This book arrived without warning through my letterbox back in the cold depths of winter, and I duly deposited it on my to read pile. Struggling in a bit of a reading slump I picked this up to read on my train journey to work and boy did this pull me out of that slump. Every so often you come across a gem of a book that you literally can’t put down, that you think about all day at your desk itching for the minute you can return to its pages.
The Day We Met tells the story of Stephanie, engaged to Matt and slowly getting over some personal issues in her life, she believes she is now happy but then a chance meeting with Jamie puts a new spin on her world, he seems to be the only person who truly understands her. But Jamie is happily married to his childhood sweet heart, although he too feels this unexplainable connection to Stephanie. A connection so strong neither of them can ignore it and so begins a 10 year journey, a 10 year will they won’t they for the reader.
The story of the book does leave you torn, as this is a story about an affair, on the one hand you want to stop what is happening but on the other you do find yourself rooting for Stephanie & Jamie and then questioning yourself for it. It’s one of those books that just gets to you, you want to rush to the ending and then you get there… but I don’t want to spoil that for you, so you’ll have to go read it!
The Day We Met
1 February 2019
Stephanie and Jamie are meant to be. The problem is they're both with other people...
Stephanie doesn’t believe in fate, true love or living happily ever after. She’s content enough being engaged to Matt. But then she meets Jamie, who understands her more than anyone else ever has.
Jamie is happily married to his childhood sweetheart Helen and believes in everything Stephanie doesn’t. So why does he have such a strong connection with Stephanie?
When Stephanie and Jamie meet one fateful weekend in 2006 it will change everything...
Susan is 45, she has a flat for 1, a ‘relationship’ arrangement that suits her just fine and a job that suits her skills. Susan doesn’t have close friends and avoids her brother Edward, but when the sudden loss of her mother brings her back home her carefully organised life starts to unravel and it’s not just the loss of her mother, there is a far more interesting development in Susan’s life that well and truly puts a spanner in the works.
Sarah Haywood has created such a wonderful character in Susan – she is as prickly as the title suggests, and yet you can’t help but be drawn in to her world and by the end of the book you uncover that this cactus really can bloom. I thoroughly enjoyed the insight into Susan’s mind and nature and was torn between whether I loved her or hated her, loving the reactions of those around her who encouraged her to step out of herself and let people in.
A truly heart-warming little story!
4 October 2018
It's never too late to bloom ... People aren't sure what to make of Susan Green - family and colleagues find her prickly and hard to understand, but Susan makes perfect sense to herself.
Age 45, she thinks her life is perfect, as long as she avoids her feckless brother, Edward - a safe distance away in Birmingham. She has a London flat which is ideal for one; a job that suits her passion for logic; and a personal arrangement providing cultural and other, more intimate, benefits.
Yet suddenly faced with the loss of her mother and, implausibly, with the possibility of becoming a mother herself, Susan's greatest fear is being realised: she is losing control. And things can only get worse ... at least in Susan's eyes.
I was lucky to be given an advanced proof of this book by the publishers, having not heard anything about the book before picking it up I was instantly in the middle of a gripping narrative.
Everyone knows Cornelia Blackwood but there is something about her that people turn away from, and through the course of the book we slowly begin to uncover her story. A loving wife who tragically loses her husband but then finds he wasn’t where he should’ve been and through investigation she discovers a shocking secret, a secret somewhat poignant when you learn the truth about Cornelia.
It’s difficult to say much about the story without giving away major spoilers so I won’t say more about the plot, but you can’t help but be captured by the beautiful story telling that the author weaves around Cornelia in this book, you feel for her. The book deals with a difficult subject matter, but it’s not shied away from in anyway and you’ll be left with a lasting impression after reading this book!
The Flight of Cornelia Blackwood
Susan Elliot Wright
Simon & Schuster UK
19 February 2019
What has happened to Cornelia Blackwood?
She has a loving marriage.
But she has no friends.
Everyone knows her name.
But no one will speak it.
Cornelia Blackwood is about to do something very wrong, for reasons she believes to be right.
I’ve read many of Jodi Picoult’s previous books so am always eager to get my hands on a new release, and thanks to the publishers for allowing me an advanced review copy of this latest release.
Picoult is never one to shy away from emotive issues and this book is no exception, a shooter has taken hostages in an abortion centre and the police negotiators sister is an injured victim, his daughter a hostage caught up in the ongoing situation. But the book is about more then this situation it’s a revealing look at a series of characters and their connection to the abortion centre, both those in favour and those against the practice, as well as those who are there for very different reasons.
The book is very balanced and doesn’t sway to an opinion on either side of the abortion argument. There are parts of the story where you can’t help but be moved, and there was one particular part where a description left me very unnerved. You’ll find yourself drawn to each characters story and reason for being in the centre on the fateful day and left wondering how the situation will pan out, who will make it out?
There’s also a brilliant twist near the end which I would have liked to have seen more on (but perhaps it’s one for another novel).
Picoult really is a magical weaver of beautiful thought provoking stories!
A Spark of Light
Hodder & Stoughton
30 October 2018
The Center for women's reproductive health offers a last chance at hope - but nobody ends up there by choice.
Its very existence is controversial, and to the demonstrators who barricade the building every day, the service it offers is no different from legalised murder.
Now life and death decisions are being made horrifyingly real: a lone protester with a gun has taken the staff, patients and visitors hostage.
Starting at the tensest moment in the negotiations for their release, A Spark of Light unravels backwards, revealing hour by urgent hour what brought each of these people - the gunman, the negotiator, the doctors, nurses and women who have come to them for treatment - to this point.
And certainties unwind as truths and secrets are peeled away, revealing the complexity of balancing the right to life with the right to choose.
Nina is coming to terms with splitting from her husband who now has a baby on the way with his new partner, a friend has set her up on a blind date which turns out to be disastrous, the guy is definitely not for Nina and when she chokes on an alive it couldn’t be worse.. or could it?
Saved by the waitress Nina is very thankful but things soon take a turn when the waitress unexpectedly barges into Nina’s home followed shortly by her bloodied brother and a very young baby. What follows is a terrifying situation and one which pushes Nina to take many risks. The waitress Angel by name, but it seems not by nature.
I loved the way the first half of the book dealt with the traumatic hostage situation but the second half showed the aftermath and was in fact full of more twists and turns. This was more then your average crime thriller, it was thought provoking and had a family story on it’s heart. It was difficult not to be drawn into the main characters lives and feel for them.
A real thrill ride of a read!
Don't you cry
6th September 2018
She saved your life.
When Nina almost dies during a disastrous blind date, her life is saved by a waitress called Angel. But later that evening, Nina is surprised by a knock on the door. It’s Angel – and she’s pointing a gun at her.
Now she’ll make you pay.
Minutes later, Angel’s younger brother Lucas turns up, covered in blood shielding a stolen newborn baby in his arms. Nina is about to endure the longest night of her life – a night that will be filled with terror and lead her to take risks she would never have believed herself capable of…