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Supper Club By Lara Williams

Supper Club‘Supper Club’ is the latest book by Lara Williams.

If you feed a starving woman, what will she grow into? Twenty-nine year old Roberta has spent her whole life hungry. So she invents Supper Club: a secret society for women sick of bad men and bad sex. Fed up of being told to talk less, take less, be less, they gather after dark to feast and dance through the night. But as their bodies expand, so do their horizons, their desires – and their urge to break the rules. You look hungry. Join the club.

Supper Club is seen through the narrative of Roberta, who now in her late twenties is trying to find her place in life.

The story is written in past and present sequences, when she’s at university and uses cooking to help settle in and to make friends. Roberta is a shy woman and cooking helps express herself. Years later, she makes friends with Stevie who works with her and they become inseparable, living together and work together. Using their passion for food and entertaining, they come up with an idea for the Supper Club, where they dive dumpsters for food to use for their supper club evenings, inviting women from all backgrounds.

Roberta is an interesting character, she’s trying to find her place in life and after being sexually assaulted at university, has trouble with relationships and believing in her worth. But she has a lovely knack of bringing people of out themselves and we see this from the supper club scenes where people confide in her.

The story is cleverly written focusing on female relationships as well as touching on sexual abuse, eating disorders and the lengths women go to, to fit into society. As Roberta is such a passionate cook, the book is scattered with recipes, which I thought was a lovely inclusion to the story.

A relatable and attentive story about the dynamics and insights of life, body shaming, isolation and pressure, ‘Supper Club’ is a generous helping of feminism, and realism with hearty recipes to get lost in.

You can buy ‘Supper Club’ from Amazon and is available for 99p on the Kindle Store for a limited time.

I Made A Mistake By Jane Corry

I Made A Mistake‘I Made A Mistake’ is the latest book by Jane Corry.

In Poppy Page’s mind, there are two types of women in this world: those who are faithful to their husbands, and those who are not. Until now, Poppy has never questioned which she was. But when handsome, charming Matthew Gordon walks back into her life after almost two decades, that changes. Poppy makes a single mistake – and that mistake will be far more dangerous than she could imagine. Someone is going to pay for it with their life.

I’ve come to really love books by Jane Corry. She always writes a gripping first line that grabs the readers attention and ‘I Made A Mistake’ is no different.

The story is seen from the narrative of booking agent Poppy Page and her mother in law Betty and the two narratives from both women are extremely compelling.

Poppy never got over her first love called Matthew and when he reappears into her life after being away for years, she finds herself drawn to him. After one reckless tonight together, Poppy finds herself being terrorised by Matthew as he claims that he’s never gotten over her. Betty, thought she found her soulmate called Jock who she married in the 1960’s but instead she founds herself controlled, alone and longing for a better life.

The story goes through the narrative of both characters back and forth in the past and present tense and I found this fascinating reading. I loved Betty, this strong vibrant character who’s priority is her family but as the story flashes back to the past tense, we follow her as she transforms from a meek character to a strong woman. The story reflects on the controlling aspects of relationships but also how women were treated and expected to behave in the 1960’s.

Poppy was also an interesting character, unsatisfied by her relationship, she’s flattered when the once love of her life reappears claiming undying love for her. Her head’s turned and when tragedy strikes, she finds herself in the spotlight.

The steady pace of the story really pulls the reader in, with the dual narratives plus the inclusion of court appearances, this book made for gripping and fascinating reading. In this story, Jane concentrates on the darker themes of society, such abuse, infidelity and lies and this made the story for addictive reading.

Riddled with tension and suspense throughout, ‘I Made A Mistake’ is a genuinely gripping psychological thriller, filled with twists and turns, this cleverly written story was a fantastic twisty tale.

You can buy ‘I Made A Mistake’ from Amazon and will be available buy from good bookshops.

Mix Tape By Jane Sanderson

Mix Tape‘Mix Tape’ is the latest book by Jane Sanderson.

Daniel was the first boy to make Alison a mix tape. But that was years ago and Ali hasn’t thought about him in a very long time. Even if she had, she might not have called him ‘the one that got away’; after all, she’d been the one to run. Then Dan’s name pops up on her phone, with a link to a song from their shared past. For two blissful minutes, Alison is no longer an adult in Adelaide with temperamental daughters; she is sixteen in Sheffield, dancing in her skin-tight jeans. She cannot help but respond in kind. And so begins a new mix tape. Ali and Dan exchange songs – some new, some old – across oceans and time zones, across a lifetime of different experiences, until one of them breaks the rules and sends a message that will change everything. Because what if ‘what could have been’ is yet to come?

If you like your books to be filled with love, drama and music nostalgia, then ‘Mix Tape’ is just the story for you. A reflective piece about two people who never quite got over their first love and often wondered about the one who got away.

Living on different sides of the world, Dan is a respected music reviewer who thought he was content in his relationship, until a blast from his teenage reappeared reminding him off what could have been. Living in Australia, Ali is now a successful author, who everyone wants a piece off. But, just as her success is soaring, her teenage daughter becomes pregnant and Ali finds herself also reflecting on her life back in Sheffield and what might have been with Dan. Stirred on by reflection and new emotions Dan and Ali embark on a tentative new connection based purely on the soundtrack of their relationships.

The story is written through a period and flashes back and forth in the characters lives and is seen through her narratives. I really liked Dan, he was kind, hipster that people were drawn too. His needs are simple and I found myself sympathising with him as he struggled with emotions and tried to block them out to remain loyal to his partner. Ali was also an interesting character, she feels she has failed as a mother due to her daughter’s teenage pregnancy and constantly pits herself against her own mother, who was never there for her.

A reflective and relatable love story about the complexities of relationships, be that loving kind or maternal. Jane has weaved a cleverly written story of nostalgia that concentrates on one couple’s story of what might have been accompanied with a soundtrack that is perfect for each scenario.

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

On The Up By Alice O’Keefe

On The Up‘On The Up’ is the latest book by Alice O’Keefe.

Sylvia lives in a flat on a council estate with her not-quite-husband Obe and their two young children. She dreams of buying a house on a leafy street like the one she grew up in. If she closes her eyes, she can see it all so clearly: the stripped floorboards, the wisteria growing around the door. It’s not ideal that she’s about to be made redundant, or that Obe, a playworker, is never going to earn more than the minimum wage. As sleep deprivation sets in, and the RnB downstairs gets ever louder, Sylvia’s life starts to unravel. But when the estate is earmarked for redevelopment, the threat to her community gives Sylvia a renewed sense of purpose. With a bit of help from her activist sister, and her film-maker friend Frankie, she’s ready to take a stand for what she believes in.

In her mid thirties, Sylvia finds herself looking at her life and comparing it to others. Living in Priory Court with her partner Obe and two children, she wants more from life.

One day, she decides to move house and finds the perfect family home that is way out of their budget. Currently on maternity leave and Obe on a low income, Sylvia finds herself scraping and saving to get by and Sylvia finds herself taking against Obe because of their situation. Once a happy couple, they are now in a place where they are pitted against each other due to their frustrations in life.

The story is well written and has complex and relatable characters. I really liked Sylvia and found myself sympathetic towards her and her situation. In the current climate, that revolves around culture and money, the story touches on the pressure that society puts on ourselves to succeed and to be on par with our peers.

As well as battling with poverty, Sylvia also has other struggles such has juggling two young children as well as her own health. Her relationship with Obe makes for interesting reading, occasionally witty, there is an element of sadness to their relationship.

The story focuses on poverty and mental health, as well as an exploration into relationships. An uplifting and insightful story about the struggles of life, relationships and health, ‘On The Up’ is a tenderly written and observational story about modern life and the struggle to keep up with the Jones’.

You can buy ‘On The Up’ from Amazon and is available to buy from good bookshops.

Win A Copy Of Ask Again Yes By Mary Beth Keane

Ask Again, YesI’ve a copy of Mary Beth Keane’s new book called ‘Say, Yes, Again’ to give away to one lucky person.

What the back cover says –

Gillam, upstate New York: a town of ordinary, big-lawned suburban houses. The Gleesons have recently moved there and soon welcome the Stanhopes as their new neighbours.

Lonely Lena Gleeson wants a friend but Anne Stanhope – cold, elegant, unstable – wants to be left alone.

It’s left to their children – Lena’s youngest, Kate, and Anne’s only child, Peter – to find their way to one another. To form a friendship whose resilience and love will be almost broken by the fault line dividing both families, and by the terrible tragedy that will engulf them all.

To be in with a chance winning the book, simply answer the following by leaving your answer in the comment box below by Monday 30th September.

What is the name of the town where the story is set?

Good luck!