Thursday, 20 June 2013

Book Review - One Cold Night by Katia Lief

I started it on Sunday - I finished it on Monday.  That good, I couldn't put it down.

I had never heard of Katia Lief. I discovered her in the Kobo bookstore, a bargain at 98p.  Something caught my attention (the cover again), this time mysterious, dark yet inviting.

I downloaded it.

To be honest my genre of literature has rapidly turned to chick lit, there was a time when I read anything and everything, but lately I hadn't moved from my new found comfort zone.

The story is about Susan and Dave, Susan is a chocolate shop/factory owner  and Dave a detective in the police. They live in New York with Susan's adopted sister, Lisa, who 15 years her junior had come to live with them to attend a singing/drama school in the city.

A happy go lucky life until......One Cold Night.

Lisa wants to find her birth parents and Susan offers a revelation (predictable from the onset) and from then on the story changes and moves fast, drawing you in. Lisa vanishes and the story then follows the detectives and Susan and Dave as they piece together what has happened to her.  Dave becomes immersed in the case, due to not having solved a similar one exactly 12 months previous to this one. Exactly the same, a girl similar in age and features to Lisa taken from very near her own doorstep. You know there is a link between the two girls but the authors telling of this story is fantastic and it really does have you wanting to find out exactly what has happened to Lisa and the girl before her and to find out whether Lisa and her survive. There are a few clues,  a trail of blood and a footprint but Dave knows if this case is going the same way as the previous one, then their time is limited before something dreadful happens to her. Even at the end when the outcome is found there are still twists and turns in this story up to the very end that weren't predictable and really had me on the edge of my seat.

It is again another book that is beautifully written and describes the scenes and characters really well, making it feel like you know these places and people.

I really don't want to give this story away, but I will definitely be reading more of this authors books and this is definitely one to be read!

Another 5 Star book on Goodreads from me!

Monday, 17 June 2013

Book Review - The Love of My Life by Louise Douglas.

The Love of My Life

"I miss him with every breath and heartbeat. He should have been my happy ending. Instead, he is the sad beginning to my story."

When I started to read this book my instant impression was that it wasn't going to be that great.  You know when you read the first chapter and it doesn't really do anything for you.....that!  But once I had given it a bit more time the story actually drew me in.

It tells the story of Olivia, who has recently become the widow of Luca.  I think one of the reasons my heart wasn't with it to begin with, is that it is one of those books that jumps every chapter from past to present and that usually throws me.  But after reading a few more chapters I got it! and the story develops well, one chater the past the nest the present.

Olivia and Luca grew up together in their small town, Olivia working in Luca's parent's restaurant in the summer months and their friendship develops but Luca 's mother has plans for him to marry someone else, and in the end he elopes to London with Olivia.  Olivia becomes the one at fault in the eyes of Luca's family and when Luca is tragically killed, Olivia makes the decision to return to their home town, where no one is pleased to see her.

There are parts of this story that are very predicatble, but there is also something about the way that it is written that makes you want to read on. Olivia quickly realises that she and Marc, Luca's twin share their greif and start an affair that has drastic consequences and shows certain moments of similarity between Olivia and Luca's life. Even though they both know the affair is purely based on grief, the results are heart breaking for Olivia.

Louise Douglas writes in a sensitive and beautiful way, and this is again a first class debut novel. I gave this book 4 stars on Goodreads.

Sunday, 16 June 2013

Family Life update...

Things have been really hectic, sometimes painful, and  some things have been really testing and have upset me beyond belief.

There will be a lot of change in the moors household in the next few months, and even though the 'hell' is still on going at the moment, I know that come September things will all be for the better and that life will move on - as it should do.  I know I will be more positive once things are all organised and prepared and I will tell you all about it one day, but now just isn't the time.

The boys are fine, fantastic, annoying, tiring, so nothing really new there!!

Beanie is reaching the end of term and the school year and the tiredness shows.  His moods are more frequent, his attitude turning and his ability to focus and concentrate is lacking... he needs the summer holidays.

