The River [Book Review] #ThrowBackThursday

July 8, 2021

The River by Peter Heller
#throwbackthursday

The River by Peter Heller (cover) Image: white text over an abstract swirl of red leaf shapes

Genre/Categories/Setting: Contemporary Fiction, Wilderness Survival/Thriller, Friendship

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. Today, I’m re-sharing a review of an atmospheric wilderness survival thriller, The River by Peter Heller.

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

*This post contains Amazon affiliate links.

My Summary:

The River is a story of wilderness survival and friendship with a generous side of suspense/thriller. Wynn and Jack are college friends who enjoy the mountains, reading, and fishing, but they get more than they bargained for in this wilderness canoe trip. Instead of days filled with fishing and reading and nights of stargazing, they attempt a rescue as they face starvation, a forest fire, and a dangerous stranger.”

 An atmospheric wilderness thriller…..

Continue here for my full review of The River …



QOTD:

Have you read The River or is it on your TBR?

A Summer Wedding For the Cornish Midwife [Book Review]

June 29, 2021

A Summer Wedding For the Cornish Midwife by Jo Bartlett

A Summer Wedding For the Cornish Midwife by Jo Bartlett (cover) Image: a young woman stands on a bluff holding a bouquet of flowers and overlooking a small coastal village

Genre/Categories/Setting: Light contemporary women’s fiction, Romance, Small town/Cornish coast, Midwifery, Up-lit

*This post contains Amazon affiliate links.

My Summary:

#2 in the Cornish Midwives series. The highly anticipated wedding of Anna and Brae needs to be postponed due to a fire at the venue. However, close friends and community pull together to save the wedding.

My Thoughts:

(more…)

The Island of Sea Women #ThrowBackThursday

June 24, 2021

The Island of Sea Women by Lisa See
#throwbackthursday

Island of Sea Women Review

Genre/Categories/Setting: Historical Fiction, South Korea, Women’s Roles

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. Today, I’m re-sharing a review of compelling and informative women’s historical fiction, The Island of Sea Women by Lisa See.

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

*This post contains Amazon affiliate links.

My Summary:

“In The Island of Sea Women, See imagines the story of Mi-ja and Young-sook. As the story begins, we are introduced to these two young girls living on the Korean Island of Jeju. Although the girls are best friends, they come from very different backgrounds. As the girls mature, they begin working in the sea with other women in the village as part of the diving collective (the haenyo). Even though diving is dangerous, the girls are eager to be allowed to join the women of the sea as they learn the trade and follow in the tradition of the other women in the village who are the sole providers for their families. In this matriarchal culture, the men stay home, cook, and assume primary care for the children. Women take on the responsibility of providing an income from selling the bounty of their diving expeditions. It’s women who worry about the livelihood of their families and village, assume great physical risks, and take responsibility for knowing the best locations and times/conditions to dive. The sea women dive when they are pregnant and sometimes give birth on the boat as part of their workday if necessary. The story begins in the 1930s and continues through WW11, the Korean War, and the modern technology boom. Over the decades, circumstances put the girls’ friendship under great strain and the story encompasses their entire lives. It’s a story of a unique culture, friendship, understanding, community, and a dangerous and demanding profession.”

 A story of a unique culture, friendship, understanding, community, and a dangerous and demanding profession…

Continue here for my full review of The Island of Sea Women …



QOTD:

Have you read The Island of Sea Women or is it on your TBR?

The Kitchen Front [Book Review]

June 22, 2021

The Kitchen Front by Jennifer Ryan

The Kitchen Front by Jennifer Ryan (cover) A woman dressed in a red bouse and white apron holds a cookbook to her chest

Genre/Categories: Light historical fiction (WW11), Cooking, Friendship, Up-Lit

*This post contains Amazon affiliate links.

