A Little Bird Told Me by Marianne Holmes / Blog Tour + Extract

Hi guys, hope you are doing well on this rainy Sunday – well, at least it’s rainy here, but it’s great, I’ve been missing rain so much. And what a better way to spend such a day than to curl up with a book or read an extract from one? Here I have the Prologue to “A Little Bird Told Me” by Marianne Holmes, debut novel that is already getting many raving reviews. Enjoy!

 

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PROLOGUE

They say I’ll never find her.

Kit says it doesn’t matter because we still have each other but not a day goes by when I don’t long for the truth.

I feel her absence aching and flowing through the gaps in our story where the pieces don’t mesh. I see her presence in the spatter of freckles on Kit’s nose and the straight curtain of hair I can’t keep out of my eyes.

They say no one knows where she is.

What they really mean is, they couldn’t find her. I know that’s true because I’ve read the news reports. But there is one person who knows where she is.

 ‘Family is blood and pain,’ he said, ‘and, one day, I will hunt you down and teach you the meaning of that.’

His breath was bitter with the smell of cigarettes, his eyes spilling sparks of fury and the scar on his cheek stretched and twisted as he spoke. Or it might have. I read about that too, long after Matthew took us far away from here.

I will hunt you down,’ he said, and I know he will.

If I’m ever going to find her, this is my last chance. But if I start looking, he’ll come looking for us. I can’t help that – there’s something I need to put right.

Besides, if you were one half evil, wouldn’t you want to know about the other half?

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Because Mummy Said So by Shari Low / Blog Tour + Guest Post

Because Mummy Said So by Shari Low

 

35820113Publisher: Head of Zeus

Publishing Date: 25th January 2018

Source:  Received from the publisher via NetGalley, thank you!

Number of pages: 352

Genre: Parenting & Families, Women’s Fiction

 Buy the Book:  Kindle | Paperback (out on 07.02.2019)

 

Synopsis:

The era of the yummy mummy has finally gone and in order to celebrate this, Shari Low has taken a baby wipe to the glossy veneer of the school of perfect parenting and written Because I Said So to show us the truth about motherhood in all of its sleep-deprived, frazzled glory. This is a book that every experienced, new or soon-to-be parent will relate to – well, hallelujah and praise be those who worship at the temple of Febreze.

For over a decade, Shari wrote a hugely popular weekly newspaper column documenting the ups, downs and bio-hazardous laundry baskets of family life. Because I Said So is a collection of her favourite stories of parenting, featuring superheroes in pull up pants, embarrassing mistakes, disastrous summer holidays, childhood milestones, tear-jerking nativity plays, eight bouts of chickenpox and many, many discussions that were finished with the ultimate parental sticky situation get-out clause… Because I Said So.

My Review

“Because Mummy Said So” is close to life, painfully realistic and hilarious read. It is a compilation of short essays the author has written for her column and they tell us about life with two young boys, about being family – in a very realistic and brutally honest way. Oh yes, Shari Low really tells how it is – that life with young children can be very, very embarrassing but she also shows the soft side of such life, of being a part of family and how richer and fuller your life becomes when the children arrive. 

I am also a mum and I’ve also experienced many, many embarrassing moments with my daughter so I could really relate to those essays.However, I don’t know if it’s because Shari Low is a writer that she can simply better notice such situations or her boys are much more accident prone than my daughter because I can’t remember SO many embarrassing situations in my life.   

I could really relate to this book and often identify with it. Some of the stories were funny however some were a bit hit or miss for me, and some felt a bit too overdone but altogether it was a nutshell manual of how it is to be a parent nowadays. The writing style is light and engaging and funny. I would recommend it if you’re a parent and in need of a good laugh and to see that you’re not alone. Refreshing and eye – opening, showing that the era of perfect mothers is truly and really over – hallelujah!

GUEST POST:

I don’t think we’ve ever lived in more judgemental times. With social media, reality TV and glossy advertising campaigns, it seems like we’re constantly surrounded by examples of impossibly fabulous lives.

Not that having a skewed idea of perfection is a new concept.

