Life After Life by Kate Atkinson

About the book

What if you had the chance to live your life again and again, until you finally got it right?

During a snowstorm in England in 1910, a baby is born and dies before she can take her first breath.

During a snowstorm in England in 1910, the same baby is born and lives to tell the tale.

What if there were second chances? And third chances? In fact an infinite number of chances to live your life? Would you eventually be able to save the world from its own inevitable destiny? And would you even want to?

 

 Reviewed by Palestine Book Club

“Unusual structure – some found it irritating and confusing. Very thought provoking. An interesting story and good quality writing”

star rating **

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The Missing One by Lucy Atkins

About the book

The loss of her mother has left Kali McKenzie with too many unanswered questions. But while clearing out Elena’s art studio, she finds a drawer packed with postcards, each bearing an identical one-line message a Canadian gallery owner called Susannah Gillespie: thinking of you. Who is this woman and what does she know about Elena’s hidden past? Desperate to find out, Kali travels with her toddler, Finn, to Susannah’s isolated home on a remote British Columbian island, a place of killer whales and storms. But as bad weather closes in, Kali quickly realises she has made a big mistake. The handsome and enigmatic Susannah refuses to talk about the past, and as Kali struggles to piece together what happened back in the 1970s, Susannah’s behaviour grows more and more erratic. Most worrying of all, Susannah is becoming increasingly preoccupied with little Finn …

 Reviewed by Seagals

“Well written and well researched. We really enjoyed the book on the whole, although towards the end it got a bit far fetched”

star rating ****

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After Such Kindness by Gaynor Arnold

About the book

When the writer, Oxford scholar and photographer John Jameson visits the home of his vicar friend, he is entranced by Daisy, his youngest daughter. Jameson charms her with his wit and child-like imagination, teasing her with riddles and inventing humorous stories as they enjoy afternoons alone by the river and in his rooms.

The shocking impact of this unusual friendship is only brought to light when, years later, Daisy, unsettled in her marriage, rediscovers her childhood diaries hidden in an old toy chest.

 

Reviewed by Bridgemary Bookworms

“Well written but shocking to be made aware of the connection to Alice Liddell (Alice in Wonderland) An insight into Victorian values and behaviours in supposedly law abiding middle class family life. Not universally enjoyed and caused some discussion regarding ethical conduct”

star rating ****

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The Very Thought of You by Rosie Alison

About the book

31st August 1939: the world is on the brink of war. As Hitler prepares to invade Poland, thousands of children are evacuated from London to escape the impending Blitz. Torn from her mother, eight-year-old Anna Sands is relocated with other children to a large Yorkshire estate which has been opened up to evacuees by Thomas and Elizabeth Ashton, an enigmatic childless couple. Soon Anna gets drawn into their unravelling relationship, seeing things that are not meant for her eyes and finding herself part-witness and part-accomplice to a love affair, with unforeseen consequences.

 

Reviewed by Bridgemary Bookworms

“One found it depressing and is looking forward to a cheerier tale. Another enjoyed it but thought that her obsession with her teacher took over her life which was a shame. Well written with lots of psychological insights made for complex characters”

star rating ***

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The Time of My Life by Cecelia Ahern

About the book

Are you taking your life for granted?

Lucy Silchester is. She’s busied herself with other stuff: friends’ lives, work issues, her deteriorating car, that kind of thing. But she’s stuck in a rut – and deluding everyone. Only Lucy knows the real truth.

Time for a wake-up call – a meeting with life. And life turns out to be a kindly, rather run-down man in an old suit, who is determined to bring about change – and won’t let Lucy off the hook.

Sometimes we all need to make time for our life…

Reviewed by Goodworth Clatford WI

“An unusual read – it was brought alive once we discussed the synopsis written by one of our group. Cleverly written – it took some time to read. Could do with a second read!”

star rating ***

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How to Fall in Love by Cecelia Ahern

About the book

Christine Rose is crossing the Ha’penny Bridge in Dublin late one night when she sees a stranger, Adam, poised to jump. Desperate to help, she talks him into a reckless deal: if he gives her two weeks – till his 35th birthday – she’ll prove that life is worth living.

But as the clock ticks and the two of them embark on late-night escapades and romantic adventures, what Christine has really promised seems impossible…

Reviewed by Reading Between the Lines

“Predictable but quite enjoyable with a decent ending. Quite easy reading and not that much character development.”

star rating **

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Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

About the book

As teenagers in Lagos, Ifemelu and Obinze fall in love. Their Nigeria is under military dictatorship, and people are fleeing the country if they can. The self-assured Ifemelu departs for America. There she suffers defeats and triumphs, finds and loses relationships, all the while feeling the weight of something she never thought of back home: race. Obinze had hoped to join her, but post-9/11 America will not let him in, and he plunges into a dangerous, undocumented life in London.

Thirteen years later, Obinze is a wealthy man in a newly democratic Nigeria, while Ifemelu has achieved success as a blogger. But after so long apart and so many changes, will they find the courage to meet again, face to face?

Reviewed by Wallington Village

beguiling, powerful detailed descriptions. Delightful use of language. Quite a contrast between narrative styles. Well observed. Beautifully written. Could just picture it.

star rating ****

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Dare Me by Megan Abbott

Dare Me

About the Book

When Colette French arrives at school one fall and takes charge of the cheer squad, she brings a hint of threat. Sleek, remote and careless, she transforms the girls into warriors – and rivals. Addy and Beth find that for the first time they have secrets from one another. But their mentor is playing her own deadly game, and there is everything to lose.

Reviewed by Bridewell Beauties

Much Discussion: Unattractive and ugly book. Disturbing book in two parts – the second half slightly more convincing. Overall well written

Star rating   **

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Whispers Underground by Ben Aaronovitch (Book 3 of ‘Rivers of London’)

About the Book

Peter Grant is learning magic fast. And it’s just as well – he’s already had run-ins with the deadly supernatural children of the Thames and a terrifying killer in Soho. Progression in the Police Force is less easy. Especially when you work in a department of two. A department that doesn’t even officially exist. A department that if you did describe it to most people would get you laughed at. And then there’s his love life. The last person he fell for ended up seriously dead. It wasn’t his fault, but still.

Now something horrible is happening in the labyrinth of tunnels that make up the tube system that honeycombs the ancient foundations of London. And delays on the Northern line is the very least of it. Time to call in the Met’s Economic and Specialist Crime Unit 9, aka ‘The Folly’. Time to call in PC Peter Grant, Britain’s Last Wizard.

Reviewed by Totton 1 Reading Group

Very entertaining. I didn’t always know what was going on but got swept along by the humour and chaos. I liked the style of the book

Star rating ***

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For one more day by Mitch Albom

About the book

Charley loses his job, leaves his family, and decides, one night, to end his life. Somewhere between this world and the next, he encounters his mother, who died years ago, and he spends one last day with her – a day he never had on earth. the book.

Reviewed by Denmead Reading Circle

A gem of a book, full of understanding and beautiful words. Loved by all. The end left a ? and we wanted more, yet it felt quite finished as well.
**** 4 stars

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