#BlogTour A NARROW DOOR by JOANNE HARRIS #BookReview @Tr4cyF3nt0n #CompulsiveReaders #ANarrowDoor



Super excited to be with you today as part of the Blog Tour for the fabulous A NARROW DOOR by JOANNE HARRIS.
My thanks to the author, publisher and Tracy of Compulsive Readers for putting the tour together and letting me be part of it all!ABOUT THE BOOK

Your favourite authors have been gripped by this electric psychological thriller!

‘A dark world of emotional complexity and betrayal, where twist follows twist and nothing is what it seems’ ALEX MICHAELIDES
‘Exhilarating, addictive, fierce’ BRIDGET COLLINS
‘A psychological thriller you can’t put down and an antiheroine you won’t forget’ HARLAN COBEN
‘Dark, Gothic, and propulsively readable – past secrets and present discoveries entangle in an intricately crafted conclusion’ RUTH WARE
‘Engrossing, cunning, sharp, sinister . . . kept me enthralled till the final pages’ CHRIS WHITAKER
‘A clever chess game of repressed fears, power struggles, secrets and lies’ LUCY ATKINS
‘A complex, chilling mystery full of shifting truths and dark corners where the unburied past lies in wait’ TAMMY COHEN
‘A dark and richly enjoyable novel that already feels like a classic’ ELLY GRIFFITHS
‘Irresistibly readable, dark and brilliant with a masterful emotional punch’ CATRIONA WARD

* * * * *

Now I’m in charge, the gates are my gates. The rules are my rules.

It’s an incendiary moment for St Oswald’s school. For the first time in its history, a headmistress is in power, the gates opening to girls.

Rebecca Buckfast has spilled blood to reach this position. Barely forty, she is just starting to reap the harvest of her ambition. As the new regime takes on the old guard, the ground shifts. And with it, the remains of a body are discovered.

But Rebecca is here to make her mark. She’ll bury the past so deep it will evade even her own memory, just like she has done before. After all…

You can’t keep a good woman down.PUBLISHED BY ORIONPURCHASE LINKAMAZON


MY REVIEW
Dark. Twisted. Thrilling. Sinister… got your interest yet?!  This is one of those books that I was absorbed in from the get go! You are confronted by a woman who is determined, single minded and not prepared to put with anything. And now she’s in the perfect position to put everything into play… and that means settling scores!
Be prepared to be led down a garden path, or school corridor!, on a number of occasions as the story flits from the now to the past and the shocking events that plagued her childhood and have made her the woman she has become. 
When a body is discovered on the school grounds, Rebecca seems untroubled by the events, and more concerned with how a certain member of staff reacts to the news.  Amidst the school setting we get to see the politics at play and the sexist attitudes never far from action and that really adds to the muddying of water as you make up your mind about Rebecca and her motives!
The more you find out about her childhood and the past, the more the ‘now’ begins to make sense and that undercurrent of darkness is forever present and storyline of her past was particularly intense and gripping!
This is a psychological thriller full of complex characters and situations and I was totally ensnared in the web of intrigue!!


★★★★★

#20BooksOfSummer21 THE ISLAND HOME by LIBBY PAGE #BookReview



This is book 14 of my 20 Books of Summer 2021

ABOUT THE BOOK


Alice’s world is tiny but full.

She loves the community on Kip, her yoga classes drawing women across the tiny island together. Now Lorna’s arrival might help their family finally mend itself – even if forgiveness means returning to the past…

So with two decades, hundreds of miles and a lifetime’s worth of secrets between Lorna and the island, can coming home mean starting again?


PUBLISHED BY ORION

MY REVIEW


This is a wonderful story of facing up to the past and reconnecting and in such a wonderful setting! It’s full of characters that you take to your heart, and understand their pain and frustration, and watching their story unfold just fills your heart with glee!


Lorna and her daughter Ella are leaving London and heading to a remote Scottish Island where Lorna grew up, but left in haste 20 years ago and doesn’t mention. Ella is excited to be meeting up with ‘family’ after so long, but Lorna is extremely anxious and unsure if they are doing the right thing. Immediately you are intrigued as to what happened 20 years ago that made her so desperate to escape.


