What would you do if you woke up and didn’t know who you were?
Chloe Daniels regains consciousness in a hospital with no memory of how she got there. She doesn’t recognise the strangers who call themselves family. She can’t even remember her own name.
What if your past remained a mystery?
As she slowly recovers, her parents and sister begin to share details of her life. The successful career. The seaside home. The near-fatal car crash. But Chloe senses they’re keeping dark secrets – and her determination to uncover the truth will have devastating consequences.
What if the people you should be able trust are lying to you?
| MY THOUGHTS |
When Chloë Daniels wakes up in hospital, she has no idea how she ended up there. She doesn’t recognise her parents, has no idea what her life was like and doesn’t even remember her own name. Confined to the parental home and under the care of her father, Chloë soon starts to realise her family are keeping secrets from her and she is determined to find out the truth.
I do so love it when a book starts with a bang! In this case, a car accident and someone who’s trapped. An event like this immediately grabs your attention and holds it because you just have to keep on reading to see what on earth happened and how we got there. Prologues like this one get me really excited!
But goodness gracious me, there is so much deceit and so many lies in this story, my head was spinning. I may never trust anyone ever again! It’s devastating to think that if you found yourself in Chloë’s situation, you wouldn’t even be able to depend on the people that are supposed to be the closest to you.
Obviously, Chloë is the character to sympathise with and root for. I was desperately willing her on to discover the truth about her life although I wasn’t quite prepared for the emotional effects that would have on both her and myself, as the reader. Which in turn makes you think, would it have been better if she hadn’t remembered at all?
This is a tough one to review as I’m worried I’ll give something away that I shouldn’t. Suffice to say nothing is what it seems and nobody can be trusted. Michelle Adams has come up with quite the devious and brilliantly executed plot that had me utterly gripped. There’s always something incredibly fascinating and compelling about dysfunctional families. Between The Lies is definitely an addictive psychological thriller and while this is the first book I’ve read by this author, I already know it won’t be my last.
My thanks to St. Martin’s Press for the review copy!
Alicia Berenson’s life is seemingly perfect. A famous painter married to an in-demand fashion photographer, she lives in a grand house with big windows overlooking a park in one of London’s most desirable areas. One evening her husband Gabriel returns home late from a fashion shoot, and Alicia shoots him five times in the face, and then never speaks another word.
Alicia’s refusal to talk, or give any kind of explanation, turns a domestic tragedy into something far grander, a mystery that captures the public imagination and casts Alicia into notoriety. The price of her art skyrockets, and she, the silent patient, is hidden away from the tabloids and spotlight at the Grove, a secure forensic unit in North London.
Theo Faber is a criminal psychotherapist who has waited a long time for the opportunity to work with Alicia. His determination to get her to talk and unravel the mystery of why she shot her husband takes him down a twisting path into his own motivations—a search for the truth that threatens to consume him….
| MY THOUGHTS |
If The Silent Patient has evaded your radar, you must have been living under a rock these past few months. There has been a massive campaign surrounding this one and a buzz so loud, it was almost deafening. Sold to more than thirty territories and with film rights snapped up before publication day, expectations for this one were immensely high!
Alicia is seemingly living the perfect life. She’s a famous painter, married to an in-demand fashion photographer, living in a big house in a very desirable neighbourhood. And yet, one evening when her husband returns late from a photoshoot, Alicia picks up a gun and shoots him in the face. Five times. And then, just like that, she stops talking, never to speak another word again.
A subject like Alicia’s condition is a dream come true for those who like to delve into people’s minds. Theo Faber, a criminal psychotherapist, has waited a long time for the opportunity to work with Alicia. Can he find a way to make her talk and can he unravel the mystery surrounding the night Alicia’s husband died?
I can’t for the life of me even begin to imagine how hard it is to bring to life a character who doesn’t talk. You would think one-sided conversations would be utterly boring, but no. Alicia isn’t this cardboard version of herself and despite the fact she doesn’t utter a single word, she jumps from the pages and is immensely fascinating. Theo I had a harder time with, but I couldn’t quite figure out why that was. Sometimes someone just irks you, for no reason whatsoever, right? Just me? Okay then.
