We were absolutely ecstatic to receive a very special bloggers copy of Rowan’s latest novel A Summer of Impossible Things and eager to get lost amongst it’s pages!
In a new turn for Rowan this story explores the possibility of time travel, but in a very clever way. Luna and her sister have lost their mum and are visiting America to sell off her old family home, but the death of their mother has uncovered some major secrets about who Luna is and being back in her mum’s childhood home has some unsettling effects for Luna – she finds she is literally drawn back in time and it’s possible that it’s down to her to change the tragic events of the past and hopefully make a new brighter future for her family.
The plot was very cleverly put together for this story and despite the time travel it was never unclear where you were in time or the story and the plot unwound naturally. I really enjoyed the relationship between Luna and her sister and how Luna supported her sister through her own issues. Luna was selfless in her determination to resolve the issues from the past even though it was clear this could mean she lost herself and her own happiness in the process.
The subplot of Luna’s own love interest in the past was also well done – showing two people drawn together by fate and unexpected circumstance and how they can overcome barriers to find love.
There are very few time travelling novels that I’ve actually enjoyed but I can genuinely add this one to the list. A beautiful book!
The Summer of Impossible Things
29th June 2017
This summer, get ready to believe in Impossible Things with the brand new book from international bestseller, Rowan Coleman. This is THE TIME TRAVELLER'S WIFE for a new generation of readers. Available to pre-order now!
If you could change the past, would you?
Thirty years ago, something terrible happened to Luna’s mother. Something she’s only prepared to reveal after her death.
Now Luna and her sister have a chance to go back to their mother’s birthplace and settle her affairs. But in Brooklyn they find more questions than answers, until something impossible – magical – happens to Luna, and she meets her mother as a young woman back in the summer of 1977.
At first Luna’s thinks she’s going crazy, but if she can truly travel back in time, she can change things. But in doing anything – everything – to save her mother’s life, will she have to sacrifice her own?
With thanks to The Orion Publishing Group for allowing us an advance copy of this book in exchange for review – the third in a series by Becky Masterman, however we’ve not read any of the previous books and had no problem getting stuck into this story reading it as a standalone.
Here we meet Bridget Quinn reminiscing on her first time witnessing someone’s execution and flashing forwards to present day where she winds up travelling to her parents as her dad is gravely ill and reencountering an old colleague who is now desperate to save a man days away from execution on death row. Marc Creighton is accused of the murder of his wife, thanks to some loose fingerprint evidence, and it’s also believed he murdered his children who disappeared the same night.
Marc however has always protested his innocence but can he convince those who want to put him to death in time? Bridget is looking over the case and this turns into a gripping thriller with a race against the clock element – unfortunately at some point the clock runs out but the pace of the story doesn’t falter and there are many more puzzle pieces to fit together before the oh my god twist of an ending!
A fantastic crime narrative and I’m sure to return to this author!
A Twist of the knife
Weidenfeld & Nicolson
8th June 2017
It takes a strong woman to be able to watch someone die.
Brigid Quinn is tough, determined, steely and sharper than sharp. As an ex-agent of the FBI she has seen it all, and survived. But nothing can cut her closer to the bone than family...
When Brigid gets a call from her mother saying her father is in hospital with pneumonia, she decides to check on her former colleague Laura Coleman who is living nearby. Having saved Brigid's life, Laura is now working on an 'innocence project', investigating cold cases. And one in particular seems to have caught her attention. Fifteen years before, Marcus Creighton was accused of killing his wife and three children. Now the state governor has signed the warrant for his execution.
Worried that her friend is getting in too deep, Brigid promises to help. But what if her instincts are betraying her? If she can't even trust her memories of her own childhood, how can she make a call on some stranger's story that took place over fifteen years before?
We’re really enjoying reading Dinah Jefferies at Compelling reads so were thrilled to be asked again to take part in the Blog Tour for her latest novel Before The Rains.
This time Dinah takes us on a journey to India – Eliza is an aspiring photographer, who is widowed but determined to forge ahead in her career. She has connections with India from her childhood, where she tragically witnessed the death of her father, murdered by a bomb from a freedom group. This sets up the political undercurrent of the story, as old traditions struggle against British rule and the fight for freedom from it.
Eliza has returned to photograph the royal family of Rajputana where she meets and is attracted to Prince Jay, second in line to the throne, while he teaches Eliza about Indian culture she shows him the true poverty of his country and inspires him to take up a project of water irrigation. As Eliza grows closer to Jay it isn’t unnoticed by those around and she is discouraged from getting close to him as he is destined to marry well. British diplomat Clifford also has designs on her and in using her to spy on the Royal family.
It’s a complex love story which is cleverly played out to highlight the politics of the time – both sides end up making sacrifices for love and in Eliza’s case she makes a few discoveries about her own identity, as a woman post widowhood and her family history.
It’s a novel which again blends history, romance and the exotic Indian landscape into a captivating story, it’s Dinah’s signature style which works so well and keeps us returning to her stories.
See our other Dinah Jefferies reviews and posts here: http://compellingreads.co.uk/?s=dinah+jefferies
Before The Rains
23rd February 2017
1930, Rajputana, India. Since her husband's death, 28-year-old photojournalist Eliza's only companion has been her camera. When the British Government send her to an Indian princely state to photograph the royal family, she's determined to make a name for herself.
