Anne Bonny #BookReview Resin by @AuthorAneRiel #NewRelease #Literary #Thriller @TransworldBooks Protected Treasured Trapped . . .

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Resin by Ane Riel
Review Copy
Synopsis:

The multi-award-winning international bestseller.
Suspenseful and heart-breaking, Resin is the story of what can happen when you love someone too much – when your desire to keep them safe becomes the thing that could irrevocably harm them.
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Liv died when she was just six years old. At least, that’s what the authorities think.
Her father knew he was the only one who could keep her safe in this world. So one evening he left the isolated house his little family called home, he pushed their boat out to sea and watched it ruin on the rocks. Then he walked the long way into town to report his only child missing.
But behind the boxes and the baskets crowding her Dad’s workshop, Liv was hiding. This way her Dad had said, she’d never have to go to school; this way, she’d never have to leave her parents.
This way, Liv would be safe.

My Review:

WOW! Where to start with this one!!!!!!
The whole novel can be summarised with one word: disturbing!
Which I do not mean in a derogatory manner. The novel focuses around one of possibly the most disturbing families I have ever read! Straight from the opening sentence, you know you’re in for a treat with this one. . . .

‘The white room was completely dark when my dad killed my granny’ – Liv

Meet Liv, your strange, awkward child protagonist. She tells us about the home-made Christmas presents and family hoarding. Even her granny being smothered, set alight and buried is all too nonchalant for Liv. . .
‘After all, none of us is meant to suffer’

The family live on ‘The Head’ a small isolated island, which is linked to the larger island Korsted. But the family are the only occupants at The Head. They steal what they need from others and this is a routine father/daughter night time activity.

‘In time I learned we weren’t like other people’ – Liv

Throughout the novel there are a series of letters from Liv’s mother written to Liv. To be completely honest, they only add to the whole strange/weirdo vibe of the whole family. . .
‘I don’t know whether to call our life a family story or horror story’ – Mum
Even further alarming with words like. . . ‘He may kill me’

This is a family in desperate need of some social services involvement. Immediately!

Liv’s father is Jen Horder and through the novel we learn his backstory and family history. Prepare yourselves!
We also learn how he met and fell in love with Liv’s mother. His mother Else wasn’t too keen on the union between the pair and considering she dies in the opening scenes, I don’t think she was far from wrong!

When Granny Else plans to take Liv away to the mainland for schooling. A premeditated plan is hatched.
One that will see Liv disappear!

‘Live knew that not being seen was a mater of life and death’

This novel is dark, disturbing and yet I could NOT look away from the pages. The scene for which the title gets its name, is beyond my understanding. The last 20/30 pages make for intense reading! I am absolutely HOOKED!

Brilliantly disturbing 4.5*

AR
Ane Riel
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Anne Bonny #BlogTour #BookReview Testament by @kimtsherwood #Literary #ww2Fiction #NewRelease @riverrunbooks #Testament

9781786488671
Testament by Kim Sherwood
Review copy
Synopsis:

WINNER OF THE BATH NOVEL AWARD

Of everyone in her complicated family, Eva was closest to her grandfather: a charismatic painter – and a keeper of secrets. So when he dies, she’s hit by a greater loss – of the questions he never answered, and the past he never shared.

It’s then she finds the letter from the Jewish Museum in Berlin. They have uncovered the testimony he gave after his forced labour service in Hungary, which took him to the death camps and then to England as a refugee. This is how he survived.

But there is a deeper story that Eva will unravel – of how her grandfather learnt to live afterwards. As she confronts the lies that have haunted her family, their identity shifts and her own takes shape. The testament is in her hands.

Kim Sherwood’s extraordinary first novel is a powerful statement of intent. Beautifully written, moving and hopeful, it crosses the tidemark where the third generation meets the first, finding a new language to express love, legacy and our place within history.

My Review:

‘Everything I knew about Silk’s life began in London 1945’

Testament is a tender novel, it explores the relationship between grandfather and granddaughter. The desire for the granddaughter to know more about her grandfather’s history and the journey of discovery this take her upon.

Eva is present at the death of her grandfather Joseph. She has to inform her father and it is then that we learn the relationship between the two is far from perfect. Eva has grown up close to her grandfather and they have shared a close relationship.
One she has not shared with her own father.

