Taking a break from writing, I have had the pleasure to read Elizabeth Noble’s new release Letters to Iris
Title: Letters to Iris
Author: Elizabeth Noble
Genre: Women’s fiction
Publisher: Penguin UK Michael Joseph
Release date: 5th April 2018
A gloriously uplifting story about love in all its forms from the Number One Sunday Times bestselling author of The Reading Group and Things I Want My Daughters to Know Tess has a secret – one which is going to turn her life upside down in just nine months’ time. The only person she can confide in is her beloved grandmother. But Iris is slipping further away each day. Then chance brings a stranger into Tess’s life. Gigi’s heart goes out to Tess, knowing what it’s like to feel alone. She’s determined to show her that there’s a silver lining to every cloud. As their unlikely friendship blossoms, Tess feels inspired to open up. But something still holds her back – until she discovers Iris has a secret of her own. A suitcase of letters from another time, the missing pieces of a life she never shared. Could the letters hold the answers that Tess thought lost for ever? An uplifting, unforgettable story about keeping secrets, taking chances and finding happiness where you least expect it. Praise for Elizabeth Noble ‘A great writer. You’ll be rooting for Noble’s protagonists as soon as you meet them’ Daily Mail ‘Noble is the mistress of the tearjerking message of love’ Express ‘Deliciously readable’ Times
I loved the depth and soul of this book as it delves into the complex bond of grandmothers, mothers and daughters. Iris is the connecting thread between all of the female characters who are all facing challenges related to their time of life whether it is becoming a mother, facing an empty nest or dementia and end of life. It is emotional on all levels but left me feeling uplifted by the strength these women showed.
I instantly felt a bond with all the main characters especially Gigi and this made me read into the night because I needed to know a little bit more as the story developed and Iris’ history was uncovered.
Would I recommend?
Yes, if you love women’s fiction with believable characters. It is an exploration of the strength of women wherever they are on their life journey.
Thank you NetGalley and Michael Joseph for allowing me to read an advanced copy in return for an honest review.
This was written using the following writing prompt from my writing group
The glowing Chinese lantern rose high in the sky and then faded away into the distance.
“They are still here,” murmured Josie.
“Pardon?” my mum crouched down to hear my little sister’s muffled voice behind a tightly-wound scarf, but she refused to say anymore. Instead, she ran down the hill, flapping her arms as if she wanted to take off. We thought nothing of it.
We did not listen. Not when our rabbit disappeared, along with many others in the street and Josie whispered, “It was them”. Nor when my dad looked up from the local paper in shock at the sudden rise in dog abductions. We did not notice the lack of insects buzzing around the garden; we enjoyed the lack of flies infesting the wheelie bins. Birds no longer sang at dawn and we casually ignored it all.
It was the knock at the door we heard and the slam of Josie’s bedroom door. She stood at the top of the stairs dressed in her favourite clothes, along with her fairy wings crushed beneath an overpacked backpack.
I was attracted to this book for its cover and title – I love sunflowers! I was excited when I received an advanced copy by NetGalley for an honest review.
Title: Sunflowers in February
Author: Phyllida Shrimpton
Genre: Young Adult, paranormal, fiction
Lily wakes up one crisp Sunday morning on the side of the road. She has no idea how she got there. It is all very peaceful. and very beautiful. It is only when the police car, and then the ambulance arrive, and she sees her own body, that she realises that she is in fact . . . dead.
But what is she supposed do now? Lily has no option but to follow her body and see her family – her parents and her twin brother start falling apart.
And then her twin brother Ben gives her a once in a deathtime opportunity – to use his own body for a while. But will Lily give Ben his body back? She is beginning to have a rather good time . . .
What a wonderful, quirky debut. It brought tears to my eyes, made me gasp, chuckle and smile but most of all, it gave me a sense of positivity. Lily has an upbeat personality and experiencing her viewpoint made me look at the world with fresh eyes as well as reach out for the Jelly Tots. My diet has been paused again because of a book.
