logo
Wrong email address or username
Wrong email address or username
Incorrect verification code
back to top
Search tags: debut
Load new posts () and activity
Like Reblog Comment
show activity (+)
review 2017-10-07 00:05
If You Knew My Sister
If You Knew My Sister - Michelle Adams

By:  Michelle Adams

ISBN:  9781250126702

Publisher: St. Martin's Press

Publication Date:  10/3/2017 

Format:  Paperback

My Rating: 4 Stars

 
IF YOU KNEW MY SISTER —British author, Michelle Adams’ riveting dark and spellbinding psychological debut thriller of two broken sisters. 

As dark and sinister as The Sinner, by Petra Hammesfahr (TV-mini-series-which I loved) and Gone Girl, by Gillian Flynn. Multi-layered, Complex, Spine-tingling, and Twisty, with an explosive conclusion you do not see coming. 

Narrated by Dr. Irini Harringford, (an anaesthetist at Queen’s College Hospital); the unwanted little girl now a woman living in London —haunted by the scars, unknowns, and mysteries of her past. The missing gaps.

Daughter of Maurice and Cassandra and sister, Elle in Scotland. Only for three years. Then she was sent away. She was the good daughter (age three). Why did they keep the bad daughter Elle (age seven) and send her away?

The years of studying to become a doctor to wear a mask so people would not see the real her. Maybe she does not recall. A life where she had parents. A past with somebody other than Elle.

“Sometimes I think I can remember my mother’s face: like mine, only older, redder, wrinkles like a spider’s web weaving around her lips. Other times I’m not so sure. But I’m sure that she didn’t offer any last-minute advice to be a good girl, no quick kiss on the cheek to tide me over. I would have remembered that, wouldn’t I? She slammed the car door, stepped back, and my aunt and uncle drove me away from her like it was the most normal thing in the world. And even then, I knew something was over. I have been given away, cast out, dumped.”


Elle is her sister. Her only sister from a previous life from which she has kept a few memories. Some are blurry, some are hauntingly real. She is the last remaining connection to a past she has tried desperately to forget. Elle is her destiny. 

She is utterly inescapable. She is back to ruin things. Torment her, and create havoc in every part of her life. She even killed their family dog, Toto, plus so much more . . . (way more than Irini knows)

Irini is living with a man Antonio whom she will not marry. She had no role models. She really would like a family, but it feels too dangerous. She only needs someone to care for her for the last twenty-nine years. 

When Irini was only three-years-old her parents sent her away. They kept one daughter, Ella, and sent her away. She has never discovered why.

Presently, her sister Ella has found her once again. After six years of absence, she has managed to worm her way back into her life. Ella is a dark monster. One she runs from. One she is indebted to. 

A message, that their mum (Cassandra) has died. Of course, a mother is nothing more to her than an idea. A dream. A childish hope. However, she is curious. Ella needs her. Once again after six years, of keeping her distance, she weakens her. She makes her feel guilty. She owes her. Ella constantly reminds her.

She agrees to return home. Possibly she will use this as an opportunity to find answers to her past. Maybe she will find the truth from her father. The why? Why did she have to leave her home and family to go and live with a woman who did not want her?

The missing part of this puzzle. Why did her aunt continue to move them each time Elle found them. How can she pass up the chance to know why they gave her away and kept Elle?

Elle is everything superficially, Irini is not. Irini has a limp due to her dysplastic hip. She is a cripple. She has deep scars. She is chubby. Elle is beautiful, thin, fit, enigmatic captivating, and has confidence. 

Elle is the one person who never tired of finding her. This knowledge was for Irini, an addiction. The fact no matter how far she runs, Elle will find her. The only thing worse than her absence was her presence. A risky game of cat and mouse. 

But it is too late to ask for answers because all that remains is her mom's grave, the secrets of the past buried with her and out of reach. The little butterfly returning to the nest. The grand Victorian house with all its wealth. One she was not a part of. One giant black hole waiting to suck her in. 

With all their wealth, she had to settle for hand-me-downs. Discarded things for a discarded child. 

The return was not as she expected. She does not belong here. Ella is still manipulative and evil. She was the one they kept. Even after they sent her away, Ella would seek her out and deliver her from the bullies. The late-night trips she would leave Aunt Jemina’s house to meet her sister. She was hoping her father would explain. 

Now, she still has no answers. Irini wants to leave. She feels trapped. Ella drugs her in order to get her to stay. Two broken girls. Mental illness. Dysfunctional families. However, there is much more to the story than Irini can imagine. What is everyone covering up?

Before she can speak to her father. He suddenly dies but not before he redoes his will. Leaving everything to the daughter he gave up. 

Is Elle setting her up for a fall? Now the police are questioning her about the death of her father. How is Antonio mixed up in all of this? What do the strange numbers mean on the will? Then she meets a friend of Elle. Matt. Everyone knows Elle is a sociopath. Reckless. Manipulative. A killer. 
 



