This fun feature is a mini workshop invented by Rosie Amber. We look at book covers just from their thumbnail pictures at online book selling sites and make quick fire buying decisions. We look from a READER’S Point of View and this exercise is very REVEALING.

To join in with the #FridayFiveChallenge please read the rules at the bottom of the page.

Last week Cathy showed us a book Behind Closed Doors and the cover appealed to me so much that I decided to look for other books with doors to open.  This book appeared on Twitter and in fact it isn’t a door but a shutter which needs to be opened.


The House with the Lilac Shutters is a collection of short stories by Gabrielle Barnby

Irma Lagrasse has taught piano to three generations of villagers, whilst slowly twisting the knife of vengeance; Nico knows a secret; and M. Lenoir has discovered a suppressed and dangerous passion.

Revolving around the Café Rose, opposite The House with the Lilac Shutters, this collection of contemporary short stories links a small town in France with a small town in England, traces the unexpected connections between the people of both places and explores the unpredictable influences that the past can have on the present.

Characters weave in and out of each other’s stories, secrets are concealed and new connections are made.

With a keenly observant eye, Barnby illustrates the everyday tragedies, sorrows, hopes and joys of ordinary people in this vividly understated and unsentimental collection.

The book has five customer reviews, three 5 star, one 4 star and one 3 star.

“Set in small towns in both France and England, the stories stand in their own right as beautifully observed descriptions of human jealousy, desire, guilt and love, but they also contribute to a completely satisfying whole.

As the stories progress, hints are dropped like pebbles in a pond so that each story ripples into another, revealing a bit more about a character from an earlier story and helping the reader build up an understanding of why characters are as they are.”

It is evidently not just a happy sunny holiday read:-

“If the town provides the context for these interlinked characters we are invited to zoom in on a particular small café as a prominent hub for their interaction. It happens to face the house with the lilac shutters of the title of this collection, where an attempted suicide took place that casts its shadow over the rest of the stories and is revisited towards the end.”

The Kindle costs £2.99.  Shall I BUY or will I PASS?   I’m going to BUY.  I only occasionally choose short stories but the link between a small French town and a small English town intrigues me, so it’s a BUY for me.

What have others found in today’s #Friday Five Challenge ?

Shelley has found a boldly covered alternative fairy tale.

Rosie‘s choice is a gripping thriller.

Cathy has selected a cute ghost story.

So now it’s your turn.


Get yourself a cuppa and give yourself 5 minutes.

In today’s online shopping age, readers often base their buying decisions from small postage stamp size book covers (Thumb-nails), a quick glance at the book description and the review. How much time do they really spend making that buying decision?

AUTHORS – You often only have seconds to get a reader to buy your book, is your book cover and book bio up to it?

Rosie’s Friday Five Challenge is this….. IN ONLY FIVE MINUTES….

1) Go to any online book supplier.

2) Randomly choose a category.

3) Speed through the book covers, choose one which has instantly appeal.

4) Read the book Bio/ Description for this book, and any other details.

5) If there are reviews, check out a couple,

6) Make an instant decision, would you BUY or PASS?

Published by lizannelloyd

Love history, reading, researching and writing. Articles published in My Family History and other genealogy magazines.

12 thoughts on “#FridayFiveChallenge

  1. Dear Lizanne, delighted to see The House With The Lilac Shutters on your #Fridayfivechallenge and even more delighted that you decided to buy. Great website by the way, clear, uncluttered and good to look at.

    I hope you enjoy the stories – they’ve been long-listed for the Edge Hill Short Story prize, so fingers crossed. It’s a great incentive to keep on writing. All the best, Gabrielle.


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