#BlogTour The Family Man by Kimberley Chambers

 It’s a pleasure to take part in the BlogTour The Family Man by Kimberley Chambers. ‘A brand-new series from the queen of gritty crime.’

About the Author

A truly unforgettable character, Kimberley injects authenticity into her gritty gangland crime novels set around the east end. She came to writing later in life, having worked as a street trader (being promoted from tea girl to sales when she rugby-tackled a shoplifter), a DJ and a cabbie. Fed up of scraping a living, she set her mind to writing a novel, despite being laughed at by friends and family, who dubbed her ‘a female Del-Boy’. 

But with her creative mind, colourful life experiences and memorable covering letter (‘Take a chance on me, you won’t regret it. This time next year I’ll be wearing Prada, not Primark’), she quickly had five agents knocking at her door and a publishing contract. Fifteen novels and three Sunday Times number ones later, she’s top of her game and an incredible inspiration.

Join Kimberley’s legion of legendary fans on facebook.com/kimberleychambersofficial and @kimbochambers on Twitter.

About the book

Meet The Bonds… Kenny Bond is finally out of prison after doing a long stretch for killing a copper, and is determined to get back to life on the straight and narrow. He’s got a lot of time to make up for, he’s missed his beloved wife, Sharon, and his family is growing up fast.

A Family Like No Other… Kenny’s son Donny might lack his father’s edge but his twin grandsons, Beau and Brett – well, they are Bonds through and through. Like him, they won’t let anyone stand in their way.

But They’re About to Meet Their Match… Family comes before everything else for Kenny. There’s nothing he won’t do for them. But there are enemies from his past he can’t shake off, and a family feud is brewing. Kenny’s determined that nothing, and no one, will threaten his family. But can the Bond family stick together when someone’s out to take them down?

Review

Kenny Bond and his family of conveniently criminally inclined loved ones – give or take a few, those who swim against the stream are likely to clash with the head of the family. He is finally out of prison after a bit of a stretch and it’s back to business as usual, but there are certain people who are determined to throw a spanner in the works.

There is no candyfloss and unicorns when it comes to rephrasing the hard parts for sensitive ears and eyes. Chambers does her gangland in a brassy, gritty and unforgiving way. No such thing as easing your way in or a romantic interlude – more like wham bam thank you mam. Put your big girl/boy panties on and pull ’em up yourself. Trigger warnings are for the faint of heart, then again I’m not a fan of those myself.

So, we are clear on the tone of the story, which is family orientated as only British gangland can be. Loyalty in the most peculiar of situations and yet brusque dismissive disloyalty in the next breath, depending on who is on the short end of the stick. The voice, well I had a constant combo of harsh Del Boy turned gangster in my head ( can’t wait to hear this in audio version).

I think the author has definitely brought the odd boundary issues of British urban crime to the table. You feel connected and empathetic at times, and yet simultaneously completely angered and/or disgusted by the characters. The Bond family is certainly memorable, that’s for sure.

Buy The Family Man at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer. Publisher: HarperCollins pub date 16th September 2021│ £14.99│HB EB Audio. Buy at Amazon com.

#BlogTour Wolf Tones by J.J. Marsh

 It’s my turn on the BlogTour Wolf Tones by J.J. Marsh.

About the Author

As an English teacher, actor, director and cultural trainer, I’ve lived and worked all over Europe. Now I’m a full-time author, publisher and audiobook narrator. My crime novels in the Beatrice Stubbs Series have become international bestsellers.

Psychological dramas Odd Numbers (shortlisted for the 2021 Bookbrunch Selfies Prize) and Wolf Tones dig deep into the world of emotional dependence. The Run and Hide Thrillers chase a hunted woman around the world.

