The secret letter ( Kerry Barrett ).

February 17th 2021 – June 16th 2021.

“London 1910 – twenty-one year old Esther Watkins will do anything for the suffragette cause. Imprisoned, force-fed and beaten. Kent 2019 – with her marriage in tatters, school teacher Lizzie Armstrong moves to sleepy Elm Heath for a fresh start, and her pupils and community soon steal her heart”.

Really enjoyed this read and was glad I read it.

Esther a 21 year old suffragette believed that women should have the right to vote and would do anything for that to happen. After being imprisoned and force-fed she returns home to be disowned by her mother and having to leave her home she goes in search for another suffragette Mrs Pankhurst and becomes nanny/teacher to Agnes’s (a fellow suffragettes children. After a suffragette March went wrong and her employer (Agnes) gets pushed by a police officer which results in her loosing her baby Esther accompanies Agnes to a convalescent home to recover where she gets the go ahead to start a primary school in Elm Heath.

Lizzie moves to Elm Heath to become head teacher of Elm Heath Primary when her marriage breaks down and she needs a new start. She doesn’t intend to stay at Elm Heath long but when the school is threatened with closure Lizzie and her colleagues along with the school decide to take a leaf out of Esthers book with realising and follow the suffragette movement to fight and keep Elm Heath primary open.

Kerry Barrett writes this story fantastically somehow managing to seemly switch from one era to the other without loosing the readers interest or loosing the plot of the book and forgetting where they are or what has happened.

The Secret Letter is beautifully written and gripping, and wasn’t a disappointment and I loved every minute of this read. It will be one books that I will read over and over again.

This story shows that some things are worth the fight.

“Sometimes the fight is all part of the fun”.

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

This man – Jodi Ellen Malpas

31st October 2019 – 16th February 2021.

“Young interior designer -Ava O’Shea has no idea what awaits her at the manor. A run-of-the-mill consultation with a stodgy country gent seems likely but what Ava finds instead is Jesse Ward”.

Jodi Ellen Malpas has a good way of writing, the way she goes from chapter to chapter is great but this book has no story to it. It seems to be all about sex.

Boy meets girl – she fancies him – they have sex – he treats her like shit, even her work life – she tried to leave – he keeps stalking her refusing to get the point – and he gets even more possessive.

We don’t even know anything about Jessie not even his age.

Not recommend and only ⭐️⭐️⭐️ .

Dead Simple (Roy Grace #1) Peter James.

December 30th 2020 – January 26th 2021.

“ it was ment to be a harmless stag night prank. A few hours later four of his best friends are dead and Michael Harrison has disappeared. With only 3 days till the wedding, detective superintendent Roy Grace – a man haunted by the shadow of his own missing wife – is contacted by Michael’s beautiful, distraught fiancée Ashley Harper”.

Set around brighton and the surrounding area’s Peter James’s dead simple was absolutely great to read and highly recommended.

When Michael Harrison decided to marry his girlfriend, his friends plan his stag do and decide to get their own back for all the pranks he has done to them, they decide to borrow a coffin and bury him for a while while on a pub crawl with the intention of getting him out a few hours later.

Shortly after leaving him four of his friends die in a car crash and the other on his was back from a meeting, a few days later Roy Grace is contacted by Michael’s fiancée after he fails to return home and with only 3 days till the wedding.

With Ashley appearing distraught and with Grace being watched by those above him whilst offering to help his colleague – Glenn Branson- look for Michael, will they find him before it’s too late?

A great read from start to finish, Peter James’s Roy Grace series has been recommended by numerous people and finally i decided to give it a go and I didn’t regret it one bit.

Peter James who lives in Sussex and knows the area had his house burgled and became close friends with the officer in charge of the case who opened a lot of doors within the police force which allowed Peter James to gain the correct facts about how they operate and because I know the area it makes it easier to picture what’s going on and where they are mentally.

A ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ read without a doubt and so worth the read.

Letters to the lost by Brigid Kemmerer.

8th november 2020 – 29th december 2020

“Theres this photograph I can’t get out of my mind. A little girl in a flowered dress is screaming in the dark. Blood is everywhere: on her cheeks, on her dress, in splattered droplets on the ground”.

Juliet Young has always written letterd to her mother, even after her death she leaves letters on her grave. It’s the only way Juliet can cope. Declan Murphy is the kind of tough guy that you don’t want to cross but while community service doing landscaping at the local cemetery, he is haunted by the ghosts of his past.

Two characters who dislike each other in school but when Declan finds Juliets letter to her mother which she left on her grave Declan can’t resist writting back. Sharing their pain with each other over email thinking they are complete strangers only their not. Then life interfers with their secrets then they realise (Declan before Juliet) about the truths that might just tear them apart.

A love story which has its twists and turns, which goes to show that you need to get to know the real person behind the mask and rumors and the hearsay, rather then believing what you hear on the grapevine. It goes to show that you don’t always know everyones true story and what they have been through in their life, and what’s happened in their past to make the person that they are that particular day.

You feel as though you really get to know both Decan and Juliet and go on the journey with them through life and love.

Rev’s story.

