The Woman I Was Before by Kerry Fisher

The Woman I Was Before

EXCERPT: The shouting, the people crowding around my door, the cameras in my face, pushed into Daisy’s pram, grabbing at me as I walked out to the car, calling my name, Oskar’s name, the headlines – always Polish immigrant/Eastern European/immigrant family – even though I was born here and had never been to Poland, our family’s history, her family’s history, comments from ‘friends’ and ‘neighbors’, photographs of me buying a bottle of wine in Tesco (as if that was at all relevant) and, of course, the worst thing of all: her side of the story, vicious and raw as though our friendship had been nothing. When to me it had been everything, a mainstay of my whole life, since we met in primary school. I still missed her. Still felt that Becky-shaped gap in my life, where I took for granted that ability to bounce from one topic to the next without the need to fill in what went before. Still occasionally caught myself smiling at a memory much further back than 2000.

And now I’d had sex with someone who could, with a few keystrokes, a quick Google, and the tiniest amount of luck, find out stuff about me that he’d never want to know.

That I’d never want him to know.

ABOUT THIS BOOK: A new home can be a happy ending. Or a fresh start. Or a hiding place…

Kate Jones is running away. She has left her old life behind, changing both her own name and her daughter’s. No-one must ever connect Kate with the mistake that destroyed her life.

Starting afresh on Parkview Road – a brand new street full of newly built houses – Kate looks at the other women on the street with envy. They seem to have it all: Gisela with her busy life, full house and successful children, Sally with her exciting spontaneous marriage, her glamorous holidays, her high-flying career. The pictures that Kate’s new friends post online confirm their seemingly perfect existence, whilst Kate hides from the world at all costs.

Until one day, everything changes. Kate is called to the scene of a devastating accident, which is about to test everything the women thought they knew about each other, and themselves.

MY THOUGHTS: What is it with us humans that feel the need to lie to ourselves and to others in an effort to convince ourselves that we have the perfect life, a life to be aspired to and envied, while all the time we are papering over the cracks and bunging up the holes. We devour other people’s lives on Facebook and Twitter and Instagram, never for one moment doubting that what we see is the truth, while frantically posing pictures of our wonderful family lives, fabulous food, perfect homes, and exotic holidays to perpetuate the myth, to keep up.

Kerry Fisher uses this need to portray the perfect life, along with our capacity for guilt and the desire for secrecy (no one must ever know. . .) to great advantage in this engaging novel of secrets and unravelling lives. Duplicity, betrayal, secrets and lies abound. As does perseverance, loyalty and forgiveness.

Fisher’s characters are your neighbors, people you know; complex and reserved, outgoing and friendly, and every mix in between. But can Kate trust any of them?

If this book doesn’t make you reassess your priorities, I don’t know what will! An excellent read.

😍😍😍😍

THE AUTHOR: Kerry Fisher is an internationally bestselling author of six novels, including The Woman I Was Before, The Silent Wife and The Secret Child. She was born in Peterborough, studied French and Italian at the University of Bath and spent several years living in Spain, Italy and Corsica.

DISCLOSURE: Thank you to Bookouture via Netgalley for providing a digital ARC of The Woman I Was Before by Kerry Fisher for review. All opinions expressed in this review are entirely my own personal opinions.

Please refer to my Goodreads.com profile page or the about page on sandysbookaday.wordpress.com for an explanation of my rating system. This review and others are also published on my Goodreads.com page https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/2710274530

For a preview of The Woman I Was Before go to https://sandysbookaday.wordpress.com/…

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Watching What I’m Reading. . .

It’s almost a month since I last did this post, for which I must apologize. A ‘comedy of errors’ conspired to give me an enforced break, and now we are moving house again so my posts may be a bit sporadic over the coming week or two.

Currently I am reading

Pray for the Girl

Lucy Abbott never pictured herself coming back to Fawn Grove, Maine. Yet after serving time in Afghanistan, then years spent as a sous chef in New York, she’s realized her only hope of moving on from the past involves facing it again. But Fawn Grove, like Lucy herself, has changed.

