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Reviews Written by
A. B. Taylor "Allie" (UK)
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A Painted House
A Painted House
by John Grisham
Edition: Paperback
Price: 6.79

5.0 out of 5 stars An excellent novel, 22 April 2014
This review is from: A Painted House (Paperback)
Hugely evocative, with well drawn, sympathetic characters and an authentic sense of place, A Painted House is a memoir of childhood in America's Deep South in the 1950's.
Seven year old Luke is the story teller and is totally captivating as he describes one summer in the life of his family as they struggle with the cotton harvest. It will prove to be a watershed summer as the book unfolds and various irrevocable events take place.
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I found this novel reminiscent of 'To Kill a Mockingbird' and at least as satisfying a read, can warmly recommend it.


Every Vow You Break
Every Vow You Break
by Julia Crouch
Edition: Paperback
Price: 5.37

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Stretching the bounds of probability ..., 10 Oct 2013
This review is from: Every Vow You Break (Paperback)
I know this book is a thriller but really !!!

I continued to the end because I had to know what happened but it was not a book I enjoyed, a good thriller works for me when there is believability about the plot, and characters I can connect with and actually like!
I found the Wayland family and their friends deeply unsympathetic apart from Sean, Bella, little Jack and the dog.
Lara and her preoccupations with self amazed me especially at her blase, neglectful treatment of her children, and complete ignorance of her abusive son Olly. Her see-sawing feelings for Stephen just annoyed me and his 'parting gift' to her added nothing redeeming to the story.

The plot became more ludicrous as I read on and I think would be better suited to a TV drama where it's all about suspense and not well drawn characters and authenticity.

got this out of the library, but won't be requesting her others!


After the Fall
After the Fall
by Charity Norman
Edition: Paperback
Price: 3.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic book!, 21 Sep 2013
This review is from: After the Fall (Paperback)
I picked this up to read as I enjoy the mystery/thriller genre and thought this book belonged there, rather erroneously as it turned out.

After the Fall is in fact a modern day family novel written in a very authentic and heart warming style from the perspective of Martha, the Mum and unlike other reviewers, I didn't think the style was 'chick lit' at all. Chick lit implies fluffy rubbish to me, and this story with all the sobering events it contains,certainly could not be described as such.
There are elements of mystery to the plot and I wouldn't want to give anything away, but all is eventually revealed and I will just say that I warmed to all the characters from sweet, flawed Sacha to the delightfully 'different' New Agey Grandpa.
I have never been to New Zealand but I daresay the sense of place was perfect as I felt transported there whenever I picked up the book to continue to read.

I heartily recommend this book, perhaps especially for the author's portrayal of motherhood in the modern age, and the bittersweet relationships, hard choices and rollercoaster of emotion it brings.


The Lies We Told
The Lies We Told
by Diane Chamberlain
Edition: Paperback
Price: 5.59

4.0 out of 5 stars Liked this ..., 25 Aug 2013
This review is from: The Lies We Told (Paperback)
This is the first of Diane Chamberlain's books I have read and must admit I was attracted by the comparison on the jacket with Jodi Picoult.
I enjoyed this book,I found her gentler than Jodi and her characters deeper and more likeable.

The story of sisters Maya and Rebecca (Maya's told in the first person which to me made her the obvious 'heroine' of the story) is a dramatic and complex one. The changes wrought in them both through the challenges they both meet in the story, make this a thoughtful and perceptive read. Unlike other reviewers I liked the ending, I felt it more authentic compared to a 'safer' neat and tidy one.

The book explores family love, the longing for a child and the concept of 'family' relationships not necessarily being blood-related, but being forged in other ways.
The men in the story tend to be bit players, the women come through as the stronger characters, and I shall be interested to see if this is a theme in Ms.Chamberlain's books.


The Playdate
The Playdate
by Louise Millar
Edition: Paperback
Price: 3.86

5.0 out of 5 stars A captivating read ..., 11 Aug 2013
This review is from: The Playdate (Paperback)
Louise Millar knows how to draw believable characters that you care about.
I was hooked after a few pages & found this novel an excellent escape while clearing out my Mother's house not long ago.
As speaking in the first person, Callie the main protagonist had me on her side early on although I did want to shriek advice to her a few times!
As to Suzy and Debs, how completely deceptive and how my feelings about them both changed.

It's a good point especially in this digital age, when friendships are easily made (and broken) over the internet as well as in real life, that perhaps we need to explore just what makes us trust a person, and if we really know them at all, or just the image they like to portray.


Five Days
Five Days
by Douglas Kennedy
Edition: Paperback

4.0 out of 5 stars Worth reading ..., 3 Aug 2013
This review is from: Five Days (Paperback)
Maybe I was just in the mood for this, as very much an exploration of the main protagonist's inner self as opposed to any complicated plot.
However Kennedy once again writes an authentic narrative from a female point of view(I found myself identifying)

Laura's lover did not impress me at first, appearing rather dull and middle aged but his hidden depths and their connection soon swept away my doubts.
I was quite glad actually that there was no unbelievable Hollywood ending, rather a more mundane real life one which for me made it a more satisfying read.


Heritage Womens Sterling Silver and Amethyst Celtic Round Ring 1208AMP
Heritage Womens Sterling Silver and Amethyst Celtic Round Ring 1208AMP

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Lovely ring, 21 April 2012
Lovely delicate Celtic ring with pretty amethyst.
Very good value for money as the silver very robust and thicker than I was expecting, so pleasantly surprised!

Well worth it.


Heritage Womens Sterling Silver and Amethyst Celtic Twist Cross Necklace, 9233AM  18"
Heritage Womens Sterling Silver and Amethyst Celtic Twist Cross Necklace, 9233AM 18"
Price: 27.97

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not quite what I expected ..., 21 April 2012
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
... so I returned it.
A nice design, which is what attracted me in the first place, but much larger than I wanted and the sharp edges looked Gothic rather than Celtic, to me.
Also the amethyst is tiny and I could barely see it when tried the pendant on.

That said it is good quality, just not to my taste.


Silver Celtic Style Ring - Size M
Silver Celtic Style Ring - Size M

1.0 out of 5 stars Not good at all ..., 14 April 2012
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I wanted a Celtic ring and chose this one some time ago. Not having anything to compare it with, it seemed acceptable so I wore it daily for about 18 months.
When I tried to take it off it became stuck on my finger causing much distress, swelling etc
Eventually cut it off as, like previous reviewer said the metal is very thin, bends easily and so cut easily as well thank goodness!

I have since replaced with a lovely ring from Heritage, much more sturdy and a good fit.


A Song for Jenny: A Mother's Story of Love and Loss
A Song for Jenny: A Mother's Story of Love and Loss
by Julie Nicholson
Edition: Paperback
Price: 6.04

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars More than just reading a book ..., 17 Mar 2012
This wonderful but terribly painful book was a hugely moving experience for me.
Julie is so honest, and unafraid to describe the rawness and irreconcilable pain of bereavement.
She also paints a loving portrait of her daughter Jenny, who I felt I got to know as I read ...

Well worth reading, and Julie, you did Jenny proud ...


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