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If You Were Here By Alice Peterson

If You Were HereAuthor of tear-jerkers and emotional rollercoasters, Alice Peterson is back with a new book called ‘If You Were Here’.

When her daughter Beth dies suddenly, Peggy Andrews is left to pick up the pieces and take care of her granddaughter Flo. But sorting through Beth’s things reveals a secret never told: Beth was sick, with the same genetic condition that claimed her father’s life, and now Peggy must decide whether to keep the secret or risk destroying her granddaughter’s world. Five years later, Flo is engaged and ready to pack up her life and move to New York with her high-flying fiancé. Peggy never told Flo what she discovered, but with Flo looking towards her future, Peggy realises it’s time to come clean and reveal that her granddaughter’s life might also be at risk. As Flo struggles to decide her own path, she is faced with the same life-altering questions her mother asked herself years before: If a test could decide your future, would you take it?

Alice Peterson is an author who is renowned for writing novels that will break readers hearts as well as staying with the reader long after reading the final page and her latest book is no different.

In this story we meet, Peggy and her granddaughter Flo, the pair of them have an extremely close bond after Flo’s mum called Beth suddenly passed away. It was only after Beth’s death that Peggy discovered that Beth was diagnosed with the terrible illness Huntington’s Disease. The same sickness that claimed her father’s life. Now, with this new knowledge, Peggy is trying to find the right moment to tell Flo that she might also be suffering from the hereditary illness. Flo is on the cusp of huge changes in her life, newly engaged and moving to New York, she is looking forward to her future, but it all falls down around her when Peggy reveals the news to Flo and there’s now a lot of uncertainty in her life.

From the very first page I was absorbed in this book, the multiple narratives through the multi generations give an insight into the illness and how it affected them all. The story is thoroughly researched and incredibly well written, as Flo is faced with a terrible decision, does she want to see if she has the illness or does she continues unaware.

Like Alice’s previous books, this book is another story that really strikes a chord with the reader. In this story, we meet a family who’s been heavily effected by Huntington’s. Once Flo knows the issue behind her mother’s death, she begins to put her own life into perspective and toy with whether she wants to know or not whether she has the illness as well. The story is seen through the narrative of Flo and Peggy, both terrified and unsure of the future. But Flo finds solace in her mother’s diary but also finds it daunting reading what her mother went through, knowing alone that she had Huntington’s.

Full of inspirational and heartwarming stories, this book is an uplifting and emotional story about the tragedy of Huntington’s and the impact that the terrible illness has had on lives. ‘If You Were Here’ is a compassionate and thought provoking story that really raises the awareness of Huntington’s disease and leaves the reader breathless on the final page of this life affirming story.

You can buy ‘If You Were Here’ from Amazon and is available from good bookshops.

Those People By Louise Candlish

Those People’Those People’ is the latest book by Louise Candlish.

Until Darren Booth moves in at number 1, Lowland Way, the neighbourhood is a suburban paradise. But soon after his arrival, disputes over issues like loud music and parking rights escalate all too quickly to public rows and threats of violence. Then, early one Saturday, a horrific crime shocks the street. As the police go house-to-house, the residents close ranks and everyone’s story is the same: Booth did it. But there’s a problem. The police don’t agree with them.

I spent one Friday morning enthralled with this book and only could I put it down when I finished it.

The story is seen through the narrative of the residents of Lowland Way, when a new neighbour moves in and causes some uproar to the friendly environment. Like Louise’s previous books, the book starts right at the moment something sinister has happened and everyone in the neighbourhood is a suspect.

The characters are an interesting mix of people, all quite snobby and set in their ways and with the arrival of Darren and his outspoken partner Jodie, you find them really rebel against change. The new neighbour challenges the dynamics of the neighbourhood and this makes for unsettling reading as the neighbours try to reason with them, only to be cut down. All the neighbours have their own motives and makes them all suspects throughout the story. There’s the new parents struggling with a new born getting sleep, the elderly woman who’s lonely and only company she has are those who stay in her bed and breakfast and finally the rivalling families who’s determined to make the area child friendly.

A fast paced and intriguing story that hooked my attention from the very first page, ‘Those People’ is just as compulsive as Louise’s highly acclaimed previous book called ‘Our House’. With a thrilling and fast paced plot and wonderfully fascinating characters, ‘Those People’ is definitely another summer hit from Louise.

