Thursday, 17 August 2017

The Cottingley Secret by Hazel Gaynor: Exclusive excerpt and giveaway.

Thanks to Harper Collins in Ireland, I have an exclusive excerpt from Hazel Gaynor's latest novel, The Cottingley Secret, published on 7th September. There is also an amazing giveaway of an  early copy of the book and a fairy house, for one lucky winner! Just enter via rafflecopter link below. Open IRL/UK and closes on 25th August. Good luck!

Giveaway Prize

The Blurb

The New York Times bestselling author turns the clock back to a time when two young girls convinced the world that fairies really did exist…
1917: When two young cousins, Frances Griffiths and Elsie Wright from Cottingley, England, announce they have photographed fairies at the bottom of the garden, their parents are astonished. But when the great novelist, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, endorses the photographs’ authenticity, the girls become a sensation; their discovery offering something to believe in amid a world ravaged by war.

One hundred years later When Olivia Kavanagh finds an old manuscript and a photograph in her late grandfather’s bookshop she becomes fascinated by the story of the two young girls who mystified the world. As Olivia is drawn into events a century ago, she becomes aware of the past and the present intertwining, blurring her understanding of what is real and what is imagined. As she begins to understand why a nation once believed in fairies, will Olivia find a way to believe in herself? 

Exclusive Excerpt from The Cottingley Secret:

                   Fairies will not be rushed. I know this now; know I must
                   be patient.
                   Stiff and still in my favourite seat, formed from the
                   natural bend in the bough of a willow tree, I am wildly
                   alert, detecting every shifting shape and shadow; every
                   snap and crack of twig. I dangle my bare feet in the beck,
                   enjoying the cool rush of the water as it finds a natural
                   course between my toes. I imagine that if I sat here for
                   a hundred years, the water would smooth and round
                   them, like the pebbles I collect from the riverbed and keep
                   in my pockets.
                   In the distance I can see Mr Gardner, the man they sent
                   from London, with his round spectacles and bow tie and
                   endless questions. He peers around the trunk of an oak
                   tree, watches for a moment, and scribbles his observations
                   in his notebook. I know what he writes: remarks about
                   the weather, our precise location, the peculiar sense of
                   something different in the air.
                   Elsie stands on the riverbank beside me, her camera
                   ready. ‘Can’t you ’tice them?’ she urges. ‘Say some secret
                   I shrug. ‘They’re here, Elsie. I can feel them.’ But like
                   the soft breath of wind that brushes against my skin, the
                   things we feel cannot always be seen.

                   I know that the best time to see them is in that perfect
                   hour before sunset when the sun sinks low on the horizon
                   like a ripe peach and sends shafts of gold bursting through
                   the trees. The ‘in between’, I call it. No longer day, not
                   yet night; some other place and time when magic hangs
                   in the air and the light plays tricks on the eye. You might
                   easily miss the flash of violet and emerald, but I – according
                   to my teacher, Mrs Hogan – am ‘a curiously observant
                   child’. I see their misty forms among the flowers and leaves.
                   I know my patience will be rewarded if I watch and listen,
                   if I believe.

                  Tired of waiting, Elsie takes her camera and returns to
                  the house, where Aunt Polly is waiting to hear if we
                  managed any new photographs. The others soon follow:
                  Mr Gardner, the newspaper reporters, the ‘fairy hunters’
                  who come to snoop and trample all over the wildflowers
                  and spoil things. My little friends won’t appear just to
                  please these onlookers. They move according to the patterns
                  and rhythms of nature, not the whims of so-called experts
                  from London. Fairies, I understand. These men, I do not.
                  Glad to be alone again, I watch the pond skaters and
                  dragonflies, listen to the steady giggle of the water, sense
                  the prickle of anticipation all around me. The sun dazzles
                  on the water and I squint to shield my eyes as the heat
                  at the back of my neck makes me drowsy and tugs at my
                  eyelids, heavy with the desire to sleep.
                  I press my palms against the bark, smoothed from
                  decades of weather and countless children who have sat
                  here. How many of them have seen, I wonder? How many
                  of them have known? I wait and I wait, whispering the
                  words from my picture book: ‘“There shall be no veil
                  between them, / Though her head be old and wise. / You
                  shall know that she has seen them, / By the glory in her
                  And then . . .

                  The lightest ringing at my ears. The slightest movement
                  of fern and leaf.
                  My heart flutters. My eyes widen with excitement.
                  A flash of vibrant emerald. Another of softest
                  I lean forward. Draw in my breath. Don’t make a sound.
                  They are here.

The Cottingley Secret is published on 7th September in TPB and ebook format. You can order your copy via amazon link below:

To be in with a chance of winning an early edition of The Cottingley Secret, with a delightful and magical Irish Fairy Door (you just need to believe), just enter via rafflecopter link below:


Monday, 14 August 2017

Book Review: Every Last Lie by Mary Kubica.

Clara's husband and four-year-old daughter are involved in a single-car collision, where only Maisie survives. The police say that Nick was driving too fast on a dangerous stretch of road and it was a tragic accident. However, Maisie begins to have nightmares and talks of a "Bad Man" in a black car chasing her father, before the accident. 

Grieving for her husband, with a new born baby and a demanding daughter, Clara is drained. Maisie's nightmares begin to seep into their everyday lives and her fears raise Clara's suspicions surrounding Nick's death. Was he being followed? Who was this "Bad Man". Who is responsible for destroying her life, and that of her children?

When Clara opens the door to a uniformed officer, her whole life crumbles in one moment. She spends the next few days in a daze and cannot even bear to tell her daughter that her father is dead. Clara's father helps out as much as he can, but as her mother is suffering from dementia, he is limited to how much time he can spend with his daughter and grandchildren. When the bills start to mount up, Clara becomes aware that Nick's dental practice was not as successful as she was led to believe. The police are not treating the accident as suspicious, but she is. What else was Nick hiding from her? Pushing her grief aside, she decides to visit the scene of the crash and hopes to uncover the truth. But sometimes the truth hurts.

Mary Kubica tells the story from two different angles: Clara's, directly after the accident and Nick's , in the weeks leading up to the crash. The reader is taken on a journey of suspense, doubt and hidden truths, being drip fed information at a steady pace. Clara is carrying a huge load and the weight can be felt on every page. Nick bears a burden that he cannot share and the pressure intensifies, on a daily basis, at great speed. The two stories finally connect toward the end of the novel and the reader finally learns what happened on that fateful night. A tense psychological thriller, with home-truths , interspersed with trauma, grief and despair. Kubica once again provides a twisty, gripping read which demands to be read in one fell swoop. Perhaps wait until your partner is safely home, before starting?

Every Last Lie is published by HQ and is available in PB and ebook format. You can order your copy, with Free Worldwide Postage, HERE. The ebook can be ordered via amazon link below:

Sunday, 13 August 2017

Book Review: The Woman At Number 24 by Juliet Ashton

A Georgian villa in Notting Hill. A mixed bunch of residents. A houseful of stories. Sarah lives on the floor above her ex-husband and his new wife. She is supposedly renovating their apartment, in order to sell and split the proceeds. In reality, she is in denial and struggling to move on. When Tom and Jane move in to number 24, the atmosphere rises a notch and the residents are soon enamored with the enigmatic young couple. 

Tom is an instant hit with Sarah, showing his gentle nature in his approach to the youngest resident of the house. (Una is a timid little girl, who is damaged by her parents separation and refuses to speak). Meanwhile, in the basement flat, lives Mavis. An elderly, cranky lady who is a law unto herself. All the residents begin to open their doors, albeit tentatively,  and as the summer progresses, new friendships form and the building finds a new lease of life. There are secret liaisons; hidden truths; unspoken words; hedgehog rescues...

Opening up with Sarah attending the wedding of her ex-husband, the tensions within the walls of number 24 become apparent. A child psychologist,  she is dragged down with a sense of unworthiness and is uncertain of her future. She has lost a husband, a friend and her joie de vivre.  Una is a child that lingers on the edge of the story, with her sad eyes and solitary stress. Tom is the handsome neighbour who adds some sparkle to the tale, but surprising the reader along the way. Jane takes Sarah under her wing and the two form a firm friendship. Leo (Sarah's ex) is smarmy and repugnant, with his new wife, Helena, rubbing salt in Sarah's newly opened wounds. Mavis is an eccentric character and she saves the book from becoming  run-of-the-mill. She is sarcastic, quirky and her unusual personality unfolds gradually.

The house is brought to life, page by page, and the interlinking stories are all told from Sarah's point of view. A warm and genuine read, slowly paced but with plenty to keep the reader entertained. (Mikey the hedgehog deserves his own picture book).