This character-driven psychological thriller with its intriguing premise makes for some extremely gripping and compelling reading. So full of suspense, so brilliantly executed and so well-paced, this is just one of those books I found impossible to put down. Somewhere along the line, things are turned completely onto its head and the theory I had floating around my brain from the very beginning was blown to smithereens. It made me feel as if I should have picked up some clues along the way but was way too immersed to see them. Mind —> blown!
And yet, I have no problem admitting that I initially felt a little underwhelmed. I felt it lacked something, something I couldn’t quite put my finger on, and it seemed to rely a bit too much on certain events that would redeem it somehow. I know, that’s immensely vague but I can’t say any more than that or I’ll ruin it for you. Yet, it’s also one of those books that I can’t seem to stop thinking about. It has been lingering on my mind for weeks and the more I go over it, thinking things through, the more I seem to like it. Isn’t it weird how that happens sometimes?
Still, The Silent Patient is an impressive debut by Alex Michaelides and he is most definitely an author to watch!
Fourteen years ago Scott was Anna’s boyfriend. She loved him, but he ruined her life. When he died, she should have been free.
But today Scott is on the radio, talking about her. Threatening to spill her secrets.
Anna is a mother, a wife, and head teacher of a primary school. And she’s a very good liar. She has been lying about herself for so long, she doesn’t really know who she is any more.
Anna used to think she was a good person. She made one stupid mistake, and now she is having to pay for it – over and over again.
Scott is the only person who knows the truth about her past. But how can Scott be alive?
Soon, DCI Tom Douglas is going to knock on her door looking for answers. But Anna is already running scared: from the man she used to love; the man she watched die all those years ago; the man who has come back to life.
| THE BOOK I’M CURRENTLY READING |
Alison has it all. A doting husband, adorable daughter, and a career on the rise – she’s just been given her first murder case to defend. But all is never as it seems…
Just one more night. Then I’ll end it.
Alison drinks too much. She’s neglecting her family. And she’s having an affair with a colleague whose taste for pushing boundaries may be more than she can handle.
I did it. I killed him. I should be locked up.
Alison’s client doesn’t deny that she stabbed her husband – she wants to plead guilty. And yet something about her story is deeply amiss. Saving this woman may be the first step to Alison saving herself.
I’m watching you. I know what you’re doing.
But someone knows Alison’s secrets. Someone who wants to make her pay for what she’s done, and who won’t stop until she’s lost everything….
[By currently I mean I’ll be starting it as soon as I get off the laptop. Any minute now!]
| WHAT I’M (PROBABLY) READING NEXT |
Perfect mother. Perfect wife. Jane Goodwin has spent years building her picture-perfect life in the quiet town of Ashdon.
So when the girl next door, sixteen-year-old Clare Edwards, is found murdered, Jane knows she must first protect her family.
Every marriage has a few white lies and hers is no exception. Jane’s worked hard to cover up her dark secret from all those years ago – and she’ll do anything to keep it hidden…
I can feel it’s going to be a good week! What are you reading? Let me know! Happy reading! xx
Absolutely thrilled to bits to host a stop on the blog tour for The Taking of Annie Thorne by C.J. Tudor today! Huge thanks to Jenny Platt at Michael Joseph for the invitation to join and for the fabulous review copy!
| ABOUT THE BOOK |
Joe never wanted to come back to Arnhill. After the way things ended with his old gang–the betrayal, the suicide, the murder–and after what happened when his sister went missing, the last thing he wanted to do was return to his hometown. But Joe doesn’t have a choice. Because judging by what was done to that poor Morton kid, what happened all those years ago to Joe’s sister is happening again. And only Joe knows who is really at fault.
Lying his way into a teaching job at his former high school is the easy part. Facing off with former friends who are none too happy to have him back in town–while avoiding the enemies he’s made in the years since–is tougher. But the hardest part of all will be returning to that abandoned mine where it all went wrong and his life changed forever, and finally confronting the shocking, horrifying truth about Arnhill, his sister, and himself. Because for Joe, the worst moment of his life wasn’t the day his sister went missing. It was the day she came back.
| MY THOUGHTS |
Oh my word, where to even start?! I’ve been a proud C.J. Tudor fan from the second I read The Chalk Man. Quite frankly, if I were a teenager and she was a rockstar, her poster would be on my bedroom wall. I can’t possibly begin to describe the excitement that coursed through me when I was finally able to pick up The Taking of Annie Thorne. Yes, I had high expectations but I was never in any doubt whatsoever that I would just love this book to pieces. And I did!
This is a tough one to review without giving anything away. Other than the exquisite book trailer, I knew absolutely nothing about this book and it’s the best way to experience it. Also, if you’re expecting some incredibly coherent review, this one won’t be it. If I could have gotten away with four paragraphs of exclamation marks, I totally would have done it. I find it extremely hard to explain why I love this book so much and I can only hope it comes across somewhat (possibly in a slightly embarrassing way, I do apologise) and it’ll convince you to give this one a go.
I don’t know what it is about small town settings but I just love them and they don’t come any more intriguing than Arnhill does. It feels particularly gloomy and depressing. Joe never thought he’d go back there. Who would even want to? Especially after what happened.
When my sister was eight years old, she disappeared.
And then she came back.
[Note to self : never move anywhere near a mine pit. Also, always keep the loo lid down.]
As someone who was a teenager herself in the 80’s, any and all references to that era just make me giddy and there are a lot of them in this story that put a huge smile on my face. Throw in Joe’s delightful sense of humour, sarcasm and inner voice and I was hooked. With a dark atmosphere, a high creepiness factor, fascinating characters and lots of questions that need answers, this was one suspenseful and thrilling ride. And then just when I thought I could sit back, relax and breathe again … the rug was pulled from under my feet with the most deliciously chilling epilogue that almost made my eyes pop out of my head.
By the way, if you’re a fan of audiobooks, and quite frankly even if you’re not, you should most definitely give this one a listen! I may be starting to sound like some sort of running advertisement for the amazing Richard Armitage but seriously, you guys, his narration brings this story to a whole different level of intensity. It’s a fantastic experience all on its own.
The Taking of Annie Thorne is a brilliantly plotted, exquisitely written, utterly compelling, addictive and “unputdownable” page-turner. Whatever “it” is, C.J. Tudor has it in abundance and then some. There’s something about the way she writes that has me captivated from the very first word. It almost feels like being under a spell and I’ll gladly let her guide me wherever it is she wants to take me. I’m a fan, what more can I say?
I think I’d better leave it here. This whole thing is starting to sound like a teenage girl writing a letter to her favourite boyband member. 😳
In case it wasn’t clear, I absolutely LOVED The Taking of Annie Thorne and you will without a doubt be seeing this book again in my top 5 at the end of the year, just like The Chalk Man was last year. I am so ridiculously excited to see what C.J. Tudor comes up with next that I have already pre-ordered her next book. So should you, right here 😉
To recap : !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! x infinity
C. J. Tudor was born in Salisbury and grew up in Nottingham, where she still lives with her partner and young daughter.
She left school at sixteen and has had a variety of jobs over the years, including trainee reporter, radio scriptwriter, shop assistant, ad agency copywriter and voiceover.
In the early nineties, she fell into a job as a television presenter for a show on Channel 4 called Moviewatch. Although a terrible presenter, she got to interview acting legends such as Sigourney Weaver, Michael Douglas, Emma Thompson and Robin Williams. She also annoyed Tim Robbins by asking a question about Susan Sarandon’s breasts and was extremely flattered when Robert Downey Junior showed her his chest.
While writing the Chalk Man she ran a dog-walking business, walking over twenty dogs a week as well as looking after her little girl.
