Blog Tour! Review of The After Wife by Cass Hunter ~ #BookReview #BlogTour #TheAfterWife

Blog Tours, Book Reviews, Quercus

Welcome to my stop on the blog tour today! I’m delighted to share my review of The After Wife by Cass Hunter!




the after wife



The After Wife


Cass Hunter



When Rachel and Aidan fell in love, they thought it was forever.

She was a brilliant, high-flying scientist. He was her loving and supportive husband.

Now she’s gone, and Aidan must carry on and raise their daughter alone.

But Rachel has left behind her life’s work, a gift of love to see them through the dark days after her death.

A gift called iRachel.









My Review:



When Aiden’s beloved wife, Rachel, passes away, he is faced with an abyss too large to comprehend. In an instant he has lost the only woman he has ever loved. Their plans, hopes and aspirations have all vanished. The future, has shifted. Aiden is in turmoil, struggling to reunite the blur of grief-ridden days to the life he had a week ago. One with Rachel firmly in the middle. But he must be strong because fifteen-year-old daughter Chloe will need his love, his support and his strength to battle through her own grief. When Rachel’s old partner at Telos Robotics asks him to visit the lab urgently to receive a message Rachel left behind, Aiden is at first reluctant but eventually returns to the lab to clear out her things. What he finds – what Rachel has left him – will alter his family’s future.





Rachel was a renowned scientist. Admired and applauded over by everyone. Her goal was to create an empathetic robot. An AI that could be a helper, a companion or a friend. Not something but someone to stave off loneliness in homes where loneliness is beginning to take hold. Keeping her work a secret from not only her bosses but Aiden also, she developed a robot to look and behave like her, memories of her own built into the robot. In the case of her death, she recorded a message for Aiden, a message that only IRachel can deliver. She asks him to take her robot doppelgänger home so it can learn, watch human behaviour and interact with him and Chloe. It is her last wish so how can Aiden refuse?




When Chloe discovers her mother’s creation, she is shocked, angry and afraid. Even more so when IRachel moves into their home. She locks herself away and refuses to interact with it. Every part of her life is changing; her friends grow distant, her hopes shift and her memories are redefined in the new knowledge of her mother. But as she adjusts to a new routine, the loneliness she feels inches away and IRahcel grows into something more than the sum of her parts. Something that might guide her through the pain of losing her mother.




I really enjoyed The After Wife by Cass Hunter. Seeing the characters evolve was wonderful – I really fell in love with them, even IRachel. For me, she wasn’t so much the legacy of Rachel’s career but a gift to her family, a parting goodbye designed to help them bear their loss and prepare them for the future. A beautiful, touching tale! Fabulous!




Original. Unique. Emotive.






To purchase a copy of the book, you can follow the links below

Amazon UK

Book Depository





About Cass Hunter



cass hunter

Cass Hunter was born in South Africa and moved to the UK in 2000. She lives in North London with her husband and two sons. She is an avid lifelong learner, and works at a London university. Cass Hunter is the pen name of Rosie Fiore, whose novels include After Isabella, What She Left, Babies in Waiting and Wonder Women.


Find her on Twitter!





Follow the bloggers on #TheAfterWife blog tour!



The After Wife blog tour v2 .jpg






after wife


Huge thanks to Tracy at Compulsive Readers and Alainna at Orion for my review copy and blog tour invite!


Blog Tour! An Ocean of Minutes by Thea Lim ~ #OceanOfMinutes #BookReview #BlogTour

Blog Tours, Book Reviews, Quercus

Welcome to my spot on the blog tour today! I’m thrilled to share my review of An Ocean of Minutes by Thea Lim!



ocean of minutes


An Ocean of Minutes


Thea Lim



Polly and Frank are young and in love, a lifetime together before them. But one evening in 1980, as the Texas sun sets over their shoulders, the world is suddenly pulled apart by a deadly virus. Within months, Frank is dying. Polly can save him, but only if she agrees to a radical plan: to time travel to 1993 for a corporation who can fund his life-saving treatment. She can only go forward, she cannot go back. And she must leave everything she loves behind, including Frank.

All they have is the promise of a future together: they will find each other again in twelve years’ time, in Galveston, Texas, where the sea begins.

But when something goes wrong and Polly arrives late, Frank is nowhere to be found. Completely alone, Polly must navigate a terrifying new world to find him, and to discover if their love has endured.







review picture

My Review





When a terrible pandemic sweeps across America, it leaves a trail of destruction in its wake. Everywhere people are falling ill and dying. Families are broken apart and lives are split through the middle. America is swiftly changing. But a way to time travel has been discovered and for some, it will be their salvation. For Polly and Frank, it the only option. They met and fell in love and dreamed of a future with their fates firmly linked. A house, a baby, a world entwined. But then Frank gets sick. Polly courageously agrees to time-travel twelve years into the future to offer her expertise and in return TimeRaiser will give Frank the health care he needs to survive. They agree on a date and location to meet, clinging to the mutual hope of a future, of life they can resume. For her it is a single step, a weighty sacrifice but a worthy one. For him it is wait that transverses twelve years. But can their love endure it?



When Polly arrives in the future, she discovers her journey was rerouted and she has been taken further than she planned. Panicked and afraid, she tries desperately to search for Frank and Aunty Donna but all her attempts are scuppered. With Frank by her side, being stranded could turn into an adventure. But now, stuck in an unfamiliar way of life with loneliness snapping at her heart and hope dwindling to nothing, what she is left with is an endless surge of days in a world – and a time – she was not supposed to have come to. Where Frank is – and who he will be – are the answers she needs. Time parts them, love binds them. But will it be enough?



