Pretty Baby
 Read over 5 days.

Pretty Baby

A chance encounter

She sees the teenage girl on the train platform, standing in the pouring rain, clutching an infant in her arms. She boards a train and is whisked away. But she can’t get the girl out of her head…

An act of kindness

Heidi has always been charitable but her family are horrified when she returns home with a young woman named Willow and her baby in tow. Dishevelled and homeless, this girl could be a criminal – or worse. But despite the family’s objections, Heidi offers them refuge.

A tangled web of lies

As Willow begins to get back on her feet, disturbing clues into her past starts to emerge. Now Heidi must question if her motives for helping the stranger are unselfish or rooted in her own failures.

Praise for Pretty Baby
‘Pretty Baby is almost hypnotic and anything but predictable…This book will give insomniacs a compelling reason to sit up all night.’ – Kirkus

My Thoughts:
This was a good read. The sort that grabs you on the first page and doesn’t let go until the last full stop. A chance encounter leads to an act of kindness which eventually descends into a web of lies.
It is a story that is told by three(unreliable?) narrators.
Chris husband to Heidi and Willow a homeless girl who Heidi initially looks kindly upon.
But all is not as it seems. A simple story of a kindness to your fellow human soon becomes something completely different.
The frailties, secrets and lies of the three narrators web a brilliant tale of underlying menace.
The writing is top notch and the chapters short which makes you want to read on and never get bored. The characters are well drawn and rounded. My first read from Mary Kubica and on this example wont be my last. I recommend this book to all.

 

Mary Kubica 



Mary Kubica

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Mary Kubica is the bestselling author of THE GOOD GIRL (2014) and PRETTY BABY (2015). She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from Miami University in Oxford, Ohio, in History and American Literature. Mary lives outside of Chicago with her husband and two children and enjoys photography, gardening and caring for the animals at a local shelter.

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Things I Couldn't Tell My Mother
 

Things I Couldn’t Tell My Mother

There was a lot that we kept from my mother. My dad would say to me as a teenager “Don’t tell your mother.” We couldn’t face the disapproval.

Sue Johnston always seemed to be disappointing her mother. As a girl she never stayed clean and tidy like her cousins. As she grew older, she spent all her piano lesson money on drinks for her mates down at the pub, and when she discovered The Cavern she was never at home. The final straw was when Sue left her steady job at a St. Helen’s factory to try her hand at that unsteadiest of jobs: acting.

Yet when Sue was bringing up her own child alone, her mother was always there to help. And playing her much-loved characters Sheila Grant in Waking the Dead and Barbara in The Royle Family– although her mum wouldn’t say she was proud as such, she certainly seemed to approve. And in her mother’s final months, it was Sue she needed by her side.

The relationship with your mother is perhaps the most precious and fraught of any woman’s life. When she began writing, Sue set out to record ‘all the big things, and all the small things. Everything I wanted to tell my mother but felt I never could’. The result is a warm, poignant and often very funny memoir by one of Britain’s favourite actresses.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          My thoughts and review:
I picked this book up on holiday. I have known Sue as an actress for a few years. Appearing in things like Brookside, Waking the Dead and Medics amongst other things. She is an actress of vast range. Tv Soap Operas, Crime shows and comedy etc. I enjoyed this book immensely. It’s full of humour, pathos and stories about well known people in the same business as Sue. But the part of the narrative that appealed to me was her relationship with her parents and their relationship with each other. Though Sue has a large extended family I feel that being an only child has given her the drive and determination to be a success in her chosen profession. This was a good read and I would recommend it. A worthy 4 stars.
Quicksand

Quicksand

There could be two sides to Maja Norberg that shift silently like quicksand: the question is, which one do you believe?

Is Maja a normal 18-year-old, the poster girl next door, popular and excelling at her schoolwork, caught in the middle of a terrible tragedy? Or, is she the most reviled teenager in the country?

Either way, everyone knows her name. She has spent nine excruciating months in jail, awaiting trial for a mass murder that killed her boyfriend and her best friend, and now the time has come for her to enter the courtroom. What did she do? Or is it what she didn’t do that brought her here?

Is Maja a cold-blooded murderer or is she just a girl who has lost her way and, as a consequence, now lost the ones she loved?

My thoughts and review.
This was my first read by this author. A great read that keeps the reader turning the pages.
It is the story of a shooting at a Norwegian high school and the aftermath and fall out that results.
Surviving the shooting, Maja Norberg, finds herself on trial as one of the perpetrators of the shooting.
The story is told in a series of flashbacks, present time trial and the doubts in Moja’s own mind.
All of Moja’s class mates have their own story and skeletons in their own cupboards.
A story not only of a crime and trial but the resultant ramifications on the wider society.
Moja, Sebastian, Samir and Amanda ar all well drawn characters and have integral parts in the story. But I found the most loathsome character is Claes, Sebastian’s father. A well told tale that draws the reader in and does not let them go.
Thanks to my friend Ewa Sherman for this book and reomendation.
Grab a copy folks!

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Malin Persson Giolito was born in Stockholm in 1969, and grew up in Djursholm. She has worked as a lawyer for the biggest law firm in the Nordic region and as an official for the European Commission in Brussels, Belgium.
Persson Giolito has published three previous novels. Her latest novel, Quicksand (Störst av allt), was published by Wahlström & Widstrand in June 2016 and has been sold to 24 countries and was awarded the Best Crime Novel of the Year Award 2016, Sweden’s official suspense literature award, which is given by the Swedish Crime Writers’ Academy.
She lives in Brussels together with her husband and their three daughters
The Dog Who Dared to Dream

The Dog Who Dared to Dream

by Sun-mi HwangChi-Young Kim (Translator)
This is the story of a dog named Scraggly. Born an outsider because of her distinctive appearance, she spends most of her days in the sun-filled yard of her owner’s house. Scraggly has dreams and aspirations just like the rest of us. But each winter, dark clouds descend and Scraggly is faced with challenges that she must overcome. Through the clouds and even beyond the gates of her owner’s yard lies the possibility of friendship, motherhood and happiness – they are for the taking if Scraggly can just hold on to them, bring them home and build the life she so desperately desires

 

My thoughts:

 

I was looking for a change from crime and this book was it. It was a world populated by animals who can converse with each other and humans who think they understand them.
A book that shows animals have feelings just like humans. They feel pain ,grief and happiness in their too short lives.
They are also capable of unconditional love and loyalty. We can all take a leaf from from the books and lives of so called dumb animals.
For any who likes a lighthearted and paradoxically a read that makes you think, then this is the book for you.
The heroes? of the book are Grandpa Screecher and Scraggly. Opposites who are bonded by love if not understanding   

ABOUT SUN-MI HWANG

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Hwang Sun-mi (born 1963) is a South Korean author and professor who is best known for her fable The Hen Who Dreamed She Could Fly, which has also been made into a successful animated film in South Korea, Leafie, A Hen into the Wild.
she was Born in 1963, Hwang was unable to attend middle school due to poverty, but thanks to a teacher who gave her a key to a classroom, she could go to the school and read books whenever she wanted. She enrolled in high school by taking a certificate examination and she graduated from the creative writing departments at Seoul Institute of the Arts and Gwangju University, and from graduate school at Chung-Ang University. She lives in Seoul, South Korea.Hwang is an adjunct professor at the Faculty of Literature in the Seoul Institute of the Arts. Hwang’s career as a writer began in 1995, and since then she has published nearly 30 books over various genres. She is most famous for her work “The Hen Who Dreamed She Could Fly” which was also made into a movie that broke Korean box office records for animated films, earning nearly 7 billion won in its first month of release.Awards:
Nong-min Literay Award (1995)
Tamla Literary Award (1997)
SBS Media Literary Award (2001)
Sejong Children’s Literature Prize (2003)[7]
The Best Book of the Year in Poland (2012)..
I Hear the Sirens in the Street (Detective Sean Duffy #2)
 

 

I Hear the Sirens in the Street (Detective Sean Duffy #2)

Detective Inspector Sean Duffy returns for the incendiary sequel toThe Cold Cold Ground.

Sean Duffy knows there’s no such thing as a perfect crime. But a torso in a suitcase is pretty close.Still, one tiny clue is all it takes, and there it is. A tattoo. So Duffy, fully fit and back at work after the severe trauma of his last case, is ready to follow the trail of blood – however faint – that always,alwaysconnects a body to its killer.A legendarily stubborn man, Duffy becomes obsessed with this mystery as a distraction from the ruins of his love life, and to push down the seed of self-doubt that he seems to have traded for his youthful arrogance. So from country lanes to city streets, Duffy works every angle. And wherever he goes, he smells a rat …                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       .                                                                                                                                                                       My thoughts  and review