Saturday, 19 June 2021

Everything Happens For A Reason by Katie Allen BLOG TOUR @KtAllenWriting @OrendaBooks #EverythingHappensForAReason #JubilantJune

 


Mum-to-be Rachel did everything right, but it all went wrong. Her son, Luke, was stillborn and she finds herself on maternity leave without a baby, trying to make sense of her loss.

When a misguided well-wisher tells her that 'everything happens for a reason', she becomes obsessed with finding that reason, driven by grief and convinced that she is somehow to blame. She remembers that on the day she discovered her pregnancy, she'd stopped a man from jumping in front of a train, and she s now certain that saving his life cost her the life of her son.

Desperate to find him, she enlists an unlikely ally in Lola, an Underground worker, and Lola's seven-year-old daughter, Josephine, and eventually tracks him down, with completely unexpected results...

Both a heart-wrenchingly poignant portrait of grief and a gloriously uplifting and disarmingly funny story of a young woman's determination, Everything Happens for a Reason is a bittersweet, life- affirming read and, quite simply, unforgettable.



Everything Happens For A Reason by Katie Allen is published by Orenda Books. Ebook - 10 April 2021, Paperback 10 June 2021. My thanks to the publisher who sent my copy for review for this Blog Tour. 




Rachel Summers is on maternity leave, but she doesn't have a baby. Three weeks ago, her son Luke was stillborn. She had expected, and planned to spend her days after the birth caring for a newborn, getting to know him, creating a family and showing her son off to the world.

Instead, Rachel is a mother without a baby, her days are empty. Her husband Ed does try, but his own grief is overwhelming too and their tragic loss seems to have created a barrier between them, rather than strengthen their relationship. Rachel has an assortment of well-meaning family and friends, none more than her own mother who is confident that her prayer group will bring comfort to Rachel. Instead, the comment 'everything happens for a reason' is the only thing that resonates with Rachel, and so she begins to think, and wonder. 

On the day that Rachel discovered that she was pregnant, she stopped a man from jumping from the platform at the Oval Tube station. Rachel convinces herself that's the 'reason', did her son die because she prevented the death of an unknown man? 

Rachel's quest for answers begins again at the Oval where she meets with Lola; one of the staff on duty all those months ago. This is just beginning of Rachel's journey, she will forge friendships and relationships with such a variety of people, including the man that she saved, a small child whose wisdom is often far superior than any adult and  inquisitive sausage dog named Francis. 

Katie Allen has structured her story carefully and cleverly. Written in the form of emails from Rachel to one person, it is not until the reader realises who the recipient of these missives is that the emotional gut punch really hits home. There's an almost voyeuristic feeling as the reader is exposed to Rachel's innermost thoughts about her loss and grief and the effects that those have on her life. We grimace as those around her expect her to bounce back, get over it and carry on. We smile wryly as she describes people and events with a dry and infectious humour. We reach for the tissues as her absolute agony is laid out, in words, shared only with the one person who will not disagree with her.

Rachel is a complicated character. She often makes rash and almost impossible to understand decisions, but this is how grief works. There's no set formula, there are no guidelines. Our brains and our hearts react differently, our emotions are as individual as we are and Rachel's unique way of dealing with her loss is exquisitely and perfectly played out within these pages. 

Emotionally engaging, witty, clever and wonderfully satisfying, Everything Happened For A Reason is a story that totally captured my heart. Packed with characters who leap from the page, and become a part of the reader's life too, and filled with warmth, humour and incredible love. 








Everything Happens for a Reason is Katie’s first novel. She used to be a journalist and columnist at
the Guardian and Observer, and started her career as a Reuters correspondent in Berlin and London. The events in Everything Happens for a Reason are fiction, but the premise is loosely autobiographical. 

Katie’s son, Finn, was stillborn in 2010, and her character’s experience of grief and being on maternity leave without a baby is based on her own. And yes, someone did say to her ‘Everything happens for a reason’. 

Katie grew up in Warwickshire and now lives in South London with her husband, children, dog, cat and stick insects. When she’s not writing or walking children and dogs, Katie loves baking, playing the piano, reading news and wishing she had written other people’s brilliant novels.

www.katieallenauthor.com

Twitter @KtAllenWriting














Friday, 18 June 2021

Courage by James Hardy BLOG TOUR #Courage #JamesHardy @darkedgepress @RandomTTours #BookExtract

 


Joanne Sinclair wants Leroy Martin's help to find a serial killer dubbed the Dorking Devil. The problem is, he's a criminal who spent two years in prison and she's the detective who helped put him there.

