The Christmas Wish List by Heidi Swain | @Heidi_Swain @TeamBATC #TheChristmasWishList

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About the Book

After being let go from her job in a swanky hotel just weeks before Christmas, Hattie is feeling lost. Even more so when her high-flying boyfriend announces he’s landed his dream job in Abu Dhabi and asks her to move with him. Luckily, Hattie’s long-time friend Dolly is on hand to help and invites Hattie to spend one last holiday in the small, festive town of Wynbridge, determined to give her a Christmas to remember . . .

Upon Hattie’s arrival, holiday preparations are in full swing. But for Hattie, whose Christmas cheer has long since run out, it’ll take more than mince pies and mistletoe to open her heart to the season once more. Relishing the task of reigniting Hattie’s Christmas spirit, Dolly suggests they create a wish list of all the things the season can offer, and with the helpful hands of Wynbridge’s resident handyman, Beamish, Hattie finds her frosty exterior is starting to thaw.

As Wynbridge prepares for its most spectacular Christmas yet, will Hattie leave snowy England behind for life in a sunnier clime, or will she in fact realise that her heart’s desire lies much closer to home?

 

My Thoughts

I was so excited to find that I’d recently won a copy of The Christmas Wish List in a giveaway and I just knew it had to be my first festive read of the year. I’m really happy that this is how I kicked off my festive reading because this book is simply gorgeous!

We follow Hattie as she is unexpectedly made redundant from her job at a swanky hotel, she wasn’t expecting it. And then her boyfriend announces that he has just been offered his dream job in Abu Dhabi and wants her to go with him! This all seems like perfect timing and the chance for a brand new start for Hattie but she’s just feeling a bit lost and overwhelmed with all that’s happening. So she decides to take up her old friend Dolly’s invitation to stay with her in the gorgeous village Wynbridge.

As soon as Hattie arrives in Wynbridge she begins to relax, and I could feel the weight falling from my own shoulders as I felt I was right there with her. Dolly is such a wonderful character – she’s shrewd and she can see Hattie isn’t happy but she doesn’t push her to talk about it. Instead she suggests that the two of them make a Christmas wish list of all the things they want to do in the run up to the festive season. Hattie isn’t all that bothered about Christmas ever since she fell out with her parents a few years earlier but she feels she should join in for Dolly’s sake. Dolly enlists Beamish, a very handsome school caretaker, to help with some of the items on the wish list and there is a definite attraction between him and Hattie!

This book is full of love and joy as we get nearer to Christmas but it’s not all smooth-sailing for Hattie. She inevitably has to work out how she really feels about Beamish, and more importantly how she feels about her boyfriend. She begins to realise that she perhaps wasn’t as happy as she thought she was and that things need to change.

There are some really heartfelt moments in this novel and they did make me cry a little bit. They brought back memories of things in my own life from years past but it was lovely as it made me recall some of the happiest of memories.

I adored this book! It’s the perfect novel to curl up with in the period leading up to Christmas as this is the time spanned in the book. As the residents of Wynbridge begin their Christmas preparations, it starts to feel a little magical and then you find yourself completely swept away in all the wonderful, heart-warming things that Hattie and Dolly, and Beamish, are ticking off their wish list. Before you know it your heart is bursting with festive feelings and you’ll be wanting to put your Christmas decorations up (even though it’s only October)!

The Christmas Wish List is a very special festive book, one that has stolen a piece of my heart. It is firmly going on my shelf of treasured Christmas books that I try to read every year. I highly recommend this one – it’s truly gorgeous!

Many thanks to Simon and Schuster for my copy of this book and for my blog tour invitation. All thoughts are my own.

The Christmas Wish List is out now and available here.

 

You can follow the rest of this blog tour at the following stops:

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My New Book Haul (26 Oct 2019)!

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Stacking the Shelves is a weekly meme hosted by Tynga’s Reviews and Reading Reality, which is all about sharing the books that you’ve acquired in the past week!

 

Books / eBooks

Escape to Giddywell Grange by Kim Nash

I loved Kim Nash’s first novel so have been meaning to buy a copy of her second book and finally got to it this week. I’m really looking forward to escaping into this book!

Chernobyl Prayer by Svetlana Alexievich

I’ve been wanting to read a book about Chernobyl ever since watching the recent drama that was on Sky. I’ve seen some good reviews of this one so decided to buy a copy. I may pick this one up next month for non-fiction November.

 

AudioBooks

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The Sewing Machine by Natalie Fergie

I remember seeing some fab reviews of this book when it was first published so when I spotted the audio book in the Audible sale this week I immediately bought it.

ARCs

The Alibi Girl by C. J. Skuse

Ever since I read Sweet Pea by this author I’ve been such a fan of her and so when I spotted this book on NetGalley this week I requested it straight away. I was delighted to be approved and am keen to read this one soon!

The Recovery of Rose Gold by Stephanie Wrobel

I’ve been desperate to get my hands on this book ever since reading the premise so when I saw it on NetGalley I immediately requested it. I am thrilled to have a copy on my Kindle now and really want to read it right away. It’s not due to be published until next year though so feel like I need to catch up on some other reading first.

Violet by S.J.I. Holliday

I’ve actually already read this book – I read it all yesterday afternoon and I loved it. It’s such a brilliant book and I highly recommend it! I will post a full review for the blog tour on 6th November so pleased look out for that.

Nothing Important Happened Today by Will Carver

This is another book that I’ve been eagerly anticipating and am so excited to have a copy. I loved Will Carver’s previous novel Good Samaritans and have really high hopes for his new book. I’ve read the first couple of chapters and it’s so intriguing, I can’t wait to read more!

The Secret Santa by Trish Harnetiaux

I requested this one on a whim from NetGalley as I do enjoy a crime thriller set at Christmas and this one looks really good!

Dead to Her by Sarah Pinborough

I was so excited to spot this on NetGalley yesterday afternoon and I couldn’t click the download now button fast enough! I love Sarah Pinborough’s writing, especially Behind Her Eyes which was brilliant!

