Tag Archives: womans fiction

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

3 Sep

36443013

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

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2018 – What I have read so far

22 Jun

Well its been so long since I posted a review that i thought I would ease myself back in with a little wrap up of what I have read so far this year. I havent read loads this year however according to goodreads I’ve read 12 of my goal of 52 books (one a week!)

I always used to read more but I am struggling to find the time with so much else going on in life but once i pick up a book then I really do enjoy it. I do wish that the book buying would curb a little but thats another blog post!

Here are my stats from the last few years – my worst reading year was 2014 – the year i fell pregnant with my first and only managed 18 books. I’m wondering if pregnancy does something to my brain to allow it not to read as much!

Books read 2010 – 56
Books read 2011 – 76
Books read 2012 – 76
Books read 2013 – 40
Books read 2014 – 18
Books read 2015 – 42
Books read 2016 – 37
Books read 2017 – 24

So on to what I’ve been reading this year.

  1. Fangirl – Rainbow Rowell. This was a book that had been on my wishlist for ages with all the hype surrounding it. I enjoyed it- however it wasnt a great memeorable book for me – but I do tend to find that with ‘popular’ books!
  2. The Party – Robyn Harding. This was ok. The plot was really guessable though but it was an easy book to get into.
  3. Mum to Mum – Coleen Nolan. Again an ok book but to me it was just an advice column that had been put into book form. It was quite good reading about her experiences as a mum as I do find that really interesting.
  4. The Excalibur Codex – James Douglas. This was a book set around King Arthur which I really found innteresting. This was a really good thriller book and Ireally enjoyed it.
  5. Roxys Baby – Catherine Macphail. I read this as it was on one or more of my reading challenges – I think maybe the Ultimate Teen Book Guide Challenge but I will check! I didnt enjoy this at all – I didnt think it was too well written or very likely a plot!
  6. The Legacy – Katherine Webb. I enjoyed this story and how the different generations of the family all blended up into one story.
  7. I Let Him Go – Denise Fergus. This was an absolutly harrowing read. My boy is slightly older than James Bulger was at the time of his disapearance and I can only imagine what his poor mother went through. A raw, emotional story written in a beautiful way.
  8. 2017:War with Russia – Richard Shirreff. My OH brought me this as he was listening to the audio version and he enjoyed this book. Its not my normal genre but i did really enjoy it.
  9. How to be Happy – Eva Woods. This is a really emotional story about a woman living with cancer and I have to say its changed my outlook a little. For example, if you are not happy with an area of your life – then change it. I understand that it is easier said than done more than most people but if you hate your job – change it. Unhappy in your relationship – change it. There is no point in life in moaning that you are unhappy but not willing to do anything about it. This book will stay with me for a long time.
  10. Howards End is On The Landing – Susan Hill. This has been on my TBR list for ages but again I idnt enjoy it loads. There is something about ‘classic’ books that put me off. Although the idea in itself is good – read your own books for a year. I just wish I could do it!
  11. Why Mummy Drinks – Gill Sims. I laughed out loud at this. A lot. This was brilliant. There are so many misconceptions about being a perfect parent and the author of this book hits the nail on the head perfectly. Most mums would love to give there kids a healthy breakfast whilst listening to an audiobook or something but the reality is you normally end up chucking coco-pops in front of them whilst they watch peppa pig – so you can wake up with a big mug of something caffinated to start your day! A really good truthful book.
  12. Baby Boom – Helen Wallen. This book is about 3 friends who are at different stages in there lives and its another book that I wish i had read during my first pregnancy. It was really good and would definitaly be one I’d recommend!

So thats all the books that I’ve read so far this year – i might go back and do some proper reviews on these but they are at least on here now!

I’ve got lots of ideas for other book related blog posts in the near future and I’m very excited to be writing again!

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 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

Change of Heart – Jodi Picoult

6 Oct

Started – 29/9/12

Finished – 6/10/12

Format – Paperback Book

 

Synopsis – June’s first husband was killed in a car crash. Against all the odds, her daughter was uninjured and, in another miracle, June found love again with the policeman who rescued them. Six years on they are a happy family, June pregnant with their own child.

But now June’s second daughter is dying without the new heart she so urgently needs. And her first daughter, along with her husband, is dead, killed by Shay Bourne, an itinerant workman they welcomed into their home. The crime was so heinous that Shay has been given the death penalty for the first time in 69 years in New Hampshire. Shay is going to die, and he is looking for redemption. He wants to give June’s daughter his heart . . .

 

My Thoughts – I am a massive fan of this authors work i have read a lot of her books and intend to read them all some day. Her books always seem to hook me in and i cant put it down until i finish it and get to the bottom of the story.

This book is about a wide range of characters such as June who has lost a lot of important people in her life. Her first and second husband and her young daughter Elizabeth. All she has left is her daughter Clare, who is very sick and needs a heart transplant to survive. Then there is Shay, the man that took her daughter and husband away from her. Theres Maggie a lawyer and Micheal a priest.

