Days of Wonder – Keith Stuart ★★★★★

Blurb; Tom, single father to Hannah, is the manager of a tiny local theatre. On the same day each year, he and its colourful cast of part-time actors have staged a fantastical production just for his little girl, a moment of magic to make her childhood unforgettable.

But there is another reason behind these annual shows: the very first production followed Hannah’s diagnosis with a heart condition that will end her life early. And now, with Hannah a funny, tough girl of fifteen, that time is coming.

Hannah’s heart is literally broken – and she can’t bear the idea of her dad’s breaking too. So she resolves to find a partner for Tom, someone else to love, to fill the space beside him.

While all the time Tom plans a final day of magic that might just save them both.Days of Wonder is the stunning follow-up to Keith Stuart’s much-loved debut A Boy Made of Blocks – and a book to fall in love with.

My Review; Oh Wow. Here is a list of words to describe this story… Beautiful. Powerful. Emotional. Heart-warming. Bold. Touching. Heart-breaking. Wonderful. Outstanding. Brave.

This story had me feeling a whole range of emotions from happy to sad. I actually cried towards the end and not many books make me cry… However, A Boy Made of Blocks made me cry too. This is such a beautiful story filled with love, hope, family and friends. Also a great community coming together.

I absolutely loved every single character in this book. Days of Wonder is told through father (Tom) and daughter (Hannah). Hannah is one brave, determined and lovely girl. A character that makes you feel proud. A girl her age shouldn’t have to face what she has had to cope with. Tom is one devoted father wanting the best for his daughter no matter what.

This story contains a powerful message that life has to go on… Life is what YOU make it and it’s good to lose yourself into books, theatre, art, music or whatever your form of escape is. Keith sure knows how to write beautiful, tear jerking stories that are real page turners. I absolutely fell in love with this book. It will stay close to my heart!

Days of Wonder has earned a well deserved place in my top 20 books of 2018! A well deserved five stars. Highly recommend. A must buy. A must read… But you may want some tissues.

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Maria in the Moon – Louise Beech ★★★★★

Blurb; Long ago my beloved Nanny Eve chose my name. Then one day she stopped calling me it. I try now to remember why, but I just can’t.’

Thirty-one-year-old Catherine Hope has a great memory. But she can’t remember everything. She can’t remember her ninth year. She can’t remember when her insomnia started. And she can’t remember why everyone stopped calling her Catherine-Maria. With a promiscuous past, and licking her wounds after a painful breakup, Catherine wonders why she resists anything approaching real love. But when she loses her home to the deluge of 2007 and volunteers at Flood Crisis, a devastating memory emerges … and changes everything. Dark, poignant and deeply moving, Maria in the Moon is an examination of the nature of memory and truth, and the defences we build to protect ourselves, when we can no longer hide…

My Review; Oh wow. How do I even begin to review this book? My first book by this author and it was perfect! It had me crying, laughing and feeling sad. This is a beautiful story but also heart-breaking. This story has a strong message within we could all learn from.

I absolutely loved Catherine’s character. She is strong, brave and a powerful character no matter what she went through. At times she felt weak she got through it and she was never alone. This is an absolutely brilliant story of real life. A beautiful, moving story that is bound to stick with its readers. I also fell in love with Chris’s character… What a gent!

This is going in my top 20 reads of 2018. I can already feel a book hangover coming on… Utterly perfect. I’m sad I finished it! What a brilliant story. A well deserved five stars, highly recommend. A must buy. A must read.

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*BLOG TOUR* Telegrams & Teacakes – Amy Miller ★★★★★

Blurb; There was no denying it, being cheerful was a challenge. You just had to be grateful for small mercies: a sunny day, a night without an air raid, an extra rasher of bacon from the butcher.’

England, 1942: 23-year-old Betty runs away from Bristol to make a new life for herself. Betrayed by her husband, Betty flees to the seaside town of Bournemouth, where she has fond memories of childhood holidays. There, she finds a small family bakery, in desperate need of a new shop girl…

At the Barton Bakery, Betty finds a sanctuary with shopkeeper Audrey Barton, but Audrey is fighting battles of her own. Her husband is at war and in grave danger, she is heavily pregnant, and her customers are horrified by the demands imposed by rationing.

Audrey’s stepsister Lily receives a letter from a man she once loved very much, a man she thought was lost to her forever. He offers her a new future with him, but one that will mean sacrificing so many of her hopes and dreams…

As Winston Churchill tells the country to ‘never give in’, the women of the Barton Bakery struggle on to keep their families, homes and loved ones safe in a time of turmoil.

My Review; BRILLIANT! I am loving this series. This is book three in the Wartime Bakery series. It takes you right back to the olden days. Those times have always fascinated me and how everyone pulls together to cope and survive. This story is just that, but also heart-breaking in parts.

Telegrams & Teacakes is easy to read, beautifully written and I loved it. Audrey and the bakery just feel like family and home in these books! I also enjoyed the introduction of the new character Betty but will she be able to move on and continue with her life within the bakery?

A series best read in order but all read well as a standalone. A well deserved five stars. Highly recommend. I look forward to book four… Fingers crossed.

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