Friday, 13 February 2015

"Daughter" by Jane Shemilt *****

About the Author
While working as a GP, Jane Shemilt completed a postgraduate diploma in Creative Writing at Bristol University and went on to study for the MA in Creative Writing at Bath Spa, gaining both with distinction. She was shortlisted for the Janklow and Nesbit award and the Lucy Cavendish fiction prize for Daughter, which is her first novel.
She and her husband, a Professor of Neurosurgery, have five children and live in Bristol.

When a teenage girl goes missing her mother discovers she doesn't know her daughter as well as she thought in Jane Shemilt's haunting debut novel, Daughter.

This is Jane Shemilt’s debut novel and I must admit I do love a thriller and get quite apprehensive reading them sometimes!. My Son read this before Christmas 2014 and kept on at me to read it as we like to talk to each other about the books we have read! So I did as I was told and started reading it.

What I loved about it is that the Mum (Jenny) is a GP and the Dad (Ted) is a Neurosurgeon. Having worked in a hospital for a while and now in a GP surgery for many years I understood the terminology so therefore found it even more interesting! I also loved that it was mainly set in my beloved Dorset, especially Burton Bradstock, where I love to visit every year!

The characters are all very believable and the author describes them very well. Without giving the game away some are more likeable than others!!

Briefly the story is about a family whose daughter disappears and the effects the disappearance and aftermath have on each of them. The chapters flip back to the day she disappeared and a year later. It is very cleverly done and as the chapters are quite short, I kept reading “one more chapter”!
Naomi (daughter) is a very believable and “normal” teenage girl who has secrets from her Mum and it’s not until she disappears and her Mum (Jenny) finds her diary that she starts realising the extent of the secrets.
Jenny finally realises that she doesn’t really know any of her children as well as she thought she did, or her husband come to that!!

The ending is fabulous and keeps you guessing literally until the very last page! Also the ending (without giving too much away) left me with a few questions and it wasn’t until I digested the ending that I thought it was brilliantly clever and fantastically written.

Utterly compelling novel and really can’t wait for her next one, totally worth the 5 stars!

Wednesday, 4 February 2015

One of my favourite books!

I bought and read this book in 1985 when it was published and loved it, but for some reason I didn't keep my copy! So off to Ebay I went and bought another one (in quite good condition) for £1. I love Catherine Cookson books and read quite a few in the 80's - my hubby always said I love to read about a bit of death and debauchery!! Oh yes I do!!

Tuesday, 3 February 2015

'The Time of Our Lives' by Jane Costello *****

Absolutely loved, loved, loved this book. I have read all of Jane's books and I always say the last one is my favourite, but I really do think this one is the funniest. I did laugh out loud at The Wish List, but I actually had tears running down my face with this one. All of the characters have brilliant personalities and I couldn't wait to find out what happened in the end. One thing is for definite though, I will never look at a pineapple in the same way again!!!
The Time of Our Lives

'Pack up Your Troubles' by Pam Weaver ****

I was really looking forward to reading this book as I do love a wartime saga, but it was more about what happened after the war than during it. I enjoyed reading about Connie and Eva and how they overcame a feuding family to become friends, but it was a bit hard going sometimes as there was a subject that I wasn't expecting brought up and I found it quite disturbing at times. Also a very, very sad bit towards the end had me in floods of tears (don't want to spoil it for anyone!!). On the whole a good read (if a bit too long) but it wouldn't put me off reading a Pam Weaver novel again.

'The Poppy Factory' by Liz Trenow *****

This is the first book I have read by Liz Trenow but will definitely be buying her others! I absolutely loved this book from beginning to end. I was lucky enough to get a draft copy as it is not out until August and from the first page I was hooked! I was a bit confused as I didn't have any blurb to read and thought it was supposed to be a wartime saga, but it started off with a character coming back from Afghanistan but it soon turned into a wartime story and they joined up beautifully. I thoroughly enjoyed this book and the cover is gorgeous!
The Poppy Factory

'The Dead Wife's Handbook' by Hannah Beckerman *****

What an amazing book! Wonderfully written and certainly makes you think about what happens when you die! I loved it and cried like a baby at the end but not in a really sad way! I will definitely recommend this book to my friends and hope to read more stuff from Hannah in the future! Definitely one of my favourite books of 2014. Would have given it more than 5 stars if I could!
The Dead Wife's Handbook

Monday, 2 February 2015

'Take Mum Out' by Fiona Gibson ****

This is the first book I have read of Fiona Gibson and I will definitely be reading her others. I thought her writing was in the style of Carole Matthews (who I love!) with some serious topics and then in the next sentence having me howling with laughter! I am just pleased that I do not have two teenage boys like Alice's!

