May 28, 2018

Its Monday! What Are You Reading?

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It's Monday! What Are You Reading? is a place to meet up and share what you have been, are and about to be reading over the week.  It's a great post to organise yourself. It's an opportunity to visit and comment, and er... add to that ever growing TBR pile! So welcome in everyone. This meme started with J Kaye's Blog   and then was taken up by Sheila from Book Journey. Sheila then passed it on to Kathryn at the Book Date. And here we are!

Jen Vincent, Teach Mentor Texts, and Kellee of Unleashing Readers decided to give It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? a kidlit focus. If you read and review books in children’s literature – picture books, chapter books, middle grade novels, young adult novels, anything in the world of kidlit – join them!
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Thank you all for your thoughts, prayers and {{hugs}} because of my sister who is now finally at rest. It was good to be with family throughout and today is the final leg of the journey as we bring her back to her family base to bury her near our parents. 

My reading has been just about non existent but I expect to get back a little on track this coming week. May your week too be filled with great reading.  
                                                         

What I read last week:

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What I am reading at present:


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Up next:

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May 21, 2018

It's Monday! What Are You Reading?

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It's Monday! What Are You Reading? is a place to meet up and share what you have been, are and about to be reading over the week.  It's a great post to organise yourself. It's an opportunity to visit and comment, and er... add to that ever growing TBR pile! So welcome in everyone. This meme started with J Kaye's Blog   and then was taken up by Sheila from Book Journey. Sheila then passed it on to Kathryn at the Book Date. And here we are!

Jen Vincent, Teach Mentor Texts, and Kellee of Unleashing Readers decided to give It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? a kidlit focus. If you read and review books in children’s literature – picture books, chapter books, middle grade novels, young adult novels, anything in the world of kidlit – join them!
a divide
As I write this (Friday evening) I am packing to leave for Rotorua. My sister is now in a coma and I am not sure she will still be with us when I get up there tomorrow.  Two of my other sisters are up there and another two are on their way. I had to take my other sister to a hospital appointment so couldn't go with them but will leave early with a brother - in - law.                                                         

What I read last week:

I did finish this book...
It was very unflattering towards the Kennedy's. Review will follow at some point.

What I am reading at present:

I am reading this at present, may go on the back burner now for a little while but I guess there will be moments to escape into a book.
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Up next:

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Last Weeks Posts
The Taste of Air   Gail Cleare
The High Tide Club  Mary Kay Andrews
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May 18, 2018

The Taste of Air Gail Cleare

Published: Red Adept Publishing
Date: September 2016
Format: e-ARC
Pages: 253
Genre: Contemporary Fiction
Source: Author
Rating:
4 stars                  Add to Goodreads
A simple phone call disrupts Nell Williams’s well-ordered life. Her mother, Mary, is in a hospital in Vermont. But her mother is supposed to be safely tucked away in an assisted-living facility in Massachusetts, so Nell can’t fathom why she would be so far from home.

After notifying her sister, Bridget, Nell hops on a plane and rushes to her mother’s side. There, she discovers that her mother has been living a second life. Mary has another home and a set of complex relationships with people her daughters have never met.

When Nell and Bridget delve deeper into their mother’s lakeside hideaway, they uncover a vault of family secrets and the gateway to change for all three women.


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The Taste of Air by Gail Cleare is a story ultimately of family. It mostly tracks the story of Mary a mother and her two daughters Bridget and Nell. We go back in time to where Mary was a nurse in Vietnam and the men she met, the men she loved and the one she married.

But Mary has secrets and it is only as Nell and then Bridget care for her up in a Vermont hospital that they begin to question and eventually put two and two together. How did Mary end up in Vermont when they thought she was living in Massachusetts? And why does she have a cottage there? Who is the man Jake who is so upset by Mary's illness?

Bridget is running from her third marriage, back in time she had had an experience that had brought on the ire of her father and she has been in and out of loveless relationships every since. Nell has a good husband and two children, but she is feeling restless and somewhat dissatisfied. So far all she has been is a mother and wife, she wants more. Just like her mother seems to have done so quietly.

I enjoyed watching the story develop, the girls come together, the developing relationship with Jake and his son Adam. And the secrets which eventually outed, which we as the reader were able to put together before the sisters.  

