Especial Navidad

¡Ya casi estamos en Navidad!

Especial Navidad

¿Han leído todo lo que tenían pensado/planificado para antes de acabar el año?

¿Se os han quedado muchas lecturas pendientes? A mí desde luego se me quedarán muchas, más todas las que iré añadiendo a lo largo de este mes. Pero es que con todas las novedades que me llaman tanto la atención, es inevitable dejar de acumular lecturas.

Aquí os dejo una selección de lecturas Navideñas por si os apetece leer algo relacionado con esta época del año o incluso para regalar. Son novelas muy bien valoradas, publicadas en el último trimestre del año.

All Hearts Come Home for Christmas by Sarah M. Eden

All Hearts Come Home for Christmas

Christmas at Falstone Castle – Sarah M. Eden – The Dowager Duchess of Kielder eagerly anticipates spending Christmas with her son and his family. Though their relationship has been strained, the duchess is determined to heal the chasm. Even with the help of the widowed local vicar, her plan will take a Christmas miracle. But during this magical season, anything is possible . . . even two second chances for love.

The Heart of Christmas – Anita Stansfield – When a chance meeting brings together a gentle seamstress and a widowed banker, each lonely soul finds a first hint of hope. As their lives become entwined, it will take Christmas spirit to guide a broken family to love and healing.

’Tis the Season to Be Daring – Esther Hatch Elizabeth – Davenport has had quite enough of the London Season. Determined to evade a parade of unsuitable suitors, she seeks help from the one gentleman who has no regard for Society’s rules. All of Society knows Lord Hawthorne is not interested in marriage, yet he cannot deny Miss Davenport’s unique charm. And as the Christmas season works its magic, their charade begins to feel less like playacting and more like love.

The Christmas Dress – Joanna Barker – Seamstress Nell Addington is thrilled when her childhood friend Jacob Hammond commissions a dress for his sister. But when Nell realizes her feelings for Jacob run far deeper than friendship, an unexpected snowstorm—and some holiday cheer—may convince them both that love is worth fighting for.

Good News! It’s Christmas! by Glenys Nellist

Good News It's Christmas

Good News! It’s Christmas! is a playful and joyful introduction to the Christmas story. Written by Glenys Nellist, the best-selling and award-winning author of Love Letters from God, the simple, skilled rhythm of the text makes it an ideal read-aloud experience for both parent and child. With its vivid images and biblical narrative of Jesus’s birth, this book makes a perfect gift for the little ones in your life.

Wrapped Up for Christmas by Katlyn Duncan

Wrapped Up for Christmas

Having lost her boyfriend, job, and apartment all in the space of a week, Angie has no choice but to leave California and return to her family in New England.

Determined not to let life weigh her down, Angie finds work at the local mall where she worked as a teenager. After an embarrassing run-in with a handsome stranger, Nick, she’s convinced her luck is about to change.

But Nick has secrets of his own…  and as the first flakes of snow begin to fall, Angie can’t help but wonder if she’ll ever find love.

Snowdrops on Rosemary Lane by Ellen Berry

Snowdrops on Rosemary Lane

Last winter she had a plan.

Lucy fell in love with tumbledown Rosemary Cottage as a child. So thirty years on, when she loses her city job and discovers the cottage is for sale, it feels like fate. She’ll raise her children in Burley Bridge and transform the cottage into a B&B with her husband.

But a year can change everything . . .

Now Lucy is juggling two children and a B&B, but on her own. Christmas looks set to be their last on Rosemary Lane – until she meets James, a face from her past and someone who might offer a different kind of future . . .

Should Lucy leave the cottage behind? Or could this winter on Rosemary Lane be the start of something new?

Christmas Past by Mary Burton

Christmas Past

Photographer Nicole Piper moved to Virginia hoping to put a troubled past behind her and start fresh with her baby daughter. But those hopes are dashed when she receives a very unwelcome Christmas gift—from her late husband. It’s a letter that holds clues to an elusive killer’s identity. The victim had helped save Nicole’s life—and paid with her own. Nicole owes it to her to follow the letter’s trail, and perhaps put to rest the fear that stalks her once and for all. But she can’t do it alone. 

When Homicide Detective David Ayden first met Nicole, he was looking for a fresh start too. Widowed and raising two teenage boys, Nicole was the only woman who’d stirred his interest—and the attraction was mutual. But that was months ago and she wasn’t ready to trust again. Maybe she still isn’t. All that matters now is that she needs his help—even if it means embarking on a road trip that will take them both into the heart of danger—and desire . . .

One Wild Christmas by Nicholas Oldland

One Wild Christmas

Best friends the bear, the moose and the beaver have been so busy getting ready for Christmas, they have forgotten the most important decoration of all – the Christmas tree! Rushing through the snowy forest, they reject one tree after another. And then they spot it. A pine tree that is just the right size, with soft needles and a wonderful scent – it’s perfect! But just as the beaver is about to chop it down, the bear stops him. He can’t allow this tree to be harmed, it is simply too beautiful! But the moose and the beaver disagree. Is there a way they can have a perfect Christmas – without chopping down the perfect tree?

Part of the popular Life in the Wild picture book series from author-illustrator Nicholas Oldland, this funny romp is, at its heart, a contemporary fable championing the importance of family, friends and traditions while promoting the joys of nature, specifically, the wilder parts of the outdoors. Oldland’s distinctive, simple and playful illustrations tell much of the tale on their own, with lots of visual humor in the lovable characters’ facial expressions and their numerous asides throughout. The hilarious text and artwork make this book a terrific read-aloud. It would also work to launch a discussion about celebrations and traditions, or about problem-solving and compromising.

Historias navideñas reseñadas en el blog

The Charm Bracelet by Melissa Hill

The Charm Bracelet

Christmas for One by Amanda Prowse 

Christmas for One navidad

One Day in December by Josie Silver

One Day in December

Sammy in the Winter by Anita Bijsterboshc

sammy in the winter

Back to Christmas by Dennis Canfield 

Back to Christmas

True to Me by Kay Bratt

Sorpresas y segundas oportunidades

True to Me

Sinopsis

Quinn Maguire has a stable life, a fiancé, and what she thinks is a clear vision for her future. All of that comes undone by her mother’s deathbed confession—the absentee father Quinn spent thirty years resenting is not her real father at all. With that one revealing whisper, Quinn embarks on a journey to Maui, her mother’s childhood home, a storied paradise that holds the truth about her mother’s past and all its secrets Quinn is determined to uncover.

But settling on the island has its complications, and with the fiancé she left behind questioning every choice she makes, Quinn’s quest for her truth is even more difficult than she expected. As time passes and she digs deeper into her family history and her own identity, one thing becomes clear: Maui is as beautiful as she’d always imagined, and its magic is helping uncover the woman that Quinn was always meant to be.

Opinión

Quinn Maguire lo tenía todo para ser feliz: un buen trabajo, una casa bonita y el hombre perfecto. Todo en su vida era o daba la impresión de ser ideal, hasta que poco antes de morir, su madre le confiesa que su padre no es quien ella creía.

