Sunday, 31 May 2015

May Books

The Half Truth - Sue Fortin* - I received this copy from NetGalley. Having thoroughly enjoyed Sue's first novel I was keen to read this. It had me hooked from the first page.

Tina Bolotnikov's husband Sasha was killed in a car crash five years ago leaving her to bring up their son. She relocates back to her hometown from London.

DS John Nightingale's partner was killed in the line of duty and John cannot rest until those responsible are brought to justice. Reports come through that Pavel, Sasha's brother is back in the UK and we find Tina has connections to crimes she knew nothing about as well as finding out some secrets too. Fast paced with many twists and turns, I was at the edge of my seat at times! A great read.

Love & Justice - Diana Morgan Hill - A simply un-put-downable and sometimes horrifying read by a very courageous lady. Age 29, Diana fell under a London train and lost both her legs. While traumatised and trying to come to terms with what happened to her British Rail decided to prosecute "The Fall Girl" as the newspapers called her. They believed she had boarded a moving train and trespassed on the railway line!  

Her fight for justice took five years all the while coming to terms with being a young woman with a disability. An honest account of her life before, during and after, her boyfriends, finding love and having her daughter Lara. An inspirational read. Would recommend.

Charlie and Pearl by Tammy Robinson Charlie has lived in the small New Zealand coastal town all his life and lives with his mum. Since the age of 13 he's worked on and off at Pete's bookshop. Pete's health is failing and Charlie is worried about him. One day he meets Pearl who is fast asleep in the office of the bookshop and instantly falls in love with her.

Pearl having been through a breakup and trying to come to terms with her life moves into her Grandmother's beach house to think things through. I guessed there was something bothering Pearl which was more than a breakup with a boyfriend quite early on.

Charlie just adores Pearl and wants to spend all his time with her. They date and work together in the bookshop although she insists they must just be friends. Their relationship develops and Pearl admits she has feelings for Charlie.

With a bittersweet ending which left me dazed. I just didn't see it coming. Go read this amazing book.

The Confectioner's Tale - Laura Madeleine* - I received this copy from NetGalley.  The story jumps from Paris in the 1900s to England 1988. Guillermere du Frere arrives in Paris with his friend from Bordeaux to work on the railways. On arriving he stumbles and falls into a beautiful young woman with ice blue eyes and feels a connection to her. Petra in 1980s England discovers a photograph of her grandfather with two others taken in Paris. On the back is written the words "forgive me" and Clermont. Petra is meant to be studying for her PhD thesis but can't stop thinking about her grandfather and sets out to find more.

Gui goes with his workmates for a night out and wakes up in the gutter alone, his pockets emptied and no idea where he is. He comes across a patisserie which is taking a delivery of goods and finds that the girl from the station is monitoring the deliveries. She asks him to help out the next again weekend at Patisserie Clermont and slowly their love affair begins.

Historian Simon Hall is also looking into the background of J Stevenson, Petra's grandfather and is keen to find anything scandalous in his past. The race is on for Petra to discover the truth before he does.

An absolute stunning debut novel with an incredible ending. I loved how the descriptive narrative flowed and how easy it was to become involved with all the characters. Unputdownable!

The Silent Hours - Cesca Major* - I received this book from BritMums Book Club for review - thanks so much for the copy.

The story follows three people whose lives are intertwined in wartime France. We meet Adeline, a mute who takes refuge in a convent in South-West in the early 1950s. She is haunted by her past and we hear her story through her thoughts. Sebastian is a young Jewish banker who lives at home. He meets Isabelle and falls head over heels in love which will change his life forever. Isabelle writes to her brother Paul who is first is fighting in the war and then a prisoner of war. They share their lives and their innermost fears. Tristian, a 9 year old boy moves from Paris with his family to a small village which seems untouched by war. All their stories are weaved together in such an incredible way which made me cry, feel hurt, sad as well as happiness too for the characters. The book is based on a true story. A simply amazing book. One of my favourite reads this year.

The Broken - Tamar Cohen - Best friends Sasha & Dan and Hannah & Josh both have daughters of similar ages and hang out together a lot. Dan tells Josh he's leaving Sasha and Dan & Hannah find themselves stuck in the middle of a sometimes acrimonious separation. It turns out Dan has met a young model called Sienna, who he is head over heels in love with. An intriguing story with twists and turns which is compelling and un-put-downable. A story runs alongside about a young girl which I wondered about until I reached the surprise ending. A must read.

How I Lost You - Jenny Blackhurst - "they told her she killed her son. She served her time but what if they lied".

Susan Webster was told she killed her three month old son Dylan and was sent to the Oakdale Psychiatric Institute to serve her sentence. She's released on parole with a new name (Emma Cartwright) and identity. Her friend she made inside Cassie has also been released and they are helping and supporting each other.

Susan receives a photograph of a young boy with the name Dylan on the back. What if her son is alive? Journalist Nick and Cassie decide to help her find out the truth. A brilliant fast paced story which I loved.

The Bones of You - Debbie Howells* - A young girl goes missing in a quiet village. Everyone especially Kate who was friendly with her mother is stunned. Jo and her TV star husband had the perfect family. Rosie was the same age as Kate's daughter Grace although they weren't friends. Rosie sometimes helped Kate out with her horses. After a few days Rosie is found in the woods stabbed and badly beaten. Anonymous notes arrive and Kate takes it upon herself to try an unravel the mystery behind Rosie's death. I did suspect who the killer was but not until a bit further on in the book. Would recommend. Thanks to NetGalley for the review copy.

Letters to the Lost - Iona Grey - the story is set in 1943 and 2011. In the present day Dan writes to Stella asking her to get in touch. Jess who broke into the derelict cottage opens the letter on the mat and decides that despite her own problems she's going to help Dan find Stella.

Stella Thorne met American Bomber Pilot Dan Rosinski by accident in 1943 and fall in love. She is married to the Vicar at St Crispin's Church and they have a loveless marriage. Stella catches moments of happiness with Dan in the little house he buys and they plan to be together after the war. Stella finds herself pregnant with the vicar's child and he forces her to chose between Dan or her daughter...

Will Holt is trying to find out about Nancy, the last owner of the little house in the lane and discovers Jess. Together they set about finding Stella for Dan..

An absolute treasure of a book and again one of my favourite reads this year (and one I'll definitely read again!)

The Girl on the Train - Paula Hawkins - Rachel takes the same train to London every day. The train stops at the same signal and Rachel sees a couple which seem perfect which she names Jess and Jason. One day she sees something happen and feels she needs to go to the police. Will she do more harm than good? The story is told by the three main female characters - Rachel, the girl on the train, Anna who is now married to Rachel's ex husband and Megan a neighbour of Anna and Tom's. All have their own problems and secrets... 

I didn't like any of the characters and I found the first half of the book a bit slow but found it picked up in the second half and I was racing to finish the book as I was desperate to know the ending (which I think is the sign of a good read!)

What have you been reading this month?

*complimentary - sent for review


  1. The bones of you and How I lost you, I definitely now want to read x

  2. ~I just finished the Girl on the Train yesterday, and I flow through it (though I know exactly what you mean about not liking any of the characters!) - I like the sound of some of the others on your list too! :)

    1. I've definitely had a great May reading month! Would recommend all of the above! x