The Missing Letters of Mrs Bright by Beth Miller

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EXCERPT: The photo was a little crumpled around the edges, but – please excuse my lack of modesty – there was no denying the quality. It was a tight headshot in black and white of three pretty young women: Rose on the left, smiling and looking sideways at Bear next to her; me on Bear’s right, looking simultaneously pleased and harassed. Setting up the camera timer and making sure everyone stayed in the right place was a bit stressful. With film, you couldn’t keep trying again and again until you got it right. You had to get everything in place, then hold your breath and hope.

The photo was from the one visit to Australia that Rose and I took together, during our gap year, when we were still in our teens. When everything in life was there to be looked forward to, and it was too early for us to have made any mistakes. Before I met Richard, or David; before I got pregnant and crashed out of my degree. I looked again at our unlined, hopeful faces. So beautiful, so young.

ABOUT THIS BOOK: You’ve met Mrs Bright. She’s that nice woman who lives three doors down and always smiles at you in the mornings. She’s planning her thirtieth wedding anniversary with her husband. She wants to travel, read endless books and take beautiful pictures. She’s been waiting for this forever.

For the past twenty-nine years, Kay Bright’s days have had a familiar rhythm: she works in her husband’s stationery shop, cooks for her family, tries to remember to practice yoga, and every other month she writes to her best friend, Ursula, and Ursula replies. Kay could set her calendar by their letters: her heart lifts when the blue airmail envelope, addressed in Ursula’s slanting handwriting, falls gently onto the mat.

Ursula is the only one who knows Kay’s deepest secret, something that happened decades ago that could tear Kay’s life apart today. Ursula has always been the person Kay relies on. Knowing she will hear from Ursula is like being sure the sun will rise tomorrow.

And now Ursula has stopped writing. Three missing letters doesn’t sound like a lot, but Kay gets out her shoebox of notes from her best friend, in case there’s something she overlooked. Ursula seems fine, but the further back she goes, the more Kay begins to question every choice she has made in her life. Which might be why, at ten o’clock one morning, Kay walks out of her yellow front door with a just a rucksack, leaving her wedding ring on the table…

MY THOUGHTS: This was an enjoyable read. I laughed, and I shed a few tears. And I remembered a similar exit from my first marriage to my ‘practice husband’ as I now affectionately call him. So yes, this read brought back memories, some good, some bad, but the thing that struck me most was how well Beth Miller has captured the emotions, how she has transferred them onto paper without, at any point, making them seem trite or hackneyed. She has written with flair and humour, unafraid to dissect a marriage, to examine the relationships between a mother and daughter, between lifelong friends.

She had me wondering, at times, if Kay really knew what she was doing, what she ultimately wanted, if she had really thought this through.

Ultimately this is a story about love, about friendship, about loss, and about not losing sight of the things that matter to you. It is beautifully written; sad, funny and inspiring.

This is the second book I have read by this author, and I am developing a real liking for her work.

😢❤😂.5

#TheMissingLettersOfMrsBright #NetGalley

Some of my favourite lines from The Missing Letters of Mrs Bright:

‘You go through life, you make choices they lead to other choices, and before you know it, you’re in a place you wouldn’t have started from.’

‘I enjoy speaking English very much, but sometimes it is too English. Italian is the language of romance.’

THE AUTHOR: have been told that I write like a tall blonde, so that’s how I’d like you to picture me.

I’ve published three novels, with one more about to be born, in January 2020. I’ve also published two non-fiction books. I work as a book coach and creative writing tutor.

Before writing books, I did a lot of different jobs. I worked in schools, shops, offices, hospitals, students’ unions, basements, from home, in my car, and up a tree. OK, not up a tree. I’ve been a sexual health trainer, a journalist, a psychology lecturer, a PhD student, a lousy alcohol counsellor, and an inept audio-typist. I sold pens, bread, and condoms. Not in the same shop. I taught parents how to tell if their teenagers are taking drugs (clue: they act like teenagers), and taught teenagers how to put on condoms (clue: there won’t really be a cucumber). I taught rabbis how to tell if their teenagers are druggedly putting condoms on cucumbers.