Please check out these amazing bloggers on the tour who say it all much better than I do.
On the fourth floor of Chaucer House, two teenagers are found chained to a radiator. The boy is dead but the girl is alive. For Detective Kim Stone every detail of the scene mirrors her own terrifying experience with her brother Mikey, when they lived in the same tower block thirty years ago.
When the bodies of a middle-aged couple are discovered in a burnt-out car, Kim can’t ignore the chilling similarity to the deaths of Erica and Keith – the only loving parents Kim had ever known.
Faced with a killer who is recreating traumatic events from her past, Kim must face the brutal truth that someone wants to hurt her in the worst way possible. Desperate to stay on the case, she is forced to work with profiler Alison Lowe who has been called in to observe and monitor Kim’s behaviour.
Kim has spent years catching dangerous criminals and protecting the innocent. But with a killer firmly fixed on destroying Kim, can she solve this complex case and save her own life or will she become the final victim?
| MY THOUGHTS |
Bloody hell, Angela! Seriously?!
I’ve said it before and it looks like I’ll be saying it until this series ceases to exist (which quite frankly I hope is absolutely never!) : this series just keeps going from strength to strength! Now, that is obviously fantastic if you’re Angela, her publisher or a reader. Not so good for me when I put on my reviewer cap because …. words, you guys! I ran out of ways to say how awesome the Kim Stone series is at least five or so books ago! How many times can I say “brilliant, fantastic, READ THIS NOW!” without boring you all to tears?!
If you’ve been following this series (and if you haven’t, you can’t possibly imagine how hard I am judging you right now!), you’ll know that Kim Stone has pissed off quite a lot of people along the way. Some we don’t even know about. She’s just that kind of person and we love her for it. At some point, someone was bound to be out for revenge and that time has come. Eek!
You’ll also know that Kim hasn’t had an easy childhood and what do you know? Someone has decided to use all that heartache against her by recreating some of the most devastating events Kim has had to deal with in her life. It all starts with the death of two young addicts. They are found chained to a radiator in the building Kim grew up in. The boy is dead, the girl is barely alive and that is how this scene is horribly reminiscent of Kim’s own experience alongside her brother, Mickey. But whomever is behind this horrendous reenactment isn’t finished yet. There’s more to come. My lips are sealed, however. Prepare yourself though, as old and new wounds will be poked at and it will hurt. *blows nose*
From the very beginning, I found myself with that sickening feeling in my stomach that things were only going to get worse. Kim holds a very special place in my heart after all this time, so to see her having to go through this was quite painful. Her pain was my pain. How do you keep the lid on, keep your emotions in check, when the worst of the worst that has happened to you is being rubbed in your face? I can’t even begin to describe the range of emotions I went through myself. I felt angry and sad, I gasped, I felt like punching someone, I even had a wee sob. I am SO not the sobbing kind of person! I even felt sympathy for characters who may or may not deserve it. But more than anything, this dreadful trip down Memory Lane has only made me love Kim Stone even more.
And as if all that wasn’t enough, there is another thread in this storyline when consultant Angela returns. She is supposed to keep an eye on Kim, make sure she’s dealing with things and needs to report back to Kim’s boss. But Angela also has other things on her mind when she isn’t convinced that a case she consulted on previously reached the right conclusion. Angela is one of those characters I wasn’t quite sure about but she really grew on me and her sheer determination was definitely something to be admired.
And then there’s Kim’s team. Stacey, Penn and Bryant … so much love. Each one gets their own moment to shine and they do it so fabulously. Yes, things have changed and yes, there is one desk that still doesn’t feel quite right but Penn, the one I almost wanted to dislike out of sheer principle, is such a delight and I’m really enjoying getting to know him better. While at first, it was easy to consider him the outsider, the one who shouldn’t be there because things were just fine as they were, thankyouverymuch, now I find it’s as if he’s been there all along. Stacey continues to kick butt in her own fierce way and Bryant is a rock, pure and simple.
