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Sunday, 31 July 2016

Blue Dog book review

BLUE DOG by LOUIS DE BERNIERES




THE BLURB

A charming story of a young boy and his dog adventuring through the outback. Prequel to the bestselling Red Dog.

When a family tragedy means Mick is sent to the outback to live with his Granpa, it looks as if he has a lonely life ahead of him. The cattle station is a tough place for a child, where nature is brutal and the men must work hard in the heat and dust. 

However, after a cyclone hits, things change for Mick. Exploring the flood waters, he finds a lost puppy covered in mud and half-drowned. Mick and his dog immediately become inseparable as they take on the adventures offered by their unusual home, and the business of growing up, together.

In this charming prequel to the much-loved Red Dog, Louis de Bernières tells the moving story of a young boy and his Granpa, and the charismatic and entertaining dog who so many readers hold close to their hearts.


Expected publication date 1st August 2016


MY REVIEW


Lucky enough to win a copy of this beautiful little book from the beautiful people at Vintage Books via their Twitter page and when I found out I had won a copy before the publication date, I knew I had to read it straight away!

It's only a short little novella, but it sure packs a punch as it tells the story of Mick who is sent to live with his Granpa in the middle of nowhere in Australia, after the death of his father sent his mother round the twist with grief.  It is only meant as a temporary measure until she is feeling better and released from hospital, but Mick soon settles into the way of life and is living the dream of most young boys by being able to explore his surroundings on his own most days - mixed in with a little bit of schooling!

But most of the lessons he learns are from his Granpa and the workers on the farm, and it is so pleasing to read of the bond that they build up, despite not having seen each other for so many years.  There are also many creatures he discovers and the dog, Blue, really does capture his heart after he rescues the puppy from the flood waters.


Enjoyed every minute of this adventure, and I hadn't read The Red Dog, of which this is the prequel to, so will be tracking it down to enjoy more of the story.

The Cursed Child........

THE CURSED CHILD by J.K. ROWLING




THE BLURB

Based on an original new story by J.K. Rowling, Jack Thorne and John Tiffany, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, a new play by Jack Thorne, is the first official Harry Potter story to be presented on stage. It will receive its world premiere in London’s West End on 30th July 2016 

It was always difficult being Harry Potter and it isn’t much easier now that he is an overworked employee of the Ministry of Magic, a husband, and father of three school-age children.

While Harry grapples with a past that refuses to stay where it belongs, his youngest son Albus must struggle with the weight of a family legacy he never wanted. As past and present fuse ominously, both father and son learn the uncomfortable truth: sometimes darkness comes from unexpected places.



MY REVIEW


You may be aware that a certain Harry Potter is back! Not that it has been mentioned much in the press over the past few months!!  As a fan of the original books, and then the films, I've been rather excited to get my hands on a copy of the latest installment - set 19 years later and featuring Harrys' children as they set off on their Hogwarts experience!

I didn't manage to make it to a bookstore with a midnight opening, although looking at some of the photos online today they did look like an awful lot of fun! But I managed to have my copy delivered this morning, so the housework and real life have been forgotten about this afternoon so I could sit out in the garden, in the sunshine (thankfully!) and lap this up!  And that is exactly what I did!!

It was an extremely easy book to read as it's in script format, so no padding! Just the bare essentials of the conversations and minimal descriptions of the scenes.  But as a Harry Potter fan I don't think those are needed as we all have the images marked clearly in our heads! I even imagined the characters as they were in the film, just older! Even though the play has re-cast the characters I just can't imagine anyone other than Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson and Rupert Grint playing the main three!

Reading this was just like being transported back to the early Harry Potter books as it was pretty simple and easy to jump straight back into. Many old themes were re-introduced so it was just fun to relive the old alongside the new!

Full of a few surprises and twists I thoroughly enjoyed my dip back into the world of Harry Potter and I'm just hoping that there may be more visits in the future!! Pretty please J.K. Rowling!!!

