General Fiction

#BookReview
Us Against You by Fredrik Backman
@Backmanland @SimonSchusterCA

#BookReview Us Against You by Fredrik Backman @Backmanland @SimonSchusterCATitle: Us Against You

Author: Fredrik Backman

Series: Beartown #2

Published by: Simon & Schuster Canada on September 4, 2018

Genres: General Fiction

Pages: 448

Format: Paperback

Source: Simon & Schuster Canada

Book Rating: 10/10

 

Synopsis:

After everything that the citizens of Beartown have gone through, they are struck yet another blow when they hear that their beloved local hockey team will soon be disbanded. What makes it worse is the obvious satisfaction that all the former Beartown players, who now play for a rival team in Hed, take in that fact. Amidst the mounting tension between the two rivals, a surprising newcomer is handpicked to be Beartown’s new hockey coach.

Soon a new team starts to take shape around Amat, the fastest player you’ll ever see; Benji, the intense lone wolf; and Vidar, a born-to-be-bad troublemaker. But bringing this team together proves to be a challenge as old bonds are broken, new ones are formed, and the enmity with Hed grows more and more acute.

As the big match approaches, the not-so-innocent pranks and incidents between the communities pile up and their mutual contempt grows deeper. By the time the last game is finally played, a resident of Beartown will be dead, and the people of both towns will be forced to wonder if, after all they’ve been through, the game they love can ever return to something simple and innocent.


Review:

Beautifully written, brilliantly plotted, and undeniably affecting!

Us Against You takes us back to the small-town of Beartown where the fate of the Bears is now looking grim, a scheming politician has a hidden agenda, families are still struggling to recover from the violence that shattered their sense of security, and residents are still reeling from the sex scandal that tore their community apart and took down their shining star.

The prose is vivid, lyrical, and eloquent. The characters are fragile, tormented, and raw. And the absorbing, astute plot takes us on a heart-wrenching rollercoaster ride of love, loss, friendship, family, rivalry, fear, hope, loyalty, resilience, economic uncertainty, political ambition, violence, hockey, and the weight of responsibility.

Us Against You is a poetic, gritty, philosophical tale that reminds us just how delicate the line between love and hate and right and wrong can truly be. It’s dark, poignant, and touching and with the incredible depth, authenticity, superb character development, and exceptional insight into human frailty we’ve come to expect from Backman it’s not just a good novel it’s great!

This novel is available now.

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

                                            

 

 

 

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

 

About Fredrik Backman

Fredrik Backman is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of A Man Called Ove (soon to be a major motion picture starring Tom Hanks), My Grandmother Asked Me to Tell You She’s Sorry, Britt-Marie Was Here, Beartown, Us Against You, as well as two novellas, And Every Morning the Way Home Gets Longer and Longer and The Deal of a Lifetime. His books are published in more than forty countries. He lives in Stockholm, Sweden, with his wife and two children.

#BookReview
The Phantom Tree by Nicola Cornick
@NicolaCornick @HarlequinBooks

#BookReview The Phantom Tree by Nicola Cornick @NicolaCornick @HarlequinBooksTitle: The Phantom Tree

Author: Nicola Cornick

Published by: Graydon House on August 21, 2018

Genres: Contemporary Romance, Historical Fiction, Women's Fiction

Pages: 384

Format: Paperback, ARC

Source: Harlequin Books

Book Rating: 8.5/10

 

 

Synopsis:

“My name is Mary Seymour and I am the daughter of one queen and the niece of another.”

Browsing antiques shops in Wiltshire, Alison Bannister stumbles across a delicate old portrait – supposedly of Anne Boleyn. Except Alison knows better… The woman is Mary Seymour, the daughter of Katherine Parr who was taken to Wolf Hall in 1557 as an unwanted orphan and presumed dead after going missing as a child.

The painting is more than just a beautiful object from Alison’s past – it holds the key to her future, unlocking the mystery surrounding Mary’s disappearance, and the enigma of Alison’s son.

