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on 6 August 2012
I received an ARC from the author, as I have read and enjoyed all of her other books in a different genre and was intrigued by this new departure. It's not the usual kind of book I would read, but reading the back cover, it reminded me of Kane & Abel by Jeffrey Archer, which I read about 15 years ago, but it was much better, more emotional. The separation of siblings at birth and what would happen to them, I knew would be a story that I would like. I just wasn't prepared for how much. I was gripped by the story right from the start. I stopped writing my own novel for 2 days, so I could read it, I was so hooked. I honestly didn't want it to end. The bravery of both sisters in the face of adversity was the key aspect I enjoyed. The way Joanna Rees painted such amazing characters, particularly one which I hated (I will leave it to you to read to find out who and I am sure you will agree with me) was fascinating. The story is set in several countries and I loved this. I am a great fan of Italy and the part set in Italy, I could vividly imagine and the family dynamic was very well depicted. Likewise, having visited New York, I could envisage Maddox Towers and I had no problem in seeing the places in my head. The contrast between the rich, luxurious lifestyle which one child was brought up in and the extreme poverty and horrors through which the other child lived was crafted exceedingly well. There are also power struggles, twists and turns and some rather disturbing scenes. All in all an amazing book, which I can't applaud enough
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on 20 July 2014
The story starts in East Germany in 1971 when a gangster decides the fate of two baby sisters, one is sold to a rich American while the other is sent to an orphanage that is a front for child sexual exploitation. The story is told from both sister's point of view and over the years their fates are somehow bound together. It's an intriguing saga well worth reading.
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VINE VOICEon 11 September 2012
I have to say that I really enjoyed this book, thank you Jo.
Yes it is a little predictable, yes you sort of knew what would happen in the end but getting to the end was a very enjoyable read.

Sisters torn apart when babies, one to lead a privalidged life, the other sent to a rather distastful orphanage (to say the least) at the whim of the baddy. But not everything turns out the way they expect.

If you like Lesley Pearse you should like this.

Good book.
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on 24 May 2017
This was the first book I've read by this author and I couldn't put it down.
Great for fans of Lesley Pearce and Victoria hislop...
I will be searching out and reading more titles by Joanne Rees
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on 18 April 2017
A great read kept me reading when I had loads of things to do ,unroll I finished the whole book
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on 18 June 2014
Absolutely loved this book. Couldn't stop reading it. Had me totally hooked.
The twists and suspense were excellent. Want to read more of her books.
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on 28 November 2012
Joanna Rees is a Chick Lit author that's been about for years. Firstly as Josie Lloyd, then as a collaboration writer with her husband Emlyn Rees, then she became Jo Rees and now, in what could be her last(?) incarnation, she is Joanna Rees. I've never read any of her novels written solely by her, but I have read a couple of her collaboration books with her husband Emlyn Rees. I loved them, actually, and I was quite disappointed their partnership as writers (writership?), though they are still married, came to an end, as I loved their books and the dual narratives were always very interesting. Her new novel, with her new publisher Pan Macmillan, is probably like her Jo Rees novels, though I suspect it's less sexy. (The novel says it's glamorous and sexy and epic, but I found that strange, to be fair. It is a bit glamorous, but it's not a sexy novel, though it is an epic.)

A Twist of Fate tells the story of two girls, whose lives and fates were decided by the flip of a coin. First, there's Thea Maddox, daughter of the Maddoxes, and who has everything a girl could ask for. A beautiful house, horses, privilege, wealth, and love. But after her mother dies, and as Thea grows up, she finds herself seeing the evil side of life. A side she couldn't even fathom. Then there's Romy. After growing up and escaping from her Eastern European orphanage, she finds herself catapulted into stardom as a famous model, but the things that occurred and happened when she was younger follow her around wherever she goes and she's desperate to bury it, desperate for nobody to find out what happened. As the two girls lives collide and cross, will they ever find out how their lives really started or are they destined to never find out?

