BOOK REVIEW – Duplicity by Sibel Hodge

duplicityOh my very goodness!!! I don’t remember the last time I flew through a book like this! This one ticks all the boxes for a psychological thriller that you just can’t put down. Fast-paced, tons of ‘OMG’ moments, and with enough twists and turns to ensure you’ll need a good physiotherapist to see you right when you’re done!

Max and Alissa Burbeck are the perfect couple: wealthy and gorgeous, they’re the newly-weds who have the world at their feet … until one night an intruder murders Max, inexplicably leaving Alissa to escape unscathed. Who would have wanted him dead? And why didn’t they kill her too?

These are questions that are left for DS Warren Carter (although I must say it took a few chapters for his first name to be mentioned and I wasn’t sure if he was male or female!) to find answers to. Carter has his own demons to deal with – he’s still trying to overcome the loss of his wife to cancer roughly a year ago, and he’s bitter about being passed over for promotion due to a previous case where palms were greased, stopping the true criminals from being brought to book.

And along the way he needs to deal with a preening superior, an obsessive ex-boyfriend (not his own, Alissa’s!), a depressed colleague, and a distraught widow and a band of friends determined to protect her. Throw in an ecological cover-up, hidden jealousy and a mysterious childhood of horrific abuse, which could only lead to the victim becoming a sociopath of epic proportions … but who could it be?

Hodge keeps the action going at a cracking pace. You might have to suspend belief a teensy bit, but hey, it’s fiction, so just go with it! She doesn’t leave anything to chance, and ties it all up very neatly with no loose ends at all. Her characters are well-rounded and she cleverly shows you exactly what she wants you to see of each of their personalities – you’ll only catch on to that afterwards though!

If you’re looking for something that you just can’t put down, then this one’s for you! 5 big shiny stars from me!

Many thanks to THE Book Club (reviewers group) and the author for my copy of this book in return for my honest review.

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

BOOK REVIEW – The Spy by Paulo Coelho

the-spyI confess to not knowing much about the mysterious ‘Mata Hari’ other than her notorious ‘Dance of the Seven Veils,’ and even then I didn’t have much of a clue what that was! So when I had the chance to read and review Paulo Coelho’s latest book, I jumped at it!

Born Margaretha Zelle, to a middle class Dutch family, all she ever wanted to do was escape her mundane life in Holland. When she’s in high school, she’s raped by the principal and then sent to her uncle to train as a nursery school teacher. Desperate to leave, she sees a newspaper advertisement requesting a wife for a soldier. It’s just what she’s looking for and she meets and marries him, heading off to Indonesia, which sounds quite exotic. However, it doesn’t quite turn out as expected. He’s unpleasant and abusive, and army life is sheer drudgery. When one of her friends, a fellow army wife, commits suicide, she realises that she could quite easily end up doing the same if she continues in this vein. And so she leaves and heads for Paris. It’s a brave move for a young woman on her own, and she has no clue what she’s going to do once she gets there.

Through chance meetings, sly manipulations and downright deceit, Zelle, now known as Mata Hari, works her way into the highest echelons of Paris society, and the beds of the men who control it. All the while she’s so self-absorbed with her own importance, that she has absolutely no clue of the rumblings around her of the impending war. She catches the eye of German intelligence who think she might be useful to them, and they impose upon her to become their spy. Whether she does or doesn’t still remains a mystery to me!

Coelho relies on historical fact to weave a story into fictional letters written by Mata Hari to her daughter, and by her lawyer who was unable to obtain her reprieve. She was found guilty and executed based on extremely flimsy evidence and it would seem that those in power sought to be rid of her not necessarily because of her crimes of espionage, but rather for their own collective crimes of falling for the charms of a beautiful, independent woman. One gets the impression that she was a rather shallow, vacuous individual, concerned only with the accumulation of her own wealth, pretty dresses, expensive jewels and powerful men. Unfortunately  I didn’t get the impression that sufficient depth of character was created to really understand her at all.

This is a short book and a quick read. It does provide minor insight into the background of Mata Hari, but if you’re seeking to gain in-depth understanding of who she was, then I don’t think this is the book to provide it.

Many thanks to THE Book Club on Facebook, and NetGalley for providing me with a copy of this in return for an honest review.