Throughout this, I always wrote, and always drank a lot of tea. I’m now pretty much unbeatable at drinking tea.

DISCLOSURE: Thank you to Bookouture via Netgalley for providing a digital ARC of The Missing Letters of Mrs Bright by Beth Miller for review. All opinions expressed in this review are entirely my own personal opinions.

For an explanation of my rating system please refer to my Goodreads.com profile page or the about page on sandysbookaday.wordpress.com

This review and others are also published on Twitter, Amazon and https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/3085457231?book_show_action=false&from_review_page=1

Watching What I’m Reading…

It is a hot summer day here in my little corner of New Zealand. It is not often that you will hear me say this, but it’s actually too hot to be out in the garden. It was the same yesterday, and apparently we have a whole week of this lovely weather to look forward to. Bring on summer…this is my kind of weather. It is lovely sitting out on the deck in the shade, my book in one hand and a nice cold drink in the other.

I actually squeezed an extra book in last week

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Which I read last night. Watch for my review.

I am about to begin

And I am listening to

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the follow up to The Lilac Girls.

This week I am planning on reading

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When Nick’s wife Kerry falls ill and dies, he realises for the first time how fragile his happiness has always been, and how much he’s been taking his good life and wonderful family for granted. Now, he suddenly finds himself navigating parenthood alone, unsure how to deal with his own grief, let alone that of his teenage son, Olly.

In the depths of his heartbreak, Nick must find a way to navigate life that pleases his son, his in-laws, his family and his friends—while honouring what Kerry meant to them all. But when it comes to his own emotions, Nick doesn’t know where to begin. Kerry was his childhood sweetheart—but was she really the only one who could ever make him happy?

And in the aftermath of tragedy, can Nick and his son find themselves again?

And hopefully I will also be able to start

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Louise Bridges has the perfect life.

A loving husband, Patrick. Two adorable children. A comfortable home.

So when PC Becca Holt arrives to break the news that Patrick has been killed in an accident, she thinks Louise’s perfect world is about to collapse around her.

But Louise doesn’t react in the way Becca would expect her to on hearing of her husband’s death. And there are only three plates set out for dinner as if Louise already knew Patrick wouldn’t be home that night…

The more Becca digs, the more secrets she uncovers in the Bridges’ marriage – and the more she wonders just how far Louise would go to get what she wants…

Is Louise a loving wife – or a cold-hearted killer?

And I have seven new ARCs from Netgalley….well what can I say? There are currently just so many tempting titles out there begging to be read. And those of you who know me well will know that I can resist everything but temptation 🤣😂🤣😂

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I also bought two books this week…

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So I had better go get some reading done! I hope you got some lovely books to read this week….

Happy reading my friends
❤😍📚

In A Cottage In A Wood by Cass Green

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EXCERPT: ‘Please,’ says the woman emphatically. ‘Can you just tell me your name?’

Neve stares at her for a moment before replying. ‘Neve….Neve Carey. Um, what’s yours?’

‘Isabelle,’ says the woman in barely a whisper, and then, with more force, ‘Neve, will you do something for me?’

She pictures herself getting on the night bus with this strange wraithlike creature and both of them rocking up at Lou’s. Clearing her throat, she has to work hard not to sound sulky.

‘Uh, yes, I guess,’ she says. ‘But it depends on what it is.’

Isabelle opens the clutch bag and produces a small brown envelope. ‘I want you to take this.’

Neve hesitates and eyes it suspiciously. ‘What is it?’

‘It’s a gift. For being kind to me.’

Neve takes a step back and holds up her palms. ‘Look, I’ve done nothing. I just don’t want you freezing to death on my conscience. I’m not that kind, trust me. I’m actually a bit of a cow. Ask anyone.’

