Reader, reviewer, blogger, chocolate pincher! I have been reviewing for 5 years, won blog of the year 2015. I give honest opinion on latest book releases. I also will let you know of any book giveaways on my blog and on other blogs.
Patricia Wilson always manages to transport me to the most breath-taking locations and thanks to her descriptive writing style everything is so easy to visualise and it isn't long before I get itchy feet and want to head off to the setting of her books. In her new novel we are heading to Santorini, a place I had longed to visit so this one is pulling me in already!
As part of my tour today I have an extract from Secrets of Santorini, so if you have never read one of Patricia's remarkable books you can get a feel for her writing style and for those fans who have adored her previous novel you can see what a treat you are on for.
CHAPTER 1 BRIDGET
Santorini, 29 years ago.
I PLUMPED PILLOWS AND PULLED the mosquito net over our bed’s four corners while recalling that magical moment on the thresh- old of consciousness. The dream, vivid and thrilling, lingered in my thoughts. Uncle Peter had much to answer for. His fantastic tales adapted from the works of Plato used to fill my young mind with the glory of an ancient civilisation. Ever eager to hear more each night, I let his words melt into a continuation of my dreams.
Remembering his nightly introduction to those stories of splendour made me smile. ‘Close your eyes and imagine,’ he would whisper dramati- cally. “You, the amazing Queen Thira, rule over your ten kings and an entire nation. Beloved by your people in a happy, wealthy land where bellies are full, you can sleep in late, and nobody wants for anything. Outside your marble palace, with its roof of silver and floors of intricate mosaics, swallows duck and dive between majestic lilies. The sun shines on a landscape painted with aromatic herbs and drifts of lilac crocus. From a crystal sea, bright-eyed dolphins leap into the warm air, laughing in their clicking, effervescent way. “Hello, my Queen,” they cry in rapid Morse-code before diving back into the mysterious deep.’
And me at eight years old, soaking up every word, allowing Uncle Peter’s tales to wash away the reality of our humble Dublin home and my poor, dead parents. Those stories kept me alive in my darkest hours, helped me rise above the heartbreaking truth of my young life, and they ignited a passion for the classics, ancient history, and the Greeks.
While my classmates were destined to be shop workers, waitresses, nuns or nurses, I imagined digging deep into the Greek soil, unearthing proof of a past worthy of my uncle’s chronicles of Atlantis.
I blinked the dream away, turning my attention to the morn- ing’s chores and the day ahead.
‘Tommy, will you rinse the mugs before we leave?’ I called through the front door. ‘And close the shutters or we'll roast in here later.’
He lowered his newspaper and raised his greying eyebrows. ‘My God, you’re a bossy mare, Bridget! Can’t a man have a blessed moment to himself?’
‘I’ve things to do. Get a move on.’
Outside, I turned on the hose, splashed water over my bare feet, and saturated a terracotta urn that overflowed with salmon geraniums. When I soaked the warm concrete terrace, the sur- rounding air cooled - delicious - but I knew it wouldn't last. Enjoying the moment, I stopped and gazed out across Santorini’s caldera. My dream returned, a flashback to a time drenched in opulence and drama on this island that had become our home.
The view from the patio took my breath, never ceasing to amaze me. Tommy and I were living the dream, as we had for almost twenty years.
A cruise ship slid towards the quaint port of Kato Fira, three hundred metres below the house. Santorini was the fashionable destination for a new breed of tourists. Wealthy cruisers arrived daily, much to the glee of shopkeepers and tradesmen. ‘The sleek white liner left a dissipating fan of ripples in its wake. I imag- ined excited, middle-aged, middle-class passengers gazing at the tall cliffs topped by a town of church domes, bell towers, and canvas-sailed windmills.
A sudden racket made me turn. The local donkeys, hooves clattering against the cobbles, appeared in the side road and headed for the six hundred steps down to the port. A sight the tourists adored. Many cruise-ship passengers enjoyed the cliff- climbing ride in the saddle of an unfortunate beast. Through the heat of the day, donkeys lugged overweight visitors with their cameras and guidebooks up to the town.
