Navigate / search

Welcome to the new Website!

As you will notice if you've been here before, we've just had a make-over! Hope you enjoy the new layout, let me know what you think.

Book Review: Bone Deep by Sandra Ireland

Bone Deep seeps right into you, imbuing the reader with an inescapable sense of growing unease as local legend is told, more recent secrets are revealed and women unravel.

What happens when you fall in love with the wrong person?

The consequences threaten to be far-reaching and potentially deadly. Bone Deep is a contemporary novel of sibling rivalry, love, betrayal and murder. It is a dual narrative, told in alternative chapters by Mac, a woman bent on keeping the secrets of the past from her only son, and the enigmatic Lucie, whose own past is something of a closed book. Their story is underpinned by the creaking presence of an abandoned water mill, and haunted by the local legend of two long-dead sisters, themselves rivals in love, and ready to point an accusing finger from the pages of history.

Sandra Ireland made me feel for Lucie: she’s in the wrong but also effectively in exile for it, a banished damsel-in-distress, in astonishing denial about her situation, which becomes apparent to the reader and Mac long before she acknowledges it. And yet Lucie’s slightly more fathomable behaviour still manages to throw Mac’s into sharp relief.

While Mac’s secrets are not overly surprising, its her actions that are shocking and made my blood run cold. That she doesn’t find them disturbing reveals the toll they’ve taken on her and it’s fascinating to watch this woman unravel before us on the page. Are her only son’s fears about to be confirmed, or is she simply becoming consumed by her work and finding it increasingly difficult to separate fantasy from reality? Or is something altogether more sinister happening here?

I was as desperate as Lucie that Mac kept writing the sisters’ legend. It adds another dimension, making you wonder if it’s holding up a mythical mirror to the modern storylines, dooming these characters to repeat history, or whether their stories will diverge.

Sandra Ireland’s descriptive writing immersed me in Bone Deep’s world until I felt the damp in Lucie’s cottage and the draughts in Mac’s study, could feel the rumble of the mill grinding to life and *almost* taste Arthur’s pastries. Recommended reading.

Bone Deep by Sandra Ireland is published by Polygon, an imprint of Birlinn Limited. It is available as an ebook and in paperback. You can find it at Amazon UK, Foyles, Hive (supporting your local independent bookshop), Waterstones and Wordery. You can find out more about Sandra Ireland and her books by visiting her Author Website, or you can follow her on Twitter.

My thanks to the publisher and Lovereading UK for sending me a proof copy for review. This review also appears on the Lovereading UK website here

Book Review: Days of Wonder by Keith Stuart #DaysofWonderBook

I’m late posting this review because our book group decided to gift the book to one of our members who’s getting married this month. And she reads this blog, so I didn’t want to post my review in case she went out and bought it before we’d had a chance to give her the signed copy we’d organised. That’s now done (at a rather wonderful open-air book group meeting earlier this week) which leaves me free to let you all know how much I loved Keith Stuart’s second novel, Days of Wonder, and why it’s one of my top reads of the year so far. Here’s what it’s about:

Tom, single father to Hannah, is the manager of a tiny local theatre. On the same day each year, he and its colourful cast of part-time actors have staged a fantastical production just for his little girl, a moment of magic to make her childhood unforgettable.

But there is another reason behind these annual shows: the very first production followed Hannah’s diagnosis with a heart condition that both of them know will end her life early. And now, with Hannah a funny, tough girl of fifteen on the brink of adulthood, that time is coming.

With the theatre under threat of closure, Hannah and Tom have more than one fight on their hands to stop the stories ending. But maybe, just maybe, one final day of magic might just save them both.

The magical title and gorgeous cover held out the promise of recapturing some of the wonder I felt while reading Pamela Brown’s Swish of the Curtain theatre stories in my teens. And, while a young girl with a terminal heart condition might not sound like the basis for an uplifting story, I knew that Keith Stuart could conjure one up having read his debut novel A Boy Made of Blocks.

Tom is doing his best to navigate his daughter’s teenage years of exams and relationships and a growing need for privacy and independence with the competing demands of managing his daughter’s condition which requires constant vigilance and keeping the struggling local theatre open. Hannah wants to be as normal a teenager as possible while health setbacks remind her she isn’t and that her future is uncertain and limited. They’re characters I came to know well and really felt for, as the story progressed. The heart of the book is the tender father-daughter relationship and it feels true here; there is humour and affection alongside the secrets they keep and disagreements they have. I enjoyed the dynamic between these two. Read more

Croeso. Welcome to Nut Press.

This is the online home of Kathryn Eastman, book squirrel, lawyer and writer. I’m a rugby-loving, tea-drinking chocoholic, who lives on a hill, that wanted to be a mountain, in Wales.

The Nut Press is full of book reviews, chocolate tasting, adventures with squirrels, a lot of tea drinking, and a snoring pussy cat, among other things. Oh, and very occasionally, some writing gets done.

Check out the latest Blog Posts or read a Short Story.

%d bloggers like this: