Wednesday, 1 April 2015

After the Storm - Jane Lythell

After the StormAfter the Storm by Jane Lythell
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Some secrets destroy you.

Rob and Anna have only just met Owen and Kim. Now they've boarded their handsome old boat to travel to a far off island in the Caribbean.

With only the four of them on board, it should be paradise: lazy afternoons spent snorkelling; long nights enjoying the silence and solitude of the sea.

But why does Owen never sleep? Why is he so secretive about his past? And why does Kim keep a knife zipped into her money-belt? Anna can usually get people to talk... but this time, does she want to?

This book has been really difficult for me to review. I really wanted to love it. From reading the blurb it sounded right up my street, travelling and a bit of a thriller, I was there! Unfortunately I found it very slow and very hard to finish, it has taken me weeks and weeks to read and that was just not as enjoyable as I had hoped. This was my first experience of Jane Lythell as an author and although I really wanted to read 'The Lie of You', I haven't yet got my hands on a copy. I wish now I had started with that book as it has had really great reviews.

So about the story: English couple Anna and Rob are travelling around South America, this really appealed to me as I really love to travel, especially in South and Central America. They meet Kim and Owen, an American couple who are on their way back to Florida after months of sailing. They offer Anna and Rob the chance to sail with them for the remainder of their holiday in exchange for some dollar, they take a risk by doing this. Although Anna is not keen and slightly worried about spending the last part of her holiday with two strangers on a boat, Rob manages to convince her.

So far, so good, I was really enjoying this story and I couldn't wait to find out about the journey and these 2 couples living with each other in tiny surroundings. However this is where I suddenly found the story slow, I understand that tension needed to build between the two and the story is about the developing relationships and the secrets they keep. It is a slower burner, that is the only way I can describe it. During this time we find out about the different characters and how they have made them the person they are today. I thought this was going to be more interesting than it was and I was just left wanting more.

I thought there was going to be more thrill in the book and although it was beautifully written and is very descriptive I was just left feeling a little disappointed. I thought that after all the slow burning of the plot developing that it would have been an almighty shock at the end, however I found it to be a bit of an anti climax.

Although I did find the book disappointing I would still be keen to pick up Lythell's other book, I feel that she is able to create believable and well rounded characters, the relationships between them felt real and the description in the book was good. Although I found the book too slow in pace, many will love this.

I would like to thank the publisher for sending this in exchange for an honest review.

Monday, 30 March 2015

A Memory of Violets by Hazel Gaynor

A Memory of Violets: A Novel of London's Flower SellersA Memory of Violets: A Novel of London's Flower Sellers by Hazel Gaynor
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

The author of the USA Today and New York Times bestselling novel The Girl Who Came Home has once again created an unforgettable historical novel. Step into the world of Victorian London, where the wealth and poverty exist side by side. This is the story of two long-lost sisters, whose lives take different paths, and the young woman who will be transformed by their experiences.

In 1912, twenty-year-old Tilly Harper leaves the peace and beauty of her native Lake District for London, to become assistant housemother at Mr. Shaw’s Home for Watercress and Flower Girls. For years, the home has cared for London’s flower girls—orphaned and crippled children living on the grimy streets and selling posies of violets and watercress to survive.

Soon after she arrives, Tilly discovers a diary written by an orphan named Florrie—a young Irish flower girl who died of a broken heart after she and her sister, Rosie, were separated. Moved by Florrie’s pain and all she endured in her brief life, Tilly sets out to discover what happened to Rosie. But the search will not be easy. Full of twists and surprises, it leads the caring and determined young woman into unexpected places, including the depths of her own heart.

