Title: The Truths and Triumphs of Grace Atherton

Author: Anstey Harris

Pages: 330 Pages

Publisher: Simon & Schuster

The Blurb

GRACE ATHERTON HAS FALLEN OUT OF LOVE … AND INTO LIFE

Between the simple melody of running her violin shop and the full-blown orchestra of her romantic interludes in Paris with David, her devoted partner of eight years, Grace Atherton has always set her life to music.

Her world revolves entirely around David, for Grace’s own secrets have kept everyone else at bay. Until, suddenly and shockingly, one act tips Grace’s life upside down, and the music seems to stop.

It takes a vivacious old man and a straight-talking teenager to kickstart a new chapter for Grace. In the process, she learns that she is not as alone in the world as she had once thought, that no mistake is insurmountable, and that the quiet moments in life can be something to shout about …

The Truths and Triumphs of Grace Atherton is the story of a woman who has her heart broken, but then puts it back together again in the most uplifting and exquisite way.

The Review

Before I start this review, I must thank Sara Jane at Books and the City for sending me a physical copy of this book to review.

Grace Atherton. What can I say about Grace Atherton? Well, she is a quiet thing who lives a seemingly quiet life but underneath her exterior façade lives a young woman with infinite adventure in her life. She has a dramatic relationship with an older man, she is an accomplished cellist, a shop owner and she is a friend two others.

Dig deeper and you find that her quiet little existence is not so quiet at all.

I really don’t want to give too much away about The Truths and Triumphs of Grace Atherton because it is a damn good read and so it would be unfair to leak any spoilers before you pick it up. What I will say is that one of my favourite things about this novel was the multigenerational friendships that prove to be the heart of the story. You have the fiestiness of youth and the wisdom of age with Grace firmly plonked in the middle. I think it is this element which I enjoyed the most.

The Truths and Triumphs of Grace Atherton has the potential to be as loved as Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine. It is a heart-warming and engaging story that will make you want to find out what has happened but equally to not want it to ever end.

The Truths and Triumphs of Grace Atherton by Anstey Harris is available now.

For more information regarding Anstey Harris (@Anstey_Harris) please visit www.ansteyharris.com.

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

A song for tomorrowTitle: A Song for Tomorrow

Author: Alice Peterson

Pages: 448 Pages

Publisher: Simon and Schuster

The Blurb

Tom fell in love with Alice the moment he saw her. He realises that being with her will not be easy, but she is a force of nature, a burst of sunlight in his otherwise ordinary world.

Some people might look at Alice and think she has everything, but Alice knows she is not like other women. Her life is complicated, unpredictable, difficult. Alice does not like pity. All she wants to do, has ever wanted to do, is sing.

Alice has been told not to follow her dreams. But when fate has already dealt a tough hand, it’s time to stop listening to everyone else and only follow their hearts.

The Review

Sometimes books are unfair. They make you fall in love with characters, with their fictional family and with their made up story before breaking your heart in the cruellest way possible. Sometimes books are even more unfair by having the story based on real life situations and they are even more impossibly cruel.

A Song for Tomorrow by Alice Peterson is one such book. It is a story of a young girl called Alice who has always had to watch what she is doing, making sure she isn’t putting herself in harms way, making sure she isn’t taking risks with her health. But Alice realises that this is no way to live life. She may have a chronic life shortening illness but she wants to live it not just go through the motions.

Alice decides to pursue her dream of becoming a singer. She falls in love. She allows herself to be painted. She lives. She experiences life. It is heartwarming. However, with happiness comes great sadness and that is part and parcel of Alice’s journey. You need to read A Song for Tomorrow to find out more.

I loved A Song for Tomorrow. I laughed and I cried and after I read it I bought 6 more copies and gifted them to friends so that they could feel how I was feeling – #greatfriend. With this book Peterson has the innate ability to hold your attention and forget to breath; there were times when I literally felt like I was drowning because I couldn’t breathe. It is a truly wonderful story that is tinged with unbearable sadness.

A Song for Tomorrow by Alice Peterson is available now.

For more information regarding Alice Peterson (@AlicePeterson1) please visit www.alicepeterson.co.uk.

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

5 Stars

A Gift to RememberTitle: A Gift to Remember

Author: Melissa Hill

Pages: 309 Pages

Publisher: Simon and Schuster

The Blurb

This summer, discover the magic of Melissa Hill…

Darcy Archer works in a small bookstore in Manhattan. A daydream believer, she refuses to settle for anything less than being swept off her feet by the perfect man…literally.

One day, when cycling to work, Darcy accidentally crashes into a sharply dressed gentleman walking his dog. He is knocked out cold, rushed to hospital and the poor pup gets left behind.

Wracked with guilt, Darcy takes the dog and makes plans to reunite him with owner, Aidan. As she discovers the mysterious stranger’s world of books, travel, adventure and all the wonderful things she’s ever dreamt about, Darcy builds a picture of this man and wonders if he could be THE ONE…

But does fantasy match reality? What happens when Prince Charming wakes up? Will Aidan be the happy ever after she’s always imagined?