Lucy’s sister, Wendy, is eager to help her adapt, almost stifling her with concern. At the local diner, Lucy is an exotic curiosity–much like the refugees who’ve arrived in recent years. When a fifteen-year-old Muslim girl is found murdered along the banks of the river, difficult memories of Lucy’s time overseas come flooding back and she feels an automatic connection. At first glance, the tragedy looks like an honor killing. But the more Lucy learns about her old hometown, the less certain that seems.

There is menace and hostility here, clothed in neighborly smiles and a veneer of comfort. And when another teen is found dead in a cornfield, his throat slit, Lucy–who knows something about hiding secrets–must confront a truth more brutal than she could have imagined, in the last place she expected it . . .

and listening to

Valley of the Shadow (Cornish Mystery #3)

A cryptic message spurs Eleanor, Megan, and Nick Gresham on a frantic search for a refugee’s missing family, in The Valley of the Shadow, a Cornish Mystery from Carola Dunn.

While out on a walk, Eleanor Trewynn, her niece Megan, and her neighbor Nick spot a young, half-drowned Indian man floating in the water. Delirious and concussed, he utters a cryptic message about his family being trapped in a cave and his mother dying. The young man, unconscious and unable to help, is whisked away to a hospital while a desperate effort is mounted find the missing family in time.

The local police inspector presumes that they are refugees from East Africa, abandoned by the smugglers who brought them into England, so while the Cornwall countryside is being scoured for the family, Eleanor herself descends into a dangerous den of smugglers in a desperate search to find the man responsible while there is still time.

This week I am planning on reading:

What She Saw

She lied to her daughter to save her family.

Everyone knows Leona would do anything for her daughter Beth: she moved to Church Langdon to send Beth to the best school, worked hard to build a successful business to support them and found them the perfect little cottage to call home. Leona and Beth hike together, shop together, share their hopes and fears with one another. People say they’re more like best friends than mother and daughter.

It’s the relationship every mother dreams of.

But their closeness means that Beth struggles to make friends. Her mother has kept her sheltered from the world. She’s more reliant on her mother’s love. More vulnerable.

When Beth finds an envelope hidden under the floorboards of their home, the contents make her heart stop. Everything she thought she knew about her mother is a lie. And she realises there is no one she can turn to for help.

What if you’ve been protected from strangers your whole life, but the one person you can’t trust is the person closest to home? 

Last of the Magpies

The chilling conclusion to the #1 bestseller The Magpies.

Twelve months ago, Jamie Knight walked straight into Lucy Newton’s trap. Both Jamie and his ex-wife Kirsty barely survived. Now, with the police investigation into Lucy’s disappearance going nowhere, Jamie teams up with a true crime podcaster to track down his nemesis.

But can Jamie persuade Kirsty to help? Can Kirsty forgive him for his past mistakes? And who, if anyone, will survive the final showdown? Featuring extracts from Lucy’s secret memoir, Last of the Magpies brings the trilogy to a shocking conclusion.

Books I have been approved for since I last posted are:

Pretty Guilty Women

#taken (Max Wolfe, #6)

Those People

Sleep

No Way Out (DI Adam Fawley, #3)

Till Sudden Death Do Us Part (Ishmael Jones #7)

I don’t have a heavy reading load for May, which is probably a blessing, so maybe I can make inroads into some of my back titles. I am also way behind on writing my reviews because of being without my tablet for three weeks, so I need to catch up on those in between packing, moving and unpacking. It will be lovely to have our own home again rather than renting, and I am going to claim the spare bedroom that opens out onto the deck as my library/ office space.

Have a wonderful week my friends, and happy reading 💕📚

Watching What I’m Reading. . .

Happy Sunday everyone. I have been to work this morning, now home and making Quince Jelly. So while it is simmering away, I will talk about what I am currently reading, what I am planning on reading in the coming week, and what new approvals I have received.

