Rooted to the spot

Half Past by Victoria Helen Stone

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Thank you so much! I’m so glad you enjoyed the picture of small-town America!

Victoria

 

I received a free advanced digital copy of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

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Hannah always felt out of place in her small home town Coswell, in Iowa. She felt more at home in Chicago, where she now lived. She liked the anonymity that the city gave her, no nosy neighbours gossiping about her not having children and divorcing her second husband at the age of forty five. Recently being handed a satisfying redundancy packet at work, she packed her bags and reluctantly moved back to her old room in her parents house to look after her mother, who had dementia and spent her days in a care home.

Her older sisters who have settled with their families in Coswell, need her to help them looking after their mum, but Hannah doesn’t stay long. Soon enough she informs them that she is leaving. Dorothy keeps saying that Hannah isn’t her daughter. The sisters Rachel and Becky try to convince Hannah that this is just because she is confused by the memory loss she is experiencing. Hannah retorts that she hasn’t forgotten any of her two other daughters, but more importantly that she has just came across some medical reports with a blood type, which indeed proves it impossible for Dorothy to be her biological mother. The resemblance to her father she bears, makes her believe that he must have had her with another woman and she is determined to find out who she was.

Hannah hopes that the answers she is looking for will finally explain the detachment she has always felt to the town and the people closest to her. Even with her happy childhood, she has always felt that something has been missing all along, she wonders if it was the cause of her inability to build lasting relationships. As she sets on her journey she uncovers secrets that were perhaps best left buried away.

It was a nicely written and interesting story about a search for one’s past, for their close relatives. Hannah hoped that it would teach her something about herself, explain things that she wouldn’t have been able to understand otherwise. I enjoyed the descriptions of the town and the land, the cornfields and the way people who lived there tended to behave, they values and believes. I have never been to the States myself but the picture the author draw gave me a good idea how things were in that part of the wast country. The book shows how the family history is important to us, that we feel an inner need to learn it, to help us explain who we are. Whatever has happened in the past, has an impact on who we are today, this said, it has been also stressed that it is our role in life to build our future on these foundations and not just let them shape us.

Overall a good read, 3 Autumn-Leaf4--Arvin61r58-300pxAutumn-Leaf4--Arvin61r58-300pxAutumn-Leaf4--Arvin61r58-300pxautumn leaves, building blocks or telephone cables.

 

Autumn leaves, building blocks or telephone cables rating

Autumn-Leaf4--Arvin61r58-300pxAutumn-Leaf4--Arvin61r58-300pxAutumn-Leaf4--Arvin61r58-300pxAutumn-Leaf4--Arvin61r58-300pxAutumn-Leaf4--Arvin61r58-300px – one of the best books I read

Autumn-Leaf4--Arvin61r58-300pxAutumn-Leaf4--Arvin61r58-300pxAutumn-Leaf4--Arvin61r58-300pxAutumn-Leaf4--Arvin61r58-300px – charmed

Autumn-Leaf4--Arvin61r58-300pxAutumn-Leaf4--Arvin61r58-300pxAutumn-Leaf4--Arvin61r58-300px – good read

Autumn-Leaf4--Arvin61r58-300pxAutumn-Leaf4--Arvin61r58-300px – disappointed, I thought it was going to be better

Autumn-Leaf4--Arvin61r58-300px – don’t waste your time

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Can you leave the past behind?

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”Thanks for reading my debut story Aneta!”

I bought The Sister by Louise Jensen as an ebook for 3 euro and it was a good buy. I liked the way the author was building the suspense and intrigue. The book opens with Grace digging in the ground with a shovel, it is dark and the rain is pouring. If you as a reader are in a cosy home at the time while you read it, you are glad about that and you pull the blanket closer toward you. Grace retrieves a memory box that she and her friend buried ten or so years ago. She wasn’t meant to open it alone, but her best friend Charlie is gone, having died at the age of eighteen. Inside the box are mementos they put together and a note she doesn’t recognise, it is from Charlie and it reads “I did something terrible, Grace. I hope you can forgive me.”

Grace lives with her childhood sweetheart Dan, although things have not been great between them, not since they mutual friend Charlie has died. At this stage, we are left to wonder what has happened, but the loss has left Grace depressed and anxious. This is not a first close person she had to part with, her dad is gone as well, and she blames herself for his death. She lost him when she was nine, and since then it was her grandparents that raised her, she had become estranged with her mother, though they started rebuilding their relationship when she turned eighteen.

