When she was nine years old, Melody Browne’s house burned down, taking every toy, every photograph, every item of clothing and old Christmas card with it. But not only did the fire destroy all her possessions, it took with it all her memories – Melody Browne can remember nothing before her ninth birthday. Now in her early thirties, Melody lives in a council flat in the middle of London with her seventeen-year-old son. She hasn’t seen her parents since she left home at fifteen, but Melody doesn’t mind, she’s better off on her own. She’s made a good life for herself and her son and she likes it that way. Until one night something extraordinary happens.
Whilst attending a hypnotist show with her first date in years she faints – and when she comes round she starts to remember. At first her memories mean nothing to her but then slowly, day by day, she begins to piece together the real story of her childhood. Her journey takes her to the seaside town of Broadstairs, to oddly familiar houses in London backstreets and to meetings with strangers who love her like their own. But with every mystery she solves another one materialises, with every question she answers another appears. And Melody begins to wonder if she’ll ever know the truth about her past…
I really liked this book, it only took me two sittings to read it in. I found the plot really interesting and intriguing, one that was a bit different from other chick lit books that I have read. Lisa Jewell is another new author to me but I really like her style of writing, even though she flits back to the past and now, she manages to do it without the reader getting too confused. She writes with emotion which I liked and I did shed a few tears. A joy to read.
It has taken me a long time to piece all this together. Memories come not like heavy rain but the drops falling from leaves after it. There were elements missing. At last I knew I would not be whole until I found them.
June Cohen was born on Human Street in 1929. Her street ran through the centre of Krugersdorp, a mining town near Johannesburg where June’s father, Laurie, a doctor, and his wife of Lithuanian Jewish heritage, had decided to establish themselves thirty years on from the family’s crossing to South Africa. June was named after the month she was born in.
In the wake of his mother’s death, New York Times columnist Roger Cohen embarks on a compassionate and sensitive portrait of the journeys made by both his maternal and paternal family, exploring the stories that have filtered through to him since childhood.
Told through personal letters and collective memories, Cohen follows his family from Lithuania to South Africa, England, the United States and Israel. He illuminates the uneasy resonance of the racism his relatives witnessed living in apartheid-era South Africa and explores the pervasive sense of ‘otherness’ that originated from his Jewish heritage of persecution and from the repeated loss that accompanied his forebears’ multiple migrations. And through this, he begins to understand better the manic depression that has permeated his family and that plagued his mother until her last moments.
A sweeping family story spanning continents, families and great swathes of history, Roger Cohen’s deeply personal examination of Jewish identity is a tale of displacement and remembrance, an account of suicide and resilience, a meditation on identity and belonging, a classic for our times.
I was very moved by the stories in this book. Even though some of the accounts are truly devastating and horrific, I found myself fascinated about how a Jewish family survived throughout the holocaust. Roger Cohen puts a truly hauntingly perspective on them, that sometimes I did have to come away and think about other things. There is quite a bit of jumping around in this book but it didn’t faze me. This is a kind of book that will stay with you for a lifetime.
Summer has arrived in the Cornish town of Mount Polbearne and Polly Waterford couldn’t be happier. Because Polly is in love: she’s in love with the beautiful seaside town she calls home, she’s in love with running the bakery on Beach Street, and she’s in love with her boyfriend, Huckle.
And yet there’s something unsettling about the gentle summer breeze that’s floating through town. Selina, recently widowed, hopes that moving to Mount Polbearne will ease her grief, but Polly has a secret that could destroy her friend’s fragile recovery. Responsibilities that Huckle thought he’d left behind are back and Polly finds it hard to cope with his increasingly long periods of absence.
Polly sifts flour, kneads dough and bakes bread, but nothing can calm the storm she knows is coming: is Polly about to lose everything she loves?
