Published: July 2020 by Lake Union Publishing
Category: Contemporary Fiction, Family Drama, Book Review
When her loving, free-spirited grandmother Primrose passes away, Victoria is bereft, yet resilient—she has survived tragedy before. But even her strength is tested when a mysterious woman attends Prim’s funeral and claims to be the mother Victoria thought was dead.
The Day She Came Back is a compelling story of three generations of women—Prim, Sarah and Victoria—woven into a tale of secrets uncovered, loss, grief and forgiveness. Victoria has been brought up by her beautiful, glamorous grandmother, Prim. Her parents had been drug addicts and died when she was a baby and her grandfather passed away several years ago. Prim’s daughter Sarah, Victoria’s mother, had been her only child. Now it was just Victoria and Prim living in Rosebank, a large house on the outskirts of Epsom in Surrey. She has no other relatives and hadn’t been a popular girl at school, but she has a lovely best friend in Daksha.
Published: February 2020 by Hatchette Books Ireland
Category: Dual Timeline, Historical, Contemporary, Book Review
For almost fifty years, Katie Carroll has kept a box tucked away inside her wardrobe. It dates from her time working as a nurse in a west of Ireland mother and baby home in the 1960s. The box contains a notebook holding the details of the babies and young women she met there. It also holds many of the babies’ identity bracelets.
The Paper Bracelet is inspired by true events, namely the harsh way unmarried mothers were treated, not only in Ireland where this story is set, but further afield as well. For a long time nothing was known about the injustices and heartbreak women suffered in mother and baby homes, run by nuns for women, and sometimes including young abused girls, whose families didn’t want the shame or stigma of an unmarried and pregnant daughter. Rachael English tells this heartbreaking story extremely well and with empathy.
Published: April 2014 by William Morrow Paperbacks
Category: Dual Timeline, Historical Fiction, Based on Fact, Contemporary, Book Review
Fourteen members of a small village set sail on RMS Titanic, hoping to find a better life in America. For seventeen-year-old Maggie Murphy, the journey is bittersweet. Though her future lies in an unknown new place, her heart remains in Ireland with Séamus, the sweetheart she left behind. When disaster strikes, Maggie is one of the few passengers in steerage to survive. Waking up alone in a New York hospital, she vows never to speak of the terror and panic of that fateful night again.
My first experience of Hazel Gaynor’s books was The Lighthouse Keeper’s Daughter, based on the life of Grace Darling, which I loved. I enjoy the fact there’s truth mixed in with fiction and The Girl Who Came Home is no exception. It tells the story of Maggie Murphy from Ballysheen, Ireland, who was travelling with a group of women from the village, bound for New York and booked on the Titanic for the ship’s maiden voyage in 1912. The story was inspired by events surrounding the true story of the Addergoole Fourteen, Irish emigrants from County Mayo.
Published: January 2020 by Penguin Random House
Category: Police Procedural, Thriller, Suspense, Mystery, Book Review
FBI Special Agent Kimberly Quincy and Sergeant Detective DD Warren have built a task force to follow the digital bread crumbs left behind by deceased serial kidnapper Jacob Ness. And when a disturbing piece of evidence comes to light, they decide to bring in Flora Dane who has personal experience of being imprisoned by Ness.
When You See Me is a combination of two series and brings together Detective D.D. Warren, Flora Dane and FBI Agent Kimberly Quincy in a thrilling and tense ride with three strong, interesting and totally different female characters. Computer geek Keith, who has a passion for true crime and a tentative relationship with Flora, also joins the team. Several chapters from an as yet unnamed character whose suffering is slowly revealed are interspersed throughout the narrative.
As the end of 2019 is almost upon us, it’s favourite books of the year time!
It’s always a difficult choice to narrow the list down to twenty, but I do enjoy looking back at the books I’ve read during the year.
So, in no particular order…
Today I’m sharing a short extract from The Summer Springsteen’s Songs Saved My Life, as part of the Book Birthday Blitz organised by Rachel’s Random Resources.
About the Book
Author: Louise Beech
Published: April 2019 by Orenda Books
Category: Psychological, Contemporary Fiction, Book Review
Tonight is the night for secrets…
Pregnant Victoria Valbon was brutally murdered in an alley three weeks ago – and her killer hasn’t been caught.
Tonight is Stella McKeever’s final radio show. The theme is secrets. You tell her yours, and she’ll share some of hers.
I’ve read so many positive reviews and praise for Louise Beech’s writing that I have several of her, yet unread, books on my shelves. Call Me Star Girl is my first experience and I have to say the praise wasn’t exaggerated. The story exudes tension and atmosphere, with subtle twists and sudden surprises heightening the feelings of uncertainty and suspense.
Author: Menna van Praag
Published: May2018 by Allison & Busby
Category: Magical Realism, Romance, Contemporary, Fantasy, Book Review
Jude is the owner of a unique antiques shop in Cambridge. She makes it her mission to match customers with the special something that they are missing, a talisman to bring them what their heart desires. Unfortunately, Jude’s life is not overflowing with the love she wishes for.
Viola is a single-minded perfectionist whose only heart’s desire is the position of Head Chef at one of Cambridge’s most prestigious restaurants. But when Viola keeps bumping into a widower, Mathieu, she begins to discover that there’s more to life beyond the kitchen.
Author: Fiona Barton
Narrated by Clare Corbett, Adjoa Andoh, Finty Williams, Fenella Woolgar, Steven Pacey
Release Date: June 2017. Published by Transworld Digital
Category: Crime, Drama, Audiobook, Contemporary Fiction, Book Review
When a paragraph in an evening newspaper reveals a decades-old tragedy, most readers barely give it a glance. But for three strangers it’s impossible to ignore.
For one woman, it’s a reminder of the worst thing that ever happened to her.
For another, it reveals the dangerous possibility that her darkest secret is about to be discovered. And for the third, a journalist, it’s the first clue in a hunt to uncover the truth.
The Child’s story will be told.