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Clare_Riley

Clare_Riley

Joined May 2016

I'm on Goodreads too where, very originally, I am also Clare Riley!
review
Clare_Riley
My Life as a Rat: A Novel | Joyce Carol Oates
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Why am I only just reading a Joyce Carol Oates book NOW?! Well, this won‘t be the last book of hers that I‘ll read, that‘s for sure. A child is ostracised from her family, and it affects the rest of her life and her self esteem. How could it not? If any book character ever needed to be forcibly removed from her storyline and hugged, then this is that character. It really left me feeling such sadness for her. Highly recommended.

16 likes1 stack add
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Clare_Riley
Beneath the Surface | Fiona Neill
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What better way to spend my day off than reading this fabulous book?! A family who all have their secrets, soon realise that in keeping them they‘re making their lives much more complicated. I love these types of books.

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Clare_Riley
The Doll Factory: A Novel | Elizabeth Macneal
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I‘m rubbish at keeping up on here - it‘s been busy 🤷🏼‍♀️. Still found time to read though! Anyway, here‘s what I read in June - they‘re all 4/5 and 5/5, but my favourites were: Underland - Robert Macfarlane (non-fic, journeys in underground spaces), The Doll Factory - Elizabeth Macneal (a woman trying to find her freedom in Victorian England), and The Brief - Simon Michael (criminal lawyer in 1960s). I promise to do better in July!

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Clare_Riley
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My giveaway prize arrived yesterday, but unfortunately I was at work - so I walked to the post office this morning to collect it! I‘m looking forward to reading this (I‘ve no idea when - my tbr pile is huge!)

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Clare_Riley
The Parisian | Isabella Hammad
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This is an example of why I read. A true labour of love - 710 pages and I savoured every word. Besides the history lesson, it‘s a story of how people cope with huge upheaval, and it‘s another example of how British colonialism and the way they portioned up countries, messed up countless lives. But it‘s the people: the men who fought and died for their beliefs, the strong women who supported them. And Midhat Kamals story... I loved it.

RachelO I have this as an ARC - you‘ve convinced me I really need to get on and read it. Thanks! 2mo
19 likes1 stack add1 comment
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Clare_Riley
Those Who Are Loved | Victoria Hislop
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The Pigeonhole app has managed to pick some absolutely wonderful books over the time I‘ve subscribed to them (it‘s free!) and this is one of them. We follow Themis and her family from childhood to adulthood , through some of the most turbulent years in Greece‘s history. Dictatorships, World Wars, love, loss, imprisonment, migration. I felt emotionally drained by the end. It‘ll be birthday presents for a few friends this year (my mum included!).

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Clare_Riley
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Loved it! Why are so many books labelled YA when they could just as easily be read by anyone - young and old (ahem!)! A soft apocalypse: no cannibals, zombies, violence, dictators, just a gradual slide in to ‘no more humans‘. A seemingly harmless virus renders everyone, without exclusion, infertile. This book looks at what it is to be human. Lovely lovely book. And actually, there is a bit of action, so don‘t think it‘s a damp squib 😉

19 likes1 stack add
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Clare_Riley
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Mehso-so

I tried to like this. The main characters though - why on earth would you spend Qc,000 on an android, then ignore it? What a waste of money and potential adventure/ pleasure! The main characters were pretty unlikeable, which isn‘t usually a problem for me, but they really grated on me. The alternative British history was interesting (Britain lose the Falklands war, and Alan Turing doesn‘t commit suicide), but I nearly gave up reading this,

Penny_LiteraryHoarders I have to say that this cover is one of the most unappealing ones I've ever seen and put me off from reading it. I see that I'm okay with judging the book by the cover! 😛 2mo
Clare_Riley @Penny_LiteraryHoarders I think you‘d be safe to, yes!😂 2mo
Freespirit I have loved some of his books..this one doesn't appeal...nor does the cover I agree @Penny_LiteraryHoarders 2mo
20 likes3 comments
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Clare_Riley
Failsafe Query | Michael Jenkins
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The Kompromat Kill is the 2nd in the Sean Richardson series, and only just published (which is why I can‘t find it on here I suppose!). Another exciting adventure with Sean - he finds out some unsettling and surprising information in this book. And stops a nuclear bomb attack. All in a days work...

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Clare_Riley
Paper Girls Vol. 5 | Brian K. Vaughan
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I love this series - the girls are still in the future. And we find out something rather interesting about the ‘old timers‘.
And now I think I‘m going to have a look for volume 6 - I think I saw that it was out. It might just go on my birthday list....