The Review

Oh to fall in love with a book. That is what has happened to me. The story in A Gift to Remember by Melissa Hill is one of classic mistaken identity. It is man meets woman in unusual circumstances and one or both fall in love. We, as romance readers, have read it a thousand times over but it never gets boring. For me, what makes A Gift to Remember so special is its setting.

It is set in an independent bookstore in New York….and it’s Christmas time. I mean, come on. Melissa Hill knows what she is doing to us readers. Who among us has not wanted to work in or own a musty old bookstore with oak shelves and that gorgeous aroma of books? Throw in a handsome male and you have got yourself the ultimate fantasy.

A Gift to Remember is a sweet story that does tug at the old heartstrings. It is a feel good tale that actually makes you want to be the main character. I loved it!

A Gift to Remember by Melissa Hill is available now.

For more information regarding Melissa Hill (@melissahillbks) please visit www.melissahill.ie.

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

35-stars

How to Save a LifeTitle: How to Save a Life

Author: Kristin Harmel

Pages: 208 Pages

Publisher: Gallery

The Blurb

Groundhog Day meets Grey’s Anatomy in this heartfelt novella with a hint of magic from the internationally bestselling author of The Sweetness of Forgetting and The Life Intended, in which a woman with only a short time to live discovers she can repeat the same day over and over until her life feels complete.

When a pediatric oncology nurse receives a devastating prognosis—she has just weeks left to live—she finds unexpected comfort from a patient. Her young friend shares a life- and death-changing secret: it is possible to live the same day over and over again until she’s experienced a truly full life. Thus begins a heartbreaking and joyful journey of love, friendship, and self-discovery, as the brave nurse only truly learns how to live in the face of death.

Kristin Harmel, whose work has been called “immersive and evocative” (Publishers Weekly), “absorbing…well-paced and warmhearted” (Kirkus Reviews), and “absolutely enthralling” (Fresh Fiction), infuses her poignant, uplifting novella with a dash of magic and a hefty dose of heart.

The Review

My review of How to Save a Life, the latest novella by Kristin Harmel, should have been cut and dried. I should have hated it. I should have.

Hear me out.

The one thing that really stresses me out beyond belief is the thought of doing something over and over and over again. It is for this reason that I cannot watch Groundhog Day and why for one episode of Buffy the Vampire Slayer (Life Serial – Season 6 Episode 5) I get extremely stressed out. I don’t know why this phenomenon has such a negative effect on me but it does. Therefore, I was fully intending to dislike How to Save a Life on that principle alone.

Ooh, but that Kristin Harmel is a good egg. I’ve yet to read something by her that I have disliked and How to Save a Life is no different. It is a lovely story. The premise being that a terminally ill nurse have to try and correct the regrets in her life before she dies and with the help of some other terminally ill patients she is able to reconcile the aspects of her life with which she is unhappy.

How to Save a Life is a sweet, heart warming story that makes you question the negativity that you may be holding on to and like all good books helps us develop empathy because we all have limited time on this earth so we may as well make the most of it whilst we can.

How to Save a Life by Kristin Harmel is available now.

For more information regarding Kristin Harmel (@kristinharmel) please visit www.KristinHarmel.com.

For more information regarding Gallery (@GalleryBooks) please visit instagram.com/gallerybooks

3 Stars

The Blurb

Hazel never set out to be a wedding planner. She was just helping her stressed sister Lila with cakes and décor for her big day. But when Lila and Ollie’s summer ceremony is a runaway success, with guests raving about the food and styling at the pretty venue, word about Hazel’s expertise soon spreads.

But Hazel’s clients expect the very best – she’s promised lawyers Gemma and Eliot a snow-covered castle in the Scottish Highlands, and laidback couple Josh and Sarah a bohemian beach wedding in a Caribbean paradise. But as weather, in-laws and wilful brides conspire against her, can Hazel get two very different couples to walk up two very different aisles to say ‘I do’? And will she find her own happy ending if she does?

The Review

Having only ever read one book by Abby Clements before, I was unsure what to expect from The Winter Wedding. The last book I read was a short story and it was that long ago that I read it that I can’t remember much about it (sorry!). I needn’t have worried.

The Winter Wedding is, like most romantic fiction, a story of relationships. Clements not only focuses on romantic relationships but familial and working relationships too. The working relationships are shown through the cutthroat media industry and how main character Hazel is victim to her boss’s whims; the romantic relationships come in many forms: Lila and Ollie, Eliot and Gemma; mix Josh, Sam, Amber and Hazel in the mix it almost becomes a recipe for romantic disaster. However, for me, the strongest showing of relationship was the one between Lila and Hazel; twin sisters who haven’t grown apart but have grown up. It was so refreshing to see such a strong connection between two female characters.

It is also a story of figuring out who you are. Your late twenties are a minefield of being pigeonholed into tick boxes. Married? Check. Mortgage? Check. Children? Check. Not everyone has it all figured out yet; the fact that Hazel is in the exact same position made her very easy to relate to.

The Winter Wedding was a really lovely read. It wasn’t taxing or an agonising read; it was a genuine pleasure to just sit down and pick up a book that I felt so comfortable to be a part of.

Well done, Abby Clements.

The Winter Wedding by Abby Clements is available now.

Follow Abby Clements (@AbbyCBooks) on Twitter.