I have known you my whole life

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Liane Moriarty knows how to build suspense. Truly, madly, guilty opens with all the main characters traumatised by an even about which the readers don’t get to know much until about half way through the text. It keeps you glued to the book. As we turn the pages, another of the authors talents transpires, the way she sketches the characters. Each one with their own personal baggage, connected to one another by certain life events. The paths we take in our live and the people we meet, clearly influence who we are as individuals.

Clementine, a musician, a cellist to be precise, have been friends with Erica since their childhood. Although the friendship has been somehow forced upon her by her mother. Pat pitied the little girl Erica, whose mother was a hoarder and couldn’t provide her with the level of care she needed. Clementine’s resentfulness towards the forced friendship stayed within her throughout the years. Erica wasn’t completely blind to it, but the desperation for a slice of a normal life, caused her to cherish this friendship that has been offered to her, and so the girls grew up together and stayed close as adults.

When Erica learns that she cannot get pregnant despite the numerous IVF attempts, and is told by the doctor that she needs an egg donor, she can only think of one person whom she could possibly ask to donate the egg. Clementine thinks the idea is ‘repulsive’. But something has happened at the neighborhood barbecue that has left Clementine feeling forever grateful and in debt to Erica. Erica overhears Clementine’s comment and is deeply hurt. Knowing her husband’s strong desire to be a father she is reluctant to share it with her him as it would destroy his dreams.

The book shows how the decisions in our lives are rarely simple and drawn in black and white. How perhaps discussing things openly is the best policy. That keeping our thought and feelings buried deep within us doesn’t do us any good. And that once we are honest, especially with ourselves, then the right answers will come.

Good writing overall 4 quarter-note-300pxquarter-note-300pxquarter-note-300pxquarter-note-300pxcarrots, musical notes or pencils.

Carrots, musical notes or pencils rating.

quarter-note-300pxquarter-note-300pxquarter-note-300pxquarter-note-300pxquarter-note-300px– one of the best books I read

quarter-note-300pxquarter-note-300pxquarter-note-300pxquarter-note-300px– charmed

quarter-note-300pxquarter-note-300pxquarter-note-300px– good read

quarter-note-300pxquarter-note-300px– disappointed, I thought it was going to be better

quarter-note-300px– don’t waste your time

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Right behind you

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The Hypnotist’s Love Story by Liane Moriarty is a rather intriguing story about a hypnotherapist who meets a man called Patrick. She hopes that this time he will be the one for her, unlike her previous long term relationships. He confesses to her that he comes with a package and he doesn’t mean his eight year old boy. He is a widower. After his wife Colleen died of cancer he was in relationship with Saskia. Saskia isn’t quite out of the picture. She is following him almost everywhere, texting, sending letters and gifts. He has a stocker. Ellen’s reaction at first is amusement, she even finds it a bit exciting. She wonders if she should be afraid instead, if they are in any kind of danger.

Readers get to see Saskia’s point of view as well, and it is hard not to feel some degree of compassion. Even Ellen has some level of understanding towards the woman. Saskia struggles to come to terms with the break up. She says, that if she had been widowed people would let her grieve for years, and because she got dumped she is expected to just get over it and carry on as normal. She is devastated having lost not only Patrick but also Jack. She stepped into the role of his mam and was suddenly asked to give him up, just like that. She just wants to be part of their life. What has innocently started as one phone call reminding Patrick of Jack’s swimming lesson, has slowly and gradually escalated towards stocking.

Liane Moriarty draws a believable picture of each persons’ feelings and thoughts, she is not holding back. Their emotions are real and complex, just like in real life, they are never simple and straightforward. Ellen feels Saskia loved Patrick more than she does, and fears that Patrick loved his first wife more than he ever loved Saskia or herself.

The unhealthy situation builds tensions in everyone. Ellen feels sorry for the abandoned girl and sees Patrick’s wrongdoings. Patrick is hurt that Ellen doesn’t see the anxiety that Saskia is causing him nowadays. Something has to break sooner or later. If you are curious how the situation is resolved, I encourage you to read the book. From me 4 Angelo-Gemmi-frame-outline-300px Angelo-Gemmi-frame-outline-300px Angelo-Gemmi-frame-outline-300px Angelo-Gemmi-frame-outline-300px picture frames, photo albums or stones.

 

Picture frames, photo albums or stones rating.

