A Place to Read

The Foundling by Stacey Halls, a book review

Today I have another book review for you. I’ve just finished The Foundling by Stacey Halls on Audible. I really enjoyed The Familiars so I was excited to read another of Stacey Halls historical novels.

The Foundling cover on audible
By: Stacey Halls
Narrated by: Laura AikmanHattie Morahan
Length: 9 hrs and 19 mins
Unabridged Audiobook
Release date: 06-02-20
Language: English
Publisher: Manilla Press

The Blurb

Two women, bound by a child, and a secret that will change everything . . .

London, 1754. Six years after leaving her illegitimate daughter Clara at London’s Foundling Hospital, Bess Bright returns to reclaim the child she has never known. Dreading the worst, that Clara has died in care, Bess is astonished to be told she has already claimed her. Her life is turned upside down as she tries to find out who has taken her little girl – and why.

Less than a mile from Bess’s lodgings in the city, in a quiet, gloomy townhouse on the edge of London, a young widow has not left the house in a decade. When her close friend – an ambitious young doctor at the Foundling Hospital – persuades her to hire a nursemaid for her daughter, she is hesitant to welcome someone new into her home and her life. But her past is threatening to catch up with her and tear her carefully constructed world apart.

From the bestselling author of The Familiars comes this captivating story of mothers and daughters, class and power, and love against the greatest of odds . . .

My Review of the Foundling.

I sped through this book because it was so intriguing. From the very beginning I was taken with poor Bess who had to give up her child. Then when she went back to pick her up, she’d gone!

It wasn’t too difficult to work where the baby had gone and how Bess found her And even though Bess had changed her name it was obvious who she was, but it wasn’t meant to be a big secret anyway.

Split into sections we have the Story from Bess’s side and then from Alexandra’s. Two very different women, with very different lifestyles, but one major connection.

I love Stacey Hall’s story telling, you really get to know the characters and all about their lives. She knows how to take you back to that time in history and understand why they did what they did.

There is a little intrigue, a few questions that need answering, some tense moments and a lot of emotional involvement. All in all, I found it a really good story. I’ll definitely be looking out for Stacey Hall’s next book.

I listened to The Foundling on Audible but you can also purchase it from my bookshop or Amazon. All links are affiliate links so if you do purchase through them I may earn a little money at no extra cost to you. Thank you for supporting my blog.

Great news, Audible have officially launched their new Discounted Membership offer as of the 6th May 2021.

 Offer: 50% off membership for 4 months
Description: Just £3.99/month for the first 4 months, then £7.99/month
Click Here for Offer

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My Husband’s Girlfriend by Sheryl Browne, a book review

My latest audio book was from one of my favourite authors, Sheryl Browne. I think My Husband’s Girlfriend has to be one of her best so far.

My Husband's Girlfriend book cover on Audible
By: Sheryl Browne
Narrated by: Katie Villa
Length: 9 hrs and 20 mins
Unabridged Audiobook
Release date: 07-04-21
Language: English
Publisher: Hachette UK – Bookouture

The Blurb

Tucking her little boy Ollie into bed one night, Sarah notices his beloved teddy bear, which she bought him when he was born, is missing and in its place is a new toy given to him by her ex-husband’s new girlfriend, Laura. When she asks Ollie about it, he begins to shift uncomfortably before whispering, “Laura told me a big secret, and she said I can never tell you.” Sarah’s heart sinks.

But when she raises her concerns, nobody wants to listen. To everyone else, Laura is the perfect stepmother, and Sarah is just the jealous ex-wife. But Sarah knew the moment she met Laura she couldn’t trust her, from her overly perfect stepmother act to the way she evaded questions about her own history. 

Soon, Ollie is asking to spend more time with his dad and Laura, and shrinking away from Sarah. Then, when she calls to him in the garden one day, Ollie doesn’t answer back. The garden is silent. Ollie’s sandpit is empty. Ollie has disappeared. 

