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The Writing Garnet turns 5! Happy birthday TWG! #blogger #blogbirthday #TWGTurns5 #Awardwinningblogger

The Writing Garnet is officially 5 years old TODAY! When I started my blog back in 2016, I never envisioned it turning out the way that it has. It never even crossed my mind that my blog could turn into a multi award winning blog (yes, multi), nor did it cross my mind that my review quotes would make their way into physical copies of books or even on the cover of some. Without blowing my own trumpet, I am unbelievably proud of all of that. At the very beginning, my blog was created as my way of saying thank you to authors for writing their books which has allowed me to escape via their words, when things in my personal life have been difficult. It wasn’t created as a popularity tool (because clearly I wouldn’t have lasted 5 minutes had that have been the case), nor was it created merely to get free things because, in all honesty, I had no idea that that was even a thing when I first started.

Over the last 5 years I have met a wide variety of authors, met fellow bloggers, other like minded bookish folk, and found myself involved in a world that went beyond just loving books. I had never really had that before. I had never been able to sit and discuss books with people who had read the same book as I, nor would I have ever found the confidence to cart myself off to events such as Edinburgh Book Festival, Aye Write in Glasgow, or even more intimate events such as meeting the Orenda gang in Edinburgh (to name a few), if it wasn’t for a select few of people who, after ‘meeting’ through the online book world, have gone on to becoming real life friends (Jen, Mandie, Kelly, Joanne, Lainy, DC to name a few). Not only that, despite not having met them in real life yet, I have come to know even more people who I consider to be friends now, who one day I would love to be able to give them a hug (COVID permitting, obvs – special shout out to Liz B for being as true as they come). If I named each and every one of the people who I called friends and who I would do anything for, I would be here a while and would no doubt miss someone off so, to put it simply, if we talk, I adore you. Simple as, and I thank you for your kindness and support over the last 5 years.

For me, the highlight so far has got to be meeting Sue Perkins and Tom Fletcher as those were the times where I unintentionally embarrassed my little girl with my high pitched squealing and trampoline bounces. I think I was fair excited……. Would I have been able to meet them had it not been for my blog? Honestly? Probably not as I never knew events like that existed until I became a blogger. I have so many other authors, bloggers, publicists etc, that I would love to meet and I have everything crossed that that will become a reality.

I know blogging isn’t all about stats, but for the first time in ages I had a quick nose at the stats of TWG. In the last 5 years TWG has had:

160,424 views.
84,689 visitors.
1837 blog posts have been posted.


Also, I even worked out roughly how many books I have read over that time…..1270!!! Ermmmmmmmm, say what?

As I may have mentioned previously, 2020 for TWG wasn’t the greatest as, putting it quite bluntly, I was treated like dirt via the bookish community (not all of you, just to clarify), and it hurt me so much that I ended up retreating because I didn’t know what else to do because, as I have also said many times, I’m not the most popular of people and I don’t fit into the tight knit groups. I suppose my face doesn’t fit, so I knew that regardless of what I said and what I did, I wouldn’t have been believed which is unfair and incredibly hurtful. Because of that, my posts within the last year have been few and far between, however I still have been ‘here’ from afar and still able to keep my feet in the door so to speak. Again, I want to thank those who have stood by me, supported me, and been true friends during that time and continue to do so. I see you.

I am super shocked that my little, multi award winning blog turns 5 today. Yes there have been some ups and downs and confidence knocks along the way, and yes, at times I bit off more than I can chew and left myself over stretched. However the joys of anything in life is that you can learn from your mistakes and realise where you went wrong or what needs to change. There is only me running this blog and, even though I like to think that I can do everything, I physically can’t….I just wish it hadn’t taken me 5 years to realise that! Well, in all fairness it’s probably taken me over 20 years to realise that as I recently turned 31 but y’know, semantics.

Creating The Writing Garnet was probably one of the best, on the spur decisions I have ever made and I just want to thank every single author, publisher and publicist who have sent me countless books over the years and trusted me to review your books. I want to thank the organisers of book events of their hard work and dedication in bringing likeminded bookish folk together. I also want to thank each and every person I have come to know and admire for being true to themselves and becoming good friends of mine. I have your backs – you are all awesome. Major shout out to my fellow bloggers, and anyone who is thinking about starting a blog – you’ve got this! Just remember it’s okay to say no….

On that note, happy birthday to TWG! Heres to another year full of weird and wonderful books, intriguing debuts, and a truck load of reviews.

TWG x

#suspense · arc · blog tour · book blogger · Book Review · Bookouture · contemporary fiction · lifestyle

#MyMothersSecret by Julia Roberts (@JuliaRobertsTV) – TWG’s #review @bookouture

Thank you, Bookouture and Julia herself, for asking me to be involved in the blog tour of ‘My Mother’s Secret. You can read my thoughts on the book right after the blurb. Enjoy!

‘They told me he died, but I never believed them. I’d have known,’ she says, her voice little more than a whisper and her eyes searching mine. ‘A mother would know if her child died, wouldn’t she?’

The phone call comes in the middle of the night, rousing Danni from her safe, warm bed. The police have found her mother Diana wandering miles from her house, confused and lost. Danni races to her mother’s side – and as usual, Diana doesn’t seem to want her there. But when Danni finds out that her mother is seriously ill, she decides to put the past behind her, and care for her mother in the time they have left.

But as some of Diana’s memories are slipping away, others are forcing their way to the surface. One night she breaks down and reveals that before Danni was born, she had another baby who never got to see the world. Faced with her mother’s heartbreak, Danni vows to do everything she can to bring Diana some peace, hoping that it will mend their fractured relationship too.

Yet as Danni investigates the past, tracking down the aunt she’s never met and searching for her lost brother’s resting place, her good intentions have unexpected consequences as more truths emerge. And there’s one shocking revelation which could change Danni’s life forever. Are some secrets best left buried?

What does TWG think?

I’ll get straight to the point. This book broke me. It left me an emotional, vulnerable shell of a person and I am astounded at Julia Roberts’ talent at making that happen. It takes a lot to melt my exterior, but by golly ‘My Mother’s Secret’ turned me into a puddle.

A mother’s instinct is one of the most powerful tools a woman could ever possess. Despite the fact that Diana’s health was deteoriating and that time was of the essence, her instinct told her to trust them and what she has been believing all along; that her dear child never died.

I felt for Diana, dont get me wrong, but I felt so sorry for Danni because of how she ended up living in the shadow of a brother she had never even met, or never knew existed until now. She has so many questions yet her mother isn’t in a position to answer them all….its no wonder she ended up doing a bit of detective work, right?

This storyline reminded me of something so fragile. So precious. Something that requires delicate handling. The emotional scenes that took over the book were heart shattering snowflakes. You want to touch them, to look after them, yet they cannot be held. It broke me. Im not saying that that is a bad thing either because it takes talent to reduce me to a snivelling shell.

What i enjoyed most about this book was the power and strength of the characters and their actual storyline. It touched upon situations that aren’t really spoken about, and I felt that Roberts did her characters justice in the way she told their story.

If youre in the mood for a powerful, emotionally driven novel, then this is definitely the one for you.

Purchase from Amazon.

Purchase from Apple.

#psychological · #suspense · arc · blog tour · book blogger · Book Review · Bookouture · Crime/thriller · netgalley · Police procedural

#PromisesInTheDark by @DKHood_Author @Bookouture #review

Happy publication day to D.K.Hood and ‘Promises In The Dark’! I am delighted to be kicking of the blog tour today – many thanks to Bookouture for having me.

