Book Review: In the light of what we see – Sarah Painter

28012440The blurb

Brighton, 1938: Grace Kemp is pushed away by the family she has shamed. Rejected and afraid, she begins a new life as a nurse. But danger stalks the hospital too, and she’ll need to be on her guard to avoid falling into familiar traps. And then there are the things she sees…Strange portents that have a way of becoming real.

Eighty years later, Mina Morgan is brought to the same hospital after a near-fatal car crash. She is in terrible pain but recalls nothing. She’s not even sure whom to trust. Mina too sees things that others cannot, but now, in hospital, her visions are clearer than ever…

Two women, separated by decades, are drawn together by a shared space and a common need to salvage their lives.

My Review:

Format: Kindle

Pages: 330 Pages

My Rating: 4 stars

I know you should never judge a book by the cover, however, this cover is beautiful and totally swayed me when I was hunting for a book to request of NetGallery!

This is the story of two women who at first appear very different both set in the Royal Sussex Hospital in Brighton

Grace – its 1938 and Grace has been sent away from home after a traumatic event to be a Student Nurse only things do not go as well as she hoped

Mina – Its the present day and Mina, who is a radiographer at the hospital gets injured in a car crash and has temporary memory loss.

Initially it appears the two women are very different but as the stories progress they both have similarities and become almost connected.

I loved this book, I like the alternate chapter arrangement of the two characters, I was quickly hooked and ended up reading the last half of the book in one sitting as I was eager to find out what happened!

*I received a free copy of this book from Net Gallery after requesting it to review*

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Book Review: Stitch Head – The Monster Hunter – Guy Bass

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The Blurb:

He’s back! Join Stitch Head, a mad professor’s forgotten creation, as he steps out of the shadows into the adventure of an almost-lifetime…

When an unexpected visitor crash-lands on top of Castle Grotteskew, Stitch Head knows it can only mean trouble. Eccentric explorer, Dotty Dauntless, has bet her fortune on delivering a monster to the Venture Club – the problem is, all the castle’s monsters are as meek as kittens…

My Review:

Format: Paperback

Pages: 208 Pages

Series: Stitch Head #6

My Rating: 5 stars

***The publisher sent me this book free of charge in order to provide an honest review***

The boys love it when they get a book to review and couldn’t wait to start this as their bedtime story for the week, I was a little apprehensive as it was book 6 of a series and I do like to start a series at book one, however as it happened it did not impact at all on the enjoyment of the story and everything made sense!

This is the story of stitch head a friendly monster living in a castle with a professor who  makes very scary monsters with something called “beast yeast” stitch head adores his master but spends all of his time using his “least beast” potion to make the monsters less scary.

This story focus’s on the dramas which unfold when the explorer Dotty Dauntless turns up to bag herself a scary monster.

This is a chapter book but has some absolutely fantastic illustrations which really add to the story.

The boys opinions:

J: Loved the twist at the end and the unexpected monster!

A: Loved how exciting the final twist was at the end of the story

 

Slow Cooker Butter Chicken and Naan bread

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With only two weeks until assignment submission and exam day its all about quick meals in our house.

Last night we had the best slow cooker curry ever, pictures are awful but if you pop over to Half Baked Harvest you can marvel at the beautiful pictures and how speedy it is to prepare! Then have a look at the equally as yummy and just as easy Naan bread recipe, mine were a little over cooked as I left them in the oven whilst finishing assignment number two, but they still tasted great!

Book Review: We are all completely beside ourselves, Karen Joy Fowler

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The Blurb

Rosemary’s young, just at college, and she’s decided not to tell anyone a thing about her family. So we’re not going to tell you too much either: you’ll have to find out for yourselves, round about page 77, what it is that makes her unhappy family unlike any other.

Rosemary is now an only child, but she used to have a sister the same age as her, and an older brother. Both are now gone – vanished from her life. There’s something unique about Rosemary’s sister, Fern. And it was this decision, made by her parents, to give Rosemary a sister like no other, that began all of Rosemary’s trouble. So now she’s telling her story: full of hilarious asides and brilliantly spiky lines, it’s a looping narrative that begins towards the end, and then goes back to the beginning. Twice.

It’s funny, clever, intimate, honest, analytical and swirling with ideas that will come back to bite you. When you’re telling a friend about it, you do decide to spill the beans about Fern – it’s pretty hard to resist – don’t worry. One of the few studies Rosemary doesn’t quote says that spoilers actually enhance reading.

My Review

Format: Kindle

Pages: 348 pages

My Rating: 5 stars

I downloaded this book a year ago and it has been sitting on my Kindle untouched, I started it recently as am trying to read my existing books before I buy more! I was apprehensive about reading this as it has mixed reviews and a few of my goodreads friends had rated it low.

