I thought long and hard about sharing my favourite reads this year because I can imagine it’s dispiriting for those authors who don’t find themselves on the innumerable lists that pop up at this time. However, I also thought that life is tough for us all and any celebration must be worth sharing.
Those who know me, know that as soon as I’ve finished reading a book I allocate a gut reaction score out of 100 to my blogging spreadsheet . Books that score 95-100 automatically become my books of the year. That doesn’t mean that there haven’t been other 5* reads – far from it – as I allocate five stars to books that I score 85+/100. This means that I don’t have an annual top 20 or any other number. I might have 30 top books one year and only three the next! According to Goodreads I have read 148 books this year, but not all those I read appear there, I’ve read others that I’ll be reviewing in 2023 and some I simply didn’t like so didn’t review. In my view, there’s no point in being negative. I’m a blogger, not a critic!
So, in the order that I reviewed them, out of the 165 or so books I read in 2022, here are my absolute favourites including thrillers, historical fiction, flash fiction, poetry, short stories, romantic fiction, memoir, non-fiction, literary fiction, children’s books and (can you believe it?) one with a supernatural horror element:
The Library by Bella Osborne
Two lonely bookworms. An unexpected friendship. A library that needs their help
Teenager Tom has always blended into the background of life. After a row with his dad and facing an unhappy future at the dog food factory, he escapes to the library.
Pensioner Maggie has been happily alone with her beloved novels for ten years – at least, that’s what she tells herself.
When they meet, they recognise something in each other that will change both their lives for ever.
Then the library comes under threat of closure, and they must join forces to prove that it’s not just about books – it’s the heart of their community.
They are determined to save it – because some things are worth fighting for.
Published by Head of Zeus imprint Aria, you’ll find my review of The Library on the My Weekly website here.
Behind the Veil by E.J. Dawson
Can she keep the secrets of her past to rescue a girl tormented by a ghost?
In 1920s Los Angeles, Letitia Hawking reads the veil between life and death. A scrying bowl allows her to experience the final moments of the deceased. She brings closure to grief-stricken war widows and mourning families.
For Letitia, it is a penance. She knows no such peace.
For Alasdair Driscoll, it may be the only way to save his niece, Finola, from her growing night terrors. But when Letitia sees a shadowy figure attached to the household, it rouses old fears of her unspeakable past in England.
When a man comes to her about his missing daughter, the third girl to go missing in as many months, Letitia can’t help him when she can’t see who’s taken them.
As a darkness haunts Letitia’s vision, she may not be given a choice in helping the determined Mr Driscoll, or stop herself falling in love with him. But to do so risks a part of herself she locked away, and to release it may cost Letitia her sanity and her heart.
Way out of my usual comfort zone, I loved this one and you’ll find my review of Behind the Veil published by Literary Wanderlust here.
The Language of Food by Annabel Abbs
Eliza Acton, despite having never before boiled an egg, became one of the world’s most successful cookery writers, revolutionizing cooking and cookbooks around the world. Her story is fascinating, uplifting and truly inspiring.
Told in alternate voices by the award-winning author of The Joyce Girl, and with recipes that leap to life from the page, The Language of Food by Annabel Abbs is the most thought-provoking and page-turning historical novel you’ll read this year, exploring the enduring struggle for female freedom, the power of female friendship, the creativity and quiet joy of cooking and the poetry of food, all while bringing Eliza Action out of the archives and back into the public eye.
Published by Simon and Schuster, you’ll find my review of The Language of Food here.
Reputation by Sarah Vaughan
Emma Webster is a respectable MP.
Emma Webster is a devoted mother.
Emma Webster is innocent of the murder of a tabloid journalist.
Emma Webster is a liar.
#Reputation: The story you tell about yourself. And the lies others choose to believe…
Published by Simon and Schuster you’ll find my review of Reputation here.