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Clare_Riley
The Disappeared | Amy Lord
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I really enjoyed this: a Britain under a one party rule, where reading the wrong book or saying the wrong thing can cause your ‘disappearance‘. Clara decides to take up where her disappeared university English lecturer father left off before he disappeared. She and her history lecturer boyfriend decide to teach a select group of students about their past before the Authorisation Bureau. It doesn‘t go well. It was a great, if violent, read.

TrishB Stacked - sounds good 👍🏻 2mo
Clare_Riley @TrishB it‘s had some good Goodreads reviews too, so I‘m relieved I‘m not the only one that enjoyed it (this happens 🤷🏼‍♀️). I hope you enjoy It! 2mo
Freespirit Sounds intriguing!!! 2mo
19 likes2 stack adds3 comments
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Clare_Riley
Saltwater | Jessica Andrews
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This book is largely about the relationship between a mother and her child, from the daughters point of view. This part really affected me. It‘s that feeling that you want to be independent of your mum, but there are times when you just wish you could have them all to yourself. Growing up is hard. Being a grown up can be harder (I‘m experiencing ‘teenager‘ from the parents side just lately 🤯)

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Clare_Riley
You Will Be Safe Here | Damian Barr
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Set in the internment camps of Bloemfontein in the 2nd Boer War and a modern day camp that ‘makes men out of boys‘. Brutality under the guise of safe-keeping. How humans can be so wilfully/ casually cruel is astounding. This will keep you thinking long after you‘ve finished. History that affects the present. “You will be safe here” was said to both groups of people - and they weren‘t. A truly beautiful book despite the subject. Highly recommended.

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Clare_Riley
Internment | Samira Ahmed
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I really enjoyed this. It‘s obvious (through lack of gory detail) that this is YA: it was a good story, nonetheless. I wish the main character had started her campaign of resistance earlier, but I did manage to get quite emotionally involved by the end - it was a bit rushed in the final chapters, though. It is quite scary how easily we could fall into this trap of exclusion, racism and general hate. An important subject to read about right now.

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Clare_Riley
NIGHT BY NIGHT. | JACK. JORDAN
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If you like weepy female characters, then this is for you. If you like people who see police corruption and then do pretty much nothing about it, then this is also for you. I will say there were plenty of people who read this with me on The Pigeonhole who loved it. I did not. In fact, I wish I‘d given up, but here we are 🤷🏼‍♀️

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Clare_Riley
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Set in Victorian London, this is the second in the Leo Stanhope series (at least I‘m hoping it‘ll be a series!). A woman is murdered, Leo is implicated, and so he decides to try and solve it and look after her children too. A story of family secrets, sibling rivalry and poverty. Leo is managing to keep his secret so far, but will he continue to when someone else from his past knows? This was even better than the first book! Worth a read!

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Clare_Riley
North | Frank Owen
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The continuation of South! I don‘t recall reading anywhere that you can read this without having read South first, but I wouldn‘t (the cause of some of the low ratings on Goodreads). You need to understand the privations of the South to really understand where this one is coming from. There are some seriously unpleasant people in this - power-hungry men, politicians and a truly mad scientist! And the viruses continue to plague the people.

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Clare_Riley
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I loved this book! Frannie is a Jamaican slave, a house girl, brought to England by her owner. She should be free on English soil, but he gives her to a friend, Mr Benham, and she becomes Mrs Benhams companion. Frannie and Mrs Benham have a love affair of sorts, but the story starts with Frannie in Newgate jail after being found asleep next to the dead Mrs a Benham, with Mr Behams dead body downstairs. She has no memory of it. This is her story.

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Clare_Riley
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I honestly didn‘t think I‘d like this. Arty lived in a commune shut off from the world in a wood in India, where they have there own rules and money isn‘t needed. An illness kills everyone except Arty and her ‘brother‘. She thinks she is all alone after Zeus is claimed by an aunt, and ends up leaving her foster family to go to Mumbai, hoping to get to England to find her uncle. It‘s a surprising story. We could all learn a little from Arty.

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Clare_Riley
Doggerland | Ben Smith
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The Road meets Waiting for Godot via Huis Clos! This is a tense book, where not much seems to happen - but there‘s loads going on under the surface. How can an author can make you feel so trapped when there‘s thousands of miles of sea outside your door? Climate change is a big part to this - the sea has reclaimed a lot of the UK, and they fish for ‘relics‘ (a lot of plastic!). What happened to the boys father? Will we ever find out?!

