Books · Fiction · Historical Fiction · Netgalley · Review

#BookReview : Fools and Mortals by @BernardCornwell : published by @HarperCollins

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“Fools and Mortals” by Bernard Cornwell. Published by Harper Collins. Publication date 19th October 2017.

Synopsis:

A dramatic new departure for international bestselling author Bernard Cornwell, FOOLS AND MORTALS takes us into the heart of the Elizabethan era, long one of his favourite periods of British history.

Fools and Mortals follows the young Richard Shakespeare, an actor struggling to make his way in a company dominated by his estranged older brother, William. As the growth of theatre blooms, their rivalry – and that of the playhouses, playwrights and actors vying for acclaim and glory – propels a high-stakes story of conflict and betrayal.

Showcasing his renowned storyteller’s skill, Bernard Cornwell has created an Elizabethan world incredibly rich in its portrayal: you walk the London streets, stand in the palaces and are on stage in the playhouses, as he weaves a remarkable story in which performances, rivalries and ambition combine to form a tangled web of intrigue.

My thoughts:

Set in Elizabethan England, at a time when static playhouses are still in their infancy, as the days of players touring the country will gradually decline.  The story focuses on one playhouse and it’s players known as the Lord Chamberlain’s Men.  It is here where the reader in introduced to Richard, a small time actor who has followed his estranged brother to London.  His brother is the script writer William Shakespeare and scripts are becoming a valuable commodity.  Because the audiences are now going to the playhouse then there is a need for more plays.  It is at this time that William is creating A Midsummer Nights’ Dream and also Romeo and Juliet.

Richard is where the focus of this story lies, we are told why and how he decided to follow his older brother to London as well as his experiences of acting, living and social conditions  This is at a time when the playhouses are being targeted by the Pursuivants, who have the belief that what they the players do is all a lie, cheat and are generally considered to be rogues and criminals, luckily for us Queen Elizabeth and other notable aristocracy of the time were big supporters and so we have access to theatres today.

This is a really good read with a lot of historical research.  Cornwell is well-known for his historical fiction books, they tend to be more battle based.  This is a shift away from that style, this is has a real different feel to his previous works.  It is lighter and entertaining, but still shows the huge amount of research as his other books.  There are many characters to get to know, but once that is done the story becomes very addictive and a page turner.

Cromwell has included a very interesting “Historical Notes” addition at the end of the book, here he discusses the origins of the playhouse as well as the historical figure he has used in the story.

If like me you like historical fiction genres, then this is a book I would recommend.  It has a great cast of characters, that will lead the reader through jealous rivalries, romance, betrayal as well as having some great historical content.  I would like to thank NetGalley and Harper Collins for my eARC copy of this book.  My views expressed are my own and are unbiased.

Book Details:

  • ISBN: 9780007504114
  • Imprint: HarperCollins
  • On Sale: 19/10/2017
  • Format: Hardcover
  • Pages: 384

Links:

Author Website

Harper Collins UK

Purchase from :  Harper CollinsAmazon UK   | Amazon US

About the Author:

1227 Born in Essex in 1944 Bernard Cornwell was adopted at the age of six weeks by two members of a strict fundamentalist sect called the Peculiar People. He grew up in a household that forbade alcohol, cigarettes, dances, television, conventional medicine and toy guns. Not surprisingly, he developed a fascination for military adventure. As a teenager he devoured CS Forester’s Hornblower novels and tried to enlist three times. Poor eyesight put paid to his dream, instead he went to university to read theology. On graduating, he became a teacher, then joined BBC’s Nationwide, working his way up the ladder to become head of current affairs at BBC Northern Ireland, then editor of Thames News. In 1979, his life changed when he fell in love with an American.

Judy couldn’t live here, so I gave up my job and moved to the US. I couldn’t get a green card, and for 18 months the only thing I could do was write novels. The result was his first book about 19th century hero, Richard Sharpe, Sharpe’s Eagle.

