Genre: Women's Fiction

#BookReview
The Rain Watcher by Tatiana de Rosnay
@tatianaderosnay @StMartinsPress

#BookReview The Rain Watcher by Tatiana de Rosnay @tatianaderosnay @StMartinsPressTitle: The Rain Watcher

Author: Tatiana de Rosnay

Published by St. Martin's Press on October 23, 2018

Genres: General Fiction, Historical Fiction

Pages: 240

Format: eBook, ARC

Source: St. Martin's Press, NetGalley

Book Rating: 8.5/10

 

 

Synopsis:

The first new novel in four years from the beloved superstar author of Sarah’s Key, a heartbreaking and uplifting story of family secrets and devastating disaster, set against a Paris backdrop, fraught with revelations, and resolutions

Linden Malegarde has come home to Paris from the United States. It has been years since the whole family was all together. Now the Malegarde family is gathering for Paul, Linden’s father’s 70th birthday.

Each member of the Malegarde family is on edge, holding their breath, afraid one wrong move will shatter their delicate harmony. Paul, the quiet patriarch, an internationally-renowned arborist obsessed with his trees and little else, has always had an uneasy relationship with his son. Lauren, his American wife, is determined that the weekend celebration will be a success. Tilia, Linden’s blunt older sister, projects an air of false fulfillment. And Linden himself, the youngest, uncomfortable in his own skin, never quite at home no matter where he lives—an American in France and a Frenchman in the U.S.—still fears that, despite his hard-won success as a celebrated photographer, he will always be a disappointment to his parents.

Their hidden fears and secrets slowly unravel as the City of Light undergoes a stunning natural disaster, and the Seine bursts its banks and floods the city. All members of the family will have to fight to keep their unity against tragic circumstances. In this profound and intense novel of love and redemption, de Rosnay demonstrates all of her writer’s skills both as an incredible storyteller but also as a soul seeker.


Review:

Vivid, captivating, and melancholic!

The Rain Watcher is a moving, beautiful portrayal of a city in turmoil and a family struggling to understand, accept, and outwardly show compassion and love for each other.

The writing is impassioned and eloquent. The characters are empathetic, distressed, and genuine. And the plot is a mesmeric, foreboding tale set both in the present day and mid-1900s about life, loss, love, family dynamics, secrets, determination, hope, sacrifice, and the desolation and destruction mother nature can reap.

The Rain Watcher is a wonderful blend of historical facts, intriguing fiction, and palpable emotion. It’s a nostalgic, heartbreaking, consuming tale that reminds us of the complex relationship that can exist between a father and son and highlights once again de Rosnay’s insight and passion for La Ville-Lumière.

 

This novel is available now.

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

                                            


 

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

 

About Tatiana de Rosnay

TATIANA DE ROSNAY is the author of more than ten novels, including the New York Times bestselling novel Sarah’s Key, an international sensation with over 9 million copies sold in forty-two countries worldwide that has now been made into a major film. Tatiana lives with her husband and two children in Paris.

Photograph by Charlotte Jolly de Rosnay.

#BookReview #BlogTour
Pictures in the Sky by Amanda Paull
@Apaullfiction @rararesources

#BookReview #BlogTour Pictures in the Sky by Amanda Paull @Apaullfiction @rararesources

#BookReview #BlogTour Pictures in the Sky by Amanda Paull @Apaullfiction @rararesourcesTitle: Pictures in the Sky

Author: Amanda Paull

Published by Amanda Paull on July 28, 2018

Genres: Women's Fiction, Contemporary Romance

Pages: 305

Format: eBook, ARC

Source: Rachel's Random Resources

Book Rating: 7/10

 

 

Synopsis:

She gave up on romance years ago. He’s going through the motions. Their lives change forever when he makes contact out of the blue

With her daughter leaving the nest, Michelle Cameron would rather spend her time with good friends, a glass of fizzy and a box set, than with another idiot bloke chipping away at her self-esteem. But when childhood friend Daniel Helmsley gets back in touch, the years roll away on a tide of laughter and friendship, which soon gives way to another roller coaster of love, excitement and panic. Can Michelle let herself trust again? What if Dan is just another idiot bloke, disillusioned with the present and nostalgic for the past?

