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7 Reviews
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An excellent and compelling read!, 30 July 2012
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This review is from: Widows' Row (Paperback)
This book is a real page turner and will leave you pondering about faith, friendship, family and life in general. Thought provoking and beautifully written, I'm sure every reader will be able to find a bit of themselves in the main character, Lila. I look forward to more titles from this author.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A fine debut from a promising YA novelist, 3 Aug 2012
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This review is from: Widows' Row (Kindle Edition)
A work of answered and unanswered questions. This book deals with some big themes ( love, loss, faith )through the consciousness of the heroine Lila as she tells her story. The author deftly depicts the workings of the teenage mind and young readers will find plenty to identify with in her character.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Put this book on school reading lists!, 12 Aug 2012
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This review is from: Widows' Row (Kindle Edition)
As an English teacher, I will definitely use this novel with young adults and recommend it to my colleagues. It deals with issues of sexuality, bullying, depression in a fresh, moving way. I think it would work best for upper KS3 and KS4 pupils. The characters are rich and the plot strong. I was gripped to see what would happen to one of the main characters and I was pleased when it didn't take me where I expected.

As a resident of Northern Ireland, I thoroughly enjoy reading books set in my local context, but it would still certainly work for all readers. A magical ghost story interweaves through the novel, I would have loved to have read more on this but perhaps the author is saving this for future stories?

This was the first independently published e-book I have read; I was not disappointed and strongly recommend this writer. I look forward to future titles.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A gorgeous story that I couldn't put down., 15 Aug 2012
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This review is from: Widows' Row (Kindle Edition)
With its 16 year old protagonist I know this book is primarily for young adults but as a 31 year old I have just had the most challenging and freeing experience with it. The incredible authenticity with which the author has painted Lila's inner world made me connect with a part of myself that work and nappies and the bank balance tends to drown out. The conversations Lila has with herself were frighteningly familiar, as was the tense dynamic of teenage relationships and social hierarchies. But the real universality of the story lies in the central theme of each character's struggle to be themselves and let themselves be. This book is for anyone who has ever beaten themselves up about things that can't be undone or needed to give in to the fact that life's complications can just as easily bring good surprises as bad ones. Looking forward to more from this author.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Atmospheric, 15 Aug 2012
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This review is from: Widows' Row (Kindle Edition)
A great read. Set in rural Northern Ireland this novel is deeply atmospheric. Lila is beautifully drawn, a young woman dealing with big issues in her life in a pro-active way but with realistic doubts and emotions that many young people will relate to. The author manages to touch on many areas of concern for young adults; bullying, caring, sexuality and relationships, in a natural and authentic voice. A gentle, supernatural element is woven through the story which provides a contrast to some of the harsher realities of Lila's life and which stays with the reader long after finishing the book. If this is the kind of quality we can expect from self-published novels then the future of publishing is very bright. Highly recommended.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Teenage angst and questioning, 29 Jan 2014
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Mrs. N. BROWN-DAVIS "peaceangel" (Northern Ireland) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Widows' Row (Kindle Edition)
A beautifully written teenage book, full of angst and questioning. I loved it! A first novel, looking forward to more by this author.
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5.0 out of 5 stars chose to keep reading over sleep, 7 Sep 2012
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Jayne Mcconkey (Belfast, NI) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Widows' Row (Paperback)
This was a great read (I did indeed read late and wake up early to finish it). The main character felt very genuine. She felt very familiar and reminded me of many of the young people I work with. The story raises questions of life and death, faith and identity, love and friendship in real ways but doesn't try to give you a definitive answer, encouraging you to engage your own humanity through the story. It is a very modern story, but also tells a timeless tale of human experience and growing up.
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