Currently I am reading

Two Silver Crosses: A heartwarming family saga of love and war

I remember my mother enjoying this author. I blew hot and cold on this book for the first third, but now 2/3 through I am enjoying it.

In 1926 the Holborn twins, Ginny and her blind sister Emily, disappear from their comfortable home in Wolverhampton. Why? No one knew. Ten years later, aspiring solicitor Charlie Commoner is dispatched to France to track them down. What he finds instead is a mystery, a tragedy and a love affair.

But as the Second World War darkens over Europe, so, too, does the legacy from a terrifying disease that holds the family in its grip . . .

I need to download a new audiobook book, but as we are going away Thursday, I probably won’t bother until we get back.

As you may have gathered, I have not yet started on

Run Away

which was on last week’s list. . .

You’ve lost your daughter.

She’s addicted to drugs and to an abusive boyfriend. And she’s made it clear that she doesn’t want to be found.

Then, quite by chance, you see her busking in New York’s Central Park.

But she’s not the girl you remember. This woman is wasted, frightened and clearly in trouble.

You don’t stop to think. You approach her, beg her to come home.

She runs.

And

The Woman I Was Before

The perfect picture hides the darkest lies.

A new home can be a happy ending. Or a fresh start. Or a hiding place…

Kate Jones is running away. She has left her old life behind, changing both her own name and her daughter’s. No-one must ever connect Kate with the mistake that destroyed her life.

Starting afresh on Parkview Road – a brand new street full of newly built houses – Kate looks at the other women on the street with envy. They seem to have it all: Gisela with her busy life, full house and successful children, Sally with her exciting spontaneous marriage, her glamorous holidays, her high-flying career. The pictures that Kate’s new friends post online confirm their seemingly perfect existence, whilst Kate hides from the world at all costs.

Until one day, everything changes. Kate is called to the scene of a devastating accident, which is about to test everything the women thought they knew about each other, and themselves.

My requesting finger has been a bit out of control this week. . .this week I have received

The Summer of Sunshine and Margot

The Dark Bones (A Dark Lure, #2)

Picture of Innocence

A Family of Strangers

So much for only two requests a week so that I can reduce my huge pile of back titles. I have no self control when it comes to books, okay?!

Tomorrow  is the first day of the new financial year here in New Zealand, so between stocktaking, closing off the financial records for the year, setting up for the new financial year, and doing rollover of our membership records, and getting everything set up for my relief staff while I am away,  I am unlikely to get anything posted, possibly for a couple of days.

So until next time, happy reading my friends. 💕📚

 

 

A Taste of . . . Tuesday – The Woman I Was Before by Kerry Fisher

Looking at what I have coming up to read over the next week or two, I am very excited to be reading The Woman I Was Before by Kerry Fisher. Here’s a little tidbit to tempt your reading tastebuds . . .

The Woman I Was Before

EXCERPT:<i> Daisy raced through into the living room and hovered behind the curtain, peering at the driveway over the road. I stood back, not wanting to get a reputation as the community curtain twitcher. Naturally, the biggest house on the estate would have to have a conventional family set-up, like the Topsy and Tim books my mum used to read to Daisy when she was little. There they all were, Mum, Dad, son and daughter twisting into a back-breaking pose, all four of them laughing with their hands on the door handle while the daughter tried to capture them all in a selfie. The big sign that said ’21 Parkview’ would probably be in the corner of that picture, for any casual Facebook observer to see. I couldn’t imagine living a life where it didn’t matter.

Daisy stopped me disappearing down those familiar, well trodden routes that never led to a solution, by saying ‘Shall we go over and say hello?’

