Wednesday, 3 September 2014

A Place For Us (Part 2) by Harriet Evans

I'm not a great one for serialisations, mainly because I'm not too good at holding onto characters and plots once I've finished a book, but I really enjoyed Part 1 and was desperate to see where it was all going.  Well, it's more of the same really and again, I'm left hanging until the next instalment becomes available in a few weeks.

Without giving any spoilers, one huge family secret is revealed, Daisy's true character is shown in much more detail and further cracks are starting to appear.  I'm sure there's much more to come as the perfect family becomes unravelled.  My only question is how have they managed to keep it all under wraps for so long?

It remains a gripping read and I enjoy family sagas.

Thank you to Netgalley and Headline for my review copy.

Tuesday, 2 September 2014

One Night in Italy by Lucy Diamond

A light and entertaining read that I loved.  Going by the title you’d expect gorgeous descriptions of beautiful Italian cities, but no…it’s set in Sheffield, which makes it a definite winner for me!

All the characters are linked by an Italian for Beginner’s night school class which they join for various personal reasons.  Sophie is the teacher, who has reluctantly returned to Sheffield after years of travelling, due to her father’s sudden illness.  Anna, a journalist at the local paper discovers that she has an Italian heritage and this inspires her to learn more about the food and culture. Terribly nice but rather downtrodden Catherine is suffering from empty- nest syndrome as her children go to University and her husband leaves her.  These three women and the supporting cast of the eclectic remaining members of the class quickly become firm friends and provide encouragement and practical help as they find their way through their problems.

It’s well written, humorous and rattles along at a pace and has the good feel factor.  It also mentions many beloved places in my home town which made it a great read.  Highly recommended and one for fans of Milly Johnson.

Monday, 1 September 2014

The Supreme Macaroni Company by Adriana Trigiani


I really enjoy Adriana Trigiani’s work and always look out for her books; “Lucia, Lucia” remains one of my all-time favourites.  This is the third part of the Valentine series and I really enjoyed the first, was a bit “meh” about the second and sadly, I feel the same about this one too.

On the plus side, I still enjoy the chaotic and over the top Roncalli family, they provide the light relief and humour that is much needed to get through some of this story.  They are truly fab and these sections are written with sheer brilliance!  However, Valentine is such a whinge…she marries the gorgeous Gianluca but doesn’t want anything to change she seems to be constantly fighting against married life for no purpose.  Lots of business issues take over, but not a lot seems to happen for two thirds of the book.  It also concerned me that the character of Gianluca fluctuates erratically between repressive, demanding husband and a paragon of virtue.

I also couldn’t see where the title came from until quite a way into the story and I still couldn’t really see the point, but Trigiani makes it all clear in the notes at the end of the novel.  (Umm…still not sure about that one.)

For me there are simply not enough gorgeous shoes, fashion and fun involved and far too many portents of impending doom.  I was touched by the events towards the end of the book, but Valentine had already lost my sympathy for me to really involved.   I wanted to read this to finish the series and see how it all finished, but I’m not sure it actually has ended as it has been left fairly open as to the choices Valentine can now make.

I know that this author is fantastic but this one didn’t do it for me, but I will stick with her and hope the next one is a five star.

Thank you to Netgalley and the publishers for my review copy.