Friday, 29 January 2016

You and Me, Always by Jill Mansell


I am thrilled to be a part of the Jill Mansell blog tour today, You and Me, Always is Jill's new release and I am so pleased to share my review of this book with you today and to top it off I also have a Giveaway for you too!



On the morning of Lily's twenty-fifth birthday, it's time to open the very last letter written to her by her beloved mother, who died when she was eight.

Learning more about the first and only real love of her mum's life is a revelation. On the same day, Lily also meets Eddie Tessler, a man fleeing fame who just might have the ability to change her world in unimaginable ways. But her childhood friend Dan has his own reasons for not wanting Lily to get too carried away by Eddie's attentions.

Before long, secrets begin to emerge and Lily's friends and family become involved. In the beautiful Cotswold village of Stanton Langley, nothing will ever be the same again...



I am a big Jill Mansell fan she always gets it spot on, delivering a book which you find impossible to put down and yet at the same time a book you never want to end which was exactly what I found again with her new release You and Me,Always.

Lily has been raised by the village of Stanton Langley since the death of her mum at a young age, everyone is very protective of Lily and as she reaches her 25th birthday there are big changes in her life, she receives the last letter her mum left her where she finds out more about the man who her mum left her heart with and Lily is determined to track him down. Romance finds Lily too in the shape of a hidden celeb, Eddie Tessler but Lily's best friend Dan is less than pleased with the new romance, but for what reason?

I read this book in one greedy siting, every time I put this book down to do something I found myself gravitating back to the book for another cheeky chapter much to the amusement of my husband who declared I must have my reading mojo back!

Right from the first chapter I was hooked, I was laughing away at Lily's friend Patsy and her awful date. From that first chapter alone which is only 5 pages long I had already warmed to our group of characters and I couldn't wait to see what other antics would occur in this group. 

There are a lot of characters in this book but each and everyone of them were so well developed and were so endearing, the bond between the characters surrounding Lily could easily be felt and you could see how well loved and protected she was.

Jill Mansell always sets the scene perfectly with the cosy and quaint little villages in her storylines and Stanton Langley has to be my favourite. The romance has little twists and turns not only for Lily but her friends too all of which had a predictable outcome and yet this didn't matter because I couldn't work out how events would unfold to reach the outcome so this kept me entertained and intrigued.

There was a poignant part of the book which struck a cord with me which was the letters which Lily received from her mum each year on her birthday, I lost a dear friend of mine in 2015 who has done the same thing for her little girl and I hope her daughter gets as much joy and comfort out of the letters  as Lily did.

This is a wonderful cosy, romantic and witty read by Jill Mansell that didn't disappoint and it came very close to knocking my favourite, Three Amazing Things About You off the top spot.



Hardback                Kindle




Thanks to the lovely team at Headline we have a copy of You and Me, Always up for grabs! This giveaway is open to the UK only.
Good Luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tuesday, 26 January 2016

Our Song by Dani Atkins


This is the story of Ally and Charlotte, whose paths have intersected over the years though they've never really been close friends. Charlotte married Ally's ex and first true love, David. Fate is about to bring them together one last, dramatic time and change their lives forever. Full of Dani's signature warmth and emotion, this is a gripping and emotional family drama. With breath-taking plot twists, Dani explores themes of serendipity, friendship and love. She fully engages the reader in the dilemmas faced by her characters. What would you do if your husband was the love of somebody else's life? And when faced with an agonising decision, could you put the past behind you and do the right thing?



Our Song is the first book I have read by Dani Atkins but it sure will not be the last as this book has just taken my heart and broken it in two, I haven't felt so emotional and overwhelmed whilst reading a book since I read Me Before You by Jojo Moyes. 

At the beginning of Our Song we see the events which lead to Joe and David fighting for their lives in Intensive care, and as Joe's wife Ally is waiting in the relatives room for news on her husbands condition David's wife Charlotte arrives and with it Ally's past comes back with a bang.