I caught the eye of a young jenny and fancied we shared a sec- ond of understanding. Do donkeys dream? I mused. Green pas- tures, shady trees, and buckets of clean water? A life of toil in the raging sun probably left them too exhausted for flights of fantasy.
The herdsman cried, “Yah! Yah!’ and swiped the animal’s rump with a stinging switch. The sound took me back to a day at school when I received three cane strokes. That evening, Uncle Peter caught me crying under my bed.
‘Come out from there, me little colleen,’ he coaxed. ‘Now tell your worried uncle what’s causing those terrible tears.’
The reason for my beating was long forgotten, but I still recalled Uncle Peter’s solution.
‘Straighten your back and stretch your neck, regal as the queen, now. Always remember this.’ He tapped the side of my head with two fingers. “You have the good Queen Thira in there to guide you. Call on her for help whenever you need it, right? Do as she would and you'll be fine, my lovely.’
From that day on, Queen Thira was my soulmate and con- stant companion.
The memory made me smile.
‘All done,’ Tommy said, rushing out. “Look at you standing there, away with the fairies while I slave indoors. Are you ready to go at all, or will I get another chance to read the news while you daydream?’
I grinned, loving the Dublin lilt that had never left his words despite our decades living far from the Emerald Isle. “You can put the bikes outside the gate while I lock the door.’ I gathered my auburn hair, tied it in a knot, then slipped my trainers on.
I'll catch you up!’ I called propping my bike against a lamp- post in the main street. Tommy lifted an arm as he continued down the hill and out of town.
Minutes later, with my rucksack on my back, I freewheeled after him, heading towards the archaeological site. With the breeze in my face and the sun on my back, anticipation gathered in the pit of my stomach. What would we find on this glori- ous morning? Would this be a day of great discovery when the archaeological site chose to reveal its secrets?
In a flash, my mind went back to the most exciting moment in our kafenio. A local described a decorated terracotta urn, found by a shepherd on the hillside. When that same pot was brought to us and we suspected it was early Minoan, we per- suaded - bribed - the shepherd to show us its location. A series of events followed, leading to a carbon-dating result that con- firmed our suspicions. The urn was Minoan. Six months later, two weeks after our wedding, we received official permission to dig. On that same day, we paced the barren area with a surveyor and knocked rods into the soil, marking the boundaries.
I recalled grinning stupidly as Tommy and I broke the earth together, each of us with one foot on the spade, my adorable professor staring at the ground expectantly as we lifted the first sod.
In a small village, set among the wild mountains of Cyprus, two families of different faiths share a seemingly unbreakable friendship based on mutual respect and deep affection. Mothers and daughters share their daily secrets, fathers and sons support each other as they live their lives between the fragrant pine trees and orange groves. It’s here that two boys, Lambros and Orhan, grow up side by side, as close as brothers. Their lives are inextricably linked, but as their fortunes shift and time passes, an unforgivable act of betrayal takes place, setting in motion a chain of events that tears the two friends and their entire families apart . . .
Many decades later and now an old man living in London, Lambros decides to share his painful memories with his daughter Stella; transporting her back to an island brimming with passion and at its heart a scandal that still haunts those involved. Is it too late for forgiveness? Or can the next generation embark on a journey of their own to help mend the damage done all those years ago?
