Pineapple Street Review | Jenny Jackson

Plot: Darley, the eldest daughter in the well-connected, carefully guarded, old-money Stockton family, followed her heart, trading her job and inheritance for motherhood, sacrificing more of herself than she ever intended. Sasha, middle-class and from New England, has married into the Brooklyn Heights family and finds herself cast as the arriviste outsider, wondering how she might ever understand their WASP-y ways. Georgiana, the baby of the family, has fallen in love with someone she can’t (and really shouldn’t) have and must confront the kind of person she wants to be.

Rife with the indulgent pleasures of life among New York’s one-percenters, Pineapple Street is a smart escapist novel that sparkles with wit. It’s about the peculiar unknowability of someone else’s family, the miles between the haves and have-nots and everything in between, and the insanity of first love.

Publisher: Random House | Date: 2023 | Genre: General Fiction

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Old God’s Time Review | Sebastian Barry

Plot: Recently retired policeman Tom Kettle is settling into the quiet of his new home, a lean-to annexed to a Victorian castle overlooking the Irish Sea. For months he has barely seen a soul, catching only glimpses of his eccentric landlord and a nervous young mother who has moved in next door. Occasionally, fond memories return, of his family, his beloved wife June and their two children, Winnie and Joe.

But when two former colleagues turn up at his door with questions about a decades-old case, one which Tom never quite came to terms with, he finds himself pulled into the darkest currents of his past.

A beautiful, haunting novel, in which nothing is quite as it seems, Old God’s Time is about what we live through, what we live with, and what may survive of us.

Publisher: Faber and Faber | Date: 2023 | Genre: General Fiction

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Under The Whispering Door Review

Under The Whispering Door Review | TJ Klune

I’d seen a lot of glowing reviews for this author and couldn’t wait to start reading this one. Hands down, one of my favourite books of the year. It made me laugh; it made me cry (in a heartfelt good way). Check out my review on Under the Whispering Door.

Publisher: Pan MacMillan / Tor | Date: 2021 | Genre: General Fiction/Fantasy

Plot: When a reaper comes to collect Wallace Price from his own funeral, Wallace suspects he really might be dead.

Instead of leading him directly to the afterlife, the reaper takes him to a small village. On the outskirts, off the path through the woods, tucked between mountains, is a particular tea shop, run by a man named Hugo. Hugo is the tea shop’s owner to locals and the ferryman to souls who need to cross over.

But Wallace isn’t ready to abandon the life he barely lived. With Hugo’s help he finally starts to learn about all the things he missed in life.

When the Manager, a curious and powerful being, arrives at the tea shop and gives Wallace one week to cross over, Wallace sets about living a lifetime in seven days.

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The Necessity of Stars Review

The Necessity of Stars Review | E. Catherine Tobler

I looked back at the synopsis of The Necessity of Stars when I sat down to write this review, and I’m not certain what drew my attention to it. It’s a short book which explodes with a lot of important messages, but I can’t say for sure I understood everything.

Publisher: Neon Hemlock Press| Date: 2021 | Genre: General Fiction/Science-Fiction

Plot: Plagued by the creeping loss of her memory, diplomat Bréone Hemmerli continues to negotiate peace in an increasingly climate-devastated world, ensconced in the UN-owned estate Irislands alongside her longtime friend and companion Delphine.

The appearance of the alien Tura in the shadows of Bréone’s garden raises new questions about the world’s decline. Perhaps, together, Tura and Bréone will find a way forward… if only Bréone can remember it.

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Dog Days Review

Dog Days Review | Ericka Waller

I’ve been reading some deep fantasy lately, and wanted a change of pace. I thought Dog Days would be a light-hearted, feel-good sort of book where you’re left with the feeling that everything is right with the world. It didn’t quite work out like that though – check out my review.

*External links below are affiliate links, meaning at no extra cost to you, I will earn a commission if you click through and make a purchase

Publisher: Random House | Date: 2021 | Genre: General Fiction | Buy it here*

Plot: George is very angry. His wife has upped and died on him, and all he wants to do is sit in his underpants and shout at the cricket. The last thing he needs is his cake-baking neighbour Betty trying to rescue him. And then there’s the dog, a dachshund puppy called Poppy. George doesn’t want a dog – he wants a fight.

Dan is a counsellor with OCD who is great at helping other people – if only he were better at helping himself. His most meaningful relationship so far is with his labrador Fitz. But then comes a therapy session that will change his life.

Lizzie is living in a women’s refuge with her son Lenny. Her body is covered in scars and she has shut herself off from everyone around her. But when she is forced to walk the refuge’s fat terrier, Maud, a new life beckons – if she can keep her secret just a while longer…

Dog Days is a novel about those small but life-changing moments that only come when we pause to let the light in. It is about three people learning to make connections and find joy in living life off the leash.