Well worth adding to your wishlist, The Woman At Number 24 is ideal for escaping the madness of your own household; the daily commute; the pile of ironing. Peeking into the lives of others, without having to leave the house...

**I received a copy of this title, from the publisher, in return for an honest review.**

The Woman At Number 24 is published by Simon and Schuster and is available in PB and ebook format. You can order your copy, with Free Worldwide Delivery, HERE. The ebook is available via amazon link below:

Friday, 4 August 2017

LMFM August #LateLunchBookclub recommended reads.

August Recommendations 

It is time for my August #LateLunchBookclub choices. It can be hard to please all readers, so I have chosen from different genres in the hope of finding you a perfect summer read. All these books are available from your local bookstore, library or online. (Remember, if you can't find a book in-store, your bookseller can order it in for you.)

I really hope you enjoy the recommendations and feel free to leave me a comment on the blog, twitter: @margaretbmadden or facebook: Bleach House Library. Follow #LateLunchBookclub for all LMFM book reviews, interviews and chances to win some book bundles.  #LateLunchBookclub Podcasts are also available on the LMFM website. So, here we go...


BOOK OF THE MONTH: I Found My Tribe by Ruth Fitzmaurice

Ruth’s tribe are her lively children and her filmmaker husband, Simon, who has Motor Neurone Disease and can only communicate with his eyes. Ruth’s other ‘tribe’ are the friends who gather at the cove in Greystones, Co. Wicklow, and regularly throw themselves into the freezing cold water, just for kicks. 

‘The Tragic Wives’ Swimming Club’, as they jokingly call themselves, meet to cope with the extreme challenges life puts in their way, not to mention the monster waves rolling over the horizon. Swimming is just one of the daily coping strategies as Ruth fights to preserve the strong but now silent connection with her husband. As she tells the story of their marriage, via diagnosis to their current precarious situation, Ruth also charts her passion for sea swimming – culminating in a midnight swim under the full moon on her wedding anniversary.

An invocation to all of us to love as hard as we can, and live even harder, I Found My Tribe is an urgent and uplifting letter to a husband, family, friends, the natural world and the brightness of life.

Female FictionThe Summer of Impossible Things by Rowan Coleman

If you could change the past, would you?

Thirty years ago, something terrible happened to Luna’s mother. Something she’s only prepared to reveal after her death. 

Now Luna and her sister have a chance to go back to their mother’s birthplace and settle her affairs. But in Brooklyn they find more questions than answers, until something impossible – magical – happens to Luna, and she meets her mother as a young woman back in the summer of 1977. 

At first Luna’s thinks she’s going crazy, but if she can truly travel back in time, she can change things. But in doing anything – everything – to save her mother’s life, will she have to sacrifice her own? 

Non-FictionMy Shitty Twenties: A Memoir by Emily Morris

The baby’s father’s parting shot was “Enjoy your impending shitty, snotty, vomity twenties.”

When Emily Morris was 22 and half way through university, she found out she was pregnant. It felt like an alien invasion but her instincts took over and, despite being totally unmaternal, she found herself going ahead with the pregnancy.
My Shitty Twenties is an award-winning memoir about being a single mum. Emily Morris started writing when her son was two and she needed to try to find something funny in a crap, banal day. Six years later, this is her story.

Classic Fiction: Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier

Last night I dreamt I went to Manderley again . . .

Working as a lady's companion, the orphaned heroine of Rebecca learns her place. Life begins to look very bleak until, on a trip to the South of France, she meets Maxim de Winter, a handsome widower whose sudden proposal of marriage takes her by surprise. Whisked from glamorous Monte Carlo to his brooding estate, Manderley, on the Cornish Coast, the new Mrs de Winter finds Max a changed man. And the memory of his dead wife Rebecca is forever kept alive by the forbidding Mrs Danvers . . .
Not since Jane Eyre has a heroine faced such difficulty with the Other Woman. An international bestseller that has never gone out of print, Rebecca is the haunting story of a young girl consumed by love and the struggle to find her identity.

Crime Fiction: Rattle by Fiona Cummins

He has planned well. He leads two lives. In one he's just like anyone else. But in the other he is the caretaker of his family's macabre museum.
Now the time has come to add to his collection. He is ready to feed his obsession, and he is on the hunt.
Jakey Frith and Clara Foyle have something in common. They have what he needs.
What begins is a terrifying cat-and-mouse game between the sinister collector, Jakey's father and Etta Fitzroy, a troubled detective investigating a spate of abductions.
Set in London's Blackheath, Rattle by Fiona Cummins explores the seam of darkness that runs through us all; the struggle between light and shadow, redemption and revenge.
It is a glimpse into the mind of a sinister psychopath. And it's also a story about not giving up hope when it seems that all hope is already lost.

