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Reviews Written by
Anne (Sheffield, Yorkshire)
(VINE VOICE)    (TOP 500 REVIEWER)   

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Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood: A Novel (The Ya-Ya Series)
Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood: A Novel (The Ya-Ya Series)
Price: £4.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Execellent reading, 20 July 2017
Siddalee is interviewed by a journalist and when the article is published it makes it appear that she has been very critical about her mother Vivi. Vivi is furious, Sidda ditches her imminent wedding and Vivi's friends send her daughter the scrapbook which tells the history of the Ya Ya Sisters (Vivi and her two friends). The story of the Ya Yas is told in a series of press cuttings and other documents contained in the scrapbook and the reminiscences of the three women and flashbacks.

At first this appears like an amusing tale of three young women from a privileged background in Louisiana who make their way through society as they grow up and have children of their own. It does this very well and I laughed quite a lot at the Ya Ya's antics. The novel, however, has a lot more depth than that. It is an excellent social history of the time clearly showing the changes in the lives of the well off at a particular time and in a particular place. Attitudes to women and relationships between the sexes are featured particularly and the author shows the often limited choices that women had - she doesn't make the mistake of portraying all men as evil and all her characters are well developed and nuanced. Vivi hasn't had the easiest of lives and the author celebrates the lasting female friendships that have supported her through the years.

This is the book about the reforging of a relationship between a mother and a daughter and it can only be fixed when Sidda understands how her mother has become the woman that she is. It is a powerful book about friendship without sentimentalising it and a story of courage and endurance in places.

I really enjoyed this book. I thought that it had some powerful and insightful writing and that the author also managed to make it funny and heartwarming without being soppy. The book had good detail about how life must have been at a certain strata of society and the restrictions as well as privileges that brought with it. A great read.


Constance
Constance
Price: £5.74

3.0 out of 5 stars Slow and not terribly engaging for me, 19 July 2017
This review is from: Constance (Kindle Edition)
Connie (Constance) lives a seemingly idyllic life in Bali but after she hears that her sister is dying she returns to Britain and tries to mend bridges that were broken years ago. She has been in love with her brother in law all their married life, she had a difficult childhood and she has a strained relationship with her sister who is deaf. To reconcile there needs to be forgiveness and Connie needs to learn how to let other people into her life.

I found this a slow book. It is not badly written and the subject matter is interesting enough but it is quite a long book for the rather sparse plot. This means that the author fills the book up with the characters' thoughts and musings as well as long descriptions of life in Bali. I got a little tired of all this and the relationship anguish and I would have liked a little more plot for my book. There is an entertaining sub plot about Connie's nephew and a young woman with whom he becomes involved but again it didn't quite grab me. I found myself not caring as much about these characters as the author obviously intended me to, and in the absence of that engagement I lost interest.


[Voices] [by: Ursula K. Le Guin]
[Voices] [by: Ursula K. Le Guin]
by Ursula K. Le Guin
Edition: Paperback

4.0 out of 5 stars Beautifully written but a bit slow in places, 15 July 2017
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Memer is brought up by the Waylord who is idolised by the ordinary people but a marked man in a city overcome by invaders. He maintains a library despite the local suspicion about words and books. As war comes to the city Memer, the Waylord and her friends (including two from the first/companion book in the series) have to work out what to do and how to save their written treasure.

This is a book written with real lyrical power. It is a thoughtful one where nothing is quite as black and white as you may think. There is an underlying feeling of sadness and regret at how people treat one another because of difference.

I have to say that I found this book slow going in parts but the theme and the writing always engaged me and made me want to read further. It isn't and exact sequel to the first book in the series and you could read it as a standalone but it is best read after the first and as a contract to the very different world she creates there.


The Face of Death: Smoky Barrett, Book 2
The Face of Death: Smoky Barrett, Book 2
Price: £1.99

4.0 out of 5 stars Very enjoyable if rather preposterous, 15 July 2017
You really need to read this book after the first one in the series because the back story for Smoky and her FBI team is so important. In this story the team are called to a killing where the most important witness will only speak to Smoky because she feels that only she can understand what is going on and will take it seriously. What then happens is that the team each have to face personal trauma, lives are risked, characters have to face up to decision from the past and they have to overcome a brutal killer.

It has to be said that the plot here is preposterous. It is incredibly unlikely that a group of people who have experienced so much trauma and are trailing to much baggage with them would be able to function. Fortunately, they have almost supernatural powers not only to overcome adversity but to work out what is going on. Just when you think that one more difficulty or personal issue will finally defeat them they bounce back and are ready to go again.

Actually, I really enjoyed the read although I would warn potential readers that it is a bit gorier than most similar books. The writing is engaging and the author certainly knows how to pace a story to keep you turning the pages.


Prey
Prey
Price: £4.99

2.0 out of 5 stars Not very good, 15 July 2017
This review is from: Prey (Kindle Edition)
This was a pretty average suspense novel that could have been so much better.

