I hope you are all still staying healthy and safe! Thank you for joining us as we try to maintain some normality during this strange year!
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Alys finds herself with an adult daughter and a selfish husband who makes her redundant from her job. She feels like life has passed her by. Her daughter in on the brink of a new career as a chef and Esme’s dreams make Alys regretful that she achieved none of her own.
But then Alys meets the restaurant owner’s husband Sam and it is her first husband who almost died in a car crash over 20 years ago. He didn’t want Alys to live with an invalid so left her in the hope that she would chase her dreams. Can she follow her heart now…?
The Wife’s Choice was completely compelling. I was so caught up in Alys’ story and was anxious for her to have a happy ending. I always say it is the sign of a good book when it makes you feel strongly towards a character. I was incredibly angry with Hugh’s behaviour, the continual put downs, destroying her confidence, and later, the outright lies.
The characters are all realistic and Alys’ vulnerability is endearing although I also wanted to shout at her to stand up for herself! I could understand the choices that the characters made, whether through love, jealousy or fear
The Wife’s Choice is filled with sadness and regret yet it is also uplifting as Alys rediscovers her passions and dreams. I think the message of this book is loud and clear: don’t sacrifice your happiness out of fear or loyalty, and always be true to yourself. I will definitely try!
Tell your most devastating secret, or risk losing your only daughter…
Then: Twenty years ago, Alys’ husband, Sam, was in a terrible car accident that left him fighting for his life. His recovery was slow and painful and, just at the point when Alys began to hope, he sent her away, refusing to see her ever again for reasons she could never understand.
Now: Married again and living in a new town with a new family, Alys feels like she’s sleepwalking through life. She’s just lost her job, her grown-up daughter is flying the nest, and her new husband doesn’t see – or even seem to care about – the downward spiral she is in.
But a chance encounter changes everything. As the life she could have had crashes into the one she settled for, Alys must decide whether or not to reveal the lie she’s been telling everyone all these years. Will it tear apart the ones she loves, or could it set them free?
The Wife’s Choice is an emotional, page-turning family drama about the difficult choices and sacrifices we make to protect the ones we love. Perfect for fans of Amanda Prowse, Kerry Fisher and Jodi Picoult.
After a varied career, Emma Davies once worked for a design studio where she was asked to provide a fun and humorous (and not necessarily true) anecdote for their website. She wrote the following: ‘I am a bestselling novelist currently masquerading as a thirty something mother of three.’ Well the job in the design studio didn’t work out but she’s now a forty something mother of three and is happy to report the rest of her dream came true.
After many years as a finance manager she now writes full time and is far happier playing with words than numbers. She lives with her husband, three children, and two guinea pigs in rural Shropshire where she writes in all the gaps in between real life. It’s a county she adores, her love of its beautiful people and landscapes providing endless inspiration for her books, and in fact the only thing that would make Shropshire more idyllic is if it were by the sea.
It’s never too early to start learning about the importance of conservation, saving our plants, animals and environment.
Aimed at children aged 7 and over, Conservation Crisis is a strategy board game that is fun to play whilst also raising awareness about wildlife reserves and endangered species.
The Conservation Crisis game has an RRP of £29.99 with £2 from each sale going to charities that fund conservation projects around the world.
The instructions are quite straightforward and the game is quick to set up. The aim of the game is to move around the board, building wildlife reserves, hiring staff and saving endangered species.
There is definitely a Monopoly feel to the game due to the strategic use of spending, however the focus is on the greater good rather than personal profit. There are also emergencies, bribes and other dangers to navigate which raise awareness of the real life problems faced by conservationists.
Suitable for 2-4 players or teams of players but I personally think that 7 (Anya’s age) is a little young to play individually or independently but 10 (Matthew’s age) would be perfect.
The Conservation Crisis board game is a fun way for children to learn about conservation and the reality of the enviromental struggles our planet is currently facing.
Cassie is devastated when her only child dies in a tragic accident. Shortly after Josh’s funeral, Kim turns up on the doorstep with baby Samuel and he is the spitting image of Josh as a baby. Cassie begins to obsess over her new grandson but strange things start to happen…
It is clear that Cassie and Kim both have secrets from the past which they are desperate to keep hidden. Cassie receives mysterious text messages which descend to blackmail while Kim is evasive about the details of her relationship with Josh.
The narrative is delivered through multiple viewpoints including Josh in flashback chapters. These are particularly poignant as we know he has died and we are witnessing the events that lead to tragedy.
Cassie, Kim and Josh’s ex Jemma are all emotionally written by Sheryl Browne to create sympathy, whilst also raising questions about their actions and motives. The grief of losing a loved one is realistically portrayed and sensitively written. These characters have a vulnerability which makes them appealing despite their dubious activities.
Some parts of The New Girlfriend are quite dark. Kim’s homelife is quite tragic to read about, yet her stalking and desperation is creepy yet heartbreaking. The sinister messages and mental breakdown of Cassie, the tension in Cassie and Adam’s marriage all contribute to the sense of unease and danger that make us as readers feel concerned for the characters.
The final page is truly jaw dropping and I wasn’t expecting it at all (no spoilers!) Overall, this was an enjoyable book to read: part psychological thriller, part family drama but definitely emotional.
Cassie once did something so bad she’s never spoken about it since.
When her beloved son, Josh, dies suddenly in a tragic accident, Cassie is overcome with grief. And, as she cries on her husband’s shoulder, her phone lights up with a message that terrifies her.
I know what you did and I’m going to make you pay.
Somebody from Cassie’s past has found her and they want everyone to know just what kind of a woman she is.
As Cassie struggles to keep the message from her husband, someone knocks on the door of their perfect family home and Cassie discovers she isn’t the only person keeping secrets. Before her stands her son’s girlfriend – a girlfriend Cassie didn’t know about.
And when Cassie closes the door behind the new girlfriend, she has no idea who she has just let into her life. Her biggest secret is about to be revealed. And you won’t believe what Cassie does next…
A truly gripping page-turner that will keep you reading well into the night, The New Girlfriend is perfect for fans of The Girl on the Train, My Lovely Wife and Gone Girl.
Sheryl Browne writes psychological thriller and edgy contemporary fiction. A member of the Crime Writers’ Association, Romantic Novelists’ Association and awarded a Red Ribbon by The Wishing Shelf Book Awards, Sheryl has several books published and two short stories in Birmingham City University anthologies, where she completed her MA in Creative Writing.