My Summary:

A cooking competition meets WW11. Facing bombings, food shortages, and rationing, morale is low among the housewives of Britain. The BBC launches a cooking contest for a show called Kitchen Front. Although the first prize is a coveted chance to be the first female co-host of the show, four very different women discover a more valuable prize to be gained: friendship.

My Thoughts:

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Project Hail Mary [Book Review] #FathersDay

June 18, 2021

Project Hail Mary by Andy Weir

Project Hail Mary by Any Weir (cover) Image: an astronaut is tethered and floating in space near a gold and black object

Genre/Categories: Science Fiction, Space Mission, Friendship, Survival

*This post contains Amazon affiliate links.

My Summary:

Middle School science teacher Ryland Grace finds himself on a desperate space mission to save planet Earth. He wakes up on a spaceship hooked up to tubes without a memory of how he got there or how the two people next to him died in their beds. Although he senses he knows them and realizes their importance, he can’t remember his own name or his purpose for being there. In dual timelines, we hear Ryland’s backstory (as he regains his memory) and experience the dangerous present reality. Ryland finds an unexpected ally in his quest to save Earth from extinction.

My Thoughts:

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Ask Again, Yes [Book Review] #ThrowBackThursday

June 10, 2021

Ask Again, Yes by Mary Beth Keane
#throwbackthursday

Ask Again, Yes by Mary Beth Keane (cover) white text over the top view of a neighborhood of homes

Genre/Categories: Contemporary Fiction, Complicated Family Drama, Friendship

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. Today, I’m re-sharing a review of a complicated family drama, Ask Again, Yes by Mary Beth Keane.

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

*This post contains Amazon affiliate links.

My Summary:

“Beautifully written, Ask Again, Yes introduces us to two families who live next door to each other. Behind closed doors, the families deal with complicated issues. Meanwhile, two of their children, born six months apart, grow up as each other’s constant and best playmate and develop a deep friendship as they hang out after school. Just as Kate and Peter grow old enough to discover they might be attracted to each other, a tragic event happens that changes everything for the two families. One family moves away and the children’s friendship is torn apart.

The remainder of the story involves the children, who are now grown, coming to terms with what happened and figuring out what this means for their relationship, their families, and their future.”

Big themes of regret, forgiveness, reconciliation, healing, second chances, growth, and redemption…..

Continue here for my full review of Ask Again, Yes …

(including Content Warnings)



QOTD:

Have you read Ask Again, Yes or is it on your TBR?

The Gown [Book Review] #ThrowBackThursday

June 3, 2021

The Gown by Jennifer Robson
#throwbackthursday

The Gown by Jennifer Robson (cover) Image: top view of the bride with her long train walking down the aisle

Genre/Categories/Setting: Historical Fiction, Royal Wedding, 1940s England

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. Today, I’m re-sharing a review of the fascinating story of the making of Princess Elizabeth’s royal wedding gown: The Gown by Jennifer Robson.

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

*This post contains Amazon affiliate links.

My Summary:

The Gown is, in part, a behind-the-scenes story of the making of Princess (Queen) Elizabeth’s wedding gown. As the people of England endure a harsh winter and post war shortages and rationing, news of a Royal wedding brightens the country’s spirit. Told from two perspectives, we hear the imagined story of two young women who work for the famous fashion house of Norman Hartnell. Although the girls are accustomed to working on exclusive gowns for high profile clients and the Royal family, the newest assignment of a wedding gown for Princess (Queen) Elizabeth brings extraordinary pressure and excitement. A third perspective and modern timeline follows one of their granddaughters who travels to London a half century later to unravel her grandmother’s mysterious and secret past. There’s more to the story than the dress as the author gives us an idea of what life was like in 1940s London, and explores themes of friendship, family, and love.”

a wedding gown and so much more….

Continue here for my full review of The Gown

 



QOTD:

Have you read The Gown or is it on your TBR?