When I started A Twist of Fate, I had no idea what to expect. I know Jo's writing from her collaboration novels, but I knew this was a bit of a different genre from her collaboration novels. I found the novel absorbing. The two tales, of Romy and Thea was excellent. I loved how it went from Romy to Thea to Romy to Thea and back again. I liked seeing Thea's wealth contrasting with Romy's fight to survive. I thought both girl's stories were fascinating for different reasons. What Romy had to do just to survive was horrific, but necessary and whilst Thea had the wealth and the privilege, well, after her mother's death she also acquired a new step-mother and step-brother, a step-brother who is quite awful, I must say, and it just goes to show, your life isn't going to necessarily be better or easier if you're wealthy. I adored the novel. It honestly blew me away in ways I wasn't expecting. I had no idea I'd enjoy the novel as much as I did, but Jo is an excellent writer.

I would very much recommend A Twist of Fate. I've had a good run of good books recently and this one is up there with the best of them. I'm quite disappointed in myself for not having read it sooner. I will definitely be pre-ordering Joanna's next novel as soon as it's available because after A Twist of Fate, I am absolutely sure about what an excellent writer she is. I always find books written in the third-person to be harder to warm to, but Joanna has that knack of just getting it and it was almost as if the book was written in first-person, that's how easily I managed to get into it and how much I felt we knew about Romy and Thea. I thought it was such a dramatic novel with so many twists and turns and I was dying for Romy and Thea to know about each other, and perhaps even meet each other, and each page sorta brought us a step closer to that. I really, really enjoyed it.
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on 5 August 2012
Having received A Twist Of Fate the day it got published, I haven't been able to put it down.
Fast moving, gripping and unexpected are but a few adjectives I would use to describe this sensational tale.
A massive congratulations to Joanna, you've made my summer!
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on 7 April 2014
Wow – from start to finish. A Twist of Fate is a gripping story of two sisters separated at birth that has you captivated from the very first page – as we go through alternating between each chapter and each sister following their incredible journey.
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on 29 July 2014
A tantalising story of how two different lives can intertwine over the years, this novel really had me yelling at the bad characters and rooting for Romy and Thea. Rees creates such convincing protagonists with Romy and Thea that by the end of the story, I felt like I really knew them and could sympathise with their plights.

The narrative is cleverly structured to follow the lives of Romy and Thea, starting in the 1970s and finishing practically in present day. The chapters switch between Romy and Thea and initially, it is like reading about the prince and the pauper, because the girls are at opposite ends of the social spectrum. However, when Romy is unexpectedly talent-spotted as a model, her status is elevated and I found that I couldn’t help but see similarities between her and Thea’s way of living. Secondly, Rees keeps the narrative interesting and does not focus on the intricacies of Romy and Thea’s lives. Instead, the chapters usually begin setting the scene of the current year, then having several paragraphs recounting the time that has passed since the previous chapter – because often we are leaving the character on an ‘Eastenders’ moment (cue dramatic cliff-hanger music). Instead of finding it frustrating that it kept switching between the two characters, I enjoyed this element so much because I knew they would eventually be crossing paths…

It is tantalising the way that Romy and Thea’s paths cross without them realising it. For instance, Brett becomes central to both the characters lives and I wanted to scream at him and the author for not linking Romy and Thea sooner! Brett is such an easy character to dislike that I certainly enjoyed hating him whenever he appeared. The whole idea of fate is really played out in this story and Rees keeps readers teased to not allow Romy and Thea come together at the earliest opportunity.

This is a great summer read and has many elements that will keep you guessing throughout. Historical references such as the falling of the Berlin Wall and the tragic events of September 2011 are clever ways to keep the story rooted in time and I found this quite appropriate to give added depth to the story. ‘A Twist of Fate’ is definitely one to read because it is quite unique in terms of women’s fiction and certainly does not offer happy endings and a successful love story on a plate – the characters really have to work at it!
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