Sunday, 30 April 2017

#BookLaunch #CamilllaChester

EATS

"A delicious story with all the best ingredients - friendship, fun, adventure - and a bone-chilling twist." Helen Moss, Author of Adventure Island Series

When best mates Lucas and Tucker win a competition to cook with celebrity chefs everything comes to a boil. Can they stir up trouble and serve the just desserts in time?

Set in the present day, EATS is a culinary adventure tale for children aged 8-12. It is full of twists and turns that will have kids on the edge of their seat.


EATS was published on April 29th 2017 by Matador and is available to buy via this link: Buy Camilla's Book

On Saturday 29th April, I had the pleasure of attending the launch of  Camilla Chester 's second book, EATS, at the Oddfellow Arms Harpenden. It was a really lovely event - the sun was shining and as we arrived in the pub garden, we were greeted by the sight of several young readers sat at the picnic benches glued to their brand new copies of Camilla's eye catching book!

And just as eye catching as the cover were Camilla's painted nails -which matched!



My daughter enjoyed getting a personal message from Camilla written inside her copy of EATS - she was thrilled to get her first signed book and I'm very hopeful that she is inheriting my book addiction and love for meeting real life authors!



The event began with a bit of an award ceremony - Camilla announced the winner of her competition to name the dog in her third book. Some of the top suggestions had been Popcorn, Ketchup and Mischief but the winning name was Fuzzles! Look out for more competitions and more information about Book 3 on Camilla's website!



Camilla read an extract from EATS and then spoke a little bit about the novel- although there wasn't too much she could tell us about the inspiration behind the original idea and what EATS stood for without giving away the big twist! We were then treated to a delicious selection of vegetarian nibbles (if you read the book you'll understand why this is relevant!). Camilla also had the original colour illustrations for the novel drawn by the talented Annie Harris which were a real treat to see!




Thanks to Camilla Chester for inviting myself and my daughter along and for such a relaxing afternoon nibbling tasty snacks, enjoying a drink in the sunshine and listening to a fun extract from the book! If you want to bag yourself -or any minibibliomaniacs you may know- a copy of EATS then head over to Camilla's website. If you buy directly from Camilla then you have the added bonus of being able to request a signed copy! And for anyone who lives in Harpenden, you can always pop around to Camilla's house to buy your book, avoiding postage and getting to meet the author in person! 

camillachester.com

And here's a teaser from the opening chapter of EATS to wet your appetite!

On the slightly smelly sofa, in the run-down common room of Brocken House, Lucas Larks sat transfixed by the TV. The screen was filled by celebrity chef, Leonardo De'Largio. Bulging out of his dinner jacket, his white-streaked hair combed up and back with waxy grease, the chef looked like a fat badger. Lucas thought Leonardo was the greatest, because no matter how much cheese Lucas are he would never, ever be as big as him. 

The famous chef had a weird way of talking. It was his Italian accent, but sometimes he muddled up words too. Lucas like that he wasn't perfect. 

"It's competition time," Leonardo boomed. 

A competition on Dinners to Die For? This could be awesome, thought Lucas.

"Budge up Larks, you big fatty," said Tucker elbowing Lucas in the ribs. 

"Shut it, Turkey," Lucas snapped back, shifting over a bit to make room for his best mate. "Can't you see the Big Man is talking?" He jabbed a pink thumb at the telly. "Dinners to Die For is doing a competition." 

Tucker went quiet and stared at the screen. 

"It's time for you to show us what you can do," Leonardo continued. The other two celebrity chefs that starred on the show were standing behind Leonardo nodding their heads. "Two lucky winners who enter the best short film showing themselves making their own Dinners to Die For will come to Mouthful Mansions, to cook with us for a whole weekend." 

Lucas's stomach churned. This was it!

If you want to find out what happens next - whether Lucas and Tucker can make the best film, make a Dinner to Die For and win a weekend away at Mouthful Mansions, then head over to camillachester.com and order your copy of EATS now!

