#BookReview Eden Interrupted by Beverley Harvey @urbanebooks @BevHarvey_

ABOUT THE BOOK

From the writer of Seeking Eden, Eden Interrupted is another sizzling slice-of-life drama – with sprinkles.

Rocker Ben Wilde and his bride Lisa return from honeymoon to find a cuckoo in the nest and a surprise European tour in the diary. With the honeymoon cut short, at least they can rely on good neighbors, new arrivals Nigel and Rosemary Bradshaw…can’t they? But next door, the Bradshaws harbor their own secrets; will Rosemary’s grim suspicions be confirmed?

At the other end of Eden Hill, Jan and Martin Bevan move into their new home following a devastating fire, but an altercation with the local dog fraternity leaves them wondering if they’ve made a huge mistake. Meanwhile, Eden Hill’s coffee shop is under new management, when Chloe, divorced mum of teenage Jake, fulfils her long-term dream. But serving flat-whites all day leaves Chloe feeling…well, flat…until she meets gorgeous Caleb, the father of her son’s girlfriend, who’s guaranteed to tip her angst-ridden son over the edge.

Suburbia: dull and ordinary? In Eden Hill, there’s no such thing

Published by  Urbane Publications

PURCHASE LINKS

Amazon UK  £8.99

hive.co.uk  £7.49

whsmith  £6.47

MY REVIEW

The residents of Eden Hill are back, and there’s newbies moving into the neighbourhood too which means more drama and more to enjoy as a reader – having loved the first in this series – Seeking Eden – I couldn’t wait to get back for more curtain twitching and absolutely loved being back amongst this community to reconnect with some familiar faces and also getting to know the new kids on the block!

Set in the suburbs this book is a delicious slice of a life we can all relate to – it almost feels like you’re one of the neighbourhood as you watch over the comings and goings of everyone as they deal with daily life and the stresses and strains it puts on everyone, alongside the lighter moments and it’s funny when you can recognise characters from your own neighbourhood.. no names mentioned!!

Ben and Lisa are back from their honeymoon and the rockstar life has gone very quiet for Ben so he’s wondering with what to do with his life now, while Martin and Jan who run the local carpet shop are having to deal with major life changes at a later stage in their lives and it’s not plain sailing!

The new characters really add to the story too – Chloe is a single mum, running the local cafe and dealing with the issues that having a teenage son bring her way! Jake, her son, is also not dealing too well with life as a teenage boy full of angst, and it’s fascinating to see life from both of their perspectives. And the Bradshaws seemingly have the perfect life, with their daughter Iris going to private school. All I can say is that Rosemary is a blooming saint for putting up with all the s*** her husband Nigel puts her through!!

With a wide range of characters it means that this book can touch on a variety of subjects – depression, teenage issues, dementia, parenting issues,moving to a new area and trying to fit in ..just to name a few – and that is this books strength I think! We can all relate to something that is featured and being part of a neighbourhood and the gossip and speculation of what goes on behind others’ closed doors is always at the forefront. But having that sense of community where people help one another out in times of need is also very touching.

I absolutely loved being back in the Eden Hill neighbourhood again and hope there maybe room to revisit the characters again in the future!

★★★★★

My thanks to the author for the copy in return for a fair and honest review.

#BookReview Queenie Malone’s Paradise Hotel by Ruth Hogan

About the book

From the bestselling author of The Keeper of Lost Things and The Wisdom of Sally Red Shoes – a novel of mothers and daughters, families and secrets and the astonishing power of friendship.

Tilly was a bright, outgoing little girl who liked playing with ghosts and matches. She loved fizzy drinks, swear words, fish fingers and Catholic churches, but most of all she loved living in Brighton in Queenie Malone’s Magnificent Paradise Hotel with its endearing and loving family of misfits – staff and guests alike.

But Tilly’s childhood was shattered when her mother sent her away from the only home she’d ever loved to boarding school with little explanation and no warning. Now, Tilda has grown into an independent woman still damaged by her mother’s unaccountable cruelty. Wary of people, her only friend is her dog, Eli. But when her mother dies, Tilda goes back to Brighton and with the help of her beloved Queenie sets about unraveling the mystery of her exile from The Paradise Hotel and discovers that her mother was not the woman she thought she knew at all … Mothers and daughters … their story can be complicated … it can also turn out to have a happy ending.

