I LOVE BOOKS

Review of The Baby is Mine.

The Baby is Mine by Oyinkan Braithwaite

My rating: 5 of 5 stars


After being thrown out of his house, Bambi goes to stay in his deceased uncle’s house. He is surprised when he gets there to find not only his Auntie but also Esohe, the woman with whom his uncle had an affair. Also in the house is a baby boy; both women claim to be his mother. Strange events start to escalate in the house and soon Bambi is fearing the little boy’s wellbeing, he needs to figure out who the mother is before it is too late.

I often think it’s useful to see an extract of a book to get an idea of the writing style. Here is a brief extract so that you can see a sample of the writing yourself:

Esohe’s eyes widened. She seemed surprised that she was being thrown out, which was odd, considering the battle these two were in. I watched as Esohe’s mouth opened and shut. But then her eyes narrowed and she tilted her head to one side. We waited for her to say something. And finally she did.
‘No.’
‘What?’
‘I’m not going anywhere. In fact, the house belongs to my baby and me now. This is Folu’s gift to us.

I liked this book. It is part of the “quick reads” collection which I like to intersperse between larger novels. The idea of this collection is exactly as it says on the tin (or should that be cover), a shorter than normal book by world-leading authors. One of the things I quite like about these books is that they force the authors to cut out a lot of the waffle that sometimes goes on in books. This keeps the stories quite fast-paced with a lot happening in less time. The Baby is mine is a fast-paced plot-driven story, it meets the quick read criteria perfectly.

Bambi is a really great character who goes from being really quite selfish and self-centred to caring for the little boy, his safety and his future.

I also really liked the fact this briefly book covered covid and lockdown making it feel really relevant to what the world has been going through. It added to the stories tension without making it too dry.

Overall View: Affairs, death, epidemics, family drama. A lot of story in 104 pages. I am really looking forward to reading more of this author’s work.

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Extract – The Baby is Mine
I LOVE BOOKS

Review of The Donor – 5 Stars

The Donor by Clare Mackintosh

My rating: 5 of 5 stars


Premise: Fourteen-year-old Meg is in recovery, six months previously she had a heart transplant. She has been given a second lease of life and is desperate to live it to its fullest. Her mother Lizzie is somewhat nervous, after years of living with the worry of Meg’s illness, she can’t help be cautious. When the bereaved mother of the donor, Karen, makes contact and asks to meet Meg, Lizzie worries, but she feels obligated to her for giving her daughter this new lease of life, begrudgingly she agrees. Soon Karen’s motives come into question and Meg’s attitude begins to change. Has Lizzie made a huge mistake allowing Karen to get to know Meg, worse still, is her daughter in danger?

I really enjoyed this short story, part of the “quick reads” collection which I love to intersperse with longer reads. The idea of this collection is exactly as it says on the tin (or should that be cover), a shorter than a normal book by world-leading authors. One of the things I quite like about these books is that they force the authors to cut out a lot of the waffle that sometimes goes on in books. This keeps the stories quite fast-paced with a lot happening in less time. I’m proud of authors who take on the challenge of writing these books so that they can be enjoyed by all even those who aren’t keen readers.

I often think it’s useful to see an extract of a book to get an idea of the writing style. Here is a brief extract so that you can see a sample of the writing yourself:

‘She’s taking a lot of pills already,’ I say. The bottles are in the bathroom, their labels filled with long names I can’t pronounce.
‘These are supplements. They’ll help Meg stay healthy.’
‘She is healthy. She’s doing really well. The consultant said so.’ I don’t mean to sound so abrupt, but Steve turns to look at me, a shocked expression on his face.
‘Lizzie!’

The story is told from Lizzie’s point of view. She has felt so much strain from her daughter’s illness over the years. Her guilt and stress are palpable through the page and it’s pretty easy to picture yourself in her position, what would you do? How would you react?

The story of course captures the concept of organ donation (for a real-life insight into this I highly recommend Dan Walker’s book Remarkable People, there is a chapter on organ donation that is both heart-breaking and inspirational). The author also dabbles with the theory of cell memory, a really interesting concept that really adds to the story.

Overall View: Fast-paced, well-written, character-driven short novel. A really good read. A fantastic novelist! Cannot wait to read many more of her works.