Alice lives on the Island of Kip, with Jack (Lorna’s brother), and is desperate to meet her sister in law and niece for the first time as Jack never mentions them. He’s very reluctant to discuss what happened in the past and the events of recent years have made him even more reticent to discuss his sister and their childhood.


Seeing how Lorna reacts to being ‘home’ makes the story more intriguing and it doesn’t take long before she’s thinking about the past and her childhood, and how to talk to Jack about what happened when he was 14 and his big sister just upped and left him behind.


The community is so welcoming I wanted to move up there! It’s lovely to see how everyone helped everyone out, a big change from London for Lorna where she was on her own bringing up her daughter with very few friends, and only her job as a teacher to keep her going. The more time she spends on Kip, the more her old character is revealed and the dreams and passions she forgot about and time allows her and Jack to start to share memories – good and bad – and the truth of what happened finally begins to reveal itself.


This is a story that just shows how reconnecting with ghosts from the past and confronting those memories you tried to forget allows you to find ways to move on and I just loved it all!

★★★★★

#BlogTour The Strawberry Thief by Joanne Harris #BookReview @Tr4cyF3nt0n

Extremely honoured to be taking part in the blog tour for THE STRAWBERRY THIEF by JOANNE HARRIS today, and my thanks to the author, publisher and Tracy Fenton for letting me be part of it all and to share my thoughts on this wonderful book!

ABOUT THE BOOK

Published in hardback/ebook/audiobook on 4 April 2019, priced £20.00/£10.00/19.99

The compelling new Chocolat novel, published 20 years after Joanne’s Harris’s original bestseller

Vianne Rocher has finally settled down. Lansquenet-sous-Tannes, the place that once rejected her, has become her home. With Rosette, her “special child”, she runs her chocolate shop in the square, talks to her friends on the river, is part of the community. Even Reynaud, the priest, has become a friend.

But when old Narcisse, the florist, dies, leaving a parcel of land to Rosette and a written confession to Reynaud, the life of the sleepy old village is once again thrown into disarray. The arrival of Narcisse’s relatives, the departure of an old friend and the opening of a mysterious new shop in place of the florist’s across the square – one that mirrors the chocolaterie, and has a strange appeal of its own – all seem to herald some kind of change: a confrontation, a turbulence. Perhaps, even, a murder…

PURCHASE LINKS

Goldsboro Books – signed first edition £20

hive.co.uk  £15.85

waterstones  signed edition £20

About the Author

Joanne Harris is an Anglo-French writer, whose books include fourteen novels, two cookbooks and many short stories. Her work is extremely diverse, covering aspects of magic realism, suspense, historical fiction, mythology and fantasy. In 2000, her 1999 novel CHOCOLAT was adapted to the screen, starring Juliette Binoche and Johnny Depp. CHOCOLAT has sold over a million copies in the UK alone and was a global bestseller. She is an Honorary Fellow of St Catherine’s College, Cambridge, and in 2013 was awarded an MBE by the Queen.

MY REVIEW

It’s magical, it’s beautifully written, it’s emotional,  it’s dark, it’s heartbreaking…. I ADORED IT!!  

We re-visit Vianne  and she is settled and still running her wonderful chocolate shop, with help from her daughter Rosette who is described as a ‘special child’ and who has made so many friends amongst the locals with her innocence and inquisitive nature.

One of her friends is Narcisse, the florist, and when he sadly dies and leaves Rosette her a plot of land in his will things begin to change for all of them. There’s resentment from the relatives of Narcisse, and bewilderment from other locals and Vianne herself as to why he would do such a thing.  It all becomes much clearer as time goes on…

We get to enjoy this story from a number of perspectives – Vianne, Rosette are the main narrators but we also  hear the story of the local Priest who has also been left something by Narcisse which opens up a much darker side to the story and shows the impact of  living life with regrets and secrets.  

The new arrival in the village also plays a big part in the relationship between Vianne and Rosette, as the curiousity of Rosette becomes too much for her to keep away despite her mum’s warnings.  

