Love in the Afternoon and other delights by Penny Vincenzi

In brief: A group of short stories and essays focusing on love and relationships.

The good: It’s Penny Vincenzi.

The not-so-good: I have now read everything by her!

Why I chose it: The last Penny Vincenzi book on the shelf to read.

Year: 2013

Pages: 193

Publisher: Headline Review (Hachette)

Setting: England

My rating: 9 out of 10

In general, I’m not too much of a short story fan but I will read absolutely anything that Penny Vincenzi writes. I adore her grand novels of love, family, fortune and loss but of course, they take time to write. Love in the Afternoon and other delights was the last of her books I had on the shelf. It seemed a perfect time just before Christmas to dip in and out of these short stories and writings as it was such a busy period.

I was a little sceptical about how Penny Vincenzi would be able to tie up everything in a story over 20 pages instead of 600. I was also a bit worried if they would have the same sparkle as her novels. Of course, I worried needlessly. The stories are instantly recognisable as Vincenzi’s and the endings work beautifully. The main theme is as the title suggests, love. But it’s not just romance. There is the love between father and son (The Mermaid) and the reluctance of the son to allow a new woman into his father’s life. There are a few affairs too (Love in the Afternoon and The Glimpses, which has the best ending!). The Brooch explores sisterly love and the argumentative side that crushes it. There are also some articles by Penny Vincenzi, on getting older to her favourite books. I really enjoyed this part of the book, as I really don’t hear too much about authors themselves, let alone in written format! She proves that she is just as sparkly and witty when writing fact in addition to fiction.

Sadly, this was a fast read but it confirmed that I will definitively read anything of Penny Vincenzi’s work. I love the British tone of her novels, and the peek into the big houses and lavish parties. But most of all, I loved the twists in this short stories – they were truly delightful.

The House of New Beginnings by Lucy Diamond

In brief: In a group of flats in Brighton, a number of women are looking for a new beginning. Will they find it in Brighton with the courage to strike on their own?

The good: All the characters are delightful and interesting and I wanted to read more about them all!

The not-so-good: I feel a bit lonely now I’m away from the house at 11 Dukes Square.

Why I chose it: Always meaning to read a Lucy Diamond book but never quite getting there until now, thank you Pan Macmillan.

Year: 2017

Pages: 470

Publisher: Pan Macmillan

Setting: Brighton, England

My rating: 8.5 out of 10

Lucy Diamond’s books have always sounded like something I’d like to read but I’ve never gotten around to it. Until now. (I seem to be doing well in 2017 in reading authors I’d always meant to!) Perfect for fans of Cathy Kelly and Jill Mansell (two authors I enjoy), The House of New Beginnings is a story full of warmth, heartache and ultimately joy. It’s a fantastic beach read or one to cosy up on the couch with as it’s not a demanding read, but one that will envelope you in the world of 11 Dukes Square. I finished this book several days ago and I’ve missed the characters since then!

There are several main characters in the story, all residents of the same building near the seafront in Brighton. All are fairly recent arrivals to Brighton from different parts of England and all are coping with a great deal of change in their lives. Georgie was my favourite character (she’s young but a determined optimist) who has moved to Brighton with her boyfriend for his new job. She has a plan to get a job as a journalist and she won’t take no for an answer, even if it means going to a roller disco 80s evening! Rosa had a high flying job but left London after a breakup of epic proportions. She’s turned her hand to working as a chef (cooking is her passion) but cutting up pumpkin isn’t that thrilling. Will she branch out to achieve her dream? And finally, Charlotte has gone through heartbreak and is just trying to fill her days to get through them. Can elderly resident Margot help her to see the sunshine as Charlotte does weekly chores for her?

The journey of these women from heartbreak to happiness was heart-warmingly lovely. Yes, there are sadder parts of the narrative but they are balanced out nicely with the hilarious and cringe worthy but funny. (Let’s just say that I wouldn’t mind doing a few chores for Margot!) Lucy Diamond handles each woman’s loss sensitively and compassionately, so much so that I really felt for Charlotte. For Rosa, I just wanted to give Max a piece of my mind! (Although the revenge in the book is 100% brilliant, it nails what we know of Max’s foibles). The characters are also incredibly realistic, they could in fact be your neighbours, mates or colleagues. I think that’s what made The House of New Beginnings stick with me, what did happen to the characters could happen to anybody. They didn’t have any extraordinary powers, money or fame – they were everyday people, dealing with everyday things. But don’t think that the story is boring, because it isn’t. The writing sparkles and the characters make their life interesting (with a little bit of help from the town of Brighton, which seems to have some nice cafes and quirky nightlife). The minor characters, such as Gareth, Paul and the women at the refuge are also every day people, but with a unique or memorable trait. (Particularly Paul. His big reveal as the landlady’s son at the end is hysterically funny).

