#bookreview LIBERTY TERRACE by Madeleine D’Arcy @Doirepress #newrelease @Midaspr

Delighted to share with you today my review for a new title from Doire Press, Liberty Terrace by Madeleine D’Arcy. Many thanks to Midas PR for bringing this title to my attention and for sending me an EBook copy to read and review.

ISBN: 978-1-907682-86-5| Pages: 200 | Published: 28th Oct 2021 Available from Doire Press

Liberty Terrace by Madeleine D’Arcy

SYNOPSIS

Liberty Terrace features a bevy of characters who reside in a fictional area of Cork City in the period 2016 to 2020. The inhabitants of Liberty Terrace come and go, and their lives occasionally intersect in stories that are sometimes funny, sometimes dark, often both. The cast of characters includes retired Garda Superintendent Deckie Google, a young homeless squatter, the mother of an autistic child working part-time as a Census Enumerator, the dysfunctional Callinan family, an ageing rock star, a trio of ladies who visit a faith healer, a philandering husband, as well as a surprising number of cats and dogs. These stories shed light on how we lived before and during the Covid-19 pandemic, on what we care about and on what, if anything, we can truly count on.

MY THOUGHTS

A fantastic set of interconnecting short stories based on the residents of a fictional area of Cork City.

Each short tale is a stand alone read but as you will find as you read along, are linked in different ways by the different characters mentioned throughout the book. The stories are varied, some heart warming, others a little darker, but all with a wonderful human emotional connection that allow the reader to really feel for the characters involved.

Young and old, families which are together and some which are apart all made for a great selection of themes and topics. Deftly detailed and effectively written meant I was quickly immersed into each new story allowing me to get the most out of each short look into the life of the characters. Packed to the rafters with emotion and showing this author has a great talent at portraying the everyday life of those who’s life isn’t necessarily always everyday. I really liked the way they were all interconnected making the book feel more of a whole.

An author that I will certainly keep an ear out for further works.

About Doire Press

Doire Press was founded in the autumn of 2007 in Connemara by Lisa Frank, with skills and experience in editing and publishing, and by John Walsh, who had just received a publication award from the Galway County Council Arts Office to publish his second poetry collection, Loves Enterprise Zone. 

Since then, Doire Press has continued to blossom, finding its niche in publishing new and emerging writers who give voice to what it means to be Irish in a changing Ireland. Authors include Madeleine D’Arcy, Edward Boyne, Gerry Galvin, Susan Millar Du Mars, Adam White, Breda Wall Ryan, Willian Wall, Eamon Carr, Stephanie Conn, Simon Lewis, Amanda Bell, Annemarie Ní Churreáin, and Rosemary Jenkinson.

Doire Press gratefully acknowledges the support of the Arts Council of Ireland and the Arts Council of Northern Ireland which have funded many of our publications.

About Madeleine D’Arcy

MADELEINE D’ARCY is an Irish fiction writer. A former solicitor, she lived in the UK for 13 years before returning to live in Cork City with her husband and her son in 1999. Madeleine’s first Doire Press short story collection ‘Waiting for the Bullet’ was awarded the 2015 Edge Hill Readers’ Prize’ from Edge Hill University in Ormskirk. In 2010 she received a Hennessy X.O Literary Award for First Fiction as well as the overall Hennessy X.O Literary Award for New Irish Writer. Her stories have been short-listed and commended in many competitions, including the William Trevor/Elizabeth Bowen Short Story Competition, Fish Short Story Prize, the Bridport Prize and the Seán Ó Faoláin Short Story Competition. Madeleine has been awarded bursaries by the Arts Council of Ireland and by Cork City Council. Madeleine was a scholarship student on the inaugural MA in Creative Writing 2013-2014 in University College Cork. Waiting for the Bullet is Madeleine’s debut collection of short stories.

#bookreview #newrelease ON THE EDGE by @AuthorJJesmond @Verve_Books #OnTheEdge #publicationday @hollieeeem

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SYNOPSIS

Jen Shaw has climbed all her life: daring ascents of sheer rock faces, crumbling buildings, cranes – the riskier the better. Both her work and personal life revolved around it. Until she went too far and hurt the people she cares about. So she’s given it all up now. Honestly, she has. And she’s checked herself into a rehab centre to prove it.

Yet, when Jen awakens to find herself drugged and dangling off the local lighthouse during a wild storm less than twenty-four hours after a ‘family emergency’ takes her home to Cornwall, she needs all her skill to battle her way to safety.

Once safe, the real challenge begins. Jen must face her troubled past in order to figure out whether something triggered a relapse to this risky behaviour, or if there is a more sinister explanation hidden in her hometown. Only when she has navigated her fragmented memories and fraught relationships will she be able to piece together what happened – and trust herself to fix it. 

MY THOUGHTS

This debut novel from Jane Jesmond has certainly introduced me to a new author to add to my list.

This action packed and wonderfully atmospheric read kept me gripped throughout.

Jenifry Shaw, known as Jen, has been climbing her whole life. Running free along with her brother Kit, through the wild landscape of Cornwall and with a renowned mountaineer father, it’s in her blood. But adrenaline has become a drug and as her climbing became more and more risky, and after one climb ends with catastrophic outcomes she replaces the adrenaline with real drugs.

We first meet Jen in a rehab centre that she has entered voluntarily, but equally can not wait to leave. She receives a call from her brother, whom she hasn’t spoken to for some time, asking for her help. He is in serious financial difficulty after months of renovating their old family home into a holistic conference centre. Issues with their mother not also helping matters.

Arriving late and exhausted, and putting off having to meet her brother and any locals, she checks into the small hotel. The next things she knows, she awakens, finding herself tied to the outside of the lighthouse, dangerously dangling over the edge! Has she taken something that means she would have placed herself in such a situation without remembering so? Or has someone drugged her and left her to die? Who??? And Why????

As she tries to consider whether her life is in danger from herself or someone else, she starts to stubble upon the many secrets harboured by her home village.

With dramatic and superbly vivid descriptions of the Cornish weather and landscape and a well written and pacy plot, I found this a very engaging and enjoyable mystery. With a cast of characters feeling like they all have something to hid and a not overly reliable main character with problems of her own, the story line is full of twists and turns and mysterious red herrings that really ds keep the reader ‘on the edge’.

Fast moving action, yet full of characters, story lines, and back story information, this is a tightly, efficient and effective written thriller, and it’s the first in a series with more to come! Can’t wait!

Huge thanks to the publishers for the proof copy of this book and a great new find!

ON THE EDGE IS PUBLISHED TODAY!!

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

On The Edge is Jane Jesmond’s debut novel and the first in a series featuring dynamic, daredevil protagonist Jen Shaw. Although she was born in Newcastle Upon Tyne, raised in Liverpool and considers herself northern through and through, Jane’s family comes from Cornwall. Her lifelong love of the Cornish landscape and culture inspired the setting of On The Edge. Jane has spent the last thirty years living and working in France. She began writing steadily six or seven years ago and writes every morning in between staring out at the sea and making cups of tea. She also enjoys reading, walking and amateur dramatics and, unlike her daredevil protagonist, is terrified of heights!

#bookreview #blogtour Oh! William by Elizabeth Strout @LizStrout @VikingBooksUK @PenguinUKBooks @GeorgiaKTaylor @EllieeHud #OhWilliam

Delighted to share with you today my review of Oh! William the new novel from the fabulous Elizabeth Strout. Huge thanks to Georgia Taylor and the guys at Viking Books for my proof copy.

SYNOPSIS

Lucy Barton is a successful writer living in New York, navigating the second half of her life as a recent widow and parent to two adult daughters. A surprise encounter leads her to reconnect with William, her first husband – and longtime, on-again-off-again friend and confidante. Recalling their college years, the birth of their daughters, the painful dissolution of their marriage, and the lives they built with other people, Strout weaves a portrait, stunning in its subtlety, of a tender, complex, decades-long partnership.

Oh William! captures the joy and sorrow of watching children grow up and start families of their own; of discovering family secrets, late in life, that alter everything we think we know about those closest to us; and the way people live and love, against all odds. At the heart of this story is the unforgettable, indomitable voice of Lucy Barton, who once again offers a profound, lasting reflection on the mystery of existence. ‘This is the way of life,’ Lucy says. ‘The many things we do not know until it is too late.’

MY THOUGHTS

Lucy Barton is now 63 and a widow, following the death of her second husband. In this new novel we read of Lucy’s reconnection with her first husband William, whom she left some time ago after 20 years of marriage. Having remained on reasonably good terms with William, it appears Lucy is his first ‘go to’ after a dramatic change in his personal life. He has also recently discovered some possible secret history concerning his belated mother, and wants Lucy’s help.

