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Nicola in South Yorkshire "nicola_in_southyorks" (UK)
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The Food of Love: Book 1, Laura's Story (Food of Love 1)
The Food of Love: Book 1, Laura's Story (Food of Love 1)
by Prue Leith
Edition: Paperback
Price: £4.00

4.0 out of 5 stars Lots of references to food - brilliant!, 5 April 2016
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
I've enjoyed a couple of Prue Leith's other books so was keen to try this one, the first book in a new trilogy. I think this one is quite different to her others in that it is set mostly during the Second World War and the 1950s. The story is about the Oliver family. Donald is the head, a stubborn and sometimes difficult man; Maud is his long-suffering wife; Laura is his daughter, the apple of his eye; and Hugh and David are his sons. When Laura falls in love with Giovanni, an Italian POW and chef, Donald is not pleased and banishes her from the family home. We follow the various members of the family as they progress through the hard war years and beyond.

In a book written by a chef about a chef and a family of famers there is inevitably quite a lot of references to food and cooking, and I loved this. Rationing plays a big part and how families managed on the meagre portions. Being farmers, we have the Olivers harvesting, making their own butter and cream etc.

This is an excellent family saga. It reminded me a bit of a Lesley Pearse book but without quite so many twists and turns. The characters are well-written and the story kept my interest all the way through. Prue Leith has a really nice writing style and I am looking forward to book two in the trilogy, when we follow Laura and Giovanni's daughter, Angelica, through into the 1960s.


Miore Ladies 9ct White Gold Pear Shape Amethyst Bezel Pendant with Curb Chain of 45cm MG9250N
Miore Ladies 9ct White Gold Pear Shape Amethyst Bezel Pendant with Curb Chain of 45cm MG9250N
Price: £122.00

4.0 out of 5 stars Very attractive necklace, 3 April 2016
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
This is a very attractive teardrop shaped amethyst necklace. It's small and understated and very elegant. The chain is made of very small links but is a little short for my liking. You need a slender and elegant neck to wear it, and I found it was causing the pendant to flip up a bit on me. It comes beautifully presented in a box inside a slip sleeve. It will make a lovely present for a female (and slender-necked!) relative.


LUX Protein Flapback Bars - 12 x 75g Bars
LUX Protein Flapback Bars - 12 x 75g Bars
Price: £16.99

3.0 out of 5 stars Not that appealing a taste, 3 April 2016
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
I thought I would give these flapjack bars a try as they are a healthy choice and it said they have Belgian chocolate chunks in them. I'm afraid I couldn't see or taste any such chocolate in them and frankly the bars themselves didn't taste all that appealing. I can imagine they are good if you are really restricting yourself and just need a bit of something but for 250 calories I would hope for something a bit more satisfying. I expect they are just the thing for the virtuous or the weight trainer.


The Museum of You
The Museum of You
by Carys Bray
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £12.08

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Tender and endearing, 28 Mar. 2016
This review is from: The Museum of You (Hardcover)
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
It must have been hard for Carys Bray to follow up the success of A Song for Issy Bradley, a book which I enjoyed but which didn't wow me. With The Museum of You, she has written a fabulous and endearing novel which I absolutely loved. Clover Quinn is a 12 year old girl at that point where she is on the cusp of heading towards womanhood. She lives with her dad, Darren, as her mum, Becky, died when she was a baby. Clover doesn't know much about her mum as her dad doesn't talk about her, but there are loads of things in the spare bedroom which Clover thinks will tell her more about her mum and so Clover decides to spend the summer holidays going through it all.

Clover is a lovely and endearing character. She's kind and considerate and I think the author has captured her perfectly. She's mature as children in her position often are. All the supporting characters are well-drawn, interesting, unique and quirky. Put together, they create a warm and tender story. It made me smile and it made me feel sad. It's a triumph of a book and I loved reading it.

A quick note for the cover too, which is not only beautiful but actually makes sense. Each item on it is a part of the story and it's always nice when a cover matches a book so well.

I'd highly recommend The Museum of You. It flows perfectly between the stories of Clover and Darren, leading to a perfect conclusion.


One Step Too Far
One Step Too Far
by Tina Seskis
Edition: Paperback
Price: £3.85

3.0 out of 5 stars An easy but slightly disappointing read, 25 Mar. 2016
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: One Step Too Far (Paperback)
We start this book with Emily Coleman running away from her life, leaving her cosy life for one in London with nowhere to stay and no friends there. We know that something has obviously happened to make her run away but we don't find out what until near the end of the book. This should have led to more suspense really but somehow I found this book lacked the intrigue I would have liked and expected. Emily's relationship with her twin sister, Caroline, is key to the story, as is her whole family background and we have chapters about that interspersed with how Emily met her husband and then the present day storyline where Emily has to make a new life for herself.

