'When governess Anna Arbuthnot arrives at Ridley Hall, she finds a house in deep mourning. Lyndon Wilder, oldest and most beloved son of Lord and Lady Charles has been killed in the Napoleonic Wars, leaving behind him a now orphaned daughter, Lottie and other undiscovered troubles. Anna finds it easy to establish a bond with her young charge, but other relationships in the house begin to strain under the weight of Lyndon's absence. When Thomas Wilder, the younger son and new heir, returns from war, he finds his family in chaos and Lyndon's legacy threatening Ridley Hall's future. As executor of his brother's will and guardian of his daughter, Thomas is forced to leave the military life he loves, and is confined to the faltering estate of his childhood. It is only with Anna's help that Thomas can save Ridley, and most crucially, protect his parents from the truth about Lyndon Wilder...'
Set during the Napoleonic Wars, ‘The Death of Lyndon Wilder and the Consequences Thereof’ follows the fortunes of Anna Arbuthnot, a young woman who finds work as a governess at Ridley Hall. When Anna arrives to begin her employment, she discovers the household in mourning due to the tragic, but valiant, death of Lyndon Wilder, the oldest son of Lord and Lady Charles and heir to the estate, whilst fighting the French. Lyndon’s orphaned daughter, Lottie, is to be Anna’s charge.
As the new heir to Ridley Hall, as well as the executor of Lyndon’s will and Lottie’s guardian, Lyndon’s younger brother, Major Thomas Wilder, feels obliged to leave the military and return home, whereupon he finds his family and the estate in disarray.
Just when Thomas is beginning to feel that he may be getting Ridley under control, a stranger turns up threatening to reveal the truth behind Lyndon’s ‘heroic’ death, Thomas must find a way to hide the truth about their precious eldest son from his mother and father, and Anna could be just the woman to help him.
With a definite air of Jane Austen, particularly in the little snatches of humour throughout the story (Lady Charles’ written apology to Anna being an absolute highlight), this was a charming story, with some very engaging
characters. My one complaint would be that I felt description of landscapes,
buildings and the clothing of the time seemed to be a little lacking, and I would have liked to have seen much more of this to have gained a proper feel for the period. However, having said this, Dineley did seem to have an extremely good grasp of early nineteenth century mores and social niceties, and had clearly done her homework regarding the running of an estate at this
Each and every one of Dineley’s characters made their mark and held my interest, no mean feat in a novel with a fairly extensive cast. Anna and
Thomas were lovely protagonists, and I followed their dealings with one another with great interest. I couldn’t help but want the best for both of them, which, for me anyway, meant them being together, even if that meant Lady Charles getting in a bit of a state at the thought of her son fraternising with the governess!
I do hope that Dineley is at least contemplating a sequel, perhaps concentrating on Lottie’s friend Horatio, who was delightful - I’m very anxious to find out what the future holds for him. There was certainly plenty that the author could build on at the end of the novel.
Set in a period of history of great interest to me, and following the lives of a truly exceptional set of characters, I relished every page of this gentile and delightful tale.
4 and a half stars
'One morning a librarian finds a reader who has been locked in overnight. She starts to talk to him, a one-way conversation that soon gathers pace as an outpouring of frustrations, observations and anguishes. Two things shine through: her shy, unrequited passion for a quiet researcher named Martin, and an ardent and absolute love of books. A delightful flight of fancy for the lonely bookworm in all of us...'
Translated into English by Sian Reynolds, ‘The Library of Unrequited Love’ is a short work of only 92 pages and is Divry’s first novel.
The book consists of a one-sided conversation between a librarian who turns up at work one morning to discover a reader asleep in her section. Taking the opportunity of a captive audience to vent her many frustrations, including being stuck working in Geography, when her real passion is History, and people fiddling around with the Dewey Decimal System, the librarian even reveals her unrequited love for a researcher named Martin.
The monologue nature of the tale meant that I quickly got to know the very opinionated librarian very well, and I found I really liked her character: she was so passionate and observant. Some of her wry little comments really made me laugh.
I wasn’t quite sure what to think of this book when I first started it, but the author’s quiet humour drew me in and I quickly became absorbed. The quality of the translation is absolutely superb; I honestly would never have guessed that this book hadn’t originally been written in English.
