Wild Fires

Thrilled to join the blog tour for this one today.

Grief is like an inside joke: you have to have been there to really get it.

The only things Cassandra knows about her family are the stories she’s heard in snatches over the years: about the aunt and cousin she never got to meet, about the man from the folded-up photograph in one of her aunt’s drawers, and of course about her cousin Chevy, and why he never speaks – but no one utters a word about them any more.

When a call from one of her sisters brings Cassandra news of Chevy’s death, she has to return home for the funeral. To Toronto and the big house on Florence Street, where her sisters are hiding more than themselves in their rooms, where the tension brewing between her mother and aunts has been decades in the making, and where sooner or later every secret, unspoken word and painful memory will find its way out into the open.

Moving between Toronto and Trinidad, Wild Fires is a vivid and compelling story exploring the ways we mourn and why we avoid the very things that can save us.

My Bookish Thoughts

Sophie Jai really does know how families tick. This is a portrayal of how challenging situations can make emotions stir and heighten .

This is well written and really gives you a sense of the setting, I definitely haven’t been disappointed. I’ve found it easy to visualise the settings from the descriptions. 

I have found this book slow to start with. some aspects have been confusing but I have enjoyed the way Sophie writes.

This book is beautifully written and explores family members dealing with grief and loss. A great debut and I’m looking forward to more from this author.

The Midnight House

A huge thank you to Emily for my spot on this one and copy of this gem.

My Dearest T, Whatever you hear, do not believe it for a moment…

1940: In south-west Ireland, the young and beautiful Lady Charlotte Rathmore is pronounced dead after she mysteriously disappears by the lake of Blackwater Hall. In London, on the brink of the Blitz, Nancy Rathmore is grieving Charlotte’s death when a letter arrives containing a secret that she is sworn to keep – one that will change her life for ever.

2019: Decades later, Ellie Fitzgerald is forced to leave Dublin disgraced and heartbroken. Abandoning journalism, she returns to rural Kerry to weather out the storm. But, when she discovers a faded letter, tucked inside the pages of an old book, she finds herself drawn in by a long-buried secret. And as Ellie begins to unravel the mystery, it becomes clear that the letter might hold the key to more than just Charlotte’s disappearance.

An unforgettable and spellbinding story of secrets, war, love and sacrifice, perfect for readers of Kate Morton, Eve Chase and Louise Douglas.

I have been so excited by this book and it definitely hasn’t disappointed. I have been completely immersed and unwilling to put this one down. This is an absolute gem and it’s a must for the TBR.

Any book set in Ireland is one I need to read. I just love it, the setting is just gorgeous and this book has been a magical read which has completely consumed me until the very last word. I have loved every single page.

The characters are stunning but a mixed bunch. This is a beautiful story of friendship. Ellie is down on her luck and returns from Dublin to her home time.

This is an interesting journey with some fantastic characters. The descriptions are fantastic and this really transports you to the pages. This is a book which becomes impossible to put down. I have devoured page after page and had no regrets. This is a book which is a must read.

Geard is so clever in interweaving the separate narratives into one. I’m not always a fan of multiple timelines but this has been a completely enthralling read. This is well crafted and beautifully written.

Amanda Geard is definitely an author to watch out for. This is a fantastic debut and one I wish I could experience for the first time all over again.

This is without a doubt a must read and one I will be recommending to everyone. I can safely say there is nothing I have disliked about this gem.

The White Girl

Thrilled to join the blog tour for this one today.

Australia’s leading indigenous storyteller makes his American debut with this immersive and deeply resonant novel, set in the 1960s, that explores the lengths we’ll go to save the people we love—an unforgettable story of one native Australian family and the racist government that threatens to separate them.

Odette Brown has lived her entire life on the fringes of Deane, a small Australian country town. Dark secrets simmer beneath the surface of Deane—secrets that could explain why Odette’s daughter, Lila, left her one-year-old daughter, Sissy, and never came back, or why Sissy has white skin when her family is Aboriginal. 

For thirteen years, Odette has quietly raised her granddaughter without drawing notice from welfare authorities who remove fair-skinned Aboriginal children from their families. But the arrival of a new policeman with cruel eyes and a rigid by-the-book attitude throws the Brown women’s lives off-kilter. It will take all of Odette’s courage and cunning to save Sissy from the authorities, and maybe even lead her to find her daughter. 