Once again, Angela Marsons has left me feeling utterly discombobulated. My mind has been blown into so many pieces, I fear it may never be whole again. I love this series with a fiery passion. This is top-notch crime fiction, as it has been from the very beginning. Always utterly gripping and compelling, always immensely absorbing and addictive, always an absolute treat and I’m dying for more! As long as Angela Marsons keeps writing these, I’ll be at the front of the line and I WILL be using my elbows, people!
In case you think “sheesh, that’s way too much text, I’m so not reading that”, here’s a recap. BUY IT NOW!!!! You can thank me later. You’re welcome.
Huge thanks to the publisher for my review copy, which I received via Netgalley!
Delighted to welcome you all to my stop on the blog tour for Inborn by Thomas Enger. My thanks to Anne Cater for the invitation to join and to the publisher for my review copy!
| ABOUT THE BOOK |
When the high school in the small Norwegian village of Fredheim becomes a murder scene, the finger is soon pointed at seventeen-year-old Even. As the investigation closes in, social media is ablaze with accusations, rumours and even threats, and Even finds himself the subject of an online trial as well as being in the dock… for murder?
Even pores over his memories of the months leading up to the crime, and it becomes clear that more than one villager was acting suspiciously… and secrets are simmering beneath the calm surface of this close-knit community.
As events from the past play tag with the present, he’s forced to question everything he thought he knew. Was the death of his father in a car crash a decade earlier really accidental? Has his relationship stirred up something that someone is prepared to kill to protect? It seems that there may be no one that Even can trust. But can we trust him?
| MY THOUGHTS |
Some of you may remember that I was a huge fan of Thomas Enger’s Henning Juul series, which sadly came to an end a while back. Sniff. I’m okay. Whew. Deep breath. Anyway, since then I’ve been rather impatiently awaiting what he would come up with next and the wait is finally over. Could Thomas Enger meet my slightly high expectations?
Now, admittedly I was a bit worried about Inborn because I kept seeing mention of YA (Young Adult for the uninitiated amongst us) everywhere and I’m a lot closer to SA (Senior Adult). So close in fact I barely remember my young adult days. But of course I shouldn’t have been worried at all! While Inborn is based on a YA novel Thomas Enger wrote a few years ago, it has been completely rewritten to appeal to a wider audience.
The small Norwegian village of Fredheim is shocked to the core when two of its teenagers are found dead in the high school. Soon fingers everywhere are pointing at seventeen year old Even. As Even tries to unravel the truth himself, he realises quite a lot of the residents in Fredheim have secrets they are desperate to hide. Does what happened at the school have its roots in the past? Who can Even trust? And can the reader trust him?
Small town murder mysteries will always be one of my most favourite things and when you throw in some courtroom drama, let’s just say : good luck trying to prise this book out of my hands! Switching seamlessly between the past and the present, I was utterly hooked from beginning to end. The plot is set up in such a remarkable way, which each chapter almost ending on a cliffhanger, that I couldn’t stop reading even if I wanted to.
When we meet Even, he is in the docks during a trial. He’s being questioned, forced to think back to the previous months and the night of the murders, until layer after layer we get to the truth. Being fed little pieces of information like this is such a joy. The detective in me (the really bad one because she often gets it wrong) couldn’t help but try and figure things out, pick up little clues along the way but Thomas Enger kept me guessing until the end. Along the way, we meet a cast of extremely fascinating characters : from Even’s struggling mother, to his uncle Imo, to the detective heading the murder investigation whom I just wanted to wrap up in a big hug.
Thomas Enger is one of those authors who just gets me excited but I can never quite pin down why. There’s something about his style of writing (captivating), something about the way he creates multi-layered and believable characters , and the compelling atmosphere he comes up with time and time again that has me utterly absorbed and desperately wanting more. I knew from the minute I read the first page that I was in for another treat. So yes, this is without a doubt another brilliantly written, suspenseful and hugely addictive page-turner! Slightly high expectations effortlessly met and even exceeded and I do really, really want more!
