Format: Paperback

#BookReview Crushed by Kate Hamer @kate_hamer @FaberBooks @PGCBooks

#BookReview Crushed by Kate Hamer @kate_hamer @FaberBooks @PGCBooks Title: Crushed

Author: Kate Hamer

Published by: Faber & Faber on Jun. 7, 2019

Genres: Mystery/Thriller

Pages: 368

Format: Paperback, ARC

Source: Publishers Group Canada

Book Rating: 8/10

Phoebe stands on Pulteney Bridge, tights gashed from toe to thigh. The shock of mangled metal and blood-stained walls flashes through her mind as she tries to cover her face so she won’t be recognised. It wouldn’t do to be spotted looking like this. She’s missing a shoe. She feels sick.

Phoebe thought murder and murder happened. Thoughts are just thoughts, they said. Now she knows they were wrong.

At home, Phoebe arranges the scissors and knives so they point toward her mother’s room. She is exhausted, making sure there’s no trace of herself – not a single hair, not even her scent – left anywhere in the house. She must not let her thoughts unravel, because if they do, there’s no telling who might be caught in the crossfire, and Phoebe will have to live with the consequences.


Review:

Gloomy, tragic, and consuming!

Crushed is an ominous, gritty, character-driven tale that takes you into the lives of three teenage friends, Phoebe, Orla, and Grace, as they each struggle to find some semblance of control, power, and love in a life littered with dysfunction, self-destruction, insecurities, and lack of affection.

The prose is tight and intense. The characters are vulnerable, damaged, and impulsive. And the plot is a slow-burning, immersive tale full of life, loss, deception, desperation, friendship, familial drama, manipulation, jealousy, obsession, emerging sexuality, abuse, violence, and murder.

Overall, Crushed is a dark, eerie, astute, coming-of-age tale by Hamer that does a remarkable job of delving into the complex dynamics between friends and family and highlights just how parasitic and toxic some of those relationships can truly be.

 

This book 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 Kate Hamer

Kate Hamer's third novel CRUSHED is published in May 2019 (Faber & Faber). She is the author of THE DOLL FUNERAL (Faber & Faber 2017) which was a Bookseller book of the month and an editor's pick for Radio 4's Open Book. Her first novel THE GIRL IN THE RED COAT has been translated into 18 different languages. It was shortlisted for The Costa First Novel Prize, the British Book Industry Awards Debut Fiction Book of the Year, The John Creasy (New Blood) Dagger and the Wales Book of the Year. It was a Sunday Times bestseller. She grew up in the west country and rural Pembrokeshire and now lives with her husband in Cardiff.

Photograph courtesy of Author's Goodreads Page.

#BlogTour #BookReview The Glittering Hour by Iona Grey @iona_grey @StMartinsPress #TheGlitteringHour

#BlogTour #BookReview The Glittering Hour by Iona Grey @iona_grey @StMartinsPress #TheGlitteringHour Title: The Glittering Hour

Author: Iona Grey

Published by: Thomas Dunne Books on Dec. 10, 2019

Genres: Historical Fiction

Pages: 480

Format: Paperback, ARC

Source: St. Martin's Press

Book Rating: 10/10

An unforgettable historical about true love found and lost and the secrets we keep from one another from an award-winning author

Selina Lennox is a Bright Young Thing. Her life is a whirl of parties and drinking, pursued by the press and staying on just the right side of scandal, all while running from the life her parents would choose for her.

Lawrence Weston is a penniless painter who stumbles into Selina’s orbit one night and can never let her go even while knowing someone of her stature could never end up with someone of his. Except Selina falls hard for Lawrence, envisioning a life of true happiness. But when tragedy strikes, Selina finds herself choosing what’s safe over what’s right.

Spanning two decades and a seismic shift in British history as World War II approaches, Iona Grey’s The Glittering Hour is an epic novel of passion, heartache and loss.


Review:

Mesmerizing, enthralling, and incredibly moving!

The Glittering Hour is set in London and the English countryside during 1925, as well as 1936, and is told from two different perspectives. Selina, a young woman in her prime who often finds herself and her friends gracing the pages of the gossip rags for their outrageous behaviour and antics, and Alice Carew, Selina’s nine-year-old daughter who after being relegated to her grandparents country home while her parents are abroad embarks on a treasure hunt to discover all her mother’s secrets.

