Friday, 31 October 2014

The Unfinished Child by Theresa Shea

The Unfinished ChildThe Unfinished Child by Theresa Shea
My rating: 4 of 5 stars


When I approached the author to ask if I could read and review this book [cheeky I know] I was surprised to have got a reply to arrange for my copy. I rather it in ebook, so that was arranged and although I had four books urgent ahead of it, I couldn't wait to read it.

Then...
hubby went down with the flu
Then...
I did.

I finally got around to starting it. As soon as I was on chapter two I was glued. I love a book that tackles hard topics that may get negative feedback as well as positive feedback. Why do I say this? Because they are emotive topics that we all have views on, serious, personal, emotional views, feelings.

Swing back to the 1940's/1950's if you can. Down syndrome wasn't always named that, it went by the name of Mongoloid. Just that word 'Mongoloid' sends shivers down my spine.

I love, love, love when authors "dare a topic" a moral topic, a dilemma where the reader gets so involved, and yes! That was me, I was so involved with all these women in this book, actually, right down to the guys too.

Margaret gives birth to a daughter who shockingly has Mongoloid. It is recommended that her daughter is institutionalised as it was best 'all round' and the 'normal' thing to do. Taking in context of history, that would be the usual procedure as children with this condition weren't expected to live beyond a certain age.

Of course, the advancement on Downs syndrome now is such that we know more about it, but if we can realize that we are not judging the contents of this story on now, this present time in history, we are jumping back many years when ignorance was such [as we see in this story] where most [if not all] were treated no more like human beings than kept defects of society.

I've read many of the reviews and understand fully when people will judge this book one way or another, and rightfully so. I too have Downs syndrome in my family but a far distant cousin. Children born with DS, parents were not encouraged to bring them home and given all the delights and positives of raising such a special needs child. Remember, we are talking many years ago.

When her baby was taken away from her and she subsequently went on to raise more children, she never forgot Caroline. When she started to visit her once per month taking a red rose, that touched my heart. The support for Margaret just wasn't there at that time in history.

The medical ignorance came out in this book when Caroline was pregnant, by whom? how? and no one suspected until her Mother was visiting one month and stormed into the office.
This explained to me how far we have come in terms of DS.

We have Marie MacPherson, 39, she already has two healthy children and finds herself unexpectedly pregnant.
Something about her pregnancy doesn't feel right. We learn how she finds herself carrying a DS child.

The author is now very brave as she brings this up to date with the medical tests that can be done to ascertain if a Mother is carrying a Down syndrome child. This now opens up a whole new ball game of morals for us readers. Should she keep the child? should she abort it?

Regardlesss of my reactions to any of this, I put them aside and carried on reading, trying to put myself into a position appertaining to this moral dilemma. I knew what I would do. Did I? Do you?
Maybe you would like to 'think' you would do this or do that. Maybe you already had this happen in your life and have the blessings of giving birth to a DS child. Remember, you get support. There is more knowledge now than ever before on how to help gain the best for your child.

Yes there are aspects in this book where I wondered where Theresa Shea would go next.
When we bring in Elizabeth who is her best friend, we have now another side to it all.

Elizabeth has had, and still is having problems getting pregnant, while there is her best friend with two smashing children. The heartache that Elizabeth goes through with Ron in trying to achieve something that should be so normal, so natural, not happening it breaks Elizabeths heart and causes a breakdown between Ron and hers marriage for a time.

But what when she finds out her best friend is pregnant again? What when she finds out the child has DS. What if she finds her best friend is going to have an abortion?

This is one super, powerful storyline that will keep you on the edge of your emotions, you will have your own thoughts on the morals of this story, you own dilemmas at choices. You would scream "no no no, I would never do that"
You may be adamant and stand firm and say "What on earth was this author thinking when she made this character say this or do that"

Whatever your feelings, whatever your thoughts, this author DONE IT yes, she DID IT, yes SHE PULLED IT OFF, why? Because these are topics, these are dilemmas, these are heart crunching, heart rending, break your heart emotive topics that we all feel strongly about. If she's made you react, she has DONE IT, she DID IT, she PULLED IT OFF.

