Skip to content

The Ends Of The Earth By Abbie Greaves

The Ends Of The Earth‘The Ends Of The Earth’ is the latest book by Abbie Greaves.

Mary O’Connor has been keeping a vigil for her first love for the past seven years. Every evening without fail, Mary arrives at Ealing Broadway station and sets herself up among the commuters. In her hands Mary holds a sign which bears the words: ‘Come Home Jim.’ Call her mad, call her a nuisance, call her a drain on society – Mary isn’t going anywhere. That is, until an unexpected call turns her world on its head. In spite of all her efforts, Mary can no longer find the strength to hold herself together. She must finally face what happened all those years ago, and answer the question – where on earth is Jim?

I adored Abbie’s debut called ‘The Silent Treatment’ a beautifully written story about grief and mental health and in her latest book, Abbie touches on similar topics.

The story is primarily seen through the narrative of Mary, who’s boyfriend disappeared 7 years ago and every evening, she goes to the train station in Ealing with a sign saying ‘Come Home Jim’. She unintentionally becomes an internet sensation when she was videoed giving out at the station. Aspiring journalist Alice’s job is on the line unless she can get a big story and she believes that Mary and her cardboard sign is the key and begins her investigation into Jim’s disappearance.

I genuinely loved this story, the characters, the complexities as well as the stunning backdrop of Northern Ireland. It’s written in the past and present tense from the perspectives of Mary and Alice. Mary is an outspoken woman from Northern Ireland for falls for Jim with his good looks. She falls headfirst for him and is aware that he has battles with drink and mental health. The story flows back and forth from her perspective, from the moment that she fell for him, his disappearance and her hope that he will return. She works in the shop as well as a helpline, hoping that someday, it will be his voice that she hear. Her hope and faith leap from the pages and she refuses to believe that he will never return. She feels that she let him down and with working at a helpline, will help others. Although Alice is hoping for the big story, you can see the human nature and morals come through the story, as she focuses more on reuniting Mary than the leading headline.

The story is a powerful read that highlights mental health sensitively and with care. Abbie, has written that mental health impacts much more than the victim but those around them, leaving unanswered questions and a desire to help. It’s evident that Mary is frustrated with Jim with his moods as it’s not a physical symptom and how much these outbursts tear the couple apart. Abbie paints a vivid picture of the Northern Ireland landscape and at times, her writing swept me away to the Causeway Coast with Jim and Mary on their adventures.

A story that tackles strong hitting subjects with care, ‘The Ends of the Earth’ is a story of courage and hope. Beautifully written with relatable characters, like Jim, it was hard to let go of this story.

You can buy ‘The Ends Of The Earth’ and is available to buy from Amazon and from good bookshops.

Watching You By Lisa Jewell

Watching You‘Watching You’ is the latest book by ‘Sunday Times’ bestselling author, Lisa Jewell.

You’re back home after four years working abroad, new husband in tow. You’re keen to find a place of your own. But for now you’re crashing in your big brother’s spare room. That’s when you meet the man next door. He’s the head teacher at the local school. Twice your age. Extraordinarily attractive. You find yourself watching him. All the time. But you never dreamed that your innocent crush might become a deadly obsession. Or that someone is watching you.

With a title called ‘Watching You’, I knew the latest book from Lisa Jewell would be a dark read, but nothing quite prepared me for the sinister twist to the tale that chilled me on the final page.

The story is primarily through the eyes of Joey, Jenna and Freddie, all people who keep a close eye on their community. Joey has recently moved back home from Ibiza with a new husband in tow. She’s trying to settle down to the quieter pace of life, but finds herself distracted from the handsome headteacher who has just moved into the area and has turned the heads off quite a few people. Jenna lives alone with her single mother who’s convinced someone is watching her. Jenna has to be adult of the family and deal with her mother’s paranoia, as well as look out for her best friend who has developed a crush on the new headteacher whilst Freddie, the son of the new principal, enjoys nothing more than observing and recording world around them. He knows a different side to his father and is tired of seeing people in awe of this supposedly charismatic man.

Since ‘The Third Wife’, I have found that Lisa’s books get considerably darker and I thought ‘Then She Was Gone’ was dark but then I read this and thought, wow this is twisted.

The story starts at the present moment, when a body is found and sets the scene perfectly as it backtracks through the narrative of the three main characters all with different perceptives of the situation and the people involved.

The different perspectives are a clever addition to the tale and give an interesting slant to story, keeping the reader on their toes. For me, I found the characters to be suspicious and regularly found them to be quite untrustworthy at times and this really keeps the reader absorbed as secrets and situations are revealed.

I was so fortunate that I had a day off work so I could absorb myself in this book as it really did need my undivided attention. A taunt thriller filled with paranoia, suspense and plenty of untrustworthy characters, ‘Watching You’ is a claustrophobic and dark story that will have you looking at your neighbours in a new light. Like a fine wine ageing, Lisa just gets better and better with each book.

You can buy Watching You from Amazon and is available to buy from good bookshops.

Our Kind Of Cruelty By Araminta Hall

Our Kind Of Cruelty‘Our Kind Of Cruelty’ is the latest book by Araminta Hall.

Mike and Verity have a special game. The Crave. They play it to prove what they already know: that Verity loves Mike. That she needs Mike. Even though she’s marrying another man. Now Mike knows that the stakes of their private game are rising. This time, someone has to die.

While the rest of the United Kingdom were absorbed in the England versus Sweden football match, I had my head buried in a book.

I read ‘Everything And Nothing, Araminta’s debut novel a few years ago, I really enjoyed it and thought she was an author, I’d like to read more off. So, when I received a copy of ‘Our Kind Of Cruelty’, I was keen to get stuck in.

