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At the beginning of the year I promised myself that I would try as much as possible to stay in my lane, to read almost only what I knew I would enjoy and to strive from it only if the offer was really alluring. I know It’s not the best way to spread the book word and it settles me to the possibility of loosing good books, but last year I found myself stuck in a lot of slump caused by books I had said to myself I’d read ( arcs and non) but didn’t really feel like it.

Being such a mood reader has it’s pro and cons, but at least I know that I’m following what I like and giving you guys a glimpse only of what I really think that has potential and that might be even if I end up not enjoying the book or finding it too difficult to read, remember, I’m not English!

The latter is the case of the book that I’m bringing to you guys today! Black and White Publishing was so kind to send me a copy and make me part of their Blog tour, but this book is so true to time that even the language of it – in a true scottish – makes it difficult to me to understand! I’m sure tho, that you native speakers won’t have a problem! But I thought I’d let you in, showing you an extract of this book that, in my opinion, has a lot to offer!

S y n o p s i s ;

The House on Rosebank Lane_RGB (1)Edinburgh, 1953. The war is over, a young queen has been crowned and it’s a time of great joy and unrest both in Scotland and beyond. Kirsten Mowat, eighteen-years-old and with a spring in her step, is glad to be out and about with her handsome, dark-haired sweetheart Duncan Armstrong. But there’s a secret in her heart that needs to be told – and when Duncan insists on a shotgun wedding, in the Leith register office of all places, it sets Kirsten’s life along a downward path no one could have predicted. Married life brings tragedy – the wrenching loss of two newborn triplets – which leads Kirsten’s husband and grudging mother-in-law to harden their hearts against the young bride. Soon, beset by grief, Kirsten finds herself alone with her two daughters and vulnerable baby Dixie to care for. She must seek out a haven for her precious children among the most unlikely of people, until the kindness of strangers and her own strength of will, create bonds that will draw this family together in new and unexpected ways

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e x t r a c t

On the morning of their special day Kirsten managed to secrete her handbag and purple Tammy hat, along with her loose three-quarter-length new tweed coat in a lovely soft shade of lilac, into a shopping bag. Discretely leaving the bag behind the outside door, she then waltzed into the kitchen of her mother’s home on Largo Place. ‘Mum,’ she began gaily, ‘I’m meeting up with Harriet at the baths. After we’ve had a swim we’ll be going to the pictures, so don’t worry if I’m home late.’ Her mother, Aileen Mowat, was a dumpy, canny woman. This being so, Kirsten was not surprised when she replied, ‘That’s just fine, my dear. But wait a wee bit and I’ll make you and Harriet up a shivery bite.’ ‘No thanks, Mum,’ Kirsten replied as she tucked her wrapped-up towel even tighter under her arm. ‘But, lassie, it’ll be a long day for you, and you won’t be wishing to embarrass yourself by fainting with the hunger.’ ‘I won’t be peckish because we’re having a chippie before going on to the Palace Picture House to see that Laurel and Hardy film,’ Kirsten answered before going forward and kissing her mum on the cheek. Truth was, Kirsten was swamped with guilt. Lying to her mum didn’t come easy. That was because her mum was so very truthful in her dealings with people. Added to that was the important fact that Kirsten was the youngest of Aileen’s three children. She was also her only daughter. Kirsten’s heart sank as she remembered that her mum was putting a little bit by every week so her ‘baby’ could have a wonderful white wedding. Aileen was about to respond further, but before she could start the outside door had clicked shut, leaving her with nothing but the fading echo of Kirsten’s high heels as they raced from Largo Place. Before going into the registry office Kirsten nipped into Leith Victoria Swimming Baths so she could don her finery in a damp little changing cubicle. Finally, as she fitted on her hat, the guilt that had swamped her all morning disappeared to be replaced by a surge of utter elation. Within an hour she would be Duncan’s legal wife. Her treasured dream would come true. She was not simply in love with him, but was completely besotted. As she emerged from the swimming baths, she caught a glimpse of Duncan waiting for her at the registry office door. Today, if it was possible, he looked even more handsome and desirable, with his dark hair shining in the sun. Kirsten pushed aside the thought that she had been keeping a secret from him for two days: it was the right thing to do. To be his wife was all that mattered to her. Before entering the wedding booth to pledge themselves to each other, they had to ask two passing strangers if they would assist them by being their necessary witnesses. And then it was done. With none of the finery of Kirsten’s dreams, but her heart swelled at the sight and feel of the pale gold band on her finger. Then, after a celebratory cup of tea and slice of shortbread in the café on the corner, the newlyweds decided to face the music. Duncan rightly insisted that his mother should be the first to be told that they were now husband and wife. It would take some doing to tell Jessie Armstrong that her precious son, Duncan, was now a married man. Big and buxom, Jessie had been the stair-heid bully of 35 Admiralty Street before she had been rehoused a year or two back in Edinburgh Corporation’s new Granton Housing Scheme. It wasn’t just that Duncan would be leaving the family home that was the problem. Oh no. What mattered was that his earnings would now be going to support Kirsten and not Jessie. This being the case, Kirsten decided that this was the moment, before they boarded the number 16 bus on Great Junction Street, to tell Duncan the secret she had been keeping. She prayed he would welcome it and see that it could soften the blow for Jessie when Duncan told her of their marriage. She sidled up close to him. ‘Duncan, darling,’ Kirsten began, coyly. ‘Know how I said that I was expecting, and believe me I probably will be soon, but as from the day before yesterday, well . . . I’m just not!’ Wrenching himself free from Kirsten, Duncan stared at her with incredulity before hissing, ‘You’re not? Don’t flipping tell me that you knew there was no need for us to rush into a shotgun wedding and you still let us go ahead with it!’ He tore at his hair. ‘Kirsten, are you saying that you’re not?’ Tearfully, she nodded. ‘No, no,’ he stammered. ‘I can’t believe you allowed me to go into that registry office when there was no need! Are you mad?’ Taken aback, Kirsten desperately felt for the wall. Driving herself hard against the rough brick, she mumbled, ‘But, but, we are in love. So it’s only right that we became husband and wife. Duncan, our marrying means that we can do anything we please. So what’s the problem . . . darling?’ ‘The problem, sweetheart, is that you trapped me. And now I have to face my mum and tell her I got married, and not because I had to do the decent thing by you. Kirsten, she would have accepted that.’ He paused. ‘Och, can you no’ see that your mum and mine would have been able to cope with us having made a mistake, but now it will look as if we’re sticking two fingers up at them.’ But if Kirsten thought that Duncan’s reaction was fearsome it was nothing to what she experienced when they told Jessie.

the book is out now and you can buy it here!

[ Disclaimer: this arc was gifted to me by the lovely people at Ink Road. I apologise for the different review from my usual self but I might have just re read the book for the second time and cried my eyes out once again and have just a tad bit of a migraine <3 ]

img_5867Have you ever had so many options and ideas in your head not to be able to sort it through? So many emotions, so many thoughts that the clutter becomes indistinguishable? How can you put down on paper in a linear and clear way what you feel about something, and analyse that something for people to understand what goes on in your head? I finished The year after you almost a week ago, I read it in less than Four hours and I honestly am still struggling to bring this review to you. I feel like words– no, I feel like my words and my vocabulary is not enough in the four languages I can speak to sort through the level of love that I have for this book.

The year after you managed in so many things for me that in those three hours I sobbed my heart out and fell in love and was born again. This book managed to make me fall in love with a female character, things that didn’t happen since I was 14 and that made me realise maybe my path was not properly a straight line. This book made me fall in love with a genre that I thought I was maybe getting too old to find relatable. This book managed to position itself in a timeless moment in my heart and gain a position into my favourite pile and I’ve already propositioned it to so many people I lost count. It’s the book I twitted about mid-reading ( things that I rarely do because of obvious reasons – first among them my peculiar relationships with endings and how I seem to never be satisfied with them, but not with this one! ) …

So what makes it so special? What makes this simple newborn not yet published young adult into this gem? Well, This book and its characters are like a diamonds, pressed by the weight of their guilt they’ll find a way to polish themselves and shine… in other words:

character growth.

S Y N O P S I S:

dxiqvmmxgaafwnvNew Years’ Eve, San Francisco. The most promising party of the year ends in a tragic accident. Cara survives. Her best friend Georgina doesn’t.

Nine months later, Cara is struggling, consumed by guilt and grief. Her mum decides a Swiss boarding school will be the fresh start Cara needs. But Cara knows that swapping sunshine for snow won’t make a blind bit of difference. Georgina is gone, and nothing will bring her back.

Up in the Alps, Cara’s old life feels a million miles away. At Hope Hall, nobody knows about her past. And she intends to keep it that way. But classmates Ren and Hector have other ideas. Cara tries to keep her distance, but she’s drawn to the offbeat, straight-talking Hector, who understands her grief better than anyone. Her new friends are determined to break down the walls she has so carefully built up. And, despite it all, Cara wants them to.

The closer Cara grows to Hector, the more Georgina slips away. Embracing life at Hope Hall means letting go of the past; of her memories of that fatal New Year’s Eve. But Cara is quite sure she doesn’t deserve a second chance.


R e v i e w :

This book is not simply a journey, doesn’t only have representations, isn’t simply about teenagers in a boarding school in the Alps. this book is about grief, about guilt and self-hatred. This book is about touching the ground and realising you have the strength to push back up. You can’t grasp that possibility while you are falling, gravity will pull you down, but once your feet hit the ground, once you have something to leverage onto you can push through the pressure and come out of it anew. The pain will always be there when you lose someone so important they will always be a hole in the frame of your life, but that guilt, that pain will slowly fade away and you are left with memories. You need to keep on pushing or you’ll die with them.


This book surprised me, and I’m not easily surprised, every turn every discovery, every piece of honesty was raw and real as a punch in my feels and I felt like I could breathe again only at the epilogue. Feeling for others is easier than feeling for yourself, running away is all good on paper but you need to face things to actually grow, and this book helps you go through a daunting process, feeling every bit of it but without triggering anything that might make my anxiety spike up! It’s a story about acceptance, about people that love with the tools they are given, about teenagers that become adults maybe a tad bit too early. It’s a story about hope, a hope that you didn’t even dream of on the first page.

Would I love another book? Hell yeah! Tell me all about Rae babe! But in general, I’m glad about how this book is, and I’ll treasure it forever.


C o n c l u s i o n s: 

what to say, Nina de Pass is now definitely one of my favourite authors and currently my only favourite young adult writer. Her character is vivid and flawless. You start her book and think you see typical tropes but soon you discover that there is so much more.
The ending was flawless, the middle was superb, I love the communication and the total absence of stupid “misunderstanding” Just for the sake of it. This book is outstanding, The cover is amazing, the writing is enchanting, I just want to go on the alps and open a boarding school for kids who might need it now!


Would I recommend it?!?
I will personally walk you to the bookshop on the 14th of February
and force you to buy and read it!
Now that’s what I would call a Valentine’s date 😉