I had been struggling to settle into a new book but as soon as I opened this book I was absorbed into the storyline right from the first page and before long I had finished all 500 pages and sat emotionally drained as though I had been waiting in those daunting four walls with Ally and Charlotte waiting with bated breathe to see what was going to happen to both of these gentle loving and caring brave young men. 

This book needs the big old Kleenex warning on the front, I'm not talking a lump in your throat I am talking about big loud sobbing and streaming tears as this storyline really is going to break your heart. The writing style was so easy to follow and pulls you in quickly and holds your attention all the way through as I sat on the edge of my seat eager for news. The raw emotion that this author has poured into this storyline is so believable and could be felt through the pages. I was a little unsure of how coincidental the situation was in the book but this was soon over shadowed thanks to the wonderfully engaging characters and the heartbreaking storyline.

There were a few hidden surprises along the way and having the suspense factor on top of the emotional feelings just heightened the emotional journey. 

I can not believe we are only just stepping into 2016 and yet I feel like I have already found one of the top 10 books of 2016. I can not wait to delve into this authors previous books now.






Paperback              Kindle

Thursday, 21 January 2016

Lost Girls by Angela Marsons


Two girls go missing. Only one will return.


The couple that offers the highest amount will see their daughter again. The losing couple will not. Make no mistake. One child will die.

When nine-year-old best friends Charlie and Amy disappear, two families are plunged into a living nightmare. A text message confirms the unthinkable; that the girls are the victims of a terrifying kidnapping.

And when a second text message pits the two families against each other for the life of their children, the clock starts ticking for D.I. Kim Stone and the squad.  




Seemingly outwitted at every turn, as they uncover a trail of bodies, Stone realises that these ruthless killers might be the most deadly she has ever faced. And that their chances of bringing the girls home alive, are getting smaller by the hour… 



Last year I found myself really getting into psychological crime thrillers which was never a genre I felt comfortable reading but when I read Silent Scream by Angela Marsons I was hooked and couldn't wait to read the next book in the Kim Stone series Evil Games which turned out to hold just the same amount of suspense and grit as the first book. I was a little worried as well as eager to read the latest

book in the series Lost Girls for the pure reason that I typically find by book three of a series I am starting to lose interest and begin to see flaws in the storyline.

Kim is back on another gruelling and tense case, this time two little girls have been kidnapped from families who are extremely close but how strong is a friendship when it is your child's life against theirs?
With a press black out, the game begins but will this be one crime Kim can't crack?

I had no reason to worry about this book as I actually enjoyed this one more than Evil Games and would say it is just as good as Silent Scream ( maybe even a smidge better shhhh). What this author has managed to do is create such a complex main character in Kim who is a cold hard workaholic but after having a little insight into her past we accept this in her character and know that deep down there is still a soft spot hidden away.


The writing style this author has has such a skilled way of absorbing the reader into the storyline and holding their attention by chilling them to the bone and making their minds work over time as you are constantly looking for a little trail of clues to help solve the case. I was so tense reading this book and I was suspicious of everyone but I was still shocked when the identity was revealed as this was not a person I had framed for the crime!

I love how Kim is such a realistic character she doesn't ever go into battle and then come out with fairy wings and glitter dust she takes the punches like a true hero that she is in my eyes.
I still don't feel like Kim has ran her course yet and I really hope we have many more books in this series to come as they are all such gripping compelling reads I just do not understand how on earth these books have not been snapped up for a to series yet as they really would be such a hit so I am keeping my fingers crossed that one day they will grace our screens.


Kindle                    Paperback

Friday, 15 January 2016

The Quality of Silence by Rosamund Lupton


On 24 November Yasmin and her ten-year-old daughter Ruby set off on a journey across Northern Alaska. They're searching for Ruby's father, missing in the arctic wilderness.

More isolated with each frozen mile they cover, they travel deeper into an endless night. And Ruby, deaf since birth, must brave the darkness where sight cannot guide her. She won't abandon her father. 

But winter has tightened its grip, and there is somebody out there who wants to stop them. Somebody tracking them through the dark.




