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The World At My Feet By Catherine Isaac

The World At My Feet‘The World At My Feet’ is the latest book by Catherine Isaac.

1990. Harriet is a journalist. Her job takes her to dangerous places, where she asks questions and tries to make a difference. But when she is sent to Romania, to the state orphanages the world is only just learning about, she is forced to rethink her most important rule. 2018. Ellie is a gardener. Her garden is her sanctuary, her pride and joy. But, though she spends long days outdoors, she hasn’t set foot beyond her gate for far too long. Now someone enters her life who could finally be the reason she needs to overcome her fears.

‘The World At My Feet’ is the third book by Catherine and just like her debut, it’s just as tearjerking and captivating.

The story is seen through the narrative of mother and daughter Harriet and Ellie. To the outside world, Ellie is a strong and powerful woman with a strong following on her gardening Instagram page but Ellie doesn’t move beyond her garden due to agoraphobia. Much as she’d love to step outside her garden, her fear and anxiety have prevented her leaving the house for a number of years, leaving her reliant on deliveries and support from her parents and younger sister called Lucy.

Although Ellie’s narrative is written in the present tense, her mother’s Harriet is written in the past tense at the height of her career when she was a war correspondent travelling to some of the most dangerous places in the world.  One place that particularly triggered an emotion and connection with Harriet, was the Romanian orphanages, were children with haunting eyes who were not only malnourished of food but also love and affection.

The story seen through Ellie’s makes for frustrating and sad reading, she’s a wonderful young woman who quite literally has the world at her end but is consumed by her fear that her life is in limbo. Aware that she needs to make changes before it’s too late, she become friends with Jamie, the garden centre delivery man who gently coaxes her out into real world with his kind and fun nature. Their friendship makes for lovely reading as they get to know each other and their interactions.

Harriet’s narrative makes for quite hard hitting reading as she travels to war worn torn and poverty stricken countries. Catherine vividly describes the desperation and desolation of the orphanages as the children long for love and are horribly deprived of it and this make upsetting reading at times.

Like her previous novels, Catherine’s novels really strike a chord with its reader connecting with them on an emotional level that really pulls its audience in. The story focuses on genuinely upsetting topics such as agoraphobia and the orphanages in Romania, but she writes with such sensitivity and warmth which really captures the readers heart. Even in the darkest moments of the story, there are elements of light with the beautiful descriptions of the gardens and the inclusion of a friendly canine called Gertie.

Beautifully written with thoroughly researched subjects, Catherine has created another soulful story that captivates the reader. ‘The World At My Feet’ is a stunningly written story of hope, courage and new beginnings.

You can buy ‘The World At My Feet’ from Amazon and is available to buy from good bookshops.

Hunt By Leona Deakin

Hunt‘Hunt’ is the third book in Leona Deakin’s ‘Dr Bloom’ series.

The Foreign Secretary is being held under the Terrorism Act. He will answer the police’s questions on one condition – they let him speak to Dr Augusta Bloom. He asks Bloom to track down his niece, Scarlett, who hasn’t spoken to her family for ten years. The last they heard, Scarlett was getting involved with Artemis – an organisation dedicated to women’s rights and the feminist movement, led by the charismatic Paula Kunis. But as Bloom learns more about Artemis, she’s torn. Is this organisation everything it claims to be, or do they have a secret side and an alternative agenda? And if so, what has become of Scarlett? The only way to find out for sure is for Bloom to go undercover. But will she make it out safely – or will she become the next Artemis woman to disappear?

Leona is back with a new book, with old characters resurfacing that Dr. Bloom thought that she and her team and put into prison but it seems that due to lack of evidence Seraphine Walker was walked free.

In the latest book of the series, Dr Bloom’s services has been required by the Secretary of State to look into the disappearance of his niece, Scarlett who no one has heard from in many years. There’s a fear that she’s been held captive in a women’s group called Artemis, so Dr. Bloom finds herself entering the group hoping to find Scarlett but instead is faced with dealing with a clever group of women and discovers that once you enter Artemis, you never get out.

I really enjoyed this book and this series. Dr. Bloom is a great character and gives a fascinating insight into police procedure and psychology. Cleverly written with tension and suspense throughout, this taunt thriller made for gripping reading.

The story is seen from multiple characters, Dr. Bloom, her partner Jameson as well as Scarlett, the missing woman and Seraphine Walker.

The different narratives really set the tone for the story, a countdown into finding the missing woman as well as Dr. Bloom getting deeper into the Artemis group. Although, the group has been created for to empower woman, it seems to brainwash its members into staying and that the outside world isn’t for them.

This latest book is a thrilling read, giving further insights and details into the character’s past and this narrative really adds to the story.

Fast paced and riddled with drama and twists throughout, ‘Hunt’ is another thrilling and suspenseful story in the Dr. Bloom series.

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

Unsettled Ground By Claire Fuller

Unsettled Ground‘Unsettled Ground’ is the latest book by Claire Fuller.

Twins Jeanie and Julius have always been different from other people. At 51 years old, they still live with their mother, Dot, in rural isolation and poverty. Inside the walls of their old cottage they make music, and in the garden they grow (and sometimes kill) everything they need for sustenance. But when Dot dies suddenly, threats to their livelihood start raining down. Jeanie and Julius would do anything to preserve their small sanctuary against the perils of the outside world, even as their mother’s secrets begin to unravel, putting everything they thought they knew about their lives at stake.

‘Unsettled Ground’ is a dark and unsettling story about twin brother and sister Julius and Jeanie Seeder, who’s lives change drastically when their mother dies. The siblings are reclusive characters, who live alone in their old fashioned cottage with no electricity or modern amenities. When their mother dies, it comes to light that she owed a lot of debts which in light of her death, was then passed onto her children.

Both the pair have to think of ways of making money, but are very limited in their skills. Although, he’s hard worker and can turn his hand to most skills, Julius cannot travel far due to travel sickness, whilst Jeanie has a bad heart and has to look after herself. As they struggle and save, it makes for sad and frustrating reading, as they are dealt constant hardship from the bullies of the town. We see rare moments of genuine happiness, when the twins play their instruments and sing together and maybe in another world could have been successful artists.

The story is beautifully written and vividly descriptive at very opportunity, from the run down cottage to the vibrant garden that Jeanie helps bring to life to earn a few pound. The characters are a fascinating blend of personalities, from the quiet reclusive sister to the sociable brother who enjoys engaging with others, whilst Jeanie prefers to shy away. But as the story progresses, we see her grow into a stronger and more independent woman, who begins to befriends others as she thinks of creative ways to make an income as well as provide a life for her and her brother.

One thing that struck a chord with me, was that Jeanie couldn’t read and I found this genuinely upsetting, as she struggled to adapt without her mother and brother reading for her. She made me realise how fortunate I am that I can read as she struggled with basic things such as shop for groceries. As an avid reader and book lover, it was sad to read that she missed out on an opportunity to learn to read which would have opened so many doors for her.

Atmospheric from the first page, ‘Unsettled Ground’ is a taunt and tense novel about loss, deceit and what might have been, that made for clever and gripping reading with unthinkable twist that will stay with you long after you reached the final page.

You can pre-order ‘Unsettled Ground’ from Amazon and will be available to buy from good bookshops from 25th March 2021.

The Best Is Yet To Come By Katy Collins

The Best Is Yet To Come‘The Best Is Yet To Come’ is the latest book by Katy Collins.

Izzy has always taken everything in her stride but motherhood is proving more difficult than she thought. She keeps telling herself it’s just a phase but the dark clouds are starting to appear. Neighbour and widower Arthur might be in the winter of his life but he’s not ready to be packed off to a care home. He’s determined to do things his way. When Izzy hears about Arthur’s big move, she offers to help. But Arthur isn’t telling her the whole story. It takes courage to admit you need a friend and when you feel invisible, all you need is a ray of hope. After all, what if the best is yet to come?