 

Have you bought any new books over the last week? Please tell me below. 🙂 If you join in with Stacking the Shelves please feel free to leave your link and I’ll make sure to read and comment on your post.

WWW Wednesday (23 Oct 2019)! What are you reading this week?

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WWW Wednesday is a meme hosted by Sam at Taking on a World of Words. It’s open for anyone to join in and is a great way to share what you’ve been reading! All you have to do is answer three questions and share a link to your blog in the comments section of Sam’s blog.

The three Ws are:

What are you currently reading?

What did you recently finish reading?

What do you think you’ll read next?

A similar meme is run by Lipsyy Lost and Found where bloggers share This Week in Books #TWiB.

 

What I’m reading now: 

Nothing Important Happened Here by Will Carver

I’ve only just started this book as I’m writing this post but I can already tell it’s going to be brilliant. I’m really looking forward to sitting down for a chunk of time and reading this one.

The Murder of Roger Ackroyd by Agatha Christie

I was in the mood for an Agatha Christie and this one was the first I spotted on my TBR so I picked it up. I’m really enjoying it although I have a strong suspicion about whodunnit which makes me think I may have read this before (perhaps many years ago during my pre-teen years when I devoured all the Agatha Christie books my local library had!).

James Baldwin and the 1980s: Witnessing the Reagan Era by Joseph Vogel

Shamefully, I discovered this was on kindle from NetGalley and I’d been approved to read it almost two years ago. I’m reading it now though and it’s a fascinating read. It’s reminded me that I need to read more of James Baldwin’s writing.

The Eleventh Day by Anthony Summers

I’m on the final part of this book now so I may well have finished it by the time this post goes live. It’s been a really interesting, and at times very alarming read, about the politics in the years leading up to 9/11. It’s a book I’ve had to take my time with but it’s one I’d recommend.

 

What I recently finished reading:

The Female Persuasion by Meg Wolitzer

I bought a copy of this book on my kindle when it was published but when I spotted it on my library audio book app I decided to part-read and part-listen to it. I very much enjoyed this book and ended up reading it in just a couple of sittings. The characters aren’t always very likeable but they were believable and I was keen to see where the story was going to take me.

The Christmas Wish List by Heidi Swain

This is my first Christmas read of the year and I adored it! It’s perfect for the lead up to Christmas and was great escapism for me this week. I’ll be reviewing this one for the blog tour at the end of this month but in the meantime I highly recommend it.

Musicophilia: Tales of Music and the Brain by Oliver Sacks

This is another book that I got through my library app and I found it a fascinating listen. Due to having a neurological condition myself I’m always so interested in books about things that affect the brain. This covers quite a wide range of stories and it was engaging the whole way through.

The Last by Hanna Jameson

I’ve had an ARC of this on my TBR since the end of last year and finally managed to get to it in my quest to catch up before the end of this year. I enjoyed this book but it wasn’t quite as good as I was hoping. It felt like it was going to be something different to what it was. Having said that it did keep me reading so it the writing was engaging.

The Silent Ones by K. L. Slater

This was a really good thriller looking at the aftermath of two ten year old girls accused of murder. I was gripped by this book from the start and really enjoyed how the story unfolded. I recommend it.

The Accidental Love Letter by Olivia Beirne

This is such a gorgeous novel about a woman called Bea who recieves a letter addressed to B and decides to open it even though she’s not sure it’s meant for her. I devoured this book and adored it. My review is due to be published today so you’ll be able to find out my full thoughts in that post.

Platform Seven by Louise Doughty

This was another great read. It follows a woman who is dead and her spirit is now stuck at Platform Seven. Gradually she reveals her story and what led to her death. This book was so gripping and I was on the edge of my seat as the story is revealed. I will review this one soon but I recommend it in the meantime.

 

What I plan on reading next:

One Week ‘Til Christmas by Belinda Missen

I’m going to be on the blog tour in a couple of weeks so I’ll definitely be reading this book in the coming week and I’m so looking forward to it. It sounds really festive!

The School Friend by Alison James

This is another ARC that has been waiting to be read for longer than I’d have liked so it’s a priority for me this week. I’m sure I’m going to love this one, it sounds like my kind of read!

The Seven Imperfect Rules of Elvira Carr by Frances Maynard

I’ve been wanting to read this book for ages now and I’m in the mood for it so am hoping I can make time to read it this week.

Pretty Is by Maggie Mitchell

This is a book I’ve owned for about three or four years now and I’m still really keen to read it so want to make an effort to pick it up in the coming days!

 


 

What have you been reading this week? I’d love to hear. And if you take part in WWW Wednesdays or This Week in Books please feel free to leave your link below and I’ll make sure to visit and comment on your post. 🙂

WWW Wednesdays (16 Oct 19)! What are you reading this week?

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WWW Wednesday is a meme hosted by Sam at Taking on a World of Words. It’s open for anyone to join in and is a great way to share what you’ve been reading! All you have to do is answer three questions and share a link to your blog in the comments section of Sam’s blog.

The three Ws are:

What are you currently reading?

What did you recently finish reading?

What do you think you’ll read next?

A similar meme is run by Lipsyy Lost and Found where bloggers share This Week in Books #TWiB.

 

What I’m reading now: 

Platform Seven by Louise Doughty

I have an eARC of this book but when I spotted the audio book on Scribd I decided to part-listen and part-read it and I’m really enjoying it. I’m about 15% into the book and it’s intriguing and different so I’m keen to listen to more of it soon.

Musicophilia: Tales of Music and the Brain by Oliver Sacks

This is an audio book I downloaded from my local library and I’m very much enjoying this one. It’s so interesting how the brain works and the way neurological illness or damage to the brain can change how people experience music.

Innocent or Guilty? by A. M. Taylor

I haven’t read much more of this book this week as it’s on my kindle and my kindle is playing up at the moment. I was really enjoying the book though and hope to be able to read more of this soon.

The Eleventh Day by Anthony Summers

I finally picked this one back up this week and I’m really engrossed in it. I read a huge chunk of it in one sitting so hopefully I’ll be finishing this book soon.

