Best Practice by Penny Parkes (Blog Tour + Guest Post)

Hi amigos! Today I am so very thrilled to welcome Penny Parkes to my blog! For all those of you who doesn’t know it yet, Penny is the author of the brilliant, heart – warming and gorgeous The Larkford Series and the third installment, Best Practice, was published on 28th July in paperback by Simon & Schuster. The lovely Penny has written a guest post for us about three books that shaped her writing life – put your feet high and enjoy!

 

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Three books that shaped my writing life – Penny Parkes

Ask me who my literary heroes are and, from a very (annoyingly) young age, I would talk about my favourite authors – the people behind the stories being just as fascinating to me, as the characters within them.

So, in truth, it’s not surprising that I was always one of those readers who would count down the days until the newest offering from these ‘destination authors’ arrived. Not for me something slender and literary – I would always prioritise chunky, tome-like books over clothes in my holiday suitcase – and the photographs from my eighties travels will testify to my precocious (albeit questionable) ‘skills’ with a capsule wardrobe. Chunky novels, though hefty, have always been my go-to pleasure – diving in for five hundred pages of well-crafted, relatable, escapist fiction.

I’m going to blame the marvellous M.M.Kaye for triggering this obsession – her novel The Far Pavilions found me at an impressionable age, when our local librarian had given up pointing me towards more suitable offerings, and allowed me to make the most of my family’s entire collection of library cards by weight, if not by virtue. (See also Ken Follett!) The thing that made this particular book stand out, was that it was like nothing I had ever experienced, in real life or in fiction – it was transporting and illuminating and a little bit terrifying at times. In short, I was hooked.

Penny Vincenzi picked up the reins of my chunky novel obsession shortly afterwards. How, I used to wonder, did she make me care about every single one of her characters, and to weave them so tightly and cleverly together, until I emerged blinking after a day or two, unsure of which reality I now inhabited. That, I decided, was a true art form and one I dreamed of emulating. Even writing this paragraph gives me a lump in my throat remembering reading the crash scene in The Best of Times with tears pouring down my face, and knowing that the wonderful, late, great, dearly missed Penny has written her last denouement.

I’ve always been a bit slutty with my reading habits – thrillers, domestic noir, young adult, romantic comedies, biographies, even if I’m honest, the multi-lingual back of the shampoo bottle – but there is a certain kind of book I return to time and time again. The kind of book that reels me in, makes me laugh, breaks my heart and makes me whole again and for that I can only cite Marian Keyes.

Rachel’s Holiday is, in my opinion, a modern classic – darkly funny, deeply touching and beautifully crafted. Without this book, my writing aspirations would be like driving the Cotswold lanes without a signpost.

Now, when I sit down to write, I have Katie Fforde’s wonderful quote for my first book pinned above my desk – ‘light and funny, but deep and meaningful at the same time’ – and I know exactly where that motivation came from and, that if I’m doing it right, then maybe one day somebody might run into the bookstore with their weekend plans on hold because my new book is hitting the shelves…

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Before We Were Yours by Lisa Wingate (Blog Tour + Extract)

Hi guys! Today we’re celebrating the publication od “Before We Were Yours” by Lisa Wingate – out tomorrow, published by Quercus. This book sounds incredibly intriguing and I can’t wait to read it. In the meantime, I have an extract from chapter 1 for you, and really guys, just have a look how beautifully it’s written! The story itself is about two families, generations apart, that are forever changed by a heartbreaking injustice,  inspired by true story. Enjoy!

 

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CHAPTER 1

Avery Stafford

 

Aiken, South Carolina, Present Day

I take a breath, scoot to the edge of the seat, and straighten

my jacket as the limo rolls to a stop on the boiling-

hot asphalt.

News vans wait along the curb, accentuating the importance

of this morning’s seemingly innocuous meeting.

But not one moment of this day will happen by accident.

These past two months in South Carolina have been all

about making sure the nuances are just right—

shaping the inferences so as to hint but do no more.

Definitive statements are not to be made.

Not yet, anyway.

Not for a long time, if I have my way about it.

I wish I could forget why I’ve come home, but even the

fact that my father isn’t reading his notes or checking the

briefing from Leslie, his über-efficient press secretary, is an

undeniable reminder. There’s no escaping the enemy that

rides silently in the car with us. It’s here in the backseat,

hiding beneath the gray tailored suit that hangs a hint too

loose over my father’s broad shoulders.

Daddy stares out the window, his head leaning to one

side. He has relegated his aides and Leslie to another car.