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Clare_Riley
Spring | Ali Smith
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I flipping love Ali Smith. She has her finger right on the pulse of Britain at the moment, and it‘s not all nice (we have our saving graces though - honest!!). This is such a great book. I even love the David Hockney cover. Just go and read it!!

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Clare_Riley
Adele | Leïla Slimani
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I‘ve read some really well translated books recently - and this is another of them. Adele appears to have a wonderful life: good job, surgeon husband and a beautiful son. Except she‘s not happy, and seems to have a sex addiction - and uses it to punish herself, I thought. A really desolate book, not one to read if you‘re feeling low - this will do you no favours. But I loved it! And another unresolved ending that I seem to love 🤷🏼‍♀️

Severnmeadows Good review! 3mo
17 likes2 stack adds1 comment
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Clare_Riley
Cruel Acts | Jane Casey
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I really enjoyed this police procedural. Set in the UK, the main character is a detective sergeant who is put on the case of re-investigating a murder trial. There has been enough doubt thrown on the conviction of the murderer that they have to trawl back through the whole thing. And they find some interesting and dangerous new evidence. I think that‘s a vague enough synopsis! I couldn‘t put it down though! Such an exciting, enthralling story.

TrishB Love this series 👍🏻 3mo
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Clare_Riley
Spring | Ali Smith
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THAT‘S how you start a book!! I flipping LOVE Ali Smith!

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Clare_Riley
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It‘s not often that the second in a series is better than the first - but that‘s what Holly Black has done with this one! I loved it! The intrigue, the backstabbing, the nearly-romance (if they weren‘t so close to double-crossing one another all the time!). So now the wait until 2020 for the last in the trilogy...

BooknerdsLife Haha yes! Loving their "almost there" romance ? 3mo
Clare_Riley @BooknerdsLife I‘m sure this is the reason why so much women‘s fantasy gets put into the YA category - they don‘t write enough sex! But I don‘t want to read about sex all the time, to be quite honest 🤷🏼‍♀️ And why should that be the reason why something is or is not YA? 3mo
Clare_Riley I should say “fantasy written by women” otherwise it‘s another thing entirely🙄 3mo
22 likes3 comments
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Clare_Riley
Daisy Jones & The Six | Taylor Jenkins Reid
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Oh how I loved this book! I‘ve wanted to be in a rock band since I was a small child. There are only two problems: 1. only I think I can sing, and 2. I learned the clarinet NOT the lead guitar 🤷🏼‍♀️ Life is so unfair. Anyway, this is told through interviews with the various band members, and is fascinating! The dynamics within the group, the relationship between Billy, the lead singer and Daisy, the OTHER lead singer. Very Fleetwood Mac 😉

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Clare_Riley
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I read this through Jellybooks, so it‘s not actually released until August. It‘s a cracker! A rip-roaring adventure story, with a strong, intelligent female lead, who can teach the men a thing or two! Not bad for a woman in the 1700‘s!

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Clare_Riley
Mouthful of Birds: Stories | Samanta Schweblin
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This was an odd one. I enjoyed some of the stories (Headlights, Preserves, and the title story), but others were a bit too odd. I did read the book all in one go, and I think it would have perhaps been better if I‘d dipped in and out.

RachelO I agree totally with your review - very strange! 3mo
24 likes1 comment
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Clare_Riley
Queenie | Candice Carty-Williams
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This book deserves to be big! It‘s so good. Queenie is a British-Jamaican, and she‘s having a few problems. Her friends are right behind her, as is her Jamaican family. It‘s funny in places, but also very serious, as it tackles subjects of mental health, abuse and risky behaviour. It‘s a real roller coaster of a read. You‘ll probably want to throw the book at Queenie from time to time, but I liked that, it made her more human. Highly recommended!

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Clare_Riley
Close to the Edge | Toby Faber
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I tried really REALLY hard to like this book. It was abysmal. The main character was the most pathetic woman I‘ve read in a book - has the author actually ever met any women? And the storyline was all over the place, as though he hadn‘t kept track of when things were supposed to happen. Characters had random personality changes which left me confused. If I hadn‘t have been reading it on The Pigeonhole, I would‘ve given up 🤷🏼‍♀️

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Clare_Riley
Lanny: A Novel | Max Porter
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Well this ended far too quickly! This is such a beautiful book - I actually rate it an ‘Uber-pick‘! If I could write a book, I would wish it could be like this. Lyrical, poetic, even. Funny, moving, and just jam packed with descriptions and imagery. The Dead Papa Toothwort bits are just a work of the most amazing mind. Am I gushing enough? If I thought Porters first book was good, this far exceeds that one. Gorgeous.

