The Rejected Writers’ Book Club by Suzanne Kelman. Only one review copy from NetGalley this week, I saw this being talked about and it looked good, so as usual I couldn’t stop myself.
When small-town librarian Janet Johnson is persuaded to attend a gathering of local eccentric lady writers known as “The Rejected Writers Bookclub,” she gets pulled into a kaleidoscope of craziness she never knew existed.
Collecting publisher’s rejection letters like trophies, this quirky society cares nothing for being in print and instead meets to celebrate in style its members’ mutually spurned manuscripts.
However, when disaster strikes just shy of their 500th letter and a huge club celebration, the group’s survival hangs in the balance, and Janet finds herself railroaded into a madcap mission to save it. Coerced by their formidable team leader, Doris Newberry, she embarks on a crazy cross-country dash with a band of merry writers to save the club and the reputation of one very special member.
As the intrepid adventurers race to complete their quest, the women’s lives are irreversibly changed as they bond together through landslides, haunted houses, false labor, and first love.
The Captain’s Daughter by Leah Fleming. This has been on my wishlist for a while and was only 99p for Kindle.
The secrets in a woman’s heart are deeper than the ocean…
For May Smith, travelling with her husband and baby girl Ellen, stepping foot on the Titanic marks the start of an incredible journey, one which is destined to take her from the back streets of Bolton to the land of opportunity: the United States.
But when the ‘unsinkable’ Titanic hits an iceberg one cold dark night, May’s dreams are instantly shattered. Jumping from the sinking ship at the last minute, May loses sight of Joe and Ellen. Distraught, she is pulled into a lifeboat. Minutes later, the real-life Captain Smith swims to the lifeboat and hands May a baby swaddled in blankets.
Beside herself, and in virtual darkness, May believes the baby to be Ellen. This rescue is witnessed by fellow survivor, Celeste Parkes, married to an American industrialist who is on her way back to Ohio after her mother’s funeral.
In horror, they both watch the death throes of the mighty ship; May traumatised, knowing her husband has drowned, Celeste wishing her bully of a husband had been on board and out of her life.
As the dawn comes up, and the two women are rescued by the Carpathia,a friendship is formed, one which is destined to transcend the Atlantic and social differences between them and last a lifetime. Then May makes a shocking discovery and a split-second decision which will change the lives of so many.
Bring Me Home by Alan Titchmarsh. Alan’s book are a guilty pleasure and having read his others I’d somehow missed this, another Kindle bargain at 99p.
It seems a perfect afternoon in the Highlands.
Standing at the door of the lochside castle that has been his family’s home for generations, Charlie Stuart welcomes his guests to the annual summer drinks party. Conversation, laughter and the clinking of glasses soon fill the air as friends and neighbours come together to toast the laird’s happiness and prosperity.
But Charlie sees the truth behind the façade: the sacrifices made to safeguard the estate; the devastating losses that have haunted him for decades; the guilt that lies at the heart of it all.
And in a few hours, he knows, the perfect afternoon will come to an end. The past, with its dark secrets of love, death, loyalty and betrayal, is about to catch up with him. And it could finally tear his family apart . . . .
A Well Tempered Heart by Jan-Philipp Sendker. The follow up the the still as yet unread The Art of Hearing Heartbeats, another 99p Kindle offering.
Almost ten years have passed since Julia Win came back from Burma, her father’s native country. Though she is a successful Manhattan lawyer, her private life is at a crossroads; her boyfriend recently left her, she has suffered a miscarriage, and she is, despite her wealth, unhappy with her professional life. Julia is lost and exhausted. One day, in the middle of an important business meeting, she hears a stranger’s voice in her head that causes her to leave the office without explanation. In the following days, her crisis only deepens. Not only does the female voice refuse to disappear, but it starts to ask questions Julia has been trying to avoid. Why do you live alone? To whom do you feel close? What do you want in life? Interwoven with Julia’s story is that of a Burmese woman named Nu Nu who finds her world turned upside down when Burma goes to war and calls on her two young sons to be child soldiers. This spirited novel, like The Art of Hearing Heartbeats, explores the most inspiring and passionate terrain: the human heart.
Last Days of the Bus Club by Chris Stewart. This completes my set now, having got the 3 previous titles. As ever 99p for Kindle.
It’s two decades since Chris Stewart moved to his farm on the wrong side of a river in the mountains of southern Spain and his daughter Chloe is preparing to fly the nest for university. In this latest, typically hilarious dispatch from El Valero, we find Chris, now something of a local literary celebrity, using that fame to help out his old sheep-shearing partner; cooking a TV lunch for visiting British chef, Rick Stein; and discovering the pitfalls of Spanish public speaking. Yet it’s at El Valero, his beloved sheep farm, that Chris is most in his element as he, his wife Ana and their assorted dogs, cats and sheep weather a near calamitous flood and emerge as newly certified organic farmers. His cash crop? The lemons and oranges he once so blithely drove over, of course.
What Have I Done by Amanda Prowse. A Kindle bargain at 60p
Kathryn Brooker is the headmaster’s wife. While her husband spends his days disciplining unruly teenagers in the grand halls of Mountbriers Academy, Kathryn spends hers baking scones for her son’s cricket match in a beautiful cottage in the manicured school grounds.
In the evenings, when her husband strides home to compliment her cooking and kiss her hello – ignoring jokes from their children about grown-up lovebirds – Kathryn Brooker is the very picture of a fulfilled wife and mother. Anyone who peered through the downstairs sash window at the four figures sat easily around their scrubbed-pine kitchen table would see a happy family without a care in the world. They would envy Kathryn her perfect life.
But they would be wrong. Kathryn is trapped in a nightmare. And she is about to do something to change it. Something only a truly desperate woman would do…
Other Halves by Nick Alexander. A follow up to The Half Life of Hannah and a Kindle purchase at 59p
When Hannah and Cliff’s fifteen-year marriage falls apart, it seems almost impossible to start again. While Hannah tries to reconcile the warring factions of her heart, torn between a pre-teen son and a romantic love half a world away, Cliff struggles to face up to issues he has suppressed since adolescence in the hope of finding happiness in a confusing world.
Amid the turmoil of separation, and with their son, Luke, caught in the crossfire, both Hannah and Cliff face the challenge of rebuilding their lives. To make the other halves of their lives count, they will need courage and determination. To build new relationships, they will need to dare to love again.
Other Halves beautifully maps the break-up of a couple, with all the tough choices and heartache it entails, but above all it is a touching story of self-discovery, finding new love and beginning life afresh.
The usual pictorial round up of Kindle freebies