Can't wait for book two!


Finalist for the Alberta Book Awards' Georges Bugnet Award for Fiction, 2014.

Finalist for The Alberta Readers' Choice Award 2014.

Finalist in the BookBundlz "Book Pick" contest 2013.

A word-of-mouth bestseller (now in its third printing), Theresa Shea's first book explores female friendships, prenatal testing, infertility, and Down syndrome. Shea tackles a complex moral issue with great sensitivity. This is a must read not only for parents in the Down syndrome community but for all parents, and for anyone who appreciates masterful story-telling.

When Marie MacPherson, a mother of two, finds herself unexpectedly pregnant at thirty-nine, she feels guilty. Her best friend, Elizabeth, has never been able to conceive, despite years of fertility treatments. Marie's dilemma is further complicated when she becomes convinced something is wrong with her baby. She then enters the world of genetic testing and is entirely unprepared for the decision that lies ahead.

Intertwined throughout the novel is the story of Margaret, who gave birth to a daughter with Down syndrome in 1947, when such infants were defined as "unfinished" children. As the novel shifts back and forth through the decades, the lives of the three women converge, and the story speeds to an unexpected conclusion.

With skill and poise, debut novelist Theresa Shea dramatically explores society's changing views of Down syndrome over the past sixty years. The story offers an unflinching and compassionate history of the treatment of people with Down syndrome and their struggle for basic human rights. Ultimately, The Unfinished Child is an unforgettable and inspiring tale about the mysterious and complex bonds of family, friendship, and motherhood






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Sunday, 26 October 2014

Kidnapped for an Hour by Lucy A. Hill

Kidnapped for an HourKidnapped for an Hour by Lucy A. Hill
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Awwwwww

I am so annoyed, I really had high hopes about this book.

I adore stories like this, the concept was brilliant and I was really getting into it, but the latter half of the book was a flop for me.

The story seemed to have come to an abrupt ending??? what was that all about.

I've been sat on this review for a couple of days now, and I still can't elaborate more than what other reviewers have already put. So seeing that less is more, I'll leave it here I think.


Melanie Hudson blames herself for her son’s unsolved kidnapping eight years ago. She should never have taken her eyes off her precious toddler. That fateful day, she lost her son, her marriage…and her moral conscience. Now she feels justified in snatching unattended children – if only for an hour. The lesson to parents: Watch your children!

When Melanie meets prosecutor Scott Buchanan, she lets her guard down for the first time in years, and opens her wounded heart to love. But that love is about to be rocked by the past – Melanie’s punishable secrets…and the shocking truth behind her son’s disappearance






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Thursday, 23 October 2014

Desperate by Christine Wilkinson

DesperateDesperate by Christine Wilkinson
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I really am thankful to this author for allowing me to read and review this book.

I had such high hopes for this after reading the blurb, but I have to say that I am so bewildered by many things that I read in its pages.

The brutality of Eris at the hands of her husband is awful to read. But its important to the story, actually its vital to the story.

I found Eris to be a strong person, the plot of the story is very very good, but I found it disjointed.

I'm trying very hard to explain what I mean, the only thing I can say is, if I was reading a long outline of what the story is about, the plots, what leads on from what, who is who and what will happen, it all fits, but the 'something' missing is the building on what is all there. It needs rounding out, developing in places as it seems hurried.

I cannot for the life of me see how someone who has been abused jumps into the lap and grinds her groin against someone who she doesn't know, he's a complete stranger and she is attracted to just moments after being raped by those men..
I mean no disrespect to the author, but I felt that more research needed to be done, unless someone was terribly warped emotionally I cannot see this happening?? As the author portrayed Eris to be such a strong unrelenting character and after just being abused by several men sexually, how could she within hours think such a thing?

The plot is superb. The murders, the twists, the outcomes is highly readable and I loved it, but I fail to grasp certain aspects in behavior.

It really needs some serious rounding out, serious expanding, and relooking at to make this the superb book that this could be.