I did feel a couple of aspects of the story were a little undeveloped and that some changes came quickly and one event was only a brief meeting. However this part of the story (Bridget's story) was linked to her mother's experience so I am apt to say well okay.

To sum up, a story I enjoyed and would recommend to anyone who likes a little mystery and some family secrets being revealed.

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May 15, 2018

The High Tide Club. Mary Kay Andrews


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Published: St Martin's Press
Date: 8th May 2018
Format: e-ARC
Pages: 480
Genre: Mainstream Fiction
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
Rating:
4.5 stars                   Add to Goodreads
When ninety-nine-year-old heiress Josephine Bettendorf Warrick summons Brooke Trappnell to Talisa Island, her 20,000 acre remote barrier island home, Brooke is puzzled. Everybody in the South has heard about the eccentric millionaire mistress of Talisa, but Brooke has never met her. Josephine’s cryptic note says she wants to discuss an important legal matter with Brooke, who is an attorney, but Brooke knows that Mrs. Warrick has long been a client of a prestigious Atlanta law firm.

Over a few meetings, the ailing Josephine spins a tale of old friendships, secrets, betrayal and a long-unsolved murder. She tells Brooke she is hiring her for two reasons: to protect her island and legacy from those who would despoil her land, and secondly, to help her make amends with the heirs of the long dead women who were her closest friends, the girls of The High Tide Club—so named because of their youthful skinny dipping escapades—Millie, Ruth and Varina. When Josephine dies with her secrets intact, Brooke is charged with contacting Josephine’s friends’ descendants and bringing them together on Talisa for a reunion of women who’ve actually never met.

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The High Tide Club was an entertaining read - lots happening, interesting and varied characters, a little bit of mystery and crime, and some life happenings that tugged at my heart.

I loved that it was a dual time story - usually I find those a little annoying, but this one is really done well and it all goes together seamlessly. It tells the story of Josephine, Milly, Ruth and Varina back in the day and how their lives intertwined and then they lost contact. Why? Josephine was a secretive lady but in my opinion she meant well. I liked her.  

The present day ladies called together by Josephine are Lizzie - related to Ruth, Felicity related to Varina who is still alive, and Brooke a lawyer daughter of Marie who is a daughter of Milly as it turns out.  I liked how they all developed and reacted to the various events, taking their time often to adjust. The last moments in the book are sweet.

Brooke is really a main character, she has a beautiful son Henry and a missing father for Henry that she still sort of wishes was still around. But its been three years, he doesn't know he is Henry's father and Brooke has found herself being courted by a lawyer she used to work with and now needs his help.

It kept me reading, even during a difficult time, so you might say its just the right kind of read to take your mind off real life.  A story of friendship, love, sadness and loss, forgiveness and new hope.

May 14, 2018

It's Monday! What Are You Reading?

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It's Monday! What Are You Reading? is a place to meet up and share what you have been, are and about to be reading over the week.  It's a great post to organise yourself. It's an opportunity to visit and comment, and er... add to that ever growing TBR pile! So welcome in everyone. This meme started with J Kaye's Blog   and then was taken up by Sheila from Book Journey. Sheila then passed it on to Kathryn at the Book Date. And here we are!

Jen Vincent, Teach Mentor Texts, and Kellee of Unleashing Readers decided to give It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? a kidlit focus. If you read and review books in children’s literature – picture books, chapter books, middle grade novels, young adult novels, anything in the world of kidlit – join them!
a divide

Hope you all had a good week, I spent this one here at home and pushed through on some reading so that I could get a little ahead of my planned calendar of reading.

Hope all those who celebrated Mother's Day enjoyed it. We shared the same day as the U.S. 
                                    

What I read last week:

Read speedily. In spite of many pages a suspense/crime book by Karen Rose is always addictive reading. 
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And three review books.

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What I am reading at present:

Listening to Meet Me at The CupCake Cafe by Jenny Colgan

About to start reading...

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Up next:

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Last Weeks Posts
Two Steps Forward  Graeme Simsion & Anne Buist
This Could Change Everything   Jill Mansell
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May 10, 2018

Two Steps Forward. Graeme Simsion & Anne Buist

Published:William Morrow
Date: May 1st 2018
Format: e-ARC
Pages: 384
Genre: Fiction
Source: Publicist via Edelweiss
Rating:
4.5 stars                     Add to Goodreads
From the New York Times bestselling author of The Rosie Projectcomes a story of taking chances and learning to love again as two people, one mourning her husband and the other recovering from divorce, cross paths on the centuries-old Camino pilgrimage from France to Spain.