The young girl pushes against the backseat of the family sedan, fighting to free herself from the crude ties restricting her hands and feet. As the car speeds towards the edge of town, she looks back at her family home, and watches in horror as it is suddenly engulfed in a mass of flames. Trembling with fear, she turns towards the driver and hears only laughter. She knows that the worst is yet to come…

Detective Jenna Alton surveys the charred remains of the large suburban home, stopping to pause at the three lifeless bodies of the Woods family. Jenna knows she’s looking for a serial killer, but her priority is finding the missing teenage daughter last seen on the night of the inferno.

Days later, Sophie Wood’s body is discovered floating in a shallow pool of crystal-clear water—known locally as Dead Man’s Drop—but Jenna still doesn’t know who would target the quiet family in such a brutal attack.

Delving into the family’s past, she makes a shocking discovery—a link between the killer and someone connected to her deputy David Kane. If Jenna is right and the killer is back and seeking revenge, then she must act fast to keep her deputy safe.

When another girl is taken, Jenna and David follow the trail into a network of underground caves on the outskirts of town. With little time before the killer claims his next victim, they race into the pitch-black tunnels, unsure whether they have just walked into the killer’s trap. Can they find the girl in time and escape the caves without the killer chasing them down?

What does TWG think?

One of, if not THE most disturbing book of the series so far! Which is saying something considering the things that Kane and Alton have come across in the 9 previous books.

A story that starts off with young children being the bait, indirectly speaking, always puts the fear of christ up me. Not that I’m saying should a child be used as bait later on in the book then I’ll be okay with it, not at all. I just find themes like that enough to make my jaw drop further, and a nervous energy crawl up my body far quicker than if I had read it in the middle. That’s exactly what happened here. The prologue plants the seed and ties the roots of the storyline in knots, making it hard for the reader to leave it alone regardless of how nervy you have begun to feel. Honestly, it was brilliantly written and definitely set the scene for the rest of the book.

Once again Kane and Alton have their work cut out for them. Their murderer hasn’t made things very easy for them, despite leaving a ‘trail’ of dead bodies in his wake. Whoever this person is is clearly dangerous and doesn’t think much of other living things. Just another thing that kept me hooked!

I was very disturbed by the storyline, but without sounding weird, I didnt find that a negative thing because what else would you expect from a thriller? Teddy bears and picnics? No. D.K.Hood may have her characters having picnics, but she would also have a dead body stuffed in the bear! (Just to clarify, that isn’t what happens in this book!)

As I may have said once or twice, I was truly glued to this novel and the way the characters developed over time. It may be the tenth book in the series, yet Kane and Alton never fail to surprise me.

Yet another dark, devious, and utterly transfixing novel from an author who is outstanding at holding her readers hostage with her words.

Buy now.

arc · blog tour · book blogger · Book Review · Bookouture · contemporary fiction · lifestyle · netgalley · RNA · romance · womens fiction

#TheMissingPiece by Catherine Miller (@Katylittlelady) @bookouture

Broken Heart Syndrome: A sudden and acute form of heart failure, brought on by emotional or physical distress..

After years of studying cardiac medicine, thirty-one-year-old Keisha knows the heart inside out. She knows the average heartrate for each age group, she can name every valve, and she can tell you exactly how much blood it pumps daily.

The one thing she doesn’t know is how to fall in love. And nor does she want to. The secret her tattoo covers is a reminder that the best way to protect a heart is to never let it feel in the first place…

Seventy-nine-year-old Clive is Subject Five in Keisha’s latest research project. He’s been in love since he was seventeen, ever since he met Nancy at a tea dance. But last night, his beloved wife was killed. Suddenly, he has no one to waltz with. He has woken up in hospital, a widower diagnosed with Broken Heart Syndrome.

These strangers, brought together by a broken heart, must face up to the truth of their pasts. Can Clive teach his new friend that until you’ve loved, you haven’t lived? And can Keisha help him see that it’s never too late for a second chance?

What does TWG think?

