The Peacock Summer by Hannah Richell

I read a lot of books and I enjoy pretty much all of them. It’s rare, though, to discover one that moves you so much, you find yourself gazing off into the distance, holding it in your hands and dreaming of the characters within. It’s no secret I love Kate Morton’s books and I think Hannah Richell has many similar elements to Kate’s stories. I’ve found a new favourite author to add to my growing list!

 I want to pull out all the superlatives with this one – captivating, compelling, stunning. But why did I like it so much? It starts with the dazzling cover with muted colours and the imagery of the peacocks that are abundant throughout the novel. You know something special is contained inside. It is a story set in a crumbling old manor house in rural England that holds many secrets. The two main characters are 86 year old, Lillian, grandmother to 26 year old Maggie, both flawed and lovable but more than that, they gain our empathy. As Lillian’s health fails, Maggie returns to Cloudesley, the manor house. Maggie is trying to fix her life, whilst Lillian is trying to reconcile the one she’s lived. They come together over one summer but it’s the secrets of one summer decades ago that we learn of through the story and that changed their lives forever. Cloudesley is a character of its own and Richell plants us there so beautifully, we can picture ourselves walking the long and narrow hallways of the house, or ascending its grand staircase, roaming the gardens and through the woods. But for Lillian, not everything is as it seems and we learn of her lifestyle and the choices she’s had to make. For both characters there’s forbidden and unrequited love. Richell beautifully drip-feeds the past into the present and provides a few twists and turns along the way.

 This book is truly moving and special and I adored it. I loved Maggie and Lillian and loved the English countryside setting. I was completely captivated by the enduring love both women experience. It’s always about the romance for me and here, it’s in abundance.

 I’m ashamed to admit that I haven’t read Hannah Richell’s two previous novels. I situation that I intend to rectify immediately. You will love this one if you are a fan of old houses, family secrets, loss, love and beautiful writing. I highly recommend it.




New Release Book Review: Unexpected Delivery by Leanne Lovegrove

Mrs B's Book Reviews

Title: Unexpected Deliveryunexpcted delivery smallAuthor: Leanne Lovegrove

Published: May 20th 2018

Publisher: Leanne Lovegrove

Pages: 266

Genres: Fiction, Contemporary, Australian, Rural, Romance

Rating: 4.5 stars

Life can be unexpected…

Lawyer, Vivienne Greene is pulled from her comfortable office job to a temporary position in the country performing property foreclosures. Vivienne knows she’s in trouble when her first day goes horribly wrong and she’s dragged into delivering a calf by handsome dairy farmer, Daniel Beckett.

Single father, Daniel Beckett has adopted radical, robotic milking and he’s unimpressed by the city girl who tries to take his farm away. At the same time, the attraction to her is immediate.

Will Vivienne let love win and risk her job and succumb to the handsome dairy farmer?

Can Daniel forgive Vivienne for trying to take his livelihood away?

My review:

A brand new talent has emerged on the country based rural fiction scene and I’m…

View original post 895 more words

Paris Syndrome by Lisa Walker

Veronica (Happy) Glass is a 17 year old who has just moved from Sydney to Brisbane after her parents separated. Happy misses her BFF back home and is adjusting to life in a new city. As a serious Francophile, she enters a French Essay competition, and wins. She meets the first Alex, (Alex One) and Professor Tanaka. The professor advises Happy that she’s won the competition because she clearly suffers from Paris Syndrome, an affliction mainly affecting Japanese tourists. It happened to the Professor and she doesn’t want anyone else to suffer like she did. So Happy and Alex One conduct a study of all things French to determine if they can combat this syndrome and avoid their own suffering given their love for France. Along the way Happy meets Alex Two, a French boy whom she likes.

This is a coming of age story of an adolescent during a Brisbane summer, meeting new friends, coming to terms with past losses and trying to navigate her way into adulthood. It’s marketed as a young adult novel but would suit all ages. It’s an absolute treat for lovers of all things French with references to food, movies, books and more. And yes, Paris Syndrome is a real thing! Who knew!