Me Life Story: Sofa So Good! by Scarlett Moffatt


About the book:

Fact: Did you know, over its lifespan, your sofa will witness roughly 293 arguments and 1,369 cuddles?
Hiya, my name’s Scarlett Moffatt and I love random facts. Almost as much as I love sitting on me sofa. You might know me best from my most famous and celebrated sit thus far on the I’m A Celebrity throne. You might also know me from all sorts of other seats, most especially my Gogglebox sofa. Well this book is my attempt at telling me life story through a whole series of them!
So I’d like you right now to stop what you’re doing and take a seat, whether it be in the comfort of your own home, on the top deck of the bus, on the tube (so you don’t have to make eye contact with anybody) or on the throne of the house (a.k.a. the toilet). I want you to get comfortable and get ready to laugh, cry and maybe even learn a bit, as I chat to you about some of the highs and lows of me life.
So grab a brew, settle down, and let’s start from the very beginning…

Published by Blink Publishing Oct 19th, click HERE to pre-order your copy! 

About the author:

SCARLETT MOFFATT is a beloved television personality and presenter from County Durham, best known for appearing in the Channel 4 series Gogglebox, and as the winner of 2016’s I’m a Celebrity… Get Me Out of Here! She is now a presenter on Ant and Dec’s Saturday Night Takeaway, as well as the brand-new face of Streetmate. Scarlett is also the Sunday Times No. 1 bestselling author of Scarlett Says, and has a top-selling fitness DVD, Scarlett’s Superslim Me Plan.
Follow her on Instagram: scarlett_moffatt and on Twitter: @ScarlettMoffatt

My thoughts:

I’ve always been a fan of Scarlett’s so I was delighted to be able to read Me Life Story pre-publication. It’s safe to say I’m an even bigger fan now! 😍 This book is hilarious, honest and just so fun to read. I read the whole thing over the course of a day because I genuinely couldn’t put it down. 

Scarlett has a thirst for knowledge, which I can totally appreciate because I’m the exact same way. 🙌🏼 Each chapter is begun with some facts, which I loved, because it gives an insight into the kind of random things that she’s interested in. Plus, she worships at the altar of Proffessor Stephen Hawking! Can’t get much more intelligent than that! 

As well as some genuine laugh out loud moments the book is interspersed with some of the harder times in Scarlett’s life so far. I can empathise with some of it as I’ve gone through it too, and her honesty is really refreshing. Plus her Northern-ness is almost like us Irish, a sense of humour can really help you through some dark times. 

I loved finding out more about Scarlett. I knew she was my kind of person before I began, but this book has made me wish she was one of my friends. She comes across as a really genuine, caring and all round lovely person. Her inability to believe some of the good luck and opportunities she’s had makes her seem really down to earth and just so damn nice! 😊

I honestly loved this book. It felt like a chat with your best mate, like the ones you’d have late at night talking about everything and anything! A real honest and genuinely funny book, it was definitely a brilliant read!

Highly recommended 🙌🏼

Recent Reads ~ Rapid Reviews Part 2

Hi guys,

I’m back with the second batch of rapid reviews so I’ve got another 10 of the most recent books I’ve read on this list. If you missed my first post, you can check that out by clicking the following link:

Recent Reads ~ Rapid Reviews

As I said in the other post, I’m still reading but I’m just not blogging as much for the time being. All posts, blog tours and promised reviews will still be posted as normal from myself and Ellen though 🙂

This batch of reviews, now that I’m looking at my list, appears to be geared more towards the YA genre, which I’ve read a lot of recently and any I’m really liking the break from crime and psychological thrillers. To be honest though, I still find myself craving the darkness they bring, so there will be more of those again soon! Anyway, I digress as usual. Lets see what else I’ve been reading lately…

  • Chasing The Dead by Tim Weaver

tim w

On my TBR since 2014 (yes, 3 YEARS ago!!!), I decided it was time for me to meet David Raker and I am so glad I picked this one to read. A really solid start to a series that is still going, it was a brilliant read. Clever, emotive and gripping, I would definitely recommend it. I will be buying all of the series after reading this one!

