My January Reads


Having taken a break in December, it seems like an age since I posted a book review roundup. Over Christmas, I read some feel-good, easy reads which I haven’t included here. They were good but very seasonal, so I’ve kept my reviews to the books I’ve read since.



Oh My God, What a Complete Aisling!  by Emer McLysaght and Sarah Breen

Just a Small-Town Girl Living in a Notions World

I’ve yet to read a poor review of this book so had reasonably high expectations, which were met. Once I got Journey out of my head, it was a charm of a book to read. We can all relate to Aisling, we all know someone with elements of Aisling. In fact, we all have little quirks just like Aisling’s
Living in Ballygobbard, commuting to Dublin and going steady with John for seven years now. Sure it’s only a matter of time before herself and John are offering beeforsalmon in the Ard Rí, isn’t it?
This book had me laughing, smiling and perilously close to tears. The authors portrayed heartache, and hilarity among friends. They painted a very vivid and authentic account of life in Ireland and touched on delicate subjects in a sympathetic manner.
If you haven’t read it, add it to your to be read list, you won’t be disappointed.

Something in Common by Roisin Meaney

I’m a long time fan of Roisin Meaney so I knew in advance I’d enjoy Something in Common and I was right. This book was different to her others though, it touched me in a very different way.
They never met, their friendship was the result of a letter of complaint Sarah wrote to Helen’s editor following a rather critical review Helen published of a debut novel. That initial letter sparked a friendship spanning over 20 years. Despite never meeting these women knew everything there was to know about each other. They were very different and yet so similar.
Neither woman is aware that a chance encounter many years before they met actually changed the course of life for one of them. Helen and Sarah were absolutely destined to be friends. It really isn’t unlike online friendships of today, perhaps this why it touched me so, how many of us have forged friendships with people we have yet to meet
I felt like I knew these women, their very different lives, I felt their heartache, I smiled through their good times. Another gem from Roisin.

The Little Angel by Rosie Goodwin

(A NetGalley Review, Image Credit – NetGalley)

Sunday & Tom Branning have opened their hearts and their home, Treetops, to vulnerable babies and children They love and nurture them as their own. When baby Kitty is left on their doorstep everyone is completely enamoured with her. Kitty emanates happiness and charms those around her without even trying. Sunday find herself being very protective of Kitty. When the young girl is invited to live with her birth mother, Ruby, Sunday is devastated
While the narrative of Kitty’s life is the trunk of The Little Angel, there are many other branches of this tale. Maggie, another child in Sunday & Tom’s care is adopted by a respectable, seemingly well-to-do couple. But, for Sunday, something doesn’t feel quite right about it. Then there’s Ben; when his true parentage is uncovered, a branch starts to crack.
Life in the countryside versus life in London in the early 1900’s. The divide between rich & poor, the relationships between household staff and their employers, the War. Hardly a stone is left unturned between these pages. The Little Angel is a beautifully written novel that may well reduce you to tears at times.

Beyond the Pale by Clare O’ Donohue

(A NetGalley Review – Publication Date 8th May 2018, Image Credit – NetGalley)

Married college professors agree to help Interpol in Ireland, but a simple errand leads them into a deadly criminal enterprise

I’m very much on the fence with this book. I didn’t dislike it but I wasn’t mad about it either. It took me ages to read it so for me, it wasn’t a real page-turner. I don’t want to say it wasn’t good. Books are emotive, different people like different things so I’d be more inclined to say it wasn’t entirely my cup of tea. Now, there were many aspects I did like. The relationship between the two main characters, Finn and Hollis was very well portrayed. They complimented each other and I found their relationship very realistic, it was easy to see why they worked well not only as husband and wife but also on this journey they were undertaking.
Approached by an acquaintance in Interpol, college professors, Finn and Hollis Larsson agree to fly to Ireland, procure a rare priceless manuscript and have the rest of the weekend to explore the Emerald Isle. They aren’t long on Irish soil however when they realise this trip is not the simple transaction they had expected. They soon realise they are being followed and their lives are in serious danger.
There are some lovely descriptions of Ireland, references to Irish history and even some Irish language amidst the pages of ‘Beyond the Pale’. There are also shady characters, murder and bullets to be dodged!

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. This post contains Affiliate Links, further details about Affiliate Links can are available on my Disclosure page.


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