#BlogTour The Island House by Mary Considine

It’s my turn on the Blogtour The Island House by Mary Considine. ‘An unforgettable new memoir that will transport readers to the wilds of Cornwall and a remote island life.’

About the Author

Growing up in the flat landscape of Bedfordshire, Mary fell in love with Cornwall and the sea on her first visit as a small child. Distracted by the garlands of London, she spent the 90s writing and directing plays in the London and Edinburgh Fringe, and scriptwriting. 

Work included Angels, Time Out Critics Choice, The Other Half, commissioned by The Carlton Tv screenwriting initiative; and a short film The Hand Job, shortlisted for the Lloyds Bank/Channel 4 short film competition. 

The noughties were spent teaching drama in secondary schools in the hills of North Yorkshire and, in pursuit of her now husband, back in London, before realising her impossible dream of moving to St George ‘s Island in 2010.

About the book

Mary and Patrick’s dream was to live in London, have 2.4 children, the nice house, the successful jobs. But life had other plans, and one traumatic year that all came crashing down.

bruised and battered, Mary finds herself pulled towards Cornwall and dreams of St George’s Island, where she spent halcyon childhood summers. So, when an opportunity arises to become tenants of they renovate the old Island House, they grab it with both hands.

life in the island is hard, especially in winter, the sea and weather, unforgiving. But the rugged natural beauty, the friendly ghosts of previous inhabitants, and the beautiful isolation of island life being hope and purpose, as they discover a resilience they never knew they had.

Review

I think the sentence that resonated most with me was – he knows the island is calling. I think at the core of decisions to sever oneself from the societal norm and rat race, which may or may not go hand-in-hand with trauma, stress, burn-out or other great upheavals there can be an element of gut instinct. The instinct that tells us we need to readjust, re-evaluate and seek change.

The isolation seems to adhere to those lines, although in this case it can bring both peace and hardship. Imagine cutting yourself off from the extended world, where you often rely on nothing else but your own strength and stamina. Survival instinct kicks in, but perhaps also a resonance of forgotten ancestral genetic instincts.

I found the story, the memoir, quite fascinating. There must be plenty of people who think of going slightly off-grid and retreating in a way – I know I certainly have. However I am more realistic about being able to cope with the extreme situations, and reverting to more basic comforts. It’s tough, albeit that fact is obscured by the scenery and the fantastical notion one has stepped back in time and staking a claim and place in the unknown. This imaginary fantastical notion of a fantasy life doesn’t do justice to the people who actually do make these choices and live in isolated areas.

Buy The Island House at Amazon UK or go to Goodreads for any other retailer. Publisher: Monoray; pub date 9th June 2022. Buy at Amazon comBuy via Octopus Books.

#Blogtour The Binding Room by Nadine Matheson

It’s my turn on the Blogtour The Binding Room by Nadine Matheson.

A small treat for you – Listen to an extract of the audiobook of The Binding Room by Nadine Matheson read by Diveen Henry: https://soundcloud.com/harpercollinspublishers/the-binding-room-by-nadine-matheson-read-by-diveen-henry

About the Author

Nadine Matheson was born and raised in Deptford (one of the murders in The Jigsaw Man takes place five minutes from her front door) and is a criminal solicitor. Nadine is also a winner of the City University Crime Writing competition and you can follow her on Twitter @nadinematheson, and on Instagram @queennads. The Jigsaw Man was her first crime novel and was loved by readers around the world. The Binding Room is Nadine’s second novel featuring DI |Henley and the Serial Crimes Unit.

About the book

In this room, no one can hear you scream… The Serial Crimes Unit are called in to investigate when a local pastor is found stabbed to death. As DI Henley assesses the crime scene, she discovers a hidden door that conceals a room set up for torture – and bound to the bed in the middle of the room is the body of a man.

When another body is found, also tied down, Henley realises there’s someone out there torturing innocent people and leaving them for dead. But why?