Growing up, I always thought being a writer would be an impossibly glamorous life. I wanted to have the excitement of a Jackie Collins heroine, wear leopard print on a daily basis, and live a scandalous existence being wooed by heartthrobs who hung on my every word.

And did I mention I’d have twelve nannies for my perfectly behaved children, who would think I was the best mother ever?

Sorry. I’ve always been both shallow and deluded. It’s a personality flaw.

Of course, the reality bore no resemblance to those adolescent fantasies. I didn’t start writing until I was thirty, when – by some miracle – I managed to get a book deal and found out I was pregnant on the same day.

Ah the thrill! Followed by the wonderful but daunting reality check of real-life motherhood. Two babies in two years later, ‘excitement’ was getting through a whole day without at least one child being sick on me. The only ‘scandalous’ activity was smuggling them into a fast food restaurant for some chicken nuggets and pretending I’d fed them organic rice cakes. My dealings with leopard print involved a costume for the school show, hastily constructed with six hours notice, and David Attenborough wouldn’t have been impressed with the results. Those nannies and the perfectly behaved children? They never materialised. Instead I got two hilarious wee boys, and the husband and I muddled through, careering from one parenting mishap to another. Oh, and absolutely no-one hung on my every word. In fact, by the tenth time I’d asked them to brush their teeth in the mornings, I began to wonder if I was invisible.

However, I loved every minute of it. Even the ones that came with sleep depravation and a toxic laundry basket.

Along the way, I wrote more than twenty novels and a weekly column about the perils of parenting.

You see, I’m not afraid to admit it. My name is Shari Low and I’m an imperfect parent.

My weekly tales were a fight back against that illusion of perfect motherhood, a giggle for those in the same boat, and a rude gesture in the direction of those who judge us mums for making mistakes.

Now, my very favourite episodes are all together in Because Mummy Said So, a collection of memories spanning pregnancy to the day my eldest left home last year. Sniff. Every hilarious disaster, crisis, and mortifying moment is in there.

It’s a pick me up for the exhausted new parent, a giggle for mums who are navigating the minefield of the school years and a bit of nostalgia for the empty nesters.

And most of all, it’s a funny, real life distraction from all those impossible, manufactured images of perfection.

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The Anniversary by Hilary Boyd / Blog Tour

The Anniversary by Hilary Boyd

 

 

38470197Publisher: Penguin

Publishing Date: 20th September 2018

Source:  Received from the publisher, thank you!

Number of pages: 416

Genre: General Fiction (Adult)

 Buy the Book:  Kindle | Paperback

 

 

Synopsis:

A deeply emotional new novel from the bestselling author of Thursdays in the Park

Is the one you tried to forget the one you can’t live without?

Stella once thought that if she never saw Jack again, it would be too soon.

But life has other plans for her and her stubborn, handsome ex-husband.

Looking after their daughter in a time of need, Stella finds herself unwillingly reunited with the man she shared the best years of her life with – followed by the worst.

Where tragedy once tore them apart, now Stella and Jack are being drawn back together. But each of them has a new partner and a new life.

Should they fight temptation?

Should the past remain the past?

Or are some loves simply meant to be?

Rating: four-stars

Stella and Jack used to be the perfect couple – happy and totally in love. Until one day, when the tragedy happened. After that, their marriage has slowly started to fall to pieces  to eventually end in divorce. Fast forward many years and they both live their own lives with new partners and even though they have a daughter, they don’t often meet. However, it’s going to change – Eve is pregnant and needs their help. As there are many unfinished business between them, are they going to rekindle their friendship – or more – for the sake of Eve and their grandson Arthur? What is going to happen? Can they put the past to rest and focus on the present, or look even further, in the future? 

I think the author has brilliantly captured the way relationships work, and admittedly different kinds of relationships. No matter if it was a marriage or mother – daughter, or exes, if people involved were young or older, they always sounded completely realistic, with all their ups and downs and thousands of problems – the book explores them all, in a true to life way. Because of this, the characters also felt so very honest and genuine and it was really easy to fell for them and to root for them. They made mistakes and they often pushed you to your own limits, often I didn’t understand their decisions, but they were all the time real and genuine in this what they’re doing. 

