Reader reviews

I hope these reader reviews will give you a taste of  Connectedness. Click the links to read the full reviews. Thank you to all my readers who leave reviews here, at Amazon, Goodreads or other reading websites. Every review you leave of a book is of value to the author. Click the reviewer’s name to read the full review.

4* “Readers like me who haven’t read the first book [in the series], Ignoring Gravity, can be reassured that Connectedness works perfectly as a standalone” Cathy Johnson, What Cathy Read Next, UK

“I always enjoy a book with secrets and this one has a lot” Lisa, Florida, USA

4* “A wonderfully complex tale of a middle aged (she turns fifty during the novel) artist’s early life in Spain at an art college and the consequences that come back to really bite her on the bum later in life. It is multi-faceted and, unusually for me, the denouement and it’s aftermath actually had me reaching for a handkerchief several times over to wipe away genuine tears of emotion. Please do pick this up.” Neil Spurgeon, UK

4*  “Nothing is simple, nothing is straightforward in this book, then nor is life right? A very well written book that draws you into the deeper parts of others’ emotions” Sue Ward, Read Along With Sue, UK

5* “Danby seems to somehow bypass some of the rules of writing…she takes slightly different pathways to telling the story and the pathways are sometimes revelatory in surprising ways. But this is what kept me glued, this is why I kept coming back…even though it was uncomfortable at times…to Justine’s unfolding story that intertwined with that of Rose. At times exasperating both women are likeable and flawed…very human” Mrs GA Chesney-Green

“Although Sandra Danby’s novels don’t follow the standard format for genealogy mysteries they have all the same ingredients – but in terms of writing style Connectedness is not only streets ahead of her first novel, it promotes her into my premier league – and if the third novel in the series is anywhere near as good it will confirm her position as one of my favourite fiction writers. Read this book – you won’t regret it.” Peter Calver, Lost Cousins family history website

5* “I found the pace somewhat slow to begin with but I am an impatient reader and prefer books that are faster paced. Yet this one is definitely worth sticking with. It is an exploration into the mind of an artist but there is a deeper story to unfold.” Helen J Christmas, author of the ‘Same Face, Different Place thriller’ series

5* “This is a novel that I found hard to put down as it swept me along on a roller-coaster of an emotional ride. I had to pull myself together not to burst into tears. Highly recommended to readers who enjoy a very well-written story about a family saga” Isabell Homfeld, Germany

4* “This is the first book I’ve read by Sandra Danby It won’t be the last. The idea of the story itself is intriguing and she has a sensitive yet powerful writing style that I have no hesitation in recommending to readers who enjoy contemporary and women’s’ fiction.” Judith Barrow, author of historical romances Pattern of Shadows,Changing Patterns and Living in the Shadows

4*“I felt transported between Justine the young adult, and Justine as she is now, and I appreciated the voice given for her within those two stages of her life. I could see the exuberance in her youth, and the maturity that settles into her soul as the years pass, particularly while carrying around a secret that has weighed on her psyche. It was a unique way to see the progression of a character, realistic and honest.” Sara Steven, USA

4* “This novel is deftly plotted with vivid characters and a mesmerizing story. I truly loved the way Justine’s past was woven into her present, reminding us that we are all, like her art, collages made from the memories and experiences we pick up on our travels and via the people we meet. Justine’s search for redemption is sensitively told as is Rose’s role as facilitator and confidante. There is so much to admire in this book. Connectedness is a must-read for this summer.” Claire Dyer, poet & author of The Perfect Affair and The Last Day

5* “I loved this book and could not stop reading it.” Wendy Tong, Spain

5* “A very clever novel that explores our relationship with the environment, as well as the different ways in which we are connected to it and to others. Sandra Danby has chosen two perfect locations, Filey with its windswept coast and Malaga in Spain, both of which appeal for different reasons. I can readily understand how you can be drawn back to your birthplace yet feel more alive under the Mediterranean sun” Julie Ryan, UK

5* “Danby makes no secret of her own pride as a Yorkshire woman, so it comes as no surprise to find the opening chapters set on the east coast of Yorkshire, vividly described. Then suddenly we are transported back to southern Spain in the early eighties and experience with Justine new smells, sounds, sights and tastes. Having studied for a year in France for my degree at around the same time I found myself identifying hugely with Justine’s excitement at so many new discoveries turning quickly to inability to cope with so many new life experiences without support. The book has a satisfying conclusion and the added benefit of encouraging this reader to visit Malaga and its art-related haunts.” Singarama, UK & France

5* “I really enjoyed this book and I need to go back and read the first one in this series. It was so well written that I felt all of Justine’s emotions throughout the book. I enjoyed learning about the art world also. It was a wonderful book on so many levels.” Lisa Garrett, USA