Rosette’s story is entrancing. She knows she is different from the other children but that doesn’t stop her following her heart and all she knows she has learnt from life and her experiences.  She doesn’t speak but finds different ways to communicate her thoughts and fears and is such a gentle soul that you just warm to her immediately.  Obviously her mother is very protective towards her and sees the prejudices of others who don’t understand her ways and often look down on her, so that makes her even more determined that life should remain as simple as possible for her sometimes that control just seems a little too smothering.

There was just so much to enjoy about this book!  I found it drew me in immediately and the different threads and ripples from events were all played out so well, alongside watching the different characters dealing with what they perceived as threats to their way of life and peace of mind.

It was an utter delight to read and I’m already itching to go back and read the whole Chocolat series all over again!

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#BookReview The Silent Patient by Alex Michaelides #thesilentpatient

About the book

Promising to be the debut novel of the season The Silent Patient is a shocking psychological thriller of a woman’s act of violence against her husband—and of the therapist obsessed with uncovering her motive…

Alicia Berenson’s life is seemingly perfect. A famous painter married to an in-demand fashion photographer, she lives in a grand house with big windows overlooking a park in one of London’s most desirable areas. One evening her husband Gabriel returns home late from a fashion shoot, and Alicia shoots him five times in the face, and then never speaks another word.

Alicia’s refusal to talk, or give any kind of explanation, turns a domestic tragedy into something far grander, a mystery that captures the public imagination and casts Alicia into notoriety. The price of her art skyrockets, and she, the silent patient, is hidden away from the tabloids and spotlight at the Grove, a secure forensic unit in North London.

Theo Faber is a criminal psychotherapist who has waited a long time for the opportunity to work with Alicia. His determination to get her to talk and unravel the mystery of why she shot her husband takes him down a twisting path into his own motivations—a search for the truth that threatens to consume him…. 

Published by Orion

Publication Date – 7th February 2019

Purchase Links

hive.co.uk  £10.29

waterstones  £10.99

MY REVIEW

It wasn’t only the patient who was silent as I found myself sitting in silence racing to turn every page as I got immediately caught up in this twisty, dark thriller that definitely lives up to the hype!

Alicia is convicted of the brutal murder of her husband – the evidence finds her at the scene of the crime, covered in blood and unwilling to say a word.  And she stays silent for the years that follow when she is locked up in The Grove, a secure unit, and left to puzzle therapists and those treating her with her reluctance or inability to utter another word.

Theo Faber, a criminal  psychotherapist, is fascinated by her case following the media coverage , and when he finds himself a job at The Grove, his mission is to meet  her and unlock the secrets that Alicia is keeping from the world.

I think the main pull for me reading this book was the fact that Alicia seemingly had it all – a wonderful career as an artist, the perfect husband, a life we all dream of – but something happened that fateful night and as the story goes backwards and forwards you get to piece together the pieces and form your own opinions of what happened and how the truth is often skewed to fit a narrative.

The introduction of the diaries of Alicia was also another intriguing and genius way of telling the story.  It becomes clear that there was a lot going on in her life at the time and it adds such an absorbing element to the main narrative and really explores the effect of mental abuse on others and how the smallest comments can often cut the deepest.  Just why does she deal with the trauma by being silent?  Why can’t she she open up to people and let them know her side of the story?

I read this in one sitting and I think it’s one of those books that has all the elements to make you lose yourself and forget the real world while you’re trying to work out the twists as they get darker and darker! LOVED IT!!

🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟

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

#BookReview Together by Julie Cohen

About the book…..

This is not a great love story.
This is a story about great love.

On a morning that seems just like any other, Robbie wakes in his bed, his wife Emily asleep beside him, as always. He rises and dresses, makes his coffee, feeds his dogs, just as he usually does. But then he leaves Emily a letter and does something that will break her heart. As the years go back all the way to 1962, Robbie’s actions become clearer as we discover the story of a couple with a terrible secret – one they will do absolutely anything to protect.

Perfect for fans of Jojo Moyes’s Me Before You, David Nicholls’s One Day and M L Stedman’s The Light Between Oceans.