“You feeling all right?” I reach across to brush a long

blond hair—mine—off the seat so it won’t cling to his trousers

when he gets out. If my mother were here, she’d whip

out a mini lint brush, but she’s home, preparing for our second

event of the day—a family Christmas photo that must

be taken months early . . . just in case Daddy’s prognosis

worsens.

He sits a bit straighter, lifts his head. Static makes his

thick gray hair stick straight out. I want to smooth it down

for him, but I don’t. It would be a breach of protocol.

If my mother is intimately involved in the micro aspects

of our lives, such as fretting over lint and planning for the

family Christmas photo in July, my father is the opposite.

He is distant—an island of staunch maleness in a household

of women. I know he cares deeply about my mother, my

two sisters, and me, but he seldom voices the sentiment out

loud. I also know that I’m his favorite but the one who confuses

him most. He is a product of an era when women

went to college to secure the requisite MRS degree. He’s not

quite sure what to do with a thirty-

year-old daughter who graduated top of her class from Columbia Law and actually

enjoys the gritty world of a U.S. attorney’s office.

Whatever the reason— Perhaps just because the positions of perfectionist daughter and

sweet daughter were already taken in our family—I have always been brainiac daughter.

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How Far We Fall by Jane Shemilt (Blog Tour)

How Far We Fall by Jane Shemilt

 

37806850Publisher: Michael Joseph

Publishing Date: 28th June 2018

Source:  Received from the publisher in return for an honest review, thank you!

Number of pages: 4384

Genre: General Fiction, Mystery

 Buy the Book:  Kindle | Hardcover | Paperback (out on 20.09.2018)

 

 

 

Synopsis:

From the author of bestselling phenomenon Daughter comes a thrilling exploration of a marriage consumed by ambition and revenge . . .

The perfect couple

Meeting Albie gave Beth a fresh start – a chance to leave her past behind. Now she has her new husband; an ambitious, talented young neurosurgeon.

The perfect marriage

Their marriage gives Beth the safe haven she’s always wanted – with just one catch. Albie has no idea of the secrets she’s keeping. He doesn’t know that years ago, Beth had an affair with Ted, the boss helping Albie’s star ascend. Nor that the affair’s devastating ending will have consequences for their own future.

The perfect storm

So when Ted’s generous patronage begins to sour, Beth senses everything she’s built could crumble. And she sees an opportunity. To satisfy Albie’s ambitions, and her own obsessive desire for revenge . . .

She’ll keep her marriage and her secret safe.

But how far will the fall take them?

 

My Review

 

Albie and Beth are married. Unknown to Albie, Beth has had a relationship with Albie’s boss, Ted, that ended rather dramatically. Between Albie and Ted, they have potentially found a cure for a fatal children brainstem tumour, however Albie doesn’t know what to think when Ted starts to take credits for his development, discoveries and hard work – Ted is more than a boss to Albie, he’s his mentor and friend, so he’s really hurt. This is where Beth senses her chance for a revenge – but is this going to change her and Albie’s lives for ever? How far will they fall?

The characters in this book were not the most likeable ones. They were all full of flaws, keeping secrets and telling lies and in fact not a single one of them would hesitate to bring the others down in the name of their career or revenge. But I think that Ted was the most obstinate of them all, being at the top of his game and being able to do anything to remain there. The story is mostly told from Beth and Albie’s points of view. Right from the beginning we know that something happened to Beth and she’s seeking revenge. We can also have a guess what it was that happened and with whom, and all my suspicions were confirmed. Beth was dreaming of a career as a surgeon but she’s a theatre nurse, however right now she’s enjoying her life, spending most of her time in her garden. Albie is a surgeon, working hard on finding a cure for cancer. Meeting him was like a fresh start for her – however here, guys, I am still not sure if Beth truly loved Albie from the beginning, or was it only the awareness that he was Ted’s best friend that made Albie interesting for her? Nevertheless, their characters were not too straightforward and it was so very well described how they affect each other. However, she brilliantly showed how human her main characters are – how lost they are, how helpless in the world and angry, but also how calculating they can be. Shemilt captured in an incredibly great way the conflicts of the characters, how tangled they felt, how important loyalty was to them and how far would they go to not inflict problems.
However, I think I’ve never warmed to any of them. They might have been in relationships and had feeling to each other but somehow they came across as clinical and without emotions, without conscience. I just didn’t get them fully – as well as the end, that didn’t sit with me at all.

