When your letter gets lost

The Lost Letters of William Woolf
Helen Cullen
Literary fiction, Contemporary
Michael Joseph
July 15, 2018
464

Lost letters have only one hope for survival . . . Inside the Dead Letters Depot in East London, William Woolf is one of thirty letter detectives who spend their days solving mysteries- Missing postcodes, illegible handwriting, rain-smudged ink, lost address labels, torn packages, forgotten street names - they are all the culprits of missed birthdays, broken hearts, unheard confessions, pointless accusations, unpaid bills and unanswered prayers. But when William discovers letters addressed simply to 'My Great Love', his work takes on new meaning. Written by a wistful woman to the soulmate she hasn't met yet, the missives capture William's heart in ways he didn't know possible, and soon he begins to wonder- Are these letters truly lost? Or might he be the intended recipient-could hebe her great love?

A slow burn story of the small (ish) lives we can allow ourselves to lead, where everything irritates and is no longer an amusing trait.

“was real romance just persevering when times were hard, hidden in the daily domestic rituals of a shared life.”

This element of the book was beautifully portrayed.

But.

Overall, I found the book to be slightly disappointing form the hype. I expected to love it and award it 5 stars, But I don’t and I haven’t.

A nice read but by the end I found the whole ‘Winter’ concept to be annoying especially after William ignored the big clue with the photographs. And I found the denouement unsatisfactory.

 

PS. 3 foot in size Grandfather clocks are known as Grandmother clocks! We have a beautiful one on our wall.

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Exhibiting Who?

Exhibit Alexandra Book Cover Exhibit Alexandra
Natasha Bell
literary fiction, relationships, psychological, thriller
Michael Joseph
Mar 2018

This story I have to tell is more than a collection of facts. I have no reason to paint a better or worse picture than what really happened. I've already lost everything.'

Alexandra Southwood is missing. Her husband is beside himself, or at least he appears to be. She has vanished into thin air; the only traces left are her bloodied clothes by the riverside. It isn't long before the police are searching for a body.

But we know that she is alive. That she is being kept somewhere far from her family. That perhaps this wife and mother wasn't quite what she seemed . . .

Be warned: this isn't another missing-woman thriller. This is something far more shocking . . .

I’ve been trying to read this book for several days now and keep getting side tracked into reading something else. The style is pleasant but the storyline is not gripping. In some ways it is too familiar – someone goes missing. They are being held by an unknown person in a basement/locked room. The food is bad. The family are worried especially the young children and the husband finds it difficult to cope.

Can I be bothered to read further? I got as far as 23% and still not gripped.

They say it isn’t like any other missing woman thriller but I was not convinced enough to carry on.

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Not so much a Break as a Hiatus

The Break Book Cover The Break
Marian Keyes
literary fiction, romantic comedy
Michael Joseph
September 7, 2017
576

The Break is the brand new funny, touching and truly fabulous novel from Marian Keyes . . . 'Myself and Hugh . . . We're taking a break.' 'A city-with-fancy-food sort of break?' If only. Amy's husband Hugh says he isn't leaving her. He still loves her, he's just taking a break - from their marriage, their children and, most of all, from their life together. Six months to lose himself in south-east Asia. And there is nothing Amy can say or do about it. Yes, it's a mid-life crisis, but let's be clear: a break isn't a break up - yet . . . However, for Amy it's enough to send her - along with her extended family of gossips, misfits and troublemakers - teetering over the edge. For a lot can happen in six-months. When Hugh returns if he returns, will he be the same man she married? And will Amy be the same woman? Because if Hugh is on a break from their marriage, then isn't she? The Break isn't a story about falling in love but about staying in love. It is Marian Keyes at her funniest, wisest and brilliant best. 'A born storyteller' Independent on Sunday 'When it comes to writing page-turners that put a smile on your face and make you think, Keyes is in a class of her own' Daily Express

I loved this book and read it and read it and read it. So much happened and the writing style engaged me and encouraged me to just keep on reading.

