Tag Archives: romance

#BookReview ‘The War Child’ by @RenitaDSilva #WW2 #historical

Two women, two generations apart. In The War Child, Renita D‘Silva explores the connections between a mother and child, through danger and separation, self-sacrifice, unstoppable events and the pressures of modern life. D’Silva tells the dual timeline stories of Clara and Indira over many decades, setting the strength and promise of women across four decades against the twentieth century prejudices of chauvinism and racism. Renita D‘SilvaIn London, 1940, teenager Clara is woken by her mother as their home is bombed. Her mother presses into Clara’s hand a necklace, a St Christopher’s medal, with the promise that it will always protect her. Orphaned, Clara is taken in by her aunt and begins helping at a local hospital treating injured soldiers. When nurses and doctors ignore a wounded Indian soldier because of the colour of his skin, Clara nurses him to health. When the war ends, she decides to fulfil a long-held promise to herself. Inspired by sitting on her father’s knee and listening to his stories of India, Clara takes a job as nurse companion to a delicate boy whose parents are re-locating to India. And there, she falls in love.
In India, 1995, 33-year old Indira is chairing a board meeting when she gets a message to ‘go to the hospital’. Fearing her young son is dying – he is in hospital for a minor surgical procedure – she finds her husband and son both well. The message refers to Indira’s father who has had a heart attack. Indira returns home to her parents, somewhere she hasn’t been much of late as she seeks to avoid their simplistic boring life, resenting their dissatisfaction with her life choices.
Sometimes raw and painful, always emotionally complex with surprising twists that make you gasp, The War Child is another brilliant book by my first-choice author for Indian historical romance. D’Silva is such a visual writer that India is a real place on the page, the colours and scents are both beautiful and challenging, her descriptions as full of contrasts as fresh guava sprinkled with chilli powder.

I’ve loved every one of Renita D’Silva’s books I’ve read to date, so far my favourite is The Orphan’s Gift. Click on the title to read my reviews of A Mother’s Secret, Beneath an Indian Sky, The Girl in the Painting and The Orphan’s Gift.

If you like this, try:-
The Tea Planter’s Wife’ by Dinah Jefferies
Heat and Dust’ by Ruth Prawer Jhabvala
The Sapphire Widow’ by Dinah Jefferies

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THE WAR CHILD by @RenitaDSilva #bookreview https://wp.me/p5gEM4-5mW via @SandraDanby

#BookReview ‘An Englishwoman’s Guide to the Cowboy’ by @june_kearns

The opening chapter of An Englishwoman’s Guide to the Cowboy by June Kearns is a vibrant introduction to Annie Haddon, the Englishwoman of the title. She’s travelling from California to Texas in a stagecoach with her over-bearing aunt and superior cousin who both tell her what not to do. ‘Mustn’t, mustn’t’, Annie mutters to herself. She copes stoically until the bombshell is dropped that the real purpose for their journey across America is to meet Annie’s intended. ‘Henry Chewton Hewell,’ thinks Annie. ‘Even his name sounded like something stuck between his teeth.’ Like all the best first chapters it introduces the key character, makes you care about her and then ends in the most unexpected way. June KearnsDescribed as Jane Austen meets Zane Grey, Kearns has created a must-read story populated by a heroine to root for, a hero to swoon over and nasty characters to dislike. That’s where the romance formula ends. Kearns portrays an 1867 Texas full of desert dust, coyotes, unhappy Comanche and Sioux, the arrival of the railroad, arrogant cavalry and rowdy townsfolk; fresh and challenging circumstances for the ‘out of her comfort zone’ heroine. It’s a faraway world so alien from today in its customs and culture but surprisingly close in its emotions. An Englishwoman’s Guide to the Cowboy is about first impressions – the cast includes a silent native named Grey Eagle, Clarice the owner of a rowdy saloon, a puppy called Dog – challenging mistaken assumptions and long-held beliefs and prejudices.
What a visual film this would make. It made me chuckle out loud. If you need an escape from the stressful real world, try this. It doesn’t matter that you know how it will end, it is a romance after all and we love a happy ending, but it is the how and why that are intriguing and Kearns kept me guessing to the end.
Hilarious, joyful stuff.

Click the title to read my review of THE 20S GIRL, THE GHOST, AND ALL THAT JAZZ also by June Kearns.