There’s nothing that connects the victims. They didn’t know each other. Their paths never crossed. But someone has targeted them, and it’s up to Henley and the SCU to stop them before they find another binding room…

Review

This is the second book in the Inspector Anjelica Henley series. A dead body accidentally reveals the true inhumanity people are capable of when they believe they are righteous and acting upon the word of a higher power. It opens up a can of depraved worms and the kind of abyss Henley and her team would rather not be confronted with.

I felt as if there was a slight difference in the writing this time. Where before the character’s lives and the main plot often seemed to compete with each other for the main stage, this time everything was balanced exactly right. It made for a smoother read – the author is honing her voice and style. That reminds me, if you haven’t read Jigsaw Man yet, you should.

There is this moment in the last chapter, an incredibly poignant one when Henley is opening up about something she is accused of doing. The expectation that a certain connection – sorry I have to be vague because of potential spoilers – means you are not doing your job, but rather working for the oppressor. Nice point, because it gives real depth to the main character, her interactions and experiences.

It will be interesting to see where the series goes and what else this author comes up with. Just getting started.

Buy The Binding Room at Amazon UK or go to Goodreads for any other retailer. Publisher ‏: ‎HQ pub date 7 July 2022. Buy at Harper CollinsBuy via Harper Collins.

#Blogtour The Yellow Kitchen by Margaux Vialleron

It’s my turn on the Blogtour The Yellow Kitchen by Margaux Vialleron. ‘Expectation meets Julie & Julia, The Yellow Kitchen is a brilliant exploration of food, belonging and friendship.’

About the Author

Margaux Vialleron is a French-born, London-based writer, self-taught cook and co-host of the The Salmon Pink Kitchen book club, culinary community and podcast. The Yellow Kitchen is her first novel. 

Find out more at her website margauxvialleron.com or connect with her on Twitter and Instagram @margauxvlln.

About the book

London E17, 2019. A yellow kitchen stands as a metaphor for the lifelong friendship between three women: Claude, the baker, goal-orientated Sophie and political Giulia. They have the best kind of friendship, chasing life and careers; dating, dreaming and consuming but always returning to be reunited in the yellow kitchen.

That is, until a trip to Lisbon unravels unexplored desires between Claude and Sophie. Having sex is one thing, waking up the day after is the beginning of something new. Exploring the complexities of female friendship, The Yellow Kitchen is a hymn to the last year of London as we knew it and a celebration of the culture, the food and the rhythms we live by.

Review

It’s an interesting one. I think it’s the kind of story that every reader – specifically women, will relate to – or not, through their own frame of reference. A very specific frame of reference – the relationship and bond between daughters and mothers. 

On the periphery it’s also about friendships, close friendships between women, especially long-term ones. The author captures an often overlooked and forgotten aspect of close friendships, when the boundaries of the bonds are slightly adjusted, which can solidify or make them slowly dissipate. The author also captures the minutiae of interactions, micro aggressions, passive aggressive subconscious moves. When two become three it can become a ticking timebomb of emotions.

Claude, Sophie and Giulia ultimately find themselves exploring their own identity, their first bond with another woman, and in a strange way a second sort of coming-of-age. When a woman enters an age of reflection and introspection, when the similarities between the mother and evident in the woman the daughter has become.

The writing style reminded me at times of flash fiction or performance art – many messages and thoughts thrown out into the universe in the hopes that some will provoke, others will make you pause and think. I found it refreshing and innovative.

Buy The Yellow Kitchen at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer. Publisher ‏: ‎Simon & Schuster UK; pub date 7 July 2022 | Hardback | £14.99. Buy at Amazon comBuy via Simon and Schuster.

#BlogTour Burning Secret by R.J. Lloyd

It’s my turn on the Blogtour Burning Secret by R.J. Lloyd – ‘An ancestor found, a name change, criminal activity and more in Harry Mason’s great great grandson’s fictionalised retelling of his life.’

About the Author

Tracing your ancestors has never been more popular, but what if your ancestor was far more intriguing than you ever thought? 