Please leave a like if you think my review/feedback of the item was helpful to you. Alternatively, please contact me if you want me to clarify something in my review.

View all my reviews

Extract – The Donor
Un-block Challenges

POETRY KIT FICTION PROMPT – FAMILY

I am not a poetry writer but I do love playing around with the magnetic poetry blocks found here (free):

http://play.magneticpoetry.com/poem/Poet/kit

So I decided to make a mini story for a bit of fun. Todays mini story is based on the theme of family.

Family – Poetry Block Story

Have a go, please share any creations you make, I’d love to see them.

#TFI = TODAYS FICTION INSPIRATION

Photo by Julissa Helmuth on Pexels.com

Much Love,

KL ❤

I LOVE BOOKS

Review of Dog Tails by Tara Chevrestt – 3.5 Stars

Dog Tails: Three Humorous Short Stories for Dog LoversDog Tails: Three Humorous Short Stories for Dog Lovers by Tara Chevrestt

My rating: 3.5 of 5 stars

I was undecided whether to leave a review for this or not, it’s difficult to advise others who are considering reading it of any more info than what it says in the description.
Three short stories all told from the viewpoint of dogs. Sweet, humorous and a cheap collection. I’m not sure what age bracket this book was aimed at. Most dog owners will enjoy it but I’d probably recommend it as more of something to be read with a child (maybe not the first story but definitely the other two).
Summary
The Bad – A little bit too sugary sweet for adult readers (I think but that could be put down to personal taste).
The Good – Easy, quick reads at a low price. I imagine this book would be quite a nice book to read with a pet loving child too.

View all my reviews

Similar to Notes from a Small Dog: Four Legs on Two by Sue Vincent – to see a review for this Click Here

Writing Extracts

Watching the lights – #Writephoto

She stood under the bridge…watching.

lights

Through the window she saw exactly what she expected, the perfect family seated around the dining table. She could see it all so clearly even as the tears briefly blurred her vision then rolled down her ice cold cheek. The children were perfectly dressed, perfectly behaved, and the perfect image of their mother, two boys and a girl. The scene was completed by the doting wife, a loyal dog, and an elderly grandma asleep in the chair. Suppressing the anger and swiping at the tears she turned pulling her thin jacket closer. He did not deserve that perfect family, not when he had turned his back on her and her mother to have it. As she moved further away from the lights and into the darkness she allowed a small catlike smile to spread across her face, she would enjoy ruining his perfect night.


Originally written in response to Sue Vincents #Writephoto challenge – Lights! I’m a little rusty having missed a few challenges but I hope you enjoy anyway.
Use the image to create a post on your own blog… poetry, prose, humour… by noon (GMT) Wednesday and link back to Sue’s post with a pingback. KL ❤

Random

A Little Luck of the Irish

Happy St Patrick’s Day Everyone!

St.-Patricks-Day

My grandfather was Irish. I have many wonderful memories of staying with him in the School Holidays. Visiting family and friends, helping out on the farm, and those treasured visits to the beautiful beaches. 

My favourite thing about my Irish family though is they can all tell a story and my grandfather told many. His stories stayed with me through my years, some comical, some fantastical and some completely illogical! Have I ever told you the one about the giant in Ireland throwing rocks at the giant in Scotland?… Well, I’ll save it for another day. My point is he took the time to tell them to me and it is something I cherish and hope one day to do the same with my grandchildren (tell stories that is not throw rocks!).

My grandfather loved nothing more than having a variety of friends and family over for a few drinks and everyone in the room would sit and exchange stories. They would make toasts to celebrate good news and make toasts with a positive spin on any bad news, there was always a reason to smile and cheer and celebrate. For me, this is what St Patrick’s Day means. 

I still love to come across an Irish blessing knowing that it may have been woven into one of the many toasts I overheard. 

“If you do not sow in the spring you will not reap in the autumn.”

“Here’s that we may always have a clean shirt, a clean conscience, and a coin in our pocket.”

“May you have the hindsight to know where you’ve been, the foresight to know where you’re going and the insight to know when you’re going too far.”

So my toast for this year is, to remember those we have lost with fondest memories, be thankful for those we always have, and those new friends we have found, and be hopeful a little luck of the Irish will come your way and into your heart. 

And May Your Top Shelf be Full of Good Irish Whiskey!

Un-block Challenges

Grandma’s Night Out

A few months ago my mother arranged a visit down to stay with me for a few days and brought my grandma with her. I have glorious memories from my upbringing are of my mother taking myself (and sometimes my grandma) to the theatre, so I decided it would be a lovely surprise to book a night at the theatre for us. What was on at the theatre?

The Full Monty!”

This was a stage production of the actual movie so not just some sleazy stripping, but let’s face it, it’s still a movie about stripping! What to do? My wonderful plans were already going of course, so I thought sod it! And booked them anyway.

I had a discussion with my best friend and we decided in for a penny in for a pound and her and her mother joined us. Worst case scenario my grandma would hate it and if so my OH happily agreed he would pick her up and take her back home. My mum and grandma arrived and after exchanging greetings and news we sat down to a lovely dinner Darling OH had prepared, I decided this was the moment to unveil my surprise and passed the envelope with the tickets. On opening, my mother thought they were for the pantomime (the theatre company had included an advertisement on the back of the tickets), when I told her to read it again. She burst out laughing and I explained I thought it would be a nice treat and we’d make a girly evening of it.

We got ready, OH dropped us off and we full montymade our way inside. The seats I booked were the cheapest and literally the back row of the theatre, practically in the rafters (I hadn’t thought this through as I have a disabled mother and a grandma with me!) but we got to our seats and waited for the show to start – the small theatre was packed out. Half an hour, my mum and my grandma were giggling along with the rest of us. Nothing to worry about at all. In fact the funniest bit of the evening was my grandma rolling her eyes and saying “yeah right” at one of the scenes, this made my mother and I laugh even harder!..

We now have even more treasured memories of the theatre, although entirely different from those previously.

I wonder if I can book magic mike for next year?…

—————————————–Just Jot It January – 2016——————–Post prompted by: – Just Jot January – 9th & #SoCS – Title. To find the rules for Just Jot It January, click here and join in today. It’s never too late! And don’t forget to ping back your January 9th post.

Un-block Challenges

Lessons Learnt from a Tray of Eggs

My OH paid a short visit to the grandparents today, not something we get to do nearly as often as we’d like. His Grandma is one of my favourite people on earth, she is really short and probably as round as she is tall but she’s an amazing tower of strength. She’s is a proper matriarch of the family, that always wants to know how all the family are doing all the time (with 8 children, 19 grandchildren and 15 great-grandchildren it’s not an easy task!), but she just wants to know everyone is doing well, healthy and happy.

She’s never had a lot of money, with 8 children to raise and feed and granddad working as a farm labourer you learn to make do, yet all the kids and grandkids and great grandkids adore her and no-one ever feels they missed out. Even now in her older years she was telling my OH that she managed to purchase a second hand 3-piece suite for £30. My husband realised we had paid more than that for our dog bed! In a world that is based on keeping up with the Jones’, it is easy to forget that these things will not matter in the long run. We may feel at the time that we are missing out on something but six months, a year, 5 years down the line will we still feel like that?Lewis Carroll_Alice in Wonderland_different yesterday

My OH took something away from the visit (quite literally) and it seemed appropriate to share it. Grandma and Granddad are pensioners without a lot of money, yet as my OH left the house grandma thrust a tray of eggs into his hands. Granddad still keeps an allotment with a few chickens and ducks on it, so we got given some eggs. We have enough to buy these things, and they didn’t take anything for them they just wanted to share what they had with the ones they love. I think that is a beautiful, touching, honourable thing.

“A life spent making mistakes is not only more honorable but more useful than a life spent doing nothing.”
– George Bernard Shaw

——————————-—————————- Just Jot It January 8th – HonourableThe Just Jot It January – 2016“Honorable” prompt is brought to you by Tasha at Corner Of Confessions. Please click on the link to visit her blog, and follow her if you aren’t already!

To find the rules for Just Jot It January, click here and join in today. It’s never too late! And don’t forget to ping back your January 8th post.#WeeklySmile

Updated to add to Trents #WeeklySmile to find the rules visit here.