Review

Book Review – The Woman in the Photograph by Stephanie Butland

Name: The Woman in the Photograph

Author: Stephanie Butland

Publication Date: 11th July 2019

Format: Paperback

Goodreads Link: Here

Review: I want to begin by saying that I was sent this book for free by Readers First, but all thoughts are my own. This book contains feminism, photography, family & friendship. This book begins in 1968, during a period of second wave feminism in the UK, and teenage photographer Veronica Moon is capturing the moments of a protest when she meets Leonie Barratt, a woman who will forever change her life. Skip to 2018 and Leonie is gone and Veronica is dying, yet she still assists Leonie’s niece Erica with a photography exhibition to celebrate Veronicas work for feminism and to celebrate her work and the work of Leonie. Veronica finally speaks of that period of her life that she seemed to be forgetting and is truthful about her and Leonie’s friendship. I loved how this book was written, it involved sections of the exhibition, different viewpoints of young and old Veronica, Erica and Leonie in the past (as well as some of her letters to do with feminism) and I felt as if that really helped me connect with the characters. As a photographer myself who has a growing interest in older cameras, I really enjoyed reading about some of the stuff involved within using a film camera, such as using the darkroom and the love Veronica had for taking photos. I’ve never actually read a book that focused around any wave of feminism, but still believe that this book was done right. It was well written, emotional, funny, educational and thought provoking. I enjoyed reading about photography & I enjoyed learning about feminism from the 60’s. I was hooked from the very beginning and highly recommend this to any woman with an interest in photography who wants to educate themselves on second wave feminism.

Rating: 5/5

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Book Review – The Missing Wife by Sam Carrington

Name: The Missing Wife

Author: Sam Carrington

Publication Date: 27th June 2019

Format: eBook

Goodreads Link: Here

Review: I want to begin by saying that I received this book for free through Netgalley, but all thoughts are my own. This book is about a woman named Louisa who is soon to be turning 40, and she’s also just had her second baby. Her husband and her best friend surprise her with a party and at this party she is reunited with her ex-boyfriend Oliver. The next day, Olivers wife Melissa is reported missing, but no one can recall seeing her at the party. Louisa is then determined to find out what happened to her. This book was very well written and gripping. It’s honest about what it is like to be a new parent (and I assume it is accurate, as I don’t have children) and how she is dealing with baby blues & sleeplessness which is emphasised within this book. I did feel as if the majority of this book was quite fast paced and I did feel quite hooked. I feel as if we were provided with small hints and clues as to how the book was going to end, and although I did guess one part correctly, I was completely shocked by another bit that happened! This definitely kept my attention and I did enjoy it! It definitely became quite a dark and sinister read and I actually liked that, as thrillers aren’t a genre I’ve read too much about, I do enjoy reading these different varieties, so reading with a hint of darkness to it really interested me and has made me want to read even more of the genre. Overall, this is the first time I have read a book by Sam Carrington and I did enjoy it! If you like psychological thrillers then I would suggest giving this one a go!

Rating: 4/5

Book Review – Interpreting the Ripper Letters by M J Trow

Name: Interpreting the Ripper Letters

Author: M. J. Trow

Publication Date: 30th May 2019

Format: Hardcover

Goodreads Link: Here

Review: I want to begin by saying that I was sent this book for free by Pen & Sword, but all thoughts are my own. I am weirdly fascinated by Jack the Ripper and have been for a long time, so when I saw this, I knew I needed to read it. This book made me realise how many Ripper Letters there were, as I was only aware of a select few of the extremely popular ones such as Dear Boss. This book goes into not only a bunch of these letters, which may or may not have actually been from Jack the Ripper himself, but also speaks of the fake ones written by people who got caught, and shows the worldwide frenzy these murders had, all thanks to newspapers becoming more popular as more people were becoming literate in the Victorian era. This does also go into other murders such as those committed by the Yorkshire Ripper, to give context into how the media reacts to these sorts of horrific events. I did find this book to be extremely informative and well written and also very well researched. I think if you have any sort of interest in learning about Jack the Ripper, this is definitely a book you should read. Not only will you be more informed of more of the letters, but also learn more about the media in the Victorian era and just how difficult it was for the police to actually hunt down and catch Jack the Ripper. People would be writing letters saying who they think it is because someone acted slightly suspiciously, or people would be writing fake letters to their neighbours for a laugh but these letters would be handed into the police because of the threats they contain. The whole situation was incredible and the frenzy it caused all over the world to me was shocking as I just wasn’t expecting it to be so well known worldwide before the internet and social media. This book is very interesting and I do recommend it to anyone interested in Jack the Ripper.

