[Book Review] CHRISTMAS AT WOOLWORTHS by Elaine Everest

If, like myself, you grew up in the UK; I’m sure that many of you have the very same nostalgic memories of Woolies stores as I do.

Growing up on the outskirts of Glasgow, our nearest Woolworths store was on the local high street and I have fond memories of spending pocket money or selecting toys to add to my Christmas letter to Santa. As I grew older, it became somewhere friends and I would go to buy makeup , jewellery, books or stationery; and it was where, in 1990, I purchased my very first vinyl – the Unskinny Bop single by American glam rockers Poison.

Needless to say, this sense of nostalgia meant that when I was approached with an invitation to participate in an upcoming Blog Tour for Elaine Everest’s latest novel Christmas at Woolworths, I jumped at the chance!

DETAILS

TITLE: Christmas at Woolworths

AUTHOR: Elaine Everest

GENRE: Historical Fiction

PUBLISHED BY: Pan Macmillan

PUBLICATION DATE: 2 November 2017

EDITION: Paperback

ISBN: 9781509743657

PRICE: £6.99

To be published in both paperback and e-book, further Christmas at Woolworths information can be found on Goodreads, whilst purchasing information is available from Amazon.co.uk.

Even though there was a war on, the Woolworths girls brought Christmas cheer to their customers

Best friends Sarah, Maisie and Freda are brought together by their jobs at Woolworths. With their loved ones away on the front line, their bonds of friendship strengthen each day. Betty Billington is the manager at Woolworths, and a rock for the girls, having given up on love . . . Until a mysterious stranger turns up one day – could he reignite a spark in Betty?

As the year draws to a close, and Christmas approaches, the girls must rely on each other to navigate the dark days that lie ahead . . .

With so much change, can their friendship survive the war?

THOUGHTS

I see the friendship circle of Sarah, Maisie and Freda as being the main characters of the book; along with their boss Betty and their wider family groups. They are, for the most part, likeable and believable characters and I found myself rooting for Maisie and her hope to finally become a mother, that Sadie’s airman husband would return home safely, and that the once timid Freda would excel in her endeavours as a despatch rider for the fire service.

The author’s local knowledge and love of the place makes for rich descriptions which bring both the people and places to life.

Whilst this particular book is actually a sequel to Everest’s debut novel The Woolworths Girls, it can be read as a stand-alone novel; however, having enjoyed reading about the girls’ lives in this festive offering, I plan to read the previous book.

Funnily enough, it was only whilst reading this book that I recalled stories my maternal grandmother had regaled us with about her time as a Woolworths girl in the 1930s! Born in 1912, she worked in Woolies in her twenties, before leaving when she got married in 1938.

RATINGS & RECOMMENDATIONS

Everest has written a wonderfully touching tale, full of charming details of life during this difficult period of history. She presents a likeable cast of characters, equally flawed as they are endearing, and spins a story filled with hope and friendship, and a little Christmas magic.

I rate this uplifting tale 4 out of 5 sparkly Christmassy stars.

An uplifting and heartfelt story about the struggles faced by women during wartime and the camaraderie that helped them get through hardships and unimaginable heartache; Christmas at Woolworths is perfect for fans of The Woolworths Girls, The Butlins Girls, and romance novels; as well as lovers of Historical Fiction, or those with an interest in the social history of wartime Britain.

THE AUTHOR

Born and raised in North West Kent, Elaine grew up listening to tales of the war years in her hometown of Erith; a location which not only features in Christmas at Woolworths but also her previous bestselling novels The Woolworths Girls and The Butlins Girls. Indeed, it was during her formative years in Kent that Elaine herself briefly worked as a Woolworths girl!

A former journalist, Elaine has also written a number of nonfiction books aimed at dog owners, as well as having penned an impressive sixty plus short stories for women’s magazines.

She still lives in Kent, with husband Michael and sheepdog Henry; where, when she isn’t writing, she runs the Dartford-based creative writing school The Write Place as well as the blog for the Romantic Novelists’ Association.

You can find out more by connecting with Elaine via Twitter, Facebook and Amazon.

DISCLOSURE

I received a pre-publication Advance Reader Copy of Christmas at Woolworths, from the publisher free of charge, for the purpose of supplying an honest review and participating in this blog tour. As always, all thoughts and opinions are my own.

And, also as always, thanks for stopping by!

