Availability: Hardback, Audio, Paperback (15.01.15), Kindle, Kobo and Nook
Synopsis: WHAT IF EVERYTHING YOU BELIEVED TURNED OUT TO BE A LIE? Riley MacPherson is returning to her childhood home in North Carolina. A place that holds cherished memories. While clearing out the house she finds a box of old newspaper articles - and a shocking family secret begins to unravel. Riley has spent her whole life believing that her older sister Lisa died tragically as a teenager. But now she's starting to uncover the truth: her life has been built on a foundation of lies, told by everyone she loved. Lisa is alive. Alive and living under a new identity. But why exactly was she on the run all those years ago, and what secrets are being kept now? As Riley tries to separate reality from fiction, her discoveries call into question everything she thought she knew about her family. Can she find the strength inside herself to decide her future.
I have read a lot of great books this last year, but I sifted through and picked my favourite ten. They aren't in any order (that's just TOO hard a job), but if you haven't read them then I would highly recommend them.
Don't Want To Miss A Thing - Jill Mansell
Christmas at Rosie Hopkins' Swetshop of Dreams - Jenny Colgan
Synopsis: North Carolina, 1960. Newlywed Jane Forrester, fresh out of university, is seeking what most other women have shunned: a career. But life as a social worker is far from what she expected. Out amongst the rural Tobacco fields of Grace County, Jane encounters a world of extreme poverty that is far removed from the middle-class life she has grown up with. But worse is still to come. Working with the Hart family and their fifteen-year-old daughter Ivy, it’s not long before Jane uncovers a shocking secret, and is thrust into a moral dilemma that puts her career on the line, threatens to dissolve her marriage, and ultimately, determines the fate of Ivy and her family forever. Soon Jane is forced to take drastic action, and before long, there is no turning back.
My Review: I was unsure whether I would take to this book, especially since the setting is in rural North Carolina in the 1960’s. This was a time when race was divided and although we are now in the 20th century, racism is sadly still an issue for some in that part of the world. For that reason, I was undecided as to whether I really wanted to read this, but having read other DC books and loved them I started. I was pleased I made that choice as Diane Chamberlain has created a book that tells a story, and just that. She doesn’t sensationalise anything about it, but creates a story that will maybe make readers aware of the struggles that went on at that time.
I only read my first Diane Chamberlain book a few months ago (shocking I know) however loved the book and decided to go back to a couple of her older books I had on my Kindle. The Lost Daughter synopsis sounded intriguing. In 1977, pregnant Genevieve Russell disappeared but twenty years later, her body is found and Timothy Gleason is charged with murder. The unborn child is not found with Genevieve's body.
Ceeee Wilkes knows how Genevieve Russell died, because she was there. And she also knows what happened to the missing infant, because two decades ago she made the devastating choice to raise the baby as her own. Now Timothy Gleason is facing the death penalty, and she has another choice to make. Tell the truth and destroy her family. Or let an innocent man die to protect a lifetime of lies.
I will be totally honest! I tried reading a Diane Chamberlain a while back but a few chapters in, I wasn't getting into it very much. I put the book back and it still remains in my never ending list of books to read. With that in mind, when I looked at this new release The Good Father I wasn't altogether that excited about reading it. Although I never let things like that put me off and boy am I glad that I didn't. When I read the synopsis I really felt drawn to read the book and took this as a good sign.
In the beginning of the book we meet Travis a young father bringing up his adorable four year old little girl Bella. To be frank, that seems to be all we know early on in the book. Travis leaves his little girl in the hands of a lady named Erin, a woman who he had only met a week before. Many people may think that the instant reaction to Travis would be one of disgust, but in all honesty it is more like intrigue. It is clear from the outset that Diane Chamberlain can write in that magical way which manages to convey real emotion and you can see that this is a man that adores his child. So why would he leave her? With that question in my mind I continued to read at an alarming rate.
We get to see glimpses of the people featuring in this story as their lives progress and as time goes on we see how they are all interlinked. The characters all have a past and each has their own haunting story which has got them to their current situation. Each character drew me in and I was so engrossed that dinner was left unattended and my husband got a Pot Noodle for dinner! As the story picks up pace, we see Travis making more and more stupid mistakes and my heart goes out to him.
Although this book will be generalised as a chick lit book, I think there is a lot more to the story that the cover suggests. There is quite a bit of suspense surrounding the story and it keeps on your toes from cover to cover. When the ending came I was so pleased that I had picked this book up. The additional bonus for me was the epilogue that the author had added, which isn't always done. In this case it was the perfect finish for me and answered all those questions I had about what had happened to everybody. I cannot recommend this book highly enough, it was an absolutely brilliant read and for anybody that likes authors like Susan Lewis, this will be right up your street.