 

What I recently finished reading:

You Are What You Read by Jodie Jackson

I’d been really looking forward to this book which looks at how what we read in the media affects us but unfortunately it wasn’t really for me. The book feels disjointed and not in-depth enough for me but I’d still recommend it as an introduction to people wanting to start learning more about how the way news is reported affects the way we think about things.

I Confess by Alex Barclay

I enjoyed this thriller, it’s one of those super-fast novels that you can find escapism in for a few hours. I reviewed this yesterday so you can find my full thoughts here.

Almost Love by Louise O’Neill

I made time to focus on this novel this week and I loved it! The main character is not always likeable but there are moments in this book that really chimed with the younger me, which meant I couldn’t help but find connection in this novel. I do plan on reviewing this once I’ve got my thoughts together.

Through the Wall by Caroline Corcoran

I was really looking forward to reading this book and it ended up being an okay read. I really enjoyed the first half but it fell away a bit in the second half. I’ve already reviewed this one so you can find my thoughts here if you want to know more.

The Road to Jonestown: Jim Jones and the People’s Temple by Jeff Guin

I finished listening to this audiobook a few days ago and it was such a good book. It’s so well researched and written and I found it fascinating. All I knew before about this cult was how it ended so it was really interesting, and scary, how it came to be formed. I recommend this one.

Breaking and Mending by Joanna Cannon

This book is stunning and one that I keep thinking about since finishing it a week ago. It is about a junior doctor starting work in a hospital and it was eye-opening! This book is so beautifully written and is so honest, it made me cry more than once. It made me reflect on things. I’d like to write a full review if I can ever get my thoughts together but in the meantime I highly recommend this to everyone.

 

What I plan on reading next:

Into Thin Air by Jon Krakauer

I’ve had the ebook of this on my kindle for a couple of years now so when I spotted it available on audio from the library I immediately downloaded it. This will definitely be my next nonfiction book!

The Dream Daughter by Diane Chamberlain

This is another instance where I have the ebook but have borrowed the audio from the library. I enjoyed this author’s writing so I’m looking forward to starting this one.

The Accidental Love Letter by Olivia Beirne

I didn’t manage to get to this one over the last week so it’s top of my list to read this week. I’m really keen to get to this one!

The Christmas Wish List by Heidi Swain

I was delighted to win a copy of this book in a giveaway recently and then I won a spot on the blog tour, which is exciting! So I hope to have time to start reading this one this week, it sounds like wonderful and festive escapism!

 

 

What have you been reading this week? I’d love to hear. And if you take part in WWW Wednesdays or This Week in Books please feel free to leave your link below and I’ll make sure to visit and comment on your post. 🙂

A huge #BookHaul this week in my Stacking the Shelves (1 April) post!

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Stacking the Shelves is a weekly meme hosted by Tynga’s Reviews, which is all about sharing the books that you’ve acquired in the past week!

 

I have a HUGE book haul to share with you this week as I was lucky enough to win a TBR of Dreams run on twitter last weekend and the books arrived on Monday. I also was sent some gorgeous ARCs this week so it all adds up to a bumper Stacking the Shelves post this week!

 

These are the 1 print & 3 eBooks I bought this week:

Sleep It Off Lady by Jean Rhys

Sleep It Off Lady by Jean Rhys

I’ve been a huge fan of Jean Rhys for many years now but I’ve never sat and read all of this short story collection. My copy got lost a while ago so I finally bought another copy and it will be a real treat to sit and read this collection.

Synopsis:

Sleep It Off Lady, originally published in late 1976, was famed Dominican author Jean Rhys’ final collection of short stories. The sixteen stories in this collection stretch over an approximate 75-year period, starting from the end of the nineteenth century (November 1899) to the present time of writing (circa 1975).

A Life Between Us by Louise Walters

A Life Between Us by Louise Walters

Quite a few of my favourite bloggers have featured this book recently in the run up to publication so I knew I had to buy a copy as soon as it was released. The synopsis sounds really intriguing and I’m sure this will be a book I very much enjoy. This novel is currently just 99p on Kindle so it’s an absolute bargain!

Synopsis:

Tina Thornton’s twin sister Meg died in a childhood accident, but for almost forty years Tina has secretly blamed herself for her sister’s death. During a visit to her aging Uncle Edward and his sister Lucia, who both harbour dark secrets of their own, Tina makes a discovery that forces her to finally question her memories of the day her sister died.

Who, if anyone, did kill Meg? As Tina finds the courage to face the past, she unravels the tangled family mysteries of her estranged parents, her beautiful French Aunt Simone, the fading, compassionate Uncle Edward, and above all, the cold, bitter Aunt Lucia, whose spectral presence casts a long shadow over them all.

A Life Between Us is a beautifully evocative story of a family torn apart at the seams, which will appeal to readers who enjoy family sagas and modern-day mysteries.

Siren by AnneMarie Neary

Siren by Annemarie Neary

I’ve had this book on my wish list for a while now so when I spotted it in the spring sale for Kindle I snapped it up. I’m really keen to read this one so I’m putting it quite high on my TBR.

Synopsis:

Ireland, 2004

Róisín Burns has spent over twenty-five years living a lie.

Brian Lonergan, a rising politician, has used the time to reinvent himself.

But scandal is brewing around him, and Róisín knows the truth.

Lonergan stole her life as a young girl. And now she wants it back.

But he is still one step ahead …

It Can't Happen Here by Sinclair Lewis

It Can’t Happen Here by Sinclair Lewis

I’m not sure where I first heard about this book but when I saw it was a kindle daily deal this week the title and cover were already familiar to me. I read the synopsis and it seems like one of those books that needs to be read at the moment. I think I’ll need to be in the right mood to read it but I hope I can get to it soon.

Synopsis:

A vain, outlandish, anti-immigrant, fearmongering demagogue runs for President of the United States – and wins. Sinclair Lewis’s chilling 1935 bestseller is the story of Buzz Windrip, ‘Professional Common Man’, who promises poor, angry voters that he will make America proud and prosperous once more, but takes the country down a far darker path. As the new regime slides into authoritarianism, newspaper editor Doremus Jessop can’t believe it will last – but is he right? This cautionary tale of liberal complacency in the face of populist tyranny shows it really can happen here.

