Thursday, July 26, 2018

Review: Something in the Water

Title: Something in the Water
Author: Catherine Steadman
Publisher: 1 August 2018 by Simon & Schuster
Pages: 400 pages
How I Read It: ARC book
Genre: mystery, thriller, suspense, crime
My Rating: 4 cups

A shocking discovery on a honeymoon in paradise changes the lives of a picture-perfect couple in this taut psychological thriller debut--for readers of Ruth Ware, Paula Hawkins, and Shari Lapena.
If you could make one simple choice that would change your life forever, would you?
Erin is a documentary filmmaker on the brink of a professional breakthrough, Mark a handsome investment banker with big plans. Passionately in love, they embark on a dream honeymoon to the tropical island of Bora Bora, where they enjoy the sun, the sand, and each other. Then, while scuba diving in the crystal blue sea, they find something in the water. . . .
Could the life of your dreams be the stuff of nightmares?
Suddenly the newlyweds must make a dangerous choice: to speak out or to protect their secret. After all, if no one else knows, who would be hurt? Their decision will trigger a devastating chain of events. . . .
Have you ever wondered how long it takes to dig a grave?
Wonder no longer. Catherine Steadman's enthralling voice shines throughout this spellbinding debut novel. With piercing insight and fascinating twists, Something in the Water challenges the reader to confront the hopes we desperately cling to, the ideals we're tempted to abandon, and the perfect lies we tell ourselves.
My Thoughts

‘I have the feeling of being too near to something I don’t want to be near to. To something dangerous. I can’t quite see what it is yet but I feel it, it feels close. I feel the trapdoors in my mind creaking under the strain of what lies underneath.’

As a debut, this is a really interesting read that will engage you from start to finish. A slow build story with the author giving time to not only get to know, but assess the main characters. Filled with intrigue you will, at times, be dumbfounded by the actions of some characters - but that, I believe, is the whole point. I can’t help but feel there is more to this story that the superficial ‘who is responsible’ mystery theme. Yes, of course you will be swept along as both Erin and Mark make some incredible decisions together. Without saying anything about the plot, they take you on quite the journey.

I do believe, however, the true star of this book is the underlying theme - a psychological examination of everything it is to be human. The challenge is presented as you read along - what would you have done in their position? What are the priorities in your own life? To what length would you go to achieve them? Would you ever consider the long term consequences of such decisions?

The ending for me, was a great unexpected twist which I loved. Many reviewers complain that the main characters are unlikable, yet I have to wonder,  it would definitely take a certain type of person to engage and pursue a similar path as what Erin and Mark ultimately do. They are most definitely flawed characters, but perhaps, that is the point. I did struggle with other areas of the book. Firstly, I found the writing overly stilted and therefore difficult to absorb at times - “we’re our own unit. Impenetrable. Secure. There’s us and then there’s the rest of the world. Until now. Until this.” - typical of some of the punchy lines scattered throughout. There also seemed to be a rather radical change in the character's thoughts, words and actions that I felt did not sit comfortably with what had initially been laid out.

Overall, however, Steadman has created a truly absorbing read. The journey she will take you on will not only be a suspenseful one of ‘whodunit’ but also an engaging thought provoking challenge on motives and morals in the unlikely pursuit of the fulfilment of aspirations to the perfect life. Secrets will abound as both curiosity and greed will have a tug of war with honesty and truthfulness. Where would you stand?

This review is based on a complimentary copy from the publisher and provided through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. The quoted material may have changed in the final release.

Monday, July 23, 2018

Review: Whitsunday Dawn

Title:  Whitsunday Dawn
Author: Annie Seaton
Publisher: 23rd July  2018 by Harlequin Australia, HQ & MIRA
Pages: 352 pages
How I Read It: ARC book
Genre: mystery, romance, historical fiction,
My Rating: 5 cups


With the pristine beauty of the Whitsundays under threat, can they expose the truth in time? Australian author Annie Seaton brings to life a new area of romance — Eco-Adventure. Perfect for fans of Di Morrissey. When Olivia Sheridan arrives in the Whitsundays as spokesperson for big mining company Sheridan Corp, it should be a straightforward presentation to the town about their proposed project. But when a handsome local fisherman shows her what ecological impact the proposal will have, Olivia is forced to question her father's motives for the project.Struggling with newly divided loyalties, Olivia is thrown further into turmoil when she is mistaken for a woman who disappeared more than sixty years before. When it becomes clear that Captain Jay is also keeping secrets, Olivia realises that there is more to these sunshine–soaked islands than she ever expected. Seeking to uncover the truth, Olivia is drawn into a dangerous game where powerful businessmen will stop at nothing to ensure their plan goes ahead, even if that means eliminating her…Against the epic Far North Queensland landscape, this is the story of two women, separated by history, drawn to Whitsunday Island where their futures will be changed forever.
My Thoughts