Are we our parents? "We are what they make us either by their presence or through their absence." 

Were they really trying to protect her by sending her away? A cover-up? What do suicides in the 1990s at Fair Fields along the Scottish Border have to do with her sister?

Is Elle a scared girl running from her past. Is she a murderer? Who will stop her? Killed to save her sister and to save herself. Will Irini keep her secrets?

I was glued to the pages of this page-turner! Love stories of hidden secrets of families. Elle will give you the spine-tingling chills! (Was dying to find out the mystery. It is a big one and one you do not anticipate.) Unpredictable. 

I am shocked there has not been more "hype" surrounding IF YOU KNEW MY SISTER (prime for the big screen). As I was reading, was strongly reminded of The Sinner, in many ways with the toxic relationship and deep scars of two sisters. The forgotten past. The missing links. The dysfunction, violence, abandonment, and the tug and pull between the two sisters. The dark secrets, drugs, manipulation, evil, and the love/hate relationship. Was one sacrificed for the other? 

Family. The butterfly effect. (many relations to butterflies). Hidden meanings. . . Madame Butterfly. 

The ending left unanswered questions, so wondering if we may get a sequel, or meant to leave us pondering. Would love to learn more about these haunting characters and secrets of Fair Fields and Elle's POV. An ideal choice for books clubs and further discussions. 

Well-written, dark, disturbing, twisty, and unsettling. Looking forward to reading more from the talented author. Fans of Lisa Unger, Ruth Ware, Jennifer Jaynes, and Jennifer Hillier will enjoy Adams' debut IF YOU KNEW MY SISTER.

A special thank you to NetGalley and St. Martin's Press for an early reading copy. I also purchased the audiobook narrated by Emily Pennant-Rea for an engaging listening experience.

JDCMustReadBooks
 
 

 

Source: www.judithdcollinsconsulting.com/single-post/2017/08/09/If-You-Knew-My-Sister
Like Reblog Comment
show activity (+)
review 2017-10-05 23:51
Review: Seeking Eden by Beverley Harvey
Seeking Eden - Harvey Alexander Smith with Beverley Billiris

Published by: Urbane Publications (6th July 2017)

 

ISBN: 978-1911331896

 

Source:  Review copy via author/publisher

 

Rating: 4.5*

 

Synopsis:

'50 is the new 30 - haven't you heard?'

Or so says Ben Wilde's record producer on the eve of his comeback. If only Ben could win back ex-girlfriend, Kate, he'd be a happy man. But married Kate has moved on, and moved out - to Eden Hill, a quiet housing estate in the suburbs. Lonely and homesick for London, can Kate resist ego-maniac Ben's advances and save her own flagging marriage?

 

Streets away, Kate's new friend Lisa, a Chihuahua toting ex-WAG, is primed for a fresh start - until her footballer ex-husband is found dead and she is vilified in the gutter press. But Kate, Lisa and Ben aren't the only ones having a midlife crisis; local shop owner Martin dreams of escaping his dutiful marriage, and develops an unhealthy obsession with Lisa and her friends in Eden Hill. Alongside a colourful cast of friends and family, Kate, Lisa, Ben and Martin are living proof that older does not always mean wiser because in Eden Hill, there's temptation around every corner.

 

Review:

Seeking Eden is full of interesting, well rounded characters and has a well-written plot with an unforseen ending. There is plenty to hold the reader's interest in this debut novel, which is definitely a page turner. All the different characters really work well together to pack a punch! Being a dog lover/owner, I especially loved the brilliant observations of and interactions between Kate, Lisa, Nellie and Ludo (fabulous name!)

 

There is certainly more to this tale of life in the suburbs than at first glance. There is lots of drama among the personal relationships and everyone seems to want something they don't have! It's like an infinitely more exciting and far better soap opera.

Special thanks to author Beverley Harvey and Matthew Smith at Urbane Publications for providing me with a digital copy in return for my honest review.

Like Reblog Comment
show activity (+)
review 2017-10-04 11:00
The Longing for Love: Marie Grubbe by Jens Peter Jacobsen
Marie Grubbe: Seventeenth Century Interi... Marie Grubbe: Seventeenth Century Interiors (Dedalus European Classics) - Jens Peter Jacobsen,Mikka Haugaard

In the nineteenth century the discoveries of Charles Darwin not only revolutionised science and introduced the idea of evolution into human thinking, they also changed literature inspiring authors to a new approach to fiction writing. One of the first in Northern Europe to break with Romantic narrative tradition and to begin telling stories in a naturalistic style that showed man as a beast driven by instincts and urges was Danish botanist and writer Jens Peter Jacobsen (»»» read my author’s portrait). After his successful literary debut with a short story, he published in 1876 the historical novel Marie Grubbe. A Lady of the Seventeenth Century (Fru Marie Grubbe. Interieurer fra det syttende Aarhundrede). It is loosely based on the true story of a Danish noblewoman who died in 1718.

