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Vote for March’s Read of the Month for our Epic Book Club

How is it March already! Anyway, we have five great books for you to vote on this month.  Here is a short summary of each to help you make up your mind!

Educated by Tara Westover

 

Tara Westover and her family grew up in a fundamentalist Mormon community in the mountains of Idaho preparing for the End of Days but, according to the government, she didn’t exist. She hadn’t been registered for a birth certificate. She had no school records because she’d never set foot in a classroom, and no medical records because her father didn’t believe in hospitals. She spent her days stewing hers and salvaging. Entirely self taught and cut off from the modern world.

As she grew older, her father became more radical and her brother more violent. At sixteen, Tara knew she had to leave home. In doing so she discovered both the transformative power of education, and the price she had to pay for it. She eventually studied at Harvard and Cambridge. Unflinching and fascinating.

 

 

 

The Cactus – Sarah Haywood

In this charming and poignant debut, one woman’s unconventional journey to finding love means learning to embrace the unexpected.

For Susan Green, messy emotions don’t fit into the equation of her perfectly ordered life. She has a flat that is ideal for one, a job that suits her passion for logic, and an “interpersonal arrangement” that provides cultural and other, more intimate, benefits. But suddenly confronted with the loss of her mother and the news that she is about to become a mother herself, Susan’s greatest fear is realized. She is losing control.

Enter Rob, the dubious but well-meaning friend of her indolent brother. As Susan’s due date draws near and her dismantled world falls further into a tailspin, Susan finds an unlikely ally in Rob. She might have a chance at finding real love and learning to love herself, if only she can figure out how to let go

 

Followers – Megan Angelo

Orla Cadden is a budding novelist stuck in a dead-end job, writing clickbait about movie-star hookups and influencer yoga moves. Then Orla meets Floss―a striving wannabe A-lister―who comes up with a plan for launching them both into the high-profile lives they dream about. So what if Orla and Floss’s methods are a little shady and sometimes people get hurt? Their legions of followers can’t be wrong.

Thirty-five years later, in a closed California village where government-appointed celebrities live every moment of the day on camera, a woman named Marlow discovers a shattering secret about her past. Despite her massive popularity―twelve million loyal followers―Marlow dreams of fleeing the corporate sponsors who would do anything to keep her on-screen. When she learns that her whole family history is based on a lie, Marlow finally summons the courage to run in search of the truth, no matter the risks.

Followers traces the paths of Orla, Floss and Marlow as they wind through time toward each other, and toward a cataclysmic event that sends America into lasting upheaval. At turns wry and tender, bleak and hopeful, this darkly funny story reminds us that even if we obsess over famous people we’ll never meet, what we really crave is genuine human connection.

 

The Chain – Adrian McKinty

You just dropped off your child at the bus stop. A panicked stranger calls your phone. Your child has been kidnapped, and the stranger explains that their child has also been kidnapped, by a completely different stranger. The only way to get your child back is to kidnap another child within 24 hours. Your child will be released only when the next victim’s parents kidnap yet another child, and most importantly, the stranger explains, if you don’t kidnap a child, or if the next parents don’t kidnap a child, your child will be murdered. You are now part of The Chain

 

 

 

 

 

The Ten Thousand Doors of January – Alix E Harrow

In the early 1900s, a young woman embarks on a fantastical journey of self-discovery after finding a mysterious book in this captivating and lyrical debut.

In a sprawling mansion filled with peculiar treasures, January Scaller is a curiosity herself. As the ward of the wealthy Mr. Locke, she feels little different from the artifacts that decorate the halls: carefully maintained, largely ignored, and utterly out of place.

Then she finds a strange book. A book that carries the scent of other worlds, and tells a tale of secret doors, of love, adventure and danger. Each page turn reveals impossible truths about the world and January discovers a story increasingly entwined with her own.

Lush and richly imagined, a tale of impossible journeys, unforgettable love, and the enduring power of stories awaits in Alix E. Harrow’s spellbinding debut–step inside and discover its magic.

 

To vote on this month’s choice head on over to the Facebook page and cast your photo. Voting closes 12 midnight Tuesday 3rd March and we will announce the choice the next day! 