Whitsunday Dawn by Aussie author Annie Seaton is my first read of hers and I thoroughly enjoyed it. A dual time narrative (always a fave of mine when done well) from WWII to present day to. You will find both narratives captivating as the author seamlessly weaves an intriguing and suspenseful mystery. What better than an engaging historical fiction combined with a modern day crusade to help save Australia’s Great Barrier Reef! All of this is set against the breathtaking backdrop of the Whitsundays and it will have you wishing you could visit the islands some time soon.

The historical narrative is set during the war years with the seemingly imminent invasion of the Japanese to Northern Australia. I loved learning about life on the island for Lily and her family, with an overall tale that will surely pull at your heartstrings. The current day narrative throws light on the Great Barrier Reef and its surrounds. Present day issues of greed and corruption in pursuit of the almighty dollar, but at what cost? An interesting insight into power - those that have it and the will of people power to try and make a difference. It was wonderful to watch the personal growth of Olivia as she comes to terms with how to truly make a life for herself.

Both stories have romance, suspense  intriguing drama filled plots and an engaging cast of characters. All of this is tied together with family secrets and fall outs. You will appreciate the love interests in both timelines, you will have an understanding for the good and bad sides of families and people in general. This book truly has a little bit for everybody whether it be history, conservation, exotic locations, romance and worthy drama with an unexpected twist at the end.

Set time aside to curl up with this book and be transported to the stunning Whitsunday from the seemingly idyllic life on the island of the 1940s to present day quests to save a natural heritage.  Both timelines I loved, so two stories for the price of one really as you wait for answers to unfold and hopeful for connections to be made. Whitsunday Dawn is one book I certainly have no hesitation in highly recommending.

This review is based on a complimentary copy from the publisher and provided through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. The quoted material may have changed in the final release

Thursday, July 19, 2018

Review: The Things We Don't Say

Title: The Things We Don’t Say
Author: Ella Carey
Publisher: 1 July 2018 by Lake Union Publishing
Pages: 303 pages
How I Read It: ARC book
Genre: womens fiction, historical fiction
My Rating: 4 cups

A beguiling painting holds the secrets of a woman’s past and calls into question everything she thought she knew about the man she loved…
Nearly sixty years ago, renowned London artist Patrick Adams painted his most famous work: a portrait of his beloved Emma Temple, a fellow bohemian with whom he shared his life. Years after Patrick’s death, ninety-year-old Emma still has the painting hanging over her bed at their country home as a testament to their love.
To Emma’s granddaughter, Laura, the portrait is also a symbol of so much to come. The masterpiece is serving as collateral to pay Laura’s tuition at a prestigious music school. Then the impossible happens when an appraiser claims the painting is a fraud. For Laura, the accusation jeopardizes her future. For Emma, it casts doubt on everything she believed about her relationship with Patrick. Laura is determined to prove that Patrick did indeed paint the portrait. Both her grandmother’s and Patrick’s legacies are worth fighting for.
As the stories of two women entwine, it’s time for Emma to summon up the past—even at the risk of revealing its unspoken secrets.
My Thoughts

I'm a fan of Ella Carey and was interested to read her next book. Her books are always an easy read with often a little twist to keep you engaged. This particular story is loosely based on the Bloomsbury group - artists in the early twentieth century and the complicated affairs they weave within their bohemian lifestyle. Set against that is the modern tale of the granddaughter's search for what is either a lost or stolen painting from that period.

‘... everyone put untold effort into trying to fix unresolved tensions in this life, but perhaps it was the very state of unresolvedness that gave us hope.’

This book is about love and the many forms it takes. Spanning over sixty odd years, the chapters will jump between Emma’s story in the past and her granddaughter, Laura, in 1980.  Emma was an interesting character, basically rebelling against Victorian ways and embracing her independence and one true love of a lifetime. You can only admire her for her strength of character in staying true to her ideals in that particular age and time. Perhaps a lesson we could all learn from, to do what makes us happy and content despite the protestations of others. Laura is a little more conservative and struggles to protect her grandmother and follow her passion of music.