Hilary Boyd’s writing style is simply beautiful. I immediately felt a part of this story. She paints a very realistic portrait of family’s dynamics. There were moments and scenes where I literally had a lump in my throat and felt my heart breaking into thousands little pieces – the book is sad, yes, it’s also sometimes tragic but it is also full of light, hope and it’s uplifting, and all those feelings and emotions are perfectly balanced. She writes so perceptively and brings all the emotions and feelings effortlessly to the pages.

My only problem was that the book was simply too long. The idea has been reformulated and remodelled through many different words, situations, events and there came a moment it was like chewing a gum, it felt as if we were going around in circles, as if the author has been trying hard to built on more elements to something that is already completely utilised. But altogether, “The Anniversary” was a beautiful, elegantly written story about second chances, families and relationships. About love and loss, about grief and hope, about finding happiness again. Full of compassion and understanding and with a great depth to it and I enjoyed it very much. Highly recommended!

 

 

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I Invited Her In by Adele Parks

I Invited Her In by Adele Parks

 

 

39084613Publisher: HQ

Publishing Date: 20th September 2018

Source:  Received from the publisher via NetGalley, thank you!

Number of pages: 384

Genre: Mystery & Thrillers, Women’s Fiction

 Buy the Book:  Kindle | Paperback

 

 

Synopsis:

A gripping story of friendship and betrayal from international best-selling author Adele Parks

‘I invited her in… and she took everything.’

When Mel hears from a long-lost friend in need of help, she doesn’t hesitate to invite her to stay. Mel and Abi were best friends back in the day, sharing the highs and lows of student life, until Mel’s unplanned pregnancy made her drop out of her studies.

Now, seventeen years later, Mel and Abi’s lives couldn’t be more different. Mel is happily married, having raised her son on her own before meeting her husband, Ben. Now they share gorgeous girls and have a chaotic but happy family home, with three children.

Abi, meanwhile, followed her lover to LA for a glamorous life of parties, celebrity and indulgence. Everything was perfect, until she discovered her partner had been cheating on her. Seventeen years wasted, and nothing to show for it. So what Abi needs now is a true friend to lean on, to share her grief over a glass of wine, and to have some time to heal. And what better place than Mel’s house, with her lovely kids, and supportive husband…

This dark, unsettling tale of the reunion of long-lost friends is thoroughly gripping exploration of wanting what you can’t have, jealousy and revenge from Sunday Times bestseller Adele Parks.

Rating: three-half-stars

Mel and Abi used to be best friends but then Mel dropped out of university due to her unplanned pregnancy. They haven’t seen each other for over 17 years – Mel has given birth to a son, Liam, is now married to Ben and they have two daughters together. Abi has done well in her job – she’s been living a celebrity lifestyle in LA with her husband Rob. However, she’s now divorcing him, after finding him in bed with another woman. This is when Mel receives an unexpected email from her former friend and immediately invites her over, opening the doors of her home and her own heart. But – did Abi get in touch because she really needed her friend, or is there more to this than meets the eye?

This book is full of sharp observations and it brilliantly captures different kinds of relationships. What I enjoyed probably most was the fact that the author presents us both sides of the story – I must admit, it takes a lot of time to learn what Abi’s hidden agenda was but I simply guessed it in the meantime, and well, yes, it may change your mind a little about her character. The alternating perspectives of not only Mel and Abi, but Mel’s husband, son and his girlfriend provided much deeper account of what’s happening and what the characters really think and feel, and you really start to think who is the real victim in this story – because there are always two sides to each story.  It was the moment that I started to feel very sorry for her. The next strong point of this book is of course Adele Park’s writing style. She writes with ease and in interesting way.

However, the characters lacked depth, I expected them to be much more three – dimensional and relatable. I didn’t care for them and I was not as invested in their lives as I’d like to. Yes, some of their decisions made me feel real desperation but I wasn’t emotionally connected to them. 