Omg I was all excited at first after spotting the main characters name, thinking that my name was being used!!!! Spoiler…its not as I’m Kaisha, not Keisha. Gutted! And no, they’re not pronounced the same either! Trying not to read it as my own name was definitely a task and a half I must say ha!

Keisha is a very reserved character who is severely set in her ways. Her own little quirks (like continuously checking her pulse) are what makes her who she is, but not many people understand her because of it. Honestly, she doesn’t even understand herself half the time!!

After the loss of a loved one, Keisha’s life changed and she was left feeling as though she was the cause and so, because of that, Keisha put that energy into her work to try and help others such as Clive or, as he is affectionately known; Subject number 5. No, not mambo number 5….SUBJECT number 5.

Poor Clive hasn’t had it easy and he fights a daily battle with his memory. I felt for him but I was so pleased that Keisha and nurse George refused to give up on him, even when he wanted to give up on himself.

I thought this book was such a cute, heartwarming novel which took on a voice I hadn’t really heard/read before. I thought the storyline was so unique and so interesting, my attention didn’t falter from the book at all.

Whilst I didnt cry or find the book overly emotional, I did love how touching it was and how every character had multiple layers to their personalities, as I felt as though I was constantly surprised by a new revelation instead of knowing everything straight away.

Its evidently clear that a lot of love and attention has gone into creating this story by the author, and I believe that she has done herself and her characters exceptionally proud by bringing their story to life in such a tender and warming manner.

Overall this was an enlightening, thoughtful read which warmed that ice cold heart of mine.

(Many thanks to Bookouture for the ARC)

Buy now.

arc · blog tour · book blogger · Book Review · Bookouture · contemporary fiction · lifestyle · netgalley · womens fiction

#TheHouseatMagpieCove by Kennedy Kerr @KennedyKerr5 @bookouture

Many thanks to Bookouture for inviting me to take part in this blog tour and for the ARC.

The Cornish beach house creaked in the salty sea wind and, from the weathered wooden porch, Mara watched a lone magpie circle above. It was silly to think that her mother’s spirit was still with her, but Mara felt as if there was something keeping her here. A secret that needed to be told…

When Mara Hughes inherits her late mother’s tumbledown beach house overlooking the bright, sandy sweep of Magpie Cove, it couldn’t have come at a worse time. With her marriage on the rocks and her husband threatening to take the family home, the beach house – with all the bittersweet memories it holds – might be the thing that finally sends Mara’s world crashing down around her. She tells herself she’ll only spend a few days there: sell it and move on to rebuilding her life.

When Mara arrives, the house is in a worse state than she feared – holes in the bedroom ceiling, birds’ nests in the attic and the beautiful, wrap-around porch on the brink of collapse… but she loves it anyway. With all its history it feels like the last link to her late mother and, determined to do whatever it takes to keep it in the family, Mara strikes a deal with local handyman – and town heartthrob – Brian Oakley to save the crumbling cottage from ruin.

But when a box of unopened old letters arrives on her new doorstep – a bequest from her mother’s will – Mara’s resolve to save the beach house will be tested to the limit. Because Mara’s mother’s perfect childhood in Magpie Cove was forever spoiled by one haunting day in July, and the letters contain a secret about her family that Mara can scarcely believe to be true…

What does TWG think?

I really needed a book like this to fall in my lap as it was such a perfect distraction during such difficult times.

Its been a while since I was last transported to Cornwall and, whilst I’ve ‘travelled’ there multiple times via various different stories, I genuinely missed reading about idyllic and picturesque scenes. Was definitely better than reading my four walls!

Mara’s heartache is evident from the get go. She could fight against it all she wanted, however the more she fought, the stronger her emotions became. That said, i don’t think a box full of letters helped matters either!

I really felt myself getting lost in the storyline and Mara’s past, and I loved how the transition from reality to fiction was so very well done. Hats off to the author, Kennedy Kerr, for that as that is an incredible talent to have.

