Where the Crawdads Sing [Book Review] #ThrowBackThursday

January 21, 2021

Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens
#throwbackthursday

Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens (cover) white text over the image of a person rowing a boat on the water surrounded by trees

Genre/Categories: Women’s Fiction, Southern Fiction, Coming of Age, Family Life, Survival

In 2020, I decided to systematically revisit my older review posts and update them. On Thursdays, I’ll be re-sharing a few of these great reads, and today I’m eager to share my review of the page-turning Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens.a story of survival.

I’m linking up today with Davida @ The Chocolate Lady’s Book Review Blog for #throwbackthursday.

*This post contains Amazon affiliate links.

My Summary:

“Living in the marsh outside a quiet, small town on the coast of North Carolina, Kya Clark, later known as the “Marsh Girl,” is abandoned by her entire family and learns to survive in the marsh on her own from the age of ten. One by one her older siblings abandon the family, her mother leaves when Kya is about seven, and finally, her father, a difficult, unreliable, and drunk man, leaves when she’s ten. Kya attends school for one day after a truant officer catches her. On that day, she is teased by the students, knows she’s hopelessly behind academically, and never returns. Preferring the isolation and safety of the marsh, she learns what she can through observing nature. Although she can survive on her own, she begins to long for companionship as she reaches her teen years. Two boys from town attract her attention. One of them turns up dead, and she is suspected of murder. The other becomes a life long supporter and friend. A coming of age story with a fair share of tragedy, mystery, and grit, this is an unforgettable read you’ll want to devour and recommend.”

Continue here for my full review of Where the Crawdads Sing ….



QOTD:

Have you read Where the Crawdads Sing or is it on your TBR?

In a Holidaze [Book Review]

January 12, 2021

In a Holidaze by Christina Lauren

In a Holidaze by Christina Lauren (cover) text and a string of Christmas lights on a green background

Genre/Categories: Women’s Contemporary Fiction, Romantic Comedy, Romance

*This post contains Amazon affiliate links.

Summary:

Two families gather to spend a few days at a cabin in Utah, an annual and much anticipated Christmas tradition. The children in the families have grown up together and are close friends. Mae is in her twenties and has just moved home to live with her parents after a breakup. The vacation is coming to an end and she is driving home in her parent’s car and feeling miserable about her dead-end job, the fact that the cabin might be sold in the near future (thus losing a beloved family tradition), and her unrealized secret crush on a young man in the other family. She leans her head against the car window wishing for happiness and BAM! Their family car is broadsided by a truck. When she wakes up, she is in an airplane on her way to the cabin as if the accident never happened. Although this is unnerving, it will give her a chance to undo some things she regrets and to have another chance with her true love. The horrible part is that this loop repeats a few times and each time she relives those vacation days in the cabin. Mae is concerned with how she will manage to exit this strange time-loop and how it will affect the progress she has made in her new relationship.

My Thoughts:

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You Have a Match [Book Review]

January 11, 2021

You Have a Match by Emma Lord

You Have a Match by Emma Lord (cover) Image: a boy and a girl paddle in separate boats on a lake surrounded by green hills and pine trees

Genre/Categories: YA Contemporary Fiction, Romance, Family Life

*This post contains Amazon affiliate links.

Summary:

Thanks #NetGalley #StMartinsPress @StMartinsPress for a complimentary e ARC of #YouHaveAMatch for an honest review. All opinions are my own.

Abby and her childhood friend, Leo (secret crush), sign up for a DNA service. For Abby, it’s a lark, but Leo is adopted and is curious about finding some bio relatives. A big surprise: Leo receives no matches but Abby finds out she has a full bio sister living within a couple of miles of her. Abby stalks the bio sister on Instagram,, and they make contact. They agree to meet at a summer camp and compare notes to try and figure out the secret that both sets of parents are keeping. Leo is also a cook at the camp, so this keeps life interesting for Abby in the romance department. Life becomes complicated as camp life, romance, secrets, siblings, friendships, and parents collide.

My Thoughts:

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New Arrivals at Hedgehog Hollow [Book Review]

December 4, 2020

New Arrivals at Hedgehog Hollow by Jessica Redland

New Arrivals at Hedgehog Hollow by Jessica Redland (cover) Image: a woman and her cat sit on a pink bench overlooking a country landscape edged with flowers

Genre/Categories: Women’s Contemporary Fiction, Animal Rescue, Romance, Family Drama

*This post contains Amazon affiliate links.