The Quality of Silence is the first book I have read by Rosamund Lupton and having heard so many great things about this book I decided to give this one a try even though it wouldn’t be the typical kind of book I would usually pick up. What I never expected was to be taken on a journey that would literally chill me to the bone as we watch our main characters Yasmin and her daughter Ruby on a treacherous journey through Alaska on a mission to find their husband/dad who is presumed dead but they refuse to believe this news and pure determination helps them on the journey which could see more than one life in danger.

This was such a beautifully crafted, atmospheric novel that had me captivated the whole way through. This was a creative and original storyline that was unpredictable, even though there were points which were a little farfetched these were easy to brush aside thanks to the strength in the storyline, descriptions and characters.

Ruby was what made this book such a pleasant and insightful read for me. Ruby is Yasmin and Matt’s daughter, she is death and this is what kept me immersed in the storyline because the way in which the author writes about Ruby’s hearing problem was so detailed and handled beautifully and gave real insight into living life without your hearing and also how others around deal with living with someone who is death. I have always felt strongly that we should all be taught sign language from an early age and reading this book has awakened my longing to learn to sign myself. What really hit a nerve with me was the way Ruby only felt like she could be herself online it is hard to show your character to people who you can’t communicate with. It was quite clear from early on in this book that Ruby had a stronger bond with her father and he seemed to understand her feelings about wanting to sign. Her relationship with her mum seemed to improve during their trip, spending time with Ruby and actually taking the time to try and understand from her daughters point of view seemed to bring them closer together.

I am thrilled that I gave this book a try as I loved this authors skilled writing style so I am going to go and pick up Sister next.



Paperback                Kindle

Wednesday, 13 January 2016

The Widow by Fiona Barton

We've all seen him: the man - the monster - staring from the front page of every newspaper, accused of a terrible crime.

But what about her: the woman who grips his arm on the courtroom stairs – the wife who stands by him?

Jean Taylor’s life was blissfully ordinary. Nice house, nice husband. Glen was all she’d ever wanted: her Prince Charming. 

Until he became that man accused, that monster on the front page. Jean was married to a man everyone thought capable of unimaginable evil.

But now Glen is dead and she’s alone for the first time, free to tell her story on her own terms.

Jean Taylor is going to tell us what she knows.



When I read the synopsis for The Widow I loved the idea behind it as it was something new for me reading about a child abduction but from the view of the suspected abductors wife.

She only left her for minutes but that was long enough for Dawn to have her world turn upside down when little Bella was taken from her front garden. As the search begins to find Bella little leads are found and various people are under suspicion but the main focus soon falls to Glen Taylor but will all the leads tie up and point solely to him?

 As soon as I started this book I was hooked, it was such a pacey read and the short sharp chapters alternated between the various characters in this book which allowed me to see a bigger picture from different points of view. It did take me a while to get used to the structure of the book because not only does the chapters alternate between characters it also goes back and forward in time but before long I settled into the flow of the book.

Jeanie was a complex character for me at times I could see a weakness and vulnerability to her, seeming like a typical woman next door but there was also a side to her that had me suspicious. She isn’t a character to warm to but I found her to be a very intriguing character. The author has developed the characters in this book extremely well, she has obviously taken time and research into the actions of people who stand on the side lines and has put these fine points into Jeanie.

There are other various sinister issues covered in this book alongside abduction which all help make this book a gritty and disturbing read at times. The authors writing style is descriptive and easy to follow.

This would have easily been a 4 star read for me but there was something that let this book down for me the fact that the whole way through I was waiting for a sudden twist as it constantly felt like it was building up to a shock revelation but this never happened so I was left a little flat and now having finished the book I can say that the first half of this book was much better than the second half as it felt a little drawn out.


I look forward to reading another book by this author as she does show great promise in her writing and she has tackled a great concept in this book I just want to see how her writing progresses in her next book.


