General Fiction

#BookReview
The Trick by Emanuel Bergmann
@SimonSchusterCA @simonschuster

Synopsis:

Sweeping between Prague during World War II and modern-day Los Angeles, this deeply moving debut follows a young Jewish man in 1934 who falls in love and joins the circus as the country descends into war. Decades later, a young boy seeks out the now cynical, elderly magician in the hopes that his spells might keep his family together.

Prague, 1934: The fifteen-year-old rabbi s son Moshe Goldenhirsch marvels at the legendary circus magician known as the Half-Moon Man. Unexpectedly, he falls madly in love with the magician’s delightful assistant, spurring him to run away from home to join the circus, which is slowly making its way to Germany as war looms on the horizon. Soon, he becomes a world-renowned magician known as the Great Zabbatini, even sought after by Adolf Hitler. But when Moshe is discovered to be a Jew, only his special talent can save him from perishing in a concentration camp.

Los Angeles, 2007: Ten-year-old Max Cohn is convinced that magic can bring his estranged parents back together before they divorce. So one night he climbs out of his bedroom window in search of the Great Zabbatini, certain this powerful magician has the power to reunite his family.


Book Rating: 7.5/10

Quirky, sweet, and humorous!

The Trick is set in both 1930s Prague and twenty-first century Los Angeles and centres around two main characters. Moshe Goldenhirsch, or more famously known as the great Zabbatini, a Jewish survivor of WWII who learned from a very early age the true power of magic. And Max Cohn, a brave, determined 10-year-old on a mission to uncover the love spell he’s confident will fix his parent’s marital woes.

The prose is witty and emotive. The characters are stubborn, unique, and endearing. And the plot is a captivating tale of life, love, heartbreak, family, friendship, and survival.

The Trick, overall, is a well-written, amusing story that ultimately reminds us that magic is a set of tricks, tools or suggestions that give us the freedom to see what we want to see and believe what we want to believe.

Thank you to Simon & Schuster Canada for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review.

This book is available September 19, 2017.

Pick up a copy from your favourite retailer or from one of the following links.

                                            

 

#BookReview
Sing, Unburied, Sing by Jesmyn Ward
@jesmimi @SimonSchusterCA

Synopsis:

A searing and profound Southern odyssey by National Book Award winner Jesmyn Ward.

In Jesmyn Ward’s first novel since her National Book Award winning Salvage the Bones, this singular American writer brings the archetypal road novel into rural twenty-first-century America. Drawing on Morrison and Faulkner, The Odyssey and the Old Testament, Ward gives us an epochal story, a journey through Mississippi’s past and present that is both an intimate portrait of a family and an epic tale of hope and struggle. Ward is a major American writer, multiply awarded and universally lauded, and in Sing, Unburied, Sing she is at the height of her powers.

Jojo and his toddler sister, Kayla, live with their grandparents, Mam and Pop, and the occasional presence of their drug-addicted mother, Leonie, on a farm on the Gulf Coast of Mississippi. Leonie is simultaneously tormented and comforted by visions of her dead brother, which only come to her when she’s high; Mam is dying of cancer; and quiet, steady Pop tries to run the household and teach Jojo how to be a man. When the white father of Leonie’s children is released from prison, she packs her kids and a friend into her car and sets out across the state for Parchman farm, the Mississippi State Penitentiary, on a journey rife with danger and promise.

Sing, Unburied, Sing grapples with the ugly truths at the heart of the American story and the power, and limitations, of the bonds of family. Rich with Ward’s distinctive, musical language, Sing, Unburied, Sing is a majestic new work and an essential contribution to American literature.


Book Rating: 8.5/10

Haunting, atmospheric, and powerful!

Sing, Unburied, Sing is an incredibly moving novel about life in small-town Mississippi where life is constantly inflicted by ravishing hurricanes, enduring poverty, rampant opioid availability, and racial prejudices.