Paper Hearts [Book Review] #ThrowBackThursday

May 20, 2021

Paper Hearts by Meg Wiviott
#throwbackthursday

Paper Hearts by Meg Wiviott (cover) Image: hand stitched title on a blue background...stitched star in upper left corner

Genre/Categories: WW11, Holocaust, Jewish, Young Adult, Poetry (free verse), Friendship, 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. Today, I’m re-sharing a review of the poignant and compelling Paper Hearts by Meg Wiviott, a title on my lifetime favorites list.

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

*This post contains Amazon affiliate links.

My Summary:

“In Paper Hearts, two unforgettable girls find themselves tragically imprisoned at Auschwitz during the Holocaust and become friends. Through the bonds of friendship and a bit of defiance, Zlatka and Fania find threads of hope and a will to live. In this true story, Zlatka, along with the help of a few other girls, masterminds making a surprise birthday card for Fania. A secret project that would be a crime punishable by death if caught, each girl signed the paper hearts card with her hopes and wishes for happiness, love, and freedom. This heart is a symbol of defiance and is one of the few artifacts created in Auschwitz that has survived and can be seen today in the Montreal Holocaust Memorial Centre in Canada and in the image below.”

a beautiful, memorable, and gently written story of friendship and survival…

Continue here for my full review of Paper Hearts ….

Hamdmade collection of heartshaped paper: Holocaust artifact



QOTD:

Have you read Paper Hearts or is it on your TBR?

The Ballynoon Friendship Circle [Book Review]

May 20, 2021

The Ballynoon Friendship Circle by Pauline Morgan

The Ballynoon Friendship Circle by Pauline Morgan (cover) Image: text above and below a graphic image of a quaint small village

Genre/Categories/Settings: Women’s Fiction, Contemporary fiction, Quirky Characters, Romance, Ireland

*This post contains Amazon affiliate links.

My Summary:

Recently widowed and fifty-year-old retired teacher Edel Marston finds a dream cottage in a magazine and makes an impulsive, life-changing decision to move back to Northern Ireland. Faced with a decrepit cottage, a rude neighbor, and no friends, Edel questions the wisdom of her decision and worries that a past secret from her youth might make her the subject of town gossip. Collecting her nerve and embracing a proactive mindset, she joins the local over 50s club (self-named the “Stitch and Bitch” group). The ladies are friendly but gossipy, so she’s reluctant to share details of her private life…..especially a romantic interest in her neighbor, an unpopular member of the community. Can Edel trust her new circle of friends or should she keep her personal life private? Is it too soon after losing her husband to pursue romance?

My Thoughts:

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The Beantown Girls [Book Review] #ThrowBackThursday

May 13, 2021

The Beantown Girls by Jane Healey
#throwbackthursday

The Beantown Girls by Jane Healey (cover) Image: three young women look out the side serving windows of a WW11 truck

Genre/Categories: Historical Fiction, WW11, Red Cross Clubmobiles, Romance, Friendship

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. Today, I’m re-sharing a review of The Beantown Girls by Jane Healey.

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

*This post contains Amazon affiliate links.

My Summary:

“In The Beantown Girls, three best friends conspire to serve their country during WW11 by joining the Red Cross as Clubmobile girls: Fiona is admired for her organizational and leadership skills; Viviana is adventuresome and outspoken; and Dottie is a shy music teacher. Healey uses a chronological timeline to tell the story from Fiona’s point of view, and we soon discover that Fiona’s primary objective in this venture is to find more information about her fiance who is missing in action. To qualify as Clubmobile girls, the young women were chosen for their inner strength and outer charm, but none of them were prepared for the realities of war or the front lines. In addition to the Clubmobile story line focus, there is a bit of romance for the girls, too.”

coffee…doughnuts…dancing…friendship…courage…determination…romance…

Continue here for my full review of The Beantown Girls ….

a black and white picture of servicemen lined up at a Clubmobile window

Image Source: National Public Radio



QOTD:

Have you read The Beantown Girls or is it on your TBR?