If you like cosy romance that makes you laugh as well as cry, then you’ll love this feel-good tale of past disappointment, renewed friendship and finding true love. 
Download Amanda Paull’s Pictures in the Sky today to discover if Michelle dares to love again.

‘Your lively style and humour are exactly right for this genre.’ Susan Davis.


Review:

Introspective, heartwarming, and engaging!

Pictures in the Sky is a lighthearted, thoughtful tale that takes us on a journey into the life of Michelle Cameron as she navigates middle age, old friendships, a budding romance, and career uncertainty.

The writing style is detailed and light. The characters are complex, kind, and trusting. And the plot is a soul-searching tale filled with hope, heartbreak, friendship, family, awkward moments, determination, independence, and happiness.

Overall, Pictures in the Sky is a sweet, delightful story that for the most part kept me captivated and invested in both the characters and the situations. And even though I felt there was a little too much repetition and it was a tad too long, it is still an intriguing tale that reminds us that life is about taking chances, moving on, and rediscovering one’s true self at any age.

 

This book is available now. 

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

 

 

Thank you to Amanda Paull and Rachel’s Random Resources for providing me with a copy in an exchange for an honest review.

 

About Amanda Paull

Amanda Paull is a writer of humorous romantic fiction. She lives in the North East of England with her husband and works in the public sector. The inspiration for her stories comes from real life, which she tries to show the funnier side of by embellishing to the hilt.

 

#BlogTour & #BookReview
Another Day in December by Shari Low
@sharilow @Aria_Fiction

#BlogTour & #BookReview Another Day in December by Shari Low @sharilow @Aria_FictionTitle: Another Day in December

Author: Shari Low

Series: A Winter Day #2

Published by Aria on October 2, 2018

Genres: Contemporary Romance, Women's Fiction

Pages: 297

Format: eBook, ARC

Source: Aria, NetGalley

Book Rating: 9/10

 

Synopsis:

On a chilly morning in December… Forever friends Shauna and Lulu touch down at Glasgow Airport on a quest to find answers from the past.

George knows his time is nearing the end, but is it too late to come to terms with his two greatest regrets?

His Grandson Tom uncovers a betrayal that rocks his world as he finally tracks down the one that got away.

And single mum Chrissie is ready to force her love-life out of hibernation, but can anyone compare to the man who broke her heart?

After the success of the No1 best seller ONE DAY IN DECEMBER, comes the second unmissable read in Shari Low’s Winter Day trilogy.


Review:

Enchanting, absorbing, and exceptionally touching!

In this latest novel in the Winter Day series, Another Day in December, Low once again transports us to Glasgow, Scotland for one chilly day in winter when four lives will cross bringing closure for some, forgiveness for others, new family, old loves, and friendships that will last a lifetime.

The writing is vivid, eloquent, and fluid. The characters are complex, quirky, and authentic. And the plot is a series of engaging, at times humorous subplots that unfold into an amusing, unputdownable story about life, loss, love, familial drama, secrets, misunderstandings, friendship, romance, acceptance, hope, and unconditional love.

Overall, Another Day in December is thoughtful, emotive, funny, festive, and endearing and with its rich characterization and beautiful storyline, it’s another stunning example of why Shari Low is one of my favourite authors of all time.

 

This novel is available now.

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

                                            

 

 

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

 

About Shari Low

Shari Low has published twenty novels over the last two decades. She also writes for newspapers, magazines and television. Once upon a time, she got engaged to a guy she’d known for a week, and twenty-something years later, they live in Glasgow with their two teenage sons and a labradoodle.

 

 

For more information on Aria visit them at:

Website | Twitter | Facebook | Instagram

#BookReview #BlogTour
Christmas on Lily Pond Lane by Emily Harvale
@emilyharvale @rararesources #LilyPondLane

#BookReview #BlogTour Christmas on Lily Pond Lane by Emily Harvale @emilyharvale @rararesources #LilyPondLane

#BookReview #BlogTour Christmas on Lily Pond Lane by Emily Harvale @emilyharvale @rararesources #LilyPondLaneTitle: Christmas on Lily Pond Lane

Author: Emily Harvale

Published by Crescent Gate Publishing on September 18, 2018

Genres: Contemporary Romance, Women's Fiction

Pages: 165

Format: eBook, ARC

Source: Emily Harvale, Rachel's Random Resources

Book Rating: 9/10

 

 

Synopsis:

Snow is falling in Little Pondale, lights are twinkling and the smell of pine trees and roasting chestnuts fills the air…

But Mia Ward is in a bit of a jam. She’d planned to rent out Corner Cottage for Christmas but thanks to best friend, Ella Swann, it’s double-booked. Now Mia’s got to let one ‘party’ down, or find another cottage – fast.

Best friends and single mums, Cathy Cole and Christy Franks want their kids to have an old-fashioned Christmas. Ice-skating, carol singing, making decorations, and tobogganing are on their list of festive fun … but their kids have other things in mind.

City bankers, Leo and Hal Hardman are wondering if renting a cottage for Christmas and their parents’ anniversary is such a good idea. Little Pondale is tiny, there’s only one pub, mobile phone reception is non-existent and the cottage doesn’t even have a TV.

Meanwhile, Jenny Lake in settling in at her cousin’s bakery, but she’s left her (broken) heart in Florence, and Christmas was never her favourite time of year. And Reverend Glen Fox has taken over at St Michael and All Angels. He’s glad it’s a temporary post because village life is definitely not for him.

But luckily, for locals and visitors alike, there’s a sleigh-load of Christmas magic heading for Lily Pond Lane; enough to put a sparkle in everyone’s festive season. Although Christmas may not go quite as each of them has planned.


Review:

Romantic, charming, and jolly!

In this latest novel in The Cottage on Lily Pond Lane series, Christmas on Lily Pond Lane, we once again find ourselves back in Little Pondale where a new vicar, holidaymakers, festive cheer, and a wishing tree brings another dose of magic to Mia and the gang just in time for the holidays.

The characters are unique, easygoing, and engaging. The writing is fluent and smooth. And the plot is a lovely mix of budding romance, festive preparations, attraction, chemistry, family, friendship and lighthearted drama.

Overall, Christmas on Lily Pond Lane is a merry, captivating, entertaining read that is a delightful reminder that sometimes wishes really do come true.

 

This book is available now. 

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

 

 

And don’t forget to check out the other books in the series!

 

                               

 

About Emily Harvale

Having lived and worked in London for several years, Emily returned to her home town of Hastings where she now spends her days writing... and chatting on social media. Emily is a Member of the SoA, a PAN member of the RWA and a Pro Member of ALLi. She's an Amazon bestseller and a Kindle All Star. Emily loves writing and her stories are sure to bring a smile to your face and a warmth to your heart.

Emily says, "I write about friendship, family and falling in love. I believe in happing endings." When she isn't writing, she can be found enjoying the stunning East Sussex coast and countryside, or in a wine bar with friends, discussing life, love and the latest TV shows. Chocolate cake is often eaten. She dislikes housework almost as much as she dislikes anchovies - and will do anything to avoid both.

 

Thank you to Emily Harvale and Rachel’s Random Resources for providing me with a copy in an exchange for an honest review.

 

#BookReview
Becoming Mrs. Lewis by Patti Callahan
@pcalhenry @ThomasNelson

#BookReview Becoming Mrs. Lewis by Patti Callahan @pcalhenry @ThomasNelsonTitle: Becoming Mrs. Lewis

Author: Patti Callahan

Published by Thomas Nelson on October 2, 2018

Genres: Historical Fiction, Women's Fiction

Pages: 432

Format: eBook, ARC

Source: Thomas Nelson, NetGalley

Book Rating: 8.5/10

 

 

Synopsis:

In a most improbable friendship, she found love. In a world where women were silenced, she found her voice.

