#BlogTour Meet Me in the Treehouse by Kelly Tink

Today it’s my turn on the BlogTour Mett Me in the Treehouse by Kelly Tink.

About the Author

Kelly Tink is a cancer nurse, writer and hopeless romantic, living in Cambridgeshire. She enjoys exploring fun outdoor places with her husband and two sons, especially if it involves eating ice cream by the sea. 

She’s an avid reader, loves a good film or TV series and drinks lots of tea. Meet Me in the Treehouse is Kelly’s debut novel. It would mean the world to Kelly if you would consider taking a few moments to write a review. These reviews let new readers know what you thought of Meet Me in the Treehouse. Thank you. 

Follow @kelly_tink on Twitteron Goodreadson Instagramon Facebookon Amazon,Visit kellytink.comBuy Meet Me in the Treehouse

About the book

In their secret tree house, nine-year-old Emma and her best friend Chris made a promise: ‘You and me forever’. 

It’s been five years since Emma left her hometown with her soon to be ex-husband and eight years since the tragedy that taught her and Chris that nothing lasts forever.  

Now thirty, Emma is an unemployed nurse living back on her parents’ farm, her life in tatters. Chris, however, is finally healing and making a success of his family’s country estate. 

They step into their old friendship as if it were yesterday, but as Emma sets out to rebuild her life, will their past and Chris’s future throw her further off balance? 

Or will she find the happiness she left behind by returning to the treehouse? 


Emma has gone full circle and returned to the place and the emotions she ran away from in the first place. Grief sent her on a path that turned out to be a mistake, and one that rocked her world in a way she never expected it to. Now she is back – the question is whether she can remove herself from a vicious cycle of her own creation?

I think for me the emphasis was on Emma being able to acknowledge and be capable of building a life on her own terms and having strength without feeling as if she needs a partner to do so. Society often propels us into these stereotypical scenarios we are often unaware of. It’s the norm, hence everyone does it, which doesn’t mean it’s wrong, but it might not be right for everyone either.

Learning to cope with the destruction of stability, a sandcastle built on the dreams of grief and loneliness can destroy someone, and to be fair Emma comes quite close. Taking apart a knitted blanket she has enveloped herself with takes time, but stitch by stitch she starts to find comprehension and peace with in herself.

What Tink captures quite well, and I am sure there are plenty of readers who may see the main character as weak and tell her to just get over it, is that divorce is a traumatic experience. More so when it doesn’t happen in an amicable way. Not everyone is able to just gloss over it.

Also that to be successful in your next relationship you have to heal from the last one and more importantly examine how you contributed to the demise of the relationship, even if it is just enabling a certain complacency. Until then it is never a good idea to start a new one, because you will probably end up just running on the same hamster wheel again.

It’s a romantic read at heart and very much one about a woman taking stock of what is important to herself, her well-being and mental health, and not just what is important to other people.

Buy Meet Me at the Treehouse at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer. Publisher: Middlemist Publishing; pub date 12 Nov. 2020. Buy at Amazon com. 

#BlogTour One More For Christmas by Sarah Morgan

Today it’s my turn on the BlogTour One More For Christmas by Sarah Morgan.

About the Author

Sarah Morgan is an international bestseller and the Top Ten Sunday Times bestselling author of The Christmas Sisters and A Wedding in December. She has sold over eighteen million books worldwide.

Sarah lives near London, England with her family and when she isn’t writing or reading, she likes to spend time outdoors hiking or riding her mountain bike.

Follow @SarahMorgan_ @HQStories on Twitter, on Amazonon Goodreads, on www.facebook.com/AuthorSarahMorgan, Visit sarahmorgan.comBuy One More For Christmas

About the book

For sisters Samantha and Ella Mitchell, Christmas is their most precious time of the year—a time for togetherness, love and celebration. Most of all, it’s about making up for everything their childhood Christmases lacked. But this year, they’ll be buying presents for the most unexpected guest of all—their estranged mother. It’s been five years since they last saw each other. But when their mom calls out of the blue and promises that this Christmas will be different, Samantha and Ella cautiously agree to spend it all together…

Gayle Mitchell is at the top of her career, but her success has come at a price—her relationship with her daughters. She never seemed to say or do the right things. Her tough-love approach was designed to make them stronger, but instead managed to push them away…until a brush with her own mortality forces Gayle to make amends. As the snowflakes fall on their first family celebration in years, the Mitchell women must learn that sometimes facing up to the past is all you need to heal your heart…


Gayle is a career woman who made a choice, a choice that meant leaving her two daughters behind her as she built her remarkable career. It takes a freak accident for her to realise that perhaps she made the wrong choice somewhere along the way.