But Alison’s quest soon takes a dark and foreboding turn, as a meeting place called the Phantom Tree harbours secrets in its shadows…


Review:

Absorbing, heartwarming, and incredibly intriguing!

The Phantom Tree is a well-paced, evocative, time-travel novel set in England during both the mid-1500s as well as present day and is told from two different perspectives, Alison Banestre, a strong, heartbroken, young lady running from scandal, and Alison Bannister, a successful, driven, young woman searching for a way home.

The writing is effortless and immersive. The characters are multifaceted, tormented, and sympathetic. And the plot using a back-and-forth, past/present style captivates and enthralls as it sweeps you away into an intricately woven, suspenseful tale of life, loss, familial responsibility, coming-of-age, betrayal, deception, drama, mystery, love, and a touch of magic.

The Phantom Tree is a beautifully written, clever, unique story, and even though there is not much known about the life and death of Mary Seymour, Cornick has done a remarkable job of taking the barest of historical facts and surrounding them with fiction that is passionate, alluring, and exceptionally fascinating.

 

This novel is available now.

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

                                            

 

 

Thank you to Harlequin Books and Anna at ARO Publicity for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review.

 

About Nicola Cornick

International bestselling author Nicola Cornick writes romantic historical mysteries and witty and passionate Regency romance. She studied History at London and Oxford and was awarded a distinction for her dissertation on historical heroes. It was a tough study but someone had to do it. Nicola has a “double life” as a writer and guide at the stunning 17th century hunting lodge, Ashdown House. Nicola lives near Oxford and loves reading, writing, history, music, wildlife, travel and walking her dog. She also loves hearing from her readers and chatting to them on her blog.

#BookReview
Every Time You Go Away by Beth Harbison
@BethHarbison @StMartinsPress

#BookReview Every Time You Go Away by Beth Harbison @BethHarbison @StMartinsPressTitle: Every Time You Go Away

Author: Beth Harbison

Published by: St. Martin's Press on July 24, 2018

Genres: General Fiction, Women's Fiction

Pages: 336

Format: eBook, ARC

Source: St. Martin's Press, NetGalley

Book Rating: 8.5/10

 

 

Synopsis:

In New York Times bestselling author Beth Harbison’s most emotional novel ever, a fractured family must come together at a beach house haunted by the past.

Willa has never fully recovered from the sudden death of her husband, Ben. She became an absent mother to her young son, Jamie, unable to comfort him while reeling from her own grief.

Now, years after Ben’s death, Willa finally decides to return to the beach house where he passed. It’s time to move on and put the Ocean City, Maryland house on the market.

When Willa arrives, the house is in worse shape than she could have imagined, and the memories of her time with Ben are overwhelming. They met at this house and she sees him around every corner. Literally. Ben’s ghost keeps reappearing, trying to start conversations with Willa. And she can’t help talking back.

To protect her sanity, Willa enlists Jamie, her best friend Kristin, and Kristin’s daughter Kelsey to join her for one last summer at the beach. As they explore their old haunts, buried feelings come to the surface, Jamie and Kelsey rekindle their childhood friendship, and Willa searches for the chance to finally say goodbye to her husband and to reconnect with her son.

Every Time You Go Away is a heartfelt, emotional story about healing after a tragic loss, letting go, and coming together as a family.


Review:

Poignant, touching, and sweet!

Every Time You Go Away is a tender, moving novel that takes you on a journey into the life of Willa Bennett as she learns how to cope with unexpectedly losing the love of her life, enduring the heartache involved in acknowledging and accepting the loss, surviving the grief, healing as a family, and learning to live again.

The prose is heartfelt and immersive. The characters are lonely, scarred, and endearing. And the story is an absorbing tale about life, loss, love, grief, familial drama, friendship, relationship dynamics, courage, parenthood, moving on, happiness, and first loves all interwoven with a thread of the paranormal.