I really enjoyed this novel, meeting back up with Lucy following the autor’s previous books, although I didn’t feel one had to have read the previous stories to enjoy this one. Written in a relaxed style with Lucy as our narrator, it flips from her present situation as a writer, widow and mother the two grown daughters, back to her marriage to William, her relationship with his mother and her traumatic upbringing.

Constantly reflecting on what she has done in her life, or how she handled matters when they arose, it was like listening to an old friend I hadn’t seen for a while. Now of an age or time in her life where she feels able to do so but to accept what has gone before and come to terms with it.

Sad at times but also uplifting in others with the phrase Oh! William being used throughout not only as a sign of exasperation but also in pity and with love.

A wonderful look at family, past and present and how we can all effect one another’s lives. And an extremely well observed look at a long relationship which has included much heartache, and in my opinion with a very shelf centerd man! At times it felt William just expects Lucy to be there constantly for him, whenever! But perhaps Lucy always will be.

#bookreview SORROW AND BLISS by Meg Mason @wnbooks #SorrowandBliss #cheltlitfest @midaspr

Delighted to share with you today my review for Sorrow and Bliss by Meg Mason. I have seen so much love for this book of late, that I was thrilled when the lovely people at Midas PR sent me a copy to read and review to celebrate The Cheltenham Literature Festival which takes place between 8-17th October.

The author will be taking part in the festival on Saturday 16th October and will be talking to Clare Clark via live link from her home in Sydney.

The Cheltenham Literature Festival Oct 16th

L242 Meg Mason: Sorrow & Bliss
Quickfind L242
Sat 16 Oct 10:30am – 11:30am
Cheltenham Town Hall, Pillar Room

SYNOPSIS

Everyone tells Martha Friel she is clever and beautiful, a brilliant writer who has been loved every day of her adult life by one man, her husband Patrick. A gift, her mother once said, not everybody gets.

So why is everything broken? Why is Martha – on the edge of 40 – friendless, practically jobless and so often sad? And why did Patrick decide to leave?

Maybe she is just too sensitive, someone who finds it harder to be alive than most people. Or maybe – as she has long believed – there is something wrong with her. Something that broke when a little bomb went off in her brain, at 17, and left her changed in a way that no doctor or therapist has ever been able to explain.

Forced to return to her childhood home to live with her dysfunctional, bohemian parents (but without the help of her devoted, foul-mouthed sister Ingrid), Martha has one last chance to find out whether a life is ever too broken to fix – or whether, maybe, by starting over, she will get to write a better ending for herself.

MY THOUGHTS

Brilliantly paced and wonderfully observed, the new novel by Meg Mason, released in hardback back in June, is a brilliant story about a women and her struggles with her mental illness and the impact it has on her life and those closest to her.

Martha is married to Patrick, who she has known since a teenager when her first symptoms appeared and we follow her in present time and via flash backs from this time up to her 40th year, as she experiences more and more episodes of depression and watch as her family, in particular Patrick and her wonderful sister Ingrid, try their best to support her and help her through these times and beyond, often with not a lot in return from Martha herself.

The book explores not just the impact of mental heath issues but also family relationships and motherhood, more precisely a decision to have or not have children. Tender and also brutally written accounts of her day to day life over a 20+ year period with fantastic characters meant I really didn’t want to put this book down and just carried on reading.

Sometimes a slightly unlikeable character, Martha’s sadness is ever present in the novel but this book is full of comic touchers and super one liners, especially from Ingrid, that makes it, in my opinion, a fantastically warm read. Characters like Patrick, Ingrid and Martha’s Aunt Winsome add such a ray of hope and love to the story that stops it becoming a saddening read, also Martha’s relationship with her older friend and mentor Peregrine shows that there is love still within her. In fact I found the book almost a love story, not just between Martha and Patrick but between Martha and herself.

The author chooses not to name the condition Martha has, stating at the end of the book that her symptoms and treatment are fictional. Although at first I was a little confused by this I felt that it was a wise move. So many conditions including mental illness can vary between one sufferer to another that it stops a reader possibly shelf diagnosing or comparing it too closely to their own experiences.

A fantastic read who’s characters have long stayed with me since finishing the book.