There was a really interesting point made by Gayle at the beginning of the book, that when you achieve a lot or very often people tend to use the word ‘lucky’ in combination with your achievements. It absolutely is dismissive to assume that luck, as opposed to hard work, plays a role in a successful career, especially when it comes to women. 

It resonated with me because certain close individuals feel I achieved because I somehow had more help, when the truth is that I worked hard for each exam and to achieve each rung of my career ladder, because I was determined to succeed. These kind of phrases tend to be used in context with the success of women a lot more than men. Men are successful because they work hard, women are successful due to others or luck.

I think Morgan really hits the nail on the head with her personal note to readers. In these really difficult times, especially with a different kind of Christmas looming, we all need to be disappear into the folds of a heartwarming and jolly old festive story.

With that in mind I also want to note how much more depth the author is adding to her characters. She has clearly established a firm place in women’s fiction. It’s not just about fluffy unicorn love and endings, which is also fine, but Morgan digs deeper to make her characters more relatable to the reader. 

These fractured mother-daughter relationships could be something a reader responds to, because the reality is life isn’t just all about happy, love and butterfly moments. Sometimes it hurts and huge steps have to taken to overcome pride, baggage and to right previous wrongs. As always Morgan gives readers an excellent reading experience.

Buy One More For Christmas at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads any other retailer. Buy at Amazon com. Buy at Waterstones.

#BlogTour No Regrets by Tabitha Webb

Today it’s also a pleasure to take part in the BlogTour No Regrets by Tabitha Webb.

About the Author

Tabitha Webb was born in Ireland and grew up in Chicago, before being sent back to boarding school for her teenage years. She survived one term at university before packing her bags and chasing a hot surfer to America. During this period she was a rollerblading extra in the Robin Williams film The Birdcage, a dancer in a German pop video, and got held up at gunpoint.

After careers in TV and advertising, she made her first foray into fashion and now runs her eponymous fashion label, is happily married to a patient South African man and has two daughters.

Tabitha is loyal, outspoken, and completely fascinated by other people’s lives. Her debut novel No Regrets was inspired by the love lives of women around the globe, coupled with a vivid imagination, and she can’t wait to shock and delight readers everywhere.

Follow @tabithawebbuk on Twitteron Goodreadson Amazon, Visit tabithawebb.co.ukBuy No Regrets

About the book

You only regret the things you don’t do, right?

Stella is having a bad week. A bad year, maybe. She loves her young boys, really she does, but her glittering career feels like a lifetime ago and she can’t even remember the last time she had sex…

Ana has already had sex three times today. It was good enough. Better than most. Not the best though – he was long gone, and probably bad news anyway. She just can’t help thinking, what if?

Dixie knows her dating life needs a spring clean. She’s reset her age (again), uploaded some new pictures, but certainly isn’t looking for Mr Right – nothing good ever comes from getting attached!

Maybe it’s time for the three friends shake things up a little, before it’s too late…


The story is about three friends, three women who are all at some kind of crossroads in their lives. The realisation that your life shouldn’t be lived for others, and your pleasure and happiness shouldn’t be structured around the needs of others either. Sometimes you have to be selfish to get what you need, as opposed to what other people think you want.

Is Coco the forbidden fruit or is it a case of being drawn in by the beauty and lack of parallels. Does the thrill of something new give Stella a new lease on life or is it more about the stagnation providing the perfect opportunity for squashed emotions and previously buried attractions to rear their head?

I didn’t quite buy the friendship between Stella, Ana and Dixie, but if you sit back and ponder on it there is an element of truth in the more brutally honest element of their relationships. The characters are too singular and never quite manage to bridge the gap between page and reader or between themselves.

Although the majority of the scenes have a basis in reality the story lacks the spark of authenticity that takes readers from fiction to empathy and recognising a part of themselves in the read.

It’s a bit explicit, now and again, when it comes to the sex scenes – just something to be aware of if you’re not into a wee bit of horizontal tango, thrusting manhoods and moist girl caves awaiting said manhoods.

The title more or less spells it out for readers. The characters don’t give a flying frog and neither does Webb, which of course is part of the charm of this read, and I expect this won’t be the last time we hear from this author.