I admit I was a little surprised by what I considered to be a rather sudden ending to the book, I’d assumed the ending would involve the reader speaking in reply to the librarian, or the pair being disturbed by the library opening, but this was not the case.
‘The Library of Unrequited Love’ was delightfully different and engaging; I was swiftly drawn into the story thanks to its wonderfully quirky protagonist. Divry has produced that I consider to be one of the finest short novels I’ve ever read.
4 and a half stars
'Olivia Berrington gets the call to tell her that her best friend from university has been killed in a car crash in New York, her life is turned upside down. Her relationship with Sally was an exhilarating roller coaster, until a shocking betrayal drove them apart. But if Sally really had turned her back, why is her little girl named after Olivia? As questions mount about the fatal accident, Olivia is forced to go back and unravel their tangled history.
But as Sally's secrets start to spill out, Olivia's left asking herself if the past is best kept buried.'
Olivia Berrington hasn’t spoken to Sally, her best friend from university, for years since their very intense relationship turned sour. Despite this, the news that Sally has been killed in a car crash comes as a terrible shock to Olivia, and she’s puzzled to discover that Sally’s daughter has Olivia as her middle name.
When Olivia learns it’s possible Sally committed suicide, she’s determined to help William, Sally’s widower, find out the truth behind her old friend’s death. However, it’s not long before she and William become close, and Olivia begins to have feelings which aren’t exactly fitting given the circumstances.
I loved following the very fragile relationship between Olivia and William. William’s character was very well-written, and his turmoil over his grief and his new feelings for his dead wife’s friend was convincing. His pairing with Olivia didn’t feel inappropriate to me, but possibly this was just because Sally was such an unpleasant little madam, that I didn’t really feel anyone should grieve for her too much!
Of course the focus of the novel is Olivia’s feelings regarding Sally, and I found this absolutely fascinating. Moran writes brilliantly about just how toxic friendships between girls can become, and her comparisons with love affairs are absolutely spot-on. Olivia never stops caring about Sally, but eventually she gets to the point where she realises what they have together is damaging. I felt like cheering when she finally tells Sally exactly what she
thinks of her.
At first I thought Olivia was a bit of a wet lettuce, living with a man she’s loved for years, but who has no romantic interest in her, and never sticking up for herself at work; but by the time I got to know her better I really liked her and wanted her to have someone care about her the way she so deserved.
As for Sally, she was a wonderful character: complex, cunning and clever. I hated what she did to Olivia and was very shocked by some of her actions. She was just so manipulative!
‘The Last Time I Saw You’ was very, very cleverly written. Moran created a fantastic ‘villainess’ in Sally, and her friendship with Olivia was extremely compelling. It seemed clear to me from very early on that William and Olivia were perfect together, and I loved following their story to its, very satisfying, conclusion.
4 and a half stars
‘Starter: If twenty-six-year-old Hannah Sugarman had her way, she'd be whipping up carrot cakes and running her culinary empire. Instead, she spends her hours cooking up papers on the financial crisis. It doesn't help that no one in her life takes her passion seriously - not even her boyfriend. Main: When her relationship implodes, Hannah decides to jump-start her life by hosting a secret supper club out of her landlord's flat. Her underground operation presents some problems. Running an unlicensed restaurant out of someone's home is not, technically speaking, legal. Dessert: As the success of Hannah's supper club grows, so do the number of secrets she is forced to keep. Can Hannah keep her pop-up restaurant underground? When mysterious guests turn up for dinner, can she handle the heat? Or will she have to step out of the kitchen? A charming romantic comedy, "The Secret Supper Club" is a story about finding yourself, fulfilling your dreams, and falling in love along the way.’
Hannah Sugarman dreams of setting up her own secret supper club, but listens to her boyfriend and parents when they tell her to forget about her passion for cooking and concentrate on her future academic career. However, when Hannah’s relationship ends, she decides to take the plunge and put her cooking skills to the test by hosting a supper club in her new basement apartment. When events conspire to make this impossible, Hannah decides to take advantage of her landlord being away, and uses his house to entertain her guests.
This first evening proves to be a huge success, and Hannah is inundated with people wanting to sample her cooking. Before long she’s secretly using her landlord’s home regularly and things are getting out of hand, especially when Hannah gets to know him and the pair form a friendship. Because Hannah’s secret will come out sooner or later, and the one thing she can be sure of is that her landlord will not be impressed when he learns his house has been used for an unlicensed, and therefore illegal, restaurant.