But I don’t know guys, I can’t put my finger on what it was but I just felt confused by this story. However, it was a read with a difference and I can certainly say that never before have I read a story like this. It was confusing for me, yes, but it also was intense and interesting. It was dark and mysterious, and there were many moments that it was too medical for my liking, with many, many very detailed descriptions of procedures. There was also the case of the rats, like in animal testing, and while it felt really uncomfortable, hats off to the author for pulling it off like this, giving all the options and presenting both points of view, those of the researchers and those of the petitioners, without judging them. But back to this medical stuff – it was very literal and especially some of the descriptions of operations were really realistic. and I mean, really.

“How Far We Fall” was a thought – provoking story about ethics, morals and how far we – yes – fall to get our revenge. About power and revenge and ambition. It wasn’t predictable, oh no, on the contrary, I had no idea how it will proceed and in which direction it’s going to take us. The author has incredible way with words, the story is written in simple, short sentences but they’re exceptionally eloquent and she easily brings to life all the things she writes about. You’re going to feel hate, uncertainty, repulsion, anger and compassion. It was slow – burning but multi – layered. Tense and taut, and full of provocative questions about ethics and the author has created a claustrophobic, dark and heavy atmosphere and complex, multi – layered story. Recommended!

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The Mum Who’d Had Enough by Fiona Gibson (Blog Tour)

The Mum Who’d Had Enough by Fiona Gibson

 

35886922Publisher: Avon

Publishing Date: 14th June 2018

Source:  Received from the publisher in return for an honest review, thank you!

Number of pages: 384

Genre: General Fiction

 Buy the Book:  Kindle | Paperback

 

 

Synopsis:

After sixteen years of marriage, Nate and Sinead Turner have a nice life. They like their jobs, they like their house and they love their son Flynn. Yes, it’s a very nice life.

Or, at least Nate thinks so. Until, one morning, he wakes to find Sinead gone and a note lying on the kitchen table listing all the things he does wrong or doesn’t do at all.

Nate needs to show Sinead he can be a better husband – fast. But as he works through Sinead’s list, his life changes in unexpected ways. And he starts to wonder whether he wants them to go back to normal after all. Could there be more to life than nice?

Rating: four-stars

Other than usually, when it is woman thinking that her marriage is working perfectly well and then felling off their high horse, this time it is Nate that is perfectly happy with his life, his wife, son and job as a driving examiner. However, one day he gets up and instead of a cup of hot coffee he finds the kitchen empty but a note listing all his faults, left by his wife Sinead. Who, as it seems, has just left him. Nate absolutely doesn’t know what to do – with the note, with his life, with their son Flynn who stayed with him – basically, he can’t believe, and won’t believe, that his marriage is over. Is he going to win Sinead back? Is it really so simple, to change and fix all the faults, or is it something bigger, deeper?

The author has a great way with words and she writes about serious things also with a pinch of salt – the balance between seriousness and humour works pretty well in this book. Thanks to Ms Gibson’s light and welcoming writing style you will immediately feel a part of this story and you’ll be quickly drawn into it. What I also liked in this novel is that it wasn’t over – done, too sugary, that it was realistic and down – to – earth and it showed also the darkest sides of life, in a very accessible and not disheartening way.

What I missed was Sinead’s perspective. Yes, she has written the list where she listed the problems but so truly, deeply I really had no idea what her problem was. The book was told mostly from Nate’s point of view and honestly, so as he told this, they led a normal partnership, a marriage. If she wanted something different – well, it just wasn’t made clear enough in this story, or maybe it was, but it was not motivated, explained. Sinead really came across as bored and as one who didn’t know what she really wants. She sounded so unhappy and honestly guys, instead of having this overwhelming feeling that I’d love to hug her and console her, I just couldn’t completely warm to her. She’s just left her husband, leaving only a list of his faults – where did it come from??? Yes, she was taken for granted, I admit, she’s always put her husband and their son before herself and I totally get it that she’s had enough, who of us doesn’t have such feelings as well, but I think she should have approached the matter differently – I think this is this list thing that is just bugging me. She’s finally realised it’s time to put herself first, and I’m the first to give her the standing ovation, it’s just the way she has chosen to do so that simply doesn’t work for me. I really get the poor Nate and his confusion when out of the blue his wife leaves him. He lived in obliviousness for so long and I am not defending him, oh no, but how could he realise that something is wrong when Sinead didn’t talk with him? We all know that women are from Venus and men are from Mars and they need simple words to explain what we feel. I just couldn’t help the feeling that Sinead’s part in the collapse of her marriage was as significant as Nate’s.
Tanzie’s perspective has added so much freshness and humour and sunshine.

