Monthly Archives: March 2016

In Her Wake by Amanda Jennings

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In Her Wake by Amanda Jennings

 The Last Word Review

 

Haunting and emotional, a journey of self-discovery that stay with the reader. Exceptional, compelling a triumph.

 

A tragic family event reveals devastating news that rips apart Bella’s comfortable existence. 

Embarking on a personal journey to uncover the truth, she faces a series of traumatic discoveries that take her to the ruggedly beautiful Cornish coast, where hidden truths, past betrayals and a 25-year-old mystery threaten not just her identity, but her life.

Chilling, complex and profoundly moving, In Her Wake is a gripping psychological thriller that questions the nature of family – and reminds us that sometimes the most shocking crimes are committed closest to home. 

 

I have just discovered the writing of Amanda Jennings with her forthcoming latest novel In Her Wake a book of incredible rare beauty when it comes to the writing style of incredible elegance.

In Her Wake deals with the many subjects that can be painful for both the writer and the reader, but a story so powerful and charged with emotion that any reader will struggle to let this one go.

The story starts with Bella along with her controlling husband David arriving at the family home her mother Elaine is dead and she is grieving, for Bella the past memories of her childhood centre around her mother and the home she grew up in she did not have a close relationship with her father Henry. But now Henry looks not only a man grieving but a man riddled with guilt an empty shell of the man she remembers. Bella relationship with the two men in her life is strained to say the least and is struggling to understand these men.

Then the story becomes dramatic with her father wanting to tell Bella something that she should know but he cannot tell her. Bella then suffers another painful blow and with it news that that her parents hid the truth from her and everything she thought and believed now lies in pieces around her, a case of families, secrets and lies. Bella is left trying to unravel the mystery that her mother started all those years ago. She is determined to find the truth about the past.

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We now find Bella in a Cornish seaside town leaving behind her husband and her past that she now knows to be a lie, and now trying to uncover the mystery that was left for her by her dead father. Like the Cornish coastline fully of mystery that cries out to be uncovered Bella sets out to do just that as the story now takes on a real psychological journey for the reader. There are many pitfalls that await Bella as she meets people who seem to her know who she is and the past she belongs too. There are periods darkness that explode like a winter’s storm along the rugged coastline.

The path to the truth can be a painful journey and there is real empathy for Bella as she seeks the truth despite the mistakes she makes. How would any of us cope in a similar situation. Without giving anything away the ending is utterly devastating.

This is an incredible novel of a woman’s journey seeking the truth and identity it is dark and at times just plain chilling and plays with your mind. But In Her Wake also has hope, something we all cling to from time to time. Amanda Jennings latest offering In Her Wake has just become of the best books I will read in 2016. I urge you to pre-order your copy and discover the writing of Amanda Jennings for yourself.

You can visit Amanda Jennings website Here

Thank you to Karen Sullivan (Orenda Books) for a review copy.

In Her Wake by Amanda Jennings published on 1 April 2016 by Orenda Books and available through Waterstones and all good bookshops.

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Six Four by Hideo Yokoyama

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Six Four by Hideo Yokoyama

 

 The Last Word Review

 

 The epic crime novel that took Japan by storm, ambitious and addictive from the start.

 

 There is a lot of expectation surrounding Six Four by Hideo Yokoyama, it sold a million copies in Japan in six days does a book consisting of over 600 pages survive the hype quite clearly yes.

Some readers may skip this crime novel because of its size and it is a hefty tome to carry around with you, but I can assure the reader that they really should give Six Four a go, this is a real slow burner of a novel but builds and you will become immersed into the story and you will forget the size of the book if you like to lose yourself in a gripping crime drama then this is very much a book you should read.

Six Four is wonderfully translated by Jonathan Lloyd-Davies and we learn of the abduction of a seven-year-old back in 1989 the anxious parents listened to the ransom demands, the young girl is murdered and the kidnapper makes off with the vast ransom. The crime is never solved.

