Some Advance Reader Copies (ARCs) included. They are marked with an *. You can read my full disclosure policy here.
I wish I could say I’m making a decent dent in the amount of books I have on Kindle waiting to be read, but for every one I finish another three attract my attention. And so my never-ending to-read list grows longer.
One Monday Morning by Jennifer Burke
One Monday Morning is a strange one to review. I’m torn between diving straight into the nitty-gritty and leaving you blind to elements of the plot, like I was when I picked it up. Let’s see how this goes, shall we.
It’s the story of Trish, Ciara and Stephen who have been friends since they were teenagers. They’ve been through a lot together, including the death of their friend Gerry. But there some things even they cannot share with each other.
The death of a woman in the UK highlights the failings of Ireland’s abortion law and brings the issue front and centre. It is clear that the pro-life side will go to whatever lengths necessary to keep Ireland the abortion free place they wish it was. It’s the last thing Trish wants to focus on. Although, truth-be-told, it’s never far from her mind for multiple reasons. Reasons, it is quickly becoming clear, she can no longer keep to herself.
One Monday Morning is an interesting read that delves into the issues facing contemporary Ireland; abortion, same-sex marriage, redundancy, and domestic abuse.
No Shame by Anne Cassidy*
The follow-up to No Virgin*, No Shame* sees Stacey Woods preparing for the trial of her rapist. But can you ever really prepare for a process which seems intent on putting you, the victim, on trial instead? Is this what justice means?
I felt the same disconnect between the characters and the plot as I did with No Virgin*, here it works better and helps portray the toll the trial takes on Stacey. A solid read which, once again, sensitively deals with difficult, yet important, issues.
My Name Is Leon by Kit de Waal*
Nine-year-old Leon and his brother, Jake, are placed in foster care when their mother is no longer able to look after them. Jake is a baby making the adoption process easier. Jake is also white, while Leon is mixed race and this is 1980s Britain. Leon desperately wants to be reunited with Jake, but he doesn’t know how to begin looking for him.
My Name Is Leon* is a heartbreaking story about love, loss, identity, race and what makes a family. Keep the tissues handy, there will be tears on multiple occasions.
Montpelier Parade by Karl Geary*
Montpelier Parade* is an evocative coming-of-age story about 16-year-old Sonny Knolls and his infatuation with, the much older than him, Vera. It’s a quiet, unnerving, evocative and thought-provoking look at seeking solace in people and relationships that can’t end well. It will stay with you long after you’ve turned the final page.
Ashes by Steven Manchester*
A road trip by two estranged brothers at the behest of their recently deceased father; can they heal old wounds? Do they want to? How much does the past play a continued role in their lives?
There was potential here, but it didn’t live up to its promise. Neither the humour nor the poignancy, the author was aiming for, hit the mark for me. I was left feeling pretty meh.