Created in 2014, Carpe Diem Emmie is a Midlands based Lifestyle, Theatre and Travel blog. Ran by Emmie, a 28 year old woman based in rural Leicestershire.

In the day Emmie works in a primary school where she is passionate about inclusion and mental health. In the evening she escapes to the cultural world.

Wondering What To Read Next?

The Books I Read in April 2020

"So please, oh please, we beg, we pray, go throw your TV set away, and in its place you can install a lovely bookshelf on the wall"
- Roald Dahl 

I'm not sure where April went to but with it, 5 books were read and 1, I did not finish. This month brought with it lots of great weather, meaning it was a great opportunity to read in the garden. I have found it quite difficult to concentrate on a book, but I am still managing to be ahead of my Goodreads reading challenge (which I'm really proud of!). The pandemic is difficult on my mental health, some days are tougher than others but reading has been a fantastic escape for me. I've also been lucky enough to receive a handful of books in the post this month so I'm excited for another month to begin and more books to enjoy. 

So here we go, here are my April book reviews!


*Thanks to NetGallery and Avon Books for providing a free copy of this book in return of a review. 

This mystery has an interesting premise with a sign language interpreter employed by the police to help them translate for a deaf family whose young child, was found bashed to death in her bed. The father, stepmother and two siblings are all deaf and so nobody heard anything during the night that led to what happened to the child, Lexi. The interpreter, Paige Northwood, is pulled into the centre of this unravelling story with many different characters providing their own twists and turns.

I love a good mystery book and definitely got stuck into this one at the start of the month. There were definitely parts of this book that were predictable for the readers to pick out themselves but the writing on the subject of deafness was incredibly powerful within the context. I have read mixed reviews about this book but I personally really enjoyed it. 


*Thanks to NetGallery for providing a free copy of this book in return of a review. 

Hundreds of people have read Beth O'Leary's last novel, The Flatshare so it was no surprise that news of a new release in 2020 would be something on everyone's minds, including myself. The first novel brought me a lot of joy when I read it earlier this year and so I was excited to see what her latest release had to offer in comparison. 

The Switch focuses on Grandmother Eileen and granddaughter Leena who decide to switch their lives in hope of change, adventure and reconciling. Eileen is turning eighty and newly single, she wants to find a second chance at love but her tiny village in Yorkshire doesn't offer many eligible gentlemen. Whilst, on the other hand, Leena is ordered to take a two-month sabbatical from work, she wants to escape London for some overdue rest. 

Their individual journeys in this book are really gripping, the well-thought-out plot ensures both women achieve something from the switch. It had the same amount of warmth and joy that came from reading The Flatshare which I really embraced - O'Leary knows how to captivate this well in another book. The transitions between the two characters in the book are well-timed and flow naturally with the journeys we go on with the women, a really enjoyable read in such uncertain times! 

*DID NOT FINISH* The Diary of a Bookseller is Shaun Bythell's memoir of a year in the life at the helm of The Bookshop, Scotland's largest second-hand store. Situated in the small town of Wigtown, Scotland Bythell captures many tales of the locals, unusual staff, eccentric customers and surreal buying trips that make up his life. 

The premise of this book screams out to fellow bookworms but unfortunately for me, I didn't enjoy this book and I could not finish it. I found his level of tone through his writing was tough to engage in and it wasn't a page-turner for me. 


This book landed on my doorstep this month thanks to a kind neighbour and it was exactly my kinda book! Described as "The most gripping domestic suspense you'll read this year", I couldn't wait to see what this would have to offer. Little Oliver has broken his arm, but no one will say how exactly it happened. Each family member has something to hide. Who's responsible? The story is told through the eyes of three different points of view; mum, dad and big sister. This book most definitely keeps you guessing right until the end... I loved every moment of it.  

I  thought the shift between the different characters was perfect in creating an atmosphere and tension through the story. I thought Martha's character was a particular stand out for me and I enjoyed the way, Joanna Barnard brought her out. I read this book at a far slower pace than I expected to but it was well worth it because I savoured every page. I definitely want to read more of this author's books in the future. 

A Dancer in Wartime is a touching true story of a young girl's journey from the Blitz to the Bright Lights, a story of one of the most iconic choreographers. Gillian Lynne is the groundbreaking creative behind such musicals as Cats and The Phantom of the Opera. The book was found in a charity shop by my mum and she knew I would love this, she wasn't wrong.

This perspective on a dancer building and developing their skills through World War II is incredibly insightful and powerful. I just couldn't put this book down as we're transported through her early childhood, right through to making it with some of the biggest dance companies in the world. It's definitely a book for all theatre lovers to add to their reading pile! 


*Thanks to NetGallery for providing a free copy of this book in return of a review. 

A page-turning thriller centred around a windowless shack in the woods where Lena's life and that of her two children follows the rules set by their captor, the father. One day Lena manages to flee from her nightmare...but this is a nightmare she's not waking up from, just yet. Is this the Lena the police, her family and authorities have been looking for for years? 

What a fantastic thriller this book was! I was consumed by Lena's disappearance and how the events all unfolded through the pages. Romy Hausmann is a great author who explores the psychology behind a trauma like abduction superbly in this book. The twists and turns, through the eyes of different characters, is really well written. It was the first of Hausmann's books I've read and I will certainly be giving more of them a go after reading this one. 

What did you read in April?

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  1. I'm currently reading The Switch as I loved The Flat Share prior to Beth's new book, I'm loving The Switch1 It's got a bit of The Holiday feel about it when you read it! x

    Lucy | www.lucymary.co.uk

  2. I need to read The Switch as I absolutely loved The Flat Share! I've been reading lots in the garden too :) Love this review!

    Lily Loves | https://www.lilyloves.net

  3. Oh god, so many good recommendations here thank you! Im currently reading Behind Closed Doors.. Wish I had it in me to read this much a month!

    Melissa| https://whatshelovess.blogspot.com


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