Posted in Weekly Posts

WWW Wednesday (June 11)

WWW Wednesday green

Hosted by Miz B at Should be Reading
To play along, just answer the following three (3) questions…
• What are you currently reading?
• What did you recently finish reading?
• What do you think you’ll read next?

I am currently reading a debut novel, This Is The Water by Yannick Murphy. This is a very stylistic book which if I’m honest I wasn’t sure whether there was substance to back up the writing at first but it has me hooked at the moment.

This Is The Water

Blurb

In a quiet New England community members of swim team and their dedicated parents are preparing for a home meet. The most that Annie, a swim-mom of two girls, has to worry about is whether or not she fed her daughters enough carbs the night before; why her husband, Thomas, hasn’t kissed her in ages; and why she can’t get over the loss of her brother who shot himself a few years ago. But Annie’s world is about to change. From the bleachers, looking down at the swimmers, a dark haired man watches a girl. No one notices him. Annie is busy getting to know Paul, who flirts with Annie despite the fact that he’s married to her friend Chris, and despite Annie’s greying hair and crow’s feet. Chris is busy trying to discover whether or not Paul is really having an affair, and the swimmers are trying to shave milliseconds off their race times by squeezing themselves into skin-tight bathing suits and visualizing themselves winning their races.
But when a girl on the team is murdered at a nearby highway rest stop-the same rest stop where Paul made a gruesome discovery years ago-the parents suddenly find themselves adrift. Paul turns to Annie for comfort. Annie finds herself falling in love. Chris becomes obsessed with unmasking the killer.
With a serial killer now too close for comfort, Annie and her fellow swim-parents must make choices about where their loyalties lie. As a series of startling events unfold, Annie discovers what it means to follow your intuition, even if love, as well as lives, could be lost. Goodreads

I have just finished Someone Else’s Wedding by Tamar Cohen. You can read my review by clicking on the cover.

someone else's wedding

Next I am going to read Little Mercies by Heather Gundenkauf. I”ve enjoyed this author’s previous books so I’m keen to see what this one has to offer.

Little Mercies

Blurb

Veteran social worker Ellen Moore has seen the worst side of humanity;the vilest acts one person can commit against another. She is a fiercely dedicated children’s advocate and a devoted mother and wife. But one blistering summer day, a simple moment of distraction will have repercussions that Ellen could never have imagined, threatening to shatter everything she holds dear, and trapping her between the gears of the system she works for.
Meanwhile, ten-year-old Jenny Briard has been living with her well-meaning but irresponsible father since her mother left them, sleeping on friends’ couches and moving in and out of cheap motels. When Jenny suddenly finds herself on her own, she is forced to survive with nothing but a few dollars and her street smarts. The last thing she wants is a social worker, but when Ellen’s and Jenny’s lives collide, little do they know just how much they can help one another.
A powerful and emotionally charged tale about motherhood and justice, Little Mercies is a searing portrait of the tenuous grasp we have on the things we love the most, and of the ties that unexpectedly bring us together. Goodreads

Please share your reads with me in the comments section below.

Posted in Book Review, Books I have read

Someone Else’s Wedding – Tamar Cohen

Contemporary Fiction 4*'s
Contemporary Fiction
4*’s

Having thoroughly enjoyed Tamar Cohen’s debut novel The Mistress’s Revenge and more recently her foray into psychological suspense with The Broken I was keen to see what her third novel, Someone Else’s Wedding had to say for itself.

Tamar Cohen has a quite distinctive writing style which is full of observational humour and so the setting is perfect, after all there are very few occasions with such a rigid structure full of so many people who probably wouldn’t otherwise be in the same room.

‘You know what weddings are like for bringing out the Kate Winslet in everyone.’
Saul smiles at the private joke I have given him like a small present. Ever since we watched the actress picking up an award and unable to speak for sobbing, her name has become a kind of catchphrase between us.

This book is slightly different because while those moments of humour are still there this book has a fundamental sad tinge to it which doesn’t lend itself quite so well to humour and our chief protagonist Fran Friedman is prone to more than a little introspection. Fran and Saul have been married for many years, have two adult daughters but their marriage has been frayed by the fact that their late baby was still-born and secrets and resentments have built up to an untenable level.

Saul imagined my eggs had long since packed up their things and without fuss, taken up watercolour painting in St Ives or tending their own vegetable gardens. They certainly weren’t still doing the things eggs are supposed to do.