Here's hoping you enjoy some of these recommended reads.


 From myself and Gerry Kelly, Happy Reading!

Thursday, 3 August 2017

Book Review: The Iron Age by Arja Kajermo.

A young girl commences the story of her harsh childhood in 1950s Finland. Living in poverty, the girl and her family battle through extreme weather and with the bare essentials. They have no electricity, wear hand-me-down clothes and are on the receiving end of the sharp tongue and temper of their veteran father. Local folklore and legend add a new dimension to the children's lives and they hover halfway between fear and hope. The family are forced to leave their small holding, when they are disinherited.  "Mother and the baby and me were put on the train. Father went in the hired lorry from the village with Tuomas and Tapio, two cows and three piglets." The boys are bullied in school and a disastrous night sees their new life abruptly halted. Once again the family move, this time to Sweden, leaving one child behind. "a country that had been at peace for well over a hundred years, where nobody knew anyone who had been in a war, where people look prosperous and healthy, where people seemed at ease with themselves and at peace with the world". For a girl who is coming-of-age, this brings temporary hope. But it is short-lived: "But we brought our war with us. The shrapnel that had gone into Father's legs, in 1944 in the painful retreat when the war was lost, had somehow worked its way into his children. Each one of us carried a shard of that iron in our hearts."

As with all immigrants, school is problematic. Language; culture; attitudes. The girl soon tires of her incomprehensible surroundings. "We were now what Mother called ummikko. We were people who could only speak our own language and we could not understand the language around us. And the people around us could not understand us. It was a terrible fate to be ummikko. It was like being deaf and dumb Mother said." She misses the brother they have left behind and in an act of defiance, chooses to stop speaking, instead, escaping into the world of books. From fairytales to Enid Blyton; Pippi Longstocking to The Little Mermaid; Robinson Crusoe to Anna Karinina. "I did not just read the books. I lived the stories in the books."

This is a small, yet perfectly formed examination of a child with longing. Longing for love and respect; for equality and acceptance; for a brighter future. She is sharp and sassy beyond her years and despite her abusive upbringing, she continues to look toward the light. She uses her imagination to escape the realities of her situation and her story is inspiring, heartwarming and full of magical release. There are stunning illustrations (by Susanna Kajermo Torner) dotted throughout the book, depicting the thoughts of the un-named girl and they are a delightful bonus. An abrupt ending leaves the reader gasping for more but also signifies the reaching of age. The Iron Age is a captivating read. Short in length but loaded with depth. It is at times difficult, but the young narrator lifts the tale to its inspiring stature. A fine debut from a distinctive new literary voice.


ARJA KAJERMO has contributed cartoons to the feminist publisher Attic Press and occasionally to the Sunday Press, The Irish Times, Image magazine, Magill and others. Her strip Dublin Four ran in the Sunday Tribune. She now draws the strip Tuula in the Sunday edition of a Swedish daily newspaper. In 2014 she was shortlisted for the prestigious Davy Byrnes Award for her short story The Iron Age,upon which this novel is based. Arja lives in Dublin.

The Iron Age is published by Tramp Press and is available in PB and ebook format. You can order your copy, with Free Worldwide Postage, HERE. The ebook can be ordered via amazon link below:

Tuesday, 1 August 2017

The Treatment by C.L. Taylor. Review from Mia Madden, aged 13.

Review from Mia Madden, aged 13.

This is the stunning YA debut from C.L. Taylor. It is about sixteen-year-old Drew Finch, who's brother, Mason, has been sent to a reforming school.  One day, Drew meets Dr. Cobey, a person who has been working at the school. Cobey gives Drew a letter from Mason saying that the school has been brainwashing teenagers. She dismisses it at first, thinking that her younger brother is just pranking her, but then she starts to grow worried. What if her brother is being serious? What if Norton House actually was brainwashing teenagers?