Every Time You Go Away is another uplifting, beautiful tale by Harbison that reminds us that love is powerful and everlasting, and that life is precious and should always be lived to the fullest.

 

This novel is available now.

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

                                        

 

 

 

Thank you to St. Martin’s Press for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review.

 

About Beth Harbison

Beth Harbison grew up in Potomac, Maryland, in the shadow of Washington, D.C. Apart from the occasional irritation at being held up in traffic by a presidential motorcade, she has remained fairly uninvolved in the politics that define her home town.

#BookReview
Ghosted by Rosie Walsh
@TheRosieWalsh @PGCBooks @panmacmillan

#BookReview Ghosted by Rosie Walsh @TheRosieWalsh @PGCBooks @panmacmillanTitle: Ghosted

Author: Rosie Walsh

Published by: Pan Macmillan on July 24, 2018

Genres: Contemporary Romance, General Fiction, Women's Fiction

Pages: 304

Format: Paperback, ARC

Source: Publishers Group Canada

Book Rating: 10/10

 

 

Synopsis:

It was the perfect love story… until he disappeared.

Imagine you meet a man, spend seven glorious days together, and fall in love. And it’s mutual: you’ve never been so certain of anything in your life. So when he leaves for a long-booked holiday and promises to call from the airport, you have no cause to doubt him.

But he doesn’t call. And he doesn’t call. And he doesn’t call.

Your friends tell you to forget him, but you know they’re wrong – something must have happened – there’s got to be a reason for his silence.

What do you do when you finally discover you’re right? That there is a reason – and that reason is the one thing you didn’t share with each other? The truth.

If you’ve ever found yourself waiting for a call that didn’t come, Ghosted by Rosie Walsh is the book for you.


Review:

Brilliantly plotted, beautifully written, and hauntingly romantic!

Ghosted is the immersive, beguiling story of Sarah, a woman who spends seven wondrous days with the man of her dreams only to be devastated, mystified, and tormented with the question why when he seemingly disappears, and his promised call never arrives.

The writing is fluid, seamless, and expressive. The characterization is well done with an unforgettable cast of characters that are multilayered, strong, supportive, and determined. And the character-driven plot using the perfect mixture of narrative, letters, and emails, interweaves the lives of multiple families and friends as they each learn to cope, survive, heal, forgive, love, and move on from tragedy, heartbreak, marital discord, mental health issues and infertility.

Overall, Ghosted is a special blend of mystery, hope, humour, grit, romance, and heart-wrenching emotion that is much deeper and touching than it first appears. It’s enthralling, twisty, and engaging from the very first page, and I absolutely adored it!

This novel is available now.

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

                                            

 

 

 

Thank you to Publishers Group Canada for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review.

 

About Rosie Walsh

Rosie Walsh lives in Bristol, England with her partner and their son. Under the pseudonym Lucy Robinson, Rosie blogged for Marie Claire magazine about love and dating, and published four novels in the UK. Ghosted is her first novel under her real name.

 

#BookReview
The Perfect Couple by Elin Hilderbrand
@elinhilderbrand @littlebrown

#BookReview The Perfect Couple by Elin Hilderbrand @elinhilderbrand @littlebrownTitle: The Perfect Couple

Author: Elin Hilderbrand

Published by: Little Brown and Company on June 19, 2018

Genres: General Fiction, Women's Fiction

Pages: 480

Format: eBook, ARC

Source: Little Brown and Company, NetGalley

Book Rating: 10/10

 

 

Synopsis:

From New York Times bestselling author Elin Hilderbrand, comes a novel about the many ways family can fill our lives with love…if they don’t kill us first.

It’s wedding season on Nantucket. The beautiful island is overrun with summer people–an annual source of aggravation for year-round residents. And that’s not the only tension brewing offshore. When one lavish wedding ends in disaster before it can even begin–with the bride-to-be discovered dead in Nantucket Harbor just hours before the ceremony–everyone in the wedding party is suddenly a suspect. As Chief of Police Ed Kapenash digs into the best man, the maid of honor, the groom’s famous mystery novelist mother, and even a member of his own family, the chief discovers that every wedding is a minefield–and no couple is perfect. Featuring beloved characters from THE CASTAWAYS and A SUMMER AFFAIR, THE PERFECT COUPLE proves once again that Elin Hilderbrand is the queen of the summer beach read.


