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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

Ash Mountain by Helen Fitzgerald #Review #Giveaway

Ash Mountain by Helen Fitzgerald is published by Orenda Books on 14th May. I am delighted to be able to participate in the blog tour to celebrate its launch and to offer a great Giveaway- an e-copy of the book.  If you enjoyed The Cry on the BBC, you will be keen to read Helen's latest thriller. 
Fran hates her hometown, and she thought she’d escaped. But her father is ill, and needs care. Her relationship is over, and she hates her dead-end job in the city, anyway.

She returns home to nurse her dying father, her distant teenage daughter in tow for the weekends. There, in the sleepy town of Ash Mountain, childhood memories prick at her fragile self-esteem, she falls in love for the first time, and her demanding dad tests her patience, all in the unbearable heat of an Australian summer.

As past friendships and rivalries are renewed, and new ones forged, Fran’s tumultuous home life is the least of her worries, when old crimes rear their heads and a devastating bushfire ravages the town and all of its inhabitants…

Simultaneously a warm, darkly funny portrait of small-town life – and a woman and a land in crisis – and a shocking and truly distressing account of a catastrophic event that changes things forever, Ash Mountain is a heart-breaking slice of domestic noir, and a disturbing disaster thriller that you will never forget…

My Thoughts

As the pace of the story gets ever more frantic, you feel the heat of the fires as if they are licking at your feet. There are some serious issues which rear their head from the past but alongside those, there is a certain black humour and excruciating moments for Fran. The action moves back and forward in time from thirty years previously to the present day. By the end, you feel that all the sins of the past are being scorched by the fire. The flames are relentless and pitiless.

    As the story develops, you get to look into the lives of different inhabitants and to see what happened to Fran all those years ago when she was a teenager. You know that the fire is coming and when it arrives, the writing seems to go onto a different level. I especially loved the frantic calls going into the emergency services. Knowing of the recent bush fires in Australia and taking on board that the cover picture was taken by a father of his daughter during the fires, you feel that there is a special connection between the author and the subject. It is raw and it is real.

In short: An inferno of a novel.

About the Author

Helen FitzGerald is the bestselling author of ten adult and young adult thrillers, including The Donor (2011) and The Cry (2013), which was longlisted for the Theakstons Old Peculier Crime Novel of the Year, and is now a major drama for BBC1. Her 2019 dark comedy thriller Worst Case Scenario was a Book of the Year in both The Guardian and Daily Telegraph. Helen worked as a criminal justice social worker for over fifteen years. She grew up in Victoria, Australia, and now lives in Glasgow with her husband.

You can read my review of Worst Case Scenario here.

You can follow Helen here: Website  |  Twitter

 Book links: Amazon UK 

Thanks to Helen Fitzgerald, Karen Sullivan and Anne Cater of Orenda Books  for a copy of the books and a place on the tour. 

Check up on the rest of the tour!
Giveaway (Worldwide)

To win an e-copy of Ash Mountain, just Follow and Retweet the pinned Tweet at @bookslifethings and good luck!

 Closing Date is 10th May 2020 and there is one winner.

*Terms and Conditions – UK only.  The winner will be selected at random via Tweetdraw from all valid entries and will be notified by Twitter and/or email. If no response is received within 7 days then I reserve the right to select an alternative winner. Open to all entrants aged 18 or over.  Any personal data given as part of the competition entry is used for this purpose only and will not be shared with third parties, with the exception of the winners’ information. This will passed to the giveaway organiser and used only for fulfilment of the prize. I am not responsible for despatch or delivery of the prize.


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