I live in Switzerland with my husband and dog, taking advantage of the landscape, languages, Prosecco and cheese. Follow @JJMarsh1 on Twitter, on Facebook, Visit @jjmarshauthor.com

About the book

You escaped the past. Here comes the present. Fifteen years ago, Rolf was destined for the gutter. His luck has changed. Now a cellist with the Salzburg City Orchestra, he has his dream job and dizzying prospects. All because of her. Smart, sexy, well connected and crazy about him, Leonor is his fantasy woman. She made him and he’ll never forget it. Neither will she.

She chooses Rolf’s diet, his friends, his decisions and career path. She knows best. When does a champion turn controller?

While he submits to domination at home, he struggles at work. The maestro is determined to break down and rebuild his new cellist. Clash after clash shatter Rolf’s confidence until he doubts everything about himself. Then a rumour reaches his ear. Has he misjudged his new friends? Is something more sinister pulling the orchestra’s strings?

Regardless of the drama behind the scenes, the show must go on. It’s the only way to escape his past. A classic artist, Rolf presents the best side of himself, hiding the pain of imperfection. A strategy with devastating results.

Review

Rolf is about to embark upon a dream come true when he manages to get a position with the Salzburg City Orchestra. He relocates to Salzburg with his strongest supporter and his lover, Leonor. His confidence takes a beating when he finds it difficult to adjust and little does he know that is just the beginning of his problems.

In general it left me feeling as if there were areas left to be explored and some potential holes to fill in. How did the two of them meet, what are their backstories, has one been drawn to the other for a specific reason? Why does Leonor seem so invested in Rolf’s life and success – to the point of obsessive even?

The sexual element seemed to just be tossed in for the sake of it – I felt as if it came out of blue. Saying that there was definitely an undertone of lack of consent and a convenient forgetting of safe word, ergo physical and sexual abuse hidden under the category of sexual exploration. In general Rolf appears to be an insecure man who likes to dominate, and yet somehow as the story progresses the lines between victim and perpetrator start to get blurry.

Some of the questions help to form an idea of what is simmering at the core of their relationship, whilst on the outside everything would seem to appear very normal for a couple in love and interested in each other. It wasn’t particularly clear where certain boundaries were crossed by either one or who is guilty of the most malignant attitude – however there is a clear winner towards the end.

It’s a piece that could do with a polish, more clarity and more depth. There were plenty of good ideas and subplots the author dipped into though.

Buy Wolf Tones at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer. Publisher ‏: ‎Prewett Bielmann Ltd; pub date 5 Aug. 2021. Buy at Amazon com.

#Blogtour Deep Cover by Leigh Russell

 It’s a pleasure to take part in the BlogTour Deep Cover by Leigh Russell.

About the Author

Leigh Russell is the author of the Ian Peterson series (Cold Sacrifice, Race to Death and Blood Axe) and the internationally bestselling Geraldine Steel series: Cut Short, Road Closed, Dead End, Death Bed, Stop Dead, Fatal Act, Killer Plan, Murder Ring, Deadly Alibi, Class Murder, Death Rope, Rogue Killer, Deathly Affair and Deadly Revenge.

The series has sold over a million copies worldwide. Cut Short was shortlisted for the Crime Writers Association (CWA),John Creasey New Blood Dagger Award, and Leigh has been longlisted for the CWA Dagger in the Library Award. Her books have been #1 on Amazon Kindle and iTunes with Stop Dead and Murder Ring selected as finalists for The People’s Book Prize. Leigh is chair of the CWA’s Debut Dagger Award judging panel and is a Royal Literary Fellow. Leigh studied at the University of Kent, gaining a Masters degree in English and American Literature. She is married with two daughters and a granddaughter, and lives in London. Follow @LeighRussell on Twitter, Visit leighrussell.co.uk

About the book

When a sex worker dies in suspicious circumstances in York, Detective Inspector Geraldine Steel struggles to remain focused on the murder investigation. She is distracted by her worries about her colleague and life partner, Ian Peterson, who has disappeared. Geraldine becomes close to her colleague, Matthew. She is unaware that Ian is working under cover in London, helping to identify a criminal gang who have been targeting Geraldine. As a second victim is discovered in York, Ian’s life is threatened by a psychopath. If he fails in his mission, both he and Geraldine may die…

Review

In this 16th installment of the DI Geraldine Steel series, the two main characters go in two different directions to combat crime in their own way. Their relationship has hit a snag, although it’s fair to say one of them is both more aware and dealing with it with more finality than the other.

Is that why Ian has  more or less disappeared into an avenue of police work that ensures isolation and lack of contact to Geraldine, whereas she is confused by the aforementioned. In fact Geraldine thinks there is something wrong and finds it hard to concentrate on the killer who has a penchant for prostitutes.

In a police procedural of such longevity it’s important to shake the status quo up now and again to keep readers engaged, even if that means driving a wedge between two favourite characters. In this case they are quite literally so separate that it’s often like reading two crime stories in one. The question is where does the series go from here?  Does Steel need new challenges and a new character to bounce off and interact with? I’m sure the author won’t disappoint.

Buy Deep Cover at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer. Publisher ‏: ‎No Exit Press pub date 24 Aug. 2021. Buy at Amazon com.

#LaunchDay #BlogTour Finding Fires and Other Stories by Rachel Churcher

 It’s a pleasure to take part in the BlogTour Finding Fire and Other Stories by Rachel Churcher. It’s the seventh book in the Battle Ground series. 

To celebrate the launch of Finding Fires the author is offering the prequel, Making Trouble, for free – get it here https://tallerbooks.com/freebook/  – Buy Finding Fires here

About the Author

Rachel Churcher was born between the last manned moon landing, and the first orbital Space Shuttle mission. She remembers watching the launch of STS-1, and falling in love with space flight, at the age of five. She fell in love with science fiction shortly after that, and in her teens she discovered dystopian fiction. In an effort to find out what she wanted to do with her life, she collected degrees and other qualifications in Geography, Science Fiction Studies, Architectural Technology, Childminding, and Writing for Radio.

She has worked as an editor on national and in-house magazines; as an IT trainer; and as a freelance writer and artist. She has renovated several properties, and has plenty of horror stories to tell about dangerous electrics and nightmare plumbers. She enjoys reading, travelling, stargazing, and eating good food with good friends – but nothing makes her as happy as writing fiction.

Her first published short story appeared in an anthology in 2014, and the Battle Ground series is her first long-form work. Rachel lives in East Anglia, in a house with a large library and a conservatory full of house plants. She would love to live on Mars, but only if she’s allowed to bring her books.

Follow @Rachel_Churcher on Twitter, on Goodreadson Facebookon Instagram,

About the book

What happened between Margie and Dan at Makepeace Farm? How did Jackson really feel about Ketty? What happens next to the survivors of the Battle Ground Series?

Step behind the scenes of the series with six new short stories and five new narrators – Margie, Jackson, Maz, Dan, and Charlie – plus bonus blogs and insights from the author.

The Battle Ground Series is set in a dystopian near-future UK, after Brexit and Scottish independence. Spoiler warning: Finding Fire and Other Stories contains tie-in short fiction from across the Battle Ground series. There are spoilers for all the previous books in the series, including the free prequel, Making Trouble.

Review

I have to give the author her dues when it comes to Author’s note at the beginning of this book. There is a clear structure to this dystopian and speculative YA series, and the order in which a person reads the books can influence the reading experience.

Reading this one first – book 7 – for instance is a bit like collecting everyone’s diaries and personal notes after being involved in many months of life changing events, and reading them out loud in front the class without having the right context to evaluate said information. The previous books give book seven all the right situational, emotional backstory.

Having read along on this experimental journey I think this adds to the speculative nature of the premise. I think the only downsides are the fact the series has to be read as a whole – as an experience – to get the full gist of it. The earlier books may seem to lack depth or perhaps context in some areas for instance, but as it evolves those areas are catered for retrospectively.