She does a little bit of research and finds nothing, except for a single person claiming to know the truth about Norton House. Drew meets up with this person, who calls themself Zed Green. Zed brings her boyfriend, who was a victim of Norton House's 'treatment'. The boy, that was once a rebellious skater-kid, was now a mindless, polite, contributor to society. Drew decides to take action. She has to find a way to be sent off to Norton House to rescue Mason, without raising too much suspicion. Will she get to the school to save Mason? And will she be able to avoid the treatment, herself?

I would never be able to do this book justice. I absolutely adored it. It's probably the best book I've read this year and I would be surprised if it doesn't win some form of award. C.L. Taylor is now my favourite (non-Irish) YA author. I just couldn't see the end coming! I love Drew's character, probably because she reminded me of myself. At one stage, she claims she was Emo. I'm sort of an Emo now. I mean if she listens to Evanescence, Fall Out Boy, Paramore and other bands that I like, she's basically an older, British, fictional version of me! Anyway, I would definitely recommend this book for ages 11+.

The Treatment is published by HQ Young Adult on 19th Oct 2017, in PB and ebook format. You can pre-order your copy via amazon link below:

**We received a copy of this title, from the publishers, in return for an honest review...

Monday, 31 July 2017

Book Review: Letters From The Suitcase by Rosheen and Cal Finnegan.

**This review originally appeared in Sunday Independent on 17th July 2017

Rosheen Francis never got a chance to know her father, David.  A naval officer during WWII, he never made it home. His wife, Mary, eventually re-married and rarely talked about her first love. However, just before her death, she gifted her daughter something extraordinary: a trunk which contained over five years-worth of correspondence between Mary and David. This book reveals the story of a politically-aware couple, their determination to marry and their heartbreak at being separated by David’s postings abroad. The letters begin in 1938, when the intensity of their new-found love is apparent and their visits are frequent. Mary finds herself working as a secretary at Bletchley Park, while David begins his Naval training. They agonise over weekend-leave and the opportunities to meet up steadily decrease. They have married in secret and dream of beginning their new life together. Their letters are full of hopes, dreams and complete devotion to each other: “your letter was the most perfect of letters, and will be my most valued possession always, because it is the outward sign of the wonderful, unbelievable knowledge that you love me as much as I love you, completely, with all my mental and physical strength and for ever.”

By 1940, David is in a Skegness training camp and his letters are light-hearted accounts of daily life on a naval base. However, the harshness of the camp’s conditions is not ignored. He describes wonderful concerts, yet in the same letter he tells of the death of a man from exposure and the ongoing epidemic of bronchitis and pneumonia. All of this before they even leave Britain. The same letter ends with a note of positivity: “It’s really miraculous how much one can be in love and it’s even more wonderful to think that we found each other so early and so young, so that the rest of our lives will be spent together”. The letters become more intermittent as David heads for Africa, and onto India, while Mary raises baby Rosheen in the rubble that is London. The insight afforded by the trunk-full of correspondence is both entrancing and heart-breaking. David’s postings abroad result in wonderfully descriptive vignettes, while Mary’s independence flourishes under extremely difficult circumstances. It is hard not to fall under the spell of this intelligent, astute and loving couple. Rosheen is very fortunate to have been given access to her parent’s short, yet intense, relationship.

Margaret Madden.

Letters From The Suitcase is published by Tinder Press and is available in HB and ebook format. You can order your copy, with Free Worldwide Postage, HERE. The ebook can be ordered via amazon link below:

Monday, 17 July 2017

The Summer Of Serendipity by Ali McNamara - Review and Giveaway.

I am delighted to help kick off the blog tour for Ali McNamara's latest novel, The Summer Of Serendipity. I also have a copy of the book to giveaway to one lucky reader. Just enter via pinned post on Bleach House Library facebook page. Open INT and closes on Monday, 31st July. Good Luck! Serendipity Parker is a property hunter, who matches her clients with their dream homes. Travelling with her assistant, Kiki, the trip to Ireland proves more problematic that they anticipated. Although they have found the perfect property, in the small village of Ballykiltara, there is more to the house than meets the eye. Local folklore, century-old legends and a protective community all throw a spanner in the works. Serendipity and Kiki get to know the locals a little better and begin to see the magic in the small, touristy village.

