The Letter – Goodreads Book Review

The Letter

 

The Letter isn’t my usual choice of reading material but I couldn’t resist when I read the blurb. Working in a charity shop myself, the idea of finding something like this, written 30 years earlier really intrigued me.

It tells of two relationships, Tina and Rick in the 70s and Chrissie and Billy in the 30s.

1970s

Tina volunteers in a charity shop on a Saturday and finds the letter in the pocket of a suit that has been donated. It was written by Billy in 1939 for Chrissie but for some reason, it was never sent.

Tina opens it and finds herself wanting to unravel the mystery of Chrissie and Billy.

1939

Chrissie and Billy fall in love just before the start of the war. Chrissie gets pregnant and ends up getting sent to Ireland to stay with an aunt.
Her aunt dies and Chrissie has to go and stay at a convent to have her baby.

Her home life isn’t good. Rick’s an alcoholic and Tina puts up with and makes excuses for him when he gets drunk and beats her up.
She does leave for a while but in the end, she goes back to him.

It was hard to read in places due to the domestic abuse and the way Chrissie is treated at the convent but it kept me reading.

The Letter by Kathryn Hughes

Here’s the blurb from Goodreads

Tina Craig longs to escape her violent husband. She works all the hours God sends to save up enough money to leave him, also volunteering in a charity shop to avoid her unhappy home. Whilst going through the pockets of a second-hand suit, she comes across an old letter, the envelope firmly sealed and unfranked. Tina opens the letter and reads it – a decision that will alter the course of her life for ever…

Billy Stirling knows he has been a fool, but hopes he can put things right. On 4th September 1939 he sits down to write the letter he hopes will change his future. It does – in more ways than he can ever imagine…

Goodreads Reading Challenge

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Killer Thrillers – Book Display at St Barnabas

Killer Thrillers

I can’t get enough of Killer Thrillers at the moment. When I read the Lincoln Rhyme series by Jeffrey Deaver a few years ago and I moved onto thrillers from chic lit. I love the suspense and trying to work out who the killer is. I usually know when we’re watching shows about murder on TV but I’m never very good at it when reading!

Killer Thrillers Book Display

Thrillers are very popular at the charity shop, St Barnabas, where I volunteer and this display did really well 🙂

Killer Thrillers

Killer Thrillers

Right now, the book display at the shop is ‘Blind Date With A Book’. I’ll be back with the photos next week 🙂

Lincoln Rhyme #11 The Skin Collector – Book Review Week 6

Lincoln Rhyme #11

Lincoln Rhyme The Skin Collector

I love Jeffrey Deaver’s Lincoln Rhyme series. My best friend bought me a box set of the first three books in the series. I’d never been a fan of thrillers, much-preferring chick lit style but I decided to give the first one a go and absolutely loved it.

The Skin Collector is book number 11 in the series and like all the others, I thoroughly enjoyed it. It’s been quite a while since I read a Lincoln book but as soon as I started it felt like I was back with old friends.

Taken from Goodreads

A new type of serial killer is stalking the streets of New York. One more devious and disturbing than ever before.

They call this butcher The Skin Collector: a tattooist with a chamber of torture hidden deep underground. But instead of using ink to create each masterpiece, the artist uses a lethal poison which will render targets dead before they can even entertain the prospect of escape . . .

Drafted in to investigate, NYPD detective Lincoln Rhyme and his associate Amelia Sachs have little to go on but a series of cryptic messages left etched into the skin of the deceased.

As the pair struggle to discover the meaning behind the designs, they are led down a treacherous and twisting path where nothing is as it seems. And with the clock rapidly ticking before the killer strikes again, they must untangle the twisted web of clues before more victims – or they themselves – are next.

I gave this 4 stars on Goodreads. I was going to give it 5 but I’ve enjoyed some of the others in the series more than this so I figured a 4 was a good rating.

Goodreads reading challenge


MamaMummyMum

Don’t Judge A Book By Its Cover – Book Display

Don’t judge a book by its cover

It took a while to cover all the books for our, Don’t Judge A Book By Its Cover, book display. I typed out the first couple of paragraphs from each book and attached them to front cover. The idea being that you had to read the paragraph to decide whether you wanted to read the rest of the book.

