There are three things which attracted me to this book. Firstly, it's a book with a picture of beautiful old books on the front. Guaranteed to make aThere are three things which attracted me to this book. Firstly, it's a book with a picture of beautiful old books on the front. Guaranteed to make a true book lover swoon. It's main character also works in a book shop and part of the story is set there. Finally, it's a story that intermingles past and present. My very favourite kind.
And oh how I did love it every bit as much as I hoped. Weaving the stories of two woman and spanning eighty years, this is beautifully written and at times achingly sad. Mrs Sinclair's Suitcase begins with Roberta in the present. Roberta works in The Old and New Bookshop and is fascinated by the old notes and letters she finds hidden amongst the pages of the second hand books brought into the store. But when she finds one belonging to her grandmother, Dorothea, it hints at a dark secret. One which changes the family history of which she was so sure.
I adored the war time love story between Dorothea and Polish Squadron leader Jan. It was so pure and elegantly written, I couldn't help but fall in love myself. The alternating chapters into Dorothea's past where probably my favourite and Louise Walters evoked the time and atmosphere so perfectly and drew me in completely.
I also loved how Roberta's story developed alongside Dorothea's and was as much a journey of discovery for herself as it was to find out the secrets her Grandmother had kept hidden for so many decades. Aside from being Granddaughter and Grandmother, Roberta and Dorothea are linked by the things in their lives which remain unsaid and a fear of letting others in. This is all tied together beautiful in the closing chapters, which really are beautifully and tenderly written.
Mrs Sinclair's Suitcase is exactly the kind of novel I love. It's deeply romantic without being over bearing, it brings the two women to life so perfectly, faults and all. It's also subtly emotional, and I found myself with tears running down my face by the end. Despite being a début novel, Louise Walters easily blends lyrical and stark honest prose and keeps a perfect pace throughout. I absolutely loved this book and will be watching out for more from this author in the future. ...more
666 Park Avenue is like an old fashioned bonkbuster mixed with the supernatural. You have the orphan girl wooed by a charming, rich and sexy guy. But666 Park Avenue is like an old fashioned bonkbuster mixed with the supernatural. You have the orphan girl wooed by a charming, rich and sexy guy. But he doesn't come alone, his family are old socialites of New York, filthy rich, influential and feuding with other wealthy family dynasties. And they're all witches! Seriously, I don't know if anyone's mixed the two before (I generally don't read adult paranormal romance...maybe I should) but what a PERFECT match. It makes for an addictive, guilty pleasure read and I enjoyed every word!
Lynne was by far my favourite character...she's EVIL! Gabriella Pierce may cliché the characters a little, but it works perfectly and she gives the reader exactly what you want from this type of book. It's fast, glamorous, and full of shocking revelations about the family. Because the two themes went so well together, I had no problem with accepting witchcraft in this story...it's done very well in my opinion. It's quite subtle in the detail but powerful in the execution!
It isn't the most life changing book you'll come across, but it's fun from beginning to end. It's also quite steamy at times, so one for the grown ups I think! This is the type of book you'll enjoy when you need some good old comfort reading...accompanied by wine and chocolate to make a perfect evening of indulgence. With a cliff-hanger ending, I can't wait to get my hands on the sequel, released in September!...more