The prose is eloquent and descriptive. The characters are tormented, fragile, and raw. And the plot takes us on a heart-wrenching rollercoaster ride full of love, violence, hatred, addiction, biracial tension, incarceration, abandonment, death, loss and the spirit world beyond. 

Sing, Unburied, Sing is ultimately a poetic tale woven with a supernatural thread that reminds us that strength, compassion, and kindness is the base of humanity that transcends skin colour, socioeconomic status, and the deepest, darkest realities.

Thank you to Simon & Schuster Canada for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review.

This novel is available now.

Pick up a copy from your favourite retailer or from the following links.

                                            

For more information on Jesmyn Ward visit her website at: jesmimi.blogspot.com

or follow her on Twitter at: @jesmimi

#BookReview
Killer Affair by Rebecca Chance
@MsRebeccaChance @PGCBooks

Synopsis:

A shocking betrayal deserves a wicked revenge . . .

Stunning, charismatic Lexy O’Brien is the reigning queen of British reality TV. Her life in front of the camera is planned and manipulated as successfully as any military assault.

But success breeds jealousy. When you’re on top, the only way is down and there’s always someone standing by to give you a shove . . .

Dowdy Caroline Evans, a part-time blogger and writer of erotic fiction, is brought in to chronicle Lexy’s life. Being taken under Lexy’s wing is a dream come true for Caroline. But sampling the star’s lifestyle is like tasting the most addictive of drugs, and it’s not long before she is craving what she can’t possibly have – or can she?

And as Caroline and Lexy’s lives and loves become increasingly entwined, it’s only a matter of time before the hidden rivalry becomes a powder keg waiting to explode . . .


Book Rating: 8/10

Scandalous, salacious, and outrageously entertaining!

Killer Affair is an alluring novel that takes us into the lives of the rich and famous and reminds us that everything that glitters is not gold and often behind the shiny facade and quintessential social media postings is an abundance of power, obsession, envy, deception, betrayal, infidelity, and revenge.

The writing is well done. The characters are ambitious, self-indulgent, and vain. And the plot is a clever, captivating mix of humour, drama, action, and sex.

Overall, I have to say Killer Affair is truly a scintillating, enjoyable treat that’s perfect for anyone who loves all the backstabbing, glamour, gossip, and sexual hijinks of reality TV. It will make you smile, laugh, and at times even leave you at a loss for words.

Thank you to PGC Books for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review.

This book is available now.

Pick up a copy from your favourite retailer or from one of the following links.

                                  

For more information on Rebecca Chance, visit her website at: rebeccachanceauthor.com

or follow her on Twitter at: @MsRebeccaChance

 

#BookReview
Young Jane Young by Gabrielle Zevin
@gabriellezevin @PenguinCanada

Synopsis:

From the author of the international bestseller The Storied Life of A. J. Fikry comes another novel that will have everyone talking.

Aviva Grossman, an ambitious congressional intern in Florida, makes the mistake of having an affair with her boss–and blogging about it. When the affair comes to light, the beloved congressman doesn’t take the fall. But Aviva does, and her life is over before it hardly begins: slut-shamed, she becomes a late-night talk show punch line, anathema to politics.

She sees no way out but to change her name and move to a remote town in Maine. This time, she tries to be smarter about her life and strives to raise her daughter, Ruby, to be strong and confident. But when, at the urging of others, Aviva decides to run for public office herself, that long-ago mistake trails her via the Internet and catches up–an inescapable scarlet A. In the digital age, the past is never, ever, truly past. And it’s only a matter of time until Ruby finds out who her mother was and is forced to reconcile that person with the one she knows.

Young Jane Young is a smart, funny, and moving novel about what it means to be a woman of any age, and captures not just the mood of our recent highly charged political season, but also the double standards alive and well in every aspect of life for women.


Book Rating: 8/10

Clever, humorous, and highly entertaining!

Young Jane Young is an engaging, satisfying tale that reminds us that the internet although an invaluable source of information and a blessing is also often a curse where mistakes are never forgotten.