My Review of My Husband’s Girlfriend

After reading some of the other reviews about this book I found the biggest criticism was that there were too many characters, too much going on and too much repetition from each point of view. These were the points I actually enjoyed. I guess listening to the story on Audible does make a difference.

I think Katie Villa narrates the story perfectly, capturing the essence of each character and bringing them to life. As someone from the West Midlands (Like Sheryl Browne) I get the accents and feel like I’m in a story from someone I know.

Saying that, there was a lot going on. So many twists and turns, and so many characters that all had their own little things going on. The stories were all tied up together in the end which was both exciting and satisfactory.

Being a fan of Sheryl, I do relate to her story telling. She likes her readers to get to know her characters, she adds a little tension, but nothing to horrific or gory. She starts slowly and works up into a frenzy. Then, as I have already said, the story is all brought together at the end.

I’ve never had to deal with a husband’s girlfriend (mine ran off to another Country and they didn’t go and stay until they were teens…nice free holidays for the kids in the South of France though!) But, I can understand the apprehension, the suspicion and how things can all be blown out of proportion from the Mother’s point of view. I can also understand the frustration of others around who can so easily blame the Mother’s behaviour on jealousy. You should always trust a Mother’s instinct though.

I got through this book quickly and really enjoyed it. I will look forward to Sheryl’s next book.

I listened to the book on audible, you can also buy it on Amazon where it is only £1.99 (currently) on Kindle and £8.72 in paperback.

I hope you enjoyed my review you can read more here. Have you read this book or any other of Sheryl Browne’s thrillers. I’d love to hear your thoughts.

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Conversations With Friends a book Review

Conversations With Friends is a book by Sally Rooney written in 2017. I listened to the Audible version which was read by the lovely Aoife McMahon.

conversations with friends bookcover
By: Sally Rooney
Narrated by: Aoife McMahon
Length: 8 hrs and 33 mins
Unabridged Audiobook
Release date: 01-06-17
Language: English
Publisher: W. F. Howes Ltd

The Blurb

Frances is 21 years old, cool-headed and observant. A student in Dublin and an aspiring writer, at night she performs spoken word with her best friend Bobbi, who used to be her girlfriend. When they are interviewed and then befriended by Melissa, a well-known journalist who is married to Nick, an actor, they enter a world of beautiful houses, raucous dinner parties and holidays in Provence, beginning a complex ménage-à-quatre. But when Frances and Nick get unexpectedly closer, the sharply witty and emotion-averse Frances is forced to honestly confront her own vulnerabilities for the first time.

My Review of A Conversation with Friends

The best part of this audible book was the narrator Aoife McMahon. I love to listen to a story in an Irish accent and she did a good job of capturing the characters. Although, I do think Melissa was a little deep voiced, I guess it was to make her sound older and somehow more refined than the two young girls.

I first read Normal People by Sally Rooney, which was a pleasant enough read. I ended up not watching the entire series when it was on television though.

Sally Rooney has a way of capturing normal lives and putting them into believable stories. But to be honest, I don’t feel the stories actually go anywhere. You may have some issues brought up to conquer but there is nothing drastic going on. In fact there is not a lot going on at all apart from a fair amount of romantic interludes.

Conversations with friends follows the lives of two young university students and their relationships with a married couple. None of the characters are particularly likeable but they all have their little foibles which I guess make them more interesting.

If you are looking for a nice relaxing read then this is your book. I’m not saying it’s bad, just don’t expect anything really thrilling to happen.

You can also buy this and other books in my online bookshop.

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Behind Her Eyes, Sarah Pinborough. A book review.

I saw that Behind Her Eyes was a new series on Netflix and remembered that it was a book on my TBR (to be read) pile. So, before indulging myself in the television series I got into the book first.

I listened to Behind Her Eyes by Sarah Pinbourough on Audible. Links in my post are affiliate links and may earn me some money if you click through and buy, but they won’t cost you any extra so thank you for your support.