‘You are kind,’ says Isabelle quietly. ‘I can sense it. Will you take this, just to humor me? Say you will. say it.’

Neve stares back at the woman, discomforted by her intense, strange manner.

A passing car washes them with its headlights. For a moment Isabelle looks cadaverous, her eyes sunk deep in pockets of shadow.

‘It’s important, she says fiercely. ‘Please.’

Neve is so unnerved now that all she can do is thrust out her hand and take the envelope.

Isabelle’s shoulders droop and she seems to shrink in on herself.

‘Thank you,’ she says quietly. ‘Thank you so much.’

She fumbles inside the bag and, after producing a mobile phone, turns away and whispers something quietly into it. Then she returns the phone to the bag and looks at Neve. Her eyes are gleaming now, as if she is close to tears.

‘You should go,’ she says thickly. ‘I’ll be fine here.’

it’s tempting.

Neve sighs heavily.

‘Come on,’she says. ‘Let’s get the fuck off this freezing cold bridge. where do you need to get to? I can -‘

‘No.’ The sharp retort makes her gasp. ‘I’m sorry, but you need to go now. Leave me here. You shouldn’t be -‘

She seems to bite the end of her sentence off and, for the first time, Neve sees that she is terrified in a way that neve has never witnessed before in real life.

Neve crosses her arms.

‘No way,’ she says. ‘I’m not leaving you here. It’s bloody cold, and -‘

She yelps as Isabelle lunges, kissing her quickly on each cheek with cold dry lips. Her grip is surprisingly strong. Neve feels a flash of fear as Isabelle’s lips brush her ear.

‘I’m sorry. Please forgive me. And keep it, if you can bear to.’

Then she turns to face the water and, in one neat movement, climbs over the side of the railing and jumps into the river.

ABOUT THIS BOOK: A strange encounter…

Neve comes across a troubled woman called Isabelle on Waterloo Bridge late one night. Isabelle forces a parcel into Neve’s hands and jumps to her death in the icy Thames below.

An unexpected gift…

Two weeks later, as Neve’s wreck of a life in London collapses, an unexpected lifeline falls into her lap – a charming cottage in Cornwall left to her by Isabelle, the woman on the bridge. The solution to all her problems.

A Twisted secret…

But when Neve arrives, alone in the dark woods late one night, she finds a sinister-looking bungalow with bars across its windows. And her dream home quickly becomes her worst nightmare – a house hiding a twisted secret that will change her life forever…

MY THOUGHTS: Although I didn’t find this creepy, or suspenseful, it was an interesting mystery. No more. No less. I enjoyed it, although Neve is terribly immature and I felt sorry for her sister Lou who seems to spend her life picking Neve up and setting her on her feet again. None of the characters are particularly likeable, and I mean none, but that’s okay – they don’t need to be.

I kept changing my mind about who was behind all the things that had happened to Isabelle, and were now happening to Neve. There were plenty of suspects. I did pick the correct one, then discarded them. So it’s not entirely predictable. I still don’t quite know how I felt about the motive, but then more has been done for less gain.

And the ending? Well, I think a whole nother book could be written about that. And yes, I would read more from this author.

***

THE AUTHOR: Cass Green is the pseudonym of Caroline Green, an award-winning author of fiction for young people. Her first novel, Dark Ride won the Rona Young Adult Book of the Year and the Waverton Good Read Award. Cracks and Hold Your Breath garnered rave reviews and were shortlisted for eleven awards between them. She is the Writer in Residence at East Barnet School and teaches Writing for Children at City University. The Woman Next Door is her first novel for adults.

DISCLOSURE: I listened to the audiobook of In a Cottage in a Wood by Cass Green, narrated by Lisa Coleman and Helen Keeley, published by Harper Collins, via Overdrive. All opinions expressed in this review are entirely my own personal opinions.