My first ever holiday abroad was to Cyprus and it is a country whose history and culture has always interested me so I don’t hesitate when I come across a fictional novel based on this beautiful Island so as soon as Between the Orange Groves popped through the letter box I wasted no time in getting lost in the pages. We are firstly introduced to Lambros who has begun telling his daughter about his regrets and painful memories from his past regarding his old best friend Orhan who he has never seen or heard from since. The storyline then jumps back to the 1920’s in Cyprus where we meet the Constandinou and the Terzi families who are incredibly close. Hatiche and Maroula are the Mothers of the families and are the best of friends, we watch their families grow closer as the years go by and their sons Lambros and Orhan form a strong friendship too and look at each other as a brother. The only thing that sets the families apart are their faiths but this has never caused a problem between the families before but would religion stand in the way of true love? This was such an atmospheric novel that transported me back to this inviting country set around all the areas I know and love from Paphos and the Trudoos Mountains to Nikosia. The author manages to weave a historical element into the storyline which gave the storyline even more depth and interest. The characters are all so loving and supportive so devoted to their families, it did take a little while to find my feet with this novel trying to work out who was who and where Lambros fitted in with the family but once I had got to grips with who was who I was then swept away by this storyline. The families were very selfless and would share what they had to make sure that they were both getting by and not struggling needlessly this was more than community spirit this was honourable and love the way I wish the world could be. I was surprised that although we are first introduced to Lambros that he wasn’t actually one of the bigger parts of the book but everything that happened did have an effect on his life. There is a constant enjoyable flow to the storyline with no big twists and turns and yet it was an unpredictable and captivating read. I was a little disappointed with the abrupt ending of the book but I don’t know if it was more of the fact that I had become so invested in the storyline and the characters that I just wasn’t ready to leave them yet and wanted to see that last meeting! I loved the historical timeline at the end of this book I thought this was a great informative touch. This is the perfect novel to take away with you this Summer, Nadia Marks is a new author to me and I enjoyed her descriptive writing style which made everything so vivid and her character building was superb. Fans of Victoria Hislop and Dinah Jefferies would enjoy Nadia Marks novel.
Angie has always wanted to travel. But at twenty-seven, she has barely stepped outside the small mining town where she was born. Instead, she discovers the world through stories told to her by passing travellers, dreaming that one day she'll see it all for herself.
When her grandmother passes away, leaving Angie with no remaining family, she is ready to start her own adventures. Then she finds a letter revealing the address of the father she never knew, and realises instantly where her journey must begin: Italy.
As Angie sets out to find the truth – about her family, her past and who she really is – will mysterious and reckless Italian Alessandro help guide the way?
I along with many other Paige Toon fans eagerly await her new release every year and I love her storytelling so much that I never even read the synopsis for If You Could Go Anywhere I trust her writing to know that I am always going to be immersed in the storyline.
Angie has always lived in Coober Pedy in Australia and she has never travelled outside of her home town as she has always had responsibilities that have prevented her from actually living the life she longs to live. After the death of her Nan she happens upon a letter that appears to be addressed to her Father she has never known. It is time for Angie to begin her adventures and what better place to go than Italy to find her Father.
What Paige Toon has always managed to do so perfectly is create a leading character who I instantly feel like I befriend from the first chapter and this is no different with Angie. Angie has lived a very sheltered life but she doesn’t let this stop her from taking such a big step and grabbing life with both hands and jetting off for the first time to a country alone to meet her father and his family. She shows such courage for someone who has lead such a sheltered life but she also has such a warm kind and caring nature and is always happy to go out of her way to help those in need.
Alessandro is the hot eyecandy in this novel, he has an air of mystery about him and doesn’t let anyone close. When we learn more about Alessandro my heart breaks for him and it becomes understandable the reason he is the way he is which made me love him even more.
I have never been to Italy although it has always been somewhere my husband and I always wanted to visit, the author describes the setting so beautifully and it is so vivid in my mind and has just made me want to visit even more.
I found this quite a difficult read emotionally in places but this could be heightened more because of my personal circumstances at present but even so I admit to shedding a tear or two in a couple of places with situations of desperation and loss. I was a little surprised that Angie wasn’t trying to get to spend more time with her papa seen as this was the reason for the trip but then I suppose the storyline wouldn’t have been as enjoyable without the mysterious and handsome Alessandro taking a stronger role!
Paige Toon never lets me down and this book is another wonderful touching emotional and romantic read that is wrapped up in the delights of Italy.
If You Could Go Anywhere is released today, grab a copy and post your thoughts on in the comments section below.