 

Angelo-Gemmi-frame-outline-300px Angelo-Gemmi-frame-outline-300px Angelo-Gemmi-frame-outline-300px Angelo-Gemmi-frame-outline-300px Angelo-Gemmi-frame-outline-300px – one of the best books I read

Angelo-Gemmi-frame-outline-300px Angelo-Gemmi-frame-outline-300px Angelo-Gemmi-frame-outline-300px Angelo-Gemmi-frame-outline-300px – charmed

Angelo-Gemmi-frame-outline-300px Angelo-Gemmi-frame-outline-300px Angelo-Gemmi-frame-outline-300px – good read

Angelo-Gemmi-frame-outline-300px Angelo-Gemmi-frame-outline-300px – disappointed, I thought it was going to be better

Angelo-Gemmi-frame-outline-300px – don’t waste your time

Twelve days of Christmas

Winter Tales by Kenneth Steven

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Thank you for this generous review!

Kenneth Steven

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

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I don’t usually choose short stories fearing that they will leave me wanting more. But something about the title and the cover made me reach for it. It looked wintry and magical. And when I read that the stories were placed in different settings, different countries even, I decided that I had to read it.

After reading the first story, I knew I have chosen well. It was a perfectly shaped slice, it didn’t need anything taken away or anything added. The Cullen Skink was about a fisherman who has lost his son at sea and was helping his widowed wife with the care of their only child. The little boy who has never met his own father became very dear to the old man’s heart.

The next one, Elmeness, was containing all the goodness of a good writing. Really, really short but reach like an essence. A small orphaned school girl Annie was too young to comprehend the whole extend of her tragic situation and was enjoying her summer holidays and her aunt’s baking. Although the first two stories were soaked thoroughly with great sadness, they also bore hope towards what the future might bring.

In The Skylarks and the Horses we meet Dr Aitken who is treating patients with, what we would have called nowadays a post traumatic stress disorder. His patients are soldiers who fought on the front. Despite the large and growing number of the men that come to the hospital, he takes a particular interest in a man called Ruary. This story is longer than the previous two. It was a bit unclear in places who was the narrator describing, or who was speaking, perbaps it could use a bit more editing to make it easier to follow. It was an intersting story but it left me wondering, just like the doctor had, who the patient was and what has happened to him.

Nex one called Lemon Ice Cream was about an Italian family from Sicily who leave their lemon grove behing and head for New York taking with them whatever they could carry, including an old family recipe for lemon ice cream. The author skilfully brings the city into life, the metropoli can be both amazing and frightening. I found this particular story deeply sad.

Through the next one The Song of a Robin, we see the horrifying fate of the soldiers on the fronts during the I World War. Young men, drawn in by various resons, sometimes stories they heard and a promisse of an adventure, had their life changed for ever, often loosing what they treasured most. Even if they managed to survive they were left scarred for life with both physical and psychological wounds.

I liked The Listener. It was a story about a writer who hasn’t written anything significant for the last decade and one day decided to rent a cabin in the rural area of the country, to listen to the nature’s heart beat in hope of finding his lost talent. The descriptions of the wilderness close to the Arctic Circle in Finland where amazing and packed with a great amount of detail for a short story.

In A Christmas Child we meet a fisherman called Angus, who is bracing himself for a long and cold winter with very little luck in bringing any fish. He refuses to be part of the crowd who go and take supplies from a wrack of a ship. They inform him that they won’t share their goods with him, as he is unwilling to help them. In the end it turns out that they bring him something precious after all.

In Out Ronald sets on a long journey after an argument with his brother over a girl. He takes rides from strangers, works on a ship and reaches as far as South America, where he feels homesick and tries to find ways to go back home to Scotland. It was a funny story.

The Gift was a story about a traveller family who has settled in Dublin after they lost their baby boy to pneumonia. They never wished for his sister to share his fate, so they moved into a house to put a roof over her head, to keep her warm. There is another story inside this one, a legend that explains why the travellers feel the pull to move from one place to another. A nice Christmas story.

In The Healing a young monk Sasha asks for the privilige to visit the chapel of St. Lucy that is believed to grant health to the pilgrims. It is not his health he is praying for but his sister’s with whom he had no contact, but feels needs his help.

