Title: The Hiding Game

Author: Naomi Wood

Pages: 383 Pages

Publisher: Pan Macmillan

The Blurb

In 1922, Paul Beckermann arrives at the Bauhaus art school and is immediately seduced by both the charismatic teaching and his fellow students. Eccentric and alluring, the more time Paul spends with his new friends the closer they become, and the deeper he falls in love with the mesmerising Charlotte. But Paul is not the only one vying for her affections, and soon an insidious rivalry takes root. 

As political tensions escalate in Germany, the Bauhaus finds itself under threat, and the group begins to disintegrate under the pressure of its own betrayals and love affairs. Decades later, in the wake of an unthinkable tragedy, Paul is haunted by a secret. When an old friend from the Bauhaus resurfaces, he must finally break his silence. 

Beautifully written, powerful and suspenseful, Naomi Wood’s The Hiding Game is a novel about the dangerously fine line between love and obsession, set against the most turbulent era of our recent past.

The Review

I have a rule that has been put in place since my NetGalley backlist is currently over 900 books (shh! If I pretend it isn’t there then maybe it will go away) and the rule is that I am not allowed to stick with a book if it isn’t gripping me. I will give it a good try but if I’m not getting along with it then I will have to put it down. Life is too short for books I am not enjoying. Unfortunately, The Hiding Game fell into this category.

I feel bad because I am sure others have loved this book. It may have been a case of right book wrong time but at this point in my life I cannot continue with a book that I can’t remember the names of the main characters for when I am over 10% into it. It just isn’t for me.

The Hiding Game by Naomi Wood is available now.

For more information regarding Naomi Wood (@NaomiWoodBooks) please visit www.naomiwood.com.

For more information regarding Pan Macmillan (@panmacmillan) please visit www.panmacmillan.com.

Title: Kicking Off!

Author: Eve Ainsworth

Pages: 279 Pages

Publisher: UCLan Publishing

The Blurb

It’s 1917, and Britain is at war. Shy teenager Hettie wants to help the war effort, and signs up to work in the local Dick, Kerr & Co. munitions factory. She’s nervous, but she has no idea quite how much her life is about to change … For, inside this factory are young women who are about to make sporting history. Can Hettie find the courage to join them, and in doing so, find her own place in the world?

Based on the thrilling true story of the Dick, Kerr Ladies team – football’s forgotten legends.

The Review

One of my favourite things in books is when the author takes a real life event or a real life person and writes a fictional account of their world. This is why I absolutely loved Kicking Off by Eve Ainsworth.

It is the story of a munitions factory in Preston during the First World War. It is about the girls who stood up and took on the jobs that were usually done by the men. It is about the bravery and courage to make social change when the world was feeling so precarious. And it was about football.

You may think that the beautiful game is hardly world changing but when you think about the fight that women had to be able to take part in football – and about how it is only in the past few years that women’s football has become as popular as it has – then you can see the relevance of a book set over 100 years ago. Girls need more books celebrating them in sport.

Kicking Off! was a joy to read.

Kicking Off! by Eve Ainsworth is available now.

For more information regarding Eve Ainsworth (@EveAinsworth) please visit www.eveainsworth.com.

For more information regarding UCLan Publishing (@publishinguclan) please visit their Twitter page.

Title: The Christie Affair

Author: Nina de Gramont

Pages: 320 Pages

Publisher: Pan Macmillan

The Blurb

In 1926, Agatha Christie disappeared for 11 days. Only I know the truth of her disappearance.

I’m no Hercule Poirot.

I’m her husband’s mistress.

Agatha Christie’s world is one of glamorous society parties, country house weekends, and growing literary fame.

Nan O’Dea’s world is something very different. Her attempts to escape a tough London upbringing during the Great War led to a life in Ireland marred by a hidden tragedy.

After fighting her way back to England, she’s set her sights on Agatha. Because Agatha Christie has something Nan wants. And it’s not just her husband.

Despite their differences, the two women will become the most unlikely of allies. And during the mysterious eleven days that Agatha goes missing, they will unravel a dark secret that only Nan holds the key to . . .

The Review

Having never read an Agatha Christie book it is a mystery to me as to why I was so intrigued to read The Christie Affair – a story based loosely around the 11 days of Agatha Christie’s life when she went missing…but intrigued I was.