Behind Her Eyes, audiobook cover by Sarah Pinborough
By: Sarah Pinborough
Narrated by: Anna BentinckJosie DunnBea HollandHuw Parmenter
Length: 11 hrs and 45 mins
Unabridged Audiobook
Release date: 26-01-17
Language: English
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers Limited

Behind Her Eyes The Blurb

Exploring the dichotomy between one’s inner and outer self is central to Behind Her Eyes. When a vulnerable woman is drawn into the lives of an enigmatic couple, she finds it hard to differentiate between reality and what truly lies beneath a seemingly perfect exterior. 

Don’t trust this book, 

Don’t trust these people. 

Don’t trust yourself.

And whatever you do, don’t give away that ending…. 

Louise

 Since her husband walked out, Louise has made her son her world, supporting them both with her part-time job. But all that changes when she meets…. 

David

 Young, successful and charming – Louise cannot believe a man like him would look at her twice, let alone be attracted to her. But that all comes to a grinding halt when she meets his wife…. 

Adele 

Beautiful, elegant and sweet – Louise’s new friend seems perfect in every way. As she becomes obsessed by this flawless couple, entangled in the intricate web of their marriage, they each in turn reach out to her. But only when she gets to know them both does she begin to see the cracks…. Is David really the man she thought she knew, and is Adele as vulnerable as she appears? Just what terrible secrets are they both hiding, and how far will they go to keep them? 

My Review

As it says above…don’t give away the ending…so I’ll do my best not to.

A lot of people have said they were disappointed with the ending but those are the ones that have seen the television series. I’ve not seen it yet, so I don’t know how much of it is the same, or if it comes across the same.

Basically, if you are looking for a bunny boiler type novel, this isn’t it. If you are looking for a murder/thriller novel, this isn’t it. If you are looking for a book that will confuse and confound you then you may be on the right tracks. It’s focuses a lot on Lucid Dreaming and some people find this easy to believe, some difficult. I have experienced lucid dreaming but not in the sense that you can actually spy on people. In Terry Pratchett’s Discworld novels, one of his characters, Granny Weatherwax, is superb at lucid dreaming. She’s so good she has to wear a placard which says ‘I ainten’t Dead’ while she’s away from her body.

But I digress, whether you believe in lucid dreaming or not, this book has a strong storyline based on it. So don’t get into it if you are not prepared to believe the impossible (or possible, whichever way you look at it.)

The characters are all very different but likeable in their own ways. Even Adele, perceived as the baddie, will have you feeling sorry for her. David is just totally caught in the middle, he feels trapped by the woman he once loved but he doesn’t understand why she is so different to the girl he once loved so much. Louise is the most ‘normal’ character but even she is tinged with betrayal.

In the book the events all happen very quickly, in the space of just over a month, which doesn’t seem to tally with all the things that happen. The lives of the characters change drastically in such a short space of time. I guess we know deception of this degree can’t go on for so long, but I found the fact that Louise had given up smoking and slimmed down so much even more unbelievable than the fact that she could master lucid dreaming. Maybe it’s different in the television series?

The ending is a bit of a shocker, especially in the book. You kind of know Adele’s plans, but do you know what has really happened? I don’t want to give any more away.

If you are intrigued then I will say that I got through this book very quickly and I did enjoy it. The ending totally baffled me and I’m still not sure it actually worked as a story on the whole. But, suspend belief in normal things and you will enjoy this book.

Now, to watch the television series.

You can buy the book on Amazon

Or in My Bookshop

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The Familiars by Stacey Halls, A Gripping Historical Story

Here is a review of my latest Audible listen, the Familiars by Stacey Halls.

By: Stacey Halls
Narrated by: Katy Sobey
Length: 9 hrs and 6 mins
Unabridged Audiobook
Release date: 07-02-19
Language: English
Publisher: Zaffre

This post may contain affiliate links.

The Familiars – The Blurb

To save her child, she will trust a stranger. To protect a secret, she must risk her life….Fleetwood Shuttleworth is 17 years old, married and pregnant for the fourth time. But as the mistress at Gawthorpe Hall, she still has no living child, and her husband, Richard, is anxious for an heir.