De un día para otro, el mundo de Quinn se desmorona. Con la muerte de su madre, no sólo se ha ido la persona más importante en su vida hasta el momento, sino también su única familia. Ambas tenían una relación estrecha, con mucha complicidad y basada en la confianza mutua. Solo se tenían la una a la otra.

En busca de sus raíces

Con el objetivo de cumplir la última voluntad de su madre Quinn decide ir a Maui. Además, quiere saber quién es su padre, cuáles son sus raíces y su pasado. Quiere saber más sobre la tierra en donde creció su madre y por la que tanta añoranza sentía.

Su vida hasta el momento había sido rígida y organizada al milímetro. Con unas normas y hábitos que seguir en cada momento y cada día, sin espacio o tiempo a la improvisación. Una vida marcada por las exigencias de su pareja, un hombre déspota, y obsesionado por el control, para el que Quinn siempre tenía alguna falta, algo que corregir o mejorar.

Siempre acostumbrada a acatar las decisiones de los demás y a que fuesen otros quienes decidieran por ella, una vez Quinn llega a Maui, toma el control de su vida y se demuestra a sí misma que es una mujer capaz e inteligente, que sabe cómo hacer las cosas y que esta vez lo hará sola y a su manera, sin prisas, marcando ella el ritmo que quiere seguir en cada momento.

Romper sus propias reglas

Este viaje le sirve para dar un giro radical a su vida y pone todo en perspectiva. Maui ha despertado sus sentidos, la ha sacado del letargo en que vivía y le ha abierto los ojos a otro estilo de vida, a otra realidad y ya no se conforma con menos.

Aunque tuvo una infancia feliz y llena de amor, le hubiese gustado crecer en una familia numerosa. Y esto era algo en lo que no había reparado hasta el momento, llevaba toda la vida echando en falta una familia.

True to Me es una novela en la que sumergirse a leer y olvidarse del mundo. Con Maui como escenario, sus paisajes, la gente, sus costumbres, su forma de vivir y sentir la vida. Es una historia muy bien escrita, desde los personajes que abarcan una gran variedad hasta la prosa tan cuidada y minuciosa en detalles sin ser excesiva.

Kay Bratt sabe mantener el suspense hasta el final. Hace que todo fluya, pero mantiene el ritmo de lectura constante, con giros inesperados que hacen que vivas la historia con intensidad al igual que su protagonista.

True to Me es una novela preciosa sobre la familia, el amor, los secretos y su forma de condicionar nuestra vida. Pero también es una historia sobre el perdón y las segundas oportunidades. Muy recomendable.

5/5

Puedes comprarla en el siguiente enlace: True to Me

Dead and Unburied by Jocelyn Boisvert

Un Zombi muy humano

Dead and Unburied

Sinopsis

Yan is on top of the world. School’s almost out for summer, he’s about to have a new baby sister, and he’s going to be spending his vacation making a zombie movie with his best friend Nico. But on his way home from school, he finds himself in the wrong place at the wrong time, and before he knows it, his life is slipping away… Things are no longer smelling rosy now that Yan’s pushing up daisies. But for some reason, Yan’s soul isn’t going anywhere: his body may be rotting, but his mind is clear, and once out of his grave, Yan is determined to be reunited with his family. He may be falling apart, but he isn’t about to let that happen to them!

Opinión

Por fin ha llegado el último día de clases. Yan y Nico están deseosos de comenzar las vacaciones para así poder grabar la película de zombis que tanto desean.

El día comenzó como otro cualquiera en casa de Yan, sin nada especial que destacar. Todos juntos a la hora del desayuno y bromeando en torno a esa hermanita que aún no ha nacido y se está haciendo notar.

La vida de Yan, hasta donde vemos en esta primera parte, es aparentemente es sencilla, con las cosas típicas de su edad. Es un joven guapo, lleno de vitalidad y con un futuro lleno de posibilidades.

Al salir de clase, cuando intenta socorrer a alguien que parece en apuros, Yan se ve atrapado en una situación delicada que se torna muy peligrosa y con un final trágico e inesperado.

Dead and Unburied está escrito con mucho sentido del humor. Con una variedad de personajes y situaciones que lo hacen más interesante todavía al descubrir lo poco que tiene que ver este cómic con las historias de zombis que están de moda últimamente.

Esta es la primera parte de lo que será una serie y aunque quedan muchas cosas por descubrir, me ha encantado la forma en que está planteada la idea. Para empezar, aunque es evidente el cambio físico en el protagonista, su forma de comportarse es la misma que de antes de convertirse en zombi.

Conserva su sentido del humor en todo momento y sus preocupaciones también son las mismas de antes. No está obsesionado por comer ni ve a los humanos que le rodean como alimento. Su situación, hasta el momento, te hace reflexionar sobre algunos temas interesantes, pero todo está tratado con ligereza incluso lo que podría ser algo más dramático como su propia muerte.

Me ha dejado con muchas ganas de continuar leyendo y saber qué nuevas aventuras vivirá este Yan zombi tan poco convencional. Una lectura muy recomendable.

5/5

Puedes comprarlo en el siguiente enlace: Dead and Unburied

The Sun Sister by Lucinda Riley

Una novela apasionante que aborda muy bien una gran variedad de temas

The Sun Sister

Sinopsis

Yet beneath the veneer, Electra’s already tenuous control over her state of mind has been rocked by the death of her father, Pa Salt, the elusive billionaire who adopted his six daughters from across the globe. Struggling to cope, she turns to alcohol and drugs. As those around her fear for her health, Electra receives a letter from a complete stranger who claims to be her grandmother . . .

In 1939, Cecily Huntley-Morgan arrives in Kenya from New York to nurse a broken heart. Staying with her godmother, a member of the infamous Happy Valley set, on the shores of beautiful Lake Naivasha, she meets Bill Forsythe, a notorious bachelor and cattle farmer with close connections to the proud Maasai tribe. But after a shocking discovery and with war looming, Cecily has few options. Moving up into the Wanjohi Valley, she is isolated and alone. Until she meets a young woman in the woods and makes her a promise that will change the course of her life for ever.

Opinión

“I didn´t know who I was back then, and I don´t know who I am now.”

Nos encontramos ante el sexto libro de la saga que Lucinda Riley ha creado basada en las Siete Hermanas de las Pléyades. Esta saga parte con el rico Pa Salt que, tras su fallecimiento, deja pistas a sus hijas, todas ellas adoptadas, sobre dónde encontrar sus orígenes biológicos. Cada hija lleva el nombre de una de las estrellas que conforman el cúmulo estelar anteriormente mencionado.

En este libro nos adentramos en la vida de la sexta hija de Pa Salt, Electra. Tiene 26 años y reside en Nueva York. Es una cotizada modelo, pero su vida personal deja mucho que desear. Siente una insatisfacción interior a la que no hace frente y la mitiga con alcohol, drogas y sexo.