Kindle                     Hardback

Tuesday, 12 January 2016

Shtum by Jem Lester


Ben Jewell has hit breaking point. 
His ten-year-old son, Jonah, has never spoken. So when Ben and Jonah are forced to move in with Ben's elderly father, three generations of men - one who can't talk; two who won't - are thrown together. 
As Ben battles single fatherhood, a string of well-meaning social workers and his own demons, he learns some difficult home truths. 
Jonah, blissful in his innocence, becomes the prism through which all the complicated strands of personal identity, family history and misunderstanding are finally untangled.




I have just finished reading this remarkable debut by Jem Lester and I feel like I have been on a frustrating rollercoaster of emotions.

Shtum follows the Jewell family, Emma and Ben are parents to Jonah who is autistic and they have reached a point where they are shadows of themselves and can no longer cope. They are aware that it is time for Jonah to get more help but naturally they only want the best for him and High Grove Manor would be perfect for his needs unlike Maureen Mitchell School but they have a fight on their hands as the London Borough of Wynchgate feel that Maureen Mitchell is best for Jonah, but we all know it comes down to funding.

What a powerful read that brought out so many emotions in me along the way. I felt every ounce of frustration for Ben as we see through his eyes how obvious it is that High Grove was perfect for Jonah. I felt exhaustion just reading the routines and daily struggle that both Emma and Ben have had deal with with next to no help, when women have babies you often hear of the exhaustion and the poo nappies but this is only for a matter of years where as this has been 11 years of basically doing the baby routine only as poor Jonah has got older he has also got stronger which also has its problems. I was heartbroken at how Jonah’s condition had affected Emma and Ben’s relationship but at times I also felt disbelief at both of their actions. There was the odd witty parts to which came at just the right time in the storyline.  So as you can see this book had such an emotional impact on me and I think this storyline will stay with me for a long time.

I found that this book opened up the world of living with Autism and the struggles families face trying to raise children who are Autistic and unfortunately the storyline is all too real in the fact there really isn’t enough help or funding out there to help so I hope this book helps to bring more awareness to Austism.


The author has a wonderful writing style that pulls you in to the storyline and gets you emotionally involved so it becomes impossible to put the book down. I cannot wait to read future books by this author as I am sure after reading this book it is going to be in the best sellers list, an author to watch out for.

Available to pre-order today

Kindle                      Hardback

Friday, 8 January 2016

Who Do You Love by Jennifer Weiner

Rachel Blum and Andy Landis are eight years old when they meet late one night in an ER waiting room. Born with a congenital heart defect, Rachel is a veteran of hospitals, and she's intrigued by the boy who shows up all alone with a broken arm. He tells her his name. She tells him a story. After Andy's taken back to the emergency room and Rachel's sent back to her bed, they think they'll never see each other again. 

Rachel, the beloved, popular, and protected daughter of two doting parents, grows up wanting for nothing in a fancy Florida suburb. Andy grows up poor in Philadelphia with a single mom and a rare talent that will let him become one of the best runners of his generation. 

Over the course of three decades, through high school and college, marriages and divorces, from the pinnacles of victory and the heartbreak of defeat, Andy and Rachel will find each other again and again, until they are finally given a chance to decide whether love can surmount difference and distance and if they've been running toward each other all along.



Who Do you Love is the second book I have read by Jennifer Weiner, as I opened the first page of this book but what I found was a rather pleasant read. There were no dramatic twists and turns that kept you on your toes instead it had a consistent flow to the storyline and although it was quite easy to guess what the outcome would be I enjoyed the difficult journey both Andy and Rachel went through.

The book flows at a gentle pace and we meet both of our main characters at a young age when Rachel is in hospital due to her heart defect and this was where she first met Andy who had ended up in emergency with a suspected broken arm. We then follow each of the characters as they grow up and weave in and out of each other’s lives. We see how different their lives are from one another’s. Both of the characters are well developed and easy to warm to and shine above all of the supporting characters.

There are various topics that are covered in this storyline such as racism and broken families but each topic was handled beautiful and made this a deeper more meaningful read. The romance was believable and it makes you see that sometimes love isn’t enough and that at times love comes along at the wrong time.