See you there! Much love Amanda xx

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An Interview with Best Selling Author, Clare Mackintosh

Hopefully you all know of or are even members of our amazing Elsie’s Attic Book Club . . . if not, you can join in the literary chat here  After we had Clare’s book, After the End as our Read of the Month back in September last year, we jumped at the opportunity to be able to interview Clare for Elsie’s Attic Book Club.

With more than two million copies of her books sold worldwide, number one bestseller Clare Mackintosh is the multi-award-winning author of I Let You Go, which was a Sunday Times bestseller and the fastest-selling title by a new crime writer in 2015. It also won the Theakston Old Peculier Crime Novel of the Year in 2016.

Both Clare’s second and third novels, I See You and Let Me Lie, were number one Sunday Times bestsellers. Clare’s latest novel, After the End, was published in June 2019 and spent seven weeks in the Sunday Times hardback bestseller chart.

Clare is a former Thames Valley Police Officer enjoying a 12-year career, rising to Inspector before leaving in 2011.  In 2006, Clare and her husband, Rob, had had twin boys, Josh and Alex, via IVF. They were born prematurely and three weeks later, Alex contracted meningitis. Two weeks after that, he died. Amidst the shock and grief, and the sheer exhaustion of caring for a premature baby, seven months later Clare discovered she was pregnant, despite being told that she’d never conceive naturally. Incredibly, it was twins again. Daughters Evie and George were born at 37 weeks and Clare suddenly had to care for three children under 15-months.

Thank you for agreeing to answer a few questions for our book club. So let’s dive straight in  . . .

How’s the flooding situation and have you found the frog? (Clare’s house has recently been affected but Storm Ciara and Dennis!).
We’ve had two feet of water in our cellar for the last fortnight. It went up to three feet, with only another couple till it came into the house, but fortunately the rain has stopped and the levels are slowly subsided. The water came in through tiny cracks in the floor, along with a frog no bigger than my thumb. He seems to have disappeared now, but whether he’s gone back out or is somewhere in the house is anybody’s guess…
Tea or coffee?
Tea, always. Buckets of it. Milk with half a sugar in the morning, then just milk for the rest of the day. Decaf after 4pm. I like fresh mint tea too, and ginger when I need perking up.
Disciplined writer or go with the flow . . . 
Very disciplined. I plan my books down to chapter level, and although lots still happens that takes me by surprise, this helps me work quite quickly because I’m rarely staring at a blank page.
What is your favourite book?

Rebecca, Daphne du Maurier. Closely followed by Life After Life, by Kate Atkinson.

I have to confess I Let You Go is probably one of my most favourite books ever, mostly due to the fact I didn’t see ‘that bit’ (no spoilers) coming . .  I genuinely did gasp out loud when I read ‘that’ bit.  Having your first book become a Sunday Times Bestseller, is just amazing, how did you make the move from CID to Best selling novelist?
It wasn’t quite as simple as that… I was working as a public order Inspector, in charge of large scale events like demonstrations and protests. I rarely saw my children, and wanted to get my priorities straight. I took a career break, and started working as a freelance copywriter and journalist, and I wrote I Let You Go in that first year of freelancing. I was very lucky to be one of the rare writers who finds success with their debut, and I’ve worked very hard ever since to try and keep it that way!
After the End was a very emotional read for our book club and lots of us are Mothers, too, which I think adds another layer of emotion to the read.  You have been very open in sharing your own similar experience.  How do you cope as a writer dealing with such emotional topics, not just in After the End but in all your books and then have to switch off and carry on with everyday life?
I’m pretty good at compartmentalising, which is possibly a hangover from being in the police, where you have to learn to leave tough jobs at the door when you get home. After the End was a really therapeutic book for me to write, because it forced me to address some of the grief I’d kept locked away since my son died.
How do you relax? Most of us read for relaxation is it still the same for you or do you slip into work mode, analysing the content, structure and plot of the book?
I’m always analysing books, but that doesn’t take away my enjoyment of them. I read around 100 books a year, and it’s still my go-to pastime. I also love swimming, particularly outdoors, and anything crafty.
Tips for dealing with rejections . . . 

