Posted in Book Review, Family Drama, Friendship, Literary Fiction, Mystery

4* #Review The First Time Lauren Pailing Died – Alyson Rudd @HQStories @allyrudd_times #LiteraryFiction #timeslip #love #grief #family #friends #mystery

Lauren Pailing is born in the sixties and a child of the seventies. She is thirteen years old the first time she dies.

Lauren Pailing is a teenager in the eighties, becomes a Londoner in the nineties. And each time she dies, new lives begin for the people who loved her – while Lauren enters a brand new life, too.

But in each of Lauren’s lives, a man called Peter Stanning disappears. And, in each of her lives, Lauren sets out to find him.

And so it is that every ending is also a beginning. And so it is that, with each new beginning, Peter Stanning inches closer to finally being found…

Amazon UK

Waterstones

I received a copy of this book from HQ via NetGalley in return for an honest review.

My Thoughts…

This story may not appeal to everyone. You have to be willing to accept the concept of parallel lives that exist but only come to your notice, if you act in a certain way. Lauren Paling as a young girl, sees snapshots of her other possible lives, she learns not to share these insights with others who don’t understand, but then she dies and the emotional rollercoaster journey begins.

In each life she is different, and although surrounded by those who love her, they may relate to her, in different ways. The stories explore, love friendship, relationships loss and grief in a poignant way.

Lauren is searching for a mystery man in each life, without knowing his significance to her, if any. This is a story that can be read more than once, and perhaps needs to be, to fully grasp everything it is about, but that might just be me?

The historical scene-setting is well done, I grew up in this time frame, and I enjoyed the mid to late 20th Century references. Each life has subtle differences to authenticate it to Lauren, as part of her struggles to accept her new present and forget what has gone before.

The plot is detailed and the characters are likeable and believable, despite the extraordinariness of the storyline. This has a uniqueness, because of its emotional content and characterisation, even though the parallel lives concept is often used in science- fiction literature.

If you enjoy variety in your reading and enjoy a lovely, out worldly story this is for you.

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Posted in Book Review

3* Review: City on Fire – Garth Risk Hallberg

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Mystery Thriller Blurb

It’s New Year’s Eve, 1976, and New York is a city on the edge. As midnight approaches, a blizzard sets in – and an unmistakable sound rings out across Central Park. Gunshots. Two of them.

The search for the shooter will bring together a rich cast of New Yorkers. From the reluctant heirs to one of the city’s greatest fortunes, to a couple of Long Island kids drawn to the nascent punk scene downtown. From the newly arrived and enchanted, to those so sick of the city they want to burn it to the ground. All these lives are connected to one another – and to the life that still clings to that body in the park. Whether they know it or not, they are bound up in the same story – a story where history and revolution, love and art, crime and conspiracy are all packed into a single shell, ready to explode.

Then, on July 13th, 1977, the lights go out in New York City.

Mystery Thriller Buy Links

Amazon UK 

Amazon

Mystery Thriller My Review

City on Fire

The characters, setting and plot of this story are engaging; unfortunately it is too long for these positives to retain their impact. This book may appeal to the ‘one book a year reader’ but not someone, who reads for escapism and variety.
I really wanted to like this book, as I grew up in the seventies. I love reading about different reactions and actions to a memorable incident but there were so many superfluous details in this story, the ethos and vintage quality of it got lost.

Reviewing a book is a subjective thing and once again the opinions of those who influence book purchases, are not necessarily those of the readers who buy the books, on their recommendation.
I received a copy of this book from Vintage, Penguin Random House Jonathan Cape via NetGalley in return for an honest review.

City on Fire by Garth Risk Hallberg

My rating: 3 of 5 stars


City on Fire by Garth Risk Hallberg

Garth Risk Hallberg

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Posted in Book Review, New Books

4* Review: The Girl Who Lived By The River -Part 4 – Mark Daydy

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Winter Blurb

It’s 1978. Will Tom’s chances of finally taking his relationship with Claire to the ultimate levels of ecstasy be affected by her being in a different country? What exactly is Tom’s musical destiny? And is he the man to finally sort out his mixed-up family?

Winter Buy Links

Amazon UK

Amazon

Winter My Review

The Girl Who Lived By The River: Part FourThe final part of ‘The Girl Who Lived by the River’ takes place in 1978.
Tom, now eighteen realises what it means to be an adult and starts to reassess his teenage aspirations and dreams. His on/off relationship with Claire is ongoing but with the release of her group’s first single, the chance she will want what Tom has to offer her seems remote.
Tom’s reactions to the political and industrial unrest of this time show how he has matured from the beginning of the book.
The final instalment of Tom’s teenage angst reveals the secrets of the family mystery and answers the question of when he will lose his virginity. There are certainly a few surprises along the way.
If you enjoy ‘retro’, I recommend this book, which captures the late seventies perfectly and introduces the reader to realistic, memorable characters. This is an enjoyable read.
I received a copy of this book from the author in return for an honest review.

 

The Girl Who Lived By The River: Part Four by Mark Daydy

My rating: 4 of 5 stars


The Girl Who Lived By The River Part Four by Mark Daydy

Mark Daydy

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Posted in Book Review, New Books

4* Review: The Girl Who Lived By The River – Mark Daydy

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Poppy - Blurb
If you’ve ever experienced the joys and agonies of growing up (well, who hasn’t!) – then travel back to 1975 and meet Tom Alder whose life would be just perfect if only he had a girlfriend, some guitar skills and a family without quite so many skeletons in the closet.
Flowers - Buy LinksAmazon UK
Amazon
Flowers - My Review

The Girl Who Lived By The River: Part One Part one, of this four part serial takes you back to the 1970’s. The intermittent decade in the UK between the swinging sixties and the affluent eighties. Epitomised by industrial decline, trade unions, bad fashion and music. I was a teenager in the seventies and this story captures the decade of austerity, glam rock and disco perfectly. A story of first love and teenage aspirations, set in London’s docklands, before it became a fashionable place to live. This gentle, humorous story will draw you into Tom’s world.

Tom has never had a girlfriend but he aims to put that right, before his rapidly approaching sixteenth birthday. Tom is a likeable character and typical of a teenage boy in the seventies, before the internet, sophisticated computer games and musical downloads. Tom, like so many young boys wants to be a rock star, the gateway to fame, riches and women. The first part of this, often poignant serial explores his tentative steps towards forming a band and finding himself a girlfriend.

Through Tom’s school friends and foe, you meet lots of interesting, realistic characters and experience the camaraderie and difficulties of living in the London’s East End; at a time when the docks were in decline and unemployment out of control. A curious mix of new adult and romantic comedy this introduction to Tom’s life is easy to read and addictive. I can’t wait to see what 1976 brings for Tom, in part two.

I received a copy of this book from the author in return for an honest review.

The Girl Who Lived By The River: Part One by Mark Daydy
My rating: 4 of 5 stars


The Girl Who Lived By The River Part One by Mark Daydy

Mark Daydy

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