The story is divided into multiple sections and told from various perspectives; Rachel, Aviva’s mother whose attempts at online dating is dismal at best; Jane/Aviva, a young events planner who has successfully carved out a new life and identity after falling in love with the wrong man; Ruby, Jane’s inquisitive and direct teenage daughter; and Embeth, the congressman’s forgiving and supportive wife.

The characters are strong, female, and resilient. The prose is smooth, fresh, and exceptionally witty. And the plot interweaves and unfolds effortlessly using unconventional, unique writing styles, such as emails and “choose your own adventure” to keep you intrigued and absorbed from start to finish.

Young Jane Young is ultimately a lighthearted, warm, enjoyable story about empowerment, survival, feminism, shame, acceptance, adultery, politics, scandals, and the unfair sexist stigma that still surrounds women and their sexual behaviour today.

If you haven’t already checked out my review for The Storied Life of A. J. Fikry by Gabrielle Zevin, one of my favourite books from last year,  be sure to check it out here:

 

Thank you to Penguin Random House Canada and Goodreads Giveaways for providing me with a copy of this novel in exchange for an honest review.

This novel is available now.

Pick up a copy from your favourite retailer or from one of the following links.

                                            

For more information on Gabrielle Zevin, follow her on Facebook at: gabriellezevin.com

or on Twitter at: @gabriellezevin

#BookReview
Perfect Imperfections by Taryn Leigh
@tarynleighbook @olympiapub

Synopsis:

Sarah Lewis desires nothing more than to begin again after a failed marriage and a tragedy so terrifying, it forces her to leave her life in London to stay with her best friend a world apart in South Africa.

Despite immediate success in her business, she struggles to understand who she really is and where she belongs in the world. So begins a journey of discovery as Sarah re-unites with Katy in the land where she was born, where the air is lavender scented, and weekends are spent cycling on the beach.

Until the day when she has to return to London to face the ghosts of her past and confront a situation that has grown more complicated in her absence.

Perfect Imperfections is an intriguing tale which hints at wrongdoings and deceit without giving too much away. The author cleverly weaves a tale around fragile yet strong Sarah as she tries to reconcile her past with her future, engaging the reader to the point where we simply want the best for her and for happiness finally to come her way.


Book Rating: 8/10

Uplifting, vivid, and poignant!

Perfect Imperfections is a heartwarming tale about letting go of the past, embracing the future and discovering one’s true self after suffering heartbreak and tragedy.

The writing is vivid and descriptive. The characters are strong, kind, and supportive. And the plot is an engaging, emotional tale with a side of mystery that’s full of heartache, loss, grief, betrayal, relationship dynamics, family, romance, and love.

Overall, I would have to say that Perfect Imperfections is a charming, sweet, beautiful debut for Leigh that does a wonderful job of highlighting just how important and powerful friendship can truly be.

 

About the Author:

Taryn Leigh is a South African born citizen, who spent her childhood with her nose buried in books. Her love for reading transpired into her ambition to become a writer. She first tried her hand at blogging, which eventually led to her writing her first novel. She lives in Pretoria, with her husband, son and two cocker spaniels.

 

Thank you to Taryn Leigh and Olympia Publishers for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review.

This novel is available now.

Pick up a copy from your favourite retailer or from one of the following links.

                    

For more information on Taryn Leigh, visit her website at: perfect-imperfections

or follow her on Twitter at: @tarynleighbook

#BookReview
The Olive Tree by Lucinda Riley
@lucindariley @PGCBooks

 

Synopsis:

It has been 24 years since a young Helena spent a magical holiday in Cyprus, where she fell in love for the first time. When the now-crumbling house, “Pandora,” is left to her by her godfather, she returns to spend the summer there with her family. Yet, as soon as Helena arrives at Pandora, she knows that its idyllic beauty masks a web of secrets that she has kept from William, her husband, and Alex, her son. At the difficult age of 13, Alex is torn between protecting his beloved mother, and growing up. And equally, desperate to learn the truth about his real father. When, by chance, Helena meets her childhood sweetheart, a chain of events is set in motion that threatens to make her past and present collide. Both Helena and Alex know that life will never be the same, once Pandora’s secrets have been revealed . . .