In R J Lloyd’s fictionalised reconstruction of his lost ancestor, Burning Secret, he explores the rich past of his great great grandfather and what might have been. Follow @rjlwriteruk on Twitter

About the book

As in life, the book begins in 1844, when Enoch Price was born into poverty. An ambitious youth, he becomes a bare-knuckle fighter in London’s underworld. In debt to a violent and unscrupulous moneylender and facing ruin and imprisonment, he escapes to Jacksonville, Florida, abandoning his wife and three young daughters, a decision that will haunt him for the rest of his life. By the time he arrives in Florida, Enoch Price has become Harry Mason.

Through a series of thrilling and risky escapades, he plays an important role in the development and history of Jacksonville, building an extraordinary new life of political and financial notoriety, shooting a rival, and concealment of a murder. Despite imploring his wife to join him, she declines, exhausted by his lies. 

Tormented by loneliness and guilt, Harry seeks solace through a bigamous marriage, leading him into a web of deceit as he tries to conceal his true identity. Meanwhile, lauded and enjoying popular success, Harry is elected in 1903 to the Florida State House of Representatives with the prospect of becoming State Governor. He advances his business interests through a series of corrupt practices, becoming a wealthy and  successful politician. 

However, success brings neither happiness nor contentment, and, seeking redemption, Harry plans to return home – but life is never that simple as the First World War breaks out, the Spanish flu takes its toll, and the American government introduces prohibition. Will there be a good end for Harry, or will his secrets prove to be the death of him?

Review

Enoch is hanging on to life outside of prison by the skin of his teeth – it’s only a question of time until his troubles catch up with him. He has a wife and three daughters to think of, and he decides to go on the run. With a purpose, with the promise of new beginnings for all of them.

Except it doesn’t work out that way, well for him it does, as he reinvents himself and makes his mark on and in a new country, whilst always thinking about his loved ones. His wife no longer trusts him, and in the end Enoch, now Harry, leaves all aspects of the old life in the past and turns to pastures greener.

In the afterword, there is a lot of information about familial connections and their fate, historical and relevant figures to the story. What I would like to know was just how much of the story is based on fact or fiction. Given the extra information I would say the author has merely filled in the blanks and created likely scenarios, regardless of whether they are often seen from a more positive and/or negative perspective given the the main character is family, and there is no way to reproduce how the first family and wife really felt about the way he abandoned them. 

If he was truly tormented then surely he would have done something about it, but then the house of cards would have collapsed, right? It’s easier to imagine that life goes on, regardless of his presence, but the real question is whether his presence and/or the status he acquired would have made a difference to their lives. The reality of a woman and three small children being left behind in those circumstances – it would have been tough.

It’s a fascinating story that can be interpreted in different ways. You can see the deception and the fact this man led a lifetime of lies or see the man who navigated another path for himself, and made a more positive impact in the second part of his story. Either way it is one heck of a story, and life.

Buy Burning Secret at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer. Publisher: Matador, pub date 28 June 2022 | ISBN: 9781803131498 | Price: £10.99. Buy at Amazon comBuy via Troubador – Matador.

#Blogtour White Crane Strikes by Ivy Ngeow

It’s a pleasure to take part in the BlogTour White Crane Strikes by Ivy Ngeow.

About the Author

Born and raised in Johor Bahru, Malaysia, Ivy Ngeow is the author of three published novels and numerous short stories, one of which has been performed and broadcast on the BBC World Service. 

Others have been published in literary journals such as Burning Press, Lunate, Fixi Novo anthology and and also broadsheets like The Straits Times. 

Her debut novel won the 2016 International Proverse Prize, and was published in Hong Kong in 2017. She holds an MA from Middlesex University where she was awarded the University’s 2005 Literary Press Prize, an international competition, out of 1500 entrants. Most recently, she was editor of Asian Anthology New Writing Vol.1 which was published in Feb 2022 in London. 

