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Quarter Past Two On A Wednesday Afternoon By Linda Newberry

'Quarter Past Two On A Wednesday Afternoon‘Quarter Past Two On A Wednesday Afternoon’ is Linda’s first adult novel but she has been writing Young Adult and children’s books for years.

At quarter past two on a hot afternoon in August, Anna’s beautiful, headstrong elder sister Rose disappears. Twenty years later, Anna still doesn’t know whether Rose is alive or dead. In her early thirties now, she sees her future unfolding – with sensible, serious Martin and a grown-up, steady job – and finds herself wondering if this is what she really wants. Unable to take control of her life while the mystery of her sister’s disappearance remains unsolved, Anna begins to search for the truth: what did happen to Rose that summer’s day?

The story starts on the day that Anna’s older Rose disappears and was never found. Twenty years later, people have moved on and assume
that she is now dead as to them, she had no reason to disappear. But, for her family time has stood still.

This book is quite an intense and gripping story that made for intense reading as Anna begins her journey to find out what really happened to her older sister. Unhappy with her own life with her partner Martin, who does come across as quite a surly character, Anna comes to the conclusion that she will never be finally ready or happy to move on with her life until she finds out what happened to Rose. Convinced that Martin has no interest in her quest, she turns to an unlikely candidate for help, Martin’s ex-wife Ruth who has recently lost her mother and could do with a little bit of help in sorting out her mothers stuff. Anna moves in with Ruth and Martins sons and then begins in ernest her search for Rose.

The story is primarily seen through the eyes of Anna, but there are flashbacks back to that day when Rose first goes missing, which sets the story up and also gives you a feel for the absent character. Another interesting addition to the story is the inclusion of the girls mother growing up, her story of living in the swinging 60′s and the upset that she went through when her older brother committed suicide. All these elements have a contributing factor in the unexpected and quite genius twist at the end.

The book is quite a bleak one with a sad premise, all the characters are quite unhappy and at real no point would I have described the story as heartwarming. But I would say that it is extremely compelling and makes for dark and intriguing read. ‘Quarter Past Two On A Wednesday Afternoon’ is a fascinating story about family secrets and ghosts, a highly recommended book.

You can buy Quarter Past Two On A Wednesday Afternoon from Amazon and is available to buy from good bookshops.

Handwritten Girl Takes Part In The River Mill Redemption Book Tour

I am delighted to be part of the book tour for the release of Darcie Chan’s brand new book, ‘The Mill River Redemption’ Check out Handwritten Girl on Friday 29th August and read my review of the book itself.

The Mill River Redemption

The Far Side Of The Sun By Kate Furnivall

'The Far Side Of The Sun‘The Far Side Of The Sun’ is the latest book by Kate Furnivall.

Twenty-three-year-old Dodie Wyatt thought she had escaped her turbulent past – but one night her peace is shattered when she chooses to help a man she finds stabbed in an alleyway. On the other side of Nassau, wealthy diplomat’s wife Ella Stanford plays the role she has been born into, throwing herself into charitable work and charming her husband’s powerful friends. But she has secrets to keep – and those secrets could put her life in danger. When one of the richest men in the world is found dead, these two very different women – Dodie, a shy introvert, and Ella, a confident socialite – are drawn together. With the unstable island spiralling into violence, deceit, greed and death, Dodie and Ella have only each other to rely on, as their lives are torn apart.

‘The Far Side Of The Sun’ is the first book that I have read by Kate Furnivall and I have to say that it was a lovely introduction to the author. The book was an intriguing historical story set in the tropical island of the Bahamas.

The story is seen from the perspective of the three main characters Dodie, Ella and Flynn and starts when Dodie finds a man with a stab wound begging for her help. Dodie tries to save him but sadly he dies leaving her with two gold coins and a strong desire to find his killer. Whilst Dodie leads a poor life, struggling to make ends meet in her small job witnessing at the local hotel, she finds an unlikely confidante in a shape of social butterfly Ella, who wants to help her find the killer even though all fingers seem to point towards Dodie and the young gentleman called Flynn who has employed himself as Dodie’s guardian. Between the three of them, they are determined to find the killer but it seems that the killer wants to get to them first.

I loved this story, immediately you are swept in this historical story with a little bit of romance and mystery which makes it the perfect summer book. The characters are all strong people that individually make the story quite interesting. Dodie is a poor girl who came from England and works long hours to pay for her little house. Independent and shy, she comes out of her shell when her life is put in danger and rebels against the people who threaten her. Whereas Ella, is a stark contrast to Dodie, with no shortage of money and married to a successful man they make an interesting pair. Handsome Flynn is also a nice addition to the story, protector of Dodie, he too wants to solve the murder but it’s hard when they are the main suspects.

One thing I loved about this story, was that it like an old fashioned ‘who done it’ type of a story, where every new character that you encountered immediately became a suspect as you tried to piece the clues together. Also set against the backdrop of the Bahamas, it also gave the story, an element of glamour even though there was quite a bit of poverty in the tale.

An interesting story that I immediately became hooked on, ‘The Far Side Of The Sun’ is a well written and researched story about love and greed and will most definitely have you reading into the late hours.

You can buy The Far Side of the Sun from Amazon and is available to buy from good bookshops.

Now That I’ve Found You By Ciara Geraghty

'Now That I've Found You‘Now That I Found You’ is Ciara Geraghty’s latest book.