 It's that time of the year: Summer is well and truly here and our reading tastes alter accordingly. The need for something light, fun and easy-going is what summer is all about. While we may not all have a holiday booked, or a sunlounger to rest on, the pace certainly eases over the summer months and sometimes all you want is a charming book that does not require too much concentration. This may just be what you are looking for. This is female fiction with a rom-com feel. Serendipity (or Ren, as she is known) is a businesswoman first and foremost and is used to getting what she wants. Her trip to Ireland sees a shift in her mentality, as she begins to see that a house is not just about the location or its prospective buyer. Kiki is a great character, with her tendency to mix-up well-known sayings resulting in some great comedic moments. Along with the hotel staff (especially Finn and Donal) there is a great selection of personalities and they blend well together.

This is a light-hearted read, with some nice nods to Irish History and Archaeology, and gives a glimpse into village life and the craic that can be had. It is not all woolly sheep and Guinness souvenirs; it is the people; the views and the historic atmosphere. There may be lots of cliché in the novel, but the banter makes up for it. A lovely, warm and sweet read.


Ali McNamara attributes her over-active and very vivid imagination to one thing – being an only child. Time spent dreaming up adventures when she was young has left her with a head bursting with stories waiting to be told.
When stories she wrote for fun on Ronan Keating’s website became so popular they were sold as a fundraising project for his cancer awareness charity, Ali realised that not only was writing something she enjoyed doing, but something others enjoyed reading too. | @AliMcNamara

The Summer Of Serendipity is published by Sphere and is available in PB and ebook format.

Thursday, 13 July 2017

The Fair Fight by Anna Freeman - Guest Review from Diarmaid McCaffrey.

Huge thanks to Diarmaid McCaffrey for his insightful review of Anna Freeman's historical fiction title, The Fair Fight...

Perhaps, more than any other genre of book novel based around historical settings is probably one of the most grueling types of fiction books any author worth can write with an audience that’s notoriously unforgiving when it comes to anything that might take them out of the novel. Inconsistencies are the death knell for any immersive experience and that’s goes double for a novel that attempts to zero in on a certain pocket of history not to mention several different  seemingly small factors having the potential to anchor and take the reader out of the book entirely. Tone, the use of past tense, relevant terminology and language fitting the time period, are all spinning plates that could topple over at any moment  if not handled well.

So if nothing else, The Fair Fight deserves to be singled out for the clear amount of research and attention to detail woven in the narration.

Set in the later half of the  1700s, the narration of the book is divided between the three main characters of the novel  Ruth, daughter of a prostitute, whose slowly making a name for herself as a female boxer. Charlotte, Ruth's backer and supporter, who finds her own motivation from Ruth to walk her own path, and finally George, best friend to Charlotte's husband and thus creating quite a sizeable awkward dynamic  with these three characters. Of course, the use of multiple narrators potentially creates the risk of all the voices becoming  bland and indistinguishable but thankfully each  voice of each character is distinct and  unique to each one’s personality

...And therein lies the heart of The Fair Fight;  how the characters interact and mingle with each other, their personalities the driving force of the novel, each one having their own distinct personalities and opinions behind them, underlining the class system that separates the two friends and the general divide their individual worlds have

Freeman's skill is clear with each page , however, as both are drawn with such depth that one has no trouble believing in their motivations, The action sequences, most of which take place during boxing matches, are rich with detail, but are far from the focus. They’re more like  devices used to segway towards each new section of the book.

Over all, The Fair Fight is a well packed hyper authentic look through a certain period of history. That’s sure to make any plane ride or train journey fly by, and anyone that’s a fan of historical fiction, warts and all will certainly enjoy this hidden gem. The story itself is certainly outside of the norm that you’re used to seeing from the genre, and thanks to that it has a quirky little charm that breaths life into its characters.

The Fair Fight is published by W&N and is available in PB and ebook format. You can order your copy, with Free Worldwide Postage, HERE. The ebook can be ordered via amazon link below:

Friday, 7 July 2017

LMFM #LateLunchBookclub July recommendations.

July Recommendations

 Friday, 7th July.

Here are the books I have chosen for July's #LateLunchBookclub. It can be hard to please all readers, so I have chosen from different genres in the hope of finding you a perfect summer read. All these books are available from your local bookstore, library or online. (Remember, if you can't find a book in-store, your bookseller can order it in for you.)

I really hope you enjoy the recommendations and feel free to leave me a comment on the blog, twitter: @margaretbmadden or facebook: Bleach House Library. Follow #LateLunchBookclub for all LMFM book reviews, interviews and chances to win some book bundles.  #LateLunchBookclub Podcasts are also available on the LMFM website. So, here we go...