Camilla's first book Jarred Dreams was published in April 2016 and is about twelve year old Sade who moves to a new town where something is very very wrong....

Jarred Dreams

If you want to read my review of Camilla Chester's first novel Jarred Dreams, then click on the link below. Jarred Dreams is available to buy on Camilla's website as well as following the amazon link here

Bibliomaniac's review of Jarred Dreams

Bibliomaniac's interview with Camilla Chester

MY REVIEW OF EATS by CAMILLA CHESTER 

This is a really fun story about two best friends and their quest not only to escape the boredom of their children's home Brocken House, but also to become world class chefs. For any children who love Masterchef, Britain's Got Talent, The Great British Bake Off or have any aspirations to win a competition that may change their life, then this is the story for them!

But, as they say, be careful what you wish for........

Lucas and Tucker are great characters; they are the underdogs but they never give up on their dreams. Lucas is imaginative, creative and a boy who will not be slowed down by bullies or any problems that stand in his way. He has a dream and he has determination. He knows that no one is going to adopt a "pudgy eleven-year-old boy without freckles or dimples or anything cute" and although his best friend Tucker is the worst cook in the world, Lucas works out a cunning plan to ensure they win with a meal that will impress the judges. They set about using the few resources - and slightly stale food- that they have access to and create a unique meal to attract the attention of the mighty Leonardo.

But once they arrive at Mouthful Mansions they discover that something much more untoward is going on. Behind the facade of a harmless TV cookery show is something much more sinister, something that will test a lot more than their culinary skills........

I enjoyed Chester's writing and enjoyed how the theme of food and cooking permeated through the pages. At one point Lucas wakes up to find his cheek flattened "as if rolled out like pastry" and his mouth "as dry as a cracker".

Chester's writing is lively and engaging, drawing on the tradition of Dahl and Lemony Snickett. When the reader arrives at Mouthful Mansion they are greeted by a cast of characters who are colourful and very entertaining. The dialogue is well paced, adding energy and vivid detail to the characters and the scenes. I liked Lady P a lot - she reminded me a bit of Cruella De'Vil and Miss Trunchball. Chester doesn't miss an opportunity to make the reader smile with her choice of names for people, places and meals - something which is sure to appeal to her audience and any adult who reads along with their minibibliomaniac.

As well as entertaining us with characters that successfully tread the line between being larger than life but believable, Chester also has a great story to tell. There is plenty of action, tension, suspense, mystery and adventure. There is a tasty twist and a delicious dramatic denouement.

This book has all the ingredients for a perfect children's novel. It will satisfy any avid reader who maybe hungry for a good story and strong characters. I recommend it!

For more reviews and recommendations you can follow me on Twitter @KatherineSunde3 or check out my website bibliomaniacuk.co.uk

Saturday, 29 April 2017

#BlogTour #Sleeper #JDFennell #Review #YA/Crossover

Sleeper

I am thrilled to welcome JD Fennell to my blog today to talk about his new book Sleeper which is published on 28th April 2017 by The Dome Press. Before we go any further, here's the synopsis of what is a very exciting, action packed thriller for Young Adults.

Sixteen-year-old Will Starling is pulled from the sea with no memory of his past. In his blazer is a strange notebook with a bullet lodged inside: a bullet meant for him. As London prepares for the Blitz, Will soon finds himself pursued by vicious agents and a ruthless killer known as the Pastor. All of them want Will's notebook and will do anything to get it. 

As Will's memory starts to return, he realises he is no ordinary sixteen-year old. He has skills that make him a match for any assassin. But there is something else. At his core is a deep-rooted rage that he cannot explain. Where is his family and why has no one reported him missing?Fighting for survival with the help of Mi5 agent-in-training, Anna Wilder, Will follows leads across London in a race against time to find the Stones of Fire before the next air raid makes a direct hit and destroys London forever. 

Let's talk to the author himself and find out more about the man behind Sleeper! Welcome JD Fennell! Thank you so much for coming on my blog today and answering a few questions for me!

Can you sum up the story of your novel in three words?
Deception. Revenge. Destruction.