1 Comment

Filed under Book Reviews

BOOK REVIEW – Grey Magic by JT Lawrence

grey-magicGrey Magic began as a short story that featured in JT Lawrence’s anthology ‘Sticky Fingers’. But, as things generally go with witches, they tend to weave a particular type of spell and before you know it, you’re writing a whole book all about them … just them!

And that’s exactly what happened with Raven Kane, the modern day witch that JT Lawrence’s ‘Grey Magic’ is all about. If you met Raven, you’d think she were just like you and me: same problems and challenges; not enough money, house needs fixing, no decent men to meet … except the one who knocks on your door to arrest you for murder! Ok, so maybe not quite like you and me!

Let’s back up just a little bit here. Yes, Raven Kane is a witch. But you wouldn’t know it to look at her – she doesn’t fly around on a broomstick wearing a pointy black hat. She’s actually worried that she might be losing her touch. She’s a bit worn out, you see, feeling like she might have a bit too much on her plate. Her beloved home is literally falling down around her and she doesn’t have the means to fix it (apparently it’s not the done thing to wave your wand and make it all better). She’s expected to control a group of badly behaved Wayward Witches, who are getting increasingly out of hand by the day (think of a rowdy bunch of #FeesMustFall demonstrators  with magic spells and potions at their disposal). Her neighbour – a priest, of all things! – insists on driving her completely insane. Her sister refuses to speak to her because she’s brought her niece into the so-called freak-circle of magical craziness. And if all this weren’t bad enough, she’s a ‘person of interest’ in a murder case – a crime that she’s well aware she committed, by the way! (No spoilers – she immediately makes it very clear she killed the person in question!)

She sounds completely awful doesn’t she? She’s not. Raven Kane is lovely. She’s quirky, she’s confused, she’s befuddled, she’s tired, she’s trying her best, she’s caring, she’s friendly (to most beings), she’s affectionate, she’s herself, and you’ll instantly feel like she’s the type of person you’d want to become friends with. That’s how I feel. Raven Kane is extremely likeable.

Lawrence has created a character who’s just like you and me: she’s flawed, has to deal with financial struggles, family challenges, relationship issues, and career dilemmas a-plenty! The only difference being that the career’s a little unique: she’s a witch!

I loved the book! The intricacies of how Raven deals with her particular demons, by discovering how her karmic journey has had to play out were fascinating, and left me wondering (once again) about the exploration of past lives and cosmic relationships.

It’s a book for dreamers, and perhaps not for those who are more rooted in practicality – but even then, I would suggest giving this a try. We all need our own sprinkling of magic every now and then.

1 Comment

Filed under Book Reviews

BOOK REVIEW – Nina is Not OK by Shappi Khorsandi

nina-is-not-okI know this has been classified as Young Adult reading, but it should also be read by all parents as a cautionary tale! It should also be prescribed reading for all high school learners – perhaps in a slightly watered-down form (teachers tend to get slightly embarassed).
Shappi Khorsandi doesn’t hold back in this bare-all, brutally honest telling of the downward spiral of Nina, a 17-year-old girl on the brink of complete and utter disaster. It’s all here … drink, drugs, sex, friends, back-stabbing friends, self-esteem and lack thereof, parental issues, peer pressure, boyfriends. I see you there, nodding along and thinking “blah, blah, yadda, yadda, heard it all before’ … but you haven’t; not this way.
Khorsandi has made it one hundred percent real, and any parent reading this should quake with fear!
And the scariest thing? Nina isn’t actually a bad girl! Nope, she isn’t. She’s a really sweet, big sister who just can’t cope with the fact that her dad (an alcoholic – it’s hereditary you know) died a few years ago, her mom remarried, she’s not keen on her stuffed shirt of a step-dad or that her mom’s become a different person now that she’s married him, and her one true love is now on the other side of the world – and is now in love with someone else. But she adores her little sister, Katie and will go out of her way to protect her, and the image Katie has of her bit sister.
And doesn’t everyone else drink anyway? How else do you have a good time when you’re 17 and you’re partying your life away? Well yes, go on and justify it all you like (as teens are wont to do), but everyone else isn’t being thrown out of nightclubs for performing lurid sex acts on others, arriving home in a taxi with no clue of how you got there, screwing strangers in the park just so they’ll buy you a drink, and drunk messaging the love of one’s life (yes, the one who now loves someone else) an untold number of times a night (regardless of the fact that he still hasn’t replied after the last untold number of nights that you did this)!
So it would seem that no, Nina is not OK.
Compile a collage of all your teenage angst and embarassments. Now compound that a hundred fold once you’ve added the complication of an alcoholic haze that allows you to misbehave so diabolically, that once your hangover mist lifts, you want to disappear into its loving embrace once again, if only to forget the truly cringe-worthy things you’re reading about yourself, splashed for all the world to see on social media.
This is Nina’s reality, played over and over, again and again. And in a way, is she grateful to social media for answering her questions about what she gets up to when the liquor takes over and all becomes a blur?
This is an extremely powerful commentary on an all too common scourge of society – after all, look around you, alcohol is so very easily and readily available. It’s thought provoking, and will hopefully encourage much-needed dialogue.
Like driving past a bad accident, where you know you shouldn’t look, but you just can’t tear yourself away, this is one of those books that begs attention. As much as you feel like you’re imposing on Nina’s life, you want to keep reading to see how much worse it’s going to get … while at the same time, you’re silently cheering her on to pull herself together and get through this truly horrendous phase of her life.
I loved this book, as much as it horrified and terrified me, it has to be read. So thank you to THE Book Club on Facebook for bringing it to my attention, and to NetGalley and Ebury Press for sending me the ARC in return for my honest review.