100 Voices edited by Miranda Roszkowski
100 Voices is an anthology of writing by women across the country on what achievement means for them, and how they have come to find their own voice. Featuring poetry, fiction and memoir, the pieces range from notes on making lemon curd, to tales of marathon running and riding motorbikes, to accounts of a refugee eating English food for the first time, a newlywed learning her mother tongue and a woman rebuilding her life after an abusive relationship.
The poignant, funny and inspiring stories collected here are as varied and diverse as their authors, who include established names such as Louise Jensen, Sabrina Mahfouz, Yvonne Battle-Felton and Miranda Keeling alongside a host of exciting new writers. Taken together, they build a picture of what it’s really like to be a woman in the UK today.
Published by Unbound, you’ll find my review of 100 Voices here.
The Green Indian Problem by Jade Leaf Willetts
Set in the valleys of South Wales at the tail end of Thatcher’s Britain, The Green Indian Problem is the story of Green, a seven year-old with intelligence beyond his years – an ordinary boy with an extraordinary problem: everyone thinks he’s a girl.
Green sets out to try and solve the mystery of his identity, but other issues keep cropping up – God, Father Christmas, cancer – and one day his best friend goes missing, leaving a rift in the community and even more unanswered questions. Dealing with deep themes of friendship, identity, child abuse and grief, The Green Indian Problem is, at heart, an all-too-real story of a young boy trying to find out why he’s not like the other boys in his class.
Published by Renard Press, you’ll find my review of The Green Indian Problem here.
The Lost Whale by Hannah Gold
What if you could communicate with a whale?
Rio has been sent to live with a grandmother he barely knows in California, while his mum is in hospital back home. Alone and adrift, the only thing that makes him smile is joining his new friend Marina on her dad’s whale watching trips. That is until an incredible encounter with White Beak, a gentle giant of the sea changes everything. But when White Beak goes missing, Rio must set out on a desperate quest to find his whale and somehow save his mum.
Dive into this incredible story about the connection between a boy and a whale and the bond that sets them both free.
Perfect for readers of 8+, beautifully illustrated throughout by Levi Pinfold – winner of the Kate Greenaway Medal and illustrator of Harry Potter 20th anniversary edition covers.
Published by Harper Collins’ Children’s Books you’ll find my review of The Lost Whale here.
Peach Blossom Spring by Melissa Fu
It is 1938 in China, and the Japanese are advancing. A young mother, Meilin, is forced to flee her burning city with here four-year-old son, Renshu, and embark on an epic journey across China. For comfort, they turn to their most treasured possession – a beautifully illustrated hand scroll. Its ancient fables offer solace and wisdom as they travel through their ravaged country, seeking refuge.
Years later, Renshu has settled in America as Henry Dao. His daughter is desperate to understand her heritage, but he refuses to talk about his childhood. How can he keep his family safe in this new land when the weight of his history threatens to drag them down?
Spanning continents and generations, Peach Blossom Spring is a bold and moving look at the history of modern China, told through the story of one family. It’s about the power of our past, the hope for a better future, and the search for a place to call home.
Published by Headline imprint Wildfire you’ll find my review of Peach Blossom Spring here.
The Clockwork Girl by Anna Mazzola
In the midst of an icy winter, as birds fall frozen from the sky, chambermaid Madeleine Chastel arrives at the home of the city’s celebrated clockmaker and his clever, unworldly daughter.
Madeleine is hiding a dark past, and a dangerous purpose: to discover the truth of the clockmaker’s experiments and record his every move, in exchange for her own chance of freedom.
For as children quietly vanish from the Parisian streets, rumours are swirling that the clockmaker’s intricate mechanical creations, bejewelled birds and silver spiders, are more than they seem.
And soon Madeleine fears that she has stumbled upon an even greater conspiracy. One which might reach to the very heart of Versailles…
A intoxicating story of obsession, illusion and the price of freedom.
Published by Orion, you’ll find my review of The Clockwork Girl here.
