Thursday, 22 June 2017

This Much is True

This Much is True by Jane Sanderson
Published by Orion Books
June 2017





After decades in a deeply unhappy marriage, Annie Doyle can barely bring herself to care that her husband Vince is finally about to die.

But as the family gathers to see out his final days, Vince utters a single word that will change everyone's lives completely:
'Martha.'

Who is Martha? And why is Annie so quick to dismiss the mention of her name? As Annie's long-held secrets start to emerge, the lives of everyone she holds dear will be changed forever...

This is the latest novel written by Jane Sanderson and takes on a different slant from her earlier, historical novels.  This is part memoir, part mystery and features Annie a 73 year old woman, living with her eldest son Michael and dog Finn in Coventry.  Her husband Vince is in a nursing home having been there for decades following his diagnosis with dementia.  We soon learn that her marriage has not been a happy one and that Vince only married Annie because he thought he would get a substantial allowance from her husband, his then boss. When this fails to materialise, Vince decides to work away from home, only returning to his wife and child when absolutely necessary.  It is on one of these visits that Vince arrives home with a gift for Annie that will ultimately change all of their lives forever, and it is because of this, that Annie has a secret she has been forced to hide for most of her adult life.

On a routine walk with her friends Josie and Sandra, Finn attacks a local farmer's sheep and Annie is forced to make some difficult decisions surrounding his well-being.  She meets Mr Dinmore ("call me Alf"), a friend of Josie's and he introduces her to his sister who rescues dogs.  As she learns more about Alf she discovers that he is a former policeman and this brings to the forefront of her mind the secret that she has been hiding for so long.

With Vince on his deathbed at last, younger son Andrew returns home from Australia and it is the mention of the name "Martha" by Vince that starts everything unravelling.  A box discovered in the attic by Andrew only proceeds to make everything worse.  What should Annie do?

This is a book about families and the secrets that some of them hide because they ultimately believe this to be for the best.  There are also some interesting characters in the book.  Michael is not a pleasant person, towards the end of the book it is explained why this might be, but that is not why this made me dislike him so much, though by the end he does seem to redeem himself somewhat.  He is the polar-opposite of his brother Andrew, who I must admit comes across as quite smug at times with his magnificent life in Byron Bay.  Vince is a not a nice man throughout and I felt no sympathy for him during the course of the book.  I did like Josie though her friendship with Annie seems somewhat unexpected but she was a nice addition to the story and it was interesting to have an older central character who as the book progresses, begins to live more in her later years than she has done during the preceding decades.

Happy Reading


Miss Chapters x



Monday, 12 June 2017

A Court of Thorns and Roses

A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J Maas
Published by Bloomsbury Childrens Books
May 2105




Feyre's survival rests upon her ability to hunt and kill - the forest where she lives is a cold, bleak place in the long winter months. So when she spots a deer in the forest being pursued by a wolf, she cannot resist fighting it for the flesh. But to do so, she must kill the predator and killing something so precious comes at a price ...

Dragged to a magical kingdom for the murder of a faerie, Feyre discovers that her captor, his face obscured by a jewelled mask, is hiding far more than his piercing green eyes would suggest. Feyre's presence at the court is closely guarded, and as she begins to learn why, her feelings for him turn from hostility to passion and the faerie lands become an even more dangerous place.

Feyre must fight to break an ancient curse, or she will lose him forever.

Now if I'm being honest here, and it's my book blog so wouldn't I be, I missed all of the hype surrounding this book when it came out 2 years ago, though if I'm totally honest, I'm not sure how I did... Anyway, that aside, there are many people whom I follow over on Instagram who still rave about this book today (especially as the third book in the series has just appeared) so I felt tempted to order it and see just what all the fuss was about.  OMG, it's fab!!!  I haven't felt like this since Twilight was published so I know I'm about to get the next two books and devour them, even though my tbr pile is huge!

This book is set between the real world and the world of the faeries, there is no secret in that.  We know that they exist and that their lands are over the border, but we also know not to trust them and not to stray into their lands.  Our central character Feyre is out hunting one day when she spots a wolf.  It is pursuing a deer she intends to kill so that her family can eat, so faced with a choice of hunt or be hunted, she kills the wolf.  Only when she returns home does she learn of her fatal mistake - the wolf was infact faerie and for killing him Feyre must go to the kingdom from whence he came to reside forever more.  Saying goodbye to her father and sisters, Feyre embarks on the journey to her new life where she is housed in the Spring Court presided over by Tamlin, and his friend Rhysand. Both are masked and mysterious as a curse has been placed on them that makes removing their masks impossible. 