Thursday, 28 July 2016

20 Books of Summer Progress



20 BOOKS OF SUMMER

BOOKS 11 AND 12



The mystery of the clockwork sparrow by katherine woodfine



the blurb

You are cordially invited to attend the Grand Opening of Sinclair’s department store!

Enter a world of bonbons, hats, perfumes and MYSTERIES around every corner. WONDER at the daring theft of the priceless CLOCKWORK SPARROW! TREMBLE as the most DASTARDLY criminals in London enact their wicked plans! GASP as our bold heroines, Miss Sophie Taylor and Miss Lilian Rose, CRACK CODES, DEVOUR ICED BUNS and vow to bring the villians to justice…



Perfect for fans of Jacqueline Wilson, Chris Riddell and Enid Blyton.


my review



this was my choice for Book 11 of my #20booksofsummer paperback challenge as I'd bought this quite a while ago, intrigued by the gorgeous bright cover and the very good reviews I'd read about it! And I can see why it has won such high praise!  It has such an old fashioned story feel that it was a fun and easy book to read and make you escape the realities of life!  And there is lots to escape from nowadays!!

It's the story of Sophie who ends up working at Sinclairs the big department store, think Selfridges!, and it is wonderful to see her finding her way in the world and becoming settled amongst her new 'family' at the store.  Sinclairs' prides itself on its excellence and displays, so when a new collection of Jewels is set to be shown at the store the excitement reaches fever pitch.  But then disaster strikes and some of the jewels, including the world famous Clockwork Sparrow, go missing, so Sophie and her friends take it upon themselves to hunt down the thieves involved!

Full of lots of fun characters and tension as they start discovering clues, it was a really enjoyable read and I look forward to reading more in the series to see what fun they get up to next time!!


Book 12 

 IT STARTED AT SUNSET COTTAGE by BELLA OSBORNE


THE BLURB

Kate Marshall is slowly getting her life back on track after losing her fiancé. As an author she has been able to hide herself away from the world and its expectations – but now one of her books has been optioned for a film and Hollywood suddenly comes knocking on her door!

When Kate is given the opportunity to stay at a beautiful country retreat and concentrate on the screenplay, it’s an offer she can’t refuse. Encouraged by her best friend, sharp-tongued single mum Sarah, Kate sees it’s finally time to stop letting life pass her by.

Looking for confidence and inspiration in the idyllic Cotswolds countryside, the last thing Kate expects is for Timothy Calder, A-list actor and leading man in the movie adaptation of her book, to turn up on her doorstep, hoping to lie low after his latest tabloid scandal! But after a rocky start, with Tim narrowly avoiding death by watering can, they find they have a few things in common: a liking for Lady Grey tea, walnut whips and bad ‘knock knock’ jokes. Actually, the bad jokes are just Tim.

As an unlikely friendship begins to blossom, and with circumstances repeatedly throwing them together, is Sunset Cottage where both Kate and Tim’s lives will really start?


MY REVIEW




This was book #12 on my list and bought in the first place mainly because of the super sweet front cover! I could definitely live in a cottage like that!!

It features Kate who is trying to move on from the sad loss of her fiance, and through her work as an Author she is given that opportunity to start a new chapter, when her novel is chosen to be turned into a major Hollywood film.  She is nervous but is up for the challenge and it helps when she is invited to stay at the picture perfect Sunset Cottage to concentrate on writing the screenplay.

And with a Hollywood film, there comes Hollywood actors and the main focus on this front is Timothy Calder! He's the latest hot A-list star who is becoming more known for his romances off set and his lifestyle.  He arrives at Sunset Cottage to get away from the press intrusion, although they always seem to find out where he is sooner rather than later.  

The sparks fly immediately between Kate and Tim, but they are both wary of taking anything further.  Kate as she is aware of his reputation, and why would he be interested in her anyway, and Tim is a little confused by the strength of his feelings so quickly to Kate so he holds back too.

There is a wonderful cast of characters surrounding Kate and Tim, which leads to lots of fun moments but also some darker times as her best friend Sarah is having real problems with her ex, and this adds moments of tension as you wonder what lengths he will go to to disrupt her life

Highly enjoyable read so highly recommended for those who love their chick-lit done well!!

Tuesday, 26 July 2016

Everything Love is book review

EVERYTHING LOVE IS by CLAIRE KING




THE BLURB

From the author of The Night Rainbow: a poignant, mysterious and unforgettable story of love, and of the happy endings we conceive for ourselves.

Baptiste Molino has devoted his life to other people’s happiness. Moored on his houseboat on the edge of Toulouse, he helps his clients navigate the waters of contentment, yet remains careful never to make waves of his own.

Baptiste is more concerned with his past than his future: particularly the mysterious circumstances of his birth and the identity of his birth mother. But Sophie, the young waitress in his local bar, believes it is time for Baptiste to rediscover passion and leads him into the world on his doorstep he has long tried to avoid. 

However, it is Baptiste’s new client who may end up being the one to change his perspective. Elegant and enigmatic, Amandine Rousseau is fast becoming a puzzle he longs to solve. As tensions rise on the streets of the city, Baptiste’s determination to avoid both the highs and lows of love begins to waver. And when his mother’s legacy finally reveals itself, he finds himself torn between pursuing his own happiness and safeguarding that of the one he loves.

Hardcover384 pages
Expected publication: July 28th 2016 by Bloomsbury




MY REVIEW


I was a big fan of The Night Rainbow, the authors' previous book, so I was a little apprehensive about reading this just in case it didn't live up to the first book. I should not have worried!! Wow!!

 I did get a copy of this via NetGalley in return for a fair and honest review, but as soon as it is released in hardback I will be buying a copy as the cover is just too gorgeous for me not to own it! There are also some beautiful illustrations inside to be enjoyed!

It is quite a difficult book to review without giving too much away, but I'll try my best!  

The story begins on board a train as a woman ends up giving birth to a boy but she sadly dies during childbirth.  A midwife who helps with the birth has been unable to have children over the years, so she sees this as fate and raises the little boy with her husband.

Baptiste is a therapist who lives on a canal boat - his mind is set to analyse everyone and help them see clearer.  But he seems unable to take his own advice and is obsessed with his past and seems unable to move on without wondering who he is and what his place is in the world.  Things start becoming a little clearer for him thought when a client, Amandine, starts to challenge him. Something he isn't used to as he's normally the one who asks the question, but there is something about her that pushes him to question everything and start to analyse his own behaviour and purpose.

I did find the beginning of this book a little confusing as it took a while for the narrative to settle down and become clearer, but it soon all clicked into place and made the reading experience even more pleasurable!

An extremely beautifully written story of love, family, heartache, hope, fears and dreams.  Found so many passages really insightful and thought provoking and with such a powerful storyline it just adds to the layers.

Parts of the story were so relevant with what is going on in the world at the moment that it gives it extra poignancy and the medical issues also faced by Baptiste and how those around him dealt with it were also extremely powerful in their message

A stunner of a book - go read it!!!! 

Thursday, 21 July 2016

High Season book review

Nacho Figueras Presents: High Season by Jessica Whitman





THE BLURB


World-renowned polo player and global face of Ralph Lauren, Nacho Figueras dives into the world of scandal and seduction with a new fiction series set in the glamorous, treacherous world of high-stakes polo competition.

Georgia never wanted to be a jetsetter. A plain old country vet was fine for her. But one distress call from her best friend and the next thing she knows she's neck deep in the world of polo's most elite international players--complete with designer dresses, fine champagne and some of the most gorgeous thoroughbreds she's ever seen. Some of the most gorgeous men too. . .

Alejandro Del Campo needs his team to win the season's biggest polo tournament or else he's not sure how much longer they're going to be in business. What he doesn't need is some sassy new vet telling him how to run his business--and distracting him at every turn. But as they come closer and closer to the championship match, it soon becomes clear that Alejandro wants to win Georgia just as much as the tourney trophy. But can he ever convince her his world is where she truly belongs?



