We were thrilled to be able to take part in the blog tour for Dear Lily by Drew Davies and I was not disappointed with this book.
Dear Lily is the story of Joy who has taken a leap way out of her comfort zone to start a new life in Denmark working for her company. It’s very clear from the start of the book that this is something very unexpected for Joy and we are taken along with her anxieties as she pours them out on the page.
Joy it seems is an ironic name for the main character who seems to be very anxious and introvert – being in a new country however and having to start a whole new life on her own does however draw her out. When you start the book it’s hard to see where the book is headed, it’s clear that the character has some issues – she often mentions her face time therapist for example.
The narrative of the story is via a series of letters from Joy to her sister Lily and this works so well, allowing Joy to pour out her deepest thoughts and feelings as she settles in and begins to even enjoy her new life. We also get glimpses of her past as she recalls moments between sisters and we learn a lot about Lily and their family.
We never get the meet Lily herself, but she is as much a character as Joy herself thanks to the wonderful way Drew Davies constructs the story. You can’t help but feel connected to the characters, there are indeed moments of Joy and also sadness. Books written as letters can be tricky to get right, but I think Drew Davies has truly nailed it. A beautiful story about building on a fresh start.
A true Joy to read.
17 May 2019
It’s me, Joy, your much wiser and (very slightly) older sister. I thought I’d start a new tradition of letter writing – now that we’re long distance.
On the plane over here, I began to cry in seat 21C. I think the magnitude of it finally hit me, after everything that happened…
I haven’t even unpacked yet – the only thing I’ve taken out of my suitcase is Harville, your beloved childhood teddy. Sorry for stealing him, but I need him more than you do. Every time I look at that little brown bear I think about our childhood. Remember that dance we made up to Annie’s ‘It’s a Hard Knock Life’? (Remember the broom choreography?)
I’m also sorry for abandoning you – I’ve always been your agony aunt, and a buffer in your infamous shouting matches with Mum. But I had to leave, Lily, I had to.
Anyway, I’m here now. I’m here to start over, and to face up to the past. I want to learn to laugh again, and to find someone to love who will maybe even love me back. You always told me I was just getting by, not actually living, so I’m finally doing it. Wish me luck, little sister.
This book is one of those rare ones that had me gripped from page one right to the end, I did not want to have to stop reading it and was so eager to devour it’s pages.
Don’t you Forget About me features Georgina – a random switch up of her sixth form class back in the end lead her to being seated next to the mysterious new kid Lucas during a reading of Wuthering Heights, and first love bloomed. Fast forward to present day and Georgina is unexpectedly reunited with her first love, but it seems she wasn’t as memorable to him as he doesn’t remember her at all.
Georgina is great, a real sense of humour is overflowing from the page and it’s very natural and keeps you engaged. The events that unfold around her from the awful restaurant she is working in, her semi-famous self-absorbed boyfriend who cheats on her to her flatmate who regularly accuses her of stealing. There is so much to draw upon that builds her character.
And then there is Lucas the mysterious, tall dark & handsome first love who she now finds herself working for alongside his brother Devlin. Georgina seems a bit lost both her career and love life a mess and there is an element of self-doubt about her despite the fact it’s clear she is very beautiful and quite talented. As the book goes on the reasons for that self-doubt are revealed and without spoilers it’s such a great reflection of the current social climate.
There’s chic lit and then there is amazing chic lit and this is definitely the latter. There is so much to praise in this book, the character, the story, the humour, you can’t help but get caught up in the plot and be drawn in. I won’t be forgetting about this book in a hurry
No one you know tells us the story of Ellie Enderlin, whose life has been overshadowed by the murder of her younger sister Lila in 1989. Although Ellie is successful, travelling as an international coffee buyer her private life is less so, her boyfriend having left her and moved away and it seems that the tragedy of her sisters death is the main reason she hasn’t been over to find happiness herself. There is no doubt that the loss deeply affected her and her family and that this was in part due to the part played in the publishing of the book about the murder, that Ellie was unbeknown to her the inspiration for, having formed a friendship with the author.
Younger sister Lila was somewhat of a mathematical prodigy, her closest relationship with numbers, but at the end of her life it seemed she had formed a relationship unfortunately with a married man and it was he who was pointed at as the main suspect in her murder, but no-one is ever charged and the murder remains unsolved.
When Ellie unexpectedly is reunited with her sisters notebook missing since the day she was murdered, she starts on a path towards finally solving the mystery of her sisters murder. The book perfectly combines all the expected twists of a murder mystery with the emotion of someone dealing with the tragic loss of someone close to them, and the weight of guilt at being the one who survived.
No one you know
6 October 2009
Her sister was murdered. The killer was never found. Until now…
All her childhood Ellie Enderlin had lived in her sister’s shadow. But then Lily was murdered and their family changed forever.
Now, decades later, Ellie comes into possession of Lila’s lost notebook and has a chance to finally discover the truth about her sister’s death. But her search for justice will lead her to uncover her sister’s darkest secrets…
The first novel I’ve read by Elizabeth Noble, having this book drop through my letterbox from the Publisher it’s been in my reading pile waiting for a quiet reading moment. This book is perfect for a lazy Sunday curled up with a hot drink.
Dear, Iris explores family relationships, on one hand you have Iris coming to the end of her life, looked after by the granddaughter she virtually brought up. Tess is struggling to cope with the impending loss of her grandmother, having a fractious relationship with her own mother she finds her own impending motherhood bringing them closer.
On the flip side we have Gigi, her family are grown up and she is finding herself unhappy in her marriage and wanting to fly the nest herself, Tess and Gigi are connected by the home where Iris moves to and where Gigi’s father in law also stays. Soon they form a friendship as they deal with the changes in their lives.
This was a moving story with lots of parts to it, it was lovely to see the different family bonds and how they changed. It did feel that there could be more done with the secret Iris was keeping, although it had a nice way of bringing a deeper meaning to the story.
If you love a book to pull on your heart strings this one is for you
27 December 2018
Did you ever have a secret you knew would change everything?
Tess's happy childhood memories are mostly of the grandmother who helped raise her. And now she has a secret to tell Iris - one which will turn so many lives upside down.
But how can you confide your future in someone who barely remembers her past?
Tess knows everything is about to change. What she doesn't know is that chance will lead her into the lives of two strangers - and uncover her grandmother's secret from the past.
A secret which will illuminate her own future . . .
An uplifting, unforgettable story about keeping secrets, taking chances and finding happiness where you least expect it.
Published in a previous edition under the title Letters to Iris.
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...