Monkey is getting ready to leave nursery and to take the next step and start big school.  He has a place at the same school as Beanie who will be in year 5 this September. Monkey is so excited asking if he can wear his uniform every day and tonight he has signed his school agreement, writing his name beautifully on the form!  I can't believe how quickly the time has gone, he will be the oldest in his class and will be 5 on his first day. We have a home visit in a couple of weeks (better get tidying!!) and then a few afternoon visits in July to look forward too.  Oh and his best friend will  be going with him so he is overjoyed.

Worm, is Worm..... last week we had an amazing week. Hitting 3 has changed him (slightly) and for every night last week he slept right through.  It all went pear shaped this weekend with him waking again but it can't go on forever - well that's what I keep telling myself anyway.  He unfortunately thinks that because he has now moved up to 'Butterflies't nursery with Monkey that he too is going to big school in September. I think we may have a few problems then but hopefully he will make some new friends at nursery and not just play with his brother.

Health wise, I haven't been too bad, my fingers are the worst at the moment but it is mainly when carrying things. Yesterday I was on the go all day and felt awful this morning and the fatigue hit again but with moors-daddy working I have been with the boys all day today too, so fingers crossed I get a good night tonight and catch up on some sleep that is desperately needed.

I've just finished another book and started another too, so review will be up in the next couple of days if not sooner!

Friday, 7 June 2013

Book Review - The Snow Child by Eowyn Ivey

Okay so two things first, I apologize that it has taken me a bit longer than I said it would and secondly how ever many times I say this authors name to myself, my pronounciation of it is always different!!  I have no idea how to say it, I'll see if I can find out how it should be said!

Found it - AYE-oh-win EYE-vee.  There that tells you!

Here is a bit about the author taken from Goodreads

Eowyn LeMay Ivey was raised in Alaska and continues to live there with her husband and two daughters. She received her BA in journalism and minor in creative writing through the honors program at Western Washington University, studied creative nonfiction at the University of Alaska Anchorage graduate program, and worked for nearly 10 years as an award-winning reporter at the Frontiersman newspaper. This is her first novel.

Learn more:

Blog: Letters from Alaska

So the book.

I have to admit a lot of my book choices are based on the cover and the cover of this book on Kobo, drew my attention straight away. The simplicity of it, but also the girl and the fox, I was instantly intrigued and so downloaded it.

When I read that it was based on a Russian fairytale, I really didn't know what to expect, again a bit of curiousness crept in and when I started to read this book, it grabbed me and didn't let me go.

Set in the 1920's (though it could easily have been any time in my mind), the story is based on the relationship of Jack and Mabel, the two main characters and follows them as they start a new life in Alaska, building their homestead. The authors descriptions of both characters are very good, giving you a real insight into their relationship and their feelings for each other (strained) and the land on which they are now living (bleak). The days are pretty monotonous to start with, Jack out working the land and Mabel in the homestead.  They have moved there to get away from past memories of losing a child and wanting to start afresh even though they are now middle aged.  Darkness plays a key part in this novel, the short darken days in which they live, the darkness of the loss of their child and the wanting of another. The weather is also key, winters after winter of snow, and it is in this snow that Jack and Mabel create a child that comes to life. At first you think that the child (Faina) is in Mabel's imagination and it is not until one day when Jack follows the child into the mountains and discovers her father's body that you realise she is real.  The story follows their lives, winter after winter, the girl vanishing each spring but returning with the first snow.
Parts of the novel are predictable and as you read it you start to wish for things to happen so that Jack and Mabel get their child and even though in a sense they do, there is also a lot of descriptive writing that just takes you with it and compels you to read on to find out who Faina really is and what happens to Jack and Mabel and their new life in Alaska.
I won't give too much away about the end of the story but all I will say is that this is Eowyn Ivey's debut novel and it is by far one of the most beautifully written books I have read in a long time. The ending although it didn't surprise me left me with some questions and I was really upset when the story ended, purely because it was such an easy and lovely story to read.
I can not wait for any subsequent books by this author because if this is what she can offer on her first attempt then the next one should be truly magnificent.

I gave this book 5 Stars on Goodreads and I would recommend it, an easy to read book, beautifully written, a fantasy and the descriptions of the Alaskan winters fill your imagination in a way I could not ever have imagined.