The Legacy by Caroline Bond

Thank you to Corvus Books for a copy of the legacy by Caroline Bond to read and review. The book was published last week in the UK. Here is my mini review.

Synopsis:

 A death in the family rarely brings out the best in people – even the deceased 

Jonathan Coulter planned for his death meticulously, leaving nothing to chance. His will states that his three adult children must decide between them how to dispose of his estate. If they cannot come together over their inheritance, then they risk losing it. 

But Liv, Noah and Chloe never agree on anything. And now, with only one weekend to overcome their rivalry, tensions begin to rise. 

Why has Jonathan left the decision to them? And why has he made no mention of his new partner, Megan, or the children’s mother, Eloise? If he wanted to teach them a lesson from beyond the grave, what is it? And can the siblings put their differences aside for long enough to learn it? 

A powerful novel about love and loss, and what we truly pass on to our children.

My thoughts:

As a Business Law graduate, I was quickly drawn into this story. Jonathan knew he was dying and has asked his three children to make the decision how to split his sizeable estate. The only bequest they cannot change is a gift to the carer who helped look after him in his final months.

So how will the three adult children deal with this, they are all at very different stages of their lives, and there are secrets to be revealed too, which may change how the reader thinks and feels. There is also their mother, the ex-Mrs Coulter and his partner of over 5 years, Megan to consider too.

I enjoyed this book, which looks at how difficult it can be for families, especially families which have gone through the parents getting divorced, to consider what is fair and equitable. Would this help them remember their dad more fondly, mend their sibling issues or was this a bad decision by Jonathan?

This is a non spoiler review, so I won’t give away any hints about the ending, except to say that I enjoyed it. A thought provoking read for parents and their adult children.

The Nothing Man by Catherine Ryan Howard

Today I’m sharing my review for The Nothing Man by Catherine Ryan Howard. Thank you to Corvus Books for a copy of the hardback – I used some of my Readers First points to ‘buy’ this copy.

Synopsis:

I was the girl who survived the Nothing Man.
Now I am the woman who is going to catch him…

You’ve just read the opening pages of The Nothing Man, the true crime memoir Eve Black has written about her obsessive search for the man who killed her family nearly two decades ago.

Supermarket security guard Jim Doyle is reading it too, and with each turn of the page his rage grows. Because Jim was – is – the Nothing Man.

The more Jim reads, the more he realizes how dangerously close Eve is getting to the truth. He knows she won’t give up until she finds him. He has no choice but to stop her first…

My thoughts:

This is the first book I’ve read by Catherine Ryan Howard, and I’m looking forward to reading more. I was gripped by the first few chapters – what an interesting story idea. Slowly we find out more and more about The Nothing Man and his awful crimes, whilst he finds out what Eve knows and where to find her by reading her book.

The tension built, the pages turned, the list of things to do were ignored. I thoroughly enjoyed the storytelling and the story. Apologies for being vague, but this is a no spoilers review.

A five star read for me.

Author Bio:

CATHERINE RYAN HOWARD was born in Cork, Ireland, in 1982. Her debut thriller, DISTRESS SIGNALS (2016), was an Irish Times and USA Today bestseller, and was shortlisted for both the Irish Crime Novel of the Year and the CWA John Creasey New Blood Dagger. Her second thriller, THE LIAR’S GIRL (2018) was nominated for the Edgar Award for Best Novel. She currently lives in Dublin, where she divides her time between the desk and the sofa.

A Ration Book Wedding by Jean Fullerton

I’m pleased to share my review for this historical fiction novel by Jean Fullerton published in May 2020 in the UK by Corvus Books. I enjoyed book three of the series, A Ration Book Childhood, earlier this year (see my review at https://mentoringmumof2bookreviews.home.blog/2020/02/19/a-ration-book-childhood-by-jean-fullerton/) and I was keen to continue reading about the Brogan family.

Synopsis:

It’s February 1942 and the Americans have finally joined Britain and its allies. Meanwhile, twenty-three-year-old Francesca Fabrino, like thousands of other women, is doing her bit for the war effort in a factory in East London. But her thoughts are constantly occupied by her unrequited love for Charlie Brogan, who has recently married a woman of questionable reputation, before being shipped out to North Africa with the Eighth Army.

When Francesca starts a new job as an Italian translator for the BBC Overseas Department, she meets handsome Count Leonardo D’Angelo. Just as Francesca has begun to put her hopeless love for Charlie to one side and embrace the affections of this charming and impressive man, Charlie returns from the front, his marriage in ruins and his heart burning for Francesca at last. Could she, a good Catholic girl, countenance an illicit affair with the man she has always longed for? Or should she choose a different, less dangerous path?