Book Rating: 10/10

Lighthearted, mesmerizing, and genuinely heartfelt!

The Olive Tree is an engrossing tale that reminds us that life is often a messy journey complete with smiles, tears, happiness, and heartbreak.

It is set on the idyllic island of Cyprus and takes us into the lives of two main families who on the surface seem to have it all, great relationships, beautiful houses, and good kids, but over the course of one hot summer marriages will be tested, secrets will be revealed, love will be found, love will be lost, and lives will be changed forever.

The prose is expressive, sincere, and smooth. The characters are charming, multi-layered, and alluring. And the plot is a wonderful, contemporary mix of life, love, coming-of-age, humour, family dynamics, deception, and mystery that starts in the present, takes you back 10-years in the past, and finishes when the past and present collides.

There are only a few authors that no matter the theme or size of the book their stories are always filled with magical characters I can’t get enough of and stories that are so atmospheric and vivid I’m entertained, enthralled and swept away and Lucinda Riley is one of them. She has the incredible ability to take her innate knowledge of all the psychological and emotional entanglements found in nuclear families and weave them into a story you can’t put down. I absolutely loved this book and will now try my hardest to patiently await her next release, The Pearl Sister, book #4 in The Seven Sisters series due out late 2017/early 2018.

If you haven’t checked out my reviews for some of Lucinda Riley’s other novels be sure to check them out here:

 

Thank you to PGC Books for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review.

This novel is available now.

Pick up a copy from your favourite retailer or from one of the following links.

                                            

For more information on Lucinda Riley, visit her website at: lucindariley.co.uk

or follow her on Twitter at: @lucindariley

 

#BookReview
One Summer Day in Rome by Mark Lamprell
@marklamprell @Flatironbooks

Synopsis:

Mark Lamprell’s The Lovers’ Guide to Rome is an enchanting novel about three couples drawn irresistibly to Rome, narrated by the city itself.

Alice, an art student in New York City, has come to Rome in search of adventure and inspiration before settling down with her steady, safe fiancé. Meg and Alec, busy parents and successful business people from LA, are on a mission to find the holy grail, a certain blue tile that will make their home renovation complete—but soon it becomes clear that their marriage needs a makeover as well. Connie and Lizzie are women of a certain age—“Sometimes I look at my laughter lines and wonder what on earth could have been that funny”—who come from London to scatter the ashes of their beloved husband and brother. Both women are seemingly done with romance, but Rome has other ideas.


Book Rating: 8/10

Absorbing, romantic and incredibly moving!

One Summer Day in Rome is a story about love, new love, struggling love, eternal love, and lost love.

The story takes place in the time span of one day and takes us into the lives of three couples; Alice and August, university students from different continents who test the idea of love at first sight; Alec and Meg, a middle-aged married couple who’ve lost that loving feeling; and Constance a heartbroken widow who recently lost her soul mate.

The prose is light, humorous and incredibly descriptive. The narration is unconventional. The characters are multi-layered, real and endearing. And the plot is an entertaining mix of emotion, dialogue, humour, hijinks, mishaps, and passion.

I have to admit that I wasn’t sure what to expect when I started One Summer Day in Rome but it wasn’t long before Lamprell not only swept me away to a city he obviously knows and loves and gave me a truly romantic guidebook to all the history, must-see landmarks, culture, lifestyle, and food but also immersed me in a heartfelt, touching story that made me laugh, smile and even cry.

Thank you to NetGalley and Flatiron Books for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review.

This novel is available now.

Pick up a copy from your favourite retailer or from one of the following links. 