So when this book arrived for review, my mum couldn't resist and she wanted to review it for me. Here is her review:

Such a lovely well written novel; as a Londoner and former florist who was a regular 4am visitor to old Covent Garden I could almost smell the flowers in this book. I remember the hustle and bustle of the early morning traders, cupping and blowing into my frozen fingers and feeling the warmth of tea or hot chocolate to keep out the cold, banging my frozen feet on the ground waiting while my father bartered with the sellers and then loading boxes of flowers onto our van ready to take back to our shop to sell. All these long forgotten memories came flooding back to me as I read about Flora and Rosie the little orphaned flower sellers. Good storytellers evoke memories and Hazel Gaynor definitely did this for me with A Memory of Violets.

Covent Garden has changed quite a bit now but when I was a child it must have been unchanged from the late 1800's and I could easily picture Flora and Rosie picking up fallen flowers and watercress to make into posies to sell to the gentry. Because I felt such a connection this was quite a special read for me. I loved how the whole story was bought together by Tilly Harpers' story and how she fitted into the novel to help find the missing little flower sellers' sister.

I don't want to retell the story or give away any spoilers to this beautiful heartwarming and often heart wrenching story so you'll have to trust me and read it yourself but I can say that you won't be disappointed. It is even more poignant when you remember that life really was like this for so many children at the turn of the century, never knowing if they would eat, having no where warm and safe to live, being terrified of the Work House and having to work as soon as they were able. I'm sure Flora's story was not uncommon and many young girls suffered the deprivation and hardship of poverty, many died young, lost their families and spent their lives searching for their siblings on the often cruel streets of London. This novel is so much more than a work of fiction and that is what for me makes this such a good piece of writing.

Tilly, Flora and Rosie will stay with me for a long time, I am so glad I read this book and so glad that I was not born in the late 1800's

I have to give this book 5 stars.

I would like to thank the publisher for sending this in exchange for an honest review.

Sunday, 29 March 2015

Weekly Wrap Up - 29.3.15

So this post has actually been scheduled, as you read this I shall be exploring the gambling capital of the world! So I do apologise if this is a little on the empty side!  

This week I have been sent:

This week I have bought: 

Books I have read this week:

The books I have read all have reviews and they will be on the blog soon so look out for that!

Thanks for stopping by at The Book Corner, I loved  hearing what you have got this week so please leave a comment to let me know

Friday, 27 March 2015

Holiday TBR

So I have waited years for this holiday, I think 2 years ago it was being planned, for my Father in laws special birthday. I cannot believe it has finally come round. Tomorrow morning I will be arriving at the airport to check in. Before I headed off I thought after sending a tweet a few weeks ago, asking if anyone would be interested in reading my TBR for my holiday and it being so popular, that I would do one. So here goes... I am going to be taking a mixture of ebooks, audio books and paperbacks. 

Audio Books:

The audio books I have on my kindle and on my iphone that I want to listen to on the plane are:

The Year I Met You - Cecelia Ahern. I am currently in the middle of this audio book, it is one that I really want to get stuck into but never had a long enough period to listen to it. I am hoping this will be a good one for the plane. I think I have about 7 hours left to listen to, so hopefully I would be able to finish this one. 

The Last Anniversary - Liane Moriarty. This is an audio book that I am really looking forward to, however it is over 14 hours long - this is another for a really long plane journey! I am hoping that on the flight home I may get to listen to this one. I do have this in paper back, but I do feel I would enjoy listening to one of Moriarty's books as they are so good! I have high hopes for this audio and I am hoping that the narrator doesn't let me down! 


Well I will be taking my kindle away with me so technically anything I have on it that I have not read I may end up reading, however the one ebook I would like to read while I am away is: 

The Secrets Sisters Keep - Sinead Moriarty. I was lucky enough to be able to discover Moriarty last year when I read, Mad about you. This was a brilliant novel, which I raced through. That was the onle book I had read before and I was keen to try others. I that this sitting on my kindle to be read and this is certainly going to be one that I hope to pick up.

Paper backs: 

Paper backs are always a hard choice for me when I go on holiday. I love to actually turn pages in a book and I want to make sure that I have the opportunity to do that while I am away. The thing is that I need to be in the mood normally to read a type of genre and because I am limited to the books I take I always want to know I have one that I will fancy reading. This is why I am normally over my luggage allowance!! So this has been a difficult call for me and I will be taking more than it is possible for me to read, just so I know I am covering all basis. As I am only going for a week too, this means I do have more space in my luggage :D. 

