Skip to content

The Last Cuckoo By Maria Frankland

The Last Cuckoo‘The Last Cuckoo’ is the latest book by Maria Frankland.

Do you listen to your mother? Even after she’s dead? Anna Hardaker is following you … This seemingly innocent Tweet fills Jamie Hardaker with confusion and fear. After all, his mother Anna has been dead for nearly three weeks.What follows is an orchestrated Twitter campaign to lead those Anna loved, and didn’t love so much, to the truth behind her “accidental” death.

An interesting story that deals with family loss and adjusting to a new life without a parent. Jamie is dealing with the loss of his mother, when someone tweets from her account.

A domestic story that teeters on a ghost story, this book is an interesting tale as it concentrates on Jamie and his family as their family dynamics change. The characters are complex but also relatable as they all deal with grief in different ways. The story is written solely through the narrative of Jamie and it makes for interesting reading as he investigates who’s behind the tweets from his mother’s account as well as delving into his family’s past.

Riddled with mystery, drama and suspense, this book is a cleverly plotted story that really pulled the reader in. A story about family dynamics and relationships, ‘The Last Cuckoo’ is a fantastic debut that made for poignant and gripping reading.

You can buy ‘The Last Cuckoo’ from Amazon and is available to buy from good bookshops.

One Hundred and Fifty-Two Days By Giles Paley-Phillips

One Hundred and Fifty-Two Days‘One Hundred and Fifty-Two Days’ is the latest book by Giles Paley-Phillips.

He will be allowed to visit his mother soon. His mother who is terminally ill, his mother who he has been barred from seeing as he recovers from his own bout of pneumonia. Until then, with the help of his physiotherapist Freya, he must navigate his increasingly empty and isolated existence: his father, who finds solace in the bottom of a glass; his Nana Q, whose betting-slip confetti litters her handbag; his friends, who simply wouldn’t understand. Time passes with the promise of soon, but one hundred and fifty-two days later the boy will come face to face with his grief, and move beyond to a world full of possibility, hope and love.

I consumed this short story in one sitting, told from the narrative of a young boy coming to terms with his mother’s death as well being unable to visit her due to his own sickness.

This story is uniquely written, it’s written in short snappy bursts and speaks honestly and innocently of the boy’s pain at his mother’s sickness. His innocence is quite hard to read at times as he struggles with emotions, from the loss of his mother as well as his hard relationship with his father. He longs to fit into society but with poverty and illness, he stands out to the crowd.

A tender tale about love and loss, ‘One Hundred and Fifty-Two Days’ is a haunting and poignant tale about a child adapting to life whilst struggling with loss and grief, an emotional story that tugs at the hardest of hearts.

You can buy ‘One Hundred and Fifty-Two Days’ from Amazon and is available to buy from good bookshops.

Spring Tides at Swallowtail Bay By Katie Ginger

Spring Tides at Swallowtail Bay‘Spring Tides at Swallowtail Bay’ is the first book in a new series by Katie Ginger called ‘Swallowtail Bay’.

Licking her wounds from her divorce, Stella impulsively buys a gift shop and two holiday lets in glorious Swallowtail Bay, hoping for a fresh start with her King Charles Spaniel Frank. When the neighbours meet her with a warm welcome, Stella knows she’s found the new home she was looking for. Even gorgeous but grumpy local Miles can’t take the shine off things. But then her ex-husband announces he’s getting married again, and someone in the village starts gossiping about Stella… Is Stella’s dream over already? Or, with her new friends behind her, can Stella fight back and save her new life – and find the happy ever after she’s been waiting for?

This book is a heartwarming introduction to a new series packed with loveable characters against the backdrop of a sleepy town, it was charming from start to finish.

The story is primarily seen through the narrative of newcomer to Swallowtail Bay, Stella as she waves goodbye to the bustling city of Oxford and prepares for single life in a strange town with a new business under her belt. Thankfully support comes in the form of Lexi, who helps Stella fit into the new community but is also a shoulder to cry on when Stella’s ex husband announces his new marriage.

From the outset, this is a charming tale that can easily be absorbed in one sitting. Fun and heartwarming, it’s hard not to connect with the relatable characters and their situations that make for interesting reading. I love Stella, she’s fun, creative and it’s lovely to watch her blossom throughout the story particularly when she catches the eye of Miles, who adds an injection of charm to the story. Lexi is also a great character as she battles being a single parent with two boisterous children, she made me giggle at times with her wit.