'The Accident' by C.L. Taylor *****

OMG the suspense in this book keeps you going until the very last page! I had palpitations the whole time I was reading it! Wonderfully written and could easily see this adapted into a film. I loved the way the chapters kept alternating from the past to the present but met up towards the end and made perfect sense. Thoroughly enjoyed this book, great storyline and will now pass it on to my hubby who I know will love it! A great, easy read.

'Tideline' by Penny Hancock *****

I met Penny Hancock at her new book launch along with Kate Rhodes (who is one of my favourite authors!) in September, so thought I would read Penny's first book as she writes in a similar style to Kate. I do love a thriller and being kept in suspense and this book surely didn't disappoint. From the very first page it left me wanting more and to find out why Sonia did the things she did and what happened to Seb and Jez. It certainly kept me up late into the night for a couple of nights as I just couldn't put it down! One of my favourite books of the year and I will definitely be buying Penny's other books! Just wish I had bought her new one at the book launch and got it signed!!

Sunday, 1 February 2015

'Single All The Way' Elaine Spires ****

I was lucky enough to receive a copy of this to read and review as a blog tour is going to start for this book next week. I have not read anything of Elaine's before so wasn't sure if I could read this book as it was the 3rd in a series, but was assured it can be read as a "stand alone book". A great start to my Christmas reading. Lots of characters and to be honest I did get a bit confused at times with some of them, but it came good in the end! What I did love about the characters was that they all had their own stories to tell and personalities but as a lover of taramasalata I will never eat it again without laughing my head off (and squirming a bit as well!!). All in all, a good start to my Christmas season reading!
Single All The Way

'The Winter Foundlings' by Kate Rhodes *****

This is the third book in the Alice Quentin series of books and having been lucky enough to be sent a copy by Kate Rhodes I couldn't wait to start this next installment. What I love about Kate's books is that I have a feeling of tripidation all the way through and she has a great way of keeping you waiting until the very last pages as to "who did it"!! I absolutely loved this book and in my opinion it is the best book so far. Cannot wait for the next one!!
The Winter Foundlings by Kate Rhodes

'A Killing of Angels' by Kate Rhodes *****

I couldn't wait to start this book as I loved Crossbones Yard and Kate Rhodes kindly sent me a signed copy of A Killing of Angels to read and review! The second in the series of Alice Quentin's cases as a psychologist and it didn't disappoint! Kept me on the edge of my seat until the very last chapter. I was a bit disappointed about what happened to one of the characters! but when you finish the book you realise that it had to happen really! Roll on book 3 is all I can say!!
A Killing of Angels by Kate Rhodes

'Crossbones Yard' by Kate Rhodes *****

Absolutely loved this book! Read it in about 2 days and loved reading about South East London (that's where I'm from!) and can honestly say it had my heart racing at times! Looking forward to reading the next book about Alice the Psychologist! It was also great to read a bit about the Cross Bones Graveyard which I only read about before Christmas and didn't even know it was there having worked in Borough High Street for 18 years!

Crossbones Yard (Alice Quentin #1)

'How the In-Laws Wrecked Christmas' by Fiona Gibson *****

I have only read one of Fiona Gibson's books before but I thoroughly enjoyed it and was eager to read this short story as I love the title! It didn't disappoint and I virtually read it in one go! The only thing I would say about the story (even though it is a short story) is that I would have liked it to be a little bit longer! I feel this could turn into a full length book as the characters are really good. Very enjoyable short story to sit and read with a cuppa!
How the In-Laws Wrecked Christmas by Fiona Gibson

'The Christmas Party' by Carole Matthews ***

I always look forward so much to reading the latest Carole Matthews book as I have been a fan for a few years now and do love a good Christmas book! but I don't know whether I lost my mojo a bit over Christmas but I found it really hard going to get engrossed in this book. Caroles' books have always had me laughing out loud, but her last couple of books have not been like that. To be honest, I had to keep reminding myself that I was actually reading one of her books! 

I liked the characters in this book and could imagine it being a film for tv and being very funny, but the jokes just weren't there. I do feel bad giving it 3 stars and think it should probably be deserving of 3 and a half, and towards the end it got much better.

Will definitely be reading Caroles' next book, but please bring back your lovely humour that I love you for!!
The Christmas Party by Carole Matthews