The problem is, when the book is so strongly advertised and it gets brilliant quotes that you start reading it with incredibly high expectations – especially when it’s written by such a fantastic author like Adele Parks. I read this book at the same time as I was reading another novel with exactly the same subject matter – old friends coming back into your life and turning into a very challenging one to say the least – sadly, any of those book was this what I was hoping for. Last year I read Claudia Carroll’s “Our Little Secret”, a book with the same keynote, and I can still remember how much tension there was in her novel, how much I hated the antagonist, how much I vibrated and felt all kinds of emotions – this is what I so missed in “I Invited Her In”. In my opinion, the idea was here but it lacked in development. Somehow, I just couldn’t fall for Mel, I couldn’t sympathise with her, the story itself was too predictable for my liking and to be honest, there was not any twist that would make me go “wow”. The end also seemed too rushed and just too happy – endish. I’m sorry, I really hoped I’m going to love this story. don’t get me wrong, it was not a bad book, it’s far away from it, it’s probably my expectations being set really high. It was maybe because the “thing” happening was not SO very controversial, at least not for me, that it left me a little lukewarm.

“I Invited Her In” was an interesting story about friendship and boundaries, about revenge, secrets, lies, jealousy and forgiving and it’s to my regret that I’m not in the minority that raves about it. However, it was a satisfying read that I’m sure the hard – core fans of Adele Parks will love. It was well written, I really liked the writing style and the author has a great way with words and altogether, I was intrigued to see how it was all going to play out.

The Rise and Fall of Becky Sharp by Sarra Manning

The Rise and Fall of Becky Sharp by Sarra Manning

 

 

39844198Publisher: Harper Collins

Publishing Date: 6th September 2018

Source:  Received from the publisher via NetGalley, thank you!

Number of pages: 400

Genre: Romance, Women’s Fiction

 Buy the Book:  Kindle | Paperback

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

A hilarious contemporary retelling of the classic society novel, VANITY FAIR, featuring the irrepressible Becky Sharp

Beautiful, brilliant, ruthless – nothing can stop Becky Sharp.

Determined to leave her poverty-stricken roots behind her, Becky Sharp is going to take every opportunity offered to her to climb to the top. Whether it’s using her new BFF Amelia Sedley to step up into the rarified world of London’s upper classes, or seducing society’s most eligible bachelors, Becky Sharp is destined for great things – at any cost…

From London to Paris and beyond, the world is there for Becky’s taking – even though some people are determined to stop her along the way…

Rating: four-stars

This story follows Becky Sharp – a runner up on Big Brother, nanny, Instagram influencer to eventually become a philanthropist. But Becky worked hard for all of this – or did she? Relying only on herself, that is until she senses a chance and someone with more money… or another someone, with even more money? Using other people or simply being ambitious? I haven’t read the original “Vanity Fair” so I am probably in the minority that won’t be comparing those two books, and also I didn’t recognise any of the scenes and couldn’t compare the characters, but I’m sure there are similarities, and also, even without reading the “first” book, I can assure you that I totally adored this modern take on “Vanity Fair”.

Even though I was not particularly found of the characters! However, I fell for Becky and I felt sorry for her and in the next second I simply hated her. Becky was incredibly intriguing character, and Sarra Manning has so brilliantly captured all of her attributes! She was a champion of disguising her true self and so you could never be sure which of the faces you’re going to see; she for sure knew how to behave in a particular company. It depended on the person she was with and how influential they were. I don’t think we have ever come across Becky’s true colours guys, she has provided regular doses of the level of sincerity and really, I think, no, I am sure that the only person she cared about was herself. She was a master of using people and sweet – talking them. Yet – she was likeable! I might have not loved her but I had feelings of warmth and somehow I wanted to protect her. Weird, no? She schemes and manipulates in a perfect way and yet you just want to cheer her on. She truly knows what she wants and doing anything just to get her way, actually almost always getting what she wanted. She’s unbreakable.

Sarra Manning’s writing style is brilliant. The pace of the novel in fast and there are twists and turns that you’ll never see coming. The plot was hooking, I couldn’t wait to turn the page to see what’s going to happen. There were moment that it was ridiculous and hilarious, as well as some of the very colourful characters that really made me feel all kinds of emotions.