En uno de sus momentos más bajos, Electra lee la carta que le dejó su padre con indicaciones sobre su procedencia biológica. Así descubrirá el nombre de su abuela de sangre y dónde reside. Esta se llama Stela y es una activista de derechos civiles afincada en Nueva York, pero procedente de Kenia. Cuando Electra la conoce, Stela comenzará a contarle la historia de Cecily para  introducirle en la vida de sus antepasados más inmediatos.

Cecily, nació en el seno de una familia inglesa adinerada y, en 1938, no atravesaba por su mejor momento puesto que, repentinamente, su novio rompió su compromiso de matrimonio. En esa situación, su madrina, Kiki, le plantea pasar un tiempo en Kenia, donde tiene su residencia. La joven acepta su propuesta y, desde el inicio del viaje hacia el país africano, empezará a vivir experiencias que la dejarán marcada para siempre.

Podría adentrarme más en el argumento y en las vidas de Electra y de Cecily, pero creo que  es mejor leer el libro para tal fin. Es una novela sobre mujeres que tienen ganas de vivir, que superan las adversidades, que ayudan a los más desfavorecidos. En definitiva, mujeres fuertes y comprometidas.

Además, el libro aborda temas tan diversos como la cultura masai, la Segunda Guerra Mundial en Kenia, la introducción de las costumbres inglesas en la población autóctona de Kenia, el racismo e, incluso, el avance de Obama hacia la presidencia de Estados Unidos.

El libro está escrito en primera persona en las partes en las que trata la vida de Electra, y en tercera persona cuando aborda la de Cecily. Engancha desde el principio y supera a la quinta novela de la saga (la hermana luna), que es la que me ha parecido más floja de las hasta ahora publicadas.

En definitiva, Lucinda Riley vuelve a atraparnos con un libro muy bien escrito, y en el que ha desarrollado muy eficientemente las historias de superación de Cecily y Electra. Por otra parte, las ambientaciones, Nueva York y Kenia, son muy acertadas y se percibe el trabajo de documentación realizado por la autora.

5/5

Puedes comprarlo en el siguiente enlace: The Sun Sister

Moonlight Kisses at Willow Tree Hall by Alison Sherlock

Una lectura feel good ideal para cualquier momento

Moonlight Kisses at Willow Tree Hall

Sinopsis

Romance blossoms under the stars in this feelgood love story for fans of Milly Johnson and Heidi Swain.

Lily Harper is an events organiser, but her neat, ordered world has just exploded. First she lost her job, then she lost her fiancé. Her five-year plan is looking increasingly shaky.

Lost and lonely, Lily heads home to her childhood village, and accepts the position of live-in housekeeper at the grand but welcoming Willow Tree Hall. It’s not exactly her dream job – Lily is more used to arranging parties than pantries – but at least she’s working.

Her first task is to arrange the Willow Tree Hall summer fete. Lily is in her element, writing to-do lists and organising bunting and baking – until her old flame Jack Carter turns up in the village. Lily hasn’t seen Jack in over ten years, when he sped off on his motorbike, taking with him the pieces of her broken heart.

Lily vowed she would never forgive him. But as Willow Tree Hall weaves its magic, Lily finds she might just give Jack a second chance after all…

Opinión

Tras quedarse sin trabajo y romper con su prometido, Lily Harper decide que lo mejor será volver a su pueblo. Y aunque se siente fracasada, prefiere pensar que esta es la mejor oportunidad que ha tenido en mucho tiempo para pasar más tiempo con su familia y a la vez disfrutar del entorno, que tantas cosas bonitas tiene que ofrecer en esa época del año.

En casa es muy bien recibida por sus padres y abuelo, pero pronto, Lily se da cuenta de la precaria situación económica que atraviesan. Con su madre como único sustento de la familia, trabajando largas jornadas, Lily no puede sumar más carga a la que ya tiene. Por suerte, la solución a sus problemas no se hace esperar.

Willow Tree Hall, el lugar que lo cambia todo

Cuando acepta trabajar como ama de llaves en Willow Tree Hall, no contaba con que llevar la organización de la casa y de sus habitantes, sería un trabajo tan estresante y que requeriría mucha más paciencia de la que ella tenía. Solo pensó en que sería una solución temporal para contribuir con la economía familiar.

Pero Lily vive obsesionada por el control. Su vida se rige por listas en las que anota todo lo que tiene que hacer, tanto en lo profesional como en lo personal. Es una mujer incapaz de relajarse. Lleva tantos años viviendo de esta forma que ya no es consciente de todo lo que se está perdiendo. Tiene tanto miedo al rechazo, que su día a día transcurre como en una prueba constante de demostrar su valía a los demás.

Jack Carter es su primer amor y la última persona que esperaba encontrarse en Willow Tree Hall. Un hombre de éxito, hecho a sí mismo, rico y muy guapo pero que para Lily solo representa su pasado y el momento más triste doloroso de su vida. Para ambos, este reencuentro, aunque inesperado era más que necesario y marcó el comienzo del cambio.

Willow Tree Hall es el epicentro de esta novela, desde donde se promueven y organizan las diferentes actividades del pueblo. Un lugar con mucho magnetismo, lleno de vida y encanto, cosa que desde mi punto de vista, se debe en gran medida a sus habitantes.

Una serie de novelas feel good

Moonlight Kisses at Willow Tree Hall es la cuarta parte de la serie Willow Tree Hall, pero se puede leer de forma independiente. Es una historia que nos habla de la importancia del perdón y de aprender a pasar página para avanzar en la vida sin lastre.

Está muy bien escrita, con una gran variedad de personajes, muy bien definidos y diferenciados unos de otros pero que funcionan como un todo en perfecta armonía. Hacen que la lectura se disfrute mucho al transmitirnos ese sentido de comunidad difícil de encontrar en lugares donde conviven tantas personas bajo el mismo techo.

Una novela que me ha hecho sentir bien, con momentos divertidos y otros emotivos. Una lectura que he disfrutado mucho.

5/5

Puedes comprarla en el siguiente enlace: Moonlight Kisses at Willow Hall Tree

Novedades de diciembre

¡Diciembre=Navidades!

Novedades Diciembre

Y llegamos a diciembre, el último mes del año, las Navidades y el momento en el que más regalos solemos hacer.

A continuación dejamos nuestra selección de novedades literarias que saldrán publicadas durante el mes de diciembre.

The Penmaker’s Wife by Steve Robinson—1 dic

The Penmaker’s Wife

In Victorian England, a mother is on the run from her past—and the truth about what she did.

Birmingham, 1880. Angelica Chastain has fled from London with her young son, William. She promises him a better life, far away from the terrors they left behind.

Securing a job as a governess, Angelica captures the attention of wealthy widower Stanley Hampton. Soon they marry and the successful future Angelica envisaged for William starts to fall into place.

But the past will not let Angelica go. As the people in her husband’s circle, once captivated by her charm, begin to question her motives, it becomes clear that forgetting where she came from—and who she ran from—is impossible.

