Each week our team of book lovers choose a selection of books they have loved and think deserve an extra shout out. Everyone fights to get theirs on the list. Here are this week’s faves…
A beautifully constructed, absolute dream of a read. Three women (including the wickedly wonderful Emily from ‘The Devil Wears Prada’) join forces when one of them is set up, publicly discarded and viciously humiliated by her husband. Emily, Miriam and Karolina live what may appear to be a charmed jet-setting, party-licious life, however there is a very long way to fall when the knives are out. I absolutely adore Lauren Weisberger’s novels, they read as a master class in setting the scene and creating an eloquently enjoyable and pointedly wicked read. Each chapter focuses on one of the women, so perfectly describing their life I could not only picture myself there, I was there. My eye-popping disbelief mounted at the tactics, the lifestyle, and I seethed away, joining ranks, willing them on. A quick note, just in case you’ve already hunted this down and read it, ‘The Wives’ was published in the USA as ‘When Life Gives you Lululemons’. ‘The Wives’ is a hugely entertaining, read in one sitting, smoking-hot loaded gun of a read - and I highly recommend it.
This is quite simply a wonderfully gorgeous must-read! My whole being poured into ‘The Possible World’, soaked up the words, the feelings, the story. Six year old Ben is left traumatised after a violent crime, Lucy the doctor who initially treats Ben in the Emergency Room has her own issues, while Clare has lived a lifetime of secrets, is she ready to tell her story? Each chapter is headed by one of the characters, each story, stands resolute, almost isolated, and yet a transparent thread weaves between them, creating a cobweb of a connection. Liese O’Halloran Schwarz writes with such beautiful heartfelt emotion, yet is also able to communicate stark realism. At certain points, my mind clouded in confusion, before clarity hit me like a hammer blow. I adored the storyline, the mysterious, spellbinding route that is taken almost feels as though you happen upon it by chance. I read without stopping, completely consumed by the story and it hurt when I turned the final page, when I had to come back into my world. I still ache when I think about ‘The Possible World’, it truly is a beautiful read and will topping my books of the year.
An electrifying and riveting tale, my thoughts and feelings were captured from the moment I opened ‘Watching You’. Joey returns home to Bristol, she soon becomes rather obsessed with an older man, however doesn’t realise that while she is watching him, someone else is watching her. I was absolutely thrilled to hear I would be reviewing Lisa Jewell (sharp elbows and pushing to the front of the queue may have been involved), as her books have the ability to really get under my skin. Intrigue and suspicion smiled slyly as they settled over the first page and prologue. I adored the way this book opened out in front of me, tight fast moving chapters created a throbbing energy which played havoc with my emotions. I met each character with a certain amount of uncertainty, weighing, judging, evaluating as I got to know them. Information is steadily and exquisitely revealed, a beautiful balance is maintained, keeping thoughts on a knife edge. ‘Watching You’ is a completely wonderful, intensely satisfying tale. I can highly recommend just letting go and sinking into the pages, be warned though, I didn’t want to come up for air and it was a one-sitting read for me.
A hammer-hard blast of a novel set in the underworld of Essex. Alfie and Vaughn return from Spain looking to become kingpins in the world of crime, however the local criminals are already forming a queue ready to take them down. Jacqui Rose immediately sets the action loose in a fast-paced wild ride and I just leapt straight in. There are characters full of bravado and swagger who set the pages on fire. The chapters are short, snappy, and full of menace. I raised my eyebrows and smirked at the brilliantly snarky quips and retorts. A mystery of whispers from the past gather to meet the present setting up a tidal wave, ready to crash into the ending. ‘Toxic' comes with shocks a plenty and a tommy gun of wise-cracking comebacks, plus there is a particular storyline ready to melt hearts, all resulting in a captivating, absolutely cracking read.
Gorgeous, just gorgeous! This is a gentle, loving, beautiful romance set in Australia and I loved every single second of it. Gracie has severe amnesia after a car accident, escaping to the flower farm of her past, does she choose the safety of the people who know and love her, or start all over again? The prologue sets the story up wonderfully, with just enough information to take up residence in my mind. I have to admit that once I started reading, I forgot that I was meant to be reviewing and just became a part of the story. I let the contents waft over me and through me, I became friends with Gracie and the people in her life, could smell the flowers, feel the emotions. Vanessa Carnevale writes with a sensitive, heartfelt pen, she has the ability to put the feel in good. ‘The Memories of Us’ is a joyful hug of a book that reaches out, soothes, cares, and encircles with warmth - as I say, it’s all rather gorgeous!
Ooh, this is a sharp, highly entertaining yet provocative read. Imogen unexpectedly stands up to her ex-husband with far-reaching results, but what is she meant to do now and how can she protect her son? The first chapter brilliantly introduced the story, a few pages set my thoughts running amok and stirred up a hornets nest of intrigue. Jo Jakeman sets in motion a hugely effective countdown at the beginning of each chapter which keeps the tension cranked up high. The characters vividly lit up my mind as they bypassed sensible and began to run down desperation. As I read I questioned the lengths I would go to, to protect those I love. I found myself so involved with the storyline, at times I had to stop myself from forming a cheerleading squad! ‘Sticks and Stones’ is compulsive, addictive, heart in mouth stuff, I suggest popping reality to one side and just launching yourself straight in.