This book has all the usual marks of a Picoult novel. The change in character for every chapter, which i love! I always like to get the different perspectives on all the events by the different people involved in the situation. It doesnt follow a chronological pattern and events are revealed throughout the book which kind of adds more to the story and makes you think about which character is the more truthful about the events. Also it has a massive twist in this book again like other books by the author and i did not see this one coming. It really knocked me for six and i think i need to revisit some parts of the book with this new information revealed.

It also has the courtroom scenes which are quite familar in this authors books but this time round i didnt find them to heavy going and i got really fascinated by them. There is a massive theme of religion in this book and to be honest this didnt put me off either. It was done very well and tastefully and not at all shouting about it as sometimes i think religion in books can be quite overwhelming.

I really enjoyed this book and its one of this authors books that i like the most. its one of her more recent books and i seem to like these better than her early books. I cant wait to read more by her.

Rating – 4/5

The Difference A Day Makes – Carole Matthews

5 Jun

Started – 22/5/12

Finished – 5/6/12

Format – Paperback book

Synopsis – William and Amy Ashurst are typical townies, dedicated professionals at the top of their tree, with two adorable children and an au pair who cooks, cleans and cares for them all. Then one day Will collapses on his way into work and he decides he’s never going back.

So it is that, three months later, Amy is standing outside Helmshill Grange, a sullen monstrosity of a house, deep in the Yorkshire moors, with their own land as far as the eye can see. It’s what William says he’s always wanted, which is slightly worrying as he couldn’t be bothered to do his own gardening in Notting Hill, and would rather pick up a book than a spade. Within days, Will’s traded in their brand new Audi for a clapped out Land Rover, and brought home chickens, goats, sheep, a serial-killer cat and a mad dog. Then tragedy strikes and Amy learns that it’s one thing living the dream, but when the dream’s not your own, how long can it last?

My thoughts – I brought this book back in 2010 as i am a huge fan of Carole Matthews books as they are always fun but with a serious message behind them. Its nice to read a chick lit book with a bit more substance to it and not just all fluff to it.

The Difference A Day Makes is about Amy and Will, a happily married couple who both work at a british television company in London. They have two children who are looked after by a nanny as both parents are workaholics. During a normal tube ride to work Will has a health scare and is rushed into hospital. Due to the fact that all his family have died young from heart attacks and the simular, he wants to have a complete change of lifestyle and wants to move with his family out to the countryside and give up his stressful job.

Amy doesnt share his vision in this, but gives in and soon they move to the countryside and move into a desolate country home that needs lots of work doing on it to make it habitable. Not only does Will buy a new home, he buys chickens that cant lay eggs and are blind, three sheep that are a bit old, a goat, a cat and a very unmanagable dog.

Then the unthinkable happens Will dies suddenly from a heart attack. Amy is left alone to bring up two children with no husband, no job and living in a place that she doesnt want to be. When the handsome vet is introduced into things, a handyman that becomes more than that to the children, and the adjustment to villiage life it is definitaly a recipe for a good book.

To start with i didnt really get into this book. I struggled a little to connect with the story, it wasnt until Will died that i started to really get into the story of this book. Once WIll had passed away their was lots of different story lines going on like the vet, the children, the animals to get my attention.

I didnt always like Amy. I felt at times she was very selfish and only wanted to do what she wanted and not what was best for the family. However, towards the end i warmed to her. I really enjoyed this book and i read 3/4 of it in one night, i just had to know how it ended.

I was quite glad that this was a happily ever after book, most of the time i dont like that particular ending, but this time it really worked for the book.

I would recommend this book to fans of chick lit and to those readers that like books with a bit of a serious message to them.

Rating – 4/5

Out of Time – Deborah Truscott

28 Feb

Started – 12/2/12

Finished – 25/2/12

Format – Kindle e-book

 

Synopsis – Kathleen Findlay is married to a cad, her mother is driving her crazy and her life is falling apart. Then her uncle dies, leaving her the family’s Revolutionary-era home and, she believes, an escape from her chaotic marriage. But one afternoon, while searching for a rake, she discovers a man in her garden shed — and a free fall through the centuries.

As her life spins wildly out of control, Kathleen finds her heart and in the process, her own place in time.

 

My Thoughts – This was on offer in the kindle store so i decided to download this and give it a go. This book is basically three books in one. It is fantasy, romance and historical fiction. To start with i almost gave up on this book, but i am so glad that i didnt, although it had quite a slow start it went on to be a really good book.

 

Basically Kathleen (or Kathy) finds a man in a garden shed (Robert) who has fallen through time. Then there is all sorts of issues, how did he get there, why is he there and what happens now that he is? I thought that this was delt with really well and it really hooked me in. There is also a huge element of mystery within the book, who is making the mystery calls? why was the door left open? who is the man in the car? These questions really kept me reading.

 

I am not sure if the historical facts are acurate, i never studied that era in American history, but it sounds pretty acurate and the detail that the author went into about this time period was fascinating.

 

The ending was brilliant, i never saw that part of the story coming and thought it was the perfect ending for this book. Unfortunatly, the author hasnt written anything else, as far as my searches will allow, which is a shame because this book is good.

 

Rating – 4/5