Love will tear us apart by Holly Seddon

What’s the secret that Kate is carrying around in her pocket? All will be revealed but not until the end of the book. It’s a tale of love, friendship and family and how families are more than shared blood. The author explores the relationships between Kate and her family and brings home to the reader how childhood shapes adults and can even have repercussions much further down the family tree. The narrative moves seamlessly between past and present describing how Kate and Paul have arrived at the current point in their shared history. Unlike many authors who use this device, Holly Seddon does not confuse the reader and the story is told clearly and concisely by Kate although it would have been interesting to hear Paul’s point of view. This is a lovely story which will make great holiday reading and I would highly recommend it.

Thanks to Lovereading for giving me the opportunity to review this book


Review of We Were the Salt of the Sea

This is one of the few books I have ever considered re-reading straightaway: partly because it was so enjoyable and partly because I wanted to re-visit the characters, to try to get to know them properly. There are lots of layers to the characters in this story and even at the end, there is a mystery still to be solved. The story is set in a fishing village in Canada, the sort of village where people have long memories and hold deep grudges. It’s up to the two main protagonists – a young woman dealing with bereavement and disappointment and a disillusioned detective whose marriage is in trouble – to try to get to the truth. The story is told through their eyes and it’s their joint stories which lead us to the truth, although even at the end of the book,one of them still has a question to be answered.

Even if this book is one you would not normally read, I would recommend that you try it. You will soon be drawn in and once drawn in, you will not want to put the book down until it is finished. It really is a lovely book.

Author: Roxanne Bouchard

Thanks to LoveReading for allowing me to review this book

The Madonna of the Mountains by Elise Valmorbida

This is a lovely, gentle book. It’s beautifully written and very descriptive. It’s the story of Maria, told over a 30 year period starting not long after the First World War, and set in the Italian countryside. Maria is deeply religious and has a strong sense of right and wrong. Her life revolves around doing right by her family, initially her parents, then her husband and finally her children. Sadly, Maria is often not their priority so her needs always come second to those of others and she has to make many sacrifices to keep herself and her family safe, although the reader may not always agree with the choices she makes. It’s a very patriarchal society but by the end of the book, the reader senses that maybe change is coming, albeit slowly.
It’s Maria’s story but it’s also the story of Italy and how, in the end, there is hope for both.
(Book courtesy of Love Reading. It will be published April 2018)

You, Me, Everything by Catherine Isaac

This is a truly lovely book,very easy to read, but keep the tissues to hand. It’s mostly set in rural France, so much of the story plays out against a backdrop of a few weeks one glorious summer, the descriptions making the reader feel they are right there, drinking the wine and listening to the cicadas. Although ostensibly a “will they, won’t they get back together” story, it goes much deeper. It’s all about relationships, and love between partners, friends, and parents and children: and it’s about learning to trust when times are dark. It’s well written and the reader can really empathise with the characters. I would definitely recommend this book and would definitely read further books by Catherine Isaac.

(To be published 19th April 2018)


Blood Ties by Julie Shaw (courtesy of

This is the story of Kathleen and her quest for happiness. The story is set in inner-city Bradford and is the fourth in the series about the Hudsons, a well-known criminal family from the city. However, there was very little mention of the Hudsons, and Kathleen’s story could have been set anywhere: nor was there anything which linked her to the Hudsons. I had read the first book in the series, “Our Vinnie” and was expecting something similar but I was very disappointed. This story was much less gritty and the characters not so well-drawn. Having grown up in Bradford during the 1960s, I enjoyed the references to the city but otherwise I was disappointed with this book.

The Forgotten Summer by Carol Drinkwater

yet another lovely book from!

I had recently read a couple of Carol’s earlier books about her life in the South of France so was looking forward to reading The Forgotten Summer. I was not disappointed. Carol’s love of Provence shines through in the evocative descriptions of the Provencal countryside and way of life. The characters are well-drawn and the story is interesting, with a few unexpected twists. There is human interest and history, which means the book engages the reader on a number of different levels. The forgotten summer of the title, and the final twist, are not revealed until the end of the book. The book is easy to read and I read it in one sitting. This book will be an ideal holiday read, especially for Francophiles

Review of Black Rabbit Hall by Eve Chase

Who is Lorna? Why is she drawn so strongly towards Black Rabbit Hall and why is her fiance, Jon, so worried about her? How does she fit into the Hall’s history? Nothing is as obvious as it seems and this well-written book will keep you guessing until the very end.

Black Rabbit Hall is the tale of a family whose golden existence ends in tragedy, or does it? There are twists and turns and every time the reader thinks they know where the story is going, the plot changes course. The characters are well-drawn and believable and the reader will empathise with the four Alton children and with Lorna and Jon, whose lives are intertwined with those of the Alton children many decades later. Will the tragedy that engulfed the Altons ruin any chance of happiness for Lorna? You have to read the book to find out the answers to the questions: it’s a lovely story and a real page-turner. This book will be published later this year so make sure you buy it and then lock yourself away for a couple of days and enjoy.

Review of Our Song by Dani Atkins

I received this book courtesy of Lovereading.

I knew by the time I had read the first page of this book that it was special. It was so good that I really didn’t want to put it down. The story, which is told through flashbacks and from the view point of the two main female characters, relates to two couples and shows how hopes and dreams can be changed in an instant. It is beautifully and skilfully written,easy to read and the reader quickly empathises with the characters. It is difficult to review this book without giving away the plot and the ending: all I will say is that you may wish to shut yourself away for a couple of days with a bottle of wine and a large box of ti

The Entourage

Again, a preview through ShowFilmFirst. I had no idea what to expect as I was unaware that there is a TV series in the US. The film reminded me of The Inbetweeners, but more grown up. It was a fun film and I really enjoyed it. If you want an easy night out, with no need to think too hard, this may be the film for you.

Mr Holmes

We were lucky enough to see a preview, courtesy of ShowFilmFirst. After a slow start, this turned into an excellent film, the story being moved along by the use of flashbacks. It was brilliantly acted by Sir Ian McKellen, in the title role and it was very intense.  The film is billed as  relating  to a case unsolved by Sherlock Holmes but was in fact more of a study of relationships and regrets.

I would highly recommend this film