Book review: Big Lies in a Small Town by Diane Chamberlain

Saturday, January 11, 2020 Permalink

Diane Chamberlain is a hugely popular though I’ve only read one book by the American author, Pretending to Dance, published in 2015.

Her latest, Big Lies in a Small Town unfolds in two timeframes and is centred around two women whose livelihoods – and in some ways their futures – depend on an opportunity they’ve been presented in small-town Edenton, almost 80 years apart.

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three-half-stars

Book review: The Dilemma by BA Paris

Saturday, January 4, 2020 Permalink

I read BA Paris’s Bring Me Back in 2018 and rated it highly. I follow Paris on Twitter so have been seeing news of her latest release The Dilemma quite a bit. I wasn’t exactly sure when it was out however, so delayed reading it until after 2020 ticked over.

Interestingly this is another book which reminded me I’m a presumptuous smart-arse. I kept considering exaggerated eye-rolls thinking how obvious the plot/s of this book was / were going to be (there are a couple of threads). I assumed I knew EXACTLY what the twists and secrets were. And… I was wrong. Yet again.

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four-stars

Book review: Who Did You Tell? by Lesley Kara

Wednesday, January 1, 2020 Permalink

Astrid’s mother named her Hilary because (when she was born) she had such a sunny disposition. Hilary became Astrid as soon as she was able believing it to be the antithesis of her birth name and almost two decades later, it’s set the scene for the rebellious and unsettled life she’s led since.

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four-stars

Book review: The Girl Who Reads on the Metro by Christine Feret-Fleury

Monday, November 11, 2019 Permalink

This quaint-looking small hardcover book isn’t the sort of book that would normally appeal. But it came as a surprise. Quite a delightful one in fact.

I wasn’t sure what to expect – after all, it’s a translation…. and they don’t always go well. You’re so dependent on an intermediary to offer up quality prose – but this translator (Ros Schwartz) did a great job. I’m almost intrigued if it was as eloquent in its original language.

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three-half-stars

Book review: You Don’t Know Me by Sara Foster

Monday, October 28, 2019 Permalink

When ticking the ‘genre’ of this book for this post I added romantic suspense because – though not generally a fan of ‘romance’ as such – I was completely taken with the burgeoning romance that underpinned much of this novel.

The book opens as our two leads, Alice and Noah meet, and I adored their relationship and the way it grew. It felt… well, um romantic. Of course it’s hampered by a backstory of long-kept secrets, guilt and death, so it’s not all rainbows and kittens.

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four-stars

Book review: Bruny by Heather Rose

Monday, October 7, 2019 Permalink

I’m fairly sure I should be ashamed of the fact that I only heard of Bruny Island recently so had some vague idea where it was. I’d been contemplating attending a writing festival in Tasmania in Huon Valley and discovered that (nearby) Bruny Island is a popular tourist destination.

So… I’d thankfully I had some idea of the context of the setting of this excellent new novel by Australian author Heather Rose which takes place in the not-too-distant future.

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four-stars

Book review: The Confession by Jessie Burton

Wednesday, September 18, 2019 Permalink

I’ve not read any of Jessie Burton’s books before, but the fact her second novel was called, The Muse, doesn’t surprise me as her latest, The Confession is very much centred around creativity, control and passion.

One of the main characters in the book, although not one of our narrators, is an author, known for her beautiful poetic and poignant prose… laden with depth and meaning, and Burton effortlessly manages to reflect this.

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four-half-stars

Book review: The Memories We Hide by Jodi Gibson

Sunday, August 18, 2019 Permalink

I’ve (virtually) known author Jodi Gibson for a number of years via the online writing and blogging world so was very excited she decided to independently publish her debut novel, The Memories We Hide.┬áIt’s an enjoyable read which reflects her warm and relatable writing style as well as her familiarity with small town Australia and country life.

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three-half-stars

Book review: After the End by Clare Mackintosh

Saturday, June 22, 2019 Permalink

I like to think of myself as having discovered UK author Clare Mackintosh. It’s not true, obviously, but I read her debut novel I Let You Go very early and it was one of my favourite books that year. Indeed, its mid-way shocker was one of the best I’ve ever encountered. I’ve also read and reviewed her subsequent novels, I See You and Let Me Lie, enjoying both because of their twists and her innovative plots.

Interestingly her latest, After the End, is quite different. It immediately reminded me of recent work by Jodi Picoult in that it’s boldly confronting and will have readers questioning preconceived ideas… or certainly challenging our thinking. It’s different from Mackintosh’s previous work but that variety isn’t something I mind. Surely if someone loves writing (and excels at storytelling) then it doesn’t matter what they write?

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four-stars