Adele Parks · Afia Atakora · Anstey Harris · Beth O'Leary · Books · Elizabeth Buchan · Eve Chase · Heidi Swain · Julie Cohen · Juliet Conlin · Kate Eberlen · Literary Lowdown

Sarah’s Vignettes Literary Lowdown ~ 13 April – 3 May 2020

Hello and welcome to this round-up of book life at Sarah’s Vignettes.

How are you? Not much has been happening around here from week to week so I thought I’d save up the book stuff and put a 3 weeks round -up in one!

Keep scrolling to get the lowdown on what’s been going on here at Sarah’s Vignettes, the books I’ve been adding to my shelves, and other bookish delights.

~ On my blog ~

Conjure Women by Afia Atakora

On 18th April, it was my stop on the 4th Estate blog tour for Conjure Women by Afia Atakora. It is an intelligently constructed, extensively researched and powerful debut that got under my skin.

Sisters of Berlin by Juliet Conlin

On 21st April, I welcomed Juliet Conlin to the blog. She was talking about the inspiration behind her latest novel Sisters of Berlin.

The Museum of Broken Promises by Elizabeth Buchan

On Tuesday, I shared an extract from the first chapter of The Museum of Broken Promises by Elizabeth Buchan. I bumped the book further to the top of my to-be-read pile after reading it. It’s fab!

~ On my calendar ~

For one hour a week, I have enjoyed the normality that #AtHomeWithBATC offers.

Each week, the Books and the City team at Simon & Schuster UK bring us something new to read and then follow up the week after with an author live chat on their Twitter page, @TeamBATC. Just ask your question using #AtHomeWithBATC and join the conversations with authors and readers. It’s great fun!

On 14th April, I turned up at a chat with Heidi Swain and last Wednesday, a chat with Anstey Harris. You can follow all the fun and games from these chats and others by following #AtHomeWithBATC.

~ On my social media ~

On Tuesday, I was thrilled to support Julie Cohen with the cover reveal for her upcoming historical fiction novel Spirited. I adore this cover and I am so excited to read the book!

THE BACK COVER READS:

FAITH.

Viola has an impossible talent. Searching for meaning in her grief, she uses her photography to feel closer to her late father, taking solace from the skills he taught her—and to keep her distance from her husband. But her pictures seem to capture things invisible to the eye…

COURAGE.

Henriette is a celebrated spirit medium, carrying nothing but her secrets with her as she travels the country. When she meets Viola, a powerful connection sparks between them—but Victorian society is no place for reckless women.

LOVE.

Meanwhile, on the other side of the world, invisible threads join Viola and Henriette to another woman who lives in secrecy, hiding her dangerous act of rebellion in plain sight.

~ On my bookshelf ~

I’ve added 3 books to my bookshelf this week.

At the end of May, I’m taking part in the blog tour for The Glass House by Eve Chase. I love a house with secrets so I can’t wait to dive into this story.

The Glass House by Eve Chase

Outside a remote manor house in an idyllic wood, a baby girl is found.

The Harrington family takes her in and disbelief quickly turns to joy. They’re grieving a terrible tragedy of their own and the beautiful baby fills them with hope, lighting up the house’s dark, dusty corners.

Desperate not to lose her to the authorities, they keep her secret, suspended in a blissful summer world where normal rules of behaviour – and the law – don’t seem to apply.

But within days a body will lie dead in the grounds.

And their dreams of a perfect family will shatter like glass.

Years later, the truth will need to be put back together again, piece by piece . . .


I went to the supermarket earlier this week. Browsing the book aisle saved my sanity! I picked up a copy of Only You by Kate Eberlen and The Switch by Beth O’Leary.

Only You by Kate Eberlen

One person is all it takes to change a lifetime . . . But how will you know if they’re the one?

