The Psychology of Time Travel – Kate Mascarenhas 

The Psychology of Time Travel is an amazing book and one that will be in my top ten for the year. I know it is a bold statement, but, this is the best book I have read this year. 

Kate somehow sucks us into the time travellors world and the mysteries surrounding this. We initially follow the four founding members of the time travellors group, however as we go through the book they do not remain together and take very different paths. 

pg180

“Odette had failed to stop the crime, and that made her fear for her prospects. But she had done her best and answered honesty. She had to hope this was enough to get her the job,”

Pg231

“She didn’t meet another soul in the last few streets. A police siren distantly rose and fell. The museum was locked up when she arrived. Had Margaret chosen this place because of its quiet emptiness, the low likelihood that they would be seen? The venue was a strange one.” 

During the story, we follow the investigation of a murder that has taken place. There is a complex web of people and motives through the book, but this slowly unravels and we find out a lot about each of the founding members back story. 

Each of the women have complex life stories and go back and forth. One of the women, Barbara, suffered from “mental health” and this was used as an excuse and not dealt with in my mind appropriately she was just pushed out and not spoken with again. But, in my mind I questioned whether she was actually suffering from mental health problems bearing in mind the time travelling she was doing and the risks she was putting herself in, the risks they were all putting themselves in with time travelling. 

I simply adored this book, initially, when I read it was about time travel I was not enthusiastic, however, once I started reading the first chapter, that was it I was completely sucked in and I did not want the book to end and I tried to make the most of every last page and word last a tiny bit longer. 

This is a must read and a must for your book shelf. 

Kate and Head of Zeus have kindly provided an extract for you to enjoy.

 “‘We’ve done it,’ Barbara said. ‘You bloody brilliant women. We’ve done it.’

They hugged, their voices mingling as they spoke over each other, and Barbara’s vision blurred with tears. She was so grateful – for Lucille’s superluminal research, and Grace’s thermodynamics, and Margaret’s utter, unshakeable conviction that they would succeed. The team were pioneers. They were going to be the first people to travel through time.

‘This occasion calls for cigars!’ Lucille said. ‘What’s on the menu this evening?’

Barbara wiped her eyes. ‘I’m afraid all that’s in the larder is sardines and baked beans. With evaporated milk and tinned peaches for dessert.’‘All lovingly decanted,’ said Grace.

‘Speaking of feasts,’ Margaret said, ‘we should give Patrick a last supper. Check his digestion’s shipshape before dissection.’

‘No!’ Barbara exclaimed involuntarily.

‘No?’ Margaret repeated. ‘Why shouldn’t we feed him?’ ‘Feed him – but don’t dissect him.’

‘We must, darling,’ said Grace. ‘The sooner we check for internal injuries, the sooner we can plan human trials.’

Grace was right, and Barbara struggled to reply because she was embarrassed by her own sentimentality. She’d conducted her share of dissections over the years. However, none of those animals had achieved anything as wondrous as this rather dim, rumpled rabbit: he was the first living creature to ever travel through time. A summary execution horrified her.

‘We have all the other rabbits for replication experiments,’ Barbara said when she found her words. ‘There’s going to be lots of dissections to choose from. Patrick doesn’t need to be one of them.’

‘Actually,’ Margaret said, ‘I can see the benefits to keeping him alive. The press will be interested in the first rabbit time traveller. You know how gaga the public go over animals.’

Press coverage would make it easier to attract funding. Up till now they had got by on a few small grants. They had been helped, too, by Margaret’s wealth. But they would require much greater investment to continue. Clearly Margaret thought Patrick could play a small part in winning the money they needed.

‘I suppose he’d make a sweet lab mascot,’ Grace said.

‘So Patrick lives,’ Lucille concluded.

Patrick swiftly became Barbara’s pet. She took responsibility for feeding and watering him, and for changing his bedding. He came to recognise her voice. His personality turned out to be a playful and affectionate one. He’d even sit on her lap if called, which gave her quiet satisfaction. Everyone recognised that Patrick belonged to Barbara.  But when she was forced to leave the lab – before the completion of their project – she was not allowed to take Patrick with her.

