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WE ARE ALL MADE OF STARS A Novel By Rowan Coleman

$27.00 Ballentine Books
www.rowancoleman.co.uk  


From International bestselling author Rowan Coleman comes her latest novel WE ARE ALL MADE OF STARS, the compelling story of life and death, love and loss, and the moments caught in between.

Stella is a hospice nurse who works nights. She has undergone serious changes due to the fact that she and her veteran husband, Vincent, have been unable to connect, ever since he returned from Afghanistan an injured man. And where once she fought to save lives as an ER nurse, she is now content to help patients navigate the choppy waters of death. Stella helps her patients write their final letters to loved ones which she promises to send only after the patient has died. But when one of her patients confesses to a painful situation which Stella feels she could mend, she is torn as to whether or not to send the letter before her patient dies, therefore allowing that patient to make amends with the letter’s recipient while there’s still time.

Hope, a young woman whose life has been ruled by constant bouts with a life-threatening disease, is a patient at the hospice who is recovering from a serious near-death episode. Almost recovered and ready to go home, she wonders whether or not she can find the inner strength she needs to make a head-on run towards her life. And with Stella’s guidance, she starts to find her way one small step at a time.

Meanwhile, Hugh, a young man who is not a hospice patient, has spent his life alone, afraid to become too entangled with other people and their problems. But when he intersects with Stella in an unexpected way, a chapter in his life, long buried, resurfaces, which has the power to change everything. Whether or not he’s ready to make that change remains to be seen, but the pull towards a happy ending is a powerful thing and something he might not be able to resist. And as these characters come full circle, the magic elixir of life tugging at their heartstrings, each of them understands that all they can do is reach for redemption, take the reins and hold on tight.

This book had me at word one and I was compelled to stay up way past my bedtime, several nights running, until I had finished the final sentence. A feast of emotions, insights and unexpected epiphanies, this story saw me shedding unbridled tears of both joy and sorrow. If you are a Jojo Moyes fan, you will love Rowan Coleman’s writing which is imbued with a little bit of magic and a whole lot of style.

MAGICAL JUNGLEMAGICAL JUNGLE An Inky Expedition and Coloring Book
By Johanna Basford

$16.95 penguin
www.johannabasford.com

Recently, I was laid up for weeks recovering from knee surgery. During that time, I found that there was little I could do to pass the endless hours of boredom other than watch TV; I was too groggy to read and not nimble enough to get out of bed. But then, I was given the gift of one of Johanna Basford’s magical coloring books, Secret Garden, and a set of colored pencils, and I was hooked.

Now, Ms. Basford regales us with the fourth book in her wonderful series, MAGICAL JUNGLE, a coloring book for adults that explores an exotic rainforest teaming with a myriad of creatures. Page after page of pen and ink drawings invite you to color within the lines (or outside of them) to create your own one-of-a kind pages that explodes with the color palate of your choosing. You may scoff at the thought of coloring like a four year old might do, but I am here to tell you that coloring is actually one of the most relaxing ways you could ever hope to pass the time. When you are coloring, all you can do is concentrate on doing so and it becomes a form of meditation that takes you outside of yourself and away from the frantic pull daily life and the to-do list you have waiting on your phone.

After selling 16 million of her books world-wide, I would say that Ms. Basford, the foremost adult coloring book artist to date, is on to something here. And once you get going with her latest creation, there’s no doubt you’ll want to color every book in her collection.

 THE FRENCH WAR BRIDETHE FRENCH WAR BRIDE A Novel
By Robin Wells

$16.00 Berkley
www.robinwells.com

National bestselling author Robin Wells wows readers with her new novel THE FRENCH WAR BRIDE, a story of betrayal, love and sacrifice set in Nazi-occupied Paris.

It’s the present day and Kat Morgan, now in her nineties, is looking back at her life and searching for answers. Despite the fact that she has retained her stellar beauty and has enjoyed a happy life as a wife and mother, she’s never gotten over the fact that she was jilted by her former fiancé, Jack. Kat, who is ill, doesn’t have much time left, so she decides to go back to her former home of Wedding Tree Louisiana, where she means to confront Amélie, the French war bride who stole Jack from her when they were both in their twenties.

Amélie welcomes her with trepidation and resignation and as the two women sit together, Amélie tells Kat the story of her life. Her father, a linguistics professor, teaches Amélie and her brothers English and German as they come of age before World War II. She has just begun a romance with Joshua, a Jewish Austrian immigrant, when the Nazi’s invade Paris and her world is turned upside down. After witnessing her father’s murder, she and her mother flee to safety. And with Joshua’s help Amélie spends the remainder of the war working in a hotel, where, in actuality, she is spying on German officers for the French Resistance.

As the war comes to a close, Amélie finds herself caring for a new baby and desperate to leave Paris. Enter Jack, a handsome American soldier and doctor who, against his better judgement, helps her become a French War Bride by marrying her under false pretenses and at her insistence. But this is just the first of many lies Amélie must tell in order to save both herself and her daughter and when Jack realizes what he’s done, it’s too late to turn back. Returning to Wedding Tree, he calls off his engagement to Kat and sets about trying to build a life with Amélie. But how they will ever find a way to truly be husband and wife is anybody’s guess. And back in the present day, as Amélie spins her tale of woe and wonder, Kat must decide if she can come to terms with her story and find some peace at long last.

Beautifully written and well researched, this book will keep you glued to your seat for hours on end. Compelling characters come alive on the page, carrying you back in time and leaving you breathless with anticipation as to what will happen next. A must read, especially for those with a penchant for historical fiction.

www.Dishmag.com / Issue 184 - September 2018
Turnpage Blk


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