TrishB Great review👍🏻 3mo
Clare_Riley Thanks @TrishB 😊 3mo
saresmoore Sold! 3mo
See All 6 Comments
Clare_Riley I hope you enjoy it as much as I did @saresmoore ! 3mo
batsy Great review! I haven't even read his first—I'm not sure what I'm waiting for! 3mo
Clare_Riley @batsy do it! You won‘t regret It!😁 3mo
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Clare_Riley
Ayesha at Last | Uzma Jalaluddin
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I loved this!! Pride and Prejudice set in Canada with a Muslim cast. It has so much heart, it‘s funny, and most importantly, it‘s just a really good retelling. I think it might already have a film deal as well. Even the more unsavoury characters are written in such a way as they can‘t be completely reprehensible. It‘s an important story I think at this time in history - muslims are just people who live and love like anyone else.

RachelO ..and I‘m half way through this one, and would quite happily cancel everything else to read it! It‘s so much fun! 3mo
Clare_Riley @RachelO it is! I‘m glad you‘re enjoying it! 3mo
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Clare_Riley
Lanny: A Novel | Max Porter
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51 pages in, and I love this book already. This excerpt actually brought tears to my eyes (I‘m one of those ‘emotional readers‘🙄😆). And this is the least of it. Just been gushing to my 14 year old about the Dead Papa Toothwort bits. His response: “You‘re a bit weird really, aren‘t you.” How I love my children! 😂

Crazeedi I cry through books all the time, I'm right with you 4mo
Clare_Riley @Crazeedi I‘m glad I‘m not on my own! 4mo
21 likes2 comments
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Clare_Riley
Adele | Leïla Slimani
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A good start to my Spring holidays: I finished my library‘s reading challenge (only 6 books, but I keep requesting NetGalley books, and that list has gone into double figures now 😂), and these holds all came in at once!
I‘m on a mission to think of something positive every day after I lost a friend to suicide last week, and I think she‘d like today (she was a librarian at my library). She always borrowed the books I liked after I‘d finished ❤️.

batsy I'm sorry to hear that 😔 4mo
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Clare_Riley
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Mother‘s Day in the UK tomorrow. If I‘ve learnt anything in the last 14 years of motherhood, it‘s that it‘s best to get what I want for my present and not to expect mind-readers! Or I could just be using tomorrow as the ideal excuse to buy this gorgeous book 🤷🏼‍♀️ The front is embossed and the pages are all shiny and tactile. I‘ve also used the excuse that it‘s more accessible for my sons to read! An educational service, in fact! 😆

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Clare_Riley
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This is a wild ride of a book! I don‘t know what I was expecting, but I‘m about a third of the way through it and I‘m still reading it and thinking “Whaaaat?!!” I can‘t wait to see how this story progresses!
The cover art is beautiful, isn‘t it?

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Clare_Riley
The Kingdom of Copper | S. A. Chakraborty
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Well! This gets a big 5⭐️ from me! I love the world building in this, the twisty-turny politics, the back-biting & double crossing (that‘ll be the politics bit!), and you can really sink your teeth into the characters! Even the thoroughly unlikeable characters I loved reading about. You‘ve got to love a well-written despot! As you can see, lots of ‘love‘ for this book (I need a thesaurus, clearly!). Just ‘put out‘ I‘ll have to wait for the finale!

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Clare_Riley
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So I‘m still up way past my bedtime, waiting for my husband to get home with my son - they‘re in Accident and Emergency, waiting to see a doctor who will look at the X-ray and tell us whether he has broken something in his arm. They‘ve been 2 hours and will probably be longer. So I‘m reading this off Jellybooks to try and take my mind off the wait. It‘s not really working, but it‘s a good book so far!