Can you sum up the main character Will Starling in three words?
Driven. Brave. Rage.

Which celebrity or fictional character would you most like to read your book and why?
Tintin. I am a huge fan. Over lunch we could do some book talking and he could provide me with his perspective on how he would have dealt with the problems and villains Will faces. Plus I would get to cuddle Snowy.

Can you tell me about the inspiration for your novel?
I love a revenge story and really wanted to write one. Despite being set in 1941, Sleeper is not a war tale, however, London during the blitz was the perfect dramatic backdrop. I also love fast paced thrillers and spies and wanted to set my book at a time when mobile phones and computers did not exist.

What does your writing day look like? Do you have any specific rituals or routines while you are writing?
I like to plan my writing, so I have every chapter mapped out before I start the book. I usually know what I am going to write the night before. I like to write in the early morning. I work in my kitchen, sitting at the kitchen table overlooking the garden. I have no rituals as such. However if I walk into find unwashed dishes, then I won’t be able to write until everything has been cleaned and tidied. It’s like I am shifting the clutter from head and clearing a path for the next block of words.

Did you have a particular favourite song or soundtrack while you were writing "Sleeper"?
‘Wish me luck as you wave me goodbye’ (the Gracie Fields version) is referenced a few times in Sleeper, so I would often listen to that to get a feel for the period. I usually write without music, however, if I am jotting down ideas, or editing, I will listen to music that gets me into a particular mood. I love movie soundtracks. Hans Zimmer, especially. I also like Muse or Radiohead.

This is the first novel in a trilogy. What's your favourite trilogy and why?
Oh that is a tricky one. There are so many. That said, I would have to pick Lord of the Rings. Tolkien’s epic fantasy kept me happy for many, many hours when I was in my teens.

Which three novels have made the biggest impression on you either as a reader or a writer?
Emily Bronte’s Wuthering Heights blew me away with its passion and brutality - a novel way ahead of its time. Ken Follet’s Pillars of the Earth is such a wonderful epic story with a fantastic cast of characters. Finally, a more recent title, is Hanya Yanagihara’s A Little Life, a heart wrenching story of four friends in New York, which I could not put down.

In your novel, Will Starling has lost his memory. Can you tell me a bit about why you chose for your character to have lost their memory and whether writing about someone with gaps in their memory proved to be more of a challenge than you anticipated or less difficult than you thought?
Early on I had mapped out the plot, however, it was just not right. Something was missing. Will was navigating a familiar world and it was all just too easy. I was not convinced and almost abandoned the book. However, I couldn’t quite let it go and started to brainstorm ideas about making this journey more difficult for Will. In an almost epiphanic moment I hit on the memory loss idea and something just clicked. I got really excited and started working out how I could do it. From a writing perspective it was challenging but also fun to reveal Will’s earlier life at certain times. The bonus for the reader is they discover the world as Will does, which hopefully doubles the suspense and provides an ambiguity to Will.

Do you have a particular memory that you would like to lose? Or keep?!

I would like to lose the memory of reversing my car and busting my rear bumper (for the second time) on a metal pillar (It just popped out of nowhere!). I would like to keep a single compilation of all the times I made my mum laugh out loud. That could count as one memory, couldn’t it?

Ah, what a perfect memory to keep! Thank you so much for sharing! And thanks so much for all your interesting answers! I've really enjoyed hearing all your answers! I wish you all the best with the publication of Sleeper and with the rest of the trilogy.

Don't forget to follow the rest of the Blog Tour for Sleeper by JD Fennell.



MY REVIEW OF SLEEPER

This book is the perfect blend of Alex Rider, Jason Bourne and The Da Vinci Code. As the main character, Will, is 16, the story is aimed at Young Adults but it is exciting and with enough intrigue to appeal to anyone who enjoys a fast paced thriller.

