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

 

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Knock on my door

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As readers of The People Next Door by Roisin Meaney we enter three townhouses to watch their occupants lifes. Yvonne from number seven is living with her young adult daughter Clara. Yvonne is a widowed whose husband died tragically shortly after they got married. Right before the accident, Yvonne has informed him that she wanted a divorce. He didn’t take it well and asked her to reconsider. She feels horrible knowing that he has died unhappy and that she felt a slight relief. She wanders if her son has confided in his mother, as her mother in law seems to be full of resentment towards her. Clara hides a dark and painful secret she is yet unwilling to share with anyone, including her mother.

Her next door neighbour Dan has been dumped by his wife Ali two years after they got married. She left him for his uncle Brendan. Dan was now living on canned beans, sausages and frozen pizzas. He decided to take in a tenant to help him pay the bills. A middle aged man has moved into the spare bedroom who luckily turned out to love cooking delicious meals. He is an eccentric and insists on wearing an old funny hat whenever he goes out. But something seems to be bothering Kieran that prevents him from sleeping, so he keeps pacing around the house at night. Dan realises that he doesn’t really know anything about the man he let into his home.

Kathryn from number nine loves her husband Jason, but is worried that the age difference may cause him to loose interest in her. She is ten years or so older than him and desperate to have a baby, but after two miscarriages and a stillborn child she has given up hope. Her mother in law Grainne moved into their house when she fell and broke her hip, she keeps reminding Jason about Kathryn’s age and shows no signs of planning to move back to her house again, complaining of reacuring headaches.

The neighbours mingle and their lives get entwined at times, but each house bears their own weight of drama. A book full of vigour and a bit of romance. A light read, good for the long autumnal evenings. Three old hats nicubunu-Adventurer-hat-300pxnicubunu-Adventurer-hat-300pxnicubunu-Adventurer-hat-300px, scones or forks.

Old hats, scones or forks rating

nicubunu-Adventurer-hat-300pxnicubunu-Adventurer-hat-300pxnicubunu-Adventurer-hat-300pxnicubunu-Adventurer-hat-300pxnicubunu-Adventurer-hat-300px – one of the best books I read

nicubunu-Adventurer-hat-300pxnicubunu-Adventurer-hat-300pxnicubunu-Adventurer-hat-300pxnicubunu-Adventurer-hat-300px – charmed

nicubunu-Adventurer-hat-300pxnicubunu-Adventurer-hat-300pxnicubunu-Adventurer-hat-300px – good read

nicubunu-Adventurer-hat-300pxnicubunu-Adventurer-hat-300px – disappointed, I thought it was going to be better

nicubunu-Adventurer-hat-300px – don’t waste your time

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

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

Keeping appearances

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After I’ve Gone by Linda Green is a modern day thriller. Jess Mount, after loosing her mum to cancer, when she was a teenager, struggled with the everyday life. She saw danger lurking everywhere, in the young train driver, who might be speeding or an older one, who may fall asleep and crush the train. She avoided sitting in the last and first carriages as people were more likely to die there if the train did have an accident. She told her psychiatrist that the precautions she was taking were no different than people doing routine check ups at the doctor’s and eating healthy diets. Her anxiety got worse and she ended up under observation in a psychiatric facility.

Some years later, as a young woman, feeling comparably better, thanks to the care of her loving father and her best friend Saddie, she holds a job as a hostess in a small local cinema and enjoys the time spent watching movies and chatting with Saddie. Her past experiences gave her strength that her friend admires.

One day Jess phones Saddie, asking why did she post such an unnerving comment on her Facebook page, post saying that she was sorry to have learned of her death. Saddie denies writing anything like that, and they both figure that someone must have hacked Jess’ computer, as no such post appears on Saddie’s account. As time passes by, more posts pop up on her Facebook page, carrying a future date a year or so from the present time, and what’s more, Jess is the only one who can see them. Jess reads heartbreaking posts from her father, her best friend, her relatives and work colleagues, all paying her tribute and remembering fondly, shocked at her early passing. Jess stops mentioning them to Saddie, having been unable to prove their existence, she doesn’t want to worry her friend, who is starting to worry about her mental health, she lies that the posts have stopped.

She learns that in the short period of time before her death, she married the man whom she has only met recently, and furthermore she got pregnant and gave birth to their baby boy Harrison. She sees pictures of him and is besotted. She fears that if she does anything to try and change her future in order to avoid her death, her son may never be born and she cannot let that happen.

I liked that the book was set in the modern days, the Facebook era, how it shows a new phenomenon of social media grieving, and how apart from the glimpse into the future, the book describes very real and unfortunately still present issue.

It was definitely a good read, 3 computer keyboards johnny-automatic-computer-keyboard-2-300px.pngjohnny-automatic-computer-keyboard-2-300px.pngjohnny-automatic-computer-keyboard-2-300px.png, monitors or cables.

 Computer keyboards, monitors or cables rating

johnny-automatic-computer-keyboard-2-300px.pngjohnny-automatic-computer-keyboard-2-300px.pngjohnny-automatic-computer-keyboard-2-300px.pngjohnny-automatic-computer-keyboard-2-300px.pngjohnny-automatic-computer-keyboard-2-300px.png– one of the best books I read

johnny-automatic-computer-keyboard-2-300px.pngjohnny-automatic-computer-keyboard-2-300px.pngjohnny-automatic-computer-keyboard-2-300px.pngjohnny-automatic-computer-keyboard-2-300px.png– charmed

johnny-automatic-computer-keyboard-2-300px.pngjohnny-automatic-computer-keyboard-2-300px.pngjohnny-automatic-computer-keyboard-2-300px.png– good read

johnny-automatic-computer-keyboard-2-300px.pngjohnny-automatic-computer-keyboard-2-300px.png– disappointed, I thought it was going to be better

johnny-automatic-computer-keyboard-2-300px.png– don’t waste your time

In your footsteps

 

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I see you” by Clare Mackintosh is a thriller that’s runs a chill through your spine because it describes events that could easily happen nowadays. Zoe Walker sees a photo of herself in the Gazette in the advert section, but its is so low resolution that she isn’t sure if this is in fact her. Her family laughs it off and she decides it couldn’t be her until she recognises a woman’s face on the news as the same she has recently seen in the same ad section of another edition of the Gazette. The woman has been murdered. She finds more connections between the pictures published as adds and crimes committed against these women. She is starting to fear for her safety and life, now certain that somebody has published her picture without her knowledge and consent. She decides to contact the police.

Kelly Swift, a bright but under appreciated uniformed police officer takes her fears seriously. She contacts the Murder Investigation Team with the new information, but she needs to convince them that the pickpocket she has been chasing after, and Zoe’s phone calls are all connected to the murder case they are trying to solve, that all the victims have had their photos printed in the Gazette prior to the crimes. She offers her help in solving the crimes but due to the mistake of the past and a demotion she got as a result, they are reluctant to take her on board. An old supervisor helps her out and she joins the team temporarily.

Zoe grows more and more anxious, she is afraid to leave the house on her own. She starts to fear for the safety of her eighteen year old daughter. The police uncover that the are multiple suspects behind the crimes and that the Gazette prints an encrypted password to a website which helds information on a number of women and is sharing it for a fee. Police are desparate to catch the person who runs it and are trying to figure out what connects these women, why they have been selected.

The story was well thought through and believable. The author herself worked for the police for twelve years. The books ends with an unnerving cliffhanger. It was a good read and I am awarding it three valessiobrito-Paper-Clip-300px.pngvalessiobrito-Paper-Clip-300px.pngvalessiobrito-Paper-Clip-300px.png paper clips, pencils or staplers.

Paper clips, pencils or staplers rating

valessiobrito-Paper-Clip-300px.pngvalessiobrito-Paper-Clip-300px.pngvalessiobrito-Paper-Clip-300px.pngvalessiobrito-Paper-Clip-300px.pngvalessiobrito-Paper-Clip-300px.png – one of the best books I read

valessiobrito-Paper-Clip-300px.pngvalessiobrito-Paper-Clip-300px.pngvalessiobrito-Paper-Clip-300px.pngvalessiobrito-Paper-Clip-300px.png – charmed

valessiobrito-Paper-Clip-300px.pngvalessiobrito-Paper-Clip-300px.pngvalessiobrito-Paper-Clip-300px.png – good read

valessiobrito-Paper-Clip-300px.pngvalessiobrito-Paper-Clip-300px.png – disappointed, I thought it was going to be better

valessiobrito-Paper-Clip-300px.png – don’t waste your time

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. Overall four 1358540774-300px1358540774-300px1358540774-300px1358540774-300px 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

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