We now fast forward 14 years later and the case has been reopened with Press director Yoshinobu Mikami taking centre stage being a former detective now transferred he has to deal daily with surly media representatives rather than the job he would rather be doing that is solving crimes for Mikami this case is somewhat personal as his own daughter has been missing for a number of weeks after suffering a mental breakdown.

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What we have in Six Four is dramatic, and sinister plot that plays on the old themes of Japanese society and culture. The story goes delves into real detail and Mikami has to work through all the police politics and office machinations to try and solve the case, not helped by a press pack that is baying for blood as the police are refusing to name the driver in a traffic accident. Time is against Mikami and not only time as the drama unfolds and the reader becomes more and more involved in the story. Six Four makes for compulsive reading.

I found reading this enthralling crime drama that you need to concentrate on for most of the storyline, as you can easily get confused with the great detail, this may not be for everyone’s taste in reading but what it lacks in pure investigation technique it sure makes up in its richness as far as characters are concerned and incredible detail. This is not a pure and simple who done it crime novel there is so much more to Six Four. It is one of those incredible novels that the more you put in the more the reader will get out of it. This is not just any crime novel it is a seriously deep and thoughtful crime novel that rewards the reader.

Six Four by Hideo Yokoyama was released on 3 March by Riverrun (Quercus Books). Available through Waterstones and all good bookshops.

 

Keep You Close by Lucie Whitehouse

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Keep You Close by Lucie Whitehouse

The Last Word Review

 A tense gripping psychological thriller. Accident or intentional? Prepare to be sleep deprived.

 

You know you have an outstanding thriller in your hands when the book starts and you just cannot leave it alone and that you want to keep going deep into the night. Lucie Whitehouse’s latest Keep You Close does just that. It is gripping and a true psychological thriller.

Marianne Glass has been found dead in the garden of her home and at first it does appear that she took her own life by jumping from the roof and her close friend Rowan Winter receives the telephone call. Despite being close friends while growing up it has been some years since they last spoke. Question is, was Marianne’s death a tragic accident or is there something more sinister behind her death. The news has hit Rowan pretty hard despite the time that has gone since they last saw each other. Their lives went in separate ways since their younger days with Marianne going on to be a very successful artist.

What Rowan cannot believe is that Marianne took her own life, why would she, it does not make any sense. Marianne had everything to live for plus a critical point that Rowan knew from their younger days is that Marianne suffered badly from vertigo. There is detail of episodes of depression that her close friend suffered has suffered in the past with.

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The following day Rowan receives a written message in the post from Marianne that sparks Rowan into thinking that there is someone else responsible for her friend’s death.

 

As Rowan starts to look deeper into her friends past she starts to uncover a past, and the more she looks the darker Marianne’s past looks, just who does Rowan trust, what really happened to Rowan and Marianne’s friendship that caused it to fracture ten-years previous, they were so close growing up.

Some of the characters we meet in Keep You Close are the sort of people you would think twice about but here you want to get to know them as they are all part of the storyline and make for real intrigue. With the story moving back and forth we also get a real insight to the two friends and just how close they really were, cleverly weaved into the story as flashbacks.

The story also looks at various themes including deep friendships the trust and the bond that goes with it also the secrets that close friends tell to each other. Rowan is a really intriguing character and I became fascinated by her. The surprises keep coming in this haunting and psychological thriller. Just a warning this latest from Lucie Whitehouse will deprive of your sleep. You have been warned.

My thanks to Ellen Williams from Bloomsbury Publishing for a review copy.

Keep You Close by Lucie Whitehouse was released on 10 March by Bloomsbury Circus and is available in all good bookshops as well as download for Kindle.

 

Jakob’s Colours by Lindsay Hawdon

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Jakob’s Colours by Lindsay Hawdon

 The Last Word Review

 A story that will break your heart in two but also gives hope. A beautifully written book that demands to be read.