Hugs,

Crafty xxx

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[Book Review] Blog Blitz: THE GIRL FROM THE SUGAR PLANTATION by Sharon Maas

As a lover of Historical Fiction, I was understandably very much intrigued when Bookouture approached me with an invitation to participate in an upcoming Blog Tour for Sharon Maas‘s latest novel The Girl From The Sugar Plantation.….

DETAILS

TITLE: The Girl From The Sugar Plantation

AUTHOR: Sharon Maas

GENRE: Historical Fiction

PUBLISHED BY: Bookouture

PUBLICATION DATE: 19 October 2017

EDITION: E-Book

ISBN: 9781786812957

PRICE: £1.99

Currently available to purchase as an e-book from Amazon UK & details can also be found at Amazon US.

An unputdownable story about a woman in search of the truth, the man she falls in love with, and the devastation of the Second World War.

1934, Georgetown.

All her life, Mary Grace has wanted to know the truth about who her parents really are. As the mixed-race daughter of two white plantation owners, her childhood has been clouded by whispered rumours, and the circumstances of her birth have been kept a closely guarded secret…

Aunt Winnie is the only person Mary Grace can confide in. Feeling lost and lonely, her place in society uncertain, Mary Grace decides to forge her own path in the world. And she finds herself unexpectedly falling for charming and affluent Jock Campbell, a planter with revolutionary ideas.

But, with the onset of the Second World War, their lives will be changed forever. And Mary Grace and Jock will be faced with the hardest decision of all – to fight for freedom or to follow their hearts…

THOUGHTS

When we first meet 16 year-old Mary Grace amidst the sugarcanes of her ancestral plantation, the juxtaposition between her family’s social standing and her perceived lower class personal standing due to her mixed race heritage is clear. On the one hand, she has been brought up as a young lady of the English upper classes; but destined to never be accepted by her peers she is unsure of her place in the world.

At times, her behaviour seems spoiled & brattish, as she pouts & wheedles to ensure her mother capitulates to her every whim; but in reality I think the strained relationship with her mother combined with the constant bombardment of racist treatment has left her having no option but to construct this veneer.

Young and naive as she is, Mary Grace is a likeable character, who ultimately aspires for a better fairer life for those around her as well as herself.

As we learn more about the difficulties of being both a young woman and of mixed race in 1930s British Guyana, it is all too clear that Mary Grace is going to have to struggle to find a place where she feels that she ‘fits’.

The author’s passion for both place and time is made obvious by the way her well-researched factual findings are seamlessly woven into the fabric of this thought-provoking, tale evocative of the era.

Whilst this particular book can be read as a stand-alone novel, it is in fact the third offering in Maas’s The Quint Chronicles trilogy and having enjoyed The Girl From The Sugar Plantation, I fully intend to read both The Secret Life of Winnie Cox and The Sugar Planter’s Daughter to find out more of the family’s backstory, as well as reading ahead into the future with The Small Fortune of Dorothea Q.

RATINGS & RECOMMENDATIONS

Maas presents a tale as perfectly woven as the fluid green silk of Mary Grace’s concert debut gown, her descriptive prose brings the landscape and feelings of the era to life and the story is as full and rich as that skirt.

I rate this touching and enthralling tale 4 out of 5 sugar-encrusted stars.

An utterly compelling and evocative story about the heart-breaking choices men and women had to make during a time of unimaginable change. Perfect for fans of The Secret Wife and Island of Secrets, lovers of Historical Fiction, and those interested in the history surrounding the British sugar trade.

THE AUTHOR

Born in Georgetown, Guyana in 1951, Sharon Maas spent many childhood hours either curled up behind a novel or writing her own adventure stories. Sometimes she had adventures of her own, and found fifteen minutes of Guyanese fame for salvaging an old horse-drawn coach from a funeral parlor, fixing it up, painting it bright blue, and tearing around Georgetown with all her teenage friends. The coach ended up in a ditch, but thankfully neither teens nor horse were injured.

Boarding school in England tamed her somewhat; but after a few years as a reporter with the Guyana Graphic in Georgetown she plunged off to discover South America by the seat of her pants. She ended up in a Colombian jail, and that’s a story for another day…

Sharon has lived in an Ashram in India and as a German Hausfrau–the latter giving her the time and the motivation to finally start writing seriously. Her first novel, Of Marriageable Age, was published by HarperCollins, London, in 1999 and reprinted as a digital edition in 2014. After working as a social worker in a German hospital she finally retired and now has time for her favourite pastimes: reading, writing, and travelling.

