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The Former Chief Executive by [Vane, Kate]
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The Former Chief Executive Kindle Edition

4.4 out of 5 stars 8 customer reviews

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Length: 150 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
Page Flip: Enabled

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Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 1517 KB
  • Print Length: 150 pages
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B071DLWGMF
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Screen Reader: Supported
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars 8 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #292,657 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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4.4 out of 5 stars
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I really enjoyed this book, strangely, as the general theme is death and the sense of loss felt by the main character whose husband has recently died. I found myself taking on Deborah’s moods as we weaved through the story from being sad with her to feeling her pain from migraine. So much was hidden that was revealed as we moved through the book, not least the reason for the title. Her relationship with Luca is interesting as is her relationship with her daughter and the dilemma in which Deborah finds herself when having to choose where her loyalty lies. I think this book is beautifully written and whilst covering themes of everyday life in a very gentle way, intense emotions can be felt bubbling under the surface. I look forward to the next book from this author.
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Format: Kindle Edition
'Without your past, who are you?’

The Former Chief Executive is the third novel from writer Kate Vane. Described by the author as a literary novel, I was intrigued to see what it was about.

These days we are oft times measured by what we do as opposed to who we really are. In this novel Kate Vane asks that question…without our career, our name, who are we really?

A short novel, at only 150 pages, The Former Chief Executive was published on the 8th June 2017.

Deborah is woman now left with nothing….

‘Deborah Stevens, former chief executive of the Royal Midlands NHS Trust', a woman who always garnered the respect of her peers, now finds herself lost, alone and frightened. Her husband Peter and herself had planned for a retirement where life would be simpler. Peter, an avid gardener would spend time with his plants and Deborah would relax, knowing they had both achieved something in life.

Reputation meant everything to Deborah ‘When she was working she always made a point of telling people to call her Deborah straight away. What you chose to be called was important. Especially when you were a woman.’

But circumstances changed dramatically for Deborah. An incident at the workplace meant her reputation was in ruins. Following this, her husband Peter was tragically diagnosed with cancer and passed away. Deborah is left in an empty home with only her bitterness to keep her company. What is she now? Who is she now?

‘In the hospital my web ran through every ward and department. Rumours, rivalries, conspiracies, I knew. She’d had allies. But now she was adrift in her own home.

A chance encounter with a young man changes Deborah’s life in ways she had not imagined.
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By Ashrae TOP 500 REVIEWER on 30 May 2017
Format: Paperback
In this book we meet Deborah. She is the Former Chief Executive of an NHS Trust. Something went a bit sour for her in her job so, on leaving, she changed her name to escape the backlash. She, along with her husband, Peter, also moved away, to a lovely bungalow with a fabulous garden which Peter carefully and lovingly tended. Now widowed only several months after moving, Deborah needs someone to help her in the garden so she signs up for the local garden share scheme. Enter Luca, the young man she has been paired with. An ex-con with a zero hours work contract, a girlfriend with a baby, and another on the way. Initially chalk and cheese, this book follows Deborah and Luca as they start to open up to each other. Despite all the ways they differ, they find so many similarities and connections. Sharing pasts, connecting in the present, moving forward into the future. But what will that future hold for the both of them? And just where does neighbour Maureen fit into it all?
This is not a long book, but it contains so much. A tad political in places, sometimes quite topical, but all within the bounds of the storyline so not a all preachy. Pacing is steady throughout; the "action" being more cerebral rather than physical as we see glimpses into the lives of all involved.
The main characters and the supporting cast are all very well drawn and were easy for me to connect with. Yes, of course there were some I liked more than others and the odd one I just despised but hey, that's life. As long as I connect with a character, it doesn't have to be positive. I'm also a bit of a fan of people who shouldn't get on but, despite all the obvious differences between them and the many reasons that the relationship shouldn't work, they just click.
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Format: Paperback
Recently widowed, Deborah signs up for a garden share scheme so that someone will take care of her late husband's garden. The person assigned to share her garden is Luca, a stunningly handsome young man with a criminal past. Although seeming to have nothing in common, Deborah and Luca develop an understanding and are able to empathize with each other as their troubled pasts are slowly revealed.

The plot of this delicately rendered novel is deceptively simple. In fact, there's a lot more going on in that, but much of it hinges on revelations that can't be shared without spoiling the story. Each character, even the seemingly most shallow, has skeletons in their closet that gradually come out, rendering the situation between them increasingly fraught as the plot progresses. This is aided by the multiple points of view used, which not only give the reader insight into the internal processes of both Deborah and Luca, but also allow a buildup of dramatic irony, as one of them will learn something before the other does. "The Former Chief Executive" is not a thriller, but it shares certain themes and technical characteristics with the thriller genre, making it a surprisingly suspenseful read for literary fiction. The prose style is clean without being mannered or stilted, so that it reads like literary fiction while still being clear and easy to follow.

Although not a depressing novel, it does feature illness and death, not in a gruesome way, but as part of the quotidian troubles the characters have to deal with. Deborah was a chief executive in the NHS before a scandal forced her into early retirement; shortly after that, she lost her husband to cancer.
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