If you like this, try:-
The House on the Shore’ by Victoria Howard
Butterfly Barn’ by Karen Powers
The Missing Pieces of Nancy Moon’ by Sarah Steele

And if you’d like to tweet a link to THIS post, here’s my suggested tweet:
AN ENGLISHWOMAN’S GUIDE TO THE COWBOY by @june_kearns #bookreview https://wp.me/p5gEM4-5m0 via @SandraDanby

#BookReview ‘The Guernsey Literary & Potato Peel Pie Society’ #romance #WW2

I prefer to come to a book without reading reviews so I can make up my own mind. But sometimes there is a book that I missed in its early days but which goes onto be hugely popular. The Guernsey Literary & Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer & Annie Barrows is such a book. It was first brought to my attention by fellow author Claire Dyer who chose it as her ‘Porridge & Cream’ comfort read. When I asked Claire why it was her choice, she said, “it’s essentially about good people and reading it reminds me that there’s more goodness in the world than sometimes is apparent.” Now I know what she means. Mary Ann Shaffer & Annie Barrows

The story is told in letter form, a structure I admit to having doubts about before I started reading. But the manner in which the letters flow and the information is dripped in means there are no information gaps, no repetitions. It is 1946 and writer Juliet Ashton receives a letter from a man in Guernsey who by chance owns a book that once belonged to her. And so begins Juliet’s correspondence with Dawsey Adams and his fellow members of the Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society. Dawsey encourages other members to write to Juliet with their own experiences of the German occupation of the island. And so we hear from the nice, and not-so-nice characters.

What could be a superficial account of the islanders’ lives becomes a cleverly managed tale of a community that survives by mutual support, generosity, toughness, bravery and above all kindness. As letter after letter arrives from different people, we build up full pictures of the incidents that happened. Although there is a romantic thread to this tale – the rather full-of-himself Mark Reynolds – this is really a story about the survival of an island community throughout a time of unimagined difficulty.

At first Juliet is entranced by the islanders’ stories but as they write more letters she wants to meet them in person, both to put faces to her correspondents and to scout the possibility of writing a book about their experiences. The book is split into two parts; in part one, Juliet is in London; in part two she travels to Guernsey. The story takes places during nine months of 1946; this feels a tight time span for some of the emotional relationships to develop and at times the familiarity and trust seemed to progress in leaps rather than steps, but perhaps this is understandable post-war when people grasped at chances of normality and happiness.

The title suggests this is a nice, quirky read – and it places it did make me chuckle – but it also tells of brutality, torture and death and the lasting after-effects of war.

I was left wishing I hadn’t read it yet and that I had it to look forward to. Just the book to re-read when your spirit needs a lift.

If you like this, try:-
Pattern of Shadows’ by Judith Barrow
After the Party’ by Cressida Connolly
The Book of Lies’ by Mary Horlock

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A poem to read in the bath… ‘Lark & Merlin’ by Tom Pickard #poetry #nature

Tom Pickard grew up in the working class suburbs of Newcastle upon Tyne and left school at fourteen. Three years later he met poet Basil Bunting and Pickard began his life as a poet. His background in the North East is the spine of his work, local words and slang inhabit his work, but two recent volumes have taken him to the isolated countryside of the Borders where England meets Scotland. Most magical of all this work is ‘Lark & Merlin’ is about the dance between a man and a woman; like the hunting/courting flight of two birds – the lark and the merlin – diving and flying, tossed in the wind as memories are tossed in the middle of the night.

Tom Pickard

Tom Pickard [photo: Charles Smith]

‘Lark & Merlin’ is included in Pickard’s Fiends Fell, a combination of journal entries and poems, telling of one year in his life on a bleak fell in Northern England. Pickard is now working on the second edition of Fiends Fell.

This poem is subject to copyright restrictions. Please search for the full poem in an anthology or at your local library.

‘Lark & Merlin’

a wren,

perched on a hawthorn

low enough to skip

the scalping winds,


sang a scalpel song


sea frets drift

sheer along shorelines

Listen to Tom Pickard read ‘Lark & Merlin’ here.
Tom Pickard BUY THE BOOK

Read the first lines of ‘After a Row’ by Tom Pickard.