This was a touching heartfelt love story that took a while to get into but that had a certain tenderness about it that managed to keep me intrigued in the plot. I would give this book a three and a half to a four star rating because I did enjoy the storyline and I loved the characters but the pace of the book was too slow all the way through for me. I remember the previous book I read by this author I found the pace of the book really slow to begin with but eventually it picked up whereas the pace in this book is gently paced the whole way through. I will definitely pick up another of the authors books because I enjoy her storylines and writing styles.




Wednesday, 6 January 2016

Dulwich Books Events Programme 2016

Dulwich Books is delighted to announce its biggest ever
LIVE EVENTS PROGRAMME FOR 2016.

Launching in January, with venues at both Dulwich Books in West Dulwich and the legendary The Bedford in Balham, events will feature both renowned writers and debut novelists including Fiona Barton, author of The Widow (2016’s The Girl on The Train?) and award-winning novelists Kate Mosse and Helen Dunmore.

January – March Event highlights at Dulwich Books
Dulwich Books, 6 Croxted Road, SE21 8SW
DEADLY IN DULWICH with Fiona Barton and Ann Morgan
21st January, 7pm. Tickets are £10 and include a mystery cocktail.

Fiona Barton and Ann Morgan, two of the most exciting names in contemporary page-turning fiction, are the stars of the inaugural Dulwich Books crime and thriller event series, Deadly in Dulwich.
Fiona’s debut novel The Widow will be published on the 14th January and is already tipped to become next year’s The Girl On The Train.
Ann Morgan, famous for her previous book Reading The World, in which she recorded her attempt to read one book from every country in the world, has written her first psychological thriller Beside Myself, a tense story about the fragility of identity.



Award-winning novelist Helen Dunmore launches her new spy novel, Exposure
28th January, 7pm. Tickets are £10 and include a glass of Prosecco

British poet, novelist and children’s writer, Helen Dunmore joins Dulwich Books for the evening to celebrate the launch of her latest novel Exposure, a spy thriller set during the Cold War. Having won the Orange Prize for Fiction with her novel A Spell of Winter, her new book is a remarkable story of forbidden love, intimate betrayal and the devastating power of exposure drive. 
In conversation with Susie Nicklin, Helen will discuss her incredibly powerful book before welcoming guests to ask questions and celebrate its publication with Prosecco. 

NEW VOICES with Monica Wood and Jem Lester
4th February, 7pm. Tickets are £10 and include a glass of wine and a proof copy of Monica’s novel The One-in-a-Million Boy.
Monica Wood, already an award-winning author in the US, will present her debut UK novel The One in a Million Boy, a heart-wrenching book due for publication in April. A story of an unlikely friendship between a mentally sharp, determinedly independent woman of 104 and a world-records-obsessed eleven-year-old boy, this UK debut is insightful, inventive and full of surprises. 
Jem Lester’s debut novel Shtum is a funny, engaging and beautiful novel about a young boy called Jonah who suffers from autism and has never spoken. Set in North London, his single father, Ben, must learn to cope with the challenge of having a child who keeps shtum, a book perfect for fans of David Nicholls, The Shock of the Fall and The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time.





January – March Event Highlights at The Bedford
The Bedford, 77 Bedford Hill, Balham, SW12 9HD

Dulwich Books are also delighted to announce a new series of events taking place at legendary live music and comedy venue The Bedford in Balham.
Originally a hotel developed in the 1830's, The Bedford is still the central community hub of Balham. In the late sixties and seventies it was a spit and sawdust live music venue serving as a springboard for early gigs by acts including The Clash and U2 and now, it will host some of the most fantastic literary talent of the modern day as part of Dulwich Books. 






I CALL MYSELF A FEMINIST with Kate & Martha Mosse, Meltem Avcil, Amy Annette, Caroline Kent, Hajar Wright and others.
14th January, 7pm. Tickets are £6 entry only, or £10 with a paperback copy of I Call Myself a Feminist included
Is feminism still a dirty word? I Call Myself A Feminist brings together twenty-five of the brightest, funniest, bravest young women, to ask what it means to be a feminist in 2015. For this special one-off evening, the launch of Dulwich Books’ 2016 events programme in its new location, Kate & Martha Mosse will be speaking as mother and daughter about intergenerational feminism alongside Meltem Avcil, Amy Annette, Caroline Kent, Hajar Wright, and others.
With readings, discussions, and opportunities for audiences to participate, all interspersed with breaks to visit the bar, there’ll also be an after-party with music and dancing.