 Over the last year or so I have been privileged and at the same time trusted in reviewing books on the Holocaust a subject that is close to my heart.

One aspect of the Holocaust that is less often spoken about is the gypsy Holocaust it is estimated that over a million European gypsies were murdered in death camps as a result of the Nazi persecution of the gypsy and Romany populations, as the laws passed in Berlin that applied to all Jews at the same time they also applied to others groups including the gypsy populations and so it began the ‘Porajmos’

Many books have been written on the Holocaust both fiction and non-fiction and now adding to the list comes Jakob’s Colours by Lindsay Hawdon in what is an important addition the historical fiction accounts of the Holocaust.

The story centres around an eight-year-old half-blood gypsy boy called Jakob who is fleeing the Nazi tyranny. It is Austria 1944 Jakob is clutching his only possessions which include a pebble and a box. Jakob is hiding in the woods he is alone so very along and frightened.

The book is divided into the current as we find Jakob running and hiding and the past and we meet his mother Lor and father Yavy the story weaves back and forth between Switzerland and then to 1920’s Somerset, which helps build the story and how we get to the current time where Jakob is running. The story of Jakob’s parents I found fascinating and gave a real insight into how their lives came to be and how they found themselves in Austria. Sadness grows as the reader already knows what history is about to unleash on the family.

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This is slow starting story but that is not a negative it is purely the writing style of Hawdon that that at times is poetic and also builds a story that just captures the reader. At times especially as you move further into the story it will break your heart as we read in detail and will shock some readers as the Nazis start rounding up the gypsy populations, deeply harrowing as we read of the shocking violence that took place.

As much as this is deeply heart-breaking and harrowing story we must seek hope where there is no hope and colour where there is no colour.  This is poignant and will challenge the reader and for some will uncover a part of history that they may never have knew about.

At the end of the Second World War trials took place at Nuremburg and those still alive were prosecuted for War Crimes against humanity. To the shame of those prosecuting the Nazis they ignored the gypsy Holocaust and it was not until the mid-1990’s that any form of commemoration took place.

I commend Lindsay Hawdon on a brave, haunting and important debut novel that tells of little-known part of history.

Thank you to Hodder & Stoughton and Bookbridgr for a review copy.

Jakob’s Colours by Lindsay Hawdon published by Hodder and Stoughton is available through all good bookshops.

Mothering Sunday by Graham Swift

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Mothering Sunday by Graham Swift

 The Last Word Review

Tantalizing and sensual, Graham Swift’s novella is a moving account of life, love and death. Deeply engrossing

 The beauty of Graham Swift’s new novel Mothering Sunday is that it is set on a single day set in a small village outside of London in 1924. A country still coming to terms with the brutality of the First World War.

Jane Fairchild is in domestic service as a housemaid, already with her own family but has embarked on an illicit affair with Paul Sheringham, Jane is in love with Paul. It is Mothering Sunday and housemaids are given the day off. As she is an Orphan and with no Mother to visit she goes to visit Paul. What Jane already knows is that Paul being a wealthy landowner is already engaged to a wealthy lady of similar standing. So this could well be the last time they share a bed together before Paul is married. Does this deter Jane, not in the slightest. After they have finished making love Paul dresses as he has to meet his future wife at a restaurant. It is while Paul is heading off Jane wanders around the big house naked, completely un-noticed, but what if she is noticed what would follow. Remember this is 1929. You have the feeling during this part of the story that the air is crackling with sexual tension, they have both been secret lovers for years. But Jane knows that because of her social standing they can never be together forever.

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Unknown to Jane a tragic accident has occurred involving Paul on route to Henley and from this moment the story takes on a new meaning.

With Jane now alone she spends a lot of her time thinking. As the story flits back and forth we obtain an understanding of times long past. This is a story of sexual attraction knowing that there will be an end to the affair there has to be as Jane is just a housemaid.