I really do think this has GREAT grounded for a superb fantastic thriller.


Intended for mature readers aged 18+. Debut novel Desperate is a dark and disturbing psychological thriller about an abusive, manipulative, powerful man whose life comes apart when his wife finally breaks free and disappears. Finding refuge with a local cop, she begins the fight for her life, and in the process, uncovers secrets her husband buried long ago. A gut-wrenching and emotional story with an unpredictable and intense ending. Not for the faint-of-heart!




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What It Was Like by Peter Seth

What It Was LikeWhat It Was Like by Peter Seth
My rating: 3 of 5 stars



I had such high hopes for this story. I really wanted to love it. I really tried to get into this but it was such a hard struggle at the beginning. I kept on going though in the hope that I would see the light of where the author Peter Seth was going with this.

I get it. I get the love story in it, I get the obsession, but what I didn't get was the hope for something to be revealed, I kept saying to myself "Right, something is going to go BANG soon and its all going to take off" I repeated that so many times when it seemed we were leading somewhere, alas, it never happened for me.

Its well written, but I just don't see any real climax there.

Unless the climax was where he was lusting after her, I really couldn't say he was 'madly in love' how could you? but yes, obsessive compulsive behavior leading into a false entrapment of belief this is 'love'? Maybe? I just didn't see it probable.

I received my copy from The Story Plant via Net Galley in exchanged for an unbiased and honest review on my part

“It’s really a very simple story. What happened was this: I met this girl and did a very stupid thing. I fell in love. Hard. I know that to some people that makes me an idiot and a loser. What can I say? They’re right. I did some extremely foolish things; I’m the first to say it. And they’ve left me in jail and alone.”

So begins one of the most compelling, emotionally charged, and affecting novels you are likely to read this year.

It is the summer of 1968 and a young man takes a job at a camp in upstate New York before starting his first semester at Columbia University. There, he meets Rachel Price, a fellow counselor who is as beautiful as she is haunted. Their romance will burn with a passion neither of them has ever known before…a passion with the power to destroy.

In the tradition of Endless Love and Gone GirlWhat it was Like is an intimate, raw, and revealing journey through the landscape of all-consuming love. It announces the debut of a remarkable storyteller.





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Laura and Me by Sylvia Peterson

Laura and Me by Sylvia Peterson
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I have to say, I had a hard job reading this. I knew what the subject matter was before I asked to read it, but the interviewing of such a person who is a sexual predator [and unrelenting at that] was hard for me to read.

Sylvia can meet twice per month with Laura to find out what makes her the person she is [the sick person she is], but she is also looking for answers as to why people do these kind of things.

That was the part I just couldn't no longer keep reading. I find it hard to forgive the unforgivable and it was making me madder by the moment.

I am afraid to say, I didn't finish this book.

I apologies to the author and publisher Smith Publicity for this, but I have very strong feelings when it comes to things such as this on this subject matter. I have read many books of sexual abuse etc, but this one, although cleverly written was just not tasteful for me. Its left a bitter twisted taste in my mouth.


Very few sexual abuse survivors are given the opportunity to ask the question they most want answered. Why did this happen to me? Sylvia Peterson was offered that chance and courageously took it. She met twice a month with Laura Faye McCollum, the only woman held in Washington State as a violent, serial, sexual predator. Laura's crimes were horrific. She was an accomplished liar and a skilled manipulator, but Sylvia was determined. Laura and Me isn't just a journey into the darkness of childhood sexual abuse. It's also a voyage into forgiveness, healing, and joy. "Sylvia Peterson's book was instrumental in shattering my chains of self-hatred born of childhood abuse. Balancing horror, history, and humor, she entrusts the reader with every nuance of her heart and mind. You will rage, laugh, and cry as you experience Sylvia's quest for truth. I will no longer hold an impotent finger in the dike of my perpetrator's sins. Laura and Me is a satisfying must-read for anyone who wants to know why adults prey on children." Kathleen McDaniels, M.Ed. in Early Childhood Education "You may be afraid to read this like I was, but it will help you with the struggle from what someone did to you or to someone you care about. People can heal from being sexually abused. I know. I was one of Laura McCollum's victims. Let this story change you." (Name deleted for privacy.) For over two decades, Sylvia has ministered to the incarcerated, including sex offenders. She and her husband write and present offender reentry programs for the Washington State Department of Corrections. She has a Bachelor's Degree in Theology and a Master of Divinity from Covenant Bible Seminary in Lakewood, WA. The Petersons are also chaplains for the Foursquare Church. They live in Steilacoom, WA





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Another Night, Another Day by Sarah Rayner

Another Night, Another DayAnother Night, Another Day by Sarah Rayner
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I am a big fan of Sarah Rayner right from her first novel. I see that Karen is back in this one.

I have to say, this isn't a series of books, they are stand alone but it was nice to catch up with a character from a previous book with Karen being now somewhat older.

Mental Health has a stigma attached to it, yes, even after all these years, so it was great for me to see this author tackle it in such a readable way. I live with a husband who comes under "the mental health care" as he suffers with Bi Polar so I was very in tune with this author as she demonstrated great care in unfolding and developing the characters in this book.

Going back to Karen, she lost her husband in an awful accident the first time we got to know her, she was left with two children. We visit her now as she becomes the care giver to her Father who suffers with an illness.

Abby is a carer for her son who has autism, which is very hard work for her most times. Along with all of this her marriage is on the rocks.

Then there is Michael who is a business man, he owns a florist and is struggling within himself.

We meet up with these characters at Moreland clinic when each of them need aide for their mental health in one aspect or another.

Its all cleverly thought out and well knitted together.

As I said before, its hard to write about Mental health as people do not understand it, they cannot SEE it, the person seems OK, except for the loved ones who know them of course.

The reason I say its hard to write is infact because not all readers would understand it, but its so cleverly written that it shows us how anxiety, depression, autism, and all aspects of mental health can affect anyone at anytime at any age. Its not selective, it makes not distinction between class of people with money or if poor. Anyone, YOU or ME can get afflicted, things can happen in life that can send us over the edge of us coping and we become like a pressure cooker, we need a release.

Private care is so different from NHS care in the community, this is widely understood as we read. And totally scary.

This book is not sad, its not depressing, its an eye opener if you have never been involved in the caring system and Lillie was an outstanding character that brought me to much laughter many times.

I can honestly say I loved reading this, Sarah Rayner is a brilliant story teller and I am looking forward to reading many more of her books.

I would like to thank Pan Macmillan via Net Galley for allowing me to read and review this wonderful book. Thank you.



An emotional novel about friendship and loss from the bestselling author ofOne Moment, One Morning and The Two Week Wait

From the author of the bestselling One Moment, One Morning comes another beautiful, bittersweet novel set in Brighton.

Three people, each crying out for help . . . 

There's Karen, worried about her dying father; Abby, whose son has autism and needs constant care; and Michael, a family man on the verge of bankruptcy. As each sinks under the strain, they're brought together at Moreland's Clinic. Here, behind closed doors, they reveal their deepest secrets, confront and console one another and share plenty of laughs. But how will they cope when a new crisis strikes?





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Tuesday, 21 October 2014

Every Ugly Word by Aimee L. Salter

Every Ugly WordEvery Ugly Word by Aimee L. Salter
My rating: 5 of 5 stars



What a well thought out good riveting book.

I loved the layout where Ashley Watson is talking to her Consultant/Psych doctor yet she is telling her story, then it breaks back to the consultation. As questions are asked of her, she then relates more of her terrible experiences.

Ashley is teased, bullied, got at and so undeserving of it all.

There has been odd times in a book that I have read where I feel like shouting out loud. I HATE bullies, its one of my pet hates and I would take any bully on. Hate what they do. I have never been bullied at schooled, I have had grown people try to bully me but I am a strong character, bullies bring out the sarcastic retorts in me and I can give as good as I get, well, I did when younger than I am now, but that was in my hay day. Bullying people is just NOT on the agenda for me, I would name and shame, so......
you can imagine my feelings and frustration when reading this about Ashley.

