Crossed Wires by Rosy Thornton


My Rating: 4/5

Rosy Thornton has written 4 books, and the first of her books I read was the most recent, Tapestry of Love. Having loved that, I went on and brought her other three.

This one is very different to the other two I have read so far and is more of your typical `chick lit’ with a dash of real life thrown in for good measure. The book introduces us to Mina who is working at the call centre that she doesn’t particularly like, but it pays the bills. Her next caller happens to be Peter who has had an accident in his car. For some reason the two of them click and they are eventually drawn into each others lives despite the geographical difference.

We get to see a bigger portion of Peter’s life that we do Mina’s but as the story progresses this makes sense. The two of them share common ground in that they are both single parents. The element of real life I mentioned in the story is that of the parent role of these two people. It is written really well and we get to see the trials and tribulations their kids put them through, which I am sure many parents could relate to.

Peter and Mina find themselves drawn over experience and as a reader we get to see how things pan out, and how mistakes can be made when you only have one version of events. The thing that really struck me is the fact that there is no real storyline that is the major thread of this book. I know that sounds strange, but that is what makes it so special. This is about two people facing every day things that many people will understand. We meet their children, friends and family who also made the book even better. Peter has twin girls and Mina has a daughter and they are very close in age making the subtle link and bond between Peter and Mina very real.

The children in this book, Cassie and Kim the twins and Sal, Mina’s daughter, all played a part in the story in their own way. We get to see their lives and how things affect them and how this in turn affects their parents.

We also see Mina’s mum and stepdad Dave as they tackle the issues surrounding Mina’s younger sister Jess. On the other side of the fence we see Peter’s friends and neighbours Jeremy and Martin (who I adored as characters) as well as Trish who occasionally babysits for him.

I can honestly say that I really, really enjoyed this. I was so shocked that such ordinary events could be structured into such a lovely book, as normally we have a main story to entertain us. In my opinion this just goes to show how good a writer Rosy Thornton is, a woman that can take every day, mundane stuff and turn it into a story. My only gripe was that I wanted it to last a little longer.

Don’t be put off if you read the back and think it’s a typical story revolving around a single parent woman who wants to be rescued. It’s truly the opposite and was an absolute pleasure to read.

More Than Love Letters by Rosy Thornton


My Rating: 4/5

I only recently discovered Rosy Thornton with her release of her book Tapestry of Love which I really enjoyed. What I didn’t expect was a book like this. I opened the page and was immediately worried. What faced me was a series of letters and emails. Not only was this the beginning of the book, it seemed that the whole book was made up this way. I would be lying if I said it didn’t bother me. How on earth was I supposed to get a feel for the story and characters through letters? I am pleased to say I was completely wrong!

The letters and various emails we see going back and forth are between the main characters of the book, and what characters they were. We see Richard Slater emailing his friend Michael Carrington who works in the Home Office. We also meet Margaret who frequently writes to her Gran and regularly emails her friend Bec’s. In addition to this we see the minutes to the WITCH meetings (Women of Ipswich together combating homelessness).

By around the 30 page mark I began to realise that this was not only cleverly written but was warm and funny. There is nothing better that getting a feel for people by reading the written word.

Margaret’s emails to her friend Bec’s were hilarious as we see them spouting off about their own lives. In addition to this there is a theme running through all of their emails where they try to integrate some of the lesser known words into their conversation and in turn award each other points for the use of the word. Never before in my life have I read a book and then actually gone to a dictionary and looked up a word. (By the way I can now tell you all that facinorous is another word for atrocious!).

I loved Cora, who was the woman who Margaret lived with and we see her take on things as she writes lovingly to her husband. In addition we see Margaret’s Gran writing back to her granddaughter to update her on her life and how things are going. I was very shocked and quite saddened at the realisation of Cora and her letters at the end but it was written so well that it all made sense!

All in all, I never imagined that I could enjoy this as much as I did due to the fact that it was all letters and emails. Rosy Thornton has done a grand job in writing a clever, warm and funny book by merely meshing together people’s thoughts and feelings. As much as this wasn’t the normal sort of book that I would pick up if I was in a shop, it just goes to show that Rosy Thornton can clearly produce a great book by doing things differently.

A Tapestry of Love by Rosy Thornton


My Rating: 4/5

Okay, firstly I have to say that I am usually of the `trashier the better’ kind of attitude. If I am reading Chick Lit, I love the sleaze and glamour of it all. On the other side of the fence, I love a good crime thriller where we see the regular cop heroes turn up at every given opportunity. However, this book certainly doesn’t fit into the Chick Lit genre and I would be at a loss as to where to place it. It is a `real’ book, that’s the best way I can describe it. There is no gush, no fairytale typical storylines, and certainly no murders!

Rosy Thornton has managed to produce a book that doesn’t just tell you a story; it parks your butt on a plane and actually takes you there. Her style of writing is unusual in comparison to what I am used to but it is brilliant all the same. I could almost imagine myself sitting in the corner of Catherin Parkstone’s kitchen in the Cevennes Mountains and actually watching her life unfold. The characters are written really well and there is such an element of realism that you find yourself swept along with the tale. The scenery is so well described that it has left a vivid picture in my imagination of what everything and everybody should look like.

The story itself was great too and we meet Catherine’s local neighbours, who are at first very `French’, making Catherine have to work a lot harder to become part of the community. Catherine’s sister Bryony makes an appearance in Cevennes after making a radical decision to take a sabbatical from work. This complicates Catherine’s life more than she cares to admit. She struggles to get her priorities in her head the right way round. Although both her children are grown up she finds herself constantly worrying about whether they will be okay and whether moving to this remote part of France was a good idea after all.

The book is structured so that we see her time at her home progress over a number of months which makes it so much easier to imagine the different times of year in this area. It also gives the reader the element of how far she has come and what the future will hold.

All in all this was a fantastic book. I will admit that I would never have chosen this from a bookstore as it doesn’t look trashy enough for me, but boy am I glad I read this. A wonderful book with a real touch of realism that is perfect for curling up with. I would highly recommend this book and Rosy Thornton will definitely be added to my list of authors to pre-order from.