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4.3 out of 5 stars
4.3 out of 5 stars
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on 21 November 2014
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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on 28 April 2017
I enjoy dual time fiction like this and thoroughly enjoyed this story, reading it very quickly because i was very absorbed. The characterisation is strong and believable and the writing style was good. I liked the idea of using things the main character found in books, which could have been developed further. It is perhaps a little predictable but that did, in some ways, add to the charm. Really I could give higher but there weren't layers of complexity which I feel would merit a 5.
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on 10 May 2017
A thoroughly enjoyable read with an imaginative plot, some excellent characterisation and emotional twists. This is a story that evokes the impact of WWII in a really engaging way.
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on 16 March 2017
I loved this story
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on 27 February 2014
I had the privilege to read this gorgeous dual timeline debut when it was still at the proof stage. I was amazed at the quality of the writing, Louise Walters has the assurance of someone who has been writing for years. The story flows beautifully between world war two and the present and keeps you interested the whole way through, urging you to keep reading. Not wishing to spoil things for anyone, but the ending is a real tear jerker, so have the tissues at the ready! The cover is simply amazing, it really stands out on the bookshelf. All in all, a dazzling debut, from the front cover design through to the last page. Hugely recommended and would love to read more from Louise Walters.
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At the beginning of World War II Dorothy is hanging out washing when an aeroplane crashes into a field behind her house. Alone and aloof Dorothy opens her heart to the possibility of happiness when Jan Pietrykowski, the Polish Squadron Leader comes to visit her following the crash, but how does this link to the letter found amongst her grandmother’s belongings?

This book has letters, a mystery in the form of a family secret and a bookshop; everything I love reading about! There are intrigues in the present, relationships both familial and romantic, an unfurling of a cold heart with the background of the war to add urgency to every moment.

Although at first I didn’t warm to either Dorothy or Roberta their stories soon wormed their way under my skin and I fell in love with both stories, past and present, willing the two women on to find happiness.

There is much to enjoy in this debut novel, the settings described to perfection, I could easily picture the little cottage, the bookshop which I ached to visit, as well as clearly understanding why Dorothy stood apart from her fellow villagers thereby becoming a main source of their gossip. A book with a lot of charm to sweeten a tale of love and loss.

I received my copy of Mrs Sinclair's Suitcase from Lovereading.co.uk as I am part of their review panel.
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on 17 April 2014
This is Louise Walters debut novel.

The story is told over a dual timeline. We are introduced to present day Roberta who is given a suitcase containing books and letters belonging to her grandmother. We are then taken back in time to Word War Two and the life of Dorothea, Roberta's Grandmother "Babunia".

The story begins with a letter to Dorothea from her beloved Jan. We gradually learn the history leading up to why this particular letter was written. This is the letter that Roberta finds on opening her Grandmother's suitcase which poses some big questions about Dorothy's past.

As stated above the story is told in dual narrative and in this case it works well. I liked the lyrical writing and the story unfolded beautifully. All the characters were well rounded and drew me into their world. A story of love, loss, tragedy and friendship, even from the most unexpected corner. A great debut novel. I look forward to Ms Walters next book.
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Format: Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
This is a dual timeline story and I liked it quite a bit. Told in alternating parts from the point of view of Roberta, a thirty something single woman working in an independent bookshop in present times, and her grandmother Dorothy during the WWII.

I find with most dual time period books that I'm drawn to one era over the other and this was partially true with this one. I really liked Dorothy's sections set in the early 1940's. I liked Roberta's parts a bit too but really felt that it was secondary to the real story. There's a bit of mystery, tragedy, hopefulness, regret and at the heart of it a love story, of sorts. There's a lot of heartbreak here and it seems like a lot has been packed into less than 300 pages.

I would never have guessed that this was a debut book, it's very well written and I'll probably look out for more by this new author.
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Format: Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )|Verified Purchase
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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on 5 August 2015
Cover torn
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