Thomas Enger is a former journalist. He made his debut with the crime novel Burned in 2010, which became an international sensation before publication, and marked the first in the bestselling Henning Juul series. Rights to the series have been sold to 28 countries to date.
In 2013 Enger published his first book for young adults, a dark fantasy thriller called The Evil Legacy, for which he won the U-prize (best book Young Adult). Killer Instinct, upon which Inborn is based, and another Young Adult suspense novel, was published in Norway in 2017 and won the same prestigious prize. Most recently, Thomas has co- written a thriller with Jørn Lier Horst.
Happy Sunday! Not entirely sure where this week went. But it’s been full of lovely Spring temperatures, beautiful blue skies and glorious sunshine. Long may it continue! I’ve had it with the cold and miserable weather. Bring on Summer!
On the flip side, this weather somehow has me wanting to clean my house from top to bottom and work in my garden which is all kinds of weird. So I’ve been fighting that urge with every fibre in my body. Hopefully that feeling will pass soon or I may need to undergo an exorcism 😂
Reading-wise, I was determined to do better this time after a rather disappointing two books last week. So let’s see how I did and what I read.
| BOOKS I READ THIS WEEK |
Woohoo! I’m pleased with seven books, especially because Their Lost Daughters is an audiobook and those take way longer to finish.
Lacking a bit of enthusiasm there, dude. 7 books! I mean, at least you could smile a ….. oh, wait. You brought wine? All good! Carry on! 😊
| BOOKS I BOUGHT THIS WEEK |
Well, I had to, didn’t I? Wouldn’t want my TBR to run out with all that reading I’m doing. 😏
| ARC’s RECEIVED VIA NETGALLEY |
All this not requesting is fine and dandy and when I DO request, I get the dreaded “denied” email, which I assume is the universe trying to tell me something. But then we have the lovely publishers who invite me to read something and that seems to be a “no, thank you” I haven’t quite mastered yet. Oops.
Monday : Blog tour | Review | Inborn by Thomas Enger
Tuesday : Review | Dead Memories by Angela Marsons
Wednesday : Blog tour | Review | The Taking of Annie Thorne by C.J. Tudor
Thursday : Review | The Silent Patient by Alex Michaelides
Friday : I don’t know yet.
Saturday : Blog tour | Review | The Blameless Dead by Gary Haynes
Sunday : Weekly Wrap-Up
So close to officially surviving February! Am I slowing down? We will see. But I can tell you, you should prepare yourself for the low amount of blog tours in March. I am learning! Somewhat. 😉 (Okay, almost, curse those last-minute additions! 🙄😂)
In other news, this week marks my two year blog birthday. How the hell did that happen?! Sometimes it feels like I only started yesterday. Sometimes it feels like I’ve been doing it for too long already. 😂
Still having fun though, so I guess I’ll go on for another year 😉
Thank you to all of you who follow, read my reviews and leave comments. You’re a fine bunch! ❤️
Right, that’s it for another week. Someone (read : I) has four reviews to write for the upcoming week, books to read and lovely sunshine to enjoy. I hope the sun is shining where you are as well. Have a fabulous week and lots of happy reading! Until next time! xx
Someone is trying to destroy the evidence of history’s greatest crimes.
Academics and Holocaust survivors dead in mysterious circumstances. Museums and libraries burning. Digital records and irreplaceable proofs, lost for ever.
Former White House operative Maggie Costello has sworn off politics. But when the Governor of Virginia seeks her help to stop the lethal spiral of killings, she knows that this is bigger than any political game.
As Black Lives Matter protestors clash with slavery deniers, America is on a knife-edge and time is running out. This deadly conspiracy could ignite a new Civil War – but who stands to gain most from the chaos?
| MY THOUGHTS |
To Kill The Truth presents the reader with a frightening and incredibly thought-provoking premise. Someone is trying to re-write history by destroying evidence of the world’s greatest crimes. History professors and Holocaust survivors are found murdered and the greatest libraries in the world are on fire. If there is no written proof of something, then surely it didn’t happen. Just let that sink in for a minute. No proof of slavery, no proof of the Holocaust, no proof of ethnic cleansing. To name a few.