Published by Orion

Purchase Links

Amazon UK

Hive.co.uk

Waterstones

MY REVIEW

If the first chapter doesn’t tug at your heartstrings and put a tear in your eye, as it did with me, then you must be made of stone!! And that stunning opening had me hooked immediately and racing through each chapter to delve deeper into the uniquely told love story.

It’s a story that starts at the end! And I really enjoyed that way of it being told! It allowed you to focus on certain parts of their lives together, and before, and helped put things into perspective as to why things were happening in the way they were. Robbie and Emily had such an amazing life together full of secrets and difficult decisions, and having them revealed in reverse order was such a clever way of telling the story and really gave it such an interesting spin and gave their story a fresh but heartbreaking feel.

I loved the flaws in the characters, there were bad points in their make up alongside the good and the bond they shared was strengthened even more by the events that took place throughout their life. I didn’t see the twist coming either so that was a big surprise and one that worked well in the context of the story. Look forward to reading more from this author in the future!

                                        💕💕💕💕

#BookReview The Lido by Libby Page

ABOUT THE BOOK

A tender, joyous debut novel about a cub reporter and her eighty-six-year-old subject—and the unlikely and life-changing friendship that develops between them.

Kate is a twenty-six-year-old riddled with anxiety and panic attacks who works for a local paper in Brixton, London, covering forgettably small stories. When she’s assigned to write about the closing of the local lido (an outdoor pool and recreation center), she meets Rosemary, an eighty-six-year-old widow who has swum at the lido daily since it opened its doors when she was a child. It was here Rosemary fell in love with her husband, George; here that she’s found communion during her marriage and since George’s death. The lido has been a cornerstone in nearly every part of Rosemary’s life.

But when a local developer attempts to buy the lido for a posh new apartment complex, Rosemary’s fond memories and sense of community are under threat.

As Kate dives deeper into the lido’s history—with the help of a charming photographer—she pieces together a portrait of the pool, and a portrait of a singular woman, Rosemary. What begins as a simple local interest story for Kate soon blossoms into a beautiful friendship that provides sustenance to both women as they galvanize the community to fight the lido’s closure. Meanwhile, Rosemary slowly, finally, begins to open up to Kate, transforming them both in ways they never knew possible.

In the tradition of Fredrik Backman, The Lido is a charming, feel-good novel that captures the heart and spirit of a community across generations—an irresistible tale of love, loss, aging, and friendship.

Published by Orion

Hardcover page count – 384

Purchase Links

Amazon UK

Hive.co.uk

Book Depository

MY REVIEW

I adored this book! From the first few pages you are immediately drawn into the world of Kate, who is struggling with anxiety in the world she lives in and often shuts herself away in her flat. She works at the local paper and is soon given the chance of writing a story about the local Lido which is soon to be demolished. Kate doesn’t know that working on this story is set to change her life and her outlook and help banish some of those demons living inside her head.

Rosemary is 86 and a regular swimmer at the Lido. It has become her second home since the loss of her beloved husband, and the thought of it no longer being there springs her into action to try and save the little piece of heaven that means so much to her and many others in the community. To the ‘men in suits’ it is just a building, but to those who use the Lido it means so much more – where romances start, friendships are made, childhood memories abound – and to lose that can be devastating for those living in the area.

Kate is sent to interview Rosemary and the most wonderful and touching friendship begins these two women and it was just a delight to read how this bond strengthens throughout, how they both help each other personally and of what can be achieved when people in a community pull together.

I loved the sense of community throughout, and also how we see that despite the struggles that both characters face throughout, there is always that thread of hope and how unlikely friendships blossom. Kate and Rosemary are two amazing characters as well – Kate suffers with anxiety and you get a real sense of the terror she often feels in those moments when the walls seem to be closing in on her, and Rosemary is still struggling with life without her beloved George and it was so joyous to look back on their life together through her eyes.

I had tears in my eyes by the end but my heart was filled with so much love and all the feels and I cannot recommend this book highly enough!  If you loved Eleanor Oliphant by Gail Honeyman, or A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman, then this is the book for you!

                                               🏊🏊🏊🏊🏊