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The Keeper of Lost Things – Ruth Hogan Book Review

13 Feb

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Format – Audiobook

Synopsis – Meet the Keeper of Lost Things….

Once a celebrated author of short stories now in his twilight years, Anthony Peardew has spent half his life collecting lost objects, trying to atone for a promise broken many years before.

Realising he is running out of time, he leaves his house and all its lost treasures to his assistant Laura, the one person he can trust to fulfil his legacy and reunite the thousands of objects with their rightful owners.

But the final wishes of the Keeper of Lost Things have unforeseen repercussions which trigger a most serendipitous series of encounters….

My Thoughts – I downloaded this from audible as it was on a 2 for 1 offer but it’s also a book that I’ve wanted to read for a while. This book has two different plot lines running, the first being Anthony Peardew and Laura and the other is Bomber and Eunice. Anthony becomes ‘The Keeper of Lost Things’ when his wife to be suddenly dies and many years later Laura becomes his housekeeper. When he dies we are introduced to the character of Sunshine, a young lady with Downs Syndrome, and I have to say that if everyone had Sunshine in their lives the world would be a much better place. This plot of the book was really good and had me hooked right to the end – what does happen with all the things tha are lost?

The second plot line to this book is Bomber and his assistant Eunice. This was a lovely little sub plot – woven so tightly with the other story but at the same time just not close enough to see where the two would link. It took til right at the end for it all to become apparent.

This was an amazing story – one that I would highly recommend that everyone read!

Rating – 5/5

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The Notebook – Nicholas Sparks Book Review

29 Jan

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Format – Paperback

Synopsis – How far can love endure?

Noah Calhoun has just returned from World War Two. Attempting to escape the ghosts of battle, he tries to concentrate on restoring an old plantation home to its former glory. And yet he is haunted by images of the beautiful girl he met there fourteen years before, a girl who captured his heart like no other.

But when these distant memories begin to slide into reality, the passion that had lain still is ignited once more. Though so much is in their way, the miraculous force of their love refuses to fade.

My Thoughts – I’ve had this book on my shelf for a long time – along with other books by this author. I’m not sure why its taken me so long to get around to reading this.

I enjoyed this book alot – i read it practically in one sitting and the love that Noah had for his wife was so perfect it was untrue. There isnt too much to say about the plot of this book but it was an amazing love story!

I’m looking forward to reading more of the authors work!

Rating – 4/5

When The Curtain Falls – Carrie Hope Fletcher * Book Review *

3 Sep

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Format – Hardback Book

SynopsisTheatres have a certain kind of magic. When the curtain rises, we are all enraptured by the glare of the lights and the smell of the greasepaint but it’s when the curtain falls that the real drama begins . . .

In 1952 two young lovers meet, in secret, at the beautiful Southern Cross theatre in the very heart of London’s West End. Their relationship is made up of clandestine meetings and stolen moments because there is someone who will make them suffer if he discovers she is no longer ‘his’. But life in the theatre doesn’t always go according to plan and tragedy and heartache are waiting in the wings for all the players . . .

Almost seventy years later, a new production of When the Curtain Falls arrives at the theatre, bringing with it Oscar Bright and Olive Green and their budding romance. Very soon, though, strange things begin to happen and they learn about the ghost that’s haunted the theatre since 1952, a ghost who can only be seen on one night of the year. Except the ghost is appearing more often and seems hell bent on sabotaging Oscar and Olive. The young couple realise they need to right that wrong from years gone by, but can they save themselves before history repeats itself and tragedy strikes once more?

My Thoughts – I am quite a big fan of Carrie on social media and follow her instragram etc but I’ve never read one of her books until now.

This book tells the story of Olive Green who is a leading lady in theatre land and Oscar Bright – a former soap star who is transitioning into theatre. It has various themes, love and betrayal, fights, ghost stories and all of these weaved together was really good. It was very obvious that Carrie obviously has a lot of knowledge of the theatre as this was reflected in the book very well.

It was an easy to read story and I will definitaly be reading more of her books.

Rating – 4/5

Secrets She Left Behind – Diane Chamberlain

18 Nov

Finished – 18/11/2014

Synopsis – What if you did something so devastating, you regretted it for the rest of your life?