But when Eliza arrives at the palace she meets Jay, the Prince's handsome, brooding brother. While Eliza awakens Jay to the poverty of his people, he awakens her to the injustices of British rule. Soon Jay and Eliza find they have more in common than they think. But their families - and society - think otherwise. Eventually they will have to make a choice between doing what's expected, or following their hearts. . .
With thanks to the publishers for allowing us an advanced copy of this book through Netgalley.
Intrigued by the blurb billing this as “The most unsettling psychological thriller you’ll read this year“, we couldn’t not check this book out. Watching Edie brings us Edie, living what can be described as a dead end life in a cheap flat, working a dead end job, she is haunted by something from her past. When an old friend Heather turns up out of the blue it’s clear there is a history between the two women and one which Edie may want to forgot.
Edie it soon turns out is pregnant following a brief encounter with a co-worker who has since left never knowing about the baby, when the baby is born thoughts of her past stop Edie from bonding with the child and somehow Heather steps in, but in turn further pushes Edie away from her friends and remaining family, but also closer to her new neighbour.
Edie and Heather’s history is told in a second narrative of flashbacks, which slowly reveals a story of teenage drama, of a friendship which is challenged by a poisonous relationship which Edie is blinded by.
You’ll find yourself gripped by this plot and desperate to find out the truth of what happened between Edie and Heather. It’s clear that Heather has an unhealthy obsession with Edie, but the twist the end will leave you shocked and stunned!
I was rooting for Edie through most of the book and somewhat wary of Heather who comes across as a strange obsessed figure, but the truth behind the plot really makes you rethink at the conclusion and will stay with you a long time.
Definitely one of the best psychological thrillers this year to date!
7th April 2017
THERE ARE SOME FRIENDS YOU’LL NEVER FORGET…
NO MATTER HOW HARD YOU TRY
Edie is the friend that Heather has always craved. But one night, it goes terrifyingly wrong. And what started as an innocent friendship ends in two lives being destroyed.
Sixteen years later, Edie is still rebuilding her life. But Heather isn’t ready to let her forget so easily. It’s no coincidence that she shows up when Edie needs her most.
Edie or Heather?
Heather or Edie?
Someone has to pay for what happened, but who will it be?
With thanks to the publishers and Netgalley for allowing us a review copy of The One Memory of Flora Banks.
Flora doesn’t remember anything after she was 10 years old, but she has notes on her hand prompting her to be brave and a notebook which contains her story, telling her how when she was 10 she had a tumour, which on removal left her with short time memory problems. Those memory problems means she only retains memories for a couple of hours, so she will live in the same place her whole life with her mum and dad and helped by her best friend Paige.
But when Flora attends a party and kisses her best friend’s boyfriend she wakes with a new memory, she remembers she kissed Drake on the beach and she loves him. Unfortunately having kissed her best friends boyfriend this spells the end to her friendship with Paige, who is supposed to be looking after her when Flora’s parents are called away to look after her older brother who is very ill.
Suddenly Flora finds herself really needing to be brave as she must cope on her own, with just her notes to remind her where she is, where her parents are and that she loves Drake, still carrying the memory of the kiss she finds herself going on an amazing adventure sure that Drake is the key to her recovering her memory.
Underneath the main plot is also a narrative in which we question whether Flora can trust the information given to her by those around her, after all she has no recent memories of her own and can only trust the information she is given by her parents and those around her, but what if they are keeping secrets from her?
A fabulously written young adult story that kept me gripped with its twist and turns, a few times I struggled with the timeline of Flora’s memory as she lapsed between being able to remember and times of forgetfulness and it was difficult to work out a time, but this worked with the plot and helped you to relate to Flora’s own concept of time and memory.
The One Memory of Flora Banks
12th December 2016
HOW DO YOU KNOW WHO TO TRUST WHEN YOU CAN'T EVEN TRUST YOURSELF?
I look at my hands. One of them says FLORA BE BRAVE.
Flora has anterograde amnesia. She can't remember anything day-to-day: the joke her friend made, the instructions her parents gave her, how old she is.
Then she kisses someone she shouldn't, and the next day she remembers it. It's the first time she's remembered anything since she was ten.
But the boy is gone. She thinks he's moved to the Arctic.
Will following him be the key to unlocking her memory? Who can she trust?
With thanks to the publishers for allowing us an advance copy of this book to review through Netgalley. I was intrigued by the description for this book – which follows 3 main characters.
When Louise falls for a guy she meets on a rare night on, things don’t go far but he is first guy she’s had an interest in since her divorce she is mortified when she goes into work to find out David is her new boss, and married to the very beautiful Adele.
Louise vows to remain proffessional at work and when she bumps into Adele and is drawn into being friends with her the situation becomes difficult. It’s clear that David is unhappy in the marriage and he too is drawn to Louise, and it’s also obvious that Adele has issues of her own. But the secrets the couple are hiding are massive and keeps them together, while also breaking them apart. Being in the middle Louise finds herself in an increasingly dangerous situation.
There are plenty of twists and turns to this plot and it’ll keep you turning the pages to unravel the many puzzel pieces that Adele and David web in this book – you can’t help but feel for Louise as the book reaches it’s distrubing conclusion. I have to say that personally although there is a really great twist to the ending – for me this might have been a bit of a step too far to the twists, but none the less you won’t want to put this one down!
Behind Her Eyes
26th January 2017
Don’t trust this book. Don’t trust this story. Don’t trust yourself.