Leave a comment

Filed under Book Reviews

BOOK CONFESSIONS

I was tagged by the wonderful Pamela Power (thanks for the homework Pamela!). You can see her book confessions on her Vlog – Between the Sheets with Pamela, here:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FkRuUYkhypo#action=share

1. Have you ever damaged a book?

Not that I can recall. I would feel absolutely awful if I did! Books are precious – no really! And in South Africa especially, where literacy is something we take for granted. Even more so if we buy books by international authors – have you seen the exchange rate!!! Those books should be wrapped in bubble wrap, we pay so much for them. They’re worth every cent though.

  1. Have you ever damaged a borrowed book?

No!! We used to have such issues with this at one of the book clubs I used to be a member of. I’m quite horrified at how casual people are with items that don’t belong to them. Other members had absolutely no qualms about returning books with coffee mug stains all over them, and various other stains that I wouldn’t want to get into discussions about!

  1. How long does it take you to read a book?

It all depends. I do have quite a fondness for psychological thrillers and those that are well written can grip you from the first paragraph. Books like that can take just hours to complete! Others can take a day or two. And some can take a bit longer, depending on how much life gets in the way.

  1. Books you haven’t finished?

Too many to mention or name. Life’s too short to waste on books that aren’t the right fit for you. That doesn’t mean they’re not good books, or that they’re badly written; just that they’re not suited to you. Not every reader is a good match to every book, and I’ve learnt that’s okay.

  1. Hyped/Popular books you didn’t like?

The 50 Shades books. I plodded through the first one feeling like I was being forced to read a setwork. I finished it, started the second one, read a couple of chapters and then told myself I didn’t need to do this

  1. Is there a book you wouldn’t tell anyone you were reading?

I can’t actually think of one! And if there was one, I’d still tell people, just to see their reactio

  1. How many books do you own?

A LOT!! And does my Kindle also count?! Oh my goodness – I have a very, very long TBR list!!

my-bookshelf-14-09-16

Shopping for a new bookshelf!

  1. Are you a fast/slow reader?

I’m a fast reader, and I generally hate ‘skimming’ over pages. I like to read every single word!

  1. Do you like to buddy read?

Not really, although I do love discussing books with other people, especially books that we’ve both enjoyed. There’s nothing worse than absolutely loving a book, and discovering that the other person thought it was just ‘meh

  1. Do you read better in your head/out loud?

Definitely in my head! Although when I was much younger, and planning to be a great actress, I did love acting out and performing all the ‘roles’!  *blushes*

  1. If you were only allowed to own one book, what would it be and why?

That’s like asking me which one is my favourite child!!! I think, possibly The Last Days of Rabbit Hayes by Anna McPartlin. It has a little bit of everything in it – empathy, compassion, such incredible humour and depth … and it’s Irish! I love all things Irish.

The Last Days of Rabbit Hayes

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

BOOK REVIEW – The Devil’s Work by Mark Edwards

the-devils-workSophie Greenwood has decided that the time is right to return to work after taking time off to be a full-time mom to 4-year old Daisy. She’s found her dream job at Jackdaw Publishing (I even found the name a bit sinister), but on day one, she has an unnerving experience. If she thinks that it’s just an isolated incident, she’s sorely mistaken, and so begins a well-constructed meandering tale in which Sophie (and the reader) is led further and further into a frightening and confusing maze of deceit that trails back further than she could have imagined.