The next one The Miracle describes a woman called Sonia who out of compassion visits an elderly woman Marie. Marie is an Irish woman and lives in a part of Glasgow that supports Rangers and is hostile towards Catholics. Sonia makes her tea and attends to her needs, trying to make things easier and more confotable for the old woman whose days seem to be counted.

The last story, the longest I believe, called The Ice was about a boy Lewis whose father decided to send him to a bording school after the boy’s mother dies. Lewis comes home for Christmas to the Scottish highlands, where his family lives, and cannot wait for the lake in front of their house to freeze over, so they can cross it to get to their cabin lodge. He is counting the days and dreading the time when he will have to return to his school, where he is bullied by the other boys. This story will take your heart out and wrench it.

Twelve stories, each one very different than the other. I loved them all, some more than the other. Gladly 4 rubi-300pxrubi-300pxrubi-300pxrubi-300px gem stones, frozen lakes or fire logs.

Gem stones, frozen lakes or fire logs rating.

rubi-300pxrubi-300pxrubi-300pxrubi-300pxrubi-300px – one of the best books I read

rubi-300pxrubi-300pxrubi-300pxrubi-300px – charmed

rubi-300pxrubi-300pxrubi-300px – good read

rubi-300pxrubi-300px – disappointed, I thought it was going to be better

rubi-300px – don’t waste your time

 

Double meanings

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”The curious incident of the dog in the night-time” by Mark Haddon is a unique book. The narrator is a fifteen year old boy who is autistic. He likes math and science and always tells the truth. He doesn’t like to be touched, doesn’t eat yellow or brown food and finds other people confusing. It was very interesting to see the world through his eyes, how he has to learn what comes quite naturally to others, that people use sarcasm and irony, that they sometimes lie. He studies certain phrases which he considers peculiar as they have double meaning.

One day Christopher discovers a dead dog in his neighbour yard and is accused of killing him. The situation he has find himself in worsens when he is being questioned at the scene by a police officer. He does his best to cooperate but the answers he gives are so literal to the questions asked, that it makes him look suspicious and aggravates the officer, who decides to pull him up from the ground and drive him to the station. Christopher gets upset at the number of questions that has been thrown at him in a quick succession followed by the unwelcome grasp of his hand and hits the policeman. He gets arrested for assault. When his dad comes to the rescue and advises him to say that he didn’t mean to hit the police officer, he says that he meant it but saves himself out of the difficult situation when finally admits that he didn’t meant to hurt him, that he hit him to make him stop touching him.

The boy decides to play Sherlock Holmes to find out who has killed the dog, he wants to write a murder mystery novel. In his investigation he comes across more than he was expected to find. He finds letters hidden in his fathers room, that his mother has been sending him throughout the years, the mother who he thought died of a heart attack. From the letters he learns that she has left them because she didn’t have as much patience as his dad, but that she still loved him very much. Christopher gets angry at his father for lying to him and decides to go to see his mother at the address on the letters and leaves the house to travel by himself in her search.

Will he be able to forgive his mother for abandoning him? Will his father be able to convince him that he lied out of love to save the boys feelings, when in his son’s world everything is black and white and a lie is simply always wrong. You will find that there is a lot of humour in the book, it will make you smile or even laugh, but it is also loaded with some heavy questions that live brings. I found the book one of a kind and I am granting it 4 nicubunu-Toy-car-300px nicubunu-Toy-car-300px nicubunu-Toy-car-300px nicubunu-Toy-car-300px red cars, dogs or rain drops.

Red cars, dogs or rain drops rating

nicubunu-Toy-car-300px nicubunu-Toy-car-300px nicubunu-Toy-car-300px nicubunu-Toy-car-300px nicubunu-Toy-car-300px – one of the best books I read

nicubunu-Toy-car-300px nicubunu-Toy-car-300px nicubunu-Toy-car-300px nicubunu-Toy-car-300px – charmed

nicubunu-Toy-car-300px nicubunu-Toy-car-300px nicubunu-Toy-car-300px – good read

nicubunu-Toy-car-300px nicubunu-Toy-car-300px – disappointed, I thought it was going to be better

nicubunu-Toy-car-300px – don’t waste your time

Mirror image

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“Hi Aneta,

Thank you for reviewing The Twins on your blog. I’m very happy that you enjoyed it!

best wishes

Saskia

Saskia Sarginson”

The Twins by Saskia Sarginson was a frighteningly good read. Viola and Isolte are twin sisters who live with their hippie mother in a cottage near the forest after she got fed up with living in a commune in Welsh and they moved to their own house. They are very close to the nature, their forge plants in the forest with their mother, who also makes their own clothes sometimes and walks barefoot. She loves her children but tends to drink to much and lets the girls run wild. The twins feel as a whole when they are together, separately they feel as if they were incomplete, so they keep close whenever and wherever they go, pitying others who don’t have a twin to accompany them. On one of their adventures through the forests and local villages they are surprised to stumble upon another set of twins, John and Michael and naturally so, all four quickly become play mates.