Female Fiction: The Woman at 72 Derry Lane by Carmel Harrington

On a leafy suburban street in Dublin, beautiful, poised Stella Greene lives with her successful husband, Matt. The perfect couple in every way, Stella appears to have it all. Next door, at number 72 however, lives Rea Brady. Gruff, bad-tempered and rarely seen besides the twitching of her net curtains, rumour has it she’s lost it all…including her marbles if you believe the neighbourhood gossip.
But appearances can be deceiving and when Stella and Rea’s worlds collide they realise they have much in common. Both are trapped in a prison of their own making.
Has help been next door without them realising it?
With the warmth and wit of Maeve Binchy and the secrets and twists of Liane Moriarty, this is the utterly original and compelling new novel from Irish Timesbestseller Carmel Harrington.


General Fiction: Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman.

Eleanor Oliphant has learned how to survive – but not how to live
Eleanor Oliphant leads a simple life. She wears the same clothes to work every day, eats the same meal deal for lunch every day and buys the same two bottles of vodka to drink every weekend.
Eleanor Oliphant is happy. Nothing is missing from her carefully timetabled life. Except, sometimes, everything.
One simple act of kindness is about to shatter the walls Eleanor has built around herself. Now she must learn how to navigate the world that everyone else seems to take for granted – while searching for the courage to face the dark corners she’s avoided all her life.
Change can be good. Change can be bad. But surely any change is better than… fine?


Thriller: Honeymoon by Tina Seskis

There's trouble in paradise . . .
For as long as she can remember, Jemma has been planning the perfect honeymoon. A fortnight's retreat to a five-star resort in the Maldives, complete with luxury villas, personal butlers and absolute privacy.
It should be paradise. But it's turned into a nightmare.
Because the man Jemma married a week ago has just disappeared from the island without a trace. And now her perfect new life is vanishing just as quickly before her eyes.
After everything they've been through together, how can this be happening? Is there anyone on the island who Jemma can trust? And above all - where has her husband gone?


Non-Fiction: The Boy Who Gave His Heart Away by Cole Moreton

‘How do you say thank you to someone for giving you their heart? It is the greatest gift a person can ever give.’
Marc is a promising young footballers of 15, growing up in Scotland. A few hundred miles away in England, Martin is a fun-loving 16-year-old. Both are enjoying their summers when they are suddenly struck down by debilitating illnesses. Within days, the boys are close to death.
Although their paths have never crossed, their fortunes are about to be bound in the most extraordinary, intimate way. One of them will die and in doing so, he will save the other’s life.
This is a deeply powerful and dramatic story. It is extremely rare for the family of a donor to have any personal contact with the recipient of their loved one’s organ. Yet remarkably, the mothers of these two boys meet and become friends, enabling the extraordinary, bittersweet moment in which a mother who has lost her son meets the boy he saved. Reaching out and placing her palm flat against his chest, she feels the heart of her son beating away inside another. Her boy, the boy who gave his heart away.


Young Adult: Girl In Between by Sarah Carroll

I know the mill has a story cos there’s something strange going on. I heard something. I’ve decided that I’m going to find out what it is later today when Ma leaves. Cos even if it is scary, we live here and we’re never leaving. So if there’s something going on, I need to know. 

In an old, abandoned mill, a girl and her ma take shelter from their memories of life on the streets. To the girl it’s home, her safe place, the Castle. But as her ma spins out of control and the Authorities move ever closer, the girl finds herself trapped – stuck in the crumbling mill with only the ghosts of the past for company.

Can she move on before it’s too late? 


Short Stories: Joyride To Jupiter by Nuala O'Connor


A heartbroken man deals with his wife s Alzheimer's as best he can. The Jesus of O'Connell Street reflects on his situation, which isn't half bad. A too-young girl witnesses her father s shocking infidelity. A quiet murder on a riverbank. Imperfect lovers and unlikely friends thwart and bolster each other as they act out their dramas on the beaches of Brazil, in the bedrooms of Dublin, and in the wilds of North America.

 With prose both lyrical and profound, the award-winning Nuala O'Connor writes of maternal love and cross-generational friendship but here, also, are stories of ageing, suicide, and the buoyancy of new love. In these urgent, humane stories of ill-advised couplings, loneliness and burgeoning hope, we find O Connor's trademark humour and sensuality, and the quest for longed-for truths. A truly stunning collection by one of Ireland's finest writers.



Here's hoping you find some of these recommendations in your hands this summer. Enjoy!

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