I’m giving 3 stars to the plot that was not developed enough for my liking – I mean, the idea was there, the potential was there but it was not delivered – and 5 stars for the characters of Nate and Tanzie and the brilliant writing style and the very few best in the world one – liners. Altogether, “The Mum Who’d Had Enough” was a heart – warming and “ringing the bell” story of a broken marriage, about relationships, family dynamics, second chances and friendship. It also has one of the most gorgeous covers ever, this bright and shiny yellow is simply beautiful and it has this brilliant summery vibe to it. Fans of Fiona Gibson are going to adore this book, that’s for sure, and the new readers will certainly fall in love with this author and her writing. Recommended!

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The Cottage on Sunshine Beach by Holly Martin (Blog Tour)

The Cottage on Sunshine Beach by Holly Martin

 

39719642Publisher: Bookouture

Publishing Date: 22nd June 2018

Series: Sandcastle Bay #1 (read my review of Book 1 here  )

Source:  Received from the publisher via NetGalley in return for an honest review, thank you!

Number of pages: 234

Genre: Romance, Women’s Fiction

 Buy the Book:  Kindle | Paperback

 

 Synopsis:

The stunning new summer story from the bestselling author of Summer at Buttercup Beach. Step into the delightful seaside village of Sandcastle Bay, where you’ll discover golden sand, welcoming smiles and an unforgettable romance…

Melody Rosewood loves her new home in idyllic Sandcastle Bay. The beautiful little cottage on the edge of Sunshine Beach, with its bright yellow door and view of the sea has captured her heart. And she loves being close by to her family and best friend Tori Graham.

Life by the sea is pretty much perfect, there’s just one thing missing…

Gorgeous Jamie Jackson, with his cheeky grin and adorable puppy, works as a sculptor opposite Melody’s jewellery shop. From the moment he and Melody meet sparks fly. But despite their instant attraction, a past heartache is holding Jamie back.

As Melody starts to make a life for herself in the close-knit, quirky seaside community, she realises Jamie could be the one for her. But as the two of them take a chance on romance, it’s one dating disaster after another. Are they destined to always be just good friends?

Or will Melody finally find her happily-ever-after in Sandcastle Bay?

A perfect, feel-good summer read that will make you want to escape to the beach for a romantic day in the sun. If you enjoy reading Sarah Morgan, Jenny Oliver and Lucy Diamond this book is for you.

Rating: four-stars

“The Cottage on Sunshine Beach” is a second book in the Sandcastle Bay series. It can be read as a stand – alone, of course it can, because it’s following the adventures (and there are plenty of them! PLENTY!) of Melody and James but you would just miss out too much on a colourful, hilarious, sexy and quirky story – telling in “The Holiday Cottage by the Sea”. You don’t have to read them in the right order, I think, just read them both. Just saying.

So we return to Sandcastle Bay and are immediately thrown into the lives of Melody and her jewellery shop, and Jamie, an incredibly talented and sexy as hell sculptor. There is amazing chemistry between those two and Melody has the hots for Jamie but Jamie, sadly, has been badly hurt in the past and he’s holding back. However, Melody doesn’t give up and slowly it seems that Jamie starts to lose his reservations. But can one disaster date, when Melody poisons him, after other disaster date bring them together? Or is it too much for Jamie?

So guys. It is really hard to write this review as I truly am not sure what more should I say about Holly Martin’s writing and this book. I adore this author and her style but it seems that Holly has fallen for a pattern that is very successful and perfectly works for her, and it’s absolutely okay because when something works why should you change it? Sure, I can hear you saying, then don’t read Holly’s books – well, that’s not the point. As I’ve mentioned, I love her stories, they always made me laugh out loud and feel better, I just wish she’d surprise me with something different next time.

Nevertheless, I’ll try to explain what’s so special about this book. Because it is special 🙂

1) the setting – it’s gorgeous. Simply. Holly Martin is the champion of creating the most beautiful, desired places to live and I would move to any of the places she writes about in a couple of shakes.

2) the characters – are brilliant. As usually. They are full of humour and there is this lovely overwhelming community spirit and they all know everything about each other, there are no secrets in Sandcastle Bay.