This book could go on and go, it was a kind of never – ending story, and personally I would love to see what Becky has got herself into – I think it ended in one of the most exciting moments, and our Becky implied that she’s not to rest on her laurels, oh no. But also, this end was not satisfying for me – there was a huge build up but then I had a feeling that it turned into … nothing. So really, if Ms Manning were to write a sequel to “The Rise and Fall of Becky Sharp” I’d be probably the first one in the virtual queue to read it.

“The Rise and Fall of Becky Sharp” was a book full of scandals, rich people and celebrities, revenge, coincidences. It was partly really bonkers crazy but this is why I enjoyed it so much, as it sat with this book so well. It was sharp and brutally honest about modern life and current priorities. It was juicy and relying strongly on social satire, and Sarra Manning has brilliantly portrayed this what makes it this satire – demeanours, the mentality, the greed and self – obsession in this Instagram era, celebrity obsessions, being famous because of being famous. It’s full of sharp and so fitting and relevant observations – highly recommended!

 

One Day in December by Josie Silver (Blog Tour)

One Day in December by Josie Silver

 

 

34879283Publisher: Penguin

Publishing Date: 18th October 2018

Source:  Received from the publisher, thank you!

Number of pages: 432

Genre: Romance, Women’s Fiction

 Buy the Book:  Kindle | Paperback

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

A love story about what happens after you meet, or rather, don’t meet the one.

Laurie is pretty sure love at first sight doesn’t exist anywhere but the movies. But then, through a misted-up bus window one snowy December day, she sees a man who she knows instantly is the one. Their eyes meet, there’s a moment of pure magic…and then her bus drives away.

Certain they’re fated to find each other again, Laurie spends a year scanning every bus stop and cafe in London for him. But she doesn’t find him, not when it matters anyway. Instead they “reunite” at a Christmas party, when her best friend Sarah giddily introduces her new boyfriend to Laurie. It’s Jack, the man from the bus. It would be.

What follows for Laurie, Sarah and Jack is ten years of friendship, heartbreak, missed opportunities, roads not taken, and destinies reconsidered. One Day in December is a joyous, heartwarming and immensely moving love story to escape into and a reminder that fate takes inexplicable turns along the route to happiness.

Rating: four-stars

One Day in December, a boy meets a girl and a girl meets a boy… They fell in love and have their happily ever after. No? No! They meet but don’t meet. Laurie is on a bus home from work. He’s on the bench at the bus stop. Their eyes meet and there is this magical sparkle, this connection, almost like love at the first sight. But then the bus door closes and it drives away into the night.Laurie looks after the mysterious boy from the bus stop  for a year. And then she finds him! His name is Jack and he’s a new boyfriend of Laurie’s best friend Sarah.What do you do in this situation? Tell your friend? Or try to eject all your feelings and live the next decade full of missed opportunities? 

Although I’m not a great fan of cinema I’ve seen a few classic films, like “Sleepless in Seattle”, “Nothing Hill”, “When Harry Met Sally”, “You’ve Got Mail”, to name a few, and as a huge bookworm I’ve read some great books, such as the Lou Clark series by Jojo Moyes or “PS. I Love You”, and guys, “One Day in December” is the perfect mix of all of them. It perfectly combines and blends the magical moments, the moments that made you go “wow” when watching and reading. And it’s full of such magical and wow occassions of it’s own, bringing to us new characters that we’re going to talk about for a long, long time and, actually, never forget. But what makes this book even better is the fact that it’s challenging, it’s not fairy – tale – ish but it’s realistic and down to earth.It follows the lives of the characters over the course of ten years, skipping periods of time and jumping forwards, sometimes few weeks, sometimes months, and I must say that it was a brilliant idea – writing it like this made the book’s pace faster, and I really liked how it focused on things that were truly significant, without leaving out the details but still focusing on the most significant events and things. 