                                          

For more information on Mark Lamprell follow him on Twitter at: @marklamprell

#BookReview
The Ice-Cream Makers by Ernest van der Kwast
@ernestvdkwast @SimonSchusterCA

Synopsis:

In this international bestseller, a poet struggles to decide if he should put his family’s or his own needs first when he returns to Italy to help run the ice cream dynasty he left behind years ago in this charming tale perfect for fans of A Man Called Ove.

As the heir to a proud Northern Italian ice-cream dynasty, Giovanni Calamine’s family is none too happy when he decides to break with tradition and travel the world as a notable poet. So when Giovanni receives an unexpected call from his brother, he is faced with a difficult decision: return home to serve in his family’s interests or continue on his own path in life once and for all?

In a heartwarming tale that weaves history with lore and poetry with delicious culinary curiosities, The Ice-Cream Makers paints a century-long, multi-generational portrait of a family wrestling with the conflicting pulls of legacy and desire.


Book Rating: 8/10

Poignant, intriguing, and delightfully entertaining!

The Ice-Cream Makers is set in both Rotterdam and Northern Italy and is the multi-generational story of the Talamini family and their ice-creaming making dynasty.

It centres around two brothers; Giovanni, the oldest who decides to branch out from tradition and lead a life filled with words, festivals, travel, and independence; And Luca the youngest who does what is expected and continues the family business of making ice cream like his father, grandfather, and great-grandfather did before him.

The prose is rich and sophisticated. The characters are unique, diligent, and authentic. And the story is ultimately about family, sacrifice, responsibility, guilt, tradition, love, poetry, and ice cream.

Overall the Ice-Cream Makers is a well written, fascinating story that reminds us that family legacies can often be a blessing and a curse, that the choices we make often have far-reaching consequences, and that ice cream is the result of mouth-watering ingredients, a complex process, and a lot of hard work. 

Thank you to Simon & Schuster Canada for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review.

This book is available now.

Pick up a copy from your favourite retailer or from one of the following links.

                                            

For more information on Ernest van der Kwast, visit his website at: ernestvanderkwast.nl

or follow him on Twitter at: @ernestvdkwast

 

#BlogTour & #BookReview
The Rainbow Player by David Kerby-Kendall
@dkerbykendall @Authoright

Synopsis:

England footballer, Sammy Hatchington, has never considered sexuality before. As a teenager, Sammy broke the mould of his youthful peers with his desire to open the door to life’s endless possibilities. He escaped a deprived estate and, with the help of Old Thomas, his surrogate father, Davey, his soul-mate, and Gran, the connoisseur of footballer’s bottoms, launched himself on a path toward his personal and professional goals. Now, several years later, he must make a decision that could destroy everything he has fought for, and create a furious media frenzy………

David Kerby-Kendall’s joyous and witty novel challenges preconceptions about professional sportsmen and love, and is also a delightful and moving story of a young man’s journey to self-knowledge.


Book Rating: 8.5/10

Heartfelt, humourous, and incredibly moving!

This is an entertaining, captivating story that not only reminds us to live and love to the fullest, enjoying each high and learning from each low, but also highlights the unfortunate stigma and stereotypical mentality surrounding professional sports.

The characters are flawed, genuine, caring, and lovable. The writing is witty and direct. And the plot is a captivating tale about life, familial dynamics, coming-of-age, friendship, perseverance, support, and unconditional love that will not only make you laugh but also make you cry.

This truly is a well-written, thought-provoking novel by Kerby-Kendall with a nice amount of emotion, drama, humour, and character development. And even though this novel is certainly rooted in the LGBTQIA genre it’s so much more than that, at its core it’s a story about love, pure and simple, with no limits, no labels, and no regrets!

Author Spotlight:

I’m originally from Leicester, but I’ve had therapy and I’m now allowed out into polite society.

We don’t have culture in Leicester; we have Gary Lineker and Walkers crisps…..oh, and Richard III, though we did sort of borrow him from York.