Rating: 4/5

Book Review – The Elizabeth Tudor Conspiracy by Alexandra Walsh

Name: The Elizabeth Tudor Conspiracy

Author: Alexandra Walsh

Publication Date: 2nd June 2019

Format: eBook

Goodreads Link: Here

Review: I want to begin by saying that I received this book for free through Netgalley, but all thoughts are my own. This book is the second in the Marquess House Trilogy and earlier this year I read the first one and absolutely adored it, so when I was able to read the second one I was very excited. This book took me a little longer than usual to get through as I had hit a bit of a reading slump, but still this book was absolutely incredible. It once again is written in two time periods, one being modern day, and one being the 1580’s, when Elizabeth I was reigning as the last Tudor monarch… or was she? This book had a lot of drama and the theory behind this entire trilogy is incredible. I need to be careful with what I say so I don’t give spoilers, but if you’re reading this review, I would assume you’ve already read the first and understand what I mean when I say that it is a continuation of the theory presented of Catherine Howard in the first book. It develops even more and I found this so interesting. This idea of history being completely different, but hidden from the public as it would have such big consequences was fascinating and kinda does bring into question can we really believe what is written in our history text books? Obviously this is fictional but the idea makes you really think. I loved Alexandra Walsh’s writing and I do think this trilogy will be an all time favourite, I’m already really looking forward to the final book! There’s so much going on in this book and it definitely did get me out of a reading slump. If you are at all interested in the Tudors, definitely give this series a read, and if you enjoyed the first book, please give this a read too as you will enjoy it just as much if not more.

Rating: 5/5

Book Review – The Guilty Friend by Joanne Sefton

Name: The Guilty Friend

Author: Joanne Sefton

Publication Date: 24th June 2019

Format: eBook

Goodreads Link: Here

Review: I want to begin by saying that I received this book for free through Netgalley, but all thoughts are my own. This book is about 3 girls in the 1980’s, Alex, Karen & Misty and they’re at university, but suddenly Alex dies and the two girls know they had a part to play in her death. In present day, Karen and Misty haven’t spoken in years but get back into contact after seeing a photo where they swear Alex is alive and the obsession of her being alive consumes Karen. This is labelled as a thriller but I’m not sure if I would label it as that, but I’m also not sure what I would label it as. This book is heavily set around eating disorders, anorexia specifically so if you struggle reading that sort of thing I wouldn’t read this. For others though, it is an interesting yet difficult topic to read about. The book has multiple perspectives, Misty, Alex’s and Karen’s third person perspectives during their years at university, but it also has present day Karen and Misty, as well as Karen’s middle daughter named Tasha. This book was well written and it was still very gripping. There is definitely a lot of twisted family drama involved in this book and an important reveal so I do understand the labelling as a thriller. Joanne did very well with the creation of likeable and unlikeable characters, and I did enjoy her writing style and would definitely like to read more of her work. I did definitely enjoy this book despite it being not at all what I expected and I do recommend it.

Rating: 4/5

Book Review – The Flatshare by Beth O’Leary

Name: The Flatshare

Author: Beth O’Leary

Publication Date: 4th April 2019

Format: eBook

Goodreads Link: Here

Review: This book is about two characters named Tiffy and Leon. Leon is trying to earn more money, and since he is on the nightshift at work, he’s out of the house during the night and is out during weekends, so he rents the flat out to Tiffy, who is only there at night and the weekends. But, they share the bed and they’ve never even met. This book is a dual perspective book and I love how Beth O’Leary made the two characters so different with how they speak. The characters are complete opposites but it works so well. As they get used to the presence of each-other in the flat, they begin to leave post-it notes around the house, as it is how the communicate and they seem to get on very well together. I wasn’t sure what to expect with this, but what I did get is a book full of laughter but with serious undertones and some more emotional moments. I read this book so quickly because I became addicted, I just didn’t want to stop reading it because I completely loved Leon & Tiffy and multiple other characters and how everyone interacted. It was such a lovely and sweet piece of contemporary fiction and a fantastic debut novel by Beth O’Leary, I just want more and more of her work. This was a very hyped up book but I fully believe that it lived up to that hype and I do really recommend it, especially if you love contemporary books. But be warned, when you pick this up, you may not want to put it down until you’ve finished it!

Rating: 5/5

Book Review – The Mother’s Mistake by Ruth Heald

Name: The Mother’s Mistake

Author: Ruth Heald

Publication Date: 11th June 2019

Format: eBook

Goodreads Link: Here

Review: I want to begin by saying that I received this book for free through Netgalley, but all thoughts are my own. This book is about a woman called Claire who goes through a trauma. 3 years later she has the perfect life, a lovely house, a loving husband a newborn baby daughter. But her life begins to unfold and she gets a letter through her door saying she doesn’t deserve her daughter and her life unfolds further as she’s trying to figure out who knows her past and who betrayed her trust. This book was absolutely incredible. I’ve not read many thrillers but this was so good and has really made me want to delve further into the genre. The book has two perspectives, one of which isn’t made clear to us until closer to the end of the book, so there’s always this aspect of mystery, and as Claire & her family have recently moved and she’s made new friends, connected with other people, there’s also that mystery of who has betrayed her trust, who isn’t who they said they were. I honestly was trying to guess who the ‘evil’ one was in the story and I thought I had it right but once there was that big reveal I was shocked. So many little things happen that all add up and make this really gripping story, I actually read over half of this book in a day because I was hooked, I just really couldn’t put it down. It’s so well written, I really felt for Claire and felt confused, angry and upset for her, this really got into my emotions and I thought this book was so well planned out. I loved it and think it’s a really great book to read whether you’re a lover of thrillers already or if you are new to them and really want to get into the genre. This is also the debut novel of Ruth Heald and I honestly think she’s done a fantastic job on this, I really do highly recommend it.

Rating: 5/5