For an explanation of my rating system, please refer to my Goodreads.com profile page, or the about page on sandysbookaday.wordpress.com

This and other reviews are also published on Twitter, Amazon and https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/3045439109?book_show_action=false&from_review_page=1

Vacation by Jane Green

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EXCERPT: “Well,” Cindy says brightly, “nothing like a bit of soul baring at book club. I’m going to get some cheesecake. Can I bring anyone some?” She rises out of her chair, as do the others, all murmuring about getting more coffee, or cake, or another of those delicious brownies.

Only Caroline stays behind, sitting next to Sarah on the sofa, and when Sarah puts down her wineglass, Caroline takes her hand.

“I didn’t know it was that bad,” she whispers. “You should have said so.”

Sarah looks at her as it finally registers that she has confessed out loud. “Oh, my God,” she gasps. “I just did, didn’t I? Tell me I didn’t say that out loud.”

ABOUT THIS BOOK: Just when she’d sworn off men for good, Sarah Evans met Eddie. Sarah was a magazine editor, living in Manhattan, and loving her life—except for the heartbreaks. A successful real estate developer, Eddie was a breath of fresh air, a meeting of minds—and bodies. Soon came wedded bliss, baby number one—and the proverbial move to the suburbs . . .

You just sit there like a slob while I do all the work. Nine years later, this is increasingly what goes through Sarah’s mind when she looks at Evan, propped in front of the TV with a beer, ignoring their two children. The truth is, she misses her old life. She misses the old Eddie. She can’t help wondering if she’d be happier alone . . .

When Eddie’s job sends him to Chicago indefinitely, Sarah shocks him by suggesting a trial separation. But she knows it’s just a precursor to divorce—even if Eddie chooses to think of it as a “vacation.” Yet a lot can change—on both sides—as time goes by. And once Christmas arrives, Sarah and Eddie might re-discover gifts they’d forgotten they had . . .

MY THOUGHTS: I have long loved Jane Green’s books, and Vacation, short and sweet as it is, is just a great read for this, or any other, time of the year.

Jane’s characters are always so easy to relate to. They are not perfect people; they are human, they get tired and cranky, they put their feet in their mouths, they make mistakes. Vacation brought back memories of when my own children were small, and the pressures of being a stay-at-home mom, the pressures of being a full-time working dad, and how easy it is to lose sight of each other and what is really important in your life.

A lovely read. A little bit Christmas.

****

THE AUTHOR: Jane Green’s eighteenth novel, Falling, is soon to be released with Berkley/Penguin; she is the author of sixteen previous New York Times Bestselling novels, and known as one of the world’s leading authors in women’s fiction, with over ten million books in print, and translations in over 25 languages.

Previous novels have included The Beach House, Second Chance, Jemima J, and Tempting Fate.

She joined the ABC News team to write their first enhanced digital book— about the history of Royal marriages, then joined ABC News as a live correspondent covering Prince William’s wedding to Kate Middleton.

A former journalist in the UK, she has had her own radio show on BBC Radio London, and is a regular contributor on radio and TV, including as well as regularly appearing on television shows including Good Morning America, The Martha Stewart show, and The Today Show.

Together with writing books and blogs, she contributes to various publications, both online and print, including anthologies and novellas, and features for The Huffington Post, The Sunday Times, Cosmopolitan and Self. She has taught at writers conferences, and does regular keynote speaking, and has a weekly column in The Lady magazine, England’s longest running weekly magazine.

A graduate of the French Culinary Institute in New York, Green is bringing out her first cookbook: Good Taste , with Berkley in October 2016.

She is a storyteller for The Moth radio hour on NPR,
and lives in Westport, Connecticut with her husband and their blended family. When she is not writing, cooking, gardening, filling her house with friends and herding chickens, she is usually thanking the Lord for caffeine-filled energy drinks.

A cancer survivor, she continues to raise awareness for Malignant Melanoma, Hashimoto’s Disease, and Lyme Disease.

DISCLOSURE: Thank you to Kensington Books via NetGalley for providing a digital ARC of Vacation by Jane Green for review. All opinions expressed in this review are entirely my own personal opinions.