Summary:

Thank you #NetGalley #BoldWoodBooks @BoldWoodBooks for my complimentary copy of #NewArrivalsAtHedgehogHollow by Jessica Redland at my request. All opinions are my own.

New Arrivals at Hedgehog Hollow is book #2 in the Hedgehog Hollow series. It can be read as a stand-alone but will be a richer reading experience if you’ve read Finding Love at Hedgehog Hollow first.

Samantha is the founder and owner of the Hedgehog Hollow Rescue Center. Although she has the support of her boyfriend, Josh, and her father, Samantha is overwhelmed with hedgehog arrivals, working full time, vandalism, and family issues. Samantha and Josh work hard at figuring it all out and growing their new relationship.

hedgehog

Image Source: Wikipedia

My Thoughts:

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The Boat People [Book Review] #ThrowBackThursday

December 3, 2020

The Boat People by Sharon Bala
#throwbackthursday

the Boat People by Sharon Bala (cover) Image: a man holds a young boys hand and stands on the beach looking out over the ocean

Genre/Categories:Historical Fiction, Refugee Crisis, Canada, Legal, Cultural Heritage, Sri Lanka, Family Life

This year as part of Blog Audit Challenge 2020 I’m going back to update older review posts. On Thursdays, I’ll be re-sharing a few of these great reads, and today I’m thrilled to share my review of the compelling The Boat People….a refugee crisis.

I’m linking up today with Davida @ The Chocolate Lady’s Book Review Blog for #throwbackthursday.

*This post contains Amazon affiliate links.

My Summary:

Do Refugees Pose a Risk?
“This is the urgent question that faces Canadian officials when a rusty cargo ship carrying five hundred refugees from Sri Lanka appears on Vancouver’s shores. As the “boat people” are thrown into a detention center, rumors circulate that terrorists might be posing as refugees and could create a threat to Canada’s national security. This complex, compelling, and heartfelt story, loosely based on true events from 2010, is told fairly from three perspectives: Mahindan (a refugee), Priya (a lawyer and second generation Sri Lankan Canadian), and Grace (an adjudicator and third generation Japanese Canadian).”

Relevant, compelling, compassionate, and fair.

Continue here for my full review of the Boat People ….



QOTD:

Have you read The Boat People or is it on your TBR?



Refugees in Canada arriving by boat

Photo Source

An American Marriage [Book Review] #throwbackthursday

November 26, 2020

An American Marriage by Tayari Jones
#throwbackthursday

An American Marriage by Tayari Jones: Black text over a bare gold tree against a blue background

Genre/Categories: Contemporary Fiction, Friendship, Life Reflection, Quirky Character

This year as part of Blog Audit Challenge 2020 I’m going back to update older review posts. On Thursdays, I’ll be re-sharing a few of these great reads, and today I’m thrilled to share my review of the compelling An American Marriage….racial injustice and the test of a marriage.

I’m linking up today with Davida @ The Chocolate Lady’s Book Review Blog for #throwbackthursday.

*This post contains Amazon affiliate links.

My Summary:

“Celestial and Roy are newlyweds living in the New South. While Celestial is an aspiring artist, Roy is a young executive. Early in their marriage, Roy is arrested and sentenced to twelve years for a crime he didn’t commit. Can their marriage survive the tragic circumstances and the separation? Soon after incarceration, Celestial begins to accept comfort and companionship from Andre, her childhood friend and Roy’s best man at their wedding. When Roy is released from prison five years later, he expects to pick up his life where he’s left off, but a great deal has changed. This is a thoughtful and heartfelt story of love, marriage, family, and friendship, of hope and heartbreak, of loss and starting over.”

Continue here for my full review of An American Marriage ….



QOTD:

Have you read An American Marriage or is it on your TBR?



Happy Thanksgiving if you’re celebrating!

Happy Thanksgiving surrounded by colorful autumn leaves and a few pumpkins

Thankful For Family Themes in Literature #toptentuesday

November 24, 2020

Thankful For Family Themes in Literature

top ten tuesday

I’m linking up today with That Artsy Reader Girl: Top Ten Tuesday: Thanksgiving Freebie.

