My #review of #TheLittleWartimeLibrary by @katethompson380 @HodderBooks

London, 1944.

Clara Button is no ordinary librarian. While the world remains at war, in East London Clara has created the country’s only underground library, built over the tracks in the disused Bethnal Green tube station.

Down here a secret community thrives: with thousands of bunk beds, a nursery, a cafe and a theatre offering shelter, solace and escape from the bombs that fall above.Along with her glamorous best friend and library assistant Ruby Munroe, Clara ensures the library is the beating heart of life underground.

But as the war drags on, the women’s determination to remain strong in the face of adversity is tested to the limits when it seems it may come at the price of keeping those closest to them alive.

Based on true events, The Little Wartime Library is a gripping and heart-wrenching page-turner that remembers one of the greatest resistance stories of the war.

For those followers who know my reading patterns, they will know that I really love novels set during WW2, so when I won The Little Wartime Library, I was so pleased as from the premise, I hoped it would be a good read.

Firstly, I must say that The Little Wartime Library is based on fact, this made the red so much better. This is the story of two friends, Clara and Ruby manage to survive the latter part of the war in Bethnal Green, London, working in a library that has been built above the tracks of the Underground because the above-ground library has been hit by a bomb and destroyed. This novel follows their lives and those of the locals, trying to work, live, love, and survive in tired war-torn London.

The cast of characters is quite large, but they are written with such love and care, you can tell that Kate Thompson has done a huge amount of research into the history of Bethnal Green and its inhabitants. I loved the cast of The Little Wartime Library and found the plots to be heart-rendering, gripping, and warm. We follow the novel from both Clara’s and Ruby’s perspectives in each chapter, and this works well.

As always you know I’m not going to give any spoilers away, but this is a multi-faceted story of the lives of the Jewish and English residents of this small corner of London, I really did enjoy The Little Wartime Library, and particularly liked the section at the end of the paperback that tells you how Kate Thompson researched the background to writing this book.

If you like books based during WW2, that are also based on truth, books with a lovely warm feeling about them but also written with knowledge and great care and compassion, then The Little Wartime Library is one for you. I really did enjoy it and gave it a strong 4 stars.

Kate is an award-winning journalist, ghostwriter, and novelist. She spent five years working on national newspapers such as the Daily Express and Daily Mail, and also on all the major national woman’s magazine titles.

Over the past seven years, she has concentrated on writing ten fiction and non-fiction titles. Her debut novel, SECRETS OF THE SINGER GIRLS, was a Sunday Times bestseller in 2015, with first-week sales of over 10,000. It has recently been optioned by Bandit Television.

Kate’s first non-fiction book , which uncovers the lives of extraordinary women of wartime East End, THE STEPNEY DOORSTEP SOCIETY, was published by Penguin (Michael Joseph) in February 2019 and reached number one in the history categories on Amazon.

You can follow Kate Thompson on TWITTER INSTAGRAM FACEBOOK

You can buy The Little Wartime Library and Kate Thompson other books HERE

#Review of #TheOtherSideOfNight by @adamhamdy #AdamHamdy @panmacmillan #Released 15.09.2022 #UK

A big-hearted, big-brain, novel that you’ll finish in three days and think about for the rest of the year. Wonderful.’ Stuart Turton

David Asha wants to tell you a story about three people:

Elliott Asha, his son, broken by a loss that will redeem him.

Ben Elmys, a surrogate father and David’s trusted friend, a man who might also be a murderer.

Harriet Kealty, a retired detective searching for answers to three mysterious deaths, while also investigating a man who might turn out to be the love of her life.

Every word David tells you is true, but you will think it fiction . . .

Bestselling author Adam Hamdy returns with a story of soulmates torn apart by circumstance and three deaths that haunt the past, present and future. A genre-defying book unlike any you’ve ever read and a spellbinding novel about love, sacrifice and endless possibilities.