‘What was more, as Laura now struggled with her own reactions to things that she could not control, the more she came to admire Emma’s calm acceptance and tolerance of life.’

Although a slow burn tale, it is somewhat slow in places, the touch of mystery is intriguing and the ending with the outcome of the painting I found contained an unforeseen twist that elevated this read from a 3.5 to 4 star read. However, at times it was so very repetitive, with awkward dialogue and not a lot happening, just repeating the same lines. Overall however, The Things We Don’t Say is an interesting story filled with love and passion, sex and drama, some good scandals enveloped by the painting mystery.

‘Through a century of turbulence, through two world wars and a gentle social revolution carried out by the extraordinary Emma Temple, this group of people had delved into past passion—of both the destructive and beautiful sort—into secrets that had been held close to private hearts, and into worlds that had circled around, linked because they were polar opposites and yet also because nothing existed as an entirely separate entity from anything else.’

This review is based on a complimentary copy from the publisher and provided through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. The quoted material may have changed in the final release.

Sunday, July 15, 2018

Review: For The Immortal

Title:  For The Immortal (Golden Apple Trilogy #3)
Author: Emily Hauser
Publisher: 14th June  2018 by Random House UK, Transworld Publisher
Pages: 384 pages
How I Read It: ARC book
Genre: historical fiction, Greek mythology
My Rating: 4 cups


Thousands of years ago, in an ancient world where the gods control all and heroes fight to have their names remembered down the ages, two extraordinary women become entangled in one of the greatest heroic tales of all time . . . and must face how much they are willing to risk for immortality.
Desperate to save her dying brother, Admete persuades her father, the king of Tiryns, to let her join Hercules on one of his legendary twelve labours. Travelling to the renowned female warrior Amazons in search of a cure, Admete soon discovers that both Hercules and the fearsome Amazons are not as they first seemed.
The Amazons greet the arrival of the Greeks with mixed feelings – and none more so than Hippolyta, the revered queen of the tribe. For Hercules and his band of fighters pose a threat to her way of life – but also stir up painful memories that threaten to expose her deepest secret.
As battle lines are drawn between the Greeks and the Amazons, both women soon learn the inevitable truth – in war, sacrifices must be made; especially if they are to protect the ones they love most . .
My Thoughts

Emily Hauser’s Golden Apple trilogy investigates various women from Greek mythology. Although the three books are connected, they can be viewed as a standalone as each covers a different legend. The final book in this trilogy centres around three women Hippolyta the Queen of the Amazons, Admete the daughter of Eurystheus and Hera, goddess and wife of Zeus.

For the Immortal mostly alternates between the stories of Admete and Hippolyta - two seemingly unrelated stories, but in time, the paths of these two women do cross. Admete and Hippolyta come from such different backgrounds and way of life, but both face similar problems - the overriding authority of living in a male dominated world. These (in)famous men are portrayed very differently here - you really won’t like them - but that is the point.

These stories are, in the words of the author, ‘based around a conglomeration of different myths from all sources’. In this instalment, you will encounter the stories of: Hercules (formerly Alcides); Hippolyta, Queen of the Amazons; briefly, Theseus; and of course, the Greek Gods themselves with the spotlight here on Hera. Hauser’s notes at the end of the story clearly outline her decision making in which myths and characters she included and her interpretation of them. I particularly enjoyed her portrayal of Hippolyta and her two sisters and how she fictionalised each of them in distinct phases.

There are some slow parts but overall another wonderful escape into the world of Greek mythology. It is clearly evident the amount of research Hauser has undertaken, and how she cleverly provides a wealth of information, merged and translated for fictional purposes in an effort to create her unique and fascinating interpretation. Definitely worth a read for lovers of Greek mythology.

‘You are a bard, and I a scribe. Together we may make a story, a tale of heroes that will be told down the generations’

This review is based on a complimentary copy from the publisher and provided through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. The quoted material may have changed in the final release

Thursday, July 12, 2018

Review: The Songs of Us

Title: The Songs of Us
Author: Emma Cooper
Publisher: 31 May 2018 by Hachette (Headline Review)
Pages: 432 pages
How I Read It: ARC book
Genre: fiction, contemporary
My Rating: 4.5 cups

If Melody hadn't run out of de-icer that day, she would never have slipped and banged her head. She wouldn't be left with a condition that makes her sing when she's nervous. And she definitely wouldn't have belted out the Arctic Monkeys' 'I Bet You Look Good on the Dancefloor' in assembly at her son's school.
If Dev hadn't taken the kids to the zoo that day, then the accident wouldn't have happened. He wouldn't have left Flynn and Rose without a dad. Or shattered the love of his life's heart.
But if they hadn't seen the missing person report that day, they might never have taken the trip to Cornwall. And, in the last place they expected, discovered what it really means to be 'Us'.
My Thoughts

‘Our life –no matter what happens in between –starts and ends with a heartbeat: our own personal rhythm, our own song.’

What an interesting book this proved to be. Swayed by other reviews, I am happy that I ventured into this somewhat darkly comic, family story.  This is no ordinary tale and therefore I feel the author has done an excellent job that is both funny and incredibly heart wrenching - in equal measure will you laugh and cry.

When you first start reading you may fall under false pretenses that this is a familiar themed chick lit with its generic romantic comedy formula. Light and fluffy this certainly is not, as you will seriously invest yourself in the many complex and challenging situations and characters. This book certainly did not venture down the path I first foresaw, in fact, the path is a mightily twisted and curved, one that will keep you guessing to the very end.

Each of the four main characters - Melody (Mum), Dev (Dad), Rose and Flynn (children) - have something unique to contribute as they walk through their life’s journey. Yes, you may very well laugh along as poor Melody’s condition will see her belting out another song and dance routine at the most inopportune times, but behind this facade is a far deeper, richer tale to be told. You will be captivated by these endearing characters and the battles they face both individually and together.

‘True love is simple. It’s there in the little Post-it notes, in the cup of tea when you wake up. It’s there when you argue and laugh five minutes later.’

Altogether it is such a well rounded book with a storyline that has a myriad of issues happening, some of which you simply will not see coming, but none are overwhelming. It truly is a heartwarming story of Melody and her struggles to do right by her family and those she loves. The characters and issues are real and therefore very believable and you will be taken on an emotionally charged journey throughout.

This novel will captivate you in unforeseen ways - you will laugh, shed a tear, feel your heart break and then have your faith in love restored. I recommend this quirky tale and don’t feel you will be disappointed.

‘I know I did the right thing to wait, because today was about flying, about rising above all of the world and its problems and leaving everything else behind.’

This review is based on a complimentary copy from the publisher and provided through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. The quoted material may have changed in the final release.

Sunday, July 8, 2018

Review: Jane Seymour: The Haunted Queen

Title:  Jane Seymour: The Haunted Queen (Six Tudor Queens #3)
Author: Alison Weir
Publisher: 3rd May 2018 by Hachette (Headline Review)
Pages: 560 pages
How I Read It: ARC book
Genre: historical fiction, Tudors
My Rating: 4.5 cups


Eleven days after the death of Anne Boleyn, Jane is dressing for her wedding to the King.
She has witnessed at first hand how courtly play can quickly turn to danger and knows she must bear a son . . . or face ruin.
This new Queen must therefore step out from the shadows cast by Katherine and Anne. In doing so, can she expose a gentler side to the brutal King?
Acclaimed, bestselling historian Alison Weir draws on new research for her captivating novel, which paints a compelling portrait of Jane and casts fresh light on both traditional and modern perceptions of her. Jane was driven by the strength of her faith and a belief that she might do some good in a wicked world.
History tells us how she died.
This spellbinding novel explores the life she lived.
My Thoughts

I am a fan of Tudor history and was looking forward to reading how Alison Weir would present her version of this well known period from history, having not read anything of hers before. I have not read the other two books, but each can be read as a standalone. At almost 600 pages, it is a definite commitment to undertake these epic reads but I believe one well worth the journey. The amount of detail that is provided will seamlessly transport you back to Tudor England and on this occasion, into the life of probably the least known of Henry’s wives.

Credit must be given to Weir and the amount of research - both old and new that I will elaborate on later - she delves into. It is an absolute credit to her that she produces such an easy to follow reenactment with the amount of cross checking of historical detail that she must have gone to. For you see, with so little information left behind on Jane Seymour, Weir makes the most of the bare facts that remain and fills the remainder in with rich imagery. In the perfect blend of historical fact and fictional story, a fascinating portrayal is presented of what might have occured during these tumultuous times.