The friendship between Laurie and Sarah was gorgeous. I liked Laurie from the very beginning, but I actually was falling in love with her with every page that I’ve read, seeing how much she’s able to sacrifice in the name of friendship. This closeness covered so many years, it was the real kind, when you don’t see each other for few weeks and when you do you just start where you’ve finished, where you understand each other without words, where you’d do anything for the other person. It was real, genuine and honest. It was so incredibly easy to immediately become invested in their lives.As much as the tale is told from Laurie’s point of view, it also included chapters told from Jack’s perspective. And Jack, oh Jack… It really broke my heart more than once to see how he tried to make himself invisible and unimportant, how much he was also able to sacrifice and how much it was breaking him. 

My biggest problem with this story though was – it bothered me all the time, since I’ve finished reading it some time ago to this moment – that even though I loved it, and I fell for the characters, and I WANTED them to be together, I couldn’t feel the chemistry between them, didn’t see the sparkle! Their relationship missed it, no matter how much the author tried to convince me that they’re destined to be together, that they’re a perfect much. For me it was clear they’re perfect match, it was clear that they loved each other so much but still, this electricity between them was missing. And the end – even though extremely romantic and gorgeous – did seem too abrupt for my liking – after spending so much time avoiding each other and making excuses it only takes a chapter to solve the problem. 

This book was brilliantly written, and I don’t only mean the writing style. The author has so vividly and beautifully described the feelings and all the emotions were palpable through the pages – it was so powerful and overwhelming. It was easy, uplifting and poignant read and it had it all: beautiful friendship, unconditional love, brilliant characters, unfavourable in – laws, all the ups and downs of being young and falling in love and getting older and realising that life is not always a bed of roses. However, those elements could also be perceived as clichés. I’d also love some of the characters to be better developed, as they felt too stereotyped, too black and white, and some events happening too conventionally, just helping the plot to continue. You could also see the end coming already at the beginning of the book, but the execution and the way to this end was what absolutely fantastically worked for me and I simply loved this book. I could not only laugh and cry but I also closely felt the gut – wrenching pain, the despair of the characters, their resignation and desperation, and it can’t be easy to bring such feelings to the pages. Here Josie Silver has done and excellent job, pulling her readers into the story, making them fully invested in the characters’ lives. Of course it is also this kind of book that makes you ask yourself what would you do in this situation. Being Laurie, would you tell Sarah, taking into consideration this brilliant, honest friendship of theirs? Being Sarah, would you like to know? And if your answer is yes, what then? I didn’t find answers to these questions.

“One Day in December” was totally different to other books, refreshing, unique and addictive – you just have to know how it all is going to end! It was touching, moving and affecting, and I really often found myself holding my breath – at life being a bitch, at the unfairness of it, at the bad luck and especially at the beautifully captured feelings and emotions. It was not your usual boy meets girl, girl meets boy story, it was a love story with a difference, full of challenges and obstacles on the way and even though you could feel with your whole being how it’s going to end – or at least you want to end it in THIS way – you really don’t know, till the last moment, how it’s going to happen. I liked it that way, as I liked my books to give me all kind of emotions, and it doesn’t happen often that I can feel butterflies in my belly. A gorgeous story about love and loss, about friendship and relationships that is so much more than your usual love story, about falling in love and staying in love against all odds; about second chances, missed opportunities, about trust and about what ifs, regarding the question of all times: can love really conquer everything? Highly recommended! 

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The Clockmaker’s Daughter by Kate Morton

The Clockmaker’s Daughter by Kate Morton

 

 

51edslbgozl-_sx323_bo1204203200_Publisher: Mantle

Publishing Date: 20th September 2018

Source:  Received from the publisher, thank you!

Number of pages: 600

Genre: Historical Fiction, Women’s Fiction

 Buy the Book:  Kindle | Hardcover

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

A rich, spellbinding new novel from the author of The Lake House—the story of a love affair and a mysterious murder that cast their shadow across generations, set in England from the 1860s until the present day.

My real name, no one remembers.
The truth about that summer, no one else knows.

In the summer of 1862, a group of young artists led by the passionate and talented Edward Radcliffe descends upon Birchwood Manor in rural Oxfordshire. Their plan: to spend a secluded summer month in a haze of inspiration and creativity. But by the time their stay is over, one woman has been shot dead while another has disappeared; a priceless heirloom is missing; and Edward Radcliffe’s life is in ruins.