When Fleetwood finds a letter she isn’t supposed to read from the doctor who delivered her third stillbirth, she is dealt the crushing blow that she will not survive another pregnancy. 

Then she crosses paths by chance with Alice Gray, a young midwife. Alice promises to help her give birth to a healthy baby and to prove the physician wrong. As Alice is drawn into the witchcraft accusations that are sweeping the North-West, Fleetwood risks everything by trying to help her.

But is there more to Alice than meets the eye? Soon the two women’s lives will become inextricably bound together as the legendary trial at Lancaster approaches, and Fleetwood’s stomach continues to grow. Time is running out, and both their lives are at stake. 

Only they know the truth. Only they can save each other.

My Review

I listened to this book on Audible and was immediately drawn in. I’m not usually drawn to historical novels but I do find stories of witchcraft interesting. It’s hard to believe that such simple things that women did at those times were perceived as witchcraft, and that just simply being in the wrong place at the wrong time could get you into serious trouble.

I loved the main character, Fleetwood, as a young women she was strong and wilful. The author based her on a real person but knew nothing about her personality. I think the personality she created is what kept the story flowing.

Mixed with mystery, culture, fear and adventure, this makes for a really good read. I enjoyed every moment and the narrator took me straight back to the time and place. Reading other critics of the audible version it seems that some didn’t like the narrator, that’s why I think it’s a good idea to listen to the sample first. I found the narration perfectly enjoyable.

There is not much witchcraft in this book, so if you are looking for magic spells or evil doings then this is not the right story for you. What I enjoyed is a story about a strong young woman who stood up for herself and her friend. Whether it is believable or not doesn’t detract from the story for me. I doubt very much that during that time, that any women would have any say against those determined to be rid of witches.

I would definitely read more of Stacey Hills, her story telling is engaging.

You can find the book in my bookshop

Or on Amazon Kindle for £1.90 or hardback for £27

Read more of my book reviews here.

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Latest Book Review, Playing Nice by JP Delaney

This is a review of my latest listen from Audible, Playing Nice by JP Delaney.

Playing Nice book cover
By: JP Delaney
Narrated by: Ben Elliot, Amelia Cormack, Peter Forbes
Length: 10 hrs and 57 mins
Unabridged Audiobook
Release date: 28-07-20
Language: English
Publisher: Quercus

The Blurb

Pete Riley is a stay-at-home dad; his partner, Maddie, works in advertising. After Pete drops two-year-old Theo off at nursery one morning, he’s politely accosted by a man who looks just like Theo. 

The man, Miles Lambert, breaks the devastating news that Theo is in fact not Pete’s son, but his – the two babies got mixed up at hospital and Miles and his wife, Lucy, now have the Rileys’ son at home. They’ve already carried out DNA testing to prove it.

The two couples agree that, rather than swap the children back, they’ll try to involve each other in the children’s lives. But a plan to sue the hospital triggers an official investigation that unearths some disturbing questions about just how the babies got mixed up. 

And when Theo is thrown out of nursery for hitting other children, Pete and Maddie have to ask themselves: how far do they want this arrangement to go? What are the secrets hidden behind the Lamberts’ smart front door? And how much can they trust the real parents of their child – or even each other?

My Review of Playing Nice

This is the first JP Delaney book that I’ve read, and from reading the reviews on Amazon it seems that it was not so well received as some of his other books. Without anything to judge it by I actually enjoyed Playing Nice.

As a parent it would be my worst nightmare to find that my baby was swapped at birth. This story follows what happens when these two families find out that they were bringing up the wrong children. It starts off quite amicable, the shock of the discovery of the swap doesn’t seem to throw anyone off completely. Then it takes a more sinister turn and you are bombarded with one bad thing after another.

The characters are not really likeable, except for the one Dad Pete. This makes it hard to relate to their pain as the story unfolds. But it doesn’t retract from the horror and the action. The ending was way over the top and utterly enjoyable. It was a definite page turner, I couldn’t wait to see how it was all going to work out.

The book touches on a fair bit of mental health issues which may be a difficult read for some.