From New York Times bestselling author Patti Callahan comes an exquisite novel of Joy Davidman, the woman C. S. Lewis called “my whole world.” When poet and writer Joy Davidman began writing letters to C. S. Lewis—known as Jack—she was looking for spiritual answers, not love. Love, after all, wasn’t holding together her crumbling marriage. Everything about New Yorker Joy seemed ill-matched for an Oxford don and the beloved writer of Narnia, yet their minds bonded over their letters. Embarking on the adventure of her life, Joy traveled from America to England and back again, facing heartbreak and poverty, discovering friendship and faith, and against all odds, finding a love that even the threat of death couldn’t destroy.

In this masterful exploration of one of the greatest love stories of modern times, we meet a brilliant writer, a fiercely independent mother, and a passionate woman who changed the life of this respected author and inspired books that still enchant us and change us. Joy lived at a time when women weren’t meant to have a voice—and yet her love for Jack gave them both voices they didn’t know they had.

At once a fascinating historical novel and a glimpse into a writer’s life, Becoming Mrs. Lewis is above all a love story—a love of literature and ideas and a love between a husband and wife that, in the end, was not impossible at all.


Review:

Vivid, compelling, and immersive!

Becoming Mrs. Lewis is an intriguing interpretation about the life of Joy Davidman, the American writer and poet who through a shared conviction of Christianity and love of writing became a close confidant, friend, and wife of the famous fantasy writer, C.S. Lewis until her untimely death from breast cancer in 1960.

It is a story about familial responsibilities, strength, friendship, kindness, encouragement, support, passion, desire, loss, and love.

Davidman was a strong, intelligent, forthright woman who not only found peace, contentment, and fulfillment through Christianity in midlife but also found her true self.

The prose is clear and precise. And the plot takes us back to the late 1940s to the early 1960s, from Ossining, NY to Oxford, England and tells the story of a life filled with loneliness, abuse, poverty, grace, riches, success, motherhood, and romance.

Becoming Mrs. Lewis is a well written, captivating, rich story by Callahan that does a remarkable job of highlighting her incredible knowledge and research into this complex, historical figure who is often unknown, forgotten or overlooked.

 

This novel is available now.

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

                                            

 

 

 

I received a complimentary copy of this book from Thomas Nelson through NetGalley. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.

 

About Patti Callahan

Patti Callahan, who also writes as Patti Callahan Henry, is a New York Times bestselling author of thirteen novels, including this latest novel BECOMING MRS. LEWIS – The Improbable Love Story of Joy Davidman and C.S. Lewis. A finalist in the Townsend Prize for Fiction, an Indie Next Pick, an OKRA pick, and a multiple nominee for the Southern Independent Booksellers Alliance (SIBA) Novel of the Year, Patti is a frequent speaker at luncheons, book clubs and women’s groups. The mother of three children, she now lives in both Mountain Brook, Alabama and Bluffton, South Carolina with her husband.

#BookReview
The Dream Daughter by Diane Chamberlain
@D_Chamberlain @StMartinsPress

#BookReview The Dream Daughter by Diane Chamberlain @D_Chamberlain @StMartinsPressTitle: The Dream Daughter

Author: Diane Chamberlain

Published by St. Martin's Press on October 2, 2018

Genres: General Fiction, Women's Fiction, Science Fiction

Pages: 384

Format: eBook, ARC

Source: St. Martin's Press, NetGalley

Book Rating: 9/10

 

 

Synopsis:

From bestselling author Diane Chamberlain comes an irresistible new novel.