Read these other excerpts and find a new poet to love:-
Sounds of the Day’ by Norman MacCaig 
‘A Shropshire Lad: loveliest of trees, the cherry now’ by AE Housman 
‘The Road not Taken’ by Robert Frost

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My Porridge & Cream read… @VMeadowsAuthor #books #romance

Today I’m delighted to welcome romance novelist Viki Meadows. Her ‘Porridge & Cream’ read is What I Did for a Duke by Julie Anne Long.

“As I write this it’s our second spring in lockdown. Never has my keeper-shelf been so needed and such a good friend as during this last year. Of all my favourite books which have found a home on that shelf, the one I go back to the most is the historical romance What I Did For A Duke by Julie Anne Long.

Viki Meadows

‘What I Did For a Duke’ by Julie Anne Long

“When I first picked this book up, in March 2011, I did so dubiously, thinking it was going to be a revenge seduction story. In fact, it isn’t that at all. It’s much more. It’s twisty, taking the reader down unexpected paths. But it’s more than the cleverness of plot and dialogue that kept me revisiting this during these interminable months of lockdown.

“Since life has become overshadowed by a pandemic-sized cloud of anxiety and fear I have taken it off the shelf to read at least three times. It’s hilarious in places and I found myself laughing out loud as the dry, sharp humour lifted my mood. Yet it did so without ever losing the essential characteristics of an exquisitely poignant, heart-warming romance. No matter how many times I read it the humour doesn’t get old and the emotional kick never fades. Like a bowl of porridge, it’s one of my favourites, a go-to staple that I can reach for whenever I need to feel comforted and reassured that delightful happy-ever-afters are possible.

“This story, with its vulnerable, lovable, honest characters is comfort food for the mind and heart- warm, funny, rich, and engaging. But it’s more than that. It might be a decadent bowl of porridge with lashings of cream, but it has pieces of fresh, tart strawberry sprinkled through it to keep you on your toes.“

Viki’s Bio
Viki has always loved writing and won her first prize for a short story when still at primary school. She’s an avid reader of romance and can usually be found with her nose in a book. The dynamics and sheer variety of human relationships fascinate her, and this is what she likes to explore in her writing. She lives in North Yorkshire with her husband and cat where she enjoys crafting and Tai Chi.

Viki’s links

Viki’s latest book
Viki MeadowsWhen Minnie tells Villiers that she wants to break off their engagement, Villiers must face some unpleasant truths about himself and come to terms with past mistakes. His future happiness hinges on him not only winning Minnie’s forgiveness but also her heart. Will he succeed in making this the happiest of Christmases for them both? This is a short, sweet, historical romance.

Pic 4 P&C logo
What is a ‘Porridge & Cream’ book? It’s the book you turn to when you need a familiar read, when you are tired, ill, or out-of-sorts, where you know the story and love it. Where reading it is like slipping on your oldest, scruffiest slippers after walking for miles. Where does the name ‘Porridge & Cream’ come from? Cat Deerborn is a character in Susan Hill’s ‘Simon Serrailler’ detective series. Cat is a hard-worked GP, a widow with two children and she struggles from day-to-day. One night, after a particularly difficult day, she needs something familiar to read. From her bookshelf she selects ‘Love in A Cold Climate’ by Nancy Mitford. Do you have a favourite read which you return to again and again? If so, please send me a message.

Discover the ‘Porridge & Cream’ books of these authors:-
Maggie Cobbett’s choice is ‘The Beloved Vagabond’ by William J Locke
Kathryn Haydon chooses ‘The Prophet’ by Kahlil Gibran
The Talisman Ring by Georgette Heyer is chosen by Clare Rhoden

And if you’d like to tweet a link to THIS post, here’s my suggested tweet:
Why does romance novelist @VMeadowsAuthor re-read WHAT I DID FOR A DUKE by @JulieAnneLong? #books https://wp.me/p5gEM4-5aN via @SandraDanby

A poem to read in the bath… ‘Poor Girl’ by Maya Angelou #poetry #women

I can hear the sorrow in every word of this woman who feels cheated, cynical in her understanding that she loved a wrong ‘un. This is ‘Poor Girl’ by Maya Angelou. She is angry, talking directly to a former lover who has betrayed her.

Maya Angelou

[photo: Wikipedia]

It has a simple structure, a repetition that reflects the sense of inevitability as he finds a new love; and the inevitability that this new love will soon turn into another old love, another poor girl, as yet again he uses then moves on. In her poetry Angelou loves men, but she also trashes badly behaved disrespectful unloving men.

