2.5*, book review

Review: Missing Pieces by Heather Gudenkauf.


Missing Pieces by Heather Gudenkauf.


My Review:

I’ve read a few books by the author and have always enjoyed them so I was keen to read Missing Pieces. However, once it was published I read a few reviews by bloggers that I trust that made me unsure about whether I would enjoy it. I normally try not to let reviews influence me but it did mean that Missing Pieces sank down my tbr pile.

It is unfortunate that I kind of wish that it had stayed there. Although the writing was good and it was easy to read with decent characters the story just did not grab me. I think that the reason is that the book gets straight into the story, there is absolutely no getting to know the characters before they’re thrown into turmoil by the events in the book, this meant that I really wasn’t sure what I thought about the main character, Sarah, although as the book went on I liked her less and less, but was she a reliable narrator? That I didn’t know and I think that the book suffered as a result.

When Sarah’s husband’s Aunt is critically ill in hospital after a fall down the stairs in her home Sarah and Jack head to his hometown, somewhere that he hasn’t returned to since he left twenty years ago. Sarah has never met any of Jack’s family and is looking forward to meeting them, she knows that Jack’s parents died in a car accident when Jack was a teenager and his aunt and uncle looked after him and his sister Amy.

However, soon after they arrive it becomes clear to Sarah that maybe she doesn’t know her husband as well as she thought that she did. This is where things got a bit difficult for me, Sarah’s reaction seemed slightly unusual, as did the actions of one of the locals who decided to help Sarah investigate her husband’s past.

If I’m honest I nearly gave up on this book many times, I felt guilty that it had taken me so long to get round to reading this book to review and that kept me going, it is also quite easy to read so I kept going. I was pretty sure that I’d worked things out long before the end, and I’m giving the book an extra half a star because the ending wasn’t quite what I had expected.

I’m not sure what went wrong with the author for this book, as I said I’ve read other books by Heather that I’ve really enjoyed, but next time I will be less keen to read one which is a shame.

I received this book from the publisher via Netgalley, I was under no obligation to review and all thoughts are my own.


A woman uncovers earth-shattering secrets about her husband’s family in this chilling page-turner from New York Times bestselling author Heather Gudenkauf

Sarah Quinlan’s husband, Jack, has been haunted for decades by the untimely death of his mother when he was just a teenager, her body found in the cellar of their family farm, the circumstances a mystery. The case rocked the small farm town of Penny Gate, Iowa, where Jack was raised, and for years Jack avoided returning home. But when his beloved aunt Julia is in an accident, hospitalized in a coma, Jack and Sarah are forced to confront the past that they have long evaded.

Upon arriving in Penny Gate, Sarah and Jack are welcomed by the family Jack left behind all those years ago—barely a trace of the wounds that had once devastated them all. But as facts about Julia’s accident begin to surface, Sarah realizes that nothing about the Quinlans is what it seems. Caught in a flurry of unanswered questions, Sarah dives deep into the puzzling rabbit hole of Jack’s past. But the farther in she climbs, the harder it is for her to get out. And soon she is faced with a deadly truth she may not be prepared for.

Missing Pieces is out now and available from Amazon UK and Amazon US.

2.5*, book review

Review: Buy Buy Baby by Helen MacKinven.


Buy Buy Baby by Helen MacKinven.


My 2.5* review: 

I really wanted to like Buy Buy Baby. There are not many books that talk about single women wanting to have a child and issues that they deal with.

There was quite a lot to like about Buy Buy Baby but unfortunately, I also found that there was a lot that frustrated me. The two main characters were both unlikeable, often this is ok in a book but in this case, it definitely affected my enjoyment. And while the concept of how far you would go to find the money to have a much longed for baby is an interesting one I felt that something just didn’t fit.

The biggest niggle that I had is that both Carol and Julia were intelligent women, yet they were totally taken in by a man who wanted a large amount of money for what they wanted. They both took his word for it that his was the simplest solution and so set about finding the money. They ignored the many potential problems around what they were doing and neither seemed to look into much safer and more affordable options. I found that this grated on me throughout the book and I would have quite happily shouted at Carol and Julia to wake up think about what they were doing!!

I also found the Scottish speak in the book made it harder for me to read, being dyslexic it doesn’t take much to make reading more difficult and as a Londoner who is not familiar with Scottish accents it made reading more challenging.

Having said that Buy Buy Baby was well written and the story flowed well. I still think that it is great that there is a book dealing with the subject matter, I just wish that it had been done slightly more realistically.

I was sent a copy of Buy Buy Baby by the author Helen MacKinven. My review is impartial and has not been affected by this.


What price tag would you put on a baby?

Set in and around Glasgow, Buy Buy Baby is a moving and funny story of life, loss and longing.
Packed full of bitchy banter, it follows the bittersweet quest of two very different women united by the same desire – they desperately want a baby.
Carol talks to her dog, has an expensive eBay habit and relies on wine to forget she’s no longer a mum following the death of her young son.
Cheeky besom Julia is career-driven and appears to have it all. But after disastrous attempts at internet dating, she feels there is a baby-shaped hole in her life.
In steps Dan, a total charmer with a solution to their problems.
But only if they are willing to pay the price, on every level…

‘Buy Buy Baby is energised by the biological clocks of its main characters, and deals with complex issues of grief, betrayal, abuse, ageing, donor anonymity and single parenthood. A cracker of a read.’ – Helen Fitzgerald, Author of Viral


Buy Buy Baby by Helen MacKinven is available now from Amazon UK.