Today it is my stop on the blog tour for A Perfect Cornish Summer by Phillipa Ashley, I was looking forward to reading my first Summer read of 2019 and now I am going to share my thoughts with you.
I cannot resist a novel set on the Cornish coast and having previously enjoyed novels by Phillipa Ashley I swiftly added A Perfect Cornish Summer to my TBR pile!
There are a lot of characters in this book with two storylines that weave perfectly together. Sam is one of our leading characters who is in charge of the Porthmellow Summer Festival with the help from local volunteers and the newbie in town Chloe. Chloe has parted from her husband but her relationship with her daughter is breaking her heart, she is ready to create a new life for herself in Porthmellow but wishes she could get through to her daughter. When the headline chef for the festival pulls out Chloe gets straight on the case and secures none other than well known chef Gabe but unbeknown to her Gabe and Sam have history together so will he be welcomed back with open arms?
Phillipa Ashley has certainly poured the charm of the Cornish coast into this novel creating an idyllic community focused setting and added to that the characters all have their Cornish ways and sayings especially the beloved Troy. There is a sweet sprinkling of romance running through the storyline as well as touching on a couple of more delicate family matters. Although most of the storyline was rather predictable the situation between Sam, Gabe and her brother Ryan did manage to hide some of the finer details.
This book is perfect if you are looking for a simple storyline to take on your holidays with you, I did enjoy this novel especially the setting and the likeable characters I just feel that there wasn’t a lot of depth to the storyline so as much as it entertained me I don’t feel it will be one that will stick in my mind a few weeks down the line. I actually found myself more invested in Chloe and her daughter and kept hoping for more to come from them but their storyline was the secondary in this novel so if the author was to do another book to follow their storyline I would definitely pick that one up.
A Perfect Cornish Summer is available now on Kindle and is due for release in paperback on 16th May
One moment I had it all – a gorgeous husband, a beautiful home, a fulfilling career and two adorable children. The next, everything came crashing down around me.
They said it was my fault. They said I’m the worst mother in the world. And even though I can’t remember what happened that day, they wouldn’t lie to me. These are my friends, my family, people I trust.
But then why do I have this creeping sensation that something is wrong? Why do I feel like people are keeping secrets? Am I really as guilty as they say? And if I’m not, what will happen when the truth comes out…?
I have previously read The Dead Dog Day by Jackie Kabler which I did enjoy but remember early on in that book working out who the murderer was. When the cover was revealed for her new novel Am I Guilty I was instantly intrigued and headed off to Amazon to read the synopsis and straight away my interest was piqued and I was looking forward finding out if this storyline could keep me guessing.
Thea is living a nightmare, her happy content world has been turned upside down by the death of her son Zander and its all her thought …… Or is it?
I found myself sympathetic to the situation Thea found herself in and I was convinced from early on that what she believed had happened on the day in question wasn’t true. Each of the chapters alternate mainly between Thea, Flora and Annabelle with addition of a couple of chapters by Isla, Rupert and Greg which allows us to get to know each of the characters as well as forming a picture of the events of that day through their eyes. Although there are a lot of characters points of view in this book they were all well-formed and at no point in the book did I lose track on who was who.
Am I Guilty is in a completely different league to Jackie Kabler’s previous novels, this one had me totally gripped and in suspense the whole way through. At around the half way mark I did have my suspicions as to who I thought may have had a hand in the events of Zanders death but even though I had these inklings the tension then intensified and what was then revealed towards the last few chapters was a complete shock that was disturbing and unpredictable and I found myself constantly wavering thinking everyone seemed to have a motive.
Without giving anything away I just have to say the way things are left between Thea and Annabelle is much more amicable than I would have been had I been in the same situation!
Am I Guilty is a gripping and sinister storyline full of hidden secrets and fractured relationships. I am now looking forward to future novels by Jackie Kabler.
Am I Guilty? is available on Kindle today. The Paperback is currently expected to be released 27th June.
I am so happy that this moment has finally arrived.
