Two things happened recently. I joined NetGalley in September, and as a newbie, I was a little over-enthusiastic in requesting books to read. So many wonderful books to choose from! Then, I deleted Facebook from my iPad (I’d already deleted it from my phone some time ago). Highly recommend it! I read and enjoyed so many books.
The Trip of a Lifetime by Monica McInerney
A NetGalley review.
I have to say, I adored this book. I struggled to put it down, it was such a lovely read.
The central character here is Lola; she’s 85, completely eccentric in her sense of style (I aspire to be Lola, she doesn’t give two hoots!), the keeper of secrets, the patriarch of her family who she clearly adores with her every being.
It’s not hard to warm to Lola, very early on we learn of a certain vulnerability she has, though she does appear to hide it quite well from her loved ones.
Having left Ireland as a young bride under a dark cloud more than sixty years ago, Lola decides it’s time to return, despite knowing she will possibly have to share some well buried, dark secrets from her past. Her grandaughter Bett and great-granddaughter Ellen are enlisted as travel companions, however, the trip doesn’t exactly go to plan.
While Lola’s trip is the main focus of the book, other stories are playing out well in the background. The characters are very real, from Carrie, Bett’s younger, dizzy sister to Geraldine, Lola’s resentful and not very likable daughter in law.
I thoroughly enjoyed The Trip of a Lifetime, from start to finish. It has certainly encouraged me to seek out more from Monica McInerney.
Coming Home to The Comfort Food Café by Debbie Johnson
A NetGalley review. Paperback out Oct 19th.
Welcome to the cosy Comfort Food Café, where there’s kindness in every cup of hot chocolate and the menu is sprinkled with love and happiness…
Zoe has lost her best friend Kate to breast cancer and is now sole guardian to Kate’s teenage daughter Martha. Neither are coping well with the loss of Kate and so Zoe decides to move them both to the seaside village of Budbury in Dorset.
This is where this book really comes into to its own. I have to say I read this book at a time when needed to escape too and found myself longing for the sea breeze, beach walks and the glorious little café where Zoe found comfort among friends.
When Martha’s Dad shows up expectantly, though, at just the right moment, instead of the turmoil one would expect from the situation, it lifted Martha’s spirits and provided Zoe with yet another ally.
Tinged with much sadness, but full of hope and high spirits, littered with love and friendship and cake in abundance. I thoroughly enjoyed this gem from Debbie Johnson and will be reading her other books in this series for sure.
The Woman at 72 Derry Lane by Carmel Harrington
Oh, holy moly……I started it on Wednesday evening, finished it Thursday afternoon. The Woman at 72 Derry Lane is a book that is very difficult to put down.
The woman in question is Rea, a troubled lady, with a shroud of sadness and a deep concern for her next-door neighbour Stella.
Stella to the outside world has it all; married to the very successful Matt, designer wardrobe, beautiful home. Appearances, of course, are very deceptive.
When by chance Rea & Stella become acquainted the two ladies, who are both trapped in their own personal prisons, come to realise they have much more in common than either of them could have possibly expected.
As the author, another superb Wexford author, by the way, told a story from the past in line with the present day, there were seriously harrowing scenes portrayed. These heart in mouth moments coupled with Stella’s rather tumultuous relationship made for many a heart-stopping moment throughout this book.
I genuinely loved this book; tears, laugh out loud moments (Charlie in Ikea will be a scene that will stay with me forever) and heart wrenching to heartwarming. Carmel Harrington has produced an absolute cracker.
The Trouble with Goats and Sheep by Joanna Cannon
I wasn’t sure what to make of this initially but stuck with it and really enjoyed it.
The Avenue is the setting for the events which unfold during a sweltering 1976 Summer in England. Mrs Creasy has gone missing without her shoes, Grace and Tilly are looking for God and tensions are running high among the neighbours.
A tale of friendship, coming of age, people sticking together, long-held secrets becoming unearthed and consequences.
Once I got used to all the characters and delved deeper into this book I found it really quite charming. Definitely, one for your ‘tbr’ pile if you haven’t yet read it.
The Man I Thought You Were by Leah Mercer
Anna and Mark have a so-called perfect marriage, best friends, lovers, happy. So when Mark comes home and tells Anna, with no explanation, that he is leaving she is utterly devastated.
I couldn’t put this down, I found myself really rooting for Anna but I couldn’t get my head around Mark’s character. He has so many secrets both past and present.
Anna goes above and beyond to track down her husband, determined to uncover what is going on. She traces his estranged family and in doing so brings them all back together.
This book really is an emotional rollercoaster of a read.
The Break by Marian Keyes
A NetGalley review.
Having been recently bereaved, Amy’s husband, Hugh decides he needs a break, to find himself, for six months in Aisa!
He’s not leaving her, he will be back and things will return to normal. Or, will they?
Amy is left to take carry on at home, taking up Hugh’s role within their family as well as carrying on her own. Taking care of finances, her children, her job, the relentless demands on her time and the many opinions of others.
This book is emotional, heart-wrenching and downright hilarious at times with some genuine laugh out loud moments.
Thoroughly modern with a wide network of characters The Break tackles a host of issues including a very sensitively handled abortion storyline.
I absolutely loved this book. I rarely read a book twice but this is one I would read again. Just brilliant, highly recommend it.
The Mistake by K.L. Slater
A NetGalley Review
Rose lives her life in turmoil. She has never gotten over the death of her little brother Billy sixteen years ago. She’d been out with Billy, flying his kite when he went missing never to return home alive.
She trusts no one, except her neighbour Ronnie, until a chance discovery questions her trust in him too.
This book is really very good, at times I couldn’t put it down. I wanted to shake some sense into the young, vulnerable Rose and my heart broke for present-day Rose.
Decisions made can have far-reaching, long-lasting consequences.
Disclaimer: Unless otherwise stated, all of the books I mention in these monthly posts are bought and paid for by myself. Anyone can join NetGalley and provide reviews in exchange for books.