Sunday, June 14, 2020

The Returning Tide by Liz Fenwick


Paperback: 377 pages
Genre: Historical/Contemporary Romantic Fiction
Publisher:  Orion 2017
Source: Local Charity Shop Purchase.
First Sentence: The marquee housing the wedding party was small, but it was not needed.
Review Quote: 'Authentic and compelling...I loved it' Rosanna Ley

My Opinion: Back in 2013, Liz Fenwick sent me her first novel The Cornish House to review. I enjoyed it and since then have been following her writing career with interest. I am ashamed to say though that it is only recently that I obtained another of her books to read, this one.

A simply delightful read, this heart breaking novel is set in Cornwall during WWII and more recently 2016. The story of Adele and Amelia, identical twins and the devastating betrayal that divides them is very touching, I found myself with tears welling more than once.

Recommended to those that appreciate well written fiction that bursts with not only settings and characters that come alive on the page, but that will take you through a whole range of human emotion, from love to hate.

Having read this one, I certainly wish to obtain more of Liz Fenwick's novels to read in the future.

Goodreads Precis:

Two sisters and one betrayal that will carry across generations...

In wartime Cornwall, 1943, a story between two sisters begins - the story of Adele and Amelia, and the heart-breaking betrayal that will divide them forever. Decades later, the efforts of one reckless act still echo - but how long will it be until their past returns?

The Returning Tide will sweep you away to the beautiful Cornish coast, full of secrets and mystery, and will be loved by fans of Kate Morton and Rachel Hore.

Author Profile

Liz Fenwick was born in Massachusetts and after nine international moves - the final one lasting eight years in Dubai- I now live in Cornwall and London with my husband and a cat. I made my first trip to Cornwall in 1989, bought my home there seven years later. My heart is forever in Cornwall, creating new stories.
My debut novel THE CORNISH HOUSE was followed by A CORNISH AFFAIR, A CORNISH STRANGER and UNDER A CORNISH SKY, A Cornish Christmas Carol (novella), THE RETURNING TID and ONE CORNISH SUMMER. All published by Orion in English. There are editions in Dutch, German, Portuguese, French, Danish, Swedish, Norwegian, Estonian, Latvian, Turkish, Serbian, Czech and soon Hungarian.

The biographical information and photo used in this post are with thanks to the following websites, where you can also find more information about the author and her writing. 

Monday, June 8, 2020

Grown Ups by Marian Keyes


Hardback: 633 pages
Genre: Humorous Contemporary Fiction
Publisher: Penguin, Michael Joseph 2020
Source: Amazon
First Sentence: Johnny Casey launched into a fit of energetic coughing - a bit of bread down the wrong way.
Favourite Quote: "Adulthood, for all its opportunities, meant the simultaneous accumulation of loss
Review Quote: Magnificently messy lives, brilliantly untangled. Funny, tender and completely absorbing. Graham Norton.
My Opinion: A delightful family saga which kept me entertained for many hours as it is 633 pages long.

The perfect antidote for Coronavirus Blues which has surely touched many of us over the last few months, this gives you the opportunity to think about other families and their problems for a few hours.

A dysfunctional and complicated family the Casey brothers and their partners must come to terms with secrets which are inadvertently blurted out to everyone present at a family gathering. It is time for quite a few of the adults present to behave as Grown Ups!

Recommended to anyone that enjoys a family saga and needs a laugh.

Précis Courtesy of Amazon:

They're a glamorous family, the Caseys.
Johnny Casey, his two brothers Ed and Liam, their beautiful, talented wives and all their kids spend a lot of time together - birthday parties, anniversary celebrations, weekends away. And they're a happy family. Johnny's wife, Jessie - who has the most money - insists on it.
Under the surface, though, conditions are murkier. While some people clash, other people like each other far too much . . .
Everything stays under control until Ed's wife Cara gets concussion and can't keep her thoughts to herself. One careless remark at Johnny's birthday party, with the entire family present, starts Cara spilling out all their secrets.
In the subsequent unravelling, every one of the adults finds themselves wondering if it's time - finally - to grow up?