Alternating between past and present, An Ocean of Minutes is stunningly depicted tale of love, loss, life and self-discovery. Fiercely evocative and extremely poignant, this book will resonate with lots of readers. Watching Polly make her way in a new society was fascinating to follow. Each new challenge she faces gives her a little bit more strength, a little bit more confidence. She felt like a completely different person towards the end. Her journey left a huge impression on me. Thea Lim’s portrait of not only Polly and Frank’s love story but also this new society is a tale you won’t be able to break away from.



An Ocean of Minutes by Thea Lim is both devastating and heart-warming. I was glued to this book. As soon as I read the first page, I knew I was going to love it! Some books just grab you from the start and keep you under lock and key until the finish. This one is startlingly beautiful! I adored it!



Poignant. Brave. Beautiful.









To purchase a copy of this book, you can follow the links below:

Amazon UK

Book Depository




About Thea Lim



thea lim



Thea Lim’s novel AN OCEAN OF MINUTES is forthcoming in Summer 2018. She holds an MFA from the University of Houston. She has worked as a farmhand, a cocktail server, a souvlaki grill cook, a theatre usher, and an elevator courier; she is now a professor of Creative Writing. She grew up in Singapore and lives in Toronto with her family.

You can find Thea on Twitter here!






Follow the bloggers on the #OceanOfMinutes blog tour!




Blog tour poster.jpg









Huge thanks to Ana McLaughlin & Quercus for my review copy and blog tour invite!

Book Review: All Rivers Run Free by Natasha Carthew ~ #BookReview #AllRiversRunFree

Book Reviews, Quercus

all rivers


All Rivers Run Free


Natasha Carthew



A woman on the edge of the sea finds a girl on the edge of life.

Brittle but not yet broken, Ia Pendilly ekes out a fierce life in a caravan on the coast of Cornwall. In years of living with Bran – her embattled, battering cousin and common law husband – she’s never yet had her own baby. So when she discovers the waif washed up on the shore, Ia takes the risk and rescues her. And the girl, in turn, will rescue something in Ia – bringing back a memory she’s lost, giving her the strength to escape, and leading her on a journey downriver.

It will take her into the fringes of a society she’s shunned, collapsed around its own isolation. It will take her through a valley ravaged by floods, into a world not too far from reckoning. It will take her in search of her sister, and the dark remembrance of their parting. It will take her, break her, remake her, in the shapes of freedom.





review picture


My Review



Ia Pendilly lives a solitary existence in a caravan on the North coast of Cornwall, bracketed by the wild sea and rugged land, and by a bully of a husband and utter hopelessness. Ia’s one solace are the memories of her childhood with sister Evie, of times spent pottering and playing in the caves at home, free and happy. Now, Ia is consumed with loneliness, those sunny days backalong keeping her afloat. When a she finds a wisp of a child washed up on the shore, her prayers are answered. As Ia nurses the girl back to health, the girl in her own way restores something in Ia, a strength and courage that has lain tucked away for years. Soon a bond unlike any other grows between Ia and the girl. They are no longer two strangers. They are mother and child. When Bran discovers the girl, Ia packs up her small world in a sack and flees, finally escaping the torment of his cruel words and crueller fists. As she and the girl start off on their journey, they are met with dangers that threaten to part them. Following the river home comes with its risks but surely they are risks worth taking.



Ia’s tale is at times disturbing and others incredibly touching. Her cousin and common-law husband Bran is a bully, his wrath wrapping around her and suffocating every pocket of happiness. She awaits the days he goes out to fish with bated breath. Then she can have the caravan and cove to herself, to pick among the flotsam and jetsam and be free to imagine what motherhood might be like. She has suffered the heartache of several miscarriages and she carries the loss each and every second. Lonely and afraid, Ia’s life takes a sudden shift when she finds the girl washed up in the cove and she feels a hope that has eluded her for so many years. The bond these two share was really touching. I loved following their journey.




I can’t write this review without really quickly mentioning the setting. As I’m from Cornwall it was so lovely to read Natasha Carthew’s exquisite descriptions of its wild and rugged beauty. She has encapsulated it magnificently in her prose and for a few hours I really did feel as if I was in Cornwall, hearing the waves and seagulls. I especially loved seeing The Mermaid of Zennor briefly mentioned. It’s a fascinating legend – I’ve popped a link here! Carthew’s narrative is sharp and distinctive.




All Rivers Run Free is a raw, exquisitely told tale of loneliness, forgiveness, love, hope and finding your way home. Breathtaking!


Raw. Compelling. Breathtaking.




To purchase a copy of this book, you can follow the links below:

Amazon UK

Book Depository





About Natasha Carthew:


natasha carthew


Natasha Carthew has been published previously as a poet and young adult writer and her books have been nominated for the Carnegie Award and shortlisted for several national awards including the Branford Boase. She lives in Cornwall with her girlfriend of twenty years and spends most of her time writing outdoors in all weathers. Her identity as a country writer has led her to become a survival expert, a trained walking-guide and to teach Wild Writing workshops.

You can find Natasha on Twitter here!







This slideshow requires JavaScript.


Huge thanks to Ana McLaughlin for my review copy!