More Mini Book Reviews
Today I have a selection of four mini book reviews. They are all great books and I just wanted to save a little time and give condensed reviews to try and get my reading list to a more manageable level.
Lost For Words by Stephanie Butland
THIS BOOKSHOP KEEPS MANY SECRETS . . .
Loveday Cardew prefers books to people. If you look carefully, you might glimpse the first lines of the novels she loves most tattooed on her skin. But there are some things Loveday will never show you.
Into her refuge – the York book emporium where she works – come a poet, a lover, a friend, and three mysterious deliveries, each of which stirs unsettling memories.
Everything is about to change for Loveday. Someone knows about her past and she can’t hide any longer. She must decide who around her she can trust. Can she find the courage to right a heartbreaking wrong? And will she ever find the words to tell her own story?
It’s time to turn the pages of her past . . .
I can never resist a book which is based around a bookshop so I was excited to read Lost For Words. The main character Loveday (what a name!) is a quiet, quirky character with a love of reading and writing poetry. However, Loveday has a traumatic past which unfolds with the story and explains why she prefers books to people. I loved her relationship with Archie, the eccentric bookshop owner who became an integral part of Loveday’s life since the age of fifteen. I liked the references to books and quotes which are dotted around the story.
Exhibit Alexandra by Natasha Bell
ALEXANDRA SOUTHWOOD HAS VANISHED . . .
AND SHE KNOWS THEY WILL NEVER FIND HER . . .
THIS IS UNLIKE ANY OTHER THRILLER YOU’VE READ.
‘This story I have to tell is more than a collection of facts. I have no reason to paint a better or worse picture than what really happened. I’ve already lost everything.’
Alexandra Southwood is missing. Her husband is beside himself, or at least he appears to be. She has vanished into thin air; the only traces left are her bloodied clothes by the riverside. It isn’t long before the police are searching for a body.
But we know that she is alive. That she is being kept somewhere far from her family. That perhaps this wife and mother wasn’t quite what she seemed . . .
Be warned: this isn’t another missing-woman thriller. This is something far more shocking . . .
I love books about missing people but find them a little predictable. This one certainly wasn’t that! Exhibit Alexandra is written from the perspective of Alexandra, a wife and mother who vanishes without notice. She sees the effect of her disappearance on her loved ones and how things take their toll on husband Marc. I must say that I found the change of timelines confusing but the plot was strong and cleverly thought out.
Bitter by Francesca Jakobi
‘Bitter by Francesca Jakobi is stormingly good, deliciously addictive, as gripping as Zoe Heller’s Notes On A Scandal. It’s got to be the beach read of 2018!’ – Peter Bradshaw, Guardian Film Critic
‘Brilliantly paced, moving, thoughtful and sharp. Loved it.’ Renée Knight, author of Disclaimer
‘Bitter, yes, but also sweet – and moving, and searching, and quietly devastating: a novel to detonate the heart’ A.J. Finn, author of The Woman in the Window
‘Gloriously sinister and yet heartbreaking. Brilliant’ Nicci Cloke, author of Close Your Eyes
It’s 1969, and while the summer of love lingers in London, Gilda is consumed by the mistakes of her past. She walked out on her beloved son Reuben when he was just a boy and fears he’ll never forgive her.
When Reuben marries a petite blonde gentile, Gilda takes it as the ultimate rejection. Her cold, distant son seems transformed by love – a love she’s craved his entire adult life. What does his new wife have that she doesn’t? And how far will she go to find out? It’s an obsession that will bring shocking truths about the past to light . . .
Bitter is a beautiful and devastating novel about the decisions that define our lives, the fragility of love and the bond between mother and son.
The story of Gilda is set in three timelines, as a child in 1920’s Germany to an English boarding school and on to marriage and motherhood. The title Bitter could not be more appropriate, Gilda’s obsession with her son is uncomfortable, quite sad and at times frustrating. When Reuben goes on to marry, Gilda’s contempt goes up another gear. The book is creepy at times but full of suspense throughout. A reminder that even intensely flawed characters can take an emotional hold on the reader.
Letters To Iris by Elizabeth Noble
A gloriously uplifting story about love in all its forms from the Number One Sunday Times bestselling author of The Reading Group and Things I Want My Daughters to Know
Tess has a secret – one which is going to turn her life upside down in just nine months’ time.
The only person she can confide in is her beloved grandmother. But Iris is slipping further away each day.
Then chance brings a stranger into Tess’s life.
Gigi’s heart goes out to Tess, knowing what it’s like to feel alone. She’s determined to show her that there’s a silver lining to every cloud.
As their unlikely friendship blossoms, Tess feels inspired to open up.
But something still holds her back – until she discovers Iris has a secret of her own. A suitcase of letters from another time, the missing pieces of a life she never shared.
Could the letters hold the answers that Tess thought lost for ever?
An uplifting, unforgettable story about keeping secrets, taking chances and finding happiness where you least expect it.
‘Nobody weaves a complex web of stories with quite the same skill as Elizabeth Noble. An uplifting read written with wry humour, insight and sensitivity’ Sunday Express
‘Noble specialises in warm-hearted tearjerkers with strong connections between women’ Daily Mail
‘A heart-warmer’ Prima
‘Packed with intrigue’ Yours Magazine
This book has been on my reading list for far too long, not because I didn’t want to read it but because the subject matter frightens the heck out of me! The story centres around Iris, a dementia sufferer and her granddaughter Tess who has a secret and desperately needs a confidante. Along comes Gigi, a woman who is a little lost and embraces the chance to become Tess’ friend. A suitcase full of Iris’ letters give Tess some insight into her grandmother’s former life and uncovers a family secret. I liked the relationships between the three women and how the book depicted every stage of life. It wasn’t the harrowing read I expected, instead touching and enjoyable.
Thank you to NetGalley, the authors and publishers for copies of the books , which I have reviewed honestly.