My thoughts:

Having read and enjoyed A Ration Book Childhood back in February 2020, it was great to catch up with the Brogan family as they prepared for the wedding of Jo and Tommy. I was able to read book three without having read the previous books, and I’m sure the same could be said about book four if you haven’t read the previous books. However I do recommend reading the earlier books if you can.

Although the book has wedding in the title, a great deal of the story looks at how Charlie’s marriage is falling apart and how the Brogan family are coping with the repeated bombings in London and the lack of food. I love the small details in the story used to bring wartime London to life – the food, the clothes, the sounds during the bombing etc.

I’m assuming that this is the last in the series, but personally I would love to know more about the Brogan family. If you enjoy historical fiction set during World War 2, then I recommend treating yourself to a copy – hopefully you will enjoy it as much as I did.

Jean Fullerton:

I was born into a large, East End family and grew up in the overcrowded streets clustered around the Tower of London. I still live in East London, just five miles from where I was born. I feel that it is that my background that gives my historical East London stories their distinctive authenticity.

I first fell in love with history at school when I read Anya Seton’s book Katherine. Since then I have read everything I can about English history but I am particularly fascinated by the 18th and 19th century and my books are set in this period. I just love my native city and the East End in particular which is why I write stories to bring that vibrant area of London alive.

I am also passionate about historical accuracy and I enjoy researching the details almost as much as weaving the story. If one of my characters walks down a street you can be assured that that street actually existed. Take a look at Jean’s East End and see the actual location where my characters played out their stories.

A Ration Book Childhood by Jean Fullerton

      I borrowed this book from Swindon Libraries new books display.

The publisher comments:-

In the darkest days of the Blitz, family is more important than ever.

With her family struggling amidst the nightly bombing raids in London’s East End, Ida Brogan is doing her very best to keep their spirits up. The Blitz has hit the Brogans hard, and rationing is more challenging than ever, but they are doing all they can to help the war effort.

When Ida’s oldest friend Ellen returns to town, sick and in dire need of help, it is to Ida that she turns. But Ellen carries a secret, one that threatens not only Ida’s marriage, but the entire foundation of the Brogan family. Can Ida let go of the past and see a way to forgive her friend? And can she overcome her sadness to find a place in her heart for a little boy, one who will need a mother more than ever in these dark times?

My thoughts:-

This is the first book I’ve read by Jean Fullerton and I will now be looking to read more of The Ration Book series (this is number 3 in the series).

I have been choosing lots of historical fiction set during or after World War 2 (a period of history I studied for my O’ Level History) and this is one of the best I have read.

Jean Fullerton brought the streets of London to life, so that you experience the sights, sounds and smells of the capital in 1941. The Brogan family are facing many challenges and I loved the way the story evolved – the family dynamics, the romances and the heartbreak. The ending suggested another book could follow and I have just seen that A Ration Book Wedding is due to be published in May 2020.

The author, Jean Fullerton:-

I was born into a large, East End family and grew up in the overcrowded streets clustered around the Tower of London. I still live in East London, just five miles from where I was born. I feel that it is that my background that gives my historical East London stories their distinctive authenticity.

I first fell in love with history at school when I read Anya Seton’s book Katherine. Since then I have read everything I can about English history but I am particularly fascinated by the 18th and 19th century and my books are set in this period. I just love my native city and the East End in particular which is why I write stories to bring that vibrant area of London alive.

I am also passionate about historical accuracy and I enjoy researching the details almost as much as weaving the story. If one of my characters walks down a street you can be assured that that street actually existed. Take a look at Jean’s East End and see the actual location where my characters played out their stories

The Surplus Girls by Polly Heron – 4* review

The blurb:

Belinda Layton is a surplus girl. One of the many women whose dreams of marriage perished in the Great War, with the death of her beloved fiancé, Ben. After four years of mourning, she’s ready to face the future, even though Ben’s family is not happy to see her move on, and her own only cares about getting hold of her meagre factory wages. 

Then, Belinda joins a secretarial class and a whole new world opens up to her as she quickly finds herself drawn to beguiling bookshop owner Richard Carson. But after all the loss and devastation she has experienced, can she really trust him with her heart?

My thoughts:

Thank you to Corvus Books and Readers First for a review copy of this book.

This is the first book I’ve read by Polly Heron (aka Susanna Bavin) and I’m looking forward to reading the next book in this saga.

The time period this book is set in is the era my grandparents and their siblings were growing up in, when social changes after World War 1 changed the lives of the young women. Some of my great aunts were ‘surplus girls’ – who had very few opportunities in terms of work or romance.

Reading about how Belinda coped with the loss of her fiancé, living with his family in deep mourning whilst trying to help her own birth family made me realise how much life has changed for young women in the UK. There are a number of strong female characters in this book, including Patience, who tries to help Belinda forge a new life for herself.