Author Profile: Courtesy of  Marian Keyes - Website

Courtesy of Amazon

Marian Keyes is one of the most successful Irish novelists of all time. Though she was brought up in a home where a lot of oral story-telling went on, it never occurred to her that she could write. Instead she studied law and accountancy and finally started writing short stories in 1993 “out of the blue.” Though she had no intention of ever writing a novel (“It would take too long”) she sent her short stories to a publisher, with a letter saying she’d started work on a novel. The publishers replied, asking to see the novel, and once her panic had subsided, she began to write what subsequently became her first book Watermelon, published in 1995.
To date, the woman who said she’d never write a novel has published 13 of them: Watermelon, Lucy Sullivan is Getting Married, Rachel’s Holiday, Last Chance Saloon, Sushi for Beginners, Angels, The Other Side of the Story, Anybody Out There, This Charming Man, The Brightest Star in the Sky , The Mystery of Mercy Close, The Woman Who Stole My Life, and The Break Her books have all been bestsellers around the world, with a total of over 30 million of her books sold to date in 33 languages. Anybody Out There won the British Book Awards award for popular fiction and the inaugural Melissa Nathan Prize for Comedy Romance. This Charming Man won the Irish Book Award for popular fiction. Marian’s latest book Grown Ups is publishing in hardback and eBook in February 2020.
The books deal variously with modern ailments, including addiction, depression, domestic violence, the glass ceiling and serious illness, but always written with compassion, humour and hope.
In 2009, Marian experienced the start of a major depressive episode, and had to stop any work. Eventually she found that baking cakes helped her survive; and in 2012, she published Saved by Cake, which combines recipes with autobiography.
As well as novels she has written short stories, and articles for various magazines and other publications. She has published three collections of her journalism, titled Under the Duvet  and Further Under the Duvet, now collected in one volume under the title Under the Duvet: Deluxe Edition, and donated all royalties from Irish sales to the Simon Community, a charity which works with the homeless. In 2016 Marian published a new collection of essays, Making It Up As I Go Along.
She was born in Limerick in 1963, and brought up in Cavan, Cork, Galway and Dublin; she spent her twenties in London, but is now living in Dún Laoghaire with her husband Tony. She includes among her hobbies reading, movies, shoes, handbags and feminism.

Photographs and Biographical Information courtesy of the following sites.

Thursday, April 23, 2020

Blood Orange by Harriet Tyce


Hardback: 324 pages                                                                                       
Genre: Psychological Fiction
Publisher: Wildfire, Headline 2019
Source: Amazon
First Sentence: First, you light a cigarette, the smoke curling in on itself and up towards the ceiling.
Favourite Quote: The affair for me was solace and escape, a relief because I was wanted and not pushed to side.

Review Quote: Blood Orange is glittering and fierce and resolutely unsentimental, a glorious bonfire of a marriage thriller. The Irish Times.
Main Characters: Alison, her husband Carl and her lover Patrick.
Setting: London
My Opinion: I thoroughly enjoyed this novel but it was not the strong psychological thriller I was expecting from the pre-publication hype it was given.
For me it read as a dark domestic life drama centred around the main protagonist Alison. A successful barrister who has just been given her first murder case. Her personal life is a mess as she tries unsuccessfully to balance home life, marriage, a racy affair and the pressures of her career.
There are some great twists and turns with an ending that momentarily left me quite shaken, though in retrospect should not have done so!
Recommended to anyone that likes a page turner, however you must be prepared for lots of domestic violence and sexual abuse which can be rather disturbing.