When tragedy threatens to expose her and destroy everything she’s built for herself and William, how far will she go to keep her secrets safe? And when does the love for one’s child tip over into dangerous obsession?

If You Tell by Gregg Olsen—1 dic

If You Tell

After more than a decade, when sisters Nikki, Sami, and Tori Knotek hear the word mom, it claws like an eagle’s talons, triggering memories that have been their secret since childhood. Until now.

For years, behind the closed doors of their farmhouse in Raymond, Washington, their sadistic mother, Shelly, subjected her girls to unimaginable abuse, degradation, torture, and psychic terrors. Through it all, Nikki, Sami, and Tori developed a defiant bond that made them far less vulnerable than Shelly imagined. Even as others were drawn into their mother’s dark and perverse web, the sisters found the strength and courage to escape an escalating nightmare that culminated in multiple murders.

Harrowing and heartrending, If You Tell is a survivor’s story of absolute evil—and the freedom and justice that Nikki, Sami, and Tori risked their lives to fight for. Sisters forever, victims no more, they found a light in the darkness that made them the resilient women they are today—loving, loved, and moving on.

Out with the Ex In with the New by Sophie Ranald—3 dic

Out with the Ex In with the New

Gemma didn’t expect her life to look like this. She’s still living with her mother, who steals her leggings and tells her off for leaving crumbs in the butter. After twenty failed interviews she thought she’d got her dream job as a journalist – except it turns out to be writing articles about cats that look like George Clooney. Luckily she has her wonderful boyfriend, Jack, to help her forget just how awful things are.

Then Jack dumps her out of the blue. With nothing but her childhood teddy bear, Stanley, and a whole heap of heartbreak, Gemma resolves to turn things around. She throws herself into her new job and soon she’s hanging out with cheeky, golden-haired hunk Charlie, eating in swanky restaurants and sipping trendy cocktails – and her old life seems like a distant memory.

But it’s not long until her shiny new world starts to lose its sparkle – and Gemma misses the days of wearing battered pink converse and eating peanut butter on toast in bed. Then Jack turns up, backpack in tow, and things start to go wrong with Charlie. ‘Out with the old, in with the new’, the saying goes. But what happens if neither one is quite right?

Meg and Jo by Virginia Kantra—3 dic

Meg and Jo

The March sisters—reliable Meg, independent Jo, stylish Amy, and shy Beth—have grown up to pursue their separate dreams. When Jo followed her ambitions to New York City, she never thought her career in journalism would come crashing down, leaving her struggling to stay afloat in a gig economy as a prep cook and secret food blogger.

Meg appears to have the life she always planned—the handsome husband, the adorable toddlers, the house in a charming subdivision. But sometimes getting everything you’ve ever wanted isn’t all it’s cracked up to be.

When their mother’s illness forces the sisters home to North Carolina for the holidays, they’ll rediscover what really matters.

One thing’s for sure—they’ll need the strength of family and the power of sisterhood to remake their lives and reimagine their dreams.

The Lies We Hide by S. E. Lunes—4 dic

The Lies We Hide

The truth can set you free, or make you a prisoner…

Thirty years ago, Nicola Watson lived with her parents and older brother in a respectable suburb. At ten years old, she didn’t yet understand why her stomach tightened when she heard her father’s heavy tread as he returned home late at night, or why it made her brother Graham’s stammer get worse, or why one night her mother Carol woke them both, wide-eyed and whispering, and took them out of their home and into the unknown.

Now a successful lawyer in the city, with a life poles apart from her dark beginnings, Nicola has returned home for her mother’s funeral. But as she stands in her mother’s house, remembering the woman who sacrificed everything for her children, Nicola has to confront the guilt that she feels for leaving her family behind. And the belief that she played a part in the events that led to her brother going to prison for murder.

All Carol wanted was to protect her children, but escaping her husband was only the beginning of the story. And when Nicola learns the truth of what her mother did, it will change everything she thought she knew about herself and her family.

One Night on Ice by Mandy Baggot—5 dic

One Night on Ice

Two very different people. One magical city. A chance to fall in love.

When routine-driven box office assistant, Samantha Smith, meets the stars of Skating on Broadway her life is turned upside down.

Immediately attracted to lead skater, Jimmy Lloyd, Samantha does her best to deny her feelings. But when all you can do is burst out laughing and hyperventilate every time you’re under pressure, keeping things under wraps is a hard task.

When the future of her beloved Civic Hall is threatened, Samantha must rise to the challenge to ensure its survival. Constantly scrutinised and criticised by her zany sister Cleo and her brogue-wearing boyfriend Jeremy, can Samantha save her job, save the Civic Hall and stop her panic attacks just long enough to give away her heart?

Daughter of the Tide by Leah Fleming—5 dic

Daughter of the Tide

It is 1939 and the eve of the Second World War when the handsome sailor Ewan Mackinnon returns to his childhood home on the remote Hebridean island of Phetray. He was forced to run from the ignominy of a terrible event, the disgraced Minister’s son. Arriving home, many years later, he is reunited with Minn Macfee, a cottar’s daughter, instantly falling for her graceful beauty and enchanting voice.

But Minn and Ewan are bound by the same misfortune that caused their separation in childhood. When Ewan joins the Special Boat Squadron and embarks for France, leaving Minn behind, it seems fate has intervened once more.

Touched by tragedy and the weight of the past, their love seems destined to die. Or will the tides of time bring them together again?

Dark Hollows by Steve Frech—6 dic

Dark Hollows

Jacob Reese enjoys the quiet life, running a coffee shop and renting out his cottage in The Hollows, Vermont.

But the calm is shattered when a woman who looks eerily similar to his ex-girlfriend Laura turns up to stay in the cottage, and leaves a mysterious note in the guest book.

Now Jacob’s seeing Laura everywhere—a glimpse of her face across the street, her music box left outside his house, a gift he gave her years before hanging from the trees.

But it can’t be Laura. Because Laura’s dead.

The Argument by Victoria Jenkins—10 dic

The Argument

It happens to every mother. One day, the daughter whose whole world you once were, becomes someone you barely know. And you don’t know the secrets she’s hiding…

One night, 15-year-old Olivia comes home late from a party she was strictly forbidden from going to, and she and her mother, Hannah, start arguing. Soon Olivia speaks the words that every parent has heard from their teenage child:

‘I hate you. You’ve ruined my life. And I’m never speaking to you again.’

Olivia has never been an easy child, a sharp contrast to her easy-going, happy-go-lucky little sister. But Hannah thinks Olivia’s outburst is the end of a normal family argument. In fact, it’s only the beginning of a nightmare…

After one day of silence, Hannah thinks Olivia is taking a teenage sulk too far. After two days, she starts to feel anxious that something more serious could be going on. After a week, when her daughter still hasn’t spoken, Hannah knows that Olivia is hiding a bigger darkness – something that could threaten to tear their precious family apart…

True to Me by Kay Bratt—10 dic

True to Me

Quinn Maguire has a stable life, a fiancé, and what she thinks is a clear vision for her future. All of that comes undone by her mother’s deathbed confession—the absentee father Quinn spent thirty years resenting is not her real father at all. With that one revealing whisper, Quinn embarks on a journey to Maui, her mother’s childhood home, a storied paradise that holds the truth about her mother’s past and all its secrets Quinn is determined to uncover.

