Truly Madly Guilty by Liane Moriarty

Truly madly guiltySix responsible adults. Three cute kids. One small dog. It’s just a normal weekend. What could possibly go wrong?

Sam and Clementine have a wonderful, albeit, busy life: they have two little girls, Sam has just started a new dream job, and Clementine, a cellist, is busy preparing for the audition of a lifetime. If there’s anything they can count on, it’s each other.

Clementine and Erika are each other’s oldest friends. A single look between them can convey an entire conversation. But theirs is a complicated relationship, so when Erika mentions a last minute invitation to a barbecue with her neighbors, Tiffany and Vid, Clementine and Sam don’t hesitate. Having Tiffany and Vid’s larger than life personalities there will be a welcome respite.

Two months later, it won’t stop raining, and Clementine and Sam can’t stop asking themselves the question: What if we hadn’t gone?

Liane Moriarty is one of those authors I have always felt slightly guilty and embarrassed not to have read.  I have seen rave reviews of her books online and there was so much hype around Big Little Lies when it came out earlier this year that I felt I had to be missing out on something.  So, I finally got my act together and got myself a copy of Truly Madly Guilty.  Why this one?  Because it was the only one available at the library if I’m honest and that’s where I was when the determination to read her at last struck.Read More »

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Tuesday intro: Dear Amy by Helen Callaghan

Once again I’m linking up again with Diane at Bibliophile by the Sea who hosts a post every Tuesday for people to share the first chapter / paragraph of the book they are reading, or thinking of reading soon.

tuesdayI’m also joining in with Teaser Tuesday, hosted by The Purple Booker, where you share teasers from your current read. I read a lot of these posts over the course of an average Tuesday so thought it would be fun to join in here too.

This week, I’m reading Dear Amy by Helen Callaghan, another of my recent library haul and which attracted me with the cover but hooked me with the blurb.  Here’s what it’s about…Read More »

Cold Blood by Robert Bryndza

35789068The observant amongst you will have noticed I haven’t been posting on the blog this last week.  Cold Blood was one of the reasons.  I needed to read it, and didn’t want anything getting in the way of my reuniting with Erika Foster, a favourite detective from a favourite series.

Those self-same observant people may have also noticed that I haven’t started this post out the way I normally do, with the goodreads book blurb right next to the title.  It’s still here for those who want to read it – but at the end because I was worried it would give too much away for a book that holds a lot of twists, turns and surprises.  This is too good a story for spoilers (in my humble opinion!).Read More »

Tuesday intro: The Pocket Wife by Susan Crawford

Once again I’m linking up again with Diane at Bibliophile by the Sea who hosts a post every Tuesday for people to share the first chapter / paragraph of the book they are reading, or thinking of reading soon.

tuesdayI’m also joining in with Teaser Tuesday, hosted by The Purple Booker, where you share teasers from your current read. I read a lot of these posts over the course of an average Tuesday so thought it would be fun to join in here too.

This week, I’m reading The Pocket Wife, which more than one person has said they really enjoyed when I posted I had picked this up from the library earlier this week – how can a girl resist?  Here’s what it’s about…Read More »

Follow You Home by Mark Edwards

imageIt was supposed to be the trip of a lifetime, a final adventure before settling down.

After a perfect start, Daniel and Laura’s travels end abruptly when they are thrown off a night train in the middle of nowhere. To find their way back to civilisation, they must hike along the tracks through a forest…a haunting journey that ends in unimaginable terror.

Back in London, Daniel and Laura vow never to talk about what they saw that night. But as they try to fit back into their old lives, it becomes clear that their nightmare is just beginning…

Where to start with Follow You Home – there are so many twists and turns it is hard to describe it without spoilers, which I always want to avoid.  It starts with a mid-30’s couple travelling across Europe and making the mistake of falling asleep on a train as they head into Romania.  This mistake leads to missing passports and their being thrown off the train into a dark night with no phone, no map, and no way of knowing where they are going. Read More »

99 Red Balloons by Elisabeth Carpenter

99 red balloonsTwo girls go missing, decades apart. What would you do if one was your daughter?