All four of the pioneers were still working together when the military agreed to subsidise tests with humans. Most of the money that flowed through was spent on fuel. The pioneers’ small prototype machine had minimised fuel requirements by using existing wormholes, but this cheap, crude technology was only suited to small inanimate objects – or expendable travellers like Patrick – because the risks of malformation were high. Safe time travel was more energy intensive.

Money was also allocated to labour. Transporting people through time required a machine the size of a tennis court. A fleet of engineers came to the Fells to assist with the build. They sheltered in a circle of caravans, while the pioneers continued to sleep in the lab. One of the engineers mentioned to Barbara that down in the village, the locals were convinced the time travel project was a ruse: the engineers were building a nuclear weapons site, and the secrecy was meant to prevent demonstrations. The idea of a functioning time machine seemed too absurd to believe. Barbara was faintly amused by this, but didn’t dwell on it, because the villagers seemed so remote from her day-to-day work. All the world seemed distanced from her. She knew Margaret cared a great deal about public perceptions, and was driven, in part, by a need to make her mark before everyone. Whereas Barbara was excited by the prospect of time travel itself, and loved her colleagues because they were going to help her achieve it. Her life had shrunk to the size of the lab, but she felt it was about to grow – grow as far as the time machine allowed her to travel. It was easy then, to throw herself into the complex, grinding mathematical work the team needed to make their project succeed. It was easy to forget to rest, or to eat, until the others made her. Three in the morning would roll round and she would still be at her desk. Grace would pad across the workroom, her satin eye mask high on her head – the one Lucille had adorned with curly eyelashes in permanent ink – and she would implore:

‘Come to bed, Bee.’

‘In a minute.’

There was always another minute needed, so Grace would have to drag her by the arm into the dorm. There were four iron beds, but once the frosts started and their breath misted indoors as well as out, the women doubled up for warmth like babes in the wood. Often Bee didn’t sleep even once she was under the covers because her mind raced with her work. But it was comforting to feel Lucille’s arm slung over her in slumber, or to hear Grace’s soft breath. ”

About the Book 

Time travel is still in it’s infancy. It’s hard to predict what the effects on body and mind might be……

Time Travel 

Four female scientists invent a time travel machine in 1967. They are on the cusp of fame, but then one of them suffers a breakdown and puts the whole project in peril…….

Mystery 

Ruby knows her Granny Bee was the scientist that went mad, but never talked about it. Until a message arrives from the near future, forcing Bee to face her past……

Murder 

A few months later, Odette discovers the dead body of an elderly woman in a locked room was it murder? Or suicide? With no-one willing to give her any answers, Odette sets out to uncover the truth herself……

About the Author 

Kate is a half-Irish, half-Seyshellois midlander. She has worked as a copywriter, an assistant psychologist, and a bookbinder. She lives with her husband in a small terraced house which she is slowly filling with Sindy dolls. This is her first novel. 

The Psychology of Time Travel is published by Head of Zeus 

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Friendship Fails of Emma Nash – Chloe Seager 

Friendship Falls of Emma Nash made me laugh out loud, and I am talking about proper belly laughs. We follow the story of Emma who has taken the decision to make attempts to try and make new friends as her other ones were busy in relationships, how hard could it be. 

Well, Emma comes to realise it is not so easy and when you add social media into the mix things do not go to plan. 

pg63

“There were about twenty-five of us and we went around the circle introducting ourselves and dividing out roles. I didn’t really recognise any one expect Holly, but the guy who sat next to me was nice. He had very ‘high-fashion’ hair and shoes and managed to look sort of preened in a way that I can never achieve after three hours getting ready, never mind after a day at school.”

pg192

“Going to bed. Despite having spent the evening being taunted by my own inadequacy’s I am actually feeling in an alright mood. I’m so happy that I finally noticed Charlie. I think of how he made me feel so much better about stuff today, despite barely knowing me, proves I’m onton something potentially great here.” 

What it makes you realise during this story is how communication can be easily misinterpreted and also being a teenager is not so easy. 

I simply adored this book, Chloe really delved into the nitty gritty of trying to make friends and being a friend which I think is often forgotten about. Chloe reflected the continual transitions in young people’s lives which at times you just cannot keep up with. I have to say if I was younger, I would loved to have been Emma’s friend, despite her flaws she is a kind hearted, genuine friend who at times just messes up, don’t we all. This is one book if you want a laugh, to have a read you never know you may learn something. 

