Friday, 20 November 2015

Book Beginnings on Fridays - Did You Ever Have A Family

Book Beginnings on Fridays is hosted by Rose City Reader and as she says the idea of this meme is for you to share the first sentence (or so) of the book you are reading, along with your initial thoughts about the sentence, impressions of the book, or anything else the opener inspires. Please remember to include the title of the book and the author's name. There's a linky list on the website and you can use #BookBeginnings on Twitter.


This week my book beginning is from a novel I've only just this minute started reading, Did You Ever Have A Family by Bill Clegg.


He wakes to the sound of sirens. Many, loud, and very near. Then horns; short, angry grunts like the buzzers signaling time-out in the basketball games he watches but does not play in at school.


Did You Ever Have a Family 

 Book Description

This book of dark secrets opens with a blaze. On the morning of her daughter’s wedding, June Reid’s house goes up in flames, destroying her entire family – her present, her past and her future. Fleeing from the carnage, stricken and alone, June finds herself in a motel room by the ocean, hundreds of miles from her Connecticut home, held captive by memories and the mistakes she has made with her only child, Lolly, and her partner, Luke.

In the turbulence of grief and gossip left in June’s wake we slowly make sense of the unimaginable. The novel is a gathering of voices, and each testimony has a new revelation about what led to the catastrophe – Luke’s alienated mother Lydia, the watchful motel owners, their cleaner Cissy, the teenage pothead who lives nearby – everyone touched by the tragedy finds themselves caught in the undertow, as their secret histories finally come to light.


Lit by the clarity of understanding that true sadness brings, Did You Ever Have a Family is an elegant, unforgettable story that reveals humanity at its worst and best, through loss and love, fracture and forgiveness. At the book’s heart is the idea of family – the ones we are born with and the ones we create – and the desire, in the face of everything, to go on living.




Monday, 16 November 2015

Mailbox Monday


Mailbox Monday is the gathering place for readers to share the books that came in their mailbox during the last week. It was created by Marcia @ A Girl and Her Books but now has a permanent home here


I received two review books this week:

The One in a Million Boy by Monica Wood

The One In A Million BoyMiss Ona Vitkus has - aside from three months in the summer of 1914 - lived unobtrusively, her secrets fiercely protected.

The boy, with his passion for world records, changes all that. He is eleven. She is one hundred and four years, one hundred and thirty three days old (they are counting). And he makes her feel like she might be really special after all. Better late than never...

Only it's been two weeks now since he last visited, and she's starting to think he's not so different from all the rest.

Then the boy's father comes, for some reason determined to finish his son's good deed. And Ona must show this new stranger that not only are there odd jobs to be done, but a life's ambition to complete . .

Published by Headline on 5th April 2016

The Ballroom by Anna Hope


Where love is your only escape ....

1911: Inside an asylum at the edge of the Yorkshire moors,
where men and women are kept apart
by high walls and barred windows,
there is a ballroom vast and beautiful.
For one bright evening every week
they come together
and dance.
When John and Ella meet
It is a dance that will change two lives forever.

Published by Doubleday and Transworld on 11th February 2016

I loved Anna Hope's previous novel Wake and you can read my review here


Wednesday, 11 November 2015

Dead Ringers by Christopher Golden

Dead RingersTess Devlin sees hers ex husband Nick out on the street but is left unimpressed when he tries to ignore her and insists he's not who she thinks he is. Tess phones him to make her feelings known but he tells her he's away with his girlfriend. The man she saw looked and sounded exactly like the father of her child so when her friend Lili says she's heard there's a woman who could be her twin she realises something is very wrong.

Frank Lindbergh lives alone and hears an intruder in his house late one night, he's scared but nothing prepares him for what he sees, someone who is his double. 

I loved the idea of the doppelgangers and was hooked at the start. The characters are likable and believable which is something I like to have in a horror novel. However when the link from the characters past and the reason behind the strange happenings is revealed I was left a little confused and subsequently I started to lose interest. Perhaps I wasn't concentrating enough or this was a different story to the one I was expecting but for me Dead Ringers then became a good rather than great story. If you enjoy horror it's worth a read but I'm a little disappointed after the author's previous novel Snowblind.


Thanks to St. Martin's Press & Netgalley for a copy of this in return of an honest review.

Rating: 3 out of 5