Skip to content

The House On The Edge Of The Cliff By Carol Drinkwater

The House On The Edge Of The Cliff ‘The House On The Edge Of The Cliff’ is the latest book by Carol Drinkwater.

Grace first came to France a lifetime ago. Young and full of dreams of adventure, she met two very different men. She fell under the spell of one. The other fell under hers. Until one summer night shattered everything. Now, Grace is living an idyllic life with her husband, sheltered from the world in a magnificent Provençal villa, perched atop a windswept cliff. Every day she looks out over the sea – the only witness to that fateful night years ago. Until a stranger arrives at the house. A stranger who knows everything, and won’t leave until he gets what he wants.

This is the first book that I’ve read by Carol and I must say that I really enjoyed it. The story is seen through the narrative of Grace and flows back and forth in past and present tense. Set in France, Grace has a content life with her husband, her primary concern as he prepares for an operation, until one day an old face from her past reappears and brings old ghosts back to life.

The past aspects of the story are the background of Grace’s life as she moves to France hoping to become a world famous actress. Alone in the country, she finds help from kind stranger, Peter and together they travel hoping to escape the riots. These narratives give an insight into Grace and the kind of character she is. She’s a kind and adventurous soul but as the story progresses, we see her develop through the years into the older woman that she’s become. As the story develops, it gets darker and grittier which is really interesting reading. The present moments were quite thrilling in parts and you couldn’t help but feel an empathy towards her.

A compelling story of secrets and suspense and riddled with drama throughout, set against a picturesque background, ‘The House on the Cliff Top Edge’ is a romantic story that really pulls the reader in with its mystery and charm.

You can buy ‘The House On The Edge Of The Cliff’ from Amazon and is available to buy from good bookshops.

The Night Before By Wendy Walker

The Night Before‘The Night Before’ is the latest book by Wendy Walker.

Rosie Ferro and Laura Heart are sisters, but as different as it is possible to be. One is lucky in love and has a conventional family: a husband, and a small son. The other has a troubled past she is still struggling to break free from. When Laura disappears after going on a date with a stranger she met online, Rosie, her protector since they were young, springs into action to look for her. But as she slowly uncovers more about the situation, Rosie begins to fear that her sister might have been more of a danger than the man she went out with.

I sat up one night reading this book and literally couldn’t put it down until I reached the final page.

The story is seen through the narrative of sisters Rosie and Laura leading up to and during Laura’s first online date with a man that she has never met before. It’s during this date that Laura disappears and Rosie fears the worst. The story is seen from the perspective of the sisters and their thoughts and situations at this time.

I really liked this book. It flowed at a fast pace and really kept me engaged. Laura is a complex character, we don’t know if she’s a good or bad character as something questionable has happened to her in the past, that makes everyone including herself question her actions and behaviours and for me, this really kept me on my toes whilst reading the book. As well as being seen from both narratives, the story also is written in past and present tense giving the reader an interesting insight into the sisters and their relationships. Rosie is more settled than Laura, married with children, she’s content with life but when Laura disappears, she immediately fears the first and finds herself battling against time to find her.

This story is cleverly written with cunningly planned twists that really take the reader by surprise. With drama, suspense and an unreliable protagonist, ‘The Night Before’ is dramatic thriller that really pulls the reader in.

You can buy ‘The Night Before’ from Amazon and will be availble to buy from good bookshops from 3rd October 2019

Helen Cullen

Helen CullenHelen Cullen’s debut novel, ‘The Lost Letters of William Woolf’ was published in 2018. Before writing, Helen started her career with Ireland’s national broadcaster, RTE (Ireland’s national broadcaster) where she worked in radio broadcasting before moving to London in 2010. She subsequently worked for companies such as the BBC and The Times before her most recent role in Google where she worked before signing her publishing contract. Helen was also shortlisted as Best Newcomer at this year’s Irish Books Awards.

  1. To readers of the blog who may not be familiar with you or your writing, can you tell us a bit about yourself and how you got into writing.
    I am Irish but live in London. I had always wanted to write ever since I was a little girl but didn’t really have the confidence to try to write a book until I was in my thirties. Eventually the fear of never writing a book overcame the fear of not being able to and I joined a six month writing workshop that ‘The Guardian’ ran with the University of East Anglia with the amazing Michele Roberts as mentor. I feel so fortunate now that I had that amazing experience because the very first thing that I ever wrote became the first chapter of ‘The Lost Letters of William Woolf’!
  2. Can you tell us a bit about your new book, ‘The Lost Letters of William Woolf’
    The book is set inside the Dead Letters Depot in East London, where William Woolf is one of thirty letter detectives who spend their days solving mysteries: Missing postcodes, illegible handwriting, rain-smudged ink, lost address labels, torn packages, forgotten street names – they are all the culprits of missed birthdays, broken hearts, unheard confessions, pointless accusations, unpaid bills and unanswered prayers.

    When William discovers letters addressed simply to ‘My Great Love’, however, his work takes on new meaning. Written by a woman to the soulmate she hasn’t met yet, the missives capture William’s heart in ways he didn’t know possible, and soon he begins to wonder: Are these letters truly lost? Or might he be the intended recipient-could he be her great love?

    Torn between his love and commitment to his wife and his romantic idealism, William must of follow the clues in Winter’s letters to solve his most important mystery yet: the human heart.

    This novel meditates on the lost art, and power, of letter-writing. It is concerned with the juxtaposition that often exists between the portrayal of romantic love in the media and the arts and the pragmatic reality of sustaining a committed relationship over a long period of time. In the Dead Letters Depot, these notions of magic and realism collide on a daily basis and William’s story unfolds.

  3. If you were to start your own book club, what authors would you ask to join?
    In my dream book club, presuming I am choosing from just writers that are still with us, I would love to spend time discussing books with Donna Tartt, Elizabeth Strout, Michael Chabon, Anne Enright, Ian McEwan, Sarah Winman, Edna O’Brien, Colm Toibin, Michael Cunningham, Andrew Sean Greer, Michele Roberts, Audrey Niffenegger, Alice Munro…that may be too many already but I could keep dreaming about this one all day!
  4. The Lost Letters of William Woolf

  5. What’s your favourite opening line from a book?
    “Mrs Dalloway said she would buy the flowers herself” – from Mrs. Dalloway by Viriginia Woolf.
  6. What’s your favourite book of all time?
    Oh it’s impossible to say – different books have meant so much to me at different times in my life!
  7. Who’s your literary hero/heroine?
    Without a doubt, Edna O’Brien. There is no doubt in mind that the reason I can walk through doors today with a published book that I have written in my hand is because Edna broke down so many doors first. I can’t recommend her work enough and am always buying ‘The Country Girls’ trilogy as presents for people.
  8. What’s your favourite part of the writing process?
    I love when the structure and story are set in stone and I can spend time polishing the text on a word by word, line by line basis without wrestling with the big picture at the same time.
  9. If you were stranded on a desert island, which three books would you bring with you to pass the time?
    ‘Pride and Prejudice’ by Jane Austen
    ‘Anna Karenina’ by Tolstoy
    ‘The Hours’ by Michael Cunningham
  10. What area do you suggest a budding writer should concentrate on to further their abilities?
    I think the most helpful thing a writer can do to progress is to persevere on finishing a complete draft to the end – afterwards then you can work on polishing, designing and editing – but persevering to the end is often the biggest challenge so developing that stamina is so valuable.
  11. When sitting down to write, what is the one item you need beside you?
    I type on a laptop but also like to have a notebook and pen beside me to write down ideas that occur to me for later or reminders to myself to go back and fix something later!

  12. And finally, do you have any projects or releases on the horizon which you would like to share with the readers of the website.
    I am just finishing my second book, ‘Leave A Light On’, and if readers are curious about what I’ve been working on, they can read the first chapter in the paperback edition of ‘The Lost Letters of William Woolf’. I am so excited that it will be released in spring 2020 and am looking forward to hearing what folks think!

    Follow Helen Cullen on Twitter and follow her website

You can buy ‘The Lost Letters of William Woolf’ from Amazon and is available to buy from good bookshops.

 

Seven Letters By Sinead Moriarty

Seven Letters‘Seven Letters’ is the latest book by Sinead Moriarty.

Every year she writes a birthday letter of love to her adored daughter, Izzy, now seven. And after she falls pregnant, she promises Izzy that the arrival of a baby brother will make their family complete. So when she collapses a few months later, the safe happy life Izzy knows is shattered. With Sarah’s future, and the future of her pregnancy, in their hands, her husband and sister disagree fiercely about her treatment. The once close family starts to fall apart. The clock is ticking, and the doctors need a decision. Can those who love Sarah get beyond the fog of grief and anger to figure out what’s for the best? Can they ever forgive each other for the decisions they make? Will Izzy lose everything she knows and loves?

I’ve come to recognise that Sinead Moriarty is the Irish equivalent of Jodi Picoult, she writes sensitively and poignant about controversial stories that only not pulls the characters hearts apart but also the readers.

In her latest book, we meet sisters and best friends Mia and Sarah, where Mia is bossy and controlling, Sarah is calm and soothing and when Sarah is pregnant, she embraces the joy of giving her daughter Izzy a little brother or sister. But, one day Sarah collapses and never recovers, Mia and her family’s world falls apart as they are delivered the tragic news that Sarah will never recover and the baby will die. The family is torn apart when Mia and her family want to give Sarah the peaceful and respectful burial that she deserves, whereas Adam, Sarah’s husband is determined that her body is kept alive so the baby will survive.

The story is a battle of morals and feelings that really pulls the reader in and it’s a heart-breaking one that should come with a warning. As the family falls apart and an adorable seven year old is caught in the middle and this character is one of the sweetest characters I’ve read in a while, as well as Mia’s outspoken teenage daughter Riley, who’s trying to recover from a broken heart. Whilst Mia, visits her sister every day and sees her sister worsen, she comes across her diary and reminiscences on happier times.

Sinead has written this tale with sensitivity and class about this painful subject that really divides people’s opinions onto what is the right and wrong in this situation. For every sad moment in the story, Sinead has injected an element of humour into the tale to help the reader recover from the trauma. A thought provoking and compelling story that really touches the readers hearts, ‘Seven Letters’ is a tender exploration of difficult subjects that left me an emotional wreck!

You can buy ‘Seven Letters’ from Amazon and is available to buy from good bookshops.

Don’t Turn Around By Amanda Brooke

Dont Turn Around‘Don’t Turn Around’ is the latest book by Amanda Brooke and it’s a thrilling and gripping story that really hooks the reader in.

Ten years ago, Jen’s cousin Meg killed herself after failing to escape an abusive relationship. Now, Meg’s ex is back and Jen’s domestic abuse helpline has started getting frightening calls from a girl who knows things about Meg – details that only the dead girl or the man who hurt her could have known. As Jen starts to uncover the past, someone is determined to stop her. Can she save this young woman from Meg’s fate? Or is history about to repeat itself?

The story is seen through the perspective of Jen and her aunt Ruth, who both never fully recovered from Ruth’s daughter’s suicide, Meg. Both are adamant that there is more to Meg’s death than meets the eye and now ten years later they are still fighting for the truth. To recognise Meg and other women who have been subject to domestic abuse, they set up the Megan McCoy Foundation, a helpline offering advice and one day they receive a call and are convinced that the woman is being abused by Lewis, the teenage boyfriend of Meg who they believe is responsible for Meg’s death. The story then follows both women as they try to rescue the woman as well as face up to old ghosts as Lewis reappears in their lives, after being gone for ten years.

This book is a dark and disturbing that does make for unsettling reading, particularly the flashbacks to Meg leading up to her taking her own life. Jen and Meg are best friends and Jen is in awe of her feisty cousin and could never believe that she would just give up and as long as she has breath in her body is determined to prove everyone wrong. But as Jen delves deeper in the past, she finds herself not only getting emotionally involved but also putting her life and others at risk.

Fast paced with tense scenes throughout, ‘Don’t Turn Around’ is a suspenseful tale about the search for justice and the truth and has a shocking ending, that will stay with you, long after you reached the final page.

You can buy Don’t Turn Around from Amazon and is available to buy from good bookshops.