The characters are so full of understanding and they’re so understanding and lenient that sometimes it’s too much. The guys always know what to say and what to do and sometimes it’s just  too good to be true. Don’t get me wrong here, pretty please, it’s lovely to see real gentlemen and how great they treat their women, how honest they are, there are no secrets between them, they do not lie, and sometimes, just sometimes, I missed a cold shoulder and a serious misunderstanding. To complicate the things a little.

3) the writing style. It’s full of humour and the best one – liners ever, and some of the scenes had made me laugh out loud. Really loud. The descriptions are so vivid and colourful and clear, you will have no problems to imagine them. Holly Martin has talent to effortlessly transport you into the heart of the story with her writing, to live the lives of the characters together with them.

It’s, as always, a little gem of a book that I wouldn’t like to miss out. There is everything you could ask for in a perfect rom – com: enough drama, a sizzling romance, incredible chemistry that only Holly can write in such way about, three – dimensional characters and hidden depths in a hilarious storyline. Truly recommended!

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The Dead Ex by Jane Corry (Blog Tour)

The Dead Ex by Jane Corry

 

51o-x2uybflPublisher: Penguin

Publishing Date: 28th June 2018

Source:  Received from the publisher in return for an honest review, thank you!

Number of pages: 432

Genre: Mystery, Thriller, Fiction (Adults)

 Buy the Book: Kindle | Paperback

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

‘I wish he’d just DIE.’ >
He said in sickness and in health. But after Vicki was attacked at work and left suffering with epilepsy, her husband Daniel left her for his mistress.

So when Vicki gets a call one day to say that he’s gone missing, her first thought is ‘good riddance’. But then the police find evidence suggesting that Daniel is dead. And they think Vicki had something to do with it.

What really happened on the night of Daniel’s disappearance?
And how can Vicki prove her innocence, when she’s not even sure of it herself?

Rating: four-stars

 

“The Dead Ex”, third novel by Jane Corry, introduces us to an aroma therapist Vicki Goudman, who’s also diagnosed with epilepsy. She’s living alone, after her marriage has broken and her husband had left her for another woman. Fast forward a few years and Vicki becomes a visit from the police, telling her that her ex – husband is missing, presumably dead. In the wake of some events and circumstances, Vicki turns out to be the prime suspect, so she’s forced to try and to prove that she has nothing to do with his disappearance. Or – has she? The drugs she’s prescribed appear to cause memory losses. And Vicki’s previous life is the one that she’d rather keep as a secret…

The characters in this story are not the most likeable ones, this must to be said. However, it doesn’t mean that they’re not really well developed because they are. I think that in such kind of books you don’t have to like the characters to enjoy the novel. It is told in the first person perspective from a number of characters, which is already Jane Corry’s hallmark and she proves again that this is a very good and effective way to present us the story. We also travel back and forward in time, and I really liked this way of telling the story, as it only made it more complex and complicated and challenging to find answers to my questions – and it was a very multi – layered tale and it was a great joy to unpeel all of the layers till the very end.

There were many twists and turns on the way and while I guessed some of them almost immediately, some of the others took me by surprise, but the final score is very satisfying. It was a page turner and I really wanted to see what’s going to happen. Also, initially the story introduces us to two different main characters, an aroma therapist Vicky and an 8 – year – old Scarlet who may, or may not, have something in common with each other. It could be a tad confusing because it reads like two different stories and you may wondering how they are connected, especially when then comes part 2 that welcomes totally different character. This was a moment when I guessed the first twist but the story still kept me hooked, especially as there were many more shocks to come.

It is Jane Corry’s third book, and third that is closely centred around prison and social workers. As much as I love the descriptions and the way the author brings the atmosphere to life – no wonders here, she has experience – I would love to see something different in the book number 4. There just seems too much of a common theme in the books. Also, personally I think that the book started in a brilliant way but then it somehow lost its impact a little. It was like building a tension in reverse, as I really think that the beginning was much better than the end that felt rushed and not as well developed as the rest of the story – but it’s me and my opinion only. What also bothered me was the approach to epilepsy. It was very well researched, no doubt here, but it all sounded very medically and dry. It was informative, yes, and there were some facts that I had no idea about, the author explored the many effects and dangers of the state, but the way they were brought to us could be more casual.

While it was not my favourite Jane Corry’s book, I still think that it was a great, tense and compelling read, a book with a difference.  I didn’t find the multiple points of view confusing as I was guessing the different characters must have come together in the end – they made the read much more complex and demanding but at the same time attractive and hooking. The author touches upon many heavy and sad issues, and so ultimately it was a multi – layered, cleverly plotted novel. Highly recommended!

