Together

Together

How did I get it?:
I borrowed it from Beth!

Previously reviewed by the same author:
Dear Thing

Synopsis:

This is not a great love story. 
This is a story about great love.

On a morning that seems just like any other, Robbie wakes in his bed, his wife Emily asleep beside him, as always. He rises and dresses, makes his coffee, feeds his dogs, just as he usually does. But then he leaves Emily a letter and does something that will break her heart. As the years go back all the way to 1962, Robbie’s actions become clearer as we discover the story of a couple with a terrible secret – one they will do absolutely anything to protect.

Thoughts:

Beth absolutely loved this book which she demanded that I read as soon as I could. So I bumped it up my TBR and got to reading it near enough straight away! I really enjoyed this book which was such a lovely romance with a hint of a secrecy that kept me turning the pages.

Together is a love story between Robbie and Emily. At the beginning of the book, we find out about their relationship at an older age. They’re struggling with some health issues. From then, we learn about their relationship in reverse. I loved reading about their relationship in this way. The reader gets to know about the ups and downs in their relationship and you really feel like you know them. I loved how a secret was teased from the start. I knew it was going to be a big one that could destroy their relationship. I was intrigued and it kept me turning the pages.

I won’t reveal anything about the secret, but it’s something that I didn’t see coming. I love it when an author surprised me and Julie Cohen definitely does that. I just had to keep reading to find out what on earth was going to happen. I’m happy to say that I hadn’t predicted what was going to happen. I had some ideas about what it could be but I was by far wrong.

I enjoy Julie Cohen’s writing. I found Dear Thing to be a touching read and this book was too. Julie’s writing is absolutely beautiful and her characters are so well developed. I would definitely read more from her in the future!

Would I recommend it?:
Of course!

A lovely read! Worth checking out if you’re into contemporary reads!

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This Week In Books #80

I am joining in with the lovely Lipsy from Lipsy’s Lost and Found’s feature which highlights our week in books. I shall be sharing what I’m reading now, then and next! I won’t be showcasing my new books as I do that on a Saturday. I’m really excited by this feature as I loved sharing my recent reads. My book reviews published on my blog are often WAY behind what I’m actually reading, so this is a good feature to keep you up to date!

Book images go to Goodreads!

Together No Shame Then She Was Gone

NOW– Together- Julie Cohen– I meant to read this book last week after the book I was currently reading then. However, a review copy got in my way so I’ve only just started it. I’m over 100 pages through so far. I’m enjoying it so far. It’s very touching.

THENNo ShameAnne Cassidy– I’ve recently finished this book which is a companion to No Virgin. It’s about a girl who has been raped and her struggle afterwards. Both reviews will be out next week!

NEXTThen She Was GoneLisa Jewell– This book is up next! 🙂 I’m looking forward to reading this one after hearing good things!

What are you reading this week? Let me know!

This Week In Books #79

I am joining in with the lovely Lipsy from Lipsy’s Lost and Found’s feature which highlights our week in books. I shall be sharing what I’m reading now, then and next! I won’t be showcasing my new books as I do that on a Saturday. I’m really excited by this feature as I loved sharing my recent reads. My book reviews published on my blog are often WAY behind what I’m actually reading, so this is a good feature to keep you up to date!

Book images go to Goodreads!

This Is How It Always Is Behind Closed Doors Together

NOWThis Is How It Always IsLaurie Frankel– I’m almost finished this book which I’m finding completely gripping, I just don’t have the time to read it at the moment.

THEN Behind Closed DoorsB.A. Paris– I absolutely adored this book! I’ll hopefully have a review up within the next couple of weeks!

NEXTTogether Julie Cohen– I’m really looking forward to reading this book. It seems like it’ll be a good, if emotional, one!

What are you reading this week? Let me know!

Top Ten Books On My Autumn (Fall) TBR

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by the wonderful The Broke and The Bookish. This week’s list is a TBR list. I love these lists because they give me encouragement to read a book at a certain time! I don’t always keep to them, but on my summer list I managed to read them all! 🙂 I’m very much trying to get through books that I have in my possession already even there are SO MANY that I want to read and add to my TBR. The bookworm struggle!

Click on the book image to get to the Goodreads page for the book! 🙂

Chart Throb- Ben Elton

Chart Throb

I’ve been wanting to read this book for a while, so hopefully I’ll get to it this Autumn!

Then She Was Gone- Lisa Jewell

Then She Was Gone

I’ve heard this is a good one!

Together- Julie Cohen

Together

Again, I’ve heard great things about this book, so I’m looking forward to it!

History Is All You Left Me- Adam Silvera

History Is All You Left Me

I’ve only read Adam’s debut, but I’m trying to work my way through his next releases!

Moxie- Jennifer Mathieu

Moxie

I really enjoy Jennifer’s writing style, so I’m looking forward to this one!

Letters From The Lighthouse- Emma Carroll

Letters from the Lighthouse

I’ve adored every book by Emma so far, so I expect to like this one!

13 Minutes- Sarah Pinborough

13 Minutes

So excited to read this one!

The Invention of Hugo Cabret- Brian Selznick

The Invention of Hugo Cabret

This book has been on my TBR forever. I hope I enjoy it and haven’t overhyped it!

Luckiest Girl Alive- Jessica Knoll

Luckiest Girl Alive

I’ve heard a lot of great things about this book too!

The Hours Before Dawn- Celia Fremlin

The Hours Before Dawn

Intrigued.

Have you read any of these books? What did you think of them? What’s on your Autumn/Fall TBR? Let me know! Feel free to leave a link to your post and I’ll stop by!

Stacking The Shelves #172

Stacking The Shelves is all about sharing the books you’re adding to your shelves, be it buying or borrowing. From ‘real’ books you’ve purchased, a book you’ve borrowed, a book you’ve been given or an e-book they can all be shared!

Bought:

Moxie

I’ve heard great things about Moxie and I love Jennifer Mathieu’s writing, so it’s a win win for me! Or so I hope…

History Is All You Left Me

Borrowed from Beth

Noughts & Crosses Graphic Novel

I adore Noughts and Crosses and Beth says this version is awesome. I, of course, believe her!

Together

I enjoyed Julie Cohen’s Dear Thing so I’m excited to read something else by her.

Then She Was Gone

Again, another author we’ve read and enjoyed. Beth highly recommends this one!

 

Chart Throb

I’ve been meaning to read this for a long time now and Beth kindly brought it for me to borrow. Bless her. I love having a bookish sister!

What have you added to your shelves this week? Let me know! 🙂

Top Ten Books I’ve Read For The ‘Talking About’ Feature With My Sister, Bibliobeth!

toptentuesday

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by the wonderful The Broke and The Bookish. This week’s list are the Top Ten Books that we’ve been recommended by others. I decided to feature some books that my sister and fellow blogger Beth, have discussed in our ‘Talking About’ feature. You can see our reviews if you click on the title of the book!

Click on the book image to get to the Goodreads page for the book!

Dear Thing- Julie Cohen

Dear Thing

I really enjoyed this heart-warming read. It was a struggle to read at times but that was due to subject matter, not because it was a bad book.

Before We Met- Lucie Whitehouse

Before We Met

This book was the perfect example of why sometimes you should give a book another go. I enjoyed this book the second time around. It wasn’t the most amazing read, but I did enjoy reading it.

The Memory Book- Rowan Coleman

The Memory Book

This is another story that warmed my heart. I thought it was a stunning, emotional read.

The Book Of You- Claire Kendal

The Book of You

Ooh this was a good one. I adore a psychological thriller and this book was right up my street!

I Let You Go- Clare Mackintosh

I Let You Go

Another wonderful book. This book has turned up on so many of my Top Ten lists since reading it in 2015. I adored it.

A Song For Issy Bradley- Carys Bray

A Song for Issy Bradley

I didn’t expect to like this book as much as I did. However, I thought it was a beautiful read!

The Ice Twins- S.K. Tremayne

The Ice Twins

This book is incredibly compelling!

Life After You- Lucie Brownlee

Life After You

Another sad one, but so beautifully written and heartfelt.

The Girls- Lisa Jewell

The Girls

I had heard a lot about Lisa Jewell, so was excited to pick up this book. It didn’t take me long to devour at all.

The Last Act of Love- Cathy Rentzenbrink

The Last Act Of Love

A stunning memoir. Another book that I devoured!

What are your favourite books that you’ve been recommended? Let me know! Feel free to leave a link to your post and I’ll stop by!

Talking About ‘Dear Thing’ with Bibliobeth

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How did I get it?:
I borrowed it from Beth!

Synopsis:

Claire and Ben are the perfect couple. But behind the glossy façade, they’ve been desperately trying – and failing – to have a baby for years. Now, the stress and feelings of loss are taking their toll on their marriage. Claire’s ready to give up hope and get on with her life, but Ben is not. And then Ben’s best friend, Romily, offers to conceive via artificial insemination and carry the baby for them.

Romily acts in good faith, believing it will be easy to be a surrogate. She’s already a single mother, and has no desire for any more children. Except that being pregnant with Ben’s child stirs up all sorts of emotions in her, including one she’s kept hidden for a very long time: Ben’s the only man she’s ever loved.

Two mothers—and one baby who belongs to both of them, and which only one of them can keep.

Our thoughts:

CHRISSI: This book strikes me as something that you wouldn’t necessarily have picked up had it not been for the Richard and Judy book club. Do you think you would have read this book had it not been picked?

BETH: To be honest, I don’t think I would have rushed to read this book. Not saying that I didn’t enjoy it, because I thought it was a beautiful read, but there seems to be a lot of this kind of fiction around at the moment in the contemporary genre, and the story didn’t seem like it would stand out. I’m glad that I was proved wrong however as it’s a story that pulled me in from the very first page and kept me reading until the end.

