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The Lost Duchess
The Lost Duchess
by Jenny Barden
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £16.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A cracking read!, 7 Feb. 2014
This review is from: The Lost Duchess (Hardcover)
Jenny Barden's eye for historical detail is fantastic. From the Tudor court of Queen Elizabeth to the swell of the ocean and the life of settlers in Virginia in the New World, the author skilfully creates a sense of place and high drama. I almost felt nauseous as I swayed around on the gunwale with the heroine, Emme! There is much to love about this book which is both an epic adventure and a tender love story. A pacy, authentic account of a remarkable period in history, populated by some extraordinary individuals.

Any Dream Will Do
Any Dream Will Do
by Maria Duffy
Edition: Paperback
Price: £12.99

3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Heart-warming and sparkling with Dublin wit, 22 Nov. 2011
This review is from: Any Dream Will Do (Paperback)
Sometimes, a novel comes along which is timed perfectly to tap into modern culture. Maria Duffy's debut novel `Any Dream Will Do' is one such novel, exploring our obsession with social media and how we can sometimes be fooled by what we are seeing on those screens in front of us.

The novel is told through the honest, witty voice of single thirty-year-old Jenny Breslin. With an emotionally distant/deranged mother (who acts more like a teenage rebel than a mother), a boring bank job, an awful boss, a lacking love-life and friends who seem to be living the perfect family life, Jenny turns to Twitter for company, where she establishes stronger friendships and a better social life than she has in the `real' world. Far from fiction, this is something which happens every day and through her characters, Maria Duffy explores the implications of social networking on our relationships and friendships.

When Jenny drunkenly invites three of her Twitter friends to spend a few days with her in Dublin to meet up in person for the first time, her assumptions about the people she has got to know `virtually' are turned completely upside down, leading her to re-evaluate her own life and realise that perhaps it isn't that bad after all.

Any Dream Will Do is a funny, heart-warming novel which sparkles with rich Dublin wit throughout. With Jenny Breslin, Maria has created a Bridget Jones for the social networking generation - Jenny's disastrous love-life, endless, toe-curlingly embarrassing incidents, the brilliant Mammy Delaney and the anticipation of a white Christmas keeps the pages turning and the plot building to a surprising climax.

From the seasonal, eye-catching cover to the touching personal acknowledgments at the end, this is a debut of which the author should be very proud.

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