I would be most content if my children grew up to be the kind of people who think decorating consists mostly of building enough bookshelves - Anna Quindlen.
Published August 18th 2012
I am often found scouting the talent in Watersones. I love to look around and try to find an author I have not heard of before. Although, sometimes I look at authors I have heard of but never read before. You may or may not have read novels written by the authors I am going to suggest but currently they are my favourite writers to read at the minute. They are authors that tend to write in the style I most favour. They may not be to your taste but it is a subjective matter after all.
I am currently reading Goodnight, Beautiful by Dorothy Koomson and have been gripped from the very beginning. I have previously read The Ice Cream Girls and The Woman He Loved Before.
I enjoyed the suspense that was built throughout The Ice Cream Girls as the truth was uncovered about the two main character's past; Poppy and Serena. Poppy has been imprisoned for murder and upon her release wants to present the complete truth about what happened all those years ago. Serena doesn't want anyone in her present to know about what happened in her past and is determined to keep all her secrets as just that. I loved how the truth was revealed and the shocking ending. No spoilers. A must read.
The Woman He Loved Before is my favourite out of the books I've read by Dorothy Koomson. Libby is happily married to Jack – or so she thinks. Jack seems obsessed over his first wife, Eve. Libby doesn't think he is over the sudden death and decides to find out all that she can about him. The secrets she unearths were so shocking to me and completely unexpected. It is an extremely unique story and I've never felt such a variety of emotions when reading a book before. I can't praise this book enough.
I am particularly fond of this author for personal reasons as well as literacy. I follow Dorothy Koomson on twitter and am delighted that she has replied to several of my tweets as well as reading my blog. I was inspired by this, as an aspiring author, that she would take the time to reply to me considering the number of followers she has.
From this author I have read The Midwife's Confession, Breaking the Silence, Before the Storm and Secrets She Left Behind. However, I have a lot more of her books waiting on my bookshelf and a list of future books I want to buy. I thoroughly enjoyed how she intertwines all these different stories into one. You can tell that she thinks these stories through quite well and manages to do it in a very stylish manner. I'm not sure how well known this author is but I can't help feeling it isn't well known enough. All of her stories are written in very different ways which is unusual for many authors who have a specific style. Each story I have read has been original and completely unique from one another.
I have written a review about Breaking the Silence on my blog – I am full of praise for this book. Laura's husband shot himself and when she comes home she finds her daughter, Emma, screaming at the bottom of the stairs. Since that day, Emma hasn't uttered a word. As soon as I read this blurb I was instantly attracted as I have a specific interest in mutism and what causes people to stop speaking altogether. If you are interested in psychology, in parts the novel follows a woman who discusses being involved in the CIA mind-control experiments during the fifties which I found interesting to learn about. The truth about her husband's suicide is very shocking and unexpected – although I admit I started to piece it together as the story went along.
The Midwife's Confession is quite a heartbreaking story. Noelle commits suicide at the beginning which is completely devastating to her close friends who had no idea what secrets she was holding. Noelle could not hold onto the guilt she carried every day for what she had done and it finally got too much. The secrets revealed were quite shocking and it was hard to determine whether, as the reader, I blamed her for the misfortunes that happened.
Secrets She Left Behind is actually the sequel to Before the Storm. Both stories spiral from a local church being burnt to the ground and the devastation this causes for so many people in different ways. It demonstrates how simple mistakes can ruin so many others lives as well as the test of family and friendship. You really should check both of these books out.
Diane Chamberlain has an extremely lovely writing style and captures the exact genre I hope to write someday. All her blurbs are captivating and I am hoping to one day complete all of her books. I was also lucky enough to get an email from Diane Chamberlain wishing me luck with all my writing as an author. I was extremely chuffed with this and was grateful she took the time to reply to me.