As predicted you might say, the bond between captor and captive grows deeply and both of our main characters find themselves falling in love.  Little did Feyre imagine that at the beginning of her journey into the Spring Court that she might be forced to risk her life to save the man she now wants to be with forever. 

This book is full of twists and turns and it encourages you to use your imagination.  Yes this is a YA novel but I thoroughly enjoyed every page of it and will be purchasing the rest of the series immediately.  If you love a good fantasy novel, and faeries and magic are your thing, then this is highly recommended.


Happy Reading


Miss Chapters x

Friday, 9 June 2017

Lost for Words

Lost for Words by Stephanie Butland
Published by Bonnier Zaffre
April 2017



THIS BOOKSHOP KEEPS MANY SECRETS . . .Loveday Cardew prefers books to people. If you look carefully, you might glimpse the first lines of the novels she loves most tattooed on her skin. But there are some things Loveday will never show you.

Into her refuge - the York book emporium where she works - come a poet, a lover, a friend, and three mysterious deliveries, each of which stirs unsettling memories.

Everything is about to change for Loveday. Someone knows about her past and she can't hide any longer. She must decide who around her she can trust. Can she find the courage to right a heartbreaking wrong? And will she ever find the words to tell her own story?
It's time to turn the pages of her past . . .

For a lover of books this was an ideal read to while away the hours, by reading about someone who works in a bookshop!  Our central character is Loveday Cardew, a not conventional girl whose body is covered in tattoos with the first lines of some of her favourite books.  She keeps herself to herself, and very few people know very much about her past, including her only friend, bookshop owner Archie; who himself is larger than life for the both of them.  Stalked by the very weird Rob, Loveday is not looking for romance, until the studious Nathan enters the shop with a book request.  He invites her to the local poetry reading night and Loveday sees a side of him revealed that makes her want to spend more time with this man.  Can she actually learn to open her heart in return through the genre of poetry?  Throughout the book we travel back to Whitby, to Loveday's childhood and learn why she no longer sees her parents despite what appears to be an idyllic childhood.  Things are about to change for her though when a delivery of books to the store starkly remind her of her childhood, in fact they appear to be the exact copies of books that were owned by her mother, but that couldn't possibly be the case could it?  Could there be someone in York who actually knows of Loveday's hidden past, and if so, who are they, and what do they want?

This book had the perfect combination of happy and sad and bitter-sweet moments within it that made it a pleasure to sit and immerse myself into.  I'll be looking out for more books by this author.


Happy Reading


Miss Chapters x

Friday, 2 June 2017

An Act of Silence

An Act of Silence by Colette McBeth
Published by Wildfire
June 2017


These are the facts I collect.

My son Gabriel met a woman called Mariela in a bar. She went home with him. They next morning she was found in an allotment.

Mariela is dead.

Gabriel has been asked to report to Camden Police station in six hours for questioning.

Linda Moscow loves her son; it's her biological instinct to keep him safe. But if she's not sure of his innocence, how can she stand by him? Should she go against everything she believes in to protect him?

She's done it before, and the guilt nearly killed her.

This is Colette McBeth's third book, out at the end of June, and it's a crime novel with some hidden undercurrents.  Linda Moscow is a fomer MP.  Her son Gabriel is a famous comic and he is under suspicion by the police for the death of a woman whose body has been found at an allotment that backs onto his London home.  He comes to his mother for understanding, and for reassurance from her that he had nothing to do with this incident.  Unfortunately this doesn't happen and Gabriel is forced to leave with the suspicions of his mother weighing heavily on his mind.

Linda doesn't know how to react.  Gabriel's news has stirred up a whole host of memories that she thought she had buried in the past.  However she has no time to concentrate on Gabriel, she is on a trip to Scotland to interview an important witness who might just bring down some people with very powerful connections.  However when she crosses the border she is soon to learn that not everything is as it seems and the people you thought you could trust might not be the people you first thought them to be.

I enjoyed this book but I did get a little muddled with so many characters, especially as some have different names throughout the book (but there is good reason for this).  Is Gabriel guilty or has he been set up, and if so, by whom?  Can Linda save her son, and herself before the powers that be close in around her?

Happy Reading

Miss Chapters x