Welcome to the Cafe and Bookstore update with new releases and reviews for authors on the shelves.
The first author today with a recent review is Ritu Bhathal for Marriage Unarranged.
About the book
started ended with that box…
Aashi’s life was all set. Or so she thought.
Like in the Bollywood films, Ravi would woo her, charm her family and they’d get married and live happily ever after.
But then Aashi found the empty condom box…
Putting her ex-fiancé and her innocence behind her, Aashi embarks upon an enlightening journey, to another country, where vibrant memories are created, and unforgettable friendships forged.
Old images erased, new beginnings to explore.
And how can she forget the handsome stranger she meets? A stranger who’s hiding something…
One of the recent reviews for the book
This is a light, romantic jaunt from England to India and back again. When Aashi finds a used condom in her fiancé’s bathroom, the wedding is suddenly off. Her family is angry and embarrassed, but they support her decision. A trip to India, originally to purchase a wedding gown, becomes a vacation for Aashi and a chance to unwind and heal. Her two brothers and her best friend Karin go along.
The romantic story is fairly straightforward, and it unfolds at a leisurely pace. What held my attention was the story’s immersion in India’s rich culture and setting, specifically the bustling city of Delhi. The main characters are England born and raised, so the influences of their dual cultures were interesting to see played out, and the details of life in India were fascinating. Bhathal clearly incorporated a wealth of personal experience into the narrative.
The characters are all likeable, except for the cheating fiancé, though I felt a twinge of sympathy for him by the end. All in all, this story was about family, culture, self-esteem and independence, love and friendship. Recommended for readers of romance and women’s lit.
Also by Ritu Bhathal
The next author today is Stevie Turner with a recent review for her paranormal story Partners in Time
About the book
John Finbow, a successful writer, and his wife Kay move into Southcombe Rectory, a large Victorian house that has been empty since the 1960s. It had previously been owned by the Cuthbertson family who had lived there for generations. Their marriage is under strain, as John, 39 would like children before he gets too old, but Kay, 34, does not.
When John is working in his study soon after moving in, he is disturbed by the sight of a young woman who appears out of the blue on his sofa. Emily Cuthbertson, whose old bedroom is now John’s study, was 25 at the time of her death and the youngest of 8 offspring of the late Reverend Arthur Cuthbertson and his wife Delia. Emily had died in 1868 but is now unwilling to leave behind her old life on earth, due to having missed out on a family of her own whilst being a companion to her widowed mother. Emily is still desperate for a husband and children, and John is the answer to her dreams.
One hundred and thirty years separate them. Will Emily and John’s love survive time’s relentless march?
A recent review for the book on Goodreads
Emily lived and died in the mid 1800s, except she never left her home. Meanwhile back in 1996 John got a nice advance for his screenplay and bought a big old house – an old rectory, for him and his wife Kay to live in – only, they weren’t alone. John meets Emily when she appears on his sofa in his office, and the two connect. John is wanting to have a child and Kay isn’t interested, while Emily who has missed out on marriage and having children is only too happy to give John a child.
Here’s where things go eerie. Emily’s ghost remained in the rectory and John’s office was once Emily’s bedroom. They fall madly in love, and the fun begins when John’s wife Kay discovers the relationship her husband has with the ghostly Emily and discovers John impregnated Emily.
It’s a paranormal story, so yes, the ghost gets pregant, and from there on become the shenanigans of a mischievous and possessive ghost where Emily’s place in John and Kay’s life becomes whacky and controled by Emily’s decisions and wraths.
Sure, we can ask why on earth Kay didn’t take off immediately after her husband confides in her what the heck is going on, but again, it’s a paranormal story. And despite the strangeness of the whole situation, I remained flipping the pages as I had to find out how this ghost could be stopped from controling and ruining lives.
There is plenty of suspense in this tale about a family haunted by a domineering ghost as Turner cleverly blends this story of family, and paranormal, into a thriller-like tale of love, possessiveness and intrigue that will keep us guessing at every plot twist. Can Emily be tamed? Will Kay hang around? Will Emily ever leave?
If you’re looking for a quick read that will keep you turning the pages and have you enjoying all the elements involved in this story, you will no doubt enjoy this book
A selection of books by Stevie Turner
The final author today is Denise O’Hagan – with a recent review for her debut poetry collection The Beating Heart
About the collection
The Beating Heart is an allusion to the continuous pulsing of feelings that lie beneath the surface reality of our lives. This collection ‘slips into the lining’ of various experiences from a childhood in the ancient city of Rome, whose ‘famous walls bulged with sanctioned corruption’ to the loneliness of a London bedsit, ‘narrow as a capsule, a chilly low-cost limbo’, to the lure of a Sydney bushwalk, where ‘mist lies over the grass, the trees, the everything, as lightly as a suggestion’. The elegant assurance of these meditative and melodic lines remind us that poetry can be, as the author believes, ‘a form of music’.
One of the recent reviews for the collection on Goodreads
‘We look before and after’, wrote Shelley… but this poet doesn’t ‘pine for what is not’;
rather she shows how memory transforms lives through the constant toing and froing of consciousness. Punctuated with moments of stillness, when we ‘see into the life of things’, consciousness is not chronological. Such moments of recognition are both poet’s and readers’; they illuminate matters of the heart and of the head…and how intertwined the
Ordinary details resonate: ‘our mothers down the generations casually/
Pegged our lives out there on the washing line’, gloves clutch ‘at brown paper bags/
like holy relics’, ‘Under the trees, a man’s rough call/ Blurry with drink and loneliness,/
Lingers in the hot air.’
This poetry affirms the power of recall:
‘And so your photo
Still sits in front of me,
A haunting, present absence.’
Take the time to read and reflect; this small, still book is ‘a gift for the taking.’
Also by Denise O’Hagan
Thank you for dropping in today and I hope that you have enjoyed the selection of books.. thanks Sally.