#bookreview #newrelease What Page, Sir? by Simon Pickering @RedDoorBooks #WhatPageSir

Delighted to share with you today my review for What Page, Sir? by Simon Pickering. Thanks so much to the publishers Red Door Books for sending me this copy and for my spot on the tour.

SYNOPSIS

What Page, Sir? records the hilarious and sometimes painful experience of an English teacher as he struggles through some very familiar literary texts with some very unenthusiastic teenagers. Alongside the comedy that a teacher could really live without, is a fresh and irreverent look at the stalwarts of the school curriculum. Featuring An Inspector Calls, Lord of the Flies, and Of Mice and Men, plus the obvious works by Austen, Dickens and Shakespeare texts that seem to have been the staple for secondary schools forever, and, in some cases, remain a drag for everyone involved.

But beneath the buffoonery in the classroom, this book makes a more serious point about the education we are serving up for our children and whether it’s finally time for change.

MY THOUGHTS

This is an interesting, fun and quick read (130 pages) about one teachers experiences, over the years, of teaching English Literature at GCSE and A level, and the books that have come, gone and come back again, into the national curriculum.

Split into chapters each covering a different novel, the author gives us a reminder of the themes of the book/story line, in some instances, quoting from the text itself, ways in which he has taught it with methods and lesson plans, but also humorous insights and anecdotes on what it was like for him as a teacher, year in, year out, at different schools, with different pupils, but often hearing the same old jokes and banter from the students.

Something this book made me question, and not for the first time, was how familiar these titles are to me. Books that I studied back in the 80’s, my son’s studied in the early and mid 2010’s, and still being used today. Can the government and exam boards really not think of new one’s to use? One’s more up to date on female rights and sexuality, and with relevant issues and themes? As the synopsis asks, is it finally time for a change?

Many thanks to Lizzie at Red Door Books for bringing this book to my attention and for a copy of the book.

#bookreview A Thousand Tiny Disappointments by Sarah Edghill. @EdghillSarah @BloodhoundBooks

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Delighted to share my review with you today for a new novel called A Tiny Thousand Disappointments. I was contacted by the author herself asking if I would like to read a copy in exchange for a review. I said I would be happy to and I’m so glad I did! It is a wonderfully written debut novel and has received some great comments from some great authors.

A Tiny Thousand Disappointments is published by Bloodhound Books and was released on September 21st. It is available to buy on Amazon.

Release date: 21st September 2021

Published by Bloodhound Books

Available in paperback and EBook (as I write the kindle version is available at just 99p)

SYNOPSIS

Martha is being pulled in too many directions, trying to be a good mother, a loving wife, and a dutiful daughter. Despite it all, she’s coping. But then her elderly mother is rushed to the hospital and dies unexpectedly, and the cracks in the life Martha is struggling to hold together are about to be exposed.
 
When she discovers her mother has left her house to a stranger, she’s overwhelmed by grief and hurt. Getting no support from her disinterested husband or arrogant brother, Martha goes on to make some bad decisions.

If she were a good daughter, she would abide by her mother’s final wishes. If she were a good daughter, she wouldn’t destroy the evidence . . .

MY THOUGHTS

An extremely well written debut about a woman called Martha and her day to day struggles and situations brought about by events in her life over the last few years.

After the sudden death of her mother, she soon discovers that neither herself or her brother have been left her mother’s house, and although neither of them ‘need’ it financially, they expected it and they can not understand why their mother would make such a decision. On finding this information, Martha has to make a quick decision on how to handle the matter. This act later fills Martha with regret and in doing so, along with the lack of support from family and friends, makes Martha question her role as a daughter and re-evaluate her life and herself.

The characters within this book and the relationships Martha has with those characters are so believable and somewhat relatable, that this story soon placed itself into my imagination, enabling me to become quickly and utterly absorbed. Her emotions and thoughts are marvellously described by the author as are the actions of others, particularly the character of the brother-in-law who had me inwardly raging at one point in the book. Although both Martha and her brother are comfortable off and perhaps because of this, it really makes you think about the whole issue of inheritance and if parents are expected to leave what they have to their children.

There are two other very key elements to this story and that is Martha’s marriage and her son. I won’t go into these major parts of the book, as it will give too much away, but they are key to how Martha responds to things and the overall outcome of the story. The inclusion of the character of Martha’s friend is also a very interesting addition to Martha’s story.

