Books · Contemporary Fiction · Review · Women's Fiction

#BookReview : Lost for Words by Stephanie Butland : @under_blue_sky

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Synopsis:

THIS BOOKSHOP KEEPS MANY SECRETS . . .

Loveday Cardew prefers books to people. If you look carefully, you might glimpse the first lines of the novels she loves most tattooed on her skin. But there are some things Loveday will never show you.

Into her refuge – the York book emporium where she works – come a poet, a lover, a friend, and three mysterious deliveries, each of which stirs unsettling memories.

Everything is about to change for Loveday. Someone knows about her past and she can’t hide any longer. She must decide who around her she can trust. Can she find the courage to right a heartbreaking wrong? And will she ever find the words to tell her own story?

It’s time to turn the pages of her past . . .

My thoughts: 

I would like to say a big thank you to Kelly Lacey and Joanne Baird of A LOVE OF BOOKS Facebook Group, they chose this as their September Book Club Pick, discussion night is on Thursday 28th September at 8 pm.  What a wonderful decision they made.

This book is set in York, in a book emporium.  Loveday Cardew is an employee with a secret.  She works with the flamboyant and larger than life Archie, who a couple of secrets of his own.  Loveday is a book person rather than a people person, but people are a means to an end regarding having a job.  She is a quiet, shy, reserved person who has been on a long journey in her life experiences.  It has been heartbreaking and has left her very vulnerable, with a slightly different outlook on life.  Over the course of the story we discover why this young lady tries to shun society, but finds a courage she never believed existed.  It will involve standing up to her memories and accepting them.

So the setting is a readers dream, the description of the shop is one a second-hand book shop lover will recognise very well.  Loveday is a wonderful character, it would be easy to think of her as a weak wishy-washy person, but actually the author has given her a very good uncompromising and strong character, it’s one that Loveday wouldn’t see in herself.  The shop is her refuge, her sanctuary against the outside population.  Books have been her armour and never let her down, well until she first met Archie, but that chink in her armour allowed something special in, a friendship.  A lost book also allows her to meet a rather confident poet.

I really want to say so much about this book, but do not want to spoil it for readers.  I hope that readers who come across this book will enjoy it to the same extent as I did.  The synopsis for it does not really give anything away, but what is contained within the cover is a very addictive story.  So addictive that I almost burnt the evening meal and  drank several forgotten about cold cups of coffee, this was my commitment to reading this book.

I would highly recommend this book to people who like a heartbreaking and heartwarming contemporary fiction read.  It is a book that would be great for discussion for reading groups, and included at the end of the book are a few questions to get you started.

 

Book Details:

  • Paperback: 368 pages
  • Publisher: Zaffre (20 April 2017)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1785762591
  • ISBN-13: 978-1785762598
  • Amazon Link

Author Bio:

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I’m a writer, and I’m thriving after breast cancer. (I used to say I was a survivor, but that was a bit lacking in joie de vivre.)
Although I’d never have chosen it, my dance with cancer has changed my life in many positive ways. Now I am happier, healthier, and more careful with my precious life and the precious people and things in it.

My writing career began with my dance with cancer, and now I’m  a novelist.

Aside from writing, I work as a speaker and trainer, and I work with charities to help raise awareness and money in the hope that cancer will soon be about as scary as a wart.

Links:

Author Website

Author Twitter

Author Facebook

 

Many thanks for reading my post.

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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 · Historical Fiction · Review · Women's Fiction

#BookReview |The Silk Weaver’s Wife by @debbierix @bookouture

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MY THOUGHTS:

I really enjoyed this book, one of the reasons I like to read historical novels is in the hope that I can learn something new.  This book ticked the box on that one, the research that Debbie Rix has done is obvious.  She has explored the silk manufacture process from moth to cloth, there is not an overload of information, but has used her characters well to explain, as her characters learn things, then so does the reader.   I found Debbie’s writing to be very readable and well set pace, there are a lot of stories within stories in this book, but they have been organised and well laid out so as not to confuse the reader at all.  Also included in this are actual artists, designers and weavers there is a very handy section at the back that lists the fact and fiction characters as well a note about how Debbie weaves the two together.

This is a wonderful book written across two-time lines, 1704 and 20017. In 1704 we are introduced to Anastasia and her family from near Verona in Italy.  In 2017 we meet Millie on a break with her sort of boyfriend Max.

Millie, a journalist, has been asked to write an article on the regeneration of Italy’s silk trade.  She stays at the House of Cocoon, or Villa di Bozzolo, it has been part of the silk trade for many generations and has a deep history.  The she meets owners Lorenzo and his sister Elena, they run the villa as a Bed and Breakfast guest house.  Lorenzo provides her with much information for her article and is her contact for meeting various other people in the silk trade.  She finds Lorenzo very easy to get along with, and has her questioning her life with Max, Lorenzo is her age, attractive and a widow.