When Eva receives a letter from Dr Felix Gershel from the Judisches museum in Berlin, it sets her on a course of discovery about her grandfather and his complex history.
The Testament is the story of Joseph’s time in the labour camps of ww2. Something Eva believes is everything he wouldn’t want the world to see. It was never his desire to be defined by his experiences in the Holocaust.

This is a moving story that fully covers the true horror of being a survivor of the Holocaust. The refugee aftermath and attempting to locate one’s family members. It really puts you in the place of Joseph and we see life through his eyes.

‘You do not know if you will ever see
your family again.
He cries himself to sleep’

It is also very moving in the exploration of father/daughter and grandfather/granddaughter relationships and family roles. Eva has a turbulent relationship with her father, which is fully explored within the novel. But the grief at the loss of her grandfather forces her to search for understanding, to ease her pain.

‘Vengeance is not Jewish’

Personally, I found the tender and emotional bond between Eva and Joseph very touching. I was very close to my own grandfather, before he passed away in 2001. It reminded me, of some of the conversations we had shared and how entirely different our lives were. Yet we are of the same family.

Testament is slow-paced and very literary in its content.
But it is written with such emotional intelligence. 4*

Kim1
Kim Sherwood
Twitter

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Anne Bonny Mini #BookReview Meet Me At The Museum by #AnneYoungson #NewRelease #Literary #Romance @TransworldBooks #MeetMeAtTheMuseum ‘A tender novel’

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Meet Me At The Museum by Anne Youngson
Review copy
Synopsis:

Sometimes it takes a stranger to really know who you are

When Tina Hopgood writes a letter of regret to a man she has never met, she doesn’t expect a reply.

When Anders Larsen, a lonely museum curator, answers it, nor does he.

They’re both searching for something, they just don’t know it yet.

Anders has lost his wife, along with his hopes and dreams for the future. Tina is trapped in a marriage she doesn’t remember choosing.

Slowly their correspondence blossoms as they bare their souls to each other with stories of joy, anguish and discovery. But then Tina’s letters suddenly cease, and Anders is thrown into despair.

Can their unexpected friendship survive?

My Review:

Meet Me At The Museum, is a short novel at just 201 pages. It is a correspondence based exploration of the two central characters. Tina Hopgood writes a letter originally intended to reach P.V. Glob, a professor whom dedicated a novel to her many years ago. Upon the discovery of P.V Glob’s death, she begins writing a series of letters to museum curator Anders Larson.

Through the letters we learn Tina and Anders full history. The hardships they have faced and the lessons they have learned throughout their lives.

What I really enjoyed about the exchange of letters, was that they were conversations you would never possibly hold with anyone face to face. But given the distance they are allowed to connect in an unusual way. They become emotionally intimate, with each offering the other a source of comfort and acknowledgement.

The novel is a story of human connection and it made me wonder, if we all had a pen-pal to confide in would it help us to self-analyse our own behaviours and lifestyle choices.

A tender novel 4*

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A beautiful hardback to add to any collection!

 

Anne Bonny #BookReview Should You Ask Me by @MarianneKav #NewRelease #Historical #Literary #ww2 @HodderPublicity @HodderBooks ‘I especially love the inclusion of an 86yr old protagonist who is captivating.’

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Should You Ask Me by Marianne Kavanagh
Review copy
Synopsis:

‘I’ve come about the bodies. I know who they are.’

Mary is eighty-six years old, and she’s tired of being quiet.

She has a story to tell, and she’s only going to tell it once, so she won’t be rushed.

Especially as it’s not just a story, it’s a confession.

Because Mary has a dark secret, buried decades before. And while William, the nice young constable, might think she just wants someone to talk to, everything she says forces him to confront his own difficult past.

A unique and poignant novel about passion, regret and heartbreak, set during one of the most tumultuous periods of modern British history.

My Review:

This is such a quirky novel! I was really surprised as it was not what I was expecting at all. The cover gives the impression of a mystery/thriller, which it is. What you don’t fully grasp is that this is set amongst the backdrop of ww2. I felt as though I was going on a journey with Miss Mary Holmes, a journey through her past. I was absolutely hooked! I think this would make a great TV drama. I especially love the inclusion of an 86yr old protagonist who is captivating.

The novel opens on a normal Monday morning in Dorset. The only thing slightly unusual is that Mary makes her way to the police station to make a confession. When I say ‘slightly unusual’ that is because Mary is known to spin a yarn or two. . .