For an explanation of my rating system, please refer to my Goodreads.com profile page, or the about page on sandysbookaday.wordpress.com

This review, and others, are also published on Twitter, Amazon and https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/2994154392?book_show_action=false&from_review_page=1

All About Evie by Cathy Lamb

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by Cathy Lamb (Goodreads Author)
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Sandy *The world could end while I was reading and I would never notice* Jones’s reviewNov 10, 2019 · edit
really liked it
bookshelves: 2019, netgalley-arc, 4-star, chic-lit, contemporary-fiction, mystery, romance, women-s-fiction

EXCERPT:The house is tucked back in the trees, in the middle of a field, a little ways out of town. The wildflowers and feverfew and irises would bloom soon, an old willow to one side, a gnarled oak tree in the front. Weeds had overtaken much of the yard.

It used to be charming, a bright yellow home with white trim and a green door. Now it wasn’t. I had many memories that were stuck behind the dirty, ragged white picket fence and in the backyard, by the pond. There were memories at the end of a rope swing hanging from the willow tree, in the highest branches of the oak tree, and in a fort that had since fallen down behind the house.

Inside the house, too, were memories. In the kitchen with hand-painted yellow tiles. In a back bedroom painted a cheerful pink.

The pink bedroom didn’t match with the blood in the kitchen.

I sniffled as my eyes filled with tears.

What had happened there was my fault and I have never forgotten it, never forgiven myself. I had been young, yes, but I had known better.

ABOUT THIS BOOK: As a child, Evie Lindsay was unnerved by her premonitions. As an adult, they have become a simple fact of life—sometimes disruptive but also inescapable, much like her quirky, loveable family. Evie’s mother, Poppy, and her aunts, Camellia and Iris, are well known on San Orcanita island for their free-spirited ways and elaborately decorated hats. Their floral shop and Evie’s bookstore draw streams of visitors all summer long. This season promises to be extra busy: Evie’s sister, Jules, is getting married on the island.

As Jules plans her unconventional wedding, she arranges to do a DNA test with her mother, sister, and aunts, to see how much accepted lore about their heritage holds true. The results blow apart everything Evie has grown up believing about herself and her family. Spurred on by the revelations, Evie uncovers the real story of her past. But beyond her feelings of shock and betrayal, there are unexpected opportunities—to come to terms with a gift that has sometimes felt like a curse, to understand the secrets that surrounded her childhood, and to embrace the surprising new life that is waiting for her . . .

MY THOUGHTS: Anything with Cathy Lamb’s name on it is an immediate draw-card for me, whether she has written the book or is simply endorsing it. So you can understand my going into shock when, at 4%, I thought ‘I don’t like this book. I. Do. Not. Like. It.’ I sulked and wondered why she had written such a stupid book. I blamed it on my current reading slump, or book hangover, whatever you want to call it, stomped about a bit, then gave myself a mental kick in the rear, picked up All About Evie and kept reading, because I did not believe Cathy Lamb would write a book I didn’t love.

…and fell in love with Evie. I love her sense of humour, her sense of family, her stubbornness, her love of books, her love of animals, her love of food, her sass. I want her to be my sister, my BFF. I need an Evie in my life!

I laughed. I cried. I ranted – mostly at Evie because I didn’t understand why she was doing what she was doing. I wondered if she was one of those people who enjoy torturing themselves… This book was FUN.

I loved her eccentric family. And now is probably a good time to share a few of my favourite quotes from All About Evie. Picking just a few was extremely hard, but I could not limit myself to just my normal one….
‘we should have a day off each month where everyone is required to stay home and read and read and eat their favourite cake.’
‘I so hate running. It makes me breathless. Now and then I see people running or jogging, and I think, ‘My, that looks miserable.”
‘”We all have to take time each day for meditation and tranquility.” “Yes,” Aunt iris said. “And beer. Or tequila.”‘

So why not the full five stars? Because Cathy didn’t include the recipes for the cakes…..I want to eat the five layer chocolate ecstasy cake, and all the others that had me drooling as I read. Or are you planning, Cathy, to publish a separate cookbook with all the yummy recipes of the beautiful cakes and pies in this book. I hope so. And if you need a tester…..

