Category Archives: Family Life

The Cake Shop in the Garden by Carole Matthews

Fay runs a cakeshop cum tea room in the back garden of her Mum’s house and on her canal barge. It is becoming more and more popular. She also has to look after her bed ridden Mum.

All the cakes are homemade , the descriptions of which make you want to drool! They sound delicious. There’s a recipe for ‘Totally Gooey Triple Choc Brownies’ at the end of the book, I have taken a note of it!

The story moves along very well, characters well written and interact well with each other. The story includes sibling rivalry, a hunky love interest, tragedy, despair and much more.

Watch out for the handbell ringing!

Try this tale of a family with long hidden secrets, you’ll enjoy it.

Must get my next Carole Matthews fix from the library.

Debbie

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“Sophie understands she has a problem, but recognising it and knowing how to fix it are two entirely different things…”

Sophie Winter lives in a self-imposed cocoon – she’s a single, thirty-one year old translator who works from home in her one bedroom flat. This isn’t really the life she dreamed of, but then Sophie stopped believing in happy endings a very long time ago, when she was fifteen years old and tragedy struck her family. Her grief has left her scared of commitment and completely risk averse, so she plays it safe and keeps everyone at arm’s length. Sophie understands she has a problem, but recognising it and knowing how to fix it are two entirely different things. One night a serious fire breaks out in the flat below hers. Sophie is trapped in the burning building until a random passer-by, Ben, luckily happens to spot and rescue her. Suddenly her cocoon is shattered – what will be the consequences of this second life-changing event?

“…a truly moving, funny and heart-breaking book. Highly recommended.”

A wonderfully powerful novel that centres on a teenage girl and her relationship with alcohol. The girl’s wider relationships with her family, her experiences of sex and her feelings of bereavement make for a truly moving, funny and heart-breaking book. Highly recommended.

 Elena

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Nina does not have a drinking problem. She likes a drink, sure. But what 17-year-old doesn’t? Nina’s mum isn’t so sure. But she’s busy with her new husband and five-year-old Katie. And Nina’s almost an adult after all. And if Nina sometimes wakes up with little memory of what happened the night before, then her friends are all too happy to fill in the blanks. Nina’s drunken exploits are the stuff of college legend. But then one dark Sunday morning, even her friends can’t help piece together Saturday night. All Nina feels is a deep sense of shame, that something very bad has happened to her.

“Who was the man with whom Kate built a life? And what is he to her now…?”

Home is where the heart is, and Kate thinks a lot about making people feel at home. She works for a global hotel corporation. She has two young children, and a husband of ten years. Now, both Kate’s home and her heart are about to implode: she has discovered a series of emails from her husband Adam to another woman. Probing for answers, she realizes this not the worst possible discovery – in fact, it is only the beginning. As her family unravels, Kate’s job becomes increasingly demanding – but how can she provide the perfect guest experience when her own foundations have been knocked away? She tries to hold things together for her daughters, but doesn’t know what to tell them when they ask when Adam is coming home. Who was the man with whom Kate built a life? And what is he to her now?

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A dark, funny – sometimes shocking – coming of age novel from one of the UK’s leading comedians…

ninaI loved Shappi Khorsandi’s memoir, A beginner’s guide to acting English so much that I can’t wait to read her first novel:

Nina does not have a drinking problem. She likes a drink, sure. But what 17-year-old doesn’t? Nina’s mum isn’t so sure. But she’s busy with her new husband and five year old Katie. And Nina’s almost an adult after all. And if Nina sometimes wakes up with little memory of what happened the night before, then her friends are all too happy to fill in the blanks. Nina’s drunken exploits are the stuff of college legend. But then one dark Sunday morning, even her friends can’t help piece together Saturday night. All Nina feels is a deep sense of shame, that something very bad has happened to her. A dark, funny – sometimes shocking – coming of age novel from one of the UK’s leading comedians.

Click and collect from any Norfolk library

Out today- another feel-good novel from Jenny Colgan

colganPerfect for warming up on a chilly day!

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Flora is definitely, absolutely sure that escaping from the quiet Scottish island where she grew up to the noise and hustle of the big city was the right choice. What was there for her on Mure? It’s a place where everyone has known her all her life, and no one will let her forget the past. In the city, she can be anonymous, ambitious and indulge herself in her hopeless crush on her gorgeous boss, Joel. When a new client demands Flora’s presence back on Mure, she’s suddenly swept back into life with her brothers (all strapping, loud and seemingly incapable of basic housework) and her father. As Flora indulges her new-found love of cooking and breathes life into the dusty little pink-fronted shop on the harbour, she’s also going to have to come to terms with past mistakes – and work out exactly where her future lies…

The Butterfly Summer by Harriet Evans

butterfly-summerMainly set in London and the deepest most mysterious part of Cornwall, which you and I will never find.

It is a history of the house named ‘Keepsake’ and the Parr family, from the time of Charles II up to present day. Most of the story is set in the 20th and 21st centuries.

Butterflies play a major part in the story, there are many at Keepsake and members of the Parr family travelled abroad in search of others.

This is an intriguing story which once started I didn’t want to put down. The plot is well worked, with many surprises along the way. The characters come to life as the story unfolds, I didn’t like them all but that is necessary for the story.

There is love, sadness, danger, cruelty, anger, misunderstandings and many lies (some of them white ones).

I recommend you to read this. I’ve already reserved another by Harriet Evans. A Place For Us

Eileen

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Reviewed: Tomboy by Liz Prince

tombWhat a beautiful memoir! I loved this graphic novel which told the coming-of-age tale of a young girl who doesn’t identify with anything ‘girly’ she sees around her and can’t help but feel there must be something wrong with her. Several moments in the book were truly heart-breaking, as we see her struggle to come to terms with who she is. The ending was one of the most feel-good things I’ve recently read. Perfect.

Elena

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This Was a Man by Jeffrey Archer

this-was-a-manWell that’s it, the end of the Clifton Chronicles!

This final volume lives up to the previous six. We follow each member of the family as they go about their daily life and see how they interact with each other and the wider world.

They may disapprove of each others politics but not the person. A united family for the most part. There are the usual problems, younger members of the family doing things the older ones disapprove of.

All set across historical events, Margaret Thatcher first female PM, Falklands War, Berlin Wall coming down.

I’ll just say that it will make you laugh and make you cry, but you’ll enjoy it.

What am I going to read next I wonder. Anyone know of some other multi volume family sagas to get my teeth into?

Grace

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Eileen’s Top Reads of 2016

So many books, so little time. Here are my favourites that I’ve read this year.

I notice that a lot of the Fiction are sequels, or part of a series.

In fairness to all the authors I have put them in alphabetical order. (I am a Librarian after all!)

Jeffrey Archer Cometh the Hour – This is the 6th volume of the Clifton Chronicles.   

Alex Brown The Secret of Orchard Cottage – Intriguing family story.The Secret of Orchard Cottage

Ann Cleeves The Moth Catcher  –  The 7th story in the Vera Stanhope series, as good as the first six!         

Lindsey Davis The Graveyard of the Hesperides – The 4th mystery in the Flavia Albia series, she is the daughter of Marcus Didius Falco.

Carola Dunn Superfluous Women – The 22nd Daisy Dalrymple mystery, I’ve read all of them!

Emma Hannigan The Perfect Gift – A story of family, of hope and despair.

David Lagercrantz The Girl in the Spider’s Web – The 4th book  in the Millennium series, continuing on from Stieg Larsson’s first three.The girl in the spider's web

Freya North The Turning Point – A wonderful family story, I can’t lie, I did cry when reading this.

Wilbur Smith Pharoah – The 6th book in the Egyptian Series featuring Taita, history and myth entwined to produce a very readable story.

Lucie Whitehouse Keep You Close – A very suspenseful novel, read it if you dare.

Jacqueline Winspear A Dangerous Place – The 11th book in the Maisie Dobbs crime/thriller stories. A series well worth reading.

Gardening Books

Guy Barter RHS how do worms work?: a gardener’s collection of curious questions and astonishing answers

Monty Don Nigel: My Family and Other Dogs                 

Kate Felus The secret life of the Georgian garden

Nigel           The secret life of the Georgian garden

 

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