When your Mother seemed to bully her to unwittingly about her "attractiveness" I just wanted to shut her up! I really felt for Ashley, she seemed to get bad comments everywhere she went including in her own home.


Matt is her best friend, problem.....
she is in love with him.

She was brave enough to put pen to paper and want to divulge this information to him, however, she has a 'second grown self' that tells her this may or may not be a good idea.

It could spoil the friendship.

Matt gets involved with a girl who Ashley doesn't like one little bit, she's part of the gang that bullies her and picks on her, but for the sake of Matt she bites her tongue.

There is lots surrounding this relationship between that girl and Matt and Ashley knows something that he doesn't know.

We go back to the doctor who weaves more questions to Ashley to draw her out and get to the bottom of all sorts of things.

I wasn't sure when Ashley moved how she came to be hurt and her stitches were painful when she moved in the chair sometimes. I had to wait for that to be developed and revealed by the author.

Its really strange that Ashley, when she looks into the mirror she sees herself at 23 years old, she can actually have conversations with her.
I found that side enthralling as it came across very believably real.

I loved how Ashley was a very talented artist, she was able to portray a lot of her emotions and feelings this way. Her art teacher picked up on this right away.

Ashley goes through a living nightmare and I just wanted to reach out and protect her from all the nastiness.

The books ending will have you gasping. It will leave you with a lot of feelings too one way or another.

My hat goes off to this author for writing a wonderful YA book that a 55 year old woman enjoyed.


I would like to thank Alloy Entertainment via Net Galley allowing me to access this freely for review



When seventeen-year-old Ashley Watson walks through the halls of her high school bullies taunt and shove her. She can’t go a day without fighting with her mother. And no matter how hard she tries, she can’t make her best friend, Matt, fall in love with her. But Ashley also has something no one else does: a literal glimpse into the future. When Ashley looks into the mirror, she can see her twenty-three-year-old self.

Her older self has been through it all already—she endured the bullying, survived the heartbreak, and heard every ugly word her classmates threw at her. But her older self is also keeping a dark secret: Something terrible is about to happen to Ashley. Something that will change her life forever. Something even her older self is powerless to stop.





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Monday, 20 October 2014

Gone for Good by David Bell

Gone for GoodGone for Good by David Bell
My rating: 4 of 5 stars



I was attracted to this book by not only the cover but the blurb. I'm glad I was able to read and have the privilege reviewing it.

At the start of the story we learn that Elizabeth Hampton have been called by a Detective to meet her at her Mother's home.

On arrival there are police and the author lays the foundation through Elizabeth's eyes how she feels and what she sees around her.

She hadn't spoken to her Mother in several years, they had fallen out. She left home at an early age and now she is 26 yrs old, a mature young lady.

She has a brother who has Down's syndrome, he is a little older than her. She then realizes, where is he, where is Ronnie her brother. She is assured he is fine and sat in his bedroom chatting to a police officer.

When she was told by the Detective there was a problem and to get over to her Mother's house right away, she thought it may have been about her brother, alas, its about her Mother. She is dead. And they say, she has been murdered. In her own home.

The descriptive way the author has in writing draws you in, its like Elizabeth is actually narrating the story to you, telling you how she feels, what's she's thinking, what thoughts she has about the present, past and future. I found it very well told between dialogue. Once you have read this, you will understand what I mean.


Quote:

I looked around the small familiar living room I grew up in. The house I lived in until I was 18 years old and left home for College. Everything was neat and orderly as always. Vacuumed and dusted. No clutter on the entertainment center. It never changed. Next to Mom's chair sat one of her books, crossword puzzle, a pen, reading glasses. Next to the chair, a shelf with family pictures.

Unquote:

David Bell the author of this remarkable read sets the setting well, so well, you can envision everything in the room. Not only that, he is giving clues. I found from that setting the Mom was orderly, clean, tidy. Organised.