4 five layer chocolate ecstasy stars

THE AUTHOR: Cathy Lamb was born in Newport Beach, California. As a child, she mastered the art of skateboarding, catching butterflies in bottles, and riding her bike with no hands. When she was 10, her parents moved her, two sisters, a brother, and two poorly behaved dogs to Oregon before she could fulfill her lifelong dream of becoming a surfer bum.

She then embarked on her notable academic career where she earned good grades now and then, spent a great deal of time daydreaming, ran wild with a number of friends, and landed on the newspaper staff in high school. When she saw her byline above an article about people making out in the hallways of the high school, she knew she had found her true calling.

After two years of partying at the University of Oregon, she settled down for the next three years and earned her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in education, and became a fourth grade teacher. It was difficult for her to become proper and conservative but she threw out her red cowboy boots and persevered. She had no choice. She had to eat, and health insurance is expensive.

She met her husband on a blind date. A mutual friend who was an undercover vice cop busting drug dealers set them up. It was love at third sight.

Teaching children about the Oregon Trail and multiplication facts amused her until she became so gigantically pregnant with twins she looked like a small cow and could barely walk. With a three year old at home, she decided it was time to make a graceful exit and waddle on out. She left school one day and never went back. She likes to think her students missed her.

When Cathy was no longer smothered in diapers and pacifiers, she took a turn onto the hazardous road of freelance writing and wrote almost 200 articles on homes, home décor, people and fashion for a local newspaper. As she is not fashionable and can hardly stand to shop, it was an eye opener for her to find that some women actually do obsess about what to wear. She also learned it would probably be more relaxing to slam a hammer against one’s forehead than engage in a large and costly home remodeling project.

Cathy suffers from, “I Would Rather Play Than Work Disease” which prevents her from getting much work done unless she has a threatening deadline. She likes to hang with family and friends, walk, eat chocolate, camp, travel, and is slightly obsessive about the types of books she reads. She also likes to be left alone a lot so she can hear all the odd characters in her head talk to each other and then transfer that oddness to paper. The characters usually don’t start to talk until 10:00 at night, however, so she is often up ‘til 2:00 in the morning with them. That is her excuse for being cranky.

She adores her children and husband, except when he refuses to take his dirty shoes off and walks on the carpet. She will ski because her children insist, but she secretly doesn’t like it at all. Too cold and she falls all the time.

She is currently working on her next book and isn’t sleeping much.

DISCLOSURE: Thank you to Kensington Books via NetGalley for providing a digital ARC of All About Evie by Cathy Lamb for review. All opinions expressed in this review are my own personal opinions.

For an explanation of my rating system, please refer to my profile on Goodreads.com or the about page on sandysbookaday.wordpress.com

This review and others are also published on Twitter, Amazon and https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/2985978754?book_show_action=false&from_review_page=1

Watching What I’m Reading…

I woke this morning to heavy rain on the roof and pelting against the windows. The wind was swirling through the trees, whistling under the eaves and screaming around the corners of the house. I lay in bed and thought what a wonderful day it was to stay in bed and read. Then came the dawning realisation that I had to work today…

Tonight I will finish reading

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This week I plan on reading

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Just when she’d sworn off men for good, Sarah Evans met Eddie. Sarah was a magazine editor, living in Manhattan, and loving her life—except for the heartbreaks. A successful real estate developer, Eddie was a breath of fresh air, a meeting of minds—and bodies. Soon came wedded bliss, baby number one—and the proverbial move to the suburbs . . .

You just sit there like a slob while I do all the work. Nine years later, this is increasingly what goes through Sarah’s mind when she looks at Evan, propped in front of the TV with a beer, ignoring their two children. The truth is, she misses her old life. She misses the old Eddie. She can’t help wondering if she’d be happier alone . . .

When Eddie’s job sends him to Chicago indefinitely, Sarah shocks him by suggesting a trial separation. But she knows it’s just a precursor to divorce—even if Eddie chooses to think of it as a “vacation.” Yet a lot can change—on both sides—as time goes by. And once Christmas arrives, Sarah and Eddie might re-discover gifts they’d forgotten they had . . .

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Discredited British Army officer Jack Elliot is a man with nothing left to lose—or to live for. For him, life is cheap and death expensive: He kills now for money. So when Ang Yuon, a wealthy Cambodian refugee, asks him to cross Thailand to rescue his wife and children from the Khmer Rouge, Elliot demands a large price. This time he expects, even hopes, to die. But two things curse him with a reason to live—the enormous suffering of the Cambodian people and the appearance of his estranged daughter, Lisa. On the day of her mother’s death, Lisa learns that there is more to her father’s past than the picture of the heroic soldier killed in battle her mother had painted for her. So Lisa sets out in search of Elliot and follows him as far as Bangkok, where she falls foul of his Thai associates, Tuk Than and “La Mère Grace,” ruthless people whose business interests encompass girls as well as guns. From the fetid jungles of Cambodia to the sleazy back streets of Bangkok, The Noble Path is a hard-hitting tale of suspense and intrigue.

Only 2 ARCs from Netgalley this week. Didn’t I do well achieving my target for the first time in who knows how long!

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Happy reading my friends.

I’m going to snuggle up with my book now until it’s time to cook dinner. I am really enjoying All About Evie. I want her for my BFF!

Ralph’s Party by Lisa Jewell

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EXCERPT: Ralph barely noticed Jem the first time he saw her. He was arguing with his girlfriend, Claudia, sitting at his desk, cradling the phone under his chin as he carelessly pulled elastic bands into tight ligatures around his wrists in an apparently subconscious attempt to cut off his blood supply and end the painful predictability of it all.

ABOUT THIS BOOK: Meet the residents of the London brownstone on 31 Almanac Road who together weave a tangled web of romance. Ralph, a ne’er-do-well artist, suddenly realizes he’s head over heels in love with his new flatmate Jem, the most fun and sensible girl he’s ever encountered. Unfortunately, Ralph’s best friend, Smith, has already won Jem’s affections, although Smith has not entirely given up his passion for the femme fatale, Cheri, who lives upstairs. Across the hall, Karl and Siobhan have been happily unmarried for years, until Karl gets a smashing job as a London rush-hour DJ and momentarily gets tempted into Cheri’s cozy lair.
These six star-crossed tenants become more enamored, and more confused, as the story progresses-until their true destinies are revealed on one crucial night-the evening of the extravaganza that is . . . Ralph’s party.

MY THOUGHTS: Light, fluffy, funny but with hidden depths, Ralph’s Party is reminiscent of the Oscar Wilde classic The Importance of Being Ernest. I enjoyed this comedic romp, Lisa Jewell’s first novel which she wrote as the result of a dare. There are a few cringeworthy moments, but nothing out of character. Though I must admit that Ralph’s character could be extremely irritating at times.

Jewell’s ability to round her characters out is already in evidence here, as is her ability to think outside the box. Not everything went as I expected, she has thrown a few surprises in the mix.

I enjoyed Imogen Church’s narrative style, and I will be either reading or listening to the follow up, After the Party, which picks up the story eleven years from where Ralph’s Party ends.

😊😂🤣😊

DISCLOSURE: I listened to the audiobook of Ralph’s Party by Lisa Jewell, narrated by Imogen Church and published by Penguin, via Overdrive. All opinions expressed in this review are entirely my own personal opinions.

For an explanation of my rating system, please refer to my Goodreads.com profile or the about page on sandysbookaday.wordpress.com

This review is also published on Twitter, Amazon and https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/1389580081?book_show_action=false&from_review_page=1