January 2019 ~ Books I Read

The 52 days of January are behind us along with the four books I read. Now, we look to February with tummy bugs, coughs, and colds. The silver lining is the to be read pile so we won’t get too downhearted just yet.

A Keeper by Graham Norton

Elizabeth Keane is an Irish woman living in New York with her 17-year-old son Zach. She must return to Ireland to sort out her Mother’s affairs. Upon doing so she uncovers far more than she ever expected. Secrets don’t stay buried forever.
Arriving in Buncarragh Elizabeth immediately realises why she loves her life in New York! It soon becomes apparent that she can’t stay in her own house, the home she shared with her mother. She is there long enough to uncover a past secret that brings her to Cork for a couple of days. Has Elizabeth found the one person she never knew, her father?
As we drift from then to now, we soon learn of Elizabeth’s past, the life which her Mother lived. It makes for uncomfortable reading and paints a horrific picture of emotional and psychological abuse.
As if uncovering the hard truth of her past isn’t enough, Elizabeth has problems with Zach, who stayed in the States to contend with.
I loved Graham Norton’s debut, Holding, and A Keeper is just as good, if not better. He is a masterful writer, He moves seamlessly between then and now. He captures loneliness and desperation with a deep sense of empathy. I loved A Keeper and eagerly await more from Graham Norton, the author.

The Tattooist of Auschwitz by Heather Morris

I tattooed a number on her arm. She tattooed her name on my heart.

In 1942 Lale Sokolov is brought to Auschwitz along with so many others. Lale was given the job of tattooing incoming prisoners. He would tattoo a number onto their arm, It was when he was marking a line of women he met his love, Gita. He would do whatever it took to stay alive and spend his life with the girl he fell in love with.
This is not a soppy love story, but a story of strength, humanity through the most despicable of times and incredible courage. Lale Sokolov was a remarkable man, who, along with a harrowing number of people witnessed the daily horror of concentration camps.
Words cannot express the impact of this book. Personally, I couldn’t read it in one sitting, it was horrifying at times. On more than one occasion I was so close to tears, my breath would catch.
Heather Morris has told Lale’s story as sensitively as it could be told, and despite the horrific nature, love won in the end for Lale and Gita.

The New Mrs. Clifton by Elizabeth Buchan

Following World War 2, Londoner, Gus Clifton arrives home from Germany with his new wife. He married German woman, Krista in Berlin before his return, devastating his loyal fiancé Nella and leaving his sisters angry and bewildered. Nella’s brother Teddy, and best friend to Gus, is intent on revenge. They all feel utterly betrayed and wonder what Krista could possibly have over Gus.
This is a good read, hand often had me wondering what was coming next. The portrayal of post-war life seems to have been thoroughly researched by the author. I wasn’t fully sold on the change in Julia’s character under the influence of Teddy, it was quite drastic. In saying that, life was drastic at that time.

Only We Know by Karen Perry

Only We Know is set between the 1980’s and present day in Africa and Ireland. It is a thriller which uncovers the events that tie together brothers Luke & Nicky and their friend Katie, forever.
When Sally hears a shrill scream down by the river she fears for her boys and Katie. Nothing else matters now, they must leave Africa.
Luke Yates is troubled, he has an outburst on national television, then disappears. Katie Walsh, Lukes childhood friend is the journalist put on this story. Nicky, having just married following a whirlwind romance. As news of Luke filters through to him, he must return to Ireland.
I knew from the outset things were not going to end well for certain characters in this book. I was kept guessing throughout and some characters were really not what I expected. There is a twist in the tail that I did not see coming at all. I really enjoyed this and will read more from the duo who make up the pen name, Karen Perry.


For more book reviews, get cosy in a big chair in the reading corner.

Disclaimer: Unless otherwise stated, all of the books I mention in these monthly posts are bought and paid for by myself or borrowed from the Library. Anyone can join NetGalley and provide reviews in exchange for books. This post contains Affiliate Links, further details about Affiliate Links can are available on my Disclosure page.


Simply Homemade is on FacebookTwitter &  Instagram



Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.