Buy No Regrets at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for an other retailer. Publisher: HQ; pub date 25 Jun. 2020. Buy at Amazon com.

#BlogTour Daughters of Cornwall by Fern Britton

Today it’s a pleasure to take part in the BlogTour Daughters of Cornwall by Fern Britton.

About the Author

Fern Britton is the highly acclaimed author of eight Sunday Times bestselling novels.

Born in London, into a theatrical family, Fern started her professional life as a stage manager. Theatre life was great fun but within three years, in 1980, she graduated to television and became a presenter on Westward Television. Here she achieved her ambition of living in Cornwall. Since then television has been her home. She spent 14 years as a journalist before presenting Ready, Steady, Cook for the BBC. This Morning for ITV came next where she won several awards and became a household name.

Her interview programme Fern Britton Meets had guests including Tony Blair, Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Dolly Parton and Cliff Richard. Fern presented The Big Allotment Challenge (BBC2), For What It’s Worth (BBC1), Culinary Genius with Gordon Ramsay (ITV)

Fern’s novels are all set in her beloved Cornwall. Her books are cherished for their warmth, wit and wisdom, and have won her legions of loyal readers. Fern was a judge for the Costa Book of the Year Award and a supporter of the Reading Agency, promoting literacy and reading.

Fern turned her talents to acting last year when she starred as Marie in Gary Barlow and Tim Firth’s award-winning musical Calendar Girls.

Fern has twin sons, two daughters and lives in Cornwall in a house full of good food, wine, family, friends and gardening books. She has a motor cycle licence, an honorary doctorate for services to broadcasting and charity, and is a member of Mensa!

About the book

1918. – The Great War is over, and Clara Carter has boarded a train bound for Cornwall – to meet a family that would once have been hers. But they must never discover her secret…

1939. – Hannah has always been curious about her mother’s mysterious past, but the outbreak of the Second World War casts everything in a new light. As the bombs begin to fall, Hannah and her brothers are determined to do their bit for the war effort – whatever the cost.

2020. – Caroline has long been the keeper of her family’s secrets. But now, with her own daughter needing her more than ever, it’s time to tell the truth – to show Natalie that she comes from a long line of women who have weathered the storms of life, as hardy and proud as the rugged Cornish coastline…


This story has multiple narrators and takes place over various timelines. Clara just after the Great War – the war to end all wars. Hannah just before the start of the Second World War and Caroline in 2020. Clara, Hannah and Caroline all have something in common. They are either keepers of secrets or women who suffer the repercussions of them.

I enjoyed the whole Caroline and the trunk part of the story. It’s very much like finding hidden treasures and secrets when someone you know really well passes away. It just shows you how little we really know about each other when all is said and done.

What Britton does brilliantly is weave her own emotional burdens from her secret keepers into her characters. It gives the characters and the story an air of authenticity, but perhaps it wouldn’t be remiss to think of it in a different way entirely. Her own story is like a dramatic fictional setting for a novel and this book gives both the forgotten and the silent voices an opportunity to be heard and finally acknowledged.

I think it’s important to remember the stigma attached to Clara’s predicament in 1918. There wouldn’t really have been much choice, whereas nowadays it is the norm. Many women have moved forward with that kind of secret. I think it’s fair to say it changes the person in question, perhaps not everyone in the same way though. For me the other side of the equation is the one left behind in all of this secret keeping. It’s a moving story about family and secrets that have been passed on or simply forgotten over the years.

Buy Daughters of Cornwall at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer. Publisher:  HarperCollins pub date 11th June 2020| £12.99 | Hardback. Buy at Amazon comBuy at Waterstones.

#BlogTour The Summer We Ran Away by Jenny Oliver

Today it’s my turn on the BlogTour The Summer We Ran Away by Jenny Oliver.

About the Author

Jenny Oliver is a bestselling author of contemporary fiction. She has been an elf in the Disney Store, a personal trainer, journalist, editor and, by far the best, a writer. Twice nominated for the RNA Best Contemporary Novel award, Jenny’s books explore the ups and downs of relationships and an unwavering belief in happily ever after. In her spare time, she can be found cajoling her family out to car boot sales, trying to reign in her competitiveness on the netball court and subtly eavesdropping on strangers’ conversations as inspiration for her next book.

