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The Ingredients For Happiness by Lucy Knott

A Little Slice Of Italy

The Ingredients For Happiness by Lucy Knott is a delightful contemporary novel that will leave you smiling and feeling good about life.

The book is based around three sisters who are following their dreams. Dreams are planted in hearts and encouraged to grow by those around them as they are sprinkled with love. Dreams take on an extra significance when they were birthed by those no longer here.

The novel deals with the loss of a grandfather. He was clearly a man much loved by his family. His presence of love covers the whole book.

Cooking, dress designing and managing a boy band are the order of the day. Due to delicious descriptions the reader can almost taste the goodies, feel the fabric and hear the band. The Ingredients For Happiness is a book that really assaults the senses.

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A Spark Of Light by Jodi Picoult

I’ll Always Carry You

A Spark Of Light by Jodi Picoult is a contemporary novel set in a women’s clinic. It concerns the themes of pro-life and pro-choice. I found it a difficult read because the unborn babies have no choice, they are at the mercy of their mother’s choices.

I think Jodi Picoult is an excellent author and I always enjoy her books with their twists that I never spot coming! A Spark Of Light was excellently written but it was a hard read for me.

The plotline is brilliantly constructed as the novel opens and then works backwards in time so we can see what caused the characters to make the decisions they made. The story does come full circle with the epilogue at the end.

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The Guilty Mother by Diane Jeffrey

Joining The Dots

The Guilty Mother by Diane Jeffrey is the most marvellous contemporary psychological thriller that had me gripped and guessing from the start. I picked up the clues that the author fed me along the way and tried to join the dots until the jaw dropping finale.

Diane Jeffrey has constructed a fabulous plotline that is both intricate and engrossing. All was very cleverly done as she drew me in from the start, holding my attention to the very last sentence.

The action was seen from several different points of view and alternated between 2012 and 2018. The result was that I ‘walked’ through the events alongside the characters. I watched the action unfold at the same time as the characters.

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Parliament Of Rooks by Karen Perkins

Restless Spirits

Parliament Of Rooks by Karen Perkins is a fantastic dual timeline supernatural tale that will have the reader drawn in from the start.

The novel is set in present day and 1838 Haworth in West Yorkshire. Haworth is a place that is very dear to my heart as it is the home of the Bronte sisters. It is my ‘go to’ place when I visit our daughter in Yorkshire. The location is very familiar to me and I ‘lived’ through the action.

I am also drawn to the fictional character of Heathcliff and therefore recognised all the references to Wuthering Heights.

As a Bronte sisters, Haworth and Wuthering Heights fan this was the perfect novel for me. I ‘trod’ the streets of Haworth throughout the novel. Karen Perkins has perfectly captured the atmosphere both in present day and in 1838. She has juxtaposed the tourism with the muck, grime and stench of death. The darkness of the mill contrasts with the brightness of tourism.

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