Hannah was a great heroine – she was a complete individual, but one who had found herself in a job that was completely wrong for her. She’d allowed herself to be slightly railroaded by her parents who are sure they know what’s best for her. Using her landlord’s house to host her supper clubs was obviously wrong, but it wasn’t such a terrible crime that it put me off Hannah at all. She worried about it enough that it was clear she really was a decent person.
By contrast, Hannah’s work colleague, Millie, made a fantastic villainess: she was just horrible and I couldn’t wait for her to receive her come-uppance!
Something that really stood out for me when reading this tale was the author’s obvious affection for Washington DC: her descriptions of the various neighbourhoods, markets and buildings were charming, and really added to my enjoyment of the book. DC made a nice city setting, and a welcome change from New York.
Food plays a huge role in the novel, and I really liked this. There’s a nice selection of recipes at the end of the book, I’ll definitely be making the carrot cake at the earliest opportunity. I particularly enjoyed learning more about some traditionally Jewish food, which I don’t have much knowledge of, but have always been interested in.
‘The Secret Supper Club’ is one of the best debuts I’ve read in recent years. Hannah was an engaging and likable heroine, who I loved reading about, and her situation kept me completely enthralled. I can’t wait to see what Bate produces next.
4 and a half stars
‘Can the imperfect family really have the perfect Christmas? Juliet Joyce adores Christmas. She loves the presents, the tree, the turkey, the tinsel, everything. Already the festive spirit is upon her, which is just as well as this Christmas things are starting to get out of hand. Her son Tom is out of work and bringing home a slew of unsuitable partners; pregnant daughter Chloe and her little boy have moved back in; Juliet's father, Frank, is getting over a heartbreak of his own and Rita, her eccentric mother, is behaving more erratically each day. And has the chaos got too much for Juliet's husband Rick? With the big day fast approaching, Juliet hopes that she can stop everything spiralling out of control, because the only thing she wants is her family all around her and her home to be filled WITH LOVE AT CHRISTMAS.’
Juliet Joyce loves Christmas, and is determined to do everything she can to make the holiday season perfect for her family. Unfortunately, they seem to have other ideas: Juliet’s husband Rick is worried about his business, and with money tight, splurging on Christmas gifts is the last thing he feels like doing. Meanwhile, Juliet’s two grown up children, Tom and Chloe, are both back living at home; Chloe is pregnant with her second child, but stubbornly refuses to try to make things work with her children’s father, whilst Tom is out of work and brings home a different partner every Saturday night. Add to the mix Juliet’s mother, Rita, who’s also moved in and is becoming increasingly moody and forgetful, and father, Frank, who’s just lost his partner, and it’s clear why Juliet is almost at the end of her tether!
‘With Love At Christmas’ sees the return of the Joyce family, who also star in Matthews’ previous novel ‘That Loving Feeling’, which is set two years previously. This was my first experience of the characters, but I’ll be sure to read up on their other adventures when I get a chance.
I must admit that when I started this book I was worried that I’d struggle with it. The protagonists didn’t come across particularly vibrant or engaging and the setting seemed dull. However, I was happily proved very, very wrong. I very quickly bonded with Juliet and her husband Rick, and became engrossed in this lovely story.
Juliet, in particular, was a wonderful character; I loved how she had such plans to make her own mince pies and Christmas cake but never actually gets round to it! She’s so nice to everyone, and so welcoming at Christmas, even though she’s run completely ragged. She does everything possible to make sure that all her guests have a wonderful time. I truly despaired of her children, especially when Tom turns up for Christmas lunch with the awful Mali as his date!
Matthews does humour very well, and this book contains many giggle-worthy moments, but there are also several touching scenes, particularly involving Juliet’s relationship with her mother and father, which I really enjoyed and added depth to the story.
Carole Matthews has produced a near-perfect Christmassy read, full of gentle humour and delightful characters. Hopefully the Joyces will be revisited very soon, but in the next instalment I’d like Juliet and Rick to win the lottery. They could do with some good luck!
