Books

Confessions of a First Time Mum – Poppy Dolan

Stevie is the First Time Mum in this new book for Poppy Dolan. She has a beautiful bouncy baby called Cherry who has arrived in her and Ted, her husband’s life – like a force of nature.

But Stevie now feels lost – all she seems to do is deal with baby sick, stinking nappies and a few hours sleep. To vent her frustration she has started a blog and reaches out to other people who may be struggling like her in the wee small hours between night feeds.

In reality though, Stevie struggles to deal with everyday activities like taking Cherry to the health clinic for her checkup or trying to get a cup of coffee in a cafe. She meets Nelle who is struggling in her own way for the third rather surprising time with her baby Joe and Will who is father to twins, who have one speed – fast.

A friendship forms and whilst this helps Stevie and she starts to feel she might have a purpose in life and be worth something, her marriage with Ted seems to be slipping away from her. Of course to vent her frustration on her anonymous blog is a way to deal with it…..

….until being anonymous stops….. and the whole world wants to know who you really are and what gives you the right to make any sort of comment or judgment on families and parenthood.

I wasn’t sure about this book, as I did not think I would be able to relate to any of it, as I am not a mum but Poppy Dolan gives it such depth and wonderfully funny laugh out loud moments that really this book is about how you need to talk about what is going on and that hiding behind something is not always the right thing to do. The use of parenthood is the vehicle for it all.

What a wonderful account of what can happen when the media turns and it becomes news, and sad we live in a world where some publications in print or online thrive on such material.

The structure of the book was great, blog posts, emails, texts and was very ‘current’ and ‘on topic;, a book of its time probably and that is why it will resonate with lots of readers. You don’t have to be a mum to read it but if you are I am sure this book will strike a chord with you all.

Thank you the publisher and netgalley for the opportunity to read this book.

Confessions of a First Time Mum is out now.

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Books · Witterings

Roundup – Six in Six 2018

First of all a very big THANK YOU to everyone who joined in. We might be a select bunch but I hope those that have just read our posts are inspired by some more in their reading, to all the new blog followers, watchers and readers it has been great to discover your little piece of the internet.

Here is a list of everyone that joined in this year. If I have missed you off or you know someone who took part but failed to link back to me, then let me know and I can add. We might be a small bunch but it is slowly growing but one thing is for sure – we certainly like to read! It is always great to see some of the same books come up as well, it means they might be worth a try!

Happy reading and discovering folks!

She Reads Novels

Books Please

Beyond Eden Rock

The Bookworm Chronicles

Cleopatra Loves Books

Secret Library

Superfluous Reading

Everywhere and Nowhere

FictionFan’s Book Reviews

Grab the Lapels

A Darn Good Read

I know some of you like to reuse this meme at the end of the year for the last 6 months of 2018 reading, please feel free but I would be grateful for a link back.

Happy reading for the next 6 months.

 

Books

Take A Chance on Me – Carol Wyer

Charlie’s life is going nowhere – she might have a lovely job baking cakes for the local cafe and volunteering at the local hospital radio. But that is all that is in her life, with her ex husband remarried and about to be a father again, Charlie thinks that she is missing out on life.

Mercedes, doesn’t let her horse riding accident stop her doing anything. Of course there are some things she cannot do so she comes up with an idea that Charlie needs to complete Mercedes Bucket List and in return she will complete Charlie’s.

But the bucket lists are very different and cover belly dancing (which sounded like great fun!), swimming with sharks, zip wiring, knitting, bungee jumping, appearing on television and that life is for living and also for loving.

Add into the mix, Jake a local journalist who seems to keep turning up when Charlie is not at her best and old boyfriend who has his own agenda and the plot moves from humorous and touching to quite thrilling.

The storyline kept me reading, but the book for me only had moments that captured my attention and I was absorbed in the story. I was left disappointed by this, because I felt I was reading pages that added nothing to the story. It perhaps needed to be a bit stronger in plot and character to keep me hooked from beginning to end.