I remember talking to Kim Nash at a book event a couple of years back and her telling me she had been working on a novel. Kim has very similar book tastes to me and she is as passionate about reading as I am so I have been keeping everything crossed that one day I would be reviewing her book on my blog and that moment has finally arrived.
AMAZING GRACE IS OUT NOW!
Grace thought she had it all. Living in the beautiful village of Little Ollington, along with head teacher husband Mark and gorgeous son, Archie, she devoted herself to being the perfect mum and the perfect wife, her little family giving her everything she ever wanted.
Until that fateful day when she walked in on Mark kissing his secretary - and her perfect life fell apart.
Now she's a single mum to Archie, trying to find her way in life and keep things together for his sake. Saturday nights consist of a Chinese takeaway eaten in front of the TV clad in greying pyjamas, and she can’t remember the last time she had a kiss from anyone aside from her dog, Becks.
Grace’s life needs a shake up – fast. So when gorgeous gardener Vinnie turns up, his twinkling eyes suggesting that he might be interested in more than just her conifers, she might just have found the answer to her prayers. But as Grace falls deeper for Vinnie, ten-year-old Archie fears that his mum finding love means she’ll never reconcile with the dad he loves.
So when ex-husband Mark begs her for another chance, telling her he’s changed from the man that broke her heart, Grace finds herself with an impossible dilemma. Should she take back Mark and reunite the family that Archie loves? Or risk it all for a new chance of happiness?
Amazing Grace is the debut novel by Kim Nash and what a beautiful novel it is too. Our protagonist in this novel is Grace who is a single mum to her adorable son Archie. Grace is on a learning curve as her life has changed since leaving her husband who still lingers around like a bad smell in the background, she is now working but she still has her own dreams and goals too. Grace is thrown back in to the daunting dating world by her best friend but can Grace find a man worthy of her heart and who her little son Archie would agree with?
Grace is a very down to earth and realistic character which only made me love her even more, she soon felt like a friend who I wanted to see grab the happy ever after she deserved for her and her son. She is a devoted mother, Archie is the centre of her world and the bond between them both shines through in this novel.
Archie was such an adorable little lad who has clearly been brought up well, some of his little ways made me chuckle especially when grilling the potential new man in his mum’s life to make sure his intensions were honourable!
What I found refreshing was the witty tone in this book especially from the rather painful dates that she finds herself on! The worries that we face in the world of dating and intimacy after being in a long term romance and how hard it is to let the barriers down so as not to get hurt again is shown so well in this book. As well as romance, grief is also a strong part of this book and I found it really touching the parts written from Grace’s mum and found comfort in the idea that our loved ones could still be around watching over us. Her part in this novel were so tender and beautifully written. The story was quite simple and wasn’t farfetched it was a believable situation that touches on day to day struggles that we all face at some point in our life.
I think the majority of readers will swoon over the handsome Vinnie who is an A-star gentleman who we all could do with in our lives!
The pace of this book flowed perfectly holding my attention right up to the very last page but then I sat and felt so sad having to let the characters go. This was an enjoyable storyline and I enjoyed my journey with Grace as she finds herself and paves out a new life for her and her son. I look forward to reading future books by this author.
C.L Taylor is back with another tense and twisty storyline that will keep you up all night!
Today it is my stop on the blog tour and I am going to share my thoughts with you to tell you why this is not a book you want to miss.
All Anna wants is to be able to sleep. But crushing insomnia, terrifying night terrors and memories of that terrible night are making it impossible. If only she didn’t feel so guilty…
To escape her past, Anna takes a job at a hotel on the remote Scottish island of Rum, but when seven guests join her, what started as a retreat from the world turns into a deadly nightmare.
Each of the guests have a secret, but one of them is lying – about who they are and why they're on the island. There's a murderer staying in the Bay View hotel. And they've set their sights on Anna.
Seven strangers. Seven secrets. One deadly lie.
Someone’s going to sleep and never wake up…
C.L Taylor is back with another mind-boggling suspense thriller titled Sleep. After a traumatic time in her life Anna is ridden with guilt from a tragic accident which she was involved in which is preventing her from sleeping and giving her night terrors. When messages begin to appear referencing her sleep troubles, she is convinced someone is stalking her and she is desperate to get away.
Anna takes a job in a hotel on a remote island in Scotland, her first seven guests have arrived and it isn’t long before she feels her past is catching up with her, but who can she trust?
This was certainly a storyline that was full of suspense, I continually found myself at different points in the book convinced that I had worked out a connection and was sure I knew who was out to get Anna and I did get to a point where I felt that C.L Taylor had made this a little easy and predictable only to then have another little revelation appear to lead me to a completely different character. Each time I thought I had worked it out I was then doubting myself and I found myself getting so frustrated and desperate for everything to be revealed!
C.L Taylor always manages to transport us to the most dark and secluded settings and the Island of Rum in this book added to the tense feel that could be felt through the pages, you could feel how claustrophobic Anna must have felt with everything closing in on her with no way of escape on this secluded Island.
There are a lot of characters in this book all who play a key part in the storyline, I was worried that I would lose track on who was who but I think the author was very clever in her writing here as my attention was focused on trying to remember each character which helped to distract me from closely following any clues to lead me to the right person. I did eliminate one of the guests from my suspicions early on in the book as I felt like it was too obvious for it to be that character.
The Accident has long been my favourite by C.L Taylor, I have loved all of her books following it but none ever quite took the top spot, however Sleep has claimed the top spot now thanks to its suspense, gripping storyline and dark atmospheric setting.
You all need to read this pacey unpredictable read this year. I need a head massage now to relieve the tension!
Tiffy Moore needs a cheap flat, and fast. Leon Twomey works nights and needs cash. Their friends think they’re crazy, but it’s the perfect solution: Leon occupies the one-bed flat while Tiffy’s at work in the day, and she has the run of the place the rest of the time. But with obsessive ex-boyfriends, demanding clients at work, wrongly imprisoned brothers and, of course, the fact that they still haven’t met yet, they’re about to discover that if you want the perfect home you need to throw the rulebook out the window…
I always have my favourite go to authors whose books I look forward to each year, but I also love to find new debut authors who offer something original to enjoy and that was exactly what I was expecting when I saw The Flatshare by Beth O’Leary appear on my social media timeline.
After Tiffy breaks up with her partner Justin she is desperate to find somewhere affordable to live but with prices so high her options are slim.
Leon is in desperate need of cash, he works nights as a nurse so he comes up with a perfect plan of renting out his flat and his bed!
Can Tiffy and Leon make the situation work even with the words of warning from friends and loved ones?
I thoroughly enjoyed this storyline, it was the perfect book at the right time as I had read a lot of deep dark storylines so I needed something uplifting, romantic and witty and that was exactly what this book had instore for me. I can say that this is the first book I have ever read ( and I wouldn’t mind betting there are no others out there) that features a bed rental and it surprisingly worked incredibly well even if I did have SO many things going through my head regarding the logistics of how they were going to make this work.
Although this was a witty and uplifting read the author does also touch on a couple of issues that both Leon and Tiffy are both facing and both were weaved into the storyline perfectly to create awareness and give a bit more depth to the storyline without it dulling the mood.
The storyline is told from both Tiffy and Leon’s points of view which worked really well in this book considering they do not meet for a large part of the book. I found Tiffy’s chapters easy to read from the start but it did take a little getting used to with Leon’s point of view as the dialogue didn’t flow as well but after a few chapters I got used to his narrative.
What I loved most in this book was the post it note conversations, they were humorous and I loved watching the friendship between Tiffy and Leon blossom through their words. I was routing for both of our characters as they both had such an honest, loyal friendly personalities who only deserve the best and it wasn’t long before Tiffy’s quirkiness draws Leon out of his shell and rather than finding her quirks annoying he soon finds them comforting and somewhat endearing.