4 and a half stars
‘Duty and love collide on the arid plains of central South Africa. Previously released as 'Karoo Plainsong' this is a fully revised debut novel. Cathleen Harrington leaves her home in Ireland in 1919 to travel to South Africa and marry the fiance she has not seen for five years. Isolated and estranged in a harsh landscape, she finds solace in her diary and the friendship of her housemaid's daughter, Ada. Cathleen recognises in her someone she can love and respond to in a way that she cannot with her own husband and daughter. Under Cathleen's tutelage, Ada grows into an accomplished pianist, and a reader who cannot resist turning the pages of the diary, discovering the secrets Cathleen sought to hide. When Ada is compromised and finds she is expecting a mixed-race child, she flees her home, determined to spare Cathleen the knowledge of her betrayal, and the disgrace that would descend upon the family. Scorned within her own community, Ada is forced to carve a life for herself, her child, and her music. But Cathleen still believes in Ada, and risks the constraints of apartheid to search for her and persuade her to return with her daughter. Beyond the cruelty, there is love, hope - and redemption.’
Set in South Africa during the Apartheid, the housemaid’s daughter in question is a young black woman named Ada. Ada’s white mistress Cathleen takes a shine to Ada and teaches her to read, write and play the piano. However, when Ada finds herself in a seemingly impossible situation, she runs away, hoping to spare her beloved mistress any disgrace. But what Ada doesn’t reckon upon is Cathleen’s determination to find her and fight against the prejudices of the time to bring Ada home where she belongs.
‘The Housemaid’s Daughter’ is a blunt, but not overly-dramatised portrayal of life during the Apartheid. The violence tends to go around Ada; she does her best to remain outside it, despite difficult circumstances. The novel really shows how the turmoil affected regular people, particularly women, many of whom had no real political or racial agenda: they just wanted to get on with their lives. Ada was an incredibly strong leading lady; she’s knocked down so many times, but she just keeps dusting herself down and getting straight back up again.
I also really liked the character of Cathleen, and I loved how we learn so much about her from her own diary entries. In a way she’s even stronger than Ada, as she actually puts herself in the path of potential persecution to help someone that most would have considered extremely unworthy of her love.
Obviously the Apartheid is an area of history that continues to be very close to people’s hearts, and its scars have yet to fully heal. This very traumatic period is beautifully dealt with by the author and shown through the eyes of an extremely engaging and thought-provoking heroine.
Exquisitely written, I felt transported in time and place, and was so engrossed in Ada’s life that there was no convincing me to put the book down. Mutch seems to have a deep understanding of what the South African people must have gone through during the Apartheid. She sensitively conveys their hopes and fears very well indeed, and in her very down-to-Earth manner, doesn’t shy away from the truth of what South Africa experienced. A true modern classic.
4 and a half stars
‘Having grown up on the quiet island of Guernsey, Betty Dean can't wait to start her new life in London. On a mission to find Clara Pickle - the mysterious beneficiary in her grandmother's will - she arrives in grungy, 1990s Soho, ready for whatever life has to throw at her. Or so she thinks...In 1920s bohemian London, Arlette - Betty's grandmother - is starting her new life in a time of post-war change. Beautiful and charismatic, Arlette is soon drawn into the hedonistic world of the Bright Young People. But less than two years later, tragedy strikes and she flees back to Guernsey for the rest of her life. As Betty searches for Clara, she is taken on a journey through Arlette's extraordinary time in London, uncovering a tale of love, loss and heartbreak. Will the secrets of Arlette's past help Betty on her path to happiness?’
Betty has spent years putting her own dreams on hold whilst looking after her elderly grandmother, Arlette, in a big, old house on the island of Guernsley. When Arlette dies, leaving a mystery London-based benefactor some money in her will, Betty heads to Soho, determined to fulfil her grandmother’s wishes and more than ready for her life to truly begin. What Betty discovers will change everything she thought she knew about her grandmother, and possibly herself as well.
‘Before I Met You’ seamlessly flits between 1920s and 1990s London, and I loved reading about both periods, although the 1920s scenes did hold a particular fascination for me. Lisa must have had so much fun researching the music and clothes of the era! One brilliant addition to the tale was the use of genuine historical facts about the Southern Syncopated Orchestra, a group who toured the UK during 1919-1921. The information is very cleverly weaved into the story, which was not only extremely interesting, but resulted in the culmination of Arlette’s time in London being all the more poignant.
