Author Guest Post
Family is at the heart of all my novels. I can’t help being fascinated by the unconditional love that glues families together, not to mention the in-jokes and shared memories, the politics and allegiances, the conflicts, grudges and ever changing dynamics. But what I am most intrigued by are the secrets which can be unearthed in families. If you dig deeply enough.
‘We’re a close family. We have no secrets.’
How many times have you heard this proclamation? ‘Rubbish,’ I always feel like saying in reply. It’s the ‘close’ families who are the most secretive. There’s often a driving instinct to protect the other family members, or an overwhelming need to save face, or both of the above. If the family isn’t close, there isn’t so much at stake, is there? I like to think that behind every family secret there’s a good intention: not to hurt, or to upset, or to embarrass someone you care about. And it has to be said that sometimes secrets are for the overall good of the family. What we don’t know won’t hurt us, right?
Worlds Apart is about a big Irish family, and a secret from long ago.
Erin loves her family dearly, but has always felt like an outsider looking in. And, Laura, Erin’s cousin, feels as though she has been abducted by aliens and dropped into a life that isn’t hers. Aside from the Irish family at the centre of the story, there’s a diverse cast of characters from all over the world, each of whom plays an important role in helping Erin and Laura discover the life they should be living. But secrets have a way of bubbling to the surface, and nothing will ever be the same once the cousins find out the truth about their family.
I come from a big family: five siblings, twenty-odd first cousins, and hordes of aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews and other relatives. And, yes, there are secrets aplenty. Old secrets kept from us by my mother (who is the most secretive person in the universe!). Newer secrets held by me and my siblings from my parents (Now Mum will be demanding to know what we’ve hidden from her). Age-appropriate secrets, screened from the younger members of the family until they are the ‘right age’ to understand. Partial secrets, where the full (true) version of the story hasn’t been relayed. Developing secrets, where we are still deciding how to handle a particular situation.
Families. The tenderness. The hurts. Sticking together. Pulling apart. The things we don’t tell each other in the name of love. Does your family have a secret, old or new?
About The Author
Ber Carroll was born in Blarney, County Cork, and moved to Australia in 1995. Her first novel, Executive Affair, was inspired by her initial impressions of Sydney, and her exciting, dynamic work environment at the time. Ber now lives in Sydney’s northern beaches with her husband and two children. Worlds Apart is her sixth novel. Incidentally, Ber is short for Bernadette, but please don’t call her Bernadette: this is what her mother calls her when she is in trouble for something.
Ber’s novels have been published in five countries, including Ireland. If you would like to know more about Ber and her novels, you can visit her website at www.bercarroll.com, or you can subscribe to her newsletter (Book Chat) with fellow authors Dianne Blacklock and Liane Moriarty (see Ber’s website for a link to the newsletter and to find Ber on Facebook).
Worlds Apart by Ber Carroll
Publisher: Killard Publishing
Publication Date: April 14, 2014
Format: Paperback - 316 pages
Kindle - 574 KB
Genre: Women's Fiction
BUY THE BOOK: World's Apart
Disclaimer: I received a copy of the book from the author / publisher in exchange for my honest review and participation in a virtual book tour event hosted by Chick Lit Plus Blog Tours.
Erin and Laura are cousins and best friends who share a love of languages and travel.
Erin, a French teacher in Dublin, reaches crisis point and drops everything to move to Australia. In Sydney, not only does she land the perfect job, but she meets the perfect man. Finally, her life is falling into place. Except Sydney isn't home, and never can be.
Back in Ireland, Laura is struggling. Her husband appears distant, her work life is spinning out of control and her daughter's strange new nanny is undermining her at every turn. She longs to travel in Erin's footsteps, to drop everything and run far away. But these are dangerous thoughts for a mother and wife.
As Erin and Laura desperately try to find their place in the world, a shocking family secret comes to light, and nothing will ever be the same again.
'Ber Carroll has given us a cast of warm, engaging characters in a sparkling story that crosses the globe between Ireland and Australia. I enjoyed every page of this touching, authentic novel.' - Liane Moriarty.
'This novel is a wonderful full-bodied read. Ber Carroll has a clever eye for characterisation and story.' - Cathy Kelly
'With all the humour and empathy of Binchy ... Carroll captures the conflicts and compromises women make.' - Daily Telegraph
My Book Review:
Worlds Apart is an intriguing story about two cousins, the complexity and drama of family relationships, and the buried secrets that come to the surface and changes their lives.
Author Ber Carroll weaves a fascinating tale that transports the reader between Dublin, Ireland and Sydney, Australia, as the reader follows the alternating life stories of two cousins: Erin Donovan and Laura Torres. This is an intriguing story that delves into the complexities and drama of the cousins' lives and family relationships wrought with trials and tribulations, drama and buried family secrets. A world apart, the reader gets drawn into Erin and Laura's story, as they both face challenges in their lives with tension, drama, and an unexpected touch of mystery thrown into the mix. The author does a great job of drawing the reader into the story by alternating between the lives of both cousins, while adding in surprising twists and turns, and intertwining the complex dynamic of the family's past and present that swirls with mystery and secrets.
The author takes the reader on a wonderful journey that is filled with an interesting cast of characters and enough drama, tension, and even a touch of romance, that easily keeps them turning the pages and wondering what will become of the cousins lives and their family's relationships when the buried secrets come to the surface. You can't help but get drawn in as the cousins learn to deal with the challenges, choices, disappointments, and successes of everyday life, and how they overcome them in order to find a happy medium in their lives.
I loved the author's rich description of the alternating settings of Dublin and Sydney. It feels like you are transported to these cities where you get to vicariously experience the sights and sounds and landmarks, it makes you want to visit them.
If you love to read stories about complex and dramatic family relationships interwoven with everyday life experiences, then Worlds Apart is a must read.
RATING: 4 STARS
Virtual Book Tour Schedule
August 11 – Ski-Wee’s Book Corner – Review
August 13 – A Writer in A Wheelchair – Review
August 13 - Chick LitPlus – Review
August 14 – Relatively Yours – Guest Post
August 15 – Annabel & Alice – Review
August 15 – Jersey Girl Book Reviews – Review, Guest Post & Excerpt
August 18 – Reading in Black and White – Review & Excerpt