Follow her on Twitter @JenOliverBooks, Instagram @JenOliverBooks, and Facebook @JennyOliverBookson Goodreadson Amazon, Visit jennyoliverbooks.comBuy The Summer We Ran Away

About the book

It was meant to be the party of the summer…

In Cedar Road, everyone is preparing for Lexi’s ‘White Hot’ summer party. For one night, parking squabbles and petitions are put aside as neighbours sip Prosecco under the fairy lights and gather by the hot tub to marvel at Lexi’s effortlessly glamorous life with Hot Hamish.

For Julia, it’s a chance to coax husband Charlie out of his potting shed and into a shirt so they can have a welcome break from the hellish house renovation they’ve been wrestling with. And it’s a chance for Julia to pretend – just for a night – that her life is as perfect as Lexi’s.

But when, during the party, one of Julia’s WhatsApp messages falls into the wrong hands and reveals her most intimate thoughts, things reach boiling point… And when all the neighbours know exactly what you’re thinking, there’s only one thing to do. Run away.


Julia spends the majority of the time trying to be like someone else. Buying the same clothes, shoes and doing the same activities. When her neighbour Lexi says jump she asks how high. Julia also has an unhealthy obsession about her neighbour’s husband. The kind that gets her pulse rising.

At a summer garden party everything goes pear-shaped when one of her racy Whatsapp messages gets sent to the wrong people. Suddenly everything she thought was important becomes nothing more than white noise. Her husband is devastated and her friends aren’t so friendly anymore.

She ends up on a spontaneous trip that not only opens up her eyes, it also gives her an entirely new perspective on her marriage and life in general.

It’s women’s fiction, a story of finding yourself and friendship where you least expect it.

Oliver creates an interesting like-for-like picture when it comes to women and the way they often take their high school personas out into the big world with them. Mean girls become even meaner women and their victims often need a rude awakening to comprehend that they no longer have to live with the imbalance of power.

Learning to appreciate what you have and experience life the way you want it, as opposed to the way others may want you to experience life is just one of the messages in this book.

Buy The Summer We Ran Away at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer. Publisher: HQ; pub date 11 Jun. 2020. Buy at Amazon com. Buy at Waterstones.

#BlogTour Growing Up for Beginners by Claire Calman

Today it’s my turn on the BlogTour Growing Up for Beginners by Claire Calman.

About the Author

Claire Calman is a writer and broadcaster known for her novels that combine wit and pathos, including the bestseller Love is a Four-Letter Word. She has appeared on BBC Radio 4’s Woman’s Hour and Loose Ends. Click here to sign up for Claire’s newsletter

Follow @clairecalman on Twitter, on Goodreadson AmazonBuy Growing Up for Beginners

About the book

It’s not easy being a grown-up, but at 47, Eleanor hoped she’d be better at it by now…

When Eleanor waves her daughter off for a gap-year trip, she finds herself stuck as a satellite wife, spinning in faithful orbit around her domineering husband, with only her clever but judgmental father Conrad for comfort.

Andrew isn’t mastering the art of growing up either. But when he finds his belongings dumped in bin bags on the drive, even he can see that his girlfriend is hinting he should move out. With no other options, he moves back in with his parents.

Backing onto their garden lives artist Cecilia, living in chaotic clutter and dreaming of her ex-lovers, still acting like a stroppy teenager at the age of 66.

Four lives are drawn together by long-buried secrets of the past, and it is time for them all to grow up… before it’s too late.


‘Shouts a rebel yell to encourage Eleanor to start a revolution!’

Let me start by saying that Roger is a monster. I am sure others will agree with me on this. It’s not just the coercive control, the belittling and treating Eleanor as if she is some sub-standard human being only capable of catering to his every whim, and those he deems appropriate for herself.

It’s the book thing. It’s cruel. To be completely frank I wouldn’t think twice about eliminating Roger and burying him in the garden – the provocation is just too severe. Revenge must be had! *gets shovel*

It’s easy to forget that our parents were young once, committed transgressions and mistakes, and perhaps didn’t live the life their children think they did. Conrad is an excellent example of that. He is a man formed by trauma as a child, which in turn determines the way he parents his own children.

The story follows the lives of Conrad, Eleanor, Andrew and Cecilia. Their stories are very much a message of six degrees of separation.

It’s a book with interlocking storylines – women’s fiction that speaks to the fragility of life and the core of strength we all carry within us. A core that helps us to overcome the hard times.