A Little Hope by Ethan Joella
Set in an idyllic Connecticut town over the course of a year, A Little Hope follows the intertwining lives of a dozen neighbours as they confront everyday desires and fears: an illness, a road not taken, a broken heart, a betrayal.
Freddie and Greg Tyler seem to have it all: a comfortable home at the edge of the woods, a beautiful young daughter, a bond that feels unbreakable. But when Greg is diagnosed with a rare and aggressive form of cancer, the sense of certainty they once knew evaporates overnight. Meanwhile, Darcy Crowley is still coming to terms with the loss of her husband as she worries over her struggling adult son, Luke. Elsewhere, Ginger Lord returns home longing for a lost relationship; Ahmed Ghannam wonders if he’ll ever find true love; and Greg’s boss, Alex Lionel, grapples with a secret of his own.
Celebrating the grace in everyday life, this powerful debut immerses the reader in a community of friends, family, and neighbours and identifies the ways that love and forgiveness can help us survive even the most difficult of life’s challenges.
Published by Muswell Press you’ll find my review of A Little Hope here.
Only May by Carol Lovekin
Listen. The bee walks across my finger, slow as anything and I can see through the gauzy wing, to the detail of my skin. You aren’t looking in the right place.
If you look her in the eye and tell a lie, May Harper will see it. And if she doesn’t see it, the bees will hum it in her ear. Her kind mother and her free-spirited aunt have learned to choose their words with care. Her beloved invalid father lives in a world of his own, lost in another time, the war he cannot forget.
On May’s seventeenth birthday, a casual evasion from her employer hints at a secret hiding at the heart of the family. Determined to discover the truth, May starts listening at doors… She begins watching the faces of the people she loves best in all the world, those she suspects are hiding the biggest lie of all.
Published by Honno, you’ll find my review of Only May here.
A Golden Cornish Summer by Phillipa Ashley
Under the golden Cornish sun, buried treasure and family secrets will change Emma’s life forever…
Emma loved her life in the seaside village of Silver Cove. But when the discovery of sunken treasure ignited a feud between her family and that of Luke, her first love, everything fell apart. Heartbroken and betrayed, she fled.
Now, as she wades into the sparkling surf for the first time in fifteen years, she remembers everything she loved about this beautiful place. Then a huge wave knocks her off her feet. Wet and dripping, Emma is rescued by none other than Luke – who is, to her dismay, even more handsome than ever.
As their paths continue to cross, and Emma is reminded of everything she ran away from, she starts to wonder if returning home was a huge mistake.
Or could the real treasure have been waiting here for her all along?
A heart-warming read full of sun, sea, friendship and romance. Fans of Sarah Morgan and Trisha Ashley will be hooked from the very first page.
Published by Harper Collins’ imprint Avon, you’ll find my review of A Golden Cornish Summer on the My Weekly website here.
Stargazer by Laurie Petrou
IT’S A FINE LINE BETWEEN ADMIRATION AND ENVY.
Diana Martin has lived her life in the shadow of her sadistic older brother. She quietly watches the family next door, enthralled by celebrity fashion designer Marianne Taylor and her feted daughter, Aurelle.
She wishes she were a ‘Taylor girl’.
By the summer of 1995, the two girls are at university together, bonded by a mutual desire to escape their wealthy families and personal tragedies and forge new identities.
They are closer than lovers, intoxicated by their own bond, falling into the hedonistic seduction of the woods and the water at a remote university that is more summer camp than campus.
But when burgeoning artist Diana has a chance at fame, cracks start to appear in their friendship. To what lengths is Diana willing to go to secure her own stardom?
Published by Verve, you’ll find my review of Stargazer here.
Ginger and Me by Elissa Soave
Wendy is lonely but coping.
All nineteen-year-old Wendy wants is to drive the 255 bus around Uddingston with her regulars on board, remember to buy milk when it runs out and just to be okay. After her mum died, there’s nobody to remind her to eat and what to do each day.