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Siri Who Am I Review

Siri, Who Am I? Review | Sam Tschida

Today’s review is on Siri, Who Am I? by Sam Tschida. It’s an interesting premise exploring the idea that technology might know more about our identities than we do, but there were elements (the characterisations, for starters) that meant it didn’t entirely work for me. See what you think!

Publisher: Quirke | Date: 2020 | Genre: General Fiction

Plot: Mia might look like a Millennial but she was born yesterday. Emerging from a coma with short-term amnesia after an accident, Mia can’t remember her own name until the Siri assistant on her iPhone provides it. Based on her cool hairstyle (undercut with glamorous waves), dress (Prada), and signature lipstick (Chanel), she senses she’s wealthy, but the only way to know for sure is to retrace her steps once she leaves the hospital. Using Instagram and Uber, she arrives at the pink duplex she calls home in posts but finds Max, a cute, off-duty postdoc supplementing his income with a house-sitting gig. He tells her the house belongs to JP, a billionaire with a chocolate empire. A few texts later, JP confirms her wildest dreams: they’re in love, Mia is living the good life, and he’ll be back that weekend.

But as Mia and Max work backward through her Instagram and across Los Angeles to learn more about her, they discover a surprising truth behind her perfect Instagram feed, and evidence that her head wound was no accident. Who was Mia before she woke up in that hospital? And is it too late for her to rewrite her story?

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Four Minutes To Save a Life Review

Four Minutes to Save a Live Review | Anna Stuart

If you’re looking for a heart-felt read that really touches you on an emotional level, you’ve come to the right place. Anna Stuart really captures the human emotion, from the big things to the small. I loved this book – check out my review on Four Minutes to Save a Life.

*External links below are affiliate links, meaning at no extra cost to you, I will earn a commission if you click through and make a purchase

Publisher: Orion Publishing Group | Date: 2020 | Genre: General Fiction | Buy it here*

Plot: There’s always time to help out a stranger…isn’t there?

Supermarket delivery driver Charlie enjoys his new job because he doesn’t have to spend too long with people, who, he’s found, are nothing but trouble. But when he’s assigned the Hope Row street, he realises there are a lot of lonely people out there – and for some, he’s their only interaction.

The supermarket boss tells Charlie he’s a driver, not a social worker – but Charlie can’t abandon the Hope Row residents and he sets about trying to draw them out of their shells and back into the world. But will his helping hand make everything worse?

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The Wisdom of Sally Red Shoes Review

The Wisdom of Sally Red Shoes Review | Ruth Hogan

When you spend most of your time reading heavy fantasy books (which I love, don’t get me wrong), it can make a refreshing change going for something a little different. Today’s review is on The Wisdom of Sally Red Shoes, an emotive yet charming read that leaves you smiling.

Publisher: Crooked Lane Books | Date: 2019 | Genre: General Fiction

Plot: Masha is drowning. Once a spirited, independent woman with a rebellious streak, her life has been forever changed by a tragic event twelve years ago. Unable to let go of her grief, she finds solace in the silent company of the souls of her local Victorian cemetery and at the town’s lido, where she seeks refuge underwater – safe from the noise and the pain. 

But a chance encounter with two extraordinary women – the fabulous and wise Kitty Muriel, a convent girl-turned-magician’s wife-turned-seventy-something-roller-disco-fanatic, and the mysterious Sally Red Shoes, a bag lady with a prodigious voice – opens up a new world of possibilities, and the chance to start living again.

Until the fateful day when the past comes roaring back…

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Her Husband's Mistake Review

Her Husband’s Mistake Review | Sheila O’Flanagan

I spend a lot of my time reading some intense books but I thought it was time for a bit of a feel-good book. I thoroughly enjoyed this one – more than I was expecting to in all honesty. It’s a feel-good, light-hearted read with characters you root for. Here is my Her Husband’s Mistake review.

Publisher: Headline | Date: 2019 | Genre: General fiction

Plot:Roxy’s marriage has always been rock solid.

After twenty years, and with two carefree kids, she and Dave are still the perfect couple.

Until the day she comes home unexpectedly, and finds Dave in bed with their attractive, single neighbour.

Suddenly Roxy isn’t sure about anything – her past, the business she’s taken over from her dad, or what her family’s future might be. She’s spent so long caring about everyone else that she’s forgotten what she actually wants. But something has changed. And Roxy has a decision to make.

Whether it’s with Dave, or without him, it’s time for Roxy to start living for herself . . .

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Mini Reviews

Mini Reviews: The Letter and It Started with a Tweet

With so many books to get through at the moment, I could schedule myself throughout next year and still probably not have enough time/slots to review everything that I want to.

These next two didn’t make the full review list because I had a suspicion I wouldn’t necessarily have enough to say about them. They are light-hearted reads that diverge from the more intense books I tend to review. Still, I wanted to share some of my thoughts on them, hence deciding to do another couple of mini-reviews.

Have you read either of these books? Do you plan to? Let me know!

Mini Reviews

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