The Sudden Departure of the Frasers - Louise Candlish. This is a book that I have had for quite a few months now, sitting on my TBR pile. I have desperately wanted to read it but it has been way too early to release a review. It is due out near the end of May so I figured I could read it now. This sounds so intriguing that I really can not wait any longer. 

Walk on By - Stacey Solomon. I have decided to take this book with me as I think it will be a quick and easy read. It sounds like they type of read you want on holiday. I have also had this a little while sitting waiting to be reviewed, so this is the prefect opportunity for me to read it. 
Wish You Were Here - Catherine Alliott. This is another book I have had sat on my TBR... I know I am a terrible book blogger but unfortunately life has just got in the way lately. This is another book that is a summery holiday read and I am looking forward to getting stuck in. 

So these are my intended reads for while I am away, these may change slightly, (paper backs) and I maybe adding to them. 

If you have read any of the books I am taking with me, please leave me a comment to let me know what you thought of them, or even to just let me know which book you would start with first. 

Thanks for reading. 

Wednesday, 25 March 2015

Beneath the Moon and Stars by Amelia Thorne

Beneath the Moon and the StarsBeneath the Moon and the Stars by Amelia Thorne
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Home, sweet home…
Joy Cartier has been to some of the most beautiful places in the world – but none of them have ever felt like home. So moving into a tiny cottage in the idyllic village of Bramble Hill, walking distance from her childhood home, seems like the perfect plan.
That is, until she gets there. The surly inhabitants of Britain’s Friendliest Village are anything but welcoming. Even her neighbour, reclusive Hollywood star Finn Mackenzie, takes one look at her and walks in the other direction.
But when the village animosity steps up a gear, it is the infuriatingly brooding Finn who keeps coming to her rescue. Slowly Joy begins to realise that maybe a happy home isn’t about where you live, but who you’re with…

When I say this on netgalley I knew I had to request it. I had heard really great things about this book, and with a cover like that it had to be brilliant.

Joy Cartier has never really been settled in life, after her parents died when she was a child, she relied on her brother Alex to bring her up. Since then she has jumped around from job to job and travelled the world, never really having anywhere she can call home though.

Joy discovers the family home she grew up in at Bramble Hill is up for sale and decides she wants to buy it. After lots of felines by the New owner, Joy decides to move back to try and persuade them.

Joy believes that she can be happy again and make a home for herself in the village. The villagers seem to disagree, they really take to hating her and start to make her life miserable. That is Everton other than Casey, who doesn't live in the village and her hot neighbour Finn. Finn feels sorry for her, although has recently had his heart broken by his wife, he does instantly want to dislike Joy, mainly for the reason she is a red head, just like his ex.

There are quite a few background stories going on in the book, Casey's relationship, Joys brothers and what is Joy actually up to? There are robberies going on, has she anything o do with these? And why is she creeping about at night?

This book I found very easy to read, unfortunately I didn't have time to read it in on or two sittings, but this didn't matter, I was able to dip in and out of it with no trouble of knowing where I was.

I enjoyed the humour that was present in the story but also loved all the emotion that surrounded the characters too. My only negative is that it was predictable, which was ok an most chick lits are, their were occasions that I got a little fed up of Finn and Joys relationship as it felt it wasn't going anywhere. This however were only the negatives I have of the book. Overall it's a warm debut novel that is written well.

I would recommend this to others as a light hearted book that will leave you feeling warm and fuzzy. I would like to thank the publisher for sending this in exchange for an honest review.

Monday, 23 March 2015

London Book Fair Show



London Book & Screen Week – the capital’s biggest ever celebration of books, and the films, TV programmes and virtual worlds they’ve inspired - has unveiled its inaugural programme of events with London & Partners as a strategic partner.

