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Marc Levy: PS from Paris and Those Things We Never Said

 

OK so I have a thing for French writers. It’s not a disease, or even a virus – more of an obsession. Living of the cusp of this wondrous Isle, and lucky enough to spend 6 weeks a year emerged in all things French, their culture sort of grows on one and it’s no coincidence that words like chic originate from the French – something to do with a little man called William in 1066. Last year I literally fell in love with two Frenchmen, well on paper at least, and Black Water Lilies has moved from my favourite book of 2016 to my top ten of all reads, with Antoine Laurain’s The Red Notebook on my shortlist.

Marc Levy is French, but lives in New York (or so I’ve heard 😆) and this mix shows up in his writing. He’s an architect/ writer and has published now in double figures, the only sad thing being I’ve only read two, but all the more to look forward to then.

All Those Things We Never Said (out November, but on pre order – here’s his author page for more).

Days before her wedding, Julia Walsh is blindsided twice: once by the sudden death of her estranged father…and again when he appears on her doorstep after his funeral, ready to make amends, right his past mistakes, and prevent her from making new ones.

A cross between Cecelia Ahern and Carrie Hope Fletcher. To have to bury your father on your wedding day is bad enough, especially as you didn’t even like each other let alone love. And then you find he’s reinvented himself as a robot, a robot that for 7 days tries to make amends while on the road trip of a life time. Suddenly her fiancé, waiting in the wings isn’t such an attractive proposition. Such an unusual premise. Paranormal fiction isn’t usually my bag but this is done with style and panache. If you like odd (in a good way) but well written…

PS from Paris

On the big screen, Mia plays a woman in love. But in real life, she’s an actress in need of a break from her real-life philandering husband—the megastar who plays her romantic interest in the movies. So she heads across the English Channel to hide in Paris behind a new haircut, fake eyeglasses, and a waitressing job at her best friend’s restaurant.

I can’t tell you just how much I loved this book (oh yeah, I just have, duh!) It’s only August and already, let me tell you, this is my favourite read of 2017 ( not so easy when, already I’ve read 211 books). Reading is a very personal endeavour. It’s the only way one can ever truly know what’s going on in someone’s head at any one time (knowing when your partner wants a cuppa doesn’t count). For me this book ticked all my personal boxes with regards to what a good read should be. It had a strong beginning. A good voice. Page turning quality and a flawless ending. Because I read so much it’s rare an author gets to surprise me ( I’m the irritating best friend that’s guessed the plot of a The Sixth Sence ten minutes in) but there’s a huge surprise here that was handled beautifully.

Finally, a huge congratulations to Marc, No 1 US charts is a huge achievement. Continue writing, dear sir – enchanting… IMG_2378

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Dunkirk – Rescuing Robert (short story)

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It’s another launch day for me today but this time it’s a story with a difference. You’ve all heard now of the movie, Dunkirk. Funnily enough when I wrote this short story I hadn’t so it’s just luck I suppose that they coincide. Dunkirk is a fascinating exploration into just what can be achieved by people in such a short span of time. Three nights, many thousands rescued and by normal people, not soldiers. Just people like you and me.

In researching the idea I did a lot of reading around the subject and it drew me in like a magnet. Individual accounts of man’s determination to overcome adversity. The way the men lined up passively in the beaches, stretching back across the crisp white sands. The discarded army vehicles and ambulances lit across the background of Dunkirk burning with Messerschmitt’s overhead still shooting any targets they could….

The Red Cross is synonymous with this time. We’ve all heard of the work they did both at home and abroad but for the Channel Islands (my home) they were a life saver. We were occupied for 5 years. People that remained were literally starving and if it wasn’t for the likes of The SS Vega and their deliveries of over 100,000 food parcels goodness knows what would have happened. In the cottage where I live, which was built pre-war we found crystal sets hidden under the floorboards and it turns out our home was a hive of local resistance. We even used to have a cow living in the lounge in order to prevent Germans from stealing it because, in those days the German soldiers were starving too.

When ‘Guernsey’ the movie is released next year you’ll hopefully get more of a picture of what it was like to be, almost abandoned…

Today The Red Cross continues to do great work and, here in Guernsey, we have a thriving store, which I used to volunteer at before kids took up all of my spare time. We live in difficult times but still, despite everything the Dunkirk spirit survives – all profits from any sales of this book are going to the local branch of The Red Cross.

Rescuing Robert will be on Amazon later but for now I have 100 copies to give away here’s the link 

 

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The secrets of Villa Rossa

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Book blurb

When Ellie Maddison is sent on a business trip to Southern Italy, she’s reminded why she loves her job – set amongst rolling vineyards and rich olive groves, the beautiful Villa Rosso is the perfect escape from her life back home. But what Ellie isn’t prepared for is the instant connection she feels to the estate’s director Max Johnson, or the secrets they share that are as intertwined as the rambling vines that cover Villa Rosso…

Available from Amazon here

My review

This is my second book by this writer but after reading Cottage in the Country it was a cert I’d be out hunting for more but this is different in both style and flavour. Although a romance it’s also a mystery, a dark one. Will Ellie stay true to her family, to Josh or will she discover the mystery of the villa and fall for enigmatic Max?

Linn writes well about Italy, one of my favourite places since visiting in the 1990’s but this isn’t about the setting this is about the mystery that shrouds every scene and when it’s revealed it comes as a shock. I like to watch other writers over time grow and develop and that’s certainly something that happens here. Linn has moved from a light writer to something altogether different. 5 stars