So if you’re looking for a book that will effortlessly engage you, do give The House of New Beginnings a go. It’s fun and uplifting, a treat of a story.

Mailbox Monday and What I’m Reading 13/2/17

Last week was odd in terms of weather! It’s meant to be summer, but we’ve had record rains, flooding and winter temperatures! Meanwhile, the rest of Australia is super-hot and dry. This week it looks like we will return to sunny and warm days. In a way, the unseasonal weather was great for reading.

I received several books in the mail over the last week (all lovely and dry!), many thanks to those who sent them:

The Shape of Us by Lisa Ireland was from Pan Macmillan and the author. I love Lisa Ireland’s books, so I’m excited to get an early copy of her latest (out April). It’s about four women who bond on an online forum weight loss. Each of them has her own problems but are bonded by friendship as they realise that weight loss is not the key to happiness.

The Midsummer Garden by Kirsty Manning was a win from Bookstr and Allen & Unwin. Out April, it’s a novel with a dual timeline (1487 and 2014) across France and Tasmania. Artemisia is in charge of the kitchens at a large chateau, but her dreams are outside its walls. Who can she trust with her secret? Pip is trying to finish her studies and avoid making plans, but the gift of old copper pots joins her story with that of Artemisia’s.

Storm and Grace by Kathryn Heyman was a win from Allen & Unwin. It’s described as a literary thriller as a smitten Grace follows Storm to his Pacific Island. He teaches her to be a diver like him, but as Storm pushes Grace, she resists. What is she hiding?

(Not pictured – a copy of 4 3 2 1 by Paul Auster. Thanks Allen & Unwin!)

If you want to look at other books received, do visit the Mailbox Monday blog for links to everyone’s mailbox goodies.

It’s Monday! What are you reading? is hosted by Book Date. Click on the pictures to read more about the books.

What I Read Last Week:

What I’m Reading at the Moment:

Up Next:

City of Friends by Joanna Trollope

In brief: Stacey, Gaby, Melissa and Beth have been friends since their first economics class. On the day Stacey loses her job, the secrets and lies between the four begin to unravel.

The good: Each character is unique with a completely different set of problems.

The not-so-good: Stacey, you need to talk more!

Why I chose it: Have never read any of Joanna Trollope’s books before, so it’s high time I started. Many thanks to Pan Macmillan for the copy.

Year: 2017

Pages: 329

Publisher: Pan Macmillan

Setting: London

My rating: 8.5 out of 10

Confession time: I’ve never read a Joanna Trollope book before City of Friends. Why? I don’t know really. I could make a lot of excuses but the truth is I’ve never really gotten around to it – it’s too hard to go to the library, the local bookshop closed down…then it’s all too late. In a way, City of Friends explores that notion – letting something slide until it’s too difficult, then nearly impossible. But the stakes are much higher here as it’s about secrets within friendships and family.

The story opens dramatically with Stacey losing her job, very suspiciously after she’s asked to work from home some days to look after her mum who has dementia. After her boss says no, he then casually mentions that she’s superfluous to the team and he was going to make her redundant anyway. This really got me simmering, the casual sexism and the fact that it’s pretty much against equal opportunity laws. The explosive start develops into a theme – can women have it all (family and work life)? What are the barriers that women face when they try to do that? Is it so wrong for a woman to say she loves her work before her family? These ideas are what hooked me into City of Friends. It’s a bold investigation into the life of a career woman.

All four women studied economics and now have high flying jobs in the corporate and academic sectors. Except for Stacey, who is a lost end with caring for her mum. It’s a different structure that lacks routine, socialisation and her mum barely notices if she’s there or not. Melissa started her own company and now tells boards of directors what to do. She excels that that but when her son says he wants to spend time with his father, she’s at a loss what to do. Gaby has the family and the high powered job that she openly admits she loves more than her family. Now if she could tell Melissa that she hired her ex-lover’s wife and that she can’t give Stacey a job…but it’s too late. Beth went into academia, becoming an in demand guru of organisation psychology but her relationship is on the rocks. Can she handle a vindictive breakup and change her future?