BETH: Throughout the novel, we see notes to “Thing,” the unborn child. How did this fit in with the story and was it enjoyable?

CHRISSI: For me, I felt that it worked. I actually wouldn’t have minded seeing more letters to ‘Thing’. I think it would have really expressed the character’s feelings really well. To me, it didn’t make the story feel stilted at all. Instead, it gave a more emotional impact.

CHRISSI: Discuss how the difficulty of having a baby affects Claire and Ben differently.

BETH: For me, it seemed like Claire and Ben were on different pages regarding trying to have a baby from the start. Claire is obviously devastated when their attempts, both naturally and using IVF fail and is ready to give up. Ben meanwhile is devastated that she would think of giving up when he is ready to give it another shot. I thought it was quite selfish on Ben’s part in a way, as it was poor Claire that had to undergo all the uncomfortable processes of both the fertility testing and the IVF treatment and she also experienced the physical effects of what losing an embryo feels like. Claire also feels a tremendous guilt as she has been told that it is because a fault in her eggs that they cannot conceive whereas Ben knows he is perfectly “healthy.”

BETH: Discuss the differences between Romily and Claire and how their “parenting styles” contrast.

CHRISSI: Ooh, good question. I feel like Romily had a much more laid back style to parenting. I feel like because she was on her own, without Posie’s dad around she could parent however she wished. Whereas having a baby was something that Claire really, really wanted and hadn’t yet had. I think she probably had thought a lot about how she would do things differently if she was Posie’s parent. Perhaps Claire’s view of parenting was a bit idyllic. It’s certainly harder than it looks, especially on your own. I think Claire was more of a structured, controlled parent whereas Romily was more carefree. There’s no right or wrong way, of course! Despite their differences in parenting styles, Posie was a well brought up, happy girl and that’s the main thing.

CHRISSI: Could you connect with all of the characters?

BETH: I found it quite easy to connect and identify with the two main female leads, Claire and Romily despite the difference in their personalities. To be honest, I found it quite difficult at times because I understood where both women were coming from and saw both of their points of view so it was quite heart-breaking to know that one of them may miss out where a child is concerned. I found it a bit more tricky to connect with Ben as I found him quite selfish at points and thought he didn’t really consider or respect either woman’s feelings.

BETH: The father of Romily’s child Posie comes back into the picture, how did this affect the story in your opinion if at all?

CHRISSI: I’m torn with this question, because my personal opinion is that everyone should know who their father is, even if they aren’t the nicest person in the world. I don’t think it necessarily made the story any better though. It was nice that Posie got to know her father, but I think if he hadn’t been in the story, it wouldn’t have made much of a difference.

CHRISSI: Do you think that this book is more centred towards women? Would men enjoy it?

BETH: I hate to gender stereotype, but I do think this novel falls perfectly in the contemporary women’s fiction genre. This is because I think a lot of women will be able to identify with the female characters easier than a man might. As to whether men would enjoy it, I’m really not sure! Perhaps a certain type of man who is comfortable reading this kind of fiction? Or perhaps men who are going through fertility treatment with their partners as it may help them understand what their other half is going through.

BETH: Put yourself in the position of the three central characters. What do you think you would do in their situation?

CHRISSI: Another good question. Oh, it must be so hard to be Claire. To want children so badly and to know that it’s a problem with YOU, must be heart-breaking. I’m not sure I could have a surrogate, I think I’d really struggle with the emotions and wanting to be pregnant myself. I think if I was unlucky enough to be in Claire’s position, I’d have to consider adoption. It’s a tough one though. As for Romily, I thought her reasons for the surrogacy were really heartfelt, but she wasn’t in the best position emotionally to consider having a baby for someone else. It wasn’t a well thought through process! I think if I was considering being a surrogate I’d have to seriously consider the pros and cons and not just jump into it. If I was Ben, I’d try to be a hell of a lot less selfish then he was!

CHRISSI: Explore Romily’s offer to be a surrogate and what motivates her to do it.

BETH: Romily already has a child of school age, Posie, and she has had quite a tough time as a single mother, trying to raise her child on her own while completing a PhD and working full-time. As a result, she does not see any more children in her immediate future. She has also been head over heels in love with her best friend Ben for as long as she can remember which is a bit of a problem when he’s married to Claire and trying to have a baby. Seeing Ben broken-hearted when Claire wants to give up trying for a baby leads her to offer to become a surrogate for them without fully thinking through the implications of such an offer (and perhaps having one too many drinks!). Once offered though it is a bit difficult to take it back, especially when she sees the happiness on Ben’s face. Having a baby with the man she loves seems perfect to her irrational state of mind, even if she has to give the baby away to Ben and Claire, it all seems worth it.

BETH: Would you read another book by this author?

CHRISSI: I would. I thought the writing style was very engaging!

Would we recommend it?:
BETH: Of course!
CHRISSI: Of course!