Her latest novel was on a longlist of 12 for the 2021 Avons x Mushens Entertainment Prize for commercial fiction by a BAME writer. Ivy is a regular suburban mum who loves dogs, cake and piano-pounding. She lives in London. Follow @ivyngeow on Twitter, on Instagram @ivyngeow, on Facebook ivyngeowwriter

About the book

An enormous mansion. A Chinese restaurant. A baby on the way. Handyman Jerome “Jay Jay” Lee has landed a dream job. An underground tong seems to think so too.

Chicago, 1971. Jay Jay’s girlfriend wants a big knock-’em-dead wedding and a new bigger apartment with the whole ball of wax. Grateful when her art world schmoozing lands him a fixer-upper gig for a wealthy arts patron, he has no idea about the sleeping dragon he’s about to wake. 

His boss gets him a Chinatown side hustle, and Jay Jay looks the other way when he overhears an organized crime conversation for fear of losing the much-needed extra income and takeout treats. But when the Chinese restaurant manager vanishes, Jay Jay is trapped in threatening tong talk and the chow is now no fun. His family is now deep in hot soup. Will Jay Jay be able to save them before he’s crispier than a burnt wonton?

White Crane Strikes is a standalone. Fans of Lehane, Ovidia Yu and Naomi Hirahara, who like compelling characters, stirring settings and surprising twists, will love this smart and witty thriller.

Review

Jay is a bit here and there, but he is determined to do well for himself and his loved ones. Part of that is being responsible and getting a job, which is how he ends up being hired to rejuvenate an old mansion, the surrounding buildings and the extensive grounds. Not only does he get the job – it is also the beginning of both a mystery and a thriller that is built around it.

What I enjoyed the most about the story was the relationship, dialogue and interactions between Jay and his employer. The actions, reactions and choices Jay makes are often determined by his cultural background, his upbringing and his past experiences The same can be said about the way he interacts with his world in general. The need to succeed, whilst wanting to prove himself, and subconsciously looking for approval from what he perhaps perceives as a father figure.

There was a lot going on, and the plot went off in plenty of different directions, however the author does bring it all back together in the end. Personally I thought the plot surrounding Jay and Mr Alfred, and the discovery Jay makes, would have given enough fodder for a fascinating read. The author has a very specific voice when it comes to writing – I look forward to seeing how it evolves going forward.

Buy White Crane Strikes at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer. Publisher ‏: ‎Leopard Print pub date 30 Jun. 2022. Buy at Amazon com.

Blogtour The Halfways by Nilopar Uddin

It’s my turn on the BlogTour The Halfways by Nilopar Uddin.

About the Author

Nilopar Uddin was born in Shropshire to Syleti parents, who like the fictional family in The Halfways owned and ran an Indian restaurant in Wales. Every summer her family would travel for their holidays to Bangladesh to visit extended family, and this affection for the country has continued into adulthood; in 2009 she spent some months in Dhaka volunteering for BRAC, one of the largest NGOs in the world.

About the book

Nasrin and Sabrina are two sisters, who on the face of things live successful and enviable lives in London and New York. When their father, Shamsur suddenly dies, they rush to be with their mother at the family home and restaurant in Wales, and reluctantly step back into the stifling world of their childhood.

When Shamsur’s will is read, a devastating secret is revealed that challenges all that people thought and loved about him. It also profoundly changes the lives and identities of the sisters, and creates an irreparable family rift…

Review

The death of a loved one can often mean you get a glimpse into all of their secrets after their death. The kind they sit on and then let you deal with, because they no longer have to and in death you can’t hear the reactions. When Shamsur dies his daughters, Nasrin and Sabrina, are confronted with decades old secrets and the intricate cover-up, which has left terrible scars and caused emotional turmoil. The face of their family will never look the same again.

Personally I thought the choice to include a lot of the words and phrases in the story in the origin language was both a bold choice, there are plenty of readers who find things like that a stumbling block, and one that lent an essence of atmosphere to the story. An air of authenticity, which pulls the reader into the very important cultural aspect of this family saga. Glossary at the front will probably solve any grumbles.

Towards the end in the last few chapters the author manages to create this very visceral connection to the vulnerability of one of the characters – a connection that is a common denominator in all cultures. The small gestures of reassurance, the internal fear of abandonment, but above all the invisible woven emotional web of familial ties.

The difficulty of balancing dual nationalities, cultures and identities is really driven home in this story. The Western values clash with the heritage and culture, old and new generations try to bridge these gaps in different ways or not at all. Often this happens in countries where colonialism is the foundation upon which society has been built.

It’s a nuanced read, and the author tells the tale through multiple narrators in a way that brings empathy, passion and the cold hard truth of the aftermath of decisions made in the echo chamber of restricted and power hungry societies. Looking forward to more by this author.

The Halfways at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer. Publisher ‏: ‎HQ pub date 7 July 2022. Buy at Amazon comBuy via Harper Collins.

#Blogtour One Last Secret by Adele Parks

 It’s a pleasure to take part in the BlogTour One Last Secret by Adele Parks.

About the Author

Adele Parks MBE was born in North Yorkshire. She is the author of 21 bestselling novels including most recently the Sunday Times and eBook Number One bestseller Both Of You. Over four million UK editions of her work have been sold and her books have been translated into 31 different languages. Adele’s recent Sunday Times Number One bestsellers Lies Lies Lies and Just My Luck were shortlisted for the British Book Awards and have been optioned for development for TV.

She is an ambassador of the National Literacy Trust and the Reading Agency: two charities that promote literacy in the UK. Adele has lived in Botswana, Italy and London and is now settled in Guildford, Surrey. In 2022 she was awarded an MBE for services to literature. Follow @adeleparks on Twitter, Visit adeleparks.com

About the book

One Last Client – A week at a beautiful chateau in the south of France – it should be a straightforward final job for Dora. She’s a smart, stunning and discreet escort and Daniel has paid for her services before. This time, all she has to do is convince the assembled guests that she is his girlfriend. Dora is used to playing roles and being whatever men want her to be. It’s all about putting on a front.

One Last Chance – It will be a last luxurious look at how the other half lives, before Dora turns her back on the escort world and all its dangers. She has found someone she loves and trusts. With him, she can escape the life she’s trapped in. But when Dora arrives at the chateau, it quickly becomes obvious that nothing is what it seems.

One Last Secret – Dora finds herself face to face with a man she has never forgotten, the one man who really knows her. And as old secrets surface, it becomes terrifyingly apparent that one last secret could cost Dora her life…

Review

I’m a sucker for a woman who says it like it is, sees the world the way it really is, and isn’t afraid to take what she wants – regardless of what society says about her.

Dora has no illusions about how she makes her money. It’s just a job, right? The risks are kept to a minimal, but of course there is only so much you can control. It also means it’s harder to move from one tier of the social structure to another – there are plenty of negative connotations when it comes to her chosen career path.

It has shades of Diary of a Call Girl with Gone Girl, and of course the trademark intense scrutiny and dissection of interpersonal relationships. This author knows exactly how to pour salt into an open wound, get readers to experience a smorgasbord of emotional ping-pong, and create a bond between even the most controversial of characters. 

The first few chapters are spectacular – brutally frank, often gross, and they give readers access to a hidden abyss. 

As far as I am concerned this is her best book yet, and it should be added to her growing list of titles being optioned for television. Like a fine wine gets better with age, Parks pushes her boundaries and creativity with each new book.

Buy One Last Secret at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer. Buy at Amazon comBuy via Harper Collins.

#BlogTour Outcast by Claire Voet

 It’s my turn on the BlogTour Outcast by Claire Voet.

About the Author

Claire Voet is an English author, born in Gosport across the shores of Portsmouth Harbour. Claire started writing in 2010 and has since then written a number of books to include The Ghost of Bluebell Cottage, The Other Daddy A World Away, Captain Hawkes, short story A Helping Hand, Echoes In The Mist and the Outcast series.

Claire demonstrates her love for history and also the supernatural in many of her spellbinding stories. As a commercial participator for the BBC Children in Need Appeal, Claire donates money from her book sales once a year. Visit clairevoet.com

About the book

In 1945 Molly Hazleton is heart broken when her fiancé doesn’t return from the war after being reported “missing in action.” So when Aunt Daphne comes to visit with news of having bought a 17th century manor house at auction in Scotland, Molly welcomes the opportunity to start afresh and help her aunt turn Aberdoch Manor into a hotel.

