In The Liar’s Wife by Samantha Hayes we meet Ella. She doesn’t socialise. She goes to work and straight back to her apartment. Same routine, every day. Until one evening she gets hit by a van while cycling home. She wakes up in a hospital to be assured by a caring nurse that her husband, Jacob didn’t leave her sight when she was in a coma. He is going to come back soon to take her to their new home. Except she is not married, she is sure of it, or has she forgotten? Has the blow to hear head caused her to loose some memories?

Once she sees him however, Ella knows he isn’t who he claims to be. She is terrified of him, but cannot tell anyone why, not even the friendly nurse. She is on her own and needs to do what he says, she needs to go with him to their new home. This is a moment when the reader thinks, no don’t go with him, there has to be another way. But she he takes her and she complies and then she spends her time trying to figure out a way to escape. To make things more difficult for her, Jacob fills the house with security cameras in order to watch her every move when he isn’t home. Her leg is in a cast and her hand is broken. Nosy neighbours are knocking on their door to welcome them into the neighbourhood. As much as she would like to ask them for help, she knows she cannot. Not only Jacob keeps her trapped inside the house, he is also blackmailing her not to seek escape.
To make things worse, Jacob arrives one evening with a baby that he has snatched from a mother when she wasn’t paying enough attention.
The book he’s its ups and downs. It is suspenseful in places. Frustrating at times. A bit confusing towards the end in relation to Jacob’s real identity.

From me 3 pins SafetyPin2 SafetyPin2 SafetyPin2, nappies or notebooks.


Pins, nappies or notebooks rating:

SafetyPin2 SafetyPin2 SafetyPin2 SafetyPin2 SafetyPin2 – one of the best books I read

SafetyPin2 SafetyPin2 SafetyPin2 SafetyPin2 – charmed

SafetyPin2 SafetyPin2 SafetyPin2 – good read

SafetyPin2 SafetyPin2 – disappointed, I thought it was going to be better

SafetyPin2 – don’t waste your time


The biggest gift of all times


In all the pre-Christmas hustle and bustle I forgot about my holiday read. Then I found the perfect solution, The Christmas Gift by Monica McInerney. A little gift for 50 cents.

I don’t often reach for short stories but when I do, it’s like opening a box of chocolates. Short stories have to be dosed. They are meant to be had in small quantities due to their full bodied flavour.

The first bite is The Christmas List, where we are introduced to Rosie and Dan and their beloved daughter. Amy falls really ill in her first year of school . She is diagnosed with cancer and her parents fear they may loose her. Her Mum is making Christmas lists, as she was due to host a big family gathering. She doesn’t want to cancel, even though everyone expects her to. She feels that the task of planning the venue is keeping her intact, that otherwise she would crumble to pieces. She painstakingly lists all the festive food items as she waits for the consultant to tell her if the new treatment has worked.

In The holiday it’s actually the summer holiday that the family of four are dreaming of. Sinead and Declan, together with their twin children Ciara and Adam, have been saving money to be able to spend their summer holidays in Spain. However things get tough for them financially, and they end up using their savings for everyday needs. But Grandad has a surprise that may be able to cheer the family up.

Two shorts stories for busy souls who like a winter holiday read.

3 1539465504 15394655041539465504 polar bears, snow flakes or baubles from me.


Polar bears, snow flakes or baubles rating:

15394655041539465504153946550415394655041539465504 – one of the best books I read

1539465504153946550415394655041539465504 – charmed

153946550415394655041539465504 – good read

15394655041539465504 – disappointed, I thought it was going to be better

1539465504 – don’t waste your time


Each year the Christmas time is different from any past ones
and each person’s Christmas is different to another’s.
I hope yours is full of love, as this is the bigger gift of all times.



Irish Book Awards 2018

Irish Book Awards is running its yearly event – to use their own words, “a national campaign which celebrates the value and joy of reading and encourages everyone to pick up more books, more often.”
An Post has become the main sponsor for the next three years.
Titles of the shortlisted books for this year are due to be published on their website on the 25th October at 7 PM. Winners will be selected on the 27th November.




I was very curious when I picked Our House by Louise Candlish. It was promising intrigue. Fi is coming back home one day to see someone else moving in. Another family, complete strangers in her house. All of their belongings are gone and are being replaced. She does a double take, checks if it is in fact her house, just like you might in a nightmare. There is no doubt, she has not made a mistake. It is her place or it used to be. However the book did not deliver what I was expecting. I was bored for a good part of it. Not much was happening for a good while. I think the reason for it was that pretty much the whole story was given away at the beginning and then we were just walked through the events in detail, which was not that exciting.

