Stepping Back In Time
A Notable Omission by Isabella Muir is an historical novel set in 1970. It is the fourth book in the Janie Juke Mystery series but can be read as a stand-alone.
The novel was very atmospheric. Comprehensive descriptions of the décor really evoked memories of the early seventies. It was brash. It was loud. It was very in-your-face and has been perfectly captured by Isabella Muir.
The main theme was about equality for women – but there was inequality in other areas too. We see a young woman still excluded from the friendships formed a while ago in school. Other women were in marriages of unequal partnership as we hear of domestic abuse and jealousy.
There is a disappearance and a close call with death to be investigated. Are they linked? Or is it a pure coincidence? Now is the job for both the police and a pair of amateur super sleuths to find answers to the questions.
Small Town Life
Mrs Bambi Knows by Chris Mason is a delightful contemporary novel about life in small town America.
The town comes to life under Chris Mason’s pen. I could ‘see’ the main street, A.M’s dress shop and Clarence’s farm to name but a few. Chris Mason’s words really evoke small town life – think Little House On The Prairie but brought up to date. It is a charming place to live.
There are many friendly residents with unique personalities. They look out for each other but gossip is rife! Your business is definitely not your own.
Single Dad, Richard, has a secret – he is Mrs Bambi the agony aunt in the local paper. He has a dry sense of humor and is very tongue in cheek with his advice – but the town is baying for blood – who is the outrageous Mrs Bambi?
A Love To Last A Lifetime by Clare Swatman is a serenely beautiful contemporary novel about love.
Love comes in many forms – the love of parents and children, between friends, husbands and wives, and an all-consuming love.
This all-consuming love happens once in a lifetime to two characters in different generations. Both have been wrenched away from the love that consumed and both have memories to keep them warm. Would the love have remained if left to run its’ course? Or would it have fizzled? We shall never know. Outsiders decided it was good boy vs. wild boy, and every parent wants their daughter to marry the stable influence – but is that enough to be a love that lasts a lifetime?
There is the love between three friends. We all want to have friends who love us enough to tell us the truth in love. Friends who want the best for us and who will support us through all of life’s highs and lows.
We see the heartbreaking topic of early onset dementia. A character has faded but just occasionally we get glimpses of the lively girl she once was. Dementia affects all those around us. “That mum, the one who made me feel safe, protected, was still in there somewhere, hidden beneath the cruel cloak of dementia… I missed her.”
Of Love & Tears
One Day With You by Shari Low is a beautiful, heartbreaking contemporary read that will tug at your heartstrings.
My emotions were all over the place as I read. It is a book that celebrates friendship, family and new life whilst mourning endings with regrets for what might have been.
Life is fragile. We get one go at it. One reckless mistake can destroy lives. Our choices need to be made well. We do not live our lives in isolation, our choices affect others for good or bad. We must let go of guilt and regret as they will destroy us from the inside out.
Family is so much more than blood relations. In the story, family are those who come to our aid in our darkest moments and also our happiest moments.
All the characters were realistic, likable and well-drawn. There are some huge, beautiful hearts. I love the neighbours in their sixties. Their banter is hilarious. Their kind hearts are vast and their capacity to love is huge.