 

I also received 7 ARCs:

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I Know My Name by CJ Cooke

I’m a real fan of CJ Cooke – one of her earlier novels, The Guardian Angel’s Journal is a favourite of mine so I was thrilled when she offered up a handful of copies of her forthcoming novel and I was quick enough to get one. It arrived yesterday and I was super excited to spot that it’s a signed copy. I can’t wait to read this book!

Synopsis:

…But what if that’s the only thing you can remember?

Komméno Island, Greece: I don’t know where I am, who I am. Help me.

A woman is washed up on a remote Greek island with no recollection of who she is or how she got there.

Potter’s Lane, Twickenham, London: Eloïse Shelley is officially missing.

Lochlan’s wife has vanished into thin air, leaving their toddler and twelve-week-old baby alone. Her money, car and passport are all in the house, with no signs of foul play. Every clue the police turn up means someone has told a lie…

Does a husband ever truly know his wife? Or a wife know her husband? Why is Eloïse missing? Why did she forget?

The truth is found in these pages…

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Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman

I can’t even put into words how excited I was when the publisher of this contacted me to ask if I’d like to review it. I have heard so many great things about this book and have been so keen to read it. I’ll be starting this one very, very soon!

Synopsis:

Eleanor Oliphant has learned how to survive – but not how to live

Eleanor Oliphant leads a simple life. She wears the same clothes to work every day, eats the same meal deal for lunch every day and buys the same two bottles of vodka to drink every weekend.

Eleanor Oliphant is happy. Nothing is missing from her carefully timetabled life. Except, sometimes, everything.

One simple act of kindness is about to shatter the walls Eleanor has built around herself. Now she must learn how to navigate the world that everyone else seems to take for granted – while searching for the courage to face the dark corners she’s avoided all her life.

Change can be good. Change can be bad. But surely any change is better than… fine?

Did You See Melody? by Sophie Hannah

Did You See Melody? by Sophie Hannah

I’ve seen pics of this book on social media over the last week or so and have been so keen to find out more about it. I then spotted it was on NetGalley so requested it and was super excited to get approved the following day. The book’s not out until August so I feel like I should try and wait a little while before reading but I’m not sure I can resist it!

Synopsis:

Pushed to breaking point, Cara Burrows abandons her home and family and escapes to a five-star spa resort she can’t afford. Late at night, exhausted and desperate, she lets herself into her hotel room and is shocked to find it already occupied – by a man and a teenage girl.

A simple mistake on the part of the hotel receptionist – but Cara’s fear intensifies when she works out that the girl she saw alive and well in the hotel room is someone she can’t possibly have seen: the most famous murder victim in the country, Melody Chapa, whose parents are serving life sentences for her murder.

Cara doesn’t know what to trust: everything she’s read and heard about the case, or the evidence of her own eyes. Did she really see Melody? And is she prepared to ask herself that question and answer it honestly if it means risking her own life?

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The Wolf Road by Beth Lewis

This was my surprise book post of the week and I’m very happy to have received it. It sounds like the kind of book I’ll really get engrossed in so I’m keen to read it soon.

Synopsis:

A debut literary thriller from an incredible new voice. What do you do when the man who gave you everything turns out to be a killer? Perfect for fans of STATION ELEVEN by Emily St. John Mandel.

Trapper was my family even though I didn’t know a sure thing about him… Trapper was the kind a’ family you choose for yourself, the kind that gets closer’n blood.

He was what I chose and I chose wrong.

Lost in the harsh forest as a child, Elka was taken in and raised by the man she calls Trapper, the solitary hunter who taught her all she knows. So when Elka sees the Wanted poster in town, her simple existence is shattered. Her Trapper – Kreagar Hallet – is wanted for murder. Even worse, Magistrate Lyon is hot on his trail, and she wants to talk to Elka.

As winter sets in, Elka flees into the vast wilderness, determined to find her real parents. But Lyon is never far behind, and she’s not the only one following Elka’s every move. Soon Elka must confront the darkest memories of her past- and end Trapper’s killing spree for good.

The wild Air by Rebecca Mascull

The wild Air by Rebecca Mascull

I was contacted by the publisher about this book to see if I’d like to read it for the blog tour and I immediately said yes. I’ve read and enjoyed one of Rebecca’s previous novels and this one sounds like something I’ll love. I’m looking forward to starting this one.

Synopsis:

In Edwardian England, aeroplanes are a new, magical invention, while female pilots are rare indeed.

When shy Della Dobbs meets her mother’s aunt, her life changes forever. Great Auntie Betty has come home from Kitty Hawk, North Carolina, across whose windswept dunes the Wright Brothers tested their historic flying machines. Della develops a burning ambition to fly and Betty is determined to help her.

But the Great War is coming and it threatens to destroy everything – and everyone – Della loves.

Uplifting and page-turning, THE WILD AIR is a story about love, loss and following your dreams against all odds.

New Boy by Tracy Chevalier

New Boy by Tracy Chevalier

I was invited to read this one on NetGalley, which felt very serendipitous as I’d earlier read about the book and very much wanted to read it! I don’t think this will be waiting on my TBR for very long.

Synopsis:

‘O felt her presence behind him like a fire at his back.’

Arriving at his fourth school in six years, diplomat’s son Osei Kokote knows he needs an ally if he is to survive his first day – so he’s lucky to hit it off with Dee, the most popular girl in school. But one student can’t stand to witness this budding relationship: Ian decides to destroy the friendship between the black boy and the golden girl. By the end of the day, the school and its key players – teachers and pupils alike – will never be the same again.

The tragedy of Othello is transposed to a 1970s’ suburban Washington schoolyard, where kids fall in and out of love with each other before lunchtime, and practise a casual racism picked up from their parents and teachers. Watching over the shoulders of four 11-year-olds – Osei, Dee, Ian and his reluctant girlfriend Mimi – Tracy Chevalier’s powerful drama of friends torn apart by jealousy, bullying and betrayal will leave you reeling.

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Reconciliation for the Dead by Paul E. Hardisty

I’m taking part in the blog tour for this book in May so am looking forward to reading the book before then. I’ve not read any of Paul Hardisty’s other books but I’m intrigued to see what this one is like.

Synopsis:

Fresh from events in Yemen and Cyprus, vigilante justice-seeker Claymore Straker returns to South Africa, seeking absolution for the sins of his past. Over four days, he testifies to Desmond Tutu’s newly established Truth and Reconciliation Commission, recounting the shattering events that led to his dishonourable discharge and exile, fifteen years earlier. It was 1980. The height of the Cold War. Clay is a young paratrooper in the South African Army, fighting in Angola against the Communist insurgency that threatens to topple the White Apartheid regime. On a patrol deep inside Angola, Clay, and his best friend, Eben Barstow, find themselves enmeshed in a tangled conspiracy that threatens everything they have been taught to believe about war, and the sacrifices that they, and their brothers in arms, are expected to make. Witness and unwitting accomplice to an act of shocking brutality, Clay changes allegiance and finds himself labelled a deserter and accused of high treason, setting him on a journey into the dark, twisted heart of institutionalised hatred, from which no one will emerge unscathed. Exploring true events from one of the most hateful chapters in South African history, Reconciliation for the Dead is a shocking, explosive and gripping thriller from one finest writers in contemporary crime fiction.

I also won a TBR of Dreams giveaway on twitter this week, which included NINE fabulous books.

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A Song for Tomorrow by Alice Peterson

I was super excited to win a copy of this as it was on my wish list and I’ve been so looking forward to reading it. I then read an article about Alice Martineau who inspired this novel so I’m intrigued to read it. I’m hoping to start reading this over the next week or so.

Synopsis:

Tom fell in love with Alice the moment he saw her. He realises that being with her will not be easy, but she is a force of nature, a burst of sunlight in his otherwise ordinary world.

Some people might look at Alice and think she has everything, but Alice knows she is not like other women. Her life is complicated, unpredictable, difficult. Alice does not like pity. All she wants to do, has ever wanted to do, is sing.

Alice has been told not to follow her dreams. But when fate has already dealt a tough hand, it’s time to stop listening to everyone else and only follow their hearts.

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Summer at Skylark Farm by Heidi Swain

This sounds like a lovely, light-hearted summer read and one I think will be perfect when I’m in need of a pick-me-up.

Synopsis:

For everyone dreaming of escaping to the country, fall in love this summer at Skylark Farm…

Amber is a city girl at heart. So when her boyfriend Jake Somerville suggests they move to the countryside to help out at his family farm, she doesn’t quite know how to react. But work has been hectic and she needs a break so she decides to grasp the opportunity and make the best of it.

Dreaming of organic orchards, paddling in streams and frolicking in fields, Amber packs up her things and moves to Skylark Farm. But life is not quite how she imagined – it’s cold and dirty and the farm buildings are dilapidated and crumbling.

But Amber is determined to make the best of it and throws herself into farm life. But can she really fit in here? And can she and Jake stay together when they are so different?

A story of love in the countryside from the author of the bestselling The Cherry Tree Café. Perfect for Escape to the Country dreamers, Cath Kidston fans and Country Living addicts!

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How Not to Fall in Love by Catherine Bennetto

I love the sound of this book from the synopsis, I think it’ll be another book to keep for when I need a feel-good read.

Synopsis:

Life is 10% planning, 10% design and 80% totally winging it…

Join Emma as she guides you through How Not to become accidentally knocked up at the age of 27, How Not to unceremoniously dump the father of your child, and then How Not to lose the job that (even though you hate it) is the only thing between you and being homeless…

Hilarious and heart-warming, How Not to Fall in Love, Actually will make you laugh, make you cry, and will reassure you that perhaps your life is not that bad, actually…

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A Year at the Star and Sixpence by Holly Hepburn

I actually read the first novella in this collected series at Christmas last year and wanted to read the rest of the novellas but hadn’t yet got around to it. So I was really happy to find this book in my giveaway win as I can now revisit the first part and then find out what happens in the rest of the novel.

Synopsis:

A Year at the Star and Sixpence is Holly Hepburn’s four Star and Sixpence novellas collected together as a novel for the first time. 
When sisters Nessie and Sam inherit a little pub in a beautiful country village they jump at the chance to escape their messy lives and start afresh. But when they arrive at the Star and Sixpence, it’s not quite what they imagined – it’s pretty much derelict, ruined by debts, and it’s going to be a huge job to get it up and running again. But they are determined to make the best of this new life and they set about making the pub the heart of the village once again. Their first year at the Star and Sixpence won’t be easy, though nothing worth doing ever is.
But when the sisters’ past comes back to haunt them, they start to think that the fresh start they needed is very far away indeed…

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All the Stars in the Heavens by Adriana Trigiani

I read a couple of Adriana Trigiani’s novels years ago and really enjoyed them but I haven’t picked one up since. I’d heard of this book and thought it sounded great but hadn’t picked a copy up as yet, so I was pleased to win a copy. I love the era that this book is set in so I think it’ll be making its way to the top of my TBR very soon.

Synopsis:

Clark Gable, Loretta Young, Spencer Tracy, David Niven, Carole Lombard lead a magnificent cast of characters, real and imagined, in Adriana Trigiani’s new novel set in the rich landscape of 1930s’ Los Angeles. In this spectacular saga as radiant, thrilling and beguiling as Hollywood itself, Trigiani takes us back to the golden age of movie-making and into the complex and glamorous world of a young actress hungry for fame, success – and love. With meticulous, beautiful detail, she paints a rich landscape, where European and American artisans flocked to pursue the ultimate dream: to tell stories on the silver screen.

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These Days of Ours by Juliet Ashton

This sounds like a gorgeous read and one I’m really keen to get to soon. I think this may be the book I read after the Alice Peterson novel!

Synopsis:

A novel about love. Raw important love. Small, beautiful love. And what happens when the person you love cannot be yours… Perfect for fans of Rowan Coleman, Jane Green and David Nicholls.