Don't Judge A Book By Its Cover

Don't Judge A Book By Its Cover

Another book display from the charity shop where I volunteer, St Barnabas. Next week I’ll be showing you my Killer Thriller display. I love thrillers so enjoyed finding books for that display. I ended up buying another 3 books to add to my ‘to be read’ pile!

Dear Amy – Book Review Week 5

Dear Amy

I really liked the sound of Dear Amy when I read the blurb. I have to say, it wasn’t as good as I expected it to be. It did keep me reading so it wasn’t all bad but I think I was expecting too much.

It’s hard to really talk about it without giving away spoilers so this is going to be a short review!

The start of the book was good. It got me hooked. It made me want to read instead of the 100 other things I should have been doing! Towards the middle, though, I felt like it started going downhill a bit. Another reviewer on Goodreads, Liz Barnsley, said exactly what I was thinking:

there were one or two very generic plot devices used to prevent the characters getting somewhere too quickly. I roll my eyes these days every time a mobile phone has no signal (usually all of a sudden) or has run out of battery (hey it happens but EVERY time someone is in mortal danger or whatever? It seems so if you are a character in a psychological thriller) Thats fine too there are only so many ways of moving (or not) a plot forwards at the pace required but when you’ve read the same reason many many many times it becomes slightly dull.

It wasn’t badly written, it was just a bit, ‘meh’.

Dear Amy book

Goodreads challenge 5 books read


MamaMummyMum

I Don’t Remember The Title But It’s Blue – Book Display

I don’t remember the title

I don't remember the title but it's blue book display

I don’t remember the title but it’s blue book display

One of my earlier displays is one of my favourites. We got lots of comments for our display from the customers at St Barnabas. I volunteer at the charity shop two mornings a week in the book department.

I don't remember the title but it's blue book display

I don't remember the title but it's blue book display

I change the displays every Friday ready for the weekend. Today I’m changing it from Killer Thrillers to Children’s Bedtime Stories.
I’ve got the next few months displays planned so the book team can start saving any relevant books they come across when sorting through the donations 🙂

 

The Forgetting Time – Weekly Book Review Week 4

The Forgetting Time

I’ve always found the idea of reincarnation interesting. I’m not sure if I believe it but I enjoy reading about it and I really enjoyed The Forgetting Time.

It was a bit slow to start (I seem to be getting slow starters at the moment!) but it soon picked up. The story centres on 4-year-old Noah and his single mum Janie.
Noah keeps asking when he’s going to go home and when will his other mum come for him. He talks about things Janie knows nothing about, for example, Harry Potter, guns and lizards.

He has an unexplainable water phobia and refuses to bathe. His behaviour problems get too bad for his preschool to deal with and Janie ends up taking him to see various medical professionals.
None of them seems able to help and one of them even suggests putting Noah on pills.

Janie meets Professor Jerome Anderson who studies past lives and is writing a book on the subject. He tries his best to help them but he’s struggling with a form of Aphasia which means he’s losing the ability to read, write and even talk. He wants to finish his book before the Aphasia totally takes hold.

The story brings 2 families and Jerome together for a short while and in that time, they all find what they need.

The Forgetting Time

Here’s the blurb from Goodreads:

Noah wants to go home. A seemingly easy request from most four year olds. But as Noah’s single-mother, Janie, knows, nothing with Noah is ever easy. One day the pre-school office calls and says Janie needs to come in to talk about Noah, and no, not later, now – and life as she knows it stops.

For Jerome Anderson, life as he knows it has stopped. A deadly diagnosis has made him realize he is approaching the end of his life. His first thought – I’m not finished yet. Once a shining young star in academia, a graduate of Yale and Harvard, a professor of psychology, he threw it all away because of an obsession.

Anderson became the laughing stock of his peers, but he didn’t care. Something had to be going on beyond what anyone could see or comprehend. He spent his life searching for that something else. And with Noah, he thinks he’s found it.
Soon Noah, Janie and Anderson will find themselves knocking on the door of a mother whose son has been missing for seven years – and when that door opens, all of their questions will be answered.

I’d recommend this book if you’re at all interested in reincarnation.