 Precis Courtesy of Amazon:

Alison has it all. A doting husband, adorable daughter, and a career on the rise - she's just been given her first murder case to defend. But all is never as it seems...
Just one more night. Then I'll end it.
Alison drinks too much. She's neglecting her family. And she's having an affair with a colleague whose taste for pushing boundaries may be more than she can handle.
I did it. I killed him. I should be locked up.
Alison's client doesn't deny that she stabbed her husband - she wants to plead guilty. And yet something about her story is deeply amiss. Saving this woman may be the first step to Alison saving herself.
I'm watching you. I know what you're doing.
But someone knows Alison's secrets. Someone who wants to make her pay for what she's done, and who won't stop until she's lost everything....

Author Profile:

.Harriet Tyce
    Photo courtesy of Amazon

Harriet Tyce was born and grew up in Edinburgh. She graduated from the University of Oxford in 1994 with a degree in English Literature before gaining legal qualifications. She worked as a criminal barrister for ten years, leaving after the birth of her first child. She completed an MA in Creative Writing - Crime Fiction at UEA where she wrote Blood Orange, which is her first novel.

Photograph and Biographical Information courtesy of the following sites:

Amazon Author Page     Goodreads - Author Profile  Harriet Tyce - Author Offical Website

Twitter Account - Harriet Tyce

Wednesday, April 15, 2020

The Silent Patient by Alex Michaelides

                                  40891998. sy475   

Hardback: 339 pages                                                                                            
Genre: Psychological Thriller
Publisher: Orion 2019
Source: Bookshop
First Sentence: I don't know why I'm writing this.
Favourite Quote: “Remember, love that doesn't include honesty doesn't deserve to be called love.”
Review Quote: An excellent, slow-burning psychological thriller; sharp, clever and with a whammy that genuinely took me by surprise.
Main Characters: Alicia Berenson and Theo Faber

Setting: London, England

My Opinion: 

Although this is a debut novel from Alex  Michaelides, he has already written successful screenplays. This shows in the quality of his writing, with the storyline flowing perfectly from start to finish.

Alicia Berenson fatally shot her husband six years ago. She has not spoken since that tragic event, but her latest psychotherapist Theo Faber is determined to get to the bottom of the mystery somehow.

Well he does and the results were somewhat surprising, I was nowhere near guessing!  A very quick and easy read as one just keeps turning the pages wanting to know if Theo is going to be successful or not.

Recommended to anyone that wants to read a good story and enjoys a mystery.


Précis Courtesy of Goodreads:

Alicia Berenson’s life is seemingly perfect. A famous painter married to an in-demand fashion photographer, she lives in a grand house with big windows overlooking a park in one of London’s most desirable areas. One evening her husband Gabriel returns home late from a fashion shoot, and Alicia shoots him five times in the face, and then never speaks another word.

Alicia’s refusal to talk, or give any kind of explanation, turns a domestic tragedy into something far grander, a mystery that captures the public imagination and casts Alicia into notoriety. The price of her art skyrockets, and she, the silent patient, is hidden away from the tabloids and spotlight at the Grove, a secure forensic unit in North London.

Theo Faber is a criminal psychotherapist who has waited a long time for the opportunity to work with Alicia. His determination to get her to talk and unravel the mystery of why she shot her husband takes him down a twisting path into his own motivations—a search for the truth that threatens to consume him....

Author Profile:

                                            Alex Michaelides

Alex Michaelides was born in Cyprus to a Greek-Cypriot father and an English mother. He studied English Literature at Cambridge University and later got an MA in Screenwriting at the American Film Institute in Los Angeles. 

He wrote the film The Devil You Know (2013) starring Rosamund Pike and co-wrote The Con is On (2018), starring Uma Thurman, Tim Roth, Parker Posey and Sofia Vergara. The Silent Patient  is his first novel and is a Sunday Times, New York Times, Australian and Irish bestseller.

Photographs and Biographical Information courtesy of the following sites.

Goodreads - Author Profile     Amazon Author Page    Twitter - Alex Michaelides