You can buy ‘Those People’ from Amazon and is available to buy from good bookshops.

Living My Best Life By Claire Frost

Living My Best Life‘Living My Best Life’ is Claire Frost’s debut novel.

Recently dumped by her boyfriend of ten years, Bell is struggling to move on with her life – and surrender the fleecy pyjamas she’s been living in since January. Haunted by #blessed on social media, she can’t help but compare her life to those she follows online, wondering where she is going wrong. In the world of social media, Millie is the successful online influencer @mi_bestlife. But in real life she’s just a regular single mum trying to make ends meet, while fending off the younger competition and tenacious internet trolls. Her Instagram feed is far more #BestLie than #BestLife, and soon Millie begins to wish her life was more like her filters. It isn’t until Bell and Millie’s paths cross that they begin to realise what they’re both missing. Can Millie prove to Bell that life online isn’t always what it appears to be? And in return, can Millie learn that she needs to start living for the moment and not for the likes?

I adored this book, it was a lovely story to curl up with. I met Claire at a Books and the City event earlier this year and she was warm and bubbly and her personality really shone through in her characters.

After suddenly finding herself single after the end of a ten year relationship, Bell finds questioning her place in life and signs herself up to a photography class where she meets new friends Laura and Ben and finds herself growing in confidence when she becomes the spokesperson for the local community hall. When she befriends local influencer and single mother Millie, the pair of them become strong friends as they deal with the realities of life.

I really liked the characters in this book and their new friendship was a joy to observe. As well as focusing on new beginning of life, the stress of motherhood, this book also concentrates on the negative impact of social media and how much pressure there is put on society for the perfect post and life.

With fantastic characters, adorable children and riddled with humour, this book is cleverly written that really pulls the reader in.

Deliciously heartwarming and fun, ‘Living My Best Life’ is a fantastic debut from Claire Frost. Filled with humour, warmth and relatable characters, this book shows the powerful portrayal of social media and the challenges of starting over.

You can pre-order ”Living My Best Life’ from Amazon and will be available to buy from good bookshops from 5th September 2019.

Win A Copy Of The Meryl Streep Movie Club

The Meryl Streep Movie ClubFor all fans of Meryl Streep, I’ve got just the competition for you!

I’ve a copy of Mia March’s book called ‘The Meryl Streep Movie Club’ to give away to one lucky person.

What the back cover says –

On the coast of Maine sits The Three Captains Inn, a haven for tourists and locals alike. When Lolly, the owner, summons her nieces home, they assume she’s planning to sell the inn, the place they called home after they lost their parents in a car accident that also claimed the life of Lolly’s husband. Little do they know, the truth is far more unimaginable . . .

Along with Kat, Lolly’s daughter, the women reunite for their first summer together in many years and home truths and long buried secrets begin to emerge. Then movie-lover Lolly invites her family to one of her legendary movie nights – this month’s theme: Meryl Streep – and what was intended to be a few hours’ distraction ends up making them question everything they thought they knew about life, love and one another.

As each woman sees her complicated life reflected through the magic of cinema, will they be able to find their own happily-ever-afters before it’s too late?

To be in with a chance of winning a copy of the book, simply answer the following question, by leaving the answer in the comment box below.

What’s the name of the Inn in the story?

The lucky winner will be revealed on Monday 11th March 2019. Good luck!

Louise Candlish Reveals New Book – Those People

Those PeopleI’m delighted to see that Louise Candlish has revealed her new book for 2019 called ‘Those People’.

What the back cover says –

Until Darren Booth moves in at number 1, Lowland Way, the neighbourhood is a suburban paradise. But soon after his arrival, disputes over issues like loud music and parking rights escalate all too quickly to public rows and threats of violence.

Then, early one Saturday, a horrific crime shocks the street. As the police go house-to-house, the residents close ranks and everyone’s story is the same: Booth did it.

But there’s a problem. The police don’t agree with them.

I was fortunate to read a taster of the book and for those who loved ‘Our House’, you’re in a for a treat!

You can pre-order ‘Those People’ from Amazon and will be available to buy from good bookshops from 27th June 2019.