I was contacted by author Julie Houston some weeks ago introducing her book Goodness, Grace and Me. Following my usual practice, I read the free sample on the Amazon site and enjoyed it so much I bought the book.
Then I visited Julie's Blog and really enjoyed her account of looking for readers outside Waterstones in Leeds. Really, don't miss it - it's very funny.
The book has been in my Waiting To Be Read Folder for quite a while as I haven't been doing so much reading recently as we've been busy publishing Learning Lines? A Practical Guide for Drama Students and Aspiring Actors by Michael Murray. Check out our website for more details if you're interested.
Anyway things have settled down a bit now and Goodness, Grace and Me was at the top of my list for what to read next. I finished it a couple of days ago and have really enjoyed reading it. It's a light-hearted, amusing, romantic, well-written story about a couple of life-long best friends and it explores their lives, families and loves in an interesting setting and context.
I really like Julie Houston's writing style: it's crisp and clear and quickly draws you into the lives of her main character, Harriet, her best friend Grace and their family and friends. The story unfolds at a good steady pace and the author has taken the time to let all her characters fully evolve as the plot develops.
Harriet is the narrator and you can really hear her talking to you as you read the book. She shares her thoughts and feelings which are at times quite poignant and at other times hilariously funny. Like author Julie Houston, Harriet is a primary school teacher although this is back-grounded until near the end of the book when you join her at school for one of the funniest descriptions of classroom life I've ever read. The "green ticks" anecdote is brilliant! I should think anyone who knows and loves British primary schools will really enjoy this aspect of the book.
The book is a complex web of relationships which leads to a shed-load of mis-understandings, complications, failures to communicate, humorous incidents and unexpected explanations. It's an ideal book to curl up with on cold, winter nights and would make a great read for the Christmas holidays.
You can find out more about Julie Houston and her writing on her website and get a copy of Goodness, Grace and Me at the Amazon Kindle Store. The book has received lots of very well deserved five star reviews and that's what I've given it too.