Present
Letty and Alf are the only English speakers at an Italian class in Rome, where they discover the language that really connects them is dance: Letty’s first love was ballet, while Alf was a junior ballroom champion. They come from different worlds, until the moment they waltz around the Piazza Navona, and everything changes.

Past
But one moment can’t change the past, and it’s clear that Alf and Letty still have their secrets. What caused them to leave their lives behind in England? And who, or what, are they running from? As their relationship deepens, it becomes harder and harder to tell the truth . . .

Future
When the unthinkable happens, Letty returns to London and Alf to Blackpool. Will they spend their lives apart, or discover a future together?

The Switch by Beth O’Leary

Leena is too young to feel stuck.
Eileen is too old to start over.
Maybe it’s time for The Switch…


Ordered to take a two-month sabbatical after blowing a big presentation at work, Leena escapes to her grandmother Eileen’s house for some overdue rest. Newly single and about to turn eighty, Eileen would like a second chance at love. But her tiny Yorkshire village doesn’t offer many eligible gentlemen… So Leena proposes a solution: a two-month swap. Eileen can live in London and look for love, and Leena will look after everything in rural Yorkshire.

But with a rabble of unruly OAPs to contend with, as well as the annoyingly perfect – and distractingly handsome – local schoolteacher, Leena learns that switching lives isn’t straightforward. Back in London, Eileen is a huge hit with her new neighbours, and with the online dating scene. But is her perfect match nearer to home than she first thought?

~ On my bedside table ~

Since my last lowdown post, I have read Just My Luck by Adele Parks and The Truths and Triumphs of Grace Atherton by Anstey Harris. They are very different stories: one is a domestic noir, the other a story of hope and starting over. They are both excellent reads. Watch out for my reviews!

Just My Luck by Adele Parks

It’s the stuff dreams are made of – a lottery win so big, it changes everything.

For fifteen years, Lexi and Jake have played the same six numbers with their friends, the Pearsons and the Heathcotes. Over dinner parties, fish & chip suppers and summer barbecues, they’ve discussed the important stuff – the kids, marriages, jobs and houses – and they’ve laughed off their disappointment when they failed to win anything more than a tenner.

But then, one Saturday night, the unthinkable happens. There’s a rift in the group. Someone doesn’t tell the truth. And soon after, six numbers come up which change everything forever.

Lexi and Jake have a ticket worth £18 million. And their friends are determined to claim a share of it.

The Truths and Triumphs of Grace Atherton by Anstey Harris

Grace Atherton, a talented cellist, is in love with David. Together in their apartment in Paris, Grace and David are happy until an unexpected event changes everything.

Nadia is seventeen and furious. She knows that love will only let her down: if she is going to succeed it will be on her own terms.

At eighty-six Maurice Williams has discovered a lot about love in his long life, and even more about people. And yet he keeps secrets.

When Grace’s life falls apart in the most shocking of ways Maurice and Nadia come to her rescue, helping her to find happiness and hope through the healing power of friendship.


I’m currently reading Where We Belong by Anstey Harris. This is Anstey’s second novel and it is captivating. It is out in hardback on 14th May.

Where We Belong by Anstey Harris

One summer.
One house.
One family learning to love again.

Cate Morris and her son, Leo, are homeless, adrift. They’ve packed up the boxes from their London home, said goodbye to friends and colleagues, and now they are on their way to ‘Hatters Museum of the Wide Wide World – to stay just for the summer. Cate doesn’t want to be there, in Richard’s family home without Richard to guide her any more. And she knows for sure that Araminta, the retainer of the collection of dusty objects and stuffed animals, has taken against them. But they have nowhere else to go. They have to make the best of it.

But Richard hasn’t told Cate the truth about his family’s history. And something about the house starts to work its way under her skin.
Can she really walk away, once she knows the truth?


What books have you been reading and buying? Let me know by leaving a reply in the box below.

Until next time, happy reading!

2 thoughts on “Sarah’s Vignettes Literary Lowdown ~ 13 April – 3 May 2020

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