#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Erika too struggles to reconcile this withdrawn, volatile figure with the husband she knew and loved before, and, as she strives to break through the wall Max has built around himself, Netta is both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: The Memory Book by Rowan Coleman




As a mum to three girls I was immediately drawn to The Memory Book when I saw it was a book about the relationships between mothers and daughters.  It focuses on three generations of women, Claire who has been diagnosed with early onset Alzheimer's disease, her daughter, Caitlin who has to make her own life-changing decisions whilst watching her mum deteriorate rapidly, and her mother, Ruth who lost her husband to Alzheimer's and now faces the loss of her only daughter. So emotional stuff then and it would be foolish of me to deny that it made me cry several times. However, this is not in any way a depressing read, despite the sombre subject matter it is a warm, often funny and always touching look at a family learning to deal with the massive changes they are facing. Claire is the main narrator of the story and we see her fear and frustration as she slowly loses who she is. This is sensitively and believably handled, particularly in the scenes where her memory loss is apparent. The Memory Book of the title refers to a book Claire is filling in with memories of her past, her teenage pregnancy, years as a single mum, her love affair and subsequent marriage to Greg, the birth of her second daughter, Esther (who is a thoroughly real small girl with all the charm, humour and tyranny they possess) and always her relationship with Caitlin and Ruth. Caitlin, Ruth and Greg also add their memories to the book and so we see what they're going through watching the gradual loss of such a significant person in all their lives as some chapters are narrated in their voices, something that works very well and creates a fully rounded family  whose plight is easy to identify with. I sympathised with them, of course but the writing is such that I didn't ever pity them.
I lost my own mum to breast cancer when I was 22 and so have always been a motherless mother to my own three girls although have been fortunate to have a wonderful mother-in-law. I miss my mum every day but still feel blessed that I learned how to be a mum from her. The Memory Book really touched me, it's a truly lovely reminder of the relationship between mothers and daughters. I thoroughly recommend it. Many thanks to the author and publishers for my copy from Netgalley in return for my honest review.

The Memory Book is published in the UK by Ebury.

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