I adored both of the story’s heroines. Betty was so caring to Arlette and so brave going off to London all by herself, especially when she’d had so little experience of cities or even renting a flat as she’d been stuck on Guernsey for so long. She doesn’t let anything get her down for long, and meets some fascinating characters along the way. The choices she faces are tough, and I had almost as hard a time as she did trying to decide what she should do for the best.
As for Arlette, her London life starts off just as life for a 1920s girl about town should – she’s pretty, has fabulous clothes and plenty of friends to ‘gad about with’! When circumstances go against her it just seems so unfair because she really is the last person to deserve such bad luck! She has a wonderful dignity throughout, which I found very engaging and made me warm to her.
Lisa Jewell has proved again and again that she’s one of the finest writers of women’s fiction around, and with ‘Before I Met You’ she’s produced another very good read. She’s an author whose new novels I eagerly anticipate and she immediately goes to the top of my ‘to read’ pile. She’s going to have a hard time topping this with her next offering!
4 and a half stars
‘Ninepins is an isolated former tollhouse, standing high on a bank beside a waterway in the Cambridgeshire fens. There, since her divorce, Laura lives alone with her 12-year-old daughter, Beth. Below the bank stands the old pumphouse – a former fen drainage station – which is rented to a series of student lodgers. But this year’s lodger is different: Willow is seventeen, and in local authority care. Battling down her reservations, Laura takes her on.
Do Willow’s strangenesses and her mysterious and troubled past make her a threat to Laura and, especially, to Beth? What were the circumstances surrounding the act of arson which led to Willow being taken into care? Set against the brooding landscape of the fens, Ninepins explores the perils and rewards of bringing a stranger into your home. It traces a mother’s fears for her daughter as she struggles to decide whether Willow is vulnerable or dangerous – or perhaps a bit of both.’
The eponymous Ninepins is a house in the Cambridgeshire fens lived in by Laura and her daughter Beth. Looking for a new lodger, Laura agrees to allow 17-year-old care-leaver Willow to move in. However, Willow has something of a mysterious, and possibly criminal, past, making Laura reluctant to let her guard down completely and trust her with Beth. What isn’t clear is whether Willow is just a young woman in need of some support and a helping hand, or if she poses a real danger to those around her.
‘Ninepins’ is the first of Thornton’s novels to be published by Sandstone Press, and despite the very different cover design, the writer’s usual wonderful style is clear from the start. Thornton’s love of the Cambridge fens shines out from every page; her descriptions of the landscape around the house are beautiful, and created the most wonderful imagery in my mind.
Although dark in places, ‘Ninepins’ is essentially a gentle drama and much of the action takes place literally around the kitchen sink: caring for others, and in particular cooking for them, is central to Laura’s character. The story deals with three very different, but very engaging, heroines. They’re all at very different stages in their lives, but the author manages to capture the essence of each of them perfectly. She does an especially fine job of brilliantly portraying the anguish and confusion of being a twelve year old girl, naturally misunderstood by every adult she knows. Thornton encapsulates the trauma of being a child on the verge of teenagerdom so well, without ever resorting to teenage caricature.
The relationship between Laura and Beth was for me the very heart of the novel. The descriptions of Laura’s desperation and confusion as she tries to win back the little girl she once knew make slightly uncomfortable reading - it’s just so honest! At times Laura almost drove me to despair with now ridiculously nice and understanding she was; I wanted to shake some sense into her, either that or make everyone around her appreciate how lovely she was.
The ending felt like a little bit of a let down when I first read it, but I was happier upon contemplation; in a way I decided it felt more like a beginning for the characters: a new, and very hopeful, chapter in all their lives.
Rosy Thornton writes very fine fiction indeed and ‘Ninepins’ is sure to delight new readers as well as her current numerous faithful followers. Thornton’s characterisation is absolutely top notch and creates a tale that both captivated and enthralled. I heartily recommend.
4 and a half stars
‘A Border Collie, after becoming homeless, searches for a family to love. After many weeks of adventure and living the life of a homeless dog, Shales is finally adopted by a family who loves him. As he comes to love his new family, there comes the burden of coping with his family's tragedies, scandals, and their eventual decline into old age. His loyalty to those he loves is heart warming, and Shales reminds us that dogs have a deep desire to love and be loved. Beautifully written, Forever Shales is set in the latter years of 19th century England, with real-life characters and genuine locations. At times humorous and at times serious, Shales will entertain you and guide you through Victorian England and its lifestyle of a bygone era.’
