Monday, 13 February 2017

The Things I should Have Told You by Carmel Harrington 

Release Date: 26th January 2017 (PB) / 8th September 2016 (Kindle)
Publisher: Harper
Genres: Contemporary Fiction

‘Anyone who loved the great Maeve Binchy will adore this gorgeous gem of a book’ Claudia Carroll

Every family has a story…But for the Guinness family a happy ending looks out of reach. Olly and Mae's marriage is crumbling, their teenage daughter Evie is on a mission to self-destruct and their beloved Pops is dying of cancer. Their once strong family unit is slowly falling apart.

But Pops has one final gift to offer his beloved family – a ray of hope to cling to. As his life's journey draws to a close, he sends his family on an adventure across Europe in a camper van, guided by his letters, his wisdom and his love.

Because Pops knows that all his family need is time to be together, to find their love for each other and to find their way back home…

‘Carmel Harrington…will make you see life in a different way’ Woman’s Way

Sometimes you come across a writer whose words just blow your socks off. Carmel Harrington is one such writer.  I've met Carmel Harrington a couple of times at various bookish events and her warm and loving personality shines through in her writing, injecting such a human and emotional element to her characters. And, these characters are anything but perfect! Family life feels like its spiralling out of control and nobody seems to know how to fix it.  In The Things I should Have Told You I immediately felt a sense of sadness for the Guinness Family. A broken family and broken hearts.The book evokes many feelings for the reader and dear old Pops found a special place in my heart. He will remain there for a long time. The fact that before he dies, Pop wants to bring his family together again, to repair them in a way that his poor body can never be repaired. It sometimes felt that Pop's illness was the physical manifestation of all that was rotten within the family. 

The fact that the family go on an adventure around Europe had me immediately won over. I want a camper van! I want to travel! Pop's desperation to help his family and gift them this one last thing left me at feeling emotionally spent. The characters in this book are both compelling and frustrating. The messages to come out of this book for me are to love fiercely and always tell someone how much you love them no matter how afraid you are. For those of us with conflict within families and lots of things said that shouldn't have been and lots left unsaid, this book will feel like your own personal journey. It certainly did for me.  If you fancy a book that will tug at your heart strings and leave you with a lump in your throat and a tear in your eye then this is the book for you. Another highly recommended read from me. 


Unleashing a creative you!

Did you know that studies have proven that creativity is linked to happiness?

Well, ever since I unleashed my creative inner goddess, I have to admit that Ive never been happier. When I write, my mind gets so absorbed in the task, I can switch off from the harsher realities of my life. And thats not a bad thing on occasion. We all have times when we are worried about family, friends, health, weight or finances, dont we?

Think about the last time you did something creative - perhaps you baked a cake, did some knitting, renovated a piece of furniture. How did the process make you feel? Happier, right? Well, imagine if you set aside time, every day to be creative.

We all have creative energy, we just need to tap into it. And my top tip on how to do that - is to think like an adult but act like a child the odd time! Watch a child when they are creating - whether its painting, colouring, working with play dough or building lego. They get lost in  their creations. I adore watching my two children - Amelia and Nate, when they are in their creative mode. The smiles on their faces, is a joy to see. I want a bit of that action, so now I join in too.

Have I tempted you to pick up a colouring book yet? Or maybe you have secretly harboured an ambition to write, design or paint. Come on, make 2017 your year and I guarantee youre smile will only get brighter. 

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