A beautiful story that will leave you grinning from ear to ear, ‘Spring Tides at Swallowtail Bay’ is the perfect laugh out loud comedy to curl up with in a world of current doom and gloom.

You can buy ‘Spring Tides at Swallowtail Bay’ from Amazon and will be avaialble to buy from good bookshops from 14th May 2020.

The Second Wife By Rebecca Fleet

The Second Wife‘The Second Wife’ is the latest book by Rebecca Fleet.

When Alex met Natalie she changed his life. After the tragic death of his first wife, which left him a single parent to teenage daughter Jade, he’s determined to build a happy family. But his new-found happiness is shattered when the family home is gutted by fire and his loyalties are unexpectedly tested. Jade insists she saw a man in the house on the night of the fire; Natalie denies any knowledge of such an intruder. Alex is faced with an impossible choice: to believe his wife or his daughter? And as Natalie’s story unravels, Alex realises that his wife has a past he had no idea about, a past that might yet catch up with her.

If you enjoy a thriller that really grips your attention, I can wholeheartedly recommend ‘The Second Wife’, a taunt and mysterious story that gets the reader engaged throughout.

After a fire leaves his daughter in hospital and she mentions a strange man following her, Alex begins to question his second wife’s past when he discovers a mysterious photograph of a woman and man. Natalie then reveals her past, her troubled sister and Alex finds himself wondering what is real and fake with Natalie.

The story is written in past and tense storylines with different narratives. Alex’s primary concern is his daughter’s safety whilst his love for Natalie is strong, Natalie finds herself having to face up to a past that she thought she long buried. The characters are interesting and I particularly enjoyed scenes with Natalie and her sister Sadie, a troubled character with an attraction to bad men.

Cleverly written with a strong storyline, ‘The Second Wife’ is a complex and thrilling mystery with unreliable perspectives and suspicious characters, this engaging story is a full on and dramatic domestic noir that will have you racing through the pages!

You can buy ‘The Second Wife’ from Amazon and is available to buy from good bookshops.

One Moment By Linda Green

One Moment‘One Moment’ is the latest book by Linda Green and has been recently been picked as a BBC Radio 2 Book Club Pick.

Finn and Kaz are about to meet for the first time. Ten-year-old Finn, a quirky, sensitive boy who talks a lot and only eats at cafes with a 5-star hygiene rating, is having a tough time at school and home. Outspoken Kaz, 59, who has an acerbic sense of humour and a heart of gold, is working at the café when Finn and his mum come in. They don’t know it yet, but the second time they meet will be a moment which changes both of their lives forever.

If you’re a lover a warm hearted stories, I would thoroughly recommend this story, with a kind hearted lady and reclusive little boy, this story of friendship is the perfect feel good story.

In this story we meet Kaz and Finn, an unlikely friendship between an older woman and a little boy, who are both at turning points in their lives. Finn’s parents are divorcing and he’s having to go between both parents which is difficult as he doesn’t like change, the only thing is constant is his love for Alan Titchmarsh and gardening. Whilst straight talking Kaz is enjoying her new friendship with Finn as it provides a welcome distraction from her sick brother Terry,

I adored this story, the characters are warm and relatable and the storyline flows at a lovely pace as the pair bond over their troubled relationships. Kaz is a kind soul, known for her plaits and sheep apron, she’s there for people, always putting others first. She has a huge heart and I regularly found myself chuckling at her Yorkshire way of speaking and brutal honesty. Her protection for her brother is also an interesting side to the story as he struggles with schizophrenia and is regularly chatting with Matthew Kelly from the 90’s television show ‘Stars In Their Eyes’.

Finn is an interesting boy, he’s not the typical boy and because of this is the subject of bullying which is difficult to read as he’s having to deal with with twice the drama with divorcing parents and bullying school kids.

This story is a lovely story which focuses on many issues such as mental health and the impact a divorce has on a young child. The tender relationship between Kaz and Finn makes for poignant and interesting reading as the two of them are crutches for each other between particularly hard times. ‘One Moment’ is well worthy of its recent nomination of a BBC Radio 2 nomination, is an emotional story of a fascinating friendship that will have the reader gripped about how a simple moment can have an impact on a life.

You can buy ‘One Moment’ from Amazon.