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The Things I Know Book Cover The Things I Know
Amanda Prowse
contemporary fiction, romance, women's literature
Lake Union Publishing
Pub Date 11 Jun 2019

From bestselling author Amanda Prowse comes a heartwarming tale of first impressions and lasting love. Thomasina ‘Hitch’ Waycott loves living and working on the remote family farm and B&B. But she also wants more. To see the world. To own her own home. To fall madly in love. But those are fairy tales, and if her life is a fairy tale, then she’s the ugly duckling. Her deformed lip, her crooked limbs and her weak heart have kept her from taking chances. But that’s about to change. When Grayson Potts comes to stay, he’s unlike anyone Thomasina has ever met. He’s aloof, eccentric and exceptionally kind. He’s also totally unconcerned with the physical flaws that have always defined Thomasina. The two form a bond that neither has had before. It’s possible that it could become something more, but Thomasina also wonders if it’s too good to be true. By putting her heart on the line, Thomasina may open herself to heartbreak. But she may also open herself to so much more.

This is the first book I’ve ever read where I cried at the first chapters.

Hitch – Thomasina – is such a sad character as the story opens, taking happiness in the very small things in her life.

Over-protected by her parents, her life is kept small as her health, as a baby, was precarious, and he rparents hadn’t realised how strong, physically and mentally, she had become.

The story is both sad and also uplifting. It reminds us that happiness is in own hands and can be created from small beginnings.

As we see Thomasina grow in self-belief, we are shown possibilities. There is a strong underlying philosophy apparent in this story that is developed empathetically and subtly with great style.

One of the best quotes from the book is:

‘I know that words are powerful things and have great weight’.

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Not so Sweet

Cake Book Cover Cake
Mrs. Nicole Brooks
General Fiction (Adult) , Women's Fiction
Erid Press Inc.
(7 April 2019)

Would you give to someone who desperately needed it, that which you could live without?Keely is the epitome of a self-made woman, her ability to make the right choices her superpower. She doesn’t believe in looking back and has the drive, ambition, and financial means to create the exact life she wants to live—regardless of what her kids and her husband, Andrew, want or need. Michelle lives in stark contrast to Keely’s life. She believes she was doomed from the start with a heartbreaking, poverty-stricken childhood. A string of bad choices in adulthood only intensifies her lack of faith in herself. With her daughter safely away at college, she is left alone with her abusive husband, Ray. As the days drag on, she struggles to find a reason to continue. Until she meets Andrew. The two women’s worlds eventually collide, courtesy of their daughters, and both are forced to contemplate a time-worn question: is the comfort of a familiar self-constructed prison safer than the risk of trying to live a life of true freedom and potentially failing? Cake asks how much the world has really changed for women—and for which women—by evaluating the progress of modern feminism. This novel examines privilege, the haves and have-nots, the ideals we choose to embrace, and the facts we forcefully decide to not see. This story entices the reader to contemplate whether our material and emotional conditions arise from childhood environments, personal choice, systemic inequality, or a combination of them all.

I found the first half of the book rather slow but the second half improved as things began to come together in the storyline.

Keely is clearly a rather nasty self-obsessed character, but other than Michelle, for me, the rest of the cast of characters were too slight. I felt that Andrew was not complex enough for his role in the story.

I also got bored at the 80% mark and kipped to the last chapter as I wanted to end the book.

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Beware Secrets






At the Wedding Book Cover




At the Wedding





Matt Dunn





women's fiction, love sex and marriage, humour




Lake Union Publishing




2018-09




302



Livia's been planning her wedding to Jed for ages. Now, at the venue in beautiful Barcelona, with her dress pressed and the guests all on their way, she's only left one tiny detail until the last minute: letting the groom know he's about to get hitched. But as far as Jed's concerned, they've been bumping along just fine for ten years and even have a baby on the way, so why spoil things with an 'I do'? Especially when he'd really rather not. Meanwhile the guests are arriving with plenty of baggage of their own. Fading reality star Liam's still on the lookout for a plus-one; Rachel's has refused to come--and dumped her into the bargain; and divorcee Patrick's date is more of the 'mid-life crisis' variety. But as the ceremony approaches, and with no sign of Jed, there's only one thing on all of their minds: will there be a bride and groom at the wedding?

A fun novel with two storylines intertwined: the surprise wedding and the football mad partner who takes his girlfriend for granted.

Now, as this novel was written by a bloke you can tell he knows the football mad personage – and even the potential reaction of a man who thought all was well in his world being thrust into a secret wedding.

So we have the story of the woman, with whom I can empathise, who wants to get married before she gives birth – which is getting ever more imminent – and her partner isn’t taking the hints.

So she organises a secret proposal and wedding in Barcelona with even manages to bring along some guests without him being aware. One of whom has a partner who is totally football obsessed. And again, very unaware of what is going on in her mind.

Nicely written with enough humour and (stock) characters that you recognise.

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Where is she? Who is she?






My Name is Anna Book Cover




My Name is Anna





Lizzy Barber





mystery, thriller, literary fiction




Century




(10 Jan. 2019)



When your whole life is a lie, can you trust anyone? Even yourself?

ANNA has always been taught by her mother that cleanliness and purity are the path to God; that her heart's desire to visit Astroland, Florida’s biggest theme park, is ungodly.

But it’s her eighteenth birthday, and Anna’s feeling rebellious. But on arrival at Astroland, everything feels familiar. Almost like she’s been there before…

ROSIE has grown up in the shadow of a missing sister she barely remembers. Her parents’ relationship has been fractured by fifteen years of searching for their daughter – abducted at Astroland as an infant.

Now Rosie is determined to uncover the truth, no matter how painful it is, before it tears what’s left of her family apart…

Beautifully told from the different teenage girls’ perspectives.

The narrative to this story is told in two voices – Anna and Rosie.
Anna lives with her mother in small town Florida. Her mother is a cleanliness fanatic – cleanliness of the heart, mind and body, also very frugal and constantly praying.
Rosie lives in the UK and lost her elder sister in a Florida amusement park when she was a baby. Her sister was stolen in some manner and may have been killed but no-one knows the real circumstances behind her abduction.
The 15th anniversary of the abduction rolls around and Rosie finds herself increasingly frustrated at not knowing the truth, whilst Anna wants to find her father and to discover who is sending her messages.
Slowly the story explores the lives of these two girls, holding the reader in suspense. The power of cults is also explored through the story.

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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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