How We Remember by J. M. Monaco blogtour book review

 

how we remember cover

How We Remember written by J. M. Monaco, publisher RedDoor Publishing Ltd, is available NOW in ebook and paperback format.  The ebook is also included in the kindleunlimited scheme.

The paperback is available to buy from all good book retailers including Waterstones, WHSmith and amazon.

To buy link (amazon UK):  https://amzn.to/2zH1msF

Product Details

Family Secrets. Sibling Rivalries

The blood ties that have kept Jo and her brother Dave together are challenged when an unexpected inheritance fans the flames of underlying tensions. Upon discovering her mother’s diary, the details of their family’s troubled past are brought into sharp relief and painful memories are reawakened.

Narrated with moments of light and dark, J. M. Monaco weaves together past and present, creating a complex family portrait of pain and denial in this remarkable debut novel.

Perfect for fans of Anne Tyler and Sylvia Brownrigg, this is a novel that will stay with you long after you stop turning the pages.

how we remember blogtour poster

I voluntarily reviewed an arc of this book. All opinions are my own and no content may be copied. However, authors and publishers may use elements of my reviews for quotes.

I am so pleased to be involved in the blogtour celebrating and promoting J. M. Monaco’s debut novel.

How We Remember is a remarkable debut novel by J. M. Monaco, it’s a compelling story full of raw, honest encounters that leave scars on the characters lives forever.  The author has created characters that get imprinted on your heart and their story will move you and you will be thinking of them often afterwards.  The author J. M. Monaco isn’t afraid to divulge to the reader life with all it’s beauty and all it’s darkest times.  As a reader you are following this journey with the characters and experience every bump along the journey of life with them.

Jo O’Brien has returned back home to the states following the death of her mother.  Whilst reminiscing during the clear out of her mother’s belongings memories and secrets from the past emerge in vivid dreams.  Memories that are quite dark at times leaving Jo very unsettled.  Jo’s childhood, with her older brother Dave, was a little dysfunctional and Jo would very often daydream about the typical American family, which was so far different to her own.

Shocks and surprises are learnt and whilst overcoming grief Jo has to learn to understand events from her past that have defined who she is now.

This story was very profound, I was drawn to Jo and I felt many emotional pulls whilst travelling through her journey of the past and present.

The ending was very bittersweet and once again my emotions got the better of me.

A story that was at times hard hitting but it’s a story of life and all that is thrown your way.  It’s a story about the complexities of people and of a family who stumble and fall many a time but continue to get up trying to close the door on the darkness.

About the Author

J.M. Monaco grew up in the northeast region of the USA where she studied English and Creative Writing at undergraduate level. She worked in a variety of areas before taking up postgraduate studies in England where she completed her PhD. She now lives in a buzzing city in the South West of England with her husband and children.

Social Media links:

Website:  https://jmmonacofirstperson.wordpress.com/

Twitter:  http://www.twitter.com/jm_monaco2

Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/JMMonacoAuthor

 

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The Sunday Lunch Club by Juliet Ashton book review

sunday lunch club

The Sunday Lunch Club written by Juliet Ashton, publisher Simon & Schuster UK, is available from 19th April 2018 in ebook and paperback format.

To pre-order/buy link:  https://goo.gl/7ZaA3V

Product details (as per amazon page)

The first rule of Sunday Lunch Club is … don’t make any afternoon plans.

Every few Sundays, Anna and her extended family and friends get together for lunch. They talk, they laugh, they bicker, they eat too much. Sometimes the important stuff is left unsaid, other times it’s said in the wrong way.

Sitting between her ex-husband and her new lover, Anna is coming to terms with an unexpected pregnancy at the age of forty. Also at the table are her ageing grandmother, her promiscuous sister, her flamboyantly gay brother and a memory too terrible to contemplate.

Until, that is, a letter arrives from the person Anna scarred all those years ago. Can Anna reconcile her painful past with her uncertain future?

table setting clipart

I voluntarily reviewed an arc of  this book.  All opinions are my own and no content may be copied.  However, authors and publishers may use elements of my reviews for quotes.

Firstly, I’d like to talk about the cover of this novel, it is such an appealing colour and quite striking and sitting on a shelf amongst other books it would stand out for me.

I adored this wonderful book by Juliet Ashton and The Sunday Lunch Club is her fourth book.  I do need to find the time reading her back catalogue.

Whilst reading this novel I felt like it would work wonderfully as a Sunday night TV serial. The drama and emotion surrounding each member of the family captivated me. I felt the raw emotion from each character as they were struggling to cope with demons from their past and the demons that they had carried all throughout their life. Each sibling and their respective partners and friends had their own unique personality but they complimented the family unit as a whole. Even though their was plenty of drama and hurdles for the siblings to climb there was plenty of fun interspersed within the storyline.  The novel had a wonderful cosy feeling about it, a feeling of togetherness between the family and I especially liked the powerful bond between the grandchildren and Dinkie.

A beautiful, heartfelt novel that was full of family sagas but had an intense feeling of family spirit surviving all that was dealt their way.