This story does a lot of weaving in the first few chapters and it’s hard to keep up sometimes, but it is worth the ride. Calman manages to create depth where the scenes and characters only seem shallow, which is a skill in itself. Reaching into topics of complacency in marriage, control, depression and the inner fear of finding and using your own voice. It’s an excellent read.

Buy Growing Up for Beginners at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer. Publisher: Boldwood Books; pub date 4 Jun. 2020. Buy at Amazon com.

#BlogTour The Lost Child by Emily Gunnis

Today it’s a pleasure to take part in the BlogTour The Lost Child by Emily Gunnis.

About the Author

Emily Gunnis previously worked in TV drama and lives in Brighton with her young family. She is one of the four daughters of Sunday Times bestselling author Penny Vincenzi. This is her second novel.

Follow @emilygunnis on Twitter, on Goodreads, on AmazonBuy The Lost Child

About the book

A tragic death. A missing baby. A long-kept secret…

1960. Thirteen-year-old Rebecca and her mother live in fear of Rebecca’s father’s violent temper. As a storm batters Seaview Cottage one night, Rebecca hears a visitor at the door and an argument ensues. By the time the police arrive, the visitor has fled and both Rebecca’s parents are dead. No one believes Rebecca’s story that she heard a stranger downstairs…

2014. Iris, a journalist, is sent to cover the story of a new mother on the run with her desperately ill baby, as the police race against time to find them. When the trail leads back to Seaview Cottage, the childhood home of Iris’s own mother, Rebecca, Iris must unravel the events of the night Rebecca is desperate to forget for Seaview Cottage to give up its secrets. To find the truth she must follow in her mother’s footsteps.


A friendly suggestion if you don’t like spoilers – the book starts with a Dear Reader letter from the author – don’t read it until after you have finished the actual story.

The story is told via multiple women, in the past and the present, and all threads lead back to a young girl called Rebecca. A child damaged and defined by the murders of her parents at the tender age of thirteen.

In the present a young woman has run off with her really ill newborn baby. Journalist Iris is sent to cover the story and neglects to mention why she is personally invested in finding the young woman before she hurts herself or the baby.

I had to keep reminding myself that Jessie was vulnerable and perhaps not thinking straight when she was interacting with Rebecca. I found myself getting angry on Rebecca’s behalf, but being drawn in emotionally is always a sign the author has done their job. Jessie owns her own experience with Rebecca, what she doesn’t own and has no right to demand is what Rebecca did or did not experience in the past. It is entitled, pushy behaviour – regardless of what Jessie thinks she might know.

Aside from the obvious tragedy of a lack of understanding when it comes to postpartum psychosis and the way women have and often still suffer because of it, this story is very much one about a broken family. How the jigsaw pieces of that family fit together is another story.

It’s a captivating story of betrayal, abuse, the irreversible damage of systemic misogyny and how the bond between mother and child isn’t necessarily defined by blood.

Buy The Lost Child at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer. Published by Headline Review; pub date 16th April 2020 Paperback – £7.99 – Also available as eBook and Audiobook. Buy at Amazon com.

#BlogTour Family for Beginners by Sarah Morgan

Today it’s also a pleasure to take part in the BlogTour Family for Beginners by Sarah Morgan.

About the Author

Sarah Morgan lives near London, England with her family. When sheisn’t writing or reading, she likes to spend time outdoors hiking or riding her mountain bike.

Follow @SarahMorgan_ @HQStories @HarperCollinsUK on Twitter, on Amazonon Goodreads, on Facebook www.facebook.com/AuthorSarahMorgan, Visit sarahmorgan.comBuy Family for Beginners

About the book

Who says you can’t choose your family?

When Flora falls in love with Jack, suddenly she’s not only handling a very cranky teenager, but she’s also living in the shadow of Jack’s perfect, immortalised wife, Becca. Every summer, Becca and Jack would holiday with Becca’s oldest friends and Jack wants to continue the tradition, so now Flora must face a summer trying to live up to Becca’s memory, with not only Jack’s daughter looking on, but with Becca’s best friends judging her every move…

The more Flora tries to impress everyone, the more things go horribly wrong…but as the summer unfolds, Flora begins pushing her own boundaries, and finding herself in a way that she never thought she needed to.

And she soon learns that families come in all shapes and sizes.


