#BlogTour Old Bones by Helen Kitson #BookReview #OldBones @Jemima_Mae_7 @LouiseWalters12 @damppebbles #damppebblesblogtours

Delighted to be part of the Blog Tour today for OLD BONES by HELEN KITSON. My thanks to the author, publisher and Emma of Damp Pebbles Blog Tours for putting this all together and letting me be part of it all!

Book Blurb:

Diana and her sister Antonia are house-sharing spinsters who have never got over their respective first loves. Diana owns a gift shop, but rarely works there. Antonia is unemployed, having lost her teaching job at an all girls’ school following a shocking outburst in the classroom after enduring years of torment. Diana is a regular at the local library, Antonia enjoys her “nice” magazines, and they treat themselves to coffee and cake once a week in the village café. Naomi lives alone, haunted by the failure of her two marriages. She works in the library, doesn’t get on with her younger colleagues, and rarely cooks herself a proper meal. Secretly she longs for a Boden frock.

 When a body is discovered in the local quarry, all three women’s lives are turned upside down. And when Diana’s old flame Gill turns up unexpectedly, tensions finally spill over and threaten to destroy the outwardly peaceful lives all three women have carefully constructed around themselves. 

Helen takes us back to the fictional Shropshire village of Morevale in this, her brilliant second novel which exposes the fragilities and strengths of three remarkably unremarkable elderly women.

Publishing Information:

Published by Louise Walters Books in paperback and digital formats on 18th January 2021

PURCHASE LINKS

 Louise Walters Books: http://bit.ly/37dpwKM 

Amazon UK: http://amzn.to/2LPuDKI

 Foyles: https://bit.ly/3pdjamn 

Waterstones: http://bit.ly/3660WMc 

Amazon US: http://amzn.to/365gdwN

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Helen lives in Worcester with her husband, two teenaged children and two rescue cats. Her first poetry collection was nominated for the Forward Best First Collection Prize. She has published three other poetry collections and her short fiction has appeared in magazines including Ambit, Feminist Review and Stand. She holds a BA (Hons) in Humanities.

Helen’s debut novel The Last Words of Madeleine Anderson was published in March 2019. Her second “Morevale” novel, Old Bones, will be published on 16 January 2021.

Social Media: Twitter: https://twitter.com/Jemima_Mae_7

MY REVIEW

What is it about the ‘quiet’ characters that just make them so fascinating and appealing to read about?! We have 3 female characters in this book who grab your attention in the way they look at the world, the way they interact with each other and those around them, and prove the adage that you should never judge a book by its’ cover – on the outside these women  are seemingly living a very peaceful, monotonous life, but scratch the surface and there’s so much to be found out!

A body discovered in the local quarry brings them all together.  Diana and Antonia are spinster sisters – they have their own beefs with the world, and both seem never to have recovered from their first loves.  Naomi lives alone and works in the local library, so she gets to know people through contact there.  

They all seem to live with the mantra of ‘suffer in silence’!  They live in their heads too much, playing back past regrets, and you’ll have moments when you want to shake them into action! But there’s something settled about the way they deal with life. But sometimes ignoring the problem doesn’t make it go away.

I was enthralled with the story as it played out. The mystery of the identity man in the quarry, the secrets from the past that begin to reveal themselves, and the impact it has on the relationships of these women. One of those books that quietly lures you in and doesn’t let go of you easily!

★★★★★ 

#BookReview The Last Words of Madeleine Anderson by Helen Kitson #LastWordsMaddie @LouiseWalters12 @Jemima_Mae_7

About the book

Once upon a time Gabrielle Price wrote and published an extraordinary novel. 

But twenty years on her literary star has dimmed, her “work of genius” is all but forgotten, and no further novels have materialized. She now lives an unremarkable life: middle-aged, living alone in the sleepy village she grew up in, and working as a housekeeper for the local vicar. Her lonely existence is dominated by memories of her best friend Madeleine, who died young, in tragic and mysterious circumstances. 

Gabrielle’s quiet world is turned upside down when she meets and befriends Simon – young, attractive, a would-be writer, and enthusiastic fan of the astonishing novel that Gabrielle published all those years ago. Charmed and flattered, she recklessly invites him into her home and her heart. But Simon is mysterious and manipulative, and it’s not long before he forces Gabrielle to confront the demons in her past. Gabrielle’s obsession begins to destroy her carefully cultivated life, and she comes to feel increasingly threatened by Simon’s presence. Who is he? Why did he seek her out? And what does he really want?

Published by Louise Walters Books

Purchase Links

Publisher Website  £8.99 with free postage

waterstones £8.99

amazon £8.99

Kindle pre-order – out 7th March 2019 £2.99

MY REVIEW

I will be forever grateful to the world of book blogging/reviewing for allowing me to read books that would normally pass me by – and that is exactly how I feel about this book which  had me well and truly spellbound from the moment I picked it up and I’m still thinking about the characters many hours later and cannot recommend it highly enough!

The character of Gabrielle Price is at the centre of this story – she’s a writer and published a work of ‘genius’ many years earlier but nothing has followed since and she’s never really settled or found her place in life.  Happy to be a housekeeper for the local vicar, she’s content – or so she thought  – doing her own thing and keeping to herself.  But there’s always been the death of her close friend – Madeleine – hanging over her and she is plagued by memories o their friendship and what could have been.  We get to read flashbacks of their time together through childhood and into their young adult life, when they both changed as people and different feelings bubbled up between them causing them to drift apart.

When Gabrielle receives a ‘fan letter’ from a young writer she is shocked that her book still has people taking notice of it, and agrees to meet this fan who turns out to be a young man named Simon, who claims to want to write his own book and is looking for advice and inspiration from her.

What follows is a tale of an older woman being secretly flattered by this attention and the hold that Simon begins to have over her is intoxicating.  She knows she should know better but just can’t seem to help spending time with him and their friendship is soon the talk of the local village.  

I found the strength of this book to be the attention to detail and the characters, who have been crafted so beautifully.  It’s a slow burn of a novel which jumps seamlessly between the now and to the past when we get to explore the intricacies of being young  female friendships.  There is so much unknown about Simon but he has such a way with words that the story he tells Gabrielle allows her  to trust him and confides some of her darkest secrets to him.  

A exhilarating book that is full of dark secrets, obsessive behaviour and mind games.  Stunning!!

🐟🐟🐟🐟🐟

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