#BlogTour #BookReview #Extract - The Watcher by Monika Jephcott Thomas

It’s 1949 when Netta’s father Max is released from a Siberian POW camp and returns to his home in occupied Germany. But he is not the man the little girl is expecting – the brave, handsome doctor her mother Erika told her stories of.

Erika too struggles to reconcile this withdrawn, volatile figure with the husband she knew and loved before, and, as she strives to break through the wall Max has built around himself, Netta is both frightened and jealous of this interloper in the previously cosy household she shared with her mother and
doting grandparents.

Now, if family life isn’t tough enough, it is about to get even tougher, when a murder sparks a police investigation, which begins to unearth dark secrets they all hoped had been forgotten.

It's my pleasure to be hosting the blog tour for The Watcher today, many thanks to the author, publishers and Rachel Gilbey at Authoright for inviting me to take part and for my advance copy received in return for my honest review.
Before I share my…

Book Review: *relentlessly me* - A memoir of an extraordinary friendship by David H with Tim M


Image courtesy of David Hurst


As some of you already know last August my brother killed himself. After such a life shattering event I think it's natural to reach out to those who have been through similar experiences and so once I learned of this book I knew I had to read it.
David's great friend Tim took his life in February 2012, just 6 months before my brother Simon ended his. *relentlessly me* tells the story of their friendship, one that was separated by the miles as David lives in England and Tim was American but nevertheless was as special as friendships can be. David also courageously writes of his grieving process, the shock, guilt and anger. I could identify with so much of what was written, the sense of being lost, the sledgehammer reminders, the whys and if onlys, the desire not to let the person you love fade away.
*relentlessly me* though is not a depressing book, it's heart-breaking and raw but also life-affirming, heart-warming and funny. David also writes about his family life and in particular his two young sons, there were several passages I laughed out loud at, and lots of parenting moments I recognised. The warmth radiates from this book, the love David has for his family and friends and the very special relationship he had with Tim. I have found it very hard to accurately describe all of who my brother was since his death but David manages to capture who Tim was by including many of his social media postings and links to photos.
*relentlessly me* is a book that sums up the mind-blowing confusion of suicide, looks at depression, addiction and ageing, contains passages that made me cry for my pain, for David's pain and the pain Tim and Simon must have felt before they reached that ultimate decision. It also has passages of hope, words that inspired me and were deeply thought-provoking. It's a book about life, about the worst moments a person can face but about the best too. Ultimately it's about how although we have lost someone very dear to us in the most tragic of circumstances, we are still here, surviving, loving, laughing and living. Or as David would put it "being relentlessly me".

*relentlessly me* - A memoir of an extraordinary friendship is available on Kindle.

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