When eight-year-old Grace goes missing from a sweetshop on the way home from school, her mother Emma is plunged into a nightmare. Her family rallies around, but as the police hunt begins, cracks begin to emerge.

What are the secret emails sent between Emma’s husband and her sister? Why does her mother take so long to join the search? And is Emma really as innocent as she seems?

Meanwhile, ageing widow Maggie Taylor sees Grace’s picture in the newspaper. It’s a photograph that jolts her from the pain of her existence into a spiralling obsession with another girl – the first girl who disappeared…

So as well as a title that sends me back to my teenage years and memories of watching Top of the Pops, 99 Red Balloons has everything I look for in a psychological thriller – missing children, family secrets and a story that slowly comes together through the eyes of a number of characters, none of whom seem to be quite telling the truth.

And I got all that and more, with a book with plenty of twists, turns and red herrings plus a “wow” moment about two-thirds in that had me pause for a second so my brain could readjust and rethink everything I had read so far.  You’ve got to love those moments and it completely changed the book for me.  Read More »

All The Little Children by Jo Furniss

All the childrenStruggling with working-mother guilt, Marlene Greene hopes a camping trip in the forest will provide quality time with her three young children—until they see fires in the distance, columns of smoke distorting the sweeping view. Overnight, all communication with the outside world is lost.

Knowing something terrible has happened, Marlene suspects that the isolation of the remote campsite is all that’s protecting her family. But the arrival of a lost boy reveals they are not alone in the woods, and as the unfolding disaster ravages the land, more youngsters seek refuge under her wing. The lives of her own children aren’t the only ones at stake.

When their sanctuary is threatened, Marlene faces the mother of all dilemmas: Should she save her own kids or try to save them all?

I’m not much of a one for post-apocalyptic novels but All The Children sounded interesting and a way to step out of my comfort zone, which I need to do much more often if I’m honest.  It also sounded like a good idea for a story. This isn’t a world in the far off future, this is in the now, the world we live in.  And the way the world goes post-apocalyptic sounds scarily real, the result of a terrorist attack which releases a virus that kills a large part of the UK population – anyone basically who isn’t in the woods like Marlene, her sister-in-law, and their kids.  It really wasn’t hard to imagine myself in that world, and wondering how I would respond. Read More »

The Silent Kookaburra by Liza Perrat

33257657All eleven-year-old Tanya Randall wants is a happy family. But Mum does nothing besides housework, Dad’s always down the pub and Nanna Purvis moans at everyone except her dog. Then Shelley arrives –– the miracle baby who fuses the Randall family in love for their little gumnut blossom.

Tanya’s life gets even better when she meets an uncle she didn’t know she had. He tells her she’s beautiful and could be a model. Her family refuses to talk about him. But that’s okay, it’s their little secret.

Then one blistering summer day tragedy strikes, and the surrounding mystery and suspicion tear apart this fragile family web.

Whilst on the face of it The Silent Kookaburra is classed as a thriller / suspense novel, for me I have to say it was also about coming of age; that’s one of the things that came through here for me, the move from child to teenager for Tanya, the novel’s storyteller, and the confusion that comes with it.

Tanya isn’t a happy child, and no wonder.  Her mother is depressed – the result of multiple failed pregnancies – when baby Shelley comes along, lighting up all their lives with her perfect babyness.  A new baby, though, doesn’t necessarily mean the stress and tensions from before really go away and, in many ways, the family carry on as before – with her mom displaying symptoms of OCD, Tanya overeating, her dad drinking and her nanna generally grumbling and groaning.Read More »

Sometimes I lie by Alice Feeney

32991958My name is Amber Reynolds. There are three things you should know about me:

1. I’m in a coma.
2. My husband doesn’t love me anymore.
3. Sometimes I lie.

So this is possibly one of the shortest blurbs in the history of blurbs – and completely intrigued me as a result.  Add to that some positive reviews and I felt like this was a book I really wanted to read.

The first few chapters had me convinced I’d made the right choice and things only got better from there I have to say, especially with some great twists in the last third which pretty much turned everything I had been thinking on it’s head. Read More »