There are plenty of secrets to come out over the course of the extended weekend though as being a Bank Holiday one day isn’t enough for Jamie, son of Max and Lynn Irving and his bride the lovely Lucy. The book’s chapters each relate to the hours of the wedding and each one appears to hold a different secret or conundrum. Throughout the day Fran is receiving texts from an unknown number telling her to leave Jamie alone, Fran and Saul’s adult daughters have their own secrets which need to be dealt with all while keeping the mask of respectability firmly in place during the nuptials.

This was a good read, despite it not being as funny as I expected from the synopsis as it deals with some weighty issues. The characterisation was really well done, the relationship between Fran and her younger daughter Katy was a brilliant description of a loving yet sometimes critical mother and her slightly stroppy daughter, independent but not yet secure enough to make her way in the world without an admiring audience.

Though Katy is laughing she’s likely to store this up for future use, evidence of another maternal transgression I wish things weren’t like this with my younger daughter, so confrontational, but Katy has always needed to place herself at the centre of every thought I have, every action I take.

A good book, funny but not outrageously so, big issues and a good conclusion made this an enjoyable read so I am now going to complete the set of Tamar Cohen’s books by reading The War of The Wives.

I’d like to thank the publishers Random House UK for providing me with a copy of this book in return for an honest review. This book was published in paperback in the UK on 22 May 2014.

You can read my review of Tamar Cohen’s debut novel, The Mistress’s Revenge here and my review of The Broken here

Posted in Weekly Posts

WWW Wednesday (June 4)

WWW Wednesday green

Hosted by Miz B at Should be Reading
To play along, just answer the following three (3) questions…
• What are you currently reading?
• What did you recently finish reading?
• What do you think you’ll read next?

I am currently reading Now That You’re Gone by Julie Corbin.  This author first came to my attention with her debut psychological suspense novel, Tell Me No Secrets.

Now That You're Gone

Blurb

When the body of Isla’s brother, an ex-Marine and private investigator, is pulled from the River Clyde, she is convinced he was murdered. When the coroner declares Dougie’s died of accidental drowning and rules out foul play, the police are happy to close the case. But Isla has other ideas.
Determined to find out what really happened the night Dougie died, and why he was even in Glasgow, she starts looking into his unsolved cases. What she finds will put her in grave danger and force her to question everything she thought she knew about those closest to her . . . Amazon

The eagle-eyed among you may notice that this was my next read last week except I failed to read my schedule properly and/or forgot and opened up entirely the wrong book! I read The Long Fall by Julia Crouch instead!

I have just finished The Kill by Jane Casey which was an exceptionally enjoyable read.

Click on the cover to read my review

The Kill

Next I am going to read Someone Else’s Wedding by Tamar Cohen, having enjoyed the two previous books by this author I think I’m in for a treat.

someone else's wedding

Blurb

Mr & Mrs Max Irving request the company of:
Mrs Fran Friedman, mourning her empty nest, her lost baby, the galloping years, and a disastrous haircut.
Mr Saul Friedman, runner of marathons, avoider of conflicts and increasingly distant husband
The two Misses Friedman, Pip and Katy, one pining over the man she can’t have, the other trying to shake off the man she no longer wants
At the marriage of their son James Irving, forbidden object of inappropriate and troubling desire
For thirty-six hours of secrets and lies, painted-on-smiles and potential ruin. And drinks, plenty of drinks.
There’s nothing like a wedding for stirring up the past. As Fran negotiates her way from Saturday morning to Sunday evening she is forced to confront things she’s long thought buried, sending shockwaves through her family, and to make decisions about the future that will have far-reaching consequences for them all. NetGalley

What are you reading this week?

Posted in Weekly Posts

Friday Finds (November 22)

Friday Finds Hosted by Should be Reading

FRIDAY FINDS showcases the books you ‘found’ and added to your To Be Read (TBR) list… whether you found them online, or in a bookstore, or in the library — wherever! (they aren’t necessarily books you purchased).

So, come on — share with us your FRIDAY FINDS!

My finds include A is for Angelica by Iain Broome, I first heard about this book at Words and Peace and it has made its way onto my kindle.