The Author’s website SharonMaas.com is well worth a visit; being full of all sorts of bookish treats & tidbits and, always eager to hear from readers, Sharon Maas can also be contacted (and followed, if you are interested in keeping up-to-date with upcoming news!) via Facebook and Twitter.

DISCLOSURE

I received a digital copy of The Girl From The Sugar Plantation, from Bookouture via NetGalley and free of charge, for the purpose of supplying an honest review and participating in this blog tour. As always, all thoughts and opinions are my own.

And, also as always, thanks for stopping by!

Hugs,

Crafty xxx

[Book Review] THE TEA DRAGON SOCIETY by Katie O’Neill

DETAILS:

TITLE: The Tea Dragon Society

AUTHOR: Katie O’Neill

GENRE: Children’s Fiction, Comics & Graphic Novels, Fantasy

PUBLISHED BY: Oni Press /Diamond Book Distributors

PUBLICATION DATE: 31st October 2017

EDITION: Hardcover

ISBN: 9781620104415

PRICE: $17.99 (USD)

THE STORY:

From the award-winning author of Princess Princess Ever After comes The Tea Dragon Society, a charming all-ages book that follows the story of Greta, a blacksmith apprentice, and the people she meets as she becomes entwined in the enchanting world of tea dragons. After discovering a lost tea dragon in the marketplace, Greta learns about the dying art form of tea dragon care-taking from the kind tea shop owners, Hesekiel and Erik. As she befriends them and their shy ward, Minette, Greta sees how the craft enriches their lives–and eventually her own.

THOUGHTS:

This beautifully written and illustrated manga-style fairytale is a delight of warm thoughtfulness.

The artwork is sublime, the characters all realistic and eminently likeable, and the tea dragons themselves are quite possibly the cutest creatures ever invented.

The legend of the Tea Dragons, and the story of the strong bond and shared memories they form with their guardians is enchanting; and the addition of Extracts from The Tea Dragon Handbook at the rear of the book was a welcome and intriguing discovery. The Tea Dragon Handbook includes an introduction to Tea Dragon care, information on the history of both Tea Dragons and The Tea Dragon Society, and individual fact-files on each species of Tea Dragon.

However something struck me as I was reading it for the third time that left me utterly insensed! I suddenly realized how inclusive the book was, no fanfares, no wordy blurbs, just honest inclusivity; which is just as it should be. I was angered, not by this book, but by all the ones that don’t get it right!

Gender stereotypes are ignored as Greta’s tall muscular mother is the town’s blacksmith, whilst her slighter framed father keeps shop; promoting and selling his wife’s creations alongside sundries such as tea.

Most relationships appear to be mixed race (or species!?) and same-sex couples are nothing of note.

Physical Disability and Mental Health feature as part of life rather than trotted out as yet another trope.

I utterly and wholeheartedly applaud this book for setting such a high standard that ALL books, graphic novel to weighty prose and everything in between, should aspire to.

Plus, I desperately wish for a tea dragon of my very own!

RATINGS & RECOMMENDATIONS:

I rate this beautifully written and illustrated tale 5 out of 5 magical stars.

I recommend The Tea Dragon Society to lovers of: wonderful tales with a mythological twist, beautifully illustrated graphic novels, diverse reads, dragons, and; of course; tea.

THE AUTHOR:

An illustrator and graphic novelist from New Zealand, Katie O’Neill mostly makes gentle fantasy stories for younger readers.

She is very interested in tea, creatures, things that grow, and the magic of everyday life.

You can find out more at teadragonsociety.com and follow Katie on social media, where she can be found using the moniker @strangelykatie on both Twitter and Instagram.

DISCLOSURE:

I received a digital copy of The Tea Dragon Society, via NetGalley and free of charge, for the purpose of supplying an honest review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

As always, thanks for stopping by!

Hugs,

Crafty xxx

[Book Review] A PEARL FOR MY MISTRESS by Annabel Fielding

As a bit of a history nerd, I was understandably excited when Annabel contacted me last month enquiring if I would be interested in participating in the upcoming blog tour for her new historical fiction novel; running between the 14th and 28th of September; and today’s the (my) day!