About the Book 

Emma Nash is determined to work out the world of friendships once and for all(ish). 

Now she’s given up on love, Emma’s expecting life to be a breeze but with her best friends suddenly all in relationships or discovering other interests, Emma’s not sure what to do with herself. 

So Emma’s got a mission in mind, make new friends. Signing up for the school fashion show seems like the perfect opportunity. Although soon, through a series of mishaps that are absolutely not Emma’s fault (well, sort of), her world is teetering on the edge of disaster again. 

Would going back to creating a life online reaaaaaaallllyyy be so bad?

About the Book 

Chloe grew up in East London with her mum and much loved cat, Katie. She studied English Literature and Drama at the University of East Anglia where she sadly realised she couldn’t act, but did rediscover her love of children’s books. 

Children’s literature was one of her favourite modules and it made her wonder why grown-ups ever stopped reading them. She now works with YA and kids books full time. Chloe lives back in East London with her boyfriend and pet fish. 

This book is published by Harper Collins

A big thank you to Nina Douglas for sending me Friendship Falls of Emma Nash. 
 

 

Life On Top – A. D. Hutchinson 

About the Book 

Rachel was an ordinary girl, living with her sister in a small block of flats. She was just about to start a new career as an air hostess when her life unexpectedly exploded into a new world of adventure, men and lots of money, following a chance meeting with Maggie; an attractive woman working as a high-class escort in London. 

Rachel liked what she saw and wanted what Maggie had; rich, handsome men falling at her feet. 

Can Rachel live the life of luxury too? What will her sensible sister Mel say? And how many hearts will get broken along the way?

pg13

“Mel finally pulled away from my spinning and jumping. She took her mobile from her back pocket and rung our parents, then our friends, and finally my boss at the cafe to let me give him my notice. A freedom enveloped me, I felt like I could float.”

pg131 

“Beautiful people in expensive gowns and suits milled around. It was an utter paradise of the wealthy and my skin pricked. This was where I belonged.”

Life On Top , initially I thought would not be a book for me, as you all previously know I am a bit of a prude but I thought I would give it a read as I am pretty open minded. However, I am not one to criticise books on my blog as I just do not think it is helpful for me or the author. Upon reflection after reading the book, in full, it just was not a book for me, but don’t let me put you off, I think everyone should read a book even if you have slight apprehensions about it as you never know when you will literally judge a book by its cover and may come across a gem. 

I will continue to look out for work by A. D Hutchinson, this book was just not for me, but I would recommend for you all to give it a read as I think it would make an excellent sun lounger read for your holidays. 

Thank you to Bookollective for sending me a copy of the book and for arranging the blog tour. 

Why Mummy Swears – Gill Sims 

So, when I had the opportunity to review this book, I simply could not refuse. I loved Why Mummy Drinks and just had to read this and I was not disappointed. 

Why Mummy Swears just made me laugh, and I mean a proper belly laugh with tears rolling down my face. It is so brutally honest about being a parent, I get sick of hearing about “perfect parents” when in the real world everyone I am sure struggles with being a parent. In my mind, I want to be the best parent I could possibly be and make sure my children have as many opportunities opened to them as possible, but sometimes it does not go to plan. I have two toddlers, so Gill opened my eyes to what they potentially are going to be like when they are bigger and I am pleased she has given me the “heads up” because I wished someone would have told me what is what like to have babies and now toddlers – it is hard work. 

This books has now done the rounds with my friends, and we love it and love Gill, she made a great discussion at our book club. This is a book I would highly recommend even if you don’t have children as it was simply funny, heart warming, brutally honest not just about children but how times are changing very quickly and just getting older. 

I hope Gill is writing another book, as they are a great source of comfort that people just cannot write a manual about having children and just simply talking about the crazy and sometimes “did that just happen” moments brings a source of comfort to all parents out there. I just want to say a big thank you to Gill for publishing the “nitty gritty” of parenting. 