“The Chemin will change you. It changes everyone…”

The Chemin, also known as the Camino de Santiago, is a centuries-old pilgrim route that ends in Santiago de Compostela in northwest Spain. Every year, thousands of walkers—some devout, many not—follow the route that wends through quaint small villages and along busy highways alike, a journey unlike any other.

Zoe, an artist from California who’s still reeling from her husband’s sudden death, has impulsively decided to walk the Camino, hoping to find solace and direction. Martin, an engineer from England, is road-testing a cart of his own design…and recovering from a messy divorce. They begin in the same French town, each uncertain of what the future holds. Zoe has anticipated the physical difficulties of her trek, but she is less prepared for other challenges, as strangers and circumstances force her to confront not just recent loss, but long-held beliefs. For Martin, the pilgrimage is a test of his skills and endurance but also, as he and Zoe grow closer, of his willingness to trust others—and himself—again.


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I have heard about the Camino walk because a friend's husband walked much of it, I heard an interview about it on the radio by another person who walked it, so when Two Steps Forward by Graeme Simsion and Anne Buist presented itself, I opened it and started reading with interest.  I have no desire to walk it myself but I was very happy to vicariously experience it this way.

It is described in acknowledgements at the end of the book as a mature-age love story, and it is, but so much more. It is about challenge - physical challenge for sure, ouch all that walking and all those blisters.  The challenge of being by yourself, facing difficulties sometimes in life or death situations. The challenge of walking with others and hitting off them and sometimes eventually losing your sharp edges. 

The walk is an invitation to go inwards and discover who you are, what you are made of? It gives you a change to examine your life so far, the emotions, the things facing you now. It breaks you open, it questions you.

There are two main characters - each chapter alternatively told between Martin and Zoe.  I came to love them both and to be honest it was with regret that I closed the book and let them go.  I loved how Zoe really came into herself, it was wonderful to watch. Martin took a little longer but the lessons he learned so important and most likely apply to us all.

There were many other pilgrims along the way, as well those who ran the hostels and places where the pilgrims stayed. The description of the walk was very real, the places so well described. As both authors have walked the walks of Zoe and Martin it rang with authenticity.

I started this book with a little caution, I finished it with a gratefulness for the experience.

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May 8, 2018

This Could Change Everything. Jill Mansell

Published: Hachette NZ
Date: 25th January 2018
Format:  Paperback
Pages:
Genre: Contemporary Fiction
Source: Thanks to Hachette NZ
Rating:
4.5 stars                      Add to Goodreads
On the one hand, if Essie hadn't written that letter - the one that only her best friend was meant to see - then she'd still be living like an actual proper grown-up, tucked up with Paul in his picture-perfect cottage, maybe even planning their wedding...

On the other hand (if her true feelings hadn't accidentally taken the internet by storm, that is) she never would have met Zillah and Conor - not to mention Lucas. And she'd never have found out just how much life there is to be lived...


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This Could Change Everything by Jill Mansell was a joy to read. One of those books you can just pick up and relax into. It was a great mix of wonderful and endearing characters, with a little fun and a bit of romance thrown in. 

I loved Zillah, what a character, the kind of person I'd love to be at eighty three. She was warm and generous, loves dressing up and going out and having a good time, yet very thoughtful of others. She's quite human so has a little guilt and regret thrown in there as well.

Essie is another easy to like. She has the horror of her email sent out accidentally to her whole address book. In it she is very honest about some people and it doesn't go down well. However really it sets in motion the next phase in Essie's life... which was so good.

Then there is Connor who rents the flat above Zillah, he keeps an eye on her, and is an excellent photographer.  I liked that he had the courage to change his life completely, be honest and move on.  He makes a few mistakes in romance but it all added to the fun.

Lucas is an adorable character, a very handsome one too and very much part of the story. I don't want to give too much away about his involvement in things because it would spoil the story but just let's say he has an interesting back story which makes him just that little bit more vulnerable.

If you like a light hearted, quirky story then this one will satisfy. I was charmed by it and it will certainly be one I remember.





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