2020 – The Year That Challenged Us All

While 2020 taught us a deeper understanding of our own fears, weaknesses, vulnerabilities, it also taught us that we are strong, we are resilient, we are resourceful, we are creative. We’ve re-discovered the incredible value of community – knowing that we are not alone, we are all in this together. Nobody has to walk through the darkness or face fear on their own. Understanding that when things happen in life – whether it is good, bad, exciting, tragic – we always have someone to share that with. Together, we all form a community, a village of people all united as one. Community was needed yesterday, is needed today and will be needed tomorrow.

Book Review: The Midnight Library – Matt Haig

WOW! The Midnight Library is one of the most unique books I think I have ever read. This book is so unique and engaging and truly is one of those special treasures that EVERYONE should read. It makes us as readers stop, think, re-evaluate, empathise, and appreciate living. So many feels between the pages of one book but most importantly, the reader is reminded to be hopeful. This adventure we call life, even with all its myriad of anxieties and madness, is always better than the alternatives. The Midnight Library is a gloriously relatable novel about life, death and the in-between. It is about finding hope, being kind, dumping regrets, and picking the right people around you. It reminds all readers that no matter how bleak your life may feel, life is ALWAYS worth living! There are infinite choices with infinite possibilities out there, waiting for you. If you could go back and read a story based on a decision in your life, which one would you choose? Rating: 5/5

Life After Stroke

The last 12 months have taught me the importance of good health, community, resilience, hope, solidarity and friendship. There were some days when I didn't know if I'd have the strength and many of you all provided support.  Now, a year later, I can look back and say 'Yes, I am strong. I survived, and I came out stronger'. But life is very different...

Book Review: The Crow Trap (Vera Stanhope Series #1) – Ann Cleeves

"At the isolated Baikie's Cottage on the North Pennines, three very different women come together to complete an environmental survey. Three women who, in some way or another, know the meaning of betrayal" Set in moody and atmospheric landscapes, The Crow Trap follows the story of 3 women who are conducting an environmental study on land that has been proposed as a site for a quarry. When the wife of a landowner is found dead by suicide, and one of the women is subsequently murdered, the race is on to find out why Bella committed suicide, and who murdered the environmentalist, and why. Enter DCI Vera Stanhope and her sidekick, Joe Ashworth. This is a thrilling mystery that will have you guessing right until the end. Rating: 4.5 / 5

Book Review: Fly Away by Kristin Hannah

Terry Jacks' song Seasons in the Sun would be a fitting theme song for this novel about a family who have lost their mother, a wife, a best friend, a daughter, and a sister.

What will it take before this family comes together again to heal? To forgive and to love?

Kristin Hannah’s ‘Fly Away’ is a story of 3 women brought together by tragedy who have the opportunity for redemption, following poor decisions in their past that have lead them in misguided directions. This is a must-read for those who have read ‘Firefly Lane’.

Rating: 4.5/5

Book Review: Firefly Lane by Kristin Hannah

“We only regret what we don’t do in life.”

This is a story about 2 girls becoming best friends throughout the troublesome teenage years, two women navigating life together, career for one, motherhood for the other. Together they are completely inseparable...or are they?

A cruel betrayal threatens to destroy this decades long friendship and throw them apart forever...but what will it take before these 2 forces of nature are brought back together again? Will Kate forgive Tully? Will Tully apologise to Kate? At what cost?

Rating: 4.5/5