The unlikely duo team up to find the man and bring him down and, surprisingly, they make a good pair. But it isn't long before Leroy's past catches up with him, putting them both in grave danger.


Courage by James Hardy was published by Dark Edge Press on 14 June 2021. As part of this #RandomThingsTours I am delighted to share an extract from the book with you today. 





Extract from Courage by James Hardy 


‘It’s you!’ he declared, registering who the intruder was.

His intruder was a beast of a man, dressed all in black. He stood at six foot four and weighed around two hundred and forty pounds. He held the knife in his right hand and in the left he held up a sheet of newspaper. He looked at the paper and said, ‘Yes, the Dorking Devil, as you people have named me. In the flesh.’

He flipped the paper around to face Shaw and recited from memory what it said. ‘Today, MP Richard Shaw declared that if he is elected as prime minister in next month’s general election, he would go all out to bring back capital punishment for the barbarian the media has dubbed the Dorking Devil, after he slayed two pensioners last week in their cottage in Dorking. In a press conference today, Shaw said, “It would be unfair to compare this beast to an animal; he is a monster. And once he is caught, he does not deserve to be kept by the taxpayer's money in a prison for the rest of his sorry life. I will go all out to pass legislation for the return of the death penalty, even if it is for this bastard alone.” Now that wasn’t very nice, Richard, was it?’

‘No, No, No!’ Shaw protested with desperation as dread engulfed him, ‘You don’t get it.’ With his pyjama sleeve, he wiped the sweat from his forehead, ‘They weren’t my fucking words. Honestly!’

His whole body quivered as panic surged through him. ‘As a contender in the next election, I have a whole team whose job it is to tell me what to wear, how to walk, how to talk, what to say, when to fucking shit...’

He could see that the monster wasn’t convinced. ‘What are you doing here?’

‘As soon as I read this,’ he screwed the sheet of newspaper up in his fist, and tossed the crumpled ball onto the bed, ‘I knew what I was going to do with you.’ He grabbed him by his ankles and pulled him with ease down the bed.

Shaw wasn’t a small man, but compared to the Beast he was nothing more than a child.

‘I’m going to make you eat this newspaper while I bend you over the bed and do to you what a man shouldn’t really do to another man. Then slit your damn throat.’

‘W– what? You can’t. You–’ ‘Shut your mouth.

He swallowed hard. ‘I... I have money. Lots of it.’
Shaw could see the Beast wasn’t impressed.
‘Look,’ the desperation was as obvious in his voice as it was in his

sweaty palms, which flapped around in front of him.
There was a time he thought the 2.4 children and devoted wife

would naturally fall into place for him, but with his rise in prominence came a rise in unpopularity. Death threats and public scorn came with the territory and the daily cortisol surges had become a chronic irritant over time. He felt the adrenaline shoot through his sleepy limbs now; in an instant his muscles tightened, his body prepared to take flight.



‘As gritty as the streets of London and as compulsive as a TV Crime Drama . . . 
Courage has it all:
seedy government ministers and police corruption as well as conflicts of love and morality which are set against racial prejudice and social etiquette . . . This is a must-read for hardened crime fans!’

FiveStarReads






Thursday, 17 June 2021

The Cookbook of Common Prayer by Francesca Haig BLOG TOUR @FrancescaHaig @AllenandUnwinUK @RandomTTours #CookbookOfCommonPrayer

 


When Gill and Gabe's elder son drowns overseas, they decide they must hide the truth from their desperately unwell teenaged daughter. But as Gill begins to send letters from her dead son to his sister, the increasingly elaborate lie threatens to prove more dangerous than the truth.

A novel about family, food, grief, and hope, this gripping, lyrical story moves between Tasmania and London, exploring the many ways that a family can break down - and the unexpected ways that it can be put back together.



The Cookbook of Common Prayer by Francesca Haig was published on 3 June 2021 by Allen and Unwin. As part of this #RandomThingsTours Blog Tour I am delighted to share an extract from the book with you today. 



Extract from THE COOKBOOK OF COMMON PRAYER

by Francesca Haig


Teddy

It’s Papabee who taught me to understand stories. My grandpa read me so many stories that I learned how they can come outside of their pages, until a story is something you can move around in, like a house, or a forest, all dark up above and sideways and down below too.

When I was small (even smaller than I am now), Papabee used to read me The Lorax, and the bit at the start went into my head and never came out.