When Caroline Sears receives the news that her unborn baby girl has a heart defect, she is devastated. It is 1970 and there seems to be little that can be done. But her brother-in-law, a physicist, tells her that perhaps there is. Hunter appeared in their lives just a few years before—and his appearance was as mysterious as his past. With no family, no friends, and a background shrouded in secrets, Hunter embraced the Sears family and never looked back.

Now, Hunter is telling her that something can be done about her baby’s heart. Something that will shatter every preconceived notion that Caroline has. Something that will require a kind of strength and courage that Caroline never knew existed. Something that will mean a mind-bending leap of faith on Caroline’s part.

And all for the love of her unborn child.

A rich, genre-spanning, breathtaking novel about one mother’s quest to save her child, unite her family, and believe in the unbelievable. Diane Chamberlain pushes the boundaries of faith and science to deliver a novel that you will never forget.


Review:

Enthralling, memorable, and heart-wrenching!

The Dream Daughter is a unique, moving, time-slip novel that takes you into the life of Caroline Sears as she embarks on a perilous journey to save and protect her unborn child.

The writing is eloquent and sophisticated. The characters are genuine, compassionate, and courageous. And the captivating, time-travel plot sweeps you away into an intricately woven tale about life, loss, family, determination, hope, solace, sacrifice, remarkable medical and scientific advances, and a little magic.

The Dream Daughter is ultimately a mesmerizing, creative, well-written story that may be a little different than Chamberlain’s previous novels, but is nevertheless an emotional, satisfying, page-turner of a tale that reminds us that a mother’s love is all-encompassing, selfless, powerful, and everlasting.

 

This novel is available now.

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

                                            


 

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

 

About Diane Chamberlain

Diane Chamberlain is the New York Times, USA Today and Sunday Times bestselling author of 25 novels published in more than twenty languages. Some of her most popular books include Necessary Lies, The Silent Sister, The Secret Life of CeeCee Wilkes, and The Keeper of the Light Trilogy. Diane likes to write complex stories about relationships between men and women, parents and children, brothers and sisters, and friends. Although the thematic focus of her books often revolves around family, love, compassion and forgiveness, her stories usually feature a combination of drama, mystery, secrets and intrigue. Diane's background in psychology has given her a keen interest in understanding the way people tick, as well as the background necessary to create her realistic characters.

Diane was born and raised in Plainfield, New Jersey and spent her summers at the Jersey Shore. She also lived for many years in San Diego and northern Virginia before making North Carolina her home.

Diane received her bachelor's and master's degrees in clinical social work from San Diego State University. Prior to her writing career, Diane worked in hospitals in San Diego and Washington, D.C. before opening a private psychotherapy practice in Alexandria Virginia specializing in adolescents. All the while Diane was writing on the side. Her first book, Private Relations was published in 1989 and it earned the RITA award for Best Single Title Contemporary Novel.
Diane lives with her partner, photographer John Pagliuca, and her sheltie, Cole. She has three stepdaughters, two sons-in-law, and four grandchildren. She's currently at work on her next novel.

#BookReview
The Christmas Sisters by Sarah Morgan
@SarahMorgan_ @HarlequinBooks

#BookReview The Christmas Sisters by Sarah Morgan @SarahMorgan_ @HarlequinBooksTitle: The Christmas Sisters

Author: Sarah Morgan

Published by Harlequin Books on September 25, 2018

Genres: Contemporary Romance, Women's Fiction

Pages: 416

Format: Paperback, ARC

Source: Harlequin Books

Book Rating: 10/10

 

 

Synopsis:

In the snowy Highlands of Scotland, Suzanne McBride is dreaming of the perfect cozy Christmas. Her three adopted daughters are coming home for the holidays and she can’t wait to see them. But tensions are running high…

Workaholic Hannah knows she can’t avoid spending the holidays with her family two years in a row. But it’s not the weight of their expectations that’s panicking her—it’s the life-changing secret she’s hiding. Stay-at-home mom Beth is having a personal crisis. All she wants for Christmas is time to decide if she’s ready to return to work—seeing everyone was supposed to help her stress levels, not increase them! Posy isn’t sure she’s living her best life, but with her parents depending on her, making a change seems risky. But not as risky as falling for gorgeous new neighbor Luke…

As Suzanne’s dreams of the perfect McBride Christmas unravel, she must rely on the magic of the season to bring her daughters together. But will this new togetherness teach the sisters that their close-knit bond is strong enough to withstand anything—including a family Christmas?