This poem is subject to copyright restrictions. Please search for the full poem in an anthology or at your local library.

‘Poor Girl’
You’ve got another love
            and I know it
Someone who adores you
            just like me
Hanging on your words
            like they were gold
Thinking she understands
            your soul
Poor Girl
            Just like me

Maya Angelou BUY THE BOOK

Read these other excerpts and find a new poet to love:-
My Father’ by Yehuda Amichai 
Sometimes and After’ by Hilda Doolittle
‘I Loved Her Like the Leaves’ by Kakinonoto Hitomaro

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A #poem to read in the bath: Poor Girl’ by Maya Angelou https://wp.me/p5gEM4-4kX via @SandraDanby

My Porridge & Cream read… @jane_fenwick60 #books #historical

Today I’m delighted to welcome historical novelist Jane Fenwick.  Her ‘Porridge & Cream’ read is Ross Poldark by Winston Graham.

Ross Poldark was first published in 1946. It’s surprisingly ‘modern’ and fresh even today. I first read it in the 1970s after the saga was made into a TV series. I was intrigued to see how different the two versions were. They were massively different as it turns out, the book being far better.

Jane Fenwick“There are twelve books in all but the first, Ross Poldark, is the one I reread time and time again. I’ve lost count exactly how many times I’ve read it. I go back to it time and time again because it’s like putting on a comfortable pair of old shoes. It always makes me feel better. Also, each time I read it I see something new, some scene which for some reason has new significance, some word choice which adds depth, some character detail I’d missed.

“I’m drawn to this book for two reasons; firstly the main character and secondly the writing style. The central character, Ross Poldark is not a hero, he’s flawed. He makes mistakes but has a conscience and a strong moral compass. Sometimes he is his own worst enemy but you understand his point of view because the reader is witness to not only his actions but his internal dialogue. He’s beautifully drawn.

“Winston Graham was a brilliant writer. The Poldark saga, set in eighteenth/nineteenth century Cornwall, is historically well researched and accurate. As a writer of historical fiction, I find this aspect of his writing very satisfying. WG manages to write unsentimentally about the times but with such warmth and insight that the reader becomes immersed in the story and the lives of the characters. Ross Poldark is the start of the journey and once read it’s impossible not to read the other eleven books in the series. But for me Ross Poldark is my favourite.”
Jane FenwickBUY THE BOOK

Jane’s Bio
Jane Fenwick lives in Settle in Yorkshire, England. She studied education at Sheffield University gaining a B Ed (Hons) in 1989 and going on to teach primary age range children. Jane decided to try her hand at penning a novel rather than writing school reports as she has always been an avid reader, especially enjoying historical and crime fiction. She decided to combine her love of both genres to write her first historical crime novel Never the Twain. Jane has always loved the sea and although she lives in the Yorkshire Dales she is particularly drawn to the North East coast of Yorkshire and Northumberland. This coastline is where she gets her inspiration. As she has always loved history, she finds the research particularly satisfying.

When she isn’t walking on Sandsend beach with her dog Scout, a Patterdale “Terrorist” she is to be found in her favourite coffee shop gazing out to sea and dreaming up her next plot.
Jane is currently writing a historical series again set on the North East coast beginning in 1765. The first two books, My Constant Lady and The Turning Tides were well received. Look out for the third and last in the series Safe Harbour in May 2021.

Jane’s links

Jane’s latest book
Jane FenwickGabriel Reynolds and his stunning red-haired wife Eleanor have settled happily into married life at Westshore… or have they? A woman with a loaded gun, a servant with a grudge, and a buccaneering Irish sea captain seem intent on rocking the boat. When Caroline Hodgeson makes what her ex-fiancé Gabriel sees as an unsuitable match, it sets off a chain of events which will change all their lives. And not for the better.
The Turning Tides, second in the Reynolds seafaring saga, is a tale of jealousy and jeopardy, mistrust and malice. The continuing tale of one man’s love for an unconventional woman.

What is a ‘Porridge & Cream’ book? It’s the book you turn to when you need a familiar read, when you are tired, ill, or out-of-sorts, where you know the story and love it. Where reading it is like slipping on your oldest, scruffiest slippers after walking for miles. Where does the name ‘Porridge & Cream’ come from? Cat Deerborn is a character in Susan Hill’s ‘Simon Serrailler’ detective series. Cat is a hard-worked GP, a widow with two children and she struggles from day-to-day. One night, after a particularly difficult day, she needs something familiar to read. From her bookshelf she selects ‘Love in A Cold Climate’ by Nancy Mitford. Do you have a favourite read which you return to again and again? If so, please send me a message.