Set in the offices of a publishing company (which in itself will intrigue any avid reader), the insular workplace environment will be familiar to anyone who’s ever worked closely with a team of colleagues. The back-biting, the wrong-footing, the gossiping … it’s all there, magnified to the maximum levels! And when you’re the ‘new girl’ you feel like everyone’s out to get you, except this time, maybe someone really is!

As the book alternates between Sophie’s, increasingly fragmenting current life, and her very obviously complex past, we realise that something is most definitely off-balance in Sophie’s world. How is she going to reconcile with her past so that she has any chance of having any type of future, let alone a happy one?

I’m sure Mark Edwards must have whiplash from the razor-sharp twists and turns he incorporates into every single one of his acclaimed psychological thrillers. This one certainly doesn’t miss the mark. There’s a reason why he has a loyal following, which I’m sure is about to increase in numbers with this new addition.

If you’re a lover of plot-twists a-plenty, surprises galore, and a good game of guessing whodunit then you’ve come to the right place. This book delivers all of these, and then some! I can highly recommend it, but maybe not at night, or when you’re home alone!

Many thanks to NetGalley and Thomas & Mercer for my advance copy.

1 Comment

Filed under Uncategorized

BOOK REVIEW – The Woman Next Door by Yewande Omotoso

The Woman Next DoorHortensia James and Marion Agostino are neighbours in the affluent (fictitious) Cape Town suburb of Katterjan Estates. They’re both getting on in years, struggling to deal with their past successful careers that they can no longer use to define who they are, and using the Estate committee meetings as the battleground for their intense dislike for each other.

Both are embittered by the deep disappointments that life has dealt them: marriages that weren’t what they anticipated; for Hortensia, the lack of children, and for Marion, four children and the undeniable realisation that she has failed dismally at motherhood. They are unable to leave past hurts behind them. Marion cannot get over the fact that Hortensia is living in the perfect house that she designed in the heyday of her architectural prowess, while she, Marion is living next-door to her. But what irks her the most is that Hortensia dared to come and live in Marion’s neighbourhood, snubbed her when she first arrived, and still has the nerve to behave as if she’s as good, if not better, than all of those who’ve lived there much longer than she has, when she’s not even white!

In post-Apartheid South Africa, this is really the crux of the feud between these two women. Because Marion is a racist snob, and will go out of her way to point out to anyone who will listen that when the fine balance of things gets tilted, the entire world can spin off its axis. She therefore feels that it’s her civic duty to maintain order in her little empire of Katterjan Estates. If that means waging war with Hortensia then she’s fully prepared to take her on.

However, she doesn’t quite reckon on someone who’s just as bolshie as she is! And both of them also forget that the universe has a funny habit of throwing us curveballs when we least expect them. I couldn’t help wondering what Hortensia and Marion would have been like had they lived in another place and time. What would their relationship have been like? This question continues to intrigues me, and I can’t help imagining them quite differently, almost in an alternate universe!

This is an intricate, profound novel about the complexities of growing old and the desperate need to cling to long-held beliefs and philosophies, even when hit by the rising dread that these might be wrong. It delves into how we’re moulded by family, country and political sublimation, despite our adamant claims that we’re free-thinkers.

Omotoso’s writing is intense, dignified, moving and provocative, as are her characters. She will challenge you to think and to question; to look deep inside yourself and examine your interactions and relationships with those close to you, as well as your reactions to those who are different from you.

In case you hadn’t guessed, I highly recommend this book!

Leave a comment

Filed under Book Reviews

BOOK REVIEW – My Husband’s Wife by Jane Corry

My Husband's Wife - Jane CorryThis is a breath-taking psychological thriller told in two parts, and from two different perspectives: Lily’s and Carla’s.

The story opens with Lily, a fairly young, recently married, newly employed lawyer, who’s off to a maximum security prison to interview Joe Thomas who’s appealing his life sentence for brutally murdering his girlfriend. I must say my first thoughts were to wonder why such a young, inexperienced lawyer would have been given a case like this, but I suppose one never knows. We learn that Joe is on the Asperger’s spectrum and his previous counsel had insufficient understanding of his condition, which lead to his conviction and sentencing, hence his appeal.

