Monday, November 28, 2022

Looking For Jane by Heather Marshall



When Angela discovers a mysterious letter containing a life-shattering confession in a stack of forgotten letters, she begins to look for the intended recipient. Her search takes her to the 1970s and 80s, when a group of daring women operated an illegal underground abortion network known only by its whispered code name: Jane . . .


As a teenager, Dr. Evelyn Taylor was forced to give her baby up for adoption. Swearing she'll do everything she can to make sure other women have the right to choose, she joins the Jane Network to provide safe but illegal abortions. There, she crosses paths with Nancy, who was told that if she ever found herself 'in a position', she should ask for Jane. Nancy soon becomes the Network's newest volunteer, desperately trying to help others while family secrets threaten everything she knows to be true.

Over the years, Evelyn, Nancy, and Angela's lives intertwine to reveal the devastating consequences that come from a lack of choice, and the buried secrets that will always find a way to the surface . . .

I received a copy of this from the publisher Hodder and Staughton, and Netgalley in return for an honest review.

I read this with Kath as our November buddy read, although I really should apologize as I took ages reading this and Kath finished it way before I did. But that was down to me being tired, nothing to do with the book. 

The story was so good, I loved it. A heartbreaking and beautiful tale of 3 women, whose lives intertwine and connect. I loved learning about all 3 of them.

I wasn’t surprised at how hard things were back then for women and girls who needed an abortion, and how scary it was for them trying to find it. What I was surprised with though was realizing  that this was happening not so long ago. What those women and girls went through, the fear of being caught, I can’t even imagine. But also what the girls went through in those homes, the Sisters treating them the way they did, taking their babies without consent, giving them away and sometimes even selling them. 

But the Jane’s, well they were lifesavers weren't they. I’ve been researching them as I’m really interested in what they have done. Amazing women standing up for a much needed cause. They put their lives at stake to do what they did. 

I’d definitely recommend this book, it’s opened my eyes to just how scary and frightening this all was. I was about to say I’m glad things have changed and its different now, but honestly, in some places it still hasn’t.

Mad Honey by Jodi Picoult and Jennifer Finley Boylan


Olivia fled her abusive marriage to return to her hometown and take over the family beekeeping business when her son was six. Now Asher is over 6 feet tall and in his last year of high school, a kind, good-looking, popular ice hockey star with a tiny sprite of a new girlfriend who Olivia loves. Then Lily is found with a catastrophic head injury at the bottom of the stairs - and Asher is arrested on a charge of murder... what was the truth of their relationship?

I received a copy of this from the publisher Hodder and Staughton, and Netgalley in return for an honest review.

I love Jodi Picoult and had my eyes on Netgalley for this one popping up early, so I was pretty excited to get approved for it! I’ve never read any of Jennifer Finley Boylands books but I will be on the lookout now!

This one reminded me of Jodi’s old days, back to her original style of shocks and twists. I loved it, every page. The twist halfway through is something that neither me or my buddy readers (some of the girls also got it approved and we read it alongside each other) guessed what was coming. I wont say any more as to not give anything away.

I loved the characters, I really felt like I knew them, which is the way Ms JP always makes me feel in her writing. I learned a lot about Beekeeping and Bees in general while reading this, I love how there’s always something in her stories which make you want to learn more. And then this huge controversial topic which blows you away.

Honestly, just give this one a go, whether you’ve read either authors books before or not, I’d suggest you read this one. Also read the authors words after the book, I love the story of how thes two wonderful ladies came up with the idea for the book.

Thanks again to Netgalley and Hodder and Staughton for my advanced arc, obviously I went out on release day and bought myself a copy :)

Nobody But Us by Laure Van Rensburg


Steven Harding is a handsome, well-respected professor. Ellie Masterson is a wide-eyed young college student. Together, they are driving south from New York, for their first holiday: three days in an isolated cabin, far from the city.

Ahead of them, the promise of long, dark nights - and the chance to explore one another's bodies, away from disapproving eyes. It should be a perfect, romantic trip for two.

Except that he's not who he says he is. But then again, neither is she…

I was really excited to be on the tour for this one, I went into it not knowing much about the book, or the storyline really, and I’m glad I did! 

This book was, as I described it immediately after finishing, bat-shit crazy. I don’t even want to go into too much about it here as to spoil anything for anyone, but the twists and turns this one takes is mental. Two liars, a remote cabin, no phone signal, no neighbors, and a lot of secrets… what could go wrong!

If you like psychological thrillers with a bit of blood and gore too, I would recommend you check this one out!

Thanks so much to Penguin Random House for my gifted physical copy of this book, and for asking me to be on the tour. 

Small Things Like These by Claire Keegan


Set in a small Irish town and following a coal and timber merchant confronted by the past, this magnetic tale of determination and quiet heroism from the author of Foster is as hopeful as it is haunting.

It is 1985, in an Irish town. During the weeks leading up to Christmas, Bill Furlong, a coal and timber merchant, faces into his busiest season. As he does the rounds, he feels the past rising up to meet him - and encounters the complicit silences of a people controlled by the Church.

This book has been on my radar for a little while so I decided to jump in a few nights ago. This book is lovely, I loved the descriptions of Furlongs work day, his home life. Honestly the book was set in 1985, but it gave off feels of being able to be set anytime from then to now. Claire Keegan writes with such beauty, I could feel myself walking along through the snowy streets, feel the cold, and feel the sense of community in their little town. 

The story is short but packs a punch, and the end made me feel quite happy and sad at the same time. It’s hard to believe the things that were going on weren’t so long ago, in fact the year I was born, 1985.

No wonder it was shortlisted for awards, and won the Orwell Prize for Political Fiction.

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Looking For Jane by Heather Marshall