I learnt much about Jane Seymour from the age of ten at her family home of Wulff Hall until her death after the birth of the long awaited Tudor prince. Always portrayed as modest and quiet, she was still well acquainted with court life having served both Katherine of Aragon and Anne Boleyn. Having witnessed the downfall of not one but two queens would have been intimidating for any person and following the exuberant Anne, Jane would always be viewed in stark contrast. However, Weir goes to great lengths to try and present a much more interesting version.

In the ‘Author’s Note’ at the conclusion, Weir explains how she came by her interpretation of events, and this I very much enjoyed. With so little to go on i.e. there were no significant writings or letters left behind from this Queen, it was up to Weir to source information from alternate testimonies. This she does well and presents clear justifications on the conclusions she reached. The most notable here, is of course, the death of Jane which most would say was due to complications associated with childbirth. However, Weir collaborated with nurses and other medical specialists to come to her own conclusion (I won’t spoil it for you). I found her theories fascinating and had not heard of them before, but given the amount of thought and research she went to, one cannot help but be converted to her proposal.

Therefore, if you’re a Tudor fan, I can say without any shadow of a doubt you will love this introduction and interpretation into the life of this lesser known queen. However,  I also feel there is plenty here to entice any lover of historical fiction.

‘It was a terrifying world she inhabited, and suddenly she wanted with all her heart to go home, to a place that was safe and normal, where the old ways mattered and good people did not suffer for following their consciences, and where you could observe your faith in the time-hallowed ways.’

This review is based on a complimentary copy from the publisher and provided through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. The quoted material may have changed in the final release

Friday, July 6, 2018

Review: The Love That I Have

Title: The Love That I Have
Author: James Moloney
Publisher: 21 May 2018 by Harper Collins (Australia)
Pages: 304 pages
How I Read It: ARC book
Genre: historical fiction, World War II
My Rating: 5 cups

For fans of The Book Thief, a powerful and heartbreaking story set during WW2 that stays with you long after the final page is read.
Margot Baumann has left school to take up her sister's job in the mailroom of a large prison. But this is Germany in 1944, and the prison is Sachsenhausen concentration camp near Berlin.
Margot is shielded from the camp's brutality as she has no contact with prisoners. But she does handle their mail and, when given a cigarette lighter and told to burn the letters, she is horrified by the callous act she must carry out with her own hands. This is especially painful since her brother was taken prisoner at Stalingrad and her family have had no letters from him. So Margot steals a few letters, intending to send them in secret, only to find herself drawn to their heart-rending words of hope, of despair, and of love.
This is how Margot comes to know Dieter Kleinschmidt - through the beauty and the passion of his letters to his girlfriend.
And since his girlfriend is also named Margot, it is like reading love letters written for her.
From award-winning Australian author James Moloney, comes a fresh and compelling story about love, loss and profound bravery.
My Thoughts

‘The dead should know they are loved. He’s right, and that’s why I can’t destroy these remaining letters. Among them are the most loving I’ve come across, and too much love has been burned, tossed aside, ignored and forgotten for me to treat them so cruelly.’

I loved this book. A story that is so authentically regaled, it is as if you are reading a memoir. Those of us who never tire of diving into this tragic period in history, will find something fresh in Moloney’s tale. A simple yet compelling story, with a well weaved plot that will make everything seem so real. War is horrific, whatever side you are on, yet the bravery expressed through pure love and devotion from this tale will touch your heart.

‘This is something I want to do just for me, to fill an emptiness inside me I wasn’t even aware of until I started reading letters from that barrel. I want to be in love like he is. There, I’ve said it, so I’ll say the rest. I want someone to love me the way he loves this other Margot.’

The fresh aspect I found is that neither Margot nor Dieter were Jews. So once again you are presented with a youthful German perspective from both in and outside the camps. Dieter, a young German who was caught up defending others and consequently punished and Margot so fresh faced and eager for life. Push away logistics of ‘how’ things were achieved, and just immerse yourself in the power of passion. Here is a young girl blinded by the Hitler youth, yet through gradual revelation, will have the blinkers removed and risk all to do what she feels is right. I was shocked by after war events - fear of the Russians  and how quickly fingers were pointed at seeming collaborators. The story of Margot and Dieter is sure to sit with you for some time.

‘If I ever get to meet him, I’ll be looking into the face of a dreamer like myself.’