‘You could say that I killed them’ – Miss Holmes

Recently in the little town of Acton there has been the discovery of two people’s remains. When Mary Homes makes her confession to the on-duty young constable William, it is clear she has a story to tell. She starts with her brief admission that she is responsible for both deaths. The whys/how’s are going to take much longer to get to the bottom of. This is a secret Mary has held for 60yrs.

‘I’m eighty-six years old. I’m tired of being quiet’ – Miss Holmes

The chapters also alternate between Mary’s past and that of William the police officer she is confessing too. It would seem both of them have a past and both of them have secrets.

‘The guilt eats away at you. A lifetime of telling lies’ – Miss Holmes

Over a series of days, Mary’s story is eventually unravelled by the ever-patient and attentive William It is a long drawn out story, but it is intriguing nevertheless. This novel is slow-burning as clearly stated. But it is one of those cosy reads, you’d enjoy by a log fire. I did find the story to be very realistic. My background is in adult mental health and I have worked in dementia care. I can assure you, the elderly often harbour, some secrets you’d never suspect by simply looking at them. 4*

MK
Marianne Kavanagh
Website
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Anne Bonny #BlogTour #Extract Juliet & Romeo by @david_hewson #Literary #Romance #Historical #NewRelease @DomePress #JulietAndRomeo

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Juliet & Romeo by David Hewson
Synopsis:

Two young people meet: Romeo, desperate for love before being sent away to study, and Juliet facing a forced marriage to a nobleman she doesn’t know. Fate and circumstance bring them together in a desperate attempt to thwart their parents with a secret marriage. But in a single fateful week, their intricate scheming falls terribly apart. Shakespeare’s most well-known and well-loved play has been turned in to a gripping romantic thriller with a modern twist. Rich with the sights and sounds of medieval Italy, peopled with a vibrant cast of characters who spring from the page, this is Shakespeare as you’ve never read it before.

Extract:

Part One: To Borrow Cupid’s Wings

The Marangona bell in the Torre dei Lamberti had just sounded the hour. Nine of a busy Monday morning in what was once Verona’s imperial Roman forum, now its marketplace, the Piazza Erbe. The square thronged with shoppers bargaining at stalls selling meat and fish, cheese and fruit and vegetables, cheap wine and cheaper beer. In the shadows of the colonnades two youths lurked, Samson and Gregory, both servants of the Capulets. The first a skinny seventeenyear-old kitchen boy, the second a priest’s bastard from Padua, a tall and hefty stable hand shuffling on his big feet as he caught the glint of metal in Samson’s grubby hand. They wore the clothes of their class – rough wool jerkins, baggy britches, sandals held together by thread and nails. This poverty extended to the weaponry they took with them on to the streets. The sons of fine families were in the habit of carrying daggers and rapiers forged in Florence and Milan. The lower orders snatched at anything they could lay their hands on, sharp or blunt. They fought with fists and boots and punches to the balls. Died that way, too. A crude swagger stick sat on a piece of rope round Gregory’s fat stomach, a mallet handle with a spiked iron ball on the end. The blade Samson owned was nothing more than a paring knife stolen from the

kitchen, the edge honed carefully until it gleamed. He held it now, low by his side so that only his companion might see. ‘There’s that fat Montague pig Abraham with his mate. Time to put that stick of yours to some use, Gregory. Go over and wallop him. He wants it.’ Across the piazza, just visible beyond the stalls, two figures moved through the market. Much the same age as the two Capulets. Much the same size: one short and lean, one tubby and daydreaming. Samson and Gregory wore a scarlet feather in their caps. The Montagues a blue one. Not that any of these were flesh and blood of the Montague or Capulet lines. Just servants, sharing the same borrowed hatred and never asking why. Gregory kicked a fish head and stuck his fists deep into the pockets of his britches. ‘I don’t know. We’re getting hard looks from those blokes on the stalls. They don’t like trouble when they’re trying to sell stuff.’ ‘I reckon it was them Montague lads who had that kitchen girl of ours last week.’ Lucia. An orphan who worked the ovens. She’d gone out for a walk by the river. Came back in tears and rags, telling tales the soldiers of Escalus, the city’s current military master, didn’t want to hear. ‘That hare-brained lass should have been in the kitchen stirring the pots, not hanging round down them dark alleys in Sottoriva. Could have been anyone had his way with her. Besides the watchmen reckoned she was up for it. Plenty been there with that daft cow. You for one.’ ‘Scared are you?’ ‘Just thinking it through.’ The Montague pair had spotted them but they hadn’t moved their way. ‘I don’t see you in a rush either.’

