Digital Reads Reviews

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Nobody is to blame, yet everybody played a part.

A different kind of thriller which showed an incident and the days preceding that, from different points of view. A man shot his wife and his daughter, then killed himself.

This was a real life incident taken by the author Jill Treseder who knew the family. A heartache through and through. The book showed me the fictional supposition that could have happened. Other than the shooting, no other part was true. This was the author’s way to try to lay ghosts to rest.

A short book at 120 odd pages, it was a tale of suspicion and doubt, mental illness and guilt, anger and control. It showed me what happened in the family and how different people were affected by the loss of this family for years to come.

Our life is singular but affected by multiple, both people and circumstances. They affect our psyche deeply and our life choices. The book felt disjointed at first, I had to reread the first few chapters. But soon a clearer picture began to emerge.

This was a book which would have an impact on all of us and make us ponder about life and people who cross ours. I could just read it with a heavy heart and despairing sighs. Such is life. A deeply poignant tale.

Kudos to the author for writing this story to pay tribute to her friend and her short life and to explore the reasons for such a tragedy. A human mind is beyond all reasoning sometimes.

I received a free ARC from Anne and the author, and this is my journey into its pages, straight from the heart!! STRICTLY HONEST AND UNBIASED.

All my reviews can be read here

Jill Treseder’s first career was in professional social work and the second in the human side of management development. This work led indirectly to the publication of ‘The Wise Woman Within: Spirals to Wholeness’ (2004) a self-development book for women exploring feminine wisdom.

Her first novel ‘The Hatmaker’s Secret’ (2013) is based on a family secret. The second, ‘A Place of Safety’ (2014) is set on Dartmoor and the third ‘Becoming Fran’ (2016) is a coming-of-age novel set in Bristol. ‘My Sister, Myself’ is about two sisters who escape to England from Budapest during the Hungarian uprising of 1956.

The novella ‘The Saturday Letters’ links to ‘The Hatmaker’s Secret’ and the novella ‘The Birthday House’ is a departure, being based on a true crime of 1955.

A friendship. A murder. A life that will never be the same.

The year is 1955, the location picturesque Devon.

In a house by the River Dart, schoolgirl Josephine Kennedy posts invitations to her twelfth birthday party – a party that never takes place.

Horrific violence is committed that night in the family home, leaving all of its occupants dead.

Based on a disturbing real-life crime, this compelling story explores Josephine’s fate through the prism of friends and family – the victims and survivors who unwittingly influenced the events that led up to the tragedy.

Josephine’s best friend, Susan, is haunted by the secrets of the birthday house. Can she ever find a way of making peace with the past?

Publication Date: 24th June 2019

Publisher: Silverwood Books

11 Responses

  1. What a sad story! I do like your lines: “Our life is singular but affected by multiple, both people and circumstances. They affect our psyche deeply and our life choices.” Well put.

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