#FridayFiveChallenge @rosieamber1 ‘Sadler’s Birthday’ by Rose Tremain

Welcome to the Friday Five Challenge

Rosie Amber’s Friday Five challenge only takes five minutes, so grab a cuppa and join in!


In today’s online shopping age, readers often base their buying decisions on 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?

The 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 appealed to your eye,

4) Read the book Bio/ Description for this book,

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

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

September is a very busy month in the Williams household. Not only do we have the usual back to school panic (although it’s back to college and uni now) it is also the month we celebrate our wedding anniversary (21 years this year) and both mine and my husband’s birthdays. It’s actually my birthday today (but the less said about that the better – and no, it isn’t a ‘special’ birthday, got a few years before that yet). And last week it was my husband’s fiftieth.

So, in the spirit of celebration, I put ‘birthday’ into the search on Amazon.co.uk. Lots and lots and lots of books about making birthday cakes (I really don’t do baking – they sell birthday cakes in supermarkets) and lots and lots of steamy romances and erotica. This cover stood out amongst all the chocolate and icing and knickers:


Amazon.co.uk   Amazon.com

Price: £4.35 (Kindle) and £8.99 (paperback) in the UK and $6.60 (Kindle) in the US. Possibly a bit pricey for the Kindle version, but it’s 210 pages long, and the price will have been set by the publisher (Vintage) so not the author’s fault.

Book description:

Today is Jack Sadler’s birthday. Or is it? He’s not sure, he doesn’t really care. It might be his last day or the beginning of a new chapter in his life. He must find the key to his old room. He knows the truth about his past lies there and somehow he must get in and confront it.


Only 11 in the UK, pretty bad for a writer with such a reputation. Tremain has won the Whitbread novel of the year (for ‘Music and Silence’), the Orange Prize (‘The Road Home) and ‘Restoration’ was shortlisted for the Booker. You’d think her publisher would have managed to have drummed up a bit more of a response to this, her first book. The reviews are good on the whole, although lots contain rather big spoilers so if you’re going to buy it, don’t read the reviews. On Amazon.com there are three reviews, a 5 star, a 3 star and a 2 star. The reviews reveal a lot more about the book than the incredibly short book description, and the subject matter is really dark and could be very unsettling for a lot of people. This is possibly why the book doesn’t have many reviews.

Would I buy or pass? PASS but…


I’ve been meaning to read a book by Rose Tremain for ages but haven’t got round to it. Judging by the reviews, I’m not convinced this is the book to introduce me to her writing, although it is a brave subject to tackle. Whoever wrote that blurb needs to look for a new job. There’s nothing about it at all to entice a reader – the final sentence is clunky and it leaves you no wiser as to what the book is actually about. I think I’ll treat myself to one of her other books, ‘Restoration’ perhaps or ‘Music and Silence’. Or both. Well, it is my birthday.


If you want to join in the Friday Five Challenge pop over to Rosie’s blog to find out more.



  1. I’m afraid the book cover and the book description do nothing to encourage me to buy the book, I just don’t know what it’s about. From the reviews, a dark storyline doesn’t sound like one I’d enjoy, so a pass from me.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That description is just awful. And the cover only really stood out in comparison to the others it was with. Perhaps they’re relying on the author’s reputation to sell the books which is fair enough I suppose although this one isn’t selling well at all. I agree re the storyline too.


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