Fennell wastes no time sucking you straight into the story, opening in London during the Second World War and in the thick of the Blitz. As if this setting wasn't dramatic enough, we are thrown head on into the action and barely allowed to draw breath as the story hurtles along. There is a lot of dialogue in the novel which creates pace and tension as well as revealing more details about the characters effectively. The key characters are well drawn, memorable and convincing. Told in third person, we stay generally at Will's side and it is very easy to align yourself with him and become embroiled in his search to discover his past as well as outrun the villainous "Pastor".

Although the setting is during the war, the story feels very contemporary and even though the historical detail is always present, I did find myself forgetting that I wasn't reading about a story set in more recent times. To me, it seems as if Fennell has achieved something clever - an historical thriller that will still feel relevant and accessible to a modern audience and as gripping as any current spy / thriller / action film. The search to understand VIPER will capture the imaginations of many young adults. There is enough of a mix of physical adventure, MI5,  spies, secrets, a country at war and the slightly more mystical angle of the 'Stones of Fire' to engage and entertain almost every young adult.

I think the most appealing thing about Will's character was his intuitive reactions to certain situations and his discovery of certain skills which unnerved him and unsettled him - as well as frequently saving his life. Fennell creates suspense and tension with Will's shock and surprise at how his body responds, what he realises he does know and understand but at the same time knowing there is so much he can't remember or understand. It's great for the reader to be in the same position as the hero as together we try to piece the jigsaw together - and always under the constant threat from the enemy. Will Starling is a hero and a great role model. He is likeable, intelligent, thoughtful and brave. He is undoubtedly set to become the new Alex Rider or Jason Bourne.

Will doesn't work alone though and along his adventure he picks up several other 'agents -in -training' and this provides yet more intrigue and dramatic twists. I enjoyed the whole 'agent in training' section - as I'm sure any aspiring spy or secret agent will! It did remind me a little of Harry Potter with classes on espionage, radio operations, physical training and self defence. Again, imaginative and exciting ingredients to guarantee a wide audience of readers.

Obviously I can not possibly reveal the significance of the title but the concept behind the premise of the novel is an original concept; one that blends fantasy, sci-fi, action and adventure in a way that feels not beyond the realms of possibilities but ethereal at the same time. It works. I think what helps ground the book is the small details about location and place. Street names in London and landmarks in the city are referred to constantly and this keeps the story firmly rooted in reality. It also shows how different the capital is during war time which also makes it interesting from an historical point of view as well as in terms of plot.

This is a gripping read. The images on the cover capture the atmosphere of the book really well. But watch out - if you are hoping for a finale that ends with all the ends neatly tied up and resolved, think again! Fennell has more plans for Will Starling and I think anyone who reads Sleeper will be delighted to hear this!

Sleeper is published on 28th April 2017 by The Dome Press

JD Fennell

Picture
JD Fennell was born in Belfast at the start of the Troubles, and began writing stories at a young age to help understand the madness unfolding around him. A lover of books, he devoured a diverse range of books - his early influences include Fleming, Tolkein, Shakespeare and the Bront√ęs. 

He left Belfast at the age of nineteen and worked as a chef, bartender, waiter and later began a career in writing for the software industry. 

These days he divides his time between London and Brighton, where he lives with his partner and their two dogs.


@jd_fennell
www.sleeperbook.com

To find out more about The Dome Press click on the following link for their website: thedomepress

For more recommendations and reviews you can follow me on Twitter @KatherineSunde3 or my website bibliomaniacuk.co.uk

Thursday, 27 April 2017

#ReadWithoutPrejudice @HodderBooks

Small Great Things

We have all come to love and look forward to Picoult as an author who does not shy away from tackling emotive and controversial issues; Small Great Things is no exception.

You can read my review of Small Great Things here

To celebrate the release of Small Great Things by Jodi Picoult in paperback this week, Hodder and Stoughton have been running a discussion on Twitter about books that make you look at something differently. So I got to thinking, which other books have changed or challenged my perspective about something?

Here's a few of the titles which sprung to mind when I thought about #ReadWithoutPrejudice.


