Miss Treadway and the Field of Stars
Miranda Emmerson

Miss Treadway and the field of stars. Miranda Emmerson. www.dorothynada.com



The blurb:

How do you find a missing actress in a city where everyone’s playing a role?

A mystery, a love-story and a darkly beguiling tale of secrets and reinvention set in 1960s London.

‘Fabulous’ Helen Simonson, author of Major Pettigrew’s Last Stand Soho, 1965.

In a tiny two-bed flat above a Turkish café on Neal Street lives Anna Treadway, a young dresser at the Galaxy Theatre.

When the American actress Iolanthe Green disappears after an evening’s performance at the Galaxy, the newspapers are wild with speculation about her fate.

But as the news grows old and the case grows colder, it seems Anna is the only person left determined to find out the truth.

Her search for the missing actress will take her into an England she did not know existed: an England of jazz clubs and prison cells, backstreet doctors and seaside ghost towns, where her carefully calibrated existence will be upended by violence but also, perhaps, by love.

For in order to uncover Iolanthe’s secrets, Anna is going to have to face up to a few of her own…

My thoughts:

In 1960s London, Anna Treadway works as a dresser for Iolanthe Green, a glamorous actress. When Iolanthe disappears, Anna is determined to track her down.

With an ensemble of fascinating characters, all with lessons to learn, this lovely book is bound to keep you turning the pages right to the very end. This is a fantastic literary debut, and I look forward to reading more from Miranda Emmerson.

Pretty Delicious Cafe.
Danielle Hawkins

The Pretty Delicious Cafe. Danielle Hawkins. www.dorothynada.com


The blurb:

One flaky family. One ex-boyfriend who won’t go away. And one handsome stranger who probably will… For fans of Doc Martin and and Monica McInerney, a warm, witty novel, brimming with the trademark romance, friendship and eccentricity that Danielle Hawkins’s readers adore. ‘Incredibly fast paced with effortlessly flowing witty dialogue’ Better Reading

On the outskirts of a small seaside town, Lia and her friend Anna work serious hours running their restored cafe. The summer season is upon them, and there are so many things to do. Anna is about to marry Lia’s twin brother, and Lia’s ex-boyfriend seems not to understand it’s over. When a gorgeous stranger taps on Lia’s window near midnight and turns out not to be a serial killer, she feels it’s a promising sign. But the past won’t let them be, and when things turn nasty Lia must find some special resolve. Although it helps to have the town on your side.The Pretty Delicious Cafe will remind you of those special, good things we love about living. And the food is great.

My thoughts:
I LOVED this! Sometimes, reading New Zealand authors is a little like watching New Zealand tv – the accent is too harsh and it’s all a little bit cringey. Danielle Hawkins manages to capture a good New Zealand voice with a brilliant touch of humour.

This is just a really lovely light read, and I’m a fan! Can’t wait to read more by this new New Zealand author. (By the way: the recipes in this book are mouth-watering!)

Cecelia Ahern

Lyrebird. Cecelia Ahern. www.dorothynada.com




The blurb:

She will change your life forever… In the south-west of Ireland, rugged mountains meet bright blue lakes and thick forests. Deep in the woods, a young woman lives alone, forever secluded from the world, her life a well-kept secret. She possesses an extraordinary talent, the likes of which no-one has seen before: a gift that will earn her the nickname Lyrebird.

When Solomon stumbles into Laura’s solitary existence, her life is turned on its head. Pulled from her peaceful landscape to the cacophony of Dublin, she is confronted by a world desperate to understand her.

But while Solomon knows the world will embrace Laura, will it free her to spread her wings – or will it trap her in a gilded cage? Like all wild birds, she needs to fly free…

Lyrebird is a thoughtful, deeply moving love story; a story of the wild heart in us all and the quiet that lies underneath the world’s noise.

