It was far easier to choose my over all Top 3 than it was to choose my favourite eight from each half of the year. Why? Because once you open the floodgates it’s impossible to stop. So here goes. They are all totally different from each other, but they each hold a special place in my heart.

Image thanks to Leafy Bean Co

The Miseducation of Evie Epworth by Matson Taylor

Probably one of the reasons I loved this book so much was because it is set in my era. I was only 10 at the time, much younger than Evie, and still at Primary School, but I remember everything she talks about, from Adam Faith (I loved him – his was the first record I ever bought) to Atora Suet (still don’t know what that is but I can still see the packaging) and our Dansette record player, though ours was red.

But one of the stand-out things for me about the book is how Matson has managed to capture perfectly the ‘playful’ (his word) voice of a 16 year old girl in the sixties. Hard enough for someone like me who was there. So grab a copy and a cuppa and enjoy. With a slice of cake or a fat rascal from Betty’s of course.

For my full review click here…

Mirrorland by Carole Johnstone

Every once in a while you know you have read something special, something original, something so overwhelmingly beautiful and sad that you feel like your heart is breaking. Mirrorland is that something. Dark and unsettling, the more you read, the more you cannot imagine what the next chapter holds. It’s like holding your breath underwater, afraid to surface, yet more afraid to remain. 

Catriona and Ellice lived out their childhood in a world of their own invention. A world called Mirrorland. Populated with pirates, clowns, adventurers, Belle, Mouse and The Witch, the only other child allowed into their world was Ross. That is, until the girls are found wandering, bloody and wretched at the dock, waiting for a pirate ship to take them away.

To say this book is fantastic would not do it justice. It’s just brilliant and amazing and every other adjective I can think of.

For my full review click here…

When the Music Stops by Joe Heap

When the Music Stops is so unique, so different, that it left me reeling. The story takes us through the ‘seven stages of woman’ (inspired by Shakespeare’s seven stages of man in As You Like It *) – from Ella’s life as a child in Glasgow and her first experience of losing someone close to her when she was still a child, to now, when she is old. She is on a boat. It is starting to sink and is gradually filling with water. Ella is 87 and alone apart from a baby which she discovers in a room which has been turned into a nursery. The baby is very young and needs looking after.

Towards the end I was totally overwhelmed and had to take a break or I would have started crying and not been able to stop. Writing this review made me cry. It is rare for a story to have such a profound effect on me and make me feel so happy and sad at the same time. This is one book I will definitely read again (and I almost never do that).

For my full review click here…

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