Probably the most recent title I've read that fits this description is Quicksand. This story follows a teenager after being in prison for her involvement with a shooting at a school. As well as being part thriller, part gripping murder story, there are plenty of issues raised about guns, shootings, mental health and responsibility. You can read my full review of Quicksand here

Quicksand

I guess the #1 choice has to be The Handmaid's Tale - and when I spoke to a few other Bibliomaniac's this was also the title they immediately recommended. I can't wait for the new TV adaptation of this thought provoking, ground breaking classic.

The Handmaid's Tale

Offred is a Handmaid in the Republic of Gilead. She may leave the home of the Commander and his wife once a day to walk to food markets whose signs are now pictures instead of words because women are no longer allowed to read. She must lie on her back once a month and pray that the Commander makes her pregnant, because in an age of declining births, Offred and the other Handmaids are valued only if their ovaries are viable. Offred can remember the years before, when she lived and made love with her husband, Luke; when she played with and protected her daughter; when she had a job, money of her own, and access to knowledge. But all of that is gone now...

Another fantastic book is Wonder. It is a Young Adult novel but equally relevant, interesting and moving for all adults. August Pullman is an incredibly inspirational character and this is a book that makes you think about disability in a new light, focusing on a powerful yet upbeat message. It is a memorable novel.

Wonder

August (Auggie) Pullman was born with a facial deformity that prevented him from going to a mainstream school—until now. He's about to start 5th grade at Beecher Prep, and if you've ever been the new kid then you know how hard that can be. The thing is Auggie's just an ordinary kid, with an extraordinary face. But can he convince his new classmates that he's just like them, despite appearances?

I would also recommend Chris Cleave as an author who tackles interesting issues relevant to our society today. I have read his books with my book group and they have always provoked an interesting discussion. These books cover a range of topics including refugees, competitive sport and parenting. They are very readable and I recommend them.

The Other HandGoldIncendiary


Going back to Young Adult novels again, today's teenage readers are surrounded by some fantastic authors who tackle difficult, often very taboo subject areas, and write about them with originality, sensitivity and insight. There are so many to choose from but two that sprung to mind immediately were The Perks of Being a Wallflower and Looking For Alaska. 

The Perks of Being a WallflowerLooking for Alaska


The Slap has got to be one of the most divisive books I have read in my book group. I can't say it is a book that I enjoyed - the characters are so all so unlikable, but this is a book that challenges a huge number of issues ranging from the initial premise of parenting and discipline and then broadening out to explore racism, sexism, agism and homophobia - and almost every other issue that overshadows our society.

The Slap

In this remarkable novel, Christos Tsiolkas turns his unflinching and all-seeing eye onto that which connects us all: the modern family and domestic life in the twenty-first century. The Slap is told from the points of view of eight people who were present at the barbecue. The slap and its consequences force them all to question their own families and the way they live, their expectations, beliefs and desires.

What unfolds is a powerful, haunting novel about love, sex and marriage, parenting and children, and the fury and intensity - all the passions and conflicting beliefs - that family can arouse. In its clear-eyed and forensic dissection of the ever-growing middle class and its aspirations and fears, The Slap is also a poignant, provocative novel about the nature of commitment and happiness, compromise and truth.

I put off reading both these titles for a while but actually I don't know why. They are brilliant. They both handle dementia in a way that is not suggesting pity or an over sentimentalised story line but powerful explorations about memory loss and how this affects the characters as individuals as well as their families and communities. Highly recommend.
Still AliceElizabeth Is Missing

And finally, these books are narrated by characters who see the world very differently to some of us because of the way they perceive things. It must be incredibly difficult to evoke a world from the view point of someone who suffers from autism, but these two books manage to do exactly that.

The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-TimeThe Rosie Project



Image result for images can you recommend a good book

I can't help myself..... Here's a handful of other titles that you might also like to consider reading if you are looking for something that might challenge you or make you #ReadWithoutPrejudice. Happy reading and don't forget to let know @HodderBooks what you might choose yourself!

The HelpThe Women's RoomTiny Sunbirds, Far AwayThe Boy in the Striped PajamasThe Wave

Memoirs of a GeishaThe Color PurpleChildren of the DustI Know Why the Caged Bird SingsThe Joy Luck Club

SpeakHate ListThe Road HomeSmall Island


The Secret River

For more reviews and recommendations follow me on Twitter @KatherineSunde3

Tuesday, 25 April 2017

Write Away! #CreativeWriting #Event @leighrussell @helenography





Wow what an evening! Last night I had the privilege of organising a Creative Writing evening with author Helen Cox and Leigh Russell.

Helen (helencoxauthor  or follow on Twitter @Helenography) is the author of 3 non fiction books and 2 fiction (Milkshakes and Heartbreak at the Starlight Diner). She has both self published and traditionally published - her fiction books are published by Harper Collins. Helen has taught in Secondary Schools and now coordinates the creative writing courses at City Lit which are very highly regarded within the industry.

Leigh (leighrussell.co.uk or follow on Twitter @LeighRussell) is a prolific crime writer with about 16 books in her back catalogue, most famous for her Geraldine Steel series of which there are about 11 books, as well as two other detective series. Leigh has sold over a million copies of her books as well as having plenty of experience of teaching creative writing courses and TEFL courses.

So as you can imagine, when it came to advice, top tips and ideas for starting out with creative writing, we were being led by the experts!

And what a lot of excellent advice they shared with us!



Helen started the evening of with an introduction to the basic structure of stories and explaining some of the most common ideas about how to plan a story arc. She used Beauty and the Beast to illustrate the 'three act structure' and then the group were asked to think of a comic moment in their past and structure it into 3 big moments. Helen showed us how we can take any event that has happened to us and shape it to having 3 key moments which, with embellishment, imagination and a bit of crafting, can become the beginnings of a story. She was full of top tips about how to develop this story idea and she also talked a lot about character and how choosing what to tell the audience about your character's story was the key to engaging, unputdownable writing.



Leigh then ran the second session and discussed character in more detail. She gave the group a few exercises to do which produced some great ideas for starting out. Leigh gave some really great advice for how to develop your characters and how to manipulate the reader with your writing. Good novels make you ask questions and Leigh talked about the balance between an idea - that might be impulsive - then the crafting and techniques you can employ to keep the drive and effectiveness in your writing authentic and real but at the same time interesting and exciting. She had lots of brilliant one liners that served as exceptional top tips for anyone who writes.



It was such an inspiring evening. Both Helen and Leigh imparted so much wisdom and insight in to creative writing and were full of such fantastic ideas about how to shape your ideas and the everyday into something more extraordinary. I'm sure everyone left the room fired up, enthusiastic and ready to go home and start the first lines of their bestseller straight away!

Leigh left us with her most important piece of advice for all writers from William Faulkner:

Image result for images william faulkner on reading

Thanks so much to everyone who came along last night. It was a lovely evening. Thanks again to Helen and Leigh for coming along and running the evening so brilliantly

Don't forget to subscribe to my website for more information and for future events and author interviews bibliomaniacuk.co.uk and follow me on Twitter @KatherineSunde3

#Review #LettersToEloise #EmilyWilliams

Letters to Eloise

When post-graduate student Flora falls unexpectedly pregnant during her final year studies she hits a huge predicament; continue a recent affair with her handsome but mysterious lecturer who dazzles her with love letters taken from the ancient tale of ‘Abelard and Heloise’, or chase after the past with her estranged first love?
But will either man be there to support her during the turmoil ahead?


‘Receiving a hand written letter is something that always puts a smile on my face, no matter who the sender is.’ Flora Tierney.

Everyone loves getting a letter. There is nothing more personal, more thoughtful or more exciting than receiving a letter unexpectedly through the post which is overspills with news, feelings, thoughts and ramblings. Writing letters is something I have so little time for these days but as the  main character of this novel points out, receiving one will always put a smile on your face. 

So what could be more special than reading letters written by your mother to you while you were safely tucked away inside her tummy, smaller than a peanut? This is exactly what Flora sets out to do:

"I've never been one to write a diary, the daily goings on in people's lives are usually so mundane.....writing to you is an easier way of getting those thoughts out and one day you may find your mother's withering vaguely interesting or at least amusing, or neither, whatever suits you." 

This is a lovely premise for a book. Each entry starts with an update of the number of weeks old the baby is and what is happening to it followed by a quip or short remark from Flora. The rest of the chapter is written as a letter to the bump which later becomes known as Eloise. It may sound a little saccharine or schmaltzy but actually Flora's letters are honest, open and much more about the complicated relationships she finds herself embroiled in with two men than fluffy musings about her impending parenthood. 

Flora is a university student and her letters reflect her youth, inexperience, fears, anxieties and catalogue her attempts to navigate her way through the new and unexpected situation she finds herself in. In fact they give her someone to talk to and off load to. 

Her best friend Brooke is fiercely protective and often quite overbearing as Flora becomes accustomed to life as a pregnant student. Brooke accompanies her to every appointment, scan and hospital visit -always well meaning but at times, even Flora feels she has become more like a controlling partner than a sister. But Brooke has her reasons. And this is only Flora's interpretation; the use of letters, like a diary, means we only see things from her perspective and only what she choose to share with us - or actually, with Eloise. Williams uses this deliberately and cleverly towards the end of the novel - but I can not reveal any more about that here without spoiling the book for everyone else...... 

Flora includes the letters from her father which are written to his future grandchild. The relationship between father and the daughter is very well illustrated. There is often not much said between them, but they always understand each other. It also reminds the reader how letters give people the space or opportunity to say what they can't articulate when face to face. 

As well as these letters there are also the love notes left for Flora from Tate, the lecturer with whom she is involved. These again offer a contrast in communication and explore another way letters can be used. There is also a more literary feel to their communication as Tate quotes from an ancient tale which perhaps reminds us of the university setting of the novel but also prepares us for the contrast in which Flora and Tate view the relationship. Words can provide comfort, romance and kindness but they are also open to interpretation, reinterpretation and misinterpretation. 

And then of course letters can remain unsent, get lost in the post, intercepted or left unread........

There is a time shift in the narrative too as we go forward and backwards as Flora tells Eloise more events before her conception, fills in details along the way and then also keeping us up to date with the present events. This was a tiny bit confusing at times as the time shift is slight but it wasn't difficult to keep track of the plot. 

The characters are well drawn. There are plenty of issues raised by the novel and it would make a good reading group choice. There is love and happiness but there is also heartache and heartbreak. You will need some tissues at the end. 

At a relatively short length of 293 pages, this is a quick read but one that will leave you with a few things to think about. Williams' manages the plot well and the style is very informal and easy to read. She delivers the clues and hints about the characters well so that there is a moment of revelation at the end which is satisfying for the reader. 

Using the blurb from Goodreads I can only add: 

Letters to Eloise is the heart wrenching debut epistolary novel by Emily Williams; a love story of misunderstandings, loss, and betrayal but ultimately the incredible bond between mother and child.

Letters To Eloise was published in February 2017 and is available as an ebook and in paperback.

amazon link to buy Letters To Eloise

My thanks to Emily for a review copy of Letters To Eloise in return for an honest review. 

MORE ABOUT EMILY WILLIAMS

Emily  Williams

Emily Williams lives by the seaside in West Sussex with her family and a menagerie of small pets. After graduating from Sussex University with a BA in Psychology, Emily trained as a primary school teacher and teaches in a local school. Letters to Eloise is her debut novel.

Twitter: @EmilyRMWilliams  
Website: emilywilliamsauthor

Other books you may like after reading Letters to Eloise:

The Idea of YouDear NobodyThe Midwife's ConfessionThe L-Shaped Room (Jane Graham, #1)

Click here for Bibliomaniac's review for The Idea of You by Amanda Prowse.

For more from me, you can follow me on Twitter @KatherineSunde3 or via my website bibliomaniacuk.co.uk or by subscribing to this blog.