What authors are saying:

‘Like no crime novel I’ve ever read. The pages almost turn themselves and when I was finished I couldn’t stop thinking about the story’s incredible twists, turns, and surprises’ James Patterson

‘A strange, compelling, and ultimately moving head-spinner of a novel’ John Connolly

I really wasn’t prepared for The Other Side Of Night even though Adam Hamdy had told me ‘it’s Different!’

From the opening preface, I KNEW this was going to be a book that would probably stay with me for ages, and I was intrigued and excited to keep reading.

This is a difficult review to write in that I am loathed to give anything away, it needs to be read by EVERYONE! And it left me speechless and kind of dumbfounded when I had finished!! Yes, it really is that ‘different’ and utterly bloody amazing!

I have read all of Adam Hamdy’s other books including The Pendulum Trilogy and the Scott Pearce espionage thrillers and I loved them all, Adam is an artist at writing edge of your seat thrillers. So let’s say I’m familiar with Adam’s work….. well The Other Side Of Night is nothing like his other novels!! It is written with poetic charm and intelligence and – this may sound odd – but love, The Other Side Of Night oozes LOVE! No, it’s not a love story, well, it is of a sort, it’s a mystery, it’s a theory, it’s a thriller, it’s poignant….well it’s actually a mind-expanding and electrifying novel of huge proportions that I really want everyone to read!! I’ve never read anything like it before and I think it will win a LOT of prizes….if it doesn’t…it should!! This is Adam Hamdy’s seminal work, it’s a work of art and I am honoured to have read it!

This is one of those books that will stand the test of time, it needs to be on everyone’s to-read list, it needs to be a book to be studied in schools, and a book discussed in book clubs! THIS will be THE book release of the Autumn. It took me 2 days to read but it’s stayed with me, left me with lots of questions, and made me look at it in a TOTALLY different light, dare I say it….it’s CHANGED me! I will even re-read it so that I can get every ounce out of The Other Side Of Night!

If you buy one book this year, please make it The Other Side Of Night….you will not be disappointed!

A 5 star read ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️….( but that’s not enough! )

Adam Hamdy is a Sunday Times, Kindle, and international bestselling author and screenwriter.

Adam writes the Scott Pearce series of contemporary espionage thrillers [Black 13, Red Wolves], and has written two Private books with James Patterson [Private Moscow, Private Rogue].

He is the author of the Pendulum trilogy, a trilogy of conspiracy thriller novels. James Patterson described Pendulum as ‘one of the best thrillers of the year’, and the novel was a finalist for the Glass Bell Award for contemporary fiction. Pendulum was chosen as book of the month by Goldsboro Books and was selected for BBC Radio 2 Book Club.

Prior to embarking on his writing career, Adam was a strategy consultant and advised global businesses in the medical systems, robotics, technology and financial services sectors.

You can Pre-Order The Other Side Of Night HERE

You can sign up to Adam Hamdy’s website HERE

You can follow Adam Hamdy on TWITTER . INSTAGRAM. FACEBOOK

Adam Hamdy is also one of the Co-Founders of Capital Crime

My #review of #WomenInLove by #MiriamBurke @renardpress published UK 23.02.22

‘I couldn’t sleep that night; our conversation was like a trapped bird flying around inside my head. The next morning, I texted to say I wouldn’t be coming back. I lied about having to return to my country to nurse a sick relative. I couldn’t bear to see my story mirrored in his eyes, and to see what we never had. I knew he’d understand.’

Women and Love is a thought-provoking collection of seventeen tightly woven tales about the power of love, all its trials and complications, and the shattered lives it can leave in its wake.

The stories explore a huge variety of sorts of love surrounding women in wildly differing settings and features an unforgettable cast including GPs, burglars, inmates, emigrant cleaners, carers, young professionals, and many more. Navigating heavy themes, with a particular focus on LGBTQ+ experiences, including gender dysphoria and searching for a sperm donor, the stories leave the reader burning with indignation, full of empathy and wonder.

Firstly, Thank you to Will at Renard Press for sending me a copy Women in Love to review.

This isnt my normal genre of book, but I was so intrigued by the description, that I wanted to read something different.

Here is a book with a plethora of love stories about women, they are well written and its clear that Miriam Burke knows her subjects well, in the description of all the various characters throughout the book.

Here we have 17 short stories about women in love. The clear who sees relationships from the outside and has a sad secret, the wife whose husband of many years makes a decision that rocks her world forever, the struggling single mother who encounters every parents nightmare.

I loved the way the stories were written so frankly and found all of them easy to read and compelling. and you can really feel yourself emphasising with the chrachters. My favourite was The Currency of Love, really gripping. I will also say that there are going to be some trigger warnings in these stories.

Overall a nice collection of short stories by Miriam burke, and a word for Renard Press as I loved the book cover design!

A 4 Star read.

A writer from the west of Ireland, Miriam Burke’s short stories have been widely published in anthologies and journals. She has a PhD in Psychology, and before becoming a writer she worked for many years as a Clinical Psychologist in London hospitals and GP practices. Women and Love is her debut collection.

You can buy Women In Love HERE

No Honour by Awais Khan

The Blurb…….

In sixteen-year-old Abida’s small Pakistani village, there are age-old rules to live by, and her family’s honour to protect. And, yet, her spirit is defiant and she yearns to make a home with the man she loves.

When the unthinkable happens, Abida faces the same fate as other young girls who have chosen unacceptable alliances – certain, public death. Fired by a fierce determination to resist everything she knows to be wrong about the society into which she was born, and aided by her devoted father, Jamil, who puts his own life on the line to help her, she escapes to Lahore and then disappears.

Jamil goes to Lahore in search of Abida – a city where the prejudices that dominate their village take on a new and horrifying form – and father and daughter are caught in a world from which they may never escape.

Moving from the depths of rural Pakistan, riddled with poverty and religious fervour, to the dangerous streets of over-populated Lahore, No Honour is a story of family, of the indomitable spirit of love in its many forms … a story of courage and resilience, when all seems lost, and the inextinguishable fire that lights one young woman’s battle for change.

I had seen a lot of reviews for No Honour by Awais Khan, and although its not my normal Genre, I know that Orenda Books never publish a doozey, so i ventured in.

From the first page i was utterly gripped and appalled, this is not a book for the faint hearted, its a hard hitting, emotional story of female honour killing in modern day Pakistan.

I found it compelling and harrowing at the same time, I’m not sure that I’ve read a book that manages to write such beautiful prose about such awful events and activities before, but the further i got into it, the more I knew this is a masterpiece of our time!

It feels weird saying what a superb book No Honour is when its such a sad hard-hitting subject matter, but if we don’t write about these things then nothing will change, and if there’s one thing I’d like to see happen from Awais book, its that it helps change the ancient ways to a more equal society for women.

I was really taken by the lead character’s of Abida and Jamil, their inner strength and love for each other is so well written, you could almost feel their pain and love coming off the pages in waves. And the thing that I liked the most was the ending!

I did have to take breaks from reading No Honour as I found it, in parts, very harrowing, but its not written to shock, it is integral to the storyline.

I’m so glad I read No Honour, it is definitely a 5 star read, and opened my eyes to how other cultures live, which lead me to Google to find out more!

Awais Khan

Awais Khan is a graduate of the University of Western Ontario and Durham University. He has studied creative writing with Faber Academy. His debut novel, In the Company of Strangers, was published to much critical acclaim and he regularly appears on TV and Radio. Awais also teaches a popular online creative writing course to aspiring writers around the world. He is currently working on his third book. When not working, he has his nose buried in a book. He lives in Lahore.

Books by this author

You can buy No Honour from Orenda books here – https://orendabooks.co.uk/product/no-honour