If you want to hear the story of the Lorax, the book says, you have to go and ask the Onceler. The Onceler’s a sort of monster-person that you never even see properly – just a glimpse of green hands, or a peek of eyes through a window. From way up high in his creepy tower, he sends down a bucket on a rope, and the only way to hear the story is to put in exactly the right things: fifteen cents, one nail, and a snail shell. Not just any snail shell, either – it has to be from an ancient snail, a grandfather four times over.

Papabee used to read me The Lorax over and over – it was one of our very best books. So since all the bad things started happening, and our house started to fill up with stories that nobody will tell, I’ve known exactly what to do. The stories are building up, like the dust in Dougie and Sylvie’s bedrooms. Mum and Dad are stuck, and Sylvie’s stuck, and Dougie’s stuck too, in his own way. Our whole family’s stuck tight, and nothing can be fixed until they find a way to make their stories word-shaped.

And everyone’s so busy being stuck that nobody notices me at all any more. I’m only small, after all – eleven years old and mainly knees and elbows, and always in the way, like SausageDog.

I know it’s not easy to make people tell the truth. I’m still learning about how there are different kinds of truths: the right ones and the wrong ones. When our cat died, my teacher said, ‘I’m sure she’s gone to a better place.’ I said, ‘I think he’s in the freezer at the vet’s.’ That’s the wrong kind of truth, apparently, because Mrs Conway made me pick up rubbish in the playground at recess, for being rude.

But I know how to fix my family, and how to shake the stories loose. Because of The Lorax, and Papabee, I understand something about stories that the others don’t: if you want someone to tell you their story, you have to find the price, and pay it.


Francesca Haig is the author of the post-apocalyptic Fire Sermon trilogy (The Fire Sermon; The
Map of Bones; and The Forever Ship), translated into more than 20 languages.

Her latest novel, The Cookbook of Common Prayer, is published in June 2021 (UK; July 2021 for Australia and New Zealand).

Francesca gained her PhD from the University of Melbourne, and worked as an academic before becoming a full-time writer. Her poetry has been widely published. She grew up in Tasmania, and currently lives in London.








Wednesday, 16 June 2021

Stephen From The Inside Out by Susie Stead BLOG TOUR @Sooz_Stead @RandomTTours @ImpressBooks1 #Giveaway #Win #Prize #Competition

 


In our love, however little, we create a web that breaks a person's fall.

"Susie, my life has been a complete and total waste of time."

In 2012 when Stephen said this, he believed it to be true. But was it? And how do we decide?

From the outside, it may have looked like this. Stephen spent 25 years inside British psychiatric wards, was finally diagnosed with autism in his late forties and never felt acceptable in the ‘normal’ world.

From the inside, though, here was a man with powerful convictions, deep longings, wide interests and an incapacity to be anything other than himself, whatever the cost.

This is his story, inside and out; a story of grave injustices, saints and bigots, a faithful dog, a wild woman, a fairy godmother and angels hidden in plain sight.

It is also the story of the author, Susie, who started off by wanting to 'help' Stephen 'get better', and instead found herself profoundly challenged by a friendship she did not expect.

Idiosyncratic, unorthodox, tragic, yet at times hilarious this book not only tells a compelling and important story but will be vital reading for anyone who cares about mental health in our contemporary world or who might just be open to a different way of seeing: from the inside out.


Stephen From The Inside Out by Susie Stead was published on 9 April 2021 by Impress Books.

As part of this #RandomThingsTours Blog Tour I have one copy to give away today. 
Entry is simple, just fill out the competition widget on this blog post.  UK entries only

GOOD LUCK! 



PRAISE FOR STEPHEN FROM THE INSIDE OUT 

Susie Stead's book is funny, kind and a thoroughly good read. It takes us on the rewarding but bumpy journey of getting to know an original, but genuinely difficult, person and on the way reveals more than a little about the author – and the rest of us. 
Kate Clanchy, MBE for services to literature and winner of the 2020 Orwell Prize for Political Writing

.. funny, sad, inspiring and deeply moving. Although I knew, from the beginning, that this is not a book that would have a Hollywood ending, Susie brought me into Stephen's world and revealed his humour, his humanity and his genuine poetic talent. As I read the book I got to know Stephen from the Inside Out, and the more I read the more I liked him. This is fitting tribute to a remarkable man
Michael Mosley - television presenter, journalist and author

I cried at the end, and there were many very powerful, moving, stirring and sometimes shocking moments along the way. I rate this book highly
Matthew Baylis - novelist, screenwriter and journalist





One copy of Stephen From The Inside Out by Susie Stead







Susie Stead is an award-winning writer with an MA in Dramatic Writing and twenty years’
experience writing and producing drama and short films, including collaborations with people with lived experience of mental illness. 

She is also a freelance accredited mindfulness teacher. 

Stephen from the Inside Out is her first book.

www.susiestead.com

Twitter @Sooz_Stead






Impress Books is a small publishing house is committed to championing the brightest new talent with
a small but passionate team, dedicated to their authors, producing beautiful books and high calibre writing. 

Website: https://www.impress-books.co.uk/








Tuesday, 15 June 2021

Mary Jane by Jessica Anya Blau BLOG TOUR @JessicaAnyaBlau @Harper360UK @RandomTTours #MaryJane #BookReview

 


In 1970s Baltimore, fourteen-year-old Mary Jane loves cooking with her mother, singing in her church choir, and enjoying her family's subscription to the Broadway Showtunes of the Month record club. Shy, quiet, and bookish, she's glad when she lands a summer job as a nanny for the daughter of a local doctor. A respectable job, Mary Jane's mother says. In a respectable house.

The house may look respectable on the outside, but inside it's a literal and figurative mess: clutter on every surface, Impeachment: Now More Than Ever bumper stickers on the doors, cereal and takeout for dinner. And even more troublesome (were Mary Jane's mother to know, which she does not): the doctor is a psychiatrist who has cleared his summer for one important job--helping a famous rock star dry out. A week after Mary Jane starts, the rock star and his movie star wife move in.

Over the course of the summer, Mary Jane introduces her new household to crisply ironed clothes and a family dinner schedule, and has a front-row seat to a liberal world of sex, drugs, and rock and roll (not to mention group therapy). Caught between the lifestyle she's always known and the future she's only just realized is possible, Mary Jane will arrive at September with a new idea about what she wants out of life, and what kind of person she's going to be.



Mary Jane by Jessica Anya Blau was published by Custom House, an imprint of Harper Collins on 27 May 2021, managed by Harper360 in the UK. My thanks to the publisher who sent my copy for review as part of this #RandomThingsTours Blog Tour.


I have no doubt that Mary Jane by Jessica Anya Blau will be in my list of Top Books of this year. I started reading this book as I set off on a train journey down to London last Friday, and finished it as I arrived back at my home station that same night. Half of the book on the outward journey, the remaining part on my way home. 

The reader is expertly transported to 1970s Baltimore, during a hazy sunny Summer, mixing with a complex and colourful set of characters who will steal their heart. I was entranced as Mary Jane, a fourteen year old girl who has led a sheltered and protected life within a wealthy neighbourhood discovers that life, and family, are far more than keeping the house clean, the cupboards stocked and food on the table for the man of the house. She finds that there's more to music and singing than church songs and showtime bands and she realises that it's OK to be yourself, to wear your shorts above the knee and to shout and raise your voice. It's OK to love and to be loved. 

Mary Jane's parents are pleased when she gets a job as a summer nanny for Dr Cone and his wife. She will care for young Izzy Cone.  After all, he's a doctor, what could go wrong? When Mary Jane arrives at their house it is the total chaos and the noise that shocks her at first. There is 'stuff' everywhere, and every family member seems to SHOUT. However, she also discovers that this doesn't mean that they are a bad, or uncaring, it just means that they are different.

Over the summer Mary Jane grows so much. Whilst bringing a little order and structure into the Cone household is a great thing, she is also able to explore her own self. She sees things, and hears things that shock her at first. There's no way she can let her parents know about the teeny-tiny shorts she wears when she's at the Cones' place; her mother cannot be allowed to discover that sometimes Izzy doesn't bathe or wash her hair for days; and she can never ever mention the fact that Dr Cone's latest patient has moved in. A rock-star heroin addict and his superstar TV actress wife would be the very last people on earth that Mary Jane would be allowed to mix with. 

However Mary Jane both learns and she teaches. Her ability to create a decent meal and keep order in the house, her willingness to overlook the occasional naked body and her overwhelming love for Izzy make her invaluable, but she also becomes one of the family. She teaches them about structure, they teach her about love and about the world outside of the streets and church that she's known all of her life. 

This is a beautiful and wonderful novel and I adored every page. I loved Mary Jane's journey, her innocence and trust, her growth and her questions. It was most certainly a two way street though as Mary Jane taught the adults so much too. Theirs was such an equal relationship, it was joyful to watch unravel. 

The author touches on social issues throughout the novel, with US politics getting a mention and Mary Jane's sudden realisation that whilst she's known the Black staff at her parents' country club for most of her life, they are treated differently to her, and she questions that. It's a difficult thing for Mary Jane to realise; the bias and prejudice around her that her parents have no qualms about and she becomes braver as the summer goes on, asking awkward questions of her parents who, in the past, she has trusted to treat her and others in the right way. 

Full of sunshine, love, music and utter joy, Mary Jane is a stunning read that I would highly recommend. 


Jessica Anya Blau is the author of US bestselling novel The Summer of Naked Swim Parties and
three other critically acclaimed novels, most recently The Trouble With Lexie. 

Her novels have been recommended and featured on CNN, NPR, The Today Show and in Vanity Fair, Cosmo, O Magazine, and many other US magazines and newspapers.

Twitter @JessicaAnyaBlau

Instagram @jessicaanyablau

www.jessicaanyablau.com








Launched in January 2014, Harper360 is HarperCollins’ successful international
publishing programme.

Harper360 UK provides a strong and harmonious global distribution across all genres and formats from HarperCollins global companies in the US, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and India. Harper360 authors include Jessica Simpson, Curtis Jackson (50 Cent), Cicely Tyson, David Mamet, Donna Hay, Mark Manson, Gary Vaynerchuck, Mina Lima and Julie Murphy.

Twitter @Harper360UK







Monday, 14 June 2021

Falling by T J Newman BLOG TOUR #Falling @RandomTTours @simonschusterUK @T_J_Newman #BookReview

 


You just boarded a flight to New York.

There are one hundred and forty-three other passengers onboard.

What you don’t know is that thirty minutes before the flight your pilot’s family was kidnapped.

For his family to live, everyone on your plane must die.

The only way the family will survive is if the pilot follows his orders and crashes the plane.

Enjoy the flight.


Falling by TJ Newman was published on 10 June 2021 by Simon and Schuster. My thanks to the publisher who sent my copy for review as part of this #RandomThingsTours Blog Tour.




Falling is a book that has loads of publicity. The author is ex cabin crew, she wrote the novel whilst working the red-eye shifts as her passengers slept. Getting her story published wasn't easy and she submitted it 41 times and got 41 knock backs before she was taken on by an agent. Shen then landed a seven figure deal for a two-book deal, and the story is being adapted for film. What an incredible story and inspiration for all of those writers who continue to chase down that elusive publishing deal. 

This is a fast-paced, high action story with an intriguing and compelling quandary as the theme of the plot. It is one of those books that the reader see visually when reading, and it's going to make one hell of a film!

Captain Bill Hoffman is a long time,  well respected pilot. When his boss asks him last minute to pick up a shift, he doesn't feel able to refuse. His wife Carrie is not pleased though. Scott, their young son has a big game that day and Bill will miss it. It's probably the worst decision that Bill will ever make. 

After take off, Bill is unable to contact Carrie by phone, he hates leaving her after an argument and it's a little into what he thought was a standard domestic flight that the video appears on his phone. He sees Carrie and Scott, they are in danger and the man with them gives Bill two choices.

Crash the plane and kill everyone on board, and save his wife and son's lives.
Don't crash the plane, and his family die. 

The reader sees the whole story from three different points of view. Inside the plane via Bill and head cabin crew member Jo, and on the ground from FBI agent Theo. Three people, stuck in the middle of one of the most dangerous situations, all with a different viewpoint. All three of them are aware of different things, at different times, whilst the reader gets to know everything just before they do. This is a really great way of increasing the tension of the story, and that tension really really does mount up to what is a frantic and desperate race towards a fabulous finale. 

It's clear that the author has a background in the industry, her description of procedure and use of professional lingo adds to the air of authenticity. Her characters are well described although I did get a sense of James Bond / Tom Cruise about Theo at times, he certainly got himself into some pretty amazing scrapes to solve his case. 

I have no doubt that Falling is going to be a big Summer hit. It's fun and great entertainment and will make everyone feel a tiny bit uneasy next time they board a plane. 


T. J. Newman, a former bookseller turned flight attendant, worked for Virgin America and Alaska
Airlines from 2011 to 2021. 

She wrote much of Falling on cross-country red-eye flights while her passengers were asleep. 

She lives in Phoenix, Arizona. Falling is her first novel.

Twitter @T_J_Newman

Instagram @tj_author











Thursday, 10 June 2021

Waiting For The Miracle by Anna McPartlin BLOG TOUR @annamcpartlin #WaitingForTheMiracle @ZaffreBooks @Tr4cyF3nt0n #BookReview

 


2010

Caroline has hit rock bottom. After years of trying, it's clear she can't have children, and the pain has driven her and her husband apart. She isn't pregnant, her husband is gone and her beloved dog is dead.

The other women at her infertility support group have their own problems, too. Natalie's girlfriend is much less excited about having children than her. Janet's husband might be having an affair. And then there's Ronnie, intriguing, mysterious Ronnie, who won't tell anyone her story.


1976

Catherine is sixteen and pregnant. Her boyfriend wants nothing to do with her, and her parents are ashamed. When she's sent away to a convent for pregnant girls, she is desperate not to be separated from her child. But she knows she might risk losing the baby forever.



Waiting For The Miracle by Anna McPartlin is published in hardback on 10 June 2021 by Zaffre. My thanks to the publisher who sent my copy for review for this Blog Tour organised by Tracy at Compulsive Readers. 


I've just looked back and I've been reading Anna McPartlin's books since way back in 2006, that's sixteen years of heartbreak and laughter. I love her writing, there is no other author who can reduce me to tears and then have me howling with laughter within one chapter. 

I think it took around 35 pages of Wating For The Miracle before I had cried, both sad tears, and tears of laughter. Her writing is incredible, she takes the most serious of situations, she makes her characters go through so so much, yet she also makes me a laugh. This is a gift and I really admire her for it. 

Waiting For The Miracle is set over two time periods. Catherine's story begins in 1976, and Caroline begins her tale in 2010. Dual time stories are my favourite, I think it's a clever way to allow readers lots more insight into the creation of character and situation, it works so well in this novel. 

In 1976, sixteen year old Catherine is pregnant. This may be the 70s, where here in the UK, things were changing for the better for women, but Catherine is Irish and lives in deepest rural Ireland. Daughter of a pig farmer, in love with a boy from a well-to-do family, and desperate. Her family are shamed and before she knows it, she has been whisked away, out of sight from prying eyes and loose tongues. 

In 2010 Caroline is desperate to become a mother. She knows that this journey has ended for her. So many failed pregnancies, so many desperate attempts at IVF. Her body is knackered and her marriage is hanging by a thread. Caroline is part of a support group for other women in the same situation and the story is told through the different experiences of the members of the group. 

This story really broke me at times. I have a very very personal reason for that. I was born to an unmarried Irish Catholic woman in 1966. Ten whole years before Catherine's story, and every single day, I give thanks to the strength that my mother showed at that time. I give thanks that she managed to keep me, and rear me and find me a wonderful Daddy, and I cry on behalf of the women who were not able to do what she did. 

Mc Partlin captures the anguish of these women so very well, she also explores the beauty of their friendship and their support system. When one of them becomes pregnant, her delight is overshadowed by her guilt at the thought of the continued suffering of her peers. This humanity is beautifully portrayed; the absolute strength of their commitment to each other is stunning and a testament to the amazing thing that is the friendship between women. 

Back to Catherine. Oh, I adored her, and whilst I was totally taken by the modern day story, it was Catherine's tale that really did capture my heart. The inhumane conditions that she suffered, the indignities, the cruelties endured and her passion jumps from the page. Catherine is not only concerned about herself and her own unborn child, she feels so strongly about the other girls that she is locked away with; trying her best to be a supportive friend, which was almost impossible given the constraints put upon them by the Nuns who watched over them. I really do think that these women, who claim to have given their life to God, yet seem to relish the cruelty that they dish out were evil. I truly hope that not one of them can rest easily in their grave.

Despite the total devastation of the situations that the women in both parts of this story find themselves, there is a wonderful sense of wit and laughter running through the novel. McPartlin excels in the one-liner, and finding something to laugh about in the darkest of times. 

The reader may wonder how the two threads tie together, and this becomes clear towards the end. The ending is bittersweet and once again, I cried. 

I do not hesitate to recommend this magnificent book to everyone. Sure to be in my top books of this year. 


Anna McPartlin is a novelist and scriptwriter from Dublin, who has written for TV serial dramas featured on BBC UK, RTE Ireland and A&E America. 

She has been writing adult fiction forover ten years, and also writes for children under the name Bannie McPartlin. 

She lives with her husband Donal and their four dogs.

To learn more about Waiting for the Miracle follow Anna 

Twitter at: @annamcpartlin 

Instagram: @mcpartlin.anna