Book Review: Keep Him Close by Emily Koch

Book reviews By March 28, 2020 Tags: , , , No Comments

Emily Koch’s second novel Keep Him Close focuses on mother-son relationships and the dynamic between two women as they try to unravel what happened on a night out which goes very badly wrong. Alice’s son is dead. Indigo’s son is accused of murder. Indigo is determined to prove her beloved Kane is innocent. Searching for evidence, she is helped by…

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Book Review: A Long Petal of the Sea by Isabel Allende

Book reviews By March 25, 2020 Tags: , , , , , No Comments

Isabel Allende’s A Long Petal of the Sea is about people, exiled not once but twice, who are determined to survive and even thrive in their adopted countries, and what home signifies. Victor Dalmau is a young doctor when he is caught up in the Spanish Civil War, a tragedy that leaves his life – and the fate of his…

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Why I’m Supporting Quick Reads 2020

Books, Reading By February 20, 2020 Tags: , , , 2 Comments

Quick Reads first launched in 2006 and is a project run by The Reading Agency. Working together with top authors, it produces six books each year; short books with simple vocabulary that help ease you into reading for pleasure or help you rediscover your love of books. In Wales, four books are produced each year – two in English and…

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#Giveaway & Book Review: The Perfect Wife by JP Delaney

Book reviews, Giveaway By January 23, 2020 Tags: , , , 5 Comments

JP Delaney’s novel The Perfect Wife is an unnerving, skewed story of grief, our obsession with perfection and that with work, AI and our digital footprints, relationship double standards, and conflicting child-rearing approaches. Abbie wakes in a hospital bed with no memory of how she got there. The man by her side explains that he’s her husband. He’s a titan…

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Book Review: Nine Elms by Robert Bryndza

Blog tour, Book reviews By January 16, 2020 Tags: , , , , 4 Comments

Nine Elms is the first in a brand new series from Robert Bryndza featuring a former police detective who solved a career-defining case only to have it drastically alter her life. Kate Marshall was a promising young police detective when she caught the notorious Nine Elms serial killer. But her greatest victory suddenly became a nightmare. Fifteen years after those…

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Book Review: Stubborn Archivist by Yara Rodrigues Fowler

Book reviews By December 5, 2019 Tags: , , , , 1 Comment

I hadn’t come across Yara Rodrigues Fowler’s Stubborn Archivist before it was shortlisted together with three other books for the Sunday Times / Young Writer of the Year Award. For me, it’s a perfect example of how valuable this prize is in championing talented and exciting new voices while also broadening their prospective reader base. I’m thrilled to have discovered…

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Book Review: The Naseby Horses by Dominic Brownlow #damppebblesblogtours

Blog tour, Book reviews By December 4, 2019 Tags: , , , , 2 Comments

Dominic Brownlow’s evocative yet unsettling debut novel The Naseby Horses opens with a teenager returning home only to discover that his sister has been missing since the very same day he was admitted to hospital. Seventeen-year-old Simon’s sister Charlotte is missing. The lonely Fenland village the family recently moved to from London is odd, silent, and mysterious. Simon is epileptic…

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Book Review: Salt Slow by Julia Armfield

Book reviews, Short Stories By December 3, 2019 Tags: , , , , No Comments

I bought Julia Armfield’s much-anticipated debut story collection, Salt Slow, shortly after it came out in May this year. It’s since been shortlisted for the Sunday Times / Young Writer of the Year Award and, with the winner due to be announced on Thursday evening, I wanted to share my thoughts on it. In her brilliantly inventive and haunting debut…

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Book Review: Testament by Kim Sherwood

Book reviews By December 2, 2019 Tags: , , , , , No Comments

Kim Sherwood’s Testament won the 2016 Bath Novel Award and is one of the four books shortlisted for this year’s Sunday Times / University of Warwick Young Writer of the Year Award which is announced on Thursday. Of everyone in her complicated family, Eva was closest to her grandfather: a charismatic painter – and a keeper of secrets. So when…

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Berlin Alexanderplatz Readalong Week Four

German books, Reading By November 30, 2019 Tags: , , , 4 Comments

I can’t quite believe I made it to the end of the book after such an unpromising start but I did. Marking it as read on Goodreads (for the English translation, at least) felt pretty satisfying. “Chapters” 8/9 Reinhold is possibly the biggest villain in the story. Would you agree? Do you find his punishment satisfying? At one point.I was…

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