Profile for ElaineG > Reviews

Personal Profile

Content by ElaineG
Top Reviewer Ranking: 43
Helpful Votes: 3660

Learn more about Your Profile.

Reviews Written by
ElaineG (uk)
(TOP 50 REVIEWER)   

Show:  
Page: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11-20
pixel
Still Alice
Still Alice
by Lisa Genova
Edition: Paperback
Price: £3.85

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Thought provoking, 26 Mar. 2015
This review is from: Still Alice (Paperback)
Alice is 50, a respected Professor of cognitive psychology at Harvard University, extremely happily married and a much loved mother. We join her as she starts to get a little forgetful, nothing too serious – she loses things and occasionally words “are on the tip of her tongue” but then she gets lost just around the corner from home. We then follow Alice through the diagnosis of early-onset Alzheimers Disease and the impact it slowly has on her, her career and her family as bit by bit her mind starts to unravel.

This is not a sugar coated story, Alice has a very cruel unforgiving illness and the outlook is bleak. I found her story extremely powerful for a couple of reasons. Firstly, Alice is so “real” that I could really believe in her character, it almost read like a biography at times. The writing is exquisite as we see everything through Alice’s eyes, with her confusions becoming more and more frequent. There are a couple of short chapters towards the end of the story that really made me well up, as I realised that we had reached a point where Alice wasn’t remembering her family at all.

The main reason I found this book so powerful though is, I think, my age. I am of a similar age to Alice and part of the “punk generation” that was never going to get old. Live Fast, Die Hard etcetera. Now, in our fifties we are having to accept the fact that getting old is (we hope) going to happen after all and that is a lot closer than we think or want. Alzheimers is seen as a part of getting old, it shouldn’t be happening to people our age. We shouldn’t have to think about it now. This story is a stark reminder that it could in fact happen at any time.

There is a lot of medical talk in the book, as you would expect. I cannot comment on how realistic the timescale of her diagnosis was or how effective the drugs she was prescribed would be, but the actual story, of the impact of this horrible illness on Alice and her family is one that will stay with me for a long time.


The Ladies of the House
The Ladies of the House
Price: £5.39

4.0 out of 5 stars The Ladies Of The House, 26 Mar. 2015
This is a really unusual read that grabbed my attention in a very quiet, getting under the skin way. When Marie Gillies reads a newspaper article about three people being found dead in a house in London, she feels guilty. Although she had nothing to do with their deaths, and had never met them, she did know exactly who they were. That is just the start of this story which is partly set in post war Soho and follows the fortunes of a group of prostitutes, or high class call girls as they prefer to be known. We see them arrive in London and “fall into” their trade and it was noticeable that they were not apologetic about it all, very matter of fact – it was just their job. It is not a graphic read by any means, the story is about the women and their relationships with each other.

But what connects these women to Marie, a 50 something spinster who has led a very quiet uneventful life with her mother following the death of her father some years ago? And at the end of the day, who is the happiest? Who got the better end of the deal? It is a book that had me really thinking about the characters. A thoroughly enjoyable read. Many thanks to the publisher for the review copy.


The Day We Disappeared
The Day We Disappeared
Price: £2.49

4.0 out of 5 stars Great read, 24 Mar. 2015
This is the story of two friends who are each running from their past. Kate wants to keep a low profile, she is terrified that her past is going to catch up with her but we don’t know what that past it. Annie’s problems go a lot further back, to her childhood, and she has never allowed herself to get close to men or have a long term meaningful relationship. They are both starting new jobs, new starts with new bosses who are going to have a big impact on them.

When I first started reading this book I was aware that there was quite a buzz about it and I must admit that for the first half of the read I was wondering why. It was certainly enjoyable, an easy to read book with big hints of romance but I couldn’t see why everyone was getting so excited about it. Then, I got to the “reveal” and I realised exactly why! It is a book that is well worth sticking with because when you get to that point and everything all makes sense is when you really start to enjoy the read. I loved the second part of the story, which suddenly turned much darker and more intricate, although was still easy to read and very much a page turner.

I liked both parts of the story equally and there is a cast of characters who are really fun to read about. My only real gripe about the story is the character of Ana Louisa, a six year old with a vocabulary way beyond her years. She is meant to be precocious and cute but to me she just came across as an obnoxious little brat. I really did pause a little when I got to the section where her parents were allowing her to use her toy kitchen to role play Gordon Ramsay and Hells Kitchen, complete with the “F” word, whilst they were in the room. It just made me feel a little uneasy as I cannot imagine any parent condoning that. That aside though, this is a really good read. Many thanks to the publisher for the review copy.