And Wendy is ready to step out of her comfort zone.
Each week she shows her social worker the progress she’s made, like the coasters she bought to spruce up the place, even if she forgets to make tea. And she even joins a writers’ group to share the stories she writes, like the one about a bullied boy who goes to Mars.
But everything changes when Wendy meets Ginger.
A teenager with flaming orange hair, Ginger’s so brave she’s wearing a coat that isn’t even waterproof. For the first time, Wendy has a real best friend. But as they begin the summer of their lives, Wendy wonders if things were simpler before. And that’s before she realizes just how much trouble Ginger is about to get them in…
Published by Harper Collins’ imprint HQ, you’ll find my review of Ginger and Me on the My Weekly website here.
All I Said Was True by Imran Mahmood
When Amy Blahn was murdered on a London office rooftop, Layla Mahoney was there. She held Amy as she died. But all she can say when police arrest her is that ‘It was Michael. Find Michael and you’ll find out everything you need to know.’
The problem is, the police can’t find Michael – there is no evidence that he exists. And time is running out before they have to either charge Layla with Amy’s murder, or let her go.
As a lawyer, Layla knows that she has only forty-eight hours to convince police to investigate the man she knows only as ‘Michael’ instead of her.
But the more she attempts to control her interviews with police, the more the truth leaks out – and how much of that truth can Layla risk being exposed?
Published by Bloomsbury Raven, you’ll find my review of All I Said Was True here.
Letter From A Tea Garden by Abi Oliver
1965, an English country mansion.
Eleanora Byngh is not in a good state. Wedded to the whisky bottle and with her house crumbling round her ears, her days seem destined to follow a lonely (and grumpy) downhill path.
When the post brings an unexpected invitation to return to the Indian tea gardens of her childhood, Eleanora risks breaking open painful memories of her younger years, lived across a tumultuous century.
As relationships with her new-found family face their own challenges, she is offered fresh truths, the chance of love and unexpected new life – if she is prepared to take them.
You’ll find my review of Letter From A Tea Garden here.
The Lighthouse Bookshop by Sharon Gosling
At the heart of a tiny community in a remote village just inland from the Aberdeenshire coast stands an unexpected lighthouse. Built two centuries ago by an eccentric landowner, it has become home to the only bookshop for miles around.
Rachel is an incomer to the village. She arrived five years ago and found a place she could call home. So when the owner of the Lighthouse Bookshop dies suddenly, she steps in to take care of the place, trying to help it survive the next stage of its life.
But when she discovers a secret in the lighthouse, long kept hidden, she realises there is more to the history of the place than she could ever imagine. Can she uncover the truth about the lighthouse’s first owner? And can she protect the secret history of the place?
Published by Simon and Schuster, you’ll find my review of The Lighthouse Bookshop on the My Weekly website here.
The Lost Man of Bombay by Vaseem Khan
When the body of a white man is found frozen in the Himalayan foothills near Dehra Dun, he is christened the Ice Man by the national media. Who is he? How long has he been there? Why was he killed?
As Inspector Persis Wadia and Metropolitan Police criminalist Archie Blackfinch investigate the case in Bombay, they uncover a trail left behind by the enigmatic Ice Man – a trail leading directly into the dark heart of conspiracy.
Meanwhile, two new murders grip the city. Is there a serial killer on the loose, targeting Europeans?
Rich in atmosphere, the thrilling third chapter in the CWA Historical Dagger-winning Malabar House series pits Persis against a mystery from beyond the grave, unfolding against the backdrop of a turbulent post-colonial India, a nation struggling to redefine itself in the shadow of the Raj.
Published by Hodder and Stoughton, you’ll find my review of The Lost Man of Bombay here.
I Am Ill With Hope: poems and sketches by Gommie
In 2019 poet-artist Gommie began walking the coastline of an England with nothing but a backpack, a tent and an unusually large collection of pens. His aim? Searching for hope during increasingly hard times.
From losing his way on the Dover Hills to bankruptcy in Rhyl and wild camping in Scarborough, Gommie’s extraordinary journey is still ongoing, and his findings, a deeply moving mixture of texture, illustration, poetry and verbatim conversations, are a gentle homage to the often-overlooked places we inhabit and the frequently forgotten voices we hear.
Published by Salamander Street, you’ll find my review of I Am Ill With Hope here.
The Manhattan Girls by Gill Paul
NEW YORK CITY, 1921
An impossible dream.
The war is over, the twenties are roaring, but in the depths of the city that never sleeps, Dorothy Parker is struggling to make her mark in a man’s world. A broken woman.
She’s penniless, she’s unemployed and her marriage is on the rocks when she starts a bridge group with three extraordinary women – but will they be able to save her from herself?
A fight for survival.
When tragedy strikes, and everything Dorothy holds dear is threatened, it’s up to Peggy, Winifred and Jane to help her confront the truth before it’s too late. Because the stakes may be life or death…
Published by Harper Collins’ Avon imprint, you’ll find my review of The Manhattan Girls here.
One Last Gift by Emily Stone
For as long as Cassie can remember, it had been the three of them: Cassie, her big brother Tom, and Tom’s annoying best friend Sam.
Now, Tom is sorted, Sam is flying high, and Cassie thinks she’s figured it all out. Then tragedy happens and three becomes two.
For Cassie picking herself up seems unimaginable. Until she finds an envelope addressed to her, asking her to follow the trail to one last gift…
And suddenly what seems like an ending leads Cassie to something unexpected, beautiful and new…
Published by Headline Review, you’ll find my review of One Last Gift here.
Skip to the End by Molly James
Three kisses. Two break ups. One happy ending…
Amy Daniels has a pretty nice life. Her career is on the up, she loves her friends, and she’s about to buy her very own flat. On a good day, Amy could be described as a catch – so why is she perpetually single?
The trouble is, Amy can see something no one else can: the end. As soon as she kisses someone, she knows, in intimate, vivid detail, how their relationship will end. A screaming argument in the middle of the supermarket over milk. An explicit email sent to the wrong address. A hasty escape through a bathroom window on the second date. At the altar – runaway-bride style. There seems to be no end to the unhappy endings.
After years of trying, and failing, to change a pre-written future, Amy has given up. But then she drunkenly kisses three men at her best friend’s wedding and sees three possible endings: two painful, one perfect. The problem is, Amy can’t really remember who she kissed, and worse, what ending belongs to which person – the only thing she knows for certain is that she’s determined to find out…
This novel will have you swirling with first date butterflies, crying with laughter and finally, brimming with joy. The perfect summer read for fans of Lindsey Kelk, Mhairi McFarlane and Sophie Cousens.
Published by Quercus, you’ll find my review of Skip to the End here.
Ravished by Anna Vaught
Ravished, subtitled A Series of Reflections on Age, Sex, Death, and Judgement, is the second collection from Anna Vaught. These are peculiar tales, weird fiction, gothic, unusual, full of literary allusion, threaded through with classical and Welsh reference, occasionally starring the author’s relatives and the Virgin Mary. Sometimes funny, morbid, potentially inspiring, Ravished is both revolting and pretty; both awful and yet optimistic in the stress it places on playful language and the abundance of the imagination. The stories explore revenge, angels, an encounter with faith, death and loss and are full of off-kilter experiences, such as a chat with the holy spirit on a bench, a love story in an embalming parlour, passing the time with the man who’s going to bury you and why you should never underestimate the power of the landscape or the weird outcast you underestimated.
Published by Reflex Press, you’ll find my review of Ravished here.
The Big Amazing Poetry Book edited by Gaby Morgan and illustrated by Chris Riddell
A brilliant introduction to 52 fantastic poets introduced by Roger McGough and illustrated by Chris Riddell. The Big Amazing Poetry Book is a warm, funny collection snd packed with different styles of poetry – ballads, riddles, tongue-twisters, shape poems, haikus, sonnets and raps – about seasons, festivals, animals, birds, love, war, food, fish and football and much more. There are 7 poems and a biography to showcase each poet and stunning line artwork on every page.
Published by Pan Macmillan Children’s Books, you’ll find my review of The Big Amazing Poetry Book here.
From Now by Amelia Henley
A heartbreaking tragedy.
Charlie left his hometown behind years ago and hasn’t looked back since. These days, with a successful career and a beautiful soon-to-be fiancée, he couldn’t be happier. But when he receives some unexpected news, his life is forever changed.
A life-changing choice.
Suddenly things are falling apart, and now Charlie has to care for his family. How is he supposed to look after a heartbroken little brother and a sullen teenage sister who want nothing to do with him? He’s completely at a loss and knows he can’t do it alone – not without the help of his oldest friend, Pippa.
The chance to start afresh.
As Charlie steps back into his old life, he soon realises it’s only his family who needs fixing, there’s also his relationship with Pippa too. But returning home is a painful reminder of all that he lost and tried so hard to forget. And if Charlie is to fight for what he wants, first he must face up to his own past and decide whether he is ready to let go…
Published by Harper Collins’ imprint HQ, you’ll find my Review of From Now On here.
Shrines of Gaiety by Kate Atkinson
1926, and in a country still recovering from the Great War, London has become the focus for a delirious new nightlife. In the clubs of Soho, peers of the realm rub shoulders with starlets, foreign dignitaries with gangsters, and girls sell dances for a shilling a time.
At the heart of this glittering world is notorious Nellie Coker, ruthless but also ambitious to advance her six children, including the enigmatic eldest, Niven whose character has been forged in the crucible of the Somme. But success breeds enemies, and Nellie’s empire faces threats from without and within. For beneath the dazzle of Soho’s gaiety, there is a dark underbelly, a world in which it is all too easy to become lost.
With her unique Dickensian flair, Kate Atkinson brings together a glittering cast of characters in a truly mesmeric novel that captures the uncertainty and mutability of life; of a world in which nothing is quite as it seems.
Published by Transworld, you’ll find my review of Shrines of Gaiety here.
Women Like Us by Amanda Prowse
I guess the first question to ask is, what kind of woman am I? Well, you know those women who saunter into a room, immaculately coiffed and primped from head to toe?
If you look behind her, you’ll see me.
From her childhood, where there was no blueprint for success, to building a career as a bestselling novelist against all odds, Amanda Prowse explores what it means to be a woman in a world where popularity, slimness, beauty and youth are currency―and how she overcame all of that to forge her own path to happiness.
Sometimes heartbreaking, often hilarious and always entirely relatable, Prowse details her early struggles with self-esteem and how she coped with the frustrating expectations others had of how she should live. Most poignantly, she delves into her toxic relationship with food, the hardest addiction she has ever known, and how she journeyed out the other side.
One of the most candid memoirs you’re ever likely to read, Women Like Us provides welcome insight into how it is possible―against the odds―to overcome insecurity, body consciousness and the ubiquitous imposter syndrome to find happiness and success, from a woman who’s done it all, and then some.
Published by Little A, you’ll find my review of Women Like Us here.
The Echoes of Love by Jenny Ashcroft
Under the Cretan sun, in the summer of 1936, two young people fall in love…
Eleni has been coming to Crete her entire life, swapping her English home for cherished sun-baked summers with her grandfather, in the shoreside villa her lost mama grew up in. When she arrives in 1936, she believes the long, hot weeks ahead will be no different to so many that have gone before. But someone else is visiting the island that year too: a young German man called Otto. The two of them meet, and – far from the Nazi’s Berlin Olympics, the brewing civil war in Spain – share the happiest time of their lives; a summer of innocence lost, and love discovered; one that is finite, but not the end.