Angie runs a mountain guide operation but is losing business to Dare who has come into the area and taking most of the business. She hates him with a vengeance at the start of the book but because she rather fancies him she actually forgets this hatred very quickly. She takes on a guiding role but Dare is uneasy about it and follows her so when things go wrong he is there to bale her out, take her to his conveniently placed base of operation and the two of them together can beat the bad guys. The terrain is difficult and the rain is torrential and there is a bear to contend with as well.

I had issues with this book because the author has obviously placed Angie as the main character but she continually undermines her. Not only has Angie to be rescued by the hero who is better at business than her but all the men seem to be continually worried about the wisdom of what she is doing and feel that they have the right to make judgements - and, of course, it turns out that the men are right and Angie has to be rescued.

The action was OK but I wasn't sure how accurate the depiction of the hiking was. For example, the author has the main characters wearing jeans which is incredibly unlikely as jeans are completely the wrong thing to wear when hiking in rain. I would also point out that the cover of this book shows a woman in a fashion coat walking in snow - there is no snow in the book and Angie is hiking with rucksack and all the other paraphernalia that is involved in that activity.

To be honest, I am not sure why I finished this book. It didn't engage me and it certainly wasn't believable.


Kiss The Moon Love After Dark Bath Oil 100ml
Kiss The Moon Love After Dark Bath Oil 100ml
Price: £38.00

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Scent lovely but fleeting, 13 July 2017
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
I loved the presentation and the smell of this product. It looks absolutely fantastic and very classy. When you open the bottle and take out the pipette it is a beautiful and very rich smell.

I followed the instructions and added two pipettes to the bath but found that I could no longer detect the scent. Being aware that we have a larger than average bath I added another bit to no avail. I even left the bathroom and came in again in case my nose had just got used to it but it hadn't. I felt a bit cheated.

When I got in the bath I was aware that there were no bubbles (and I didn't expect any) and that the product had definitely filled the bath with oil. I accidentally got the oil filled water on my hair and it made it stick and horrible so I had to use clean water and the shower attachment to remove it. When I got out of the bath there was a layer of oil coating my skin and it was really difficult to remove with a towel to dry myself enough to get clothes on. I then had to wash the towels because they were oily. My skin was lovely and soft though, as promised, it was just getting it dry that was the struggle.

I like a nice smelling bath and am aware that the scent often fades quickly irrespective of which product you use but this was very quick and with the scent gone I was only left with the oily residue which I found frustrating - others may have a different experience.


Hallmark Father's Day Card 'Top Dad' - Medium
Hallmark Father's Day Card 'Top Dad' - Medium
Price: £1.85

5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant, 13 July 2017
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
Every year, without fail, I search for a Father's Day card that isn't too sloppy and which doesn't involve vintage cars, pints of beer or golf, none of which interest my particular father. This card does exactly what I want. It is simple and plain with a message that won't embarrass either of us, The card is well made and looks classy. It was exactly what I wanted.


Snug Square Euro Continental Full Pillow, 80 x 80 cm - White
Snug Square Euro Continental Full Pillow, 80 x 80 cm - White
Price: £20.76

4.0 out of 5 stars Very comfortable, 13 July 2017
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
This is a large pillow. You will need to make sure that you get a pillow case the same size as the pillow and although there are plenty of lovely designs on Amazon for sale they are not cheap (also some are cheap but watch for horrendous postage charges).

I have been using this for a few weeks now, not as a pillow, but as a large cushion to prop me up when reading on my sofa. Smaller cushions are continually slipping and rearranging themselves but this one large pillow has been absolutely ideal for this purpose. It keeps its shape reasonably well and is large enough to lean your back on and still be able to rest your head. It is quite firm and doesn't flop all over the place.

After extensive use I have found this pillow/cushion invaluable and am delighted that I own it. It does come in a zippable case but I haven't returned the pillow to it and will probably use the case for storing a blanket or two instead. The missing star is for the cost of covers for it.


Baylis & Harding Pink Prosecco and Cassis Votive Candle Set - Pack of 4
Baylis & Harding Pink Prosecco and Cassis Votive Candle Set - Pack of 4
Price: £9.40

3.0 out of 5 stars Lost the scent, 13 July 2017
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
The packaging is great and the candles look lovely. Each individual candle is robust and sturdy - you are not going to knock one over easily. They light well and the wicks are easy to get hold of and don't sink down into the candle.

When you first light them they are lovely. They are a bit on the sweet side so probably won't suit everyone but they definitely smell of roses. The problem is that quite soon afterwards they stopped smelling at all. I couldn't detect the scent although the candle was still burning. Now, that might have just been me and the fact that my nose had got used to the scent but it did rather seem to defeat the object. When lit a second time I got even less scent.

They look good and would make a lovely gift if it wasn't for my worry that the recipient would only get the pleasure of teh scent for a short period of time.


AmazonBasics USB 3.1 Type-C to HDMI Adapter - Black
AmazonBasics USB 3.1 Type-C to HDMI Adapter - Black
Price: £17.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Does what you want it to, 13 July 2017
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
Does exactly what you want it to. It connects well and seems robust enough. It's not very exciting but it does the job.


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