The story is seen solely through the narrative of Mike, a high powered business man who has moved back to London, hoping to reconcile with his ex Verity, who broke his heart when she broke up with him. Verity and Mike had an obsessive and intense relationship, where they played a game called ‘The Crave’. With ‘The Crave’, the couple would visit a club and Mike would leave Verity alone at the bar and they’d wait for someone to approach her. Once, someone would chat Verity up, she would give Mike the secret signal which was to play with her eagle necklace and he would swoop in and save her. So, when Mike receives a wedding invite from Verity, he sees this as an elaborate extension of the ‘The Crave’ and sets up creating the perfect life for her when he rescues her on her wedding day.

Mike is a complex character, somewhat reminiscent of Patrick Bateman from ‘American Psycho’. To the outside world, he’s a charismatic and successful business man, living the dream and settling into his new home with his partner ‘Verity’, but behind closed doors, it’s quite a different story as Mike is unravelling at the seems as Verity prepares for her big day.

This book is a dark and thrilling story and right from the offset, you can see that something terrible is afoot. The book is cleverly written and with it being only being seen through Mike’s narrative, it gives quite a rose tainted view of the world. Mike is a complex man, a gentleman but troubled and marked by his turbulent upbringing and sees solace and security in Verity and longs to be knight in shining armour, no matter the cost.

A troubling story about toxic love and obsession, ‘Our Kind Of Cruelty’ is a fantastically intense and suspenseful domestic noir that sucked me right in from the very beginning.

You can buy Our Kind of Cruelty from Amazon and is available to buy from good bookshops.

Lisa Jewell Reveals New Book – I Found You

I Found YouI’m so excited to see that Lisa Jewell is back with a new book this summer, intriguingly called ‘I Found You’.

The story of ‘I Found You’ is –

‘How long have you been sitting out here?’

‘I got here yesterday.’

‘Where did you come from?’

‘I have no idea.’

East Yorkshire: Single mum Alice Lake finds a man on the beach outside her house. He has no name, no jacket, no idea what he is doing there. Against her better judgement she invites him in to her home.

Surrey: Twenty-one-year-old Lily Monrose has only been married for three weeks. When her new husband fails to come home from work one night she is left stranded in a new country where she knows no one. Then the police tell her that her husband never existed.

I love Lisa’s books and the last few have been particularly great so I am really looking forward to ‘I Found You’.

You can pre-order I Found You from Amazon and will be available to buy from 14th July 2016.

The House We Grew Up In By Lisa Jewell

The House We Grew Up In‘The House We Grew Up In’ is the latest book by ‘Sunday Times’ bestselling author Lisa Jewell.

Meet the Bird family. So far, all four children have had an idyllic childhood: a cottage in a country village with a warm cosy kitchen filled with love, laughter and sun-drenched afternoons in its rambling garden. But a tragedy lies in store for the Birds: a tragedy that strikes one Easter weekend and which is so devastating that, almost imperceptibly, it begins to tear the family apart. The years pass, the children become adults, make new relationships and begin to develop their own quite separate lives. Soon it’s almost as though they were never a family at all. Almost but not quite. Because something has happened that will call them home, back to the house they grew up in.

I’ve read a lot of Lisa’s books over the last while and I have enjoyed them all immensely so when ‘The House I Grew Up In’ arrived, I knew I would be reading it pretty soon. So one evening I settled myself in for the night and got stuck into this compelling and oddly disconcerting story of the dysfunctional Bird family.

The story is seen through the eyes of the members of the family, years after a tragedy struck on Easter Sunday and through a series of flashbacks and email correspondence, we find out how the events of that day affected the family. In the beginning the story is primarily seen through Meg’s eyes, the eldest daughter of the family, who after years of watching her mothers obsessive and stockpiling ways turned into a bit of a control freak, with her life all organised and in order, as she fears turning into mother. Her mother, Lorelei, is quite an eccentric character, with hoarding and compulsive ways, I found scenes with Lorelei particularly unsettling at times, unpredictable, with irrational behaviour I felt she was constantly on the edge and even the most simplest of things could push her off, but then there would be times where she would be terribly sweet and childlike. I was baffled and intrigued by her, so much so that she was the sole reason that I couldn’t put the book down, I wanted to know what happened in her life and why she was the way she was. Her husband Colin, blends quietly into the background, with a kind nature and calming spirit. Beth, the homebird of the family, has lived at home much longer that she wished for but felt an obligation to stay on and look after her mother and in doing so, became a slight version of Lorelei herself which terrified the young girl resulting in illicit affairs, low self esteem and her own battle with mental illness. And finally there is Rory, the youngest sibling of the family, after the events of Easter Sunday, he hides into himself, never talking and expressing thoughts of that day and in doing seems to develop a bit of a habit from running from his responsibilities.

This story is a bit like Lorelei, it makes for compulsive reading and you end up staying in the house until you have seen it through to the very end. Unlike her previous literary offerings, ‘The House We Grew Up In’ is a darker and slightly more haunting story that does occasionally make for uncomfortable reading, as we join the family on the twists and turns, as revelations are exposed as to why the once close knit family were so dramatically ripped apart. Beautifully and cleverly written with captivating and complex characters that you will fall in and out love with, that is neatly brought together, this story focuses on the importance of family, mental health issues and the healing of old wounds. Emotional reading right from the very start, this story is a moving tale that will bring a tear to your eye and will have you pulling your loved ones in for a hug.

You can buy The House We Grew Up In from Amazon and is available to buy from good bookshops.