  • The Chalk Man by CJ Tudor

Chalk

Loved this one!! It is so creepy, it gets under your skin and will make your heart pound. I got lost in this book, I was gripped from the start and I genuinely could not put it down. It is so clever and twisty. Just when you think you have it all figured out, BOOM! You haven’t a clue!!! I love it when a book catches me out. Highly recommended!

  • Midnight at the Bright Ideas Bookstore by Matthew Sullivan

Midnight

I love a surprise when I pick up a book, and that is exactly what happened with Midnight at the Bright Ideas Bookstore. I picked it up expecting one thing, and I found something else entirely. I won’t spoil it by telling you. Anyone I know who has read this has really enjoyed it, and I feel the exact same. It is such a hidden gem of a book and I would highly recommend it!

  • The Ice Beneath Her by Camilla Grebe

tib.jpg

Regular readers of the blog will know I am a big fan of Scandinavian crime thrillers so I was excited to pick this one up to read. While it was a good read, I wasn’t blown away by it. There’s no denying Camilla Grebe can tell a story, I just found my attention waning at times. Still, as an intro to Scandi crime, The Ice Beneath Her is definitely a good place to start as it will give you a feel for the genre!

  • A Court of Mist and Fury by Sarah J. Maas

ACOMAF

Is it possible to fall in love with a series? Because that’s what happened me with these books. I am emotionally invested, and I don’t want it to ever end. I am Team Rhysand forever and I am not sorry. I love love LOVE these books. The world-building is brilliant, the characters are even better and I just couldn’t put the book down once I started it. Safe to say I will be reading these again at some point. Highly recommended!

  • A Court of Wings and Ruin by Sarah J. Mass

ACOWAR.jpg

See above. No, seriously. I can’t review these properly. They make me feel the way I did when I first discovered Harry Potter. NO! I’m not comparing them, I’m merely saying I felt the same way. Giddy to read the books, eager to read more. I wanted to read them all immediately after finishing this one. Highly recommended by this unapologetic fangirl!

  • SIEGE and Storm by Leigh Bardugo

Siege#.jpg

Another series added to my favourites for sure. Not as good as Shadow and Bone but I still really enjoyed this one and I’m waiting on the third book from the library. I really like the idea of the Grisha world, and its pure escapism reading these books! I can’t wait to read the next one!

  • This Mortal Coil by Emily Suvada

tmc

This one would have passed me by if not for Liz at Liz Loves Books mentioning it. I loved this one! It is packed full of action, has great characters and a really interesting story. There’s a lot of technological stuff, like coding and DNA modifications and so on, but it wasn’t hard to get into it. I couldn’t put it down. Highly recommended!

  • Dead is Good by Jo Perry

Jo p

What’s not to love about a dead dog? This is book 3 in the series, and I really enjoyed it. Quotes about death start every chapter, which I love, morbid as that sounds. Charlie and Rose are a great team. They may be dead, but that doesn’t stop them trying to figure out the living. Unusual and fun, these books are great reads. Highly recommended!

  • Written in Blood by Layton Green

LG

Written in Blood uses literary murders as its main thing, which makes it an interesting read. I did find it got a bit heavy and unnecessary with details in the middle, but it was still a good book. There is plenty there to keep the reader interested, but it can be hard to see the wood from the trees at times as the author throws in a few extra things.

 

And that’s it. Twenty books reviewed over two posts. I’m all caught up on my reviews now, and I’ll hopefully be back blogging properly at some stage this month.