MY REVIEW


Was contacted by the publisher and asked if I'd like to read this book, and when I was told it was in the same field as the likes of Jilly Cooper, then I couldn't turn down that chance. So thankyou to Alison at Allen and Unwin for the copy!

Wow!! What a read!!  I happened to read it on the hottest day of the year and have to admit that a cold shower was required just as much for the content of the book as the heat of the day! I loved every minute of it!!

Georgia is a very simple girl, who is happy to live a quiet life looking after animals, on a smallholding with her father.  But her best friend Billy persuades her to join him on a trip to watch some Polo, and visit the parties, and it is such a contrast to her normality that she is a little overwhelmed at first, but is soon won over by the horses and people she meets - some more than others!

Alejandro is the captain of the Polo team and his whole world revolves around the sport of Polo.  He's faced tragedy recently with the loss of his wife, so he also has the added pressure of raising his teenage daughter with the help of his supportive family, and he has learnt to shut himself away and just to focus on winning.

Georgia soon makes an impression on the Polo set when she notices an injury to one of the horses and her short trip is soon extended so she can help with vet duties for the team, and her simple style soon wins over Alejandro and he wrestles with himself about getting involved.  It is so much fun reading the will they, won't they build up with these two - be prepared for many steamy scenes too! Not too graphic but exactly what the story needs.  These two aren't only passionate about animals!!

Loved the mix of the behind the scenes drama, with the high glamour of the Polo events and it was so interesting seeing how their two different worlds collide.  They are also both very wary of rushing into things so the relationship between them builds nicely!

Very pleased to hear this is just the start of a series so I am already looking forward to book two!

BE FRANK WITH ME book review

BE FRANK WITH ME by JULIA CLAIBORNE JOHNSON




THE BLURB

Reclusive literary legend M. M. “Mimi” Banning has been holed up in her Bel Air mansion for years, but now she’s writing her first book in decades and to ensure timely completion her publisher sends an assistant to monitor her progress. Mimi reluctantly complies—with a few stipulations: No Ivy Leaguers or English majors. Must drive, cook, tidy. Computer whiz. Good with kids. Quiet, discreet, sane.

When Alice Whitley arrives at the Banning mansion, she’s put to work right away—as a full-time companion to Frank, the writer’s eccentric nine-year-old, a boy with the wit of Noël Coward, the wardrobe of a 1930s movie star, and very little in common with his fellow fourth graders.

As she gets to know Frank, Alice becomes consumed with finding out who his father is, how his gorgeous “piano teacher and itinerant male role model” Xander fits into the Banning family equation—and whether Mimi will ever finish that book.

Full of heart and countless only-in-Hollywood moments, Be Frank With Me is a captivating and heartwarming story of an unusual mother and son, and the intrepid young woman who finds herself irresistibly pulled into their unforgettable world.

Hardback Released 4th August 2016



MY REVIEW


Received a copy of this out of the blue from the publishers, Corvus books, so thankyou to them.  I've been a big fan of the recent books featuring children as the main character and once you read about Frank, he is one of those characters that will be staying with you for a very long while!

His background isn't your normal start in life! His mother is the reclusive author, Mimi Banning, who had such a big hit with her first novel, that she retreated to her Bel Air mansion and is rarely seen out.  Not the best start in life for Frank, but it allows you to understand how he has turned into the special boy that he is now aged 9!  He dresses in his own special way and is a walking encyclopedia of film facts from the bygone era, and that doesn't allow him to fit in too well at school.

Annie is brought in by Mimi's publishers to move in with her to keep her mind on writing another novel, so she then gets to witness up close the special bond mother and son have, and soon finds herself totally caught up in their world and tries to help Frank discover who his father is and help this quirky little boy find his way in the world and stop people walking out on him

This really was a special story to read, and was full of fun wondering how Frank would dress, or what he would say next as he never does anything by the book.  He is often quite a trying child as he does display some very irrational behaviour, but at the heart of it you discover an extremely thoughtful young man with a heart of gold and this shines through.