About the Book 

Mummy’s back, this time with a few choice words to share……

Daddy is constantly off on exotic business trips. Boy Child Peter is connected to his iPad by an umbilical cord and Girl Child Jane is desperate to make her fortune as an Instagram lifestyle influencer……

Mummy has found herself a new challenge, working for one of the hottest new tech start-ups, which occupies a sexy, glossy glass office block full of light and space and beautiful people. But not only is she worrying if at forty-two she could actually get off a bean bag with dignity, she’s also somehow (accidentally) re-branded herself as a hot, single party girl who works hard, plays hard and doesn’t have to run out when the nanny calls in sick.

Meanwhile, Mummy’s marriage is feeling the strain, her kids are running wild and the house is steadily developing a forest of mould….Only Judgy, the Proud and Noble Terrier remains loyal as always. Can Mummy keep everything from falling apart? Or even find time for a G & T anymore? 

About the Author 

Gill is the bestselling author of Why Mummy Drinks, which has spent a staggering 30 weeks and counting in the Sunday Times top 10 and was the bestselling debut hardback novel of 2017. 

She lives in Scotland with her husband, two children and rescue Border Terrier, who rules the house. Gill’s interests include drinking wine, wasting time on social media, trying and failing to recapture her lost youth and looking for the dog when he decides to on one of his regular jaunts. 

Why Mummy Swears is published by Harper Collins.  

Under The Wig – William Clegg QC 

When I saw this book, I just had to get my hands on it. I love to hear first hand from Barristers / Solicitors about some of the cases they have represented and William Clegg QC has some interesting stories to tell. 

About the Book 

How can you speak up for someone accused of a savage murder?

How do you sway a jury? 

Or get a judge to drop a case?

Meet London’s top murder case lawyer as he meets clients in prisons, confronts witnesses in packed courts and frees innocent people jailed for decades. 

In a vivid memoir, William Clegg QC revisits his most notorious and intriguing trials, from the acquittal of Colin Stagg to the murder of Jill Dando, and from Britain’s first Nazi war criminal to the man given life because of an earprint. 

All the while he lays bare the secrets of his profession, from the rivalry among barristers to the nervous moments before a verdict – and how our right to a fair trial is now a great peril. 

About the Author 

William Clegg QC is one of the most celebrated advocates at the English bar. A barrister for 47 years, he has been go-to lawyer for complex murder and fraud cases for decades and has fought over 100 murder cases. He is head of chambers at 2 Beford Road, one of the four leading criminal sets in London.

Under The Wig is due to be published on 4 October 2018 by Canbury Press

Thank you to Emma Finnigan PR for sending me a copy of this book  

The Secret Legacy – Sara Alexander

About The Book 

Do our secrets make us who we are?

Santina is spending her final days at her home, Villa San Vito, in the beautiful Italian town of Positano. As she decides the fate of the magnificent eighteenth century Pascal she must confront the choices that led her here.

In 1949, hoping to escape poverty, young Santina becomes housekeeper to a distinguished British major and his creative, impulsive wife, Adeline.

When they move to Positano, Santina joins them, raising their daughter as Adeline’s mental health declines. With each passing year, Santina becomes more deeply entwined with the family, trying to navigate her complicated feelings for a man who is much more than an employer – while hiding secrets that could shatter the only home she knows……

About The Author 

Sara attended Hampstead School, London and went on to graduate from the University of Bristol with a BA Hons in Theatre, Film and TV. She followed on to complete her postgraduate diploma in acting from Drama Studio London. She has worked extensively in the theatre, film and television industries, including roles in much loved productions such as Harry Potter & The Deathly Hallows, Doctor Who and Franco Zeffirelli’s Sparrow. She is based in London.

Sara has kindly written a blog post for my blog. I hope you enjoy.

My Female Protagonists’ Super Power? Vulnerability. 

It’s safe to say that all writers aspire to creating fresh stories each time they concoct their next plots and settings. Not long into starting work on my second novel, The Secret Legacy, my agent and I had an interesting conversation about how writers return to a theme repeatedly, approaching from fresh angles and with new characters. I bristled at the thought. Putting myself into that box made me feel like I had clipped my wings before they’d even opened to their full span to begin with.

I lay in bed that night wondering how it related to my work and what the implications were. Somewhere around 3am as I remember, that misty brain fog time perfect for forgotten retorts, unfinished to-dos, musts and should haves, or, for those of us who have chosen to procreate, witching hour calls from off spring mid nightmare, I realised what my recurring theme was: Vulnerability.

