Cardiff Mummy Says online ‘lockdown’ book club – the next four books for June

Cardiff Mummy Says book club month 3

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When I started the Cardiff Mummy Says online lockdown book club in the middle of March, I had no idea we’d still be going eight weeks later. But here I am with the third lot of reading choices. (You can catch up with weeks one to four here and weeks five to eight here plus all the live videos are available on my Facebook page.)

I’ve loved having the goal of reading a book a week to focus on and I’ve appreciated everyone who’s taken part in the weekly Facebook live sessions, or commented on my Instagram Stories posts, sharing their thoughts and opinions.

Reading has been a real comfort to me right now, giving me that all-important time away from the constant pinging on my phone and the never-ending social media posts and news. It’s a little bit of escapism amid such unprecedented times. I’ve been reading the books mostly on my phone and it’s amazing how quickly I’ve whizzed through them, just reading for five or 10 minutes here or there. Some weeks I’ve not only read the book club choice but an extra one or even two books too.

Our eighth book club was supposed to be taking place tonight but I’m feeling a little under the weather with a headache so am going to postpone until Sunday 24 May at 8.30pm when we’ll be discussing The Mercies by Kiran Millwood Hargrave. I will also be moving future book clubs to Sunday evenings from here on. (Sunday 1 June will be a week off.)

Sunday 24 May, 8.30pm – The Mercies by Kiran Millwood Hargrave

Sunday 1 June – week off

Sunday 8 June, 8.30pm – Girl, Woman, Other by Bernadine Evaristo

Sunday 15 June, 8.30pm – The Missing Letters of Mrs Bright by Beth Miller

Sunday 22 June, 8.30pm – City of Girls by Elizabeth Gilbert

Sunday 29 June, 8.30pm – Three Hours by Rosamund Luptun

I know some of you will have more time to read than others, in which case you may like to choose one of the later books. You can join in with as few or as many as you like. If you can’t make the dates below then you can still message me at any time with your thoughts on the book, or comment on the discussion via the social media posts and I’ll read them out during the live sessions.

The online discussions don’t contain any spoilers for the books, so if you’re half way through, curious about the book, or just want to connect with other book lovers, then you are still very welcome to join in.

Getting to a physical bookstore may well be difficult for lots of you right now – although do check your local bookstore as lots of them are offering delivery. If you don’t have a Kindle or similar device, you can download books via the Books app on Apple devices or GooglePlay books on Android, sometimes for as little as 99p. or you can download the Kindle App to your phone/tablet for free and purchase the books on Amazon direct to the app. You can also download audio books via the Audible app or borrow books for free via the library app Borrow Box.

The Amazon links on this page are affiliate links. This means if you make a purchase via this link, I’ll receive a small commission fee at no extra cost to you.

Cardiff Mummy Says online bookclub



This week’s choice…. still time to join in!

Sunday 24 May, 8.30pm – The Mercies by Kiran Millwood Hargrave

The Mercies

I’ve been obsessed with this book ever since I randomly turned on the radio and heard the author being interviewed just before it was released. I was completely gripped by what she was saying. Usually I’d wait until the paperback release but I keep hearing such amazing things, I can’t wait until next February. Kiran Millwood Hargrave usually writes children’s books, for which she’s won a host of awards including the Waterstones Children’s Book Prize, the British Book Awards Children’s Book of the Year and the Blackwell’s Children’s Book of the Year. This is her first grown up novel – and it sounds amazing.

What the publishers say:

For readers of Circe and The Handmaid’s Tale, Kiran Millwood Hargrave’s The Mercies is a story about how suspicion can twist its way through a community, and about a love that could prove as dangerous as it is powerful.

Winter, 1617. The sea around the remote Norwegian island of Vardø is thrown into a reckless storm. A young woman, Maren, watches as the men of the island, out fishing, perish in an instant. Vardø is now a place of women.

Eighteen months later, a sinister figure arrives. Summoned from Scotland to take control of a place at the edge of the civilized world, Absalom Cornet knows what he needs to do to bring the women of the island to heel. With him travels his young wife, Ursa. In her new home, and in Maren, Ursa finds something she has never seen before: independent women. But Absalom sees only a place flooded with a terrible evil, one he must root out at all costs…


What the reviewers say:

“Beautiful and chilling.” (Madeline Miller, author of Circe)

“Took my breath away.” Tracy Chevalier, author of Girl with a Pearl Earring

“The Mercies is among the best novels I’ve read in years. In addition to its beautiful writing, its subject matter is both enduring and timely.” (New York Times Book Review)





Sunday 8 June, 8.30pm – Girl, Woman, Other by Bernadine Evaristo (Penguin)

Girl, Woman, Other

This has been on my wish list for ages. I mentioned it on Instagram Stories recently and I had so many messages from people telling me it was “incredible”, “exceptional”, “my favourite book of last year” which cemented my decision to include it in our online book club, as our first of the new choices. Originally published in  in paperbark in March of this year, the hardback came out in?? and  was joint winner of the 2019 Booker Prize (along with Margaret Atwood’s The Testaments), shortlisted for the Women’s Prize for Fiction 2020, shortlisted for the Orwell Prize for Political Fiction 2020 and a Sunday Times Bestseller. Currently £6.99 as paperback, £3.99 on Amazon Kindle and Apple Books app.)


What the publishers say:

This is Britain as you’ve never read it.

This is Britain as it has never been told.