The prose is eloquent and vivid. The characters are creative, intelligent, and rebellious. And the plot, including all the subplots, unravel and intertwine into a sweeping saga of life, loss, family, expectations, sacrifice, self-discovery, friendship, heartbreak, romance, forbidden love, and the special bonds shared between a mother and daughter.

Overall, The Glittering Hour is a bittersweet, beautifully expressive, exceptionally affecting story by Grey that illuminates the enduring passion and power of unconditional love and reminds us that life should always be lived to the fullest. It’s immersive, vibrant, and utterly heartwrenching in spots, and is without a doubt one of my favourite reads of the year. 

This novel is available now.

Pick up a copy from your favourite retailer or 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 Iona Grey

Iona Grey has a degree in English Literature and Language from Manchester University, an obsession with history and an enduring fascination with the lives of women in the twentieth century. She lives in the rural North West of England with her husband and three daughters. She is the award-winning author of Letters to the Lost, and her new book The Glittering Hour is on sale October 17 2019 (UK) and December 10, 2019 (US).

#BookReview A Madness of Sunshine by Nalini Singh @NaliniSingh @BerkleyPub @PenguinRandomCA

#BookReview A Madness of Sunshine by Nalini Singh @NaliniSingh @BerkleyPub @PenguinRandomCA Title: A Madness of Sunshine

Author: Nalini Singh

Published by: Berkley on Dec. 3, 2019

Genres: Mystery/Thriller

Pages: 352

Format: Paperback, ARC

Source: Penguin Random House Canada

Book Rating: 9/10

New York Times bestselling author Nalini Singh pivots in a new direction with her first mainstream thriller that will be sure to keep readers on their toes.

Anahera Rawiri left New Zealand at twenty-one, fleeing small-town poverty and the ghosts of her childhood with no plans to look back. But eight years later, she returns, seeking familiarity as respite from the shattered remains of her new life. And despite the changes brought on by a bump in tourism–the shiny new welcome sign at the town line and a decidedly less shiny new police presence–Golden Cove appears much as it ever was: a small settlement on the savage West Coast of the South Island, populated by all the remembered faces and set against a backdrop of lush greenery, jagged cliffs, and crashing waves.

Detective Will Gallagher knows all about ghosts; his own chased him out of a promising career in Christchurch, landing him as the sole cop in a quaint town where his most pressing concerns are petty theft and the occasional drunk. When Golden Cove resident Miri Hinewai goes out for a run and fails to return, Will finds himself heading up a missing person’s search that rapidly escalates into an official investigation after this case is connected with similar ones from the past. As an outsider, Will begins to rely on Anahera’s knowledge of the area and its residents to help him delve into Golden Cove’s secrets, and to determine whether it shelters something far more dangerous than just an unforgiving landscape.


Review:

Atmospheric, gritty, and suspenseful!

A Madness of Sunshine is a sharp, compelling read that transports you to Golden Cove, New Zealand, a small coastal town where the sudden disappearance of a local young woman with a bright future unearths a lot of strong emotions, tragic memories, and more long-buried secrets and skeletons than anyone could have ever imagined.

The prose is vivid and precise. The characters are tormented, mistrusting, and diligent. And the plot, including all the subplots, intertwine and unravel subtly into an engrossing, investigative tale filled with life, loss, family, friendship, heartbreak, manipulation, abuse, violence, murder, and a sliver of romance.

Overall, A Madness of Sunshine is an absorbing, dark, ominous tale that does an exceptional job of reminding us that evil can live easily amongst us and is often hidden behind masks of normality. It’s surprisingly the first novel I’ve read by Singh, but it certainly won’t be the last.

This book is available now.

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

                                          

 

 

Thank you to Penguin Random House Canada for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review.

 

About Nalini Singh

New York Times bestselling author Nalini Singh is passionate about writing. Though she’s traveled as far afield as the deserts of China, the Highlands of Scotland, and the frozen landscapes of Antarctica, it is the journey of the imagination that fascinates her most. She’s beyond delighted to be able to follow her dream as a writer. Nalini lives and works in beautiful New Zealand. You can contact her directly through her website. While visiting the site, Nalini invites you to join her newsletter for up-to-date news about both the Psy-Changeling and Guild Hunter series, as well as fun exclusive extras, including free short stories set in her worlds.