What was pleasantly refreshing about City of Friends is that it didn’t shy away from the characters’ flaws and mistakes. They were tackled openly once they were brought to the fore. The flaws in each character didn’t make me like them less as a reader, rather I appreciated the honesty and I could see myself being friends with them. They are not superhero workers, lovers and mothers – they all juggle everything and sometimes it fails, occasionally in cringe worthy fashion. Yet the story is not preachy or bogged down in drama – it’s a pleasant read that moves quickly. The only thing I would have liked to have seen more of is the economics as I’m interested in that area, but I really I’m in a tiny minority here (and to be honest, I don’t think it would have fit with the lighter tone of the book). I’ll certainly be seeking out more of Joanna Trollope’s novels as I thought the strong female characters and open exploration of their faults was refreshing.

Heart of the Sky by Fiona McArthur

In brief: A new job in the Outback is just what Tess needs to escape from her life. Her landlord Soretta welcomes the newcomers with open arms, until new pilot Charlie reveals his ulterior motive…

The good: I enjoyed reuniting with Soretta and the gang from Mica Ridge, as well as following Tess’s role as an outreach breast cancer nurse.

The not-so-good: I devoured this in just a few days.

Why I chose it: The Homestead Girls was loads of fun, thanks Penguin Australia for the copy.

Year: 2017

Pages: 278

Publisher: Michael Joseph (Penguin)

Setting: Outback Australia

My rating: 8.5 out of 10

Fiona McArthur’s novels are always a heart-warming read for me, as I know that there will be tears, sadness but ultimately a joyful ending. Heart of the Sky is no exception to this, and it also has the added bonus of reuniting the reader with the women of The Homestead Girls. There are also what I’d consider to be two main characters in the novel, but they’re not the hero and heroine. It’s the story of two women, one familiar to the reader and one not, who find joy in unexpected places.

The first person we meet in Heart of the Sky is Tess. She’s an oncology nurse, looking for a new outlet after the tragic death of her husband. From a calendar image, she gets the idea of moving to outback Australia to assist cancer sufferers there. This starts a new journey as Tess becomes an outreach breast cancer nurse in the red dirt country of Mica Ridge. She’s based at the Flying Doctor Service so she can fly out to women on stations to offer support and nursing assistance. Of course, this means that we get to reunite with the other characters from FDS, such as Billie, Daphne and Mia. It’s not long before Tess is living at Blue Hills with Soretta and her grandfather making them welcome. The other new boarder is Charlie, relief FDS pilot, who has a secret up his sleeve. It’s not long before he and Soretta become firm friends, but when his secret is revealed, it deeply affects people she’s come to love. Can Tess and Soretta find their way to happiness?

I enjoy books with an oncology thread to them (I know, it’s a bit odd) because I get to experience the human contact side of it all. I can honestly say that this is the only place I’ve read or heard about knitted knockers (aka knitted prostheses to be used after a mastectomy). Tess’s determination to provide the best care possible regardless of distance is inspirational and even the little touches like tea in her office show how thoughtful and caring she is. There are tips from her practice that others could use in real life to make these women (and men, breast cancer is not exclusively female) to feel more comfortable.

It was also great to get to know what makes Soretta tick. She was determined and even a little bit fiery in The Homestead Girls. She is a bit more comfortable financially in this book, so she let her guard down to Charlie. I enjoyed reading about her mixed feelings and loyalty to her friends and family. The latter part of the book where both her feelings and her wits were tested was great to read. There was a sense of urgency in terms of plot, but Soretta was very level headed in emotional and practical terms. This made me warm to her even more as a character. Like Tess, she wants the best for those she cares about.

Overall, Heart of the Sky is a lovely story, full of characters you will love instantly and with enough drama to keep reading through the night. That’s why I never miss one of Fiona McArthur’s books!

Guest post: Fiona McArthur, author of Heart of the Sky

Today I’d like to welcome Fiona McArthur, author of the new release Heart of the Sky to Sam Still Reading. It’s a cracker of a book and I’ll tell you more in my review tomorrow. Take it away Fiona!

Fiona at Mt Gipps Station

Thanks so much for inviting me back to Sam Still Reading. I wish a happy and prosperous New Year to all. This is the start of a big year for me, too, with two single title books out with Penguin in 2017 and it’s great to be here. I’ve just finished the first draft of Sienna’s Story, readers may remember my bolshy obstetrician sister from RED SAND SUNRISE, and her book comes out in October – and can I tell you I have grinned my way through it.

But for now, I’d like to introduce you to Tess, in HEART OF THE SKY, and the fabulous Mica Ridge Flying Doctor Service, and yes, I loved every minute of it.

It’s funny how books are born. How the concepts are triggered by the world around us – by an article in a newsletter at work on the new McGrath Breast Care nurse in a small town up the road from me with an even smaller rural hospital.

I was also influenced also by an article in the SMH about the appointment of an RFDS Breast Care Nurse at Broken Hill the same time as I started Heart of the Sky. Which suited me because I needed an excuse to return to Broken Hill, and we did, for another fabulous week visiting the sights and Mount Gipps station and I wanted my setting authentic although I didn’t manage to catch up with the nurse – I so admire her work and apologise for any artistic licence in popping people in and out of planes. (Excerpt about the setting in Heart Of The Sky)

“The morning surrounded her and she breathed it in. Pure, crisp air, the chattering of birds, a small herd of feral goats moved collectively away from them like a small dappled cloud on the hillside.

She forgot about the man behind her, looked briefly at the golden sun on the horizon and closed her eyes. The intense gold circle burned with afterglow on her retina. She heard Charlie behind her, not too close, just there and it was nice to share the moment. Not something she’d needed before. Not that she needed it now but an interesting concept. She opened her eyes.

He said quietly, ‘I see what you mean about the line between light and dark.’

They both watched the steady creep of the copper line cross the dark hills. Slowly but surely fingers of orange-yellow crept down hillsides, slipped into gullies and reflected off the mica studded rocks and the white quartz that scored the hillsides like lines on a tiger’s back. And in the places sunlight didn’t reach? There lay shadows and dark shapes of stunted trees and jagged boulders.” See attached photos. Seriously, I love my job J

I needed to soak in the ochres and the blues and the people of this frontier world who cared about each other, and I loved my Homestead Girls, and thought how healing they could be for someone else with different issues. Some of the characters Blue Hills Station had to be revisited from THE HOMESTEAD GIRLS. The book itself is stand alone so you don’t need to read THG first.

Which is where Tess came in. A young widow, from a small coastal city, a fish out of water in the outback. Because I’ve never been an outback station wife or outback nurse, (but I have been a midwife for thirty years) and neither has Tess, and both of us had to make mistakes and grow and the best place to do that is on the job. Of course she needed friends. People who care. I knew just the place to find them, so this is Tess’s story and Tess’s adventure to healing. And then of course there is Soretta’s tempestuous love affair and Mia’s homecoming woven in her journey.

I hope readers love HEART OF THE SKY as much as I do.

And if you would like to know more about the fabulous Breast Care Nurses, can I recommend TAKE MY HAND – Inspiring stories from the McGrath Breast Care Nurses, by Jo Wiles, for more on the McGrath Foundation. A beautiful book that I drew heart from as well.

Warmest wishes to all for 2017


Mailbox Monday and What I’m Reading 6/2/17

Last week was pretty busy and I didn’t as much reading as I would of liked (turned off and played Candy Crush Soda – do not start playing that game!). Now I have a busy week coming up and I’ll probably want to read more than my schedule allows…

I spent some birthday vouchers at Dymocks and also received one book in the mail this week:

Spindrift by Tamara McKinley (out March) is a historical fiction novel set between Tasmania and the Isle of Skye. Christy’s past is complex and on her return to Skye her daughter and granddaughter will be part of unearthing the memories. I’m really looking forward to this, thanks Hachette! Tamara also writes novels under the name Ellie Dean, which are set in World War II England (i.e. my crack). If you use iBooks Australia, Tamara’s novel Lands Beyond the Sea is free this week.

My purchases were highly influenced by social media and blog raves:

The Wangs vs The World by Jade Chang is set during the GFC and Charles has one last plot to try to get some cash – claiming his ancestral lands in China. But first, there’s a road trip across America to collect his family, a disparate group of characters with their own suspicions.

4 3 2 1 by Paul Auster sounds like a fascinating plot – Archibald Ferguson is born in 1947, but his life will take on four simultaneous and independent paths. How will each boy take on mid-century America?

I’m not normally a person for short stories, but I’ve come back to look at A Manual for Cleaning Women by Lucia Berlin again and again. The stories are rich in their description of life, emotions and making the everyday sparkle. (Plus, that cover!)

If you want to look at other books received, do visit the Mailbox Monday blog for links to everyone’s mailbox goodies.

It’s Monday! What are you reading? is hosted by Book Date. Click on the pictures to read more about the books.

What I Read Last Week:

What I’m Reading at the Moment:

Up Next:

New York Nights by C.J. Duggan

In brief: Sarah jumps at the chance to be an au pair in New York City. But there’s more than a few odd things about working for Ben Worthington. His family talk warn her not to ask questions, but how can she not when Ben looks so hurt?

The good: Sarah is a fun and sassy character and New York is just gorgeous.

The not-so-good: I must admit, the baby stuff isn’t my style.

Why I chose it: I loved Paris Lights, thanks to Hachette for sending me this book (the second standalone book in the Heart of the City series).

Year: 2017

Pages: 306

Publisher: Hachette

Setting: New York City

My rating: 8 out of 10

I’m really glad that I’ve discovered C.J. Duggan’s novels – her writing is sassy and witty with strong female characters who are willing to take on anything, no holds barred. New York Nights is the second book in the Heart of the City series, but both are standalone stories. What they have in common is the themes of love in a big city and young women nailing standing on their own two feet. These books are delightful summer reads, perfect for the beach or in my case, under the air conditioner in 42˚C heat!

Sarah Williams has always enjoyed being an au pair in her small Aussie rural town, but when the family move to Slovenia, she’s not really up for that. Fortunately her employer knows someone looking for an au pair in New York City, so in a dream come true, she flies over to be interviewed by the Worthingtons. It’s not the ideal interview as two of the women are as cold as ice, but the third is warm and insists Sarah is perfect for the job. She just has to remember one thing – don’t ask questions. Sarah is naturally inquisitive and stands up for what’ right, but she’s got this. Plus, it’s New York City with a cute little baby. There will be walks through Central Park, strolls to the Magnolia Bakery and a wonderful rooftop space to enjoy the sunshine.

Um, not quite. Grace is a cute baby, but she’s not into sleep. Plus her father, Ben is an enigma. His preferred method of communication is short, sharp texts or emails. He generally avoids Grace. But then sometimes he’s warm, funny and genuinely interested in Sarah. Sarah can’t make him out and begins to ask questions. Which occasionally Ben answers before he shuts down. What will it take for Ben to open up to Sarah and Grace? Will Sarah make it out of New York City with her heart intact?

New York Nights has a slightly more serious tone than Paris Lights, possibly because Sarah has much more responsibility with Grace and Ben doesn’t like to talk. It’s still a satisfying ending, perfect for the couple but there’s a lot more at stake here. There is Ben’s past to be revealed, which isn’t all that pretty, plus the family dynamics of the Worthingtons. They are not a happy family, with multiple divisions and secrets ramped up to CIA Top Secret levels. Finding out their secrets was nearly as fun as reading about Sarah and Ben. I did get slightly sick of Grace being fussy, probably because she’s pre-cute baby stage and just sleeps, poops and cries. Fortunately the focus moved from Sarah and Grace to Sarah and Ben at just the right time for me. This was also when Ben began to open up more, changing him from a brooding enigma to sultry hero. The glimpse into the au pair scene of NYC was equal parts horrifying and fascinating. I liked that New York Nights had more happening that just the romance, which kept me reading and reading and reading! It’s a fun, easy read which delights and the detail about New York is extra gorgeous. It’s obvious that a lot of careful research went on here!

Now my biggest problem is waiting for the third book in the series, London Bound, which is released late March. C.J. Duggan’s book are the perfect treat for me, combining beautiful locations with a fun, sexy read.

True Colours by Kristin Hannah

In brief: The Grey sisters have always been a team, until a stranger comes to Oyster Shores. Can the sisters forgive or forget, or will it take a lot more?

The good: There are hidden depths in this book that made the latter half speed by.

The not-so-good: Start is a little slow, I wasn’t too sure where it was going.

Why I chose it: I’ve always meant to read a Kristin Hannah book but never got there – thanks Pan Macmillan for helping me out.

Year: 2017 (originally published 2009)

Pages: 393

Publisher: Pan Macmillan

Setting: Oyster Shores, Washington, USA

My rating: 9 out of 10

Kristin Hannah is one of the (too many) authors on my to-read pile. I have a copy of a couple of her books, but fate has always intervened to prevent me from getting the book off the shelf. I was determined for this not to be third time unlucky when I was offered True Colours to read and review. Now of course, I am annoyed at myself for not reading Kristin Hannah sooner! This novel combined family relationships, love, suspense and some crime into an unexpected, riveting read. I think 2017 is going to be my year of the ‘new to me and absolutely fantastic’ author.

Initially, I wasn’t sure where this novel was going to head. It opens with the aftermath of the death of the Grey girls’ mother and then moves forward into the early 1990s where the girls are grown up. Aurora married a nice but boring doctor, Winona became a lawyer and Vivi Ann continues to work on the family ranch, Water’s Edge. (That really threw me having a farm so close to the beach – I’m more used to farms being inland and the ocean being a day trip away). Vivi Ann rides horses in barrel races to try and earn money for the struggling farm, but she seems to be fighting a losing battle. I began to wonder at this point if the story would be all about horses (people who know me would know that I like my horsepower wrapped in an engine). Luckily, for me, it wasn’t. It’s not a spoiler to say that the ranch begins to see better times, although both Vivi Ann and Winona are struggling. Winona is desperate for her father’s approval, which Vivi Ann seems to receive casually. To top it off, Vivi Ann is now dating Winona’s high school crush. How can sisters be so lucky and unlucky?

Unfortunately this is only the start of the Grey girls’ troubles. Winona hires an outsider, Dallas, to work on the farm and Vivi Ann sees far more in him than the others, despite being engaged to someone else. But it’s going to be a long hard road to happiness for the girls, if it comes at all…

One of the major plot points is unexpected and carries strongly through the latter half of the book, so I won’t be discussing it here. I felt that this lifted the book from a nice story about sisters and their lives to a gripping read that takes the story outside of the small town. It was very well done emotionally, tugging at the heartstrings of the reader, yet I was never entirely sure who was guilty… The whole story is very well written, right down to the mentions of the 1990s fashion (hairspray, shoulder pads and the like). I quite enjoyed this, and it was nice to not have the characters connected to their phones for the entire novel. It forced them to talk things out or on the other side, go to extraordinary lengths to avoid each other.

Each of the sisters goes through her own personal turmoil in various degrees of detail in True Colours and it’s interesting to compare them. Winona feels left out for many reasons – she’s not married, she thinks she’s fat and ugly and her career away from the ranch makes her feel alone and estranged from the rest of the family. She tries to cover it by being superior, but it often flies back in her face. Vivi Ann knows she has the love of her family, but is determined to stay independent and go through with life choices others don’t agree with. Aurora is much more of a background character – she’s sweet and dependable but the big events of her life don’t get much page time compared with the demands of her sisters. I wondered sometimes when she would get her chance to shine away from holding up Vivi Ann emotionally and doing Winona’s make up!

Overall, I really enjoyed this introduction to Kristin Hannah’s work. She can plot exceptionally well and bring her characters into the reader’s heart easily. Next stop, my bookshelf for more!

Mailbox Monday and What I’m Reading 30/1/17

Wow, the last Monday of January and summer has definitely arrived! It has been incredibly hot over the last week. Hopefully we should have some cooler weather this week. I didn’t receive any books in the mail this week, but I did buy a few more of Jojo Moyes’ backlist:

The Peacock Emporium finds Suzanna seeking refuge in her mother’s shop, The Peacock Emporium. She can escape from her own problems, but there is still her mother’s wild past to contend with. She must meet it head on to move into the future.

Foreign Fruit is set in the small seaside town of Merham. In the 1950s, local girls Lottie and Celia were tempted by a group of Bohemians living on the seafront with devastating consequences. Fifty years later, that house is being renovating, which brings the old memories and secrets to light.

The Horse Dancer is about Sarah, learning life on a horse with her grandfather. But when disaster strikes, teenage Sarah has to fend for herself. But when paths cross with Natasha, she’s determined to put things right. But Sarah has big secrets…

If you want to look at other books received, do visit the Mailbox Monday blog for links to everyone’s mailbox goodies.

It’s Monday! What are you reading? is hosted by Book Date. Click on the pictures to read more about the books.

What I Read Last Week:

What I’m Reading at the Moment:

Up Next: