What Katie Did

Cross Her Heart Book Cover Cross Her Heart
Sarah Pinborough
Fiction, suspense, thriller, psychological
HarperCollins UK
May 14, 2018
384

The explosive follow-up from Sarah Pinborough, author of the NUMBER ONE Sunday Times bestseller Behind Her Eyes.

‘Cross my heart and hope to die…’

Promises only last if you trust each other, but what if one of you is hiding something?

A secret no one could ever guess.

Someone is living a lie.

Is it Lisa?

Maybe it’s her daughter, Ava.

Or could it be her best friend, Marilyn?

This book kept me hooked.

You think you know the story but you don’t – the twists and turns and slow reveal of the real truth behind, was very well done.

You have tears in your eyes when you find out Charlotte’s childhood story and then Daniel’s is revealed and oh how you hope that their parents are in prison. And never coming out.

But you never suspect what Katie did. Not until her history is revealed too and her mother’s action causing such a reaction.

An excellent, cleverly crafted story, well told with empathy and understanding of how childhood trauma can affect future behaviours.

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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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Irish Women are ….

Oh My God, What a Complete Aisling Book Cover Oh My God, What a Complete Aisling
Emer McLysaght; Sarah Bree
General Fiction (Adult) , Women's Fiction
Penguin UK - Michael Joseph
03 May 2018

Twenty-something Aisling - that's pronounced Ashling - is the sensible sort.

She wears kitten heels for the sake of her arches.

And a great night out is knowing the immersion heater at home is securely switched off.

In other words, country girl Aisling likes to play it safe in the big city.

But that hasn't helped get her man John to hurry up and pop the question.

Throwing caution to the wind an impatient Aisling tries to encourage him, only for her whole life to come crashing down.

Now no umbrella, electric blanket, nor sensibly sized heel can save her.

What's a complete Aisling to do?

I actually liked this book, even though I am not in general a fan of Irish fiction that is full of a. words that mean nothing to me; and b: humour that is not quite as I understand it.

But I managed to understand, after a few chapters, what an ‘Aisling’ was. No, not just an Irish name – which is very popular, but an Irish girl’s name for a girl from the hicks – the backwoods – who doesn’t understand city ways and doesn’t dress in a smart city manner and generally is a country hick.

But if you like your female characters to be funny and strong and full of life then this is the book for you. If you are not Irish you might struggle over some of the phrases and behaviours and references, but don’t let that put you off. There is a lot here to entertain and learn from.

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Cold Water Swimming

The Lido Book Cover The Lido
Libby Page
swimming, literary fiction, romantic humour
Orion
(19 April 2018)

'THE LIDO is a joyous and uplifting debut - a testament to kindness and friendship and all those values society must hold dear' SARAH WINMAN, author of When God Was a Rabbit and Tin Man

Meet Rosemary, 86, and Kate, 26: dreamers, campaigners, outdoor swimmers...

Rosemary has lived in Brixton all her life, but everything she knows is changing. Only the local lido, where she swims every day, remains a constant reminder of the past and her beloved husband George.

Kate has just moved and feels adrift in a city that is too big for her. She's on the bottom rung of her career as a local journalist, and is determined to make something of it.

So when the lido is threatened with closure, Kate knows this story could be her chance to shine. But for Rosemary, it could be the end of everything. Together they are determined to make a stand, and to prove that the pool is more than just a place to swim - it is the heart of the community.

The Lido is an uplifting novel about the importance of friendship, the value of community, and how
ordinary people can protect the things they love.

'A standout hymn to female friendship and the power of collective action' Stylist

'Feel-good and uplifting, this charming novel is full of heart' Lucy Diamond

'Did I #lovethelido? So much my heart broke a little turning the last page. A stunning debut' Clare Mackintosh

Brrrr…

My grandkids swim in an outdoor pool, I doubt it is heated, but I know their mother sits and watches wrapped in several blankets with a hot drink and a hot water bottle! Me – I like my water 30 degrees at least  – above permitted heat I know but…

So I maybe wouldn’t have joined the petition to keep the Lido open, not for me, but certainly there are lots of people who don’t mind the cold so maybe I would join for them. And for a Community Asset which should be kept of course!

I read a recent article by Libby Page who wrote of friendship. Across age, backgrounds and cultures. And the importance of community assets as meeting places to facilitate these friendships. without somewhere where everyone is welcomed, we are impoverished and the lesser for it.

This novel reminds us of the richness of a locality where feet traverse the soil and encounters with others is the norm.

I really must visit Brixton and the market!

 

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Sunshine and the Summer is here?

Sunshine at the Comfort Food Café Book Cover Sunshine at the Comfort Food Café
Comfort Food Cafe #2
Debbie Johnson
Women’s Fiction, humour, contemporary
HarperImpulse
March 8, 2018
400

Return to the Comfort Food Cafe this spring for sunshine, smiles and plenty of truly scrumptious lemon drizzle cake. Perched on a windswept cliff on the stunning Dorset coast at what feels like the edge of the world, the cafe and its warm-hearted community are a haven for lost souls who happen to wander by with a heavy heart and a story to tell. Serving up the most delicious cream teas; beautifully baked breads, and carefully crafted cupcakes, there's nothing a cup of tea and a delicious treat won't fix. For tourists and locals alike, the ramshackle cafe overlooking the beach is a beacon of laughter, companionship, and security - a place like no other; a place that offers friendship as a daily special, and where a hearty welcome is always on the menu. So make yourself at home, catch up on the gossip with old friends, meet new ones and fall in love at the Comfort Food Cafe.

Here we journey into the world of Willow and learn why her hair is dyed pink, and why she keeps a journal.

This is a poignant story, sympathetically written with an empathetic look at how life is with someone with Alzheimer’s or indeed any form of dementia.

Willow is the owner of the most desirable dog in the village – at least according to all other dogs – and lives in a cottage on Frank’s farm with her mother.

Her 3 older siblings are scattered but she stayed home and now finds she can’t really leave her delightful, free-spirited mother due to her dementia. And so we learn about the constraints and emotional heartache that come with such circumstances.

 

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