What does become of plain Jane, later in life she becomes a successful author a writer of a number of novels.

Mothering Sunday is a short story of 139 pages in length but it is a stylish and wonderfully crafted novel that at times will make your reading glasses mist up. A book that you can read in its entirety in an afternoon and then re-read to absorb the evocative story line.

Mothering Sunday by Graham Swift is published by Scribner and available through all good bookshops.

 

But You Did Not Come Back by Marceline Loridan-Ivens

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But You Did Not Come Back by Marceline Loridan-Ivens

 

The Last Word Review

Critically acclaimed memoir of a Holocaust survivor. Utterly devastating first-hand account. A book that must be read

 Once in a while a book comes along that leaves you totally speechless and will make you think about your own existence.

But You Did Not Come Back by Marceline Loridan-Ivens is a book that has become an international best-seller and deserves to be read by everyone for here is a devastating first-hand account of surviving the Holocaust.

Marceline Loridan-Ivens was only 15 when she along with her father was arrested in their home in France and sent to Auschwitz. Only Marceline would survive.

Although only 112 pages in length this is an astonishing memoir of such incredible testimony that is so beautifully written yet will touch your inner most soul when you have read it. But You Did Not Come Back is a letter written as a letter from Marceline to her father both were separated within the camp her father was sent to Auschwitz and Marceline to Birkenau they were so very close in proximity yet they might have been separated by hundreds of miles because in the year she spent in the death camp she saw her father only briefly twice.

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This is a deeply personal letter of love to the father she adored yet she has a story to tell and wants the world to share in this letter. She loved her father so much that one quote stands out in the book ‘I was happy to be deported with you’ he open letter is beautiful in its own way even poetic.

Her father managed to persuade an electrician to smuggle a short note to Marceline, although the letter was lost she has not forgot this note that at the time brought hope in a time of total despair when you never knew if it was going to survive the day.

But You Did Not Come Back is a letter of survival, even though she survived Birkenau the memories still remain and yet both her brother and sister took their own lives because of the death camps that haunted them affected so much yet they were never in Auschwitz. Marceline survived and was reunited with her mother and remaining family she could not relate her experiences with anyone and this makes for painful reading as she tries to come to terms that her much loved father was never to come home. Her mother unable to grasp her experiences wants Marceline to leave her memories to the past and move on in her life. Marceline is totally alone and has to deal with the memories in her own way her recollections of the year in Birkenau are startling especially when she comes face to face with Josef Mengele himself and the guilt she feels as a survivor.

But You Did Not Come Back is beautifully written and translated and is an important testimony of the horrors of the death camps that was Auschwitz and Birkenau. A story I for one will never forget.

Thank you to Faber & Faber for a review copy.

But You Did Not Come Back by Marceline Loridan-Ivens and is published by Faber and Faber and available from all good bookshops.

The Other Side of the Mountain by Fiona Cane

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The Other Side of the Mountain by Fiona Cane

 

 The Last Word Review

Set amongst the backdrop of poverty and political desperation. An exhilarating and beautifully told story

 Haiti is the setting for Fiona Cane’s fourth novel The Other Side of the Mountain. We find three women in a country that is ripped apart by desperation, unbelievable poverty and a country in a political quagmire. Set in 2001 this was before the devastating earthquake of 2010.

We find the three women namely Yolande, Clare and Maddy. All three women driven by a motive, Yolande searching for the sister that her abusive father sold and ended up in slavery, for Clare trying to bury her past by helping the women of Haiti who are oppressed, then there is Maddy a journalist now on her first assignment, trying to create a career for herself.

The Other Side of the Mountain is an outstandingly beautiful novel and I was completely captivated by the sheer beauty of the story being set out before me.

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All three women are carrying a painful past yet drawn to this country for a reason and each of the main characters are just wonderfully portrayed and you have a real empathy for each of them despite the language and culture differences you get a real sense of being there. Yet all three women face real challenges and danger while in Haiti.

What come through this story is the incredibly way in which Fiona Cane writes about the women and the country of Haiti the sights the sounds, sadly it is not all post card story telling. The story of Yolande is heart-breaking as what she and her family went through is very much the norm, Cane does not hold back from the sheer brutality as we get to read about the atrocities that were taking place almost daily. This was an era of political instability that creates the poverty that the people of Haiti had to endure, imagine if you can 50% of the population at that time living on $1 a day forced to sleep standing up and children living on the streets trying to earn money. The sheer brutality and injustice is nothing short of appalling and makes difficult reading through the book.

An incredible story that I cannot recommend highly enough. The Other Side of the Mountain is an incredible story that can be described as a seminal piece of work for Fiona Cane as she has been drawn back to Haiti earlier this year. Which you can read more about via her blog on her website Here It is worth reading.

As much as I am a little late to reviewing Fiona Cane’s fourth novel it was well worth the wait.

My sincere thanks to Fiona Cane for a review copy.

The Other Side of the Mountain written by Fiona Cane was published on 11 June 2015 by Create Space Independent Publishing.

At the Edge of the Orchard by Tracy Chevalier

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At the Edge of the Orchard by Tracy Chevalier

Official Blog Tour 2016 and Publication Day event

 

Meet the Author

Q&A

Tracy Chevalier

 

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In the latest in a series of Meet the Author Interviews I talk Tracy Chevalier about her latest book At the Edge of the Orchard which is published today.

You have been described as undertaking the writing equivalent of ‘method acting’ in your research. How much research did you have to undertake for the different historical settings in the book, and also in the specialist jobs & skills the characters in the book have (such as grafting techniques)?

I always do a lot of research. This time I read a lot about apples, visited an apple farm and picked apples, talked to experts. I admit though that I didn’t graft any trees! I did plant a couple of apple trees in our garden. One died, and I replaced it with a Pitmaston Pineapple tree – which if you read the book you’ll discover is an interesting old apple variety that tastes faintly of pineapple.

How difficult did you find it to write in the traditional dialect in the sections told from the viewpoint of Sadie and the letters that feature throughout the book and what materials did you use to get a flavour of the local dialect of that time?

You know, I didn’t really research this, I just wrote it by feel. Most of the rest of the book (apart from the letters) are in third person, but the extreme character of Sadie demanded that she tell her own story – a third-person narration would tame her too much. Her voice came out complete. She is her own person, with her own dialect.

The letters are more standard, though I had a lot of fun playing with Robert’s spelling as he slowly learns to write. He is still very understated, however, and I played with that too. Sometimes what a character doesn’t say reveals more than what they do.

This novel is set in your native America and the idea of the American Dream is inherent throughout, how effected by the American setting is Robert’s story of running away from his roots and choosing to be different from his past?

This book really is about the American Dream – the idea that there is a place (in this instance, Goldrush California) where you can leave your past behind, start over, and make something of yourself. That idea came with the Goldrush, where a few people did fish out nuggets of gold from California rivers and become wealthy. For most, though, miners didn’t find that easy fix. Robert goes there too, and realises his past is still with him, no matter how far west he runs.

As your novel Girl with the Pearl Earring was turned into a film starring Colin Firth and Scarlett Johansson, are there any particular actors or actresses you could see playing the adult Robert and Martha Goodenough from At the Edge of the Orchard?

Ah, I love this sort of question. Often during tedious or difficult periods of writing, I’ll entertain myself with such thoughts. Except with this book. Oddly enough, I never thought about casting Robert or Martha – even though I still had difficult moments during the writing. Thinking now…Robert would need to be a maverick, like Paul Dano. Martha: very hard, as she needs to be small and frail and about as unlike modern Hollywood actresses as you can get.

What authors do you like to read and why? What book or books have had a strong influence on you or your writing?

I read all kinds of books: literary and commercial, obscure and bestsellers. I tend to gravitate towards contemporary British and American women writers – reading who I am myself, I guess. (How boring of me!) Restoration by Rose Tremain had a big effect on me. I read it when I did an MA in creative writing at the University of East Anglia, and Rose was my tutor. I think it was the first contemporary historical novel I read, and it showed me how it could be done – that you could take something like the restoration of Charles II to the throne and tell it differently, from the point of view of a normal person, that history could be about the “little people”. That is what Girl with a Pearl Earring ended up being.

 

The Last Word Review

At the Edge of the Orchard by Tracy Chevalier

‘The brutal realities of a pioneering family in the 19th Century. A beautifully written story’

Not having previously reviewed any of Tracy Chevalier’s previous books I was delighted to have At the Edge of the Orchard arrive on my desk in early February. The setting for her eighth novel is Ohio in 1838 and the Black Swamp where James and Sadie Goodenough have made their home planting apple trees but no ordinary apples. These are sweet ‘eaters’ but as you can imagine life is incredibly hard and swamp fever and poverty takes its toll on James and Sadie’s children.

While James tends to his beloved apples trees trying to grow the requisite 50 trees that will secure their right to the land while James looks after his apple trees Sadie gets drunk on applejack cider made from ‘spitters’ and is somewhat abusive to their remaining children and her husband. This will have a profound affect in the years that follow.

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The story moves back and forth to California fifteen years later to 1853 and to their younger son Robert who was drifting in out of jobs in ranching and gold-mining only to find himself later back among trees but these are not apples there are the Giant Sequoia trees, Robert seems to have found his peace to come good then he meets the plant collector William Lobb who is collecting seeds and plants to send back to England. Soon there are differences between what Robert is doing and how far man should go in interfering with mother nature.

There does however remain the one question that seems to hang over Robert Goodenough, what drove him away from the family home. Is he trying to escape the past? I found Robert to be an odd fellow not really sure of himself and someone who was constantly looking over his shoulder. I was never at ease with this character constantly restless never ease in relationships of any kind. Soon however the past will catch up with Robert Goodenough.

This is a superbly written novel that highlights graphically the harshness of the time and the struggles of those early settlers trying to make a life for themselves in the Black Swamp.

The characters I found interesting but at the same time difficult. But I put that down to the skill of Tracy Chevaliers writing and a new fan has been gained. You cannot help take in the aroma of the sweet apples as it oozes from every page.

My thanks to Hayley Camis at Harper Fiction for an advanced review copy ahead of publication.

At the Edge of the Orchard written by Tracy Chevalier and is released today by The Borough Press.

At the Edge of the Orchard by Tracy Chevalier Official Blog Tour 2016 Dates 

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When Breath Becomes Air by Paul Kalanithi

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When Breath Becomes Air by Paul Kalanithi

The Last Word Review

Written from the heart this book is not just about dying but also about life and how live it

 

For anyone who has lost loved ones to Cancer picking up When Breath Becomes Air by Paul Kalanithi to read may be a difficult choice to make. But I would like you to take a few moments and read on before you decide not to read the book.

Already previously released in the United States and now a best-seller there, this hit the UK book shops just a few weeks ago. This is deeply passionate and written from the heart story from Paul Kalanithi after he was diagnosed with Cancer. An extremely talented and renowned neurosurgeon, with a deep passion for literature, poetry and the arts.

When Breath Becomes Air is basically a book in two halves with the first half talking about his studies and high honours at Yale School of Medicine. Paul also talks of his love of literature and poetry and how this helped shape his life. But for Paul the calling of medicine was strong and the need to learn were life meets death and everything in-between. After becoming a student doctor life became incredibly hard when in residency his relationship with his wife Lucy struggled with the enormous workload and hours before him. Paul Kalanithi was diagnosed with inoperable lung cancer at the age of 36 a man with everything to live for and even now just about to qualify as a neurosurgeon. With Paul and Lucy trying to find a way of having a life outside of work and planning for a family their world was shattered.