In this absolutely enigmatic tale Nina de Gramont fills in what happened during those 11 days and paints a whole other side to who Agatha Christie was. Whilst this is a fictional account, the story that Nina de Gramont poses – her ‘what if…?’ actually seems very plausible. She factors in socio-economical factors, historical elements and then throws in a murder mystery in this melting pot of ideas and all together it makes a pretty damn fine story.

I know this is fictional but I kind of want it to be real.

The Christie Affair is definitely in my top ten books of the year so far.

The Christie Affair by Nina de Gramont is available now.

For more information regarding Nina de Gramont (@NinadeGramont) please visit www.ninadegramont.com

For more information regarding Pan Macmillan (@panmacmillan) please visit www.panmacmillan.com.

Title: The Lost Chapter

Author: Caroline Bishop

Pages: 416 Pages

Publisher: Simon and Schuster

The Blurb

1957, France. 

Florence and Lilli meet at finishing school in Lyon. Despite some differences, they forge a firm friendship that promises to last a lifetime. But a terrible betrayal prematurely tears them apart.

Years later in England, Florence has become the woman her friend knew she could be – creative, bold, and independent. The exact opposite of Alice, a young woman troubled by a recent trauma, whom Florence is determined to help bring out of her shell. Just as Lilli once did for her.

When Florence discovers that the novel she’s reading is written by Lilli and is based on their time at school, the two stories begin to unfold together. Past events illuminate the future, and it becomes clear that long-held secrets can’t stay buried for ever.

The Review

The Lost Chapter by Caroline Bishop is a brilliant novel that has the ability to sweep the world away as you read it.

The dual timeline narrative of The Lost Chapter allows you to see just how much the world has changed in a relatively short period. In 1957, we see out protagonist Florence as a young woman having to learn the ways of the world and live up to the expectations her privileged upbringing requires. In our second timeline, we see Florence as an old woman – wiser, more experienced and trying to impart guidance and help to those around her all the while trying to keep her own secrets from being revealed.

The Lost Chapter is a joy of a novel and one that really is unputdownable. Usually with a dual timeline novel there is a preference of era and I hunger for more of that narrative thread but both of the timelines had me thirsty for more. I wanted to read it as fast as I could and yet I didn’t want it to end. The Lost Chapter was such a glorious read.

The Lost Chapter by Caroline Bishop is available now.

For more information regarding Caroline Bishop (@calbish) please visit www.carolinebishop.co.uk.

For more information regarding Simon and Schuster (@simonschusterPR) please visit www.simonandschuster.co.uk.

Title: Winchelsea

Author: Alex Preston

Pages: 287 Pages

Publisher: Canongate Books

The Blurb

The year is 1742. Goody Brown, saved from drowning and adopted when just a babe, has grown up happily in the smuggling town of Winchelsea. Then, when Goody turns sixteen, her father is murdered in the night by men he thought were friends.

To find justice in a lawless land, Goody must enter the cut-throat world of her father’s killers. With her beloved brother Francis, she joins a rival gang of smugglers. Facing high seas and desperate villains, she also discovers something else: an existence without constraints or expectations, a taste for danger that makes her blood run fast.

Goody was never born to be a gentlewoman. But what will she become instead?

Winchelsea is an electrifying story of vengeance and transformation; a rare, lyrical and transporting work of historical imagination that makes the past so real we can touch it.

The Review

I read Winchelsea with a bit of trepidation. I like historical fiction but often find some times or places a bit more difficult to read. I don’t know why this is but its my thing, okay? I am glad that I read Winchelsea though because it is damn good.

It is the story of Goody Brown and the corrupt world that she lives in. Throughout the story you are presented with trials and tribulations far beyond your ken that you really do feel like you have been invited into another world.

There were elements that I loved about Winchelsea. It would probably have been a five star read if it wasn’t for the change in voice. The story is told in 3(ish) parts. The first and longest from Goody Brown’s perspective. This I found to be the most engaging. The second voice didn’t engage me as much but it was necessary for the next part of the story and to develop the character of Goody Brown further and to reveal the desperate measures that she had to go to.

Winchelsea is really evocative of time, place and situation and Alex Preston has done an amazing job of transporting the reader with this story.

Winchelsea by Alex Preston is available now.

For more information regarding Alex Preston (@ahmpreston) please visit www.alexhmpreston.com.

For more information regarding Canongate Books (@canongatebooks) please visit www.canongate.co.uk.