Hello Lovelies! Please excuse our dust while we do a bit of construction on the blog. We will still be posting exciting reviews, brilliant guest posts, and exciting giveaways but we are in the process of transforming the blog and adding new content and features for you to enjoy.

Thursday, February 2, 2023

Review: Queen Bee

Title: Queen Bee
Author: Ciara Geraghty

Publisher: 2nd February 2022 by HarperCollins Publishers Australia

Pages: 432 pages

Genre: contemporary, menopause

My Rating: 4 crowns


Synopsis:


She’s earned her stripes. But the hive’s misbehaving . . .


Insomnia 

How do I have three extra adult males – and a small yappy dog – living in my house when I need to grow into a graceful and sexual midlife woman?


Rage 

Am furious.


Anxiety 

What’s going to happen to my career if I can’t get out of this rut? 

Feel invisible.


What is happening to me?


Fifty-year-old Agatha Doyle loves her empty nest – until hot flushes, a pair of killer heels and an overbearing man who won’t stop talking conspire to change her life. In one moment of madness, she unwittingly becomes a heroine to women everywhere.


But can she become the heroine of her own life?


Sometimes you just have to wing it.



My Thoughts


‘I hate the word ‘menopause’. Something battered and forlorn about it, like a pulpy, dog-eared paperback in a charity shop.’


Queen Bee is a hilarious yet perceptive read as Ciara takes her readers on a wonderful menopausal journey. If that ‘m’ word resonates with you then you are sure to completely identify with the lead character, Agatha. This is the book to read, not only for the humour, but for the absolute truths provided as Ciara rips away all the myths surrounding this time of life for women. 


‘I am a menopausal woman, standing here before you all in a lather of sweat, terrified that I might forget a word in the middle of a sentence with the threat of brain fog that looms over me on a daily basis … I have insomnia, none of my clothes fit me, and there’s a chance I’m more irritable than I used to be. Although my husband may have a different view on that.’


This is a story that speaks to women and it is sure to capture attention as it makes women feel no longer alone on this often silent journey. Yes, on the surface it's about a woman coming to terms with the changes taking place in her body, however, it is that and so much more. Always open to reads about menopause, this was the book I needed to read as it provided a healthy tonic to this condition many of us experience at varying levels of discomfort. It’s full of laughter and sarcasm but there are real moments that hit home and will cause readers to pause and ponder. Ultimately, the message is that you are not alone in this life changing period. 


‘ME: What is happening?

AIDAN: I think you’ve touched a collective nerve? 

ME: I didn’t mean to.

AIDAN: It’s a good thing.

ME: How is it a good thing?

AIDAN: From the comments, it looks like there’s a lot of

people out there who are glad you’ve come out as

menopausal.’


Agatha is a wonderful character who captures all the many and varying aspects of experiencing menopause - not only on a personal level but also to those nearest and dearest. I loved the style of writing and the way the narrative was laid out, my only complaint being that it might be a tad too long in places. 


‘… there must be a reason it contains the word ‘pause’. Normal service will resume presently. I thought I could just wait it out. Wait for normal service to resume.

But no.’


If the main theme of this book speaks to you or women you may know, then I cannot but highly recommend you read it. I am so very happy to see more and more books being written about this topic in both non/fiction. It is well overdue to deliver credence for these women and debunking any myths or misconceptions about this critical time in a woman’s life. 


‘Just because you’re middle-aged and menopausal, it doesn’t mean that it’s all over.

There are still things to learn. Relationships to tend.

Dances to perfect.

So that’s what we did.

We danced.

We kept on dancing.’









This review is based on a complimentary copy from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own. The quoted material may have changed in the final release.

Tuesday, January 31, 2023

Review: The Garnett Girls

Title: The Garnett Girls 
Author: Georgina Moore

Publisher: 1st February 2023 by Harlequin Australia, HQ & MIRA

Pages: 322 pages

Genre: women’s fiction, contemporary

My Rating: 4 crowns


Synopsis:


In this brilliant debut novel full of heart and warmth, three very different sisters--and their free-spirited mother--must grapple with life, responsibilities, and family secrets.


Forbidden, passionate and all-encompassing, Margo and Richard's love affair was the stuff of legend--but, ultimately, doomed. When Richard walked out, Margo locked herself away, leaving her three daughters, Rachel, Imogen, and Sasha, to run wild.


Years later, charismatic Margo entertains lovers and friends in her cottage on the Isle of Wight, refusing to ever speak of Richard and her painful past. But her silence is keeping each of the Garnett girls from finding true happiness.


Rachel is desperate to return to London but is held hostage by responsibility for Sandcove, their beloved but crumbling family home. Dreamy Imogen feels the pressure to marry her kind, considerate fiancé, even when life is taking an unexpected turn. Wild, passionate Sasha, trapped between her fractured family and controlling husband, is weighed down by a secret that could shake the family to its core.


The Garnett Girls, the captivating debut novel from Georgina Moore, asks whether children can ever be free of the mistakes of their parents.


My Thoughts


"Those Garnet girls. Lookers all of them - brains too. Hard to decide which one I fancy most."


The Garnett Girls is a wonderful debut narrative that explores the dynamics between a mother and her three daughters. Theirs is no ordinary relationship due to a dysfunctional upbringing but there is never any doubt about the love they hold for each other. The story traces how their childhood affected them in the choices and actions as their lives evolve over the years. 


This is such a well written tale that is highly character driven. But gosh! How well are these characters portrayed as real life and personal shortcomings come into play. Margo the matriarch is a force to reckon with and her parties would have been an eye opener. The interactions between the mother and each of the daughters is reflective of the ups and downs in life. Add into this their partners and the wider community from the Isle of Wight and it makes for engaging reading. It just goes to show how much of an impact the loss of their father had on each of them individually and as a family unit.


‘The only place she found certainty and conviction was in her writing. The rest of the time she quaked in the face of the Garnetts passionately held opinions.’


The setting of the Isle of Wight is wonderful and adds another rich dimension to this tale, as does their home. Here is an old house (needing some repair) that holds so many memories - both good and bad - for them all. In many ways, it's what calls them back time and again. The house has stood witness to so much and has a story to tell. I am not sure whether I found necessary some of the passages that went back in time explaining events prior to the current storyline. I felt that the author did such a good job of the contemporary timeline that in many ways, it was not needed. 


The Garnett Girls is a debut novel I highly recommend for readers who love strong family, character driven tales. The writing flows effortlessly as it weaves a story full of the light and dark moments in life - there will be loss and there will be laughter. Most of all, this is a tale about family relationships, mistakes made and how, through love, a family can make it through it all. 


"I'm not sure we'll ever really understand. We might have to accept that some things about our family can't ever be known."







This review is based on a complimentary copy from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own. The quoted material may have changed in the final release.