Best laid plans

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”Three wishes” by Liane Moriarty wasn’t the first book I have read by this author and I’ve started noticing the writer’s particular strengths. The book kick-starts with some lively dialogues. We are placed right in the middle of a drama and then are retrospectively shown how it has all started and gradually escalated. This is the second book that I read by L. Moriarty and it is the same kind of structure that she has implemented, but it worked, so I didn’t mind. The author is a good observant of other peoples’ behaviour in their social environment. She describes quite accurately how tensions build up inside individuals to burst out when they cannot be held any longer.

We are introduced to the main characters when they are celebrating their common birthday, with not one but three cakes as each of the triplets enjoys her own. We meet the sensible and extremely organised Lyn, her identical twin Cat, a business woman and the most daring of the three, and carefree and forgetful Gemma. The relationship between the three woman is peculiar or maybe textbook sisterly. They spend a lot of time together but when they are in a close vicinity the atmosphere gets often very tense, items like fondue forks go flying and end up in sister’s abdomen…

Looking at each of the sisters separately we see how they are different and what has made them that way. Lynette uses spreadsheets to plan her business and personal life alike. She runs a successful catering company and has a loving husband Michael, who has left his first wife for her. They are rising their little daughter Maddie together. Lyn is also helping to rise her step daughter, a teenage girl Karen. All seems perfect in their lives until the demand of her career and family life starting to get too much for her but Lyn is not used to asking for help.

Cat is an accomplished Marketing Manager. All she needs to achieve full happiness is a little baby that her husband and herself are trying to conceive. She is happy with her husband Dan, or so she thought until he has admitted that he has cheated on her.

Gemma refuses to find a place for herself literally and figuratively speaking, she insists that she is happy being a house minder, moving from one place to another, never settling down. Her sisters suspect that it may be related to her one failed attempt on settling down with Marcus, who has died in an accident just before their wedding. What her sisters don’t know was the relief that Gemma felt not having to marry Marucs.

Just like in real live there are things that we gladly share with others and there are such, that we would rather keep to ourselves. We go to see how the three sisters stormed through life, how their lives influenced each other and also sometimes even strangers’ without them even realising it. How their differences infuriated them but haven’t torn them apart. A dynamic book with witty humour. Ending a bit rushed, but made me smile rather than annoy. Wasn’t the best book by the author I read but overall a good read. Three 1358540774-300px1358540774-300px1358540774-300px car wheels, wipers or birthday cakes.

Car wheels, wipers or birthday cakes rating

1358540774-300px1358540774-300px1358540774-300px1358540774-300px1358540774-300px– one of the best books I read

1358540774-300px1358540774-300px1358540774-300px1358540774-300px– charmed

1358540774-300px1358540774-300px1358540774-300px– good read

1358540774-300px1358540774-300px– disappointed, I thought it was going to be better

1358540774-300px– don’t waste your time

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Pandora’s box

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The silent wife” by Kerry Fisher describes the dynamics of an English family with Italian roots. It all starts when Maggie marries into the Farinelli family. She is a second wife to Nico after he has lost his first spouse to cancer. It is not easy for Maggie with her mother in law Ann, who idealises Caitlin and keeps finding flaws everywhere she looks. Maggie is also struggling to get through to Francesca, the grieving Nico and Caitlin’s daughter, a teenage girl who simply misses her mum and doesn’t want to accept someone else taking her place. Maggie, the newest member of the Farrinelli family, starts to feel lost and alienated. She sees an ally in her brother in law Massimo, and at the same time tries to befriend his wife Lara, but finds her a bit uptight and distant.

It is Lara’s secret that holds a barrier between the two women. Once we learn how things are for Lara, we start to understand why she has been behaving in the way she has. Lara lives in constant fear of Massimo, a narcissist who goes out of his way to please other people, he does that so people would think highly of him, but he shows his true colours to his wife and son behind closed doors. She feels trapped into the horrendous situation as her husband threatens her that if she ever leaves him, he will take their son Sandro away from her. Massimo has control of all their finances and thrives on the high opinion everyone has of him. Lara is afraid that nobody would believe her if she ever told the truth about him, so she tiptoes around her husband and does her best to shelter Sandro from his father’s bad temper.

One day Maggie finds a gold jewellery box while cleaning the attic which, just like Pandora’s box, causes all sorts of problems when she opens it. Maggie has to make a decision if she should keep what she found out to herself, a task that isn’t easy for her with her open personality.

In an interesting way the author shows us the same events through Maggie’s and Lara’s eyes and how their different perspectives draw different pictures. It was a pleasurable and smooth read. As the author admits herself in a letter to the readers, when she was doing research for the book, she was digging into the ordinary women’s lives and their daily struggles and that’s what the book delivers. Overall 3 Pelota-de-tenis-300px Pelota-de-tenis-300px Pelota-de-tenis-300px tennis balls, ice cones or teaspoons.

Tennis balls, ice cones or teaspoons rating

Pelota-de-tenis-300px Pelota-de-tenis-300px Pelota-de-tenis-300px Pelota-de-tenis-300px Pelota-de-tenis-300px – one of the best books I read

Pelota-de-tenis-300px Pelota-de-tenis-300px Pelota-de-tenis-300px Pelota-de-tenis-300px – charmed

Pelota-de-tenis-300px Pelota-de-tenis-300px Pelota-de-tenis-300px – good read

Pelota-de-tenis-300px Pelota-de-tenis-300px – disappointed, I thought it was going to be better

Pelota-de-tenis-300px – don’t waste your time

That is not me

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“Hi Aneta
Thanks very much for this thoughtful and generous review. I’m glad you liked the book.
With best wishes
Ann”

 

I bought this ebook on sale for 3 euro. ”Beside Myself” by Ann Morgan is one of those rare books that drag you in and you just have to keep reading. It was a gem, dark and intense. The style of the writing itself is worth noting, the use of phrases without verbs have added an artistic feel to it. The author introduced a narrator in the second and third person alongside, which worked well and served its purpose; the second person rather unique, rarely seen in other books.