If you like stories of new beginnings and friendship, then this book is for you.

The story is seen from the perspective of new mum Izzy and her elderly neighbour called Arthur, who she rescues one night when he falls over. The story centres around their unlikely friendship as they both deal with milestones in their lives, Izzy is adjusting to becoming a first time mother and Arthur is clearing out his home, two years after his wife’s death to move into a retirement village.

The pair are a lovely duo and scenes with together make for really sweet reading. Arthur and Pearl were unable to have children, so Izzy and her baby Evie give him the opportunity to be a grandfather figure which he dotes on immensely. Izzy is a relatable character, she expected motherhood to come naturally but she has struggles that her husband Andrew seems oblivious to which was very frustrating reading. She finds a kinship in Arthur and their shared project which gives them something to concentrate on and bond over.

The story alternates between the perspectives of the pair and it’s uplifting to see them grow in friendship as well as confidence as Izzy gets more comfortable with the mother role.

This story is a beautifully written one that flows at a lovely pace, captivating the reader with moments of poignancy and nostalgia. Emotional and heartfelt, ‘The Best Is Yet To Come’ is a life affirming story of hope, forgiveness and will certainly strike a chord with its relatable and engaging characters.

You can buy ‘The Best Is Yet To Come’ from Amazon and is available to buy from good bookshops.

The Last Goodbye By Fiona Lucas

The Last Goodbye‘The Last Goodbye’ is the latest book by Fiona Lucas.

Anna’s world was shattered three years ago when her husband Spencer was killed in a tragic accident. Her friends and family think it’s time she moved on, but how can she when she’s lost her soulmate? On New Year’s Eve, Anna calls Spencer’s old phone just to hear his voicemail greeting. But to her surprise someone picks up. Brody answers and is the first person who truly understands what Anna is going through. As they begin to speak regularly, Anna finds herself opening up and slowly she discovers how to smile again, how to laugh, even how to hope. But Brody hasn’t been entirely honest with Anna. Will his secret threaten everything, just as it seems she might find the courage to love again?

‘The Last Goodbye’ is the first book that I’ve read by Fiona Lucas aka Fiona Harper and it most certainly will not be the last, a tender and emotional about love and grief this story makes for heart-breaking reading in parts.

Even though, it’s been almost 3 years since her husband and soulmate Spencer was killed when a drunk driver hit him, Anna is not able to move on. Still consumed by grief, she rebuffs offers of nights out with well-meaning friends, who all want to set her up with someone new. The last piece of contact that Anna has with Spencer is the voice mail on his answer machine until one day, it’s gone and replaced with the voice of Brody who’s been assigned the new number. Heartbroken that her connection with Spencer is gone, Anna finds so many similarities in Brody and begins a tender phone friendship with him, as he offers an anchor in her sea of grief.

This story is a beautifully written that I was immediately swept up in. Anna is a lovely character, kind with a sweet nature, she’s lost without Spencer by her side and as everyone moves on around her she finds it hard to let go. Likewise with Brody, he too is dealing with turmoil with no one to turn to but his dog called Lewis. Brody and Anna find a solace and companionship in each other and this makes for tender reading as they confide and progress forward in life. My heart truly went out to Anna at times in this book, as she was under pressure to move on but there’s no time limit with grief and everyone needs to progress at their own pace, which people should be respectful off.

The story travels at a lovely pace as Anna begins to confront her grief and tries to adapt to her new life as well as get to know Brody and their interactions are fun and heart-warming.

An original and heartfelt story that genuinely made for poignant reading, ‘The Last Goodbye’ is an emotional story about loss, hope and courage and is perfect for fans of Jojo Moyes and Cecelia Ahern.

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