Kate and Becca are cousins and best friends. They have grown up together and shared all the most important milestones in their lives: childhood birthday parties, eighteenth birthdays, and now a wedding day as they each marry their childhood sweethearts, Charlie and Julian.

Kate has always loved Charlie – they were meant to be. Then she discovers that life never turns out quite how you expect it to. And love doesn’t always follow the journey it should.

But best friends are forever, and true love will find a way, won’t it…?

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The Love of a Lifetime by Melissa Hill

I’ve loved the three previous novels I’ve read by Melissa Hill so I have high hopes for this one. I’m really looking forward to reading this as soon as I can.

Synopsis:

Hollywood movies are Beth’s passion. She hopes her life will always be filled with ‘movie moments’, where things like serendipity and fate happen every day. Her boyfriend Danny has always been the embodiment of her perfect Hollywood hero – though after seven years together the initial silver-screen romance has settled into something more predictable.

And then, one morning at work, Beth receives an anonymous delivery of a take-out coffee cup with a cryptic message suggesting a meeting at Tiffany’s. From there, she is given a series of clues directing her to some of NYC’s most popular landmarks – a treasure hunt using unique rom-com-related prompts perfect for a movie-lover like Beth to decipher. And Beth is forced to wonder: has Danny realised their relationship needs a boost – or could it be that charming new work colleague Ryan, with his intense gaze, flirtatious smile and almost encyclopaedic movie knowledge, wants to sweep her off her feet? And how would she feel about taking a chance on a new leading man in her life?

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The Queen of Wishful Thinking by Milly Johnson

I’ve read a few reviews of this on blogs over the last week or two and it sounded like such a lovely, warm-hearted read. I was so happy to find I’d won a hardback copy in the giveaway and am definitely going to be reading this soon.

Synopsis:

When Lewis Harley has a health scare in his early forties, he takes it as a wake-up call. So he and his  wife Charlotte leave behind life in the fast lane and Lewis opens the antique shop he has dreamed of. Bonnie Brookland was brought up in the antiques trade and now works for the man who bought out her father’s business, but she isn’t happy there. So when she walks into Lew’s shop, she knows this is the place for her.

As Bonnie and Lew start to work together, they soon realise that there is more to their relationship than either thought. But Bonnie is trapped in an unhappy marriage, and Lew and Charlotte have more problems than they care to admit. Each has secrets in their past which are about to be uncovered. Can they find the happiness they both deserve?

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Orange Blossom Days by Patricia Scanlan

I haven’t read a Patricia Scanlan book for about fifteen years now but I have fond memories of enjoying escaping into one of her books. I’m looking forward to reading this new one for nostalgia’s sake.

Synopsis:

In a beautiful southern Spanish town, where the sea sparkles and orange blossoms scent the air, the gates of a brand new apartment complex, La Joya de Andalucía, glide open to welcome the new owners. 

Anna and Austen MacDonald, an Irish couple, are preparing to enjoy their retirement to the full. But the demands of family cause problems they have never foreseen and shake their marriage to the core.

Sally-Ann Connolly Cooper, a feisty Texan mother of two young teenagers, is reeling from her husband’s infidelity. La Joya becomes a place of solace for Sally-Ann, in more ways than one.

Eduardo Sanchez, a haughty Madrileño, has set out with single-minded determination to become El Presidente of the complex’s management committee. But pride comes before a fall.

Jutta Sauer Perez, a sophisticated German who aspires to own her very own apartment in La Joya, works hard to reach her goal. Then the unthinkable happens.

As their lives entwine and friendships and enmities develop, it becomes apparent that La Joya is not quite the haven they all expect it to be…


 

So, that’s all of my new books from the past week. Have you bought any new books recently? Tell me all in the comments below, or if you have a stacking the shelves post on your blog feel free to post the link below too.:)

My weekly wrap up post will be on my blog tomorrow so please look out for that.

My Weekly Wrap Up and Stacking the Shelves

Last week I decided to do a weekly wrap up post for the first time and I did it on Sunday but looking at my blog schedule I think Saturday might be a better day for me so I’m a day earlier this week but I think I’ll be sticking to this new day!


The most exciting thing that happened this week in my book blogging world was that a list I made of Books about Grief on Riffle (Here’s my blog post with a link to the list: Books about Grief) got picked up by Book Riot as one of the best lists of the week! Here’s the link to their post: Book Riot List: Books about Grief.


This week I read and reviewed four books (click the links to read my reviews):

Broken Heart Book Club The Good Neighbor  13 mins the girl with no past

The Broken Hearts Book Club by Lynsey James, which I adored.

The Good Neighbor by Amy Sue Nathan, this was different than what I expected it to be but I really enjoyed it.

13 Minutes by Sarah Pinborough This was an outstanding book and will definitely be in my top books of this year!

The Girl With No Past by Kathryn Croft, a brilliant thriller that I read in one day as it was too hard to put down!


I’m currently reading:

One Wish in Manhattan

One Wish in Manhattan by Mandy Baggot

I’m really enjoying this book, it’s just one of those perfect Christmas reads that you can completely lose yourself in.

Blurb:

It’s the most wonderful time of the year… to fall in love
The temperature is dropping, snow is on its way and Hayley Walker is heading for New York with one wish on her mind…to start over.
With her nine year-old daughter Angel, Hayley is ready for an adventure. From hot chocolates and horse-drawn carriage rides in Central Park, to ice-skating at the Rockefeller Centre, and Christmas shopping on 5th Avenue – they soon fall in love with the city that never sleeps.
But there’s more to New York than the bright twinkly lights and breathtaking skyscrapers. Angel has a Christmas wish of her own – to find her real dad.
While Hayley tries to fufil her daughter’s wish, she crosses paths with Billionaire Oliver Drummond. Restless and bored with fast living, there’s something intriguing about him that has Hayley hooked.
Determined to make her daughter’s dream come true, can Hayley dare to think her own dreams might turn into reality – could A New York Christmas turn into a New York Forever?
Travel to the Big Apple this Christmas and join Hayley and Oliver as they both realise that life isn’t just about filling the minutes…it’s about making every moment count.

