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The Break By Marian Keyes

The Break‘The Break’ is the delicious new book by Marian Keyes.

Amy’s husband Hugh says he isn’t leaving her. He still loves her, he’s just taking a break – from their marriage, their children and, most of all, from their life together. Six months to lose himself in south-east Asia. And there is nothing Amy can say or do about it. Yes, it’s a mid-life crisis, but let’s be clear: a break isn’t a break up – yet. However, for Amy it’s enough to send her – along with her extended family of gossips, misfits and troublemakers – teetering over the edge. For a lot can happen in six-months. When Hugh returns if he returns, will he be the same man she married? Will Amy be the same woman? Because if Hugh is on a break from their marriage, then isn’t she?

Marian Keyes is back with another fabulous book, a book that made me lose track of time as well as let numerous cups of go to waste and go cold.

In her latest book, we meet Amy, a deliciously kind and outspoken woman who works in PR, mother to three daughters, her life is rarely a routine and when her husband Hugh announces that he wants to take a six month break to travel the world to help him through his grieving process after losing his father. Amy’s reaction and mine was WTF?

As Hugh travels the world, Amy is left with the worry that he’ll cheat on her, leave her for a younger model, never return and this will be the end of their marriage.

But whilst Hugh is discovering himself, Amy is also finding a new appetite for life. She’s refusing to accept pity from her neighbours and give up on her marriage, even though her heart is breaking.

Amy is also on her own path of self discovery, embarking on new affairs, tackling with being a single parent and being the mother of a successful video blogger with an attitude.

I absolutely adored this book. The book is filled with Marian’s charm and wit as well her warmth. The characters are similar to the Walsh family, their dysfunctional, outspoken and there is never a dull moment, with their larger than life mother and a father who battles Alzheimers. In her light hearted tale, Marian delivers a story that has serious issues, Alzheimer’s and the effect it can have on a family, the pressure and stress. Teenage pregnancy and the legality of abortion in Ireland plus the surge of video blogging and how anyone can do it, no matter the age.

Amy is a fabulous character and one that I could never tire of reading. As the story progresses, Amy becomes a stronger and more confident woman and this is a joy to witness. Hugh was a different story altogether, I wholeheartedly hated him and the rage he invoked in me was astounding. His selfishness to find himself whilst Amy was left to look after the family and deal with the sympathy and the gossip that he left behind, it enraged me!

The characters are engaging and all have their own quirks that made for such enjoyable reading plus all the chapters are short, so one chapter can rapidly become seven or ten.

Deliciously fun and warmhearted, this book is an enchanting story that was impossible to put down, filled with charm, drama and plenty of Irish wit, ‘The Break’ is most certainly Marian Keyes at her very best. I dare you not to enjoy it!

You can pre-order The Break from Amazon and will be available to buy from good bookshops from 7th September.

Giveaway – Happy People Read And Drink Coffee By Agnes Martin-Lugand

Happy People Read And Drink CoffeeToday on the website, I’ve a copy of Agnes Martin-Lugand’s new book, ‘Happy People Read And Drink Coffee’ to give away to one lucky person.

What the back cover says

Diane, owner of Happy People Read and Drink Coffee, a cosy coffee shop turned library in Paris, seems to have the perfect life. But when she suddenly loses her husband and daughter in a car accident, her life is overturned and the world as she knows it disappears. Trapped by her memories, Diane closes her shop and retreats from friends and family.

One year later, she moves from Paris to a small town on the Irish coast, determined to heal by rebuilding her life alone, without anyone’s help or pity – until she meets Edward, a handsome and moody Irish photographer. Along windy shores and cobbled streets, Diane falls into a surprising and tumultuous romance. As she works to overcome her painful memories, Diane and Edward’s once-in-a-lifetime connection inspires her to love herself and the world around her with new-found inner strength and happiness.

But will it last when Diane leaves Ireland, and Edward, for good?

To be in with a chance of winning, simply answer the following question.

What is Edward’s occuptation?

Leave your answer in the comment box below by Monday 10th April? Good luck.

The Valentine’s Card by Juliet Ashton

The Valentine's Card“The Valentine’s Card” is Juliet Ashton’s debut novel.

After years of scraping by in Dublin’s theatrical circles, Simeon Quinn is on the brink of hitting the big time. Cast as the dashing male lead in a BBC costume drama, he heads for the bright lights of London for five months of working hard and player harder whilst begging his girlfriend, Orla to join him on this adventure.

But Orla has ambitions of her own, refusing to be a spare part, she stays at home in Tobercree to focus on her career as a teacher, a job she adores. Although she misses Sim and is counting down the days until she sees him again, she hopes the separation will have advantages, lounging about in ill fitting pyjamas and eating toast for dinner.

But Valentine’s Day changes everything. As Orla is told the devastating news that Sim is dead, she receives a card from him. Travelling from Ireland to London, to live and breath Sim’s final moments. she takes the unopened card with her, a card full of so much anticipation and expectation. But will she ever bring herself to read the card and if she does, what will it say?