It is hard to review without giving anything away but it covers the consequences of a death, grief, family bonds and how precious life is. There were times it made me stop, look around me and appreciate the moment. A little bit of mindfulness in a novel.
Would I recommend?
Yes! This is the best book I have read this year.
Have you read this yet? Let me know your thoughts below.
This is the second book I have read recently about finding a soulmate. Whereas The Soulweaver had a traditional spiritual take on the idea, John Marrs has taken a scientific approach.
The One by John Marrs
This book had been on my TBR for a while but I was on a long reservation list at the library. Finally, I received a copy but then I was reluctant to open it. I had heard the good reviews and did not want to be disappointed if I felt it did not deserve the hype surrounding it. I have been bitten a few times like that. The first time I heard about The One was an interview with John Marrs on Simon Mayo’ s Book Club . The idea of finding your soulmate via genetics was fascinating and tantalising close to reality. I love psychological thrillers as a genre so it needed to be read.
How far would you go to find THE ONE?
One simple mouth swab is all it takes. A quick DNA test to find your perfect partner – the one you’re genetically made for.
A decade after scientists discover everyone has a gene they share with just one other person, millions have taken the test, desperate to find true love. Now, five more people meet their Match. But even soul mates have secrets. And some are more shocking – and deadlier – than others…
My concern about this book not deserving the buzz surrounding it was unfounded. The One is a stunning, fast-paced thriller following five people as they meet the person their DNA dictates is the person they belong with. Each person has taken the test for different reasons, are in different circumstances and the results lead them to deal with different consequences. It is well written and leaves you asking the question “Would you take the test?”. It is a warning of what our future may hold with the rising trend for online dating and genetic discoveries.
Would I recommend?
Definitely. Buy, beg or borrow a copy and book a day off to curl up in a comfy chair to enjoy.
Have you read it?Let me know what you thought below.
I have recently read two books The Soulweaver by Heidi Catherine and The One by John Marrs. They are different styles, different genres and plots but they have one thing in common – finding your soulmate, the one person who fits and understands you like no other. The One has a scientific approach while The Soulweaver is more spiritual but they are both driven by the human desire to be with and loved by that one special person.
The Soulweaver by Heidi Catharine
This book snuck in on my best reads of 2017 by default because I was lucky enough to receive an advanced copy via NetGalley for review. It is now available to buy in paperback and Kindle.
She’s loved and lost him a hundred times across a thousand years. She can’t bear to lose him again. Lin’s dreams are haunted by faces of people she’s never met. Unable to shake the feeling she’s lived before, she’s drawn to Reinier—a stranger whose soul is heartbreakingly familiar from a time gone by. Reinier helps Lin unravel the mystery of her past life as Hannah, a girl who sacrificed herself for her true love, Matthew. As Lin falls hopelessly in love with Reinier, her memories of her life as Hannah sharpen, and she finds herself unable to let go of Matthew. With her heart torn in two, Lin must decide whether she should stand by Reinier’s side or track down Matthew and fight for his love. What she doesn’t know is that her decision will ripple across our troubled planet, affecting far more lives than just her own. Winner of Romance Writers of Australia’s Emerald Pro award, The Soulweaver is a story that will change the way you see the world
I have always had an interest in reincarnation so I was excited to read how Heidi Catherine would weave it into her story. The Soulweaver is well-written spiritual romance with vivid, detailed imagery for scenes that would be hard to imagine otherwise. I was drawn in by the first chapter and hooked as Lin traveled across the world as to seek answers for the memories she has of Hannah’s life. I found it is easy to connect with the main characters Hannah/Lin, Matthew and Reiner which led to some heart-tugging moments It is a book that will stay with me and one I will return to over and over.
The Soulweaver would be perfect for book clubs because it provides lots of material to discuss including characters, beliefs, and experiences. It leads me to want to read more about the topic of reincarnation and would love to have a cup of tea with the Heidi Catherine to hear about her ideas and how she researched this. I am already counting down to her next book The Truthseeker in May 2018.
Would I recommend?
Yes – if you love romance novels with a paranormal, spiritual edge