 

Jens Peter Jacobsen introduces Marie Grubbe as a slim and delicate girl with luxuriant hair of dull gold strolling in the gardens of her father’s estate in Tjele in Jutland. She is fourteen years old, motherless and according to the housekeeper, who is also the mother of her illegitmate baby half-sister, she is stubborn and bad. When war with Sweden breaks out, her father takes Marie with him to Copenhagen wishing her to stay with her wealthy aunt there. In fact, the widowed aunt is well-connected with the Royal Court and men like Ulrik Frederik, the favourite illegitimate son of the King, frenquent her house. Marie, however, is a romanitc child and has a crush on the King’s brave half-brother who successfully defended the city against Swedish attack. By the age of seventeen Marie has turned into a pretty young woman with many courtiers and Ulrik Frederik is one of them. Since he is a handsome and very promising young man, Marie agrees to marry him although she loves him only “after a fashion”. After a quiet wedding they pass passably happy months together until the King calls Ulrik Frederik to arms against Spain and he gladly departs to prove himself in combat. Upon his return he is a different man. His violent behaviour, his heavy drinking and philandering repulse her, so she refuses herself to him. What follows are nearly ten years of constant fight that after many tribulations and interference of their families end in divorce after all. And Marie sets out on a journey to Paris with her brother-in-law and lover who leaves her as soon as he realises that she has used up all her money. Grudgingly she returns to live with her father on his estate in Tjele in 1773. After six years her father persuades her through different threats to marry Palle Dyre, a counsellor of justice to the King whom she despises. For ten years their lives are eventless except for “endless quarrelling and bickering, mutual sullenness and fault-finding”. Then the coachman Soren Sorensen Moller commonly known as Soren Overseer enters into her life. She is forty-six and he twenty-two years old…

 

The wild and headstrong Marie Grubbe who isn’t willing to content herself with being well provided for by just any suitable husband higher or equal in social status as her surroundings expect is sometimes called the Danish Madame Bovary, but having read both novels, I can make out only one similarity, namely the fact that the protagonists are women who driven by their longing for romantic love and happiness break social conventions. The plot isn’t particularly complex, the psychological depth, on the other hand, that Jens Peter Jacobsen lends his leading character is remarkable and outdoes even Gustave Flaubert in my opinion. In fact, much of the book’s charm lies in the skilful and meticulous depiction of the thoughts, emotions and unconscious urges of Marie Grubbe. Together with the precise and detailed illustration of scene, society and history it makes a gorgeous novel. To my great relief, Jens Peter Jacobsen’s writing style isn’t longwinded and flowery as that of many of his precursors and contemporaries which made the read very pleasant for me and amazingly modern too considering that the novel first appeared in 1876.

 

It goes without saying that the works of Jens Peter Jacobsen are all in the public domain by now although there may be newer translations that aren’t. Nonetheless, an English edition of Marie Grubbe can be downloaded for free from Project Gutenberg for instance.

 

Marie Grubbe: Seventeenth Century Interiors (Dedalus European Classics) - Jens Peter Jacobsen,Mikka Haugaard 

Like Reblog Comment
show activity (+)
review 2017-08-09 00:04
Not To Be Missed on 03/06/2018
Children of Blood and Bone: The OrÏsha Legacy (Children of OrÏsha) - Tomi Adeyemi
Let's just start with this strikingly beautiful cover. It is art! I must have it on my shelves and perhaps on my wall. I received a preview excerpt of the book from Netgalley and the publisher.

I've finished. Of course the sampler left on a hanger. This will be a best seller for sure. There's so much here and it's a page turner. I don't read many books like this anymore so, my opinion is of a novice. However, I know good writing and plot. Based upon what I've read thus far, I'd recommend and will definitely buy a copy for myself.
 
 

 

Like Reblog Comment
show activity (+)
review 2017-08-05 19:43
Our Little Secret: The Most Gripping Deb... Our Little Secret: The Most Gripping Debut Psychological Thriller You’ll Read This Year - Darren O'Sullivan

I thought I would never get to the end of this book. I skipped pages after pages and it still seemed to take forever.

I found the characters very boring and not really worth spending my time. Chris was certainly a boring character. He came off to me as having no redeeming qualities whatsoever as a human. He was boring and his obsession and depression were not even entertaining in the least. The endless pages and pages of him just walking around, depressed, were, for me, very cumbersome. I guessed at the very beginning what had happened to Chris's wife, Julia, and I was correct. I only skipped through to see if it did get better. Which it did I am glad to say at around 81% of the book being read. Much, much too long of a wait for a reader to get intrigued with this book.

I think this would make a great short story with about 75% of the boring stuff cut out.

Thanks to HQ Digital and Net Galley for providing me with a free e-galley in exchange for an honest, unbiased review.

More posts
Your Dashboard view:
Need help?