Saturday, January 4, 2020

The Missing Letters of Mrs Bright - by Beth Miller

©Beth Miller
Pre-Order at Amazon
Release Date: 1/9/20
Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
Twenty-nine years in the same routine, with the same man and the same job, have taken its toll on Kathleen (Kay) Bright. The only thing breaking it all up is her monthly letters to her long-distant best friend; but those have unexpectedly stopped, leaving Kay sucked into the business of her everyday life, living for everyone but herself. She decides it's time to make a change. Saying goodbye is just the beginning as Kay travels the world outside and journeys within on her own path to self (re)discovery.

Do you remember hearing that phrase coined by Marie Kondo, 'Does it spark joy?', over and over about a year or so back? I sure do. I remember getting the family on board and tidying up our whole house together. I only wish that I had a physical copy of Beth Miller's new book, The Missing Letters of Mrs. Bright, so that I could hold it in my hands and bring it close while answering that all too familiar question with a, 'Yes, THIS sparks joy!'. Cuddling with my Kindle will have to do. This, right here, is just how earth-shatteringly remarkable I find The Missing Letters of Mrs.Bright. This right here is Women's Fiction at its finest. Beth Miller has brought me joy. I cried I laughed, I cheered and I just didn't want it to end. Kay's story, and that of her fellow co-stars (if I may label them as such), extends well beyond the promised tale of love, loss, and taking chances.

This was my first time experiencing the sheer brilliance that is Beth Miller, but it for sure won't be my last. She takes her readers on a journey that they will never forget. I know that I undoubtedly will keep this one with me for quite a while. Miller has already become a new favorite of mine in the Women's Fiction genre, right up there with Liane Moriarty and Sally Hepworth. I would recommend this book to anyone in search of what I predict will be one of the most 'unputdownable feel-good' novels of the year.

Thank you to NetGalley, the publisher Bookouture, and the author Beth Miller for providing me with an advanced reader copy of this title in exchange for an honest review.

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Book Blurb:
Sometimes it takes losing something to see where you truly belong.

For the past twenty-nine years, Kay Bright’s days have had a familiar rhythm: she works in her husband’s stationery shop hoping to finally sell the legendary gold pen, cooks for her family, tries to remember to practice yoga, and every other month she writes to her best friend, Ursula. Kay could set her calendar by their letters: her heart lifts when the blue airmail envelope, addressed in Ursula’s slanting handwriting, falls gently onto the mat.

But now Ursula has stopped writing and everything is a little bit worse.

Ursula is the only one who knows Kay’s deepest secret, something that happened decades ago that could tear Kay’s life apart today. She has always been the person Kay relies on.

Worried, Kay gets out her shoebox of Ursula’s letters and as she reads, her unease starts to grow. And then at ten o’clock in the morning, Kay walks out of her yellow front door with just a rucksack, leaving her wedding ring on the table...

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About Beth Miller:
I have been told that I write like a tall blonde, so that's how I'd like you to picture me.

I've published three novels, with one more about to be born, in January 2020. I've also published two non-fiction books. I work as a book coach and creative writing tutor.

Before writing books, I did a lot of different jobs. I worked in schools, shops, offices, hospitals, students' unions, basements, from home, in my car, and up a tree. OK, not up a tree. I've been a sexual health trainer, a journalist, a psychology lecturer, a PhD student, a lousy alcohol counsellor, and an inept audio-typist. I sold pens, bread, and condoms. Not in the same shop. I taught parents how to tell if their teenagers are taking drugs (clue: they act like teenagers), and taught teenagers how to put on condoms (clue: there won't really be a cucumber). I taught rabbis how to tell if their teenagers are druggedly putting condoms on cucumbers.

Throughout this, I always wrote, and always drank a lot of tea. I'm now pretty much unbeatable at drinking tea.

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