Published by Two Roads

Publication Date – 7th February 2019

Purchase Links

hive.co.uk  £11.39

waterstones   £14.99

MY REVIEW

This was a beautifully written story that centres around family relationships, mental health and the consequences of not being truthful to those you love. For me it didn’t quite have the emotional impact as The Wisdom of Sally Red Shoes, but still made for an engaging, enthralling and thought provoking read.

I love the fact that we got to see the story from both a young perspective and that of an adult, and how times changes and perceptions can deceive you. Young Tilly is the perfect example of a Daddy’s girl and is devastated when her father goes away and is left with a mother who she thinks doesn’t care about her, and that belief is reinforced when she is sent away to school.

When Tilly grows up she still holds on to that resentment and never has a close relationship with her mother, so when she returns following the death of her mother she is confronted with a mix of emotions as she talks to neighbours, and starts to look back at things with the help of the diaries of her mother that she finds. Tilda shares many traits with her father, and that of her mother too and it’s only when she starts to see her mother as a person, and not the ogre that she remembers, that she starts to really find out who she was, and that helps clear the picture of just who Tilda is as well.

There’s a wonderful cast of characters that the author creates, and the little details in descriptions really help things ping to life and makes the world of Tilda and the way her mind works feel even more real. The struggles she goes through when confronted with a past different to how she saw it is such a fascinating one and makes you warm to her as a character even more. Highly recommended.

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My thanks to the author, publisher and netgalley for the advanced reading copy in return for a fair and honest review. 

#BookReview Something To Tell You by Lucy Diamond

About the book

When Frankie stumbles upon an unopened letter from her late mother, she’s delighted to have one last message from her . . . until she reads the contents and discovers the truth about her birth. Brimming with questions, she travels to York to seek further answers from the Mortimer family, but her appearance sends shockwaves through them all.

Meanwhile, Robyn Mortimer has problems of her own. Her husband John has become distant, and a chance remark from a friend leads Robyn to wonder exactly what he’s not been saying. Dare she find out more?

As for Bunny, she fell head over heels in love with Dave Mortimer when she first arrived in town, but now it seems her past is catching up with her. She can’t help wondering if he’ll still feel the same way about her if he discovers who she really is – and what she did.

As secrets tumble out and loyalties are tested, the Mortimers have to face up to some difficult decisions. With love, betrayal and dramatic revelations in the mix, this is one summer they’ll never forget.
 

Published by Macmillan

Purchase Links

hive.co.uk  £10.29

waterstones

MY REVIEW

I’ve always been a huge fan of Lucy Diamond, so always race to read her latest releases when they’re out, and in Something To Tell You it’s a story that felt very ‘grown up’ that focused on more serious issues and how the emotional impact of those impact people. There are a lot of characters that do take a while to connect with and keep up with who was who! But once you’re ‘in’ then I found myself really enjoying the story and seeing how all the different female characters dealt with the problems that they found themselves facing.

The Mortimer family are an extremely tight family unit, and are all together for the 50th wedding anniversary of Jeanie and Harry – life is going well for them all! But then a stranger appears out of nowhere and their cosy lives begin to crumble when the truth about the past is revealed.

Frankie is dealing with the loss of her mother last year, and when she finds a letter from her mother she is shocked with the revelations she reads. She just wants answers and the only person who can help her with that is Harry.

It was fascinating to see how the Mortimer children dealt with the news that their ‘hero’ father is fallible, and to Jeanie his wife too – the man she doted on wasn’t as perfect as she first thought. The way she deals with the news is understandable and adds some light relief to the story as she escapes the situation to let him face up to what he has done.

The brothers and sisters are all having problems in their own lives too and I enjoyed how it shows people re-assessing their lives at different stages – just when you think you’ve got life figured out there’s always a curve ball to throw you off course!

I think this story deals well with the drama and difficulty of family relationships after unexpected news and how it can affect your day to day life. It features the perils of online dating, abusive relationships, affairs and how a settled life can soon be upturned in an instant – all issues that can be so relevant in the society we now live in. I would have liked a bit more humour to balance out some of the heavier storylines, but overall I thought it was a book with plenty to keep you entertained and an intriguing mix of characters!

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#BookReview The Beat of the Pendulum by Catherine Chidgey @EyeAndLightning #publicationday

About the book

A found novel

LONGLISTED: OCKHAM NEW ZEALAND BOOK AWARDS

NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF 2017 BY RADIO NEW ZEALAND

Every day for a year, Catherine Chidgey recorded the words and language she came across during her day-to-day life – phone calls, television commercials, emails, radio shows, conversations with her family, street signs and satnav instructions. From these seemingly random snippets, she creates a fascinating portrait of modern life, focusing on the things that most people filter out.