Lily and the Octopus Book Review

LILY AND THE OCTOPUS by STEVEN ROWLEY





THE BLURB

This is a story about that special someone: the one you trust, the one you can’t live without.

For Ted Flask, that someone special is his aging companion Lily, who happens to be a dog.



MY REVIEW


This was one of those books that I knew I was going to cry reading - and it didn't let me down!! But it was that perfect balance of lots of fun moments, with the sadness that you know is coming, that I can forgive the author for making me sob uncontrollably as I was reading it in the garden yesterday! Thankfully the neighbours were out so they didn't get to witness my breakdown!!

It's a really simple story that many of us as pet owners can understand so well.  That bond between an owner and their furbaby be it a cute dachsund like Lily in this story, or any other furry creature that comes into your life at certain moments and just captures your heart so that you can't imagine life without them.  So when they become ill you do all you can to try and 'fix' them.

Ted and Lily are the perfect example of man and dog and all they do together, including have wonderful chats and playing board games, and it is so heartwarming reading about all those happy times that they share.  That is until the Octopus shows up on the scene, and the clever way this is all dealt with just made the story for me.  Loved the magical realism element that added an extra twist to the way of dealing with the sadness and it was so beautifully written and perfect summed up the impact that even the smallest creature can have on a humans' life and thought process.

Highly recommeded for all!! 

Sunday, 17 July 2016

20 Books of Summer July Update



An update!!!! Books 8, 9 and 10 have now been read!!  Thankfully a burst of sunshine has arrived at the right time to give me a kick up the bum to get more reading time in, so I've put the rays of sun to good use and had some pleasant time to read and enjoy!!  So here's what I've been reading!!

BOOK 8  - 
THE STORIED LIFE OF A.J. FIKRY by GABRIELLE ZEVIN


THE BLURB

A. J. Fikry’s life is not at all what he expected it to be. He lives alone, his bookstore is experiencing the worst sales in its history, and now his prized possession, a rare collection of Poe poems, has been stolen. But when a mysterious package appears at the bookstore, its unexpected arrival gives Fikry the chance to make his life over--and see everything anew.

MY REVIEW


This was a book I discovered on the internet only recently and had heard very good reports about and how could I not like a book that was set around a bookshop!!  And I loved it!!  Found the characters so wonderful and the journeys they all went on was so uplifting.  Read it in one sitting as I was so swept up in the goings on!

BOOK 9

THE SHOCK OF THE FALL by NATHAN FILER



THE BLURB

'I'll tell you what happened because it will be a good way to introduce my brother. His name's Simon. I think you're going to like him. I really do. But in a couple of pages he'll be dead. And he was never the same after that.' 

Debut novel about one man's descent into mental illness, following the death of his brother in childhood. Filer is a mental health nurse with a unique and startling insight into mental illness, and this book highlights a much-neglected subject.


MY REVIEW

I was intrigued to read this as I'd heard so many good reports on this book especially considering the subject matter.  But, for some reason that i'm still struggling to understand, I just couldn't get it!  I did find the use of different fonts and writing styles quite imaginative and clearly a very clever way of getting across the randomness of the issues the main character was going through, but I felt the storyline quite staid and difficult to connect with.  Mental illness is always a difficult subject to read about, and read about, but I found myself not feeling much sympathy with the characters as they all struggled to deal with Matthews schizophrenia, and the aftermath of his brothers' death when they were both children.  It all felt quite flat and just didn't grab me