With a strange sense of déjà vu, Molly struggles to understand her connection with the property having never stepped foot inside of it or even Scotland for that matter. Ross McDaniel, the newly appointed gardener, knows more than he is letting on. And when he shows Molly an ancient yew tree named by the locals as the Ghost Tree, after touching it, Molly discovers a remarkable ability to vividly see and experience her own past life – a life of extreme danger and hardship on the road with the Jacobite in 1745, hunted by the Red Coats for crimes she hasn’t committed. She is also in love with a brave, Scot warrior, leader of the McDaniel clan who soon becomes her husband.

Stirring up forgotten memories and an uncontrollable yearning to be back with those she once loved, Molly is hopelessly torn between very different worlds, two hundred years apart! 

Review

The story begins in the past with a brief encounter and a connection created through common ground and self-preservation. It continues in the middle of the 20th century, as the Second World War comes to end. Families and loved ones, are simultaneously relieved and stricken with grief.

Molly is still reeling from her own personal loss, which is probably why she doesn’t think twice at leaving her family and life behind, and hitting the restart button. Moving to a manor house in Scotland sounds like an amazing adventure that will hopefully keep her mind off her grief. Little does she know that both the present and the past are waiting for her.

This is a dual timeline story, historical fiction with a wee bit of romance. At the core of it though, is essence of understanding when one door closes another one will appear and open eventually. This is not only the case when it comes to most things in life, but most certainly also when the door represents relationships and love. 

The ending is a bit of a cliffhanger, the road taken isn’t as clear-cut anymore. I guess the next book is a must read then.

Buy Outcast at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer. Publisher ‏: ‎Blossom Spring Publishing pub date 26 May 2022. Buy at Amazon com.

#BlogTour The Blunder by Mutt-Lon

It’s my turn on the BlogTour The Blunder by Mutt-Lon, translated by Amy B. Reid.

About the Author

Mutt-Lon is the literary pseudonym of author Nsegbe Daniel Alain. His first novel, Ceux qui sortent dans la nuit (Those Who Come Out at Night, 2013), brought him critical acclaim when it received the prestigious Ahmadou Kourouma Prize in 2014. Les 700 aveugles de Bafia (2020), published in English as The Blunder, is his third novel and the first to be translated into English. He lives in Douala—Cameroon’s most international and cosmopolitan city—and speaks English fluently.

About the Translator

Amy B. Reid is an award-winning translator who has worked with authors from Cameroon, Côte d’Ivoire, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and Haiti. Among her translations are the Patrice Nganang titles Dog Days: An Animal Chronicle (2006) and the trilogy comprised of Mount Pleasant (2016), When the Plums Are Ripe (2019), and A Trail of Crab Tracks (2022), as well as Queen Pokou: Concerto for a Sacrifice (2009) and Far from My Father (2014) by Véronique Tadjo. 

In 2016 she received a Literature Translation Fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts for When the Plums Are Ripe. She holds a PhD in French from Yale University (1996) and is a professor of French and Gender Studies at New College of Florida.

About the book

Cameroon, 1929. As colonial powers fight for influence in Africa, French military surgeon Eugène Jamot is dispatched to Cameroon to lead the fight against sleeping sickness there. But despite his humanitarian intentions, the worst comes to pass: seven hundred local villagers are left blind as a result of medical malpractice by a doctor under Jamot’s watch.

Damienne Bourdin, a young white woman, ventures to Cameroon to assist in the treatment effort. Reeling from the loss of her child, she’s desperate to redeem herself and save her reputation. But the tides of rebellion are churning in Cameroon, and soon after Damienne’s arrival, she is enlisted in a wild plot to staunch the damage caused by the blunder and forestall tribal warfare. 