However with the passage of time, the twins grow apart. Isolte writes about fashion in London and is rather successful but Viola doesn’t seem to be able to fit into the city life and is struggling in the adulthood in general. Viola is slowly starving herself to the point where she needs hospitalisation. The twins don’t discuss their childhood anymore, and have not been back to the place where they grew up ever since they left. Viola sometimes writes to one of the twin boys but has never had the courage to actually send any of her letters. One day she asks her sister Isolte to travel back to the village and find out what has happened to the twin boys, desperately needing some sort of a closure with the past. Her sister at first refuses but then realises sadly, that it may be her sister’s last wish if she doesn’t get better, and reluctantly agrees to go. Viola sees that her sister’s happiness is only superficial and knows that she needs the closure as much as she herself does, and is glad that Isolte has agreed to go.

If you want to find out what events split the inseparable twins, stained their happy and innocent childhood memories and made them never want to come back to where they grew up, then pick up the book. You will see the story through Viola’s eyes, how her memories slowly unravel events from the past. You will also realise that the two sisters, despite looking so much alike, have in fact very different personalities, how they clinged to each other in young age and how their differences separated them later in life. I thought it was a read worth four gingercoons-Lop-eared-rabbit-300px gingercoons-Lop-eared-rabbit-300px gingercoons-Lop-eared-rabbit-300px gingercoons-Lop-eared-rabbit-300pxrabbits, frogs or flies.

Rabbits, frogs or flies rating 

gingercoons-Lop-eared-rabbit-300px gingercoons-Lop-eared-rabbit-300px gingercoons-Lop-eared-rabbit-300px gingercoons-Lop-eared-rabbit-300px gingercoons-Lop-eared-rabbit-300px – one of the best books I read

gingercoons-Lop-eared-rabbit-300px gingercoons-Lop-eared-rabbit-300px gingercoons-Lop-eared-rabbit-300px gingercoons-Lop-eared-rabbit-300px – charmed

gingercoons-Lop-eared-rabbit-300px gingercoons-Lop-eared-rabbit-300px gingercoons-Lop-eared-rabbit-300px – good read

gingercoons-Lop-eared-rabbit-300px gingercoons-Lop-eared-rabbit-300px – disappointed, I thought it was going to be better

gingercoons-Lop-eared-rabbit-300px – don’t waste your time

The World around me

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”Room” by Emma Donoghue is one of of those books that are hard to put down. ”Jack is five. He lives in a single, locked room with his Ma.”– this is all the synopsis on the back cover says. Their world is so confined that the everyday items have much more significance for little Jack than they would have for any other child his age, it is shown by the author in a simple but ingenious way of using capital letters for the ”Lamp, Bed, Duvet” etc. Nothing much changes in their everyday routine.

What Jack doesn’t realise is that they are being held captive by Old Nick, who comes at night and rapes his mother and that she has been missing for around seven years. In fact Jack doesn’t know that the world outside the Room exists. Room is all he has ever known since his birth and Ma explained that nothing outside it is real, just like pictures on the telly they sometimes watch. Out of love and desperation, she tries to make his live as normal as possible in the surreal and horrendous situation. She hides him in the closet for the night, where he sleeps and where he is out of sight of Old Jack, who visits them at night time. She makes sure her son eats healthily and teaches him hygiene, using the sparse and basic supplies that Old Jack brings. She is growing more and more anxious, her son has turned five and she knows that the older he gets the harder it will be for her to shield him from the sick reality they have been forced into, as he will start to understand more. Furthermore Old Nick has lost his job and he might loose his house. She fears the worst, she knows that when he is forced to leave, he won’t be able to keep them, but that he won’t definitely let them go free.