 

 

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Missing Pieces by Laura Pearson (Blog Tour)

Missing Pieces by Laura Pearson

 

40490074Publisher: Agora Books

Publishing Date: 21st June 2018

Source:  Received from the publisher in return for an honest review, thank you!

Number of pages: 277

Genre: Literature/Fiction (Adult)

 Buy the Book: Kindle | Paperback

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

What if the one thing that kept you together was breaking you apart?

All Linda wants to do is sleep. She won’t look at her husband. She can’t stand her daughter. And she doesn’t want to have this baby. Having this baby means moving on, and she just wants to go back to before. Before their family was torn apart, before the blame was placed.

Alienated by their own guilt and struggling to cope, the Sadler family unravels. They grow up, grow apart, never talking about their terrible secret.

That is until Linda’s daughter finds out she’s pregnant. Before she brings another Sadler into the world, Bea needs to know what happened twenty-five years ago. What did they keep from her? What happened that couldn’t be fixed?

A devastating mistake, a lifetime of consequences. How can you repair something broken if pieces are missing?

Rating: four-stars

 

Linda and Tom have just lost their little daughter Phoebe to a tragic accident. But they still have the other daughter, and there is another baby on its way – so they have a reason to keep going. Tom tries, but Linda submerges in her grief.
Fast forward and the unborn baby is to have a baby of her own. There is a tension between her and her older sister Esme and her father, they’re really not so much in touch – there are too many secrets and lies between them but maybe now is the time to build new bridges?

The book is split into two parts. In the first one we experience what has happened and follow the after – tragedy lives of Linda, Tom, Esme and the little Bea. This part was really heart – wrenching and it touched at all the right heart – strings, it was emotionally wrecking and all the feelings were palpable. The second part takes place 25 years later, and here I had a feeling that it is a different read, to be honest, that it is written by a different person – it just read differently and well, let’s be honest, it wasn’t as gripping and compelling as part one.

The great thing in this book was that it was really easy to relate to the characters, to understand them. I really didn’t want to judge Linda, I’ve never been in her shoes and I pray to God to never be in her shoes – loosing a child is the biggest nightmare of each parent, that’s for sure. However, I couldn’t help but feel annoyed with her – she had another daughter, and later on Bea was born, and yet Linda has chosen to desolate, she didn’t even try to try. It looked like she wanted Bea to disappear, Esme to look after herself – she was for sure no comfort to them, and she didn’t even try, and this is what bothered me so much about her character. That she just gave up. But also her grief, her shame and her rage were so natural to understand. Tom, who has his own burden and guilt to bear, tried his best to help Linda and to provide his daughters with relatively normal childhood – I was in awe how great he was with the girls, and how much and how long he tried. Even with the mistakes he did, I kept my fingers crossed for Tom, as he does his best to keep his family together, to blend together what’s left, to go on somehow, and it was heart – breaking to see that whatever he did, it was not working.And Esme – though Esme was really not to blame, right? Full of guilt and bearing her own burden her whole life, finding herself in an awful position. Bea’s life was like pre-programmed through the loss of Phoebe, by the unspeakable truth, and I can imagine how hard it was to grow up in the shadows of ignorance, of not knowing, and secrets.

It is Laura Pearson’s debut novel and it turned out to be a great read. The author has skills to tell a gripping, intriguing and heart – wrenching story and really has a way with words. She can really deal with feelings and emotions, bringing them all easily on the paper and the family portrait that she has painted in “Missing Pieces” is incredibly realistic. The way she describes grief and pain just gets under your skin and you really experience this all, together with the characters. I, however, quickly guessed what has happened to the middle daughter and the circumstances, and I personally think the book would be even better if it was explained earlier on.

Altogether, “Missing Pieces” was a sad, but not too overwhelmingly depressing, book – and it’s for sure not easy to write such a novel, to find this balance, to not to push this limit of being too depressing, too teary, and the author has really done it in a great way. This was a poignant and heart – wrenching story about regret, about losing hope, and about not giving up, about Missing Pieces – yes! – and how important they are to leave the past behind and to know the truth that affects you as well. A gripping story about how a tragedy can shape lives, emotionally raw tale of depression, grief, secrets and lies, a story about a family damaged by the death of a young daughter, by betrayals, by depression and lies, with characters that were very well layered and with realistic family dynamics. A great debut and I am looking forward to read more from Laura Pearson.

 

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