Book Review – The Road to Zoe

The sun is high and bright in the sky, a glorious golden globe shining down from an unspoiled perfect blue sky. Small birds are singing and swooping, almost dancing in the sunshine. And some of the largest bumblebees I have seen are buzzing around, showing off their fluffy striped jumpers as they skip from flower to flower.

If you didn’t know better you would think that all is well with the world. I look forward to a time when that is true 🙂

In the meantime, I find the best use of this beautiful day was to finish reading a wonderful book. This book was The Road to Zoe by Nick Alexander

Blurb: She ran away from the truth, but she can’t run forever.

zoeSeven years after his sister vanished without a trace, Jude is on the road, determined not to return home until he has found her. He wants to reunite his broken family, but more than this he wants to know why Zoe left—what happened when they were kids, on that terrible day when everything fell apart.

They’d been enjoying the funfair—grasping a rare moment of happiness following their parents’ divorce—when after a ride together, Zoe had stopped speaking to her mother’s new partner. Though Mandy believed he was the man she’d waited all her life for, her love for her daughter trumped even that, and soon suspicions of an unthinkable betrayal shattered the family.

So finding Zoe would be just the start. If Jude can find her, then what happens next will depend on the story she’s been carrying with her all these years. Because when families are destroyed by dark secrets, can the wounds ever truly heal?

Rating:  5/5

My thoughts:  Another beautifully crafted story, perfectly illustrating the feelings, fears, and hopes of a family torn apart when 16 year old Zoe disappears.

Nick introduces us to a family in turmoil as young Zoe’s behaviour begins to spiral, seemingly for no reason. But of course there is a reason… if only they can find out what it is.

Told in parallel timelines we also join a grown up Jude and his girlfriend as they travel from town to town determined to track Zoe down and finally find out what drove her from the family home so many years earlier.

The characters are, as always with Nick’s writing, real and relatable and I found myself emotionally invested in Jude’s quest – hoping that he would be successful, and that we would all find the answers he needs. I may have even shed a tear or two as we got to the end.

Another triumph 🙂

 

Book Review – You then, Me Now

Don’t you just love it when a favourite author has a new book out – and this is one that I just devoured in two days… so here is what I thought about:

You Then, Me Now by Nick Alexander

Blurb: YouMEShe’s given her daughter everything. Now it’s time to give her the truth.

Becky’s father is not just absent: he’s a mystery, a gaping hole in her past. He died before she was born and for her mother, Laura, the subject is strictly off-limits. But when Laura books an unexpected trip to Greece, Becky decides to join her, determined to get closer to her mother—and to the truth.

As they make their way to the beautiful island of Santorini, it becomes clear that this holiday is not as impulsive as Becky thought. Laura’s hiding something from her daughter—and she’s been hiding it for as long as Becky can remember. Laura has been here before, and that last visit holds the answers to Becky’s past.

But Laura’s memories of that first trip are tinged with pain and heartbreak, secrets she’s kept buried for twenty-five years. Now, with the truth emerging into the sunlight at last, can mother and daughter lay the ghosts of their past to rest and find the happiness they’ve both been looking for?

My Rating:  5/5

My Thoughts:  This is a beautifully written tale split between alternating narratives of the two lead characters, Laura and her daughter Becky.

The “You Then” is Laura’s tale of the past – a past she has kept from her daughter her whole life. “Me Now” is Becky in the present trying to get to understand her mother and possibly crack the elusive secret of her unknown father.

There were so many moments in this story that made me gasp, or shake my head, or want to shake one character or other, and even shed some tears. In fact I was quite emotionally exhausted by the end – but in a good way!

The island of Santorini is almost like another character – it is so amazingly described and its locations are the perfect setting for the magical moments of this story.

I have always loved Nick’s writing but this is certainly one of, if not THE, best so far. A real treasure of a read. Give it a go – you won’t be sorry 🙂

Book Review – Things We Never Said

 

Time has come again to share my thoughts on a recent read… so let me tell you about Things We Never Said: An unputdownable story of love, loss, and hope” by Nick Alexander

SaidBlurb:  “One day, we’ll be dead, and we still won’t have known each other. Not properly. Because no one ever does.”

When Catherine learns that she is dying, she remembers the words her husband once jokingly uttered and decides to leave him the ultimate, posthumous gift: a time capsule containing photographs of their life together along with tape recordings in which she recounts every secret she ever kept, every unspoken thought whether loving or treacherous; the things they never said.

Catherine’s recordings shake up many of Sean’s beliefs, sometimes enraging him and other times soothing with memories of the many joys that make up a life together.

But even as the tapes provide an emotional roller coaster of surprises, Sean prays that they’ll confirm the one thing he always secretly believed but never dared say out loud: that destiny exists; that their life together was not the result of mere chance.

Rating: 5/5

My Thoughts:  I have yet to read a book by Nick Alexander that I haven’t loved – and this is another one to add to that list.

The loss of his wife is obviously a terrible time for Sean and he clings onto the series of photographs and recorded messages Catherine left for him, recalling their life together from the very day the met.  We also get to see how Sean slowly begins to pick up the pieces and rebuild his life, and how he feels about the wonderful memories and sometimes shocking or surprising revelations that Catherine shares.

