The Doula

by Bridget Boland (Gallery Books) ISBN 978145164151 6

 

Caro is familiar with death. She grows up in a funeral home and on witnessing her mother’s miscarriage and brother’s tragic drowning, she chooses the path of doula, celebrating life rather than death.

 

When her lifelong best friend, Mary tells her that she is pregnant, Caro decides to leave her home and become Mary’s birthing coach. The relationship is strained when Caro’s advice falls on deaf ears and Mary cuts all ties. Complications to the pregnancy moves Caro to intervene. The rescue is short lived after the baby’s arrival. Mary’s husband accuses Caro of medical malpractice. Caro must confront not only her guilt and loss but the pain and shame from her past.

 

I could not complete this book. I lost interest in the lengthy tale of the main character’s childhood. The rest of the story may have been entertaining but I could not get myself to pick it up again.

 

Liz Breet

1/5

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Out of Sight

by Isabelle Grey (Quercus) ISBN 978 0 85738 318 1

 

Patrick is a homeopath who lives in England with his wife and young child. A strained visited from his parents leaves him disoriented. The events that follow change his life forever.

 

Five years later in a village in South-West France an Englishwoman, Leonie, meets a quiet reserved man named Patrice. He is a loner and refuses to drive in a car. She is attracted by his mystery and believes her love will heal all that has made him so. She searches for answers and uncovers more than she bargains for.

 

Isabelle Grey weaves the sad tale of unrequited love, tragedy and loneliness. She uses the main characters to communicate why some people repeat destructive behaviour in a relationship and looks at how one can block out tragedies that life may throw at us. The reader can relate to the feelings and thoughts running in the minds of both Leonie and Patrick.

 

This book is beautifully timed and eloquently written.

 

Liz Breet

4/5

Writers Write offers the best writing courses in South Africa. To find out about Writers Write - How to write a book, or The Plain Language Programme - Writing courses for business, email news@writerswrite.co.za

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Lady of the Shades

by Darren Shan (Orion) ISBN: 978140914361 1

 

Ed, an American author tormented by ghosts, travels to London in the hope of sourcing fresh ideas for his next horror novel.

 

An avid fan, Joe offers to support him in his search for answers. Ed’s focus shifts when he meets the alluring but forbidden, Andeanna Menderes, the wife of London’s most notorious crime lord. Ed risks everything to be with Andeanna but is soon ensnared in the shadows of the world she inhabits. As events play out Ed realizes all he is in a far more complicated relationship than he ever imagined.

 

The dark supernatural thriller for adults by Darren Shan is exciting and ever-changing. There are multiple twists and ulterior motives run rampant. I thoroughly enjoyed the advanced plot with its consortium of characters living and playing extended roles. These characters keenly capture the mind, heart and soul of the main character. Nothing is certain and no one is quite what they seem.

 

I found it a captivating read.

 

Liz Breet

4/5

Writers Write offers the best writing courses in South Africa. To find out about Writers Write - How to write a book, or The Plain Language Programme - Writing courses for business, email news@writerswrite.co.za

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The Gods of Atlantis

by David Gibbins (Headline) ISBN 9780755353996

 

The legendary island of Atlantis is lost beneath the sea for all time. High priests flee for their lives and hide up their greatest treasures.

 

In Germany in 1945, Nazi officials murder their families and commit suicide as an extremist Nazi Regime appears to pursue archaeological treasures of the past. Present day in the Black Sea, Jack Howard discovers an ancient piece of writing that suggests a different outcome of ancient Atlantis. He utilizes his extensive archaeological knowledge from excursions around the world and links the Atlantis findings with the obscure plans of the Nazi Reich. Jack and his team use their resources to search for the truth.

 

David Gibbins has a firm understanding of the historical facts detailed in the book. He bounds from one time period to another with purpose and clarity. The background story of Atlantis is compelling as are the mysteries and horrors revealed during World War II. Gibbins is able to guide the reader with the character, Jack Howard, who is able to bring us to an overall understanding in his search for the truth.

 

Liz Breet

3/5

Writers Write offers the best writing courses in South Africa. To find out about Writers Write - How to write a book, or The Plain Language Programme - Writing courses for business, email news@writerswrite.co.za

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Passion

by Lauren Kate (Doubleday) ISBN 978 03856 1808 3

 

Los Angeles-based author Lauren Kate is the internationally bestselling creator of the wildly popular Fallen series.

 

Passion is the third in the quartet of romantic paranormal novels aimed at young adults.

 

Ethereally dark and exquisitely beautiful Luce travels back through time and history to test her relationship with the tormented blond fallen angel Daniel. She wants to know if he really loves her – or if he is simply caught up in the curse neither of them seems able to break. Daniel is forced bring her back from the dangerous shadows of the past to face the risks of the present.

 

Passion not only explores the extremes young lovers will face to be together, but also neatly sets the stage for the final book.

 

The story is told in a crisp, evocative style, although some of the dialogue is less than elegant. While the time travel plot line can be annoying at times, it does feed the story and give us a background to the main characters.

 

Recommended for anyone who is looking for a paranormal fix after Twilight and a must for those who enjoyed the first two books Lauren Kate’s series.

 

Anthony Ehlers

3/5

 

~~~

 

Luce Price is desperate to break the curse that keeps her from her one true love, Daniel.

 

Luce with the apparent guidance of a gargoyle must go back through the centuries and revisit her various reincarnations that each hold a different clue to her fate.

 

Meanwhile Daniel and other fallen angels are in hot pursuit of Luce through the ages to stop her before she makes a choice that alters their history.

 

Passion is the sequel to Lauren Kate’s novel, Fallen. The reader can pick up on the essence of the first book and ease into the romantic plot of the second even if they have not had a chance to read the first.

 

The story is focused on the intense connection between the two main characters Luce and Daniel and Lauren does well to relay this concentrated emotion to the reader. The chapters are divided into centuries and moves rather swiftly.

 

To enjoy the culmination of the story one will need to read the third book, Torment.

 

Liz Breet

3/5

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Island of Bones

by Imogen Robertson (Headline Review) ISBN 978 0 7553 7203 4 R180, 00

 

The hanging of his brother in 1751, and a conspiracy of the era, sends Lord Keswick into seclusion.

 

Thirty years later, as Gabriel Crowther, he is called back to uncover the mystery of a nameless tomb discovered on the Island of Bones. Mrs Harriet Westerman, an intelligent widow escaping the sorrows of her past, and with a keen interest in the matters of mystery decides to joins him.

 

Additional bodies and missing persons escalate and Crowther is forced to dig up the demons of his past.

 

This book is written in the language and style of its time. It offers a number of viewpoints that may be disconcerting in the beginning.

 

Although it is a fictional novel, Imogen Robertson has drawn a great many things from history and adapted them to her needs.

 

As mystery and suspense increases so the reader is drawn into the essence of the story. I willed for answers to surface just as quickly as the main characters who were determined to seek them.

 

Lizette Breet

3/5

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Unbearable Lightness

by Portia de Rossi (Simon & Schuster) ISBN 978 0 85820 411 0

 

Amanda Rogers, who renamed herself Portia de Rossi, faces her demons with anorexia. She literally falls apart during her first leading role in a Hollywood film.

 

Ever keen for the limelight, in the form of acceptance, admiration and sex appeal, Portia, at the age of twelve, begins modelling and works her way in front of the camera.

 

Years later she is cast as the sexy, cold lawyer, Nell Porter, in Ally McBeal. The pressures of maintaining this perfect exterior as well as hiding her undisclosed sexuality lead her down a self-destructive path. Her obsession leaves her starving herself, and she weighs only 82 pounds at one stage.

 

This book is honest. Many readers will easily connect with De Rossi’s struggles. It is ultimately liberating for the reader when she finally overcomes her demons.

 

there is much scene repetition within the plot, I understand it needs to be so. How else can you put across the extent with which she was obsessed? The writing is naked and that is why it is so appealing.

 

Liz Breet

4/5

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Passion

by Lauren Kate (Doubleday) ISBN 978 03856 1808 3

 

Los Angeles-based author Lauren Kate is the internationally bestselling creator of the wildly popular Fallen series.

 

Passion is the third in the quartet of romantic paranormal novels aimed at young adults.

 

Ethereally dark and exquisitely beautiful Luce travels back through time and history to test her relationship with the tormented blond fallen angel Daniel. She wants to know if he really loves her – or if he is simply caught up in the curse neither of them seems able to break. Daniel is forced bring her back from the dangerous shadows of the past to face the risks of the present.

 

Passion not only explores the extremes young lovers will face to be together, but also neatly sets the stage for the final book.

 

The story is told in a crisp, evocative style, although some of the dialogue is less than elegant. While the time travel plot line can be annoying at times, it does feed the story and give us a background to the main characters.

 

Recommended for anyone who is looking for a paranormal fix after Twilight and a must for those who enjoyed the first two books Lauren Kate’s series.

 

Anthony Ehlers

3/5

 

~~~

 

Luce Price is desperate to break the curse that keeps her from her one true love, Daniel.

 

Luce with the apparent guidance of a gargoyle must go back through the centuries and revisit her various reincarnations that each hold a different clue to her fate.

 

Meanwhile Daniel and other fallen angels are in hot pursuit of Luce through the ages to stop her before she makes a choice that alters their history.

 

Passion is the sequel to Lauren Kate’s novel, Fallen. The reader can pick up on the essence of the first book and ease into the romantic plot of the second even if they have not had a chance to read the first.

 

The story is focused on the intense connection between the two main characters Luce and Daniel and Lauren does well to relay this concentrated emotion to the reader. The chapters are divided into centuries and moves rather swiftly.

 

To enjoy the culmination of the story one will need to read the third book, Torment.

 

Liz Breet

3/5

Join us on Facebook and Twitter for daily writing tips

To find out about Writers Write - How to write a book, email news@writerswrite.co.za