Writers and Lovers – A Book Review

AFF – There is a link to buy this book below, for which I would get a small kickback at no extra cost to yourself. My opinions of this book are my own.

Love of writing and romantic love are different. One is instinctive, the other is confusing.

This is a book that I just finished reading. I read it in bite size portions due to my recently hectic schedule and every time I came back to it I was totally enthralled by the story.

The main character, Casey, was an in-debt waitress who longed to be a writer. Having just lost her mum and with a father who humiliated her during her teenage years by being sacked for something inappropriate (not with her), she was feeling a bit lost. Her spare time was spent refining a novel, which not only confused her but also drove her dreams.

Dating two guys, Silas and Oscar, she just could not decide what she really wanted. Torn between two guys who were also passionate about books, she was really confused. One was a published writer with a family of his own and a dead wife. The other was a fly-by-night romantic who was difficult to pin down. Ironically she met Oscar because of attending a book signing, taken to by Silas.


Lily King is a new writer who has made a massive impact on the book market with this gorgeous debut novel. Her skilful narrative, written in the first person, from the viewpoint of Casey, has relatively short chapters but these are not numbered nor named, simply indicated by indentations.

I absolutely love the insights into Casey’s character. Her inner monologue is modern, clever and dabbles in mental health as she discusses the bees coming for her when she is stressed. Her constant sadness over her mother’s passing is an important backbone to the story but it is her love of writing that drives everything forward.

When she sends off her manuscript to multiple literary agents and it comes to crunch time for deciding who to properly date, what will she eventually decide?

I hope that you enjoyed my review. This book is a definite 5 star read, with bells on. If you want to read more reviews click here. Please consider following my newish blog and helping me grow.

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Books I Am In The Middle Of

As many of you probably know, I often have multiple books on the go at a time. It’s the way I always like it. There will be some paperbacks with book marks in and a few ebooks that I dip into at different times. Some get read more than others and certain books are saved for when I am in a particular mood.

For instance, at night time I often like to open up a drama, usually something contemporary and thought-provoking. During the day, if I am out and about I might read something lighter or more humorous, probably in the YA category. Then there are times when I feel nostalgic and want to delve into a famous person’s life by reading a fascinating autobiography.

Here are two books that I am in the middle of now. Let me know what you think of them or if you have read anything else by the same authors.

The Girl in the Blue Coat (by Monica Hesse)

This book is classed as a YA novel but it feels quite grown up to me. Set in historic Amsterdam during the German occupation, this narrative is especially interesting. Hanneke, a young adult whose boyfriend died in the war recently, finds herself trading in goods that are forbidden during a period of rationing.

In pursuit of little luxuries such as tea and cheese, Hanneke sneaks around between her dealer and the customers, passing on treasures that cheer people up. During one home visit she discovers an elderly lady who harbours a distressing secret. From that moment on, the lead character is consumed by a mission to find a missing Jewish girl.

A story of love and deception, this book is very well written with a brilliantly detailed plot. The setting is war time and there are so many well researched facts about the resistance, black market and sad events that underpinned that moment in history.

Masterfully told by Monica Hesse, this book is a must-read. I picked it randomly because the title intrigued me and I am so glad that I did. I shall give it another review when I have finished it but right now it is 5 stars, with bells on.

Fahrenheit 451 (By Ray Bradbury)

I am told this one is an American Classic. It certainly is peculiar in that it discusses a world in which books have been banned. The fire service goes around burning books when they are discovered, rather than putting out house fires. Being half way through, I am totally stuck in the middle of the drama, but it doesn’t excite me as much as other books that I’ve read recently.

Maybe I will warm to it more as it goes along but I honestly find some of the language sloppy and a bit unusual. There were parts when I wondered if the writer had actually spell-checked their work before publishing.

The context, though, is a great one. Obviously it explores freedom of speech by examining the importance of being heard through stories. Authors voices have been silenced and so people are beginning to memorise books and pass stories on that way instead.

Right now it would be a 3 star book but perhaps it will make me more interested by the end. It is definitely the lazy use of English that slows it down for me.

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Biography of a Legend – Book Review

Recently I have written about some of the popular fiction that has kept me busy reading throughout the past year. However, I haven’t spoken much about some of the incredible biographies that I have had the good fortune to read. It makes sense to start with one that had really stuck in my memory and made me admire the writer even more.

The book that I am talking about is called ‘Home: A Memoir of my Early Years’ and it is written by Hollywood legend Julie Andrews. It outlines her early life growing up in Walton-on-Thames in London and experiencing life on the road with her performing parents.

Julie writes about growing up as a singer and touring with her family.

Julie grew up with split parents and soon discovered that she had a really high range when she sang. Her step dad was a singer and incorporated her into his routine as well as arranging for some formal music lessons. After a while her involvement grew and she was taking part in summer seasons at places like Blackpool as well as on the radio.

She had the opportunity to sing ‘God Save the Queen’ to the Queen Mother at the Royal Variety Show and was soon invited to be in a star-studded panto at the London Palladium. After years of being on the road and dealing with a troublesome step dad, she eventually was offered a lead role in a new theatre production of the musical ‘The Boyfriend’. The fame that resulted meant that she was able to carry on with this play on Broadway and she has never looked back.

Her career went on to see her star in the amazing ‘Mary Poppins’ movie and ‘The Sound of Music’ but those experiences were actually left to be covered in her follow up biography, which I will mention another time.

Star of stage and radio, she soon took Hollywood by storm.

Everyone knows I am a massive Sound of Music fan and have visited Salzburg to tour all of the locations of the film. Therefore it is no surprise that I am fascinated by Julie Andrews’ career.

Trying not to be biased, her writing style is great, her recollections are insightful and this book is ‘practically perfect in every way’ (nod to Mary Poppins).

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