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Customer Reviews: 6
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Helpful Votes: 252

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True Colours: Can you ever forget your first love?
True Colours: Can you ever forget your first love?
Price: $0.99

27 of 30 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A True Romance That Kept Me Guessing, April 4, 2012
I don't often read contemporary romance, because I find it all terribly predictable. I'm glad, however, that I made an exception for True Colours.

Cleverly set in contemporary Ireland against a background of the complexities of Irish history (wealthy Anglo-Irish landowners and their relationships with ordinary Irish people) the book impressed me straight away with the author's obviously extensive background knowledge. Placed in this setting are a number of truly relateable characters, independent Alex Ryan, her father, her long-lost love Sebastian and his scheming family and fiancee.

The story of the long-thwarted love between Alex and Sebastian plays out against a subplot of lies and intrigue, danger and duplicity, and remains satisfyingly unresolved till the very end. By the denouement of the novel I was rooting for the utterly charming main characters without reservation.

The only complaint I have about this novel is that the end came far too soon!

The Girl Who Came Home - A Titanic Novel
The Girl Who Came Home - A Titanic Novel

202 of 207 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A fantastic, timely novel, March 21, 2012
I've been drawn into the world of Titanic fascination by my Titanorak daughter who is ten. Because of her, I started reading a number of books about the history of the Titanic, all factual - until now. The Girl Who Came Home is the first historical fiction I've read on the subject, and I loved it.

Based on a true(ish) story of a group of people who emigrated from one Irish village, TGWCH brings the past to life in a vivid and absorbing way by introducing the reader to believable and engaging characters, both passengers and members of staff who were on board, and echoing the effects of that tragedy down to subsequent generations.

I highly recommend it to any reader who enjoys well-researched historical fiction, and who is caught up in Titanic centenary fever!
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Feb 13, 2013 4:44 PM PST

The Distant Shore (Stone Trilogy)
The Distant Shore (Stone Trilogy)
by Mariam Kobras
Edition: Paperback
Price: $13.63
44 used & new from $3.83

3 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Reminiscent of Anita Shreve, January 24, 2012
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This is a gorgeous book; from the strangely tactile, softly coloured cover right through to the unresolved ending, Kobras plays on all the senses to weave a tale of love that is bigger than either of the main characters.

The book begins unconventionally with a lost love regained, leaving the reader wondering where the story can possibly go from there. However, though drawn helplessly together, the main characters have oceans between them, complex histories and enormous amounts of baggage to overcome. The language of the book explores the depths of their characters, leaving them raw and open for the reader, at times almost uncomfortably so.

Geography and landscape play a large role in the story, and are exquisitely drawn by Kobras to the extent that the reader feels the warmth of the sun, the salt spray of a frigid sea, or a cold stone held in a hand making the reader absolutely present within the story. It takes a great writing craftsperson to draw in the reader in such an irrevocable manner, and Kobras is such a writer. Her style is reminiscent of Anita Shreve, and if you liked Body Surfing: A Novel then you will love this.

Hot Cross Mum: Bitesize Slices of Motherhood
Hot Cross Mum: Bitesize Slices of Motherhood

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The real story of I Don't Know How She Does It!, June 5, 2011
If you read - and loved - I Don't Know How She Does It by Allison Pearson, then you need to read Hot Cross Mum. This book is the flip-side of the story of the successful, busy working mum; one who suddenly finds herself unemployed and forced unwillingly into the position of full-time parent.

The book is written in a series of journal-like entries that chart her journey through the pitfalls of playdates, mother-and-toddler groups and desperately trying to "make a friend" of her own - as a grown woman! It's frequently hilarious and always something that any parent can empathise with. I recommend you read it when the kids are in bed with a dirty gin and tonic in hand (that's a G&T in a dirty glass to you and me!)

Hazel Gaynor has a way with words, terrific turns of phrase and isn't afraid to turn the spotlight on herself, however embarrassing the situation might be. Highly recommended - buy it for yourself and for all your friends who are struggling to balance work and kids!

Some Life Somewhere
Some Life Somewhere
Price: $0.99

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A very sweet read, June 5, 2011
This is a short little e-book, something that you'd read in an hour or so - but a very pleasant hour it would be. The book is a series of short sketches or vignettes. It is worth buying for one little vignette alone, where a mother has to break the news of a grandparent's death to her little boy. The writing here is a joy; it's funny, poignant, frustrating and ingenious by turns. If you have kids, if you've suffered a loss, read this; it will uplift you and break your heart simultaneously. I read it several times, laughing and crying each time without fail. Definitely worth the small cover price.

Ashes, Ashes
Ashes, Ashes
by Jo Treggiari
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $16.19
89 used & new from $0.01

15 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great big gobbets of awesome!, June 5, 2011
This review is from: Ashes, Ashes (Hardcover)
At first glance, Ashes, Ashes is your typical post-apocalyptic novel. The main character, Lucy, is living alone in a shelter she's created, barely surviving as she hunts and scavenges nearby. She knows there are other settlements of humans in what was once New York, but scarred and damaged by the loss of her entire family and way of life she avoids them and lives hermit-like. Till one day... chased by the packs of dogs that are now being used by the Sweepers, who round up survivors for mysterious reasons, she meets Aidan and everything changes.

What I love most about this book is the details of survival that hit just the right tone; informative, but without swamping the narrative. It's a difficult balance to strike and many disaster novels fail to get it right, but Treggiari hits the nail on the head. Maybe it's the nerd in me, but I liked knowing that Lucy was as clueless as I would be when it comes to parting a turtle from its shell, and that far from somehow being an adept survivalist and martial arts expert, she was just a teenage girl living on wits and blind luck. Ashes, Ashes was real, accessible and believable. I couldn't put it down, and felt bereft when I finished it. Highly recommended.

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