The author also uses Book Seven to evaluate some of her own characters and their actions. In fact it’s almost like a special episode with special unseen footage and the author’s comments. It’s a nice closure, from an aesthetic point of view, not necessarily needed from a story point of view. 

Buy Finding Fires at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer. Publisher : ‎Taller Books pub date 15 July 2021. Buy at Amazon com.

#BlogTour Wartime Blues for the Harper Girls by Rosie Clarke

 It’s a pleasure to take part in the BlogTour Wartime Blues for the Harper Girls.

About the Author

Rosie Clarke is a #1 bestselling saga writer whose most recent books include The Mulberry Lane series. She has written over 100 novels under different pseudonyms and is a RNA Award winner. She lives in Cambridgeshire. Rosie’s brand new saga series, Welcome to Harpers Emporium began in December 2019. Click here to sign up to Rosie Clarke’s newsletter

Follow @AnneHerries on Twitteron Bookbubon Amazonon Goodreads, Visit rosieclarke.co.uk,

About the book

London 1917 – As the Americans enter the War, there is renewed energy in the war effort. With husbands and sons fighting for freedom, the women of Harpers are left to tackle the day-to-day affairs at home and work. With Ben Harper away, Sally fears she is being followed by a mysterious woman. Who is she and what does she want?

Maggie Gibbs collapses seriously ill in the frontline hospitals and is brought back to England close to death. Can she be saved and what does the future hold for her and her broken heart? Marion Jackson’s father is on the run from the Police already wanted for murder. She fears he will return to threaten his family once more.

And Beth Burrows is pregnant with her second child, worried and anxious for her husband Jack, who has been many months at sea. As Christmas 1917 approaches what will the future hold for Harpers, its girls and their men at War?

Review

Although this can be read as a standalone novel, I would definitely recommend reading the others in the series, You can follow the entire lives of the characters that way.

All the women find their lives changed drastically by wartime. Relationships are strained by worry, a sense of duty and the need to adapt to the situations arising due to the war. Sally’s worries for Ben are replaced by something akin to fear when she realises she is being followed by a  strange woman.

Maggie, who has proven to be fearless, a role model and she has discovered a real talent for caring for others. Her life is changed abruptly, so it’s a question of finding something just as fulfilling to do when she returns home.

It’s an escapism read, a saga built around female characters who have to persevere through the quickly evolving changes of the 20th century, and in this book they learn to navigate the difficulties of wartime. It’s a book that tackles some difficult topics, but the escapism element means they are touched on and they don’t go into much depth. 

The Harper Girls are worth a follow – strong women facing what seem like insurmountable obstacles, pain and difficult situations – it’s a read that has something for everyone.

Buy Wartime Blues for the Harper Girls at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer. Publisher ‏: ‎Boldwood Books 6 July 2021. Buy at Amazon com.

#BlogTour Down by the Water by Elle Connel

 It’s a pleasure to take part in the BlogTour Down by the Water by Elle Connel.

About the Author

Elle Connel studied English at the University of St Andrews, and later Shakespearean Studies at Kings College London and Shakespeare’s Globe. She has worked as a researcher for Al Jazeera television, a freelance writer while living in Spain, and later as the Cruise Coordinator for the National Trust for Scotland (where she worked onboard a ship, swam amongst icebergs, set foot on St Kilda, and finally learned how to ceilidh dance). She’s now a fulltime writer, based in Edinburgh with her husband and twin sons.

About the book

Seven friends gather at a castle in the Scottish Borders. One last girls’ weekend before Georgina’s wedding. Near the castle, through a path in the woods, is a loch. After a few bottles of Prosecco, the girls head down to the water to take photos. The loch is wild, lonely, and stunningly beautiful. They set their camera to self-timer and take some group shots. Later, looking back at the pictures, they see something impossible. Behind them, eyes wide, a small, drenched boy emerges from the water. How did he get there; where is he now; and what does he want?