This is a praiseworthy debut as Beth has developed such loving and memorable characters and her storytelling is one that sweeps you up and doesn’t let you go. I was quite sad to leave these characters behind but I am excited to see what else this author brings us in the future. I do think that fans of Lindsey Kelk and Jane Costello will definitely enjoy The Flatshare.
The Flat Share is out TODAY on Kindle and is due for release in Hardback on 18th April.
Grace can’t believe it when her husband of twenty-five years announces he doesn’t want to join her on their anniversary trip to Paris – instead, he wants a divorce. Reeling from the shock, Grace makes the bold decision to go on this holiday of a lifetime alone.
Audrey leaves behind heartache of her own when she arrives in Paris. A job in a bookshop is her ticket to freedom, but with no money, and no knowledge of the French language, her summer adventure seems doomed to fail. Until she meets Grace, and everything changes…
Living in neighbouring apartments above the bookshop, Grace and Audrey form an unlikely friendship. They came to Paris to find themselves, but finding each other might be the best thing that's ever happened to them.
Who doesn’t love a Sarah Morgan novel, full of romance and loveable characters? Her new release One Summer in Paris caught my eye on social media when the cover was revealed which in my opinion is her best cover yet and is definitely one that will stand out loud and proud in the bookshop.
As we come to expect from Sarah Morgans novels, we are introduced to not one but two main characters, Grace who is uber organised and has everything planned to the last minute finds her life turned upside down but is urged by her daughter to head of on her trip to Paris to make her own memories and to get her head straight. Audrey has reached the end of her education and having grown up in a destructive home with her alcoholic mother she is desperate to get away to Paris and to make a new start for herself.
Grace and Audrey meet in Paris and form and incredibly touching bond. Grace’s maternal instinct is just what Audrey needs and has had missing throughout her life and so it was wonderful for her to find that connection with Grace. Audrey is just the friend that Grace needs at this devastating time of her life.
The storyline follows the ladies as they tackle events and emotions from self-belief and romance. I was desperate to get home each day to return to this book because I was so drawn to these characters as well as being mesmerised by the charming Paris setting and the added bonus of a bookshop, although I did gasp when Audrey declared she didn’t love books!
I was surprised by Grace’s decision at the end of the book but overall, I thoroughly enjoyed this novel and I hope we meet Grace and Audrey again because they really made an impact on me and I am not ready to let them go just yet.
When I was asked to take part in the blog tour for Missing Sister by Dinah Jefferies I jumped at the chance because this is an incredible author whose books are pure perfection and I look forward to her new releases each year.
When Belle’s father died she finds out she once had a sister who went missing at only a few weeks old when her parents lived in Rangoon. Desperate to try and find out the mystery surrounding her sister’s disappearance she accepts a job in Rangoon as a hotel singer to enable her a chance to discover any information that can help to find out more about the sister she never knew she had. It soon becomes apparent that there is more to the story in the press cuttings she found when she begins to receive anonymous threats as she begins her search.
Dinah Jefferies has such an extraordinary way with words unlike any author I know, her ability to describe everything so vividly from the aromas to the settings means I have no need to use my imagination as everything has been pictured for me so precisely it is as though I am walking the streets with the author and our main character Belle soaking up the atmosphere along with them. Dinah Jefferies manages to capture not only the exotic beauty of Burma but she also shows a dark devastation both visually and emotionally with the effects of corruption and vengeance.
Trust and hidden secrets are at the heart of this novel, not only does our main character Belle not know who she can trust around her but I had my guard up around every one of the supporting characters in this novel so I could feel the desperation and loneliness along with Belle.
The chapters jump back and forth between the present with Belle in 1930’s and back to 1911-1921 with her mother Diane as we begin to piece the events that took place back to the little baby’s disappearance. As much as I loved our heroine Belle I actually found myself more drawn to Diana’s character and longed for her chapters to come to build a better picture of what occurred at the devastating time for this families life. My heart went out to Diana and I found her storyline highly emotive.
The author has once again undertaken extensive research for this novel and this shows in her storyline without reading her author note in the book. The Missing Sister is another remarkable atmospheric novel that will keep you guessing the whole way through.