The author doesn’t paint Flora as the nasty interloper, which is what often happens when a new partner is introduced to the family. Instead she presents both sides of the difficult situation. On one side there is Flora, who has never experienced being part of a family, which is probably why she overcompensates in certain situations. Then the family unit who are reluctant to accept someone new stepping into the role the mother used to inhabit.

It’s very much an intense emotional minefield, as Flora tries to navigate the pain and distress of the two young girls that are the entire world to her boyfriend. Molly thaws with each genuine moment of love and attention, but Izzy is determined to get rid of Flora.

To make things even more difficult the awkward foursome reluctantly spend a holiday with the best friend of a dead and very perfect mother and wife. It brings feelings both old and new to the surface, which means there is no choice but to face the truth.

It’s women’s fiction – a story of upheaval, grief and broken families.

In the last few years Morgan has successfully moved from romance to more complex contemporary fiction for women. She takes her characters to greater depth and her stories cross into more complex topics.

It’s a beautiful read, uplifting and incredibly sad at times. Full of genuine emotions and vulnerable people. Morgan hits the mark once again.

Buy Family for Beginners at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer. Publisher: HQ; pub date 2 April 2020. Buy at Amazon com.

#BlogTour Rules of the Road by Ciara Geraghty

Today it’s a pleasure to take part in the BlogTour Rules of the Road by Ciara Geraghty. It’s a fantastic read and Geraghty is a great writer.

About the Author

Ciara Geraghty was born and raised in Dublin. She started writing in her thirties and hasn’t looked back.

She has three children and one husband and they have recently adopted a dog who, alongside their youngest daughter, is in charge of pretty much everything.

Ciara is available to write features. Potential subjects include: Dementia and Ciara’s experience of caring for her father, Mother/daughter relationships and how caring for Ciara’s father brought her and her mother closer together, The right to die (Ciara undertook extensive research for the book), Female friendships, particularly the rewards of those made later in life.

Follow @ciarageraghty on Twitter, on Amazonon Goodreads, Visit ciarageraghty.comBuy Rules of the Road

About the book

When Iris Armstrong goes missing, her best friend Terry, wife, mother and all-round worrier, is convinced something bad has happened. And when she finds her glamorous, feisty friend, she’s right: Iris is setting out on a journey that she plans to make her last.

The only way for Terry to stop Iris is to join her, on a road trip that will take them and Terry’s confused father Eugene onto a ferry, across the Irish sea and into an adventure that will change all of their lives.

Somehow what should be the worst six days of Terry’s life turn into the best.

Honest and emotional, Ciara Geraghty examines family, ageing parents, marriage, life and loss with warmth in a book that grown-up readers will adore.


Sometimes you just know. Is there a slight change in the energy, were there hints Terry ignored up to this point? Either way when Terry realises that her best friend Iris has disappeared and has lied about where she is going – Terry knows something is wrong. Iris is on her way to meet death on her own terms. She wants dignity in death.

Terry is determined to change her mind, which is how she ends up on a road trip with her father Eugene, who has dementia, and an unwilling Iris. The road trip is only a few days, but those few days change life as Terry knows it.

I have to hand it to Geraghty, she tackles a controversial topic in this book and does so with empathy, humour and incredible emotional depth. Then she tops it by weaving the fragile elderly parent with dementia and the complexity of friendships, specifically friendships between women, into the story.

Aside from the fact the writing is excellent, I loved the way Geraghty wrote with such passion and complete vulnerability. And how each element or separate storyline becomes part of a very intricate and painful puzzle. Her main character is pulled in multiple directions by a variety of people and responsibilities, but the importance of doing what is right for both Iris and herself comes first. ‘This is my truth and I own it – accept it and my decision.’

I really enjoyed the simplicity of it, which sounds like a strange thing to say, especially when death is both the competitor in her personal race and the companion. Nothing is simple about choosing the right to die or caring for a parent with dementia and it certainly isn’t simple to support someone to whom death is  an unfulfilled wish, and yet the author makes it simple. There is a grace and humility, whilst courting the jovial moments of the story, that make this story a spectacular read.

In a way it is an homage to friendships between women. Deep, honest, painful and willing to accept choices, even if it means being torn apart. It’s a platonic love letter from one woman to another. Not everyone gets to experience that kind of friendship in their lifetime.

I’ll leave it on this note: We have a right to choose – our bodies our choice.

Buy Rules of the Road at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer. Publisher: HarperCollins; pub date 20th February 2020 Paperback Original | Ebook pub date May 2019 | Audio |£7.99. Buy at Amazon com.

