Friday, 13 May 2016

In Her Wake - Amanda Jennings

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.

What I thought:

I had heard quite a lot about this book, so I was excited to dive into it at last.

Returning home for her mother's funeral, Bella is given a letter, the contents of which turns her whole world upside down. Back home she can't shake off the need to know more, so telling no-one her intentions, she heads off for St Ives in Cornwall, on a mission to discover the truth about her family. Bella poses as a journalist and embarks on an adventure, the likes of which she could never have imagined - or had she? What follows is what I can only call the tale with the twist that keeps on twisting - a real page turner.

What really set this book apart for me was the author's ability to set the scene and place me right there in the moment. The mere mention of the salty air and I have no problem imagining that I am at the coast, probably because I've been there so many times, however I had never been to Dawn's house, yet I could smell that tomato soup and hear that old TV crackling. I was particularly touched by Elaine's desperation and her harrowing experience of anguish and grief.

I found Dawn an unusual character, outwardly abrupt and abrasive, yet driven by love and devotion. The whole cast came together to spin a complex tale of suspense, peppered with a mix of emotions that will take you on a thrilling journey.

This was an excellent read and I look forward to reading more by this author.

Monday, 9 May 2016


A novel about love. Raw important love. Small, beautiful love. And what happens when the person you love cannot be yours… Perfect for fans of Rowan Coleman, Jane Green and David Nicholls.

Kate and Becca are cousins and best friends. They have grown up together and shared all the most important milestones in their lives: childhood birthday parties, eighteenth birthdays, and now a wedding day as they each marry their childhood sweethearts, Charlie and Julian.

Kate has always loved Charlie - they were meant to be. Then she discovers that life never turns out quite how you expect it to. And love doesn't always follow the journey it should.

But best friends are forever, and true love will find a way, won't it…?

What I thought about it:

Kate and Becca are cousins and best friends and their story is told through family gatherings, when we catch up with how their lives have moved on since the last time they all met. Although very close, the pair have totally different personalities, life goals and values.

I loved Kate and in particular the relationship she had with her father and how she championed his dream to help an orphanage in China. Charlie is lovely, a really good bloke, and after a glimpse into his bleak childhood, he won my heart. When I'm really loving a good book, the characters come to life and I find myself talking to them and boy was I cursing Becca!

The author has a lovely writing style that had me re-reading several sentences just because they were beautiful.

This is a wonderful multi-layered love story. When I say multi-layered, I mean it isn't just about the love between a man and a woman, but it's just as much about that special kind of love we share with friends and then with family. With plenty of surprises hidden within the pages, it tells of love and loss, devotion and betrayal. Unpredictable, touching, sometimes funny, sometimes sad, I found it an absolute delight to read.