Review:

Delightfully mesmerizing, positively heartwarming, and absolutely brilliant!

The Christmas Sisters is an engaging, beguiling story that sweeps you away to the beautiful ruggedness of the Scottish Highlands in winter and immerses you into the lives of the McBride family as they confront the past, accept the things they cannot change, forgive, accept, repair fractured relationships, take chances, and embrace the future.

The writing is expressive, effortless, and polished. The characterization is spot on with a whole slew of characters that are genuine, multi-layered, unique, and intriguing. And the plot, and it’s series of compelling subplots, skillfully unravels and intertwines to create an unforgettable, touching story about life, love, loss, family, secrets, friendship, romance, and happiness.

The Christmas Sisters is without a doubt the perfect festive read that highlights the magic of the holidays and reminds us to always live life to the fullest and surround ourselves with those we love. It is a fabulously irresistible read that proves once again that when it comes to writing heartfelt, moving stories with characters you can’t help but fall in love with Morgan’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 Harlequin Books for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review.

 

About Sarah Morgan

USA Today bestselling author Sarah Morgan writes contemporary romance and her trademark humour and sensuality have gained her fans across the globe. She is a 3 time winner of the prestigious RITA® Award from the Romance Writers of America and has been nominated five times. Sarah lives near London, England, and when she isn’t reading or writing she loves being outdoors.

#BookReview
The Lost Carousel of Provence by Juliet Blackwell
@JulietBlackwell @BerkleyPub

#BookReview The Lost Carousel of Provence by Juliet Blackwell @JulietBlackwell @BerkleyPubTitle: The Lost Carousel of Provence

Author: Juliet Blackwell

Published by Berkley Books on September 18, 2018

Genres: General Fiction, Historical Fiction, Women's Fiction

Pages: 368

Format: eBook, ARC

Source: Berkley Publishing, NetGalley

Book Rating: 8/10

 

 

Synopsis:

An artist lost to history, a family abandoned to its secrets, and the woman whose search for meaning unearths it all in a sweeping and expressive story from the New York Times bestselling author of Letters from Paris .

Present day, San Francisco. During her free time, professional photographer Cady Drake shoots local carousels, a hobby inspired by a gift that transformed her childhood: a wooden rabbit supposedly created by master French carver Gustave Bayol a century ago. And when she’s offered a freelance assignment for a book on the antique merry-go-rounds of Paris, Cady can’t refuse the opportunity to visit the famous carousels for the first time….

1900s, France. In a small town outside of Avignon, a husband and young wife struggle to keep up their ancestral chateau–and start the family they so desperately desire. For the children they hope to have, the Clements hire the famous Bayol to build a carousel, but as the carver and his apprentice work on the beautiful and whimsical creation, fate will entwine them all in unseen ways–for generations to come…

Present day, Provence. As Cady’s research leads her to the dilapidated Chateau Clement and its fabled carousel that was lost to the ravages of World War II, she will uncover a shocking truth in a set of one-hundred-year-old photographs that could guide her in reuniting a family torn apart by petty jealousies over several generations.


Review:

Intriguing, atmospheric, and uplifting!

The Lost Carousel of Provence is an alluring tale predominantly set in the majestic southeastern region of France during the early 1900s, as well as present day, and is told from three different perspectives. Maelle, an independent, hardworking young woman struggling to showcase her talents and prove her worth in a male-dominated environment. Fabrice, a lonely, elderly man who has sacrificed, endured and lived a life weighed down by deception, regret, and unrequited love. And Cady an intelligent, independent, young woman who endeavours to photograph all the lost carousels of France and uncover all the stories and secrets that surround them.

