happy-families

Synopsis from Amazon:

Lisa is forty-two, divorced and a mum of three. For the past year, Lisa has been going out with Mark, who is five years younger than her. Lisa really likes him but she worries that one day he will leave – just like her ex-husband did. On top of everything else, Lisa feels really tired and moody, and has put on weight. She thinks it’s the menopause but could there be another reason for how she’s feeling? Lisa’s life is about to change in a big way but does she want Mark by her side? Does he even want to be there? With the help of her family and friends, Lisa starts to believe that a second chance of love and happiness might just be possible.

This was a fun quick read. I enjoyed this book however I didn’t find the menopause story line convincing. Being 42 she should have been more clued up. The problem with the Quick Reads is that they aren’t long enough to get in touch with the characters however, I did get emotionally involved with the lead character Lisa, just not the others. It was interesting briefly exploring family dynamics and how people punish others for other people’s mistakes. It was nice to see a happy ending and everything resolved. It was an easy read and I read the book in one day. I would love to read this story in a full novel, there is potential here for a great book. A good, quick read!

7/10

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Synopsis:

Joshua Gilfoyle has decided there are two things he wants from life before he dies: to find his lost son and to commission an artist to produce his lasting legacy – a new angel for Foxbarton church. His family can’t understand why he’s already bidding his life farewell, but Joshua is not a man used to opposition. However Julia, the artist he’s employed, doesn’t believe in angels – unlike her daughter Hebe. Although she’s desperate for the commission, she’s frightened her artistic inspiration has run dry and is beginning to wonder whether making the angel is beyond her ability. But as Hebe’s extraordinary gift begins to affect everyone around her, including even irascible old Joshua himself, there seems to be more than a touch of magic in the air as the mysteries of the past finally begin to reveal themselves…

This is a lovely book. I loved it. Bell addresses the issues of angels, autism and family. She wrote so well, the issues were all delicately dealt with, even the old-fashioned view of mental health. To write about autism and the different views people have on it was brave, but done so well. There are so many stereotypes surrending autism, and Bell raises them and deals with them, setting the record straight.

I loved Julia and Hebe. Julia’s passion and firey character were well written and I felt I connected with her. When she was betrayed and angry, I felt those emotions as well. Hebe I just wanted to hug. She was an angel, I loved her.

There was comedy in this book too, and I often found myself laughing out loud.

My only problem with this book was the emphasis on sex. There was a lot of sex in this book, I didn’t like that.

The story was great and easy to read. I did see the twist coming but that didn’t upset me. I really enjoyed this book.

8/10

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Synopsis from Amazon:

He’s my teacher. I shouldn’t be alone with him. But I can’t help that he’s irresistible. I let the door silently close at my back. He stared at me, and a taut quiet stretched between us. “I like hearing you play,” I said, moving toward him. He turned, in sync with my slow approach. He looked up at me but didn’t say anything. I rested my clammy hand on the cold, slick body of the baby grand. “May I?” The muscles in his throat shifted, then he swallowed. “Eden.” My knees weakened, like a soft tickling kiss had just been blown against the backs of them. “Is it okay?” I asked. His gaze held mine like two hands joined. He understood what I was really asking. “Let me stay,” I said. “Please.” “You’re going to get me in trouble,” he said.

I cannot rate this book highly enough. It is the best book I have read in ages. I completed it in two sittings; I was gripped from the first page.

I loved the characters, especially Eden, the protagonist. Warwick wrote her in such an amazing way that I completely connected with her and felt all the emotions she did. I was so in tune with her that when she cried, so did I.

The story was so well written. Warwick explored friendship, love, high school, family, death and music. The description of some of the pieces James played were breathtaking, and I could almost hear them. Watching Eden mature and fall in love was beautiful. Feelings were explained magnificantly. To see broken relationships patched up and repaired was lovely, and realistic. Every issue Warwick wrote about was successful. Even the relationship between Eden and James was sensitively written, and believable. I could easily see this happening in reality, playing out just like it does in the book. James was a lovely character. I fell in love with him too, it is hard not too!

I am so happy to have read this book. Nothing has left my disappointed. I loved the ending, the sense of maturity, adulthood, and adventure into the next chapter of Eden’s life was amazing.

I don’t have a bad word to say about the book.

10/10

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Synopsis from Amazon:

In this first novel, Dr Henry (Henrietta) Metcalfe falls for a hitch-hiker, Rufus. A psychiatrist and a teacher, both are intent on concealing their true identities. To complicate this comedy of sexual role reversal, Rufus is having an affair with Henry’s brother, Hilary, who wants to be a father.

I don’t really know what to make of Kansas in August. This is certaintly not the best Gale book I have read. The book seemed disjoined, with random characters flitting in and out of the story. There seemed no definite storyline, we just seemed to follow three character, Hilary, Henrietta and Rufus through odd events which distantly relate the characters to each other. I didn’t like the ending, which I honestly was begging to come. I don’t feel the story is ended and I’m left feeling completely unsatisfied. All revelations could have come a lot earlier in the story. That I think would have made the book improve vastly. It was not a long book, 158 pages, but one I did consider putting down a few times. I didn’t really connect with the characters, there was nothing about any of them that I could relate too. I’m left disappointed really.

4/10

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This is a bookring that I joined and I am so glad I did

Synopsis:
Set between the 1930s,and the present, Maggie O’Farrell’s new novel is the story of Esme, a woman edited out of her family’s history, and of the secrets that come to light when, sixty years later, she is released from care, and a young woman, Iris, discovers the great aunt she never knew she had. The mystery that unfolds is the heartbreaking tale of two sisters in colonial India and 1930s Edinburgh – of the loneliness that binds them together and the rivalries that drive them apart, and lead one of them to a shocking betrayal – but above all it is the story of Esme, a fiercely intelligent, unconventional young woman, and of the terrible price she is made to pay for her family’s unhappiness.

I read this book in a matter of hours, it was gripping, exciting and impossible to put down. This book caused a whole host of emotions as I read. I laughed and nearly cried at several parts of the book. My heart broke when I read what happened to Esme and I was disgusted and angry at her family.

My favourite characters where Iris and Esme, very similar characters I thought. I loved their passion and how they did as they pleased. Esme was so unconventional, not a typical 1930s girl and I admired her for taking a stand and being herself.

I enjoyed this book from page 1. The ending confused me a little but once I thought about it it made sense. It isn’t how I would have ended the book but I still liked it.

I have never read Maggie O’Farrell before but I will definitely read more of her work. She dealt with issues of mental health, family, society and love delicately and extremely well.

10/10

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