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selliot (sheffield)

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The Unmarried Mother
The Unmarried Mother
Price: £4.40

5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars, 16 Jan. 2015
Read this in two days. Fascinating story and very well written.


Mrs. Hemingway
Mrs. Hemingway
Price: £3.59

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best book I've read all year, 14 Dec. 2014
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This review is from: Mrs. Hemingway (Kindle Edition)
Best book I've read all year! You end up caring about all four wives for different reasons, and each time Ernest takes a new mistress, you see the story first from the current wife's viewpoint, then you see the things from the mistress's viewpoint (by which time, of course, she's the next wife). Loved this book so much – can't stop thinking about it even though I finished it two weeks ago.


The Third Wife
The Third Wife
Price: £4.51

5.0 out of 5 stars Loved this. Compelling and easy to read, 7 Sept. 2014
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This review is from: The Third Wife (Kindle Edition)
Loved this. Compelling and easy to read, but with a serious subject. The central character, Adrian, deludes himself into thinking that, because his children and ex-wives all like each other and get on well, they are unharmed by his philandering and the resulting marriage break-ups. Lisa Jewell skilfully explores his increasing self-awareness after the death of his third wife leads to the revelation that all is not as cosy and well adjusted as he thought it was. A great read!


Before I Met You
Before I Met You
Price: £4.67

5.0 out of 5 stars Deserves more than five stars!, 29 July 2014
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This review is from: Before I Met You (Kindle Edition)
This is the first Lisa Jewell novel I have read, but will definitely be reading more now. There are not enough stars to show how much I loved this book! Read it in two sittings, smiled, wept, loved it, loved it, loved it!


The Missing One
The Missing One
Price: £1.90

5.0 out of 5 stars A page turner, 29 July 2014
This review is from: The Missing One (Kindle Edition)
A real page turner. Lots of stuff about mother-daughter relationships, so right up my street. I found this hugely compelling, moving, and very well researched – fascinated by the insight into the lives of killer whales.


Ghostwritten
Ghostwritten
Price: £3.99

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Stunning, 29 July 2014
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This review is from: Ghostwritten (Kindle Edition)
Stunning novel – beautifully written and brilliantly researched. The storyline set in the Japanese internment camps Is not always easy to read, but this is an incredibly moving, powerful and compelling novel.


The House We Grew Up In
The House We Grew Up In
Price: £5.72

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Another page turner, 29 July 2014
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Loved it. Incredibly moving portrait of a dysfunctional family. The storyline is compelling as we delve into the past to discover why the characters are the way they are.


We are Called to Rise
We are Called to Rise
by Laura McBride
Edition: Hardcover

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Compelling and moving, 29 July 2014
This review is from: We are Called to Rise (Hardcover)
I was completely blown away by this book. I found it compelling – a real page turner, with sympathetic and well-drawn characters and an incredibly moving storyline. Highly recommended.


Summer of '76
Summer of '76
by Isabel Ashdown
Edition: Paperback
Price: £7.99

11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Moving and compelling, 23 July 2013
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This review is from: Summer of '76 (Paperback)
Isabel Ashdown just gets better and better. In this novel, she captures the intensity of that extremely hot summer and combines it with skilled descriptions of the island setting. I had a couple of holidays on the Isle of Wight as a teenager in the 70s, and reading this book took me right back to that time and place. The novel is packed with evocative period detail. The teenage protagonist, Luke, is extremely well-drawn and convincing. We empathise with his concerns, from his anxieties about impressing 'Sexy Sam', his concern about his friend Martin and his deeper anxieties about his parents and what they've been getting up to at parties that have become the topic of hushed gossip around the island. Although the events in the story are shown through Luke's eyes, we come away from the novel with a good sense of the dramas and anxieties that affect his parents, too. Isabel Ashdown has a knack for creating secondary characters who are as fully-rounded as the central character, even though we only see them through the central character's eyes. Although I really felt for Luke and Martin, I also felt for Luke's parents, especially after the twist in the story is revealed at the end. I loved this book, and was particularly lucky to have read it in the middle of a heatwave!


Glasshopper
Glasshopper
Price: £3.79

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars an engaging and satisfying read, 22 Dec. 2012
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This review is from: Glasshopper (Kindle Edition)
I was immediately engaged by Isabel Ashdown's Glasshopper. The narrative alternates between thirteen-year-old Jake and his alcoholic mother, Mary. When we first meet Mary, she's recently separated from Jake's father and she's in a bad way. In the absence of a competent parent (Mary spends much of her time in bed, drunk) Jake does his best to hold things together, clearing up his mum's sick, doing the household chores and looking after his younger brother, Andy. Jake is a thoroughly likeable character but he's not whiter-than-white, so he's convincing. True, he steals from the kindly newsagent a couple of times , and sometimes he thumps his brother unnecessarily. But we forgive him, because he's hard-working and intelligent and kind and vulnerable.

The book opens in 1985 and goes back in time to Mary's childhood. As we follow her life through her teens, twenties and thirties, we see the choices she's made and the consequences of those choices, and we begin to understand what has led her to the depths she's reached when we first meet her. Both Jake's and Mary's voices are strong and convincing, and as the family's history unfolds and the narratives move closer together, there are moments of both joy and heartbreak as a number of secrets are revealed. I enjoyed the period detail, and I loved the minor characters. I felt Jake's voice was slightly stronger than Mary's, but maybe that actually emphasises the fact that Mary is in some ways a slightly diminished character. I found her story convincing and tragic, and I felt hugely sympathetic to her; if anything, I wanted more of Mary. I found this an immensely engaging and satisfying read.


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