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Reviews Written by
tangerina "tangerina" (UK)

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Heresy
Heresy
Price: £5.31

5.0 out of 5 stars highly enjoyable historical mystery, 27 Jan. 2015
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This review is from: Heresy (Kindle Edition)
I was drawn to this book because I was already interested in the life of Giordano Bruno (after seeing the haunting statue of him in the Campo deFiori in Rome, on the spot where he was executed, who could fail to be curious?). I thoroughly enjoyed it, not as an exact historical chronicle, but as a mystery story with a very atmospheric background. I see little point in complaining about overly- modern conversational style,etc, as some reviewers have - the book is after all written for today's readers, so why not address them in a style that suits them? I appreciated the extensive period detail and did not really feel the need to check if it was all accurate. This is after all a novel. It gripped me and left me wanting to read more about its hero.


Mum On The Run
Mum On The Run
Price: £1.49

4.0 out of 5 stars An easy read and very funny in parts, 26 Jan. 2015
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This review is from: Mum On The Run (Kindle Edition)
Well, it's a fairly ordinary chick-lit story, with no big surprises plotwise, and you can see the end coming from afar. However, I must say I enjoyed Gibson's humour very much. I even found myself laughing out loud once or twice! The heroine is likeable and very human, and I especially liked the portrayal of the kids, all at different stages of childhood, and their relationships with their parents. Some of the lesser characters are pretty caricatural, but on the whole I found it much better than her previous books. A nice easy read if you want to relax and not think too much.


The Year I Turn…: A Quirky A-Z of Ageing
The Year I Turn…: A Quirky A-Z of Ageing
Price: £2.99

4.0 out of 5 stars a cheering read for anyone who has turned..., 21 Jan. 2015
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I bought this soon after a significant birthday made me start reflecting on my age, somewhat mournfully. It soon cheered me up! It's a real tonic for anyone wondering whether it may be all downhill from now on. The book is full of wisdom, even if many of the observations are anything but original, and it is also full of humour and optimism. It's a quick and lively read and I may turn to it again if I get depressed.

Unfortunately the book is rather spoiled by a serious lack of editing: there are many errors of grammar and punctuation and clumsy formulations. It would be well worth revising thoroughly, as this detracts from the impact of the whole.


What Was Lost
What Was Lost
Price: £3.90

5.0 out of 5 stars Hauntingly beautiful, 21 Jan. 2015
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This review is from: What Was Lost (Kindle Edition)
This is a remarkable piece of writing. The shopping centre setting is original and surprisingly fascinating: details of the 'back of house', the various employees, the impact on the area are all woven into the narrative. And this setting allows the author to bring together an unusual range of characters, deftly painted and in many cases rather sad personalities. The whole is beautifully written and very touching. I really enjoyed it, for it is not just polished writing but a really moving story which does indeed capture the sense of 'what is lost' in so many people's lives.


The Seventh Moon
The Seventh Moon
Price: £3.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars history, mystery and character - lots to get hold of here!, 19 Jan. 2015
This review is from: The Seventh Moon (Kindle Edition)
I came across this book more or less accidentally, and it is not a genre I often pick up, but I am glad I read this.

The book has several sides to it:. First, there is the historical setting of Asia between WW2 and the 70s. which provides a very dramatic backdrop to the novel, and seemed convincing to me, though I am no expert on the period. Second, it offers a very gripping mystery/adventure story, containing some violence and horrific detail (none of which is gratuitous), which kept me awake until 2am when I finished the book. Third, the most appealing part of the book to me was the characters. The contrast between Francine as she was in 1941 and as she became in later life is skilfully drawn; her relationship with Clive is likewise tenderly sketched; and best all, the interaction between Francine and Sakura, the real heart of the novel, is absorbing and intense. Not the typical portrait of reunion between mother and long-lost child, this offers an original take on how people might react in these circumstances, where questions cannot easily be dispelled (the story would not have worked in a present-day setting, where DNA testing would have ended the questions much earlier). All the major characters are complex, with good and bad sides, and they will stay with me for a while, I am sure.

This is a well-written and original book of loss and love, openings and closings, constructed with a delicate touch and no overkill. Its last words were effective for me: "They flew through the darkness towards Thailand, ...carrying with them what had been lost, what had been found."

I will certainly try another book by Marius Gabriel.


Time of Their Lives
Time of Their Lives
Price: £3.59

3.0 out of 5 stars Soap-opera style, but quite enjoyable!, 17 Jan. 2015
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I picked this up just as i turned 60, thinking I had better think a bit about the next stage of life (though I personally don't feel much different from 10 years ago). It's a simple, uncomplicated read, not trying to be anything but light entertainment, but readable enough. I must admit that as i went on I felt the book was just designed to describe every possible crisis situation women of this age group are likely to meet: birth, death, divorce, betrayal, new relationships, moving house, losing jobs, trying new jobs, breast cancer... hardly convincing that any group of four friends would between them face all these things within the space of a few months! So plot-wise it's rather overloaded and unconvincing - you find yourself wondering what life-shaking event lies on the next page!

Despite all this, I did find myself enjoying the book and taking an interest in the characters' reactions. It may be a good distraction if you have time to fill in.


We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves
We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves
Price: £2.69

4.0 out of 5 stars highly original, 14 Jan. 2015
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I came to this book with no prior knowledge of the story, and I am glad for that - I advise potential readers to avoid over-detailed reviews which may give the game away! The story is highly original and absorbing, the characters are unusual but convincing, and it is beautifully written. So convincing, in fact, that I really felt I was reading an autobiography! Definitely recommended for its totally unexpected scenario.


Perfect
Perfect
Price: £5.31

4.0 out of 5 stars heartbreaking but beautiful, 8 Jan. 2015
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This review is from: Perfect (Kindle Edition)
A heartbreaking story, simply and so beautifully written. A brilliant read, but not for those tended towards depression!


Chapters of Life
Chapters of Life
Price: £1.99

3.0 out of 5 stars weak plot and arbitrary ending, 31 Dec. 2014
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This review is from: Chapters of Life (Kindle Edition)
I picked this up after reading the sample, because the idea of a story revolving around a bookshop appealed to me. It is quite readable and the opening drew me in. However, somewhere along the way the story seemed to get lost. I had the impression the main protagonists were to be Clare and Jo who run the bookshop, but for much of the book they were in the background. I also expected a book focussed on a reading group to feature at least some discussion of books, but there was nothing more than a few very superficial remarks here and there. In fact there was no coherent plot and no convincing ending - just a collection of incidents involving the reading group members. I was surprised to find I had reached the end since there was no sense of a climax - the book could have ended earlier or gone on with more of the same! A pity, as I think the idea was good, but the author needs to work on storyline and tighten up by removing irrelevant trivia.


My Big Greek Family
My Big Greek Family
Price: £1.42

4.0 out of 5 stars a delightful look inside a Greek Cypriot family, 28 Dec. 2014
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I chose this because of my fascination with all things Greek. It is a very easy, light read. The characters of the three sisters are well drawn and the relationships between them seem convincing to me. The romantic side of the story is a bit predictable, as is the ending, but on the whole there is enough humour and entertaining detail to carry you along. So I find it quite a successful first novel. I do feel however that the book could have done with quite a bit of pruning - there is a lot of detailed description that adds nothing to the plot or character portrayal. I look forward to reading more by this author, especially if she can tighten up her narrative a little.


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