Onwards and upwards!

What’s next for Clare Mackintosh?
I’m writing another thriller, which will be out next year. It’s set on a twenty hour non-stop flight from London to Sydney and it’s very tense and twisty – I’m loving writing it.
Thanks for your time, Clare, much appreciated!   We are giving away one signed copy of Clare’s book, I Let You Go on our Facebook page (giveaway ends Sunday 8th March 2020). Hope on over and be in with a chance!
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Pop Up Events are Coming to the Attic!

So Elsie’s Attic is six years old this year and the best thing has been getting to know lots of our lovely followers online but we really really love holding events so we can get to meet you amazing bunch in person!

So, not only are we bringing back our warehouse sales we are also going to have pop up events! The first one will be an arm knitting workshop! Super excited about this one as we are a bunch of knitters in the Attic.  The workshop will give you the chance to knot a jumbo blanket like below in just two hours!  As always there will be plenty of coffee and cake!

We are also planning meet ups for our amazing book club, are you a member yet? It’s a lovely cosy space to chat about all things literary. Join in the conversation here.

We’d love to hear what other events you would like us to lay on. Why not leave a comment on this post and let us know your thoughts or pop me an email at amanda@elsiesattic.co.uk

Look forward to hearing from you all and hopefully meeting some of you soon.  Much love EA Amanda xx

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The Vote for February’s Book Club Read is On . . . .

So, we have five amazing choice for you to vote on for this month’s read.  Here’s a quick summary of each of them and details on how to vote are at the bottom . . .

 

One of Us is Lying – Karen M. McManus

I actually wanted to choose One of Us is Next by the same author, just released but this is the prequel to that, so maybe we should have this one first!

Five students go to detention. Only four leave alive. For fans of Gossip Girl and Pretty Little Liars, this is the perfect high school thriller.

Yale hopeful Bronwyn has never publicly broken a rule. Sports star Cooper only knows what he’s doing in the baseball diamond. Bad body Nate is one misstep away from a life of crime. Prom queen Addy is holding together the cracks in her perfect life. And outsider Simon, creator of the notorious gossip app at Bayview High, won’t ever talk about any of them again.

He dies 24 hours before he could post their deepest secrets online.   Investigators conclude it’s no accident. All of them are suspects. Everyone has secrets, right?

 

Resistance Women – Jennifer Chiaverini

After Wisconsin graduate student Mildred Fish marries brilliant German economist Arvid Harnack, she accompanies him to his German homeland, where a promising future awaits. In the thriving intellectual culture of 1930s Berlin, the newlyweds create a rich new life filled with love, friendships, and rewarding work-but the rise of a malevolent new political faction inexorably changes their fate.

As Adolf Hitler and his Nazi Party wield violence and lies to seize power, Mildred, Arvid, and their friends resolve to resist. Mildred gathers intelligence for her American contacts, including Martha Dodd, the vivacious and very modern daughter of the US ambassador. Her German friends, aspiring author Greta Kuckoff and literature student Sara Weitz, risk their lives to collect information from journalists, military officers, and officials within the highest levels of the Nazi regime.

For years, Mildred’s network stealthily fights to bring down the Third Reich from within. But when Nazi radio operatives detect an errant Russian signal, the Harnack resistance cell is exposed, with fatal consequences.

Inspired by actual events, Resistance Women is an enthralling, unforgettable story of ordinary people determined to resist the rise of evil, sacrificing their own lives and liberty to fight injustice and defend the oppressed.

 

Where the Crawdads Sing – Delia Owens

For years, rumors of the “Marsh Girl” have haunted Barkley Cove, a quiet town on the North Carolina coast. So in late 1969, when handsome Chase Andrews is found dead, the locals immediately suspect Kya Clark, the so-called Marsh Girl. But Kya is not what they say.

Sensitive and intelligent, she has survived for years alone in the marsh that she calls home, finding friends in the gulls and lessons in the sand. Then the time comes when she yearns to be touched and loved. When two young men from town become intrigued by her wild beauty, Kya opens herself to a new life – until the unthinkable happens. . . .