Running from 13-19th April 2015, this new seven day, citywide, landmark event brings storytelling and the written word to life, uniting the capital’s avid readers, writers, game, film and TV fans with a whole host of events taking place right across literary London.

There’s something for everyone with author Q&As, writing master classes, film screenings, cook book demonstrations, bookshop crawls, literary debates, live readings, poetry parties, fiction prizes, book launches and self-publishing workshops – there are even Mad Hatter tea parties and Harry Potter fan expos!

London Book & Screen Week coincides with The London Book Fair, one of the most important events in the publishing calendar, which is attended by 25,000 book industry professionals from around the world.  The books they are publishing today will be the box office hits and the TV ratings grabbers of the future. This is London’s first chance to join them in a citywide celebration of imagination, creativity and culture, all inspired by books.

Authors taking part include David Nicholls (One Day), Deborah Moggach (Best Exotic Marigold Hotel), John Banville (The Sea), former Children’s Laureate Anthony Browne (Gorilla), Patricia Duncker (Sophie and the Sibyl) and Sarah Hall (The Wolf Border).

Jacks Thomas, Director The London Book Fair and LBSW, says: We are delighted to announce such an exciting and varied line-up for our first ever London Book & Screen Week. This special programme of events celebrates the written word in all its glory.  There really is something for everyone.”

Kate Mosse, international bestselling author ofLabyrinth, says:  “London Book & Screen Week is a wonderful, inspired idea – it’s the perfect opportunity to galvanise the global creative community and bring all kinds of storytelling together.”

Luigi Bonomi, Managing Director of top literary agency LBA, says: “The creation of London Book & Screen Week is genius.  Building on the fabulous position that London has as a global leader in culture, creativity and knowledge, The London Book Fair is leveraging its market-leading position in books and creativity to reach out beyond the publishing industry to consumers and creators.  The cross-media zeitgeist is being captured in this one, great celebration of literary forms, across all media.”

London Book & Screen Week has teamed up with some of the capital’s highest-profile brands, including London & Partners, the Mayor’s official promotional company for London, which attracts businesses and visitors to the capital and operates, the official city guide for London. London & Partners works to attract leisure and business visitors to London, as well as new businesses and major events.

Zanine Adams, Head of Events and Business Development UK at London & Partners, said: “We are delighted to add London Book & Screen Week to our calendar of superb offerings. This great initiative will attract people from London, the UK and beyond to our city to experience wonderful moments of creative inspiration, further enhancing London’s reputation as the leading city in the world for culture.”

Highlights of the London Book & Screen Week programme include:-

New Writers Evening, Monday 13th April @ 7pm, Foyles Charing CrossLondon Book & Screen Week kicks off at Foyles Charing Cross with a special event focusing on future stars of the literary firmament.

Guardian Masterclass – How to Write Fantasy and Dystopian Fiction, 6.30pm
A two-hour course in how to master the genres, with Joe Abercrombie, Peter V Brett, and Francesca Haig – chaired by Harper Voyager Publisher Jane Johnson. Each author will discuss their path to publication, followed by a discussion about the genre more generally, covering writing a pitch, finding an agent, and getting the concept right.

Good Housekeeping presents Deborah Moggach and Louisa Young in Conversation, October Gallery, 7pm
Best-selling author of Tulip Fever and Best Exotic Marigold Hotel and Author of the Day for The London Book Fair, Deborah Moggach, will appear in conversation with author of My Dear, I Wanted To Tell You Louisa Young. This event is presented by Good Housekeeping in association with London Book & Screen Week.

Sarah Hall: The Wolf Border, Foyles Charing Cross, 6-7pmIn her only London event, one of Granta magazine’s Best of Young British Novelists, Sarah Hall, talks about her award-winning work including her outstanding new book The Wolf Border.

Pin Drop, sponsored by @ Soho House, 7pm
Pin Drop, the spoken word salon that presents world-leading authors and actors reading short stories live, will present a special event for London Book & Screen Week sponsored by Join Pin Drop in the exclusive environment of Soho House to celebrate the joy of hearing a short story well told.

Patricia Duncker: Sophie and The Sibyl, Bloomsbury Institute, on Wednesday 15th April @ 6pm
A chance to hear award-winning novelist Patricia Duncker talk about her compelling new Victorian novel, which is published in April Sophie and the Sibyl balances a tale of courtship and seduction with a fascinating, lively imagining of the writer George Eliot at the end of her boldly unconventional life, and the height of her fame. 

Literary Death Match London, Ep.47 - MOVIE SPECIAL, Foyles Charing Cross @ 7pm
Four writers read their own work for seven minutes or less, and are then judged by three all-star judges. Two finalists are chosen to compete in the Literary Death Match finale, a vaguely-literary game to decide the ultimate winner.

Pablo, The Graphic Novel, Institut Francais, Queensberry Place @ 7pm
Writer Julie Birmant and artist Clément Oubrerie visit The Institut Français to discuss their award-winning graphic novel biography of Picasso with journalist, historian and curator of the British Library Comics Unmasked exhibition ,Paul Gravett. Together they will explore the themes and obsessions – among them, sex, death and his great nemesis, Henri Matisse – that drove Picasso to express himself.

Independent Foreign Fiction Prize 2015 @ Foyles, Charing Cross, 6pm-7pmThe shortlist of six titles will be announced for this prestigious prize, which celebrates its 25thanniversary this year, and honours the best work of fiction by a living author that has been translated into English from any other language and published in the UK in 2014.  

Indie Author Fringe Fest @ Foyles, Charing Cross, @ 12-7pm
The Fringe Fest offers exciting ways for readers to meet indie authors and discover great reads. It will also be live streamed, so authors and readers who can’t be in London can still take part online.

Mad Hatter’s Tea Party on Saturday 18th April @12pmA delightful children’s party to celebrate the 150thanniversary of Lewis Caroll’s Alice in Wonderland, attended by the former Children’s Laureate Anthony Browne.

How to write and illustrate children’s story books with Rebecca Elliott
This one-day course, picture book author and illustrator Rebecca Elliott (Just Because, The Last Tiger, Naked Trevor) will help aspiring illustrators make the most of your ideas, understand exactly what commissioning editors are looking for, and how to achieve it in their work.

How to be a ghostwriter with Andrew Crofts
This course taught by one of the UK’s leading ghostwriters introduces all the skills writers need to
get started in this potentially lucrative field. Learn how to find and recognise great stories, and how to build a relationship with a subject that helps get straight to the heart of their life story.

The Sea at Hackney Picturehouse with John Banville @ 1pmJoin author John Banville and director Stephen Brown in conversation, followed by a screening of the highly-acclaimed adaption of Banville’s bookThe Sea, which tells the story of a man who returns to the sea where he spent his childhood summers, in search of peace following the death of his wife.

For the full details on these and a list of all other events taking place, please visit the website: or follow London Book & Screen Week on Twitter at @LBandSW Please note that extra events are being added all the time.


Sunday, 22 March 2015

Weekly wrap up 23/3/15

Wow! What a week!!! I have had 2 parents evening, been assessing children all week, plus had the usual swimming, cricket and recorders going on. I can't believe I have had time to read at all! This weekend I have been sorting my dollars out for my holiday and getting last minute items.  :) eeek only 6 days to go!!! 

This week I have been sent:
His Other Life - Beth Thomas
A mothers story - Amanda Prowse (signed copy won) 

This week I have bought: 
Saving Grace - Jane Green
The House on Carnival Street - Deborah Rodriguez
The museum of extraordinary things - Alice Hoffman

Books I have read this week:
 Beneath the moon and Stars - Ameila Thorne
Finding Audrey - Sophie Kinsella (currently reading)

The books I have read all have reviews and they will be on the blog soon so look out for that!

Thanks for stopping by at The Book Corner, I loved  hearing what you have got this week so please leave a comment to let me know