Sunday, 1 July 2012

Review - A Twist of Fate by Joanna Rees

WOW! What an incredible book!

Two beautiful baby girls were sold for cold hard cash, their fate decided on the flip of a coin.  One gets to end up having a really tough time, fighting for her soul and her life, in an East European orphanage run by vile and evil bosses and the other gets to end up with a moneyed family, living a life of luxury, mansion houses and ostentatious holidays.

The book swaps between a chapter about Romy, then one about Thea; their lives totally different but they do actually cross paths a few times throughout the years without them realising.  They both felt that there was something missing from their lives but neither knew what it was. 

Both of their lives are full of terrible secrets, guilt, blackmail and even murder.  Both girls having to live with their secrets burying them deep away, too scared for anyone to ever find out the truth. These secrets affected their lives drastically and neither feel that they can carry on carrying the burden of their past. 

I settled myself on the settee yesterday morning (Saturday) to start this book..  After just the first few pages, I was totally and utterly mesmerised and set to remain there for most of the day.  Luckily for me, I have a bad back at the moment, and that means that I’m not allowed to do much on the housework front.  What a great excuse for not shifting my backside for the whole day!  My nose was firmly stuck in this book, my backside firmly wedged in the sofa, and I only moved when I needed the loo or a drink! 

I lost count of how many moments this book left me open-mouthed and lost for words!  I wish I'd have had a £1 for every time I said "Oh my God!" - I'd be a very rich reviewer!

I found myself wanting to shout at the characters when they ended up at the same place, that their sister was there, and that they just needed to turn around and they would see each other.  Not that it would have made any difference as neither of them knew that they had lost a sister!  But I was getting quite frustrated. 

It was a thick book, over 500 pages, but each page just floated on past and I managed to get to the 400 page mark last night before my painkillers kicked in and I nodded off! This morning, I woke early before the rest of the house, and my first thought was to find out what was happening in their lives.  I came downstairs and made myself a cuppa and continued to read this wonderful story.   

My tea was cold by the time I remembered it was there so I made myself another one and carried on reading.  It was only when I finished the book and tweeted the author to tell her how fantastic I thought it was, that I realised that I’d forgotten to drink that one too!

I intensely hated one specific character in Thea’s life, from the moment I was introduced to him; a particularly nasty piece of work. 

I felt so protective of these two plucky, strong, amazing women who in very different ways and lives, had experienced such atrocities and such sadness and hurt that they SO did not deserve!  They had much love and loss throughout their lives that you felt every single emotion that they were going through like it was actually happening to you and cutting through you like a knife. 

The story had so many twists and surprises along the way and it was so cleverly written that it was completely un-put-downable! It was without doubt, one of the best books I've ever read!  I'm sure, and I hope, that it will be a huge success for this outstanding author and it will be extremely well deserved. 

It wasn’t until I read the bio about Jo that I realised that I’ve read her work before when she co-wrote with Emyln Rees.  If you’ve never read any of these books, you really should! They are awesome. 

Jo Rees grew up in Chelmsford before getting an English and Drama degree at Goldsmiths' College. After several bizarre jobs, including running her own sandwich delivery business and writing promotions for the back of Sugar Puffs boxes, It Could Be You, was published in 1997 under her maiden name, Josie Lloyd, and enabled her to meet fellow novelist, Emlyn Rees. Together they wrote Come Together, a twenty-something rom-com, which became a number one Sunday Times bestseller and was translated into 26 languages. They went on to co-write six more successful novels, and along the way got married and had three kids.

In 2007 Jo went solo and wrote Platinum, followed by Forbidden Pleasures in 2010. Jo also writes a light-hearted blog about her life as a novelist and mother in Brighton called, which is one of the top ten Times mummy blogs. A Twist of Fate is her eleventh novel.

You can buy this book via Amazon by clicking here

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