GROWING UP COMMUNIST with David Aaronovitch and Jo McMillan
11th February, 7.30pm. Tickets are £6, which is fully redeemable against a purchase of either Party Animals or Motherland
Join David Aaronovitch and Jo McMillan to discuss an upbringing on the fringes of political life. Tracing the decline of the communist tradition in Britain, Party Animals is a deeply personal account of what it’s like to grow up in a family on the far-left. Written by David Aaronovitch, a well-known journalist and commentator, it is a memoir that stands out from the crowd.
 Jo McMillan’s debut novel Motherland, published in hardback last year, is an incredible story of a childhood in struggle. In this case the struggle is that of thirteen-year-old Jessica, whose mother Eleanor is unerring in her attempts to radicalise the sleepy midlands town of Tamworth. Unfortunately for Jessica, those attempts are mostly met with indifference and hostility. But a visit to the Democratic Republic of Germany beckons… 

 


DISPLACEMENTS with Ben Rawlence
10th March, 7.30pm. Tickets are £6 and are fully redeemable against a purchase of City of Thorns
Over the course of four years, Ben Rawlence became a first-hand witness to a strange and desperate limbo-land. To the charity workers, Dadaab refugee camp is a humanitarian crisis; to the Kenyan government, it is a ‘nursery for terrorists’; to the western media, it is a dangerous no-go area; but to its half a million residents, it is their last resort. Among those seeking sanctuary there are Guled, a former child soldier who lives for football; Nisho, who scrapes an existence by pushing a wheelbarrow and dreaming of riches; Tawane, the indomitable youth leader; and schoolgirl Kheyro, whose future hangs upon her education. In City of Thorns, Rawlence interweaves the stories of nine individuals to show what life is like in the camp and to sketch the wider political forces that keep the refugees trapped there.

Ben will share his stories of life in the camp, explaining why he wrote the book and what he thinks can be done to improve the lives of refugees around the world.



TICKETS
You can buy tickets for events at both locations online at www.dulwichbooks.co.uk,
by email at hello@dulwichbooks.co.uk,
on the phone on 020 8670 1920 or in Dulwich Bookshop


For press enquiries and author interview requests please contact Sophie Goodfellow and Hayley Steed at ed public relations on sophie@edpr.co.uk /hayley@edpr.co.uk or call on 020 7732 4796

For more information about the events including ticket prices,
patron tickets and venue details please visit
www.dulwichbooks.co.uk or call 020 8670 1920
Find us on Twitter: @DulwichBooks/@TheBedfordPub

Tuesday, 5 January 2016

Follow Me by Angela Clarke

LIKE. SHARE. FOLLOW . . . DIE
The ‘Hashtag Murderer’ posts chilling cryptic clues online, pointing to their next target. Taunting the police. Enthralling the press. Capturing the public’s imagination.
But this is no virtual threat.
As the number of his followers rises, so does the body count.
Eight years ago two young girls did something unforgivable. Now ambitious police officer Nasreen and investigative journalist Freddie are thrown together again in a desperate struggle to catch this cunning, fame-crazed killer. But can they stay one step ahead of him? And can they escape their own past?
Time's running out. Everyone is following the #Murderer. But what if he is following you?

Follow Me by Angela Clarke was a book I was looking forward to reading because it sounded like a really current read with the storyline set around the dangers of social media.

Having finished this book at the weekend I have waited to review this book as I had mixed feelings about it and I couldn’t quite work out what was missing for me or what I didn’t like about it because I just found that this book couldn’t hold my interest for more than a couple of chapters at a time. Having said that it still had something about it that kept pulling me back to read again so it wasn’t a book that I felt I just wanted to give up on.