This post contains affiliate links which if you click and go on to buy you may earn me a little money at no extra cost to yourself. Thank you for your support.

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A Room With a View – Perfect for Valentines Day

We all prefer A Room with a View don’t we? The main character in this 1908 novel is travelling with her aunt when they swap their hotel rooms with two men in exchange for a better view. And so begins a love story.

Despite A Room with a View by E.M. Forster being a classic, I have never read it before. Neither have I seen the 1985 movie with Helena Bonham Carter and Julian Sands. But it’s on today, February 14th 2021 at 5pm on Film4 or 6pm at Film4+ I have it on record in case I don’t get to watch it.

A Room With a View on Audible

I listened to A room with a view on Audible, It showed up in one of their daily specials for just £1 and I was looking for something new.

A Room with a View

The Blurb

In this rich new audio production, acclaimed British American actress Rebecca Hall brings one of E. M. Forster’s most admired works to life in this classic tale of human struggle.

A charming young Englishwoman, Lucy Honeychurch, is wooed by both free-spirited George Emerson and wealthy Cecil Vyse while vacationing in Italy. Though attracted to George, Lucy becomes engaged to Cecil despite twice turning down his proposals. On hearing of the news, George confesses his love, leaving Lucy torn between marrying the more socially acceptable Cecil or George, the man she knows would bring her true happiness. Should Lucy choose social acceptance or true love?

It’s both the quintessential Edwardian love story and a classic piece of social comedy, in which Forster is concerned with one of his favourite themes: the “undeveloped heart” of the English middle classes, here represented by a group of tourists and expatriates in Florence. Forster’s disapproval of the era’s restrictive conventions is reflected through his strong observation of character and society.

A Room with a View was ranked 79th on the Modern Library’s list of the 100 best English-language novels of the 20th century. The 1985 film adaptation by James Ivory won three Oscars.

My Thoughts

I really enjoyed the change of pace with this gentle romance. A little confusing at times because of the language and nuances of the Edwardian culture, but still easier to understand than a lot of classic novels.

Each character was perfectly defined and when I watch the film I’ll be looking to see if they match how I saw them while listening to the book.

Not many massive twists and turns, it’s quite obvious how the story is going to unfold. We have some dramatic moments thrown in like the fight in Italy and murder of a man in front of the main character Lucy. Then there is the usual confusion of emotions and Lucy deciding to ‘run away’ to Greece to escape her feelings. Of course the book is destined to have a happy ending.

The book already shows E.M Forster’s interests in philosophy and humanism, but he doesn’t lay it on thickly. He even points out how he feels women are mistreated as the ‘fairer sex’ and references how they could never become novelists.

I am an affiliate for Audible but I am also a big fan. I pay £7.99 a month for membership which gives me one credit towards a book of any value. Audible books can be expensive but you can look out for special offers, like this one which I paid just £1 for. There are also plenty of free listens including plays and podcasts. I always listen to a sample before making a choice.

Do you use Audible?

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Little One by Sarah A. Denzil; A book review

My latest listen on Audible was Little One by Sarah A. Denzil. My post will include affiliate links which if you click and go on to buy you may earn me a little money but there will be no extra cost to yourself. Thank you for your support.

Little One book cover
By: Sarah A. Denzil
Narrated by: Claire Storey
Length: 9 hrs and 44 mins
Unabridged Audiobook
Release date: 14-01-21
Language: English
Publisher: Audible Studios

Little One – The Blurb

“Take my hand, little one.”

Fran finds her standing by the swings. A little girl, Esther, no older than seven years old, by herself in the dead of night, her pretty but old-fashioned yellow dress covered in grass stains and her hair dishevelled. She says she’s waiting for Father, and that strikes Fran as particularly odd.

After Esther is reunited with her family, Fran can’t stop thinking about this pious child whose imaginary friend is God. Fran’s instincts tell her something is very wrong. Why does Esther keep running away from home, and how did she get that bruise on her leg?

