Tag Archive | Rachels Random Resources

My Sister’s Secret by Diane Saxon

Not A Book To Miss

My Sister’s Secret by Diane Saxon is a marvelous contemporary psychological suspense that gripped me from the start.

Four sisters bonded closely by a childhood secret. They live very different lives but are always there for each other. A day in the past unites them, but about which they do not talk. If ever they did, then the floodgates would open.

Terrible childhood events haunt a character – one day aged nine years old would remain forever. She kept quiet and he got away with it. Every day since, the guilt and the fear have eaten her up. Never again must an innocent life suffer if she can help it.

All the characters were well drawn, likable and realistic. The reader is horrified by the amount of suffering the four lead characters have faced. The past never leaves them.

We see the fierce protection of a mother’s love. There are no lengths to which she will not go in order to protect her children – no matter how old they are.

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The Testing Of Rose Alleyn by Vivien Freeman

A Window On 1900

The Testing Of Rose Alleyn by Vivien Freeman is a charming snapshot into bygone days.

The novel is set in 1900 in a small town in the S.E. of England. It is written in the first person from the point of view of Rose Alleyn. The reader is given a window into her world.

Rose Alleyn works in a bookshop. Books are her passion. It is a passion that she shares with the owner. They delight in reading poetry and prose aloud. The reader revels in the famous authors of the time.

As a daughter brought up in the countryside, we hear of Rose Alleyn’s family. Many of her siblings are in service. It was a job destined for her too, until a close encounter with the young master meant she sought alternative employment.

With comprehensive descriptions by the author, we see that Rose Alleyn has an eye for detail. We hear of the flowers in the countryside and the bookshelves in the shop.

The bookshop is thriving until a misprint in a book plunges the shop into notoriety. We witness the power of the press to influence and build up or destroy reputations.

There is a camaraderie in the boarding house between the young women. Their care and compassion come to the fore when Rose Alleyn is taken ill.

Discussions about the interior and exterior of houses produced a highly amusing scene for me… Rose Alleyn declares she is not keen on indoor toilets. She prefers sitting in outdoor ones, listening to the bees buzzing as she goes about her business!

The Testing Of Rose Alleyn was a gentle book that transports the reader back in time to a slower pace of life. It is an absolutely charming read.

I received a free copy via Rachel’s Random Resources for a blog tour. A favourable review was not required. All opinions are my own.


The Testing of Rose Alleyn

England in the year 1900. A vibrant young woman must take control of her destiny.
Vivien Freeman’s atmospheric novel brings late Victorian England hauntingly to life in the mind of the reader. In this beautifully written romance, we explore the choices facing an independent-minded woman at a time when women struggled for self-determination.

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Author Bio –

Vivien Freeman grew up in North London and graduated in Art History from the University of East Anglia before settling in Ware, Hertfordshire. A published poet as well as a novelist, she taught Creative Writing for many years and has an M.A. in Scriptwriting from Salford University. She now lives in rural Wales in the Vale of Glamorgan with her husband, the poet, John Freeman.

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The Flame Tree by Siobhan Daiko

Extraordinary Bravery

The Flame Tree by Siobhan Daiko is a fascinating historical novel and part of the Hong Kong Collection.

The story is fictional but has its roots in fact. It is set in 1939 and into the World War II years in Hong Kong. I was educated as I read about the brave people of Hong Kong during the war.

Ordinary men and women were flung into war after the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbour in December 1941. As a British colony, the Hong Kong people fought against the Japanese.

Some young British men living in Hong Kong formed an elite group Z. They were fearless in their fight.

We see the difficulties facing a young British man and a Eurasian woman, the daughter of a prominent Hong Kong citizen. To be seen with the man would mean ruin for the young woman. Love must find a way.

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Your Place Or Mine? by Portia MacIntosh

Delightfully Fun

Your Place Or Mine? by Portia MacIntosh is a delightful contemporary offering that made me smile from the start.

I always adore Portia MacIntosh’s novels. They are very charming and make me feel good. Your Place Or Mine? is wonderfully light-hearted and highly amusing. I found myself chortling out loud at times. It is a delicious rom-com that is highly entertaining and would make a marvelous movie.

The story is written in the first person enabling the reader to become intimately acquainted with the lead character. She has a kind heart and a generous spirit, and is a fun-filled character.

We see a beautiful bond that has been severed by death. Grief is raw. I loved this description: “Grief is how we keep loving people when they’re not here anymore.” We mourn deeply because we love deeply. We see the devastation in a heart that loss brings. In contrast we witness family squabbling over money and possessions left behind. This is ugly. The character with the pure heart and soul is very beautiful.

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