The Bitter End by Ann Evans and Robert D.Tysall

Paul finally has his life back on track. After losing his wife, Helena in a horrific car crash, he has found love with Sally and moves into her country cottage.  
As a former high-ranking Naval Officer, Paul now works as Head of Security at MI5.
Paul has no memories from before he was ten years old. An accident left him in a coma for 9 months.  But was it really an accident?
Soon Paul starts to have flashes of childhood memories, all involving his childhood friend, Owen.
Sally introduces him to her friend, Juliet, the owner of a craft shop. Paul is shocked when he is introduced to Juliet’s partner, his old friend Owen.
Flashes of memories continue to haunt Paul, particularly the memory of his first wife Helena burning in the car crash.
As dark things start to happen, and local people begin dying in horrific accidents, Paul must face his past and will end up fighting for his life.

It's my pleasure to be one of the hosts of the blog blitz for The Bitter End by Ann Evans and Robert D. Tysa…

Book Review: The Storied Life of A.J Fikry by Gabrielle Zevin

Image courtesy of Alonquin books


Gabrielle Zevin's new novel, The Storied Life of A.J Zevin,  is described as "a love letter to the world of books - and booksellers - that change our lives by giving us the stories that open our hearts and enlighten our minds."
Obviously I was immediately intrigued! What followed was not the sort of book I'm generally drawn to and yet it kept me engaged and intrigued until the final page. It's the story of the titular A.J Fikry, owner of  Island Books, which has a sign reading, "No man is an island, every book is a world" above the door. At the beginning A.J is widowed, his business is struggling and he has withdrawn from his fellow inhabitants of Alice Island. A robbery swiftly followed by the unexpected arrival of a mysterious package in his bookstore changes his life entirely and he learns to open his heart again, to books and to love. This is a well written and well crafted tale with some surprising twists along the way. It's not a groundbreaking story, despite the twists it often trod a somewhat predictable path, which isn't a criticism, I think books sometimes have to give the reader what they're expecting. What sets this novel apart though is that this is a love letter to books, to booksellers and to book lovers. I guarantee that your to be read pile will be even bigger once you reach the end of this heartwarming tale.
Disclosure: I was given a free copy of this book through Netgalley for my honest review.

The Storied Life of A.J Fikry will be published by Alonquin Books and released in the UK in April 2014.

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