#BlogTour! The Lost Daughter of Liverpool by Pam Howes (@PamHowes1) #Review @bookouture

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Blurb.

Can she save herself, her marriage – and her daughter?

It’s 1946 and the war is over. In Liverpool, the blackout blinds may be coming down, but one family is about to face devastating misfortune…

Dora Evans is finally marrying the love of her life, Joe Rodgers, and her dreams of opening a dressmaking business look as if they might come true. With twin daughters on the way, Dora has everything she’s ever wanted.

But then tragedy strikes: one of Dora’s babies dies in infancy, and a catastrophic fire changes their lives forever. Dora is consumed with grief, struggling to get through each day and Joe is suddenly distant, finding solace in his colleague, Ivy.

With Ivy watching and scheming, and Dora battling against her own demons, can she keep her family together?

What does TWG think?

Before reading ‘The Lost Daughter of Liverpool’, I hadn’t really read that many historical fiction novels. Whilst war-time history, especially involving women workhouses etc, is a big interest of mine, it never really occurred to me to make it one of my ‘go to’ genres. Well, until now that is.

Set in 1946 Liverpool where the aftermath of the war is still prominent and rationing is still part and parcel of daily life, Dora is about to marry the love of her life. However, the newlyweds find that married life isn’t as plain sailing as people seem to think, especially where families and babies are concerned. The setting of the storyline was incredible as even though the war had finished, the war-time life was still extremely evident, making it feel as though I literally had stepped back in time.

Dora goes through some very harrowing times and despite them being heart breaking to read, the situations were very realistic and incredibly eye-opening. I couldn’t sympathise with Dora as I have never been in her position(s), but my heart went out to her multiple times and I may have shed a tear or two (may = obviously I did). Reading a novel in 2017 which is set in 1946 takes a little bit getting used to, especially if you weren’t born around that time. I know that sounds weird of me to say, but, life was extremely different back then due to the war, religious beliefs, rationing, lifestyle differences, money, health care, emergency services and so on. So, because of that, my FIRST thought during yet another devastating situation in the book was ‘GO IN!!!!’, and they couldn’t because certain things weren’t invented then. It was things like that, that opened my eyes big time and also made me think about how spoilt we are in this day and age.

Pam Howes made time stand still with her FANTASTIC new novel; The Lost Daughter of Liverpool. Emotion became the paper that the words sat on and reality became 1946 instead of 2017. I could not put the book down as I felt as though I would miss a birth, miss another heart breaking moment or the light at the end of the tunnel being switched on. My only irk towards this novel is the blurb because it gives a little bit too much away. The Lost Daughter of Liverpool is such a special momento of way back when and I just feel that the reader should embark on the journey through time themselves.

This HAS to be made into a movie, it just has to be. I really am in awe at the magic that my min and soul digested; I feel incredibly bad that I can only give this book five stars when it deserves way, WAY more. The Lost Daughter of Liverpool is a tale as old as time with enough spellbinding moments to warrant its own bodyguard. Absolutely BRILLIANT; I wish I could find the right words to say exactly how much this book moved me. I loved it.
Ladies & gentleman, you’re looking at my new favourite book of 2017 so far. Outstanding.

Thank you Bookouture!

The Lost Daughter of Liverpool by Pam Howes, published by Bookouture is available to buy right now, and I highly recommend that you do so: Buy now from Amazon (Amazon US customers: buy now).

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Book Review – Eleven Hours by Pamela Erens.

Eleven Hours by Pamela Erens.
Published 7th July by Atlantic Books.
ISBN-13: 978-1782399797.
Available to buy from Amazon UK // Amazon US.

Eleven Hours is a visceral, vital, microcosmic illumination of the most pivotal moment of any woman’s life: giving birth. With taut, sensitive prose, Erens explores the lives of two women in New York – one in labour, the other her Haitian midwife – to gracefully reveal the seminal moments that have led them to meet here, now, during childbirth.
With this riveting, insightful and sometimes harrowing novel, Erens cements herself as one of modern fiction’s most diverse and discerning authors.’

Thank you to Atlantic Books for giving me a copy of this book in return for my honest opinion.

As soon as I saw the cover of the book, I knew I just had to read it. As a mother myself, I wanted to read about other people’s experiences, find out about labour from another aspect as opposed to being the one IN labour. After reading a couple of pages, it soon dawned on me that this book wasn’t going to be a typical ‘in labour’ type book. Definitely not along the same lines of ‘One Born Every Minute’. Coming to that realisation wasn’t a bad thing, but it certainly tested my concentration skills as the storyline is very deep and complex. ‘Eleven Hours’ isn’t the sort of book you can read expecting the story to talk to you all the time, you have to tune into the characters and circumstances just as much. If you’re not used to doing that, it can be quite a quite an intricate way of reading.

When it comes to giving birth and everything leading up to it, it’s not straightforward as many of you are aware. There are the birth plans detailing how the mother-to-be wishes things to be carried out. But what Pamela Erens mentions in the story is that when you have a woman from a different culture, the birth plan then becomes even more complex. Keep that in mind but then add a midwife from another culture. A midwife who has seen a lot of births and tragedies (for both the mother AND the child). Certain things are frowned upon in various cultures, so every mother-to-be that walked into the hospital within the book, had their own stories to tell.

Before reading ‘Eleven Hours’, I was unaware of how complex giving birth was in different countries, what things couldn’t be done, and what limited things could be done. Many times I felt like I was walking the hospital corridor with both of the women featured in the book. It was such an eye-opening experience and written with copious amounts of emotion that it even brought back my labour with my daughter. Not that I had forgotten it mind you.

I had my fingers crossed that the birth would be okay, no complications and that both mother and baby would be perfect; tired, but perfect. However, I was so hopeful that it tuned into my emotions and I began to cry. Motherly instinct I guess.

Pamela Erens has written such a deep and meaningful story that switches between the lives of two completely different women and their individual circumstances. Yes, the book made me think, and sometimes I found it quite difficult to keep track of what was going on. I didn’t want to give up on the book though, I had to find out how it ended. Pamela Erens had me captivated with the storyline and by the end of the book I was emotionally drained from walking the same journey as the two ladies.
Powerful and poignant from start to finish, a book that I will always remember for multiple reasons. Mind blowing.