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Mrs Sinclair's Suitcase Paperback – 14 Aug 2014

4.3 out of 5 stars 150 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Hodder Paperbacks (14 Aug. 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1444777459
  • ISBN-13: 978-1444777451
  • Product Dimensions: 13 x 2.1 x 19.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (150 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 199,034 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

A first novel of great charm and assurance, beautifully told and utterly gripping. (The Times)

A breathtaking, beautifully crafted tale of loves that survive secrets. (Kirkus)

A heart-breaking tale of loss, missed chances and enduring love. (Good Housekeeping)

Totally absorbing . . . Beautifully done and heartbreaking too. (Esther Freud, author of Hideous Kinky)

[a] charming debut... as appealing on the inside as its enticing jacket. (Daily Mail)

Book Description

A heartbreaking debut novel about family secrets, soulmates and missed opportunities.

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By Damaskcat HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 5 Jan. 2014
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Roberta works in a book shop which sells both second hand and new books. She loves going through the second hand books for the things people have left in as bookmarks - children's drawings, shopping lists, letters, train tickets etc. She likes to imagine the people they belonged to.

Her father takes her a suitcase which belonged to his mother - now aged over one hundred and in a nursing home. Tucked into one of the books in the suitcase is a letter which will overturn everything Roberta knows about her grandmother.

I enjoyed this book and thought it was well written. I liked the intermingling of the two stories - that of Dorothea trying to make a life for herself during World War II and Roberta in the twenty first century trying to make sense of her own life. The author really brought the characters to life and I thought the love affairs were painted with a delicate hand and not overdone.

If you enjoy books which weave together past and present then try this one - it is subtle and understated and a very satisfying read. I look forward to reading more by this author.
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Format: Hardcover
First things first, I had to read this story because it’s SET IN A BOOKSHOP. The Old and New is my dream place, I only wish such a place really existed because I would find myself permanently in there, browsing the shelves… I was grabbed by the synopsis and the idea of finding these hidden, personal treasures such as letters & photographs that tell a story inside old books. I then loved how Roberta’s hobby of collecting these letters ended up transforming her own life when she found a letter to her Grandmother which made her question everything that she knew.
Out of the two time frames I think I enjoyed reading Dorothy’s story, set during wartime the most. It was well-researched and beautifully written. I was completely absorbed with how Dorothy fell in love with Jan and I so wanted them to be together. I found the descriptions of wartime life to be realistic and had no trouble envisaging what was happening at this time and how difficult it would have been for those going through it.
The story took on so many twists and turns that I didn’t foresee what was going to happen until it actually did, so it was in no way predictable and I found the storyline completely absorbing.

I also really liked the way that snippets of the letters and cards that Roberta finds are included at the start of each chapter. I think it’s a nice touch when books include bits like this and it adds an extra something to the story. You almost feel more involved for reading these extra pieces.
I also have to mention the cover of Mrs Sinclair’s Suitcase. THE SPINES OF OLD BOOKS? It’s beautifully designed and I would want to read this purely on the cover alone. It’s just my kind of book as far as the cover & design are concerned. Perfect.
This is one corker of a debut novel from Louise Walters.
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By Denise4891 TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 26 Jan. 2014
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Roberta is a solitary, rather lonely young woman who works in a (surprisingly successful) independent bookshop. She has a habit of collecting ephemera - photographs, letters, tickets etc - which fall from second-hand books as she catalogues them (snippets of which are included at the beginning of many of the chapters - a nice touch) and this hobby becomes more personal when she is given a collection of books in a battered suitcase which belonged to her 109 year old grandmother Dorothea, who is currently living in a nursing home and suffering from dementia. As she sifts through them Roberta discovers a letter which casts doubt on her understanding of her grandparents' marriage.

There are two timeframes to this story and the second features Dorothea (or plain old Dorothy as she was originally known), who is struggling to make ends meet on a remote wartime farm after her husband Albert deserts her. After witnessing a fatal plane crash she falls in love with the dead pilot's senior officer, a Polish man called Jan, and so begins an intriguing story of thwarted love, dashed hopes, secrets and lies.

The writing in both timeframes is beautifully evocative with a melancholy undertone, particularly in the wartime thread; I really felt as though I was on that bleak Lincolnshire farm with Dorothea and her Land Girls. A thoroughly enjoyable read and a very impressive debut novel.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I got into this story although sad at times because I have Polish connections andfound "Jan, s" character very real indeed . However my late adorable mother in law was known as "Babcia" to my children which means Grandma I believe which to me is more suited to such a loved character. We do owe such a lot to those Polish pilots so I hope younger readers find this book interesting. My father in law was in the 8 th Army and injured at Monte Cassino...more Polish heroics . It wasnt safe for them to return to their beloved Poland as both had been imprisoned by the Russians early in the war and fatherinlaw led a tortured life waiting for Russia to admitt that they had shot his fellow officer friends at Katyn forest after he managed to escape to join the resistace briefly before being arrested and carted off to prison far into Russia.I keep my mother in laws story going though by telling my kids as unlike her husband her story isnt in print just in my head. However also in my head are the Polish parties and dances, the men kissing my hand and their PRIDE despite their sacrifice and loss of their Poland.
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