Looking forward to reading the second book in their series and getting to know Declans bast friend Rev.

Labyrinth by Kate Mosse

“In the Pyrenees near Carcasonne Alice a volunteer ar an architectural dig stumbles into a cave and makes a startling discovery – 2 crumblimg skeletons, strange writing on the walls and the pattern of a labyrinth. Eight hundred years earlier on the eve of a brutal crusade a young women called Alais is given a ring and a mysterious looking book for safe keeping by her father. The book he says contains the secret of the true grail, and the ring will identify a guardian of the grail”.

Was a bit of a slog i wont lie which is why it took me a couple of months to read but i wouldnt right it off completely and say it was bad as i did get into it but it took a little while and it didnt WOW me.

How it went from one time frame to another was sometimes confusing but i always wanted to know how it ended and did the wrong people get the grail which is why i carried on till the end.

Was also quite a thick book which was a bit daunting when you first look at it.

Lost without you. Loving and losing Tanya. Vinnie Jones.

September 12th 2020 – September 19th 2020. Reading challenge – 2020 release.

“If you guessed I’ve always been a scallywag, then you’d be right. In fact I was acting up up when I first met a beautiful girl called Tanya Lamont”.

In July 2019 Vinnie Jones lost his wife Tanya after a 6 year battle with cancer. Tanya and Vinnie shared 27 years together and after Tanya’s death Vinnie found it hard to cope.

Vinnie and Tanya didn’t always get on in the early stages but when they got together it was a relationship that would stand the test of time and Tanya saw through Vinnie’s troubles and hard exterior and saw and loved him for him and Tanya was the reason why Vinnie changed.

A true love story.

The fault in our stars ( John Green )

Reading challenge – made into a TV programme

11th April 2020 – 30th May 2020.

“Late in the winter of my seventeenth year, my mother decided I was depressed, presumably because I rarely left the house, spent quite a lot of time in bed, read the same book over and over, ate infrequently and devoted quite a lot of my abundant free time to thinking about death.”

Hazel is suffering from thyroid cancer and (in her words) her lungs suck at being lungs which requires constant oxygen, and when Hazel is forced to go to support group (for cancer kids) she didn’t think that she would meet the lover of her life – Augustus Walters – 2 teenagers with different views in life but 1 thing in common – their both cancer kids.

Augustus had osteosarcoma and the loss of a leg, gaining an artificial leg, but went to support group at friend Isaac’s request.

Both Hazel and Augustus became close and their story of both love and loss will take you on a journey of true emotion.

After Hazel introduces Augustus to “An Imperial Affliction”, a Novel by Peter Van Houten, Augustus uses his wish to take Hazel to Amsterdam to meet Peter Van Houten, where Augustus revels to Hazel that his cancer has returned, and Augustus was to loose his life a while later.

A beautifully written story from start to finish and a story that will tug on the heart strings.

Murder on the orient express. ( Hercule Poirot #10). Agatha Christie.

“Just after midnight, a snowdrift stops the orient express in its tracks. The luxurious train is surprisingly full for this time of year, but by morning it is one passenger fewer, an American tycoon is dead in his compartment, stabbed a dozen times, his door locked from the inside. Isolated and with a killer in their midst, detective Hercule Poirot must identify the killer – in case he or she decides to strike again.”

Another book I found really easy to get into, taking it to a 7 day reading time, I was left hooked and wanting more, wanting to know who the killer/killers were.

My opinion of who the killer was kept changing throughout the book and I really didn’t see that ending coming.

This was my first Agatha Christie book and it certainly didn’t disappoint and I can’t wait to read “the ABC murders” and I hope that it is as good a read as this one.

Definitely a 5 ⭐️ book 📖

The Brooke Ellison story. (By Brooke and Jean Ellison).

After seeing the film over 7 years ago (link at the end) I knew I wanted to read the book, as although the film is based on Brooke and Jeans story (and that of the whole family), movies have a way of twisting the truth even if ever so slightly. I wanted to know the true story of what happened, how they coped and how they dealt with obstacles that were put in front of them.

The Brooke Ellison story (previously published as miracles happen) is told by both Brooke and Jean, you get the story from both sides and see how both refused to let Brooke’s accident get in the way of achieving Brooke’s goals in life, and both Jean and Brooke have this incredible bond which makes you realise that it’s not what you do in life that matters, it’s who is in your life already and who comes into your life when in need that is actually the important part.

https://youtu.be/_aJ3i894gp0 link to full movie on YouTube, well worth a watch (only 1.5 hours)

The girl in the ragged shawl (the children of the workhouse #1 (By Cathy Sharp))

9th February 2020 – 11th April 2020.

Absolutely fantastic book, although it tool me a month and a half to read, I couldn’t put it down and it was one of the books that found really easy to get in to, and it kept me hooked all the way throughout.

The girl in in ragged shawl is one book that will stay on my book shelf and that I will defiantly read again.

It does leave you with some questions.

Does Joe come back and take up Arthur Stoneham’s offer of work?

Does Eliza take over Edith’s shop?

Do Eliza and Joe become an item? and engage in a relationship?