Lily is not a confident person – not within herself (she’s consciously overweight), her career or even her barely begun marriage. Her husband Ed is an up and coming artist (with a day job in advertising – one must pay the bills) with all the mood-swings, drinking and drama that go with it. Their romance was brief and Ed’s proposal when it came was somewhat of a surprise, albeit a welcome one. So Lily hasn’t quite gotten used to being part of a married couple yet and doesn’t feel that they’re on a comfortable footing. She realises though, that they should be a lot happier than they actually are, and wonders why they aren’t. She knows she’s got her own very well hidden secrets that she’s not quite ready to reveal, and realises that Ed might very well have some of his own too, which leads her to believe that maybe rushing into this marriage might not have been as wonderful as she originally thought.

The strain of Lily’s high profile case starts to take its toll as does Ed’s increasing misery with having to work at a job he can’t bear while failing to achieve his goals in the art world. Things start to become even more unbearable when he decides to quit his job to focus on his art full-time. The tension between them increases and an ultimatum is issued.

Watching them carefully is 10-year-old Carla, the unhappy little Italian girl who lives in the next door apartment with her Mamma, Francesca. She’s bullied at school for being different and she hates not having the same things as the other kids, but there just isn’t any money for luxuries. Most of all, she hates not having a father, but Francesca has told her that her father died. Carla manages to manipulate herself into Ed and Lily’s lives and more and more often they find themselves looking after her when her Mamma has to work late, or on weekends.

And then … it’s fifteen years later. Lily is now a confident, successful partner at her law firm; Ed finally achieved fame some years back, but it was short-lived and he’s constantly trying to replicate it. He and Lily are still together. Carla is a law student returning to London from Italy where she and her Mamma had been forced to return when things got too difficult for them living in London. She’s determined to find her old neighbours and get back from them what she feels is her fair due: her share of the money that Ed earned from the sale of a painting many years previously; a painting he did of her as a child, the painting that launched his career.

As you delve into the deep, dark, layers of these profoundly flawed characters, you’d better buckle up for the roller-coaster ride of your life. It starts off slow, and then builds up before taking you on the most convoluted, complex journey with some rather twisted individuals. And this is where Corry shines. She’s created characters who really aren’t likeable … at all! In fact, I don’t think I liked a single one of the central protagonists in her story: Lily, Ed, Joe, Carla, Francesca – they’re all not very nice. But they are all very real. And by starting out in the year 2000, and then jumping ahead to 2015, Corry has filled them out extremely successfully so that we’re able to gain a full understanding to what makes them tick. I think that the author shows incredible talent in having created these unpleasant people while still maintaining the reader’s interest in the story, regardless of their awfulness!

The intricacies of the criminal activity here are so cleverly back-tracked and tied together, that I was literally gasping at the skill with which it was all accomplished (both the writing, and the actual crime)! In fact, once I’d finished the book I think I tweeted something to the effect of “Oh my very goodness!” I was that awed by it all!

So 5 stars from me. It’s really extremely good, I highly recommend it (maybe keep the lights on and check behind doors and under the beds) and I can’t wait to read whatever’s next from Jane Corry.

Many thanks to THE Book Club (FB) and NetGalley for my copy of this book in return for my honest review.

Leave a comment

Filed under Book Reviews

BOOK REVIEW – My Name is Leon by Kit De Waal

My Name is LeonA heart-wrenching, complex, stellar debut from Kit De Waal about the intricacies and complications of the British care system during the 80’s specifically relating to a sensitive little boy named Leon.

We meet Leon when he’s 8 (almost 9). He has a baby brother, who he adores, but his mom Carol is battling to keep up with the demands of looking after them both. There’s no money. Neither of their dads (yes, they both have different dads) are around, there are no jobs, and even if she had a job, who would look after the kids while she was at work? Carol takes to her bed and it’s left up to young Leon to look after the 3 of them, hardly a task for a little boy. But then a neighbour notices that something’s not right and the social workers are brought in.

Leon and Jake go and live with Maureen, a carer in the foster system. She’s been doing this for years and she’s kind, loving … but also, just about at the end of her foster-mom vocation. But she’s willing to take the boys in and dote on them, giving them what they’ve lacked in the department of love and attention. The problem is though, that Jake is a white baby and Leon is a now 9 years old … and not white.