A is for Angelica

Gordon Kingdom struggles with the fate of his seriously-ill wife while patiently observing and methodically recording the lives of those around him: his neighbours. He has files on them all, including Don Donald (best friend and petty thief), Annie Carnaffan (lives next door, throws footballs over the fence), and Benny (the boy who paints with his eyes closed).
Then there’s Angelica, the new girl (42) on the street, with her multi-coloured toenails and her filthy temper. It’s when she arrives that Gordon’s world of half-truths really begins to unravel. Faced with a series of unexpected events and a faltering conscience, he’s left with an impossible decision.
Because in the banality of everyday life, what would you do if the unthinkable happened? Amazon

A is for Angelica

Having really enjoyed The Mistresses Revenge by Tamara Cohen I was thrilled to be given a free copy of Someone Else’s Wedding courtesy of Netgalley.

someone else's wedding

Mr & Mrs Max Irving request the company of:
Mrs Fran Friedman, mourning her empty nest, her lost baby, the galloping years, and a disastrous haircut.
Mr Saul Friedman, runner of marathons, avoider of conflicts and increasingly distant husband
The two Misses Friedman, Pip and Katy, one pining over the man she can’t have, the other trying to shake off the man she no longer wants
At the marriage of their son James Irving, forbidden object of inappropriate and troubling desire
For thirty-six hours of secrets and lies, painted-on-smiles and potential ruin. And drinks, plenty of drinks.
There’s nothing like a wedding for stirring up the past. As Fran negotiates her way from Saturday morning to Sunday evening she is forced to confront things she’s long thought buried, sending shockwaves through her family, and to make decisions about the future that will have far-reaching consequences for them all. Amazon

This looks like a fun read which has already been published in hardback – the paperback is due out on May 8, 2014 .

Someone Else’s Wedding

I have also received a copy of Postcards From The Past by Marcia Willetts from Netgalley which was published on

Postcards from The Past

Siblings Billa and Ed share their beautiful, grand old childhood home in rural Cornwall. Their lives are uncomplicated. With family and friends nearby and their free and easy living arrangements, life seems as content as can be.
But when postcards start arriving from a sinister figure they thought belonged well and truly in their pasts, old memories are stirred. Why is he contacting them now? And what has he been hiding all these years Goodreads

Postcards from the Past

While staying with my brother and borrowing his book on Rose West I also acquired his lovely A.A. Milne book Winnie the Pooh: The Complete Collection of Stories & Poems.

The Complete Collection of Stories and Poems

The A.A. Milne poems were literally a life-saver. I remember vividly one crazy day with a young baby and toddler. Having recited Forgiven many times, I was stood cooking fish-fingers for little ones dinner whilst nursing the baby (probably not a recommended, but needs must!) whilst distracting a rampaging, hungry toddler with a duet about Alexander Beetle. I’m sure anyone had witnessing this literary moments would have wondered whether every day involved quite so much multi-tasking, it did!

For those of you who haven’t had the pleasure and for my fond memories of calmer recitations I share Forgiven, and for any parent of young children – poems are great,no book is required so  you can carry on with one-hundred other activities at the same time!

Forgiven

I found a little beetle; so that Beetle was his name,
And I called him Alexander and he answered just the same.
I put him in a match-box, and I kept him all the day …
And Nanny let my beetle out –
Yes, Nanny let my beetle out –
She went and let my beetle out –
And Beetle ran away.

She said she didn’t mean it, and I never said she did,
She said she wanted matches and she just took off the lid,
She said that she was sorry, but it’s difficult to catch
An excited sort of beetle you’ve mistaken for a match.

She said that she was sorry, and I really mustn’t mind,
As there’s lots and lots of beetles which she’s certain we could find,
If we looked about the garden for the holes where beetles hid –
And we’d get another match-box and write BEETLE on the lid.

We went to all the places which a beetle might be near,
And we made the sort of noises which a beetle likes to hear,
And I saw a kind of something, and I gave a sort of shout:
“A beetle-house and Alexander Beetle coming out!”

It was Alexander Beetle I’m as certain as can be,
And he had a sort of look as if he thought it must be Me,
And he had a sort of look as if he thought he ought to say
“I’m very very sorry that I tried to run away.”

And Nanny’s very sorry too for you-know-what-she-did,
And she’s writing ALEXANDER very blackly on the lid,
So Nan and Me are friends, because it’s difficult to catch
An excited Alexander you’ve mistaken for a match.

A.A. Milne

Winnie The Pooh : The Complete Collection of Stories & Poems

So yet another wonderful book for acquiring books although I haven’t read most of the books I planned to in November – Oh well!

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