I hoped she didn’t see me shudder. It was years since strangers had recognised me, horrified fascination passing over their faces before the most brazen dared to ask, ‘Aren’t you that woman who was in the newspaper?’ I still dreaded that flicker of puzzlement, followed by wary curiosity . ‘They won’t want us going over now. They’ll be getting on with their unpacking. We’d better make a start with  ours if we’re not going to end up sleeping on a mattress on the floor. There’ll be time to introduce ourselves later.’

And with that we went outside where Jim and Darren, the blokes I had found to bring us from Peterborough to our new home in a little market town in Surrey, were tag teaming alternate scratches of man boobs and balls. Jim was muttering about his back already aching. ‘Hope you’re going to give us a hand up them stairs with that wardrobe. Mind you , looks a bit narrow at the top there. Going to be tight to turn.’

Darren nodded. ‘These new houses aren’t meant for big pieces of furniture like that,’ he said , his face arranging into some kind of satisfaction that I might end up with a pine wardrobe wedged between the bannisters and the landing.

Over the road, my new neighbor let out a shriek of delight. ‘The kettle! Who wants a cuppa?’

I resisted shouting ‘Me!’ as a team of professional movers made manoeuvring a solid oak table through her front door look like they were flipping a piece of balsa wood on its side.

I dragged my eyes back to the battered van and smiled. ‘Come on then. Let’s put our backs into it! You too , Daisy.’ I resisted the temptation to snap, ‘Put my phone down, and grab the toaster!’

There was a waft of BO as Jim reached for the bin bag full of coats I’d grabbed off the pegs as we’d left the old house. A wave of loneliness washed over me at the thought of doing all of this on my own again. But nowhere near as acute as the day when my husband, Oskar, told me he was leaving to go and work with his cousin in Argentina ‘where I can start again and forget about all of this’.

Even if I moved to the furtherest corner of Australia, I would never forget. </i>

ABOUT THIS BOOK: The perfect picture hides the darkest lies.

A new home can be a happy ending. Or a fresh start. Or a hiding place…

Kate Jones is running away. She has left her old life behind, changing both her own name and her daughter’s. No-one must ever connect Kate with the mistake that destroyed her life.

Starting afresh on Parkview Road – a brand new street full of newly built houses – Kate looks at the other women on the street with envy. They seem to have it all: Gisela with her busy life, full house and successful children, Sally with her exciting spontaneous marriage, her glamorous holidays, her high-flying career. The pictures that Kate’s new friends post online confirm their seemingly perfect existence, whilst Kate hides from the world at all costs.

Until one day, everything changes. Kate is called to the scene of a devastating accident, which is about to test everything the women thought they knew about each other, and themselves.

I hope I have tempted you to take the chance to read The Woman I Was Before by Kerry Fisher, along with me. I look forward to hearing your views and thoughts on this book.

Happy reading! 💕

Watching What I’m Reading . . .

Firstly I must apologize for my absence over the past few days. We had wedding #2 of the three family weddings in 9 weeks. The weather gods were kind to us, the bride was radiant, and everyone had fun. Now a little less than three weeks to wedding #3, for which we will be heading to Australia.

Now onto the real reason we are here. . . Books! Currently I am reading

My Daughter's Secret

for which I gave you a sneak preview last Tuesday. I can’t wait to see where this is going. Only started this last night, and very intrigued.

I am listening to

The Dead Tracks (David Raker, #2)

I have been wanting to get into this series for some time now.

This week I am planning on reading

Two Silver Crosses: A heartwarming family saga of love and war

In 1926 the Holborn twins, Ginny and her blind sister Emily, disappear from their comfortable home in Wolverhampton. Why? No one knew. Ten years later, aspiring solicitor Charlie Commoner is dispatched to France to track them down. What he finds instead is a mystery, a tragedy and a love affair.

But as the Second World War darkens over Europe, so, too, does the legacy from a terrifying disease that holds the family in its grip . . .

Run Away

You’ve lost your daughter.

She’s addicted to drugs and to an abusive boyfriend. And she’s made it clear that she doesn’t want to be found.

