All about Books, Book review

Book Review: Together Again by Milly Johnson

The mobile library has dropped off some treats this week including Together Again by Milly Johnson. The reservation list on this book is miles long so I took notice of the sticky note telling me to read it quickly.

Library stash with a range of books but centre place is the cover of Milly Johnson's book Together, Again
Library Stash

Book Review: Together Again by Milly Johnson

Book cover for Together Again by Milly Johnson
Yellow cover with Blue and dark pink typeface. Shows an open front doorway with 3 sisters outside on the steps. One leaning against the pillared entrance, one sitting on the steps and the other sitting on suitcases.
Together Again by Milly Johnson

Title: Together Again

Author: Milly Johnson

Publisher: Simon and Schuster

Release date: 29th September 2022

Blurb

Together again after years apart, can they find a new beginning? The brilliant novel full of laughter, love, tears and hope from the Sunday Times bestselling author Milly Johnson.

‘This masterpiece honestly describes the strength and acceptance required to be a family. 5 STARS’ Adele Parks, Book of the Month, Platinum magazine

Sisters Jolene, Marsha and Annis have convened at their beautiful family home, Fox House, following the death of their mother, the tricky Eleanor Vamplew. Born seven years apart, the women are more strangers than sisters.

Jolene, the eldest, is a successful romantic novelist who writes about beautiful relationships even though her own marriage to the handsome and charming Warren is complicated.

Marsha, the neglected middle child, has put all of her energy into her work, hoping money will plug the gap in her life left by the man who broke her young heart.

Annis is the renegade, who left home aged sixteen and never returned, not even for the death of their beloved father Julian. Until now.

So when the sisters discover that their mother has left everything to Annis in her will, it undermines everything they thought they knew. Can saying their final goodbyes to Eleanor bring them together again?

Together, Again is the story of truths uncovered and lies exposed, of secrets told – and kept. It is a novel about sister helping sister to heal from childhood scars and finding in each other support, forgiveness, courage and love.

My Thoughts

Milly Johnson is one author I know will have me laughing one minute and crying the next with her quirky observations and down-to-earth Northern humour, which balances out the heartache and sensitive topics she covers in her romantic fiction. I’m still reeling from the chocolate eclair scene in Woman in the Middle. If you haven’t read it, you need to pop it on your must-read pile with this one. While love, friendship and character’s finding their own self or strength are fundamental in all her books, this one is different.

Maybe it was because there was less romance and more focus on the relationship between sisters from a dysfunctional family, but it sent me on a powerful, hard-hitting, and  emotional rollercoaster. Each sister’s viewpoint got under my skin as they dealt with the emotions following their mother’s death, getting to know each other and the secrets each were hiding. Grief is tackled in many books, but usually the person is loved and missed for their warmth but in this case, the mother was horrid. This triggered different emotions and guilt usually seen, and it was refreshing to see another type of family dynamic shown.  I’m sure it will resonate with many readers. Despite the tough issues covered, Milly Johnson writes with warmth, depth and hope, so when I finished reading I was left with the comforting belief that anything is possible with friendship and support.

Have you read it? I’d love your hear your thoughts. Keep warm and happy reading!

Love

Just life, Writing journey

Writing, Lockdown and June Update

I have written June update in the title but it should read 2020 update because this poor blog has remained largely untouched since the RNA Afternoon tea last year. Why, when I have exciting good news to tell you? The answer may not be what you expect. 2020 has been a dystopian year throwing life unimaginable challenges but the main reason I have been missing is I have been writing. Yes, writing, editing and The End has been typed on the last page of A Blend of Magic.

But first, a catch up of the year.

This Year’s News

  • Last year I won a free six-month mentorship with Alison May, which started in January. This has been a turning point in my writing, confidence and determination to finish A Blend of Magic and not hide it away in a drawer but send it out in the world. I just need to keep my fear of failure under control. Her advice and support has been invaluable.
  • I was given another bursary for the New writer’s Scheme at the Romantic Novelist’s Association. If you write any form of novel with a romantic thread, check it out. As with my mentorship, the warmth and support of the Association has had a massive influence in my writing. Or check out the speech from the Queen of Romantic Fiction Milly Johnson speech. She says it all.

 

 

  • Lockdown happened and I was placed in the shielding category. As I am usually at home not much changed except, I can not see my aunt or meet up with my local writing group on a Friday. It is amazing how much two hours a week of human company can be missed. Thank heavens for WhatsApp. As doom and gloom raged outside the bubble around me, I decided to hide in my imagination. I have surfaced to catch up with my writing friends and drink tea. This was the best decision as I have been productive and words have been written (except on here – oops).
  • I finished umpteen drafts of A Blend of Magic and sent it off to be critiqued with the NWS and within 3 weeks it was returned. The reader liked it and only a few tweaks are needed to improve it – phew!
  • For the first time I sent it off to an agent  (eek) and I have entered more competitions.
  • I have started a new project which I am so excited about. I wake in the morning wanting to connect with the characters and write their stories. Where they will take me? I don’t know and it is exciting to find out. I hope the enthusiasm lasts and does not dwindle the further I am into the manuscript as I am only 6000 words in. It is a step away from magic into the world of dance.

still-life-with-pointe-shoes-4673922_1920
All about the dance

The question is should Willow and Vincent make a fleeting cameo appearance or should it be set in a completely different world?

I hope you are all staying safe and as lockdown is easing you remain so. I have chosen to remain in my creative bubble a while longer and am grateful I am able to do so while others can not.

Take care

Love

just Kate