Fran’s husband warns her not to get too close, but one morning, Esther and her family disappear. Where did they go? Why did they leave their furniture behind?

Fran knows in her gut that something terrible is going to happen to that child, and she can’t stand by while it happens. No matter the cost.

After all, she found her. But can she save her?

My Review of Little One

I thought this was a really interesting story and found it difficult to put down (stop listening.)

It starts with the main character, Fran, finding a little girl, Esther, seemingly lost. She becomes intrigued with the family from Arizona that are new to the little English village in which she lives. The family soon become the topic of gossip in the village though, and when Fran believes Esther and her mother Mary to be in danger she calls the police to investigate. The evidence for her call is a few bruises, the fact that the girl runs away from home twice and the lack of caring relationship between the parents. The police decide there is nothing going on but the gossip carries on.

Eventually, the new family disappear and run off back to Arizona. This leaves Fran feeling guilty as she played a part in their persecution by the village.

Then Fran turns detective and decides to find out where they have gone, why they came to England and in her mind her goal is to save them.

This involves Fran taking a trip to Arizona, in which her seemingly caring husband refuses to take with her. This bit I found strange as he knows she’s not mentally stable and still grieving for the loss of their daughter who died from SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome.)

It all becomes clear in the end but it’s a harrowing journey.

This is a gripping story with lots of good description which keeps you reading. It does contain a lot of triggers though including, baby loss, suicide, cult movement, child abuse and possibly a few more. Be wary of an emotional journey.

The plot has a few twists and turns, you can dig holes in it but I think it comes together at the end. The characterisation is good and you can invest in the main characters. I think the transition from a small English village to Arizona is strange but it works, and in the end it all makes sense.

This is the first book by Sarah A. Denzil that I have read but I will certainly look at some more. The narrator did a really good job of bringing the book to life, I can imagine her voice being the voice of Fran, and she did a good Arizona accent too.

Audible

I listened to Little One on Audible where I purchased it with my monthly credit. Audible gives you one credit a month for £7.99, other books are quite expensive, but while you are waiting for your credit there are plenty of free podcasts to listen to, mostly exclusive to Audible. They are also offering some classic books each month for you to read for free, this month it’s Alice In Wonderland read by Jodie Comer, and I’ve just downloaded it.

Audible also do daily reads for £2.99 each and often has offers where you can buy three books for the price of two. I’ve been a member for several years now.

You can also buy the book on Amazon (Affiliate link)

Thank you for reading. Do let me know if you’ve read the book in the comments, I’d be interested to hear your thoughts.

Read more of My Book Reviews here.

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The Thursday Murder Club – Book Review

I am a fan of Richard Osman, I enjoy watching him on television and always find him witty. I had big hopes of a great read when he published his first novel, The Thursday Murder Club.

This post will contain affiliate links which may earn me money if you click through and purchase, but cost you no extra. Thank you for your support.

The Thursday Murder Club, Richard Osman.

  • Publisher : Viking (3 Sept. 2020)
  • Language: : English
  • Hardcover : 400 pages
  • ISBN-10 : 0241425441
  • ISBN-13 : 978-0241425442
  • Dimensions : 16.2 x 3.5 x 24 cm
The Thursday Murder Club, book cover.
By: Richard Osman
Narrated by: Lesley ManvilleRichard OsmanMarian Keyes
Length: 12 hrs and 25 mins
Unabridged Audiobook
Release date: 03-09-20
Language: English
Publisher: Penguin Audio

The Blurb

In a peaceful retirement village, four unlikely friends meet up once a week to investigate unsolved murders.

But when a brutal killing takes place on their very doorstep, the Thursday Murder Club find themselves in the middle of their first live case.

Elizabeth, Joyce, Ibrahim and Ron might be pushing eighty but they still have a few tricks up their sleeves.

My Review

I listened to The Thursday Murder Club on Audible and I really wanted to like it. The premise sounds great, old people are not fossils and can do a lot more than we expect. In fact, moving to a retirement home doesn’t mean that life is over, they have way more free time and can get up to all sorts of things. Like solving murders. In this book, the club of four elderly people gather together to solve cold case murders as a kind of hobby. However, they then have a murder on their doorstep and end up delving into all sorts of past secrets and stories that you would never have imagined.