Nineteen-year-old Maggie Lockwood spent a year in prison for her part in a fire that cost three lives. The scars carried by the surviving victims – inside and out – are still raw and Maggie’s release from jail does nothing to free her from the guilt.

Returning home, Maggie hides herself away, too afraid to see Keith, the boy she grew up with, played with as a child – and recently learnt is her half-brother.

Keith nearly lost his life in the fire and the emotional and physical wounds he carries have changed him forever. With childhood innocence gone, Maggie and Keith must learn to come to terms with their new lives, but trying to move forward will have deadly consequences…

My Thoughts – Diane Chamberlain is fast becoming one of my favourite authors as her stories have me hooked from the start and this one was no different. The only thing that annoyed me a little was it was the follow up book to another and i didnt realise until I started to read it. It worked well as a stand alone book and everything was explained clearly but me being me I would have liked to have read the first one first! This book had me hooked and I read most of it in one sitting! A very much recommended book.

Rating – 4/5

The Crimson Petal and the White – Michel Faber

15 Jun

Started – 16/5/13

Finished – 15/6/13

Format – Paperback Book

 

Challenges – Rory Gilmore Reading Challenge

Synopsis – Keep your wits about you; you will need them …’ So begins this irresistible voyage into the dark side of Victorian London. Amongst an unforgettable cast of low-lifes, physicians, businessmen and prostitutes, meet our heroine Sugar, a young woman trying to drag herself up from the gutter any way she can. Be prepared for a mesmerising tale of passion, intrigue, ambition and revenge.

 

My Thoughts – I picked this book up as it was the reading circle book from last month. I had already got it on my TBR pile so it was the perfect opertunity for me to read the book earlier than I thought.

 

This book is about Sugar, a prostitute in Victorian London and her meetings with William Rackham of Rackham Perfumes and how there lives become entwined. It is definitaly a book of how the other half live with Sugar to start with living in complete poverty and William living in a wealthy house paid for by his father who set up the perfume company.

 

Not only Sugar and William feature prominatly in the book. There is also Williams wife Agnes who is not a very well lady and has a lot of issues but also William and Agnes’ daughter Sophie Rackham.

 

This book i felt was brilliant. I really enjoyed the story behind it and how many different twists and turns there were to the plot line. It is also a very unique writing style and i really got into this one straight away. The only thing i didnt like was the abrupt ending. I would have liked it to go on a bit more.

 

I loved how the character of Sugar developed too. She started off so headstrong and knew what she wanted and ended up almost loosing the plot. There is a fair bit of adult parts of the book however with the subject matter in question I do feel that it needed to be in there.

 

a much recommended book. It is a big book and it did take me a month to read but this in no reflection of the story, i loved it.

 

Rating – 5/5

The Devil Wears Prada – Lauren Weisberger

11 Dec

Started – 27/11/12

Finished – 5/12/12

Format – Paperback Book

Synopsis – Andrea Sachs, a small-town girl fresh out of college, lands the job “a million girls would die for.” Hired as the assistant to Miranda Priestly, the high-profile, fabulously successful editor of Runway magazine, Andrea finds herself in an office that shouts Prada! Armani! Versace! at every turn, a world populated by impossibly thin, heart-wrenchingly stylish women and beautiful men clad in fine-ribbed turtlenecks and tight leather pants that show off their lifelong dedication to the gym. With breathtaking ease, Miranda can turn each and every one of these hip sophisticates into a scared, whimpering child.

THE DEVIL WEARS PRADA gives a rich and hilarious new meaning to complaints about “The Boss from Hell.” Narrated in Andrea’s smart, refreshingly disarming voice, it traces a deep, dark, devilish view of life at the top only hinted at in gossip columns and over Cosmopolitans at the trendiest cocktail parties. From sending the latest, not-yet-in-stores Harry Potter to Miranda’s children in Paris by private jet, to locating an unnamed antique store where Miranda had at some point admired a vintage dresser, to serving lattes to Miranda at precisely the piping hot temperature she prefers, Andrea is sorely tested each and every day—and often late into the night with orders barked over the phone. She puts up with it all by keeping her eyes on the prize: a recommendation from Miranda that will get Andrea a top job at any magazine of her choosing. As things escalate from the merely unacceptable to the downright outrageous, however, Andrea begins to realize that the job a million girls would die for may just kill her. And even if she survives, she has to decide whether or not the job is worth the price of her soul

 

My Thoughts – This book has been on my shelf for far too long and its one of those books that ive wanted to read for a long time but never got around to reading.