Discover the ‘Porridge & Cream’ books of these authors:-
Sue Johnson’s choice is ‘Jamaica Inn’ by Daphne du Maurier
Sue Moorcroft chooses ‘A Town Like Alice’ by Nevil Shute
Chocolat’ by Joanne Harris is chosen by Kate Frost

And if you’d like to tweet a link to THIS post, here’s my suggested tweet:
Why does @jane_fenwick60 re-read ROSS POLDARK by Winston Graham #books https://wp.me/p5gEM4-58D via @SandraDanby

#BookReview ‘The Missing Pieces of Nancy Moon’ by Sarah Steele

If you’re looking for a little escapism, a trip to the Riviera of the Sixties, then The Missing Pieces of Nancy Moon by Sarah Steele is for you. A family mystery spanning two generations is unravelled by Flo, Nancy Moon’s great-niece, who treads in her aunt’s footsteps across Europe following the clues. It all starts with a photograph.Sarah Steele

Told in two timelines, it is Nancy’s story that came alive for me and I would have been happy if the book had focussed solely on Nancy. Brimming with nostalgia for life in the 1960s, the Riviera, Paris, Nice, Venice, Capri, Steele tells of Nancy’s trip as companion to Pea, a teenage girl sidelined by her distracted artist father and disinterested step-mother. It is clear Nancy is running from something and, though this is billed as a historical romance, it is essentially a tale of grief and moving on.

Clearing her grandmother’s house after her death, Flo finds a photograph of her grandma Peggy and three friends. One is a complete stranger. The next discovery is a cache of dressmaking envelopes. Each is dated and inside are cut-out dress pieces and other momentoes left by Great-Aunt Nancy, photographs, postcards and oddments. Flo has never heard of Nancy Moon. Why was she never spoken of? Flo, grieving not only for the death of Peggy but for the break-up of her marriage and the loss of a baby, decides to follow Nancy’s trail across Europe.

The motif of dressmaking patterns is underlined by Steele’s beautiful descriptions of Sixties dresses, swimsuits and fabrics. We see Nancy wearing the original version of the home-made garment, and then Flo following in her footsteps wearing a contemporary version of the same outfit. At the beginning there are so many characters introduced that it’s disorientating. It took me a while to unravel them until halfway through when I realised I simply wanted to read Nancy’s story.

So, an intriguing story idea weakened by the sudden switching of narrator and timeline intended to introduce mystery. The simple addition of chapter headings with the year and location would help. In truth I figured out the mystery very early on. How much stronger this would be as a single viewpoint, traditional historical narrative without the coincidences and neat solutions of Flo’s storyline.

I was pleased I stuck with the story, despite the slow beginning. There is plenty to admire in the writing and the locations are beautiful, a real piece of escapism for armchair travellers.

If you like this, try:-
The Lost Letters of William Woolf’ by Helen Cullen
On a Night Like This’ by Barbara Freethy
The Art of Baking Blind’ by Sarah Vaughan

And if you’d like to tweet a link to THIS post, here’s my suggested tweet:
THE MISSING PIECES OF NANCY MOON by Sarah Steele #bookreview https://wp.me/p5gEM4-53k via @SandraDanby

#BookReview ‘Endless Skies’ by @JaneCable #contemporary #romance

Jane Cable writes with a great sense of place and her latest novel, Endless Skies, is set in North Lincolnshire, a place of wide horizons, mists and endless views. Her books always have an element of the supernatural and Endless Skies doesn’t disappoint, from shadowy figures in a field to the lingering scent of lily-of-the-valley. Jane CableRachel Ward, an archaeology lecturer, leaves her old job after a disastrous workplace affair and moves to Lincoln University. Living in a soulless box of a flat, she makes friends with Jem who lives on a barge moored on the nearby canal. Jem is a solid steady character and becomes a mentor, almost father-like figure for Rachel who has made bad choices in the past and seems set to repeat the pattern. Jem’s new lodger, student Ben, tempts Rachel’s newly sworn promise to foreswear men. Meanwhile she takes on a freelance contract for property developer Jonathan Daubney. As she researches her report on a prospective development site at an old wartime airbase, Rachel and Jonathan fall into an instant ‘hate’ relationship.
The past is ever-present in this story which explores how what has gone before is never absent from our everyday lives, whether by actions in our lifetime or events that happened long ago. Markers are there to be seen, most clearly evident in Rachel’s fieldwalking on the old airfield where pieces of old metal are scattered. As they may belong to a wartime bomber that crashed and exploded in this place, Rachel must consult a ballistics expert and dig test pits. And so the past delays the present, as Jonathan is unable to proceed with his property plans until Rachel’s report is finished. Cable handles well the personal and work conflicts between Rachel and Jonathan. Both are emotionally damaged in ways which are gradually revealed.
My favourite character was Esther, an elderly resident at the care home run by Jonathan’s mother. As a teenager in the war, Esther worked at the laundry on the airbase and she is key to our understanding of the book. As Rachel teases out Esther’s memories, the interlinked past and the present starts to make sense.
This is a contemporary romance and is firmly rooted in the present day but I would love to know more about the wartime story of Freddie, Teo and Esther. It was so uplifting to read about a firmly-rooted friendship between two women, Rachel and Esther – one young, the other elderly – and see how they enrich each other’s lives.

Read my reviews of Jane Cable’s other books:-

If you this, try:-
Please Release Me’ by Rhoda Baxter
The Perfect Affair’ by Claire Dyer
My Dear, I Wanted to Tell You’ by Louisa Young

And if you’d like to tweet a link to THIS post, here’s my suggested tweet:
ENDLESS SKIES by @JaneCable #bookreview https://wp.me/p5gEM4-4RQ via @SandraDanby

#BookReview ‘The Distance Between Us’ by Maggie O’Farrell #contemporary

Two strangers, both with troubled personal lives, are thousands of miles apart. The Distance Between Us by Maggie O’Farrell is about Stella in London and Jake in Hong Kong and how these two people so far distant, geographically and emotionally, can come together. This novel is basically a romance with two layers of mystery intertwined. Maggie O’Farrell

It starts at Chinese New Year when Jake is caught in a horrendous crowd crush with his girlfriend Mel and her friend Lucy. Mel is badly injured, Lucy is dead. When a doctor tells Jake that Mel will not live through the night, he agrees to her wish to marry.

In London, Stella is walking home across Waterloo Bridge when she sees a solitary figure walking towards her, a red-haired man. The sight of him triggers a flight instinct and she flees home to Scotland. Not to her family in Edinburgh and Musselburgh, but to work in a remote country hotel. She avoids the telephone calls from her sister Nina. The truth behind Stella’s panic and the significance of the red-haired man is a long time coming, too long really.

In Hong Kong, Mel survives and Jake travels to the UK with her to stay with her family. Jake thinks this is a visit, planning to return to his job in Hong Kong as a film production assistant. But Mel wants a white wedding. Saying he wants to travel to Scotland to research the identity of his father, he was raised in Hong Kong by his British mother, Jake heads north in search of a village called Kildoune. His mother gave him this surname, named after the father he has never known. Kildoune, it turns out, is not a village but a hotel. The hotel where Stella now works. And so the two storylines come together. As with any romance, the two main characters come together, step away, and dance around each other as Stella’s history is unveiled.

A note about the chapter-less structure. The storyline skips back and forth from viewpoint to viewpoint, present day to past, so quickly I felt dizzy at times. It was confusing for the first third or so of the book and I wished for conventional chapters, after that it remained mildly irritating.

The Distance Between Us is O’Farrell’s third novel but it feels more like an earlier novel, perhaps written before her successful debut After You’d Gone. The storyline of Jake’s hunt for his father is left unfinished; the character development of Nina is thin which makes her behaviour as an adult difficult to understand; and I lost track of the family histories of both Jake and Stella with parents, grandparents and friends making a total of too many characters that don’t contribute to the main narrative.

Read the first paragraph of After You’d Gone; and learn how O’Farrell writes without being distracted here.

If you like this, try these:-
‘The Roundabout Man’ by Clare Morrall
‘Another You’ by Jane Cable
Summertime’ by Vanessa Lafaye

And if you’d like to tweet a link to THIS post, here’s my suggested tweet:
THE DISTANCE BETWEEN US by Maggie O’Farrell‪ #bookreview https://wp.me/p5gEM4-3×9 via @SandraDanby