Photo by Deborah Hillman.

#BookReview Woman on the Edge by Samantha M. Bailey @sbaileybooks @SimonSchusterCA

#BookReview Woman on the Edge by Samantha M. Bailey @sbaileybooks @SimonSchusterCA Title: Woman on the Edge

Author: Samantha M. Bailey

Published by: Simon & Schuster on Nov. 26, 2019

Genres: Mystery/Thriller

Pages: 272

Format: Paperback, ARC

Source: Simon & Schuster Canada

Book Rating: 9/10

A moment on the subway platform changes two women’s lives forever—a debut thriller that will take your breath away.

A total stranger on the subway platform whispers, “Take my baby.”

She places her child in your arms. She says your name.

Then she jumps…

In a split second, Morgan Kincaid’s life changes forever. She’s on her way home from work when a mother begs her to take her baby, then places the infant in her arms. Before Morgan can stop her, the distraught mother jumps in front of an oncoming train.

Morgan has never seen this woman before, and she can’t understand what would cause a person to give away her child and take her own life. She also can’t understand how this woman knew her name.

The police take Morgan in for questioning. She soon learns that the woman who jumped was Nicole Markham, prominent CEO of the athletic brand Breathe. She also learns that no witness can corroborate her version of events, which means she’s just become a murder suspect.

To prove her innocence, Morgan frantically retraces the last days of Nicole’s life. Was Nicole a new mother struggling with paranoia or was she in danger? When strange things start happening to Morgan, she suddenly realizes she might be in danger, too.

Woman on the Edge is a pulse-pounding, propulsive thriller about the lengths to which a woman will go to protect her baby—even if that means sacrificing her own life.


Review:

Feverish, intense, and engrossing!

Woman on the Edge is a well-crafted, gripping novel that takes you into the lives of Nicole Markham, a successful businesswoman who finds herself completely paralysed by fear and anxiety after the birth of her baby girl, Quinn, and Morgan Kincaid, a woman with her own traumatic past whose life is suddenly turned upside down when she finds herself a suspect in a crime she inadvertently becomes entangled in. 

The writing is edgy and crisp. The characters are vulnerable, anxious, and troubled. And the plot told from alternating timelines and perspectives keeps you on the edge of your seat as it immerses you in an ominous tale full of twists, turns, deception, red herrings, secrets, obsession, violence, mayhem, and murder.

Overall, Woman on the Edge is a fast-paced, thrilling, sophisticated tale by Bailey that keeps you enthralled from the very first page and is undoubtedly an exceptionally promising debut.

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 Samantha M. Bailey

Samantha M. Bailey is a Toronto-based novelist, freelance editor, and journalist who has written extensively for Now Magazine, Oxford University Press, and many other publications. She is the co-founder of “BookBuzz,” a promotional and interactive author event held in New York City and Toronto. She holds a Master of Education in Applied Linguistics and credits that degree with her writing career because she wrote her first (unpublished) novel after taking a course on imagination. Now her imagination leads her to create dark and twisty stories, and her debut psychological thriller, WOMAN ON THE EDGE, will be published by Simon and Schuster Canada and Headline UK, and translated into seven languages. She loves reading as much as writing, so when not tapping away on her computer, she’s probably curled up with a really good book.

Photograph by Dahlia Katz Photography.

#BookReview Be My Guest by Priya Basil @canongatebooks @PGCBooks

#BookReview Be My Guest by Priya Basil @canongatebooks @PGCBooks Title: Be My Guest

Author: Priya Basil

Published by: Canongate Books Ltd on Nov. 15, 2019

Genres: Non Fiction

Pages: 128

Format: Paperback, ARC

Source: Publishers Group Canada

Book Rating: 8/10

A meditation on the meaning and limits of hospitality today, from the shortlisted author of the Commonwealth Writers’ Prize.

The dinner table, among friends, is where the best conversations take place⁠—talk about the world, religion, politics, culture and cooking. In the same way, Be My Guest is a conversation about all those things, mediated through the medium of shared food.