#BlogTour A Woman is No Man by Etaf Rum

Today it’s an absolute pleasure to take part in the BlogTour A Woman is No Man by Etaf Rum. It’s a poignant tale of oppression and also women’s empowerment.

About the Author

Etaf Rum was born and raised in Brooklyn, New York, by Palestinian immigrants. She teaches college English literature in North Carolina, where she lives with her two children. A Woman is No Man is her first novel.

Follow @EtafRum on Twitter, on Facebookon Instagramon Goodreadson Amazon, Visit etafrum.comBuy A Woman is No Man

About the book

Palestine, 1990. Seventeen -year-old Isra prefers reading books to entertaining the suitors her father has chosen for her. Over the course of a week, the naive and dreamy girl finds herself quickly betrothed and married, and is soon living in Brooklyn. There Isra struggles to adapt to the expectations of her oppressive mother-in-law Fareeda and strange new husband Adam, a pressure that intensifies as she begins to have children – four daughters instead of the sons Fareeda tells Isra she must bear.

Brooklyn, 2008. Eighteen-year-old Deya, Isra’s oldest daughter, must meet with potential husbands at her grandmother Fareeda’s insistence, though her only desire is to go to college. Deya can’t help but wonder if her options would have been different had her parents survived the car crash that killed them when Deya was only eight. But her grandmother is firm on the matter: the only way to secure a worthy future for Deya is through marriage to the right man.

But fate has a will of its own, and soon Deya will find herself on an unexpected path tht leads her to shocking truths about her family – knowledge that will force her to question everything she thought she knew about her parents, the past, and her own future.

Set in an America at once foreign to many and staggeringly close at hand, A Woman is No Man is a story of culture and honour, secrets and betrayals, love and violence. It is an intimate glimpse into a controlling and close cultural world, and a universal tale about family and the ways silence and shame can destroy those we have sworn to protect.


Why wasn’t this on some of the best book and prize lists of the year in the Uk? It has seriously remained almost invisible, despite winning recognition and accolades in the US. It should be compulsory reading for all girls and women, regardless of their background.

It speaks truth to the lies that are spoken by both men and women defending tradition, culture and religion. Tell us again how you revere women. How they aren’t treated like sub-humans and second class citizens. Tell us again how keeping women silent and submissive is simultaneously cementing and honouring their place in society.

I came away a few times from this read, but ultimately when I finished it I was both enraged and saddened.

I think what many of us forget, and that includes the families who put children, and especially girls, in this position, is the difficult position they end up in when they grow up in Western cultures. The two contradicting cultures must be incredibly difficult to navigate at the same time. One culture is steeped in medieval and oppressive traditions and rules, whereas the other culture allows freedom in all areas. How are children and young people supposed to be true to both?

The story begins with Isra, a young Palestinian Arab girl who is married off to a family and moved to Brooklyn. Then we hear the story of her eldest daughter Deya as her grandmother Fareeda starts to pressure her into upholding the family honour and her duties by accepting a suitor.The stories of the two women play out at the same time as Deya discovers the truth about the parents she believes were killed in a car crash.

It’s women’s fiction and a poignant contemporary read about empowering women in a culture of systemic abuse and oppression. The author gives us a compelling and infuriating look behind closed doors. Girls born and bred to be nothing more than brood-mares, cleaners, cooks and objects of abuse – that’s if they are allowed to live at all. No wonder Isra sinks into despair.

I think it’s particularly tragic that her love of reading is what ultimately destroys what is left of her hope that there is more out there for her and her daughters other than pressure, oppression and pain.

I loved and hated this book in equal measures. It is an incredibly tragic and beautiful story, but it is also indicative of the systemic abuse and oppression of women in certain cultures.

One last thing – although it pains me to say this – the role other women play in both the oppression and abuse shouldn’t be underestimated. Fareeda plays a leading role in this story, as do other mothers, wives, sisters and daughters who condone and contribute to the never-ending cycle of oppression. Excusing it by labeling it tradition, culture or part of a devout upbringing is a farce and makes a mockery of any culture that sustains, welcomes and continues to uphold oppressive and abusive behaviour.

This is an excellent read.

Buy A Woman is No Man at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer. Publisher: HQ: Published on 12th December 2019 – Paperback £8.99 – Available in eBook and Audiobook. Buy at Amazon com. Buy at Hive.co.uk Buy at Waterstones