After the End – Clare Mackintosh

After the End – Clare Mackintosh

Having read all of Clare’s previous novels I’m always excited when she releases a new one. This book is however something a bit different to her normal thrillers.

Max & Pip are a strong, happy couple with a beautiful little boy, but then their son Dylan gets sick and they are faced with the hardest decision any parent has to make.

But they don’t agree on the decision….

The ensuing story covers 2 possible outcomes that happen “after the end”. It doesn’t hold back from showing the pain, heartbreak & struggles that each character encounters as they question whether they’ve made the right decision.

This is probably the one book that will stay with me for a long time, it’s poignant and heartbreaking and a true credit to Clare.

After the End Book Cover After the End
Clare Mackintosh
Sphere
25 June 2019
Kindle
384

Max and Pip are the strongest couple you know. Only now they're facing the most important decision of their lives - and they don't agree.

As the consequences of an impossible choice threaten to devastate them both, nothing will ever be the same again.

But anything can happen after the end . . .

Dear Lily – Drew Davies

Dear Lily – Drew Davies

There’s something special about letters (we should write more), and I loved that this story was told by way of Joy’s letters to her sister.

Joy has done something completely out of character for her, and has found herself starting a new role in a new country, away from her family and friends – she is completely out of her comfort zone but through her letters you uncover her character, a bit of an overthinker, sometimes slightly neurotic but also very funny.

It’s a real uplifting story of starting over – it’s one sided being told through only Joy’s letters, but it totally works for the story arc – it’ll have you laughing at loud but also stiffling a few tears if you’re reading in public.

It’s also rare to find a “chick – lit” book written by a man that works so well – I didn’t even realise the author wasn’t a woman – fantastic read!

Dear Lily Book Cover Dear Lily
Drew Davies
Bookouture
17 May 2019
Kindle
276

Dear Lily,

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.

Love,

Joy x

Cross Her Heart – Sarah Pinborough

Cross Her Heart – Sarah Pinborough

Having read “Behind her Eyes” previously I was looking forward to another installment of Sarah Pinborough’s work and dived right in to “Cross Her Heart”

Lisa is a single mother who keeps herself to herself, she has 1 good friend through work and is overly protective of her teenage daughter Ava. Ava, like all teenagers I’m sure, has her own secrets – she’s been talking to a guy online. However she isn’t the only one with a secret as the biggest secret is the one Lisa has been keeping for a very long time, and one which is about to be uncovered.

Once again Pinborough has crafted a brilliant psychological story, you’re pulled into Lisa’s world and as her secret unravels find yourself racing through to uncover more and just as the book’s tag line says “you won’t see it coming”

Stick with this one and you’re in for a treat!

Cross Her Heart Book Cover Cross Her Heart
Sarah Pinborough
HarperCollins
21 February 2019
Kindle
394

Lisa tells lies.

Most of them are small white lies intended to make the life of her daughter, Ava, easier.

But her biggest lie of all about to be exposed.

Because Lisa is lying to everyone.

Lisa isn’t who she says she is.

Lisa isn’t even called Lisa at all.

Her real name is Charlotte Nevill and as a child she was convicted of the brutal murder of her half-brother, Daniel.

Someone out there knows the truth. They’re determined to make Lisa pay. And they won’t stop until everything she loves is destroyed.

