Sunday, 16 October 2016

A Suitable Lie - Michael J Malone

Andy Boyd thinks he is the luckiest man alive. Widowed with a young child, after his wife dies in childbirth, he is certain that he will never again experience true love. Then he meets Anna. Feisty, fun and beautiful, she's his perfect match... And she loves his son, too. When Andy ends up in the hospital on his wedding night, he receives his first clue that Anna is not all that she seems. He ignores it; a dangerous mistake that could cost him everything. A brave, deeply moving psychological thriller which marks a stunning departure for one of Scotland's top crime writers.

What I thought:

After hearing so many people rave about this book, I couldn't wait to read it myself, though I wasn't quite sure what to expect. The cover declares it as "domestic noir", so I figured there would be some sort of domestic violence, be it physical or mental. I have to say, though, I was not prepared for the story that unfolded before me.

Bursting with tension, this book focuses mainly on an issue I was vaguely aware of but had always dismissed without a second thought. It's a story of family life, the good and the bad, but mostly at its very worst. Gutwrenching and heartbreaking, I found myself torn - desperate to turn the next page, but fearful of what it would bring.

I found some parts of this dark tale deeply upsetting. This could be because the main character, Andy Boyd, had immediately forged a place in my heart. A real man's man, rugby player and bank manager who loves a pint with the lads and his brother, but loves his family more. What more is there to love? He's a widower and devotes his life to caring for his young son. Then he meets Anna. Gradually Andy's life begins to fall apart. Visits to family and friends are rare and he finds it difficult to function properly at work.

This wasn't just a good read, it was exceptional. I should also mention that hidden within this phenomenal storyline there is some truly beautiful writing. I'm struggling to think of another book that stirred my feelings quite like this. I had to constantly remind myself that it was only a story because I was so consumed with emotion. It was brutal and compelling. It was outstanding.

This is a book that will stay with me for a very long time and one you certainly won't want to miss.


Thursday, 6 October 2016

My Husband's Wife - Amanda Prowse

Once a week, Rosie Tipcott counts her blessings.

She still goes to sit on her favourite bench on the north Devon cliffs and thanks her lucky stars for her wonderful husband, her mischievous young daughters, and her neat little house by the sea. She vows to dedicate every waking hour to making her family happy.

But then her husband unexpectedly leaves her for another woman and takes the children. Now she must ask the question: what is left in her life? Can Rosie find the strength to rebuild herself? More importantly, does she even want to?

What I thought:

I've read so many of Amanda's books now and I've never been disappointed. In the past, I've found her books "real" as well as emotional and this was no exception.

Rosie Tipcott is happy and content with her lot. Married with two beautiful daughters, she's not wealthy, in fact, she even has to clean caravans to help make ends meet, but she feels rich because she has a complete family, something she always yearned for as a child. Her mum left when she was just a baby, leaving her to be brought up by her father alone.

Then, with no warning, Rosie's little world of contentment is shattered.

First of all, this book is funny, so funny. Rosie's children come out with some real gems that will probably have you laughing out loud. Then it's sad, so very sad, so as with most of this author's books, have those tissues ready. Naomi and Leona, Rosie's daughters definitely steal the limelight in this story. Their huge personalities burst with energy throughout the whole book. Even when they're sad, they're funny.

This book will have you laughing and crying in equal measures. It's a wonderful story and although it made me very sad in parts, it was by no means downbeat. I thoroughly enjoyed the emotional journey it took me on and highly recommend this delightful read.