Friday 24 July 2020

The Women Who Ran Away by Sheila O'Flanagan @sheilaoflanagan BLOG TOUR @headlinepg #GuestReview @jaustenrulesok @RandomTTours

Deira isn't the kind of woman to steal a car. Or drive to France alone with no plan. But then, Deira didn't expect to be single. Or to suddenly realise that the only way she can get the one thing she wants most is to start breaking every rule she lives by.

Grace has been sent on a journey by her late husband, Ken. She doesn't really want to be on it but she's following his instructions, as always. She can only hope that the trip will help her to forgive him. And then - finally - she'll be able to let him go.

Brought together by unexpected circumstances, Grace and Deira find that it's easier to share secrets with a stranger, especially in the shimmering sunny countryside of Spain and France. But they soon find that there's no escaping the truth, whether you're running away from it or racing towards it . . .

The Women Who Ran Away by Sheila O'Flanagan was published on 16 July 2020 by Headline

I'm delighted to welcome guest reviewer Louise Wykes to Random Things today, sharing her review of the book for the #RandomThingsTours Blog Tour.

You can find Louise on Twitter @jaustenrulesok

Louise's Review of The Women Who Ran Away

The last time I read a Sheila O’Flanagan book was about 15 years ago, I think it was Isobel’s Wedding and I loved reading it alongside other authors such as Jilly Cooper and Marian Keyes. As I’ve grown older, my tastes in reading and books had changed and I spend a lot of my time reading crime and historical fiction. The blurb of this book though tempted me enough to try Sheila’s books again and I’m glad I did.
The novel opens with Deira, a woman who is clearly facing a crisis in her life as she decides to take her ex partner’s car without his knowledge, to go on a holiday that they had planned to take when they were together. Then we are introduced to an older woman Grace, who is also facing complicated feelings as she decides to embark on a journey that her recently deceased husband had planned for her before he died.
As lone women on the ferry journey across to France, they are bought together and strike up an instant, if tentative friendship together. Then after some bad luck on Deira’s part, the two women end up continuing their journeys together.
This was a wonderfully warm read and I really enjoyed getting to know Grace and Deira and finding out more about what had happened to them before the beginning of the book. I loved the treasure hunt aspect of Grace’s adventure and it really added a page turning aspect to the book. It was also interesting to discover more about some of literature’s most famous writers, even if they were men! (thanks to Grace’s husband Ken). The friendship that slowly built between Grace and Deira was very realistically portrayed and I can see why Sheila is such a successful author as I felt a real connection to Grace and Deira that made me want to find out more about them.
There was only one aspect of the book that I was a little unsure of. It was some of the actions Deira took to try and fulfil her desperate wish to have a baby. It maybe because it is such a different experience to my own but to me, it just felt a little unrealistic and it jarred with me.
I am so glad I’ve rediscovered Sheila O’Flanagan’s work. This was an absolute joy to read, it felt easy and light but resonated with me emotionally too as I journeyed with these two women who felt that they had had to escape their lives, even briefly, (something I can easily identify with) to try and find some peace with themselves and others in their lives. I am now off to discover what I’ve missed in the last 15 years with Sheila’s work.

Sheila O’Flanagan is the author of bestselling chart- toppers, including Her Husband’s Mistake, The Hideaway, What Happened That Night, The Missing Wife, My Mother’s Secret and All For You (winner of the Irish Independent Popular Fiction Book of the Year Award). 

After working in banking and finance for a number of years, Sheila’s love for writing blossomed into curating stories about relationships in all their many forms. |
Twitter @sheilaoflanagan

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