To learn more about the author Julie Ashton please visit the following pages:

Author website:   http://www.berniestrachan.com/
Twitter:   http://www.twitter.com/julietstories

Anna by Amanda Prowse book review

Anna

Anna written by Amanda Prowse, publisher Head of Zeus, is available in ebook format from 8th March 2018.

To pre-order/buy link:  https://goo.gl/TQt4Tv

Product Details (as per amazon page)

One Love, Two Stories.
Anna Cole grew up in care, and is determined to start a family of her own. Theo Montgomery had a loveless childhood, and wants only to find his soulmate.
Then, one day, Theo meets Anna, and Anna meets Theo. Two damaged souls from different worlds. Is their love for each other enough to let go of the pain of their pasts? Or will Anna and Theo break each others’ hearts?
There are two sides to every love story. This is Anna’s.

abc clipart

I voluntarily reviewed an arc of  this book.  All opinions are my own and no content may be copied.  However, authors and publishers may use elements of my reviews for quotes.

Review

Anna is a deeply moving, beautifully romantic story full of emotions dealing with a torrent of heart-rending moments that define a young woman’s future.

Amanda Prowse is the master of storytelling that pulls at the heart strings but her characters and settings draw you in and you are captivated by the scenes set out so sublimely on the pages.

Anna has experienced so much tragedy, heartbreak and loss at a young age but the love and comfort and sheer belief she was given by her mother feels like she can take on the whole world. But is this enough for Anna to give her the strength to overcome what lies ahead?

All Anna wants is to feel like she belongs, to feel loved and cherished and part of a family. When Anna meets Theo she believes that he is the one to bring sunshine to her stormy days. However, little does Anna know is that Theo himself has faced many battles and his heart has weathered many storms. Can this pair of beautiful people with scarred pasts help each other and go some way to bring light back into their lives?

This story, Anna, was so beautiful and tender I adored it, every emotion it installed in me felt real and honest. I didn’t want the story to end and my mind was racing ahead to scenarios for how I would hope Anna’s life would continue.

I am desperate now to read Theo’s story and can already sense the anticipated emotions it will draw out of me.

To learn more about Amanda Prowse and her work please do visit the following pages;

Website:  http://amandaprowse.org/

Twitter:  http://www.twitter.com/MrsAmandaProwse

Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/amandaprowsenogreaterlove

A Life Between Us by Louise Walters book review

 

a life between us

A Life Between Us written and self-published by Louise Walters is available NOW in ebook and paperback format.

To buy link:

Product Details (as per amazon page)

Tina Thornton’s twin sister Meg died in a childhood accident, but for almost forty years Tina has secretly blamed herself for her sister’s death. During a visit to her aging Uncle Edward and his sister Lucia, who both harbour dark secrets of their own, Tina makes a discovery that forces her to finally question her memories of the day her sister died. Who, if anyone, did kill Meg? As Tina finds the courage to face the past, she unravels the tangled family mysteries of her estranged parents, her beautiful French Aunt Simone, the fading, compassionate Uncle Edward, and above all, the cold, bitter Aunt Lucia, whose spectral presence casts a long shadow over them all. A Life Between Us is a beautifully evocative story of a family torn apart at the seams, which will appeal to readers who enjoy family sagas and modern-day mysteries.

oak tree silhouette

I was soon gripped by this family drama that spanned decades from the 1960’s to 2014.  A story based around the tragic death of Tina’s twin sister Meg who died in an accident at the age of 8.  For 38 years Tina has led a life of an all consuming guilt believing she was responsible for Meg’s death.  During all this time she has kept a secret relationship with Meg, as if she was still alive, talking with her and in a way being controlled by her.

The storyline unearths a family history of the mystery leading up to this terrible tragedy and what influences it had on the future for the remainder of the family.  We see a spoilt girl jealous of her younger sibling and when an evening doesn’t quite go her way emotions spiral out of control exposing a forbidden love.  This evening was the start of a catalyst of highly emotive events to follow resulting in difficult inconceivable decisions for many in the family.  A young man in love with a terrible secret.  The birth of the twin girls brought much joy to the family and most of the family were besotted by them.

For Tina living with this all consuming guilt must have been unbearable at times, the loss of someone so close to you would leave an unimaginable sadness.  With the death of one child it was almost like Tina’s own childhood had been lost with this ever present guilt surrounding her.  Tina did find the strength to fall in love herself and her husband Keaton was so patient with her with her paranormal thoughts of Meg.  Their marriage however, was struggling and Keaton wanted Tina to talk to someone about her past and how it has controlled her present and possibly her future.  Can Tina find the strength to go back to that fateful day and reveal what truly happened?

This was a compelling story of grief, sadness, a lost childhood, family secrets, forbidden love, betrayal and of a love that never dies.   I couldn’t put the book down 4.5/5*

To find out more about Louise Walters and her books please visit the following pages:

Website:  http://www.louisewalterswriter.blogspot.co.uk/

Facebook:  http://www.facebook.com/LouiseWaltersWriter/

Twitter:  http://www.twitter.com/louisewalters12