I really enjoyed getting to know Mara and, even though there was a lot of emotional situations in the story, I still felt that it was a really uplifting and humbling novel. Such a pleasure to read.

Buy now.

#suspense · arc · blog tour · book blogger · Book Review · Bookouture · contemporary fiction · lifestyle · netgalley · RNA · romance · womens fiction

#MyHusbandsDaughter by Emma Robinson @EmmaRobinsonUK @Bookouture

Many thanks, as always to Bookouture for the tour invite and ARC.

It is just past ten o’clock on a cold Friday evening when Rebecca and her husband Jack’s doorbell rings. Outside is a woman who introduces herself as Jack’s ex-girlfriend Cara. And she’s holding the hand of a shivering, blue-eyed, four-year-old girl. Who she claims is Jack’s daughter.
Rebecca is shocked to discover he has a child from his last relationship – even one he hadn’t known about. Because becoming parents isn’t part of their life plan. They like children, but they also love their freedom and spending time together uninterrupted; the way that, if they wanted to, they could travel the world at a moment’s notice.
But Cara needs them. Because Cara has a devastating secret that she can’t tell anyone yet. Not even her daughter. A secret with the power to change all of their lives.
A secret that will ultimately mean Rebecca has to ask herself – could she find it in herself to welcome her husband’s child into her home, and into her heart?

What does TWG think?

Oh for goodness sake, Emma Robinson, did you have to go and switch on the water works? I mean, really?!

I’ve been crying a lot recently, so when I decided to pick up a book thought it was going to be a light hearted, Peppa Pig type book that I had chosen (no, wait, that mardy pig makes me cry too!). Then I realised I needed to read Emma Robinson’s novel and straight away knew that any hopes of furry beings having picnics were to stay where they belonged; on my daughters bookshelf. Instead of a Teddy bear picnic I had tension. I had suspense. I had emotion so fraught that I was scared it was going to slice my heart in two.

This book is black and white proof as to why Robinson is a published author, and there is no denying that her characterisation and realistic storylines make for excellent and dramatic reading.

The main topic of this read is a tough pill to swallow, however it is beautifully done in every sense of the word. I know I am being exceptionally vague by not delving into specific parts of the book or giving too much away, and thats because I don’t want to ruin the experience of this novel for anyone else. My only advice to you all would be to grab the tissues before you start reading, mute the phones, and buckle up for a ride you’ll never forget.

Buy now

arc · blog tour · book blogger · Book Review · Bookouture · contemporary fiction · womens fiction

#CathysChristmasKitchen by Tilly Tennant @TillyTenWriter @Bookouture

Before I start, I just want to apologise profusely to Tilly and Bookouture for the delay in getting this review out, but huge thank you to the publisher for their patience and understanding. (Oh, and the tour invite and ARC too!)

As the snow flutters down in the little village of Linnetford, escape to a cosy farmhouse kitchen, scented with the rich aromas of fruitcake and gingerbread, where a love of baking is about to unite two lonely hearts…

Cathy cooked at her mother’s side her whole life and could bake a fairy cake before she could ride a bike. Now she is facing her first Christmas without her beloved mother, she’s determined to use her memories for something positive. She decides to organise a weekly cooking class, sharing her mother’s precious recipes with other lonely souls.

There’s just one small spanner in the works: teenager Tansy, who attends Cathy’s classes even though she’s rude to everyone there and seems to hate every minute. Cathy is poised to ask Tansy to leave, but her uncle, physiotherapist Matt, begs her to give the teenager another chance. And Cathy can’t resist Matt’s sparkling hazel eyes and incredibly kind heart…

But just as Cathy is feeling she might find joy again, her ex returns to Linnetford, desperate for a second chance. With Matt becoming distant as his life gets more complicated, it seems so easy to return to the safe embrace of someone she knows so well. Can Cathy avoid the temptation of falling back in love with the man who broke her heart and let Christmas bring her the greatest gift – that of happiness?

What does TWG think?

There’s just something about baking at Christmas time, isnt there? I simply adore it and i am so excited to get into the kitchen to rustle up some festive goodies. Until then, I was able to live vicariously through Cathy and her love of baking, which thankfully kept that baking bug at bay for the time being.

Christmas for Cathy this year will be tainted with emotion, what with it being the first one without her mum. To keep herself busy, and her mums memory at the forefront of her mind (not that it ever left there), Cathy puts her skills to use and organises a class for other budding bakers. Now it wouldn’t be much of a storyline if everything went plain sailing from start to finish, would it?

Cathy’s heart was in the right place, however not everyone got the memo regarding the happiness that learning to bake can bring, leaving Cathy questioning the future of the classes and her own talents.

Of course, like all romantic fiction, there is a love interest involved. And, again, like most romantic fiction, there is also a past love interest who makes their presence known, much to Cathy’s annoyance.

(Doesn’t sound all plain sailing now, does it? Self raising if you ask me….).

Tilly’s latest novel was an absolute joy to read from start to finish. The storyline had festive cheer and tender moments, but it also had humour and situations which came at me like a bull in a china shop. Tilly truly brought her characters to life and put them in a league of their own without making them come across samey. Not only did this tickle my taste buds, it made me want to stalk my local physiotherapists to find one like Matt….

Buy now

#suspense · arc · blog tour · book blogger · Book Review · Bookouture · historical fiction

#TheItalianGirls by Debbie Rix (@DebbieRix) @Bookouture

Thank you, as always, to Bookouture for inviting me on Debbie Rix’s blog tour, and for supplying me with an ARC.

The sun hung low in the sky, casting pink light all over the city. A faint breeze blew over the rooftops, as flocks of starlings swirled above her, swooping and diving in unison. It seemed unimaginable that, even now, German soldiers were marching along the streets below. It was time, she decided, for direct action. It was time to fight back.

Each morning Livia Moretti makes her way from an apartment overlooking Florence’s famous Duomo to a nearby café, where she drinks espresso and reads the newspaper. To the crowds of tourists who pass by, snapping selfies, nothing about Livia will be memorable. She is simply an old lady. They walk on without knowing the part she played in ensuring the future of this beautiful city. And to Livia now, those dark days feel very far away too.

But today, when she opens the paper, she sees a name she has not heard for a long time. A name that will bring memories flooding back of Nazi troops marching through the city and the dangers she faced as a young woman, carrying out secret missions for the resistance.

Isabella Bellucci.

A siren of the silver screen, Isabella cultivated all the right connections to ensure her rise to stardom. But when Rome falls to the Nazis, Isabella is suddenly faced with the choice between protecting herself, and all she has worked for, or sacrificing everything to save the man she loves.

As the war rages across Europe, a terrible misunderstanding causes the fates of Isabella and Livia to become forever intertwined. And each woman must decide what they’re willing to risk, to protect the ones they hold dear from a brutal enemy.

What does TWG think?

My first piece of advice to anyone wanting to read this is; make sure your mind is free from distractions beforehand as the storyline requires your attention.

My second piece of advice is not to rush the book. There is a lot of to-ing and fro-ing between times and characters, and time is needed to appreciate those parts for what they are.

‘The Italian Girls’ is a WW2 novel set in Italy. I have read several historical fiction novels that have had Italy as their settings, so i was a little bit concerned about whether they would be similarities between the stories aside from the obvious influences of the war. Thankfully, Debbie Rix has a unique voice within her stories and that is what gave this particular book its own stance.

Livia was such an interesting, multi layered character who constantly surprised me. I loved getting to know her personality and finding out about her life. Its safe to say that she was my most favourite character in the novel.

Debbie Rix has written an atmospheric, heart rendering novel that just kept on giving. I love historical fiction and I am delighted to say that ‘The Italian Girls’ really didn’t disappoint.

Buy now.

arc · blog tour · book blogger · Book Review · Bookouture · contemporary fiction · lifestyle · netgalley · womens fiction

#WhatWeLeaveBehind by Anna Mansell @AnnaMansell @Bookouture

Many thanks to Bookouture for inviting me to take part in Anna Mansell’s blog tour for ‘What We Leave Behind’, and for the ARC.




Imagine you get home one day… and waiting for you on your doorstep is a gift.

It is wrapped beautifully, and inside is a notebook, its pages empty. There is no message.

But its sender has a story to tell.

About a secret. About the little girl you once were. About everything you know about your family.

The gifts keep arriving. But when tragedy strikes – leaving your beloved only daughter fighting for her life – the person who has been sending the gifts will have no choice but to come forward. And to finally tell the truth…


What does TWG think?

I really don’t know how Anna Mansell does it! Once again she has taken feelings and emotions, and given them an identity of their own. I cannot fault the delivery of the storyline one iota, and I was blown away by how genuine Poppy and Lisa’s relationship was. It really made me think of the relationship that I have with my own daughter.

The premise of the storyline isn’t straight forward, and there are a lot of skeletons making their way out of the closets for the characters, which made for intense reading at times.

I am still in awe at just how talented Anna Mansell is – I loved this heartwarming, hopeful and beautiful read that showcased the power of relationships, strength, and the ability to believe.

If you don’t believe me then let the story speak for itself. You really won’t regret it.

Buy now.

#suspense · arc · blog tour · book blogger · Book Review · Bookouture · historical fiction

#TheStolenLetter by Clara Benson @ClaraBooks @bookouture

Many thanks to Bookouture for the tour invite and ARC.

The longer her imprisonment went on, the more she cast her mind back to the stolen hours they had spent together. His love had blown in like an unexpected breath of warm summer air, giving her the promise of life and joy. But now they had been torn apart and she was tormented by the thought that they might never be reunited.
Italy, 1938: When Stella arrives in Florence, it’s love at first sight. She is wowed by the rolling hills dotted with olive trees, the buttermilk villas with shuttered windows and terracotta roofs that glow gloriously in the sunlight. Even the breeze holds the scent of freedom – freedom from England, where the shadow of her past haunted her.

Then there is Ted, an American journalist who is wild and mischievous, with an arrogance bordering on rude. Stella is infuriated by him – but she cannot deny the lure of the danger and excitement he promises.
But there is something dark under the bright surface of this beautiful country, with unspeakable tragedies just around the corner. When the Nazis take control of Italy, Stella and Ted – and whatever dreams the future held for them – are ripped apart. As bombs descend, destroying everything in their wake, there is nothing to do but sit in darkness, praying to see tomorrow.
And it seems that even in Italy, Stella’s past has found her. Somewhere in the winding streets of Florence there is a letter that could change the course of her fate. Unknown to her, it holds a secret with the power to rewrite her past, and everything she has been running away from. But will she live to find it? And with the odds stacked against her, will she ever see Ted again?

What does TWG think?

Novels set during wartime are my most favourite historical fiction to read, and thankfully Clara Benson kept that momentum going.

Set in Italy in 1938, Stella can’t help but be excited for her promising new life in her beautiful new surroundings. However, unfinished business has a way of catching up with people when they expect it to, and soon enough Stella’s new life takes a turn that looks set to be a lot darker than she anticipated.

Stella is such a memorable character to read about and get to know. I felt a lot of empathy towards her because of how she had to mature a lot faster than nature intended her to. I think she surprised herself, and the readers, by flourishing the way that she did. Whilst I applauded her strength and courage, I couldn’t help but feel a sense of loss for her and the roads she wasnt able to go down because of certain choices that were made.

‘The Stolen Letter’ really is a heartwarming read, one which reminded me so much of author Kathryn Hughes ‘The Letter’! If you’re after a well balanced, detailed and blossoming read, then I highly recommend you get a hold of this.

Buy now.