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Reviews Written by
Denise4891 (Cheshire)
(VINE VOICE)    (TOP 100 REVIEWER)   

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All Is Not Forgotten
All Is Not Forgotten
by Wendy Walker
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £5.00

5.0 out of 5 stars Original and gripping, 24 July 2016
This review is from: All Is Not Forgotten (Hardcover)
All Is Not Forgotten is a very clever and original thriller which has kept me glued to my Kindle for the last couple of days. The plot revolves around the brutal rape of a teenage schoolgirl, Jenny Kramer, during an end of term party at which many of her schoolfriends were getting high on drink and drugs. When Jenny is discovered and taken to hospital, her parents are persuaded to allow her to take part in a controversial new drug therapy which effectively erases the short-term memory of trauma victims so that they have no recollection of what happens to them and don’t suffer from debilitating PTSD as a result.

At first Jenny seems to be recovering well after the attack, which is more than can be said for her parents Tom and Charlotte who have to live with the guilt of knowing what happened to their daughter and the impotent rage that Tom in particular feels about the fact that her attacker is still out there.

The story is told in the first person from the point of view of Alan Forrester, the psychiatrist who is brought in to treat the family and to help Jenny to cope with knowing what happened to her without actually being able to remember it. He pieces the events together from interviews with the family and the police officers who are working on the case and it becomes obvious as the story progresses that he has his own reasons for wanting the investigations to progress in a certain direction.

It’s a fascinating, complex and very thought-provoking story. Wendy Walker states in her author’s note that the drug therapy features in the novel does not current exist but the altering of the factual and emotional memories of trauma is currently at the forefront of emerging research. Scary stuff.


Baylis & Harding Royale Bouquet Hand Cream Set
Baylis & Harding Royale Bouquet Hand Cream Set
Price: £5.00

4.0 out of 5 stars Handy handbag-sized hydration, 24 July 2016
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
At the current selling price of £5 this handcream trio makes a nice little gift set. The fragrances - Lemon Blossom & White Rose, Lilac &English Lavender and Rose & Honeysuckle are definitely aimed at the more mature female consumer. In the past Baylis and Harding have blatantly aimed their packaging at consumers of high end brands such as Molton Brown and Philosophy. This time I think they're aiming more for the Crabtree & Evelyn market.

The scents are subtle and the cream is not the thickest or most luxurious I have used, so they're more for quickly hydrating the hands when you're out and about rather than doing a deep treatment at home.


Snug Egyptian Cotton Flat Sheet, 300 Thread Count - Double, White
Snug Egyptian Cotton Flat Sheet, 300 Thread Count - Double, White
Price: £34.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Top quality sheet, 23 July 2016
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
This is a high quality 100% cotton 300 thread count sheet which really does feel top end. The packaging states that it's made in Pakistan from Egyptian cotton, but other than that there is no branding on the plastic wallet it came in. I'm sure I've read somewhere on Amazon that Snug is a subsidiary of Silentnight?

The sheet smelled a bit plasticky when I took it out of the wallet but a quick wash at 30 degrees (the packaging states you can wash it at up to 40) got rid of that. It's beautifully smooth and almost silky. The measurements are 230 x 261 cm and it fits a standard UK double bed. I have a mattress topper on my bed and was a bit concerned that a flat sheet wouldn't tuck in at the corners properly over the mattress and topper, but it seems to be staying firmly in place. Best of all it feels wonderfully cool on these hot, humid nights.

It puts my supermarket duvet cover and pillow cases to shame - I'll have to upgrade!


The Farm at the Edge of the World
The Farm at the Edge of the World
by Sarah Vaughan
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £15.58

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Romantic rural saga with a gritty edge, 23 July 2016
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
I enjoyed this dual timeframe, multi-generational story which is based around a remote Cornish farm.

During the war, young evacuees Will and Alice are billeted at Skylark farm in Cornwall, home to teenager Maggie and her family. As the young Londoners become accustomed to rural life, their friendship with Maggie develops and Will in particular becomes close to her.
In 2014 Lucy is reeling from the breakup of her marriage and a near catastrophic mistake she makes at work. She retreats to her family’s farm in Cornwall but it’s not as idyllic and peaceful as she might have hoped. The farm is struggling, having just survived the foot and mouth and TB scares, and Lucy’s mother and brother are battling to keep their heads above water

In another interlinked strand to the storyline, Alice, now in her 80s and facing a diagnosis of terminal cancer, returns to Cornwall to try to make amends for her part in the events which ended the friendship between her, Maggie and Will 70 years earlier.

On one level this is a fairly light and romantic read but on another it’s quite gritty and realistic. Sarah Vaughan doesn’t pull any punches when describing the harsh realities of farming lives and the devastation wrought by BSE and F&M on the personal and professional lives of the rural population. At times the wartime farming scenes were a little too bucolic for me and didn’t really hold my interest, but then the action would switch back to 2014 and focus on the harsh realities of life on the farm, as well as Alice’s arrival and the buried secrets she unearthed, and I’d be hooked again.


Rapesco Puffa Half Strip Office Stapler, 20 Sheet Capacity Uses Staples 26 and 24/6 mm - Blue
Rapesco Puffa Half Strip Office Stapler, 20 Sheet Capacity Uses Staples 26 and 24/6 mm - Blue
Price: £7.62

4.0 out of 5 stars Versatile stapler, 23 July 2016
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
This is a robust stapler which easily handles up to 20 sheets of paper. It can be used as a traditional stapler or if you turn the anvil you can use it to pin things to noticeboards.

It's a top loader and the arm stays back in position while you load the staples, which are the traditional 26/6 size (it also takes 24/6).

All in all a good office essential.


Rapesco Paper Holder/Staple Remover - Pink
Rapesco Paper Holder/Staple Remover - Pink
Price: £9.54

3.0 out of 5 stars Cute but not overly useful, 23 July 2016
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
This cute little object has attracted quite a few comments from my colleagues (mostly along the lines of "what is it?"). In terms of being used as a paper holder, it works best with smaller paper (eg A5) or thick wads of A4. Two or three pieces of A4 will just flop over.

The staple remover does work if you insert it gently underneath the legs of the staple and then pull the staple out from the other side of the paper, but overall I think traditional staple removers are easier to use.


Maybelline Vivid Matte Lipstick Number 40, Berry Boost
Maybelline Vivid Matte Lipstick Number 40, Berry Boost
Price: £6.99

2.0 out of 5 stars More of a dark fuscia pink, and very thick, 23 July 2016
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
I guess this is the disadvantage of buying lipsticks (or any make-up) online if you're not already familiar with the shade. The Berry Boost shade of this product is much more of a dark fuscia pink than the name would suggest and doesn't suit my pale colouring at all.

The product itself comes in a tube with a sponge applicator. It's quite thick and I found it hard to smooth over my lips which are quite dry at the moment. You really need to be precise in the application of this product and it would be better used in conjunction with a lip pencil

It's hard to enthuse about a product when it's so wrong for me, but I see lots of other people like it.


Lying in Wait
Lying in Wait
Price: £7.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Formidable thriller with a brilliantly twisted protagonist, 20 July 2016
This review is from: Lying in Wait (Kindle Edition)
Lying in Wait is a humdinger of a psychological thriller which starts with the killer line “My husband did not mean to kill Annie Doyle, but the lying tramp deserved it.” That line is uttered by Lydia Fitzgerald, the wife of a prominent Irish judge who has just watched her husband Andrew try to strangle the woman who has been blackmailing them. He doesn’t quite manage it so Lydia bashes her over the head with the crook lock (it’s 1980) to finish the job.

Ensuing events are told in alternating chapters by three of the main characters – Lydia, her son Laurence and Annie’s sister Karen who is searing for her missing sibling. I really warmed to Karen and found her an empathetic and very warm and likeable character. I also had some sympathy for Laurence who has tried to overcome his pampered upbringing and make an independent life for himself as a dole office manager, only to find that his overbearing mother is not so easy to escape.

Last but certainly not least, Lydia is a real piece of work and a brilliantly developed character. Obsessed by status and looks, she dominates both her son and husband and lies and schemes to get her way. It’s a real tribute to Liz Nugent’s writing that I found her so scarily believable.

Tense, tightly plotted and utterly addictive, I loved it.


Sealy Select Balance Duvet, White, 10.5 Tog, Double
Sealy Select Balance Duvet, White, 10.5 Tog, Double
Price: £44.15

5.0 out of 5 stars Soft and light duvet, 19 July 2016
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
This is a lightweight but solid double duvet. I've slept under it for the last two nights, both of which have been hot and muggy, and not woke in a sweaty state as the quality Du Pont fabrics used really do seem to aid breathability. (I'm not sure what the description on Amazon means by "provide extra comfort, support and protection to your mattress" - surely you sleep with the duvet on top of you not underneath??)

It's a standard 200 x 200 cm size and comes in it's own bag if you do want to pack it away, but I find that this tog level is suitable for all year round use unless we get a really cold winter.

It's expensive but the high quality should ensure that it lasts longer than cheap duvets. It's machine washable at 40 degrees and can be tumble dried if you've got a big enough machine - I haven't had to try this yet.


Rapesco Stapler - X5-Mini Less Effort, White.
Rapesco Stapler - X5-Mini Less Effort, White.
Offered by Universal Office Products Ltd
Price: £3.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Tiny but mighty, 17 July 2016
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
These 'Less Effort' staplers do look a little strange (a colleague asked me if it was broken because the top arm sticks up so high) but they really do require less welly when you're pressing the arm down to staple. This one coped with the advertised 20 pages with ease.

When loading staples the arm locks into position and it takes half a strip of the standard 26/6 or 24/6 staples.


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