Actually, that’s not fair. I love my home town. It’s wonderfully diverse, has two amazing universities and, for a short while, was the centre of the universe when our football team won the Premiership, at odds of 5000-1. There was more chance of the Pope having a Number 1 hit, apparently!

And, of course, it holds the most amazing memories; of living with my Grandmother, who was my soul-mate, and encouraged me in the arts and, most importantly, as a ridiculously shy teenager, to go on stage. Well, mostly encouraged; she did tell me I had a singing voice like a cat being ironed, but we’ll gloss over that!

After leaving school I spent eleven years in banking. I left the TSB with the worst cash error record in Leicester, but as a successful chief clerk as, with the latter job, I only had to organise the branch and talk to customers, not add anything up. And so began a journey to London to study acting at the London Theatre School and immerse myself in café society and shouting at people who stand on the left side of escalators.

I remember once, in my second year at drama school, standing in Trafalgar Square at 3 am, waiting for a night bus, having drunk Lake Windermere in Merlot (this is actually part of the drama school syllabus), looking up at the beam of light trained on Nelson’s Column, thinking, ‘This is amazing; I’m an actor living in London; I’ve found freedom’. And it was true. The move and the change in career broadened my mind wider than I had ever thought possible. I know it’s a cliché, but I began to find a part of myself I never knew existed (or maybe was just too scared to admit to). It was liberating and exhilarating.

After graduating, there followed a few somewhat unmemorable acting jobs, including dropping my leading lady into the orchestra pit during a production of The Boyfriend in Rhyl (I don’t think the twenty-seven people in the audience were very impressed) and a few normal jobs in order to pay that annoying ‘rent’ thing. Two years in advertising (wearing pink braces and throwing a hissy fit if your double-shot gingerbread latte wasn’t quite hot enough), telemarketing, stage-door-keeping and being a butler at Phantom Of the Opera (pouring champagne down rich people’s sleeves).

Finally, I got lucky and had a run of eight consecutive plays, including three productions of Jack Shepherd’s Half Moon. I still had to pinch myself (not hard; I’m a wimp with pain) that someone of Jack’s standing would cast me in his play.

Then, having played rugby and tennis and kept reasonably fit at the gym all my life, my body decided to age 104 years in six months and I ended up having twenty-four operations in ten years. However, there is always a silver lining as this is when I started writing.

In 2007 I wrote a play called Save Your Kisses For Me which actually included The Brotherhood Of Man’s Eurovision-winning song (the first record I ever bought. I was young and had questionable musical taste…..as opposed to now when I’m older and have appalling musical taste). From it’s small-scale success I became the In-House writer for Heartbreak Productions and have been lucky enough to have adapted some marvellous novels for the stage, including three of David Walliam’s children’s books (Billionaire Boy is currently on a national tour). I’ve also had my own independent plays produced and will be returning to the acting profession later this year in my next play, 20:40, which concerns depression.

When I was adapting my first novel, I found myself in a Soho café on a break between rent-paying jobs. Normally I have great difficulty concentrating on anything if there’s extraneous background noise. However, on this occasion, I started writing and didn’t stop for four hours, by which time my mocha was congealed and I was half an hour late for pointing a spotlight at the stage of Phantom Of the Opera. From that day, I have done nearly all my writing in cafes. I love the energy and atmosphere; like-minded people writing plays, books, composing songs, creating new business ideas, forming new friendships. It seeps into your pores and wraps you in this all-encompassing creative blanket. I love the fact that café society has been going on for centuries. You can just SEE Picasso and Modigliani discussing surrealism and Gore Vidal and Jack Kerouac pushing the boundaries of acceptability in literature.

I write in longhand with a fountain pen. I know that sounds like I’m about to disappear up my own bottom but I genuinely can’t write with a biro, and get absolutely no inspiration from staring at a laptop screen. I re-read the last few pages to get myself back into the work again (this takes about ten minutes) and then I shift my mind a degree to the left of normality. If I’m writing dialogue, then I’ll read everything back in my head and act out each character. Being an actor, if it doesn’t sound natural, I will know straight away.