readingjedi Hope your boy is ok. 4mo
Eyelit 💚 4mo
Clare_Riley @readingjedi thank you - it was a badly sprained wrist, so no break fortunately. They didn‘t get home until 4am, so my son gets a day off school, and me and my husband get to go to work on a couple of hours sleep 😴 4mo
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Clare_Riley
The Passing Tribute | Simon Marshall
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This one was hard work. Overly verbose, and plain confusing. I kept thinking I‘d missed something (maybe I had!). I don‘t like giving bad reviews, and someone out there may like this book far more than me, but it was too much work for little return 🤷🏼‍♀️I wish I‘d just given up, to be honest 😞

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Clare_Riley
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I loved this! Such a gripping book. Lelle still drives along the Silver Road, searching for his missing daughter after 3 years. His ‘obsession‘ has ended to his marriage. Meja has moved to the North of Sweden with her mother. Her mother has met a man on the internet and decided to move them both into his house: she has some serious mental health issues. Meja and Lelle are drawn together in this story - a story that had me on the edge of my seat!

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Clare_Riley
The Ice House | Laura Lee Smith
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I liked this gentle story of forgiveness and redemption. It meanders gently along, which meant that I felt that I really got to know the characters. A lovely book! (the little dachshund is cut off the bottom of this - he was rather cute!).

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Clare_Riley
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Such a beautifully told and well translated novel! The descriptions of the farm in Norway that Edvard the main character comes from, along with those of both the Shetland Islands and the Somme are so evocative. It‘s a mystery and a coming of age - Edvard wants to find out what happened to his parents when they died, and he leaves the insular security of his grandfathers farm to do that. Well worth a read!!

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Clare_Riley
A Pocketful of Crows | Joanne M Harris
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A grown up fairytale. It‘s a lovely story about a wild girl with no name (to name is to tame) who can travel in the bodies of wild animals. She falls in love with the local Lord‘s son, who does name her. She loses her abilities, he betrays her, and she exacts her revenge. The illustrations are gorgeous, too.

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Clare_Riley
In at the Deep End | Kate Davies
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Well this was an education! It‘s lauded as a book that every woman should read, but I honestly don‘t think my mum would read it (she‘s not open to most sex scenes, never mind the graphically described lesbian sex in this book 🤷🏼‍♀️). It‘s a great ‘coming out‘ story though, and it‘s hilarious in places. I have to say that I really enjoyed it.

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Clare_Riley
There There: A novel | Tommy Orange
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Such a good story - all of the individual characters are introduced as separate stories, and are joined at the end in quite a dramatic finale. I found the whole book fascinating, reading about Native Americans living in a city (Oakland) rather than on a reserve, which is a stereotype that we hear more of over here in the U.K. The Book was funny and sad in equal measure. This is well worthy of the praise it‘s had in my opinion.

Tanisha_A So well done, I loved it. Nice review! 5mo
Clare_Riley @Tanisha_A thank you!😊 5mo
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Clare_Riley
The Lost Man | Jane Harper
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I think I will have to hold my hands up to being a bit of a Jane Harper fan. I loved the whole atmosphere of this book - I could feel the heat of the outback, the awkwardness between the family members. And a good mystery too. I have Force of Nature in my (mountainous) tbr pile/ bookcase, and I‘ll be reading that sometime soon (hopefully!!🤷🏼‍♀️😂).

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Clare_Riley
A Spark of Light | Jodi Picoult
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This was my first Jodi Picoult book - and what a book to start with! I can see why the reviews have been so extreme, it‘s a very emotive subject. And writing a book backwards needs some getting used to - but I liked it. It was interesting to see what happened and gradually find out the motivations of the characters. It‘s quite a balanced view of abortion too, and the authors note at the end was as interesting as the rest of the book, in my opinion

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Clare_Riley
Flames | Robbie Arnott
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This book is absolutely beautiful. Steeped in magical realism and surprising at every turn. I loved it. Who wouldn‘t want to visit Tasmania after reading this?!!

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Clare_Riley
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So this happened...
It‘s the first time anything like this has happened to me, and I‘m a teeny bit excited! The publishers (Simon and Schuster) emailed me to say they were using my quote in their publicity, and I‘ve completely lost my mind and told everyone. I have no shame!😂And it really was a really good read, honestly!😉

charl08 What a fun image! 5mo
Clare_Riley @charl08 it is, isn‘t it!! 5mo
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Clare_Riley
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Let it never be said that I only stick to one genre! A friend recommended that I try this book (her favourite author), and do you know what, I rather liked it! I suppose there must be another 6 books in the series? And I‘ll bet they‘re all whoppers like this one! It‘s a large book (463 pages)! Nice story though!

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