Monday, 22 February 2016

Between Friends - Jenny Harper


Genre: Contemporary Women’s Fiction
Release Date: 11 February 2016
Publisher:  Accent Press
About the book...
They thought he belonged safely in the past. His return threatens everything. 
Marta, Carrie and Jane have been friends since they were at school in Edinburgh. Now one is bringing up her family, another is desperately trying for children of her own, and the third is focused on her career – and each takes the support of the others as a given.
But when generous Marta offers out-of-luck actor Tom temporary shelter, her act of kindness sets in motion a tsunami of destruction. Marta’s marriage comes under threat. Timid Jane is haunted by the secret she has been hiding since she last saw Tom. And ambitious Carrie finds herself at the mercy of a man who can ruin her career.
Only by pulling together can the friends rid themselves of this menace. But is Tom too clever at sowing mistrust?                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  
About the author...
Jenny Harper lives in Edinburgh, Scotland, though she was born in India and grew up in England. She has been a non-fiction editor, a journalist and a businesswoman and has written a children’s novel and several books about Scotland, as well as four full length novels and a novella in The Heartlands series (set in Hailesbank), and two short stories that have appeared in anthologies. Between Friends is her fifth full length novel.
Jenny writes contemporary women’s fiction with bite – complex characters facing serious issues. 
What they say:
‘An engaging and delightful read. Jenny Harper is a most gifted storyteller.’  Alexander McCall Smith
‘Page turning and thoroughly entertaining. I loved it!’ Katie Fforde
‘The most beautiful love story that I have read in a long while. Amazon review of People We Love
‘This was a fun, heart-warming but also emotional story that had me thinking about the characters long after I’d finished it.’ Amazon review of Maximum Exposure
‘Ms. Harper has created a fully populated, very human and recognisable world.’ Amazon review of Face the Wind and Fly
‘There is everything I like about a novel in her writing: family, relationships, current affairs ... things the author seems well versed in. I loved the Scottish settings, and could visualise many of the locations in the book ...’ Amazon review of Loving Susie
Author contact details:-

My thoughts...
I was given a copy of Between Friends in exchange for an honest review as part of a blog tour organised by Brook Cottage Books, something which I am more than happy to do.

I always find reading a book that is set somewhere I know altogether more special. Between Friends is a novel set in the city of Edinburgh, a place I have visited many times  during the Edinburgh Fringe Festival.  I keep promising myself I'll visit when it isn't on but haven't quite managed it yet - one day!

Between Friends centres around three friends, Marta, Carrie and Jane.  They have been friends for forever and share a type of friendship that I'm sure many of us readers are part of.  Friends since school, they know each other well, their lives are interwoven - each takes the others and their friendship for granted.  They elude to a closeness yet, it seems they all have secrets they aren't sharing. This is a story that when the cracks start appearing each of them questions the friendship they had previously took for granted. When the chips really are down their almost animalistic instinct comes to the fore as their friendship, relationships and everything they hold dear is challenged.

Tom an aspiring actor, a person who unbeknown to them all has a connection with each of the girls and is the catalyst in this story - because of him secrets held, secrets shared threaten to  crush, not just their friendships but every aspect of their lives. 

This was an easy read that moved forward at a reasonably, steady pace, a story that held a few surprises - not just to the plot but in the way each of the characters reacted and developed throughout the story. Relationships both platonic and romantic are explored, leaving characters exposed and vulnerable.  Yet, by the end of the book they each emerge stronger than before with a friendship that is solid, less superficial built on loyalty, trust and understanding.

Jenny Harper has the ability to create characters that evoke a reaction, not always a positive one either.  That to me is good - I like to get under the skin of a character, finding out what makes them tick.  Each and every one of us needs the support of our family and friends and the characters in Between Friends were no different. 

This is a book about the intricacies of love, loyalty, trust and friendship and the difficult journey patching the  fragile pieces to make them stronger along the way. Thank you Jenny for once again allowing me to escape reality and lose myself in someone else's world!
Brooch and paperback (1st prize)
2x ebooks (2nd PRIZE)

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