Grace likes her isolated cottage, it suits her as she feels abandoned and unloved. However she cannot shake a feeling that she is being watched and followed. She tells no one, as doesn’t want to worry her boyfriend or her grandparents without knowing for sure, she fears they may think she has been imagining things. She has been in a fragile state for a while.

Not having anyone to turn to, Grace drowns her sorrows in alcohol and takes way too many sleeping pills. Having uncovered the memory box, she decides to do something for her lost friend, something she felt strongly about when she was alive and Grace promised to help her. She wants to find her father whom she never met. She also hopes that in the process, she might find out what has Charlie done.

One day someone appears, her name is Anna, who bears resemblance to Charlie and wants to know all about her, but that’s where things start to go wrong. Was Grace right to welcome a stranger into their home? If you ever sat in front of a telly watching a thriller and thinking ”oh, no, don’t do that, don’t go there, watch out!” etc., this is what reading this book was like for me. A good read overall, 3 cottages Anonymous-my-house-300pxAnonymous-my-house-300pxAnonymous-my-house-300px, door handles or door mats.

Cottages, door handles or door matts rating.

Anonymous-my-house-300pxAnonymous-my-house-300pxAnonymous-my-house-300pxAnonymous-my-house-300pxAnonymous-my-house-300px – one of the best books I read

Anonymous-my-house-300pxAnonymous-my-house-300pxAnonymous-my-house-300pxAnonymous-my-house-300px – charmed

Anonymous-my-house-300pxAnonymous-my-house-300pxAnonymous-my-house-300px – good read

Anonymous-my-house-300pxAnonymous-my-house-300px – disappointed, I thought it was going to be better

Anonymous-my-house-300px – don’t waste your time

Slow breaths

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Her Last Breath by Tracy Buchanan started promisingly. The protagonist, Estelle has deep personal issues. She had a difficult childhood,, her alcoholic and addicted to drugs parents left her with a low self esteem. She grew up in a foster care and gave birth to a baby daughter at the age of fifteen. She was terrified that she is falling into her mother steps, who also had her in such a young age. Estelle decided to give the baby for adoption without informing the father, that she was pregnant with their baby. As an adult she now lives on purely organic food and advocates pure and healthy living to other people, and is about to publish a cookery book. The lifestyle she is promoting is in contrast to how she feels about herself, dirty and unworthy.

One day she receives a strange note and a picture of a teenage girl. The person who wrote the note claims to know everything about her, that she isn’t as pure as she lets everyone to believe. She recognises the girl in the photo as a missing teenage daughter of a celebrity TV presenter and rings the police. She later finds out that the girl, Poppy, has been adopted, and everything starts to point out that she is her biological mother. Estelle comes back to the village, to the foster parents she once adored, where she met their son and Poppy’s father, to tell him in person of her existence and her disappearance.

From around this moment the book starts to fall apart, what has earlier enriched it, made Estelle a complex character, now becomes repetitive and thus boring. (One phrase to rake fingers through one’s hair was used too many times and I found it annoying). Estelle’s visit wakes up the romantic feelings within her, feelings that she once had towards Aidan. Nothing much happens, the plot doesn’t seem to be going anywhere. There are fears in the village that some more land may soon slide into the sea, as it has happened before, yet the annual festivities planned on the beach aren’t cancelled despite the danger.

I found the ending of the book unconvincing and a bit disturbing as well. The person who was sending the notes to Elstelle, is being excused for doing so, as having good intentions… If they wanted to confront her about mistakes from the past, surely there were many other, more mature ways of doing so, rather than stocking and threatening… Overall 2 1393859663-300px  1393859663-300pxtrains, planes or cars from me.

Trains, planes or cars rating

1393859663-300px1393859663-300px1393859663-300px1393859663-300px1393859663-300px– one of the best books I read

1393859663-300px1393859663-300px1393859663-300px1393859663-300px – charmed

1393859663-300px1393859663-300px1393859663-300px – good read

1393859663-300px1393859663-300px – disappointed, I thought it was going to be better

1393859663-300px – don’t waste your time