Plenty of other good stuff on the blog in October to watch out for though as regards blog tour reviews by Ellen and myself:

Anything You Do Say by Gillian McAllister

Her Last Secret by Barbara Copperthwaite

Snare by Lilja Sigurdardottir

Rocco and the Nightingale by Adrian Magson

Dead Lands by LLoyd Otis

 

Thanks for reading! 🙂

 

Kate x

Recent Reads ~ Rapid Reviews

Hi guys,

So due to various reasons, I’m taking a little break from blogging for a while. I’m still reading, and upholding any prior commitments so no need to worry on that front. Ellen’s reviews and blog tour posts will all be done as normal too 🙂

I’ve got a backlog of books read but not reviewed, so I’ve decided to combat that today with this post. Some of these were read as far back as June or July, I just haven’t gotten to review them properly on the blog.

Grab a coffee and see what I’ve been reading…

  • Without Trace by Simon Booker

WT

The first Morgan Vine book, this was definitely a solid start. I didn’t love it, but I was hooked enough to keep turning those pages!

  • Games People Play by Owen Mullen

GPP

This is the first book in the Charlie Cameron PI series and it’s definitely a strong start. A little slow for me but I enjoyed it all the same. Charlie is an interesting character and I liked the story!

  • The Good Daughter by Karin Slaughter

TGD

My first foray into Karin Slaughter’s work in about ten years and I absolutely LOVED The Good Daughter. I banged through the entire book (and its a whopper) in a day because I just couldn’t put it down. Clever, compulsive and full of action, I’d highly recommend it!

  • The Boy on the Bridge by M. R. Carey

TBOTB

I read The Girl With All The Gifts earlier this year and thought it was a good read. The Boy on the Bridge was much better for me. But, I think that’s because I read TGWATG first. Set in the same world, this one was stronger for me in terms of characters and plot and it made me smile when I read the last few pages. Recommended!

  • Kill Me Twice by Simon Booker

KMT

Yep, we’re back with Morgan Vine in Kill Me Twice and this one has a lot more going on than Without Trace. An interesting plot and some dark characters made this a decent read and I flew through it.

  • My Absolute Darling by Gabriel Tallent

MAD

I am weeks out from reading MAD and I am still haunted by Turtle Alveston. I can’t find the words for how much I enjoyed this book. Once I started reading it, I couldn’t put it down. It is raw, visceral, disturbing and challenging, but boy is it rewarding. I don’t read books like this usually, but I am so glad I got to read MAD. It will stay with me for a long time, and I will recommend it to everyone!

  • The Marsh King’s Daughter by Karen Dionne

4

Another book I loved. Sped through this on a lazy Sunday as I couldn’t put it down. Really interesting plot, a great cast of characters and some unusual elements made this one super easy to enjoy. It would make a great movie, it has that cinematic feel to the descriptions and I can see how it would translate really well to screen. Highly recommended!

  • The Fear Within by J. S . Law

tfw

The next in the series after The Dark Beneath (Tenacity), The Fear Within is another gripping naval-themed crime thriller. These books are just cracking reads. Dan Lewis is a great character, and James Law has a knack for writing excellent plots with plenty of action. One to add to your list for sure. Highly recommended!

  • Red Rising by Pierce Brown

rr

On m TBR for ages, I finally got around to reading this during the summer. It was a good read, I’ll get crucified for this, but I didn’t love it. There’s no denying the characterisation and world-building are excellent, and I did enjoy it, I just found myself a bit meh afterwards. That being said, I have the other two books in the series, and I will certainly be reading them, but I wouldn’t be bumping them to the top of the TBR.

  • Tall Oaks by Chris Whitaker

Tall Oaks

I had Tall Oaks on my TBR for far too long so it was another book I picked to read this summer and I’m just sorry I left it so long. It is a taut and emotive story, with such a great cast of characters that I was sucked in immediately when I started reading it. I couldn’t put it down until the very end and its safe to say I was put through the emotional wringer by the end. Highly recommended!

 

Hopefully you will find a couple of books in this list that you’ll enjoy. The stand out read from these for me is My Absolute Darling, without a doubt.

This is the first ten of twenty books I’m doing this for, so keep an eye out for my second batch of rapid reviews as they’ll be up soon.

Have you read any of these? Do let me know in the comments below!

Until next time…

Kate x

Before Its Too Late by Sara Driscoll

Danna.jpg

About the book:

Somewhere in the Washington, D.C., area, a woman lies helpless in a box. Beneath the earth. Barely breathing. Buried alive. In Quantico, the FBI receives a coded message from the woman’s abductor. He wants to play a game with them: decipher the clues, find the grave, save the girl. The FBI’s top cryptanalysts crack the code and Special Agent Meg Jennings and her K-9 partner, Hawk, scramble to the scene of the crime. Cryptic clues lead them astray and by the time they solve the puzzle, it’s too late. But the killer’s game is far from over . . .

Soon another message arrives. Another victim is taken, and the deadly pattern is repeated—again and again. Each kidnapping triggers another desperate race against time, each with the possibility of another senseless death. That’s when Meg decides to try something drastic. Break the Bureau’s protocol. Bring in her brilliant sister, Cara, a genius at word games, to decipher the kidnapper’s twisted clues. Meg knows she’s risking her career to do it, but she’s determined not to let one more person die under her and Hawk’s watch. If the plan fails, it could bite them in the end. And if it leads to the killer, it could bury them forever . . .

Out now, click HERE to get your copy!

My thoughts:

I am delighted to be sharing my review for Before It’s Too Late by Sara Driscoll today, especially as it’s publication day! Having read and enjoyed the first book, Lone Wolf (read that review HERE), I was thrilled to be asked to read and review the second in the series.

In Before It’s Too Late, we are back with Meg and Hawk as they are tasked with investigating a perpetrator that uses coded messages and mind games that leave Meg and her team in a race against the clock to find the victims before they die.

I am a huge fan of American-based crime thrillers, and these books definitely satisfy my appetite. Packed with action, a wonderful cast of characters and plenty to keep my mind working overtime, Before It’s Too Late has everything I look for.

I don’t want to go into detail on the plot. It is so well written, evokes emotion in the reader and it is fraught with tension so that every turn of the page left me wondering what was going to happen next.

The characters are all brilliant. Yes, that includes the perpetrator of the crimes. Horrendous as they are, it’s still really interesting to read about them and their motives. Meg and her team have a great camaraderie in this book. We also get a little more input from her sister, Cara, and Clay McCord, a reporter. I love the K-9 aspect too, as it isn’t something you read about too often.

Before It’s Too Late is a great read. It is full of action and it will definitely keep you turning the pages!

Highly recommended!

2018 Watchlist: If I Die Before I Wake by Emily Koch 


About the book:

HOW DO YOU SOLVE YOUR OWN MURDER? Everyone believes Alex is in a coma, unlikely to ever wake up. As his family debate withdrawing life support, and his friends talk about how his girlfriend Bea needs to move on, he can only listen. But Alex soon begins to suspect that the accident that put him here wasn’t really an accident. Even worse, the perpetrator is still out there and Alex is not the only one in danger. As he goes over a series of clues from his past, Alex must use his remaining senses to solve the mystery of who tried to kill him, and try to protect those he loves, before they decide to let him go. 

My thoughts:

I know I said I’m taking a break, and I am. But I couldn’t wait to get my thoughts out on If I Die Before I Wake. 

IIDBIW is billed as a psychological mystery, and it is, but it is so much more too. 

When we meet Alex, he’s lying in a hospital bed, with all those around him believing he’s in a coma. Yet he can still hear, and feel, and think for himself. He just can’t move. He is trapped in his own body. 

We see everything from Alex’s perspective, and along with him, we learn that his climbing accident may have been something more sinister. As his visitors come and go, we all learn a little bit more about them all and how they fit into Alex’s life before the fall.

