The Maids Room Fiona Mitchell

61A5zdOBvOL._SX323_BO1,204,203,200_ Pub: Hodder & Stoughton

This is where she sleeps. A cupboard. A bedroom. A windowless box.’

Sisters Dolly and Tala have never felt further from home. In the blistering heat of Singapore, they spend their days enabling ex-pats to have lives they could never afford for themselves.

Even though she has little freedom, Dolly can just about live with her job if it means she’s able to support her beloved young daughter back in the Philippines. One day – if she’s lucky – Dolly may even be able to go back and see her.

Tala, however, just can’t keep her mouth shut about the restrictive, archaic rules maids are forced to abide by on pain of deportation. She risks everything to help her fellow maids, who have struggled to have their voices heard for far too long.

In a world where domestic workers are treated so poorly, The Maid’s Room explores how women can come together to change each other’s lives, and be the architects of their own futures.

 

 

The Maids Room brings home the reality of hard working underpaid and very often poorly treated women who clean for a living. Set in Singapore, Dolly and Tala are sisters who leave their families, including their children to work for the ex-pats.

Wonderfully descriptive, and grimly realistic, this is a book that is both heart warming and deeply fascinating.

The women, both scared for many reasons, are the subject of a blog, written by ‘MaidHacker’ who give ‘expert’ advice in how to treat your servants and ensure they behave..

The Maids Room is a book that will certainly open your eyes, I loved Dolly and Tala, and felt emotionally tied to their lives. I loved their ‘sisterhood’ and

It is a wonderfully written story and for me quite unforgettable.

 

It would make a fabulous film.

5*/5

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Mother S.E. Lynes

51GZRCr6h7L Pub:  Bookouture

Christopher would never hurt anyone. Not intentionally. Even after everything that’s happened I still believe that…

Christopher Harris is a lonely boy. A boy who has never fitted in to his family. Who has always felt something was missing from his life.

Until one day, when he discovers a suitcase in his family’s attic. And a secret about his mother that changes everything… 

Oh My..

This gripping and very tense read.

Christopher feels as if he never quite fits within his family, being adopted it’s natural to feel  like the black sheep.

Starting life at University, he finds a letter, and suddenly everything seems to make sense.

Just the title alone, gives you a thought that Christopher’s life is going to be a tough and sinister journey, and as he becomes obsessed with his birth mother, this book, for me, is a startling and realistic tale.

Mother, is not an easy read, at times I was lost. The narrative is strange in that we don’t really know who is telling Christophers story, and when fiction meets fact I found this a mesmerising read.

I loved ‘Valentina’ by the same author, but S.E Lynes has given us a book that is amazingly gripping. It also will appeal to readers who have ‘felt like Christopher’ within their own family.

It is a good read, but I don’t think it will be for every reader. I loved it.

4*/5

 

 

Her Last Secret Barbara Copperthwaite

21641111_1452552724852411_2535086626238871465_o Pub: Bookouture

Everyone thinks the Thomases are the perfect family: grand London house, gorgeous kids.

They don’t know wife Dominique is a paranoid wreck.

They don’t know husband Ben is trapped in a web of deceit.

They don’t know daughter Ruby lives in fear of the next abusive text.

But someone knows all their secrets.

Can the lies that bind them destroy them all?

 

I adore Barbara Copperthwaite’s books..

and Her last Secret is every bit as thrilling as I knew it would be.

This was a novel that really got me asking questions.. What was wrong with Dominique’s marriage? What was Ruby’s message?  Who had the ‘secret’ as mentioned in the title??

With dark twists and a tensity that had me completely gripped this was another one sit read for me.

The Thomas family, seem to have it all, perfect in fact. Although Ruby is a typical teen, with teenage rows and the usual defiance, there seems to be nothing else that’s wrong..until early Christmas morning, a row and then gun shots are heard and very soon all the neighbours are left wondering what has happened to their quiet street.

The story is set a week before the fired shots, and as with all Copperthwaite’s novels the reader is on a guessing game to ‘YouNeverWill’ s vill.

This is a cracking read and after you recover from the onslaught you will realise that while all family’s have issues, the Thomas’s have them magnified. The ending was particularly shocking and one that I was not expecting.

Her Last Secret is a slow tale, but I think that this helps with the build up, but the surprises come unexpected and adds to the tension.

I actually loved it .

4*/5

All The Wicked Girls Chris Whitaker

51Sd1WXNSIL._AC_US218_Pub: Zaffre

Everyone loves Summer Ryan. A model student and musical prodigy, she’s a ray of light in the struggling small town of Grace, Alabama – especially compared to her troubled sister, Raine. Then Summer vanishes.

Raine throws herself into the investigation, aided by a most unlikely ally, but the closer she gets to the truth, the more dangerous her search becomes.

And perhaps there was always more to Summer than met the eye . . .

 

This gripping thriller is tense..

For me it was what I call a one sit read and for most of it I was completely hooked.

The blurb speaks for itself but what it doesn’t say is how brilliantly written it is.. Whitaker is an amazing storyteller.

Alabama is the setting and the religious God fearing town of Grace have seen a few girls go missing., presumably by THE BIRD.

This complex tale is to be recommended,  I loved the small town feel and the characters  have differences that make them the same. I loved Noah, gentle caring and brave.

All the Wicked Girls is a book that for me is a shelf keeper, and I shall pull it out every now and again for a re-read.

It’s totally amazing.

5*/5

The Fussy Cut Sampler Nichole Ramirez and Elisabeth Woo

51xhYwYnAuL._AC_US218_Pub: Lucky Spool Media

If you are like authors Nichole and Elisabeth, your favourite part of quilting is fussy cutting – and it usually involves figuring out how to enhance an interesting quilt block by framing a favourite element in your most-loved fabric! Let fussy cutting become more than just showing a single design. By following along with how to create drastically different samplers from each of their 48 unique patchwork blocks, see how those same 9” blocks can easily be adapted to your own personal taste. Compare their blocks (and their samplers!) side by side and get inspired to use the fabrics you love to create your own sampler blocks.

Quilting can be made fun just by ‘fussy cutting’.

Fussy cutting is choosing a particular part of your fabrics design and using that as a focal point to your quilt block.

These blocks are perfectly put together for you to be able to use your ‘stash’ your offcuts and it also shows you how to look at your fabric and actually ‘see’ what is going on within it design.

48 blocks are stunningly photographed and I think that each of the blocks shown would make an adorable and eclectic quilt if they were all put together. The fussy cut sampler is very inspiring.

Each block is shown in it’s different stages, so it is very easy to follow. The measurements and how to build your block are demonstrated along with hints and tips. There is also a added tip for cutting and placing and even for when you should keep your remnants for later, which makes this book ideal for beginners.

That said, this is a beautiful book and every level of quilter can learn from the many creations shown. I love the mixing of fabrics and some of the finished blocks are very bold and beautiful. There is a lot of  good information given and you can tell that the authors just love what they do.

The fussy cut sampler is colorful and bright and besides giving ideas about quilt blocks it is a very good read. My copy will be well thumbed in no time.

If you know someone who loves quilting then this book will make the perfect gift.

5*/5

Buy the book

https://www.searchpress.com/book/9781940655222/the-fussy-cut-sampler

 

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Fussy-Cut-Sampler-Favorite-Fabrics/dp/1940655226/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1507446019&sr=1-1&keywords=the+fussy+cut+sampler

Dan Knew F J Curlew

3140TOFHg8L._AC_US218_Pub: Fiona Curlew

A puppy born to the dangers of street life. A woman in trouble. An unbreakable bond. A Ukrainian street dog is rescued from certain death by an ex-pat family. As he travels with them through Lithuania, Estonia, Portugal and the UK he learns how to be a people dog, but a darkness grows and he finds himself narrating more than just his story. More than a dog story. Ultimately it’s a story of escape and survival but maybe not his. The world through Wee Dan’s eyes is told in a voice that will stay with you long after you turn the last page.

A book written through the eyes of a dog ..

Rescued from the streets of the Ukraine, Dan, traumatised and lost, finds love and care with his newly adopted family.

Did the Curlews adopt Dan or did Dan in own canine way adopt them.

This is one hell of an emotional read and I am not ashamed to say I bawled several times. I actually found it difficult at times.

The  love from an animal is one of the purest forms there is, and Dan gave it in abundance.

This is a unique read and will appeal to all animal lovers, but those who adore dogs  will know the way Dan ‘speaks’.  It is a beautiful, sad, and hard *tail* to read, and one that will emotional drain and tie you to all those involved in Dan’s life.

There are scenes of domestic strife and the start when Dan hides from the dog catcher while watching his own canine family be hauled away is not fun to read. But the love Dan finds and gives in equal measures cannot help but touch the reader. I just couldn’t help but fall in love with him.

Reader recommended

4*/5

Half Yard Home Debbie Shore

51covYaALgL._AC_US218_Pub: Search Press LTD

Sewing superstar, Debbie Shore, has designed 40 gorgeous home accessories that can be made using half a yard of fabric or less. The projects are divided into accessories for the Living Room, Dining Room, Kitchen and Bedroom, with a special section for picnics. Clear step by step instructions and beautiful photography make it easy to create desirable projects from a tablecloth, magazine box, chair slip, napkins, napkin ring, oven mitt, apron, tea cosy, cafe curtain and jewellery roll, to a picnic place mat, bread bag and bottle bag, and more. Debbie’s flair for design and eye for fresh, beautiful fabrics make these home accessories that readers will make to run up for themselves.

If you love sewing you will know the name Debbie Shore..

She is a woman with remarkable success designing, making and teaching all of us the fundamental basics of sewing while giving us the most beautiful and inspiring ideas for our homes, our children, and everything else in between.

Half Yard Home is a wonderful book, filled with pretty and useful ideas to beautify every corner of where we live.

Bags, Jewellery rolls, and cushions are easily explained and with useful sewing tips and methods even a beginner will have no trouble getting to grips with these projects.

What I especially love about Ms Shore, is that everything she creates is inexpensive. You can you use your leftover scraps or recycle your favourite clothing that is no longer useful.

She also allows the sewist to sell the items you make for a tidy profit.

She loves nothing more than bringing the craft and her ideas to those of us who are looking for easy sewing projects that will teach us new skills and enable us to love what we achieve.

This book is perfect for everyone, and as always the projects are perfectly photographed using a step by step method.

Highly recommended and a beautiful gift for anyone who loves to stitch.

5*/5

All the projects are beautiful in this book..

but I especially liked the Yo Yo Cloth.

1.

IMG_20171001_132248

Yo Yo’s or Suffolk Puffs as they are often called are extremely easy to do and very pretty.

2.

IMG_20171001_131648

Using a circle template and a scrap of fabric cut a circle. Depending on your size choice they can be small or large. This one is about 2 inches in diameter.

3.

IMG_20171001_131851

use running stitch around the edge of your circle..

IMG_20171001_131955

then pull it tight (careful not to snap your thread).

4.

It doesn’t matter which way you use your Yo Yo..

IMG_20171001_132003

I used the stitched side for my project.

5.

I didn’t want a Yo Yo cloth as I found it too pretty to use so after an afternoon of sewing I made quite a few of these cute little things and made a beautiful cushion.

IMG_20171001_132056

I added buttons to the center of the Yo Yo to cover the stitches.

Yo Yo’s are the most perfect of decoration and can be added to bags and quilts. I have even seen them added to a neckline of plain T’shirt which looked amazing.

Happy Sewing x

Buy the book..

https://www.searchpress.com/book/9781782211082/half-yard-home