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The Girl You Left Behind by Jojo Moyes

Enchanting

The Girl You Left Behind by Jojo Moyes is a positively wonderful novel about the power of love.

The tale is set in London in 2006 and in France in 1916. Both time periods are linked by a painting.

Love is a powerful force. Both female protagonists have lost the love of their life. In 1916 Sophie’s husband is fighting the Germans, while in 2006 Liv’s husband is dead. The women have their memories to keep them warm. Sophie hopes her husband will return again. Liv needs to learn to live once more. “Am I allowed to be this happy again?” It is natural to feel guilt when we begin to smile again.

Occupied France is a dangerous place to be. The Germans are cruel – but not all. Germans are people too with feelings and families. Far too often we make judgements based on the uniform but a heart beats underneath and there is compassion.

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Gracie Fairshaw And The Mysterious Guest by Susan Brownrigg

Exciting

Gracie Fairshaw And The Mysterious Guest by Susan Brownrigg is an exciting children’s historical mystery. It is just perfect for ages eight and above. Those considerably older like me will love it too.

The novel is set in Blackpool in 1935. It is at the height of seaside holidays and day trips. Blackpool drew people in from all over. My Dad and his family who lived in Birmingham had holidays in Blackpool in the 1930’s and 1940’s. The book awakens an era long gone and a feeling of nostalgia in the reader for simpler times.

I enjoyed the descriptions of Blackpool, particularly the Pleasure Beach and Fun House as my Dad took us on a day trip there in 1975. I ‘walked’ through the action, fully participating rather than just reading a book, as I was familiar with the locations.

The book was an exciting read. I became caught up in events, along with the children, as I too, tried to solve the mystery.

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The Wives by Tarryn Fisher

Where Is The Truth?

The Wives by Tarryn Fisher is a marvellous contemporary psychological suspense that I read in just one sitting. It was rather a creepy read that totally consumed me.

There is the question of what is real and what is imagined? Who is telling the truth? And who is lying?

Tarryn Fisher has a very cleverly constructed and unique plotline. She manipulated my emotions as the action took over my life.

The tale is written in the first person strengthening the reader’s involvement. I read with baited breath and head spinning as I tried to distinguish the truth from the lies. I had to work out where I could put my trust.

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Cut To The Bone by Roz Watkins

Gripping And Absorbing

Cut To The Bone by Roz Watkins is an all-consuming contemporary crime suspense. It is part of the D.I. Meg Dalton series but can be read as a stand-alone. I loved my return to the Peak District to catch up with Meg Dalton as she fights crime.

Roz Watkins has an amazingly vivid imagination. Her plotline was fabulous – intricate and well thought out. I hung on for a roller coaster suspense as I failed, once again, to predict the outcome.

The characters were all well drawn. I love the leading lady, Meg Dalton. She is a perfect mixture of brains, reasoning, and strength of character with an Achilles heel that makes her so easy to relate to. She has compassion but is tough when she needs to be.

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