The word does little to fully colour one of the most complex of human feelings, which winds its way out of us in a spectrum of expression. Sometimes through anger, the ideal avenue for fear, which is a close cousin to vulnerability, sometimes through the protective cloak of stark emotional detachment (I can relate to this one!) and sometimes through the mask of aloof pride or swagger.

I am drawn to this subject because the women in my stories face relationships that threaten to swerve their controlled grip on their lives. I’m not talking about relationships that consume them in a negative way, though I do use these to highlight the opposite. I’m talking about those relationships, or attractions, that force them to question their own parameters, tread where they may not be comfortable, accept that they feel more than they can contain, or, indeed feel free, or safe, to express. I like prizing open fierce independent female characters to find their soft spot, one which I’ve seen masked in many women I’ve come to know and love in a riotous array of behaviours. Personally, it’s taken me two children and a marriage to understand the brutality and venerability of vulnerability, that continuous reminder that everything you come to know will by necessity be tumbled down out of reach so that you grow further than you’d planned.

I’ve come to view Vulnerability as a super power, because it takes a great deal of courage to sit in it, without the need for reassurance, or to give another person the responsibility of scrubbing it away, placing fearlessness in its place. The swamp of vulnerability is where all the gold nuggets of human experience lie.

Sometimes my stories are described as those that involve women sacrificing some part of themselves or their lives for love, but I see it more as acts of conscious surrender, which in our culture we’ve come to view as a point of weakness. I used to also, but the women in real life that I admire the most are the ones who have witnessed their self doubt, self criticism, the harsh words of others and their own shadow voices, and, without fight, found a point of stillness within it, leaning into the unknown, which is where both fear and endless possibilities lie.

The art of creation requires vulnerability, an openness to harness that silent spot usually revealed only to a few. The intimate act of writing and reading allows for this secret world to open up and to be shared. The development of my female characters allows me to ask the question about what happens when we allow ourselves to relinquish our designed versions of ourselves, our lives, our dreams? The act of which allows my characters to open themselves to the power of endless possibilities and success – often far scarier than the prospect of failure. Their vulnerability becomes a treasured guide along the road too travelled, and the act of conscious surrender, noble, not weak. I’m interested in investigating the tension between what a society expects female strength to look and behave like in opposition to the natural expression of it in my characters, both those aspects with which they are comfortable, and those that are shed light on by the people they are attracted to.

At the heart of my stories lie powerful love affairs that alter the course of my character’s lives and force them to push the boundaries of their vulnerability. I’ve come to believe that this may well be a human’s supreme act of courage after all.

The Secret Legacy is published by Harper Collins 

Through His Eyes – Emma Dibdin 

Though His Eyes follows journalist Jessica Harris, well I say journalist but she is somewhat struggling to find work and to keep her head a float. Jessica has a way of finding herself a good story it is just whether editors want to run with the story or whether the “powers that be” close down the story and bury it. 

pg158 

“The last thing I remember is the sprawling backseat of an unfamilar car, dark wood and darker leather, and Clark saying my name.”

Jessica wants to write a story on Clark a superstar actor. However, there is a lot more to Clark’s story than meets the eye and somehow Jessica becomes the story. Jessica slowly learns there is a lot of history when it comes to Clark and the women in his life. He has a colourful past that he does not want to come out in the press, if it does, it would certainly damage his perfect, Hollwood brand he portrays. 

pg226

“There is something wrong with her, her pupils dilated, her skin flushed, her gaze unfocused, and she is talking so fast I can barely keep up. She must be on something, and whatever it is it’s not the same something she was taking back in California. I insisted on getting her water from the bar, and she drinks it like it’s the first water she’s had in days.” 

Clark’s daughter, Skye has a troubled life and is struggling with not only her identity but the person her father wants to be. The fact Clark is so famous, has had an impact on her mental well-being and there is clearly a massive breakdown in communication between Clark and Skye. 

Skye sees something in Jessica which I found that Skye seemed to be comforting and like Jessica is a big sister. Skye is so troubled but she seems to be quite settled and safe with Jessica. 