The prose is expressive and eloquent. The characters are scarred, complex, and authentic. And the plot is a sweeping saga filled with familial drama, introspection, love, loss, life, family, friendship, community, mystique, heartbreak, romance, secrets, passion, loyalty, as well as a little insight into the designing and building of some of the most famous merry-go-rounds of all time.

Overall, The Lost Carousel of Provence is an informative, romantic, mysterious tale that is a well-written, exceptionally researched, beautiful, picture postcard of the history, landmarks, culture, culinary fare, and lost art forms of a country Blackwell obviously loves and knows well.

 

This book is available now.

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

                                        

 

 

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

 

About Juliet Blackwell

Juliet Blackwell is the New York Times bestselling author of Letters from Paris and The Paris Key. She also writes the Witchcraft Mystery series and the Haunted Home Renovation series. As Hailey Lind, Blackwell wrote the Agatha-nominated Art Lover's Mystery series. A former anthropologist, social worker, and professional artist, Juliet is a California native who has spent time in Mexico, Spain, Cuba, Italy, the Philippines, and France.

#BlogTour #BookReview
How We Remember by J.M. Monaco
@jm_monaco2 @RedDoorBooks #HowWeRemember

#BlogTour #BookReview How We Remember by J.M. Monaco @jm_monaco2 @RedDoorBooks #HowWeRememberTitle: How We Remember

Author: J.M. Monaco

Published by RedDoor Publishing on September 13, 2018

Genres: General Fiction, Women's Fiction

Pages: 304

Format: Paperback, ARC

Source: RedDoor Publishing

Book Rating: 7/10

 

 

Synopsis:

When Jo returns home following her mother’s death, she is shocked to learn of an unexpected inheritance and her mother’s diary. Jo thought she could put to rest her darker past until an entry implies the messy aftermath of an uncle’s sexual advances towards her when she was fifteen. Like the diary, Jo’s memory of events is full of gaps, but one thing is certain – she will never regain what was lost. What is the full story of what happened between Jo and her uncle?

How We Remember traces the effects of alcoholism, mental illness and abuse on one Irish-Italian-American, working-class family. As Jo’s first-person narrative weaves together past and present stories, she creates a portrait of her family’s life and her own as she faces new decisions amidst the tragic consequences of mismanaged grief.

Full of moments of light and dark, Monaco’s debut novel –set during a week that anyone would dread –provides a mesmeric narrative portraying the pain of grief, the tenuous nature of memory and the earth-shattering effect that the death of the ‘glue’ of a family can cause. How We Remember is an unforgettable novel that tackles issues every reader will be able to relate to on some level.It’ll capture hearts and capture imaginations.


Review:

Sobering, unsettling, and intense!

How We Remember is a hauntingly perceptive novel that takes us into the life of Jo O’Brien, a middle-aged woman struggling to come to grips with the loss of her mother, a past full of secrets and abuse, a debilitating illness, and familial relationships that are strained and fractured.

The prose is somber and raw. The characters are complex, tortured, and damaged. And the heart-wrenching plot uses a reflective past/present style to unravel all the personalities, motivations, and relationships within it.

How We Remember is ultimately a novel about family, life, loss, deception, manipulation, infidelity, abuse, forgiveness, and the long-lasting effects of a dysfunctional childhood. It’s well written, deeply emotional and does an exceptional job of reminding us that everyone that enters our lives impacts, shapes, and defines it.

 

This book is available September 13, 2018.

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

 

 

Thank you to RedDoor Publishing and J.M. Monaco for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review.

 

About J.M. Monaco

My writing identity is JM Monaco. Friends here in the UK tell me the surname sounds unique and somewhat exotic. Outside this little island I know this isn’t the case.