Enter Maggie Costello. As a former White House operative, she has completely sworn off politics. She enrolled at university, desperately wanting to get away from all things Washington, DC. But then the governor of Virginia asks for her help and Maggie realises something far more sinister is going on. Who is behind these events? Who stands to gain? But more importantly, can they be stopped before it’s too late?
To Kill The Truth is the fourth instalment in the Maggie Costello series, which I wasn’t aware of when I picked this one up. A mere few pages in though, I was already wondering how Sam Bourne had evaded my radar. With jumping into an established series like this, I was slightly worried but luckily I never felt lost or confused by references to Maggie’s experiences in the previous books. Actually, it left me intrigued and determined to catch up on the other books in this series. And if you’ve not read any of these, then I definitely recommend starting at the beginning.
This is a really tense and exciting thriller. One of those books you can easily imagine being turned into a film. It’s well-paced, brilliantly plotted and makes you think. Obviously it’s politically charged and depending on which side of the fence you fall, you’ll either nod in agreement or shake your fist in anger. Because while the author never mentions any names, it’s quite obvious who he’s talking about.
A topical thriller then, one I found extremely compelling and despite it being well over 400 pages, I absolutely devoured it. Sam Bourne will not be evading my radar any longer. I can’t wait to catch up with the rest of the Maggie Costello series and very much look forward to what the author comes up with next.
Delighted to join the blog tour for The Glovemaker by Ann Weisgarber today! Huge thanks to Ellis Keene at Pan MacMillan for the invitation to join and for the gorgeous review copy!
| ABOUT THE BOOK |
In the inhospitable lands of the Utah Territory, during the winter of 1888, thirty-seven-year-old Deborah Tyler waits for her husband, Samuel, to return home from his travels as a wheelwright. It is now the depths of winter, Samuel is weeks overdue, and Deborah is getting worried.
Deborah lives in Junction, a tiny town of seven Mormon families scattered along the floor of a canyon, and she earns her living by tending orchards and making work gloves. Isolated by the red-rock cliffs that surround the town, she and her neighbors live apart from the outside world, even regarded with suspicion by the Mormon faithful who question the depth of their belief.
When a desperate stranger who is pursued by a Federal Marshal shows up on her doorstep seeking refuge, it sets in motion a chain of events that will turn her life upside down. The man, a devout Mormon, is on the run from the US government, which has ruled the practice of polygamy to be a felony. Although Deborah is not devout and doesn’t subscribe to polygamy, she is distrustful of non-Mormons with their long tradition of persecuting believers of her wider faith.
But all is not what it seems, and when the Marshal is critically injured, Deborah and her husband’s best friend, Nels Anderson, are faced with life and death decisions that question their faith, humanity, and both of their futures.
| MY THOUGHTS |
In the late 1880’s, the federal government of America declared polygamy a felony. Bad news for the Mormons then. Men with multiple wives suddenly found themselves on the wrong side of the law and with warrants out for their arrest, many fled not just to save themselves but also to protect their families.
In the small town of Junction, we meet Deborah. She is the odd one out in this town. Married, but to a husband who is away for months at a time and with no children, the other villagers don’t quite know what to make of her. I, on the other hand, warmed to her from the moment I was introduced to her. When Deborah’s husband doesn’t make it back home on the date he should have returned, little does she know her life will be turned upside down even more.
Deborah is used to strangers showing up at her door, seeking help. She, her husband and his stepbrother run some sort of underground network and try to get men guilty of polygamy to safety. But when someone knocks on Deborah’s door, she instinctively knows trouble has arrived. Because no stranger ever comes calling in January. This unforgiving stretch of land deep in Utah territory is far too dangerous this time of year. Yet, Deborah sees no option but to help this stranger. That decision will change the lives of all the residents in Junction.