Bolstered by love, smarts, and the strength of their ancestors, Odette and Sissy are an indomitable force, handling threats to their family and their own identities with grace and ingenuity, while never losing hope for themselves and their future.

In The White Girl, Miles Franklin Award-nominated author Tony Birch illuminates Australia’s devastating post-colonial past—notably the government’s racist policy of separating Indigenous children from their families, known today as the Stolen Generations—and introduces a tight-knit group of charming, inspiring characters who remind us of our shared humanity, and that kindness, hope, and love have no limits.

My Bookish Thoughts

Oh my heart has broken at parts of this book. This is a MUST read that will take you on a rollercoaster that you will not forget in a hurry. As a reader, we see the separation of white people and aboriginal. A setting in which Deane’s line is still known of.

Parts of this will make your jaw drop, I’ve definitely had tears as I’ve read about children pulled from parents, taught about things they haven’t heard of and dying from diseases. It’s been a book that I’ve devoured wanting more and more.

The Stolen Generation is not something I have a knowledge of but this book has made me want to know more. Birch writes in a way that is addictive- even when not reading I have been completely unable to stop thinking of this book.

I have loved Odette. The struggles and journey through this book with her has made me completely engrossed wanting to know how her story ends.

This is a literary masterpiece and one that deserves so much recognition. I definitely recommend this gem. It’s a book not to be missed.

Sistersong

Thrilled to be on the blog tour for this one today.

In a magical ancient Britain, bards sing a story of treachery, love and death. This is that story. For fans of Madeline Miller’s Circe, Lucy Holland’s Sistersong retells the folk ballad ‘The Twa Sisters’.

‘A beautiful reimagining of an old British folklore ballad, Sistersong weaves a captivating spell of myth and magic’ – Jennifer Saint, author of Ariadne

King Cador’s children inherit a land abandoned by the Romans, torn by warring tribes. Riva can cure others, but can’t heal her own scars. Keyne battles to be seen as the king’s son, although born a daughter. And Sinne dreams of love, longing for adventure.

All three fear a life of confinement within the walls of the hold, their people’s last bastion of strength against the invading Saxons. However, change comes on the day ash falls from the sky – bringing Myrdhin, meddler and magician. The siblings discover the power that lies within them and the land. But fate also brings Tristan, a warrior whose secrets will tear them apart.

Riva, Keyne and Sinne become entangled in a web of treachery and heartbreak, and must fight to forge their own paths. It’s a story that will shape the destiny of Britain.

Sistersong is a powerfully moving story, perfect for readers who loved Naomi Novik’s Uprooted and Katherine Arden’s The Bear and the Nightingale.

My Bookish Thoughts

This book is just gorgeous. This is a magical retelling that I have been eagerly anticipating and I can safely say it hasn’t disappointed.

This is a book that it beautifully written and has transported me to the pages of this one. I have loved this so much it has been a book that has been easy to devour in one sitting.

Each of the sisters are given a voice by Holland. They are likeable and realistic. I loved the journey through this one with the sisters.

This triggered emotions of sadness and anger. Sistersong is haunting but beautiful and enchanting all rolled into one package. This is a delight to read and one that I have no doubt in recommending to others.

Who’s Lying Now?

I am so thrilled and excited to be a part of the Random Things Blog Tour for one of my absolute favourites. Thank you Harper fiction team for my copy.

You think you’re safe.
You think you know your neighbours.
But can you ever really know who’s telling the truth?

Jeannie Symonds is a force to be reckoned with – an eccentric, award-winning publisher, spending lockdown with her husband in a house near Kesterly-on-Sea. She seems to have it all: a high-flying career, a happy marriage, a niece she adores.

And then one day, she vanishes.

Cara Jakes is a new trainee investigator – young, intelligent and eager to prove herself. When she teams up with detective Andee Lawrence to look into the disappearance, she is determined to find out what has really happened to Jeannie. Cara begins to question the residents of this close-knit community, sure that someone has a secret to hide.

But how can she separate the truth from the lies?

My Bookish Thoughts:

Wow!! Susan Lewis is an absolute gem and definitely a favourite author of mine. This is a book that I’m unsure how a written review will show just how utterly brilliant this book is. I am a huge fan of Susan’s books, this is definitely a contender for a favourite.

