I know I am a little late with this post but it has been quite a hectic couple of weeks one way or another. Still here we are with my offerings for June. Both are by the same author Amanda Prowse who is one of my favourite authors and from time to time she uses my name in her books, I've featured twice now once in a love trist in Theo and now in her novel The Girl in the Corner as the overbearing mother in law who knits. I think she's got my character quite well.
Rae-Valentine and Howard were childhood sweetheats. They've shared twenty-five peaceful years since they were brought together by Dolly, Howard's larger than life sister. But now, on the night of their wedding anniversary, Howard reveals a shocking betrayal that leaves Rae reeling.
Heartbroken, she takes Dolly on her would be anniversary trip to Antigua and the two women drink and dance and talk like they haven't in years. But in the break from real ife, Rae realises her choices have always been made for her, and suddently she's questioning not only her fragile marriage but also her one sided friendships. Is she really the pushover everyone else sees.
When Howard comes looking for reconsiliation, Rae has a choice to make: keep the peace, as she always has, or put herself first for once and find out who she really is.
On the outside Rae-Valentine appears to have everything, a loving husband, two beautiful children and fabulous home. Rae-Valentine was always happy to be the mother of her children, the life partner of her husband and queen of her kitchen. She always felt blessed and happy with her lot but on the very night of her wedding anniversary her husband Howard shatters her world and all that she has ever known to be true. Howard thinks that confessing and saying sorry a thousand times that Rae-Valentine will forgive him and carry on with life as though nothing has happened starting with going on holiday to Antiqua. He can't understand why in his view she is so over reacting. To make amends he suggests that Rae take Dolly, his sister and Rae's best friend in his place. The two women set off on their trip. Whilst away Rae-Valentine learns a lot not just about herself but also her relationship with her best friend and knows she has a decision to make about her life back in England.
It must be very difficult for someone who marries their best friend's brother because what happens if the marriage fails do you also loose your best friend? The best friend you trust implicitly who you tell all your deepest secrets to but also the best friend who can see no wrong in her big brother and has him firmly fixed on that peddlestool. Rae-Valentine finds that she has to weigh all these things up in making her decision but will Dolly so unwittingly end up making that decision for her too.
As with all Amanda's novels some are better than others but I definitely think this one is on the winning side. Amanda always writes about the sensitive subjects and true to life events that alot of people don't like to tackle. This time she tackles infidelity within a marriage and whether having been betrayed once can you ever trust that person again or is it time to make those hard decisions and build a new life for yourself. Unusually for an Amanda Prowse novel I didn't find myself reaching for the tissues within the first chapter, but I did find myself wanting to know what decisions Rae-Valentine would come to because surely having been betrayed so badly she wasn't going to put up and shut up for the price of a new kitchen.
Sophia has everything she thought she wanted - so she should be happy, right? Sophia Perkins gives up her job as a teacher to realise a lifelong dream of owning a second hand bookshop. Free from the wearying monotony of marking until the early hours and swallowing the disappointment of trying to educate disinterested young minds, she embraces her new life.
Still in the throes of grief, having recently lost both of her parents Sophia is delighted by the daily visits of Mr Portobello. the shop's former occupant, and their unexpected friendship blooms into something beautiful. In the process of learning about the eccentric eighty year old, Sophia learns as much if not more about herself. Mr Portobello makes her question her life, her choices and even how she grieves for those she has lost.
Mr Portobello's Morning Paper is the latest novella by Amanda Prowse. She had written seven novella's for kindle and all of them are worth reading. When Sophia Perkins opens her second handbook shop Mr Portobello is one of her first visitors. I say visitors as I'm not sure he ever purchased any books. The little shop used to be his but then it was an accountants. Over the months their friendship blossoms and Sophia looks forward to his daily visits en route home with his newspaper. Sophia thinks that Mr Portobello is one of the most interesting people she has ever met. She loves to hear his stories about his wife and children. It would appear that Mr Portobello has lived a charmed life. But when he doesn't come to her shop Sophia becomes worried that he may have been taken ill and decides that she will go and visit him to make sure all is well and whether he needs anything but then may be his housekeeper Mrs Waller will have everything in hand. When Sophia struggles to find his house she asks a neighbour . The lady knows who he is but it would appear that all is not what it seems with Mr Portobello. This makes Sophia reflect on her own life and forces her to think about her future when an unexpected visit to her little shop changes her life's direction once more.
So there we are those are my two offerings for June. I am already onto my next Amanda Prowse novel The Things I know and already loving it as my July selection.
Even though the restrictions are starting to life I hope you are all staying safe