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The Waiting Game By Jessica Thompson – Review And Book Review

The Waiting Game’The Waiting Game’ is the latest book by Jessica Thompson.

Nessa Bruce waits for her husband to come through the double doors. She’d waited for him to return home from Afghanistan for what felt like forever, and now the moment was finally here. But Jake isn’t… Jake Bruce hasn’t come home, and it looks like he never will. Nessa’s life – and that of her daughter Poppy – is turned upside down in an instant. What has happened to the elusive man at the centre of their world? They hold onto the hope that he is still out there somewhere, alive… but as time passes by, Nessa is forced to look at her life, at the decisions she has made and the secrets she has kept. For maybe somewhere within it all lies the answer to the question she’s desperate to answer – where is the man she loves?

Jessica has firmly become one of my favourite authors. I immediately fell in love with her writing when she released her debut ‘This Is A Love Story’ a frank and honest account of a relationship between a boy and a girl and how blurred the lines are between friendship and love. Her books are from the heart tales about current affairs, that strike a chord and usually leave the reader with a lump in their throat and ’The Waiting Game’ is no different.

In this story, we meet Nessa Bruce, a quiet and sweet young woman who has committed her life to her husband and teenage daughter. Given up on her dream of becoming a midwife, she has let Jake, her husband follow his dreams of becoming a solider and waits for his term to complete from Afghanistan so he can return and make their small family complete. Whilst she waits for him, she has to put with her moody and ungrateful daughter Poppy, who openly looks down on her mother and worry about finances, as she struggles with her librarian job, she tries to provide for her high maintenance daughter, but it’s never good enough for the stroppy teenager. But one day, she Nessa hears the news that she has always feared, that Jake has been involved in an explosion fortunately he has survived the blast but is finding it hard to cope. When he returns home, Nessa is fully committed to looking after him but she never gets the chance because Jake disappears and Nessa has to prepare herself for the eventuality that he may never return.

I loved Nessa, she was a sweet and strong woman who had an accepting and kind nature, always putting others first and herself last. She had a difficult childhood as she and her younger sister were sent to numerous foster homes and she never fully recovered from a particular incident. Her daughter, Poppy was very volatile towards her mother and this sometimes made for unsettling reading as she didn’t seem to realise just how much Nessa did for her. Another interesting addition to the story was Will, who was Nessa’s childhood best friend and has always been there for her. At some point in both of lives they were in love with each other, but time was never on their side and he provides Nessa with not emotional but financial support during this difficult time, with his hipster way of life, he injects some lightheartedness into this poignant tale.

The story is written solely through the narrative of Nessa and flashes back and forth to various key moments in her life, from a teenage girl falling in love to marrying the love of her life. The story is a heartbreaking tale from the beginning and we see both Nessa and Poppy experience many moments of vulnerability and sadness as they deal with the fact that Jake has left them. There are many tender and bittersweet scenes that make for sad reading as they deal with their grief. Written from the heart, ‘The Waiting Game’ is a touching and sensitively written story that focuses on many issues such a dementia, grief and domestic abuse and shows how profoundly and differently it can effect people and how they deal with the uncertainty in life.

Now after reading my review of ‘The Waiting Game’ sit back and enjoy a letter that Nessa had written for her first love Will, but never had the courage to send.

Letter from Nessa to Will (never sent)

01.08.1996

Dear Will,

I know we’ve been friends for a long time, ever since we were sat together in science class, tasked with making a basic circuit in Year 7.

I watched you as you fiddled around nervously with the tiny light bulb and the wires, barely able to speak to me. Your fingers trembled, your nails had been ferociously chewed. You were scared of girls in a primal way, like a mouse faced with a cat and no way of escaping.

I thought you were a bit funny back then, if I’m honest.

You smelt like mothballs, and you were horribly uncool. Your choice of words was pretentious, and you babbled on about things the rest of us didn’t understand. You were so vulnerable really, and so I just wanted to look after you. I guess I took you on as a project.

But then you changed so much Will, and so suddenly too.

Within just a few years you went from this spindly, knock-kneed Year 7 with a mouth full of brace, who would regularly fall over his own satchel while running for the bus, to this incredibly handsome lad in Year 10, with big broad shoulders and a smile to match. I mean look at you, Will… Do you ever look at yourself in the mirror, and realise it, realise how gorgeous you are?

I noticed the change. Not just in you either, but in the way the others at school responded to you. Boys started high fiving you, and picking you for their teams in P.E. Girls gazed in your direction across the classroom, unable to concentrate on Mr Smith’s never-ending lectures on string theory and neutrinos.

You didn’t notice, because you’re so lovely and humble. You don’t have an arrogant bone in your body, Will.

Instead of throwing things at your head and creating cruel rhymes about you, the girls now flutter their eyelashes, pathetically. They speak to you coyly behind locker doors, giggling at everything you say, even if it’s not that funny.

Sometimes I feel like I don’t matter anymore, like you hardly notice me and I’ve melted into the background. Why would I stand out? I’m not like them.

You get invited to all the cool stuff now, and you bring me most of the time, which is nice. But sometimes I wonder if you don’t see me as a bit of a little sister type, hanging around and tagging along? Perhaps you feel like you should, because I was your only friend back then.

I can’t believe how lovely you are Will, and you just keep getting better.

At 15, I’ve never loved someone before, but I’m sure I’m falling in love with you… When you call out my name my heart flutters, whenever you’re near me I feel like I could fly… I think of you all the time, hoping that one day you might pay me some real attention, like you do those pretty girls at school.

I don’t know how to tell you, or even when to tell you. I don’t know if I will ever pluck up the courage to give you this letter… Do you know that I’m falling for you Will? Is it obvious on my face, and the way I speak to you?

Are you surprised, and will you laugh at me, or do you feel the same?

Nessa
xxx

You can buy The Waiting Game from Amazon and is available to buy from good bookshops.

If you enjoyed today’s stop on the tour, then check out the poster below and follow the tour.

The Waiting Game Book Tour

The Other Me By Saskia Sarginson

The Other Me’The Other Me’ is the latest book by Saskia Sarginson.

Eliza Bennet has the life she’s always dreamed of. She’s who she wants to be, and she’s with the man she loves. But Eliza is living a lie. Her real name is Klaudia Myer. And Klaudia is on the run. She’s escaping her old life, and a terrible secret buried at the heart of her family.
This is the story of Eliza and Klaudia – one girl, two lives and a lie they cannot hide from.

‘The Other Me’, was for me a completely unexpected story that gripped my attention throughout. At its core, it is a love story with a bittersweet sad and historic tale that does make for tender reading.

The story is primarily set in three different eras, 1986 when Klaudia Myer is quiet teenage girl who becomes a victim of bullying when her father is revealed as the caretaker of her secondary school and people discover her true heritage, Fast forward to 1996 and Klaudia Myer has become Eliza Bennett. Her mother has suddenly passed away and she returns home to care for her father, a gruff, religious man who doesn’t show his only daughter much love or attention. Although she is a dancer at heart, she lacks confidence in herself and prefers to keep it hidden so she works in a burlesque bar and admires from afar the confidence that the other dancers exudes whilst she cleans glasses and dreams of a far more exciting life. Here in the her bar-tending role, she meets Cosmo, a artist who has become her boyfriend, although she loves him dearly, Eliza hides a secret from him. A secret that she has carried since she was a teenager and she worries if this secret is revealed then she will reveal the love of her life. The story is also written in 1931 in Germany during the Second World War and is seen from the eyes of a reluctant soldier and this is an intriguing part to the story as the identity of the soldier isn’t revealed until the end and I found this a particularly good twist to the story.

I really enjoyed this story and thought the leading character Klaudia/Eliza was an interesting woman as she tries to find her path in life, she questions her family and also hides her true identity from those she loves the most. She keeps people at a distance and regularly there are quite sad and poignant moments and then are other scenes when she takes a chance on life and seizes the opportunities that she feels are out of her reach and these are refreshing scenes.

Another part of the story that I enjoyed was the historical twist to the story, as I have a keen interest in German history and these chapters, I found myself racing through these parts of the story as they gave an interesting insight to the other side of the war, as one man battled with his emotions with not only his part in the war but with his relationship with his own family.

This book was a compelling read with an intricately written plotline that made for clever reading. A historical and romantic story with a twist, ‘The Other Me’ is a moving tale about family, guilt and finding your true path in life.

You can buy The Other Me from Amazon and is available to buy from good bookshops.

Lindsey Kelk Reveals New Book – A Girl’s Best Friend

A Girl's Best FriendLindsey Kelk is returning with a new book this Autumn and it’s the latest instalment from Tess’s adventures called ‘A Girl’s Best Friend’.

The story of ‘A Girl’s Best Friend’ ia –

Is it diamonds – or is it Amy?

First Tess was a girl with a plan.

Then she was a girl with a dream.

Now she’s a girl who’s come back to earth with a bump.

When the opportunity arises to join her best friend, Amy, in New York for Christmas, Tess jumps at the chance. The only fly in ointment is that Nick, the man who broke her heart, lives there. And Charlie, the man she turned down, has just started talking to her again. And she has just four days to take a photo for a competition that could save her career.

But aside from that, everything is going to be great: it’ll be the best Christmas ever. Won’t it?

I”m loving the cosy cover to this book!

You can pre-order A Girl’s Best Friend from Amazon and will be available to buy from good bookshops from 5th November 2015.

PS Olive You Book Tour

PS Olive YouToday, I am delighted to be kicking off the tour for Lizzie Allen’s new book, wittily called ‘PS Olive You’ so sit back and enjoy an extract from the exotic tale.

PS Olive You By Lizzie Allen

-Chapter One-

On the Christmas before the credit crunch exploded in our faces, my mother-in-law bought me a spectacular vanity case. A leather studded Versace with enough capacity for ten litres of age-defying products.

The following Easter she bought me a course of Botox. Clearly the ten litres had not been enough.

Bridgette was the sort of person who gaveth with the one hand and tooketh away with the other. Still desperately clinging to the notion I might conceive after four failed IVF attempts, she somehow conflated looking-younger with fertile-eggs.

Behind my back she worked on Andrew to leave me for a younger woman and have a second go at gene proliferation. Who could blame her? I was only thirty-two but my ovaries were at least two hundred. Andrew was ten years older than me and needed to get a move on, or else he’d be mistaken for a grandfather on sports days.

How ironic that he’d selected a younger model to settle down with after screwing just about everyone his age in Greater London and the Counties, only to discover the younger model was a dud. It irked Bridgette beyond belief. I knew this because whenever I came into the kitchen and interrupted them over the Aga they’d both go silent.

Andrew leaving me was something I secretly feared myself although I never dared raise it. We didn’t share our insecurities.

Politics

Economics,

The couple next door.

They were all up for grabs, but never our anxieties, our hopes and fears for the future. Especially not my ovaries. That would have been ‘dreadfully middle class’. Instead I tried to compensate by being the most pleasing wife in Chelsea. As long as other men desired me, Andrew would want me too. Vast quantities of money were dedicated to this end. I cooked haute cuisine, kept an immaculate house and dressed in a style that said effortlessly-classy-yet-sexy.

Glossy well cut hair

Plumped breasts.

Flawless skin.

On the night we left for Greece I packed enough sun cream to smear around the stratosphere three times and block out solar radiation for a year. I had no intention of returning from our little Hellenic adventure looking like a sultana.

Of all the places to buy a second property, a deserted goat infested island in the Cyclades was not one I would have earmarked. What was wrong with Brittany where the weather was a shit as England and you had less chance of dying from skin cancer?

But after fifteen years of marriage, the penny was finally starting to drop that choice didn’t come in to it with Andrew. You simply got swept along on the tsunami of his enthusiasm, and woke up a few months later feeling resentful and irrelevant. His was the footprint in life we followed. He carried me on his back so that I needn’t get my feet dirty and leave any footprints at all.

The Greek adventure was partly prompted by the social circle we moved in. Andrew’s ex-Marlborough crowd were a well-healed mob, the descendants of lords and ladies and cotton barons. Andrew was the son of an accountant. My dad owned a hardware store. That was before a multinational chain muscled its way into town and bankrupted him. That was before he developed depression, then cancer, then died and left me and my mum to fend for ourselves.

You can buy PS Olive You from Amazon and will be available to buy from good bookshops.

If you enjoyed today’s stop on the tour, then check out the other websites that are taking part.

PS Olive You Book Tour

All That Glitters By Vicky Pattison

All That Glitters‘All That Glitters’ is Vicky Pattison’s debut novel and it’s a cracker of the story from the original ‘Geordie Shore’ girl.

Three years ago Issy Jones walked away from her dream because her family needed her. Today, she spends her days working in her mum’s salon and her nights going out with her best friend, Molly. Life is good yet Issy can’t help wishing for something more. When Issy’s dad puts her forward for a sensational new reality TV show, no one expects her to actually be selected. With her family urging her to grab the opportunity with both hands, Issy suddenly finds herself surrounded by glamour, fame and celebrities. Full of excitement, Issy embraces it all – it’s what she needs to do to achieve her goals. But when the reality of what she’s signed up for doesn’t match the dream Issy is chasing, things begin to fall apart. Issy is so close to getting everything she ever wanted – but just how much of herself will she have to sacrifice to get it?

The story is about Issy Jones, a young feisty woman from Manchester who left London when her father became ill and she started working in her mother’s salon, looking after blue rinses and perms. Seeing that she is unhappy with her life, her family secretly enter her into a reality television hairdressing competition and to be in with a chance of following her dreams and becoming a famous hairdresser. Terrified and excited at the prospect of stardom, Issy enters the house and salon for the next eight weeks of her life, prepared to take on everything that is thrown at her. In the new environment, she makes new friends and enemies. as everyone wants to win, but it’s hard to know who is genuine and who will be the next person to stab her in the back as challenges become harder and everyone is vying for more airtime.

I was surprised by how much I enjoyed this story, i’m already a bit of a fan of Vicky’s with watching ‘Geordie Shore’ and her quick wit and straight talking always had me in stitches so it was no surprise that the leading character was very similar to Vicky in her personality. Issy is feisty and not afraid to tell people what she thinks but she also has a kind nature and looks out for people. The only time we really see her really riled up is when she comes face to face with Mia, a fellow contestant in the show, who looks down on the other people and also isn’t afraid to tell others what she thinks and this is when usually Issy becomes her most aggressive, sticking up for others who are not as strong as her. Mia is jealous of Issy and this is very evident in the way she behaves as Issy quickly becomes the nation’s sweetheart with her generous heart and banter. As Issy progresses further into the show, we see her having to deal with people who are genuine and those who are hoping, she will help them with their own spotlight. With the story written so closely to Vicky’s real life, it did give an interesting insight into the creation of reality shows and I did wonder if any of the characters or the situations were based on real life events.

‘All That Glitters’ is definitely a fun and sexy story and one I struggled to put down. Well written and filled with witty one-liners, handsome men and a delightful leading lady, I enjoyed this bold and thrilling tale immensely and looked forward to Vicky’s next book.

You can buy All That Glitters from Amazon and is available to buy from good bookshops.