This book takes us back to Kesterly. It’s full of characters who are connected to each other one way or another. This is definitely unpredictable, it’s so clever how Lewis has developed the characters.

I have been kept guessing throughout this one. There’s no way I could work out where this was going. We are told the story through multiple perspectives which I always like- gives us a real insight to the characters.

This is well written and completely addictive. I’ve been pulled in completely and unwilling to put this one down. I have loved the secrets and lies among the close knit community.

Susan Lewis is just absolutely brilliant and I’m always excited for new releases. This one definitely hasn’t disappointed. This is definitely one for the TBR.

Follow the Tour:

Lake View House

Icy water laps against the wooden jetty. But the girl doesn’t notice the cold as she slips slowly under the freezing surface…

Running from a devastating relationship that almost cost her everything, Maddy Hart impulsively accepts a job as a live-in caretaker at imposing Lakeview House. She has no memories of having visited the crumbling mansion on the banks of Lake Thirlmere before, but when she arrives, something about the house feels familiar…

The more time Maddy spends in the house, the more unsettled she feels. Why does the local story about the last woman who lived here, who drowned on her wedding day, chill Maddy to the bone? By day, she clears out the dusty rooms, but in the dead of night it’s hard to explain away the eerie noises or crackly radio she hears hours after she turned it off. Slowly, Maddy begins to fear that her worst nightmare is coming true, has her past caught up with her…?

When a soaking wet wedding dress is left on Maddy’s doorstep she feels completely trapped. It is her exact measurements. Is her ex trying to send her a message? Or has Maddy’s digging uncovered an even deadlier secret? Will this perfect escape become the perfect trap?

A gripping thriller that will have you turning the pages until the final breathtaking twist. Perfect for fans of Lucy Foley, Lisa Gardner and Ruth Ware.

Lakeview House was previously published as What Lies Below.

I adore Helen’s books. I know I’m in for a great read with Helen’s books. This one hasn’t been any different. I have devoured page after page in just one sitting. I love this book.

This is a book filled with great characters. We get a good feel for them as we read. Phifer has included twists in this one which have been completely unexpected. At occasions, I’ve felt my heart pounding as I’ve read this one.

This is a book which is excellently written and definitely doesn’t disappoint. Helen is able to transport you with her writing and this book is no different.

The plot moves at a good pace and you can definitely feel the tension as you read. I am a huge fan of Helen’s books, I’m already eagerly anticipating the next one.

The Killer’s Family

We should never have kept our father’s secret.

Before, my sisters and I were close. Now, a year after our father’s funeral, we barely speak to each other. Molly won’t accept the truth. Rachel can’t forgive him. And I spend all my time digging through his life, trying to understand.

Then we hear the news. A woman has been found by the docks, her wedding ring stolen. The reporter says it appears the local serial killer has returned…

But I know that can’t be right, because I know who the killer was.

Henry Martin. Our father.

Someone is sending us a message. Someone knows we lied. 

Now my sisters and I must work together to find out who is targeting us. How do they know what we’ve hidden? What do they want? And what other secrets lie buried in the past, putting us all in danger?

A brilliantly twisty suspense thriller that will have you flying through the pages and gasping at the twist. Fans of Lisa Jewell, Gillian Flynn and Ruth Ware will love The Killer’s Family.

Well this is an absolute gem! I was pulled in and completely hooked. I mean wow just wow!! What a book! What a rollercoaster! How will a written review do this justice?

This is an absolute corker of a read. Smith has reeled me in hook, line and sinker. I’ve definitely been unable and unwilling to put this one down. Smith has created a novel unlike anything I’ve read previously.

I am a huge fan of Smith, this is a gem. I’d even go as far as saying that this is my absolute favourite by Smith yet.

I have devoured page after page of this one. It definitely hasn’t disappointed. I’ve been completely unable to predict where this was going.

It’s safe to say that I have loved this one. It has been completely unputdownable. I cannot say anything negative about this one. It’s a gem, I will definitely be recommending.

The School Teacher of Saint Michel

My darling girl, I need you to find someone for me . . .’

