A Place to Read

Book Worms Monthly December, Christmas Reading

Hello, Welcome to Book Worms Monthly December, I think my favourite time for reading because I don’t really want to be going out in the cold. This month I also have my week in hospital so it’s a good time to catch up on my TBR pile.

Reading is my passion and I love to write about what I’ve read. I’m a real book worm and I have been since the day I could read. I decided to start this linky so that other book worms could Share. I’m starting monthly for now, so you have a whole month to link up your posts. You can link up to four posts, so that’s one a week. Or if you like you can link up some of your older posts.

Let’s share what we read and give other’s ideas what to read next. Tell me your reviews, you book reading lists, your author interviews, kids book favourites, Young Adult books, and even posts about your favourite authors. Anything book related is allowed and I can’t wait to read them all. I want to find all the book worms out there.

Here is last months linky to give you some idea of what book worms monthly is about. I’m trying to reach out to all the book worms out there to come and join me with their posts monthly. What books will you snuggle up with this month?

Join Us for Book Worms Monthly December


Book worms Monthly will be posted every four weeks, and you can join in at any time. I will share anyone who links over on my Social Media sites, Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest and Mix (formerly Stumbleupon.) I’ll also come along and read and comment on your post. Please do share this link up with your friends.

Link up your BookWorms Monthly November book posts below.

Here is a badge to share, just use the code below if you want to put it on your blog. Or you can just link back to www.athomealot.com thanks.

You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!

Click here to enter

Each month I will read through the linked up posts and add to my TBR list here:

Exit by Belinda Baeur as reviewed by Mum of three World

Grey Walker as reviewed by The Book Critter

Dark Ride Deception as reviewed by Yet Another Blogging Mummy

A Place to Read

Her Perfect Family by Teresa Driscoll

My latest read was Her Perfect Family by Teresa Driscoll. I listened on Audible from my Amazon Kindle Unlimited Account. This works like a library for kindle books and audio books where you can borrow unlimited books each month for a fee of £7.99 every three months. They also do free trials if you are interested.

Her Perfect Family

Her Perfect Family book cover, face of a woman with pink stripes painted across the upper part of her face.
  • SIN ‏ : ‎ B08N5YFL78
  • Publisher ‏ : ‎ Thomas & Mercer (1 Nov. 2021)
  • Language ‏ : ‎ English
  • File size ‏ : ‎ 4275 KB
  • Text-to-Speech ‏ : ‎ Enabled
  • Screen Reader ‏ : ‎ Supported
  • Enhanced typesetting ‏ : ‎ Enabled
  • X-Ray ‏ : ‎ Enabled
  • Word Wise ‏ : ‎ Enabled
  • Print length ‏ : ‎ 330 pages

The Blurb

A gripping psychological thriller from the bestselling author of I Am Watching You. The perfect family? Or the perfect lie?

It’s their daughter’s graduation and Rachel and Ed Hartley are expecting it to be one of their family’s happiest days. But when she stumbles and falls on stage during the ceremony, a beautiful moment turns to chaos: Gemma has been shot, and just like that, she’s fighting for her life.

PI Matthew Hill is one of the first on the scene. A cryptic message Gemma received earlier in the day suggests someone close to her was about to be exposed. But who? As Matthew starts to investigate, he finds more and more layers obscuring the truth. He even begins to suspect the Hartleys are hiding something big—from him and from each other.

While Gemma lies in hospital in a coma, her would-be killer is still out there. Can Matthew unravel the family’s secrets before the attacker strikes again?

My Review of Her Perfect Family

This story had me gripped from the beginning. It’s full of intrigue and twisting storylines. It’s fast paced with something always going on but you still get to know the characters bit by bit and the things that they are hiding.

Starting with an attempted murder a private investigator, Matthew Hill, is on the scene straight away. Then the daughter’s family spend most of their time by their daughter’s bedside while Matthew does the digging to find out who shot their girl Gemma and if the other students are in danger or not.

It turns out that they all have secrets to hide, not the least finding out that Gemma is pregnant. She also has a clingy boyfriend who wouldn’t accept the end of their relationship and a lover who is the father of her baby. The secrets are unravelled by Gemma’s diary which she kept hidden within her degree studies and the digging by Mathew.

It’s definitely a book to read without gaps because there is so much going on. The tangles all work their way out in the end but it’s definitely a roller coaster of a story.

Looking at the poor reviews on this book most of the complaints are about the actions of the police in the situation and the flipping back and forth between timelines. Personally, I didn’t mind either of these. I don’t look for reality when reading fiction so how many police that are sent to a crime scene doesn’t really bother me. I’m also okay with changing timelines and different points of view, I think it adds more depth to a story.

I’d definitely read more from Teresa Driscoll.

Other places you can buy this book. All my links are affiliate links and I may earn a little money if you click through and purchase something, but it will not cost you any extra. Thank you for your support. x

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The Night She Disappeared by Lisa Jewell, book review

I love it when I find a book I can really digest and enjoy from beginning to end, and The Night She Disappeared is one of those books.

This post will contain affiliate links so if you click through and purchase I may earn a little money at no extra cost to you. Here is a link to my bookshop.

Product Details

  • Price£14.99£13.94
  • PublisherCornerstone
  • Publish Date22 July 2021
  • Language English
  • Type Hardback
  • EAN/UPC9781529125771

The Night She Disappeared

2017: 19-year-old Tallulah is going out on a date, leaving her baby with her mother, Kim.

Kim watches her daughter leave, and, as late evening turns into night, which turns into early morning, she waits for her return. And waits.

The next morning, Kim phones Tallulah’s friends, who tell her that Tallulah was last seen heading to a party at a house in the nearby woods called Dark Place. 

She never returns.

2019: Sophie is walking in the woods near the boarding school where her boyfriend has just started work as a head teacher when she sees a note fixed to a tree. 

‘DIG HERE’ 

A cold case, an abandoned mansion, family trauma and dark secrets lie at the heart of Lisa Jewell’s remarkable new novel.

The Night She Disappeared on Audible

I listened to the book on Audible and I thought the narrator, Joanne Froggatt, did an amazing job. She captured all the characters really well, from the posh teens to the regular families.

My Review

I like a good thriller from a good writer and despite their being mixed results on the reviews I’ve read, I think it was a satisfying read. I was captivated from the beginning and never lost interest.

The difficult part was keeping track of the dates as the story bounces around a bit. Each chapter you are given a date and after a while, when you get to know the character’s better, you can work out where, in time, you are.

The young couple go missing and it’s really not like the young Mother Tallulah so her Mum, Kim is really worried, and left holding the baby.

A year later and a new habitant at a cottage, near where the teens went missing, finds a clue to what may have happened to them. It’s just a small clue, but it leads to bigger things.

Parts of the story were a little far fetched, but it didn’t really matter, it’s fiction after all!

I think I might just delve into a little more of Lisa Jewell’s novels.

the night she disappeared book cover
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A Place to Read

Waiting To Begin, Amanda Prowse book review

I have Kindle Unlimited which means I can borrow kindle books all the time and also choose from a smaller selection of audio books. The last one I chose was Waiting to Begin by Amanda Prowse.

Waiting To Begin

waiting to begin book cover

The Blurb

From the bestselling author of The Girl in the Corner comes a story that asks: what would you risk for a shot at happiness?

1984. Bessie is a confident sixteen-year-old girl with the world at her feet, dreaming of what life will bring and what she’ll bring to this life. Then everything comes crashing down. Her bright and trusting smile is lost, banished by shame—and a secret she’ll carry with her for the rest of her life.

2021. The last thirty-seven years have not been easy for Bess. At fifty-three she is visibly weary, and her marriage to Mario is in tatters. Watching her son in newlywed bliss—the hope, the trust, the joy—Bess knows it is time to face her own demons, and try to save her relationship. But she’ll have to throw off the burden of shame if she is to honour that sixteen-year-old girl whose dreams lie frozen in time.

Can Bess face her past, finally come clean to Mario, and claim the love she has longed to fully experience all these years?

My Review

I was drawn to this book because the main character is almost the same age as me. The book switches between 1984, the year that Bess left school and 2021 where Bess is fifty three and her children have grown and she’s wondering what life is all about.

It’s sad that Bess had to go through so much as a teen and how it has affected the rest of her life. She feels unfulfilled and torn apart by keeping her secrets for so long. Just as she is about to come clean her life begins to fall apart. Is it too late to be honest and make it all good again?

I did enjoy the story although it wasn’t anything special. There were lots of things that annoyed me about the book. There was not enough research into a life of a teenager in the 80s. The clothing was not quite right and neither was the type of language. Plus, I don’t think I have ever remembered having exam results posted on a board and the children subjected to being put in numerical order from best to worst. I think this is an American thing? I received a private envelope with my results as have all my children.

I loved Bess’s parents, they were truly down to earth. Maybe a little too ‘common’ for a working class family, but they did make me laugh. It did make me wonder why Bess found it so hard to tell them her secret, I’m pretty sure they’d have been okay with it, as indeed they were when she finally told them.

Bess’s relationship with her husband Mario was a little weird too. I can’t believe that they had been together so long but she had been unable to tell him her secret. He seemed like a nice enough man, I just don’t get why she couldn’t trust him. Maybe telling him a good few years earlier would have made the outcome a little easier?

So, I started this book thinking I’d enjoy it because I’d be able to relate to the character, where in fact I could not relate to her at all. I guess we are all individuals.

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A Place to Read

Book Worms Monthly November, Darker Nights are Here

Hello, Welcome to Book Worms Monthly November. October seems to have flown by and now we are down to shorter days and so much less daylight. Less desire to go out, and more time for reading under a blanket!

Reading is my passion and I love to write about what I’ve read. I’m a real book worm and I have been since the day I could read. I decided to start this linky so that other book worms could Share. I’m starting monthly for now, so you have a whole month to link up your posts. You can link up to four posts, so that’s one a week. Or if you like you can link up some of your older posts.

Let’s share what we read and give other’s ideas what to read next. Tell me your reviews, you book reading lists, your author interviews, kids book favourites, Young Adult books, and even posts about your favourite authors. Anything book related is allowed and I can’t wait to read them all. I want to find all the book worms out there.

Here is last months linky to give you some idea of what book worms monthly is about. I’m trying to reach out to all the book worms out there to come and join me with their posts monthly. What books will you snuggle up with this month?

Join Us for Book Worms Monthly November


Book worms Monthly will be posted every four weeks, and you can join in at any time. I will share anyone who links over on my Social Media sites, Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest and Mix (formerly Stumbleupon.) I’ll also come along and read and comment on your post. Please do share this link up with your friends.

Link up your BookWorms Monthly November book posts below.

Here is a badge to share, just use the code below if you want to put it on your blog. Or you can just link back to www.athomealot.com thanks.

You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!

Click here to enter

Each month I will read through the linked up posts and add to my TBR list here:

The Night She Disappeared – Lisa Jewell (reading right now)

One Family Christmas – Bella Osborne

The Queen’s Gambit – Walter Lewis

A Place to Read

The Man Who Died Twice, Richard Osman Book Review

Despite my disappointment in Richard Osman’s first book, The Thursday Murder Club, I have nothing but praise for his second book, The Man Who Died Twice. Looking back I think I was a little harsh on The Thursday Murder Club as I did really enjoy it in the end. I think that maybe I wasn’t feeling so good when I started it and that’s why I couldn’t concentrate on the story. I’m telling you this because ‘The Man Who Died Twice’ is really a sequel and refers to the first book quite a lot.

This post contains affiliate links that may earn me a little money if you click through and buy, but at no extra cost to you. thank you for your support x

The Man Who Died Twice

By: Richard Osman
Narrated by: Lesley ManvilleRichard Osman
Series: A Thursday Murder Club Mystery, Book 2
Length: 12 hrs and 30 mins
Unabridged Audiobook
Release date: 16-09-21
Language: English
Publisher: Penguin Audio

The Blurb

The second novel in the record-breaking, million-copy best-selling Thursday Murder Club series by Richard Osman.

It’s the following Thursday.

Elizabeth has received a letter from an old colleague, a man with whom she has a long history. He’s made a big mistake, and he needs her help. His story involves stolen diamonds, a violent mobster and a very real threat to his life.

As bodies start piling up, Elizabeth enlists Joyce, Ibrahim and Ron in the hunt for a ruthless murderer. And if they find the diamonds, too? Well, wouldn’t that be a bonus?

But this time, they are up against an enemy who wouldn’t bat an eyelid at knocking off four septuagenarians. Can the Thursday Murder Club find the killer (and the diamonds) before the killer finds them?

My Review

I listened to The Man Who Died Twice on Audible and it was narrated by the lovely Lesley Manville who did a fabulous job. I think my problem with the first book was that these old people were not like any old people I’ve ever known (well, some of them.) But they are NOT like any old people you would meet, they are special and really quite wonderful in their own way.

The story was exciting from the start and Richard writes some long winding books, but each thread leads somewhere. The story was fascinating and I couldn’t stop listening. I felt so disappointed that it had to end. That’s surely the sign of a good book. I have to admit, that finding out who The Man Who Died Twice actually was, is a touch of genius and it nearly broke me.

The characters that Richard Osman introduced us to in the first book, develop and grow in this one and we get to know them better. My heart broke for poor Ibrahim but he’s got some good friends. I loved Ron’s grandson Kendrick, and how Ron insists on calling him Kenny or Ken. I guess Kendrick is just a little too modern for him.

Elizabeth becomes a force to be reckoned with, but her sidekick, Joyce, also proves her worth.