From Newcastle to Cornwall, from the birth of the twentieth century to the teens of the twenty-first, Girl, Woman, Other follows a cast of twelve characters on their personal journeys through this country and the last hundred years. They’re each looking for something – a shared past, an unexpected future, a place to call home, somewhere to fit in, a lover, a missed mother, a lost father, even just a touch of hope…


What the reviewers say:

“Masterful . . . A choral love song to black womanhood in modern Great Britain” Elle

“Ambitious, flowing and all-encompassing, an offbeat narrative that’ll leave your mind in an invigorated whirl… [It] unites poetry, social history, women’s voices and beyond.” Stylist

“Sparkling, inventive’ Sunday Times

“Funny, sad, tender and true, deserves to win awards” Red




Sunday 15 June, 8.30pm – The Missing Letters of Mrs Bright by Beth Miller (Bookouture) 

The Missing Letters of Mrs Bright


My ‘books you may like’ on Amazon knows me so well! This one apparently appeals to fans of Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine and The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry, saying you “will fall in love with this feel-good and moving story that shows you that the best friendships truly last forever”. And as I loved both those books this one sounded like another life-affirming read, perfect for these uncertain times. Let’s see what we think! Currently £8.99 paperback, £1.99 on Apple Books app and Kindle.


What the publishers say:

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 practise 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…

This emotional and heart-warming novel is for anyone who knows it’s never too late to look for happiness. Fans of Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine, A Man Called Ove and The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry will fall in love with this feel-good and moving story that shows you that the best friendships truly last forever.


What the reviewers say:

“Wow… I laughed out loud, I cried, I stayed up well into the night reading just a little bit more. I just loved this book so much… I really really loved this book… An absolute joy to read.” Goodreads Reviewer

“A story that drew me in from the first pages. With tissues clutched in my hand and tears running down my face, I read this book in one sitting. A story that will stay with me.” NetGalley Reviewer

“I was teary-eyed… A book to truly fall in love with! I couldn’t seem to read this book fast enough. I stayed up way, way too late to finish it. There were parts that actually had me laughing out loud. I haven’t read such a warm-your-heart type of book in a very very long time. I totally recommend it.” Goodreads Reviewer


Sunday 22 June, 8.30pm – City of Girls by Elizabeth Gilbert (Bloomsbury Publishing)

City of Girls

The latest novel from the author of Eat, Pray, Love, the life-affirming memoir which has been translated into more than 30 languages and sold more than seven million copies worldwide, I was drawn to this one because I liked the idea of its 1940s New York backdrop. The Metro called it “a quietly radical celebration of feminine sexual inhibition that slips down as easily as a gin martini”; I liked the idea of these strong and radical women defying judgement and defining their friendships. Currently £6.29 paperback, £4.99 on Apple Books app and £3.95 on Amazon Kindle.


What the publishers say:

New York, 1940. Young, glamorous and inseparable, Vivian and Celia are chasing trouble from one end of the city to the other. But there is risk in all this play – that’s what makes it so fun, and so dangerous. Sometimes, the world may feel like it’s ending, but for Vivian and Celia, life is just beginning.

City of Girls is about daring to break conventions and follow your desires: a celebration of glamour, resilience, growing up, and the joys of female friendship – and about the freedom that comes from finding a place you truly belong.


What the reviewers said:

“A glamorous, sexy, compelling romp of a novel about showgirls in New York in the 1940s. It is an addictive story, with vivid, brazenly drawn female characters, that brims with fascinating historical details of the time . Radical and refreshing to read.2 (Dolly Alderton, Sunday Times)

“A glorious, multi-layered, emotionally astute celebration of womanhood. An eloquently persuasive treatise on the judgment and punishment of women, and a heartfelt call to reclaim female sexual agency.” (Sam Baker, Guardian)

“Glamorous and vivid” (Independent, Top 15 novels of the year so far)

“Breezily funny and vividly written, City Of Girls is a quietly radical celebration of feminine sexual inhibition that slips down as easily as a gin martini. Expect to see it on multiple beaches this summer.” (Claire Allfree, Metro)

“A rollicking, beautifully rendered ride of glitter and fun. Gilbert’s novel is something of a masterpiece of flapdoodle itself. Gilbert has a knack for storytelling and her plot doesn’t so much twist as twirl, high-kicking all the way . A rambunctious anthem to living a life joyous and satisfyingly full – and that deserves an ovation. (Evening Standard)


Sunday 29 June, 8.30pm – Three Hours by Rosamund Luptun (Viking)

Three Hours by Rosamund Lupton

I’m ending the month with (what I hope is) a good thriller. This chilling book takes a nightmare situation of a school being under siege. Even the publisher’s description had me holding my breath so I’m looking forward to seeing how this one unfolds. I’m sure it will be an uncomfortable read at times but the reviews are incredible. Currently £11.99 hardback, £6.99 Amazon Kindle and Apple Books app.

What the publishers say: 

Three hours to save the people you love.

In rural Somerset in the middle of a blizzard, the unthinkable happens: a school is under siege. Children and teachers barricade themselves into classrooms, the library, the theatre. The headmaster lies wounded in the library, unable to help his trapped students and staff. Outside, a police psychiatrist must identify the gunmen, while parents gather desperate for news. In three intense hours, all must find the courage to stand up to evil and save the people they love.


What the critics say:

“A brilliant literary thriller… moving, masterly.” (Sunday Times)

“’Extraordinary… Three Hours is much more than a nail-biting thriller; it is a disquisition on values: of love and hate, of sacrifice for others, of risk-taking and courage” (The Times)

“A novel that you live rather than merely read.” (Telegraph)

“It is early days, but this could be one of the thrillers of the decade. If you read only one thriller this year; make it this one: it is that good.” (Daily Mail)

“Three Hours intersperses scenes of breath-sucking tension with stirring meditations on human nature.” (Sara Collins, Guardian)

Cardiff Mummy Says online bookclub


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