Books I Read in January | Simply Homemade 2020

Can you quite believe it?! We have reached the ned of January! I had a great old reading time for the start of the year. It was a delight to realise I’d read six books, a first in a long time for me.


The Importance of Being Aisling by Emer McLysaght & Sarah Breen

The follow up to Oh My God, What A Complete Aisling, is every bit as funny as its predecessor. It was a great, lighthearted book to kick off 2020 with, even if I am late to Aisling’s party.
A shock announcement changes the course of Aisling’s life and leads her onto a road she never expected to be on. As her life seems to be falling down around her, Aisling reluctantly moves back to BGB. She moves home to her poor Mammy. What she doesn’t see at the start, is how this could be the best move ever.
Throw in a Las Vegas trip, a lesbian wedding, a baby shower and The Peigs making laugh out loud moments plentiful.

Lying in Wait by Liz Nugent

My husband did not mean to kill Annie Doyle, but the lying tramp deserved it.

This book is told from three perspectives. Lydia, the lady of the mansion that is Avalon, mother to Laurence and wife to Judge Fitzsimons. On the outside she has it all, however, behind closed doors it is a different story. Lydia will stop at nothing to get things the way she wants them.
Laurence, the troubled son. He is overweight, has been bullied mercilessly since having to change schools and now something strange is going on with his Dad.
Karen Doyle’s sister is missing. She’s always been a wild child but to disappear without a trace is totally out of character. Her Dad blames himself and her Ma decides to leave Dublin. At least she can rely on Dessie, good, dependable Dessie.
I picked this book up and could not put it down. Full of twists and turns and an ending that I did not see coming. Liz Nugent nailed it, it is absolutely brilliant!


The Hygge Holiday by Rosie Blake

It’s a cold, grey Autumn in the small town of Yulethorpe. Clara Kristensen is passing through on her travels just as the last shop, a toy shop, is closing its doors for the last time. Clara sees potential in the town and offers to run the shop while Louisa, the owner, heads off on holiday.
Louisa’s son Joe, a man who works day and night in the city, has his suspicions about Clara. He arrives in Yulethorpe to see what really is going on in his mothers’ shop.
Whimsical, this is how I would describe this book. There is no doubt, the references to all things hygge are lovely but that’s where it ends really. For me, this was simply ok. The plot was questionable.
A stranger arrives in town and the following day moves into someones home and runs their business, just like that. A high powered businessman leaves London, lights a few candles and questions his future. The only honestly realistic thing in the book was the weather, in my opinion. In saying that, if it is sheer escapism you are after, this book has that.


Our Little Cruelties by Liz Nugent

Three brothers are at the funeral. One lies in the coffin.

A NetGalley Review

Will, Brian & Luke Drumm, brothers who grow up constantly competing for their Mothers love. Their Mother, famous in her own right, adored by the public but a very different woman behind closed doors. The competition between her sons continues as they carve out lives of their own competing for money, fame, women……
Brian an agent, Will a film producer and Luke a troubled rock star. They could have had so much, they could have had it all.
Liz Nugent depicts this family saga from three perspectives and in non-chronological order, but don’t let that put you off! It really is a superb piece of work. The majority of the main characters are utterly despicable, but that just leaves you wanting more, rooting for those that deserve a chance and waiting, wishing, hoping that the parasites get their comeuppance.
This book was full of drama, fast-paced and gritty. I absolutely loved it!

Stolen by Lesley Pearse

David Mitchell is out walking his neighbours’ dog when he finds the body of a young woman washed up on the beach. She’s alive but has no idea who she is or how she got there.
As photos of the girl are circulated, Dale and Scott realise the woman is Lotte Wainright, their friend with whom they lost touch following their time working on a cruise ship together. Despite her best efforts, Dale had been unable to track Lotte down.
What happened between then and Lotte washing up on a beach?
As Lotte regains her memory, a traumatic series of events are recalled. Lotte is not our of danger yet…
This book was good, it didn’t have me totally gripped, but it was good.

Camellia by Lesley Pearse

I know, another Lesley Pearse book! I bought a stack of them in a second-hand bookshop towards the end of last year!

As a small child, one would have expected Camellia Norton to grow up & live a most charmed life. However, by the time she was 15, she was orphaned. Her mother’s apparent suicide, leaving the young girl lost and alone. While sorting through her Mothers things, Camellia finds a bundle of letters that turns her past upside down.
She puts the letters to one side as she sets about making a life for herself. Lured into the dark side of the swinging sixties, Camellia’s life takes a disturbing turn.
When Camellia does eventually decide to return to the letters and trace her life story, things improve. To be honest, I struggled somewhat with this book up to this point. The first 200-300 pages were very dark, grim and quite graphic. It was only as I read on further, I could really understand why Camellia’s life took the turn it did.
As she grew up, & found her way, I liked her more. She was a strong character on the outside but she was also extremely vulnerable.


Disclaimer: Unless otherwise stated, all of the books I mention in these monthly posts are bought and paid for by myself, downloaded from NetGalley or borrowed from the Library. Anyone can join NetGalley and provide reviews in exchange for books. 


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2 thoughts on “Books I Read in January | Simply Homemade 2020

  1. “The Hygge Holiday” by Rosie Blake didn’t capture me at all. In fact I found it difficult to finish and all through I kept on thinking this will improve, which it didn’t.
    Thanks for the book reviews.

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