The Girl at the Window – Rowan Coleman

The Girl at the Window – Rowan Coleman

Seriously the people at Penguin must be researching my favourite things, I was so excited when an advanced copy of The Girl at the Window landed through my letterbox. Yorkshire, Emily Bronte, Rowan Coleman… literally jumping for joy in my hallway. My absolute all-time favourite book is Wuthering Heights and I’m so glad that Rowan Coleman picked Emily Bronte to centre this story around. Ponden Hall is a real home in Yorkshire, in the centre of the Bronte world. In this book it’s the setting for a wonderful story that’s as atmospheric as a true Bronte novel. Trudy has moved back to Ponden her family home with her son after her beloved husband goes missing in a plane crash. She is returning after a long time away and finds the home in desperate need of love and care. She left not on the best terms with her mother and being back also gives them a chance to reconnect and for her mother to start a relationship with her grandson. Ponden calls to it’s true owners and on her return some very spooky things begin to happen which led Trudy on a journey to uncover the history of some of Ponden’s previous occupants as well as it’s connection to Emily Bronte herself. It’s very clear through the novel that Rowan herself is a huge Bronte fan and clearly has a connection with Yorkshire. Her descriptions of the Moors truly bring to life on the page and I found myself longing to be back there myself. I haven’t visited Ponden myself before, but through the book I felt as much a connection to the house as its residents and if I get the chance to go back to Yorkshire I will make sure I pay a visit! Fans of the Bronte’s may be wary in reading this book but let me reassure you it’s a beautifully written story that pays them the respect they deserve. I loved it and it’s definitely one of my favourite books this year! It’s so lovely to share my love of the Bronte’s with someone!

If You Could Go Anywhere – Paige Toon

If You Could Go Anywhere – Paige Toon

Those of you who have been viewing our page for some time, will know that we’re huge fans of Paige Toon here at Compelling Reads. So nabbing an advanced copy of If You Could Go Anywhere from the Simon & Schuster Spring blogger event naturally left us ecstatic! This time Paige introduces us to Angie a girl that dreams of travelling. She asks everyone she meets where they could go if they ‘could go anywhere’ and many of those have sent the postcodes she keeps in her room. Sadly Angie’s own circumstances meant that she hasn’t travelled but when these circumstances change and some surprising information about her father are revealed she finds herself finally on her way. The novel is set mainly in Rome as Angie meets her father and those he is close to including Alessandro. Paige does an amazing job in her descriptions of the places Angie visits, so much so that I really felt as if I were there alongside her, seeing the sights & tasting the gelato of Rome for myself. The growing friendship between Angie and Alessandro unfolds perfectly and you’ll find yourself drawn to him as much as Angie is. This book is the perfect summer read whether you find yourself travelling or just dreaming of that place you’d go, if you could go anywhere
If You Could Go Anywhere Book Cover If You Could Go Anywhere
Paige Toon
Simon & Schuster
16 May 2019
Paperback
432

HOW DO YOU FIND WHERE YOU'RE GOING, IF YOU DON'T KNOW WHERE YOU'RE FROM . . .

Angie has always wanted to travel. But at twenty-seven, she has barely stepped outside the small mining town where she was born. Instead, she discovers the world through stories told to her by passing travellers, dreaming that one day she'll see it all for herself.

When her grandmother passes away, leaving Angie with no remaining family, she is ready to start her own adventures. Then she finds a letter revealing the address of the father she never knew, and realises instantly where her journey must begin: Italy.

As Angie sets out to find the truth – about her family, her past and who she really is – will mysterious and reckless Italian Alessandro help guide the way?

Let Me Lie – Clare Mackintosh

Let Me Lie – Clare Mackintosh

I’ve read all of Clare Mackintosh’s novels now and eagerly anticipate every new release. Her plots are always full of twists and turns and the unexpected and Let Me Lie doesn’t disappoint on that front

Anna is a new mother who is dealing with the trauma of having lost both her parents within quick succession to suicide. Although Anna now has her own life having fallen by her therapist in the wake of the tragedy and quickly becoming pregnant being a mother also makes her feel the loss of her own.

However Anna isn’t convinced her parent’s deaths were suicide and a letter received on the first anniversary of her Mother’s death seems to add fuel to this feeling. But her closest friends and loved ones aren’t keen to follow her way of thought.

The novel worked really well pulling through the theme of mental health and grief from the beginning to the end and provides a gripping read that I didn’t want to put down. I look forward to the next story!

Let Me Lie Book Cover Let Me Lie
Clare Mackintosh
Sphere
27 December 2018
Paperback
416

The police say it was suicide.
Anna says it was murder.
Who do you believe?

One year ago, Caroline Johnson chose to end her life brutally: a shocking suicide planned to match that of her husband just months before. Their daughter, Anna, has struggled to come to terms with their loss ever since.

Now with a young baby of her own, Anna misses her mother more than ever and starts to ask questions about her parents' deaths. But by digging up the past, is she putting her future in danger?

Sometimes it's safer to let things lie . . .

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