The author has a way of setting you right in the middle of where the action is. It really is cleverly done to transport you into the pages.

I thought this story was going to be mostly about a "who done it" boy was I so wrong.

The person of course in the frame was her brother Ronnie.

We met Paul who was her Mother's brother. He has a heart problem.
He became the person she would attach herself too, also to a long standing friend who is a friend with benefits.

There were 'shockers' in this read. Its certainly NOT straight forward. Its got hidden conjectives in this story which take you to many avenues, many roads to go down and some are not pleasant.

Hidden secrets, lies, shame, and utter brainstormingly wonderfulness from this author.

Just as I thought this was what the story was about, it lead somewhere else. I've traveled many roads in this read, never boring ones, never diverse ones, never humps in the road that leave you feeling bumpy, but certainly breathtaking.
Never a dead end or a cul-de-sac, it kept moving at a pace that kept you screaming "what the hell is going to come up now"!!!

I don't know where this author got the idea for this story, but I am oh so glad he wrote it down for us to share. I loved this book, I am just wondering now, are his other books as brilliant as this? Because I would recommend this read to everyone who loves this genre, mind you, I would say, even if you don't usually go for a book in this genre, give it a go because you are going to be pleasantly surprised.


I would like to thank Penguin Books (UK) via Net Galley for allowing me the pleasure of reading this authors work



Elizabeth Hampton has not spoken to her mother in weeks when she gets the phone call. Her mother has been found dead under suspicious circumstances.


But who would want to kill a kind old woman who stayed at home to care for her son Ronnie's special needs? And why did her mother recently change her Will?


The police tell Elizabeth that this is not only a murder investigation - her brother Ronnie is the prime suspect.


Desperate to prove her brother's innocence, Elizabeth begins to unravel dark family secrets, double lives and the shocking truth behind her own identity.

Will add other links when available





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Milk-Blood by Mark Matthews

Milk-BloodMilk-Blood by Mark Matthews
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

WOW bloody WOW.

I have been glued to this book all day! Its addiction is not only about the people in there with heroin addiction, its also an addictive story you need to keep topping up on.

I have never heard the term Milk-Blood. [Taking blood from an heroin addict that keeps you topped up in case you run out] At first I was saying urggghhhhhhh.

This entire story is flavored in parts that I took very much to heart.

I think it all kicked in for me when Lilly was born. Born from heroin addict parents. She was born with 'see through' skin and a heart defect; we later learn of her stomach problems.

To have an entire neighborhood on drugs is just mind blowing but not unbelievable.

The inset of a comment this author writes right at the beginning kept me intrigued. After reading what his job was I could tell he had experienced, seen, understood and witnessed some crazy things. This must come out to us the reader whilst reading through this book.

I have never read anything like this before. Its a book I loved to hate. Let me explain this, I LOVED IT, no one can read the upsetting aspects in this book without hating it, hating what you read, wanting for things to be different.

Every month before the pay check there was no food. Can you imagine this?

The killings were not nice at all, Zachary was used by Latrice as a hitman in my opinion. The trouble is, sometimes the wrong person got killed and I felt so bad when it was a child.

There is so much going on in this book to keep you turning pages, it has been quite an eye opener for me.

When Lilly came into her own as she got older it made things even more intriguing, but of course, Lilly was a drug addict too by then.

Child Protective Services did get involved when she was younger and as you can imagine, that didn't go down too well!
But nothing ever changed in her life.

The homeless man across the street was known as having schizophrenic tendencies which was disturbing for her. I would say most of them had some sort of mental health problem. Of course, psychiatric wards are full of addicts, drunks etc, what came first? the mental health problem or the addiction? But not all mental health patients have an addiction.
Why am I saying this? because this family life is so dysfunctional you wonder how this can be 'normal' for some not to see this ISN'T normal way of living.

The ending was shocking. I gasped out loud and held my Kindle to my chest saying what a perfectly written piece of superb work this was by Mark Matthews. I would certainly read more by him.

I'm shocked to the core.