Chidgey listens in as her daughter, born through surrogacy, begins to speak and develop a personality, and her mother slips into dementia. With her husband, she debates the pros and cons of moving to a new town. With her publisher, she discusses the novel she is writing. While, all around, the world is bombarding her with information.

In The Beat of the Pendulum, Chidgey approaches the idea of the novel from an experimental new direction. It is bold, exciting, funny, moving and utterly compelling.

Published by Lightning Books

Purchase Links

Publishers £12.99

hive.co.uk  £10.35

Waterstones  £12.99

MY REVIEW

I can guarantee you won’t have read a book like this before! What a way to start the new year with a whole new reading experience and one that I found to be a wholly unique, quirky, emotional, funny and a very touching read!

The author has been extremely clever with her approach to this book – it’s life! Her life! But told in the random way that life seems to attack us all nowadays – the constant bombardment of information from a variety of sources – be that people around you, the news, things you read,  stuff you hear, things you think – and she has catalogued it monthly to give you an insight into how life evolves for us all.

It did take me a while to get my head around the style of storytelling as it is extremely choppy and random. It won’t be for everyone!  But when you look at the world of social media and 24/7/365 TV coverage we all experience nowadays it is extremely normal to never seemingly have a ‘quiet’ moment.  There is always something happening and her approach to this book was to include everything around her.  Often it is completely insignificant and throwaway, and other times it is completely touching especially when she is discussing events happening to her family and career.  Dealing with her mothers’ dementia really struck a chord with me having had family members go through the same, and the weird conversations that emerge and the amount of time you have to go over the same thing.    But then you get that up against the completely random subjects of things seen on TV shows, poo, parenting, instructions in manuals, funny recollections of times gone by..oh and the Vengaboys!! It’s a weird thing to have stuck with me but I now can’t stop singing the Vengabus song because of this book!

I liken this style of storytelling to if you were flicking through the numerous TV channels and spent about 10 seconds on each, how weird and nonsensical it would all seem, or if you were overhearing conversations while out and about.  You just get a snippet of what is important to that person at that time, and this is what this book brings you over a year of noting down all that is heard and experienced, thought and witnessed.

My overriding thought from reading this is that in amongst the chaos of the world around us, there is life happening to us!  Considering the simplicity of this story it has been an extremely touching and thought provoking read and one I can highly recommend to you all if you’re looking for something just that little bit different to start your new year off with.

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#BookReview Flames by Robbie Arnott

About the book

A young man named Levi McAllister decides to build a coffin for his twenty-three-year-old sister, Charlotte—who promptly runs for her life. A water rat swims upriver in quest of the cloud god. A fisherman named Karl hunts for tuna in partnership with a seal. And a father takes form from fire. 

The answers to these riddles are to be found in this tale of grief and love and the bonds of family, tracing a journey across the southern island that takes us full circle.

Flames sings out with joy and sadness. Utterly original in conception, spellbinding in its descriptions of nature and its celebration of the power of language, it announces the arrival of a thrilling new voice in contemporary fiction.

Published by Atlantic Books

Purchase Links

Book Depository  £11.34

hive.co.uk  £9.75

Waterstones  £12.99

MY REVIEW

I have found myself totally mesmerized by this book! A wonderful debut and very difficult to sum up, other than it was pure escapism and I was transfixed by the characters, the settings and the overall feel of the book!

It’s about a family who see female relatives return after they die only for them to burst into flames and die once again soon after. It’s about a brother caring for his sister, except she doesn’t interpret it that way and runs away to deal with her own adventures. Its about a man called Karl connecting with nature, hunting with his seal, coping with family life and haunted by things he sees.

It’s a book written in a variety of styles – from first person views, to letters between an author and Levi seeking help, poignant thoughts of an Esk god being caught by an ape, and to diary entries from a Ranger on a farm estate seeing wombats being killed on a daily basis and trying to get to the basis of why.

At times this book is utterly bonkers and I think that is why it made it so brilliant for me as a reader. You honestly didn’t know where the story would lead to next, the language is spellbinding and intoxicating and it combines the natural world with the magical elements of fairytales, whilst dealing with families and grief and how it affects people so differently.

This is a very special debut and I cannot wait to see what the author creates next!

My thanks to Readers First for the copy in return for a fair and honest review.

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