France, 1942. At the end of the day, the schoolteacher releases her pupils. She checks they have their identity passes, and warns them not to stop until the German guards have let them through the barrier that separates occupied France from Free France. As the little ones fly across the border and into their mothers’ arms, she breathes a sigh of relief. No one is safe now. Not even the children.

Berkshire, present day. A letter left to her by her beloved late grandmother Gigi takes Hannah Stone on a journey deep into the heart of the Dordogne landscape. As she begins to unravel a forgotten history of wartime bravery and sacrifice, she discovers the heartrending secret that binds her grandmother to a village schoolteacher, the remarkable Lucie Laval . . .

Sarah Steele has done it again! This is another absolute gem of a book! This is a beautiful novel, with a stunning narrative. I can safely say I was hooked from the beginning and held hostage by this one until the very end.

This is well-written with characters who are developed wonderfully. I have loved the journey through this one and finding out what has lay ahead for the characters. This is based on true facts but is filled with twists and turns at every corner. I have devoured this gem, torn between wanting to savour every page and wanting to race through to find out how it ends.

Steele is a superb author, I fell in love with Nancy Moon and this is another wonderful book. This is full of intrigue, but also paints a picture of the fear and threats faced by some during this time.

I cannot say anything negative about this book! Steele is a remarkable author and one who I will definitely be needing more books from. This is an absolute gem. I will definitely be recommending this one.

The Lying Club

Thrilled to join Quercus books for this one today.

At an elite private school nestled in the Colorado mountains, a tangled web of lies draws together three vastly different women. Natalie, a young office assistant, dreams of having a life like the school moms she deals with every day. Women like Brooke-a gorgeous heiress, ferociously loving mother and serial cheater-and Asha, an overachieving and overprotective mom who suspects her husband of having an affair.

Their fates are bound by their relationships with the handsome, charming assistant athletic director Nicholas, who Natalie loves, Brooke wants and Asha needs. But when two bodies are carried out of the school early one morning, it seems the jealousy between mothers and daughters, rival lovers and the haves and have-nots has shattered the surface of this isolated, affluent town-a town where people will stop at nothing to get what they want.

Set in a world of vast ranches, chalet-style apartments and mountain mansions, The Lying Club is a juicy thriller of revenge, murder and a shocking conspiracy-one in which the victims aren’t who you might think.

This is the first book I’ve read by Annie Ward, I’ll definitely be on the lookout for more. Reputation is everything in this one. The characters are a mixed bag, rich entitled and quite bratty.

As we read, we see secrets unfold and really get to delve into the characters situation. Instantly, you can tell that disaster will approach. However, the author provides a great deal of information into the lives of the characters and events leading up to the train wreck. This for me has slowed this one down. I have been waiting for the big OMG moment!

The opening of this is the crime scene, which hooked me quickly. I have been desperate to find out what was going to happen and devoured page after page, waiting with anticipation.

Natalie has been the character that I have disliked the least. However, her dependence on drugs has made her dislikeable. I have to admit, I did enjoy the dilemmas of the characters and revenge plans. It has definitely held my interest.

This has been an entertaining read, unique with plenty to unpick. Definitely a book I’ll recommend.

The Moon Over Kilmore Quay

When your heart belongs in two places, can you ever truly find home?

Brooklyn, New York,
Bea has grown up in the heart of the Irish community, always hearing stories of home. When she discovers a letter from her younger self, written years before, it sends her deep into her own family history.

Kilmore Quay, Ireland.
Years earlier, Lucy Mernagh leaves her much-loved home and family in search of the New York dream. The Big Apple is a world away from the quiet village she grew up in, and the longing for home aches within her.

When Bea uncovers a shocking secret, it takes her back across the water to Kilmore Quay, where – finally – long-buried truths will come to light. But fate has one last twist in store…

This has to be one of the best books I’ve read. This has been completely unpredictable and filled with friendships, love, betrayal and loss.

I have been completely hooked by this one and completely unable to work out what was going to happen next. I love the strong sense of Ireland In this one. It’s definitely made this one a winner for me.

The dual timeline has been fantastic in letting us know more in depth. This has been well thought out and fantastic to read.

This is definitely a fantastic author, this book will steal your heart and you will be unable to stop thinking about this long after finishing.

I have loved this heartwarming read and will definitely be recommending this one. There is nothing to dislike about about this book.