But settling on the island has its complications, and with the fiancé she left behind questioning every choice she makes, Quinn’s quest for her truth is even more difficult than she expected. As time passes and she digs deeper into her family history and her own identity, one thing becomes clear: Maui is as beautiful as she’d always imagined, and its magic is helping uncover the woman that Quinn was always meant to be.

Regretting You by Colleen Hoover—10 dic

Regretting You

Morgan Grant and her sixteen-year-old daughter, Clara, would like nothing more than to be nothing alike.

Morgan is determined to prevent her daughter from making the same mistakes she did. By getting pregnant and married way too young, Morgan put her own dreams on hold. Clara doesn’t want to follow in her mother’s footsteps. Her predictable mother doesn’t have a spontaneous bone in her body.

With warring personalities and conflicting goals, Morgan and Clara find it increasingly difficult to coexist. The only person who can bring peace to the household is Chris—Morgan’s husband, Clara’s father, and the family anchor. But that peace is shattered when Chris is involved in a tragic and questionable accident. The heartbreaking and long-lasting consequences will reach far beyond just Morgan and Clara.

While struggling to rebuild everything that crashed around them, Morgan finds comfort in the last person she expects to, and Clara turns to the one boy she’s been forbidden to see. With each passing day, new secrets, resentment, and misunderstandings make mother and daughter fall further apart. So far apart, it might be impossible for them to ever fall back together.

The Dead Girls Club by Damien Angelica Walters—10 dic

The Dead Girls Club

Red Lady, Red Lady, show us your face…

In 1991, Heather Cole and her friends were members of the Dead Girls Club. Obsessed with the macabre, the girls exchanged stories about serial killers and imaginary monsters, like the Red Lady, the spirit of a vengeful witch killed centuries before. Heather knew the stories were just that, until her best friend Becca began insisting the Red Lady was real–and she could prove it.

That belief got Becca killed.

It’s been nearly thirty years, but Heather has never told anyone what really happened that night–that Becca was right and the Red Lady was real. She’s done her best to put that fateful summer, Becca, and the Red Lady, behind her. Until a familiar necklace arrives in the mail, a necklace Heather hasn’t seen since the night Becca died. 

The night Heather killed her.

Now, someone else knows what she did…and they’re determined to make Heather pay.

The Blossom Twins by Carol Wyer—12 dic

The Blossom Twins

Their parents thought they were hiding… 

One beautiful summer’s evening, thirteen-year-old twins Ivy and Erin Westmore snuggle down in a tent in their back garden, giggling and sharing secrets.

When their mother goes to wake the girls the next morning, their tent is empty.

The alarm is raised and Detective Natalie Ward is put onto the case. When the twins’ bodies are discovered on nearby marshland, covered with deep pink petals, an icy shiver travels down Natalie’s spine. Everything about the girls’ deaths reminds her of a horrifying case she worked on earlier in her career, which saw a killer of the worst kind placed behind bars. 

The next day, that feeling is heightened when she receives a chilling note saying ‘I’m back’. Is this killer a copycat or did Natalie put the wrong person in prison all those years ago? In a small town, where no stranger goes unnoticed, what is Natalie missing?

Consumed by the case, determined to prevent more deaths, Natalie misses the fact that it is her attention the killer wants. And to get it, he has his sights set firmly on her precious daughter Leigh…

On Far Malayan Shores by Tara Haigh—15 dic

On Far Malayan Shores

Hamburg, 1898. As Ella nurses her beloved adoptive father on his deathbed, he uses the last of his strength to scribble down a name: ‘Richard F’. Convinced this man must hold the key to her unknown origins, Ella hunts for more clues, uncovering years of unexplained monthly payments from the British colony of Malaya. With no other leads and nothing left in Hamburg, she sets sail for the Far East in search of the truth.

The trail leads her to a rubber plantation owned by the Foster family—could they have something to do with the mysterious Mr F? But before she can find proof of her heritage, Ella is caught up in tensions between colonial forces and the Malayan resistance—in more ways than one. With a high-ranking official vying for her attention, how can she admit to anyone, let alone herself, that she’s fallen for a local rebel?

As her head and heart struggle with the secrets that lie in her past and her present, Ella must ask herself what price she is willing to pay for the truth—and for freedom.

The Lost Summers of Driftwood by Vanessa McCausland—16 dic

The Lost Summers of Driftwood

Is it more dangerous to forget … or to remember?

Phoebe’s life has fallen apart and there’s only one place left to go. Alone and adrift after a failed marriage proposal, she flees Sydney to her family’s abandoned holiday cottage.

On the slow-moving river Phoebe is confronted with the legacy of her older sister’s suicide, a year before. Why did Karin leave a note written in flowers and walk into the water?

Phoebe’s childhood love, Jez, has moved back to the beautiful old house, Driftwood, one jetty down. He’s married now and the home has become a refuge for an unlikely little community.

As the river begins to give up its secrets, Phoebe finds herself caught up in old feelings and new mysteries.

The Lost Summers of Driftwood is a story of lost loves, rekindled passions, tragedy and betrayal set against the backdrop of an idyllic south coast town.

Why She Ran by Geraldine Hogan—19 dic

Why She Ran

Yesterday they were a family like any other… 

Twenty-year-old Rachel McDermott was your typical girl-next-door. She loved her job as a nurse, was close to her family in the small Irish town of Corbally and seemed to have no enemies. So when she is brutally murdered, the local community reels in horror and Detective Iris Locke is put on the case. 

The main suspect is her close friend, sixteen-year-old Eleanor Marshall, a tearaway teenager with addiction problems whose parents have long since turned their backs on her. Eleanor was last seen fleeing the scene where Rachel’s body was found and is now missing in the woods near the Comeragh mountains.

Eleanor’s sister Karena insists Eleanor wouldn’t have hurt her best friend, but a day later, when Karena is found dead in the area Eleanor is hiding, Iris knows things don’t look good for the runaway teen. She doesn’t want to believe that Eleanor is her sister’s killer, but all the evidence seems to point that way.

But Iris can’t let go of the elements of the case she doesn’t have answers for. The fact that Rachel’s father died in suspicious circumstances. The strange company that Rachel was keeping the night before she died. Was it guilt or fear that made Eleanor run? And can Iris find her before it is too late?

Looking for Lucy by Julie Houston—19 dic

Looking For Lucy

Clementine needs to find Lucy before it’s all too late. She also knows bringing up a child on your own down on Emerald Street where the street walkers ply their trade isn’t easy, even when your daughter’s as adorable as four-year-old Allegra.

