Review – The Return by Victoria Hislop


Title: The Return

Author: Victoria Hislop

Publisher: Headline Review

Release Date: April 2009

Genre: Historical Fiction

My Rating: 5/10 Begrudgingly Finished


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Holiday Reads/I’m Back

So that’s it. I’m back. I finished my degree, started back at work full time and now I have nothing to do with my spare time other than read and write about it.

While the beginning of this year was quite good for reading considering I was so busy, the summer just got too much that I ended up re-reading the entire Harry Potter series for a bit of mindless comfort. This is something I haven’t done since my teenage years when I read nothing else other than Harry Potter over and over again, starting from the beginning each time I reached the end. It meant that I read them with a slightly different perspective and started noticing things that I previously overlooked, particularly in characters’ emotional development. I finally get exactly why Harry is so angsty all the way through Order of the Phoenix! J. K. Rowling has such an intricate way of constructing and developing characters that I just love, and have never really appreciated before. This re-read ended up being exactly what I needed to keep me going through the final through months of dissertation stress.

But I’m finished now, and the stress is over. I had a wonderfully relaxing holiday in Lanzarote last week where I managed to get through three books that have been sat on my shelf for far too long – The One Memory of Flora Banks by Emily Barr, The Breakdown by B. A. Paris, and The Making of Us by Lisa Jewell. Fortunately, I really enjoyed all three (more detailed reviews to follow soon!) making my week in the sun even more wonderful.


The One Memory of Flora Banks was perhaps the best way to ease myself back into reading something other than Harry Potter. It’s a fairly easy-read YA story – I finished it in less than a day – about a girl who suffers from amnesia. Despite not being able to remember anything since she was a child, she kisses a boy at a party wakes up the next morning having remembered it. It sounds really cheesy, and in a way it is, but it’s very well written with an exciting plot and decent characters.


I then moved on to The Breakdown by B. A. Paris. I read Behind Closed Doors by the same author at the beginning of the year and absolutely loved it, so I was excited to get stuck into this one. I was slightly disheartened when my sister, who also really enjoyed Behind Closed Doors, told me she couldn’t get past the first few chapters, but I ploughed on anyway. I ended up really enjoying it, not quite as much as Behind Closed Doors, but good nonetheless. It’s the sort of psychological thriller where the plot comes together right at the end, and suddenly there’s a reason for the annoying characters and slightly dubious plot. 


Finally, I read The Making of Us by Lisa Jewell, who is fast becoming one of my favourite authors. For some reason, I expected this to be a romance novel, but it wasn’t at all. It tells the story of three donor children who share the same biological father. As usual, Lisa Jewell writes wonderfully real characters, each equally interesting and endearing. While nothing can beat my favourite Lisa Jewell book, The House We Grew Up In, this one comes close.

So there you have it. Look out for full reviews of each of these, along with everything else I’ve read this year over the next few weeks.