When, in 1941, the island falls to a Nazi invasion, Eleni and Otto meet there once more. It is a different place to the one they knew. Secrets have become currency, traded for lives, and trust is a luxury few can indulge in. Eleni has returned to fight for her home, Otto to occupy it. They are enemies, and their love is not only treacherous, it is dangerous – but will it destroy them, or prove strong enough to overcome the ravages of war?
An epic tale of secrets, love, loyalty, family and how far you’d go to keep those you love safe, The Echoes of Love is an exquisite and deeply moving love letter to Crete – one that will move every reader to tears.
Published by Harper Collins’ imprint HQ, you’ll find my review on the My Weekly website here.
The Empire by Michael Ball
Welcome to The Empire theatre
1922. When Jack Treadwell arrives at The Empire, in the middle of a rehearsal, he is instantly mesmerised. But amid the glitz and glamour, he soon learns that the true magic of the theatre lies in its cast of characters – both on stage and behind the scenes.
There’s stunning starlet Stella Stanmore and Hollywood heartthrob Lancelot Drake; and Ruby Rowntree, who keeps the music playing, while Lady Lillian Lassiter, theatre owner and former showgirl, is determined to take on a bigger role. And then there’s cool, competent Grace Hawkins, without whom the show would never go on . . . could she be the leading lady Jack is looking for?
When long-held rivalries threaten The Empire’s future, tensions rise along with the curtain. There is treachery at the heart of the company and a shocking secret waiting in the wings. Can Jack discover the truth before it’s too late, and the theatre he loves goes dark?
Published by Zaffre, you’ll find my review of The Empire here.
Keeping A Christmas Promise by Jo Thomas
One Icelandic Christmas holiday. One snowstorm. An adventure they’ll never forget!
Twenty-five years ago, Freya and her three best friends created a bucket list. The future seemed bright and full of hope . . . But now they are travelling to Iceland in memory of the friend they’ve lost, determined to fulfil her dream of seeing the Northern Lights at Christmas.
They didn’t count on an avalanche leaving them stranded! Handsome local, Pétur, comes to the rescue, showing them how the community survives the hard winter. With Christmas approaching, Freya and her friends throw themselves into the festivities, decorating and cooking for the villagers using delicious local ingredients.
But will they manage to see the Northern Lights? And can Freya’s own dreams come true, this Christmas?
Published by Penguin, you’ll find my review of Keeping A Christmas Promise on the My Weekly website here.
The Cornish Cream Tea Bookshop by Cressida McLaughlin
Ollie Spencer has started a new life in the idyllic Cornish seaside town of Port Karadow. Throwing herself into her job at the town’s bookshop, A New Chapter, is one way to make friends. The shop is glitzing up for first Christmas and Ollie hopes her inspired ideas will give the shop the edge it needs to dazzle the town.
But far from being the Sugar Plum fairy the place needs, Ollie is fast becoming its Christmas pudding. With the bookshop’s success at stake, Ollie turns to twinkly-eyed café owner Max for help. Can he help Ollie to turn the page, and put the sparkle back into her Cornish dream?
Published by Harper Collins, you’ll find my review of The Cornish Cream Tea Bookshop on the My Weekly website here.
My Favourite Read of 2022
You deserve a medal if you’re still with me after all that, but I just have one more thing to add and that’s my outright favourite book of 2022. I loved every single one of those listed above, but one book stood out above all else for me and that was The Echoes of Love by Jenny Ashcroft. The Echoes of Love certainly has romantic love, but it encompasses so many forms of love – and hatred – is authentic in time and place and has such relevance for what is happening in today’s world that I simply couldn’t fault it.
I hope you’ve found a book that appeals amongst my favourite reads. Here’s to a 2023 filled with wonderful stories. Happy New Year!