16 Jul 2018


A book without an ISBN? Its the first time I've come across this and had wondered why any other author would choose not to include one when its needed if you plan to sell your book in most bookstores or through online retailers like Amazon. As it is the book is available online at www.grieve-stationers.co.uk or at Slightly Foxed Bookshop, Berwick Upon Tweed.

A local author Mr T and I came across at a recent Craft Fair. The first one to be held at this venue, it was held on the day of Harry's wedding to Meghan AND the FA Cup final which as it turns out was a gloriously hot day ... perfect for a wedding, not so good for an author sitting in a hall for four hours solid.

Anyway, today I give you a review of a book which, for want of an ISBN, couldn't be included as one of the books read for my 2018 GoodReads challenge, today I give you ...


Taynee Smail is brought up in a Georgian town house in a small Northumberland town in the 1950's. In her teens she falls for the ruggedly handsome Ray Egan, who her friends and family tell her is no good. After marrying him, his true colours show and Taynee's life goes on a downward spiral, as he turns into the drunken bully she was warned about. Finally, escaping his clutches, Taynee returns to live at the family home where she turns into a bit of a recluse.

Getting back into the world of the living she eventually accepts a date with Jackson Macadem, a builder working in the vicinity. Taynee thinks she has found the man of her dreams, until he drops the bombshell, that he's married with a handicapped son. Finding herself pregnant with Jackson's baby and not wanting Jackson to abandon one family for another she decides to run away to the city without telling him, where she finds a job as a housekeeper for a lovely old lady.

This story is about the trials and tribulations that Taynee faces bringing her child into the world as a single parent, without the support of the man she loves - who knows where her journey will take her.
- Back Cover Blurb (Contains some major spoilers, scroll over to hi-light text if you so wish. TT)

Taynee was born in a small town in Northumberland in the 1950's, there were five children in the famioy, two boys Billy and John and three girls Lucy, Tammy and Taynee
- First Sentence (As above this too contains spoilers)

That could be the answer. Telling no one, she arranged for a day off work to go to Newcastle for the interview. When she arrived she was delighted to see the beautiful large old house, in leafy Jesmond.
- Memorable Moment, Page 90

SOURCE ... Bought directly from the author.

READ FOR A CHALLENGE? ... No, see above.

MY THOUGHTS ... Where to begin?

As always, conscience that this is somebody's baby; that someone will have poured blood, sweat and tears in order to realise their dreams of seeing their words in print, I can only hope that my (hopefully) constructive criticism is taken in the spirit in which it is meant.

In need of a good editor (or even a good team of BETA readers).

Before I'd even opened the book, bar the padding, the story was essentially laid bare right there on the back cover. Then, once I began reading, there were all those little niggling typing error/spelling mistakes and grammatical errors. And, of course, there's the matter of the book having no ISBN number. Surely things any editor worth their salt would have advised on????

On a positive note, yes, as always it was lovely to see familiar places featured in a novel and the author did have a nice style if you happen to like a conversational style of writing ... in fact it had crossed my mind that, read by someone with the right regional accent, this would perhaps make a better audio book than it did a paperback ... Its just that, a story I'd read countless times before; the characters easily confused with characters I'd come across in so many other novels of this type, it all felt, well, a bit jaded.


Kelly said...

Given the circumstances, this is a kind, helpful review, Tracy.

I'm always disappointed when spoilers are included in a book blurb and it's one reason I don't read reviews from those I know don't use spoiler alerts.

I, too, reviewed a locally written book awhile back and yes, good editors and/or beta readers are vital.

Suko said...

Tracy, thanks (again) for your honest review. I hope your week is off to a good start!

nightwingsraven said...

Thank you for your honest and helpful
review. I know that I am repeating
Kelly's and Suko's words. But I do not
know what else to say.

Sherry Ellis said...

It's too bad this author didn't have a professional editor. Perhaps she was short on funds - same reason she didn't get an ISBN number. Thanks for the honest review.

Anonymous said...

I totally agree, I got the book from a summer fair where the author had a stall, she mentioned places like Gosforth and Jesmond were included which peaked my interest as I am am from there... They were mentioned once, each, and without much detail.
All in all a sham of a book, terrible editing (although I found that with 50 shades so this could be a new best seller... Maybe not).
Story was flimsy at best and characters were unengaging.

No wonder the author publishes her own books, im not sure this one would have seen the light of day otherwise.