I am not normally a fan of Irish family dramas, but this was different and a grand exception.

This is a very modern mixed-up family. the children from many marriages and even one not ‘belonging’ to them. All provided for in a rather ramshackle way by Clare and then with her husband helping out – but not her previous husband at all… or the parents of the ‘not theirs’ child.

I am not sure how i would have coped with all her responsibilities. flying to and fro London and Ireland. running a commission based business with 2 lovely partners but still effectively self-employed. and not earning that much after expenses – which are high in the PR world. still establishing a business name, still trying to manage her wayward clients, still trying to help her girls through school and exams and business start-ups. and then there is her father with Alzheimer’s and her mother wanting help.

I am surprised she doesn’t have a complete break-down. but maybe she does? Maybe her behaviour is a breakdown of sorts – and who can blame her?

 

 

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Jo Jo starts here

Still Me Book Cover Still Me
JoJo Moyes
Womens' Literature, Romance , Women's Fiction, Humour
Michael Joseph
25 Jan 2018

Lou Clark is back in the ALL NEW Jojo Moyes novel Still Me, follow-up to the Number One international bestsellers Me Before You and After You. Read the first chapter here! Lou Clark knows too many things . . . She knows how many miles lie between her new home in New York and her new boyfriend Sam in London. She knows her employer is a good man and she knows his wife is keeping a secret from him. What Lou doesn't know is she's about to meet someone who's going to turn her whole life upside down. Because Josh will remind her so much of a man she used to know that it'll hurt. Lou won't know what to do next, but she knows that whatever she chooses is going to change everything.

So a new life for our favourite Lou. In New York and with a very upper crust family, even down to uniforms.

Lou finds herself in a new place with lots to find out about her new life and is excited for her new job.

This review is just about the first chapter of Jo Jo Moyes new book. NetGalley hasn’t released the remainder yet, but from what I have read it sounds good and gently humorous. As yet i cannot say whether it will make me cry like Me Before You did but who knows. I wait to read more!

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Not that Book

The Scandal Book Cover The Scandal
Fredrik Backman
Sport, Psychological
Michael Joseph
August 10, 2017
432

The Scandal is published in America as BEARTOWN . . . AN INSTANT NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER The Scandal tells of a terrible crime that fractures a town and all of the people in it. When the worst happens, who will have the courage to stand against everyone else? 'As popular Swedish exports go, Backman is up there with ABBA and Stieg Larsson.' The New York Times Book Review ________ 'Late one evening towards the end of March, a teenager picked up a double-barrelled shotgun, walked into the forest, put the gun to someone else's forehead and pulled the trigger. This is the story of how we got there.' For most of the year it is under a thick blanket of snow, experiencing the kind of cold and dark that brings people closer together - or pulls them apart. Its isolation means that Beartown has been slowly shrinking with each passing year. But now the town is on the verge of an astonishing revival. Everyone can feel the excitement. A bright new future is just around the corner. Until the day it is all put in jeopardy by a single, brutal act. It divides the town into those who think it should be hushed up and forgotten, and those who'll risk the future to see justice done. At last, it falls to one young man to find the courage to speak the truth that it seems no one else wants to hear. With the town's future at stake, no one can stand by or stay silent. Everyone is on one side or the other. Which side would you be on?

This is not that Book. It is another one.

This is not that story – it is another one.

A different story. A story of of passion and compassion. A story of communal mind-sets and beliefs.

A story full of characters, scenes, emotions, descriptions. Full but very readable. Slow paced yet still full.

I knew from very early on just what the scandal was going to be – roughly anyway. I knew what it would be about, when it would happen, where it would happen and who would be the main protagonists. But still I was entranced by the story of how we got there and how people reacted.

The writing for me was very powerful – the use of repeated phrases and sentences was very effective.

And the story of just how brutal hockey and the life in a very small and isolated dying town can be, and the need to conform to these small minds, was chilling.

Looking forward to the sequel.

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