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What We Left Behind by Robin Talley

I’ve only read the first couple of chapters of this so far but it’s very good.

Blurb:

From the critically acclaimed author of Lies We Tell Ourselves comes an emotional, empowering story of what happens when love isn’t enough to conquer all.
Toni and Gretchen are the couple everyone envied in high school. They’ve been together forever. They never fight. They’re deeply, hopelessly in love. When they separate for their first year at college—Toni to Harvard and Gretchen to NYU—they’re sure they’ll be fine. Where other long-distance relationships have fallen apart, their relationship will surely thrive.
The reality of being apart, however, is a lot different than they expected. As Toni, who identifies as genderqueer, falls in with a group of transgender upperclassmen and immediately finds a sense of belonging that has always been missing, Gretchen struggles to remember who she is outside their relationship.
While Toni worries that Gretchen, who is not trans, just won’t understand what is going on, Gretchen begins to wonder where she fits in Toni’s life. As distance and Toni’s shifting gender identity begins to wear on their relationship, the couple must decide—have they grown apart for good, or is love enough to keep them together?

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Get Yourself Organized for Christmas: Simple Steps to Enjoying the Season by Kathi Lipp

I couldn’t resist requesting this book when I saw it on Net Galley as I’ve read Kathi Lipp’s book about clearing clutter and it really helped me blitz my house, so I’m happy to have her guide me through being more organised for Christmas! I’m really enjoying it so far, Kathi’s style of writing is so accessible – it feels like a friend helping out!

Blurb:

Have you lost your Christmas joy? Does the thought of jam-packed malls, maxed-out credit cards, overcrowded supermarkets, and endless to-do lists give you the feeling that maybe Scrooge was on to something?
In Get Yourself Organized for Christmas, Kathi Lipp provides easy-to-follow steps to reduce the stress of the holiday season, including tactics for how toput together a holiday binder you’ll use year after yeardetermine a budget that won’t break the bankgather your elf suppliesget your gift list together (including ideas for various ages and relationships)collect your recipes and prep your kitchen
By putting into practice Kathi’s tricks and tips, you’ll finally be able to fully enjoy this most wonderful time of the year.

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Wendy Darling by Colleen Oakes

I started reading this last week and was really enjoying it. I’m still enjoying it but I’m just not sure about Neverland, I think I need to read a good chunk of this book in one go to see if I can get better engrossed in the story. I do love Wendy’s character in this, I have to say.

Blurb:

Wendy Darling has a perfectly agreeable life with her parents and brothers in wealthy London, as well as a budding romance with Booth, the neighborhood bookseller’s son. But while their parents are at a ball, the charmingly beautiful Peter Pan comes to the Darling children’s nursery and—dazzled by this flying boy with god-like powers—they follow him out of the window and straight on to morning, to Neverland, a intoxicating island of feral freedom.
As time passes in Neverland, Wendy realizes that this Lost Boy’s paradise of turquoise seas, mermaids, and pirates holds terrible secrets rooted in blood and greed. As Peter’s grasp on her heart tightens, she struggles to remember where she came from—and begins to suspect that this island of dreams, and the boy who desires her—have the potential to transform into an everlasting nightmare.


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I’m also joining in with Stacking the Shelves (hosted by Tynga’s Reviews), which is all about sharing all the books you’ve acquired in the past week – ebooks or physical books, and books you’ve bought or borrowed or received an ARC of.

Books I’ve bought:

every time a bell rings

Every Time A Bell Rings by Carmel Harrington

An angel gets its wings…

Belle has taken all the Christmas decorations down. This year they won’t be celebrating.

As foster parents, Belle and Jim have given many children the chance of a happier start in life. They’ve loved them as if they were their own. They shouldn’t have favourites but little Lauren has touched their hearts. And now her mother is well enough to take her back and Belle can’t bear the loss.

Hence, Christmas is cancelled.

So when Jim crashes his car one icy December night, after an argument about Lauren, Belle can only blame herself. Everything she loves is lost. And Belle finds herself standing on The Ha’Penny Bridge wishing she had never been born.

But what happens to a Christmas wish when an angel is listening…

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The Little Bookshop on the Seine by Rebecca Raisin (I’m on the blog tour for this book so will be reviewing it on 2nd November. In the meantime I was lucky enough to be given an excerpt from the book to post on my blog yesterday. Here’s the link: Excerpt from The Little Bookshop on the Seine

Bookshop owner Sarah Smith has been offered the opportunity to exchange bookshops with her new Parisian friend for 6 months! And saying yes is a no-brainer – after all, what kind of a romantic would turn down a trip to Paris…for Christmas?

Even if it does mean leaving the irresistible Ridge Warner behind, Sarah’s sure she’s in for the holiday of a lifetime – complete with all the books she can read!

Imagining days wandering around Shakespeare & Co, munching on croissants, sipping café au laits and watching the snow fall on the Champs-Élysées Sarah boards the plane.

But will her dream of a Parisian Happily-Ever-After come true? Or will Sarah realise that the dream of a Christmas fairytale in the city of love isn’t quite as rosy in reality…

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The Cherry Tree Cafe by Heidi Swain

Lizzie Dixon’s life feels as though it’s fallen apart. Instead of the marriage proposal she was hoping for from her boyfriend, she is unceremoniously dumped, and her job is about to go the same way. So, there’s only one option: to go back home to the village she grew up in and to try to start again.
Her best friend Jemma is delighted Lizzie has come back home. She has just bought a little cafe and needs help in getting it ready for the grand opening. And Lizzie’s sewing skills are just what she needs.
With a new venture and a new home, things are looking much brighter for Lizzie. But can she get over her broken heart, and will an old flame reignite a love from long ago…?

