Sunday, 20 September 2015

Recipes for Melissa by Teresa Driscoll

Description : 

Is it ever too late for the gift of goodbye?

Melissa Dance was eight years old when her mother died. They never got to say goodbye.

Seventeen years later, Melissa is handed a journal. As she smooths open the pages and begins to read her mother’s words, she is instantly transported back to her childhood.

But returning to her past is painful and memories of her mother’s beautiful face are a cruel reminder to Melissa that she’ll never see her again.

As Melissa slowly makes her way through the precious book, reading the snippets of advice and cooking the dishes from the recipes she is also shocked to learn of her mother’s secrets – secrets that if shared, could change Melissa’s world forever.

  Publish Date : 5th June 2015

Published By : Bookouture

Format : Kindle Edition

* Thank you to Bookouture and Netgalley for providing this copy in exchange for an honest review*

My Thoughts : What a truly delightful read this was.
Melissa is 25 and has just received a journal her Mother wrote for her while she was dying from cancer when Melissa was just 8 years old.

A lot of the book is set in journal style and as you may have guessed from the title there are recipes, these aren't just recipes though, they are stories that bring back many memories that Melissa has put to the back of her mind since her Mothers death.

On reading the blurb I thought this book would be a tear jerker and I was right in a way, although I shed a few tears it was also so much more. The story is about rediscovering and healing and the love Eleanor has for her daughter Melissa shines through, it's beautiful.

Teresa has written a beautiful heartfelt story with wonderful characters that will stay with me for a long time to come. I'd wholeheartedly recommend this book to everyone but just make sure you have a box of hankies and plenty time to read as once you start you won't want to stop until the end.

Saturday, 12 September 2015

The Summer of Secrets by Sarah Jasmon

The Summer of Secrets
Description : One day she was there . . .

and the next day, the day after the fire, she was gone.

In the summer of 1983, when Helen is sixteen, Victoria Dover and her eccentric family move in next door, at once making her lonely world a more thrilling place. But the summer ends with a terrible tragedy, and everyone involved – her father and the entire Dover family – simply disappears.

Then one day, thirty years later, Victoria comes back.

A suspenseful, spell-binding coming-of-age story about young friendship, damaged families and how one simple action on a long, sultry summer can echo through the years. Perfect for fans of Louise Doughty's Apple Tree Yard, Liane Moriarty's The Husband's Secret and Helen Dunmore's The Lie.

Publish date : August 13th 2015
Published by : Transworld Digital
Format : Kindle Edition

* Thank you Netgalley and Random House UK, Transworld Publishers, Black Swan for giving me the opportunity to review this book in exchange for an honest opinion. *

My thoughts :  This is a slow moving story, but it's beautifully written and thought provoking.
Set in the summer of 1983 and interwoven with the year 2013 we read about the main character Helen, a bored and lonely 16 year old girl and her neighbours the Dovers who suddenly appear cause a whirlwind and just as suddenly disappear leaving Helen confused and still wondering 30 years on what happened.

Sarah Jasmon tells a wonderful descriptive story, the canal side comes to life as you read and the characters are believable. There's secrets and twists but if you're looking for a fast paced book this isn't for you. Instead we get a slow moving yet intensely thought provoking story that captures you from page 1 and slowly twists its way through to the end where you are desperate to find out what happened on that fateful night in the summer of 83.

I really enjoyed The Summer of Secrets and it's a fantastic debut novel from Sarah and I really look forward to reading more by this author.

4 lovely stars.jpg

The Secret Daughter by Kelly Rimmer. A beautiful novel of adoption, heartbreak and a mother's love.

Description : As I saw my new-born baby’s face for the first time I tried desperately to capture her face in my mind—to stamp it onto my eyelids. As she was taken from me I knew I might never see my daughter again.

37 years later…
‘You were adopted’. Three short words and Sabina’s life fractures. There would forever be a Before those words, and an After.

Pregnant with her own child, Sabina can’t understand how a mother could abandon her daughter, or why her parents have kept the past a secret.

Determined to find the woman who gave her away, what she discovers will change everything, not just for Sabina, but for the women who have loved her all these years.

From the bestselling author of Me Without You comes another touching, beautifully told story about the pain of separation and the enduring strength of love.

Publication Date : June 18th 2015
Publisher : Bookouture
Format- Kindle edition

* I'd like to say a huge thank you to Bookouture and Netgalley for providing me with this ARC to review*

My thoughts : This was a truly outstanding book, one which I couldn't put down and will stay with me for a long time.

The Secret Daughter is based in Australia and the main character Sabina and her husband Ted have just found out they are to be parents for the first time. Obviously over the moon Sabina can't wait to tell her parents but doesn't get the reaction she was expecting and that's when her whole world is turned upside down.

Forced adoption in Australia is something that has been on the news a lot, back in the 60's, 70's and early 80's if you were a minor and fell pregnant out of wedlock the baby was instantly taken away from you and given to a married couple. The Secret Daughter although fiction is like reading a documentary. I was just engrossed from the very beginning, I was brought to tears numerous times through out the book.

The characters are well developed and I felt like I knew them personally by the end. The story is told from Sabina's first-person narrative, which is emotional to say the least. We're also taken into the past through Lily's letters and also Megan's first-person narrative which gives us an understanding to these characters and their feelings at the time which is also emotional. Ted, Sabina's husband was just a lovely character, so supportive and caring. A true gem.

Kelly Rimmer has taken a very tender subject and turned it into a wonderfully fabulous well written book, one that draws you in and never lets you go again. This book has made it's way into my top 10 this year,  and I look forward to reading more from Kelly soon.

I'd highly recommend this book, but make sure you have a box of hankie's by your side.

Thank you Kelly for an emotional, wonderful and truly magnificent book.

5 lovely hearts.jpg