The best thing about the storyline was that the author managed to pull the wool over my eyes, I had no idea the whole way through who the #murderer was. As each status was posted by the #murderer I was trying to solve the clues along with the characters hoping that they would make it in time to catch them before it was too late.

The storyline really addresses the dangers of social media and just shows how quick information can be circulated for not only good but bad and how it can draw attention to the wrong things.
Freddie was our main character and although she wasn’t a relatable or lovable character she still had likeability to her and she was a great main character. Nas seemed like the most competent officer on the case and I really liked her character. There was a mystery about Nas and Freddie’s past that also kept me guessing which helped to keep my interest in the book.

The detailed descriptions surrounding the crime scenes really helped me to visualise the setting and piece clues together. So the book had a lot of great points that ticked a lot of boxes for me but I think my problem with this book was the fact that Freddie who was just a normal every day person was pulled into this investigation because of her knowledge of social media and yet she seemed to be more able to find the correct clues and was all around doing a much better job than the police which all seemed rather farfetched to me especially when they were taking her to the crime scenes. It seemed to lose its chilling, gritty feel to it after the first murder scene.
For me this was a 3 and a half star read it showed great promise and I look forward to reading the next book by Angela Clarke to see how her writing progresses.




Kindle                     Paperback

Sunday, 3 January 2016

Inside the O'Briens by Lisa Genova

Joe O'Brien is a Boston cop; his physical stamina and methodical mind have seen him through decades policing the city streets, while raising a family with his wife Rosie. When he starts committing uncharacteristic errors - mislaying his police weapon, trouble writing up reports, slurred speech - he attributes them to stress. Finally, he agrees to see a doctor and is handed a terrifying, unexpected diagnosis: Huntington's disease. 

Not only is Joe's life set to change beyond recognition, but each of his four grown children has a fifty-fifty chance of inheriting the disease. Observing her potential future play out in his escalating symptoms, his pretty yoga teacher daughter Katie wrestles with how to make the most of the here and now, and how to care for her dad who is, inside, always an O'Brien.



I read Still Alice by Lisa Genova earlier last year and it really was a touching thought provoking read so I was eager to start the new release by this author Inside the O’Briens to see what the author has instore for me this time around.

The O’Briens are a close knit chaotic family who are about to have devastation brought into their family after hard working dad Joe who has been a Boston Cop for years begins to start making errors and having the odd unexplained stumble as well as having a very short fuse and when he finally agrees to see a doctor he is faced with a heart-breaking diagnosis….. Joe has Huntington ’s disease.
Slowly Joe begins to face more symptoms and the news of the disease rocks the family to the core but they all have a difficult decision to make, do they take the test to see if they are looking at the same future as their father?

Lisa Genova has done it again, she has taken a disease which many of us can claim to have heard of but she takes things a step further and pulls us into the O’Briens family to see not only what life is like for the sufferer as the disease begins to take a hold but also on the effects of family members too. This really was a learning curve for me as I didn’t realise there is actually a test that you can take to find out if you have the gene and it really had me questioning if I was in the same position as Joe’s children would I want to take the test and know or not.

It was heart wrenching watching Joe slowly deteriorate and also how people around react to the symptoms of the disease. The author has quite clearly taken a lot of time to research and spend time with people who suffer with the disease as her knowledge shines through in this book and everything was handled with such grace but at the same time it really hit home too that we need more awareness for Huntington’s and I really hope that this book manages to generate more donations so that one day we can hope to have a cure for this devastating disease.

My one thing I didn’t like about this book was the ending, I don’t want to give anything away so all I am going to say is I really connected with a particular character in the book and I felt like I was going along their journey with them so I would have liked to have taken the last step with them but we were instead left on a cliff hanger. The strange thing is remember finding the same thing with Still Alice the ending being so abrupt, I can understand that in both books the illnesses that are covered both lead to lives ending abruptly, but both books still just stop with no notice and have left me just hanging and a little frustrated.


I am looking forward to seeing this book made into a film to see if it does the book justice. I look forward to another book by this author I just hope the ending isn’t the same next time around.




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