I love writing. No, ‘love’ doesn’t cover it; I adore writing.

Now most of the operations have finished and, as well as retuning to acting, I’m returning to the gym and the tennis court (at least I have an excuse to lose now).

I’m very lucky; I get to do two things that I love; making up stories and pretending to be other people. Also, I get to pay the bulk of the rent by lighting Phantom Of the Opera, playing David Garrick in the tours of Theatre Royal, Drury Lane and also taking tours of the Royal Opera House.

There isn’t much time to relax, but that’s OK. When I do get time, I love sport, poetry, music (Meat Loaf to Mozart), meditating in Highgate Wood, keeping fit, reading, and spending time with friends, being ludicrously immature one moment and putting the world to rights, the next.

What I love most about my life is that it can’t be labelled. I hate labels; they constrict us and are an excuse for people to hate each other. Someone recently said to me, ‘How can you like sport AND poetry?’. I replied, ‘Who made up the rule that you can’t?’.

Thank you to David Kerby-Kendall, Whiteley Publishing, and Authoright for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review.

This book is available now.

Pick up a copy from your favourite retailer or from one of the following link.

                      

For more information on David Kerby-Kendall, visit his website at: davidkerbykendall.com

or follow him on Twitter at: @dkerbykendall

#BlogTour & #BookReview
Every Secret Thing By Rachel Crowther
@bookollective

Synopsis:

Can you ever bury the past?

She’d recognised in him something of herself: that sense of not belonging, of secrets fiercely kept . . .

Five friends, newly graduated, travel together to the Lake District. Young and ambitious, they little imagine the events that will overtake them that fateful summer, tearing their fragile group apart.

Twenty years later, they return to the same spot, summoned by a mysterious bequest. It’s not long before old friendships – and old romances – are re-kindled. But soon, too, rivalries begin to re-emerge and wounds are painfully reopened . . .

How long does it take for past sins to be forgiven? And can the things they destroy ever really be recovered?


Book Rating: 7/10

Intense, sobering, and perceptive!

This is a character-driven novel that reminds us that life is precious and short and that everyone and everything that enters it shapes, defines, and influences us.

The writing is intelligent and descriptive. The characters are complex, secretive, and selfish. And the plot, although a little slow at times, is narrated from multiple perspectives and written in a past/present style that does a remarkable job of revealing all the personalities, motivations, and actions within it and finishes with a nice little twist.

This is ultimately a novel about life, friendship, secrets, manipulation, desire, jealousy, acceptance and forgiveness and has a very contemplative, moody feel. And although it is very clear from the onset that Crowther is a strong, literary writer I would have preferred the characters to have a few more redeeming qualities and be a little more likable.

About the Author:

Rachel Crowther qualified as a doctor and worked in the NHS for twenty years before succumbing to a lifelong yearning to write fiction, previously indulged during successive bouts of maternity leave. She has an MA in Creative Writing with distinction from Oxford Brookes, and a string of prizes for her short fiction.

Her first novel, THE PARTRIDGE AND THE PELICAN, was published in 2011 and was a Tatler ‘sizzling summer read’. THE THINGS YOU DO FOR LOVE is published in August 2016 and has been called ‘a delight of a read’ by Fay Weldon, ‘the very best sort of fiction’ by Juliet Nicolson (A House Full of Daughters) and ‘a richly textured tale of life and love’ by Richard Mason (The Drowning People).

Rachel has five children, two mad dogs and an abiding passion for music, art, cooking and travel, both in Britain and further afield. She currently lives in Surrey.

Thank you to Bookollective for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review.

This book is available now.

Pick up a copy of this novel from your favourite retailer or from one of the following links.

                                            

For more information on Rachel Crowther, visit her website at: rachelcrowther.co.uk

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