 

 

 

Adults – Emma Jayne Unsworth

Jenny is unloved, unemployable and emotionally unfiltered. Her long-suffering friends seem sick of her and whilst her social media portrays her life as a bed of roses, it is more of a dying succulent.

Adults is what you want it to be. A misadventure of maturity, a satire on our age of self-promotion, a tender look at the impossibility of womanhood, a love story, a riot. And Emma Jane Unsworth is the only voice to hear it from. Adults is excruciating, a gut punch of hilarity and a book laden with truth that you will read again and again.

 

 

 

The Doll Factory – Elizabeth McNeal

This darkly atmospheric debut from Elizabeth Macneal is a brooding examination of female subjugation wrapped in the cloak of a rattling good period yarn. In a Victorian London so richly evoked that you can practically taste the fog, the aspiring artist Iris Whittle finds herself caught between the affections of pre-Raphaelite artist Louis Frost and the altogether more unsavoury taxidermist Silas Reed. Alongside her two admirers Iris also has to contend with the festering resentment of her jealous sister and a society which seems determined to keep her in her place. As events move toward their end, repressed desire and obsessive love threaten to destroy everything that Iris holds dear.

 

 

 

To vote on this month’s choice head on over to the Facebook page and cast your photo. Voting closes 12 midnight Thursday 6th January and we will announce the choice the next day! 

See you there! Much love Amanda xx

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January Book Choices – The Vote is On!

 

The Scholar by Dervla McTiernan

 

When DS Cormac Reilly’s girlfriend Emma stumbles across the victim of a hit and run early one morning, he is first on the scene of a murder that would otherwise never have been assigned to him.

The dead girl is carrying an ID, that of Carline Darcy, heir apparent to Darcy Therapeutics, Ireland’s most successful pharmaceutical company. The investigation into Carline’s death promises to be high profile and high pressure.

 

 

 

 

Blood Orange – Harriet Tyce

Alison has it all. A doting husband, adorable daughter, and a career on the rise – she’s just been given her first murder case to defend. But all is never as it seems…

I did it. I killed him.

Alison’s client stabbed her husband; she wants to plead guilty. And yet something about her story feels off…

I’m watching you. I know what you’re doing.

Someone knows Alison’s secret. Someone who wants to make her pay for what she’s done, and who won’t stop until she’s lost everything….

Bold, provocative and compelling, Blood Orange introduces a stunning new voice in psychological suspense.

 

 

Brain on Fire – Susannah Cahalan

Brain on Fire is the stunning debut from journalist and author Susannah Cahalan, recounting the real-life horror story of how a sudden and mysterious illness put her on descent into a madness for which there seemed to be no cure

‘My first serious blackout marked the line between sanity and insanity. Though I would have moments of lucidity over the coming days and weeks, I would never again be the same person …’

Susannah Cahalan was a happy, clever, healthy twenty-four-year old. Then one day she woke up in hospital, with no memory of what had happened or how she had got there. Within weeks, she would be transformed into someone unrecognizable, descending into a state of acute psychosis, undergoing rages and convulsions, hallucinating that her father had murdered his wife; that she could control time with her mind. Everything she had taken for granted about her life, and who she was, was wiped out.

This is Susannah’s story of her terrifying descent into madness and the desperate hunt for a diagnosis, as, after dozens of tests and scans, baffled doctors concluded she should be confined in a psychiatric ward. It is also the story of how one brilliant man, Syria-born Dr Najar, finally proved – using a simple pen and paper – that Susannah’s psychotic behaviour was caused by a rare autoimmune disease attacking her brain. His diagnosis of this little-known condition, thought to have been the real cause of devil-possessions through history, saved her life, and possibly the lives of many others. Cahalan takes readers inside this newly-discovered disease through the progress of her own harrowing journey, piecing it together using memories, journals, hospital videos and records. Written with passionate honesty and intelligence, Brain on Fire is a searingly personal yet universal book, which asks what happens when your identity is suddenly destroyed, and how you get it back.

