Exciting News…

Mrs Average is having a new lease of life – or a midlife crisis, who knows! – a new website is in production with a logo and everything.

It’s going to be exclusively book reviews, booky things to buy and so very lovely.

For now, you’ll have to make do with some January reviews to keep you going xx

jan-2017

Book Blog Tour – Because of You

What a treat to be a member of the @bookollective #thebteam ! I was asked to take part in the Book Blog Tour of a new release from Helene Fermont – Because of You. I enjoy reading books that I wouldn’t necessarily pick up for myself, and have met a number of new authors by doing book reviews and then falling in love with their style. I confess to not having tried any Scandinavian Noir, and so Because of You was another new departure for me.

The story is essentially the life story of Hannah Stein, from her teen years until well into her 50’s. The book starts in the London of the Thatcher years, which for me was a place I could well imagine. Hannah has a roller coaster of a life, and is surrounded by a range of family and friends, as well as enemies who are all explored in some detail during the book. The characters are all well rounded and described down to their aftershave choices, on occasion the descriptions are a little too simplistic, and I would have liked to know, on a more emotional level,  why they had become that way. The book covers such a large timescale I asked Helene Fermont whether she had planned it all from the beginning, or whether she starts writing with a basic premise and lets the characters and situations develop organically – her generous answer is here:

‘My main focus is always on characterisations. I spend a long time to get them just right. I’ve got a premise for a story line/plot yet will change everything if it doesn’t fit in with the characters. Characters, not the plot, are fundamental and lead the way so to speak but I always knew how Because of you would map out and devoted much time on research.
Because of You is the type of novel I couldn’t find in a bookseller. I’m very direct in the way I write which I believe stems from my partly Scandinavian background.
The novel has a big heart while also dealing with strong themes and characters that are relatable. It’s the main reason I’m so very grateful the current Amazon and Love Reading reviews etcetera resonate with that.’

The book deals with a number of very serious situations and life experiences that are perhaps the mark of the Noir rather than Chick Lit. Some of the scenes were very uncomfortable to read. However,  I found the book as a whole very readable and enjoyed the sense of time and being with people through a large part of their lives, it was powerful to read about situations that many authors would shy away from. There were some elements that I found irritating after a while and Hannah herself became a less sympathetic character for me than some of the other protagonists. There was a good dilemma for the reader as to who was ‘right’ and ‘wrong’ in all the stages of the story, there were no clear ‘goodies’ and ‘baddies’ and the relationships between characters were complex and real. I would definitely read Helene Fermont again, but hope with experience comes a slightly more emotional resonance with her characters.

 

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5 Books for Halloween

mrs average evaluates

We try not to over do Halloween as we not really ‘into’ it, and with smaller kids it can be quite scary and I have no idea what the message is supposed to be. We focus on having fun foods and sharing out sweets to any Trick or Treaters. We also love to carve pumpkins… Here are a few books we have particularly enjoyed.

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Winnie the Witch is a sure fire hit at any time of year and to be honest, she’s a witch so you could read any of them and be on theme, this collection has four separate stories, and is good for children that are able to read on their own (we also have the picture books which are much more visual, and better for a mixed age group). The four stories are all up to the same fun standard, with a few extra ghosts.

Splat the…

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