Saturday, November 15, 2014

Nice Girls Don’t by Sue Barnard

Published June 15, 2014 by Crooked Cat Publishing Ltd.

Who knows what secrets lie hidden in your family's past? Southern England, 1982. At 25, single, and under threat of redundancy from her job in a local library, Emily feels as though her life is going nowhere - until the day when Carl comes into the library asking for books about tracing family history. Carl is baffled by a mystery about his late grandfather: why is the name by which Carl had always known him different from the name on his old passport? Fascinated as much by Carl himself as by the puzzle he wants to solve, Emily tries to help him find the answers. As their relationship develops, their quest for the truth takes them along a complicated paper-trail which leads, eventually, to the battlefields of the Great War. In the meantime, Emily discovers that her own family also has its fair share of secrets and lies. And old sins can still cast long shadows... Can Emily finally lay the ghosts of the past to rest and look forward to a brighter future?

My Thoughts…

Nice Girls Don’t is a fun and entertaining story.    The setting of a library could have been slow and quiet, yet this library had an interesting cast working and hanging out there.   Carl and Alf become instant friends after meeting at the library one day and Emily, an employee, ends up being the best resource the library has.   I found the researching of the heritage of the characters to be interesting.  Family history is a past time of mine and I truly enjoy learning about other people’s history.   The fact that Carl’s history is set in World War I makes it even more interesting to me.  

The romance between Carl and Emily is sweet.   Their relationship is a slow moving courtship.  They have both been hurt in the past and are cautious with their future.  Both of them have secrets and know that in order for their friendship to become something more serious they had to come clean and be honest with each other.    It was great how willing they both were to share their lives and how accepting of each other they are. 

If you are looking for a fun and easy ready this is definitely the story for you.    From the first page to the very last page I was entertained and could not stop reading.   I certainly recommend this book

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Meet Sue Barnard

Sue was born in Wales some time during the last millennium.

After graduating from Durham University with a degree in French, she returned to Manchester (where she had spent her formative years) and got married, then had a variety of office jobs before leaving the world of paid employment to become a full-time parent.  If she had her way, the phrase “non-working mother” would be banned from the English language.

Sue has dabbled with writing for most of her life.  Her first success was at primary school, where she won a competition run by Cadbury’s which involved writing an essay about chocolate.  Her prize was a tin containing a selection of Cadbury’s products.  She still has the tin to this day, and keeps it as a reminder of her humble writing origins.  The chocolate is long since gone, but the tin is now home to her supply of pens and pencils.  In recent years she began to take writing more seriously and studied a series of writing courses with the Open University.  As well as having work published in Best of Manchester Poets (Volumes 2 and 3), her achievements have included winning a T-shirt for writing a limerick (which summed up the plot of Macbeth in five lines) and winning first prize in Writing Magazine’s 2013 poetry competition for new subscribers.  In 2013 she joined the editorial team of Crooked Cat Publishing, who also published her debut novel The Ghostly Father (a new interpretation of the Romeo & Juliet story) in February 2014, and her second novel Nice Girls Don’t (a romantic intrigue set in 1982) in July 2014.

Sue’s mind is sufficiently warped that she has also worked as a question-setter for BBC Radio 4’s fiendishly difficult Round Britain Quiz – a phase of her life which caused one of her sons to describe her as “professionally weird.”  She lives in Cheshire and Anglesey (thought not at the same time – she isn’t THAT weird) with her husband and a large collection of unfinished scribblings.

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