The Glovemaker is historical fiction from the top shelf. A lot of it is steeped in facts, which is always a bonus to me. This period in history was completely new to me. I learned quite a bit and am rather determined to find out more. Not every Mormon is a polygamist and the people in Junction much prefer to practice their faith in their own way. Nevertheless they will never turn their backs on their own.
The setting almost acts as a character on its own. It’s harsh and I have nothing but admiration for the people who tried to carve a life out in that place. They make it work somehow and there’s something quite comforting about knowing you can always rely on your little community, no matter what.
I thoroughly enjoyed The Glovemaker. It was easy to understand how hard it was for Deborah to make certain decisions. The wintery conditions added to the sense of isolation and throughout the story I felt quite unsettled, feeling something was coming but never really sure what that something would be. The Glovemaker is an utterly immersive story of love, faith and survival. My first introduction to Ann Weisgarber was an immense success and I look forward to reading more by her!
Ann is the author of “The Glovemaker,” “The Promise,” and “The Personal History of Rachel DuPree.” She was nominated for the UK’s Orange Prize, the Orange Award for New Writers, and the Walter Scott Prize for Historical Fiction. In the United States, she won the Stephen Turner Award for New Fiction and the Langum Prize for American Historical Fiction. She was shortlisted for the Ohioana Book Award and was a Barnes and Noble Discover New Writer. Ann was inducted into the Texas Institute of Letters.
She was born in Kettering, Ohio, a suburb of Dayton. She graduated from Wright State University in Dayton with a BA in Social Work and earned a MA in Sociology from the University of Houston. She has been a social worker in psychiatric and nursing home facilities, and taught sociology at Wharton County Junior College in Texas.
In addition to Ohio and Texas, Ann has lived in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and Des Moines, Iowa. She lives in Galveston, Texas, where she’s working on a novel about a World War II German POW camp in Hearne, Texas.
It’s a pleasure to welcome you all to my stop on the blog tour for My Last Lie by Ella Drummond! My thanks to Sarah Hardy for the invitation to join and to the publisher for my review copy!
| ABOUT THE BOOK |
New beginnings. Old secrets.
Theo and Pilar. The perfect couple.
Successful, beautiful and very much in love.
Until a year ago – and the tragedy that nearly tore them apart. When their baby died, a part of them died with him.
Now they’re trying to rebuild themselves, moving to a stunning house in rural Cornwall. But someone knows all their secrets – and will stop at nothing to disturb their fragile peace.
Theo and Pilar are about to learn that you can try to hide – but you can never outrun your past.
| MY THOUGHTS |
After a devastating tragedy and a long road to recovery for Pilar, she and her husband Theo move to Cornwall for a fresh start. But you can’t leave the past behind when someone knows all your secrets.
Pilar starts to notice odd things around their new house. Items that have been slightly moved or suddenly end up in a place where she’s sure she didn’t leave them, that horrible feeling of being watched and odd noises from time to time. Is she just forgetful? Imagining things? Losing it? Or is it Theo playing games with her? Can he be trusted?
My Last Lie is one heck of a slow-burner and admittedly, I prefer my psychological thrillers with a bit more “thrill” and tension to them. Nevertheless, I couldn’t help but get utterly invested in the lives of Theo and Pilar although I never quite warmed to either one of them. Then again, I thought the stand-out character was Pilar’s mother; quite a vile and toxic woman who spits venom everywhere. She intrigued me no end. I’m not entirely sure what says that about me.
As to the character who knows all of Pilar’s secrets, with a move to another part of the country come new friends and acquaintances and not all of them are particularly likeable. Pretty much every single one of them seems to have something to hide or act in a rather suspicious way. That said, I quite quickly zeroed in on a “suspect”, even though I was left guessing at their motives for it all. Nor did I have any clue as to what that big last lie could be and I just had to keep reading to find out what it was.
All in all, My Last Lie is an enjoyable debut by Ella Drummond which, I’m sure, has added quite a few frown lines to my forehead. I look forward to seeing what the author comes up with next.