Sunday 27 August 2017

Review: The Dry

The Dry The Dry by Jane Harper
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Kiewarra in Australia is in the middle of the worst drought in a century. Farmers are struggling. When 3 members of the Hadley family are found killed it’s thought that Luke Hadley had killed his wife and eldest child before committing suicide.

Policeman Aaron Falk returns to his home town to attend the funeral and finds himself drawn into the investigation. Aaron initially believes that it has something to do with events of the past especially as it’s made clear to him that some members of the community don’t want him back. But Aaron doesn’t believe Luke killed his family and then turned his gun on himself, especially as his youngest child, thirteen month old Charlotte was spared.

With the help of the local police Aaron finally uncovers the circumstances leading up to the Hadleys’ deaths and uncovers some of the secrets from the past.

A slow burning but well thought out murder mystery that I really enjoyed.

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Review: Blood Sisters

Blood Sisters Blood Sisters by Jane Corry
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Three little girls. One good. One bad. One dead.
The three girls are Alison, Kitty and Vanessa.
Alison is the half-sister of Kitty and Vanessa is Kitty’s best friend.

On the last day of school for Alison, she and Kitty meet up with Vanessa and an argument breaks out. There is a terrible accident leaving Vanessa dead and Kitty brain damaged, unable to walk or speak.

The book is written from Alison and Kitty’s viewpoints in two timeframes – the present 2016 onwards and the past (2006) when the accident happens.

There are lots of secrets interwoven into the book and many twists and turns. Although I enjoyed the book I did find it a bit over convoluted with lots of characters and plots especially as some things were a bit incredible e.g. how did the police not manage to establish exactly who was driving the car that killed Vanessa?

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Review: I Found You

I Found You I Found You by Lisa Jewell
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Surrey: Lily Monrose has only been married for three weeks. When her new husband Carl fails to come home from work one night she is left stranded in a new country where she knows no one. She wondered and waited.

East Yorkshire: Alice Lake finds a man on the beach outside her house. He has no name, no jacket, no idea what he is doing there. Against her better judgement she invites him in to her home. And calls him Frank.

But who is he, and how can she trust a man who has lost his memory?

The book switches between the two situations leading you to believe Carl and Frank are one and the same person. It also switches between two time frames, the present and events that took place in 1993. A bit confusing but not too difficult to follow and gradually the events of the past and how they relate to the present are revealed and not necessarily as expected.

A good thrilling mystery with a love interest.

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Review: The Trophy Child

The Trophy Child The Trophy Child by Paula Daly
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Karen Bloom is a Tiger Mum. Married to Noel, a GP, they both have a child from a previous relationship/marriage and together they have Brontë, their 10 year old daughter who Karen is convinced is gifted. She could hear nothing but good things about Bronte. Karen is determined to nurture her gifts and Brontë’s life is full of sessions with tutors, music lessons, dance lessons and music practice.

Bronte disappears one night and although she returns of her own accord, unharmed, she refuses to talk about what happened.

Then Karen disappears. Her car is later found by the lake and then her body is recovered from the lake revealing she had died of stab wounds.

We’re shown that Noel, his daughter Verity and even Karen’s son Ewan had the opportunity to have been responsible. Karen’s ex, Ewan’s father is also introduced as a possible suspect and Brontë still continues to keep silent about her disappearance.

I really enjoyed this book because it has a good plot and gradually lets out info but keeps you guessing until the very end.

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Review: The Darkness Within

The Darkness Within The Darkness Within by Lisa Stone
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

Shane is a disturbed young individual. He manipulates his girlfriend Rosie in lots of ways and is violent towards her. Then Shane takes her car one night and is involved in an accident which proves to be fatal. Rosie is relieved and begins to rebuild her life.

Enter Jacob Wilson, who is critically ill. A donor heart is found for Jacob and he undergoes a transplant operation. But then things start to go downhill. The post op regime of medication and hospital check ups is hard and Jacob becomes a changed person. He’s rude and difficult with his parents, Elizabeth and Andrew. Then he crosses paths with Rosie.

Meanwhile his Mother is becoming convinced the changes are the result of his transplant due to cellular memory* and she starts to try and track down his donor.

Interesting premise but I felt it was taking things a step too far to have Rosie as the girlfriend of both Shane and Jacob. I’m sure after such a bad experience with Shane she would have been more wary of going down the same road. There was also a lot of profanity in the book and crude descriptions of sex which were appropriate for the narrative but might not be to everyone’s taste. I also found Jacob’s parents (Elizabeth and Andrew) quite weak characters. They didn’t seem to tackle the problems their son was having, especially Andrew, and I’m not sure a Vicar’s wife would be able to live with the knowledge she had about Jacob’s actions.

*It’s claimed that cells retain memories that are then transplanted with the organ and can lead to changes in the recipient. I checked this out to see if the author had based this on truth or not and, although it is thought to be possible, only limited studies have been done. However some evidence does seem to support the claim. I think if it became a proven thing it might cause issues within the transplant process.

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Wednesday 23 August 2017

Wednesday Hodgepodge 23/8/17

Wednesday's Hodgepodge is brought to us courtesy of Joyce at

Pop over there to see other posts and if you want to join in add the link to your Hodgepodge blog post to the Linky List at the end of Joyce's post and don’t forget to visit at least your neighbours on the list.