I found this a wonderful, gentle read, with characters who really speak to you and a situation that pulls at the heart.

I really enjoyed this book and I think you will too! So why not grab yourself a copy now:

Let the Light Shine – Review

There is something exciting and yet almost worrying when a favourite author has a new book out – you’ve loved all their other work but what if this new one is a flop?? I had that feeling when I got hold of this latest release by Nick Alexander… would this be the one I would class “not as good as his others…” Read on to find out!

Let the Light Shine by Nick Alexander

lightBlurb: From Nick Alexander, the #1 bestselling author of The Photographer’s Wife & The Other Son.

Penny and Victoria are about as different as two siblings can be, one with a smart London lifestyle, the other struggling to make ends meet.

But they are joined by more than blood, and their shared tragic past is affecting the present more than they realise.
When events begin to tug at the fabric beneath which dark secrets are hidden, the resulting chaos threatens to tear the two families apart.
Could there be aspects of the past that youngest child Penny doesn’t remember?
Could the truth of Marge be more complex than the beloved mother the girls choose to perceive?
And could the true story of that terrible Christmas be the key to understanding Victoria, Marge, and much much more?

A moving new drama from Nick Alexander, Let The Light Shine is a tale of sisterhood, resilience and hope that will have you hooked to the gripping end.

Rating: 5/5

My thoughts: All families have their secrets – but not all members of the family always know what those secrets are. Penny and Victoria may have shared a childhood but their lives went off in very different directions.  On the surface Victoria has it all – the money and comfortable life, while her younger sister Penny works all hours to support her family, and a husband who is searching for artistic inspiration in all the wrong places. But looks can be deceiving. Victoria is struggling with past events that have remained buried for too long, while Penny is generally happier than her “more successful” sister.

In this novel Nick Alexander has demonstrated one of his great strengths – writing characters and relationships you can really believe in, so much so that there were times when I wanted to shake one or other of the characters. There were also times when I had to wipe away a few tears before carrying on.

Secrets can never remain a secret forever though – and when the truth starts to be revealed the sisters will either be torn apart forever or be closer than before… only time will tell which.

Another great read from a wonderful author, as with all good books I was sorry to get to the end but ultimately satisfied by the story’s conclusion 🙂

 

Buy your copy today: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Let-Light-Shine-Nick-Alexander-ebook/dp/B01HT64G84/ref=sr_1_3_twi_kin_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1471890770&sr=8-3&keywords=nick+alexander

 

 

The Case of the Missing Boyfriend – book review

Hello once more and welcome to the world of my words. Today’s treats include fairy cakes, Yorkshire tea, and shortbread biscuits so I hope you have time to join me for a few minutes 🙂

As I may have mentioned I’m something of a writer and, as all good writers should be, I am also something of a reader. After all how can you learn to write well if you’ve never read anything good? It would surely be impossible to even know where to begin to write anything worthwhile. Reading is one of the most important tools in any writers armoury and so I thought now it might be time to start sharing my thoughts on a random selection of books.

Starting with this by the very talented Nick Alexander

The Case of the Missing Boyfriend

Cover Blurb: Thirty-nine year old CC is living the urban dream: a high-powered job in advertising, a beautiful flat, and a wild bunch of gay friends to spend the weekends with. And yet she feels like the Titanic – slowly, inexorably, and against all expectations, sinking.

The truth is, CC would rather be digging turnips on a remote farm than convincing the masses to buy a life-changing pair of double-zippered jeans – rather be snuggling at home with the Missing Boyfriend than playing star fag-hag in London’s latest coke-spots. But sightings of men without weird fetishes or secret wives are rarer than an original metaphor, and CC fears that pursuing the Good Life alone will just leave her feeling more isolated.

MissingCould her best friend’s pop-psychology be right? Are the horrors of CC’s past preventing her from moving on? And if CC finally does confront her demons, will she find the Missing Boyfriend? Or is it already too late?

 

My thoughts: I had never read, or heard of, Nick Alexander before I came across this book. I was simply in the mood for something new to read and as I remember this book happened to be on free-kindle promotion. The blurb sounded interesting and after all there was nothing to lose in giving it a go.

I was hooked from pretty much the opening of the book and devoured it as quickly as I could. Nick’s style of writing flows so easily that the pages just speed by without you even realising it. Written in the first person I have to say Nick Alexander does a brilliant job of getting into the mind of a thirty-something single woman and at no point do you find yourself thinking that something she says or does doesn’t fit in with the character.

Following on from the title of the book a large portion of the story focusses on CC’s search for the “missing boyfriend”, what she finds instead are a few less than suitable candidates and, without wanting to give too many spoilers I just have to say – Balloons!!??

CC’s group of friends naturally play a large part of the story, and her life, causing their own shares of laughter and tear along the way, each of them becoming as real and relatable as CC herself so much so that we hope the best for all of them – even if it is impossible for everyone to have a happy ending really.

Needless to say I absolutely loved this book and although it wont appeal to everyone (what book ever does) I would still recommend it (or any one of Nick’s other books) without hesitation.

Once I had read this book I was quickly searching out and devouring all of his back catalogue and now happily and eagerly wait for each new one to come along.

5STARS