She plots an escape plan but she has to tell her son first that they will be going outside, that there is a world out there. At the age of five, will Jack be able to completely change his understanding of what’s real and what’s made up, if the Room is all he knows? If so, will they escape and how? And even if they do, will she and Jack especially, be able to find themselves in the real world? Very imaginative, insightful, heartbreaking. A definite page turner, 4 1275417416-300px 1275417416-300px 1275417416-300px 1275417416-300pxkeys, locks or clouds from me.

Keys, locks or clouds rating

1275417416-300px 1275417416-300px 1275417416-300px 1275417416-300px 1275417416-300px – one of the best books I read

1275417416-300px 1275417416-300px 1275417416-300px 1275417416-300px – charmed

1275417416-300px 1275417416-300px 1275417416-300px – good read

1275417416-300px 1275417416-300px – disappointed, I thought it was going to be better

1275417416-300px – don’t waste your time

The Weverly magic

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First Frost” by Sarah Addison Allen. If you liked “The Garden Spells” and the Weverleys, then you will enjoy this book, as it shows the family ten or so years later. Bay is in her teens, her mother Sydney is happily married to Henry and lives on his farm. Claire occupies the Weverleys old house with her husband Tyler and their daughter Maria, who is about the same age Bay was in the last book.

The mysterious apple three in the garden is dormant. Everyone is awaiting the first frost this late autumn as it is supposed to bring relief to the Weverly family, to finally stop the tensions that have been building up. Claire has a new flourishing business of making candy with flower extracts in them. She has so many orders that she no longer has the time to bake or cook. She refuses to acknowledge that something has been bothering her but she is definitely not herself. She is doubting her Weverley gift and she doesn’t seem happy.  A mysterious Russell Zahler aka the Great Banditi visits the town of Bascom in North Carolina and he is full of stories, one in particular adds to Clare’s insecurities. Claire’s sister Sydney hopes that she will confide in her, that she will share whatever it is that has been bugging her. Sydney herself is desperate to have another child. Bay, to her mother’s disbelief is trying to befriend young Josh Mattesson, the son of her first love who broke her heart.

Will their troubles be resolved with the first frost finally arriving and the tree in the garden in full blossom? See for yourself if you wish. There are reminders from the previous book intended for the readers who didn’t start with ”The Garden Spells” but they are kept to minimum, so if you read the previous book, you are not dragged through it again. Characters are very well drawn and likeable, each with their own eccenttricies, which keeps you turning the pages as you want to find out what happens to all of them.

Light and enjoyable read. I spend more than usual on this book, but my birthday was coming at the time and I like the author; it was still an inexpensive book, around 5 euro. I will give the sequel 4 apple-tree-300px apple-tree-300pxapple-tree-300pxapple-tree-300pxapple trees, tulips or rain drops. Yes, partially out of the sentiment towards ”The Garden Spells”, the characters and that unique light magic touch, but also because it was a nice story overall.

Apple trees, tulips or rain drops rating:

apple-tree-300pxapple-tree-300pxapple-tree-300pxapple-tree-300pxapple-tree-300pxone of the best books I read

apple-tree-300pxapple-tree-300pxapple-tree-300pxapple-tree-300pxcharmed

apple-tree-300pxapple-tree-300pxapple-tree-300pxgood read

apple-tree-300pxapple-tree-300pxdisappointed, I thought it was going to be better

apple-tree-300pxdon’t waste your time

Life choices, ambitions and secrets

 

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I read “Big Little Lies” by Liane Moriarty a while back. It has been made into a TV series recently, I started watching the show and remembered the book.

It starts with a loud thump, so to speak. Someone has been killed at a school trivia night. The interesting and unusual thing is, that we as readers, are kept in the dark as to who has been murdered. When it comes to the suspects, it looks like it may almost be anyone and everyone from the community. There is a lot of tension and we are shown, retrospectively how it has escalated to such an extend that one person ended up dead.

Madeline Martha Mackenzie, a stay at home mum, is a constant presence in the small community, while Renata has a high flying carrier. They children go to the same class. (As soon as I became a mum I realised what a strong divide has arose between the stay at home and the working mums. I belong to the latter group but I believe we are all doing our best and hope to raise happy and healthy kids. Nevertheless I was surprised to have some strong opinions thrown in my face by some of the mums even though I didn’t ask for them and didn’t judge anyone else’s choices. Therefore I would like to take this opportunity and ask all the mums to be understanding and support one another, regardless of their personal views in this matter. Sorry for the digression.)