The premise is great, I just didn’t think it was very well presented. Sorry Richard.

I listened to the book on Audible and fell asleep often in the early chapters and had to keep ‘rewinding.’ I took the book to hospital with me where I have absolutely nothing to do so I rely on my stories to keep me going. I found that a couple of days I couldn’t even be bothered to listen. I didn’t give up though. There was a story there and I wanted to find out what was happening.

So, I persevered and I’m glad I did because it did actually get good towards the end. I can’t even remember what happened in the first section of the book, apart from the murder, but it did have some good twists and turns as it went along. The ending was everything the book needed to be all along, I’m just sad that it was such a trudge to get there.

I actually found the conversation at the end between Richard Osman and Marian Keyes as one of the highlights of the audio book.

Would I recommend this book? Well, it’s been hyped up a lot, and apparently it’s already been accepted for a movie. I wanted to love it so much but by chapter 40 I was ready to quit, but I rarely quit a book and I’m glad I didn’t as the ending made up for it all.

I think some serious editing and cutting of the first few chapters and this could be a really good read. I did laugh out loud as some people have claimed…but not until about chapter 99! The short chapters were quite annoying as things kept flitting around. This is great in simpler stories but for more complicated plots you need a little more detail before moving on to the next bit.

Have you read this book? I’d love to hear your thoughts.

You can read my other reviews here.

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How Did I do on my 20 Books for Christmas Challenge?

Well, not too good really. I did suffer a couple of nasty migraines which prevent me from reading, and in between I was a little more busier than usual. But I managed a few books for the Christmas challenge so I thought I’d do a little recap. This post contains affiliate links.

1984

I’d never read George Orwell’s 1984 so I decided to give it a go. I thought it was an interesting read, a great imaginative look at what a different future could look like. It didn’t strike me as more than a story though. If I learnt one thing it is that some people will always comply and some people will do things there own way. I wrote a kind of review here.

Platform Seven

Platform Seven by Louise Doughty was my next read and I felt divided by my opinion of it. I loved her style of writing and attention to detail, I was engrossed in all of the characters and their stories, but I did think she’d gone a little too far and the story would have been just as interesting if she had stuck to the main character and her fate. You can read my full review here.

The Book of Two Ways

One of my favourite films is Sliding Doors where the character gets split into two different life times. When I read about The Book of Two Ways by Jodie Picoult I was intrigued because the story sounded similar. Again, I was divided in my opinion of the book. It took me a long time to get through this one as she delved a little too far into the history of Egypt and the wonderful science of quantum physics. (I actually have an interest in quantum physics but it’s a bit complicated for a storyline like this.) You can read my review here.

The New Girlfriend

I am a fan of Sheryl Browne, I love the way she brings her characters to life, and as she’s from my area I feel a kind of familiar with the places she writes about (And the accents in the audio book editions which I listen too.) The New Girlfriend is a pyschological thriller. It starts with a murder but then becomes a little slow as you learn about each character. It’s still a really good read though and a real page turner, I couldn’t wait to find out the truth at the end. You can read my detailed review here.

Trust Me

I decided to stick with Sheryl Browne for my next read and picked her new book, Trust Me. I really enjoyed all the twists in this book and read it quickly to find out what would happen next. It wasn’t as dark as some of Sheryl’s books but it was a really good read. You can read my full review here.

Christmas Challenge

I did read a couple of non fiction books which I’ve not reviewed yet, but I only managed a quarter of the reading challenge. I’m not disappointed though, any book is a joy, I’m just happy I managed to get some reading in. My daughter has bought me some lovely Terry Pratchett Books for Christmas so I may delve into them when I can. I’ve read them before but these ones are pretty early so it’s been a very long time since I read them.

Don’t they look lovely on my bookshelf?

Have you read any Terry Pratchett? I love the Witches Collection.