Today he has 20 Sharpe adventures behind him, plus a series about the American Civil War, the Starbuck novels; an enormously successful trilogy about King Arthur, The Warlord Chronicles; the Hundred Years War set Grail Quest series; and his current series about King Alfred.

Bernard Cornwell owns houses in Cape Cod and Florida and two boats. Every year he takes two months off from his writing and spends most of his time on his 24 foot Cornish crabber, Royalist.

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Books · Netgalley · Review

#BookReview : Seven Suspects by Renee James : @ReneeJAuthor @oceanviewpub

7suspects

My Thoughts:

This story is set in Chicago and involves Bobbi Logan, a successful business woman and owner of Salon L’Elegance.  Originally born a man, but went through gender transition to become the woman she is now.  The story is told through Bobbi, she has a tough life as a woman, having to deal with bullying, bigotry and people’s ignorance as well as having t deal with the process of being a rape victim.  When Bobbi realises she is being stalked, her paranoia and insecurities are evident.  But with assistance from her ex-wife Betsey, her best friend Cecelia and the help of her ex boyfriend Phil a policeman, they start work out who it could be.  They come up with a list of six names between them that could have a possible grudge.  Bobbi has an ability to annoy people, it’s a trait that she cannot seem to control.

I admit to being intrigued by this book when I requested it via Netgalley, the synopsis seemed a little bit different from most stories I normally read.  But by the end I felt a little deflated, the characters were reasonably well described and the setting descriptions were okay.  I think however the pacing of the story just didn’t quite feel quite right for me, it felt like it had a more laid back ambling feel to it when I was expecting something a little faster given the subject matter. I would also like to point out , that towards the end of the book that there is some violence that does not make very nice reading, and I did skim through those parts.  I am not going into detail about what this was about, but if I had been aware of the inclusion of this I would not have requested the book. This is a book that describes how life as a transgender woman has to deal with living a normal life.  It gives some examples of how dealing with humiliation, ignorance and bullying on a regular basis for being different is like.  In some ways this aspect of the story stood out more that the main plot itself.

I would like to take the opportunity to thank Netgalley and Oceanview Publishing for my copy of this book.  My thoughts are my own and are honest and unbiased.

Description:

About the Author:
renne
Renee James is the pen name of a Chicago-area transgender writer. She is a Vietnam veteran, licensed hairdresser, and wilderness adven­turer. Before becoming an award-winning novelist, she was a decorated magazine editor and writer, and a successful entrepreneur. Her first novel, Coming Out Can Be Murder (republished as Transition to Murder) was the 2012 Chicago Writers Association Indie Book of the Year and a bronze medalist in ForeWord Book Reviews, LGBT category.
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Books · Historical Fiction · Historical Romance · Netgalley · Review

#BookReview : A Pearl For My Mistress by Annabel Fielding : @DearestAnnabel :@HQDigitalUK

Pearl for my

My Thoughts:

I found this book very interesting on many levels.  It begins as Hester Blake makes her way to Hebden Hall to work as a lady’s maid to Lady Lucy Fitzmartin, the daughter of the estate owners.  This is set in the era of The Wall Street Crash, it’s affects are felt globally and because of this, many large estates have reduced staff and sell off outlying estate lands.  The employment of Hester therefore is unusual, but it is a way of Lucy’s parents to trying to keep her on track.  Lucy supplements her allowance by writing for periodicals of the time and has a slightly different outlook on life compared to her parents. Hester has a love of books, so there is a natural starting point for a friendship between Hester and Lucy.  As their friendship grows so then do their feelings for each other.

Set in the 1930’s in Hebden Hall, London and then Melton Mowbray.  An era of The British Union of Fascists, or Blackshirts, with their leader Oswald Mosley and his marches and rallies are in the news.  There are divided opinions for his movement and there are often public clashes, during this time the difference of viewpoint is shared between the Lucy and Hester.  The story also encompasses several other elements, apart from the political aspects and the  romantic side.  The difference between class and social structure is addressed, a comparison is drawn via the two women, Lucy and Hester, the differences between upstairs and downstairs, as well as Lucy’s opinion of Hester .