The girls thought they knew each other’s darkest secrets, but one of them has been hiding something terrible. Consumed by grief, she’s been waiting for the perfect moment to wreak her revenge…

Review

Is it just me or are these women the reason some of us prefer our own company. What a complete and utter nightmare. Instead of support there is disinterest, instead of genuine affection there is an almost competitive need to outdo each other. How very exhausting to keep these kind of relationships and so-called friendships going. Sometimes you have to leave the school, college, university and childhood friendships behind. 

Tessa has planned the perfect hen-do for her group of friends, but she has made sure it is particularly perfect for the bride-to-be. In fact one could almost say she has ulterior motives to ensure this trip to a lonely, rural Scottish location goes exactly the way she has imagined it for months.

What Connel does with remarkable accuracy is show the negative side of female friendships, especially women in friendship groups. Unfortunately it isn’t all sisterhood and support. It can also evolve into comorbidity and codependency. All the while the negativity is the fuel that cements the relationships and the strange inability to let go of something so harmful.  

It’s a dark domestic thriller – the kind of read that shows the dark side of toxic relationships. The way some people inflict wounds and leave scars upon others and yet are completely oblivious to the pain and suffering they leave in their wake.

Buy Down by the Water at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer. Publisher: Wildfire pub date 8 July 2021 | Hardback | £16.99 – Also available in e-book and audio. Buy at Amazon com.

#BlogTour Fragile by Sarah Hilary

 It’s my turn on the BlogTour Fragile by Sarah Hilary.

About the Author

Sarah Hilary’s debut Someone Else’s Skin won the Theakston’s Crime Novel of the Year, was a Richard & Judy Book Club pick and The Observer’s Book of the Month. In the US, it was a Silver Falchion and Macavity Award finalist. No Other Darkness, the second in the series, was shortlisted for a Barry Award. The sixth in her DI Marnie Rome series Never Be Broken is out now. Her short stories have won the Cheshire Prize for Literature, the Fish Criminally Short Histories Prize, and the SENSE prize.

Fragile is her first standalone novel. Sarah is one of the Killer Women, a crime writing collective supporting diversity, innovation and inclusion in their industry. 

Follow @sarah_hilary on Twitter, on Goodreadson Amazon, Visit sarahhilary.com 

About the book

A modern Gothic thriller from an award-winning and critically acclaimed author – a REBECCA for our times.

Nell Ballard is a runaway. A former foster child with a dark secret she is desperate to keep, all Nell wants is to find a place she can belong. So when a job comes up at Starling Villas, home to the enigmatic Robin Wilder, she seizes the opportunity with both hands. But her new lodgings may not be the safe haven that she was hoping for…

Review

It’s a compelling psychological thriller that revolves around the inadequacies of a care system and forgotten children that fall through the loopholes. The damaged individuals that venture into society and often leave a mark behind, and sometimes not a good one.

Throughout the story the reader wonders whether Nell is damaged and fragile or is she damaged beyond repair and capable of manipulating the fragility of others. Victim? Or a victim who is beyond redemption? Or is she just someone who really wants to be loved and needed – then again she could be all of the aforementioned.

I love it when an established author reinvents their own wheel. If this was my first excursion with Hilary I would be noting her down as one to watch, however having read and experienced her writing previously I have to say she has been curtailing herself. This not only shows a real depth, darkness and ability to create multi-layered characters – it is also taking it up a notch from a writing perspective.

I have to say kudos for the last chapter. It does two things in a way, it reveals the two-faced doll and simultaneously gives credence to the plot and character that goes before it. I hope this isn’t the last time Hilary delves into the dark side, she certainly seems comfortable there.

Buy Fragile at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer. Publisher: Pan MacMillan; pub date 10th June 2021 –  £14.99 HB. Buy at Amazon com.

#BlogTour One Ordinary Day at a Time by Sarah J. Harris

It’s my turn on the BlogTour One Ordinary Day at a Time by Sarah J. Harris.

About the Author

Sarah J. Harris is an author and freelance education journalist who regularly writes for national newspapers. The Colour of Bee Larkham’s Murder was Sarah’s debut adult novel and a Richard & Judy book club pick. She lives in London with her husband and two children. Follow @sarahsky23 on Twitter, Visit sarahjharris.com

About the book

Two People – Simon Sparks is the man you know from behind the counter at the local Prince Burger (‘hold the gherkin!’), fry shovelling, shelf stacking, hiding away from the world. And Jodie Brook is the single mum you see crossing the street with her son Zak – always chasing a dream she can’t reach.

One Life – What if life could be so much more? When Simon and Jodie’s worlds collide, it upends everything they know. But in chaos comes opportunity. And for every person who’s ever doubted them, they find someone who’ll finally believe . . .

Review

Jodie and Simon have more in common than they think, which is probably what brings them together. A connection that is unlikely at first, because the world according to Simon can be regimented and Jodie lives in chaos, and yet they are two peas in different pods with similar stories.

‘knows exactly what it feels like to be deliberately broken into tiny fragments by someone else’

Regardless of the entirety of the story as a whole or both individual stories, the quote above is at the core of it all. Jodie has been reduced to fragments, fear sits on her shoulder as a constant companion. Simon is in a similar position, although he is the child in the equation. The guilt and the pressure grind him down and don’t allow him to be the man he was supposed to be.

I thought it was an incredibly deep read and a dark one. It’s not light-hearted, although eventually the story moves towards the key element of taking a moment to be kind to each other. To look beyond the superficial moments and what we can see, as opposed to what is deep beneath the surface.

The moral of the story is we ever know what is going on in someone’s life at any given time or how they are coping. A smile can hide a thousand sorrows. 

Buy One Ordinary Day at a Time at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer. Publisher ‏: ‎ HarperCollins pub date 10 Jun. 2021. Buy at Amazon com.

#BlogTour The Last Days of Us by Caroline Finnerty

 It’s my turn on the BlogTour The Last of Us by Caroline Finnerty.

About the Author

Caroline Finnerty is an Irish author of heart-wrenching family dramas and has published four novels and compiled a non-fiction charity anthology. She has been shortlisted for several short-story awards and lives in County Kildare with her husband and four young children. Her first title for Boldwood is The Last Days of Us, to be published in June 2021. 

Follow @cfinnertywriter on Twitter, on Instagramon Bookbub, Visit carolinefinnerty.ie

About the book

They say if you love someone, you have to let them go. But what they are your child? All Sarah McIntyre has ever wanted was a loving, happy family. So when her husband JP announces on Christmas Day that he is leaving her and their two children, 9 year old Harry and 4 year old Robyn, Sarah is left reeling.

But things are set to get worse when Robyn is diagnosed with an aggressive brain tumour. Can JP and Sarah unite to fight their biggest battle yet? or will they be on opposing sides once again? With the couple at loggerheads and with Robyn’s condition deteriorating day-by-day, precious time is running out and JP is getting desperate…

The Last Days of Us is a tender story of hope and forgiveness that asks the question how far would you go to save your child?

Review

Sarah thinks her family is picture perfect, until her husband pulls the plug on their white picket fence family. In the midst of their separation the health of one of their children starts to takes precedence over their difficulties. Unfortunately both parents think they know what’s best for their child, they disagree completely with each other.

Aside from the fact this story is about the disintegration of a family and how they can redefine said family after the husband and father decides to leave, it is also one about an important topic of our time. Do you allow someone to die with dignity or keep them alive by what ever means necessary, especially if there is no realistic medical chance of recovery or survival. Do you prolong a life by a few months regardless of the pain you would be subjecting someone to? Then think of these questions and ask yourself whether your answers would be any different if the person in question was your child.