This is the story of three siblings, two (Fern and Lowell) who go away and Rosemary who is left to tell the story of their life together and apart. It’s quite a complex story, yet at the sametime an easy read to get absorbed into.

I was hooked as soon as I started reading this book, I didn’t know the twist before I started reading and guessed a few things but was totally wrong. I can’t deny I got that part of the book and thought “WHAAAAATTTT??? Nooooooooo!” and was surprised and slightly put off initially, but then I got over it and was eager to find out what happened, after that I couldn’t put it down.

 

 

 

In the kitchen: Lime drizzle cake

Today I baked a cake for the first time in ages. We are going out for the day tomorrow and taking a picnic so I thought I would try a recipe I found HERE on Green Cooking Blog for lemon drizzle sponge with lime buttercream.

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Out came my trusty mixer I’m unsure how old it is but I am 35 and it belonged to my Nan who passed away when I was 7!

I followed the recipe except I put the buttercream in the middle as it’s less messy to eat!

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I baked as one sponge though, just so I could try out the cotton cutting method….look how straight it is!

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The buttercream  is beautiful, I’m not usually a buttercream fan but the lime juice stops it being to sickly.

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It’s a huge hit with everyone, hope there is some left for our picnic tomorrow!

Thanks for posting the recipe Will!

Book Review: Calling all Services, Tara Ford

23820622The Blurb says:

Calling All Services is the first book in the Calling All… series.
Alex Frey, successful businesswoman, wife and mother to a busy and demanding family, doesn’t find it easy to take a break. So when she’s hospitalised with a mysterious illness, paralysed and afraid of what the future might bring, frustration meets fear and she can’t wait to escape the hospital, get back in control of things and return her family to the normality of salmon paste sandwiches.
At home, her husband Grant is determined to manage the kids, Alex’s parents, his sister and anything else life can throw at him while his wife is away recuperating. But what else can possibly go wrong while Alex is in hospital? The Frey family is about to find out. . .

My Review:

Format – Kindle

Pages – 323 pages

Series – Calling all… #1

My rating – an undecided 3.5 – 4 stars!

I chose this book as a nice easy read and that it definitely was. I read it in a few evenings and the storyline did keep me intrigued as to what would happen next.

The storyline of the Mum going into hospital and the household falling apart without her is certainly easy to relate to and I did enjoy it, there was just something missing for me and I can’t really decide what it was! Which is why I gave it the 3.5 – 4 stars.

(I use the Goodreads ratings of 5 – excellent/ 4- very good / 3 – good / 2 – ok/ 1 – didn’t enjoy)

 

 

 

 

Procrastination, Distraction & Emotion

As the title says, it’s all getting in the way at the moment, I’ve been able to return to my crafts and my blog as I’ve been lucky enough to have 3 weeks off.

I should however be glued to my laptop as I have so many assignments to write.
They need to by in at the start of may and I have done just one (the small one!)

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I have so many distractions in my life things I would rather be doing. I have ideas for starting decorating another room in my house but for now I’ve held myself back to just buying a few pieces to go in the kitchen.

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I discovered a video on free form crochet….I wanted to make a space notebook…tried and failed at a sun but turned it in to the beginnings of a flower. Something to go back to at some point.

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As a family we love the Disney Pixar short LAVA and my 7 year old asked me to learn to play the song from it on my Ukulele, that’s another work in process I’ve mastered the chorus and the end so far!

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I’ve enjoyed cooking a lot more like I used to, big home made meals without a packet in sight! Last night i made garlic bread which was amazing

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Then on Sunday Niki was very poorly again (she had Pancreatitis last year and almost died) and she spent an entire day at the vets they have no idea what is wrong with her but seem preoccupied that she is very bald….she lost a lot of fur when she was so poorly last year and it hasn’t grown back since. It hasn’t concerned me as she is on EN food and it was her old PROPLAN food which made her fur nice. Anyway they were also worried about low white cells but reading THIS health pack resource  they aren’t low for a greyhound so I think I need a greyhound vet. She seems brighter today though.

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So, life, fun, family and pets are getting in the way of assignments which I’ve well and truly lost my motivation for!

Spring

Looking at the drizzle and grey clouds outside this morning you would have never guessed what a beautiful sunny day we had on Thursday walking the dogs and an unexpected trip to Wales!