We live in a world where some have too much and others not enough, where immigrants and refugees are both welcomed and vilified, and where most of us spend less and less time cooking and eating together. Priya Basil invites us to explore the meaning and limits of hospitality today, and in doing so makes a passionate plea for a kinder, more welcoming realization that we have more in common than divides us.


Review:

Eloquent, pensive, and rich!

Be My Guest is a beautifully written, candid story by Basil that explores the power of being hospitable and the diverse customs and traditions that people use around the world to invite, include, accept, nourish, and share with others.

The writing is informative and moving. And the novel is a generous, welcoming tale that delves into the true meaning of hospitality and emphasizes that the dinner table should not only be a place for nourishment but a place for unification regardless of political ideologies, religion, skin colour, or socioeconomic status.

Overall, I would have to say that Be My Guest is, ultimately, a genuine, impassioned, humourous reminder that breaking bread with family, friends, strangers, and even the diverse community at large is not only good for the body and mind but also a conscientious, important salve for the heart and soul.

 

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 Priya Basil

Priya grew up in Kenya, returning to the UK to study English Literature at the University of Bristol. She had a career in advertising before becoming a full-time writer. In 2010 Priya, and the journalist Matthias Fredrich-Auf der Horst, initiated Authors for Peace. It is intended to be a platform from which writers can actively use literature in different ways to promote peace. The first event by Authors for Peace took place on 21 September 2010, the UN's International Day of Peace. With the support of the International Literature Festival Berlin, Priya hosted a 24hour-live-online-reading by 80 authors from all over the world. The authors read from their work in a gesture of solidarity with those who are oppressed or caught in conflict. Priya lives in London and Berlin.

Photograph courtesy of Author's Goodreads Page.

#BookReview Nothing More Dangerous by Allen Eskens @aeskens @mulhollandbooks @HBGCanada

#BookReview Nothing More Dangerous by Allen Eskens @aeskens @mulhollandbooks @HBGCanada Title: Nothing More Dangerous

Author: Allen Eskens

Published by: Mulholland Books on Nov. 12, 2019

Genres: General Fiction, Mystery/Thriller

Pages: 352

Format: Paperback, ARC

Source: HBG Canada

Book Rating: 9/10

In a small town where loyalty to family and to “your people” carries the weight of a sacred oath, defying those unspoken rules can be a deadly proposition.

After fifteen years of growing up in the Ozark hills with his widowed mother, high-school freshman Boady Sanden is beyond ready to move on. He dreams of glass towers and cityscapes, driven by his desire to be anywhere other than Jessup, Missouri. The new kid at St. Ignatius High School, if he isn’t being pushed around, he is being completely ignored. Even his beloved woods, his playground as a child and his sanctuary as he grew older, seem to be closing in on him, suffocating him.

Then Thomas Elgin moves in across the road, and Boady’s life begins to twist and turn. Coming to know the Elgins-a black family settling into a community where notions of “us” and “them” carry the weight of history-forces Boady to rethink his understanding of the world he’s taken for granted. Secrets hidden in plain sight begin to unfold: the mother who wraps herself in the loss of her husband, the neighbor who carries the wounds of a mysterious past that he holds close, the quiet boss who is fighting his own hidden battle.

But the biggest secret of all is the disappearance of Lida Poe, the African-American woman who keeps the books at the local plastics factory. Word has it that Ms. Poe left town, along with a hundred thousand dollars of company money. Although Boady has never met the missing woman, he discovers that the threads of her life are woven into the deepest fabric of his world.

As the mystery of her fate plays out, Boady begins to see the stark lines of race and class that both bind and divide this small town, and he is forced to choose sides.


Review:

Impactful, atmospheric, and hauntingly realistic!

In this latest novel by Eskens, Nothing More Dangerous, he transports us to Jessup, Missouri, a small, midwestern town that suddenly finds itself turned upside down when an unsolved case of embezzlement, a missing, young, African-American employee, depressing economics, and a strong underlying racist mentality tests and unearths all the hidden, longstanding alliances, relationships, and friendships within it.

The prose is gritty and descriptive. The characters are vulnerable, raw, and impulsive. And the plot is an immersive journey of life, loss, poverty, coming-of-age, familial drama, friendship, courage, morality, loyalty, community, self-preservation, racism, and violence.

