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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.

The Family Holiday By Elizabeth Noble

The Family Holiday‘The Family Holiday’ is the latest book by Elizabeth Noble.

Charlie and Daphne were happily married, and their children Laura, Scott and Nick were inseparable. But then, inevitably, the children grew up and their own messy lives got in the way. Since Daphne died, Charlie can’t help but think about happier times for the Chamberlain family – before his children drifted apart. His wife was the family’s true north, and without her guidance, Charlie fears his kids have all lost their direction. For his eightieth birthday, all Charlie wants is to bring his family together again. And by some miracle, they’ve all said yes. So, for the first time in a long time, the Chamberlains are going on a family holiday.

This is the first book that I’ve read by Elizabeth and it was a warm-hearted story of family and relationships.

The story starts at the moment that Charlie sends letter to his three children asking them to spend a holiday with him to celebrate his 80th birthday. Alone without his wife, he wants to more of an effort with Laura, Nick and Scott but all three have issues that they are all dealing with, such as separation, grief and infidelity. Charlie hopes that the time together will bring the family together and heal the riffs between them.

The story is seen through the perspective of the characters as they prepare for their ten day holiday. Nick is adjusting to life as a single parent to 3 children when his wife died suddenly, Scott is jet setting between America and United Kingdom for his work and Laura is only dealing with a cheating husband, an impending divorce but her teenage son being charged with sexual assault.

I really enjoyed the different perspectives of this story and liked the lead up to the family holiday. The characters are a great mix of personalities all dealing with realistic and relatable issues that made for tender and poignant reading, as the family get together and bond over their shared grief.

The story is an observational exploration into the dynamics of relationships, delivered with charm and wit. ‘The Family Holiday’ is a tender and affectionate story that is perfect distraction from life.

You can buy ‘The Family Holiaday’ from Amazon and is available to buy from other good bookshops.

Richard And Judy’s Autumn 2016 Bookclub Revealed

The books for the Autumn edition of Richard and Judy’s Book Club has been revealed and there’s quite a range of books to choose from, whether you are a fan of crime, historical, thriller or romance, there’s something for everyone. Check out the selection below to see if anything catches your eye.

Orphan X
Orphan X by Gregg Hurwitz
As a boy Evan Smoak was chosen, then taken from the orphanage he called home. Raised and trained as part of a top secret programme he was sent to the worst places in the world to do the things his government denied any knowledge of. Then he broke with the programme, using everything he’d learned to disappear. He wanted to help the desperate and deserving. But now someone’s on his tail. Someone who has issues with his past. Someone who knows he was once known simply as Orphan X.

'The WidowThe Widow by Fiona Barton
Jean Taylor’s life was blissfully ordinary. Nice house, nice husband. Glen was all she’d ever wanted: her Prince Charming. Until he became that man accused, that monster on the front page. Jean was married to a man everyone thought capable of unimaginable evil. But now Glen is dead and she’s alone for the first time, free to tell her story on her own terms. Jean Taylor is going to tell us what she knows.

Missing, Presumed
Missing, Presumed by Susie Steiner
Edith Hind is gone, leaving just her coat, a smear of blood and a half-open door. Each of her friends and relatives has a version of the truth. But none quite adds up. The press grows hungrier by the day. Can DS Manon Bradshaw fend them off, before a missing persons case becomes a murder investigation?

Circling the Sun
Circling the Sun by Paula McLain
She was a daughter of Edwardian England, transplanted to Kenya as a young girl by parents who dreamed of life on an African farm. But by the time Beryl Markham was sixteen, that dream had fallen apart. Catapulted into a disastrous marriage, she emerged from its wreckage with one idea: to take charge of her own destiny.

The Forgetting Time
The Forgetting Time by Sharon Guskin
Noah is four and wants to go home. The only trouble is he’s already there. Janie’s son is her world, and it breaks her heart that he has nightmares. That he’s terrified of water. That he sometimes pushes her away and screams that he wants his real mother. That it’s getting worse and worse and no one seems to be able to help. In desperation, she turns to someone who might have an answer – but it may not be one she’s ready to hear. It may also mean losing the one thing she loves more than anything. Noah.

The Readers of Broken Wheel Recommend
The Readers of Broken Wheel Recommend by Katarina Bivald
Sara has never left Sweden but at the age of 28 she decides it’s time. She cashes in her savings, packs a suitcase full of books and sets off for Broken Wheel, Iowa, a town where she knows nobody. Sara quickly realises that Broken Wheel is in desperate need of some adventure, a dose of self-help and perhaps a little romance, too. In short, this is a town in need of a bookshop. With a little help from the locals, Sara sets up Broken Wheel’s first bookstore. The shop might be a little quirky but then again, so is Sara. And as Broken Wheel’s story begins to take shape, there are some surprises in store for Sara too.

The Loving Husband
The Loving Husband by Christobel Kent
Fran Hall and her husband Nathan have moved with their two children to a farmhouse on the edge of the Fens – a chance to get away from London and have a fresh start. But when Fran wakes one night to find Nathan gone, she makes a devastating discovery. As questions about her husband and her relationships start to mount, Fran’s life begins to spiral out of control. What is she hiding from the police about her marriage, and does she really know the man she shared her bed with?

The Ballroom
The Ballroom by Anna Hope
Inside an asylum at the edge of the Yorkshire moors, where men and women are kept apart by high walls and barred windows, there is a ballroom vast and beautiful. For one bright evening every week they come together and dance. When John and Ella meet it is a dance that will change two lives forever. Set over the heatwave summer of 1911, the end of the Edwardian era, The Ballroom is a historical love story.

All thsese books are available to buy from Amazon and all other good bookshops. I’ve only read ‘The Widow’ from the selection and I look forward to reading more from the bookclub. Happy reading!