Tag: Books: Contemporary


Review: You Had Me at Hello

Posted 5 September, 2016 by Lianne in Books / 1 Comment

You Had Me At Hello
By: Mhairi McFarlane
Format/Source: eBook; my purchase

What happens when the one that got away comes back?

Rachel and Ben. Ben and Rachel. It was them against the world. Until it all fell apart.

It’s been a decade since they last spoke, but when Rachel bumps into Ben one rainy day, the years melt away.

From the moment they met they’d been a gang of two; partners in crime and the best of friends. But life has moved on. Ben is married. Rachel is definitely not. In fact, the men in her life make her want to take holy orders…

Yet in that split second, Rachel feels the old friendship return. And along with it, the broken heart she’s never been able to mend.

This was a whim purchase I made over the summer, haha. I’ve seen Mhairi McFarlane’s It’s Not Me, It’s You floating around during my many wanderings on GoodReads and book purchasing websites that I decided to pick it up. I also picked up this book because the premise sounded interesting (sucker for those second chances kind of stories 😉 ).

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Review: A Man Called Ove

Posted 24 August, 2016 by Lianne in Books / 5 Comments

A Man Called Ove
By: Fredrick Backman
Format/Source: eBook; my purchase

At first sight, Ove is almost certainly the grumpiest man you will ever meet. He thinks himself surrounded by idiots – neighbours who can’t reverse a trailer properly, joggers, shop assistants who talk in code, and the perpetrators of the vicious coup d’etat that ousted him as Chairman of the Residents’ Association. He will persist in making his daily inspection rounds of the local streets.

But isn’t it rare, these days, to find such old-fashioned clarity of belief and deed? Such unswerving conviction about what the world should be, and a lifelong dedication to making it just so?

In the end, you will see, there is something about Ove that is quite irresistible…

I had heard about this book in passing but never thought to really check it out until more recently. Ove sounds like quite the character and while by the premise alone, I had an inkling which way the story would go, I was nonetheless intrigued to read it and see for myself.

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Review: I Saw a Man

Posted 8 July, 2016 by Lianne in Books / 4 Comments

I Saw A Man
By: Owen Sheers
Format/Source: eBook; my purchase

When journalist Caroline Marshall dies while on assignment in Pakistan, her grief-stricken husband, Michael, leaves their cottage in Wales and returns to London. He quickly develops a friendship with his neighbors, Josh and Samantha Nelson, and their two young daughters. Michael’s becoming close with the family marks the beginning of a long healing process.

But Michael’s period of recovery comes to an abrupt end when a terrible accident brings the burden of a shattering secret into his life. How will Michael bear the agonizing weight of guilt as he navigates persistent doubts on the path to attempted redemption? The answer, revealed poignantly in Sheers’ masterly prose, is eloquent, resonant, and completely unforgettable.

I first encountered Owen Sheers’ fiction a few years ago when I read Resistance (review). I’m not big on alternative history stories but I really loved that book, so I was quite excited to learn that he was coming out with a new novel last year. His poeticism shines through his writing so I was curious to read his contemporary title.

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Review: The Splendour Falls

Posted 6 May, 2016 by Lianne in Books / 6 Comments

The Splendour Falls
By: Susanna Kearsley
Format/Source: eBook; my purchase

An Ancient Castle, a Tragic Love, and a Web of Secrets Begins to Unravel…

Emily Braden has stopped believing in fairy tales and happy endings. When her fascinating but unreliable cousin Harry invites her on a holiday to explore the legendary own of Chinon, and promptly disappears well, that’s Harry for you.

As Emily makes the acquaintance of Chinon and its people, she begins to uncover dark secrets beneath the charm. Legend has it that during a thirteenth-century siege of the castle that looms over the city, Queen Isabelle, child bride of King John, hid a “treasure of great price.” And in the last days of the German occupation during World War II, another Isabelle living in Chinon, a girl whose love for an enemy soldier went tragically awry.

As the dangers of the past become disastrously real, Emily is drawn ever more deeply into a labyrinth of mystery as twisted as the streets and tunnels of the ancient town itself.

This and her latest novel, A Desperate Fortune, were the only two left by Susanna Kearsley that I had not yet read. I picked this book up sometime in late November and early December, telling myself that I’d hold off on reading it as there won’t be a new novel by her until 2017. Well, lo and behold I couldn’t help myself and ended up reading it towards the end of 2015 anyhow (a good way to cap off the year, I suppose, given that I read most of her books that year).

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So You Want to Read… (Sarah Addison Allen)

Posted 22 January, 2016 by Lianne in Lists / 4 Comments

So You Want to Read… is a new monthly feature here on eclectictales.com in which I recommend books by particular authors to readers who have never read a book from certain authors and would like to start. I’m always happy to recommend books and certain authors to my fellow readers and bloggers! 🙂

Happy New Year! And with a new year comes a new post for So You Want to Read… 🙂 For this month I decided to go with Sarah Addison Allen. I love her books, they’re like my comfort books whenever I’m feeling blah or I need a break from some heftier read or RL matters. To date I’ve read all of her books except her latest, First Frost, as I’m waiting for it to hit paperback 😉

  • The Girl Who Chased the Moon (review) — Hands down my favourite book by her. I love everything about it–the small town feel, the magical realism elements, the characters, the family aspect, of following your dreams, of second chances at life and love–yeah, this is usually the first book by her that I recommend to other people 🙂
  • The Sugar Queen (review) — Another wonderful read by her, I actually read this book a little later from the others. Definitely has a seasonal feel to it with the snow and everything, but I think readers can relate to the Josey’s plight in stepping out from her mother’s shadow and being comfortable with herself. But all the female characters felt very well-rounded and their respective stories were interesting.
  • The Lost Lake (review) — I consider this her most maturest book to date, probably because of the things that were happening in her personal life at the time before writing this book. But it still has all the hallmarks that make her books so wonderful: that of family, of friendships, of rediscovering yourself and what perhaps you thought you had lost or left behind.



I hope this list helps if you’re interested in checking out Sarah Addison Allen’s books for the first time! What’s your favourite novel by Sarah Addison Allen? Which would you recommend for first-time readers? Or which of her books have you been meaning to check out?