Review:

Compelling, mysterious, and deliciously entertaining!

The Perfect Couple takes us to the beautiful island of Nantucket and into the lives of the rich and famous Winburys as they gather to celebrate a family wedding. But like most families with privilege, power, and money everything is not always as it seems and it quickly becomes apparent that behind the beautiful mansion and designer clothes is an abundance of secrets, deception, betrayal, infidelity, substance abuse, lies, scandals, and murder.

The writing is effortless and fluid. The characterization is spot on with a cast of characters that are flawed, authentic, and fun. And the alluring plot is an intelligent, lighthearted mix of a breezy summer read, unpredictable whodunit, and domestic drama all rolled up in one.

Overall, The Perfect Couple is an enjoyable, scintillating treat by Hilderbrand that once again highlights her incredible ability to delve into all the complex dynamics between family members and friends and is without a doubt a must read for 2018!

This novel is available now.

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

                                           

 

 

Thank you to Little, Brown and Company for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review.

 

About Elin Hilderbrand

Elin Hilderbrand is a mother of three, an avid runner, reader, and traveler, and the author of twenty-three novels. She grew up outside Philadelphia, and has lived on Nantucket for more than twenty years.

#BookReview
Little Big Love by Katy Regan
@katyreganwrites @BerkleyPub

#BookReview Little Big Love by Katy Regan @katyreganwrites @BerkleyPubTitle: Little Big Love

Author: Katy Regan

Published by: Berkley Publishing on June 12, 2018

Genres: General Fiction, Women's Fiction

Pages: 368

Format: eBook, ARC

Source: Berkley Publishing, NetGalley

Book Rating: 10/10

 

 

Synopsis:

About a Boy meets Parenthood in this smart, big-hearted love story about a family for whom everything changed one night, a decade ago, and the young boy who unites them all.

Ten-year-old Zac Hutchinson collects facts: octopuses have three hearts, Usain Bolt is the fastest man on earth. But no one will tell him the one thing he wants to know most: who his father is and where he went.

When Zac’s mother, Juliet, inadvertently admits that his dad is the only man she’s ever loved, Zac decides he is going to find him and deliver his mom the happily ever after she deserves.

But Liam Jones left for a reason, and as Zac searches for clues of his father, Juliet begins to rebuild what shattered on the day that was at once the happiest and most heartbreaking of her life.

Told through the eyes of Zac, Juliet, and grandfather Mick, Little Big Love is a layered, heartfelt, utterly satisfying story about family, love, and the secrets that can define who we are.


Review:

Beguiling, poignant, and incredibly uplifting!

Little Big Love is an exceptionally absorbing tale set in the small, economically declining, fishing town of Grimsby and told from three different perspectives. Zac, a sweet, innocent young boy contending with ongoing bullying from his peers and a relentless hunt for the father he’s never known. Juliet, a single mother with a big heart struggling to care and support those she loves as well as herself. And Mick, a loving grandfather who’s weighed down by the secrets he keeps and the feelings of loss and grief that constantly surround him.

The prose is eloquent and expressive. The characters are genuine, sorrowful, sympathetic, and lovable. And the story is a beautifully mesmerizing tale about life, loss, love, grief, long-hidden secrets, forgiveness, familial drama, friendship, courage, community, moving on, and happiness.

Little Big Love is a masterfully crafted, astute tale that immerses you so thoroughly into the lives, feelings, and personalities of the characters you never want it to end, and it is without a doubt one of my favourite novels of the year.

This novel is available now.