TTT 10 Books With Family Themes (Image: a father and mother sit on the ground and hold their small daughter on their shoulders)

Image Source: Canva

Families

This year during the Pandemic, most of us have appreciated our families more than ever. We’ve missed visiting them; we’ve missed family celebrations and milestones; we’ve been isolated at home with them; we’ve probably participated in or observed “drive by” parties; and some have lost loved ones during this year.

For this week’s TTT Thanksgiving prompt, my thoughts turn to how thankful I am for family…birth families…found families…blended families…adopted families…extended family…challenging or complicated families…all the families. This post is a collection of stories that focus on family and all its complexities.

*Titles are Amazon affiliate links.



10 Books With Family Themes



We Were the Lucky Ones by Georgia Hunter

(Throughout this WW11 historical fiction novel, the family is an important underlying theme; I especially love the poignant ending in this story!)
My 5 star review of We Were the Lucky Ones here.

we were the lucky ones


A Place For Us by Fatima Faheen Mirza

(A complicated, multi-generational family drama…on my lifetime favs list)
My 5+ star review of A Place For Us here.

A Place For Us by Fatima Farheen Mirza (cover)


All the Devils Are Here by Louise Penney

(Family themes run deep in this latest installment of the Inspector Gamache series)
My 5 star review of All the Devils Are Here here.

All the Devils Are Here by Louise Penny (cover) Image: text over a background of a darkened Eiffel Tower against a swirly painted sky


The Mountains Sing by Nguyen Phan Que Mai

(Family loyalty in this heart-wrenching, histfic Vietnamese story is compelling)
My review of The Mountains Sing here.

The Mountains Sing by Nguyen Phan Que Mai (cover) Image: white text over a mountaineous background


Inheritance: A Memoir of Genealogy, Paternity, and Love by Dani Shapiro

(A DNA discovery complicates relationships in this close family)
My review of Inheritance here.

Inheritance by Dani Shapiro (cover) Image: white text over a baby's christening dress


Clap When You Land by Elizabeth Acevedo (YA)

(A complicated and poignant story of discovered family)
My review of Clap when You Land here.

Clap When You Land by Elizabeth Acevedo (cover)


Transcendent Kingdom by Yaa Gyasi

(The compelling story of a family troubled by addiction and mental illness)
My 5 star review of Transcendent Kingdom here.

Transcendent Kingdom by Yaa Gyasi (cover) Image: gold text on light pink (top half) and black (bottom half) background


The Story of Arthur Truluv by Elizabeth Berg

(A heartfelt story of found family)
My review of The Story of Arthur Truluv here.

The Story of Authur Truluv by Elizabeth Berg (cover) Image: a man holds a yellow umbrella over a young woman


More to the Story by Hena Khan (MG)

(A modern retelling of Little Women from a Pakistani-American perspective…perfect mother/daughter read aloud with your middle-grade reader)
My Goodreads review of More to the Story here.

More to the Story by Hena Khan (cover) four girls lying on their backs forming a circle on the floor with their heads nearly touching


The Vanderbeekers of 141st Street (MG)

(A lighthearted, fun, and heartfelt family story….perfect for a read aloud with middle grade readers)

Vanderbeekers



….and so many more!

QOTD!

Do you love a book with family themes?

Do you have a rec to add to this list?



ICYMI:

My Year in NonFiction #nonficnov 2020

Fiction and Nonfiction Book Pairings #nonficnov 2020

Play the Expert: Memoirs and Biographies #nonficnov 2020

Adding Nonfiction Titles To My TBR #nonficnov 2020



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***Blogs posts may contain affiliate links. This means that at no extra cost to you, I can earn a small percentage of your purchase price.

Unless explicitly stated that they are free, all books that I review have been purchased by me or borrowed from the library.

The book covers are credited to Amazon or an author’s (or publisher’s) website.

© ReadingLadies.com

The Widows of Malabar Hill [Book Review] #throwbackthursday

November 12, 2020

The Widows of Malabar Hill by Sujata Massey
#throwbackthursday

The Widows of Malabar Hill by Sujata Massey (cover) Image: a young woman in Indian dress and holding a brief case stands in front of a gated archway

Genre/Categories: Historical Fiction, Mystery, Detective, Bombay, Women’s Rights

This year as part of Blog Audit Challenge 2020 I’m going back to update older review posts. On Thursdays, I’ll be re-sharing a few of these great reads, and today I’m thrilled to share my review of The Widows of Malabar Hill by Sujata Massey…a mystery inspired by the first female lawyer in India.

I’m linking up today with Davida @ The Chocolate Lady’s Book Review Blog for #throwbackthursday.

*This post contains Amazon affiliate links

My Summary:

Perveen Mistry and a challenging case…

“In this culturally rich, mystery set in 1920s Bombay, India, Preveen Mistry, the daughter of a respected family, joins her father’s law firm, becoming one of the first female lawyers in India. Educated at Oxford, Perveen has a tragic personal history that causes her to be extra vigilant on her new case so that the widows of Malabar Hill are treated fairly after the death of their husband.  As she examines the paperwork, she discovers that the widows who are living in purdah (strict seclusion) have signed over their inheritance to a charity, raising suspicions that they’re being taken advantage of by their guardian. Tensions build and a murder occurs. Because the widows feel uncomfortable speaking with male investigators, Perveen takes responsibility and great personal risk to determine what really happened on Malabar Hill. Throughout the story, readers are also filled in on Perveen’s back story as readers are introduced to her family and friends and learn about her education.”

Continue here for my full review of The Widows of Malabar Hill ….



QOTD:

Have you read TheWidows of Malabar Hill or is it on your TBR?

Lemons [Book Review]

November 6, 2020

Lemons by Melissa Savage

Lemons by Melissa Savage (cover) Image: yellow title on blue background; a drawing of a boy (holding binoculars up to his eyes) and a girl (holding two lemons up to her eyes

Genre/Categories: Middle-Grade Fiction, Friendship, Adventure, Grief

*This post contains Amazon affiliate links.

Summary:

“When life gives you lemons, make lemonade!”

lemons (two whole and one cut)

Ten year old Lemonade Liberty Witt believes her mom about making lemonade when life gets difficult. However, Lemon faces circumstances that test her lemonade-making abilities. After the death of her mother, she is sent to live in another town with a grandfather she’s never met. Her life gets better when she makes a new friend, Tobin Sky, who is CEO of Bigfoot Detectives, Inc. Yes, there have been suspected Bigfoot sightings in this wooded Northern California community! Lemon becomes Tobin’s assistant, but they discover something more important than Bigfoot.

My Thoughts:

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A Place For Us [Book Review] #throwbackthursday

November 4, 2020

A Place For Us by Fatima Farheen Mirza
#throwbackthursday

A Place For Us by Fatima Farheen Mirza (cover) Image: black text over a white moon behind a house in silhouette

This year as part of Blog Audit Challenge 2020 I’m going back to update older review posts. On Thursdays, I’ll be re-sharing a few of these great reads, and today I’m thrilled to share my review of A Place For Us by Fatima Farheen Mirza…a thoughtful and complicated family drama.

I’m linking up today with Davida @ The Chocolate Lady’s Book Review Blog for #throwbackthursday.

*This post contains Amazon affiliate links

My Summary:

A Place For Us shares the story of an Indian-American Muslim family whom we meet as they gather to celebrate a family wedding. Through flashbacks, readers are filled in on the family dynamics, family history, and become acquainted with the parents, Rafiq and Layla, and their three children, Hadia, Huda, and Amar. Told mostly from the perspectives of Layla, Hadia, and Amar, readers begin to appreciate the complexity of family relationships, understand the bonds that draw the family together, and become acquainted with the personalities along with the insecurities and rivalries that cause conflict. In light of the parents’ conservative Muslim faith and living in California, the children must find their way in reconciling the faith of their parents and their traditional ways with the reality of day-to-day lives, and individual hopes and dreams. At the wedding of the oldest daughter, which breaks with tradition and is a union of love and not arranged by parents, Amar, the prodigal son, reunites with his family for the first time in three years. The last part of the story is told from the father’s heartfelt perspective. This is a story of love, identity, parenting, coming of age, faith, and belonging.”

“Of all my mistakes the greatest, the most dangerous, was not emphasizing the mercy of God.”  ~Rafiq

A Place For Us is my favorite read of 2018, and you can find my full review here….



QOTD:

Have you read A Place For Us or is it on your TBR?