When Peter Broadbent, wealthy, kind and possessed of the most beautiful house Clementine has ever seen, proposes, she knows it seems almost too good to be true.

Will this be the happy-ever-after Clementine deserves, or will her dreams come crumbling down around her?

A Springtime to Remember by Lucy Coleman—26 dic

A Springtime To Remember

Paris and the Palace of Versailles have always meant a lot to TV producer Lexie. Her grandma Viv spent a year there, but her adventures and memories were never discussed, and Lexie has long wondered why they were a family secret. 

When work presents the perfect excuse to spend Springtime in Versailles, Lexie delves into Viv’s old diaries and scrapbooks, and with the help of handsome interpreter Ronan, she is soon learning more about the characters that tend to the magnificent gardens, now and in the past.

In amongst the beauty and splendour of the French countryside, a story of lost love, rivalry and tragedy unfolds. Can Lexie and Ronan right the wrongs of the past, and will France play its tricks on them both before Lexie has to go home? Will this truly be a Springtime to Remember…?

The Wives by Tarryn Fisher—30 dic

The Wives

You’ve never met the other wives. None of you know each other, and because of this unconventional arrangement, you can see your husband only one day a week. But you love him so much you don’t care. Or at least that’s what you’ve told yourself.

But one day, while you’re doing laundry, you find a scrap of paper in his pocket―an appointment reminder for a woman named Hannah, and you just know it’s another of the wives.

You thought you were fine with your arrangement, but you can’t help yourself: you track her down, and, under false pretences, you strike up a friendship. Hannah has no idea who you really are. Then, Hannah starts showing up to your coffee dates with telltale bruises, and you realise she’s being abused by her husband. Who, of course, is also your husband. But you’ve never known him to be violent, ever.

Who exactly is your husband, and how far would you go to find the truth? Would you risk your own life?

And who is his mysterious third wife?

Love Lettering by Kate Clayborn—31 dic

Love Lettering

In the last year, Meg Mackworth’s beautiful hand-lettering skills have seen her rocket to social media fame, and now she has a booming business crafting stationery for the stars. But she has a secret: sometimes, she just can’t resist hiding messages in her work. Slightly unprofessional, maybe – but harmless. Right?

Analyst Reid Sutherland and his gorgeous fiancée had their future mapped out. Until he noticed a pattern in his wedding invitation that made him think twice.

When Meg looks up from her desk one day and sees Reid standing in front of her with no wedding ring, holding the invitation she created, she thinks that her career is over.

But her life may be about to begin . . .

The Moonshiner’s Daughter by Donna Everhart—31 dic

The Moonshiner's Daughter

Set in North Carolina in 1960 and brimming with authenticity and grit, The Moonshiner’s Daughter evokes the singular life of sixteen-year-old Jessie Sasser, a young woman determined to escape her family’s past . . .

Generations of Sassers have made moonshine in the Brushy Mountains of Wilkes County, North Carolina. Their history is recorded in a leather-bound journal that belongs to Jessie Sasser’s daddy, but Jessie wants no part of it. As far as she’s concerned, moonshine caused her mother’s death a dozen years ago. 

Her father refuses to speak about her mama, or about the day she died. But Jessie has a gnawing hunger for the truth—one that compels her to seek comfort in food. Yet all her self-destructive behavior seems to do is feed what her school’s gruff but compassionate nurse describes as the “monster” inside Jessie.

Resenting her father’s insistence that moonshining runs in her veins, Jessie makes a plan to destroy the stills, using their neighbors as scapegoats. Instead, her scheme escalates an old rivalry and reveals 

long-held grudges. As she endeavors to right wrongs old and new, Jessie’s loyalties will bring her to unexpected revelations about her family, her strengths—and a legacy that may provide her with the answers she has been longing for.

Such a Fun Age by Kiley Reid—31 dic

Such a Fun Age

When Emira is apprehended at a supermarket for ‘kidnapping’ the white child she’s actually babysitting, it sets off an explosive chain of events. Her employer Alix, a feminist blogger with a ‘personal brand’ and the best of intentions, resolves to make things right.

But Emira herself is aimless, broke and wary of Alix’s desire to help. When she meets someone from Alix’s past, the two women find themselves on a crash course that will upend everything they think they know – about themselves, each other, and the messy dynamics of privilege.

The Mother I Could Have Been by Kerry Fisher

La vida no siempre nos brinda una segunda oportunidad

The Mother I Could Have Been

 Sinopsis

Why would you walk away from the one person you can’t live without?

As a child, Vicky Hall never had the sort of family she wanted. The least important person in her new step-family, ignored by her mother in favour of her two younger half-siblings, Vicky was always an afterthought. Sitting alone at her graduation ceremony at the age of twenty-one, she vows to create her own family and her own life, one which is full of the love and attention she has always craved.

When Vicky meets William and falls pregnant in Greece that summer, it isn’t planned. But the two of them believe they can make it work, showering their child with the love which they believe should be enough.

But when her son Theo is two, Vicky leaves him in the care of her mother-in-law, walks out of her front door and drives to a hotel where she takes a room for the night. She doesn’t return.

It’s unthinkable.

What kind of mother does that?

The kind who is hiding a story you can never imagine.

Opinión

“I wished I could explain I’d discovered that breaking off contact with people I cared about was less painful than living with them loving me less”.

Vicky Hall tiene la sensación de que no es suficiente para nadie, incluida su familia. Piensa que esté donde esté, es un estorbo para todos los que la rodean y que si un día desaparece, nadie la echará en falta. Está tan cansada de acumular decepciones, que ha decidido dar un cambio a su vida sin avisar a nadie.

Comienza con unas vacaciones que se alargan más de lo previsto y que pasado un tiempo se convierten en una estancia indefinida, hasta que se le ocurra algo mejor que hacer con su vida. Se dejará llevar y no planificará nada a largo plazo.

Y así, Vicky va cambiando de vida sin pararse a pensar en qué está haciendo, hacia donde va o las consecuencias de sus actos. Poco a poco va perdiendo el contacto con su madre y con todo su pasado. Cierra las puertas a su vida real y se refugia en esta nueva que se ha creado.

Fue una gran sorpresa descubrir su embarazo, pero asume la situación con naturalidad. Hará por su hijo todo lo que ella cree que no hicieron por ella. Le dará amor, seguridad y estabilidad. Un hogar al que siempre quiera volver y será una madre que esté ahí siempre que la necesite, no como su madre que la posponía ante cualquier eventualidad.

Una historia compleja llena de giros inesperados

Poco a poco Vicky se adapta a esta nueva vida como madre. Por primera vez siente que está donde debe estar, rodeada de personas que la quieren y tienen en cuenta. Hasta que un día todo comienza a cambiar. Al principio eran pequeños gestos, cosas que solo ella notaba pero que van a más con el paso del tiempo. Situaciones que la devuelven al pasado y la empujan a hacer lo que se le da tan bien, huir.

