Friday, 31 August 2018

Angelica Stone by Susi Osborne + #Giveaway

Angelica Stone by Susi Osborne
Published in the UK by The Book Guild in July 2017.

How I got this book:
Received a review copy via Rachel's Random Resources

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Where to buy this book:

The Book Depository

Add Angelica Stone to your Goodreads

Following years of sexual abuse, Angelica is brought up in care. As a teenager she absconds, living on the streets, before eventually being forced into prostitution to survive. She learns to rely solely on herself and is reluctant to allow anyone to get close to her, until she forms an unlikely bond with Lola. In contrast, Lola is from what appears to be a happy middle-class background – but all is not what it seems...

Slowly, as their friendship grows, cracks start to appear in Lola’s life, and a series of events leave her on the verge of ruin. Can these women break the cycle of their lives? Or will they succumb to the path laid out before them? Angelica Stone is an emotional rollercoaster of laughter and tears as the women embark on a journey of self-discovery, with the support of one another.

Angelica Stone is a much darker story than its cover art implies. Readers should be aware of potential triggers in scenes of abuse and rape which are pretty graphically described.

Despite being the title character, Angelica's story is ofen overshadowed by that of her new found friend, Lola. Lola has recently moved back into her childhood home, nursing a broken heart and attempting not to be too jealous of her parents' incredibly happy marriage. Lola meets Angelica through the supermarket where they both work, but it takes a while for Lola to earn Angelica's trust. As readers we see Angelica's situation primarily from Lola's perspective and this effectively highlights the shocking differences between their lives. Susi Osborne has obviously carefully researched the experiences of homeless women, particularly young women, in the UK and this gives a strong sense of authenticity to Angelica's story. Her guarded attitude and pragmatism rang true and I was upset at Lola's repeated inability to keep her promise of secrecy. Not as good a friend as she likes to think she is!

For my tastes there are a few too many convenient coincidences propelling the narrative and I would have preferred the focus to have remained on Angelica. Her's is such a heartrending tale that I didn't feel the need for Lola's family drama although I understood that this aspect added extra excitement. Although I certainly didn't like all the characters - neither was I meant to! - I did like Osborne's crafting of scenes and dialogue to portray each one. Rafferty's unspoken reactions to Sean concisely depict the man and even cameo roles such as Bob are vivid and believable. The grim details of Angelica's street and home allowed me to empathise and I feel that the imagery is memorable. Hopefully this novel, Angelica Stone, will be influential in raising awareness of the plight of homeless women in our towns and cities, especially as the issue continues to grow.

Meet the author:

Susi Osborne is the author of The Ripples of Life, Grace & Disgrace, Secrets, Lies & Butterflies and Angelica Stone. She lives in Cheshire with her Scottish husband, her actress daughter and their two mischievous little dogs. Susi also has an adult son and a grandson who live nearby. Amongst friends their house is known affectionately (she hopes!) as the Osborne madhouse, for obvious reasons.

Before she became a writer, Susi worked in libraries for many years. She also worked as a classroom assistant in a junior school. In addition to her writing Susi organises Northwich LitFest, which she has been running for the past seven years. Alongside the writing of her latest book, Angelica Stone, Susi has been raising money for Centrepoint, the charity for youth homelessness, and has set up a Just Giving Page for the charity in her name.

Susi is a firm believer in the fact that it’s never too late to do anything. ‘You only have one life – go out and grab it with both hands!’

Author links: 
Instagram ~ Twitter ~ Facebook ~ Goodreads

And now it's time for the Giveaway!

One Winner will win all 4 of Susi Osborne’s Books
(Open to UK Only)

*Terms and Conditions –UK entries welcome.  Please enter using the Rafflecopter box below.  The winner will be selected at random via Rafflecopter from all valid entries and will be notified by Twitter and/or email. If no response is received within 7 days then Rachel's Random Resources reserves the right to select an alternative winner. Open to all entrants aged 18 or over. Any personal data given as part of the competition entry is used for this purpose only and will not be shared with third parties, with the exception of the winners’ information. This will passed to the giveaway organiser and used only for fulfilment of the prize, after which time Rachel's Random Resources will delete the data.  Rachel's Random Resources is not responsible for despatch or delivery of the prize.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Search Lit Flits for more:
Books by Susi Osborne / Women's fiction / Books from England


  1. That sounds like an interesting book.

  2. Life is full of convenient coincidences! I went to work in the city, only to find that my co-worker was someone I went to school with in my small semi-rural town! :) I know what you mean though, sometimes things feel *too* convenient.

    1. It's a weird thing. Coincidence in real life I see as amazing. Coincidence in fiction I dismiss as too contrived!

  3. I really liked the cover and didn't expect the subject matter from the cover! But I did read the synopsis and I think that made things clear enough for me to be aware going in. I don't like when there are too many coincidences in a book but only a few is something I can handle. It's a shame Lola sort of becomes the main character when you were invested Angelica's storyline.

    1. I'd be interested in another novel perhaps that focused on Angelica