What makes things worse between the mums in the book is an incident that happens on the first day of school after the summer holidays. A new student, Ziggy is accused of attempting to choke Amabella, who happens to be Renata’s daughter. There are no doubts that the sweet little girl has been hurt by somebody as there are visible marks on her throat but the new kid Ziggy strongly denies the accusations and his mother Jane Chapman, who has recently befriended Madeline, has no reason not to believe him, as Ziggy has been nothing but kind and gentle so far.

Parents are now taking sides, supporting either of the two strong women, Madeline or Renata. Small doubts are entering Jane’s thoughts as she fears that maybe her beloved son has inherited violent behaviour from his father. She is new in town having escaped the last place, where she feared that the child’s father might return and hurt her.

Apart from the drama that’s out in the open all mothers have their own personal issues. Jane is trying to forget the traumatic experience she went through. Renata is feeling guilty that her job takes so much of her time. Madeline struggles to come to terms with the fact that her ex husband can be such a caring father to his new daughter Sky, whom he has with his new young and attractive wife Bonnie, while he failed to do the same for their adolescent daughter Abigail in the past. To make things more difficult for Madeline, Abigail constantly praises Bonnie. Madeline’s second husband Ed is very understanding and sensible about the situation, but even his patience starts to wear off as he is beginning to feel neglected. Celeste, the mom of two twin boys is being abused by he husband and keeps it a secret from everyone.

Another fuse bursts between Renata and Madeline when Renata gets other parents to sign a petition that closes down a school play which Madeline was in charge of. When Madeline’s friends wonder why she is so worked up about a school play, she confesses that as much as she loves being a stay at home mum it is not enough for her, that she misses work. Cleste then admits the same, says that she misses practicing law.

The book is fast paced and keeps the reader interested. I am granting it 4 simple-apple-300px simple-apple-300px simple-apple-300px simple-apple-300pxapples, plums or clouds.


Apple, plums or clouds rating:

simple-apple-300pxsimple-apple-300pxsimple-apple-300pxsimple-apple-300pxsimple-apple-300px – one of the best books I read

simple-apple-300pxsimple-apple-300pxsimple-apple-300pxsimple-apple-300px – charmed

simple-apple-300pxsimple-apple-300pxsimple-apple-300px – good read

simple-apple-300pxsimple-apple-300px – disappointed, I thought it was going to be better

simple-apple-300px – don’t waste your time

The Language of Music

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Jessica is the main character in the ”The Language of Others’‘ by Clare Morrall. She has been unusual since she was a child. Her parents wondered if she was autistic but one doctor dismissed the idea and they never pursued the subject again, despite their daughter’s struggle to interact with other people. Even as a grown up she sometimes struggles to understand the people around her. Why would people lie, she often wonders until she discovers herself that it can be quite useful at times. She loves music and has been working impressively hard since she was about eight years old, she learns how to play the piano and then the violin. She graduates from a music college with a degree. Her inability to read other people and their intentions leads her to marry a man who might be a musical genius but is inconsiderate, selfish and prone to anger.

The combination of music, the love she feels for her husband Andrew and for their son, gradually drags her out of her own little world, invites her to finally be more adventorous, to get to know the world. However Andrew builds a new wall around her, doesn’t allow her to spread her wings secluding her into a new, confined world of insecurity and fear. Despite his difficult character, she sees him as one of a few people she was able to connect with and cannot believe at first that he wants a divorce. She is left with their son Joel, who as it seems, has inherited some of her awkwardness in the social area.

The reader accompanies Jessica’s venture through her childchood, college times, her marriage and its breakdown. She eventually sees that the separation from her husband gave her freedom and she is finally able to breath and anjoy her space, nearly, her grown up son doesn’t seem to be in much of hurry to fly from the nest. Moreover her husband suddenly decides to contact her directly after all these years.

The author is a qualified musician herself and the descriptions of the music are impressive. They add to the book’s value, I believe. I also enjoyed visiting, through Jessica’s eyes, her large family house where she grew up. Characters in the book were well drawn, including her ex-hippy mother Connie, a bit absentminded and carefree in contrast to her caring and gentle father Roland. Her pretty and outgoing sister Harriet. Their mean and cruel cousins Philip and Colin, and others that she meets later in her life.