BOOK 10

HIGH TIDE by VERONICA HENRY



THE BLURB

*Shortlisted for the RNA Contemporary Romantic Novel of the Year 2016*
Pennfleet might be a small town, but there's never a dull moment in its narrow winding streets ...
Kate has only planned a flying visit to clear out the family home after the death of her mother. When she finds an anonymous letter, she is drawn back into her own past.
Single dad Sam is juggling his deli and two lively teenagers, so romance is the last thing on his mind. Then Cupid fires an unexpected arrow - but what will his children think?
Nathan Fisher is happy with his lot, running picnic cruises up and down the river, but kissing the widow of the richest man in Pennfleet has disastrous consequences.
Vanessa knows what she has done is unseemly for a widow, but it's the most fun she's had for years. Must she always be on her best behaviour?
As autumn draws in and the nights grow longer, there are sure to be fireworks in this gloriously engaging novel from Veronica Henry, author of A Night on the Orient Express.

MY REVIEW

I have always been a big fan of Veronica Henry, and this is another one of her fabulous stories! She seems to have a way of creating an inviting community and picturesque setting that immediately hooks the reader in, so that they become a fly on the wall of the goings on.

This book centres around 2 characters and their reactions to 2 funerals that have hit the village.  It has hit other characters too who thought so highly of those departed, so it is so interesting to see how the deaths affect the community, and how from the depths of grief, there can be hope and a new perspective on lives and loves.

Really enjoyed the pace of the story, and the number of characters and their storylines never seemed out of place and just gave me as the reader more to enjoy! I really hope there'll be more to follow from Pennfleet in Cornwall!


So i'm at the halfway stage in the 20 books challenge and it is further than I thought I would be! So I just need to keep hoping for sunny days, and to just keep letting the housework and 'real life' stuff pile up and stop from distracting me from the more important task of reading!!

Hope you're all getting on well with your book challenges!




Saturday, 16 July 2016

Oops I did it again.......

  No, this isn't the start of a Britney fan posting, but it just applies rather nicely to my recent spate of acquiring new books for my already overburdened shelves.  And I was trying NOT to add to the collection ... honest!!!  Ok, I don't believe it either but I thought it might be worth a try!!

So let's get to it as I know that if you love books like me, then you love a good book haul! So here's the latest stash!!



Not bad eh!! Some were purchased by me, others I was lucky enough to win via Twitter or were sent to me from the publishers for review.



This Last Kiss by Madeleine Reiss  I was lucky enough to win a copy of this via a giveaway on Twitter.  Such an intriguing cover that I'm really looking forward to seeing if the insides match up!






BE FRANK WITH ME by JULIA CLAIBORNE JOHNSON   I received this out of the blue via the publishers, Corvus books, and it will be released on 4th August 2016.  I've already started reading this one and happy to report that the main character, Frank, is a total star and I'm really enjoying his story so far!



HIGH SEASON by NACHO FIGUERAS  Another lovely surprise in the post from the publishers, Allen & Unwin, and this is another book set for release on 4th August 2016.  Apparently should appeal to all fans of Jilly Cooper books, so i'm looking forward to starting this soon!




SEX OBJECT by JESSICA VALENTI

This was won by myself on Twitter on Thursday of this week as the lovely people at Harper 360 were running a competition for a copy of the book and a vest top, and I was lucky enough to be picked as one of the winners so my prizes arrived this morning.  Not my normal kind of read but I'm really interested to see what it has in store for me!



THE LOST SWIMMER by ANN TURNER   

This book was recommended to me quite a while ago now by a good friend in Australia, and she couldn't stop raving about this book so I have had it on pre-order for a while and it arrived this week so am intrigued as to what she has been raving about! no pressure!!




LAST NIGHT IN MONTREAL, THE SINGER'S GUN AND THE LOLA QUARTET by EMILY ST.JOHN MANDEL

After enjoying Station Eleven so much, I knew I had to complete the set of the authors' work so managed to find them all in various places so very excited to read more!



LILY AND THE OCTOPUS by STEVEN ROWLEY


This purchase was a case of being seduced by the cover, and then reading the blurb and knowing it would be a book I should love!! Apparently it is a bit of a weepie too so I will have my tissues ready to sob into when I start this hopefully soon!