I couldn’t feel much compassion towards Bram, one of the main characters. He was being blackmailed into selling his family home. He felt horrible for causing the accident that allowed the blackmailer to have something on him. I had the impression however that he felt more sorry for himself than for the victim. He seemed to have exonerated himself by placing the blame on the other driver. Bram wasn’t let back into his lane after he tried to overtake a car, and while it is clear that this wasn’t his fault, he should not have been speeding in the first place, engaging in a race with the other vehicle. I think the horrifying outcome of the accident didn’t let me turn a blind eye on this fact, like Bram seemed to have done.

Bram tells his story through a lengthy written confession. I didn’t think that form was very convincing and suitable for his state of mind, a letter might be; not sure about a manuscript.

After experiencing moral distaste towards Bram, we are also presented with a character of his wife Fi, whom the author is describing as seeing the word in black and white, being morally unscarred. Yet what she does at the end of the book has thrown me off, even given the circumstances. She seems to view her act as understandable and even forgivable. Even though it weights on her conscience she is able to quickly move on. Another morally ill character.

What saves the book is the very ending. It sends a message that no crime of this caliber is left unpunished. It is clear, strong an powerful. Finally gives the reader what the book has been missing.

I cannot say it was a good read, I really thought it was going to be better, so two 1490616952 1490616952house keys bunches, car horns or wine glasses.


House keys buches, car horns or wine glasses rating:

14906169521490616952149061695214906169521490616952 – one of the best books I read
1490616952149061695214906169521490616952 – charmed
149061695214906169521490616952 – good read
14906169521490616952– disappointed, I thought it was going to be better
1490616952– don’t waste your time

Secrets from you


I picked The Couple Next Door by Shari Lapena in a haste at the airport bookshop for my sun holiday. It was a quick and easy read but not much more. Anne and Marco go to a dinner party next door and leave their six month old baby daughter sleeping in her cot alone in the house. They take the baby monitor with them and agree to take turns to check on her every half an hour. All is fine throughout the dinner but on their return home, they find the door unlocked, the cot empty and the baby missing. They call the police, feeling guilty for leaving her alone in the house.

After that both parents become suspects in the eyes of the detective investigating the case, although he has to be very tactful as these are only suspicions and the parents may in fact have nothing to do with her disappearance. He even offers, that she might have been taken even if the parents were sleeping in their bedroom next door. Detective quickly finds out that Anne suffers from postpartum depression, for which she
has been prescribed medication and she has been drinking that night. The husband jumps with an idea that they should offer a handsome ransom, even though no call has been made asking for it and it has not been established that the baby has been kidnapped by anyone. He suggest that his wife should ask her wealthy parents for the money and they should issue a statement in the press.

I didn’t enjoy the all knowing narrator, I found it made the plot over discussed,
the reader could have easily reached some of the conclusions on their own. The plot itself  was a little predictable in some places. I wasn’t convinced by the ”deal” the police have offered at the end (I don’t want to give away too much), I didn’t think that the person to whom the deal was offered had enough leverage for that.
I did enjoy the final twist at the very end, it made the book come to life a bit more again and run a chill through my spine, when all the dramas were coming to and end.

It won’t be the best book or the best thriller if you choose to read it but you will be turning the pages quickly.
So, overall 3 rg1024-Door.pngrg1024-Door.pngrg1024-Door.pngdoors, baby blankets or kitchen knives.


Doors, baby blankets or kitchen knives rating:

rg1024-Door.pngrg1024-Door.pngrg1024-Door.pngrg1024-Door.pngrg1024-Door.png – one of the best books I read
rg1024-Door.pngrg1024-Door.pngrg1024-Door.pngrg1024-Door.png – charmed
rg1024-Door.pngrg1024-Door.pngrg1024-Door.png – good read
rg1024-Door.pngrg1024-Door.png – disappointed, I thought it was going to be better
rg1024-Door.png – don’t waste your time

Sunny Days


In The Family Next Door by Sally Hepworth we visit Melbourne suburbs. We get to know a few of the families who live in the neighbourhood, which makes the book interesting and lively from the start. Essie is a mother of two girls, a toddler Mia and a baby Polly. Her husband Ben together with her mother Barbara who leaves near by, are keeping a close eye on Essie, as she went through an episode of a postnatal depression after her first daughter was born.

When a new person rents a house in their vicinity Essie is strangely drawn to her. She thinks she may even be attracted to Isabelle, and wants to know more about who she is and where she came from. Isabelle doesn’t seem to share much about herself but wants to know everything about Essie.

