Book reviews, Womens fiction

Syrian Brides by Anna Halabi – Book Review


PUBLISHERS BLURB 

This delightful collection of short stories offers insight into the lives of Syrian women, both the married and the brides-to-be. It reveals the warmth and humor as well as the oppression in the Syrian society. The stories make the reader laugh while addressing serious issues such as domestic violence.

Um Hussam can’t find a suitable bride for her son, testing each candidate’s sight, hearing and reading skills, occasionally cobbing a feel. Jamila’s husband Hassan can’t forget his deceased wife, until she makes sure he never mentions her again. 

Rami can’t help but wonder whether his new bride is a natural beauty or a talented surgeon’s masterpiece. Khadija’s maid stabs her in the back while Rana’s husband Muafak can’t find the right excuse to avoid a fight.

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MY REVIEW 

Syrian Brides by Anna Halabi is a collection of short stories of women living in Syria.

It tells of love, marriage, life and sometimes domestic violence and controlling behaviour. These behaviours are not specific to Syria, but unfortunately the world over.

But, this also has wonderful insights into the life and culture and food of the country, with beautifully descriptive writing that really brings it to life.

Tales of strong women that’s original, touching and humorous too. I loved it.

Thank you to the author, Anna Halabi for the opportunity to read this for free. This is my honest and unbiased review. 

Book reviews, Psychlogical thriller

Safe House by Jo Jakeman – Book Review

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PUBLISHERS BLURB 

THE NEW NOVEL FROM THE ACCLAIMED AUTHOR OF STICKS AND STONES A REFRESHING THRILLER WITH A FEMINIST TWIST.

PERFECT FOR FANS OF CLARE MACKINTOSH, FIONA BARTON, LISA JEWELL,

EVA DOLAN & LAURA MARSHALL.

 

Charlie just wants to be forgotten but everyone else wants to know her story…

The morning after a terrible storm, a woman turns up in a remote Cornish village. She has bought the crumbling cottage that has lain empty for over a decade, and she’s going to make it her home. She calls herself Charlie, but it’s a name she’s only had for afew days. 

She keeps herself to herself, reluctant to integrate with the locals. Because Charlie has a secret.

Charlie was in prison for providing a false alibi for a murderer. But Lee Fisher wasn’t a murderer to her; he was the man she loved. Convinced of his innocence, Charlie said she was with him the night a young woman was killed. That lie cost her everything.

And now she has the chance to start again. But someone is watching her, waiting for her, wondering if she’s really paid the price for what she did.

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MY REVIEW

Steffi Finn is in prison, serving 10 months for giving a false alibi for her boyfriend, Lee. The relationship had been one sided and very coercive, but she loved Lee….but he had then killed another woman…

On her release, she moves to Cornwall, takes a new identity, Charlie Miller, and settles into life in a small community.

However, she starts to feel she is being watched, is this paranoia? Or is someone really watching, someone who knows her real identity?

This is quite a gentle psychological thriller, but it has a sense of foreboding, a darkness to it that really makes this so gripping. The clever plot, the twists and surprises make this a thoroughly entertaining read.

Thank you to Mia at Harvill Secker for the opportunity to take part in this blog tour, for the promotional material and a free copy of the book. This is my honest and unbiased review.

You can buy a copy here (only 99p through November)

https://amzn.to/337B1jN

ABOUT THE AUTHOR 

 

JO JAKEMAN was the winner of the Friday Night Live 2016 competition

at the York Festival of Writing. Born in Cyprus, she worked for many years

in the City of London before moving to Derbyshire with her husband and twin boys. Safe House is her second novel and Sticks and Stones was her debut thriller.