“The Valentine’s Card” is Juliet Ashton first novel and what a remarkable one it was. From the start, we are cast in the world of Orla’s and Sim long distance love affair. On the awful Valentine’s day when Sim would tragically drop dead whilst Orla was receiving his last ever Valentine’s card. Fearful of what the card will say, she doesn’t open it, but clings to it as it offers her strength and even companionship in the hardest of times.

As the story is told through a series of flashbacks as we see how the couple met and with the current situation, as Orla flees to London to find Sim’s journal so she can recall his final days alive.

The story is strongly cast, Orla is fiercely Irish, with a strong independence and stubbornness about her, that makes everyone around immediately like her, with regular phone-calls with her ‘Ma’ these scenes made me smile, with their gentle loving banter making for light hearted reading in this sad tale. Maud, the kind elderly lady who owns a bookshop beside Sim’s flat, takes Orla under her wing and provides a shoulder to cry on and a bottle of wine when things get tough for the young Irish girl.

“The Valentines Card” is not quite the love story I expected when I settled into it, expecting it to be all hearts and flowers, the story is quite actually quite a sad one, that deals with the matter, of what happens when the one turns out to be someone completely different and that the life you thought you had was just a lie. Beautifully written “The Valentine’s Card”, is a cynical take on a love story, as one girl searches for her happy ever after, whilst trying to find her own path in life. Filled with mystery, intrigue and humour, “The Valentine’s Card”, is definitely my recommended alternative Valentine read!

You can buy The Valentine’s Card on Amazon and other good bookshops.

Marian Keyes new ebook – Mammy Walsh’s A-Z of the Walsh Family

Mammy Walsh’s A–Z of the Walsh Family

If you can’t wait for the release of Marian Keyes new book “The Mystery of Mercy Close”, then you can breathe a sigh of relief as she has announced her first ebook novella, “Mammy Walsh’s A–Z of the Walsh Family”. The story is about is about one of Ireland’s favourite dysfunctional family.

Here is a quick word from the head of the Walsh Clan, Mammy Walsh.

‘There’s this woman I know from bridge, Mona Hopkins, a lovely woman she is, even if I must admit I’m not that keen on her myself, and she said a great thing the other day. I was expecting her to say “Two no trumps,” but instead she comes out with a saying about her children. She says, “Boys wreck your house and girls wreck your head.” Isn’t that a marvellous bit of wisdom – “Boys wreck your house and girls wreck your head!” And God knows it’s the truest thing I’ve heard in a long time. I should know. I have five girls. Five daughters. And let me tell you, my head is wrecked from them.
Although, now that I think of it, so is my house . . .’

At only £1.99, this ebook is a steal and will quench your thirst until the grand release of “The Mystery of Mercy Close”, another Walsh family novel.

You can pre-order Mammy Walsh’s A?Z of the Walsh Family: An Ebook Short on Amazon

Me and My Sisters by Sinead Moriarty

Me and My Sisters

The latest book from best-selling author Sinead Moriarty “Me and Sisters” tells the story of Devlin sisters.

Oldest sister Louise, has always been a hard worker. Determined to work her up the corporate ladder she becomes partner in one of London’s top law firms. Just as things are going to plan, she becomes pregnant after a drunken one night stand. Having a child was not something she had factored into her life, as she didn’t have time for romance let alone a child but determined to prove that she can tackle being a single mum whilst continuing work, she begins to juggle work and a sick baby, quickly discovering that isn’t that easy being a single working mother.

Middle sister, Julie doesn’t have time to breathe let alone time to sit down and enjoy a cup of tea. With her hyper triplet sons and toddler Tom, her life is never easy as she always busy running after them. She used to be the easy going sister of the three, but lately she is constantly stressed and tired and would love a little help but with having such crazy kids she is usually given a wide breadth.

And finally youngest sister Sophie, was one of Ireland’s top models and then she married handsome, successful Jack and life became perfect as she became a lady of leisure, wearing designers clothes, holidaying in the finest resorts and having a perfectly well-behaved daughter. Her sisters consider her shallow with her luxurious lifestyle, but she doesn’t mind until one day it all turns upside down and she discovers that they may right.

The Devlin sisters think that they have nothing in common, but infact they do as they all harbour secrets about themselves and need each other more than they could ever realise.

Once again Sinead has managed to produce another heartwarming book filled to the brim with funny, boisterous characters that had me laughing from start to finish.
Just like “Pieces of my Heart”, “Me and my Sisters” touches upon another sensitive issue – the working mother. Should women give up their careers as soon as a child is born? With career woman Louise, giving up her job is not an option so its interesting to see how a normally immaculate woman deals with something that is completely out of your control. I enjoyed how each woman had their separate story and crisis to deal with as they all tried to regain their identities after having children, Sinead has also examined the sensitive issues of loneliness and the loss of independence after having children in such a wonderfully light hearted way.

“Me and My Sisters” is a beautiful book that tackles the challenges of motherhood, the importance of family and being there when the going gets tough.

You can buy Me and My Sisters on Amazon and other good bookshops.