I found the divide between the two parents, when it came to the possible treatment or allowing their child to die, was the actual crux of the plot. It shows the divide we have in this country at the moment in regards to euthanasia or having the right to choose to die. It’s about choice and power over your own body, so what does that mean when you are a child and depend on your parents to make the best choices for you.

It’s a lovely story, perhaps at the core an upsetting one, but it is one about being able to focus on the important things when life becomes an emotional tornado. Whether parents are able to put their own drama aside to focus on what is right for their child and not what feels good and seems right for themselves.

Buy The Last Days of Us at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer. Publisher ‏: ‎Boldwood Books pub date 17 Jun. 2021. Buy at Amazon com.

#BlogTour Emmet and Me by Sara Gethin

It’s my turn on the BlogTour Emmet and Me by Sara Gethin. It’s truly an incredibly moving story. From the Not the Booker shortlisted author of Not Thomas comes the kind of book you never forget.

About the Author

Sara Gethin grew up in Llanelli. She has a degree in Religion and Ethics in Western Thought and worked as a primary school teacher in Carmarthenshire and Berkshire. Writing as Wendy White, she has had four children’s books published, and the first of these won the Tir nan-Og Award in 2014. 

Her debut novel, Not Thomas, was shortlisted for the Guardian’s Not the Booker prize and The Waverton Good Read Award. While west Wales is still home, Sara spends much of her time in Ireland. Emmet and Me is her second novel for adults.  Follow @SGethinWriter on Twitter, on Facebook

About the book

Summer 1966: When her father comes home with lipstick on his collar, ten-year-old Claire’s life is turned upside down. Her furious mother leaves the family and heads to London, and Claire and her brothers are packed off to Ireland, to their reclusive grandmother at her tiny cottage on the beautifully bleak coast of Connemara.

A misfit among her new classmates, Claire finds it hard to make friends until she happens across a boy her own age from the school next door. He lives at the local orphanage, a notoriously harsh place. Amidst half-truths, lies and haunting family secrets, Claire forms a forbidden friendship with Emmet ‒ a bond that will change both their lives forever.

Review

Sometimes you get a book that has the capacity to smash your heart into a million pieces. I think given the extraordinary circumstances of the past year and a half there will be more open ears and eyes to this story. Dancing with fear, existential worries and our own mortality, and especially because many of us have been forced into spending time with our own thoughts, this story will perhaps garner more of an audience.

It is certainly deserving of it. It’s power doesn’t draw energy from gruesome details, but rather from the inferred burden of reality. The contempt, the neglect, the hunger, the abuse, the pain and the deaths. The generations of damaged children grown into broken adults. Who bears the guilt, shame or even the moral bill for these heinous acts? Why does the truth still fall on deaf ears and blind eyes even after so many years and testimonies? 

When their family is torn apart by a mother who puts herself first and a father who has been defined by cruelty, Claire and her brothers are sent to Ireland to live with their paternal grandmother. It’s there that they learn how generations of adults were molded by sadistic neglect, families destroyed and how it in turn will change them forever too. 

The brilliance of Gethin’s story is built within the sparse confines of subtlety and scarcity. The bare landscape, the isolation, the lack of anyone to turn to due to the ingrained indoctrination of religious authority, and the simple gestures and interactions of children.

I remember the sinking feeling of sorrow during the first scene between Claire and Emmet. Knowing even then that fantasy was an escape, conversation a gateway and the friendship a possible glimmer of hope in a preordained future. I knew what would come, and the fact the author was able to convey all of that without actually writing any of it, is a testament to her talent as a storyteller.

I loved it. I think it is an incredibly moving story. It’s also a moment of truth, vindication and validation. The voices of many, the silenced and the forgotten, are held within the lines of this multi-generational experience.

Buy Emmet and Me at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer. Publisher : Honno Presspub date 20 May 2021. Buy at Amazon com.