A Week in Books · Advanced Review Copy · Beth O'Leary · Blog Tours · Book Hauls · Books · Carol Drinkwater · Chrissie Manby · fiction · Kathleen McGurl · Literary Lowdown · Louise Jensen · Mary Beth Keane · Rebecca Serle · Review Copy · Reviews · Sheila O'Flanagan

Sarah’s Vignettes Literary Lowdown ~ 16/08/2019

Welcome to my first ever weekly round-up of what’s been going on here at Sarah’s Vignettes, on social media, the books I’ve been adding to my shelves and other bookish things. Keep scrolling to get the lowdown.

~ On the blog ~

Ask Again, Yes by Mary Beth Keane

On Tuesday, I shared my review of Ask Again, Yes by Mary Beth Keane as part of the Michael Joseph blog tour. This seems to be the book of the moment and yes, it is worth the hype. It is a powerful and moving family saga.

I also did some behind the scenes work on the blog and added a Reviews A-Z by Book Title to the Reviews section. I’m not sure I’ve ever realised how many book titles actually start with ‘The’ or ‘A’ until I started organising the reviews this way!

~ On social media ~

For #ThrowbackThursday, I shared the link to my first ever blog review. It was for The Forgotten Summer by Carol Drinkwater, published by Michael Joseph in July 2016, and I had forgotten that I had written this review in the style of a letter to the author. The Forgotten Summer is a page-turner that will have you wanting to book a flight to Provence immediately!


On Friday, I supported author Louise Jensen with a little teaser for her new book The Family, due to be published by HQ, Harper Collins, in October. Next week, I’ll share what we did on Tuesday!

~ On my bookshelf ~

I added 4 books to my bookshelf this week.

Photo from the Rooftop Book Club, featuring authors Beth O'Leary, Chrissie Manby, Sheila O'Flanagan and Prima Books Editor, Nina Pottell

On Wednesday, I met up with fellow book bloggers Linda (Linda’s Book Bag), Sharon (Shaz’s Book Blog) and Karen (My Reading Corner) to go to the Rooftop Book Club, hosted by Headline Publishing, Hodder & Stoughton and Quercus with Prima magazine. Authors Sheila O’Flanagan, Beth O’Leary and Chrissie Manby discussed their latest books, writing processes, their lives as authors and other bookish things. The panel was chaired by the fabulous Nina Pottell, Prima books editor. Of course, I couldn’t leave without signed copies of their books!

Her Husband’s Mistake by Sheila O’Flanagan

Her Husband's Mistake by Sheila O'Flanagan

Roxy’s marriage has always been rock solid.

After twenty years, and with two carefree kids, she and Dave are still the perfect couple.

Until the day she comes home unexpectedly, and finds Dave in bed with their attractive, single neighbour.

Suddenly Roxy isn’t sure about anything – her past, the business she’s taken over from her dad, or what her family’s future might be. She’s spent so long caring about everyone else that she’s forgotten what she actually wants. But something has changed. And Roxy has a decision to make.

Whether it’s with Dave, or without him, it’s time for Roxy to start living for herself…


The Flatshare by Beth O’Leary

The Flatshare by Beth O'Leary

Tiffy Moore and Leon Twomey each have a problem and need a quick fix.

Tiffy’s been dumped by her cheating boyfriend and urgently needs a new flat. But earning minimum wage at a quirky publishing house means that her choices are limited in London.

Leon, a palliative care nurse, is more concerned with other people’s welfare than his own. Along with working night shifts looking after the terminally ill, his sole focus is on raising money to fight his brother’s unfair imprisonment.

Leon has a flat that he only uses 9 to 5. Tiffy works 9 to 5 and needs a place to sleep. The solution to their problems? To share a bed of course…

As Leon and Tiffy’s unusual arrangement becomes a reality, they start to connect through Post-It notes left for each other around the flat.

Can true love blossom even in the unlikeliest of situations?
Can true love blossom even if you never see one another?
Or does true love blossom when you are least expecting it?


Three Days in Florence by Chrissie Manby

When a mini-break becomes make or break…

Three Days in Florence by Chrissie Manby

Kathy Courage has never visited the famous Italian city of Florence before, so she’s thrilled when she and her boyfriend Neil are invited there for a wedding. Unfortunately, with Neil’s constant complaining and his teenage children in tow, it’s not exactly the romantic break Kathy was hoping for.

But when a mix-up with her flights leaves Kathy stranded in the city, she decides to embrace the unexpected and stay on alone.

What follows is a life-changing few days in the Tuscan sun, as Kathy begins to question the choices that have led her here. With the help of the colourful Innocenti family, who offer Kathy a place to stay, she gradually begins to realise that there’s a much bigger world out there, if only she can be brave enough to explore it.

Could Italy hold the answers to her future happiness? Or is Kathy destined to return to her old life?


In Five Years by Rebecca Serle

In Five Years by Rebecca Serle

The lovely organisers of the Rooftop Book Club put together a great goodie bag and included this proof copy of In Five Years by Rebecca Serle. It’s due out in the UK in March 2020 and sounds fab! I can’t wait to read it.

Where do you see yourself in five years? 


Type-A Manhattan lawyer Dannie Kohan has been in possession of her meticulously crafted answer since she understood the question. On the day that she nails the most important job interview of her career and gets engaged to the perfect man, she’s well on her way to fulfilling her life goals.


That night Dannie falls asleep only to wake up in a different apartment with a different ring on her finger, and in the company of a very different man. The TV is on in the background, and she can just make out the date. It’s the same night – December 15th – but 2025, five years in the future.

In Five Years by Rebecca Serle


It was just a dream, she tells herself when she wakes, but it felt so real… Determined to ignore the odd experience, she files it away in the back of her mind.
That is, until four and a half years later, when Dannie turns down a street and there, standing on the corner, is the man from her dream…

~ On my bedside table ~

The Stationmaster's Daughter by Kathleen McGurl

I’m currently reading The Stationmaster’s Daughter by Kathleen McGurl for my stop on the blog tour. I’ll be sharing my review here on 26 August 2019.

What have you been reading this week? Let me know by leaving a comment in the box below.

Until next week, happy reading!

Books · Carol Drinkwater · Other Bookish Things · Reviews

Thank you Penguin! (@Carol4OliveFarm @MichaelJBooks ‏@PenguinUKBooks)

**I first published this post on an old blog site on 8 September 2016**

To coincide with today’s paperback release of the wonderful The Forgotten Summer by Carol Drinkwater, the Marketing Team at Michael Joseph, Penguin Random House, have put together some great cards with quotes from bloggers and readers to share. How fabulous is that?!

quote_2 (2)

Click here to read my review.

Books · Carol Drinkwater · Reviews

The Forgotten Summer by Carol Drinkwater (@Carol4OliveFarm) @MichaelJBooks

**I first published this post on an old blog site on 2 May 2016**

I wanted to share with you the best book I have read this year. The Forgotten Summer, published in February 2016, is the latest book from one of my favourite authors: Carol Drinkwater. DSC_0236

My initial idea for this post was going to be a detailed review of the book. I had read several good and in-depth reviews of The Forgotten Summer and thought, “I can do that. How hard can it be?” Well, as I put pen to paper, I struggled. It was not because I didn’t know what to say about the book. I loved this book and I could talk about it all day long. When it came to writing about it, I just didn’t know where to begin.

Continue reading “The Forgotten Summer by Carol Drinkwater (@Carol4OliveFarm) @MichaelJBooks”