Are we OK, you and I, after you voted to destroy my dreams?

Andrew Reid Wildman, artist, photographer, writer, teacher

I feel like someone has taken something dear to me, my identity, my connection to my continent, and they have killed it. If you voted Leave, I hope you are prepared to take responsibility for what you have done, and that you do not regret it. It is over to you now, to sort out. Some friends view my reaction as an affront. That I am ‘dissing” them. It is not. It is just that you have killed something that was precious to me. You have created a country around me that I do not recognise, which feels broken and insular. That was your right to do that, you voted the way you thought was best. And you won and I lost. But in so doing you destroyed something. Many of you are now regretting your vote. Save your tears, I do not want to hear them lest I scream…

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Book Review – The Life of the World to Come – Dan Cluchey…

Leo Brice is dead, in a sense (not the traditional one). When the neurotic law student meets his cosmic match in Fiona Haeberle, an impulsive spirit and burgeoning soap star, all seems well—the two fall fast in love, and spend three years navigating their twenties in wide-eyed wonder. But once the fantastical woman who had defined his future bolts to pursue a fantasy life of her own, Leo is forced to come to terms with a reality that more closely resembles an epilogue than the story he’d hoped it might be. Now a junior death row advocate, Leo immerses himself in the esoteric world of his condemned client, a born-again Georgia inmate named Michael Tiegs. As both men become consumed by the question of an afterlife—and as Leo becomes increasingly confused by his own future and past—Tiegs’ fate hangs in the balance. Leaning on his friends and grappling with his memories, Leo must try to save a client who may not want to be saved after all, even as he struggles to confront the prospect of his own mortality.I was given an ARC by Netgalley in exchange for a fair and honest review.
This book was very heavy going in the beginning. I thoroughly disliked Fiona’s character and Leo was wooden and not likeable either.
The book does deal with an issue that I feel very strongly about, which is the death penalty. The organisation which Leo works for, fights for people on death row. A worthy organisation in fact or fiction.
As Leo and his colleague work their way through that first case, they start to form a relationship which crumbles after a while.
The book clearly becomes a discussion and a deep one of the morality of the death sentence. At first I found this as wooden and boring as the characters at the beginning.
This is just not for me.
A two out of five star read 
I am profoundly grateful to Netgalley and St. Martin’s Press for my copy of this book.

Brexit was an enormous game of Chicken that we all lost.

Wise words here.

Another angry woman

I hate being right. It’s only been hours since the UK voted, by a very narrow margin to leave the EU, and everything has already gone to shit. In fact, it’s gone so much to shit that I can’t even be particularly happy that the Shinyfaced Pigfucker has finally fucked off.

I am fairly sure that a lot of leave voters did not quite understand what they were voting for. It was sold to them, everything was sold to them, as a bargaining chip. They did not necessarily think that it would actually happen.

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Book Review – The Problem With Forever by Jennifer.L.Armentrout…

When Mallory was a kid, she was bounced from one horrible foster home to another. At thirteen, a terrible accident got her removed from the group home where she was living to a hospital where she met the parents who would adopt her. But when she starts a new school and encounters an old friend from the foster system sparks start to fly.
I was given an ARC by Netgalley in exchange for a fair and honest review.
Mallory is, we learn from the start, a deeply damaged young lady. Her past has scared her so deeply that it is almost seared into her soul. I feel, because of this, incredibly drawn to her. She makes you want to reach through the paper and too her in effort to soothe her and tell her that everything will be OK.
The story deals with the failures of the foster care system and the damage that system can inflict on a malleable young child.
It is stunningly written and the characters are solid, likeable and utterly believable. It is so emotional that near the end of the book I was in floods of tears. A truly beautiful story indeed.
A five out of five star read.
I am truly grateful to Netgalley and  Harlequin(UK) for my copy of this book.

Changing plans and meltdowns…

Well, it’s not strictly a change of plans. Both my boys were told that they had a dentist’s appointment. Nothing major, only a check up. Now I think both kids have heard and understood as they dragged their eyes away from the screen and both nodded and said “Yes mum”.

My mistake was not to remind senior before he went to school. I knew that junior would be OK. He put a reminder in his phone. Senior doesn’t have a phone. They freak him out and he can’t cope with them and he disolves into a puddle of mush if he has to talk on the phone. (Much like myself really.)

So, they got home at 4pm and senior got into his PJs, which is his standard routine after school. If he has to deviate from that, we have all kinds of hell in the shape of a meltdown which just got worse when he is reminded that he has to go.

The only way to calm him down is to wrap him in his blankie and let him come round. So far it’s looking like he will go screaming and crying.

The other incident that upset him was that he wanted proper chicken curry from a takeaway. I told him calmly that we were having Shepherd’s Pie (savoury soy (or real beef)mince) with mashed potato and cheese. Normally he loves this meal, but not today. He screamed even louder.

The neighbours must think that I  butchering the poor kid from the way he is screaming. I have an ear infection brewing which is extremely painful, so the screams are making it worse.

The moral of the story? Always double check and triple check with your autistic children when you have differing plans from their normal routine.

Book Review – The Last Days of Summer by Vanessa Ronan…

After ten years in the Huntsville State Penitentiary, Jasper Curtis returns home to live with his sister and her two daughters. Lizzie does not know who she’s letting into her home: the brother she grew up loving or the monster he became.

Teenage Katie distrusts this strange man in their home but eleven-year-old Joanne is just intrigued by her new uncle.

Jasper says he’s all done with trouble, but in a forgotten prairie town that knows no forgiveness, it does not take long for trouble to arrive at their door …
I was given an ARC by Netgalley in exchange for a fair and honest review.

After ten years in the Huntsville State Penitentiary, Jasper Curtis returns home to live with his sister and her two daughters. Lizzie does not know who she’s letting into her home: the brother she grew up loving or the monster he became.

Teenage Katie distrusts this strange man in their home but eleven-year-old Joanne is just intrigued by her new uncle.

Jasper says he’s all done with trouble, but in a forgotten prairie town that knows no forgiveness, it does not take long for trouble to arrive at their door …
A brilliantly written book. Well worth a look.
I’m profoundly grateful to Netgalley and Penguin UK for my copy of this book.

Book Review – The Plea by Steve Cavanagh…

Fraud. Blackmail. Murder. It’s all in a day’s work for Eddie Flynn.
For years, major New York law firm Harland & Sinton has operated a massive global fraud. The FBI are on to them, but they need witnesses to secure their case. When a major client of the firm, David Child, is arrested for murder, the FBI ask con-artist-turned-lawyer Eddie Flynn to secure Child as his client and force him to testify against the firm.
Eddie’s not a man to be forced into representing a guilty client, but the FBI have incriminating files on Eddie’s wife, Christine, and if Eddie won’t play ball, she’ll pay the price.
When Eddie meets David Child he knows Child is innocent, despite the overwhelming evidence against him. With the FBI putting pressure on him to secure the plea, Eddie must find a way to prove Child’s innocence while keeping his wife out of danger – not just from the FBI, but from the firm itself.
Brilliant. Really well written and tense thriller.
A five out of five star read.
I’m profoundly grateful to Netgalley and Orion Publishing for my copy of this book.