Pero el pasado siempre vuelve para todos, incluso para Vicky y esta vez no tendrá más opción que dar la cara y enfrentarse a todos sus miedos. The Mother I Could Have Been es una historia muy bien escrita, compleja, triste y llena de reflexiones muy interesantes sobre la vida, el amor, la familia. Sobre la importancia y complejidad de las relaciones entre los seres humanos.

Vicky es un personaje muy complejo que se va desvelando por capas, cada una más compleja que la anterior. Es una mujer con muy baja autoestima y tan necesitada de amor que no es capaz de ver más allá de sí misma y de sus necesidades. Está tan centrada en ella y en sus problemas, que no ve todo lo que la rodea. Pero también es una mujer inteligente, carismática y capaz de reinventarse las veces que hagan falta.

The Mother I Could Have Been ha resultado ser una novela muy diferente a lo que esperaba en principio. Me sorprendió mucho sobre todo por los giros tan inesperados de la trama, cuando piensas que avanzas en un sentido todo cambia y te descoloca.

Una novela imprescindible e impresionante que me dejó con resaca lectora. Muy recomendable.

5/5

Puedes comprarlo en el siguiente enlace: The Mother I Could Have Been

The Thorn Girl by Laura Elliot

Una historia compleja y absorbente

The Thorn Girl

Sinopsis

A swallow flutters its wings into a dimly lit attic as Adele Foyle stumbles across the secret diary of the mother she has never met, and a shocking account of a crime committed over twenty-five years ago.

 With her mother’s words etched in her mind and in the pages tucked into her jacket pocket, Adele delays joining her fiancé for a new life abroad and returns to Reedstown, the last place her mother, Marianne, was seen alive. She has one purpose: to find those who carried out the devastating attack on her mother.

 Born into a Mother and Baby home run by Gloria Thornton, Adele needs to first unlock the disturbing chain of events that led to her own birth if she is to understand what happened to her mother.

 But news of Adele’s arrival and the diary spread like wildfire amongst the small close-knit community. Old memories are stirring up fresh wounds.

 No-one wants the truth to be told. The diary is just a story, they say. Yet as Adele begins to unravel the layers of deceit, the tissue paper lies begin to fragment and her own relationship starts to break down.

 Her mother was telling the truth. Adele just has to prove it, even if it puts her own life in terrible danger.

 A heart-stopping, intense and emotionally engrossing read that will keep you compulsively turning the pages late into the night. If you read one book this year, make it The Thorn Girl.

 This book was previously published as In My Mother’s Name.

 Opinión

Adele tenía todo listo para marcharse de la casa en la que había vivido con su abuela. Quería terminar cuanto antes y cerrar este capítulo de su vida que no le traía muy buenos recuerdos, cuando algo, de repente llamó su atención. De todas las cosas que podían haber sido, jamás se imaginó que encontraría algunos efectos personales que habían pertenecido a su madre y entre ellos, su diario.

Marianne en su diario deja constancia de unos hechos ocurridos 24 años atrás, en la que fue la peor época de su vida. Un relato desgarrador, pormenorizado, con detalles de los lugares y de las personas involucradas y que cambia de forma radical la vida de Adele.

Una madre muerta de la que apenas conoce nada

Su abuela apenas la mencionaba por más preguntas que Adele le hiciera sobre su madre, hasta que un día dejó de preguntar. Pensó que para su abuela este era un tema demasiado doloroso, nada que ver con lo que leyó en el diario.

Llena de dudas sobre el pasado familiar y cansada de mentiras Adele se traslada a Reedstown para investigar los hechos narrados por su madre. Cree que se ha cometido una gran injusticia y ha llegado el momento de sacar todo a la luz y reparar el mal.

The Thorn Girl es una historia de abusos, secretos, chantajes, pero también hay espacio para el amor. Una novela muy emotiva, compleja que se va desvelando muy poco a poco a medida que vamos leyendo. Con una gran variedad de personajes y subtramas que ocurren de forma paralela a la trama principal.

Una historia llena sorpresas

Al principio me pareció algo lenta. Tenía la sensación de que no avanzaba a ningún lugar y me costaba un poco seguir el ritmo con tantos personajes que iban surgiendo y con los cuales no veía muy clara la conexión. Pero poco a poco todo va encajando y ocupando su lugar como en un engranaje perfecto.

La primera impresión que me dio Adele, fue la de la típica mujer caprichosa y obsesionada, capaz de reescribir la historia con tal de que coincida con sus ideas o deseos. Luego me di cuenta de lo equivocada que estaba al juzgarla así.

Es un personaje muy bien creado y que transmite al lector sus sentimientos en cada momento, desde la alegría hasta la desesperación e impotencia. Adele es una mujer valiente, con una gran capacidad de adaptación y que cree en sí misma a pesar de tenerlo todo en contra.

The Thorn Girl es imprevisible. Sabes cómo comienza, pero no cómo acabará y eso es algo que he disfrutado mucho. Con cada giro que da la historia, todo se complica mucho más. No fui capaz de prever muchas de las cosas más importantes que tuvieron lugar sobre todo en el desenlace.

Una lectura absorbente, llena de pequeños detalles que exige bastante atención por parte del lector y que no decepciona. Muy recomendable.

5/5

Puedes comprarlo en el siguiente enlace: The Thorn Girl

Only daughter by Sarah A. Denzil

Cuando la venganza es lo más importante en tu vida

Only Daughter

Sinopsis

‘Your daughter is dead.’

When Kat Cavanaugh hears the words every mother dreads, her perfect world shatters. She takes in the beautiful long blonde hair, torn yellow dress and chipped blue nail-varnish. It can’t be real.

And then the police add the word ‘suicide’. But Kat refuses to believe them.

Even when they show her the familiar looping handwriting and smudged ink on the note her little girl left behind. She knows her bubbly, vivacious daughter would never take her own life.

As she searches Grace’s perfume-scented room, filled with smiling photos, she uncovers secrets her daughter had been hiding. Secrets that make her wonder how well she really knew the woman her only child was becoming.

Kat’s determined to find out what really happened to Grace on the night she died, even if it means facing her own troubled past. But as she gets closer to the terrible truth, Kat finds herself faced with an unthinkable question: there was no way she could have protected Grace – or was there?

Opinión

“There´s a line that every parent haphazardly walks: the line where we give our children enough freedom to allow them to evolve, while at the same time guarding them from danger”.

La joven Grace, de 17 años, es hija única. Después de desaparecer, la encuentran fallecida a los pies de un precipicio. La policía apunta a un suicidio, pues la chica llevaba una breve nota de despedida en el bolsillo. La madre de Grace, Kat, no puede creer que su hija haya sido capaz de semejante acto.

Para Kat su hija era el centro de su vida, la que le impulsó a cambiar de forma de vivir. Su desaparición le trae un enorme vacío y la necesidad de profundizar en lo que pasó a Grace en las horas anteriores a su fallecimiento.