Overall, Nothing More Dangerous is a sincere, pensive, ominous tale that not only highlights the ugliness and weakness of group mentality and the ease with which it allows one to behave with ignorance, intolerance, and even participate in the most unforgivable of crimes, but also reminds us that kindness and compassion is the base of humanity that should ultimately transcend skin colour and socioeconomic status.

This book is available now.

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

                                          

 

 

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

 

About Allen Eskens

Allen Eskens is the USA Today-bestselling author of The Life We Bury, The Guise of Another, The Heavens May Fall, the Deep Dark Descending and The Shadows We Hide. He is the recipient of the Barry Award, Rosebud Award, Minnesota Book Award, and the Silver Falchion Award and has been a finalist for the Edgar Award, Thriller Award, and Anthony Award. His work had been published in 21 languages and his debut novel, The Life We Bury is being developed for a feature film.

Allen lives with his wife, Joely, in greater Minnesota and is represented by Amy Cloughley of Kimberley Cameron and Associates, and is published by both Seventh Street Books and Mulholland/Little Brown.

Photograph courtesy of Author's Goodreads Page.

#BookReview The Family Upstairs by Lisa Jewell @lisajewelluk @AtriaBooks @SimonSchusterCA

#BookReview The Family Upstairs by Lisa Jewell @lisajewelluk @AtriaBooks @SimonSchusterCA Title: The Family Upstairs

Author: Lisa Jewell

Published by: Atria Books on Nov. 5, 2019

Genres: Mystery/Thriller

Pages: 352

Format: Paperback, ARC

Source: Simon & Schuster Canada

Book Rating: 9/10

From the New York Times bestselling author of Then She Was Gone and Watching You comes another page-turning look inside one family’s past as buried secrets threaten to come to light.

Be careful who you let in.

Soon after her twenty-fifth birthday, Libby Jones returns home from work to find the letter she’s been waiting for her entire life. She rips it open with one driving thought: I am finally going to know who I am.

She soon learns not only the identity of her birth parents, but also that she is the sole inheritor of their abandoned mansion on the banks of the Thames in London’s fashionable Chelsea neighborhood, worth millions. Everything in Libby’s life is about to change. But what she can’t possibly know is that others have been waiting for this day as well—and she is on a collision course to meet them.

Twenty-five years ago, police were called to 16 Cheyne Walk with reports of a baby crying. When they arrived, they found a healthy ten-month-old happily cooing in her crib in the bedroom. Downstairs in the kitchen lay three dead bodies, all dressed in black, next to a hastily scrawled note. And the four other children reported to live at Cheyne Walk were gone.


Review:

Creepy, dark, and unsettling!

The Family Upstairs is a well-crafted, gritty novel that takes you into the lives of the Lamb family, specifically Lucy, a mother of two scrounging to make ends meet, Harry, a middle-aged man with a chilling, childhood story to tell, and Libby Jones, a young woman who suddenly finds herself the inheritor of a Chelsea mansion with a wicked past.

The writing is intense and intricate. The characters are troubled, vulnerable, and deceptive. And the plot told from multiple perspectives and alternating between timelines quickly unfolds into a complex story full of mind games, manipulation, obsession, jealousy, abuse, unforeseen twists, well-timed surprises, violence, and pure evil.

Overall, The Family Upstairs is a disturbing, gripping, eerie tale by Jewell that once again highlights that when it comes to writing menacing, intelligent, tortuous, psychological thrillers she’s one of the best.

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 Lisa Jewell

Lisa Jewell is the internationally bestselling author of sixteen novels, including the New York Times bestseller Then She Was Gone, as well as I Found You, The Girls in the Garden, and The House We Grew Up In. In total, her novels have sold more than two million copies across the English-speaking world and her work has also been translated into sixteen languages so far. Lisa lives in London with her husband and their two daughters.

Photograph by Andrew Whitton.

#BookReview The Bromance Book Club by Lyssa Kay Adams @lyssakayadams @BerkleyPub @PenguinRandomCA

#BookReview The Bromance Book Club by Lyssa Kay Adams @lyssakayadams @BerkleyPub @PenguinRandomCA Title: The Bromance Book Club

Author: Lyssa Kay Adams

Published by: Berkley on Nov. 5, 2019

Genres: Contemporary Romance

Pages: 352

Format: Paperback, ARC

Source: Penguin Random House Canada

Book Rating: 8.5/10

The first rule of book club:
You don’t talk about book club.