The book is full to the brim of entertaining storylines, it’s a captivating story of friendship, love, crime, death, revenge, suspense and a satisfying, if a little surprising, ending. Richard Osman is certainly a great story teller.

The book is mainly told in the third person, but it also has diary entries from Joyce. The humour is subtle but definitely hits the spot.

Just like the first book the story is over the top and unbelievable but Richard tells it in a way that makes you believe it. I’m looking forward to the next instalment already.

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Book Worms Monthly, Snuggle up with a book for Autumn

Hello, Welcome to Book Worms Monthly October. Well, wasn’t September a surprise in the UK? Such lovely weather after a dull and dreary summer. It’s back to rubbish weather again now as Autumn is in full swing…but is there no better time to snuggle up with a good book?

Reading is my passion and I love to write about what I’ve read. I’m a real book worm and I have been since the day I could read. I decided to start this linky so that other book worms could Share. I’m starting monthly for now, so you have a whole month to link up your posts. You can link up to four posts, so that’s one a week. Or if you like you can link up some of your older posts.

Let’s share what we read and give other’s ideas what to read next. Tell me your reviews, you book reading lists, your author interviews, kids book favourites, Young Adult books, and even posts about your favourite authors. Anything book related is allowed and I can’t wait to read them all. I want to find all the book worms out there.

Here is last months linky to give you some idea of what book worms monthly is about. I’m trying to reach out to all the book worms out there to come and join me with their posts monthly. What books will you snuggle up with this month?

Join Us for Book Worms Monthly October


Book worms Monthly will be posted every four weeks, and you can join in at any time. I will share anyone who links over on my Social Media sites, Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest and Mix (formerly Stumbleupon.) I’ll also come along and read and comment on your post. Please do share this link up with your friends.

Link up your BookWorms Monthly October book posts below.

Here is a badge to share, just use the code below if you want to put it on your blog. Or you can just link back to www.athomealot.com thanks.

You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!

Click here to enter

Each month I will read through the linked up posts and add to my TBR list here:

The Refuge by John A Heldt – book review By Yet another blogging mummy!!!

The One Hundred Year Old man That Jumped Out of the Window and Disappeared. review by The Inspired Eater

A Place to Read

The Last of the Stanfields by Marc Levy

This is the third book I’ve read/listened to by Marc Levy. The first, The Strange Journey of Alice Pendlebury I really enjoyed. The Second, All Those Things We Never Said, I enjoyed but did find it a little strange and long winded. I went into the Last of the Stanfields not really knowing what to expect apart from the difficulty in translation. I listened to the book on Amazon Kindle Unlimited as it is a cheap way of borrowing books to listen to and you are not restricted to one free book per month like with Audible. I’m still a member of Audible though as they have more choice of books. All my links are affiliate links so I may earn some money if you click through and buy, but it will be at no extra cost to you. Thank you in advance for your support.

The Last of the Stanfields

The Last of the Stanfields
By: Marc LevyDaniel Wasserman – translator
Narrated by: Stina NielsenBraden Wright
Length: 13 hrs and 10 mins
Unabridged Audiobook
Release date: 01-01-19
Language: English
Publisher: Brilliance Audio

I did listen to the sample and I thought the narrator was okay, but I have to admit that Stina Nielsen did grate on me after a while. She sounded too ‘posh’ and read too ‘literally.’ Braden Wright was fine though.

The Blurb

A mystery, a love story, and a search through a shadowy past. Two strangers unite in this novel of family secrets by international bestselling author Marc Levy, the most read contemporary French author in the world.

When London journalist Eleanor-Rigby Donovan receives an anonymous letter alluding to a crime committed by her deceased mother, her life is turned upside down. It points her to a bar on the Baltimore Harbor, where she finds a stranger who has received the same mysterious letter about his own mother. Together, Eleanor-Rigby and this young man, George-Harrison Collins, embark on a quest through the shadowy past of the Stanfields, a moneyed Maryland family full of unimaginable secrets. These secrets will transport them back decades, across continents, and to a mysterious crime long buried…until now.

My Review

I was really intrigued by this story despite it being a little long winded again. The story jumps around a lot from 1980, to 2016 and even way back to the 1940s. It was really interesting following the historical background to Eleanor-Rigby and George-Harrison and the mysterious letters they both receive. The story binds together well with a satisfying ending and a few little twists and turns along the way.

It was like dipping into a whole other book reading about Eleanor-Rigby’s grandparents during the war and how they survived and recovered their status once escaping to America.

Then it was another story learning about the exploits of Eleanor-Rigby’s and George-Harrison’s Mother’s and trying to work out who George-Harrison’s Father was. Yes, the names are double barrelled and read out in full all the time which was a little annoying. It was quite refreshing when Eleanor-Rigby’s family referred to her as Elby.

There is a lot going on this book and most of it is interesting and managed to keep me going until the end. Some things were predictable but there were also some little surprises.

Here are some more places you can purchase the book for yourself if you are interested.

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A Place to Read

Bookworms Monthly September Link Up Party for bookish posts

Hello, Welcome to BookWorms Monthly September. After the heatwave in July, here in the UK we had quite a dull and miserable August. No worries, any weather is good for reading!

Reading is my passion and I love to write about what I’ve read. I’m a real book worm and I have been since the day I could read. I decided to start this linky so that other book worms could Share. I’m starting monthly for now, so you have a whole month to link up your posts. You can link up to four posts, so that’s one a week. Or if you like you can link up some of your older posts.

Let’s share what we read and give other’s ideas what to read next. Tell me your reviews, you book reading lists, your author interviews, kids book favourites, Young Adult books, and even posts about your favourite authors. Anything book related is allowed and I can’t wait to read them all. I want to find all the book worms out there.

Here is last months linky to give you some idea of what book worms monthly is about. I’m trying to reach out to all the book worms out there to come and join me with their posts monthly.

Join Us for Book Worms Monthly September


Book worms Monthly will be posted every four weeks, and you can join in at any time. I will share anyone who links over on my Social Media sites, Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest and Mix (formerly Stumbleupon.) I’ll also come along and read and comment on your post. Please do share this link up with your friends.

Link up your BookWorms Monthly September book posts below.

Here is a badge to share, just use the code below if you want to put it on your blog. Or you can just link back to www.athomealot.com thanks.

You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!

Click here to enter

This is the bookworms monthly link up for September, you can see the last link up for August here.

Each month I will read through the linked up posts and add to my TBR list here:

The Power of the Pearl https://blogmumjd.wordpress.com/2021/07/23/the-power-of-the-pearl-by-william-edmonds-book-review/

A Place to Read

Blackberry and Wild Rose by Sonia Velton

I ventured into another historical novel and Chose Blackberry and Wild Rose because the story sounded intriguing, and it certainly was.

This post contains affiliate links and if you click through and go on to purchase something, I may earn a little money at no extra cost to you. Thank you for supporting my blog.

Blackberry and wild rose, bookcover. Dark backgroun
By: Sonia Velton
Narrated by: Heather LongBeth Eyre
Length: 9 hrs and 43 mins
Unabridged Audiobook
Release date: 10-01-19
Language: English
Publisher: Quercus

I listened to the book on Audible and I found the recording really good. There were complaints in the comments that the two women sounded similar, but I could distinguish them straight away, even if I’d stopped listening and came back to the story.

The Blurb

For fans of Jessie Burton and Tracy Chevalier, a rich historical debut set among the Huguenot silk weavers of Spitalfields in the late 18th century.

When Esther Thorel, the wife of a Huguenot silk weaver, rescues Sara Kemp from a brothel she thinks she is doing God’s will. Sara is not convinced being a maid is better than being a whore, but the chance to escape her grasping madam is too good to refuse.

Inside the Thorels’ tall house in Spitalfields, where the strange cadence of the looms fills the attic, the two women forge an uneasy relationship. The physical intimacies of washing and dressing belie the reality: Sara despises her mistress’ blindness to the hypocrisy of her household while Esther is too wrapped up in her own secrets to see Sara as anything more than another charitable cause.

It is silk that has Esther so distracted. For years she has painted her own designs, dreaming that one day her husband will weave them into reality. When he laughs at her ambition, she unwittingly sets in motion events that will change the fate of the whole Thorel household and set the scene for a devastating day of reckoning between her and Sara.

The price of a piece of silk may prove more than either is able to pay.

My Review on Blackberry and Wild Rose.

This story had so many elements, the history of the Huguenots and the Spitalfieds silk, along with the revolution of the journeymen. The relationship between two very different women and how their lives became intertwined. The battle of the sexes and how women were rarely listened and often abused. The differences between those who had money and status and those who didn’t. And the different romantic storylines.

The relationship between the two main characters was the main focus of the story. Two women who both felt repressed by men but also one by the other.

I could not work out where the story was going to end, it built up slowly but was always interesting. The ending was climactic and satisfying. It was both sad and happy in different ways.

Overall, I found this a very interesting listen (read) and I think I am fast becoming an historical novel fan. I think I even learned a little about weaving silk.

You can also buy the book on Amazon.

Or you can support my bookshop here

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