I was a little disappointed with this book. It's really easy to read and I got through it quickly, but it certainly wasn't thrilling and I found the writing lacked something. I didn't feel any empathy with the characters and even when the big reveal came I struggled to muster up any feelings. It's not a bad book but not quite the psychological thriller I was expecting.


Viral
Viral
Price: £3.79

4.0 out of 5 stars Absolute page-turner, 21 Mar. 2016
This review is from: Viral (Kindle Edition)
Su is a Korean 18 year old, away in Magaluf with her 17 year old sister, Leah. It's not Su's scene at all but her adoptive parents only said Leah could go if Su went as well. Leah instructs her that she's got to fit in and so Su ends up behaving out of character, culminating in her doing something shocking that is videoed and put on the internet. The video goes viral and the book is about the fallout of that, not only for Su but for her whole family.

This was an absolute page-turner for me. I read it in two days and just couldn't put it down. I did find some of the characters' behaviour a bit strange at times and the teenagers' 'voices' a little irritating, but this is such a compelling story and a very current one. It's a very readable book and just a little bit scary.


The Other Mrs Walker
The Other Mrs Walker
by Mary Paulson-Ellis
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £12.08

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Intriguing and fascinating, 19 Mar. 2016
This review is from: The Other Mrs Walker (Hardcover)
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
What an intriguing and fascinating book this is. Having just finished it, I feel like I need to go back to the beginning and read it all again as I suspect there are a lot of things that I missed as I read it.

Margaret Penny is almost 50 with little to show for her life. She goes back to her mother's in Edinburgh and ends up working for an organisation that tries to find out who the indigent dead are, when there are no relatives. She is looking into the case of an old lady who has died alone, with only a few very strange possessions to her name. We follow a story which jumps around the 1930s, 40s, 60s, 80s and 2011 and not in chronological order. If you like your stories told in a linear fashion then this is definitely not a book for you. This is part of the reason I felt I had missed things because, of course, some of them only make sense when a chronologically earlier part of the story is told.

Anyway, this ended up being a really fascinating read for me. The author writes a good story with quirky and largely unlikable characters, linked by some very unusual items. Comparisons have been made with Sarah Waters and Kate Atkinson and somewhere around the half way mark I did think to myself that there were similarities with some of Sarah Waters' writing. Being compared with either of those writers is praise indeed, but Mary Paulson-Ellis has a style all of her own and I really enjoyed her debut novel.


AmazonBasics Packing Cubes - Small (4-Piece Set), Green
AmazonBasics Packing Cubes - Small (4-Piece Set), Green
Price: £13.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Very handy, 18 Mar. 2016
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
These are really handy little items. I think they will be ideal for use when we go on holiday this year, particularly for my 2 year old boy's clothes which will roll or fold really well into this size 'cube'. And with a handle and a mesh layer to allow items to 'breathe' they can also be used whilst on holiday to take to the beach or out for the day. They may be part of the Amazon Basics range but they seem well-made and a good design.


The First Lie: A short story
The First Lie: A short story
Price: £0.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Great read, 14 Mar. 2016
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I read this short story straight after Necessary Lies and thought it was a nice addition to the story. It's technically a prequel but if you read it first the full meaning of it won't be clear. I really enjoyed it.


Necessary Lies
Necessary Lies
Price: £4.29

5.0 out of 5 stars A real page turner, 14 Mar. 2016
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Necessary Lies (Kindle Edition)
I couldn't put this book down. It tells the story of Jane Forrester, a woman in 1960 working for the Department of Public Welfare in the deep south of America. She's new to the job and finds it hard to detach herself emotionally from the families she is dealing with. One of her families is the Hart family and in particular 15 year old Ivy and her 17 year old sister, Mary Ella. They work in tobacco fields and live in poverty. The biggest part of the story relates to a moral dilemma facing Jane, and this made the book such an interesting read, especially when you consider it's based on reality.

The book alternates between being told from the points of view of Jane and Ivy. I was never confused as to who was 'speaking' as each has a very distinctive voice. I raced through the story - Diane Chamberlain has such a human way of writing, enabling me as a reader to feel empathy with the characters. Add to that her ability to write such interesting and morally complex storylines and this guarantees a fab read.


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