Nashville Legends second baseman Gavin Scott’s marriage is in major league trouble. He’s recently discovered a humiliating secret: his wife Thea has always faked the Big O. When he loses his cool at the revelation, it’s the final straw on their already strained relationship. Thea asks for a divorce, and Gavin realizes he’s let his pride and fear get the better of him. 

Welcome to the Bromance Book Club.

Distraught and desperate, Gavin finds help from an unlikely source: a secret romance book club made up of Nashville’s top alpha men. With the help of their current read, a steamy Regency titled Courting the Countess, the guys coach Gavin on saving his marriage. But it’ll take a lot more than flowery words and grand gestures for this hapless Romeo to find his inner hero and win back the trust of his wife.


Review:

Quirky, humorous, and refreshing!

The Bromance Book Club is a lighthearted, charming read that takes us into the life of Gavin Scott, a successful, professional baseball player who after learning his wife wants a divorce decides to do whatever it takes to win her back, including taking advice from his friends, fellow teammates, and the seventh Earl of Latford.

The prose is playful and fun. The characters, including all the supporting characters, are amusing, bawdy, and engaging. And the plot told from alternating POVs is a sweet, flirty tale full of tricky situations, tender moments, hilarious mishaps, friendship, family, miscommunication, self-discovery, determination, and a little steamy, regency romance.

Overall, The Bromance Book Club is an alluring, easy, spicy read by Adams that has characters you can’t help but root for and a storyline that is highly entertaining.

 

This book is available now.

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

                                          

 

 

Thank you to Penguin Random House Canada for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review.

 

About Lyssa Kay Adams

Lyssa Kay Adams is the pen name of an award-winning journalist who gave up the world of telling true stories to pen emotional romances. She’s also a diehard Detroit Tigers fan who will occasionally cheer for the Red Sox because her husband is from Boston.

Lyssa lives in Michigan with her family and an anxiety-ridden Maltese who steals food and buries it around the house and who will undoubtedly be a character in a future book.

Things Lyssa loves: Baseball pants, mashed potatoes, and that little clicking sound that scissors make on the cutting table at fabric stores.

Things she doesn’t love: Mean people, melting ice cream cones, and finding food in her underwear drawer.

Photography courtesy of Author's Goodreads Page.

#BookReview The Poppy Wife by Caroline Scott @WmMorrowBooks @HarperCollinsCa #ThePoppyWife

#BookReview The Poppy Wife by Caroline Scott @WmMorrowBooks @HarperCollinsCa #ThePoppyWife Title: The Poppy Wife

Author: Caroline Scott

Published by: William Morrow Paperbacks on Nov. 5, 2019

Genres: Historical Fiction

Pages: 448

Format: Paperback, ARC

Source: HarperCollins Canada

Book Rating: 10/10

In the tradition of Jennifer Robson and Hazel Gaynor, this unforgettable debut novel is a sweeping tale of forbidden love, profound loss, and the startling truth of the broken families left behind in the wake of World War I.

1921. Survivors of the Great War are desperately trying to piece together the fragments of their broken lives. While many have been reunited with their loved ones, Edie’s husband Francis is still missing. Francis is presumed to have been killed in action, but Edie knows he is alive.

Harry, Francis’s brother, was there the day Francis went missing in Ypres. And like Edie, he’s hopeful Francis is living somewhere in France, lost and confused. Hired by grieving families in need of closure, Harry returns to the Western Front to photograph soldiers’ graves. As he travels through France gathering news for British wives and mothers, he searches for evidence his own brother is still alive.

When Edie receives a mysterious photograph that she believes was taken by Francis, she is more certain than ever he isn’t dead. Edie embarks on her own journey in the hope of finding some trace of her husband. Is he truly gone, or could he still be alive? And if he is, why hasn’t he come home?

As Harry and Edie’s paths converge, they get closer to the truth about Francis and, as they do, are soon faced with the life-changing impact of the answers they discover.

An incredibly moving account of an often-forgotten moment in history—those years after the war that were filled with the unknown—The Poppy Wife tells the story of the thousands of soldiers who were lost amid the chaos and ruins in battle-scarred France; and the even greater number of men and women hoping to find them again.