4* “A great book, very interesting story, well told with plenty of secrets to keep you interested…. looking forward to the next one in the series” Sally ColesAustralia

4* “A heart-wrenching read, well written, evenly paced and above all, a great read” Dora Archie Okeyo, Kenya

5* “This is a beautifully written novel, exploring themes of love and regret, betrayal and impossible choices, grief and loss, and of course, adoption. It is a compelling and believable story, and the characters are well-defined, sympathetic and rounded.” Amanda Huggins, author, Separated from the Sea and Brightly Coloured Horses

5* “The story moves back to the early 1980s when Justine was a penniless student in Picasso’s birthplace of Malaga.  Bullied by her tutor, and struggling with the language, she meets Frederico, an architecture student who teaches her to embrace Spanish food, language and the way of life.  The sensual description of the succulent Spanish food shared with Frederico, defines their building passion and is vividly remembered by Justine.” Lizanne Lloyd @ Lost in a Good Book

5* “With her well-defined, sympathetic characters, layers of meaning, and sensual, all-engaging descriptions, the author takes us on a highly-emotional and gripping journey through the art world, exploring love, loss and human weakness, all coming together in a truly heartfelt conclusion.” Liza Perrat @ Book Muse

4.5* “Evocative and descriptive prose brings places to life with sights, sounds and scents. Justine becomes a very sympathetic character as layers are peeled away and more and more of her past is revealed. Her need to know despite the doubts and reservations is realistic, understandable and handled extremely well. Certain sections brought tears to my eyes, the scenes are so well described.” Cathy Ryan, Between the Lines

5* “A beautiful story about art, true love, loss and regret – Connectedness is an absolutely engrossing story and one that I highly recommend!” Ellen Devonport @ Bibliophile Book Club

4* “Connectedness is a gripping story of love, loss and the human struggle to be your one true self. An amazing read.” Linda Druijff, The Netherlands

5* “Sandra Danby does not rely just on the story of the search carried out by her identity detective, Rose Haldane, but builds up a detailed and believable picture of the life of her main character, Justine. Well written with realistic characters, and the setting out of the story in a carefully and balanced way; I would highly recommend this novel.”
Alexa Barber, England

4* “Sandra Danby does it again, only this time, I felt she did it better. It could have been that I was able to connect more with Connectedness than the first of this series, Ignoring Gravity. More so in the sense of her reflections of her parents. My children are getting older, and while I try not to think too hard about what they have hidden, are hiding, and will hide from me, I expect it because I was once young and did the same. There is no such thing as total transparency between child and parent. I believe that.  This is the second novel in the ‘Identity Detective’ series. However it can be read as a stand-alone, though I don’t recommend it because the tie-in is very well done and beautiful. You would be shorting yourself the importance of the moment.  Justine’s life, art, surroundings, and relationships are both realistically detailed and engaging. In truth, it doesn’t stop there. The other characters are equally as enjoyable to read and play a crucial part in Justine’s journey – past, present, and future.  A fantastic read.” 
Hope Sloper @ Word Gurgle

5* “I read and loved this author’s debut, Ignoring Gravity, the first in the Identity Detective series, and so I was waiting eagerly for the next book in the series. And wow, did it deliver! Connectednessis perfection, a masterpiece. A beautiful book on so many levels. The title and the stunning cover drew me in and the prologue took my breath away. I had to read on to know why, what, who. I felt for Justine – her ache, angst, grief, her quest for answers – all so realistic, so sensitively portrayed. The writing is so very evocative bringing to life the settings and the characters so vividly for the reader. I thought the author’s debut was exceptional but with this one, she has lifted the bar. I cannot wait to read her next. Highly recommend this amazing book and series to everyone.”
Renita D’Silva, author of Beneath an Indian Sky and A Mother’s Secret

4* “In this book Justine Tree, a renowned collage artist, asks Rose Haldane to search for the daughter she had given up for adoption. The characters are all well-rounded and the story switches from Spain in 1983 to England in 2010. Danby writes well and her well thought-out novel takes the reader on a journey primarily through the relinquishing mother’s viewpoint.” Barb Rohde, Australia

4* “A very good book… The style of writing is really good, the characters are interesting and well designed. Recommended.” Anna Maria Giacomasso, Italy

4* The research carried out by the author shone through with well-rounded characters and lovely touches of detail, rather like accessories which make an outfit or room feel polished. Recommended to those who appreciate a well-written story.” Rosie Amber, UK

Sandra Danby


Connectedness’ by Sandra Danby [UK: Beulah Press]

To leave a review at my website or send me a message about Connectedness, click here.