Over one hundred and fifty years later, Elodie Winslow, a young archivist in London, uncovers a leather satchel containing two seemingly unrelated items: a sepia photograph of an arresting-looking woman in Victorian clothing, and an artist’s sketchbook containing the drawing of a twin-gabled house on the bend of a river.

Why does Birchwood Manor feel so familiar to Elodie? And who is the beautiful woman in the photograph? Will she ever give up her secrets?

Told by multiple voices across time, The Clockmaker’s Daughter is a story of murder, mystery, and thievery, of art, love, and loss. And flowing through its pages like a river, is the voice of a woman who stands outside time, whose name has been forgotten by history, but who has watched it all unfold: Birdie Bell, the clockmaker’s daughter.

Rating: three-stars

In “The Clockmaker’s Daughter” it is 1862 and a group of bohemian artists spend their time at Birchwood Manor. Its owner is the gifted artist, Edward Radcliffe. The relaxed visit is interrupted by a burglary and murder of Edward’s fiancée and a disappearance of his muse, Birdie Bell. Edward’s life is shattered to pieces.
It’s 2017 and young London archivist, Elodie Winslow, comes across a satchel hiding a photograph of a Victorian woman and a sketchbook with the drawing of a home by the river that feels very familiar to Elodie. She starts to dig and soon she is to discover a story that it’s also connected to her family, full of secrets and tragedy.

There are many different settings and the story jumps between times, however it is always underlined in which period we’re finding ourselves in, so I didn’t have any problems here and I didn’t feel confusion. Where I was a little confused though was that under all those description and many colourful and eclectic characters lay a mystery that was a brilliant idea and was incredibly captivating, yet it was somehow forgotten because of all the many other things and events. The author’s writing style is beautiful and elegant though, almost lyrical, and it wonderfully conveys the atmosphere of all the times she’s writing about.

There are many characters introduced to us – probably too many, to be honest, and instead on action this book mostly focuses on telling us their stories over a century – and this is probably where the mystery has gone a little lost. All of the characters had their own, diverse and hooking stories and maybe this was too much for this story, as it sometimes felt too overfilled. One little example, I found Elodie’s subplot starting very strong and interesting but then it lost its impact and focus, which is a shame as it was an interesting one. This tale is told through multiple narrators and with them we slowly and painstakingly learn the story and background of Birchwood Manor, its history and its residents – this especially through the eyes of the ghost, Birdie. She tells us a tale full of mysteries, murder, lies and secrets, theft, tragedy and drama that the house witnessed through generations. All the characters in this book are somehow connected to this house.

The end is beautifully and neatly wrapped up, it brings almost all the threads together, though I also had a feeling that there are still some questions open, especially about the characters from the present times. But it could be that I’ve missed something, I admit, because guys, and it pains me to tell this, to get through all the descriptions was incredibly hard and so I skipped some passages. What I didn’t miss, though, was the name of the Clockmaker’s Daughter – I was desperate to learn it.

“The Clockmaker’s Daughter” was a very complex book and I can only imagine how much research went into it! It was a very captive story, very rich in descriptions that were so eloquent and vivid, effortlessly helping to bring the setting and characters to life. It was, however, not as wonderful as I was expecting. Kate Morton has many fans out there and one of my fellow bloggers that I value very, very much always rave about her book, and so I though I must finally read a Kate Morton novel! Sadly, I couldn’t find this wow – factor and felt a little disappointed after reading it, but probably I should have started with another book of hers – I will for sure getting back to her whole previous catalogue.There were also incredible twists in this book and it brings everything you’re looking for in good historical fiction – incredibly well research, mystery, murder, romances and a hidden treasure. Please, don’t get me wrong – this book had its brilliant moments but I think it would be a real winner if it was shorter and the number of characters was reduced. I just have a feeling that the potentials of this gorgeous plot has not been made use of.
It was full of imagination and creative, a book different to any other books, filled with many interesting characters, beautiful descriptions, luminous writing, complex plot and beautifully written, and even though it was not this what I was expecting, it was still a wonderful read and a great escape into the fictional world.