- File Size: 2175 KB
- Print Length: 365 pages
- Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0995615314
- Publisher: Nicola Clifford; 1 edition (October 21, 2016)
- Publication Date: October 21, 2016
- Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
- Language: English
- ASIN: B01L1ME222
- Text-to-Speech: Enabled
- Word Wise: Enabled
- Lending: Enabled
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,830,392 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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"Enlightenment Now: The Case for Reason, Science, Humanism, and Progress"
Is the world really falling apart? Is the ideal of progress obsolete? Cognitive scientist and public intellectual Steven Pinker urges us to step back from the gory headlines and prophecies of doom, and instead, follow the data: In seventy-five jaw-dropping graphs, Pinker shows that life, health, prosperity, safety, peace, knowledge, and happiness are on the rise. Learn more
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Top customer reviews
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The first few chapters reel you in. There are snippets of Harriet’s past. It isn’t altogether clear what exactly has gone before but it keeps you hooked. The story is sad in parts. Harriet has not long lost her mum to cancer, so she’s fragile and vulnerable. Her soul seems tinged with defeat. She has to dig deep to find her fighting spirit at times and it doesn’t always appear that she’ll win. Philippe’s suffered too but in different ways and he has to find himself again.
Philippe and Harriet clash when they first meet. There are assumptions and misunderstandings aplenty. There is heartache for both of them throughout the story. They attempt to overcome many hurdles – but can they? With so many surprising twists in the story, you can’t predict how the story will end.
There is a wonderful array of characters: There’s the lovely Elspeth. She is a wise elderly guest at the hotel who strikes up a beautiful friendship with Harriet. Toby, a likeable and strong-minded little boy who has more wisdom than some adults. Greg, Harriet’s ex-boyfriend, he conjured an image of Billy Zane portraying Cal in Titanic: single-minded, selfish, and very manipulative. There’s Becky, a colleague at the hotel. Everyone has come across a Becky at least once in their life. She’s blonde, ambitious, attention-seeking, cunning, bitchy, and damn anyone in the way. In my head she looked a bit like Paris Hilton.
A character I adored was Sophie, Philippe’s younger sister. She’s a troubled soul when we are first introduced to her. She’s causing heartache for her family due to a drink problem. Yet there is something very innocent and likeable about her. Philippe and his parents try hard to help her but they know she has to want to help herself before anyone else can.
The theme of family features a lot in the story. Family isn’t always about a bloodline. It’s about belonging and becoming a family no matter who you are.
This is a fantastic and absorbing debut novel by Nicky Clifford. Clifford’s writing is grabbing, and it held my attention throughout. The characters, the setting, and the story were all written with finesse. It sounds like a cliche but I couldn’t put the book down!
Reviewed on Whispering Stories Book Blog
*I received a free copy of this book, which I voluntarily reviewed
Harriet travels to Switzerland to work in a hotel and escape her past. Philippe is also there to escape and get his novel written before the looming deadline. Are their first impressions of each other correct? Will love bloom alongside the alpine flowers? “It’s not straight forward” as Elspeth, one of the very engaging characters, says.
Among dreamy moments of sipping hot chocolate amidst the stunning mountain scenery, there are plenty of confusions and misunderstandings. Things are often not as they seem and this keeps the reader guessing. At the same time the reader is treated to a quiet humour from the author, personal insights into the character’s lives, betrayals, friendships and a lot of dramatic racing down mountain paths.
For the armchair traveller there is plenty to keep them interested, with fantastic imagery (using few words) of Wengen and the surrounding area, and visits to real mountain huts and other places. Later in the book the narrative moves to the Theale and Bradfield areas of Berkshire – again lots of detail of genuine places to be visited.
This is a stunning debut novel, and I am sure we will be reading a lot more by this author. Her writing draws you completely in, the characters are well depicted (and easy to remember), and though Harriet could at times do with a sitting down and a good talking to, you can see where she is coming from, and sympathise with her predicament. There are peripheral characters who the readers will be relate to, both positively and negatively, from the bitchy colleague to the pretty Sophie – a character with such strong traits that she will remain with the reader long after the book is finished.
To me this was a book primarily about people, their feelings and why they do things that seem reasonable to them, but completely crazy to others. A lovely summer read, or a book for curling up with on a winter’s evening.
Suitable for all the family – a great book that is all about romance.
Most recent customer reviews
Looking forward to more books by Ms Clifford.