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Lucy and Paul with their daughter Cady

As the book moves into the second half Paul discusses the treatment and coping with what lies ahead not just for him but those left behind. This is aspect of When Breath Becomes Air is sobering and written with such incredible prose despite the incredible suffering and pain Paul must have been in. When you start to evaluate the life you have lived and the time you have left every moment becomes more precious than you ever thought. As Paul wrote in the book ‘Doctors. It turns out, need hope too’

There is a quote in this part of the book that says ‘We are never so wise as when we live in this moment’ it may not have been written by Paul himself but this has stayed with me since finishing the book.

The final eight months of Paul’s life may have been the happiest as he and Lucy rediscover just how much they loved each other and two became three with the arrival of their baby daughter something they had been hoping for and filled Paul with ‘Joy’.

Paul succumbed to cancer on 9 March 2015 at the age of 37 with his wife Lucy beside him. When Breath Becomes Air is not just about death it is a celebration of life in fact it is very much life affirming.

Sadly, Paul never got to see his book published and it is his wife Lucy who writes the final words with such beauty and eloquence that it brought tears to my eyes. A wonderful man who fought his illness with such dignity and fortitude.

Life seems very different since reading this truly outstanding book. I cannot recommend it highly enough.

Thank you to Vintage Books for a NetGalley review copy.

When Breath Becomes Air written by Paul Kalanithi. Published by Bodley Head on 4 February and is available through all good bookshops.

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Bone by Bone by Sanjida Kay

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Bone by Bone by Sanjida Kay

 

The Last Word Review

Gripping psychological debut thriller. One book that you will not want to put down

A sign of a good thriller is normally the opening paragraph that will grab the reader attentions and with Sanjida Kay’s debut thriller Bone by Bone this achieves that. ‘It wasn’t until the train went past that she saw the small body lying in the long grass by the side of the wood’. Frome this moment you are caught up in a gripping story that will not let you go until the very last moment of the book.

What we are presented with is a story of Laura and her daughter Autumn. As you start reading you get to understand that Autumn is having problems at School and a classic case of bullying. Like any mother Laura has been worried about her daughter fitting in at her new School, how is she coping and is she mixing with the other kids. Pretty quickly it becomes clear that Autumn has been targeted by a boy who just will not give up.

The story as it unfolds is totally gripping and the sheer terror is palpable at every turn of the page. At one point Laura comes face to face with the boy and something goes very wrong. As much you feel for Laura and I showed great empathy with her at the moment and many will. Laura herself knows she has done wrong and now she is scared and worried and for good reason.

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Like any mother she would do anything and everything to protect her daughter but how far would you go? Something that I think Bone by Bone will ask the reader. It is psychological in its approach because the reader is being pulled into the story and the sheer tension and anguish is there page by page.

Bullying as we know is not just in its physical sense but also the cyber bullying can also play a devastating role here and that is explored as well as friendships that get tested. At one point I was asking the book ‘just what are friends for’.

The one aspect of the book I really enjoyed was the alternating narrative between mother and daughter and you have then a real sense of first hand at the thoughts and just what poor Autumn was going through. I felt for her as no child should ever have to suffer bullying of any kind so it is so pleasing to be able to tell you that Sanjida Kay has decided to donate a percentage of the profits of Bone by Bone to the anti-bullying charity Kidscape

I must admit that Bone by Bone caught my attention during the autumn of last year and had to wait very patiently for a review copy to arrive and it sat on my desk just daring me to pick it up and start reading. I was hooked from the very start. This really is a tense twisting psychological thriller that creeps under your skin and stays there. Bone by Bone must be read with the lights switched on and ignore that knock on the door.

My thanks to both Sanjida Kay and the publishers Corvus for an Advanced Review Copy.

Bone by Bone written by Sanjida Kay and published by Corvus is released today 3 March 2016 and available through all good book shops.

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