If I Die Before I Wake is a very clever novel. I loved the fact that the main character was male, as it’s not the usual thing in the psychological thriller genre lately. The narrative is brilliantly told, and with each new piece of information gleaned, the tension rises.

I found myself unable to put the book down. So much so that I read almost all of it in one day. Today, in fact. The characterisation is excellent. We learn a little about everyone. Family members, friends, their various experiences. All of this lends itself really well to how I felt about Alex. I was rooting for him from the very beginning. Willing him to move, to talk, to do anything.

I loved how the author built tension throughout the book. More than once I had to remind myself to relax. I was getting so caught up in the story that my body was rigid! It also makes the reader feel a range of emotions for all of those involved too. 

Compulsive, engaging and thoroughly gripping, If I Die Before I Wake is most certainly a book to watch out for in 2018. I can’t wait to see where this author goes next!

Highly recommended!

~Blog Tour Ellen’s Review~ Angels in the Moonlight by Caimh McDonnell 

ANGELS IN THE MOONLIGHT cover.jpg

Hi everyone,

Today is Ellen’s stop on the blog tour and I’ll be sharing her review a little further down. Also, I have a HILARIOUS guest post from Caimh!

First though, here’s the all-important bookish information!

About the book:

For Detective Bunny McGarry, life is complicated, and it is about to get more so.

It’s 1999 and his hard won reputation amongst Dublin’s criminal fraternity, for being a massive pain in the backside, is unfortunately shared by his bosses. His partner has a career-threatening gambling problem and, oh yeah, Bunny’s finally been given a crack at the big time. He’s set the task of bringing down the most skilled and ruthless armed robbery gang in Irish history. So the last thing he needs in his life is yet another complication.

Her name is Simone. She is smart, funny, talented and, well, complicated. When her shocking past turns up to threaten her and Bunny’s chance at a future, things get very complicated indeed. If the choice is upholding the law or protecting those he loves, which way will the big fella turn?

Angels in the Moonlight is a standalone prequel to Caimh McDonnell’s critically acclaimed Dublin Trilogy which melds fast-paced action with a distinctly Irish acerbic wit, and it is complicated.

Click the links below to get your copy:

Amazon UK

Amazon US

About the author:

caimh.jpg

Caimh McDonnell is an award-winning stand-up comedian, author and writer of televisual treats. Born in Limerick and raised in Dublin, he has taken the hop across the water and now calls Manchester his home.

He is a man who wears many hats. As well as being an author, he is an award-winning writer for TV, a stand-up comedian and ‘the voice’ of London Irish rugby club. His debut novel, A Man with One of Those Faces was released in 2016 and it is the first book of the Dublin Trilogy series. The follow-up, The Day That Never Come was published in 2017. Both books are fast-paced crime thrillers set in Caimh’s home town of Dublin and they are laced with distinctly Irish acerbic wit.

Caimh’s TV writing credits include The Sarah Millican Television Programme, A League of Their Own, Mock the Week and Have I Got News for You. He also works as a children’s TV writer and was BAFTA nominated for the animated series ‘Pet Squad’ which he created.

During his time on the British stand-up circuit, Caimh has firmly established himself as the white-haired Irishman whose name nobody can pronounce. He has brought the funny worldwide, doing stand-up tours of the Far East, the Middle East and Near East (Norwich).

Follow Caimh’s witterings on @Caimh

Facebook:  @CaimhMcD

 

Ellen’s Review:

My name is Ellen and I love Bunny McGarry. There I said it. There should probably be some kind of support group for #Bunnylovers – hang on that doesn’t quite sound right but you know what I mean! Having been firmly ensconced into my heart after reading A Man With One of Those Faces and The Day That Never Comes it was a delight to get to know young Bunny and his particular brand of policing.
As always with Caimh’s book there is the perfect mix of crime and humour and I still can’t get over how successful this is. One minute we have a hard as nails local thug commandeering armed robberies and the next a flying sheep. It never gets ridiculous, it works. Every. Single.Time. So yeah; it’s a gritty crime story but it has a hilarious undercurrent and a heart of gold. Did I mention I love Bunny McGarry?