The one thing I didn’t much care for was the stories at the start of each chapter. They’re taken from a book about reincarnation by Jim B. Tucker.
They were interesting but I felt they were keeping me from reading the story I wanted to read. I can’t actually remember any of the stories because I found myself reading them quickly so I could back to Noah and Janie!

Goodreads challenge 2017 4 books read


MamaMummyMum

Have you ‘RED’ these yet? – Book Display

Have you ‘RED’ these yet?

Pinterest is excellent for getting inspiration for the weekly book displays I do at my local charity shop, St Barnabas.
This one was a display I did last year and it’s a play on words, Have you ‘RED’ this yet?

We saved up all the red coloured books that came in the week before 🙂

Have you 'RED' this yet? book display

Have you 'RED' this yet? book display

If you have any ideas for future book displays I can do, I’d appreciate it if you could leave me a comment 🙂 I’m planning on doing Date Night With a Book for Valentine’s Day.

Another idea is to wrap the books in colourful paper and do a book lucky dip. As an avid reader who struggles to know which book to read next from the huge ‘to read’ pile I have, this one excites me the most!

Gone Girl – Weekly Book Review Week 3

Gone Girl

I was expecting to enjoy Gone Girl as much as I did, The Girl On The Train.

I didn’t.

In fact, half way through the book, I posted a picture of it on Instagram and said that I was struggling to get to the end. The first half felt like a real slog.
It wasn’t gripping me and I occasionally wondered whether finding out what was actually happening was worth having to read to the end!

gone-girl-by-gillian-flynn-goodreads-reading-challenge

I read a few reviews that said the second half was much better than the first so I decided to finish it.

If you haven’t read the book, then here’s the blurb from Goodreads:

On a warm summer morning in North Carthage, Missouri, it is Nick and Amy Dunne’s fifth wedding anniversary. Presents are being wrapped and reservations are being made when Nick’s clever and beautiful wife disappears. Husband-of-the-Year Nick isn’t doing himself any favors with cringe-worthy daydreams about the slope and shape of his wife’s head, but passages from Amy’s diary reveal the alpha-girl perfectionist could have put anyone dangerously on edge. Under mounting pressure from the police and the media—as well as Amy’s fiercely doting parents—the town golden boy parades an endless series of lies, deceits, and inappropriate behavior. Nick is oddly evasive, and he’s definitely bitter—but is he really a killer?

The second half was indeed much better than the first but I found the ending a bit disappointing. I can’t really say why without ruining it for anyone who hasn’t read it yet so I won’t.
I will say if you haven’t read the book or seen the movie, the movie sticks quite closely to the book and is much easier to get through!

Gone Girl - Book Challenge Book 3

 

 

The Widow – Weekly Book Review Week 2

The Widow

I’m not sure what it was that caught my eye with The Widow but something made me read the blurb when I came across it in the charity shop. Maybe it was because of the line on the cover that said, ‘A loving husband or a heartless killer. She’d know, wouldn’t she?’

The Widow by Fiona Barton

This is taken from Goodreads:

We’ve all seen him: the man – the monster – staring from the front page of every newspaper, accused of a terrible crime.

But what about her: the woman who grips his arm on the courtroom stairs – the wife who stands by him?

Jean Taylor’s life was blissfully ordinary. Nice house, nice husband. Glen was all she’d ever wanted: her Prince Charming.

Until he became that man accused, that monster on the front page. Jean was married to a man everyone thought capable of unimaginable evil.

But now Glen is dead and she’s alone for the first time, free to tell her story on her own terms.

Jean Taylor is going to tell us what she knows.

4 Stars

I gave the book 4 stars on Goodreads. I would have given it 5 but I felt the ending lacked something. I’m not exactly sure what, I just know I felt a little deflated when it was done.
The story kept me wanting to read through all of the book but it’s been a few days since I finished and I’m struggling to remember why I liked it!

It did keep me guessing, wondering who the kidnapper could be and whether, in fact, they weren’t just a kidnapper but a murderer as well.
I wasn’t expecting it to be the person it turned out to be. It had taken me through multiple suspects and I was convinced it was going to be someone else.

The Widow is Fiona Barton’s first book and I’m looking forward to her next one, which is called, The Child.

Goodreads challenge