Review:

Poignant, insightful, and profoundly moving!

The Poppy Wife is predominantly set in the French countryside during 1921, as well as 1917, and is told from two different perspectives. Edie, a young British wife who after receiving a picture of her missing husband journeys to France to find him, dead or alive, and discover his fate wherever he may be, and Harry, the youngest of three brothers who endeavours to help his sister-in-law and others find some form of closure even while his own experiences and memories of war still plague and haunt him day and night.

The prose is poetic, expressive, and stunningly vivid. The characters are damaged, determined, and courageous. And the plot is a heartrending, utterly absorbing tale about life, love, loneliness, familial relationships, heartbreak, war, loss, grief, guilt, hope, loyalty, and survival.

Overall, The Poppy Wife is a beautifully written, exceptionally atmospheric novel that transports you to another time and place and immerses you so thoroughly into the personalities, feelings, and lives of the characters you can’t help but be affected. It is without a doubt one of my favourite novels of the year that reminds us of the horrific consequences of war and the thousands of nameless men who still remain scattered underneath a savage battlefield. It’s emotive, powerful and as Kipling so iconically stated, “lest we forget.”

This novel is available now.

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

                                            

 

 

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

 

About Caroline Scott

After completing a PhD in History, at the University of Durham, Caroline Scott worked as a researcher in Belgium and France. She has a particular interest in the experience of women during the First World War, in the challenges faced by the returning soldier, and in the development of tourism and pilgrimage in the former conflict zones. Caroline lives in southwest France and is now writing historical fiction for Simon & Schuster UK and William Morrow.

#BookReview The Christmas Party by Karen Swan @KarenSwan1 @PGCBooks @panmacmillan

#BookReview The Christmas Party by Karen Swan @KarenSwan1 @PGCBooks @panmacmillan Title: The Christmas Party

Author: Karen Swan

Published by: Pan Macmillan on Nov. 1, 2019

Genres: Contemporary Romance, Women's Fiction

Pages: 474

Format: Paperback

Source: Publishers Group Canada

Book Rating: 9/10

The Christmas Party is a delicious, page-turning story of romance, family and secrets, by the Sunday Times bestselling author Karen Swan.

When Declan Lorne, the last remaining knight in Ireland, dies suddenly, an ancient title passes with him. But his estate on Ireland’s rugged south-west coast is left to his three daughters. The two eldest, Ottie and Pip, inherit in line with expectations, but to everyone’s surprise – and dismay – it is the errant baby of the family, Willow, who gets the castle.

Why her? Something unknown – something terrible – made her turn her back on her family three years earlier, escaping to Dublin and vowing never to return. So when Willow quickly announces she is selling up, her revenge seems sweet and the once-close sisters are pushed to breaking point: in desperation, Pip risks everything to secure her own future, and Ottie makes a decision that will ruin lives. It’s each woman for herself.

Before moving in, Connor Shaye, the prospective new owner, negotiates throwing a lavish party at the castle just days before Christmas – his hello, their goodbye. But as their secrets begin to catch up with them, Ottie, Willow and Pip are forced to ask themselves which is harder: stepping into the future, or letting go of the past?


Review:

Beguiling, quaint, and heartwarmingly festive!

The Christmas Party is an alluring, heartfelt story that sweeps you away to the beautiful, rugged coastline of southwest Ireland in winter and immerses you into the lives of the Lorne family as they endure a great loss, accept the things they cannot change, confront the past, repair strained relationships, take chances, and embrace the future.

The prose is evocative and well turned. The characters are distressed, vulnerable, genuine, and troubled. And the story is an engaging tale about life, loss, love, grief, familial drama, community, friendship, forgiveness, nostalgia, duty, and romance.

Overall, The Christmas Party is another lovely, absorbing, magical treat by Swan that reminds us to always live life to the fullest and surround ourselves with those we love.

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 Karen Swan

Karen Swan began her career in fashion journalism before giving it all up to raise her three children and a puppy, and to pursue her ambition of becoming a writer. She lives in the forest outside Sussex, England, writing her books in a treehouse overlooking the Downs.

An internationally bestselling author, her numerous books include The Rome Affair, The Paris Secret, Christmas Under the Stars, and The Christmas Secret. 

Photograph by Alexander James

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