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

                                  

 

 

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

 

About Katy Regan

Katy Regan was born and raised in the northern seaside town of Morecambe, England. She went on to study English and French at Leeds University where she became the features editor of the student newspaper before moving to London. She wrote for various magazines and newspapers before becoming Commissioning Editor at Marie Claire magazine. Katy's previous novels include One Thing Led to Another, The One Before the One, How We Met, and The Story of You. Little Big Man is her first for Mantle. Katy, who has one son, now lives in Hertfordshire.

 

#BookReview #20BooksofSummer
Beartown by Fredrik Backman
@Backmanland @SimonSchusterCA

#BookReview #20BooksofSummer Beartown by Fredrik Backman @Backmanland @SimonSchusterCATitle: Beartown

Author: Fredrik Backman

Series: Beartown #1

Published by: Simon & Schuster Canada on April 25, 2017

Genres: General Fiction

Pages: 415

Format: Paperback

Source: Simon & Schuster Canada

Book Rating: 10/10

 

Synopsis:

The #1 New York Times bestselling author of A Man Called Ove returns with a dazzling, profound novel about a small town with a big dream—and the price required to make it come true.

People say Beartown is finished. A tiny community nestled deep in the forest, it is slowly losing ground to the ever encroaching trees. But down by the lake stands an old ice rink, built generations ago by the working men who founded this town. And in that ice rink is the reason people in Beartown believe tomorrow will be better than today. Their junior ice hockey team is about to compete in the national semi-finals, and they actually have a shot at winning. All the hopes and dreams of this place now rest on the shoulders of a handful of teenage boys.

Being responsible for the hopes of an entire town is a heavy burden, and the semi-final match is the catalyst for a violent act that will leave a young girl traumatized and a town in turmoil. Accusations are made and, like ripples on a pond, they travel through all of Beartown, leaving no resident unaffected.

Beartown explores the hopes that bring a small community together, the secrets that tear it apart, and the courage it takes for an individual to go against the grain. In this story of a small forest town, Fredrik Backman has found the entire world.


Review:

Gritty, insightful, and profoundly moving!

Beartown is an immersive, dark, riveting story that delves into the physical, psychological, and emotional effects of competitive sports on the youth that play them and highlights the ugliness and weaknesses of group mentality and the ease with which it allows one to turn the other way, ignore, overlook or cover-up even the most heinous of crimes.

The prose is dark and immersive. The exceptionally memorable, timely plot is a journey of life, loss, coming-of-age, familial drama, friendship, courage, morality, loyalty, sexuality, community, politics, and the culture of hockey. The characters are familiar, consumed, and raw. And the setting, Beartown is a character itself with its isolation, social strife, class division, and depressing economics.

Backman has an uncanny ability to write powerful, perfectly crafted, atmospheric novels that remind us that to be human is to be flawed and that even though we often forget strength, compassion, and kindness is the base of humanity and Beartown is no exception. It will make you think, it will make you cry, and it will resonate with you long after the final page. 

 

🏒 And get ready to head back to Beartown in Us Against You publishing September 4, 2018. 🏒

This novel is available now.

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

                                            

 

 

 

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

 

About Fredrik Backman

Fredrik Backman is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of A Man Called Ove (soon to be a major motion picture starring Tom Hanks), My Grandmother Asked Me to Tell You She’s Sorry, Britt-Marie Was Here, Beartown, Us Against You, as well as two novellas, And Every Morning the Way Home Gets Longer and Longer and The Deal of a Lifetime. His books are published in more than forty countries. He lives in Stockholm, Sweden, with his wife and two children.

#BookReview
Little Big Man by Katy Regan
@katyreganwrites @PGCBooks @panmacmillan

#BookReview Little Big Man by Katy Regan @katyreganwrites @PGCBooks @panmacmillanTitle: Little Big Man

Author: Katy Regan

Published by: Pan Macmillan on June 5, 2017

Genres: General Fiction, Women's Fiction

Pages: 464

Format: Paperback

Source: Publishers Group Canada

Book Rating: 10/10

 

 

Synopsis:

Sometimes it takes a little boy to see the big things in life.