The plot was intriguing, built up fast and kept you turning pages. The characters were complex. A lot of deep and insightful thought was put into their psychological aspect. Throughout the whole book we see what impact can certain events have on us. How they can brake and damage us, how then we pass it further to the others. It also shows that the way others perceive us, can have a strong impact on our lives. How people are social animals and can waste away when they are abandoned and left alone.

The book is about a couple of twins, young girls who one day come up with a plan, one that must have crossed minds of every identical twin on Earth, what if we swapped places for a while? They spend one afternoon practicing being the other and giggling on their way home. It comes easily for Helen, the extrovert and confident twin, so they focus more on Ellie, on trying to turn her from the shy self into the leader. Surprisingly, Ellie gets it and rises up for the challenge. Furthermore, she enjoys it and doesn’t want to go back to being herself again, often picked at and laughed at, so she persists and claims to be Helen.

The real Helen is the protagonist of the book. She is fed up and wants things to get back to normal, she wants to be herself again but nobody believes her. Time passes by. Her sister thrives, she is popular at school while things are tough for herself, just like they used to be for her sister. With her identity stolen her life slips out of her hands and takes one bad turn after another. She takes on a role of a Cinderella in the family, every one sees her as the weaker, less talented or even plain stupid version of her sister. Their Mother blames the cord getting wrapped around her neck during the birth and simply accepts the situation. The girl screams inside. As they reach their teenage years, she rebels. She hurts herself the most in the process, but she doesn’t know who she is anymore, having lost that long ago as a child. She decides she is a nobody and doesn’t want to feel anything, because it hurts too much. She becomes deeply depressed but her family turns a blind eye.

The twins despise each other and have no contact as grown ups, until one day they paths cross again. The new Hellie is a successful woman with a family, while Smudge, as the former Helen calls herself, is alone and still struggling. Will she be able to rebuild her life, to finally be her former self or maybe a new person altogether? Has life been really that good and easy for her sister, always pretending to be someone else?

Congratulations, 5 1296777772-300px1296777772-300px1296777772-300px1296777772-300px1296777772-300pxpaint brushes, easels or binoculars, a must read.

Paint brushes, easels or binoculars rating:

1296777772-300px1296777772-300px1296777772-300px1296777772-300px1296777772-300px– one of the best books I read

1296777772-300px1296777772-300px1296777772-300px1296777772-300px– charmed

1296777772-300px1296777772-300px1296777772-300px– good read

1296777772-300px1296777772-300px– disappointed, I thought it was going to be better

1296777772-300px– don’t waste your time

Getting through

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When I was picking the book ”The Life you left” by Carmel Harrington, the synopsis on the back cover sounded intriguing. Sarah’s husband leaves the house one day and doesn’t return. She is left with three kids, struggling with everyday life. A childhood friend comes to her rescue but she is the only one who can see him…

I was expecting intrigue as to why her husband has disappeared, while it turned out he has left her for another woman. I found the characters in the book quite stereotypical and one dimensional, to start with the cheating and inconsiderate husband, through the bitchy and young mistress to Sarah’s womanising but charming brother.

The mysterious friend turned out to be Sarah’s guardian angel, which was an interesting surprise, but the book did not deliver what I was expecting. Frankly, I struggled through most of it, as I didn’t find the story plot gripping, it seemed a bit random; things were just happening out of the blue. I did not like the style the book was written in, nor did I enjoy the all-knowing narrator, who felt the need to state things that the reader was more than capable of deciphering from the context; it was rather annoying and added pieces of text that did not bring anything to the book, but were boring to get through. There was also too much eye-gazing type of romance for my liking.

The last few chapter brought the book more to life, as a lot more was happening. Perhaps more research should have been done for the book. I am not an expert in the matter, but I don’t think that having a witness who saw the suspect near the crime seen with an item that could have been the murder weapon, would have been enough to get him convicted; without any evidence, it would have made him a suspect at best. Similarly, finding out that the man in question saw the victim last, wouldn’t have made him a suspect just for that sole reason, but a person of interest, I suppose.

Overall, unfortunately just two Vanilla-Pink-Cupcake-300px Vanilla-Pink-Cupcake-300pxcupcakes, pancakes or raspberry trifles.

Cupcakes, pancakes or raspberry trifles rating

Vanilla-Pink-Cupcake-300pxVanilla-Pink-Cupcake-300pxVanilla-Pink-Cupcake-300pxVanilla-Pink-Cupcake-300pxVanilla-Pink-Cupcake-300px– one of the best books I read

Vanilla-Pink-Cupcake-300pxVanilla-Pink-Cupcake-300pxVanilla-Pink-Cupcake-300pxVanilla-Pink-Cupcake-300px– charmed

Vanilla-Pink-Cupcake-300pxVanilla-Pink-Cupcake-300pxVanilla-Pink-Cupcake-300px– good read

Vanilla-Pink-Cupcake-300pxVanilla-Pink-Cupcake-300px– disappointed, I thought it was going to be better

Vanilla-Pink-Cupcake-300px– don’t waste your time