I really enjoyed this book by Emma, it reflected the side of Hollywood that perhaps is not always shown and tends to be hidden or journalists are not always allowed to report on. It also reflected the wider impact it has on famous people’s families and their mental well-being. I read this book in one sitting as I was desperate to find out what Jessica was up to and in a strange way wanted to make sure she was ok. I knew straight away that Clark was not to be trusted his vulnerable side which he tried to portray, just simply did not wash with me. 

Its a great summer read and certainly was not a disappointment. 

About the Book 

Jessica Harris is a struggling Hollywood reporter hungry for her big break. So when her editor asks her to profile movie star Clark Conrad, Jessica is thrilled. Clark is an A-lister with access to everyone. If she can impress him, she’s made it. 

When she arrives at Clark’s mansion in the Hollywood Hills, he is just as she always imagined; charming, handsome and disarmingly open. But then things take a darker turn. Clark’s world is not as straightforward as it seems and Jessica’s puff piece soon becomes something much more delicate – and dangerous. As Jessica draws herself deeper into Clark’s inner circle, events begin to spiral out of her control. 

About the Author 

Emma grew up in Oxford, and now lives in New York. She is a writer and journalist whose work has appeared in Esquire, Marie Claire, Harper’s Bazaar, Cosmopolitan and Total Film. Her debut novel, The Room by the Lake, is also published by Head of Zeus. 

@emmdib
This book has been published by Head of Zeus

Take Nothing With You – Patrick Gale 

Take Nothing With You is an intoxicating read and one I just adored and want to re-read again and again. 

We follow the story of Eustace who is confused about his sexuality. At this time, being gay is not a topic that is discussed much and Eustance is exploring this both physically and mentally and trying to work his way through this on his own even at quite a young. He does not have the best role model when it comes to relationships as his mother and father don’t exactly have the happiest marriage. It seemed that unintentionally their relationship was toxic and had an impact on Eustace. 

pg64 

“After a curt reprimand from his mother, while Miss Gold was in the lavatory, he made a special effort not to show off. In practice this meant being largely silent and listening to the grown-ups, which was not great hardship.”

pg245

“As they made their way slowly along the jasmine-scented corridor pausing, as they always did, so she could comment on the enormous flower arrangements or blatantly assess her unsmiling reflection in one of the full-length looking glasses, he consulted his own feelings to see if he felt anger or disappointment and found he felt relief, if anything, that his small, offstage drama left her placid self-regard untroubled.” 

Eustace also has a second love, which is his cello, he had a genuine love for music which initially his mother seemed to support, however, her own issues in her life had an impact on Eustace’s future and his wishes he had for his life. 

We also see Eustace’s life in the future and him reflecting on his childhood. He seems to see that some of the negative influences may not have been so negative and they happened for a reason and shaped his life and the decisions he made. 

I loved Eustace as his character and wanted to be his friend, he seemed such a genuine, heart warming and beautiful character who just wants the best for everyone even for his mother and father who perhaps don’t necessary deserve this, especially his mother. 

I love Patrick’s books, the only problem is that I read them so quickly that I don’t realise that I have reached the end of the novel and just want to read more from Patrick.

If you have never read any of Patrick’s books you must go and purchase or borrow from the library, you certainly will not be disappointed. 

About the Book 

A story of hidden love, music and the liberation it can bring. 

An only child, Eustace is dealing with his sexuality, insecurities and his parents’ add a failing marriage. But when he beings to learn the cello, Eustace discovers that music-making brings release from emotional turmoil and teaches him essential lessons of love, friendship, survival and resilience. 

About the Author 

Patrick is one of the country’s best-lived novelist and his most recent works are the Costa shortlisted A Place Called Winter, A Perfectly Good Man and the Richard & Judy Bestselling Notes From An Exhibition. His original BBC television drama Man In An Orange Shirt, was shown to great acclaim in 2017 as part of the BBC’s Gay Britannia series, leading viewers around the world to discover his novel.

Take Nothing With You is published by Tinder Press 

Resin – Ane Riel 

Resin blew my mind. Initially, when I had finished this novel it was a strange concept to write about but after a few days, even weeks, I still think of this book – which, to me shows how much of an amazing and more importantly the impact the story this has had. 
We follow an isolated family, the locals view of them somewhat changes to feeling sorry for them, they are inquisitive of what they do and just simply thinking they are just strange. 

