Grown Ups by Marian Keyes – 5* review – Publication day 6/2/20


Grown-Ups by Marian Keyes

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

The blurb:

They’re a glamorous family, the Caseys.

Johnny Casey, his two brothers Ed and Liam, their beautiful, talented wives and all their kids spend a lot of time together – birthday parties, anniversary celebrations, weekends away. And they’re a happy family. Johnny’s wife, Jessie – who has the most money – insists on it.

Under the surface, though, conditions are murkier. While some people clash, other people like each other far too much . . .

Everything stays under control until Ed’s wife Cara, gets concussion and can’t keep her thoughts to herself. One careless remark at Johnny’s birthday party, with the entire family present, starts Cara spilling out all their secrets.

In the subsequent unravelling, every one of the adults finds themselves wondering if it’s time – finally – to grow up?

My thoughts:

Wow, just wow – this book was one of my favourite reads of 2019. It was meant to be read at the start of 2020 because I had other books to read and review first – however once I had read the opening chapters, I couldn’t put this down.

It is a long book, with lots of great characters from the Casey family, which goes backwards and forwards in time and it definitely isn’t a light and fluffy read, covering topics such as eating disorders, death of a spouse, teenage angst. However I found myself struggling to put this down, I was so eager to know what was going to happen next.

The main female characters, Jessie, Cara and Nell faced numerous challenges and I would like to thank Marian Keyes for such wonderful storytelling. I will be recommending this book to friends and family.

Thank you to NetGalley and Penguin UK – Michael Joseph for my digital review copy – my thoughts are my own.

The author:

Marian Keyes (born 10 September 1963) is an Irish novelist and non-fiction writer, best known for her work in women’s literature. She is an Irish Book Awards winner. Over 22 million copies of her novels have been sold worldwide and her books have been translated into 32 languages. She became known worldwide for WatermelonLucy Sullivan is Getting Married, and This Charming Man, with themes including domestic violence and alcoholism.

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If I Never Met You by Mhairi McFarlane (Publication date 1/1/20)

If I Never Met You

If I Never Met You by Mhairi McFarlane

My rating: 4.5 of 5 stars

The Blurb:

When her partner of over a decade suddenly ends things, Laurie is left reeling—not only because they work at the same law firm and she has to see him every day. Her once perfect life is in shambles and the thought of dating again in the age of Tinder is nothing short of horrifying. When news of her ex’s pregnant girlfriend hits the office grapevine, taking the humiliation lying down is not an option. Then a chance encounter in a broken-down elevator with the office playboy opens up a new possibility.

Jamie Carter doesn’t believe in love, but he needs a respectable, steady girlfriend to impress their bosses. Laurie wants a hot new man to give the rumor mill something else to talk about. It’s the perfect proposition: a fauxmance played out on social media, with strategically staged photographs and a specific end date in mind. With the plan hatched, Laurie and Jamie begin to flaunt their new couple status, to the astonishment—and jealousy—of their friends and colleagues. But there’s a fine line between pretending to be in love and actually falling for your charming, handsome fake boyfriend… 

My thoughts:-

Enjoyable book set in a Manchester law firm. Laurie is a bright young woman treated badly by the love of her life, Dan. So when Jamie offers her an opportunity to show Dan what he is missing, she takes a risk, despite her best friend Emily counselling her against this plan.

A modern story including the perils of social media, office politics, parenting issues. I enjoyed the story, a real page turner for me. There is sadness and humour, and a great cast of characters.

My only quibble was that a magistrate will not use a gavel in court – they are not used in the UK.

Thank you to NetGalley and Harper Collins UK for a digital ARC in return for my honest review.

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The Hardie Inheritance by Anne Melville. Being republished by Agora Books on 5 December 2019

The Hardie Inheritance by Anne Melville

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

The blurb :-

Grace Hardie leading a contented life as a sculptor, has chosen not to marry. But she is unable to maintain Greystones, the mansion she lives in to its former glory. Her life is transformed by the arrival of four uninvited visitors on the same day.

My thoughts:-

Thank you to NetGalley and Agora Books for a digital review copy in return for a honest review.

This is actually book 3 in a series being re released by Agora Books after almost 30 years. I haven’t read the previous two books but didn’t find that this was a problem.

I enjoyed this book much more than I expected – the characters and their lives were interesting – they were dealing with the changes in England after both the First World War and the Second World War. Anyone who enjoyed the recent BBC series “Back in Time” or Downton Abbey, would probably enjoy this novel.

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The Ingredients for Happiness by Lucy Knott *Publication Day 1st August 2019*

The Ingredients for Happiness

The Ingredients for Happiness by Lucy Knott

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

The brand new uplifting read from Lucy Knott, full of love, family, and baking!

My thoughts:

Take one copy of this book, add a comfortable seat, turn off your phone and enjoy this wonderful book.

This is the first book I have read by Lucy Knott and I loved it. The Italian recipes are delightful and the story of the three sisters balancing their careers with their friendships and other relationships is a page turner – I devoured this book in a day.

Thanks to NetGalley and HQ Books for a digital copy in return for a honest review.

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I need more than 5 stars for The Perfect Betrayal by Lauren North

Thank you to Net Galley for an early copy for an honest review with no spoilers.

This is a 5 plus star thriller – Lauren North has written a book that you don’t want to put down – you must buy the book but you must make sure that you have a quiet weekend planned because you won’t want to go out or do anything else.

This is one of only a handful of books that have stopped me going to sleep because I was trying to work out was going to happen next. 


Island Song by Madeleine Bunting – 5 star novel

Thank you to Net Galley for an early copy for an honest review with no spoilers.

This is a book that I would be happy to recommend to friends and family. I had very little knowledge of the occupation of Guernsey during World War 2 but felt the need after reading this novel to learn more about this island.

The author really brought the characters (and the island) to life and I found myself willing them to solve the mysteries that I was waking up in the night and thinking about. I also found myself wondering how I would have coped with the situation Helene was in.