Hi guys, and happy Thursday (even though mine was not so happy, but oh well, life goes on, right). I am super excited to host today’s stop on Della Parker “The Reading Group” blog tour. I love the idea of the series, it’s so simple and yet so different – each story introduces us to a new character, a member of a reading group, and always the book that they choose to read reflects the character’s life. Already I can’t wait for the next three novellas!
The Reading Group: December, January, February by Della Parker
Publishing Date: 1st December 2016
Series: The Reading Group #1, #2, #3
Source: Received from the publisher in return for an honest review, thank you!
Number of pages: 17, 95, 95
Genre: General Fiction (Adult)
‘Brims with laughs, love, family and friendship. You will love this heartwarming read!’ Trisha Ashley. Meet the Reading Group: five women in the seaside village of Little Sanderton come together every month to share their love of reading. No topic is off-limits: books, family, love and loss . . . and don’t forget the glass of red!
“The Reading Group: December” is a perfect, short introduction to the series and to all the characters. Even though we meet all the girls very briefly, you could immediately feel the special bond between them and how supporting towards each other they are. Each month follows one of the five characters, and in December it is Grace who is in the spotlight – her, her husband and her triplets (boys!), one of whom is very ill. It was a touching story, but also uplifting, as really it was lovely to see how understanding and unselfish all the other reading group girls are.
“The Reading Group: January” follows Anne – Marie’s story. Now, I need to complain a little, as Anne – Marie came much too selfish, self – obsessed and immature for me and the only thing she was able to think about were men. So with such a character I’d usually have problems with the story itself, this time however the writing style and actually the story itself saved it for me! Anne – Marie is young but already successful and probably because of being a little bored she tries her hand at matchmaking – well, her best friend is getting married with a guy she got to know at Anne – Marie’s birthday, so there! And so Anne – Marie decides to set up some of her friends with new men. However, later, it turned out that Anne – Marie – even with her privileged upbringing and no worries – she was not afraid to help when she was needed, to get cracking and to clean at her customers herself, and that she has a heart made of gold and wants all her friends to be happy. Of course, as each month the book that reading group is reading somehow “correspond” with the character, the girls are reading “Emma”.
I was a little disappointed at the beginning not seeing more of the reading group itself, of the girls, but then I thought, well, each story is devoted to one of them, so I’ll get enough of them later. Here we got to know Anne – Marie’s friends Manda and Sophie – and you can for sure say that Della Parker creates her characters in a brilliant, deep way, and even though I’ve missed a little of Anne – Marie’s past because maybe there was an explanation to why she was as she was, I still enjoyed all of them and I liked their banter and their easy – going dialogues.
“The Reading Group: February” tell us a story of Kate. Her marriage to Anton seems to be a little shaky and they have some problems, and then – you won’t believe it! – Bob the Builder enter the scenes. This time the girls are reading “Lady Chatterley’s Lover” and somehow the theme of the classic book, sex and infidelity, links to Kate’s life. What I really enjoyed in February were the similarities between “Lady Chatterley’s Lover” and Kate’s life – namely the problems and troubles in marriage, then there were the class differences, the forbidden feeling, desire and finally hope that love can conquer it all – but can it?
Yes, the stories are sometimes too predictable, too far – fetched, sometimes too rushed and sometimes too slow, and the things seem to happen so easily and the pieces to fall into the right places almost effortlessly, but they were lovely stories and I enjoyed reading them. The friendship between the girls is brilliant and even though they don’t see or talk to each other every day, they know they can count on each other and they always support each other. The stories are full of romance, humour, sarcasm and poignant moments and the writing style is excellent, it is warm and it has this “something” that keeps you glued to the pages. I am already impatiently waiting to see what’s in store for us next.
FOLLOW THE BLOG TOUR: