Deborah Maclaren - Editorial Expert

Latest Reviews By Deborah Maclaren

The Measure
Every adult on earth suddenly shares the same surreal experience, when overnight a box arrives on the doorstep of everyone aged 22 and older across the world. The measure of your life lies within. Each person is presented with a string of a different length, and the string determines how long you have left on Earth. Would you open the box? It's a brilliant concept, brilliantly written, brilliantly realised dystopian world which pits "long-stringers" against "short-tringers", fear drives the divides in society as people struggle to come to terms with the new reality. By a debut author who we are sure ... View Full Review
This Monk Wears Heels Be Who You Are
This inspirational book is a beautifully presented, beautifully written, heartfelt and emotional insight into Kodo's journey and is "for anyone who has ever struggled to be honest with their heart".  Kodo Nishimura is a Buddhist monk, a makeup artist and a member of the LGBTQ+ community, proudly and openly since he was 26. Having grown up in a Tokyo temple where his father was a priest with an expectation that one day he would take over the family business, he spent half of his life "at the bottom of a colourless pit." Watching back a video of when he was ... View Full Review
How to Grow Your Family
When pregnant, Shaw is right, food is framed in negatives, what you can't eat when you're pregnant rather than eating food that will make you feel good. And so At Dad's Table was born...different recipes for different trimesters when the nutritional requirements change. From eating well in the secret trimester, to a spotlight on six awesome folate-rich pesto recipes, I almost wanted to be pregnant again to try the recipes out and feel their impact. And I will absolutely be thrusting this book at all of my pregnant friends. With over 110 recipes beautifully presented in this hardback book, Shaw ... View Full Review
The Wim Hof Method
You might be aware of Wim Hof as the man that spends a lot of time in cold water and freezing temperatures – and the star of the BBC One show Freeze The Fear. Also known as The Iceman, he’s an extreme athlete who claims that his breathing techniques and exposure to cold can reduce inflammation in the body and contribute to better health. Having first jumped into icy water aged 17, he's not looked back for the last 46 years and content with simply being able to hold his breath for six minutes and withstand sub zero temperatures, Wim ... View Full Review
Just For Today
When we first meet Joni she's a disenchanted writer working as a nanny lodging in the house of a therapist in North London. We see the hedonism of city life, the giddy euphoria of the party years, the highs and the lows, the love, the laughter, "the will they won't they" of their relationships all wrapped up in crazy adventures within their London playground. Always comparing their hedonism to that of the resident fuck-up, the yardstick by which they measured their own debauchery. And always coming up trumps. I loved every page, every obsessive resisting of Joni anaesthetising her feelings ... View Full Review
Sorrow and Bliss
It’s hard to believe it’s a debut as the challenging subject matter of depression is handled with such a deft touch. So dark, it’s pitch, pitch black. Yet so so sensitive. It’s a masterclass in ascerbic narration and perfectly pitches the dark and the light. When we first meet Martha, she talks about her husband Patrick with such disdain, such boredom and he comments that Martha can supply anyone with an inventory of his flaws. But then everyone thinks he’s perfection, so sweet, so kind, living his life in the ... View Full Review
The Startup Wife
Asha Ray and Cyrus Jones marry 2 months after they met the second time. 13 years after the first time when Asha was in love with Cyrus in ninth grade. Cyrus stepped into her brain at college like she was putting on a really great pair of sneakers for the first time. And she was hooked. Asha is a genius computer scientist who has an idea to create a social networking app that has the potential to change the media landscape forever.  WAI is born from her laptop: focusing on interests, beliefs and passions not likes and dislikes. Her algorithm grabs ... View Full Review
The One
When Lottie Brown bumped into Leo she was convinced he was “The One”. Their three months together were pretty much perfect. She was the happiest she’d ever been. Until she lost him. As she mourns the man snatched from her too soon, she crumbles, her heart breaks and Lottie struggles to get her life back on track. They hadn’t had time to meet their family and friends, to fully know each other. Leo had never met Lottie’s two sisters, the remainder of their trio. She’d met his cousin Ross briefly ... View Full Review
Lowen Ashleigh, a struggling writer, loses her mum, becomes homeless, is on the brink of financial ruin and she thinks all is lost. That’s until she is invited to a meeting to discuss her taking the baton from a global bestselling author Verity Crawford, to finish the final three books in an award-winning series. Verity’s husband Jeremy hires Lowen to pick up where his injured wife left off. When trawling through the messy office in their sprawling home, Lowen finds Verity's draft autobiography, a grippingly honest account of her life that surely no-one was ever intended ... View Full Review
If you’ve read the Sam Shephard series, you’ll know all about Vanda Symon, New Zealand’s Queen of Crime. If you’ve not read them, please do, they are cracking. Faceless is jam-packed with suspense, utterly gripping and I promise you’ll clench all the way through. Certain bits I felt I stopped breathing altogether! And don’t get me started on the final few chapters… Billy is a vulnerable, homeless artist who turns tricks to fund her art. When Bradley, a stressed, middle-aged man picks up Billy, his frustration leads ... View Full Review
Again, Rachel
If you met Rachel in the 90s, you’ll remember she was an absolute mess. In Keyes’ 1998 book Rachel’s Holiday, Rachel Walsh had such a fondness for recreational drugs that her family had forked out the cash for a spell in Cloisters - Dublin's answer to the Betty Ford Clinic. She’s come a long way since then…rehab sorted her out. She even enjoys gardening now, who’d have ever thought it? Everything looks hunky dory until the reappearance of an old flame makes her question everything. In this much anticipated sequel ... View Full Review
Twelve Secrets
If you're looking for your next book fix, stop right now and read Twelve Secrets. Twenty years ago Ben Harper's world was turned upside down when his older brother Nick and best friend are murdered by two school friends. Ten years later he lost his mother and the story rocked the little town and the whole country. Now an award-winning investigative journalist his boss asks him to relive his traumas on the tenth anniversary of his mother's death. Ben has a decision to make. Does he want to go there? What will he find? Will be be able to write ... View Full Review