Then, by chance, you see her playing guitar in Central Park. But she’s not the girl you remember. This woman is living on the edge, frightened, and clearly in trouble.

You don’t stop to think. You approach her, beg her to come home.

She runs. 

And you do the only thing a parent can do: you follow her into a dark and dangerous world you never knew existed. Before you know it, both your family and your life are on the line. And in order to protect your daughter from the evils of that world, you must face them head on.

I have to admit to not particularly liking the cover of this one.

This week I have received four ARC approvals from NetGalley.

The Bones She Buried (Detective Josie Quinn #5)

The Last Thing She Remembers

Tomorrow's Bread

Pray for the Girl

I hope you have had a wonderful week’s reading, and that you have another lined up ahead of you. 💕📚

A Taste of. . . Tuesday – My Daughter’s Secret by Nicole Trope

My Daughter's Secret

This week, I would like to tempt your reading tastebuds with a little tidbit from My Daughter’s Secret by Nicole Trope. Nicole is an Australian author whom I admire greatly, and I am looking forward to reading her latest book, which is being released today. So happy publication day Nicole and Bookouture!🎉🎊

<i>Mia listens to the sound of her heels on the pavement. If she keeps her mouth closed and takes very small steps she’ll get to Callie’s house without throwing up, she thinks. She focuses on each house they pass, studying grotesque smiles on pumpkins and spotting skeletons hanging from trees and lounging in gardens. Fake spider webs have turned all the post boxes white, and plastic bats dangle from branches. A witch on a broom cackles and moves her head from side to side, flashing her red eyes, startling Mia. She jumps to the side then looks at the house across the road, where Death sits on a swing.

“Wow, look at that. That wasn’t here when we left, ” says Callie.

Mia looks over to where Callie is pointing. A life-size doll swings from a covered front porch. There isn’t a hint of a breeze but the dummy sways anyway, making the chain around its neck squeak eerily in the quiet suburban street. </i>

ABOUT THIS BOOK: My baby girl, I’ll never forget you – your smile, your laugh, the way your hair sparkles in the sun. I cannot comprehend this pain. I cannot breathe through it.

In the middle of the night, Claire wakes up to discover that her beloved daughter, Julia, is dead – and life, as she knows it, is over.

Searching for answers, Claire stumbles upon a pile of letters, hidden under Julia’s bed in an old, battered shoebox, and feels closer to her daughter than ever before. They tell her that Julia was happy, that she was thriving at university, that she was in love.

But as the letters go on, Claire starts to feel uneasy at something hidden between the lines. Even as she grieves, she must prepare to face a shocking discovery. Because Julia was hiding a terrible secret – and when it’s uncovered, it will devastate a family already torn apart by tragedy.

I hope that you enjoyed this tidbit from My Daughter’s Secret by Nicole Trope, and that you might be tempted to read along with me. 💕📚

Watching What I’m Reading

It is late Sunday afternoon here in New Zealand and I have just gotten home after a busy weekend of fundraising for Te Reina Worsley. We had a brilliant day yesterday that continued late into the night, and then today our Euchre section hosted a tournament and the Club in general celebrated St Patrick’s Day. It was an enjoyable and, although I haven’t finished tallying everything up, successful weekend putting Te Reina several thousand dollars closer to the surgery she needs. If you haven’t done so yet, please check out her page at givealittle.co.nz

Of course, everything has been overshadowed by the terrible shootings at the Christchurch mosques. I simply do not understand the hatred. My sympathy and condolences to all those affected by this atrocity. I never thought we would have anything like this happen in New Zealand.

I have just started reading

Only Daughter
Kat experiences every mother’s worst nightmare when her only child’s body is found lifeless in an overgrown, abandoned quarry.

Desperate to find out what happened, Kat questions those closest to her as she tries to piece together the last days of Grace’s life. But as a darker side to her little girl begins to unravel, Kat wonders if she ever really knew Grace.

