Sunday, 31 January 2016

Our Endless Numbered Days by Claire Fuller

Paperback, 304 pages
Published December 31st 2015 by Fig Tree (first published February 16th 2015)
I received a copy of this book via Netgalley


"1976: Peggy Hillcoat is eight. She spends her summer camping with her father, playing her beloved record of The Railway Children and listening to her mother's grand piano, but her pretty life is about to change.

Her survivalist father, who has been stockpiling provisions for the end which is surely coming soon, takes her from London to a cabin in a remote European forest. There he tells Peggy the rest of the world has disappeared. And so her life is reduced to a piano which makes music but no sound, a forest where all that grows is a means of survival. And a tiny wooden hut that is Everything.

Peggy is not seen again for another nine years.

1985: Peggy has returned to the family home. But what happened to her in the forest? And why has she come back now?"

My Review

This is quite a mysterious book which builds up the tension well. However, Peggy is an unreliable narrator and she left me confused at times, which I imagine was the author's intention.

There is some beautiful writing in this book with very vivid descriptions. I particularly enjoyed the scenes where Peggy learns to play the silent piano. The cover of this book is stunning as well.

This book is dark and haunting, I felt sad for Peggy's lost childhood.

Unfortunately, I read this a few months ago and I have found that it hasn't stayed with me very well. As a result, I would give this 3 out of 5.

This book is available on Amazon in HardbackPaperback and Kindle.

About the Author

Claire Fuller trained as a sculptor before working in marketing for many years. In 2013 she completed an MA in Creative and Critical Writing at the University of Winchester, and wrote her first novel, Our Endless Numbered Days. It has been published in the UK by Fig Tree (Penguin), in the US by Tin House, in Canada by House of Anansi and in Israel and Taiwan. It will be published in a further four countries. Our Endless Numbered Days won the 2015 Desmond Elliott prize.

Claire's second novel, Swimming Lessons will be published in early 2017.

The Birthday That Changed Everything by Debbie Johnson

Published January 28th 2016 by HarperImpulse
I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.


"She wanted a birthday surprise, just not the one she got…

The last thing Sally Summers expected from her husband on her special day was that he’d leave her for a Latvian lap dancer half her age. So with her world in tatters, Sally jets off to Turkey for some sun, sea and sanctuary.

The Blue Bay resort brings new friends and the perfect balm for Sally’s broken heart in gorgeous Dubliner James. He’s just the birthday present she needs. And when the chemistry between them continues to spark as the holiday ends, Sally wonders if this is more than just a summer fling.

But James has scars of his own and Sally isn’t quite ready to turn her back on her marriage. This birthday might have changed everything, but what will the next one bring?"

My Review

This is my new favourite book by Debbie Johnson, it was hilarious and made me laugh out loud so much my boyfriend had to keep asking what was going on! Sally is a warm character with a difficult family, her daughter in particular is a nightmare of teenage hormones and bad attitude. Sally reminds me of an older Bridget Jones in that trouble seems to follow her around but she will always make the best of a bad situation.

An emotional tale of friendship, heartbreak and learning to love yourself, it brought tears to my eyes on more than one occasion. 

I loved this book and highly recommend it. 5 out of 5 from me.

It is available on Amazon in both paperback and Kindle format.

About the Author

Debbie Johnson lives and works in Liverpool, where she divides her time between writing, caring for a small tribe of children and animals, and not doing the housework. She writes romance, fantasy and crime - which is as confusing as it sounds! Her first humorous contemporary romance, Cold Feet At Christmas, a seasonal tale of snow-bound fun, was released by HarperImpulse last year, and became an Amazon top ten best-seller. You can also find her supernatural crime thriller, Fear No Evil, featuring Liverpool PI Jayne McCartney, on Amazon, published by Maze/Avon Books. Debbie also writes urban fantasy, set in modern day Liverpool. Dark Vision and the follow-up Dark Touch are published by Del Rey UK. Debbie blogs at She lives with her family in Merseyside and is available to write features.