Thank you the publisher and netgalley for the opportunity to read this book.

Take A Chance on Me is out now and has perviously been published as Three Little Birds. 

Books

Daisy’s Vintage Cornish Camper Van – Ali McNamara

I am back in Cornwall again with another author who has visited before, it is three years since I was in St Felix with The Little Flower Shop by the Sea which got me back reading and loving this author’s work.

This time though St Felix is welcoming Ana as she comes to claim the camper van she has been left in her will by her closest friend Daisy when she passes away.

Ana is struggling to come to terms with her friends bequest as camping and certainly being away from a city is everything that Ana is not! But it seems there are other forces at work and it is not just the sea air and the fish and chips that is going to keep Ana in St Felix.

In the process of getting Daisy renovated by the intriguing Irish man Malachi they discover a number of old postcards written by someone called Lou to a Frankie and seemingly never sent. What story are they telling of Daisy and what really happened to them. Helped by local antique shop owner Noah, Ana tries to piece together the past as she seemingly settles into the present in St Felix and starts to feel very much at home there and with Noah.

A search goes on for the mysterious Lou and Frankie, Ana’s relationship with Noah and changes and they are thrown together when they take a trip to Brighton which is in the past for both of them. Will the past be the answer to the future?

However, all Ana can see is signs and they all seem to have taken on an eighties theme – that was her favourite era of music, even though she was born towards the end of the decade and it is what drew Daisy and her together as friends. Surely these signs are pointing Ana on to her new life.

The mysterious and at some points magical moments of this novel had me hooked, even if I did work out who Malachi was, it did not spoil my enjoyment of the story, the escapism to a beautiful place in the country and perhaps the possibility that I might not be so averse to a camper van!

A lovely uplifting book to read to soothe the soul. I hope we get to return to St Felix, because there has to be more to learn about that lovely place and all its residents. But them I am a sucker for a good saga.

Thank you to the publisher and netgalley for the opportunity to read this book.

Daisy’s Vintage Cornish Camper Van is out now.

 

Books

Dancing Over the Hill – Cathy Hopkins

Married life for Cait and Matt has become, tea, biscuits and the latest boxset.

Gone is the romance, the love, the respect.

It is replaced with resentment, loathing and routine.

Surely after 30 years together there must be something which is holding them together.

Cait cannot see what it is and when an old flame gets in touch, everything is thrown up in the air.

Matt on the other hand discovers that being made redundant

Cait feels she is missing something and when Matt suddenly retires, he can’t find what he wants to do – let alone be.

What follows is a journey as we watch this relationship go through peaks and troughs as they recapture the past, look to the future and be ever present. The secondary characters, of Cait’s good friends, Lorna an Debs add some grounding to the storyline. But when it comes down to it, the only two people that are going to be able to do anything are Cait and Matt.

For me this book seemed to not go anywhere, we were watching the challenges of a relationship which was by no means interesting just ordinary. Perhaps that is the appeal. But I could not relate to very much in the book and I think that is why I struggled with it. From other reviews many will relate to it so don’t be put off by my perception of the book.

Not all books work for the reader.

Thank you to the publisher and netgalley for the opportunity to read this book. 

 

 

Books

Summer on the Little Cornish Isles: The Starfish Studio – Phillipa Ashley

And so ends another magical trilogy from Phillipa Ashley where we have returned to those gorgeous little isles (more commonly known as Scilly Isles) and catch up with some of the locals we have grown to love and know in the first two novels and meet some new characters too.

Poppy and her boyfriend Dan come to Cornwall on holiday, to escape the inner city life they are living they fall in love with place so much, and with the little Starfish Studio Dan makes the decision that they should have what they know behind and take it on and live there all the time.

It sounds like the perfect dream for Poppy, that is until Dan changes his mind about going and also about Poppy being his girlfriend with only days before she goes.

