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I Came to Say Goodbye
Caroline Overington
Sunlounger
Belinda Jones, Lucy Robinson, Chrissie Manby, Miranda Dickinson, Alexandra Brown, Kirsty Greenwood, Abby Clements, Kate Harrison, Anna-Lou Weatherley, Cally Taylor
Have No Shame - Melissa Foster Set in the late 1960s Have No Shame tells the story of a sheltered small-town girl Alison who finds her eyes opened to the goings on in her town when she discovers the body of a coloured man in a river whilst on her way home. This shocks her to realise that people hated him so much for the colour of his skin that they would beat a man to death.

This discovery seems to open Alison's eyes to what is going on around her, and the realisation just how close to home it is, but she is no longer willing to sit back and be quiet as is expected of her especially when her rebellious sister Maggie returns home from New York full of news as to how different an integrated life is.

And when she meets handsome Jackson, a soldier who has just returned home from Vietnam who is the dead man's nephew, she questions whether she really loves her fiance Jimmy Lee who she's supposed to be getting married to in a few weeks if she can have strong feelings for another man.

Alison soon finds herself in the midst of the movement for change in her town and is surprised that more people are involved than she at first realised, especially when one of them turns out to be her own mother. Can they all really make a difference or will things continue the way they always have done?

This is a story that will make you think as to how lucky we are to live in the generation that we do, I cannot even begin to imagine what it must have been like for people to live in a segregated society like that. It's a romance story with a difference and one that stayed with me long after I finished reading.
The Underside of Joy - Seré Prince Halverson I'm glad that I saw the Facebook post by Waterstones asking for reviewers for this book as it's truly a moving read and will definitely be in my top 10 books read this year. It's a poignant story of what can happen when tragedy strikes and pulls the rug from under your comfortable life.

When Ella arrives in the town of Elbow following her divorce, she does not expect to fall in love so soon and become part of an instant family but that's precisely what happens when she meets single father Joe and his two children, Annie and Zach. She becomes the centre of a loving family, with a husband who adores her, children who call her mommy which is what she's always wanted but couldn't have, as well as in-laws who've welcomed her into their extended family.

But her world crashes around her when, three years later, Joe is killed but at least she has the children to cling onto. Everyone is shocked when Joe's ex wife makes an appearance at his funeral and soon afterwards asks for access to the children she left behind.

Ella soon finds out that things were not quite as clear cut as Joe had told her, although Paige had initially left with no contact, she had been writing regularly to Joe and the children and had requested access but he'd hidden this fact from them all. Can Ella and Paige come to an agreement that will enable them both to be involved in the children's lives?

It's hard to believe that this is a debut novel as it was extremely well written and handled delicate topics such as postnatal depression, infertility, custody battles very sensitively. I think I connected with this book emotionally as I've seen personally how custody cases affect all involved not just the adults but the children too.
The Pink Hotel - Anna Stothard When I saw on the Waterstones Facebook page that they were looking for reviewers for this book I decided to apply for a copy to see what it was like as not one I had heard of before and probably not a book I would have picked myself.

The story begins with the young girl (we never do get to find out what her name is!) turning up in the middle of the wake for her mother, Lily, at the hotel she had run with her husband. She wanders around apparently unnoticed and then walks upto her mother's bedroom where she starts looking through her mother's possessions.

Whilst she was in the bathroom her mother's husband turns up and passes out in the bedroom, so she decides that she'd better leave but before she goes she fills a suitcase with some of Lily's things to take with her.

We then find out that Lily had left when she was just three years old and that she'd never known her so she doesn't know anything about her, she'd simply received a phone call from the hospital telling her that her mother had died. On the spur of the moment she decided to book a plane ticket to Los Angeles to see where her mother had lived.

Through the items in the suitcase she then spends the summer trying to piece together her mothers life to find out exactly who she was and whether they were anything alike.

I have to confess that this one did not really pull me in at all and I found myself skipping on to try and find something to get my teeth into but sadly it never happened.