Take Me Home – Daniela Sacerdoti

What to Expect:

Inary Monteith’s life is at a crossroads. After a stolen night with her close friend Alex, she’s just broken his heart by telling him it was all a terrible mistake. Then she has to rush home from London to the Scottish Highlands when her little sister’s illness suddenly worsens – and in returning she must confront the painful memories she has been trying so hard to escape.
Back home, things become more complicated than she could ever have imagined. There’s her sister’s illness, her hostile brother, a smug ex she never wants to see again and her conflicted feelings about Alex in London and a handsome American she meets in Glen Avich. On top of that, she mysteriously loses her voice but regains a strange gift from her childhood – a sixth sense that runs in her family. And when a voice from the past keeps repeating, ‘Take me home’, she discovers a mystery that she knows she must unlock to set herself free.

This is our second review for Daniela, her last book Watch Over Me was lovely, and this one continues in a similar vein with some sadness and some ghostly elements. It’s also set in Glen Avich again and we bump into some old friends, but it’s not a sequel as such, the main characters are new. It’s engrossing and not very long so I devoured it in two evenings.

Kooks for your Kindle?– A really nice collection of supporting characters, family and friends. Lesley is her best mate, originally Caribbean, and the kind of supportive girl you want around when you lose the ability to speak for months and start seeing dead people. Inary’s brother Logan is the only one who knows about her sight, and is alarmed to hear of its return- but he has plenty of issues of his own, mostly stemming from his resentment of Inary for leaving him to take care of their sick little sister alone. Tyler is a friend of Logan, he’s American; while in town for a project he befriends Inary and becomes quite useful in her quest to solve the mystery.

Inary’s ex-fiance Lewis is the guy we all love to hate, smug enough to warrant a good take-down, even if Inary does have to scribble her cutting comments on a notepad for him to read! Finally the lovely Alex is left behind in London to try and accept that Inary doesn’t want him- can he move on and find happiness at last?

The Bella-Swan-Pathetically-Self-Sacrificing-Factor– Inary starts off in a bad place and it’s downhill from there. She’s living in London with good friends but a mediocre job, not pursuing her true passion of writing, and she’s avoiding her family problems back in Scotland. When her little sister takes a turn for the worse she has to return- and face the older brother that was left holding down the fort when Inary ran off with a broken heart three years before. This time she’s the one leaving a broken heart- her friend Alex in London, who finally thought they’d found happiness when she spent the night with him.

It takes Inary time to find her feet back home- not least because of her mysterious loss of voice and the return of her ghostly visions. But she finds the strength to face up to everything, even her own ghosts of (living) boyfriends past, and solve the mystery that the spirits present.

Painting a Picture for your Paperback?– It’s refreshing to return to the peace and fresh air of the small Scottish town on the loch, where the height of modernisation is the new coffee shop. It’s very atmospheric, the misty, spooky scenes on the lake are quite terrifying. The locals are back in force, which prove quite suffocating for the very private Inary, but that’s the nature of this small town, everyone knows your life history.

Evaluation of your eBook?– Couldn’t put it down. You can’t not fall for a tale of a wounded young woman facing further adversity and finding strength, but it’s so lovingly written too. Once again I’m amazed that such an eloquent, elegant story is written by the author in their second language, you’d never know. With all the sadness, heartbreak and tragic ghosts you’d think this would be a depressing tale and not remotely frothy, but instead it’s uplifting, romantic, fast-moving and quite positive. Don’t miss it.

Frothy Ranking: 5/5 cocktails.

Can be obtained from:

UK: Amazon for 69p.

US: Not on Amazon, but only $1.70 on Kobobooks.

Watch Over Me- Daniela Sacerdoti

Eilidh has lost her unborn child and her faithless husband, but is more affected by the former. Worn down by IVF attempts and let down by the rest of her family, she chooses to escape to an aunt in a in a remote Scottish village where she has a fresh start.  Jamie, her childhood friend, is the village blacksmith-turned-artist, raising his small daughter alone.   This touching tale is about finding family and home, in any form, with a little well-intentioned assistance from beyond the grave.

Kooks for your Kindle?– No exaggerated stereotypes here, just a varied selection of real life, well written characters.  Eilidh’s own family are sadly unsupportive and tactless, bordering on cruel at times.  Fortunately most characters in her new life are both interesting and warm.

The Bella-Swan-Pathetically-Self-Sacrificing-Factor– Eilidh could be forgiven for going into a six month self-pity slump, instead she soldiers on and carves a new life for herself.  It really wouldn’t be possible to criticise a character for a little wallowing and low self esteem after being worn down for years by both an unfaithful husband and a baby tragedy.

Painting a picture for your paperback?– Most people would balk at the thought of living in the middle of nowhere with an aging population and limited shopping, but somehow the author makes it an appealing notion.  The highland village of close-knit, welcoming folk seems a lot warmer than the wintry weather present in the story.

Nookie for your Nook?– Nothing salacious, could be recommended to the Mother-in-law.

Evaluation of your eBook?– Tricky to categorise this one, falling somewhere between ‘Frothy with substance’ and ‘Much more substantial’ on the scale. Slightly too serious for the former, and too easily consumed for the other! The minor ghostly elements fit well with an otherwise real-world story and help with the narrative.  A magical, heartwarming tale of healing after heartbreak.  An absolute bargain too!

Frothy Ranking: 4/5 cocktails.

Can be obtained from:
UK:
Amazon for only 85p and WHSmith for 98p.
US:
Amazon for only 99c$1.44 from eBook, Kobo for $1.44
Canada:
Kobo for $1.44