you might glimpse the first lines of the novels she loves most tattooed on her skin. But there are things she’ll never show you.

Fifteen years ago Loveday lost all she knew and loved in one unspeakable night. Now, she finds refuge in the unique little York bookshop where she works.

Everything is about to change for Loveday. Someone knows about her past. Someone is trying to send her a message. And she can’t hide any longer.

Lost for Words is a compelling, irresistible and heart-rending novel, with the emotional intensity of The Shock of the Fall and all the charm of The Little Paris Bookshop and 84 Charing Cross Road.

Out 20th April 2017

Amazon UK

Received a copy of this from the lovely people at Readers First and if you haven’t visited their site then please do! Lots of exciting new book releases for you to comment on and receive in the post!  I’ve seen this book around quite a bit online and it has caught my interest so I can’t wait to start reading it!

The Running Hare by John Lewis-Stempel

From the Winner of the Thwaites Wainwright Prize 2015

Traditional ploughland is disappearing. Seven cornfield flowers have become extinct in the last twenty years. Once abundant, the corn bunting and the lapwing are on the Red List. The corncrake is all but extinct in England. And the hare is running for its life.

Written in exquisite prose, The Running Hare tells the story of the wild animals and plants that live in and under our ploughland, from the labouring microbes to the patrolling kestrel above the corn, from the linnet pecking at seeds to the seven-spot ladybird that eats the aphids that eat the crop. It recalls an era before open-roofed factories and silent, empty fields, recording the ongoing destruction of the unique, fragile, glorious ploughland that exists just down the village lane.

But it is also the story of ploughland through the eyes of man who took on a field and husbanded it in a natural, traditional way, restoring its fertility and wildlife, bringing back the old farmland flowers and animals. John Lewis Stempel demonstrates that it is still possible to create a place where the hare can rest safe.

Out 20th April 2017

Amazon UK

And then I was lucky enough to win this copy of The Running Hare via a tweet.  I’m determined to read more non-fiction this year and am so looking forward to learning more of the ways of the countryside and nature and how we can help to stop the world destroying so many habitats.

CURRENTLY READING

Two on the reading pile again this week! And both quite different!!

The Body In The Ice by A.J. Mackenzie

Christmas Day, Kent, 1796

On the frozen fields of Romney Marsh stands New Hall; silent, lifeless, deserted. In its grounds lies an unexpected Christmas offering: a corpse, frozen into the ice of a horse pond.

It falls to the Reverend Hardcastle, justice of the peace in St Mary in the Marsh, to investigate. But with the victim’s identity unknown, no murder weapon and no known motive, it seems like an impossible task. Working along with his trusted friend, Amelia Chaytor, and new arrival Captain Edward Austen, Hardcastle soon discovers there is more to the mystery than there first appeared.

With the arrival of an American family torn apart by war and desperate to reclaim their ancestral home, a French spy returning to the scene of his crimes, ancient loyalties and new vengeance combine to make Hardcastle and Mrs Chaytor’s attempts to discover the secret of New Hall all the more dangerous.

The Body in the Ice, with its unique cast of characters, captivating amateur sleuths and a bitter family feud at its heart, is a twisting tale that vividly brings to life eighteenth-century Kent and draws readers into its pages.

Out 20th April 2017

Amazon UK

The Handmaids’ Tale by Margaret Atwood

The Republic of Gilead offers Offred only one function: to breed. If she deviates, she will, like dissenters, be hanged at the wall or sent out to die slowly of radiation sickness. But even a repressive state cannot obliterate desire – neither Offred’s nor that of the two men on which her future hangs.

Brilliantly conceived and executed, this powerful evocation of twenty-first-century America gives full rein to Margaret Atwood’s devastating irony, wit and astute perception

Amazon UK

So there we have it!  Any goodies on your reading pile at the moment? Or any old ‘classics’ or non-fiction books that you couldn’t put down and think I should read!  Lovely to hear your recommendations!

Happy Reading!!

Swimming Lessons by Claire Fuller – book review

  The Blurb

Ingrid Coleman writes letters to her husband, Gil, about the truth of their marriage, but instead of giving them to him, she hides them in the thousands of books he has collected over the years. When Ingrid has written her final letter she disappears from a Dorset beach, leaving behind her beautiful but dilapidated house by the sea, her husband, and her two daughters, Flora and Nan.

Twelve years later, Gil thinks he sees Ingrid from a bookshop window, but he’s getting older and this unlikely sighting is chalked up to senility. Flora, who has never believed her mother drowned, returns home to care for her father and to try to finally discover what happened to Ingrid. But what Flora doesn’t realize is that the answers to her questions are hidden in the books that surround her. Scandalous and whip-smart, Swimming Lessons holds the Coleman family up to the light, exposing the mysterious truths of a passionate and troubled marriage

Hive.co.uk – buy online and support your local bookstore

About the Author

Claire Fuller trained as a sculptor before working in marketing for many years. In 2013 she completed an MA in Creative Writing, and wrote her first novel, Our Endless Numbered Days. It was published in the UK by Penguin, in the US by Tin House, in Canada by House of Anansi and bought for translation in 15 other countries. Our Endless Numbered Days won the 2015 Desmond Elliott prize. 

MY REVIEW

I was a huge fan of Our Endless Numbered Days, so I had huge expectations from this book and they were almost all achieved!

I found this to be a much darker, bleaker read as it follows the storyline of Ingrid and Gil through the present timeline, and via letters that Ingrid wrote to her husband in the past and then hid in books for him to find. And this explains why he has hundrends of books stacked up in his home. His daughters return home to care for him following an accident and ill health, and the mystery of their mothers’ disappearance still plagues the family and the story building up to that is revealed in letter form and I found this an extremely clever way of looking back.

Ingrids’ story is heartbreaking and the letters really capture the despair she was going through and how her and Gil both really seemed to not want the same things. It tells of how they get together in the first place and you often wondered what she ever saw in him!

It is a quiet, unassuming and bleak book in my opinion, that relies heavily on the family dynamics, the hope they feel and the mistrust when the daughters start to learn of the past and things weren’t all as rosy as they imagined life really was for their parents.

It was very difficult to feel any emotional connection with some of the characters as more of their traits and indiscretions were revealed and that is why I didn’t find myself loving this book as before but it was still a really thought provoking look at a dysfunctional family and how secrets always tend to find a way of revealing themselves.