In this prequel we are introduced to a love interest for Bunny (erm….back off love) in the Southern beauty shape of Simone, a gorgeous jazz singer who is very secretive about her reasons for being in Dublin. Reasons which can only spell trouble for Bunny. Simone lives with a bunch of nuns (The Sisters of the Saint) who are in a league of their own. Including such delights as Sister Bernadette’s homemade mace, Sister Assumpta’s stripping antics and sleepy Sister Margaret. The nuns are part of the colourful cast of characters that we always find in this series. I have had a favourite one in every book and for this one I pick Magpie Mary, a tiara wearing homeless old lady. It was great to get a sneaky peek of Paul Mulchrone too and the hurling scenes had me rolling with laughter.

 

So you must have guessed by now that I REALLY enjoyed this book, it gets #allthestars and once again Mr McDonnell has left me gagging for more!

Previous reviews:

A Man With One Of Those Faces by Caimh McDonnell

The Day That Never Comes by Caimh McDonell Review


Telephonic Spree

 

I read an article recently where an author went through a list of morning routines she had in order to inspire her creativity; I’ll be honest, I was dead jealous. I’m really not a morning person at the best of times and frankly, I invariably don’t end up doing much writing until about midday, which means I’m wasting quite a bit of time faffing about. As a ‘creative professional’ you’re always trying to find a way of getting into that blessed ‘flow’ state as quickly as possible, and then staying there for as long as possible. You know the one I mean, everyone has experienced it regardless of what they do – where you’re brimful of ideas and any problems you encounter are laughably easy to fix. It feels like your brain is firing on all cylinders. You’re like Bradley Cooper in that film Limitless; you are to all intents and purposes a superhero/God/Stephen Fry.

 

I have tried meditation but  I honestly just sit there going ‘so, this is meditation?’.  A morning walk, caffeine, listening to the right music, reading a few motivational quotes – I’ve tried them all. I’ve had some glimmers of success but nothing consistent. In fact, do you know the only activity I’ve found that gets my mind immediately in the zone? My version of the little blue pill that makes Bradley Cooper into a tornado of genius? Telephone rope-a-dope!

 

I shall explain; my wife and I have a landline in our flat because, as we all know, you have to have one to get broadband. The only use the landline gets is when we use it to ring a mobile that has gone into hiding. Nobody has ever been given our landline number and we’ve had ourselves removed from all registers to stop us getting sales calls. Yet, we still get calls most days  – we just get those calls. You know the ones – scammers who have got your number from somewhere and who are looking for easily scared and vulnerable people to take advantage of. Most people see these as a nuisance, I don’t. It is very, very rare in this world to have someone on the other end of the phone who you know is a nasty piece of work, an utter waste of space. My advice is, don’t get mad, get creative!

 

I literally skip to the phone now when it rings, my head instantly a maelstrom of ideas. The purpose of the subsequent conversation is seeing how much time of the scammer’s time I can waste and how creative I can be. I have answered as Jorgen the Swedish ski instructor, Tourettes Terry, Barry on a rollercoaster (I pretended to be on a rollercoaster), Confused Colin who kept opening an actual window as opposed to one on the PC, and my personal favourite, Narcoleptic Niall (I explained the situation to the very understanding scammer who then shouted ‘wake up Niall’ seven times in the conversation when I kept falling asleep).