I very much enjoyed this novel, and although moving and poignant, I found it an uplifting read. I look forward to reading more from this author.

THE AUTHOR

Sarah Edghill worked as a journalist for many years, writing for a range of newspapers and magazines, before turning her hand to fiction.

She is an alumna of the Faber Academy Novel Writing course and her work has won prizes and been short-listed in novel and short story competitions.

She lives in Gloucestershire with her husband, three children and far too many animals.

Sarah can be found on Twitter at @EdghillSarah or www.sarahedghill.com.

Quick Reads 2022 announcement @readingagency #QuickReads @midaspr

THE READING AGENCY ANNOUNCES QUICK READS 2022 AUTHORS WRITING BITESIZE BOOKS FOR THE LIFE-CHANGING LITERACY PROGRAMME

–       Authors revealed at Evening StandardStories Festival featuring Mosse & Wheatle

–       ‘Buy one gift one’ 10th anniversary campaign sees 35,507 books donated to new readers

–       Quick Reads 2022 titles set to form part of World Book Night booklist

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Authors taking part


Publishing on 14 April 2022 | www.readingagency.org.uk | Images
#QuickReads | @readingagency

Friday, 24 September 2021: The Reading Agency has announced the eight best-selling authors writing Quick Reads for 2022, the life-changing programme tackling the UK’s adult literacy crisis by helping less confident readers get reading: MW Craven, Paula Hawkins, Ayisha Malik, Santa Montefiore, Kate Mosse, Graham Norton, Lemn Sissay and Alex Wheatle.

 

The line-up was revealed by Karen Napier, CEO of The Reading Agency, during Kate Mosse and Alex Wheatle’s event at the Evening Standard Stories Festival at Picturehouse Central on Friday evening, where the two renowned authors discussed the power of reading. 

 

Publishing on 14 April 2022 in a showcase of the very best contemporary writing, the new raft of Quick Reads titles incudes: a chilling story of revenge by New York Times bestseller Paula Hawkins (Blind Spot, Penguin Random House, Transworld, Doubleday); an intriguing tale of romance and danger from treasured comedian and presenter Graham Norton (The Swimmer, Hodder, Coronet); a gruesome new case for MW Craven’s popular crime-cracking duo Poe and Bradshaw (The Cutting Season, Hachette, Constable); a specially abridged version of Lemn Sissay’s prize-winning memoir (My Name Is Why abridged, (Canongate); a catch up with Ayisha Malik’s ‘Muslim Bridget Jones’ Sofia Khan (Sofia Khan: The Baby Blues, Headline, Review); a fable of family dynamics and deception courtesy of the much-loved Santa Montefiore (The Kiss, Simon & Schuster); an historical drama set against the backdrop of Tenerife’s volcanic landscape by the award-winning Kate Mosse (The Black Mountain, Macmillan, Mantle); and a high stakes return to the streets of Alex Wheatle’s North Crongton estate (Witness, Serpent’s Tail).

 

The Reading Agency have also revealed the impact of this year’s 15th anniversary ‘buy one gift one’ campaign, with 35,507 copies of these transformative books being delivered into the hands of those who struggle with reading or have limited access to books this Autumn. Working with library authorities, prisons, adult learning organisations and community-based charities the books are being distributed through a range of gifting projects and targeted outreach work. This includes work with food banks, ESOL (English as a Second Language) classes, local refugee groups, Basic Skills learners, people in prison and those being supported by homeless shelters or supported living. Thanks to generous support from this year’s six publishers, for every book bought from publication in May through to 31 July 2021, another copy was donated to The Reading Agency.

 

Following the success of ‘buy one, gift one’ and as part of The Reading Agency’s strategy to reach even more emerging readers through a gifting component of Quick Reads activity, the eight titles announced today will also form part of the World Book Night 2022 Booklist. The full list of World Book Night 2022 titles will be revealed later this year. World Book Night is an annual national celebration of reading which takes place on 23 April.

 

Quick Reads plays a vital role in addressing the UK’s adult literacy crisis, engaging the one in three adults who do not regularly read for pleasure and the one in six adults who find reading difficult. Since launching in 2006, Quick Reads titles have been loaned out over 6 million times and over 5 million copies have been distributed with the generous support of publishers and donors. 

 

The titles are available for just £1 at bookshops and are free to borrow from libraries. They are used across the country in colleges, prisons, trade unions, hospitals, and adult learning organisations.

 

Karen Napier, CEO, The Reading Agency, said: “Working closely with our wonderful publisher partners, the success of this year’s innovative 10thanniversary ‘buy one, gift one’ campaign has enabled The Reading Agency to distribute thousands of free books into the hands of those that need them most, who struggle with reading, or have limited access to books. 

We are incredibly excited to reveal the extraordinary list of authors working with Quick Reads to publish a bitesize book next year – and thank them for their support to this life-changing programme. We are thrilled that these titles will form part of our World Book Night 2022 booklist, allowing us to explore new ways of engaging a wider audience so that more and more readers will be able to discover the pleasure and benefits that come from reading.”

#quickbookreview MRS MARCH by Virginia Feito @4thEstateBooks @netgalley

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SYNOPSIS

George March’s latest novel is a smash hit. None could be prouder than Mrs. March, his dutiful wife, who revels in his accolades and relishes the lifestyle and status his success brings.

A creature of routine and decorum, Mrs. March lives an exquisitely controlled existence on the Upper East Side. Every morning begins the same way, with a visit to her favourite patisserie to buy a loaf of
olive bread, but her latest trip proves to be her last when she suffers an indignity from which she may never recover: an assumption by the shopkeeper that the protagonist in George March’s new book –
a pathetic sex worker, more a figure of derision than desire – is based on Mrs. March.

One casual remark robs Mrs. March not only of her beloved olive bread but of the belief that she knew everything about her husband – and herself – sending her on an increasingly paranoid journey, one
that starts within the pages of a book but may very well uncover both a killer and the long-buried secrets of Mrs. March’s past.

MY THOUGHTS

What a dark, unsettling yet totally engaging read. I found myself unable to put this book down.

Written in the third person, (you don’t know her first name until the very end), but reads in a way you feel totally inside her head, Mrs March tells the story of it’s character and her spiral towards a breakdown. Convince her husband’s new book’s main character, a sex worker, is based on her, we read as her daily interactions become smaller and smaller as she ‘imagines’ (or does she?) that people are talking about her.

Crippled by status, appearances and an already deep need to appear just so, her life and mental state start to fall apart. Along side this are her suspicions of her husband and his possible cheating, flash backs to her younger self and her ‘relationship’ with her young son all make for a read that is a mix of an intermit look at a women’s mental health, phycological thriller, and an engaging mystery. Sprinkled with dark humour, an utterly unreliable main character and an ambiguous time setting, I found it a totally absorbing read.

#blogtour #bookreview FALLING FOR A FRENCH DREAM by Jennifer Bohnet @jenniewriter @BoldwoodBooks @rararesources

It’s my stop on the blog tour today and I am delighted to share with you my review. Many thanks to Rachel Gilby of Rachel Random Resources for my invite and stop onto the tour and for the advance readers copy via Netgalley.

SYNOPSIS

After tragically losing her husband, Nicola Jacques and her teenage son Oliver relocate to his father’s family’s olive farm in the hills above the French Riviera.

Due to a family feud, Oliver has never known his father’s side of the family but Grandpapa Henri is intent that Oliver will take over the reins of the ancestral farm and his rightful inheritance.

Determined to keep her independence from a rather controlling Grandpapa, Nicola buys a run-down cottage on the edge of the family’s Olive Farm and sets to work renovating their new home and providing an income by cultivating the small holding that came with the Cottage.

As the summer months roll by, Nicola and Oliver begin to settle happily into their new way of life with the help of Aunts Josephine and Odette, Henri’s twin sisters and local property developer Gilles Bongars.

But the arrival of some unexpected news and guests at the farm, force Nicole and Aunt Josephine to assess what and where their futures lie.

*This book was previously published as The French Legacy.

MY THOUGHTS

This must be the fifth book of Jennifer’s I have read now, and she never disappoints in whisking me away to a sun drenched, idyllic French setting no matter what her characters have thrown at them!!

After Nicola and her son Oliver receive the news that her estranged husband has died, it leaves her with very mixed emotions. Sad for her son and for the loss of the man she did once love, but also with hope that now they could possibly begin to mend some bridges with her husband’s family in France. Relatives that Oliver barely knows. Following a request from farther-in-law Henri to come out to the farm in France to sort matters out, Nicola and Oliver head out there, but Nicola isn’t naïve, she is more than aware that she needs to be strong as Henri can be a controlling patriarch at the very least.

On arriving there Nicola is surprised with an ultimatum from Henri in regards to Oliver’s inheritance and makes a rushed and bold decision to move out to France. Buying a run down cottage very close to the farm means Oliver can be close to his new family, which he does appear to get on very well with, yet holding on to some of her independence and privacy, an added bonus is that she can return back to her love of gardening and the possibility make some money in doing so.

With the story line following them settling into their new lives, introducing the reader to Henri, Aunts Josephine and Odette and other characters, what follows is another charming and wonderfully set story from this author and again one that’s also full of back stories and other twists that gives the story mystery and suspense keeping the reader engaged and longing to find out the outcome for the characters involved.

As always beautifully set, this time in the surrounding countryside of the South of France, the novel wonderfully evokes the senses as you read with the sounds, smells and tastes of France plus of course with the sprinkling of possible romance making this another enjoyable and delightful read.

This book was previously published as The French Legacy.

Purchase Link  – https://amzn.to/35Z7KdX

LINKS AND AUTHOR BIO

Jennifer Bohnet is the bestselling author of over 12 women’s fiction titles, including Villa of Sun and Secrets and A Riviera Retreat. She is originally from the West Country but now lives in the wilds of rural Brittany, France.

Social Media Links –  

Facebook https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100063527178184

Twitter https://twitter.com/jenniewriter

Instagram https://www.instagram.com/jenniewriter/

Newsletter Sign Up Link http://bit.ly/JenniferBohnet

Bookbub profile https://www.bookbub.com/authors/jennifer-bohnet

#bookreview #giveaway #newrelease THE DUCHESS by WENDY HOLDEN @Wendy_Holden @welbeckpublish @CBGBooks #TheDuchess

Today is publication day for The Duchess by Wendy Holden ‘The second in the bestselling historical fiction series about ‘difficult women’ in the House of Windsor casts an unprecedented and sympathetic light on the story of Edward and Wallis Simpson.’

I’m delighted to post my review after receiving my wonderful early copy of the book plus hosting a giveaway for you to be able to win a copy too.

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SYNOPSIS

Love can change the course of history…

Arriving in 1928, Wallis was a divorced, penniless, middle-aged foreigner with average looks and no connections. Yet, just eight years later, a king renounced his throne for her.

How did a woman from nowhere capture the heart of the world’s most glamorous bachelor? Wendy Holden tells the amazing story…

MY THOUGHTS

Having read and thoroughly enjoyed the author’s previous book The Governess, I was thrilled to receive a copy of her next book in the series of women in the House of Windsor. This new book looks at Wallis Simpson. The American divorcee who went onto marry Edward VIII, causing him to abdicate from the throne.

Again Wendy Holden does a fantastic job of combining fact and fiction to produce yet another enjoyable and engaging read.

Divorced from her alcoholic and abusive first husband, we meet Wallis as she has recently moved to England with her second husband Ernest Simpson. A kind man but one with a very different personality and future outlook to Wallis she becomes desperate to find the kind of life she craves.

Using friends of her sister-in-law and other acquaintances at first to fill her days and make life a little less boring, she finds herself in the orbit of David, Prince of Wales, the future Edward VIII King of Great Britain, Ireland and the British Dominions Beyond the Seas, Emperor of India.

The book is divided between the ‘present’ when Wallis returns to England for the funeral of her late husband and their meeting, romance and the build up to the Duke’s abdication.

It was not only very interesting to read more of a point of view of Wallis but also to see Edward portrayed as a rather lonely individual.

Wendy Holden does yet again a marvellous job of writing a fictional take on a true life story and again as in The Governess, one which has been much talked about and publicised over the years. I loved how the book gave a real feel to the time with Wallis’s passion for style and interior design and the inclusion of famous names. I knew nothing about David’s beloved Fort Belvedere and loved reading of the parties and dinners held there and found the moments leading up to the funeral moving.

Hugh thanks once again to the publishers Welbeck for both my copies of The Governess and The Duchess and I under the third book titled The Princess is about Princess Diana which I’m sure will be much anticipated.

As mentioned the publishers have kindly offered me a copy of The Duchess to give away, so do please check out my Instagram page for this.