My thoughts:
I’ve been on the Cecelia Ahern train since I read (and read and re-read) ‘P.S I Love You’ when it first came out. Cecelia Ahern is the quintessential ‘fairy tales for grown ups’ queen. Her books are always slightly quirky and completely magical and Lyrebird is no exception.

There’s something special about the characters in Lyrebird – even when you want to shake them, you can still relate to them. I just wanted to crawl between the covers of this book and live it along with them.

The Chilbury Ladies’ Choir.
Jennifer Ryan

The Chilbury Ladies' Choir. Jennifer Ryan. www.dorothynada.com


The blurb:

The village of Chilbury in Kent is about to ring in some changes.
This is a delightful novel of wartime gumption and village spirit that will make your heart sing out. Kent, 1940.

In the idyllic village of Chilbury change is afoot. Hearts are breaking as sons and husbands leave to fight, and when the Vicar decides to close the choir until the men return, all seems lost.

But coming together in song is just what the women of Chilbury need in these dark hours, and they are ready to sing. With a little fighting spirit and the arrival of a new musical resident, the charismatic Miss Primrose Trent, the choir is reborn.

Some see the choir as a chance to forget their troubles, others the chance to shine. Though for one villager, the choir is the perfect cover to destroy Chilbury’s new-found harmony.

Uplifting and profoundly moving, THE CHILBURY LADIES’ CHOIR explores how a village can endure the onslaught of war, how monumental history affects small lives and how survival is as much about friendship as it is about courage.

My thoughts:

This novel is a glimpse into an era when women’s roles were changing. That period of change didn’t come easily, especially in small villages where tradition was the order of the day.
War seems to bring out the very best and the very worst in people, and The Chilbury Ladies’ Choir examines how the choices we make impact our entire community.

There Is A Monster on my Holiday Who Farts.
Tim Miller

There is a monster on my holiday who farts. Tim Miller. www.dorothynada


The blurb:

The Fart Monster is back! And he’s gone global! Get your passports ready; we’re about to go around the world in 80 farts …

Ever wondered what could remove that smile from the Mona Lisa’s face? What could force the Buckingham Palace guards to run for their lives? What mighty gust of wind could finally make the Leaning Tower of Pisa fall? All will be revealed in THERE IS A MONSTER ON MY HOLIDAY WHO FARTS …

My thoughts:

5 year old boys are pretty much obsessed with toilet humour. If it farts, it’s funny. Our 5 year old son is no exception…in fact, I think he’s the king of toilet humour. I’m constantly torn between laughing (because he’s actually pretty funny) and trying to keep the potty humour to a minimum.
In saying that, this book became a very quick firm favourite in our family, and not just with the munch bunch. It’s laugh-out-loud funny, and a really fun story to read with your little ones.



The Midnight Gang
David Walliams

The Midnight Gang. David Walliams. www.dorothynada.com


The blurb:

Welcome to the Midnight Gang! Midnight is the time when all children are fast asleep, except of course for… the Midnight Gang. That is when their adventures are just beginning… When Tom gets hit on the head by a cricket ball, he finds himself at Lord Funt Hospital, and is greeted by a terrifying-looking porter. Things go from bad to worse when he meets the wicked matron in charge of the children’s ward… But Tom is about to embark on the most thrilling journey of a lifetime!

The Midnight Gang tells an extraordinarily heartwarming and, of course, funny story of five children on a hospital ward – and on a quest for adventure! It is a story of friendship and magic – and of making dreams come true. Readers are set to be utterly spellbound by this heartfelt story that will bring magic to everyone’s Christmas

My thoughts:

David Walliams is always amazing. The munch bunch are big fans, and so am I. I love that The Midnight Gang appeals equally to Buster (aged almost 9) as it does to Pink (7 years old) and Bear (at almost 6).
The Midnight Gang is funny and sweet and perfect for older children to read on their own, but equally lovely to read aloud snuggled up together on the couch.
I think this is our favourite Walliams novel so far!

Thank you to HarperCollins New Zealand for sending me these books to review!

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