Friday, 7 July 2017

The Stolen Child by Lisa Carey

Synopsis and author’s note:

From the author of the critically acclaimed The Mermaids Singing comes a haunting, luminous novel set on an enchanted island off the west coast of Ireland where magic, faith, and superstition pervade the inhabitants’ lives and tangled relationships—perfect for fans of Eowyn Ivey, Sarah Waters, and Angela Carter.

May 1959. From one side of St. Brigid’s Island, the mountains of Connemara can be glimpsed on the distant mainland; from the other, the Atlantic stretches as far as the eye can see. This remote settlement, without electricity or even a harbor, has scarcely altered since its namesake saint set up a convent of stone huts centuries ago. Those who live there, including sisters Rose and Emer, are hardy and resourceful, dependent on the sea and each other for survival. Despite the island’s natural beauty, it is a place that people move away from, not to—until an outspoken American, also named Brigid, arrives to claim her late uncle’s cottage.

Brigid has come for more than an inheritance. She’s seeking a secret holy well that’s rumoured to grant miracles. Emer, as scarred and wary as Rose is friendly and beautiful, has good reason to believe in inexplicable powers. Despite her own strange abilities—or perhaps because of them—Emer fears that she won’t be able to save her young son, Niall, from a growing threat. Yet Brigid has a gift too, even more remarkable than Emer’s. As months pass and Brigid carves out a place on the island and in the sisters’ lives, a complicated web of betrayal, fear, and desire culminates in one shocking night that will change the island, and its inhabitants, forever.

Steeped in Irish history and lore, The Stolen Child is a mesmerizing descent into old world beliefs, and a captivating exploration of desire, myth, motherhood, and love in all its forms

My review:

There a handful of books that leave scars on your soul and re surface once in a while so you never forget them. This is most definitely one of them.

Let’s start with the cover on this one. Amazing – I fell in love with the cover and didn’t really care about the blurb. But after reading that as well I was sold on this book. It was intriguing and didn’t really give that much away.

And oh my, I was in for a treat.

I can only describe this novel as beautiful. Set on a Irish island of St Brigid’s, the story follow one of the island women called Emer, twin to the more beautiful and popular Rose, and a newcomer Brigid, whose arrival will change the island in ways people could not imagine.

I don’t like to give the story away, so I would just say that I loved how the relationship between Emer and Brigid developed. Emer was so quietly desperate for her own friend and Brigid so desperate for the one thing she always wanted and never got. Their loneliness and despair brings them together and rip apart everything they believed in.

The island life was so stunningly portrayed I could just imagine the scenery when the women were walking the hills or having a picnic. The idea of fairies and changelings, superstition and healing magic is so well incorporated into the whole story and makes it that much more special.

Thank you to the author and TBConFB for access to this book in return for this honest review.

My rating: 5/5

Author’s Website:

Available to purchase from:

Thursday, 29 June 2017

Child of Clay (Those Who Are Awake #1) by Fiona Skye

Synopsis and author’s note:

Abandoned at birth on the steps of a Catholic orphanage, Jerrilyn Seton spent most of her childhood learning about the saints and angels, serving Jesus, and suffering the sisters' tough discipline, until they, too, abandoned her. Despite this, she still relies on her faith to help her with her work as a ghost hunter. But not once has she ever received an answer to her prayers.

Until now.

Now Jerrilyn hears whispers in the dark, a strange voice that hints at hidden knowledge about her origins and the fate of the world. How are they connected? What will she sacrifice to become one of Those Who Are Awake?

My review:

Oh my goodness, where do I start. I loved it. And I need more.

This is the perfect book for lovers of supernatural, with gripping scenes, angels, demons and ghost and a couple of ghost/demon hunters with just the right amount of attraction to keep them going but not overtake the story.

Both main characters are very likable and most readers will be able to associate with them. Jerrilyn is a strong individual, roaming the United States, helping lost souls to cross over. What she doesn’t realise until she meets Travis, is that there is much more to her gift that she ever expected.

Travis opens a whole new world for Jerri, world that frightens her (well demons are scary), but at the same time invites her to finally find out more about her own roots and what really is the reason that she was put on this earth.

Fabulous book – I cannot praise it enough and I hope that the second installment isn’t going to take too long.

Thank you to the author and TBConFB for access to this book in return for this honest review.

My rating: 5/5

Author’s Website:

Available to purchase from:

Wednesday, 21 June 2017

When I Wake Up by Jessica Jarlvi #blogtour #ariafiction

Firstly I would love to say thank you to Yasemin at Aria for letting me be a part of this #blogtour. I am rather partial to a bit a crime fiction and this book certainly didn’t miss the mark.


A breathtaking, heart-pounding, dark debut, sure to delight fans of The Girl on the Train and Before I Go To Sleep.

When Anna, a much-loved teacher and mother of two, is left savagely beaten and in a coma, a police investigation is launched. News of the attack sends shock waves through her family and their small Swedish community. Anna seems to have had no enemies, so who wanted her dead?

As loved-ones wait anxiously by her bedside, her husband Erik is determined to get to the bottom of the attack, and soon begins uncovering his wife's secret life, and a small town riven with desire, betrayal and jealousy. 

As the list of suspects grows longer, it soon becomes clear that only one person can reveal the truth, and she's lying silent in a hospital bed...

My review:

Brilliant book. What more can I say?

Every page and every chapter took me on a journey I wasn’t expecting. I changed my mind about each character so many times my head is still spinning now.

The book begins with Anna being attacked. Whilst she is lying in a hospital bed in a coma, we start learning about the people around her. We learn about her husband Erik, who drove me absolutely potty and I can only describe as Anna’s third selfish child, who on the surface seems like the devoted husband. Nut has secrets of his own.

We learn about her student Daniel and his unhealthy obsession with her, but who could blame him, taking into account his own painful background.

And we also start learning about her other relationships - the ones from Anna’s second life that she hides from everyone else.

This book journeys into the deep, dark corners of every character’s soul and takes you through all their dirty laundry, their deepest secrets and desires and just proves that not all is what it seems.

I don’t like giving the plot away and you wouldn’t want me too. This book is a page after page of discovery and really worth the read. Very clever writing with many plots and twists and turns. Just my cup of tea – surely life would be boring if we could work everything out from the start?

Thank you to the author and Aria Fiction for access to this book in return for this honest review.

My rating: 5/5

About the author:

Born in Sweden, Jessica moved to London at the age of 18 to obtain a BSc Hons degree in Publishing and Business. She worked in publishing in the UK for a number of years before heading to Chicago where she edited a magazine for expats. Back in Sweden, she completed a Masters in Creative Writing. Since 2010, Jessica has taught journalism and media at a local university, and has spent the last five years as the marketing and PR manager for a British firm. Last year, she was one of the winners in the Montegrappa Prize for First Fiction at the Emirates Airline Festival of Literature. Jessica is married with three spirited children, and although she's known for her positivity, her writing tends to be rather dark!

Follow Jessica

Facebook: @JessicaJarlvi
Twitter: @JessicaJarlvi

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