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4.6 out of 5 stars
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4.6 out of 5 stars
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 25 September 2013
When Jo and Clare first meet they click instantly, so much so that Jo is offered the position of the Manager of Clare's dream shop, a bookshop, soon to be opened. As the business steadily grows they work together well, setting up a book group, organising events and even introducing a Tarot card reading service. Jo has always had a `gift' and premonitions and they have never misled her and always come true.

As the business flourishes Clare meets Dan when he helps her gather up some books that she has dropped. Jo instantly feels that Dan is `not right' and she has an image of Clare in hospital. Clare shrugs this off blaming Jo's own health worries for her feelings of discomfort. Clare is falling in love and doesn't want to heed Jo's warnings.

The bookshop, Merrilies, soon becomes a popular meeting place for the townsfolk. A small café serves light refreshments, the members of the book group bond and help each other through both happy and trying times, and a fund raising campaign is organised to send a sick seven year old, Annie, a frequent and well-loved visitor to Merrilies, to swim with dolphins, as this therapy has proved to positively help her condition.

With the good news abundant, truly shocking events interrupt celebrations within the book group and Jo is left reeling. When a stalker starts leaving suggestive messages first on the phone of one of the book group's members, then underneath her windscreen wipers and finally at her home it looks as though the help of the police might be the best and safest solution.

This is a really engaging novel with characters that are both well drawn and endearing. The story gathers momentum with many interesting twists and turns, some joyous, some sad and with some worrying scenarios. Modern issues are tackled sensitively and the story is exciting and well paced. I thoroughly enjoyed `Chapters of Life' and read it within a day, keen to find out the resolutions to several different and varied strands of the story. I can wholeheartedly recommend this as a very worthwhile read.
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on 18 September 2013
I really enjoyed this, it has everything i am looking for in a novel. Great characters, plot, suspense, happiness and sadness.
Highly recommended.
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on 30 August 2013
Tina K Burton's CHAPTERS OF LIFE is an unusual read and somewhat differnt from my usual reading fare of late. I started reading this some time back and to my amazement, I was unable to just zip through it. It's jusst not that kind of read, not the speedread friendly fiction of doday. This is a book to take time over, to linger over and savour.

There's quite a wide canvas here and not less than half a dozen main characters. The story begins with Jo and Clare, two young women who haven't yet 'settled down' as the saying goes. Jo reads the tarot cards and has the knack of making uncannily accurate predictions, sometimes because of premonitions which arrive without warning. When she meets Clare, her instincts go into overdrive. The two young women hit it off, strike up a friendship and pursue their dream of opening a bookshop. Their shop quickly becomes the type of retail outlet which is customer friendly and provides a social focus too. In no time, it becomes the heart of the local community. The story really takes off when a reading group starts meeting there twice a week. Jo and Clare, the reading group and a few special customers turn the bookshop into a positive force in the local community. The two friends' initiative to start the bookshop of their dreams changes many lives for the better, not just their own.

Tina K Burton is not in any particular hurry to get somewhere - her prose is leisurely and thoughtful, yet simple and beautifully clear. Her dialogue is uncannily realistic and faithful. This is a gentle read, yet it doesn't shy away from difficult issues. It deals with the issues of a young gay man coming out of the closet, a romance between two elderly people, the problems faced by single parents and even the sad and sensitive matter of dealing with the serious illness of a child. Above all the message of the book is one of hope, the feeling that something good is just around the corner, if friends will only stick together and be there for each other. Like a good romance novel, it will make you laugh, cry and sigh all within one book.

I'm so happy that I got the opportunity to read this immensely satisfying novel. Tina K Burton is a prolific short story writer whose work has been published in magazines in the UK and Australia. In many ways, I feel she has it in her to become the English Maeve Binchy, with her easy, humorous writing style and her gentle but firm grasp of issues which are important to people's lives.

Well done Tina, this book is a beautifully worthwhile read..
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on 27 September 2013
Tina Burton's debut novel is a heart-warming tale of five friends: Graham, Mollie, Tessa, Felicity and Michael who meet through a reading group at their local bookshop. The relationships between these five and the shop's owners Clare and Jo are interwoven skilfully and we see them both together and separately over the course of a year as each of them faces and deals with issues in their lives.

Other subsidiary characters drift in and out of the narrative and, while I wasn't wholly convinced by Dan's role, little Annie's story reduced me to tears on more than one occasion.

Anyone who has read Tina's short stories will recognise her light touch in this full-length story and I'm sure it will win her many new readers too.
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on 17 July 2015
Absolutely LOVELY book. The story of 2 ladies who open a book shop and then start a reading group. The main story revolves around the members of the reading group and what happens to them. The characters are totally lifelike, understandable, flawed and very likeable. The different stories blend together and one can't stop reading, because one wants to know what happens to them. I do hope Tina K Burton will write a continuation some time.
It is beautifully written, perfect grammar and no typos. Wonderful.
My personal advice to you is: Read It.
It is better than my description, but not being a writer myself, I can't express myself very well.
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on 11 March 2015
Chapters Of Life tells of the friendship between Jo and Clare, they have opened a bookshop and started a book reading club.

The characters are ones you will love and who each have a story of their own.

Tina K Burton has written this debut novel in a delightful and 'sing song' way. It is an easy read and one which you can wile away the hours just getting lost in the tale.

It is a superb debut novel and one which i highly recommend. It has love, sadness and touch of thoughtfulness about it, and the setting it just delightful. A book about friendship, reading and doing the right thing.

It will make you cry and make you feel good, i especially loved the growing story between Mollie and Graham and how it gives you hope of the future.
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on 25 June 2015
I loved the setting for this story and the author has a warm and witty voice which soon has you deeply entrenched into the characters’ lives, making it a real page turner. It takes a very talented author to make you laugh and cry along with the characters and Tina Burton is able to achieve that with ease. This is the first book I have read by this author and I am already really looking forward to the next. Highly recommended.
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on 3 August 2014
If all bookshops were like this with prominent displays featuring local authors, plenty of time for unhurried browsing, tarot readings and somewhere to sit and enjoy a coffee, they wouldn’t be so thin on the ground. I’d love to see something similar in my home town. But, of course, bookshops are about people too. Through shop owner, Clare, her business partner, Jo and the members of their reading group Tina K Burton introduces us to a cast of engaging characters who pull together through adversity and celebrate each other’s triumphs. A warm story highlighting the best of human nature.
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on 19 October 2013
A lovely story of two very different women who complemented each other and formed a close, deep friendship very quickly. All the characters are nicely rounded and the book is easy to read and would be ideal as a "Summer" read on the beach'
I do think the second sight issue could have been extended, perhaps in a followup book? Tina Burton could get more mileage from this couple who would remain friends all their lives and have many more interesting stories to share
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on 13 September 2014
I enjoyed this book. There were happy moments and sad ones. There were dilemmas and difficulties to get through. The characters were engaging and I wanted to know more about them.

However, I felt that it would have been better to limit the number of points of view (and thus main characters). There was some attempt to separate them by having different sections, but this wasn't consistent and at times the point of view changed in the middle of a sentence.

It'll be interesting to see the sequel.
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