Set in late 19th century England, ‘Forever Shales’ is a book for young adults following the life of a border collie named Shales and the family he lives with.
Told from Shales’ viewpoint, this lovely historical novel really is ‘Black Beauty’ for dog lovers. I particularly enjoyed the early chapters with our lead canine working out just what was expected of him by the humans, and attempting to keep his exuberant puppy temperament in check. There was a very sweet episode with a fan needing attacking that made me smile.
Berkeley’s descriptions of both landscapes and architecture are very good, and she manages to capture the feel of 19th century England in her writing. The author is obviously very knowledgeable about this period of history, and this shows in the effortless way that the day to day life of the dog and his family is conveyed.
Although Shales’ adventures are fictional, there is a large element of the writer’s family history in this tale. Very cleverly, Berkeley has researched her own ancestors and uses these genuine people from the era in her story, adding fictional padding and characters where necessary.
I loved the artwork in the book, particularly the beautifully drawn maps, and the list of characters at the beginning was very helpful – there really are a lot of them!
Whilst very well-written and extremely enjoyable, I can’t help but worry that the slightly old-fashioned feel to the story, and subtle cover, will mean this is a book bought for teenagers by the adults that love it rather than by the children themselves. I hope I’m wrong in this theory, and that plenty of young people give ‘Forever Shales’ a chance and allow themselves the opportunity to enjoy this delightful, very absorbing tale.
4 and a half stars
‘Lou Clark knows lots of things. She knows how many footsteps there are between the bus stop and home. She knows she likes working in The Buttered Bun tea shop and she knows she might not love her boyfriend Patrick. What Lou doesn't know is she's about to lose her job or that knowing what's coming is what keeps her sane. Will Traynor knows his motorcycle accident took away his desire to live. He knows everything feels very small and rather joyless now and he knows exactly how he's going to put a stop to that. What Will doesn't know is that Lou is about to burst into his world in a riot of colour. And neither of them knows they're going to change the other for all time.’
When Lou Clark loses the waitressing job she loves, she’s got no time to wallow: financial problems at home mean she needs to find employment fast, so she becomes a companion/carer to a paraplegic named Will Traynor. Before his accident, Will lived a full, adventurous and exhilarating life, but is now unable to do any of the things he loves and is in a lot of pain. Lou accepts the job, hoping she’ll be able to cope with Will’s dark moods and general awkwardness. Then just when Lou is getting closer to Will, she discovers his plan to go to Dignitas and end his life. Lou’s immediate response is to attempt to change Will’s mind by showing him everything he still has to live for, but will she be able to change Will’s mind in time?
What I found particularly intriguing about this book was that the central question wasn’t whether Will’s quality of life was poor enough to warrant his ending it, but rather whether he should be able to end a life he’s not happy in. Not only Will’s feelings, but also those of his family, and of course, Lou are examined, and it really made me think about how such a decision can affect so many people, and provoke many different reactions.
Moyes did a good job of establishing a very strong social difference between Will and Lou: despite the fact that they lived quite close to one another, their families and homes are vastly different; this was perhaps the first obstacle that Lou in particular had to overcome before she and Will could become true friends. The relationship which eventually developed between the two was completely compelling and engaging, and didn’t feel at all forced or unrealistic.
I found Lou’s character interesting: she was far too comfortable being stuck in a rut, but for Lou to be truly happy and live the life she deserves, she needed to challenge herself and push her self-imposed boundaries. It’s Will who sees this, and he does all he can to help her.
I’m afraid I loathed the heroine’s sister with a vengeance: she was just so horrible, selfish and self-righteous. She thought about nobody other than herself and seemed to believe she was somehow better than Lou - who, if nothing else, was a much nicer person that her sibling. However, my hatred actually worked to the story’s advantage as it made me even more concerned that Lou should make something of herself.
I’m sure Jojo Moyes is getting absolutely sick of reading Tweets describing where her readers were whilst they cried pitifully at the climax of her book, but really, she’s brought it on herself – it’s such a sad story, I knew pretty early on that I’d be blubbing like the rest well before the end.
Moyes deals with an extremely sensitive and emotional subject very well, and has succeeded in bringing a complex, thought-provoking and heart-breaking issue into popular fiction. She’s done an incredible job with this brilliant book and deserves all the success it’s bringing her.
4 and a half stars