I thought the story was enjoyable, but for me it was the historical side I enjoyed more than the romantic side, the romance was good and well written.  I thought the characters of Hester and Lucy were very well-developed, the author managed to portray the condescending attitude that Lucy has towards Hester extremely well, it was a good way of showing the differences between class at the time.  Other characters were memorable and had a good range of traits to make them distinctive and identifiable.

This is a book I would recommend to readers of Historical Fiction and Romantic Fiction genres.  It was a very enjoyable, well researched and well written read.

I would like to thank HQ Digital UK and NetGalley for my copy of this book and also to Annabel Fielding for bringing it to my attention.  My opinion given here is my own, it is honest and unbiased.

 

Synopsis:

A story of class, scandal and forbidden passions in the shadow of war. Perfect for fans of Iona Grey, Gill Paul and Downtown Abbey.

England, 1934. Hester Blake, an ambitious girl from an industrial Northern town, finds a job as a lady’s maid in a small aristocratic household.

Despite their impressive title and glorious past, the Fitzmartins are crumbling under the pressures of the new century. And in the cold isolation of these new surroundings, Hester ends up hopelessly besotted with her young mistress, Lady Lucy.

Accompanying Lucy on her London Season, Hester is plunged into a heady and decadent world. But hushed whispers of another war swirl beneath the capital… and soon, Hester finds herself the keeper of some of society’s most dangerous secrets…

Book Details:

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 1099 KB
  • Print Length: 384 pages
  • Publisher: HQ Digital (9 Aug. 2017)
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B072TRSNL3
To Buy : Amazon UK

 

About The Author:

Annabel Fielding

History geek, travel blogger, tea aficionado. Can be reached on anastasyarydaeva@mail.ru

 

 

Author Links |Website | Twitter |

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Books · Fiction · Netgalley · Non Fiction · Review

#BookReview : Red Famine: Stalin’s War on the Ukraine by @anneapplebaum @PenguinUKBooks

Red Famine.png

My thoughts:

This is a well laid out book that covers a very large and important piece of Russian and Ukranian history .  It is very compelling reading and I think would be an invaluable book for those who want to know more regarding this area.

I know very little about the Ukraine and the atrocities that were committed upon it and it’s people.  I have vague memories from very generalised history lessons at school as a teenager. But now, after reading this account of events, I am aware of the depths people have gone to, to achieve power.

For me, this book seems to be a very comprehensive account of the Ukraine between the years of 1917-1934.  It discusses how the rich, fertile soil made for the ideal conditions of growing grain, it then follows through the history to tell how Ukraine wanted to become autonomous of the Imperial Russian Empire, this is something that Russia did not want to happen, due to it’s reliance on Ukraine being a valuable food provider.  It is quite disturbing how the peasants from Ukraine are seen by Russia, they are viewed as worthless , their culture and language to be ignored under the overpowering Russian rule and how they were persecuted beyond belief.  This book goes through the chronology of events that include a huge and and vast amount of bloodshed and atrocities.

As I said this is comprehensive, there is a huge amount of information and it also includes sources.  It discusses the politics, revolts and fighting for the power to rule a country, and what methods were employed to maintain the power for as long as possible during a time of huge unrest.

This is a book I have found quite hard to review due to the vast amount of detail.  There is so much detail I could include, but I have decided to limit myself.  What I really want to say is “Just go and buy this book, you will not be disappointed” 

I would highly recommend this book to Historical and Factual readers, and especially for those with an interest in Europe, Russia and Ukraine.

I would like to thank NetGalley and Penguin UK for allowing me a copy of this book.  My opinion is honest, unbiased and is my own.

Synopsis:

The momentous new book from the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of Gulag and Iron Curtain. In 1932-33, nearly four million Ukrainians died of starvation, having been deliberately deprived of food. It is one of the most devastating episodes in the history of the twentieth century. With unprecedented authority and detail, Red Famine investigates how this happened, who was responsible, and what the consequences were. It is the fullest account yet published of these terrible events. The book draws on a mass of archival material and first-hand testimony only available since the end of the Soviet Union, as well as the work of Ukrainian scholars all over the world. It includes accounts of the famine by those who survived it, describing what human beings can do when driven mad by hunger. It shows how the Soviet state ruthlessly used propaganda to turn neighbours against each other in order to expunge supposedly ‘anti-revolutionary’ elements. It also records the actions of extraordinary individuals who did all they could to relieve the suffering. The famine was rapidly followed by an attack on Ukraine’s cultural and political leadership – and then by a denial that it had ever happened at all. Census reports were falsified and memory suppressed. Some western journalists shamelessly swallowed the Soviet line; others bravely rejected it, and were undermined and harassed. The Soviet authorities were determined not only that Ukraine should abandon its national aspirations, but that the country’s true history should be buried along with its millions of victims. Red Famine, a triumph of scholarship and human sympathy, is a milestone in the recovery of those memories and that history. At a moment of crisis between Russia and Ukraine, it also shows how far the present is shaped by the past.

Book Details:

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 49778 KB
  • Print Length: 470 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0385538855

 

About The Author:

Anne Applebaum

Anne Applebaum is a journalist, a historian and the author of several books about the Soviet Union and central Europe. Her most recent book, “Iron Curtain: The Crushing of Eastern Europe, 1944-1956” was a finalist for the National book Award and won the Cundill Prize for Historical Literature. “Gulag: A History” won the 2003 Pulitzer Prize for Non-Fiction. Her writing appears regularly in the Washington Post, Slate, the New York Review of Books and the Spectator, as well as Foreign Affairs, Foreign Policy, the New Yorker and many other journals. She first reported from Poland in 1989, and still lives there part of the time with her husband, Radek Sikorski, a Polish politician and writer. She is also the author of a cookbook, “From a Polish Country House Kitchen” and a travelogue, “Between East and West.”

 

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Books · Netgalley · Psychological Thriller · Review

#BookReview : Good Me Bad Me by @byAliLand

Good Me, Bad Me
My Thoughts:
I have seen this book around for a little while, and it has been one of those books I have been meaning to pick up, but never quite got around to.  Now, however, I could slap myself silly for leaving it so long before reading it.  Read this in almost one sitting, I found it was that good.
This is about Milly, not her real name, she is the daughter of a child murderess.  It was Milly who gave her mother up to the police about the crimes being committed.  Milly is a vulnerable child, not feeling like she can fit in with anyone, and the voice of her mother constantly degrading her doesn’t help.
Under the care of Mike, a psychologist and his family, wife Saskia and daughter Phoebe, she finds a place that will give her some sort of normal family and also support.  The story is told from the viewpoint of Milly, it shows how she views people around her, and how she is not sure how to react or respond to situations.  A lot of her problems are put down to the trial of her mother that is looming, but is there more to her than that.  She seems to have a constant battle between what she should tell people and what she thinks they should be told.
This is a really clever book, psychological thriller from the viewpoint of a teenager.  At times it is difficult to read due to being in the head of a 15-year-old girl while she is describing some things that happened. The author goes into some detail as to Milly’s upbringing, and it has not been nice.  The manipulative mother and the following murders are always in the background, they hover between the pages. The characters are wonderful, unique and very identifiable, I found myself swinging between various emotions for most them.  Some were annoying, some needed a good shake and others were just plain bitchy.
I would definitely recommend this book for readers of psychological thrillers.
I would also like to express my thanks to NetGalley and Penguin UK – Michael Joseph  Publishers for my copy of this book.  My views expressed here are my own, they are honest and unbiased.
Synopsis:

Milly’s mother is a serial killer. Though Milly loves her mother, the only way to make her stop is to turn her in to the police. Milly is given a fresh start: a new identity, a home with an affluent foster family, and a spot at an exclusive private school.

But Milly has secrets, and life at her new home becomes complicated. As her mother’s trial looms, with Milly as the star witness, Milly starts to wonder how much of her is nature, how much of her is nurture, and whether she is doomed to turn out like her mother after all.

When tensions rise and Milly feels trapped by her shiny new life, she has to decide: Will she be good? Or is she bad? She is, after all, her mother’s daughter.

Book Details:
  • Paperback: 368 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin; 01 edition (10 Aug. 2017)
  • Language: English
  • Buy from : Amazon UK

About The Author:Ali Land

After graduating from university with a degree in Mental Health, Ali Land spent a decade working as a Child and Adolescent Mental Health Nurse in both hospitals and schools in the UK and Australia. Ali is now a full-time writer and lives in West London.

 

 

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Books · Crime / Mystery · Crime/Thriller · Netgalley · Psychological Thriller · Review

#BookReview : The Doll House by @Phoebe_A_Morgan : @HQDigitalUK

The Doll House
Expected Publication Date: 14th September 2017
 My Thoughts:
This is a story from the perspective of three characters, Ashley, Corinne and the mystery person.  The start of this story is a slow steady setting out of the lives of three main characters.  Ashley and Corinne are sisters and the mystery person is just that; a mystery, you are not given any details of identification, or any clues as to their part in the story for that matter.  Each chapter flits between the three characters and also Dominic, Corinne’s boyfriend.
We are led through the present day lives of the sisters, Ashley married to James, with three children, the youngest of which is incapable of sleeping for more than an hour,  leaving Ashley exhausted.  Corinne and Dominic are undergoing fertility treatment for the fourth time.  The third character’s story is told from years before and is peppered through the other chapters up to present day, it is a life that is dysfunctional, sad and lonely.
As the story progresses forward things start to happen and the pacing of it changes.  You suddenly begin to see plots within plots, and these have been very cleverly concealed within the story.  As these start to make themselves known, this is when you are really taken into the story, only then do you start to see the bigger picture.  The characters have been very well-developed, they are memorable, unique and easily recognisable. The author has very cleverly worked a very good plot throughout, only revealing her intentions for the outcome when absolutely necessary.
I read this book in two sittings, if I didn’t have to go to work I would have read it in one sitting.  This is a book for readers who like deep, twisted, manipulative and addictive psychological thrillers.
I would like to take the opportunity of thanking NetGalley and HQ Digital for my copy of this book.  My opinions are my own and are honest and unbiased.
Book Synopsis:

You never know who’s watching…

Corinne’s life might look perfect on the outside, but after three failed IVF attempts it’s her last chance to have a baby. And when she finds a tiny part of a doll house outside her flat, it feels as if it’s a sign.

But as more pieces begin to turn up, Corinne realises that they are far too familiar. Someone knows about the miniature rocking horse and the little doll with its red velvet dress. Someone has been inside her house…

How does the stranger know so much about her life? How long have they been watching? And what are they waiting for…?

Book Details:
  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 1444 KB
  • Print Length: 355 pages
  • Publisher: HQ Digital (14 Sept. 2017)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
About The Author:
Phoebe Morgan
Phoebe Morgan is an author and editor. She studied English at Leeds University after growing up in the Suffolk countryside. She has previously worked as a journalist and now edits crime and women’s fiction for a publishing house during the day, and writes her own books in the evenings. She lives in London and you can follow her on Twitter @Phoebe_A_Morgan. The Doll House is her debut novel.

 

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Books · Crime / Mystery · Crime/Thriller · Netgalley · Review

#BookReview | 99 Red Balloons by Elisabeth Carpenter @LibbyCPT @AvonBooksUK

cover99 Red Balloons

MY THOUGHTS:

A great debut book, full of suspense, lies, revenge and hope.

The song 99 Red Balloons links unknown characters to each other in this story, it is a song that reminds them of certain people, and at certain times in their lives. The story alternates mainly between Maggie and Stephanie as well as an unknown voices from a child, a man and a woman.  After a child is abducted, we are told of the events that occur after by Maggie and Stephanie.  Missing person reports circulate in newspapers, on television and on the internet, it opens old wounds for one particular family.

This is a very well written story with some really good dialogue scenes, I could actually hear the voices as I read.  The characters have been well developed and on the whole are memorable.  I did get a little confused in the beginning with the “unknown voices” chapters, as I had no idea who they were and they caught me a little unawares.  But as the author progressed with the story, it then becomes obvious to the reader, why these have been left nameless.  This is a definite stories with in stories book, the author has done a really good job of keeping them separate until absolutely necessary, she kept me guessing throughout.  These sub stories have given this book a really good depth and, it’s not until the author starts to pull the threads of the story together, do you then actually start to realise how deep and well thought out this story is.  I had jumped to conclusions early on, and was completely wrong on most of my them.  It is really nice to be blindsided as a reader, again it is down the ability of the author to lure you down one route of thought, when actually they have been distracting you.

This is a great start for this author on her debut novel, and this is an author I will be keeping an out for in the future. It is a book I would recommend to readers of a reasonably intense Thriller / Suspense genres.  Even though there are aspects of kidnap involved, it has not been done in a shocking or over the top way. The author has focused her writing on that of the family left waiting for news.  I would also recommend this to Reading Groups, there are many aspects of this story that would make for great group discussion points.

I would like to take this time to express my thanks to Netgalley and Avon Books UK for my eARC of this book.  My thoughts are my own and are honest and unbiased.

SYNOPSIS:

BOOK DETAILS:

EDITION
ISBN
PRICE

LINKS:

Elisabeth Carpenter on Twitter

Avon Books on Twitter

Buy on Amazon

MANY THANKS FOR READING MY POST.

 

Books · Netgalley · Review · Women's Fiction

#BookReview |The Art Of Hiding by @MrsAmandaProwse

The Art of Hiding by Amanda Prowse published by Lake Union Publishing due out 22nd August 2017.

Books · Crime / Mystery · Netgalley · Review

#BookReview : THE ROANOKE GIRLS by AMY ENGEL

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MY THOUGHTS:

Sometimes you get a book that you really think you will love, it has mixed reviews, the title and synopsis do their job by providing enough to pull you in.  Then you read the book.  This one left me a little deflated, it was not because I didn’t enjoy it because on the whole I did enjoy it.  But my confusion with this book is, the subject matter of the story is definitely aimed at adults, but the style of writing, I felt was more YA.

The plot of the story was very basic and disturbing, but due to the simplicity of the writing made it a quick read.  The main characters were memorable and well written to a point, but the dialogue again had more of a YA feel, sweeping generalised statements rather than more in-depth that I expected. The descriptions for the Osage Flats did give a good general feel for the area, and I really liked the picture the author built up for me in my head.

The reason for feeling a little deflated were I think, due to the lack of detailed explanations for various questions that arose during and after reading the book, I feel more exploration of family Friends dynamics could have been expanded more, rather that generalised statements.  The main idea or plot was given very early on and I did find myself working out the main culprit and reasons behind it quite quickly.

But all that being said, I did read the book very quickly, and did find it quite addictive.  I think because of the simplicity of the writing it held my attention, as I did not have to think about what I was reading too much.  If you take the adult theme out of the book, it would be ideal for YA readers. I am sure this will appeal to many readers who want a quick, shock read.

I would like to thank Netgalley and Hodder & Stoughton for my copy of this book for my honest and unbiased review.

SYNOPSIS:

Vowing to discover the fate of her missing cousin, a woman returns to her family’s Kansas estate where she spent one haunting summer as a teen, and where she discovered the dark heart of the Roanoke clan that left her no choice but to run.