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Dear Cathy… Love, Mary: The Year We Grew Up — Tender, Funny and Revealing Letters From 1980s Ireland by Catherine Conlon & Mary Phelan
It’s the era of Dynasty, Murphy’s Micro Quiz-M and MT-USA on the telly, Kajagoogoo, Culture Club and Chris de Burgh in the charts. And also a time of mass emigration and creeping social change.
In 1983 in Carrick-on-Suir two 18-year-olds take tentative steps into the future: Cathy to become an au pair, Mary to study accountancy. For a year they exchange long gossipy letters.
The letters are touching, funny, tender and gutsy. They show the girls’ growing pains as they make sense of their new lives, dream about finding love, and start to realise that the world is a more complex and challenging place than they had ever imagined.
Most of all, Cathy and Mary’s letters are filled with the eternal optimism and sense of wonderment of youth.

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Fates and Furies by Lauren Groff

Every story has two sides. Every relationship has two perspectives. And sometimes, it turns out, the key to a great marriage is not its truths but its secrets. At the core of this rich, expansive, layered novel, Lauren Groff presents the story of one such marriage over the course of twenty-four years.
At age twenty-two, Lotto and Mathilde are tall, glamorous, madly in love and destined for greatness. A decade later, their marriage is still the envy of their friends, but with an electric thrill we understand that things are even more complicated and remarkable than they have seemed. With stunning revelations and multiple threads, and in prose that is vibrantly alive and original, Groff delivers a deeply satisfying novel about love, art, creativity and power that is unlike anything that has come before it. Profound, surprising, propulsive and emotionally riveting, it stirs both the mind and the heart.

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Spill Simmer Falter Wither by Sara Baume

You find me on a Tuesday, on my Tuesday trip to town. A note sellotaped to the inside of the jumble-shop window: COMPASSIONATE & TOLERANT OWNER. A PERSON WITHOUT OTHER PETS & WITHOUT CHILDREN UNDER FOUR.
A misfit man finds a misfit dog. Ray, aged fifty-seven, ‘too old for starting over, too young for giving up’, and One Eye, a vicious little bugger, smaller than expected, a good ratter. Both are accustomed to being alone, unloved, outcast – but they quickly find in each other a strange companionship of sorts. As spring turns to summer, their relationship grows and intensifies, until a savage act forces them to abandon the precarious life they’d established, and take to the road.
Spill Simmer Falter Wither is a wholly different kind of love story: a devastating portrait of loneliness, loss and friendship, and of the scars that are more than skin-deep. Written with tremendous empathy and insight, in lyrical language that surprises and delights, this is an extraordinary and heartbreaking debut by a major new talent

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Three-And-A-Half-Heartbeats by Amanda Prowse

Grace and Tom Penderford had a strong marriage, a comfortable home in the Hertfordshire countryside, and a healthy baby girl. They were happy. They were normal.

But soon after Chloe turns three, tragedy strikes. A disease called Sepsis claims the life of their daughter, devastating their little family. The Penderfords had never heard of Sepsis – a cruel, indiscriminate disease that claims a life somewhere in the world every three and a half seconds. Now, with their world crumbling, they must mend each others broken hearts… and try to save their marriage if they can.

To find out more about this tragic disease, please visit http://www.sepsistrust.org. All the proceeds from this novel will go straight to the Sepsis Trust. By buying it, you will help in their battle to save lives. Thank you for making a difference.

Arcs I received (which I’m beyond excited about!):

beautiful broken things

Beautiful Broken Things by Sara Barnard

I was brave
She was reckless
We were trouble
Best friends Caddy and Rosie are inseparable. Their differences have brought them closer, but as she turns sixteen Caddy begins to wish she could be a bit more like Rosie – confident, funny and interesting. Then Suzanne comes into their lives: beautiful, damaged, exciting and mysterious, and things get a whole lot more complicated. As Suzanne’s past is revealed and her present begins to unravel, Caddy begins to see how much fun a little trouble can be. But the course of both friendship and recovery is rougher than either girl realizes, and Caddy is about to learn that downward spirals have a momentum of their own.

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Shtum by Jem Lester

Ben Jewell has hit breaking point. His ten-year-old son Jonah has severe autism and Ben and his wife, Emma, are struggling to cope.

When Ben and Emma fake a separation – a strategic decision to further Jonah’s case in an upcoming tribunal – Ben and Jonah move in with Georg, Ben’s elderly father. In a small house in North London, three generations of men – one who can’t talk; two who won’t – are thrown together.

As Ben battles single fatherhood, a string of well-meaning social workers and his own demons, he learns some difficult home truths. Jonah, blissful in his innocence, becomes the prism through which all the complicated strands of personal identity, family history and misunderstanding are finally untangled.

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The Silent Dead by Claire McGowan

Victim: Male. Mid-thirties. 5’7″.
Cause of death: Hanging. Initial impression – murder.
ID: Mickey Doyle. Suspected terrorist and member of the Mayday Five.

The officers at the crime scene know exactly who the victim is.
Doyle was one of five suspected bombers who caused the deaths of sixteen people.

The remaining four are also missing and when a second body is found, decapitated, it’s clear they are being killed by the same methods their victims suffered.

Forensic psychologist Paula Maguire is assigned the case but she is up against the clock – both personally and professionally.

With moral boundaries blurred between victim and perpetrator, will be Paula be able to find those responsible? After all, even killers deserve justice, don’t they?

Your Heart is a Muscle the Size of A Fist

Your Heart is a Muscle the Size of A Fist by Sunil Yapa

A heart-stopping debut about protest and riot . . .

1999. Victor, homeless after a family tragedy, finds himself pounding the streets of Seattle with little meaning or purpose. He is the estranged son of the police chief of the city, and today his father is in charge of one of the biggest protests in the history of Western democracy.

But in a matter of hours reality will become a nightmare. Hordes of protesters – from all sections of society – will test the patience of the city’s police force, and lives will be altered forever: two armed police officers will struggle to keep calm amid the threat of violence; a protester with a murderous past will make an unforgivable mistake; and a delegate from Sri Lanka will do whatever it takes to make it through the crowd to a meeting – a meeting that could dramatically change the fate of his country. In amongst the fray, Victor and his father are heading for a collision too.

Your Heart is a Muscle the Size of a Fist, set during the World Trade Organization protests, is a deeply charged novel showcasing a distinct and exciting new literary voice.