Humber Boy B
Humber Boy B
by Ruth Dugdall
Edition: Paperback
Price: £7.99

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A gripping thought provoking read., 24 Mar. 2015
This review is from: Humber Boy B (Paperback)
Eight years ago, at the age of 10 “Humber Boy B” was found guilty of the murder of his 10 year old friend Noah and was imprisoned. Now he is being released on probation with a new identity and it is down to his probation officer Cate to keep Ben safe and help him settle into society without reoffending and by keeping his identity secret. Not an easy job, especially when Noah’s mother has started a Facebook page asking for people to help her track down Humber Boy B. She wants to know why he killed her son.

It was a fascinating read – can a 10 year old child be truly evil or did he just make a terrible mistake? What really did happen that day? We watch Ben trying to settle into society and also in dual time narrative, we watch that fateful day unfold. However, it seems that a Facebook poster “Silent Friend” may be on to him. Just who is Silent Friend? It could be any of a number of people and the story really kept me guessing, trying to work out who it was and whether they would in fact get to Ben. A really good well paced read that kept my interest throughout all the way to an ending that really sent shivers down my spine.

It was a book that really made me think about the characters and the issues raised. A really good read. Many thanks to the publishers for the review copy.


Botanico Whiskey Barrel Planter
Botanico Whiskey Barrel Planter
Offered by Direct Global Trading
Price: £12.99

4.0 out of 5 stars Nice little planter, 22 Mar. 2015
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
It isnt a wood planter at all, but made up of biodegradable material. At first glance it looks a bit tacky but on closer inspection it is actually quite well made and once planted up it does look a lot more "natural". It is a nice size, sturdy yet lightweight and with a removable plug at the bottom for drainage.


Stewart 40cm Corinthian Square - Black
Stewart 40cm Corinthian Square - Black
Price: £4.99

4.0 out of 5 stars Planter, 22 Mar. 2015
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This is a good quality, lightweight yet sturdy budget priced planter. It is very basic in design and appearance but at the price it is a very good item. It does need holes putting in for drainage, but there is a "hole" already marked and it was easy enough to do. It is a good size, will be able to get quite a nice display into this.


Oversize Leaf Scoops *Lifetime Guarantee* Superior Quality Multipurpose Hand Held Rakes, Ideal for Fast Leaf and Lawn Grass Removal - An Excellent Hand Held Helper, Perfect Rubbish Loaders and Collectors of Sharp Items. Get the Best Grabber Tools on Amazon Today!
Oversize Leaf Scoops *Lifetime Guarantee* Superior Quality Multipurpose Hand Held Rakes, Ideal for Fast Leaf and Lawn Grass Removal - An Excellent Hand Held Helper, Perfect Rubbish Loaders and Collectors of Sharp Items. Get the Best Grabber Tools on Amazon Today!
Offered by Releaf™
Price: £19.99

4.0 out of 5 stars Extra pair of helping hands, 22 Mar. 2015
This is such a simple idea, but one that really does work. They are something that you don’t think you would ever need, but once you have used them you wonder how on earth you managed without them. The grabbers are a good size, large enough to pick up a good amount of leaves, but not too large as to be unwieldy. We have a large oak tree at the end of the garden, and I had been lazy about raking up the leaves over the winter, but after raking them into a large pile, it was just a few minutes work with these to transfer them into the green bin.

My hands fit them nicely and they are comfortable to use. My husband has average size hands and they are just right for him as well. When I put the leaves into the bin, the grabbers are just the right size to then place on top of the pile of leaves and push it down further into the bin. I like the way they are “scoop shaped, so as not to drop everything you pick up. To store they can be stacked together neatly and fit nicely onto a nail in the shed wall. I will definitely use these again and they will also come in handy for lawn and hedge clippings as well as picking fruit in the summer. Thanks to the manufacturers for a free sample in return for an honest review.


OZ Naturals - The BEST Eye Gel - Eye Cream For Dark Circles Puffiness and Wrinkles - This Eye Gel Treatment Addresses Every Eye Concern - 100% Natural Ingredients - Considered To Be The Most Potent & Effective Eye Gel - Eye Cream Available - ALLURE MAGAZINE'S Best In Beauty Eye Gel - 100% Satisfaction GUARANTEED!
OZ Naturals - The BEST Eye Gel - Eye Cream For Dark Circles Puffiness and Wrinkles - This Eye Gel Treatment Addresses Every Eye Concern - 100% Natural Ingredients - Considered To Be The Most Potent & Effective Eye Gel - Eye Cream Available - ALLURE MAGAZINE'S Best In Beauty Eye Gel - 100% Satisfaction GUARANTEED!
Offered by OZ Naturals EU
Price: £13.99

3.0 out of 5 stars Eye Gel, 21 Mar. 2015
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
As a psoriasis sufferer I am always on the lookout for natural products that won’t irritate so I was really pleased when I was asked to review this item – especially as I have inherited my father’s “bags” under my eyes!

I have used the product three times a day for just over two weeks. It comes in gel form and you only need a very small amount – a little really does go a long way.

Has it reduced the dark circles around my eyes? No
Has it reduced the bags under my eyes? No

However, it does really relieve that tired eyes feeling at the end of the day and the skin around my eyes does feel a touch more “youthful” although nothing to get really excited about.


Suite Francaise
Suite Francaise
Price: £3.66

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Suite Francaise, 19 Mar. 2015
This review is from: Suite Francaise (Kindle Edition)
It is near on impossible to review this book without first mentioning the author Irene Nemirovsky. A Russian born Jew, settled in France and converted to Catholicism, she started to write Suite Francaise in 1940, two years before her death in Auschwitz. The two novellas included here are the only two completed out of the five that she had planned.

The first, Storm in June, introduces us to the characters as we follow them during the exodus from Paris, fleeing from the German occupiers. There are quite a few people to get to know, some of whom we don't really see that much of here, presumably because she had been planning to come back to them at some later point. Her characterisation is superb, every character is sharply observed and detailed - they are believable and extremely human with all their faults and foibles exposed. She seemed to take some sort of delight in poking fun at the upper classes, as they pack their treasures - their linen and porcelain, which they cannot do without on the journey. The writing is lyrical, and yet it works more as a commentary of what happened, by someone who was there at the time than as a full blown story.

The second, Dolce, has more of a storyline. After the exodus, the French are settling down to life under German occupation. Lucille Angellier's husband is a prisoner of war and she lives with her mother in law in a French village. When German officer Bruno is assigned to billet with them she finds herself being drawn to him and it is the story of their relationship. I loved the way she started to introduce back characters from the first story, with the rest of the novellas clearly in mind. It is a gently told tale which really picked up steam during the final quarter, when I was really glued to the book.

Although I really enjoyed the read, it would have been so much better as part of the complete work that she had envisioned. At the end of the book the first appendix consists of her notes and we get some idea from these as to how she saw the global story developing. Such a shame that she didn't live long enough to write it. The second appendix consists of letters that have survived from her, her husband and various friends and associates, which cover a period of time from 1938 to the end of the second world war and make really poignant reading.


The Bullet
The Bullet
by Mary Louise Kelly
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £17.36

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars The Bullet, 17 Mar. 2015
This review is from: The Bullet (Hardcover)
I really liked the story in The Bullet. Caroline is 37 years old and during an MRI scan it is discovered that she has a bullet lodged against her spine. The only problem is, she has never been shot. A whole can of worms is opened up by this discovery when her parents admit that she was adopted when she was three years old, her birth parents having been shot dead and Caroline herself being the sole survivor. The killer has never been found and brought to justice. When Caroline goes on a quest to discover more about her birth parents and how they died, she is going to draw attention to herself and the fact that the bullet is the one piece of evidence that could convict someone is going to bring trouble to her door.

It is a very fast moving story that gets straight to the heart of the matter which I quite liked, and I really enjoyed the story telling up until probably the last 15% when the story did get a little far fetched and Caroline started acting in ways that just didn’t tie up with the person that she was and the lifestyle she had up until that point. I did find it hard to really gauge an opinion about Caroline. There is nothing specific I can put my finger on though apart from to say she is a very nondescript character. There is nothing particularly appealing about her as a person but then again, there is nothing really to dislike about her. She is just one of those people who doesn’t leave an impression. Having said that, it was a pretty good read that kept my interest and wasn’t as predictable as it sometimes seemed to be. Thanks to the publisher for the review copy.


Page: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11-20