If you are at all inclined to read historical fiction then The Love That I Have is a moving tale, none least of which is the power of words and how love can feed a soul when so much appears lost. An innocent heroine filled with courage who set out to prove that love could and would triumph over hate.

‘Maybe there is no God, only a giant set of scales, and now that the world is weighed down by hatred and war, it is up to people like us to balance things out so the whole planet doesn’t tip over into darkness.’

This review is based on a complimentary copy from the publisher and provided through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. The quoted material may have changed in the final release.

Tuesday, July 3, 2018

Review: How Hard Can It Be

Title:  How Hard Can It Be?
Author: Allison Pearson
Publisher: 5th June 2018 by St Martin’s Press
Pages: 352 pages
How I Read It: ARC book
Genre: women’s fiction
My Rating: 4 cups

Kate Reddy had it all: a nice home, two adorable kids, a good husband. Then her kids became teenagers (read: monsters). Richard, her husband, quit his job, taking up bicycling and therapeutic counseling: drinking green potions, dressing head to toe in Lycra, and spending his time—and their money—on his own therapy. Since Richard no longer sees a regular income as part of the path to enlightenment, it’s left to Kate to go back to work.
Companies aren’t necessarily keen on hiring 49-year-old mothers, so Kate does what she must: knocks a few years off her age, hires a trainer, joins a Women Returners group, and prepares a new resume that has a shot at a literary prize for experimental fiction.
When Kate manages to secure a job at the very hedge fund she founded, she finds herself in an impossible juggling act: proving herself (again) at work, dealing with teen drama, and trying to look after increasingly frail parents as the clock keeps ticking toward her 50th birthday. Then, of course, an old flame shows up out of the blue, and Kate finds herself facing off with everyone from Russian mobsters to a literal stallion.
Surely it will all work out in the end. After all, how hard can it be?
My Thoughts

‘Here I am, at half-time. At best, fifty is half-time, isn’t it? And the need to feel alive, to be reminded one is still alive, not merely chauffeuring one’s kids to their own lives, is suddenly intense.’

How Hard Can It Be? (Kate Reddy, #2)  is a sequel to I Don't Know How She Does It (Kate Reddy, #1 - there is even a film of it with Sarah Jessica Parker). Having not read the first book, I was not at any disadvantage as the current story can very much be read as a standalone. If you are a woman who has experienced any of the following - marriage, bringing up kids, have aging parents whilst trying to hold down a job - then this is the book for you. If you are in your 40s, maybe approaching 50, then go grab your copy now!

‘So yesterday, I Googled “Perimenopause.” If you’re thinking of doing it, one word of advice. Don’t.’

Allison Pearson has most definitely written a book for what she calls the ‘sandwich’ generation - she totally gets what many of us are trying to get through day in, day out. The main female leads story will be one that is all too familiar to many of us, juggling so many things and trying to keep everyone happy whilst trying to assess exactly where you are personally with such a milestone as 50 years approaching. Pearson will have you laughing, crying and nodding your head in agreement; with a perfect mix of comedy and drama where everything from teenage hormones, to ‘Perry’ perimenopause, to partner’s midlife crisis and parent senility will confront you. Laugh or cry, you will easily recognise the challenges and conflicts faced by the most engaging characters.

‘Once, when my phone flipped to selfie mode and I found myself looking at my own face, I recoiled. It was unnatural.’

Underlying it all, truthfully speaking, is a study of some serious contemporary issues. Yes, they may be dealt with in a light fashion given the nature of the read, however, there is always that element of truth even in the joking. eg. infidelity, social media sharing, online bullying, aging and medical conditions tied together with openness, honesty and truth. The one thing I did not like was the appalling way Kate’s children spoke and treated her - should not be okay in anyone’s book, really.

‘Take away a teenager’s phone and you remove the threat of dangers which are invisible to the maternal eye, plus the constant pressure on a girl to peacock herself for the peer group, then get crushed when she doesn’t get enough Likes. Unfortunately, you also take away their life, or the only part of their life they care about.’

So, if you are a female of the ‘sandwich’ generation and would like to take a break and have a few laughs (or commiserations) then this is a most worthwhile read.

‘As the plane begins its descent, the thought still isn’t quite formed. Something like, if I have to save everyone else, I need to start by saving myself first. How hard can it be?’

This review is based on a complimentary copy from the publisher and provided through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. The quoted material may have changed in the final release