Poppy therefore arrives to lick her wounds, heal and make a success of this little studio. She learns to accept help from the locals – Jake the landlord’s grandson is tasked to make sure she settles in well but he is very distracted as well as being ruggedly handsome too!

Poppy does everything she can to get the studio to open to catch at least some of the summer season – despite leaks, territorial cats and obnoxious artists she manages to open and then Dan suddenly reappears…….just when she thought her emotions were more stable.

Like the previous two novels I was immediately transported to these little Isles and could see myself calling in at the Starfish Studio to purchase a piece of unique artwork to remind me of the journey I had taken. Of course I can’t, I have been reading a book and that is the skill of the author I was drawn right in. I wanted to know why Jake is distracted by his past, why Leo is flitting from one to another and how can I possible wipe the smug look of Minty’s face?

This and all the other prvious novels will take you away to a wonderful place and give you a great story at the same time.

I wait with anticipation to see what Phillipa is going to write next and where she is going to take us.

 

Thank you to the publisher and netgalley for the opportunity to read this book.

Summer on the Little Cornish Isles: The Starfish Studio is out now.

 

Books · Jottings

July Roundup

As with the weather my reading has continued to heat up and with not being able to knit and nothing on the television I have been motoring along.

I gave up with one book because it was not working as I knew I had plenty more to be reading, especially to make a dent in my netgalley shelf.

It has been a month of catching up with favourite authors and interesting characters and returning to lovely places.

The first book finished in July was Jenny Colgan – Endless Beach which carried on a story which I started in June and I get to go back there towards the end of the year when the next part is out. I am fairly new to Colgan’s work but loving the stories.

Cornwall is a big draw for many people and many authors to set their books. I went back to the Scilly Isles with Phillipa Ashley – Summer on the Little Cornish Isles and completed the tale. I rediscovered characters from a while back when I was with Ali McNamara – Daisy’s Vintage Cornish Camper Van.

As summer holidays start around the country it is always lovely to escape into reading and getting some sunshine in Holly Martin – The Cottage on Sunshine Beach or perhaps smelling the lavender that is billowing in the fields in Sarah Bennett – Summer at Lavender Bay. Although these books are of a similar ilk which I do not deny, they are such joyus books to read and provide laughter, tears and pure escapism.

A canal boat holiday is something that I have never partook in but has always intrigued me and I had Christie Barlow – The Cosy Canal Boat Dream sitting waiting to be read for over a year. What a great story which had so much, canal boats, cinemas and cake!

Of course you can’t beat a summer wedding and in Jennifer Joyce – The Wedding that changed Everything the wedding is a week long in a castle! With treasure hunts, quizzes and cocktails what more could you ask, but when families get together tensions run high.

Adding something different into the mix, meant I picked up Rachel Brimble – The Mistress of Pennington’s set in the Edwardian times, it reminded me of one of those sunday night tv dramas brought to life on the page. I have read better and it was a bit long and drawn out but could have been much stronger.

Another book which did not quite live up to what I was expecting was Cathy Hopkins – Dancing over the Hill, the previous novel I had read was good – this did not really live up to it and I felt quite flat by the end of it, perhaps because I could not relate to some of the plot?

I definitely could not relate to Poppy Dolan – Confessions of a First Time Mum, but no matter as this was laugh out loud funny and written so well there was something for everyone, mum or otherwise in the book.

I am wanting to work my way through the works of the great Agatha Christie and spurred on my recent repeats of Poirot on ITV3 I started Agatha Christie – The Clocks. Poirot comes late into the story as opposed to the TV adaptation but nonetheless I think was a well written book which had the red herrings and got the little grey cells working. Another one off the list.

Finally for this month I would like to thank everyone who has taken part in Six in Six. If you have and not let me know then please leave a link so I can make sure you are mentioned in the round up post which will feature soon.

On with more reading….how was your July?