DETAILS

TITLE: A Pearl for my Mistress

AUTHOR: Annabel Fielding

PUBLISHED BY: HQ Digital

GENRE: Historical Fiction

PUBLICATION DATE: 9th August 2017

EDITION: E-book / Kindle

ISBN: 9780008271169

PRICE: £0.99 / $TBC

Currently available from both Amazon UK and Amazon US .

THE STORY

England, 1934. Hester Blake, an ambitious girl from an industrial Northern town, finds a job as a lady’s maid in a small aristocratic household.

Despite their impressive title and glorious past, the Fitzmartins are crumbling under the pressures of the new century. And in the cold isolation of these new surroundings, Hester ends up hopelessly besotted with her young mistress, Lady Lucy.

Accompanying Lucy on her London Season, Hester is plunged into a heady and decadent world. But hushed whispers of another war swirl beneath the capital… and soon, Hester finds herself the keeper of some of society’s most dangerous secrets…

THOUGHTS

Both Hester and Lucy are inherently likeable characters, any flaws or failures being a byproduct of their respective upbringings or situations.

The author’s choice of lengthy descriptive prose is evocative of the era, indeed there is one particular part early on in the book when the two young women are discussing Lucy’s writing which to my mind sums it up rather nicely;

“My sentences used to take at least five lines each. Otherwise I felt I didn’t do justice to the heroine’s complexion or the fragrance of the garden”.

I feel that the physical attraction between the two was somewhat inevitable, given the somewhat forced closeness between them during their time in the isolated Hebden Hall; Lady Lucy’s foreboding ancestral home; and the romanticed notions they each have of the others life.

At times, I found myself getting somewhat frustrated by the unthinking ways and poor choices that led Hester (and at times Lucy) into difficult situations.

As always I am ever-mindful of not giving away too much of the story in my review, so rather than tell you my take on this wonderfully poignant tale, I’d rather concentrate on the vividly described world that Hester finds herself plunged in. At a time when the upper classes were still trying to cling to all their traditions and rules of proprietary as the world marched on to more modern ways of thinking, Hester could still experience what she saw as the wonder of a different way of life; although ultimately realizes that for all the luxuries afforded to the upper-class they are as much trapped by their situation as those of the working class.

Through her detailed and well-researched writing, Annabel Fielding immerses the reader in the world of 1930s society through her wonderfully evocative descriptions. Sometimes, this level of description and background information does cause the pace of the story to slow; but this makes for a languorous unfolding of the story which somehow feels in-keeping with the era.

RATING & RECOMMENDATIONS

As a lover of historical fiction, I enjoyed this richly woven tale. Whilst the story was somewhat of a slow burner, I felt this added to it’s charm.

I rate this evocative and eminently readable tale of 1930s society 4 out of 5 stars.

I recommend A Pearl for my Mistress to anyone who enjoys historical fiction with a touch of romance, and fans of Downtown Abbey or similar.

MEET THE AUTHOR

You can find out more about Novelist, History Geek and International Woman of Mystery Annabel over on her blog History Geek in Town ; where she shares her love of travel, books and tea through her reviews of (mostly) historical fiction and her stunningly photographed travel posts.

Alternatively, you can also follow her, @DearestAnnabel, on Twitter.

DISCLOSURE

I received a copy of this book from the author, via NetGalley & free of charge, in order to read, review and join in with this blog tour. All thoughts are my honest opinions.

Do you enjoy Historical Fiction? Do you have a preferred era?

Hopefully, this review may have piqued your interest!

Thanks for stopping by,

Hugs,

Crafty xxx

I would also like to thank the lovely Annabel for inviting me to read her book, and participate in the blog tour.

[Book Review] LETTERING WITH PURPOSE by Brittany Luiz

TITLE: LETTERING WITH PURPOSE

AUTHOR: BRITTANY LUIZ

GENRE: NON-FICTION, CRAFTS & HOBBIES, ARTS

PUBLISHED BY: WALTER FOSTER PUBLISHING

PUBLICATION DATE: 1st SEPTEMBER 2017

EDITION: PAPERBACK

ISBN: 9781633223424

PRICE: $21.95 (USD)

Creative techniques and prompts for making meaningful, inspirational hand-lettered art.

DESCRIPTION

Lettering with Purpose is

DISCLOSURE

I received a free ARC of this book from the publisher, via NetGalley, in return for an open and honest review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

As always, thanks for taking the time to stop by! Have you tried your hand at the current trend for hand-lettering yet? I’d love to hear whether you have or inspired to try it after reading this!

Hugs,

Crafty xx

[Book Review] TREAT YOURSELF! by Jessica Siskin

TITLE: Treat Yourself!

AUTHOR: Jessica Siskin

PUBLISHED BY: Workman Publishing Company

PUBLICATION DATE: 27 June 2017

EDITION: Paperback

GENRE: Cookery, Crafts & Hobbies, Food & Wine

ISBN: 9780761189800

PRICE: $14.95 (USD)

Jessica Siskin, AKA talented food artist; and Instagram sensation; @mister_krisp, invites you to ‘Treat Yourself!’ in this beautifully photographed & easy to follow book detailing 

“How to make 93 ridiculously fun no-bake crispy rice treats”


About The Book

One of the first things I noticed was the copious amount of clear photographs spread through the book. The instructions themselves are detailed yet concise and each stage is accompanied by a corresponding photo. 

The opening chapters include an introduction from the author, explaining a bit about how and why she got into Rice Krispie Treat modelling, and detailed descriptions of the equipment and ingredients necessary. Everything is well documented, with additional links, recommendations, and hints & tips where appropriate.

Another genius idea is that every single treat uses the same basic recipe. In the introductory part of the book, Jessica supplies us with a helpful table listing how many cups, tablespoons & drops are required to make batches of set sizes (named A-H for ease)

Each individual​ recipe then states which size batches you need and which colouring drops are required. 

The writing style is friendly and easy to read, chatty and full of puns, it’s like reading a letter from a friend.


The Recipes

The recipes themselves are laid out alphabetically; starting with Apples and a ridiculously realistic looking 11 inch tall Avocado, includes Balloons, a BBQ complete with kebabs, a dinosaur, lollipops, a piñata, a star-spangled wizard’s hat, and of course finishing up with a Zebra. 

There are even instructions for how to make Yourself  out of Rice Krispie Treats. I repeat, MAKE YOURSELF, OUT OF RICE KRISPIE TREATS. We’ve all seen those cakes with the photo of the birthday girl/boy/dog printed on top, but imagine the look on their face when they see themselves; in all their Krispie treats glory; taking centre stage at the party! (Coincidentally, this book is published the same day Offspring#2 turns 18. I’m already looking for a suitable snapshot to utilise this idea!)

The individual recipes are easy to follow, each step is clearly explained and any additional equipment or decorating ingredients are detailed at the beginning, alongside the required number of differently sized & coloured batches. The top of each page is also clearly marked denoting how hard each particular build is; bearing Easy, Medium or Advanced coloured banners. 

Also included are traceable (or downloadable) templates to make moulding your shapes easier. They are easily transferable to the reverse of baking parchment, then you can set to work moulding each batch of mixture.


How Did I Get On?

Of course, I had to give it a try, and since I was reading this book over National Doughnut Week (6-13 May), I just had to plump for misterkrisps Donuts recipe.

 I used chocolate crispies and didn’t add colour to the mix, if I was doing this again, I would probably add brown colouring or cocoa to my mallow mix.

I had 6 mini donut silicone moulds, so I used those. A ‘G’ Batch of mix filled those, plus I had enough left to mould 2 more by hand.

Half were iced with melted dark chocolate before being dusted with glitter sugar & coloured sprinkles, whilst I topped the remaining four with a coat of pink candy-melts and a drizzle of milk chocolate.

Jessica’s instructions were simple to follow and the opening chapters even include photographs of what the contents of your saucepan should look like at each stage, along with appropriate timings for a midsized batch. Speaking of which, I cannot believe how easy the cleanup was at the end; I filled my saucepan with hot soapy water whilst I put away my extra marshmallows etc and when I came back to it 5 minutes later, the remaining butter/marshmallow/crispie mix just wiped off!! 


What Did The Victims Think?

The Other Half: “Yummy!” and “mmmm..marshmallow-y”

Offspring#1: “I liked them, I guess!?!”

Offspring#2: “They were some good doughnuts” whilst simultaneously reaching for a second

& Me? I found it a bit on the sweet side but yummy, and I’m sure I’ll be making lots more Rice Krispie Treats in the coming months!

Rating

I rate this book 5 out of 5 stars, as it is a real treat for the eyes as well as the taste buds! 

Disclosure: A free ARC was provided by the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.


As always, thanks for stopping by! Hope to see you here again soon, and in the meantime; have you tried anything from an interesting new recipe book lately, or have you got an old favourite to share? 

Hugs,

Crafty xx

[Book Review] ‘DEAD LETTERS’ by Caite Dolan-Leach

TITLE: DEAD LETTERS

AUTHOR: Caite Dolan-Leach

PUBLISHED BY: Corvus

PUBLICATION DATE: 4th May 2017

GENRE: Fiction, Suspense/Thriller

EDITION: Paperback

ISBN: 9781786491305

PRICE: £12.99

Dead Letters is the debut novel of, writer and literary translator, Caite Dolan-Leach.  Although now living and working in Paris; she grew up around Finger Lakes, New York’s largest wine producing region, which probably explains why both areas are described in great detail and so vividly.

What’s the story?

We meet Ava, midflight from Paris to New York, her first trip ‘home’ to the family vineyard in two years. It’s a trip she’s only making because her mother (who has been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s) emailed with news that Ava’s twin sister is presumed dead after a fire broke out in a barn on the property.

We know that Ava fled to Paris to escape both her discordant family life and a significant act of betrayal by her sister. The family business is failing, their absent father had distanced himself from them, and they were finding it increasingly difficult to cope with their mother’s illness. 

Ava likes to think of herself as the sensible twin, whilst Zelda was the wild one; but as she starts receiving emails, notes and letters purporting to be from the presumed dead Zelda; Ava too starts to lose control. 

Whilst caring for her mother, attempting to mend relationships with her father & paternal grandmother and trying to come to terms with the original betrayal; she finds herself in the midst of a strange alphabetical scavenger hunt, spiralling all the way from Ava to Zelda. Convinced that Zelda is still alive and in hiding, Ava and her ex-boyfriend (& Zelda’s… remember that betrayal!?) try to uncover the truth. Believing Zeld has manipulated those around her to play along with her devious scheme, Ava gets drawn further and further into what she sees as a game her sister is determined to win.

Unsure of what to believe, and drinking heavily, Ava’s behaviour becomes erratic; and she starts wearing Zelda’s more Bohemian clothes. She gradually uncovers more truths than she is comfortable with and as the alphabet progresses, discovers more about herself, her sister and their wider family.

What I thought

Prior to receiving a physical copy of this book, I had the opportunity to read a digital download of the first few chapters; isn’t it interesting how some books so often turn out entirely different​ from how you originally envision they are going to? My original thoughts, two chapters in, were: 

I really enjoyed reading the first few chapters. I particularly liked the author’s​ descriptive style of writing. The scattering of emails throughout the prose adds detail. The cover hints at mysteries to be unearthed. 

The title ‘ Dead Letters ‘ intrigues me as the postal service uses this term for undeliverable damaged or lost mail. It has left me wondering if there will be missing correspondence…. Perhaps Ava is correct in her assumption that her twin sister Zelda, already famous for her erratic and eccentric behaviour, had faked her death; but the loss of some important piece of mail puts her in danger. 

I am eager to find out what the betrayal was (it has been hinted at previous infidelity, did Zelda ‘steal’ Ava’s boyfriend; or date someone she knew her sister liked) and to discover more about the dynamics of this discordant family. 

So far I think i agree with Ava’s belief that Zelda wasn’t dead, but don’t think she will still be alive by the end of the book (or indeed, even at the present time in the tale!) 

This First Look has left me wanting to read more.

However, now that I have finished reading, I think differently. The story that I imagined was going to be a suspense-filled thriller full of twists turned out to be more of a family saga. There was a lot of character development and A LOT of wine. Gallons of the stuff. At first the wine descriptions and tasting notes were quite fun (& thirst-inducing!) but whilst the vast quantities of alcohol drunk by the Antipova family are a necessary plot point, the continual stream of booze got a bit wearing after a while. 

Ultimately, this book wasn’t what i thought it was, however i still enjoyed it; in particular the idea of the alphabetical scavenger hunt and the descriptive prose used by the author. I did not like the main characters, I found them unlikeable on the whole! 

I rate this book 3 out of 5 stars; the high concept intrigued me, but ultimately didn’t deliver it to me in a way i personally found enjoyable.

Disclosure: A free ARC was provided by the publisher via ReadersFirst in exchange for an honest review.