AN ARTIST OF THE FLOATING WORLD BY KAZUO ISHIGURO

This is the result of wandering round the book aisle at a nearby supermarket! I've wanted to read more of this author and just couldn't resist this cover so I had to pick it up!


So that's it! Don't think I have anymore on order and am not planning anymore trips to the nearest booksellers anytime soon, so hopefully I can get through a few of these and add my reviews soon.  Has anyone read any of the above?  Looking forward to hearing if you have so I know which ones to bump up the TBR pile the quickest!!



Friday, 15 July 2016

The Muse Book Review

THE MUSE by JESSIE BURTON




THE BLURB



From the internationally bestselling author of The Miniaturistcomes a captivating and brilliantly realized story of two young women—a Caribbean immigrant in 1960s London, and a bohemian woman in 1930s Spain—and the powerful mystery that ties them together.

England, 1967. Odelle Bastien is a Caribbean émigré trying to make her way in London. When she starts working at the prestigious Skelton Art Gallery, she discovers a painting rumored to be the work of Isaac Robles, a young artist of immense talent and vision whose mysterious death has confounded the art world for decades. The excitement over the painting is matched by the intrigue around the conflicting stories of its discovery. Drawn into a complex web of secrets and deceptions, Odelle does not know what to believe or who she can trust, including her mesmerizing colleague, Marjorie Quick.

Spain, 1937. Olive Schloss, the daughter of a Viennese Jewish art dealer and English heiress, follows her parents to Arazuelo, a poor, restless village on the southern coast. She grows close to Teresa, a young housekeeper, and her half-brother Isaac Robles, an idealistic and ambitious painter newly returned from the Barcelona salons. A dilettante buoyed by the revolutionary fervor that will soon erupt into civil war, Isaac dreams of being a painter as famous as his countryman, Picasso.

Raised in poverty, these illegitimate children of the local landowner revel in exploiting this wealthy Anglo-Austrian family. Insinuating themselves into the Schloss’s lives, Teresa and Isaac help Olive conceal her artistic talents with devastating consequences that will echo into the decades to come.

Rendered in exquisite detail, The Muse is a passionate and enthralling tale of desire, ambition, and the ways in which the tides of history inevitably shape and define our lives.

Hardcover416 pages
Expected publication: July 26th 2016 by Ecco


buy from;





MY REVIEW



I have been very lucky to have received a copy of this book via The Good Housekeeping Book Room group on Facebook.  They choose a book each month and then send out copies to a few members to help them read and review and I was chosen for their July pick - The Muse.

Confession time..... I have had a copy of The Miniaturist on my bookshelves since forever and I'm still not sure why I haven't got round to reading it yet, but I will definitely be bumping it up my TBR pile after my experience with The Muse.

From the stunning cover, a piece of art in itself, this book is an amazing journey through two timelines and the impact that one painting has on so many characters.

It is set around 1960's London and 1930's rural Spain and the way the story goes between both timelines works so well as there is so much going on, that each chapter seems to bring a new reveal and twist in the significance of a long lost painting.

In 1960's London, we follow Odelle who starts working as a typist in a London Art Gallery and is taken under  her boss' wing, Marjorie Quick, who seems to see something of herself in the new recruit.  But when Odelle has a friend who brings along a painting he wants more  information about to the gallery, Marjorie Quick seems to be in shock over the appearance of this piece of artwork and you start to wonder what connection she has to it.

The 1930's spanish timelines is a much slower pace and focuses on Olive who lives there with her art dealer father, and her mother.  They are soon joined by Isaac and Teresa who start to work for them and these characters soon add to the complexities of life in rural spain with war approaching.

I loved the way the timelines connected so well, so it never felt forced or rushed with all the different storylines combining so beautifully and I loved the fact that it was centred around the female characters.

I've often found myself looking at artwork and wondering about the story behind it, and The Muse is a perfect look at the secrets a single painting can contain and it has been an absolute pleasure to devour!! Highly recommended!!