Together with Ndongo, a Pygmy guide, she must cross the country on foot in search of Edoa, a Cameroonian princess and nurse who has gone missing since the medical blunder was discovered.

As Damienne races through the Cameroonian forest on a farcical adventure that unsettles her sense of France’s “civilizing mission,” she begins to question her initial sense of who needed saving and who would save the day.

Review

Damienne is both the main character and simultaneously the colonial example, ergo a perfect example of the irony and humour the author uses to bring readers this moment of important history. She embodies the white saviour, the colonial attitude towards indigenous people of all countries usurped, used and modified to embody foreign replicas of the home country.

She returns after over three decades to Cameroon, to the scene and aftermath of a terrible injustice and her the part she played in said injustice, and the attempt to stop bloodshed and tribal warfare.

When I read books like this, that have a factual core in the midst of the fiction, and one that has been swallowed into the black hole of history. Forgotten, as many fatal mistakes, atrocities, and in general inhumane acts in the name of colonial regimes. The victors write the history, and in doing so they often omit the details that don’t fit in with the white-washed written narrative.

The blunder of Jamot, as it is known, is one of these overlooked omissions – a tragedy that has probably become a bit of a tale of horror passed on through the generations. The need for some people to play the saviour supersedes the necessity for accountability when they make mistakes.

Some translators have the ability to translate both word and voice, which Reid certainly does very well, however I think I was more impressed with the fact its apparent the story was consumed and understood with such clarity. In fact the note by said translator at the end is the perfect add-on to a fascinating read.

Buy The Blunder at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer. Publisher Amazon Crossing; pub date 12th July 2022 | Paperback £6.99 UK. Buy at Amazon com.

#Blogtour Still Water by Rebecca Pert

 A little late, and just catching the tail end of this fabulous Blogtour – it’s my turn to talk about  Still Water by Rebecca Pert.

About the Author

Rebecca Pert was born in 1990, the youngest of four siblings. She grew up in a small town in Devon before attending Cardiff University, where she received an MA in Creative Writing. Rebecca was the winner of the first Cheltenham Festival First Novel Competition in 2018. She now lives in Gloucestershire with her husband, son and dog. Still Water is Rebecca’s first novel. Follow @Rebecca_Pert, Visit linktr.ee/rebeccapert

About the book

When Jane Douglas returns to the Shetland Islands, she thinks she has escaped the dark shadows of her childhood. She carves out a simple life on the bleak, windswept island, working at the salmon fishery and spending quiet evenings at home. And for the first time in her life, she’s happy.

Then the body of Jane’s long-missing mother is found in a flooded quarry. Her mother disappeared when Jane was a teenager, following the death of Jane’s baby brother. Jane has spent her life running from her past, living in fear that she has inherited her mother’s demons. Now, Jane must face what actually happened on that fateful, tragic day twenty years ago…

Review

I think it’s safe to say Jane lives in a bubble of self-motivated confinement, due to her past trauma. She carefully navigates the world by engaging at the bare minimum with her surroundings. Her work, her lover and her neighbour. Never too close.

The bubble starts to deteriorates when a cold blast from the past brings all the trauma back to the present, and Jane finds it increasingly hard to cope. The body of her missing mother brings everything to the point of teetering on the edge.

For me the core of this premise is the way women are perceived, judged and ultimately treated according to certain misconceptions. The go-to language and judgement always veers towards the negative and the dark side. It’s important to keep that in mind, especially when it comes to Jane’s mother.

Also, even after so many decades and more understanding surrounding women, childbirth, and the subsequent experience of motherhood – there are still plenty of misunderstood areas when it comes to the aforementioned and women’s health in general. Still very much second class citizens, who are fobbed off as hysterical, weak, emotional and misdiagnosed. 

This is a poignant reminder of all of the above, whilst simultaneously speaking truth and why it is always a matter of individual subjective perception when it comes to the often difficult relationships between mothers and daughters. It’s a remarkable read.

Buy Still Water at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer. Publisher: The Borough Press pub date 23rd June 2022 | Hardback, eBook and audio £14.99. Buy at Amazon com.