Jenny Colgan is one of my favourite authors, I love all of her books and was excited to receive this one in the post. I would suggest that you read Little beach street bakery first (unless you have already) as you will be up to date on who is who and the story so far. I love the way Jenny writes with such passion and even though the weather at the moment is raining and cold, Jenny has a way to perk you up with her enthusiasm. I loved the story and all the characters are brilliant apart from Malcolm. Neil the puffin features in this book too, which always puts a smile on my face. I love all the recipes Jenny puts into the back of her books, will have to try some at some point. When I read a book by Jenny Colgan my tummy always rumbles for some bread or cake. Perfect for a winters night in.
Delia Moss isn’t quite sure where she went wrong.
When she proposed and discovered her boyfriend was sleeping with someone else – she thought it was her fault.
When she realised life would never be the same again – she thought it was her fault.
And when he wanted her back like nothing had changed – Delia started to wonder if perhaps she was not to blame…
From Newcastle to London and back again, with dodgy jobs, eccentric bosses and annoyingly handsome journalists thrown in, Delia must find out where her old self went – and if she can ever get her back.
A very good book friend of mine sent me a copy of this book, I mean it look my kind of book but I hadn’t read any of Mhairi’s books before. It is a pretty big book and it took me a while to read but it won’t be the last book I read of hers that’s for sure. I loved the main character Delia straight away, she seemed to be quite unique compared to other books you read with this genre. This book will have you laughing, feeling sad as poor Delia of what she has to go through. But all in all you will love it and not want it to end. I certainly didn’t want it to end. I have decided this year I am going to try and read more different authors and so far I have read a few and really enjoyed them.
Rose O’Carroll has been single for most of her 40 years. In her search for love she bravely decides to pack up her comfortable life in Australia and move to London. Guided by her special friends — her angels — she quickly settles in her new life; lands a great job; makes new friendships and begins her spiritual journey. It doesn’t take long until Joe DeMarco, the handsome American, turns Rose’s world upside down and changes it forever. Rose intuitively knows she has met her twin soulmate. But how does she cope when he tells her “it’s just the wrong time”?
Everything happens for a reason and soon Rose discovers why she had to meet Joe DeMarco when the timing was wrong. She had someone else to meet first…and it wasn’t only the dishy Dr St. Claire. I feel my story will attract woman from the age of 30+ who are looking for love and opening up more to the spiritual side of life, (although not saintly) and who are romantics at heart. If you enjoyed Bridget Jones’ Diary and Eat Pray Love, then you will enjoy ‘I Listened To My Heart’.
I enjoyed this book, even though I am not really into angels and the mystic side of life, I did find it interesting to learn about. This book is pretty funny in places and the story has been written well. This is definitely another story where you can relate yourself to the characters. This book is funny, genuine and romantic. I really love the cover too.
It’s New Year’s Eve, and Gemma and Spencer Bailey are throwing a house party. There’s music, dancing, champagne and all their best friends under one roof. It’s going to be a night to remember.
Also at the party is Caitlin, who has returned to the village to pack up her much-missed mum’s house and to figure out what to do with her life; and Saffron, a PR executive who’s keeping a secret which no amount of spin can change. The three women bond over Gemma’s dodgy cocktails and fortune cookies, and vow to make this year their best one yet.
But as the months unfold, Gemma, Saffron and Caitlin find themselves tested to their limits by shocking new developments. Family, love, work, home – all the things they’ve taken for granted are thrown into disarray. Under pressure, they are each forced to rethink their lives and start over. But dare they take a chance on something new?
I have read quite a few of Lucy’s books now and they never fail to disappoint. You do feel as if you know all the characters personally and Lucy brings real life problems to her stories which people will be able to sympathise with. Brilliant story, Brilliant characters and a Brilliant author. Will really be looking forward to Lucy Diamond’s next book.
After her divorce, Eleanor decides it is time to begin again.
She leaves behind her busy London life, and moves to a quiet seaside town in Devon.
There she opens up a bookshop, The Reading Room, on the local highstreet – and makes a roaring success of it.
But can Eleanor make a success of her love life as well?
There is no shortage of men. But when Eleanor thinks back over her life and loves, she remembers a passionate love affair in France in her twenties. And when her sister suggests they take a trip down memory lane and holiday there, will Eleanor take her up on her offer – and if she does, will she discover what happened to her great love Christophe?