I am a fiction writer with a particular soft spot for North American fiction, probably because my formative and university years took place in the USA. While England has been my home for well over twenty years now, there’s something about the birthplace where my extended family and some friends still reside that has a strong pull. If I could, I’d spend solitary blocks of time there in a quiet lake cottage in the northeast pondering my ambiguous relationship with that landscape. I’d write up a tumultuous storm that may eventually take the shape of a draft for a novel or multiple stories, then come back to the UK where I could clean it all up in edits with my husband and children surrounding me with love and endless offers of tea and healthy meals. As this can only happen in fantasy, here in the southwest of England, UK, is where I stay, holed up in a drafty north-facing study/writing room, often gazing out at the rain and rolling my eyes when I hear my daughter shout, ‘What’s for supper tonight?’ Reading, thinking, writing, are all interrupted with the demands of others, the good and bad, life’s routines, a bit of excitement here and there mixed with the mundane. This is where stories are born. Oh, but wouldn’t it be heaven to have that nice little place by the lake.

 

 

 

For more information on Red Door Publishing visit them at:

Website | Twitter | Facebook | Instagram

#GuestPost
What’s Left Unsaid by Deborah Stone
@DeborahStone_ @matadorbooks
#Lovebooksgrouptours

#GuestPost What’s Left Unsaid by Deborah Stone @DeborahStone_  @matadorbooks #LovebooksgrouptoursTitle: What's Left Unsaid

Author: Deborah Stone

Published by Matador on July 19, 2018

Genres: Mystery/Thriller, Women's Fiction

Pages: 208

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

Sasha is just about managing to hold her life together. She is raising her teenage son Zac, coping with an absent husband and caring for her ageing, temperamental and alcoholic mother, as well as holding down her own job. But when Zac begins to suspect that he has a secret sibling, Sasha realises that she must relive the events of a devastating night which she has done her best to forget for the past nineteen years.

Sasha’s mother, Annie, is old and finds it difficult to distinguish between past and present and between truth and lies. As Annie sinks deeper back into her past, she revisits the key events in her life which have shaped her emotionally. Through it all, she remains convinced that her dead husband Joe is watching and waiting for her. But there’s one thing she never told him, and as painful as it is for her to admit the truth, Annie is determined to go to Joe with a guilt-free conscience.

As the plot unfurls, traumas are revealed and lies uncovered, revealing long-buried secrets which are at the root of Annie and Sasha’s fractious relationship.

 

 

And now Deborah Stone with:

 

Why I Wrote What’s Left Unsaid Now

I’ve always wanted to write a novel, but I’ve left it late-ish in life, partly because I was doing other things, like working and bringing up my children and partly because I just couldn’t decide what I wanted to write about. Whilst I still work as a consultant, my boys are men now (well, most of the time!) and I decided that if I was ever going to write my novel, I had better get on with it.

The plus side of writing when you’re that bit older is that you have more life experience to draw on…you’ve met more people, loved, lost, understood real happiness and profound sadness and heard a lot of stories. It took me a long time to get inspired and to develop the themes I wanted to explore, but slowly I realised that I wanted to investigate the impact of trauma on people as children and how it shapes their later behaviour as adults. Annie, the grandmother in my novel, is evacuated at the age of five and stays with a woman who mistreats her. On her return, she suffers a nervous breakdown. This actually happened to my mother. Although my own mother has never spoken to me about her trauma in detail, the image of such a small child away from her parents, frightened and utterly alone has always haunted me, especially once I had had my own children. I piled further trauma on Annie in the novel -which isn’t grounded in truth – but helped me to explore why she might reject her own child later on and what other behavioural problems she might develop in order to manage her demons. In turn, this allowed me to move onto the next generation and explore the impact that Annie’s behaviour has on her daughter, Sasha, who is forced to cope unsupported with many other trials of her own.

 

 

 

This novel is available now.

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

 

 

 

About Deborah Stone

Deborah Stone read English Literature at Durham University. She lives in North London with her husband, two sons and her dog.

 

Thank you to Deborah Stone for being featured on my blog today!

 

%d bloggers like this: