The Snowman: Inspired by the original story by Raymond Briggs by Michael Morpurgo

My daughter is a massive fan of Michael Morpurgo so when I saw that he had released a new re-imagined version of The Snowman I had to buy a copy so both my daughter and myself could read it.

I grew up with the beautiful story of The Snowman and reading this lovely story took me back to my memories of reading the original as a child in the lead up to Christmas.

This is a beautiful story that is wonderfully interwoven with the original to ensure that the story of The Snowman released 40 years ago has not been lost. It is the perfect story to curl up with your younger children and read whilst snuggling with a Hot Chocolate and a lovely way for older children to experience the magic of Christmas.

A lovely festive read that I would recommend to children of all ages that carries all of the magic of the original story and more.

Book Blurb

Beloved children’s author Michael Morpurgo has re-imagined Raymond Briggs’ classic The Snowman for a new generation of readers. 

One December morning, James is thrilled to wake up to see snow falling.

He spends the whole day making his perfect snowman; he has coal eyes, an old green hat and scarf and a tangerine nose… just like the snowman from his favourite story.

That night, something magical happens- the Snowman comes to life!

He and James take to the skies on a magical adventure where they meet someone very special.

 

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Betsy and Lilibet by Sophie Duffy

Betsy & Lilibet was a cherrypop for me as I hadn’t previously read a book by Sophie Duffy and the cover caught my attention, well what a brilliant choice this book was to try a different author in one of my favourite genres.

Betsy & Lilibet is written from the perspective of Betsy and is written across two time frames starting in London in 1926 and Bognor present day and as the book progresses the timeline gap closes.

I found this story captivating and I quickly became connected to Betsy and wanted to keep reading. She was a strong female in a time where women had no choice but to be strong, these characteristics remained long after the war and paved her way through life.

During this story I felt empathy for Betsy as she always felt out shined by her sister Margie and compassion for her relationship with Janet that is never the same after she makes a decision that alters the courses of both of their lives.

Betsy is a strong and dignified character that controls her emotions from a young age and treats everyone as equals, learning the family trade at a tender age and then taking over her parents business as a Funeral Director when they retire. Throughout this wonderful story there are some fantastic phrases that I felt resonated and gave the strong message that everyone should be treated with respect both in life and in death – “We’re all equal. We come into the world with nothing and we leave with nothing and what we have in between is only borrowed us”.

I thoroughly enjoyed this book and would highly recommend Betsy & Lilibet, Sophie Duffy is an author I will now look out for and I will be purchasing her previous books as I loved the writing style in which this heart warming story was written.

 

Book Blurb

London, 1926. Two baby girls are born just hours and miles apart. One you know as the Queen of England, but what of the other girl- the daughter of an undertaker named in her honour? Betsy Sunshine grows up surrounded by death in war-torn London, watching her community grieve for their loved ones whilst dealing with her own teenage troubles… namely her promiscuous sister Margie. As Betsy grows older we see the how the country changes through her eyes, and along the way we discover the birth of a secret that threatens to tear her family apart.

 

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The Five People you Meet in Heaven by Mitch Albom

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The Five People you Meet in Heaven is a beautiful story that guides you through Eddie’s journey to Heaven and the five people who played a key part in his life along the way.

I absolutely loved this book and found that I just wanted to keep reading to see who Eddie would meet next and what their story would mean to Eddie. This is a thought provoking book, that makes you think about death, how you envision heaven and what happens after you die compared to what Eddie is experiencing.

A truly brilliant book full of emotion that I really enjoyed and am excited to know there is a sequel due to be released

Book Blurb
Eddie is a wounded war veteran, an old man who has lived, in his mind, an uninspired life. His job is fixing rides at a seaside amusement park. On his 83rd birthday, a tragic accident kills him as he tries to save a little girl from a falling cart. He awakes in the afterlife, where he learns that heaven is not a destination. It’s a place where your life is explained to you by five people, some of whom you knew, others who may have been strangers. One by one, from childhood to soldier to old age, Eddie’s five people revisit their connections to him on earth, illuminating the mysteries of his “meaningless” life, and revealing the haunting secret behind the eternal question: “Why was I here?

 

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Five-People-You-Meet-Heaven-ebook/dp/B002TXZQW8/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1540466307&sr=1-1&keywords=the+five+people+you+meet+in+heaven

The Bubble Boy

I love getting the chance to read books Daisy has bought so last week I chose The Bubble Boy by Stewart Foster Author from her bookshelf

Such a lovely story, about the amazing Joe who is stuck in a hospital room due to a life threatening condition which means he can’t come into contact with any germs.

This story is full of hope, desperation, friendship, loss and love. I borrowed this book from my daughter as I liked the sound of it. I am so pleased I did as it is a brilliantly written and inspirational story

Book Blurb
They call it a crash when the blood goes from my head to my feet, pours out into the room and drains through a hole in the middle of the floor. They call it a crash when the walls start spinning and the pictures blur. Then the ceiling turns black and the floor turns black and I don’t know which way I’m facing any more.

Eleven-year-old Joe can’t remember a life outside of his hospital room, with its beeping machines and view of London’s rooftops. His condition means he’s not allowed outside, not even for a moment, and his few visitors risk bringing life-threatening germs inside his ‘bubble’. But then someone new enters his world and changes it for ever.

THE BUBBLE BOY is the story of how Joe spends his days, copes with his loneliness and frustrations, and looks – with superhero-syle bravery, curiosity and hope – to a future without limits. Expect superheroes, super nurses and a few tears from this truly unique story.

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Bubble-Boy-Stewart-Foster-ebook/dp/B013PJVKCY/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1540296385&sr=1-1&keywords=the+bubble+boy&fbclid=IwAR0VZnuGNgdMRVvkRuHmI828vX24feox6i-TIGUlAxFgXLq_HFFr2df_m9w

The After Wife by Cass Hunter

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This is a book everyone is talking about and fully deserves the attention it is receiving The After Wife by Cass Hunter

The After Wife is a book that I am not sure I can portray how brilliantly good it is through my review. Once you pick it up you become emotionally invested and have to keep reading. It is a genius story and different to anything else I have read and it really gets you thinking about what is possible with technology.

I loved the characters they were a brilliant blend, with iRachel demonstrating just how fierce a wife / mothers love can be and looking after her family even after she is gone. This is a story that triggers all of the emotions and left me speechless once I had finished and wanting to read the book and experience them all over again.

 

Book Blurb

When Rachel and Aidan fell in love, they thought it was forever.

She was a brilliant, high-flying scientist. He was her loving and supportive husband.

Now she’s gone, and Aidan must carry on and raise their daughter alone.

But Rachel has left behind her life’s work, a gift of love to see them through the dark days after her death.

A gift called iRachel.

 

I will be recommending The After Wife as I absolutely loved how I became so emotionally invested in such a fragile story that was wonderfully executed throughout – a massive 5 shiny stars for a book that is truly memorable.

A Miracle on Hope Street by Emma Heatherington

I love an author who writes with such skill to always trigger an emotional response and this story again pulls at the heart strings.

A Miracle on Hope Street is a beautiful story about loss, love and finding a reason to hope again. It is a story full of characters from all walks of life who have loved and lost and through being united are finding reasons to hope again.

A truly brilliant story that I absolutely loved and will definitely be recommending as it made me feel all of the emotions being portrayed as I read them throughout the story.

 

Book Blurb

Can a single act of kindness change a life forever?

To many people Ruth Ryans has everything: the perfect job, a home to die for and a loving family. But it’s all lies. As Christmas approaches, Ruth feels lonelier than ever.

Then Ruth meets Michael. A man who, on the night of her father’s death the year before, she showed kindness to during his darkest moment. That one single act, his miracle, helped change his life forever.

Can one act of kindness really change a person’s life? Ruth decides to find out and plans to make this Christmas the most perfect one ever, opening up her home to those who need her help – the lonely, the lost and the ignored.

This Christmas actions will speak louder than words and Ruth Ryans’ kindness will create little miracles for everyone … including her own battered heart.

 

 

Debut Novel – How to Bake a New Beginning by Lucy Knott

I absolutely loved this book and find it hard to believe this was a debut novel!

The whole story is based around the sisters, food and their Italian heritage. I loved Amanda’s love of cooking and how important good homemade food was for these sisters.

A brilliant story that I absolutely loved and has made me want to nibble on Italian treats. How to Bake a New Beginning is the perfect book to curl up with on a chilly evening and I look forward to seeing what Lucy Knott releases next definitely an author to look out for!

 

Book Blurb

Three sisters. One trip to Italy. The chance to change their lives.

Amanda has always taken the role of big sister seriously. She has her life in order; a fantastic job in a great restaurant, a wonderful house and a best friend who’s a Rockstar. But, Amanda’s beginning to realise that her life is missing one monumental piece…

Sabrina is living the high life in LA. Her Instagram is full of lavish parties, her tweets are brimming with celebrity names, but in reality she’s stuck behind a desk working for a boss who is determined to make her suffer. Is it time for her to stand up and take charge of her life?

Louisa has always been drowned out by her sister’s successes. As the university drop-out she’s always felt third best. But a chance encounter in a little Italian village may be about to change that…

When their beloved grandfather passes away these sisters are forced to take another look at their lives. These three sisters are about to embark on a journey of self-discovery that could just lead them down a road of romance (with a little help from the kitchen)!

Will You Remember Me by Amanda Prowse

A truly emotional and heartbreaking story where we revisit the lovely Poppy Day.

This story takes you on the guaranteed rollercoaster of emotions that accompany any book Amanda Prowse writes. It explores relationships, family bonds, friendship and loss and leaves you feeling bereft and that you’ve lost a member of your family.

A truly brilliant story that will be guaranteed to make you shed a tear or two on behalf of the lovely Poppy Day.

Book Blurb

How do you say goodbye to your family for the last time? A mother battles cancer in the new novel from bestselling author Amanda Prowse.

Poppy Day is an ordinary woman. She’s 32 years old, an ex-hairdresser, now a stay-at-home mum for her two gorgeous children while her husband Mart tours with the army. She’s loved Mart ever since she was a girl, growing up poorly cared for in East London. Nowadays, her simplest pleasure is having her family together in a clean and happy home.

But Poppy is too busy caring for others to notice the fatigue in her body and the menacing lump growing on her breast. If there’s anyone strong and deserving enough to defeat cancer it’s Poppy. After all, she’s fought harder battles than this. But does life really work like that?

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No One Cancels Christmas by Zara Stoneley

I am so excited to read this festive read as I love Zara Stoneley books and this was a lovely warm fuzzy Christmas story, set in the beautiful snowy mountains in Canada.

During this story Sarah is forced to confront her past by returning to the beautiful Shooting Star Mountain resort where she has magical memories but also where her life changed forever.

A lovely warm fuzzy read that wraps you in a hug, Will and Sarah are characters you can empathise with and the story that pulls you in, so you keep turning the pages to find out what happens. A highly recommended read that will get you in the mood for Christmas and have you wishing for snow so you can make a snowman and snow angels.

Book Blurb

A holiday she’ll remember forever…


It’s the most magical time of the year, and for travel agent Sarah it’s also the busiest! But this year one man threatens to ruin Christmas for Sarah’s customers – Mr Grinch, Will Armstrong.

The Shooting Star Mountain resort is a magical place, and Sarah has fond memories of Christmas here as a little girl – visits to Father Christmas, husky rides in the snow and hot chocolate by a roaring fire. But as the resorts new owner, Will refuses to play snowball or to deck the halls with anything remotely resembling tinsel!

With customers complaining their Christmas is ruined, Sarah decides it’s up to her to convince Scroogey Will just how magical Christmas can be….

But getting Will into the Christmas spirit is hopeless – he is Bah Humbug personified! But as Sarah gets to know him better, she realises that underneath all the gloom is a man struggling with a pain of his own.

With the big day approaching, Sarah realises that the magic and sparkle can wait. This year, she’s going to spend Christmas day with someone special her very own Mr Scrooge…

September Snapshot

I have read 19 books this month, mainly due to having to rest after an operation. Below I have rounded them all up so there is a snapshot of the books I have read and reviewed throughout the month!

Amongst the brilliant books featured, I have read some brilliant Christmas reads which are getting me in the mood for the cold cosy evenings and the excitement of the countdown to Christmas.

Check out each book individually for the blurb and my review.

Sept Reads