Ten-year-old Zac has never met his father, who allegedly took off before he was born. But when his mum lets slip that he’s the only man she’s ever loved, Zac turns detective and, roping in his best friend, hatches a plan to find his dad and give his mum the happy-ever-after she deserves. What he doesn’t realize, though, is that sometimes people have good reasons for disappearing.

Little Big Man is a compelling story about family secrets and fierce, familial love. It’s about growing up and being accepted; grief and lies, and the damage they can do. But, most of all, it’s about a determined little boy determined who wants to give the man he’s never met a second chance to be a father—and his mum a second chance at love.


Review:

Beguiling, poignant, and incredibly uplifting!

Little Big Man is an exceptionally absorbing tale set in the small, economically declining, fishing town of Grimsby and told from three different perspectives. Zac, a sweet, innocent young boy contending with ongoing bullying from his peers and a relentless hunt for the father he’s never known. Juliet, a single mother with a big heart struggling to care and support those she loves as well as herself. And Mick, a loving grandfather who’s weighed down by the secrets he keeps and the feelings of loss and grief that constantly surround him.

The prose is eloquent and expressive. The characters are genuine, sorrowful, sympathetic, and lovable. And the story is a beautifully mesmerizing tale about life, loss, love, grief, long-hidden secrets, forgiveness, familial drama, friendship, courage, community, moving on, and happiness.

Little Big Man is a masterfully crafted, astute tale that immerses you so thoroughly into the lives, feelings, and personalities of the characters you never want it to end, and it is without a doubt one of my favourite novels of the year.

This novel is available now.

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

                                  

 

 

Thank you to Publishers Group Canada for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review.

 

About Katy Regan

Katy Regan was born and raised in the northern seaside town of Morecambe, England. She went on to study English and French at Leeds University where she became the features editor of the student newspaper before moving to London. She wrote for various magazines and newspapers before becoming Commissioning Editor at Marie Claire magazine. Katy's previous novels include One Thing Led to Another, The One Before the One, How We Met, and The Story of You. Little Big Man is her first for Mantle. Katy, who has one son, now lives in Hertfordshire.

 

#BookReview
Bluethroat Morning by Jacqui Lofthouse
@jacquilofthouse @Blackbird_Bks

#BookReview Bluethroat Morning by Jacqui Lofthouse @jacquilofthouse @Blackbird_BksTitle: Bluethroat Morning

Author: Jacqui Lofthouse

Published by: Blackbird Digital Books on May 22nd

Genres: General Fiction

Pages: 551

Format: eBook

Source: Blackbird Digital Books

Book Rating: 8.5/10

 

 

Synopsis:

Alison Bliss, celebrity model and critically acclaimed writer, walks into the sea one ‘bluethroat morning’. In death she becomes a greater icon than in life, and the Norfolk village where she lived is soon a place of pilgrimage. Six years later her husband Harry, a schoolteacher, is still haunted by her suicide and faithful to her memory. Until he meets Helen and they fall in love.

Harry and Helen’s relationship initiates a return to the scene of Alison’s death where they meet ninety-eight year old Ern Higham, and a tale is revealed that has been generations in the making. As Harry pieces together a tragic history and finally confronts his own pain, he discovers that to truly move forward, first he must understand the past …


Review:

Intense, somber, and contemplative!

Bluethroat Morning is a hauntingly perceptive novel that takes us into the life of Harry Bliss, a middle-aged man struggling to come to grips with the incredible grief, guilt, and emptiness he still feels over the loss of his wife to suicide.

The prose is poetic and sophisticated. The imagery is vivid. The characters are complex, self-indulgent, and tortured by the past. And the well-crafted plot written in a reflective past/present style does a remarkable job of unraveling all the secrets, mysteries, motivations, actions, personalities, and relationships within it.