I have decided to award this book 4 lemmling-Cartoon-owl-sitting-on-a-book-300px lemmling-Cartoon-owl-sitting-on-a-book-300px lemmling-Cartoon-owl-sitting-on-a-book-300px lemmling-Cartoon-owl-sitting-on-a-book-300px owls, towels or monkeys.

Owls, towels or monkeys rating

lemmling-Cartoon-owl-sitting-on-a-book-300pxlemmling-Cartoon-owl-sitting-on-a-book-300pxlemmling-Cartoon-owl-sitting-on-a-book-300pxlemmling-Cartoon-owl-sitting-on-a-book-300pxlemmling-Cartoon-owl-sitting-on-a-book-300px – one of the best books I read

lemmling-Cartoon-owl-sitting-on-a-book-300pxlemmling-Cartoon-owl-sitting-on-a-book-300pxlemmling-Cartoon-owl-sitting-on-a-book-300pxlemmling-Cartoon-owl-sitting-on-a-book-300px – charmed

lemmling-Cartoon-owl-sitting-on-a-book-300pxlemmling-Cartoon-owl-sitting-on-a-book-300pxlemmling-Cartoon-owl-sitting-on-a-book-300px – good read

lemmling-Cartoon-owl-sitting-on-a-book-300pxlemmling-Cartoon-owl-sitting-on-a-book-300px – disappointed, I thought it was going to be better

lemmling-Cartoon-owl-sitting-on-a-book-300px – don’t waste your time

Spelbound

                                                                gardenspells

I am charmed by Sarah Addison Allen’s books. They are beautifully written and I couldn’t wait to share them with you. If reading for you is about escaping into a different reality just for a little while, you will enjoy them. In her work she stamps on a solid ground and touches the supernatural at the same time, with the latter so subtle that if one is not careful enough, they may miss it sometimes.

If you want a taste of the aforementioned magical feeling she brings, you are invited to the moonlit garden that Claire, in “Garden Spells” by Sarah Addison Allen, tends to during her sleepless nights. The garden seems to have a life of its own. Plants just appear and blossom overnight, the temperamental apple tree, the heart of the garden as it seems, bears fruit regardless of the season. Claire learned how to listen to the garden, she knew that ‘’Something was about to happen, something the garden wasn’t ready to tell her yet.”

Claire is content with her life, with the catering business she runs, where she uses her own produce made from herbs and plants. But it’s not all about fragrant gardens, stargazing and sunny days throughout, not for her sister Sydney anyway. Claire lives peacefully in an inherited Waverley family home but her troubled sister has been gone for a decade. Sydney, so used to playing with fire, has drifted onto a dark path that she is now desparated to escape. In a search for a safe place, she is determined to bring her daughter Bay, of whose existence Claire didn’t even know, to the Waverley house – or perhabs she is being led to it by the various fragrances of the garden.

Magic in S. A. Allen’s books is perhabs not as unearthy as it may sound to you right now. Don’t we all sometimes get that unsettling feeling or experience a strange chill? Maybe this is part of us all, maybe the Weverleys women are just more tuned to it. Their unusual abilities haven’t been left unnoticed by their neigbours, eager to purchase the gourmet produce Claire makes out of the herbs and plants she grows, for their various properities.

Both sisters feel betrayed by their mother who left them early in their childchood at their grandmother’s care. Claire is full of regrets as to the way she has treated Sydney when they were kids, although isn’t the sisterly rivarly just a part of the siblings dinamics? At the same time she feels anger towards Sydney for abandoning her family home. Sydney wanted to cut herself free from all the quirks that being a Weverley meant, all that Claire has been cherishing, but now the family home is her only safe place. Will the sisters recocile?

Witty, humorous, insightful. I will gladly award this book 4 simplestar-300px simplestar-300px simplestar-300px simplestar-300px stars, bookmarks or bicycles.

Stars, bookmarks or bicycles rating

simplestar-300pxsimplestar-300pxsimplestar-300pxsimplestar-300pxsimplestar-300px– one of the best books I read

simplestar-300pxsimplestar-300pxsimplestar-300pxsimplestar-300px– charmed

simplestar-300pxsimplestar-300pxsimplestar-300px– good read

simplestar-300pxsimplestar-300px– disappointed, I thought it was going to be better

simplestar-300px – don’t waste your time