No better way to return from a blogging break than with a review for this incredible book by @EmmaCooper #thefirsttimeisawyou πŸ’›

I had to make an executive decision some months ago about my time management – there simply weren’t enough hours in the day to achieve all that I was attempting.

I’m afraid blogging was one of a few things which got the chop – creating in the process some quality writing and reading time. More on my own novel in the next post, but for now I’d like to talk about my favourite read of 2019.

Emma’s debut novel captured my heart last year as you may recall. You can read about that here.

When I received a very special parcel in the post a few weeks ago – Emma’s second novel; in the form of a review-copy paperback direct from her publishers Headline, I was beside myself with excitement and filled, it has to be said, with a huge dose of honour!

My summers are filled with a support role to Man of the Woods during the five-six weeks of harvest, which jostles neck and neck with my busiest time in the rug workshop. Evening shifts at both are a given, so reading hours are at a minimum.

However, once I’d opened the pages to the lives of Samuel and Sophie, I was hooked.

Housework went out the window, visits to extended family members were put on a back-burner; I just couldn’t stop reading!

I’d been so enamoured with ‘The Songs of Us’ the previous year, I held my breath as I started this second book, worried it could never be as good.

I needn’t have been. It’s even better πŸ’›

Samuel’s storyline particularly had me in bits throughout. Expertly crafted by the author, his personal journey is a double-edged sword of the highest order and his final bittersweet moment has to be one of the most powerful scenes I’ve ever read.

A story told through two people’s view on the world with, mostly, alternating chapters, the pace keeps you turning the pages. Wonderful supporting cast (I say cast rather than characters because I visualise Emma’s books as films. Very easily in fact).

Throughout the book, I absorbed a masterclass of creative writing techniques, such as the reminder that chapters need only be the length it takes to get the message across. So clever…

Out now on kindle, why not treat yourself to a beautiful love story which will have you laughing out loud and crying in equal measures. If, like me, you prefer a paperback January can’t come quickly enough! I may still treat myself to a new copy but this one, the unfinished proof, will remain one of my prized possessions.

I do hope you have all had time to read some gems this year and those of you who write have found time to get words down on paper πŸ“

The two go hand in hand, after all xx