Does Eleanor’s heart belong in France?
Or is there something, or someone, she’s been missing in Devon?
This is Jan’s first novel and I really enjoyed it. I love the fact that your drawn straight away into Eleanor’s West Country Bookshop world, brimming to the rafters with some very exciting and interesting people. In this story you get drawn into Eleanor’s life which goes from past to present which I found easy to keep up with unlike in other novels where it can become confusing. There are some romantic parts in this book but also some humour. I love the way Jan writes with such passion and look forward to reading her books in the future.
When Poppy Shilling’s bike-besotted, Lycra-clad husband is killed in a freak accident, she can’t help feeling a guilty sense of relief. For at long last she’s released from a controlling and loveless marriage.
Throwing herself wholeheartedly into village life, she’s determined to start over. And sure enough, everyone from Luke the sexy church organist to Bob the resident oddball, is taking note. Yet the one man Poppy can’t take her eyes off seems tantalizingly out of reach – why won’t he let go of his glamorous ex-wife?
But just as she’s ready to dip her toes in the water, the discovery of a dark secret about her late husband shatters Poppy’s confidence. Does she really have the courage to risk her heart again? Because Poppy wants a lot more than just a rural affair . .
Having never read any of Catherine’s books before I wasn’t sure what to expect. I did find it hard to get in to but once I had it was an enjoyable read. There were some very amusing moments in the story which I loved. I wasn’t really sure about the plot but it seemed to work. I found myself warming to the village life and I loved it when Poppy the main character gets on a horse when she hasn’t been on one for ages, I think this part really drew me into the story. I would definitely like to read another one of Catherine’s books.
After being made redundant from a seemingly secure job Jolene Carr takes a two week break in the sun. On the first day she meets Raquel, another hotel guest. Little does she realise how this apparently innocent acquaintance will lead to terrible and lasting consequences.
After a frightening incident she hits a conspiracy of silence from the locals and over the rest of the holiday she feels herself slipping into a vortex of fear. Back home, the nightmare continues and she realises that Raquel is stalking her. Her hippie mother and her partner Mark tell her she is imagining it all.
All certainties, even about relationships, become fluid and treacherous as her past begins to unravel. If it wasn’t for Rob, her ex-lover who Jolene thinks has his own agenda, she would be left to cope on her own.
How much fear and betrayal can one person take?
This is a book for people that like a fast paced and gripping suspense. It seems to give the reader a whole new sense of trust and betrayal, reality and perception. The characters in this story are brilliant, Jo seems to be able to make it so that you actually feel as a reader that you are the main character which feels exceptional. This book is such a thrilling read you just won’t want it to end.
To the outside world, Rachel Thompson has it made: a wealthy husband, a successful career as an artist, and a to-die-for house in the middle of rural France.
That is until her husband Michael hits 40, discovers his inner love-rat and runs off with the kids’ young, skinny dance teacher.
Determined to ignore her friends’ advice to up-sticks and move back to England with her children, Rachel decides to turn their crumbly stone farmhouse into a bijou hotel.
As Rachel strives to create a new life for herself, friends and family rally around to give her a Christmas and New Year with plenty of surprises.
With help – and some hindrance – from her loved ones, Rachel transforms their home into a cosy guest house for an eclectic collection of visitors, including Josh Perry, a handsome American academic.
Although Rachel is getting plenty of attention from local admirers, her husband Michael is never far away…
Will Rachel and Michael rekindle their love affair?
Or will she be sharing French Kisses with someone else this Christmas…?
I was given this book for an honest review. I can honestly say this was a brilliant book by a lovely author. It has taken me a while to read but it is only because I didn’t want it to end. This is only Jan’s second novel which I couldn’t believe. Her first novel is called An Unexpected Affair, so I will definitely be picking that one up. The characters are full of humour and the plot I thought was brilliant. This book is set in rural France and Jan has written about it beautifully so much so I felt like I was there (If only). Such a fantastic read, look forward to reading more of Jan’s books.