Nikki and Woody had a walk around the park a rarity as it is full of tiny dogs off leads which when they run up to Woody and bark at him and run off proves to much, it’s like being in the traps again and he gets most excited! Therefore when we are likely to meet little furry friends off their lead he always wears his muzzle. It makes us sad at people’s attitudes if while on his lead wearing his muzzle he barks at their unmuzzled of the lead dog…as he becomes the problem dog? Having spoken to other greyhound owners this is a common greyhound problem. 

Anyway we had fun and played beat the street, collecting points for the boys school. Double points and lots of people out and about.

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In the afternoon we had an unexpected drive to Wales for another walk with Nikki and Woody and some amazing fish and chips! Nikki and the boys loved the rabbits in the field, Woody wasn’t as excited by rabbits as little dogs but he enjoyed a second sunny walk.

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Book Review: The Secret Diary of Adrian Mole aged 13 3/4 – Sue Townsend

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The Blurb:

The Secret Diary of Adrian Mole Aged 13 ¾ is the first book in Sue Townsend’s brilliantly funny Adrian Mole series.

Friday January 2nd
I felt rotten today. It’s my mother’s fault for singing ‘My Way’ at two o’clock in the morning at the top of the stairs. Just my luck to have a mother like her. There is a chance my parents could be alcoholics. Next year I could be in a children’s home.

Meet Adrian Mole, a hapless teenager providing an unabashed, pimples-and-all glimpse into adolescent life. Writing candidly about his parents’ marital troubles, the dog, his life as a tortured poet and ‘misunderstood intellectual’, Adrian’s painfully honest diary is still hilarious and compelling reading thirty years after it first appeared.

Bestselling author Sue Townsend has been Britain’s favourite comic writer for over three decades.

‘I not only wept, I howled and hooted and had to get up and walk around the room and wipe my eyes so that I could go on reading’ Tom Sharpe

‘A satire of our times. Very funny indeed’ Sunday Times

‘We laugh both at Mole and with him. A wonderful comic read, that, like all the best comedy, says something rather meaningful’ Heat

Sue Townsend is Britain’s favourite comic author. Her hugely successful novels include eight Adrian Mole books, The Public Confessions of a Middle-Aged Woman (Aged 55¾), Number Ten, Ghost Children, The Queen and I, Queen Camilla and The Woman Who Went to Bed For a Year, all of which are highly acclaimed bestsellers. She has also written numerous well-received plays. She lives in Leicester, where she was born and grew up.The Secret Diary of Adrian Mole Aged 13 ¾ is the first book in Sue Townsend’s brilliantly funny Adrian Mole series. Friday January 2nd I felt rotten today. It’s my mother’s fault for singing ‘My Way’ at two o’clock in the morning at the top of the stairs. Just my luck to have a mother like her. There is a chance my parents could be alcoholics. Next year I could be in a children’s home.Meet Adrian Mole, a hapless teenager providing an unabashed, pimples-and-all glimpse into adolescent life. Writing candidly about his parents’ marital troubles, the dog, his life as a tortured poet and ‘misunderstood intellectual’, Adrian’s painfully honest diary is still hilarious and compelling reading thirty years after it first appeared.Bestselling author Sue Townsend has been Britain’s favourite comic writer for over three decades.’I not only wept, I howled and hooted and had to get up and walk around the room and wipe my eyes so that I could go on reading’ Tom Sharpe’A satire of our times. Very funny indeed’ Sunday Times ‘We laugh both at Mole and with him. A wonderful comic read, that, like all the best comedy, says something rather meaningful’ Sue Townsend is Britain’s favourite comic author. Her hugely successful novels include eight Adrian Mole books, The Public Confessions of a Middle-Aged Woman (Aged 55¾), Number Ten, Ghost Children, The Queen and I, Queen Camilla and The Woman Who Went to Bed For a Year, all of which are highly acclaimed bestsellers. She has also written numerous well-received plays. She lives in Leicester, where she was born and grew up.

My Review:

Format – Kindle

Pages – 276 Pages

Series – Adrian Mole #1

My Rating – 4 stars

I’ve been on a bit of a role recently re-reading books from my teens first I re-read all the Helen Cresswell books, then Judy Blume and now Adrian Mole.

I think everyone is familiar with Adrian Mole, the life of a 13 year old in the eighties through reading his private diary.

I thoroughly enjoyed reading this much more than I did as a teen, it did make me laugh out loud and reminded me how everything is a major drama at that age. I laughed out loud at a lot of the book. It was interesting to be reminded how the book is from a time when on a Sunday there really was nothing to do and if you didn’t go to a bank or the shops before a bank holiday you had to do without!

Would definitely recommend this as a good book to reread as an adult and have put the others on my Amazon wishlist but they are very short books for £4.99 so hope to grab them if they are ever on a deal of the day!