Forty-two-year-old Vinnie knows lots of things. He knows new books and school shoes are expensive. He knows his teenage daughter keeps getting into trouble and he knows his seven-year-old has wet the bed every night for over a year. What Vinnie doesn’t know is whether his wife is coming back, or if he will ever get better at single fatherhood. Ellen knows that what happened in the accident was all her fault. She knows she’s too scared to get behind the wheel of a car ever again and she knows that some scars are harder to hide than others. What Ellen doesn’t know is how to move on. And she doesn’t know anything about Vinnie, the taxi driver who drives her to physiotherapy every week. And neither of them knows they’re going to change the other’s life forever.

‘Now That I’ve Found You’, sees the welcome return of Irish author Ciara Geraghty. The story is about a couple who meet and are able to be there when things are hard and the sweet cover of the book empathises the poignancy of this Irish tale.

Vincent is a taxi driver who meets Ellen, he meets her weekly to bring her to her physiotherapy meetings. They have a professional relationship, where they don’t interact until one day Vincent has a panic attack and Ellen takes him to hospital. Appreciative of her help, Vincent thanks Ellen and their new friendship begins, both are lonely people with mutual problems in common, they find a companionship and an understanding in one another. The story is primarily seen through Vincent’s eyes, a single parent struggling with his teenage daughter who is rebelling against and his sweet little boy who is doing a countdown until his Holy Communion convinced that his mother, Paula will return after disappearing months ago.

The chapters with Ellen are comprised of letters that she writes to her husband Neil, we don’t know where he has gone in the story but under her doctors advice, she tells Neil her thoughts and tries to move on with life.

The story is about mental health, the issues of bipolar disorder and how it can go undiagnosed and the controversy that surrounds the illness. I loved the main characters, both quiet and troubled, I thought they complimented each other perfectly. Vincent is a gentleman, strong and silent, he works hard at being both father and mother and finds it difficult to accept that his little girl is growing up and this results in many arguments over the course of the story. Ellen spends most of her time alone, quiet and with her thoughts, she reminisces on the past and with her new friendship Vincent, we see her come alive and acquire a new passion in life.

As the story is quite a sweet but sad one, Ciara was included some gentle Irish humour into the tale with Vincent’s best friend and work colleague, Kenny, a trendy man with an eye for fashion and the ladies. There’s an genuine friendship between the two men as Kenny was aways there for him particularly after Paula disappeared. Vincent’s mother is also quite the character, always on the go and helping out at local charity events, she refuses to let her age slow her down and is a huge support for Vincent and his children.

A beautifully written story from the start, ‘Now That I’ve Found You’ is a heartwarming story of friendship and starting over. Filled with humour, love, fun characters and a dash of romance, I couldn’t put it down.

You can buy Now That I’ve Found You from Amazon and is available to buy from good bookshops.

The Secrets Sisters Keep By Sinead Moriarty

'The Secrets Sisters Keep‘The Secrets Sisters Keep’ is the latest book by Sinead Moriarty.

The Devlin sisters rely on each other – but some things are just too painful to share, even when your sisters are your best friends. Mum-of-four Julie thought that if her family had more money, life would be easier. But now that they’ve inherited a fortune, her problems are only starting. Lawyer Louise is used to having life go exactly as she wants it to. So accepting that she cannot control everything in her world is beyond her. And former model Sophie can just about cope with getting older – that’s until her ex-husband finds a younger model. All three women think that some battles are best fought alone. Maybe they need to think again …

‘The Secrets Sisters Keep’ is Sinead return to the Devlin sisters who appeared in her previous book, ‘Me And My Sisters’. This time the sisters have moved on with their lives and adjusting to changes. Julie is trying to cope with her new life as a busy mum of four hyper active boys with money. Accustomed to scrimping and saving, she is embarrassed by their influx of money whilst her best friend, Marie struggles to make ends meet. Intimidated by the yummy mummy’s who gather at the school gates, who protest about her rebellious triplets, Julie finds it hard to settle in especially with her husband Harry out constantly at business meetings and golf events. Feeling lonely, she begins to reflects on her past relationship and decides to take an innocent journey down memory lane and enjoys the welcome feeling of being lusted after. Older sister of the family, Louise is a hard working mother of one Clara, a child genius she claims but to the other members of the family, they notice things about her, little quirks and routines that she has to follow or she will have an outburst. Ignorant of her family’s thoughts, she refuses to believe that her child is any less than perfect, whilst younger sister Sophie, is trying to move on with life, her marriage is finished and her ex-husband has moved on with a much younger model, her confidence is at an all time low and competing for her daughter’s affection and attention is dragging her down. Between the three sisters, they face the dramas of life whilst being there for each other as best they can.

I’ve always enjoyed Sinead’s books. Her quick-witted and fast paced writing has always made for comfortable and entertaining reading that you can easily get absorbed in. I liked this book, as it made a welcome return to the Devlin sisters, three strong sisters, who individually were great but when they were together they fabulous. Outspoken and occasionally sensitive to each other needs, they help each other through the hard times. Each chapter is seen through the narrative of the three women, each giving an insight into their thoughts and how their lives had changed over recent times. In Sinead’s typical style of writing, there is the welcome addition of Irish humour and wit, with the Devlin sisters outspoken parents and younger brother Gavin, who was a bit of a lad about town.

A lovely story from the start, ‘The Secret Sisters Keep’ is a heartwarming story about sibling love, genius children and second chances at life.

You can buy The Secrets Sisters Keep from Amazon and is avaiable to buy from good bookshops.