Bluethroat Morning is ultimately a novel about marriage, life, loss, friendship, ambition, despair, solitude, secrets, manipulation, desire, acceptance, and forgiveness. And it becomes abundantly clear from the outset that Lofthouse is an exquisite literary writer with an uncanny ability to lay bare humanities weaknesses and emotional fragility and remind us that everyone that enters our lives, no matter the length of time, shapes, defines and influences us.

 

This book is available now.

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

              

 

 

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

 

About Jacqui Lofthouse

Jacqui Lofthouse is the author of four novels ‘The Temple of Hymen’, ‘Bluethroat Morning’ ‘Een Stille Verdwijning’ and ‘The Modigliani Girl’. Her novels have sold over 100,000 copies in the UK, the USA and Europe and have been widely reviewed.

Jacqui began her career as an actor touring India as Sheila in J.B. Priestley’s ‘An Inspector Calls’. She went on to study Drama and English at the University of Bristol and subsequently worked in radio production and media training. In 1992 she studied for her MA in Creative Writing at the University of East Anglia under Sir Malcolm Bradbury and Rose Tremain.

Jacqui has taught creative writing in a broad variety of settings including from City University to Feltham Young Offenders Institution. She has also taught English and Drama in London secondary schools.

In 2005, Jacqui founded The Writing Coach, a coaching and mentoring organisation for writers (www.thewritingcoach.co.uk). She is currently working on her first YA novel and returning to actor training at Identity School of Acting. She has recently been cast in four short films. Jacqui is delighted that Blackbird Digital Books are publishing the first digital edition of ‘Bluethroat Morning’ in May 2018.

#BookReview
Sal by Mick Kitson
@PGCBooks @canongatebooks

#BookReview Sal by Mick Kitson @PGCBooks @canongatebooksTitle: Sal

Author: Mick Kitson

Published by: Canongate Books Ltd on March 1, 2018

Genres: General Fiction

Pages: 234

Format: Paperback

Source: Publishers Group Canada

Book Rating: 8.5/10

 

 

Synopsis:

Sal planned it for almost a year before they ran. She nicked an Ordnance Survey map from the school library. She bought a compass, a Bear Grylls knife, waterproofs, and a first aid kit from Amazon using stolen credit cards. She read the SAS Survival Handbook and watched loads of YouTube videos. And now Sal knows a lot of stuff. Like how to build a shelter and start a fire; how to estimate distances, snare rabbits, and shoot an air gun; and how to protect her sister, Peppa–because Peppa is ten, which is how old Sal was when Robert started on her.

Told in Sal’s distinctive voice, and filled with the silent, dizzying beauty of rural Scotland, Sal is a disturbing, uplifting story of survival, of the kindness of strangers, and the irrepressible power of sisterly love, a love that can lead us to do extraordinary and unimaginable things.


Review:

Pensive, adventurous, and moving!

Sal is a compelling tale that takes us on a journey into the lives of two young sisters as they learn to escape and survive both the predators and dangers found in the Scottish wilderness as well as those within their own home.

The prose is astute and vividly descriptive. The characters are witty, vulnerable, loyal, resourceful, and endearing. And the plot is a heart-wrenching story about alcoholism, sexual abuse, poverty, self-preservation, coming-of-age, innocence, morality, and selfless love.

Overall, Sal is a profound, sophisticated, inspiring novel that highlights the complex dynamics of sister relationships and does an exquisite job of reminding us just how indomitable the human spirit can truly be.

 

This novel is available now.

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

                                            

 

 

Thank you to Publishers Group Canada for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review.

 

About Mick Kitson

Mick Kitson was born in South Wales and grew up in London. He studied English at the University of Newcastle Upon Tyne before a brief spell as one half of 80s pop duo The Senators. He went on to work as a newspaper reporter before switching career again at the age of 40 to become an English Teacher.

He lives in Fife, Scotland with his wife Jill and bad tempered dog Lucy. He has three grown up children: Molly, Susie and Jimmy and spends more time than is good for a person fly fishing for sea trout, reading, playing the banjo and growing
Strawberries. He also builds boats.

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