This book is about Andrea, fresh out of school and looking for a job. She isnt too sure where she wants to go with her life. She lands an interview at Runway magazine, which I’m sure somewhere i read that is loosely based on Vogue! Its here that she encounters Miranda, someone that she doesnt know who she is, which really shocks everyone present and manages to get the job as PA. Its now that her life changes. Miranda wants Andrea to be at her beck and call 24/7 with any number of requests, whether it be getting the new unreleased Harry Potter book for her twin daughters the day before its released or doing the dry cleaning or going to fashion shows in Paris.

I got hooked into this book almost as soon as i read the first few pages. It is very well written and has a very engaging storyline. I think why i enjoyed this book so much is that my boss is literally like the male version of Miranda with unreasonable demands and expecting me to be able to do them at once. I did have to giggle at the part with the dry cleaning as thats the sort of thing that happens to me on a regular basis.

I did feel very sorry for Andrea. She had just got her first proper job and trying to make her way in the world and managed to get the job from hell and in the process almost loose everyone close to her.

This book is very good and very funny. Although it could be classed as chick lit i do think it will appeal to a much wider audience and i would recommend it to anyone!

Rating – 4/5

The Art of Racing in the Rain by Garth Stein

4 Nov

 

 

 

Started – 27/10/12

Finished – 4/11/12

Format – Kindle e-book

 

Synopsis – A heart-warming and inspirational tale in which Enzo, a loyal family dog, tells the story of his human family, how they nearly fell apart, and what he did to bring them back together.

Enzo knows he is different from other dogs: he thinks and feels in nearly human ways. He has educated himself by watching extensive television, and by listening very closely to the words of his master, Denny Swift, an up-and-coming race car driver. Through Denny, Enzo realizes that racing is a metaphor: that by applying the techniques a driver would apply on the race track, one can successfully navigate the ordeals and travails one encounters in life.

Enzo relates the story of his human family, sharing their tragedies and triumphs. In the end, despite what he sees as his own limitations as a dog, Enzo comes through heroically to preserve the Swift family.

The Art of Racing in the Rain is a testament to a man’s life, given by his dog. But it is also a testament to the dog, himself. Though Enzo cannot speak, he understands everything that happens around him as he bears witness to his master’s problems. His enforced muteness only refines his listening ability, and allows him to understand many of life’s nuances that are lost on most humans. With humour, sharp observation, and a courageous heart, Enzo guides the reader to the bittersweet yet ultimately satisfying conclusion: there are no limitations to what we can achieve, if we truly know where we want to be.

My Thoughts – I read this book as it was the choice for the November reading circle over on the BCF. I always enjoy animal books and i thought that this sort of book would be one that i would enjoy.

This book is about the loyal family dog, Enzo, who to start with lives with his master Denny. Then Denny falls in love and meets Eve. Although to start with Enzo feels a bit jelous of Eve and the relationship that she has with Denny, he soon comes to love her as part of the family. Denny and Eve have a child called Zoe and with this there family is complete. However, a horrible twist happens and Eve becomes very ill. All of this is told through the perspective of Enzo the dog.

I do always wonder if animals know what is going on around them and have human like thoughts. I’d love it if my dogs could talk as i think that they could come out with some very interesting stuff.

I really liked how the racing theme was weaved in and out of the book and how this took on a greater meaning throughout. Like when denny was struggling with life it was brought up that although a race cannot be won at the first corner it is able to be lost, so its up to a persons strength to get through it all.

I also liked how real life events were put into this book and were accuarate, like the cememtary scene where Bruce Lee and Brandon Lee was discussed. I did actually look this up on the internet to see if it was true and guess what it was! Also along with the racing theme Senna was mentioned about his horriffic crash and death that he suffered.

Now i loved Enzo. He really reminded me of my very old Labrodor Sammy that we have now and the parts about his legs and hips did upset me a little bit. my dog has got to the stage where he cannot stand for long now or go for walks. The ending of this book really did make me cry, I’m such a softie with the animal books and to be honest i dont like it when upsetting things happen to animals.

This book was very good i think a must read for animal lovers even if it is a bit sad in places.

Rating – 4/5