We follow the story of Jens, his wife and children. There is a mix of sadness, death and Liv (Jens daughter) of wanting to know what goes on behind the farm. Oh, and there is a lot of hoarding. 

pg10

“It was a never-ending world of smells and sounds and life which melted somewhere far away into a landscape of singing larks and healther and lyme grass that then merged into the sand, that merged into the water, that continues into an endless sea.”

pg96

“Jens felt a deep sense of responsibility to preserve things. To keep things as they were. And he experienced joy, an emotional bond, with every single object he took into his care. This sense of connection stimulated him. And it exhaused him whenever someone tried to break it. It even frightened him.”

Ane was clever in her writing and I felt that I was in their house with hoarding for a neat freak, definately made me feel uneasy and Jens certainly gave me mixed emotions from being slightly scared of what he may do next to wanting to love and care for him. I also was frustrated with Marie who is Liv’s mother as in the end she just took to her bed and just did not leave. I felt that she could do a lot more to protect her daughter and to stand up to her husband a lot more to try and get him to see sense, in a way I felt she not only gave up on her but her family. 

This is a must read and may be in my book file for best book of the year. I just loved it, although the topics are unique, it is just an amazing, thought provoking and the story will certainly never leave me. 

About the Book 

His father, his brother, his son had taught him- whoever leaves him will never come back. No-one must be allowed to leave. 

Liv died when she was just six years old. 

At least, that’s what the authorities think. 

Her father knew he was the only one who could keep her safe in this world. So one evening he left the isolated house his little family called home, he pushed their boat out to sea and watched it ruin on the rocks. Then he walked to the long way into town to report his only child missing. 

But behind the boxes and the baskets crowding her Dad’s workshop, Liv was hiding. This way her Dad had said, she’d never have to go to school, this way, she’d never have to leave her parents. 

This way, Live would be safe. 

About the Author 

Ane studied art history and has published a number of books for children, including educational books on painting and architecture. Ane made her literary debut in 2013 with The Butcher from Liseleje, which was awarded the Danish Crime Academy’s Debut Prize for the Best Crime / Suspense debut. In 2016, she was awarded the prestigious Glass Key Award for Best Scandinavian Suspense / Crime Novel. 

Resin is published by Doubleday Publishers 

Heartburn – Nora Ephron 

Heartburn is one the first novels I have read in the 40 years of Virago modern collection and I certainly was not disappointed.

 
Rachel discovers her husband having an affair when she was seven months pregnant. Rachel is left with a toddler and her unborn baby and seems to be embarrassed that she had not noticed sooner. However, I felt there was something burning inside her that she could do this on her own and did not need her husband to rely on she could be independent both mentally, physically and financially. 

pg171

“I put my hand over the pocket, as if the check were going to fly right out and back into the checkbook and erase itself. I could feel the paper through the cloth; I kept running my finger over the outside of the pocket and feeling the check crinkle insight. My heart started to pound; I realised I had just been given the means to walk out of my marriage.” 

Rachel had such a cynical sense of humour and is not bitter whatsoever. Rachel portrayed the perfect attitude when her life is slightly uncontrolled, but I loved her. I could feel her heartbreak but also felt she could really change her life for the best. Although the book is brief, its a down to earth read and just wonderful. 

What I did not realise was that Nora caught her husband cheating on her when she was pregant with her second child and she just wrote about how it felt which I find empowering and overwhelmed by the lack of anger or bitterness just respect and being the bigger person certainly reflected in the story. 

About the Book 

Seven months into her pregnancy, Rachel, a cookery writer, discovers that her husband is in love with another woman. The fact that the other woman has ‘a neck as long as an arm and a nose as long as a thumb’ is no consolation. Heartburn is a rollercoaster of love, betrayal, revenge and how to make the perfect souffle. 

About the Author 

Nora recieved an Academy Award nomination for Best Original Screenplay for When Harry Met Sally, Silkwood and Sleepless in Seattle, which she also directed. Nora began writing for cinema after years as one of America’s best known journalists. She died in 2012 at the age of seventy six. 

Heartburn is published by Virago