Like I say, the addicts are not the only addicts inside of this book, I think I've discovered my addiction for a new author.


I would like to thank sincerely Mark Matthews for allowing me to read his book. I was a bit scared, I must say that, and I was jumpy through it, but boy oh boy, did I love it




Lilly is ten years old, born with a heart defect, and already addicted to heroin. Her mother is gone from her life, and there are rumors that she was killed by her father and buried near the abandoned house across the street. The house intrigues her, she can't stay away, and the monstrous homeless man who lives there has been trying to get Lilly to come inside. 

For her mother is there, buried in the back, and this homeless man is Lilly's true father, and both want their daughter back






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Friday, 17 October 2014

This Little Piggy by Bea Davenport

This Little PiggyThis Little Piggy by Bea Davenport
My rating: 5 of 5 stars



There isn't anything I didn't like about this book. I loved it from beginning to end. Not once did I get bored, not once did I sit and think "Oh I have to review this book". In fact, each time I had to place it down because I was needed to do others things I resented my time away from the story and couldn't wait to get back to it, it was like having a movie on pause. You hate interruptions!

This Little Piggy.

I wondered how the title was chosen and how it would play out [if at all] in the story.
I found out soon enough.

The author takes you in many directions.

I do remember the Miner's strikes when Thatcher was in power and how badly handled everything was, also, how the Police seemed totally unprepared to handle outbreaks of violence. My daughter and son were born in the 1980's and I remember the reports around about that time.

This is also about a murder of a little baby boy named Jamie.

Clare is the reporter handling the case.

We find out early on how Clare was up for promotion but was unable to attend the interview. I wondered why, but that too came to light as time went on. I did have a hunch earlier on in the book, not 100% correct how, but certainly I understood why.
That fella who got the job didn't like how popular Clare was, infact, he didn't like that Clare was an avid reporter and good at her job. We see how he tries to muscle in.

As Clare is trying to befriend and get to know certain people on the Estate where the baby died she comes in contact with a little girl named Amy. There is a lot of things going on in little Amy's life. Not good things due to her Mother [Tina] who really isn't good at parenting at all and leaves Amy to her own devices a lot of the time, well......actually MOST of the time. There are lots of things that Clare sees that really should be reported to Social Services but she is reluctant to do so and gets more involved that she should.

Clare has been through an emotional journey herself and for my take on it, she finds it hard to do the right thing and I kind of understand why.

The author portrays little Amy as a 9 year old girl, spirited, independent but also needy at times. Totally unable to manage in practical terms with a lack of a solid parent. But Amy is ballsy, she has a street like quality with a need to look after her.

Amy is able to help a lot with the inquiries of the baby murder and tells what she knows, however, because Amy is known to have a very vivid imagination as most youngsters that age have, so what is to be believed and what to dismiss is hard to ascertain. This leads the book in many directions keeping you guessing along the way.

Clare does get a love interest in amongst the pages. But that too has an unexpected twist.

I could tell you lots and lots about this story Bea Davenport has weaved for our enjoyment but I would spoil it. Even by telling you this, there is heaps left to learn.

This is one book that I will remember because although I read heaps of books as a reader and reviewer you sometimes get books that merge into one another, then like this one, you get one that stands out.

This is the first book I have read by Bea Davenport and so I have bought another book by her as I enjoyed her style of writing so much.
Thank you to Legend via Net Galley for allowing me auto selection to read and review this book



A gripping look at a community in turmoil, struggling through a miners' strike and now rocked by a child's murder

It’s the summer of 1984 and there is a sense of unease on the troubled Sweetmeadows estate. The residents are in shock after the suspicious death of a baby and tension is growing due to the ongoing miners’ strike. Journalist Clare Jackson follows the story as police botch the inquiry and struggle to contain the escalating violence. Haunted by a personal trauma she can’t face up to, Clare is shadowed by nine-year-old Amy, a bright but neglected little girl who seems to know more about the incident than she’s letting on. As the days go on and the killer is not found, Clare ignores warnings not to get too close to her stories and in doing so, puts her own life in jeopardy








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