 

Normally the scammer is a ‘BT Engineer’ or ‘from X bank’. Once though, I did get a phone call from ‘the government’ informing me that I had been given a grant of ten thousand pounds for reasons that never became clear. In case you’re wondering, I explained how I was going to use the money on fake boobs – for me (three pairs), the cat, the dog and on the front of the house. The beauty of this is that, although the person on the other end thinks you’re insane, that was also one of the options they were hoping for, someone crazy enough to give a stranger bank details or download a dodgy bit of software. I’m really hoping ‘the government’ rings back as I have a lot more ideas on what I can spend the money on. I want to launch the first manned privately funded space mission to the sun!

There are also numerous musical options – for example, I tried to see how long I could go for only speaking in U2 lyrics. That is dead tricky by the way, he hung when I told him I couldn’t live with or without him – men really are bastards! I’ve also used it as an opportunity to stretch my own musical wings though, I do enjoy putting the scammer ‘on hold’ and then providing the hold music myself. I’ve done show tunes, freeform jazz, a brief and regrettable foray into gangster rap  – the point there is that there are no wrong choices in telephonic improv.

 

So, when they hang up, as they always do – I’m left creatively inspired and feeling morally fulfilled as I’ve made my day start with a bang and I’ve hopefully made a terrible human being more fully aware of the contempt they are held in by the rest of society.


 

Huge thanks to Elaine Ofori and Caimh McDonnell for having Ellen on the tour! 🙂

Make sure to check out these great blogs too:

Angels in the Moonlight Poster.jpg

Home is Nearby by Magdalena McGuire ~Ellen’s Review

hin.jpg

Today is Ellen’s stop on the blog tour for Home is Nearby by Magdalena McGuire and I’ll be sharing her review with you all today. As usual though, here’s the all-important bookish information!

About the book:

1980: the beginning of the Polish Crisis. Brought up in a small village, country-girl Ania arrives in the university city of Wroclaw to pursue her career as a sculptor. Here she falls in love with Dominik, an enigmatic writer at the centre of a group of bohemians and avant-garde artists who throw wild parties. When martial law is declared, their lives change overnight: military tanks appear on the street, curfews are introduced and the artists are driven underground. Together, Ania and Dominik fight back, pushing against the boundaries imposed by the authoritarian communist government. But at what cost? ‘Home Is Nearby’ is a vivid and intimate exploration of the struggle to find your place in the world no matter where you are.

Published by Impress Books in November, click HERE to order your copy!

Ellen’s Review:

Have you ever read a book and felt you were destined to find and love it? That although it was set in a different time and place to what you know it resonated with you? Home is Nearby was that book for me and it made my heart sing! It also makes me anxious to write a review as my words are no match for those of the author.

The story begins in Wroclaw, Poland 1980 before martial law was introduced. Ania lives with her father and has gained a scholarship to university to study art (I very briefly studied Art History at university). I was entranced by the descriptions of Ania’s sculptures and the beauty she created out of such diverse mediums. Ania meets and falls in love with Dominik at university and is introduced to his group of avant garde friends including the irrepressible and boundary pushing Malgorzata. I loved how daring she was and that she was prepared to risk her freedom for free speech through her art. Once martial law is imposed life gets a lot tougher for them all; Ania a

nd Dominik fight back for what they believe in but at what cost to their liberty, love and friends/family.

Magdalena’s writing is an absolute delight; I was there, drinking in the art and inhaling the delicious food aromas. In 1981 at aged three I stayed with family in Gdansk. My grandad was Polish so my childhood was full of rye bread, kabanos (polish sausage), sauerkraut etc. This book transported me back to those times.

In 1983 Ania has emigrated to Australia alone and is struggling to find her creative streak after the trauma of all she has experienced. Again the gorgeous descriptions of where Ania was brought back memories; in April 1983 I stayed with relatives in Queensland for three months. I absolutely loved this book and it really packs an emotional punch, I had tears in my eyes at points. The message that art can transcend politics and also give comfort and strength in difficult times was beautiful. Also that home is always nearby because you will forever carry it in your heart.

Five stars, the story will stay with me for a long time.

Make sure to check out the rest of the blog tour: