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The Wartime Book Club by Kate Thompson #Review

  The Wartime Book Club is a marvellous historical novel set on Jersey in World War Two. Written by Kate Thompson , it was published by Hodder $ Stoughton on February 13th. Jersey, 1943. Once a warm and neighbourly community, now German soldiers patrol the cobbled streets, imposing a harsh rule on the people of the island. Grace La Mottée, the island's only librarian, is ordered to destroy books which threaten the new regime. Instead, she hides the stories away in secret. Along with her headstrong best friend, postwoman Bea Rose, she wants to fight back. So she forms the wartime book club: a lifeline, offering fearful islanders the joy and escapism of reading. But as the occupation drags on, the women's quiet acts of bravery become more perilous - and more important - than ever before. And, when tensions turn to violence, they are forced to face the true, terrible cost of resistance . . . Based on astonishing real events, The Wartime Book Club is a love letter

Meet Me at Beachcomber Bay by Jill Mansell **BlogTour extract**

 I am thrilled to be part of the launch celebration for Jill Mansell's latest book, Meet Me at Beachcomber Bay which is published by Headline Review on January 12th 2017. 

If you have read her novel, The Unpredictable Consequences of Love! you will recognise the Cornish setting of St Carys.  However, this is not a sequel, but has a whole new cast of characters.
Unpredictable Consequences Of Love!
Unpredictable Consequences Of Love!

The blurb:

 Love is in the air in St Carys, but you’d never know it - the people of this seaside town are very good at keeping secrets...
The man Clemency loves belongs to someone else. She has to hide her true feelings - but when she ropes in an unsuspecting friend to help, wires start to get crossed.
For the first time in Ronan’s life his charm has failed him in winning over the woman he wants. Loving her from afar appears to be his only option.
Belle seems to have the perfect boyfriend, but something isn’t quite right. And now a long-buried secret is slowly rising to the surface.
The truth has a funny way of revealing itself, and when it does St Carys will be a very different place indeed...

 Today, Jill is sharing an extract from the book to whet your appetite:

OK, concentrate. Sam had asked her a question and she couldn’t just sit here gazing slack-jawed in wonder at his face.

‘Not twins.’ Clemency gathered herself. ‘Well, not even sisters really. We’re stepsisters.’

‘Ah.’ Picking up on her rueful tone, Sam said, ‘And which of you is the elder?’

‘Belle is. By two months, which she never, ever lets me forget. Makes all the difference apparently.’

‘I can imagine. And how old were you when your parents got together?’

‘Fifteen. It probably sounds funny now, but you can’t imagine how traumatic it was at the time.’ Clemency shook her head. ‘We already knew each other, you see. Went to the same school. And we were just so completely different, we’d never got along together at all. Belle was perfect and organised, and quite show-offy because her dad was this multimillionaire and she’d grown up being given everything she ever wanted. Whereas me and my mum were living in a rented flat above a fish and chip shop where Mum worked    sixty hours a week.’ She smiled as she said it, because just yesterday, while she’d been staying with her mum and stepfather at their glorious villa outside Malaga, they’d jokingly referred to ‘the chip shop years’.
Sam said drily, ‘I can see that it could be awkward.’

‘God, tell me about it. Belle had a huge swimming pool in her back garden. The nearest we had to a garden was our window box. Her dad drove a pale blue Bentley Continental. My mum had a rusty clapped-out Fiesta. Belle used to make fun of my clothes, and me and my friends used to make fun of her and her friends. Then one day my mum sat me down and told me she’d been secretly seeing someone for the last six months and things were getting serious. And I was so thrilled for her, because for years I’d been longing for her to meet someone nice. I couldn’t understand why she hadn’t said anything before.’ Clemency paused. ‘Until she told me who it was she’d been seeing. And then I couldn’t believe it. Nor could Belle, obviously, but for once in her life she wasn’t able to get her own way and make it stop. We both prayed they’d realise they’d made a horrible mistake and break up, so that everything could go back to normal. But it just didn’t happen, because they were properly in love. The next thing we knew, they’d announced that they were getting married. Is this boring?’

He looked startled. ‘What? No!’

‘OK, just needed to check.’ After last time, she was wary. ‘I bored you before. Don’t want to do it again.’

Sam shook his head. ‘Seriously, that wasn’t you, it was me. Now I’m enthralled. Gripped.’ He gestured with his left hand. ‘Please continue. You can’t stop now.’

My thoughts

Well, this book turned out to be a lovely, escapist read. Set in Cornwall, we meet a mixture of interesting and quirky characters. Their lives and stories are interwoven expertly by a very experienced writer. It feels like a masterclass in how to plot a credible story.

    The aspect of the book which I most enjoy is its humour. Full of witty asides, it is never less than enjoyable. I also appreciate that not all the characters are likeable. One in particular is prickly and sometimes difficult but this adds depth to the family relationships. Jill Mansell's books are known to be feelgood, heart-warming reads and this was no exception. However, there are surprises within the story and some hard hitting issues beneath the cosy surface.

In short: a delightful read, full of romance, set in a Cornish seaside village.

Meet the author:

 Jill Mansell is the author of over twenty Sunday Times bestsellers including The One You Really Want and You and Me, Always. Take a Chance on Me won the RNA’s Romantic Comedy Prize, and in 2015 the RNA presented Jill with an outstanding achievement award.
Jill’s personal favourite amongst her novels is Three Amazing Things About You, which is about cystic fibrosis and organ donation; to her great delight, many people have joined the organ donor register as a direct result of reading this novel.

Jill started writing fiction while working in the field of Clinical Neurophysiology in the NHS, but now writes full time. She lives in Bristol with her family.

You can connect with Jill on her Website, on Twitter and on Facebook.  

Thanks to Katie Brown at Headline Review Publishers, via Bookbridgr, for a copy of the book and a place on the Tour.  

                                               Follow the rest of the Blog Tour! 



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