 

The Nickel Boys – Colson Whitehead

Elwood Curtis has taken the words of Dr Martin Luther King to heart: he is as good as anyone. Abandoned by his parents, brought up by his loving, strict and clearsighted grandmother, Elwood is about to enroll in the local black college. But given the time and the place, one innocent mistake is enough to destroy his future, and so Elwood arrives at The Nickel Academy, which claims to provide ‘physical, intellectual and moral training’ which will equip its inmates to become ‘honorable and honest men’.

In reality, the Nickel Academy is a chamber of horrors, where physical, emotional and sexual abuse is rife, where corrupt officials and tradesmen do a brisk trade in supplies intended for the school, and where any boy who resists is likely to disappear ‘out back’. Stunned to find himself in this vicious environment, Elwood tries to hold on to Dr King’s ringing assertion, ‘Throw us in jail, and we will still love you.’ But Elwood’s fellow inmate and new friend Turner thinks Elwood is naive and worse; the world is crooked, and the only way to survive is to emulate the cruelty and cynicism of their oppressors.

The tension between Elwood’s idealism and Turner’s skepticism leads to a decision which will have decades-long repercussions.

Based on the history of a real reform school in Florida that operated for one hundred and eleven years and warped and destroyed the lives of thousands of children, The Nickel Boys is a devastating, driven narrative by a great American novelist whose work is essential to understanding the current reality of the United States.

 

Based on a True Story – Delphine De Vigan

‘A wonderful literary trompe l’oeil: a book about friendship, writing and the boundary between reality and fantasy … Dark, smart, strange, compelling’

Overwhelmed by the huge success of her latest novel, exhausted and suffering from a crippling inability to write, Delphine meets L.

L. embodies everything Delphine admires; sophisticated and unusually intuitive, she slowly but deliberately carves herself a niche in the writer’s life. However, as she makes herself indispensable to Delphine, the intensity of this unexpected friendship manifests itself in increasingly sinister ways. And as their lives become further entwined, L. begins to threaten Delphine’s identity and her safety.

 

 

 

To vote on this month’s choice head on over to the Facebook page and cast your photo. Voting closes 12 midnight Thursday 9th January and we will announce the choice the next day! 

See you there! Much love Amanda xx

 

 

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Are you the Elsie’s Attic’s Next Top Model?!

We are on the hunt for more fabulous, relatable models to join our team! Fancy joining us? Then have a read and get in touch – we’d love to hear from you! 

It does not matter what age, size, height etc you are but you do need to be local to us in South Leicestershire, Cosby to be precise,or at least able to get to us once or twice a month.

You do need to be . . .
*Comfortable in front of a camera
* Happy to appear live on our social media channels
*Happy and smiley
* A fan of the Attic and what we do . . . 😘

So what’s involved . . .
We will hold shoots, mostly on Saturdays, on a regular basis. and you will be invited to come and hangout with us at our new base, ‘down on the farm’. We have a mini photo studio where we will shoot latest arrivals. There will also be occasional photo shoots to get involved with.  In return you will receive free/discounted items and expenses.

If you think this could be you then please email us at amanda@elsiesattic.co.uk. Please include a bit of info about yourself and two recent photos of yourself, at least one full length photo – we can’t consider any applicants without a recent full length photo. Please note we can only accept applications via email not Facebook etc.

What are you waiting for!

Excited to hear from you! Much Love EA Amanda x
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Snuggle up and check out December’s Book Club choice

So, it goes without saying that December is a super busy time in the Attic so the vote for this month’s choice was pretty quick! Annnnd, the winner is . . .

Twas the Nightshift Before Christmas – Adam Kay. By all accounts an excellent read. Quite a short read which might not be a bad idea as we are all super busy getting Christmas ready and quaffing prosecco!  If you aren’t already in the club, join up here

Personally I am also going to read the Dark Side of the Book Club too (one of the other choices we voted on!) Happy reading amazing ladies!

Much love EA Amanda xxx

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Hands up who wants to join Team Attic?!

After five glorious years in Nottingham, Elsie’s Attic has moved back south! We have landed back home in Cosby, sunny South Leicestershire.

We are now on the hunt for new, amazing staff to join our team.  We are a small, friendly team, looking for an outstanding individual to come and work with us down on the farm at the new Attic in Armston Farm, Cosby and keep the magic alive!

About You . . .

Do you have a passion for fashion? Oodles of drive & enthusiasm? Attention to detail? Do you know who is who on Instagram world of Mummy fashion? Do you love folders and post it notes? Can you wrap a mean parcel? Do you have a passion for high levels of customer satisfaction?  Are you a good all rounder, not afraid to get stuck in and love working as part of a team. Would you cope if you broke a nail shifting some boxes? Can you make a decent cup of coffee? Do you promise to indulge in cake on full fat Friday in the office? If you can honestly answer yes to all of these then we’d love to hear from you!

About The Role . . . 

We are not your typical company and these new roles will offer the opportunity to work on all aspects of our business from the initial customer contact through to the goods leaving the Attic to happy customers.  We are a small company we believe that we should all be prepared to get stuck in to ensure we can deliver the best possible products in the best possible way for our customers and provide the best service. And by we, that includes us, Amanda & Steve the Founders and CEOs.

As a busy team member you would join us in doing the following: –

Download orders from our website for processing

Pick and pack orders for customers and send them off with love

Unpack incoming deliveries and put away stock in the Attic

Process customer returns and represent stock for sale

Answer messages and phone calls from our wonderful customers

Add content to social media

Liaise with models and help organise photo shoots

Participate in regular team meetings and one to one development meetings

and much more!

What we can give you . . . 

Starting salary circa £18 000 – £20 000 depending on skills and experience with six monthly reviews and the opportunity to progress if you can really work hard and knock our socks off!

Company pension

A generous staff perks package

The position is Monday to Friday 8.30 – 4.30pm.

PS – you must love dogs as the Attic dogs are established members of the team and often hang out with us.

To apply please email amanda@elsiesattic.co.uk with a covering letter and CV. APPLICATIONS NOW CLOSED.

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November Book Club Vote is On!

Each month we will put forward 4-5 books for the club to vote on but we need to get a wriggle on to get a read in for September so this time we have chosen them to get us started!  We have picked five books to fit in with the following genres; Autobiography, non-fiction, fiction, Member’s Choice and a classic must read.    A vote has now gone up on the book club page for you to choose.

The books to vote on are . . .

First Man in – Ant Middleton

OK, so maybe not an obvious choice but after hearing Ant Middleton talking about his life and this book, it has us intrigued and it’s a Sunday Time Bestseller . . .  No one is born a leader. But through sheer determination and by confronting life’s challenges, Ant Middleton has come to know the meaning of true leadership. In First Man In, he shares the core lessons he’s learned over the course of his fascinating, exhilarating life.

Special forces training is no walk in the park. The rules are strict and they make sure you learn the hard way, pushing you beyond the limits of what is physically possible. There is no mercy. Even when you are bleeding and broken, to admit defeat is failure.

To survive the grueling selection process to become a member of the elite you need toughness, aggression, meticulous attention to detail and unrelenting self-discipline, all traits that make for the best leaders.

In this fascinating, exhilarating and revealing book, Ant speaks about the highs and gut-wrenching lows of his life – from the thrill of passing Special Forces Selection to dealing with the early death of his father and ending up in prison on leaving the military – and draws valuable lessons that we can all use in our daily lives.

 

Sara Payne, A Mother’s Story – Sara Payne

‘Thank God we have found her.’ Sara Payne’s words as she announced that the body of her daughter – snatched and murdered by paedophile, Roy Whiting – had finally been found.

In this memoir, Sara tells her personal story. She describes the numbness as she waited for seventeen days, desperate to hear news of her missing daughter, and the terrible moment when her worst fears became reality. She explains how her family tried to cope with their grief and the stress placed upon them by the media campaign for Sarah’s Law. As the family tried to rebuild their lives in the aftermath of tragedy, they found that each reminded the other of the child they had lost. Guilt and anger pushed Sarah’s marriage into a spiral of alcohol abuse and violence.
This is the ultimate story of a family’s journey through hell, but Sara’s strength is an inspiration as, despite everything, she and her family slowly found a way to go on.

 

 

Once Upon a River – Diane Setterfield

On a dark midwinter’s night in an ancient inn on the river Thames, an extraordinary event takes place. The regulars are telling stories to while away the dark hours, when the door bursts open on a grievously wounded stranger. In his arms is the lifeless body of a small child. Hours later, the girl stirs, takes a breath and returns to life. Is it a miracle? Is it magic? Or can science provide an explanation? These questions have many answers, some of them quite dark indeed.

Those who dwell on the river bank apply all their ingenuity to solving the puzzle of the girl who died and lived again, yet as the days pass the mystery only deepens. The child herself is mute and unable to answer the essential questions: Who is she? Where did she come from? And to whom does she belong? But answers proliferate nonetheless.

Three families are keen to claim her. A wealthy young mother knows the girl is her kidnapped daughter, missing for two years. A farming family reeling from the discovery of their son’s secret liaison, stand ready to welcome their granddaughter. The parson’s housekeeper, humble and isolated, sees in the child the image of her younger sister. But the return of a lost child is not without complications and no matter how heartbreaking the past losses, no matter how precious the child herself, this girl cannot be everyone’s. Each family has mysteries of its own, and many secrets must be revealed before the girl’s identity can be known.

Once Upon a River is a glorious tapestry of a book that combines folklore and science, magic and myth. Suspenseful, romantic, and richly atmospheric, the beginning of this novel will sweep you away on a powerful current of storytelling, transporting you through worlds both real and imagined, to the triumphant conclusion whose depths will continue to give up their treasures long after the last page is turned.

 

Rebecca – Daphne De Maurier  

Such a classic book, we just had to include this one. Having seen the book brought to life in the classic Hitchcock film, getting lost in the pages of this book would be a real treat.  On a trip to the South of France, the shy heroine of Rebecca falls in love with Maxim de Winter, a handsome widower. Although his proposal comes as a surprise, she happily agrees to marry him. But as they arrive at her husband’s home, Manderley, a change comes over Maxim, and the young bride is filled with dread. Friendless in the isolated mansion, she realises that she barely knows him. In every corner of every room is the phantom of his beautiful first wife, Rebecca, and the new Mrs de Winter walks in her shadow.

 

 

 

 

Daisy Jones and the Six – Taylor Jenkins Reid

So this book was suggested bu quite a few Book Club members over the past few weeks and it has rave reviews from the likes of Fearne Cotton so that had us intrigued . . .

Everyone knows Daisy Jones & The Six, but nobody knows the reason behind their split at the absolute height of their popularity . . . until now.

Daisy is a girl coming of age in L.A. in the late sixties, sneaking into clubs on the Sunset Strip, sleeping with rock stars, and dreaming of singing at the Whisky a Go Go. The sex and drugs are thrilling, but it’s the rock and roll she loves most. By the time she’s twenty, her voice is getting noticed, and she has the kind of heedless beauty that makes people do crazy things.

Also getting noticed is The Six, a band led by the brooding Billy Dunne. On the eve of their first tour, his girlfriend Camila finds out she’s pregnant, and with the pressure of impending fatherhood and fame, Billy goes a little wild on the road.

Daisy and Billy cross paths when a producer realizes that the key to supercharged success is to put the two together. What happens next will become the stuff of legend.

The making of that legend is chronicled in this riveting and unforgettable novel, written as an oral history of one of the biggest bands of the seventies. Taylor Jenkins Reid is a talented writer who takes her work to a new level with Daisy Jones & The Six, brilliantly capturing a place and time in an utterly distinctive voice.

To vote on this month’s choice head on over to the Facebook page and cast your photo. Voting closes 12 midnight Wednesday 31st October and we will announce the choice the next day! 

See you there! Much love Amanda xx

 

 

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September’s Book Club Read is . . .

. . .  up to our amazing book club members!!

Each month we will put forward 4-5 books for the club to vote on but we need to get a wriggle on to get a read in for September so this time we have chosen them to get us started!  We have picked five books to fit in with the following genres; Autobiography, non-fiction, fiction, Member’s Choice and a classic must read.    A vote has now gone up on the book club page for you to choose.

The books to vote on are . . .

1. My Thoughts Exactly – Lily Allen

Always one of the more honest and questioning pop stars, Lily Allen lays bare her struggles with fame, success and self-image in this raw and valuable testimony. Resounding with the singer-songwriter’s trademark wit and candour, My Thoughts Exactly is a refreshingly real music memoir.

In the introduction, Allen, 33, says she’s too young to write her entire life story; instead she’s interested in “the things in my life that changed events, upended things, upset the cart.  No detail is deemed too personal in the singer’s affecting account of her rise to fame and being constantly under scrutiny

A brutally honest read that must have had a few other celebrities and high profile people squirming and running for cover!

 

 

 

2. How to Fail – Elizabeth Day

Inspired by her hugely popular podcast, How To Fail is Elizabeth Day’s brilliantly funny, painfully honest and insightful celebration of things going wrong.

This is a book for anyone who has ever failed. Which means it’s a book for everyone.

If I have learned one thing from this shockingly beautiful venture called life, it is this: failure has taught me lessons I would never otherwise have understood. I have evolved more as a result of things going wrong than when everything seemed to be going right. Out of crisis has come clarity, and sometimes even catharsis.

Part memoir, part manifesto, and including chapters on dating, work, sport, babies, families, anger and friendship, it is based on the simple premise that understanding why we fail ultimately makes us stronger. It’s a book about learning from our mistakes and about not being afraid.

Uplifting, inspiring and rich in stories from Elizabeth’s own life, How to Fail reveals that failure is not what defines us; rather it is how we respond to it that shapes us as individuals.

Because learning how to fail is actually learning how to succeed better. And everyone needs a bit of that.

 

3. After the End – Clare Mackintosh

Max and Pip are the strongest couple you know. They’re best friends, lovers—unshakable. But then their son gets sick and the doctors put the question of his survival into their hands. For the first time, Max and Pip can’t agree. They each want a different future for their son.

What if they could have both?

A gripping and propulsive exploration of love, marriage, parenthood, and the road not taken, After the End brings one unforgettable family from unimaginable loss to a surprising, satisfying, and redemptive ending and the life they are fated to find. With the emotional power of Jodi Picoult’s My Sister’s Keeper, Mackintosh helps us to see that sometimes the end is just another beginning.

 

 

4 The Silence of the Girls –  Pat Barker

Shortlisted for the Women’s Prize for Fiction, the Costa Novel Award and the Gordon Burn Prize

When the Greek Queen Helen is kidnapped by Trojans, the Greeks sail in pursuit, besieging the city of Troy. Trapped in the Greek soldiers’ camp is another captured queen, Briseis. Condemned to be bed-slave to Achilles, the man who butchered her family, she becomes a pawn in a menacing game between bored and frustrated warriors. In the centuries after this most famous war, history will write her off, a footnote in a bloody story scripted by vengeful men – but Briseis has a very different tale to tell . . .

 

 

 

5. Pride and Prejudice – Jane Austen

OK, so we realise that most of book club will have read and adored this book but how could we not choose it?!  The most fabulous book ever, in my opinion, made me fall in love with reading again as a teenager and with Mr Darcy, of course!

In case you haven’t read it . . .  Pride and Prejudice is a romantic novel following Elizabeth Bennet, the dynamic protagonist of the book, who learns about the repercussions of hasty judgments and eventually comes to appreciate the difference between superficial goodness and actual goodness. A classic piece filled with comedy, its humor lies in its honest depiction of manners, education, marriage and money during the Regency era in Great Britain.

Mr. Bennet of Longbourn estate has five daughters, but because his property is entailed it can only be passed from male heir to male heir. Consequently, Mr. Bennet’s family will be destitute upon his death. Because his wife also lacks an inheritance, it is imperative that at least one of the girls marry well to support the others upon his death, which is a motivation that drives the plot. Jane Austen’s opening line–“It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune, must be in want of a wife”– is a sentence filled with irony and sets the tone for the book.

To vote on this month’s choice head on over to the Facebook page and cast your photo. Voting closes 12 midnight Sunday 8th September to give us time to read the book before our discussion at the end of the month!

See you there! Much love EA Amanda xx

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