RAE’S READING ROUND-UP FOR… SEPTEMBER 2021

Hello Bookish Friends,

Now that woolly jumper weather is with us and days are growing shorter, it’s the perfect time of year to curl up with a great book. And my September reads include FOUR great books, by fantastic female authors.

And speaking of fantastic authors, I’m delighted to share that tomorrow (Monday), I’ll be chatting all things books and writing with author, Kate Hewitt. Please come join us.

But in the meantime, stay safe and happy reading!

OTHER PEOPLE’S MARRIAGES by KERRY FISHER

Other People’s Marriages by Kerry Fisher is a brilliant example of why I love what is described as heart-breaking, emotional fiction. Kerry really ‘gets’ women, writing so well about their relationships and friendships, their worries and issues. What I really enjoyed about Other People’s Marriages is that the three protagonists were women just turning sixty, portrayed in a realistic, vibrant way.

Steph, Evie and Teresa form a strong bond when their sons are toddlers, but thirteen years later a long weekend away turns sour, creating waves that will be felt decades later. The characters partake in a fair bit of introspection, but then that is what this novel is about, searching the past trying to figure out how best to go forwards. One for fans of Diane Chamberlain, Liane Moriarty and Charity Norman.

THE AUTHENTICITY PROJECT by CLARE POOLEY

Every now and then I’m in the mood for a feel-good read and Clare Pooley’s The Authenticity Project kept spooling across my radar. The Authenticity Project is simply a green jotter where six acquaintances share their hopes and dreams, their worries and insecurities, thereby facing their true selves rather than the perfect images they portray daily to the world.

Pooley has created a whole cast of quirky characters, but the two leads are Julian Jessop (a septuagenarian artist) and Monica (the caring owner of a London café). Filled with humour and empathy, it touches upon subjects such as drug misuse, loneliness, as well as the stresses of being a new mum. But most importantly it focuses on looking out for each other, being a true friend, and valuing community. Without creating a spoiler, I felt the central romance was a touch rushed, and possibly even unlikely, but if you are searching for an escapist, uplifting read, then a trip to Monica’s café may be a good place to start.

THE RIVER BETWEEN US by LIZ FENWICK

If you adore a sweeping love story that includes secrets from the past, then I highly recommend The River Between Us by Liz Fenwick. Having been described as the contemporary Queen of Cornish romance, Fenwick has strayed across the Tamar River into Devon for her latest release, something I’m sure her loyal readership will forgive.

When Theo’s marriage falls apart, she requires space and time to regroup, and the boatman’s cottage, situated on the river where she spent happy summers with her beloved grandmother, offers the perfect escape. But when she discovers a stash of hidden letters, she begins on a journey that weaves back to Lady Alice, who was banished to the countryside for being brave enough to fight for women’s rights.  

The River Between Us flows beautifully between the present and past, joined by descriptions of flowers and nature, a historic mansion house and, of course, the Tamar River. With themes of ancestry and affairs of the heart, it might have been useful to have a family tree included in the end pages. However, I understand that this might also have revealed something of the plot. One for fans of Kate Morton, The River Between Us is a study in how love, in all its forms, remains constant until the last.   

THE RUMOUR by ELIN HILDERBRAND

September was mostly sunny here in northern Scotland, and I wanted to hold onto the summer vibe a little longer, so I headed to Nantucket with Elin Hilderbrand’s, The Rumour. Best friends Madeline and Grace live charmed lives on beautiful Nantucket Island, where the sand is soft, boats clink in the harbour, everyone knows everyone, and rumour spreads quickly. However, when Madeline is struck with writers’ block, she sees Grace’s affair as the perfect plot line. What could go wrong?

What I love about Elin Hilderbrand’s novels is that although they are set in a glamorous location, her characters still feel real with ordinary, everyday problems and worries. Women feeling an invisible member of their family, dealing with money worries, with teens heading off the rails, relying on girlfriends to help them navigate their way through. The Rumour is a light read that has the air of a friend telling a story, but then sometimes it’s good to listen to a little gossip and be thankful it isn’t us!

Published by Rae Cowie

Check out my bookish chat at raecowie.com

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