As Kat is drawn into a twisted game of lies, is she also in terrible danger? And will she be able to unlock her daughter’s final shocking secret?

Even if the truth is unthinkable

and just started listening to

The Dead Tracks (David Raker, #2)

The Dead Tracks” is the second in the David Raker series from Tim Weaver. A serial killer more terrifying than you could ever imagine…Seventeen-year-old Megan Carver was an unlikely runaway. A straight – a student from a happy home, she studied hard and rarely got into trouble. Six months on, she’s never been found. Missing persons investigator David Raker knows what it’s like to grieve. He knows the shadowy world of the lost too. So, when he’s hired by Megan’s parents to find out what happened, he recognizes their pain – but knows that the darkest secrets can be buried deep. And Megan’s secrets could cost him his life. Because as Raker investigates her disappearance, he realizes everything is a lie. People close to her are dead. Others are too terrified to talk. And soon the conspiracy of silence leads Raker towards a forest on the edge of the city. A place with a horrifying history – which was once the hunting ground for a brutal, twisted serial killer. A place known as the Dead Tracks…Hot on the heels of “Chasing the Dead”, “The Dead Tracks” by Tim Weaver revisits David Raker and his complex missing persons cases. Fans of Mo Hayder’s “Gone” and Michael Marshall Smith’s “The Straw Men” should look this way. Praise for Tim Weaver: “Impressive debut…Fans of Mo Hayder will be in seventh hell”. (“Guardian”). “Perfect plotting, great characterisation, and the kind of payoff that a thriller of this calibre deserves”. (Bookgeeks). “A taut thriller”. (Barry Forshaw). Tim Weaver was born in 1977. At eighteen, he left school and started working in magazine journalism, and has since gone on to develop a successful career writing about films, TV, sport, games and technology. He is married with a young daughter, and lives near Bath. “Vanished” is Tim’s third David Raker novel, which follow his highly acclaimed debut “Chasing the Dead” and its sequel, “The Dead Tracks”. Tortured by his wife’s early death, David Raker is one of the most charismatic, sensitive and unique missing persons investigators in current crime fiction.

This week I am planning on reading

In the Blink of an Eye

Originally titled Sixty Seconds

A deeply emotional drama that explores a family’s path to forgiveness and redemption in the aftermath of a tragedy.

The Brennans — parents, Finn and Bridget, and their sons, Jarrah and Toby — have made a sea change, from chilly Hobart, Tasmania, to subtropical Murwillumbah, New South Wales. Feeling like foreigners in this land of sun and surf, they’re still adjusting to work, school, and life in a sprawling purple clapboard house, when one morning, tragedy strikes.

In the devastating aftermath, the questions fly. What really happened? And who’s to blame? Determined to protect his family, Finn finds himself under the police and media spotlight. Guilty and enraged, Bridget spends nights hunting answers in the last place imaginable. Jarrah — his innocence lost — faces a sudden and frightening adulthood where nothing is certain.

And I hope to start

My Daughter's Secret

My baby girl, I’ll never forget you – your smile, your laugh, the way your hair sparkles in the sun. I cannot comprehend this pain. I cannot breathe through it.

In the middle of the night, Claire wakes up to discover that her beloved daughter, Julia, is dead – and life, as she knows it, is over.

Searching for answers, Claire stumbles upon a pile of letters, hidden under Julia’s bed in an old, battered shoebox, and feels closer to her daughter than ever before. They tell her that Julia was happy, that she was thriving at university, that she was in love.

But as the letters go on, Claire starts to feel uneasy at something hidden between the lines. Even as she grieves, she must prepare to face a shocking discovery. Because Julia was hiding a terrible secret – and when it’s uncovered, it will devastate a family already torn apart by tragedy.

Two very similar covers there !

Three approvals this week from NetGalley

The Family Lie

What She Saw

Black Light

And one publisher’s request

The Return of Mister Campion

I wish you all a wonderful week’s reading. Please, pick up a book, not a gun.

💕📚