Inevitably Jake is adopted. As much as Leon tries to understand this, ultimately all he really comprehends is that the 2 people closest to him in the entire world have been taken away. He endeavours to do his best to get the 3 of them back together. And then Maureen falls ill and once again Leon has to face a change. He’s packed off to go and live with her sister Sylvia, who’s also done her stint as a foster-mom in the past, but isn’t quite as easy-going and loving as Maureen is. Leon, understandably finds it difficult to adapt to yet another new environment.

He begins to explore his new neighbourhood and together with his bicycle and his backpack (loaded with all his worldly possessions) he discovers The Allotments, and a mixed up bunch of people who are just as lost as he is. It’s the mid-80’s and being of mixed race isn’t exactly viewed as a positive thing. Somehow he gets caught up in the riots in his neighbourhood, still not understanding quite what’s going on or why his new friends are angry and why they’re being beaten up.

Told through the eyes of this broken child, My Name is Leon is a sensitive, moving and absolutely devastating book about the vulnerability of children in a system that does its best, but that somehow never quite manages to do right by all who it’s responsible for.

Kit De Waal, with the proficiency of a skilled, experienced author has constructed a poignant, sensitive, often painful novel. It’s difficult to believe that this is her debut book. Her characters are so very believable that you want to reach out and comfort them. It’s not just Leon, but so many of the people who make up his world are so damaged that one can understand why this is how he conceptualises everything around him. De Waal describes individuals who are just trying desperately to do their best; to make a life for themselves out of the exceptionally miserable cards they’ve been dealt. It’s in her telling, through the eyes of a 9-year-old boy that makes it even more shattering to the reader. Children see things simply, with no pretence. They see behind the ‘pretend’ faces and voices of adults, and they react in typical childish retaliation. But as the author so aptly describes, adults react in typically grown-up ways. We analyse, we label, and we judge.

I found this book difficult to read at times, and admit that I had to put it aside more than once. But it’s an excellent debut from an author who we can definitely anticipate great things from in the future.

Many thanks to THE Book Club (Facebook) and NetGalley for my copy of this book.

2 Comments

Filed under Book Reviews

BOOK REVIEW – My Husband’s Wife by Amanda Prowse

My Husband's WifeMany thanks for NetGalley for my advance copy of this book in return for an honest review.

At the end of her book, in a note to her readers, Amanda Prowse claims that she creates characters that she herself would like to sit and have coffee with, and she hopes that her readers feel the same way. There’s actually no better way to describe the women in her books than the way that Amanda herself has described them here! She writes about people who are so very real, they could be standing behind us in line at the supermarket.

Rosie Tipcott is firmly ensconced in her cosy village life in Wollacombe, Devon; she always has been and has never envisaged herself being anywhere else. Happy with her husband Phil, who works in his dad’s family building business, her two boisterous little girls, a job cleaning caravans, and regularly meeting best friend Mel at the local café for a jacket potato and a chat, everything in her little world is just as it should be. She adores her in-laws Mo and Keith, who’ve always made her feel safe and secure, ever since her best friend Kev, Phil’s brother, brought her home to them when they were in their early teens, providing her with something her own home always lacked.

When Rosie was just a few days old, her own mother walked out, leaving Rosie to be brought up by her father. He did the best he could, but a man is not a mother and now Rosie is proud that she’s managed to create a complete, loving family, something she never had while she was growing up.

But then, seemingly out of the blue, Phil tells her he’s leaving her! Rosie’s picture-perfect world is shattered. Did she miss the warning signs? She must have, because she wasn’t aware that she was supposed to be looking for them. Piece by piece her comfortable life falls apart and her security blanket is cruelly ripped from her and left in shreds. Rosie realises how very naïve she really is, and how unprepared she is for any other type of life than the one she always expected to be living.

Who can she turn to? Who can she trust? Who is she if she’s not her husband’s wife?

Amanda Prowse’s gifts lie in her character depiction and her accurate portrayal of relationships, whether it’s between husband and wife, father and daughter or mother and child. She is adept at describing her protagonists in their entirety, revealing their strengths and flaws at just the right times in order for them to either endear themselves to us, or make us dislike them as and when we’re supposed to (often before their fellow players realise the negative role they’re playing)!

There are strong themes running through this book: friendship, loyalty, strength, family ties, most of all, the importance of self-belief and how imperative it is to be your own person and not only to see your own worth through being someone’s partner or parent.

Highly recommended.

1 Comment

Filed under Book Reviews