Lane Roanoke is fifteen when she comes to live with her maternal grandparents and fireball cousin, Allegra, at the Roanoke family estate in rural Osage Flats, Kansas, following the suicide of her mother. Lane knows little of her mother’s family, other than the fact that her mother ran away years before and cut off all contact with her parents. Allegra, abandoned by her own mother at birth and raised by her grandparents, introduces Lane to small-town life and the benefits of being one of the rich and beautiful Roanoke girls. But there is darkness at the heart of the Roanoke family, and when Lane discovers its insidious pull she has no choice but to run, as far and as fast as she can.

Eleven years later, Lane is scraping by in Los Angeles when her grandfather calls with the news that Allegra has gone missing. “Come home,” he beckons. Unable to resist his pleas, Lane returns to Osage Flats, determined to find her cousin and assuage her own guilt at having left Allegra behind all those years ago. Her return might mean a second chance with Cooper, the boyfriend whom she loved and destroyed that fateful summer. But it also means facing the terrible secret that made her flee, one she may not be strong enough to run from again.

As it weaves between the summer of Lane’s first arrival and the summer of her return, The Roanoke Girls shocks and tantalizes, twisting its way through revelation after mesmerizing revelation, exploring the secrets families keep and the fierce and terrible love that both binds them together and rips them apart.

BOOK DETAILS:

 

  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Hodder Paperbacks (10 Aug. 2017)
  • Language: English
  • Amazon UK

 

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Blog · Books · Contemporary Fiction · Netgalley · Review

#BookReview | THE SCANDAL by Fredrik Backman published by @MichaelJBooks

The Scandal by [Backman, Fredrik]

MY THOUGHTS:

Based in Beartown.
Well this turned out to be a very surprising read based on how it started. There were a lot of characters, that at times left me feeling bombarded with a barrage of names, best friends names, their parents, parents careers, other adults and their positions, as well as other school friends. There was also a lot of narrative for the main characters, the groups they associated with, the town and it’s obsession with Ice-Hockey and the up coming semi-final match.

Then suddenly from out of nowhere, this book that I was struggling with, had me hooked. Because I had persevered with it initially, I then found I had a better understanding of the characters and their actions and reactions after “The Scandal” took place. Without this background, the story would just be a story about a town that plays ice hockey. But instead it is a whole lot more.

To summarise the story without giving anything away: The town lives and breathes for ice hockey, the pressure from sponsors, parents and supporters for the teenage boys ice hockey team to win is immense. The town is gradually dwindling, ice hockey is the one thing that gives them hope for future prospects. After an event occurs the town is in uproar, how dare anyone put their family before ice hockey! But the actions of a few individuals soon divides opinion and true colours are shown. The popularity of the best players and their parents is based on hockey, and because of this some people will always put hockey first. But others realise that their family and friends are the important things in life, they give the support and loyalty that will serve you well later in life.

As I said at the beginning, this book contains a lot of detail and narrative, but builds up some brilliant characters that are well-developed, especially once you get your head around them, as there are a lot. The narrative gives some great detail into the thoughts, ideas, dreams and hopes of the residents of Beartown.

I would recommend this book to readers of contemporary fiction, mystery, sports fiction. I would like to thank Netgalley and the publisher for my ARC of this book, in exchange for an honest and unbiased review.

SYNOPSIS

Beartown is a small town in a large Swedish forest.

For most of the year it is under a thick blanket of snow, experiencing the kind of cold and dark that brings people closer together – or pulls them apart.

Its isolation means that Beartown has been slowly shrinking with each passing year. But now the town is on the verge of an astonishing revival. Everyone can feel the excitement. Change is in the air and a bright new future is just around the corner.

Until the day it is all put in jeopardy by a single, brutal act. It divides the town into those who think it should be hushed up and forgotten, and those who’ll risk the future to see justice done. At last, it falls to one young man to find the courage to speak the truth that it seems no one else wants to hear.

With the town’s future at stake, no one can stand by or stay silent. Everyone is on one side or the other.

Which side would you be on?

BOOK DETAILS:

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 1488 KB
  • Print Length: 421 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0718186575
  • Publisher: Penguin (10 Aug. 2017)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English