Fights were fine so long as the numbers were on your side. And you had the right comrades. Samson liked to whine. It was his principal pastime. Action always came last. ‘It’s only fair. They had one of ours. A bit of gravy on their chops and then we leg it.’ Gregory pulled a stick of dried sausage out of his pocket, bit off a chunk and waited. ‘Master sent us out to buy grub for his ball tonight. He won’t be happy if we come back empty-handed.’ ‘We whack them round the head a bit. Then go hunting round the back of their palazzo. First girl that comes out of the kitchen’s mine. Unless she’s hideous – then you can have her.’ Samson had a sly and cruel face and it was turned on Gregory. ‘With a bit of luck we might get a virgin if the Montagues have got any left. You all right with that?’ ‘I’m all right with the girls. Escalus ain’t so bothered about them. It’s the walloping bit–’ ‘They got to know who’s boss. You with me or not?’ Gregory patted his pocket. He had a stable knife with him as well as the swagger stick. Short, a bit blunt. But he was strong enough to hold a struggling stallion when he had to. The thing would do. ‘I hate the buggers, too, you know. But like I say. Escalus has got that one wicked eye on lads like us. Same way his bosses in Venice have got their eyes on him. The Marshal hates riots. They get him in trouble too. I don’t fancy jail or worse just for giving one of them scummy Montagues a few bruises and a sore head.’ ‘Then let’s get clever. Make them start the scrap. I’ll look at them funny. Get ’em going. That way we’re just… defending ourselves. Which is every man’s right, and Escalus is bound to uphold us in that.’ Samson grinned, displaying a remarkable absence of teeth. ‘As

to the kitchen girls… well… everyone knows what they’re like. I want first go though. This’ll do it.’ Samson winked, grinned and bit his thumb. The oldest, stupidest gesture any of them knew. Someone said the Romans used to do it when they fancied a brawl. ‘Go on then,’ said Gregory and didn’t move. Samson looked up at him. ‘You first.’ ‘When we get around to the girl, you mean?’ ‘No. The fight. You’re the big one. You lead. I’ll follow.’ Gregory slapped him hard on the shoulder. ‘Ow,’ Samson whined. ‘That hurt.’ ‘Oh sorry, friend. We’re supposed to be buying stuff for the evening ball. There’ll be trouble if that goes wrong. Capulet will do the walloping himself and we both know what he’s like with that whip of his.’ Samson went quiet. He’d had enough of Capulet’s beatings. ‘Tell you what,’ said Gregory. ‘We’ll skip the girl. Next week. When we’ve got more time. And…’ A shape they recognised was moving through the crowds, a tall youth around their own age. But he was an aristocrat; it showed in his clothes, his manner, the haughty way he held his head above the swarms of common folk around him as if he couldn’t stand the stink of them. ‘Well, well,’ Samson murmured, gleeful all of a sudden. ‘If it isn’t our master’s well-loved nephew. Just the chap you’d want at a time like this.’ ‘I suppose,’ Gregory agreed, though the sight of the young man across the Piazza Erbe gave him pause. ‘I heard the noble Tybalt crippled a clerk who’d done nothing more than bump into him in the street a month or so ago.’

‘Dead right he did. I was there and he paid me well to keep quiet. Back last winter he ran a cheeky cart boy right through down by the brothels in Sottoriva.’ Gregory didn’t like those dark and dangerous colonnades by the river. ‘Our Tybalt got caught hanging round the tarts down there?’ ‘The only kind of girl that one beds are the sort you pay for. Expensive business. The old man had to dig deep to keep him out of Escalus’s clutches after he murdered the poor little bugger.’ Tybalt was bloodthirsty, vicious and short tempered, always armed with the latest weapons, forever spoiling for a quarrel and a chance to use them. ‘Nothing stopping our Tybalt,’ Samson added. ‘’Specially when there are Montagues around.’ He clapped his grubby hands. ‘This will be fun.’

DH
Photo: Dingena Mol / Crimezone Magazine
David Hewson
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