Anastasia and her sister Mariette live under the iron rule of their father, their mother doesn’t have the strength to stand up to him so they all live under the threat of a beating from him.  Anastasia has two loves, Marco and painting, both are things that her father will not allow, if he knew.  He believes painting is not a thing a woman should do, he is of thought that they should be at home doing productive things.

As Millie discovers more about the history of silk manufacture process, Anastasia’s journey runs alongside with her journey into the world.

I would recommend this book to readers of historical fiction, womans fiction and romance. I wish to thank Netgalley and Bookouture for my copy in exchange for my honest and unbiased opinion.

 

SYNOPSIS:

‘On the way back down the grand staircase to the hall, her eye was caught by a portrait, hanging in a particularly dark corner of a landing. It was of a young woman, seated at an easel; she was painting a silk moth, its eggs nestling on a mulberry leaf.’

1704: Anastasia is desperate to escape her controlling and volatile father and plans to marry in secret. But instead of the life she has dreamed of, she finds herself trapped in Venice, the unwilling wife of a silk weaver.

Despite her circumstances, Anastasia is determined to change her fate…

2017: Millie wants more from her relationship and more from her life. So when her boss Max abruptly ends their affair, she takes the opportunity to write a feature in Italy.

Staying in a gorgeous villa, Millie unexpectedly falls in love with the owner, Lorenzo. Together they begin to unravel an incredible story, threaded through generations of silk weavers.

And Millie finds herself compelled to discover the identity of a mysterious woman in a portrait…

 

BOOK DETAILS & LINKS:

 

  • Paperback: 372 pages
  • Publisher: Bookouture (5 July 2017)
  • Language: English
  • Amazon Link

Debbie’s Website

Debbie on Twitter

Debbie on Facebook

Many thanks for reading my post.

 

 

Blog · Books · Fiction · Netgalley · Review · Women's Fiction

The Ludlow Ladies’ Society by Ann O’Loughlin

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MY REVIEW: 5*

Connie Carter has left a life in America to live in the Irish countryside residence of Ludlow Hall.  She has lost everything and has to start agin and try to make sense of what her life is.  Ludlow has been stood empty and is need of love, life and care.  Local residents are at first, apprehensive of what this stranger from across the pond will do to their beloved Ludlow. Connie herself is apprehensive of not fitting in and being a stranger in this close-knit community, as she begins to get acquainted with the area she finds a couple of local ladies willing to help.  Eve, used to live at the hall and is a member of The Ludlow Ladies’ Society along with her good friend Hetty.  The Society has a project to make memory quilts for an upcoming festival.  During the making of these quilts, secrets, memories, heartbreak as well as good memories and stories will rise and make themselves known.  The three women all have previous histories that still haunt them, and it is while the quilts are being made, they will be able to deal with the past and move forward.  In doing this they form a strong bond and a friendship, they will need this support more than they know.

You will want to read this book in a day.  Once you start it, you will not want to put it down until the very last page has been read and absorbed.  It is a beautifully written, heartwarming story of friendship.  There are secrets in the lives of the women that are hard to read, it is not a soft story to read.  Ann has shown how cruel, vindictive and nasty people can be, but balanced it beautifully, showing the caring and compassionate nature of people.  As you read through the story, you will see how tragedy can be almost too much to bear, it is something that should not be dealt with alone.  Also how to move on towards the future, you need to deal with the past and completely leave it behind.

I would highly recommend this book to readers of General and Women’s Fiction.  It is a book that will creep its way into your heart as you read it.  A wonderfully written and beautiful story that had me in tears in several places, and shocked in others.  I also think this would make a great choice for Book Reading Groups, as there many things for group discussion contained within this story.

I would like to thank Netgalley, Ann o’Loughlin and Black & White Publishing for my eARC copy of this book.  My review is my own honest and unbiased personal opinion.

THE BLURB:

Connie Carter has lost everybody and everything dear to her. To help nurse her grieving heart and to try and find answers, she moves from her home in America to Ludlow Hall, deep in the Irish countryside. All she knows about Ludlow is that her late husband spent all their money on the house – without ever mentioning it to her. Now Connie needs to know why.

At Ludlow Hall, Connie befriends Eve and Hetty and is introduced to the somewhat curious Ludlow Ladies’ Society. But can Connie ever reveal her hurt? And, more importantly, can she ever understand or forgive? As the Ludlow Ladies stitch patchwork memory quilts to remember those they have loved and lost, the secrets of the past finally begin to surface.

The Ludlow Ladies’ Society is a story of friendship, resilience and compassion, and how women support each other through the most difficult times.

“The Ludlow Ladies Society brought me to a beautiful place and into a circle of friends that I didn’t want to leave. Unputdownable. Ann’s world is uniquely Irish in its warmth and charm.”
KATE KERRIGAN

BOOK DETAILS:

Paperback, 288 pages
Expected publication: July 4th 2017 by Black & White Publishing
Original Title The Ludlow Ladies’ Society
ISBN13 9781785301278
Edition Language English