Lost Innocence was the first book I read by this author. Alicia returns to the home of her childhood after her husband tragically dies. Unfortunately she must come face to face with her sister-in-law Sabrina who almost destroyed her marriage when she had an affair with Alicia's husband. However, disaster strikes again when Sabrina's fifteen-year-old daughter, Annabelle, accuses her son Nathan of a terrible crime. This story faces the difficult question of who to believe during such a serious accusation. I really felt for Alicia's character throughout and it opened my eyes to just how true the saying 'there are two sides to every story' really is. You really must read this if you haven't already.
Susan Lewis's novel Missing begins with Miles Avery driving his wife, Jacqueline, to the station. This is the last anybody sees of her. Suspicion turns to Miles when there is no evidence of Jacqueline boarding a train or even entering the station. There are so many twists and turns in this novel and what I predicted from the blurb is almost the exact opposite of what happened. You will be surprised and entranced by this novel.
A French Affair is another novel of Susan Lewis's that I have read. Jessica's daughter is killed in a freak accident in France. Jessica is determined to find out the truth. There are many devastations and revelations for Jessica throughout this novel – you couldn't help wondering what would be thrown at her next.
No Turning Back is also a fantastic novel by this author. It is similar to A French Affair which takes you through all the struggles of the main character. Eva has such a difficult life – from her attack during her peak of modelling career, to the devastation she receives from the one person she could trust. A very heartbreaking book but I enjoyed reading it thoroughly.
Susan Lewis has written many more books and I am sure she is doing extremely well – she deserves too. Her stories contain so many surprises and she keeps the reader hooked from the beginning.
Jodi Picoult is best known for her best seller My Sister's Keeper which was made into a successful film. The book is actually very different from the film in terms of ending. Unusually for me, I liked that there was a difference from the film and the book because it gave the reader two alternatives. My Sister's Keeper follows a child who is genetically engineered to save her sister's life who has been struggling with cancer from the age of three. A very emotional read.
Nineteen Minutes is my favourite of all Jodi Picoult's books that I have read. After years of bullying, Peter Houghton creates a school shooting and kills ten people. Lacy, his mother begins to discover she may never have known her son at all. This book is really powerful and I don't want to say too much as it gives it all away. It has a really deep message about popularity and bullying in schools today and the dramatic impact they can cause. It has stayed with me since the first time I read it – about two years ago.
The Pact is another recommendation of mine. Chris and Emily have been friends all their life – during high school their friendship blossoms into something more. One night, the parents receive the call that Emily is dead at seventeen with a gunshot wound to the head. Chris states that it was part of a suicide pact gone wrong. It was very shocking where this story took me as a reader and is yet another of Jodi Picoult's books that has stayed with me for a long time afterwards.
As I have stated with The Pact and Nineteen Minutes, Jodi Picoult manages to write such hard hitting stories that stay with you for a long time. I think this is the test of a good book. I have not been disappointed with any of the many books I have read by her and I hope to re-read many of them again.
Sophie Kinsella is probably most well known for her Confessions of a Shopaholic series that was made into an extremely entertaining film. However, some may not know some of the other brilliant novels she has written.
My favourite Sophie Kinsella novel is Remember Me? Lexi wakes up in hospital having forgotten the past three years of her life. She finds out she is married (to a good-looking millionaire) and is the boss of her department. Everything seems perfect until she realises it isn't all it seems. Brilliantly written with humour even considering some of the sad situations Lexi finds herself in. It is a 'girly chick flick' with a little something extra. I am not normally a fan of 'girly' books but this has so much more to it than the typical 'boy meets girl'. A summer must read.
Can you keep a secret? is another entertaining piece from Sophie Kinsella. Emma has a 'few' secrets. Unfortunately, they are no longer secrets when she spills them to a complete stranger on a plane. It all seems fine until the 'stranger' turns up in the company she works for. It was absolutely hilarious. I couldn't put it down at all. A brilliant book for anyone looking for a comedy.
Twenties Girl is also a fantastic read about having your own secret best friend – that only you can hear and see. Lots of fun and laughter in this read.
Sophie Kinsella writes with humour, brilliance and fun. She is a must read even for those of you who think you don't enjoy 'girly' novels.