1. Did you watch the solar eclipse? Your thoughts? Sun Chips, Moon Pies, Starburst candies, a Blue Moon beer, a Sunkist orange, or a Milky Way candy bar...what's your favorite eclipse related snack on this list?
No solar eclipse here but out of those snacks I would have packed some Milky Way bars although your Moon Pies sound quite tasty.
2. What are you 'over the moon' about these days? What's something you enjoy doing every 'once in a blue moon'?
The first part is easy – being a Grandmother!  Once in a blue moon? Dusting probably as I’m fortunate enough to have a cleaner but I don't actually enjoy it! lol
3. Tell us about something in the realm of science that interests you. How do you feed that interest?
Nothing immediately springs to mind but I often use the internet to research subjects.
4. What are a few things you remember about going back to school as a child?
Shopping for new uniform and supplies.  Excitement, anxiety.
5. I've seen several versions of this around the net so let's make one of our own...share with us five words that touch your soul and briefly tell us why.
Hope – it’s the name I took as my confirmation name when I converted to Catholicism – it seemed appropriate.
Motherhood – I love being a Mum and now I’m a Grandmother there’s a whole new dimension added.
Patience – I think it’s one of my qualities
Will 3 out of 5 do?
6.  Insert your own random thought here.
#5 was a hard question when your brain is exhausted from planning meals and booking online shopping deliveries for a family holiday – as in extended family holiday.  It will be a lovely break but the preparation has taken up a lot of my time this week.  Most of the family are working that’s why I took on the job of organising the catering.  Looking forward to some down time.

Saturday 19 August 2017

#SOCS - 19/8/17 - Pants!


This is the shiny new badge for Stream of Consciousness Saturday.  Congratualations to J-Dubs for winning the design competition.

If you'd like to take part in SoCS here's the link to all the details.  It's hosted by Linda at Life in Progress.
Your Friday prompt for Stream of Consciousness Saturday is: “pant” Use the word “pant” as is, or find a word with “pant” in it and base your post on it. Have fun!

Well I'm late to the party as it's been a busy day but when I saw the prompt I just had to post about the pants I bought today.  I  recently bought a couple of new bras in one of my favourite stores (Marks & Spencer) but although they quoted that matching pants were available there were none to be found in the Westfield Branch.

Today I was in Ilford and after browsing for some holiday bits and then getting sucked into buying some cute outfits for my Grandson, I wandered into the lingerie department and ...there were the matching pants!

But it gets better.  When the assistant rang them up on the till she advised me that, despite no indication of it, the pants were in the sale.  They had been reduced from £8 to 79p.  Yes, you read that correctly, 79 pence.  The only problem?  They are non returnable.  I think I can afford to take the risk that, despite their pants always fitting, if they don't fit, or fall apart after the first wash I cannot take them back.  It would cost be more than 79p to get back to the store.

However, I will not be modelling them and posing for a picture.  You will just have to imagine what 79p pants look like.

Friday 18 August 2017

Friday's Fave Five 18/8/17

Fridays are a time to look back on the week and share our blessings.
If you want to join in or check out the other participants pop over to our host Suzanne's blog at Living to Tell the Story

Here are mine for the week: 

1) The diet is still going well.  Had a couple of blips due to eating out but on the whole I'm still sticking to the plan and have lost 6 pounds so far.

2)  Our new mattress arrived on Tuesday and so far hubby seems happy with it which means I'm happy.  Hopefully we won't be returning it within the next 40 days!
3) A trip to the new Dunelm store that's opened near us.  I managed to get curtains for the room we decorated recently.  I was tempted by so much more but managed to resist.

4) Lots of walking this week.  No where special but just keeping my steps level up and also helping strenghten my knee.

5) Nathan time.

I've seen him twice this week.  We visited them last Saturday for lunch and we also got out for a walk in nearby Alexandra Park.  Then yesterday they were over here in Forest Gate to catch up with one of Becca's school friends for lunch and as I know the family as well I gatecrashed.  He's really progressing now - he managed to roll over this week and ....drum roll ... slept all night on Wednesday. 
Have a good weekend all.

Wednesday 16 August 2017

Wednesday Hodgepodge 16/8/17

Wednesday's Hodgepodge is brought to us courtesy of Joyce at
Pop over there to see other posts and if you want to join in add the link to your Hodgepodge blog post to the Linky List at the end of Joyce's post and don’t forget to visit at least your neighbours on the list.

1. Do your actions match your words? Elaborate.
That’s a tough question.  I hope so.  I try to be truthful and considerate although I can definitely be tactful when necessary.  I definitely try to carrying out things I’ve promised to do and not let anyone down.  When the kids were growing up I was always careful not to threaten something as a punishment that I wouldn’t follow through on so they learned I meant business and wasn’t just making empty threats.
2. Sick as a dog, go to the dogs, dog days of summer, dog tired, it's a dog's life, every dog has it's day, can't teach an old dog new doggone it which saying could most recently be applied to your life?
Dog tired probably.  I’ve been dieting and trying to up my exercise level which have led to me having less energy than usual.  I’ve also not been sleeping too well so the cumulative effect is to be dog tired!
3. Your favourite book featuring a dog in the storyline? What makes it a favourite?
Well I’m stumped on this.  I was trying to remember some of my childhood books featuring dogs and apart from the Famous Five books came up with a blank although I did read 101 Dalmatians too.  It was also frustrating when trying to identify a book I read recently that featured a dog only to find I hadn’t logged it on my Goodreads page!
4. What's something you hope to one day have the confidence to do?
To have more confidence to challenge people when they are being racist, sexist etc.  Just be more confident would be a good start.
5. August 16th is National Tell a Joke Day. So tell us a joke.
Well I’m useless at jokes so I did some googling and found this site: A Joke a Day
Plenty there to keep you amused.
6. Insert your own random thought here.
Following on from the joke question here’s a short clip from a great pair of British comedians who are sadly no longer with us.  The banter between them always reminds me of 2 uncles I had who were also a pair of comedians especially at family events.