Ange is an estate agent who helped to find the house that Isabelle now occupies. She is a perfectionist and is not happy when she finds out that some of the personal information Isabelle has provided doesn’t check out. Despite having two wild boys of her own, Ollie and Will, Ange keeps her house tidy and her appearance immaculate in order to keep her husband Lucas close.

Fran doesn’t stop running, she is jogging any time she can. There is something weighting heavy on her conscience. Something she cannot share with her husband Nigel. He is a great dad to Rosie and baby Ava, but he was depressed after the little one was born, leaving Fran on her own, having to look after all of them.

Despite leaving so close, the women are keeping their secrets to themselves, until the problems just grow too much and start leaking out.

A lively book, an interesting read worth 3 mokush-Sunflowermokush-Sunflowermokush-Sunflower sunflowers, telephone cords or pizza slices. A few errors that the proofreader has missed.


Sunflowers, telephone cords or pizza slices rating:

mokush-Sunflowermokush-Sunflowermokush-Sunflowermokush-Sunflowermokush-Sunflower – one of the best books I read
mokush-Sunflowermokush-Sunflowermokush-Sunflowermokush-Sunflower – charmed
mokush-Sunflowermokush-Sunflowermokush-Sunflower – good read
mokush-Sunflowermokush-Sunflower – disappointed, I thought it was going to be better
mokush-Sunflower – don’t waste your time

Let down


I think that what kept me distanced to the Friend request by  Laura Marshall was the protagonist Louise. As a teenage girl she chooses to stick with the popular girls and abandons two others that nobody else whats to be friends with,
Esther and Maria. For a young girl, the school is pretty much her whole life,
so as a reader you are inclined to show her some sympathy at this point.
However the choices she makes later in her adult life make you care about her even less.
Louise enters adulthood with a heavy concience. She is frightened, ashamed and feels guilty about something. Something that has happened twenty five years ago at a school party, after which the new girl Maria disappeared, never to be found again.

Louise grows up and leaves her hometown. She gets married and has a child.
Then one day just before a school reunion, she gets a message on Facebook.
The message is from a girl whom she thought to be dead for a long time.
Louise doesn’t know what to think. Is it possible that Maria is alive after all?

Parts of the book seemed to drag along, especially towards the end.
It was hard to justify some of the decisions that Louise was making.
She acted more like a silly teenager rather than an adult woman. She thought she has changed for the better just because she was nicer towards others, but her moral spine was in fact still rather weak.

Overall, I am afraid just two envelopes antiFlash-icons-env-300px antiFlash-icons-env-300px, car tyres or apples.


Envelopes, car tyres or apples rating:

antiFlash-icons-env-300pxantiFlash-icons-env-300pxantiFlash-icons-env-300pxantiFlash-icons-env-300pxantiFlash-icons-env-300px– one of the best books I read
antiFlash-icons-env-300pxantiFlash-icons-env-300pxantiFlash-icons-env-300pxantiFlash-icons-env-300px – charmed
antiFlash-icons-env-300pxantiFlash-icons-env-300pxantiFlash-icons-env-300px – good read
antiFlash-icons-env-300pxantiFlash-icons-env-300px – disappointed, I thought it was going to be better
antiFlash-icons-env-300px – don’t waste your time



Skeleton in the closet



The Other Woman by Laura Wilson was a quick read. Sophie struggles with the everyday life, with her husband often away on business she divides her time between her busy household that she runs with the help of an au-pair and between a shop she has opened with her friend Melissa.

Each Christmas she meticulously sends letters to family and friends updating them on the main events in her life. Someone anonymously returns one each year with nasty comments. This year the message reads that the person has been having an affair with her husband and that Paul is going to leave her. She is determined to find out who the mysterious woman is and then confront her without letting her husband know what she has learnt. The confrontation doesn’t go exactly as planned, there is some pushing and shoving and as a result the mistress ends up dead. This is where the book becomes interesting. Sophie’s next decision changes everything. She fears that in light of her knowledge about the affair, neither the police nor her husband would ever believe her that the death has been an accident and she decides not to inform the authorities and to get rid of the body.

The book is a page turner after that. Slightly comic in a black humour kind of way, an ordinary busy housewife in a respected neighbourhood hiding a body in her freezer.

Will she have to pay for what she has done? Find out for yourself. Overall 3 1283789192 12837891921283789192arrows, freezers or cars.


Arrows, freezers or cars rating.

12837891921283789192128378919212837891921283789192 – one of the best books I read

1283789192128378919212837891921283789192 – charmed

128378919212837891921283789192– good read

12837891921283789192 – disappointed, I thought it was going to be better

1283789192 – don’t waste your time