Al mismo tiempo que Kat  descubre que hay partes de la vida de Grace que no conocía, el libro expone aspectos básicos de la infancia y juventud de aquella. Nacida y criada en el seno de una familia pobre, su relación con la madre fue muy difícil. Esta siempre le trasladó que era una niña mala y problemática.

Kat asimiló desde jovencita su tendencia a la violencia, derivando en un desorden de conducta que llevó a que se le diagnosticara personalidad antisocial. Sin embargo, todo esto no evitó que conociera al rico Charles, se casara con él y tuvieran una hija.

La terapia y, sobre todo, su hija, permitieron a Kat mantenerse serena y equilibrada. La pérdida de este pilar fundamental no hace que se desestabilice completamente porque se enfocará en esa indagación sobre las partes desconocidas de la vida de Grace. Su idea es que alguien tuvo que ver con la muerte de su hija. Sospecha del entorno más próximo a la joven: del novio, de su mejor amiga, etc. En este proceso, Charles le confesará que Grace ha estado en tratamiento por iniciativa de ella. La chica estaba agobiada porque se veía incapaz de entablar buenas relaciones con los demás.

Kate se planteará qué tipo de madre ha sido con su hija y si ha sido capaz de transmitirle adecuadamente el amor que sentía hacia ella. No entiende que la chica tuviera secretos con ella que no mantenía con su padre.

Hasta saber cómo se encontraba Grace antes de caer por el precipicio, Kat actuará sin escrúpulos, perjudicando a determinadas personas. Descubrirá que su hija no era tan perfecta como pensaba y que tenía amistades de las que no tenía conocimiento.

Al final, el empeño de Kat dará su resultado y el lector se encontrará con un final inesperado, brutal, fruto de un exagerado deseo de venganza.

El libro está escrito desde el punto de vista de Kat quien, desde el principio, señala la enfermedad de la que se trata. Va apuntando aspectos de su pasado que conducen a pensar que vivió situaciones extremas, debido a sus ataques de violencia, que no puede olvidar.

Creo que la narración desde el punto de vista de Kat contribuye a introducir más suspense en el desarrollo de la trama. Su trastorno lo “contamina” todo. Te hace dudar sobre si su actuación es natural o aprendida desde su proceso terapéutico, por poner un ejemplo.

Nos encontramos ante un libro entretenido y que te mantiene en tensión. Lo recomiendo a las personas que les gusta el tipo de argumento que os he expuesto.

4/5

Puedes comprarlo en el siguiente enlaceOnly Daughter

The Dressmaker’s Gift by Fiona Valpy

La valentía de tres costureras durante la Segunda Guerra Mundial

The Dressmaker's Gift

Sinopsis

Paris, 1940. With the city occupied by the Nazis, three young seamstresses go about their normal lives as best they can. But all three are hiding secrets. War-scarred Mireille is fighting with the Resistance; Claire has been seduced by a German officer; and Vivienne’s involvement is something she can’t reveal to either of them.

Two generations later, Claire’s English granddaughter Harriet arrives in Paris, rootless and adrift, desperate to find a connection with her past. Living and working in the same building on the Rue Cardinale, she learns the truth about her grandmother – and herself – and unravels a family history that is darker and more painful than she ever imagined.

In wartime, the three seamstresses face impossible choices when their secret activities put them in grave danger. Brought together by loyalty, threatened by betrayal, can they survive history’s darkest era without being torn apart?

Opinión

“But how could any of us nowadays know what it feels like to have your country invaded? What it feels like to live with deprivation and fear, in the grip of foreign control, with the ever present threat of casual acts of brutality? How could any of us know how we´d respond?”

Harriet encontró, entre las pertenencias de su difunta madre, una foto de su abuela, Claire, acompañada de otras dos mujeres. La instantánea se ubica delante de una casa de costura en París. Esta lleva escrito el nombre de las tres jóvenes (Mireille, Claire y Vivi), así como el año en el que fue tomada, 1941.

Después de terminar sus estudios en empresariales, Harriet solicita un año de prácticas en una agencia de relaciones públicas especializada en moda y situada en París. Una de las razones que la empujan a elegir este destino es intentar descubrir algo más sobre la vida de su abuela. Su madre apenas le trasladó que esta era de origen francés.

Indagar en el pasado familiar

Cuando Harriet recibe la noticia de que su solicitud es aceptada, se traslada desde Inglaterra a París. Compartirá piso con una compañera de trabajo, Simone. Enseguida descubrirá que esta es nieta de otra de las mujeres que aparece en la foto, concretamente de Mireille. Parece que el encuentro de ambas es obra del destino.

Simone podrá contar a Harriet lo que le ha transmitido su abuela: estuvo trabajando como costurera, con las otras dos mujeres, en tiempos de la Segunda Guerra Mundial. Mireille luchó clandestinamente contra los alemanes, al tiempo que Claire caía enamorada de uno de ellos. Al enterarse de esto último, Harriet se siente disgustada con su abuela. Sin embargo, este sinsabor se disipará cuando conozca que esta, tras saber que el alemán la engañaba, entró a formar parte de la resistencia.

Cuando Simone va avanzando en lo vivido por las tres mujeres, Harriet advertirá que, sobre todo, Claire y Vivi sufrieron situaciones muy peligrosas y penosas: detención por la Gestapo, duros interrogatorios, torturas y traslado a campos alemanes. A pesar de todo esto, las mujeres demostraron una fortaleza, un coraje y una capacidad de resistencia excepcionales.

Harriet, de algún modo, se desestabiliza al conocer las intensas y traumáticas experiencias vividas por su abuela. Cree que estas se relacionan con el carácter depresivo de su propia madre.

El argumento del libro me parece interesante y, sobre todo, me enganchó en su segunda mitad. En esta se describen la detención y la experiencia de Claire y Vivi en el campo de concentración.

La labor de la resistencia francesa

Asimismo, la novela narra muy bien la labor de la resistencia francesa contra la ocupación de los alemanes, utilizando incluso mensajes en clave radiados por la BBC en Londres. También explica de forma vívida la devastación, racionamiento, crueldad, toques de queda, etc. que practicaron los alemanes en París.

En todo caso, la parte del argumento que se centra en Harriet, asociando la fragilidad psíquica de su madre con cambios genéticos que fueron inducidos por el trauma que sufrió Claire, no me acaba de convencer. Incluso Harriet cree que ella misma acarrea esa herencia.

Los personajes del libro son muy interesantes. Desde luego, se describe muy bien el coraje y la valentía de las tres costureras. Por su parte, Harriet también demuestra tener parte de ese carácter, pues  se mantiene decidida en su camino de conseguir su trabajo en París. Sin embargo, cuando logra este objetivo, muestra su vulnerabilidad humana cuando se plantea si será lo suficientemente buena para el puesto asignado.

En definitiva, un libro interesante, bien escrito y que se hace dinámico porque alterna la narración actual de la vida de Harriet con la de su abuela en el pasado.

4/5

Puedes comprarlo en el siguiente enlace:  The Dressmaker’s Gift