The Fountains of Silence [Book Review] #ThrowBackThursday

October 21, 2021

The Fountains of Silence by Ruta Sepetys
#throwbackthursday

The Fountains of Silence Review

Genre/Categories/Setting: Historical Fiction, Post Spanish Civil War Spain, YA, Family, Love Story

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 compelling historical fiction story from one of my favorite authors, The Fountains of Silence by Ruta Sepetys.

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 1957, Madrid, Spain is under the control of the fascist dictator General Francisco Franco. While citizens endure harsh conditions of the dictatorship after the Spanish Civil War, tourists experience another version of life in Spain as they enjoy parties and wine at the Hilton Hotel. Eighteen-year-old Daniel is a hotel guest, a photographer, and the son of a Texas oil tycoon; his mother was born in Spain and Daniel is eager to visit her homeland. Ana works at the hotel as a maid. Daniel and Ana meet and fall in love. While Ana is simultaneously intrigued by American life and concerned for her family, Daniel sets his mind to capture the real Spain in photos and finds himself investigating the plight of stolen children. The circumstances surrounding their love story are difficult for them to navigate.”

Family…love…silence…secrets…

Continue here for my full review of The Fountains of Silence



QOTD:

Have you read The Fountains of Silence or is it on your TBR?

 

The Things We Cannot Say [Book Review] #ThrowBackThursday

October 14, 2021

The Things We Cannot Say by Kelly Rimmer
#throwbackthursday

Genre/Categories/Setting: Historical Fiction, Poland, WW11, Love Story, Family Life

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 heartfelt and poignant story, The Things We Cannot Say by Kelly Rimmer.

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

*This post contains Amazon affiliate links.

My Summary:

“From the age of nine, Alina has been in love with her best friend Tomasz. At fifteen and engaged to Tomasz, Alina and her neighbors discount the rumors of Nazi soldiers at the Polish border, and she spends her time dreaming of her wedding. Tomasz is in college in Warsaw when the Nazis occupy Poland. While Alina and Tomasz briefly lose touch, Alina and her family’s efforts are focused on survival. In the present-day timeline, Alina is in a convalescent home in the U. S. recovering from a stroke and convincing her granddaughter that she must make a trip to Poland in her place and visit certain sites. The granddaughter, Alice, is leading a stressful life with two special needs children and an unsatisfactory marriage, but she feels compelled to honor her grandmother’s request. In dual timelines, Alice visits her grandmother, makes plans to visit Poland, and actually makes the trip, while the WW11 timeline involving Alina and Tomasz progresses. Readers find out what eventually happens to Alina and Tomasz as Alice meets the Polish family and unravels Alina’s most closely guarded secrets.”

Engaging…memorable…page-turning…and emotional!

Continue here for my full review of The Things We Cannot Say…



QOTD:

Have you read The Things We Cannot Say or is it on your TBR?

The Water Dancer [Book Review] #ThrowBackThursday

October 7, 2021

The Water Dancer by Ta-Nehisi Coates
#throwbackthursday

The Water Dancer review

Genre/Categories/Setting: Historical Fiction, Magical Realism, African-American, Slavery, Underground Railroad

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 thought provoking and compelling story, The Water Dancer by Na-Hehisi Coates.

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 Water Dancer tells the engaging and powerful story of Hiram Walker who is born into slavery and who has a mysterious and magical power. He is compelled to leave his home and adopted mother as he follows his rebellious spirit and searches for freedom. Hiram connects with the Underground Railroad, masters his mysterious power, and seeks to return home on his own terms to rescue his adopted mother and his love interest.”

A powerful story with page-turning action…

Continue here for my full review of The Water Dancer…



QOTD:

Have you read The Water Dancer or is it on your TBR?

The Women of the Copper Country [Book Review] #ThrowBackThursday

September 30, 2021

The Women of the Copper Country by Mary Doria Russell
#throwbackthursday

The women of the Copper Country by Mary Doria Russell (cover)

Genre/Categories/Setting: Biographical Historical Fiction, Michigan, Mining, Activism, Union

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 compelling story of the labor movement, The Women of Copper Country by Mary Doria Russell.

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 July of 1913, twenty-five-year-cold Annie Clements has seen enough of the unfair working conditions in the mining town of Calumet, Michigan and decides it’s time to fight for a change. The men who work in the copper mines endure long hours, dangerous conditions, and low wages. Annie organizes and encourages the women to support a strike, but she also faces possible imprisonment, her husband’s anger, and personal threats. The Women of the Copper Country is a fictionalized account of the courageous efforts of women to organize a strike in the early history of the labor movement.”

“There’s no progress in the world if we all just keep our heads down and only do what’s good and proper in our tiny corner of it.”

“We plant the seeds of justice, and justice will rise out of this muck someday.”

Annie Clements is called “America’s Joan of Arc”

Continue here for my full review of The Women of the Copper Country…



QOTD:

Have you read The Women of the Copper Country or is it on your TBR?

 

Cloud Cuckoo Land [Book Review]

September 27, 2021

Cloud Cuckoo Land by Anthony Doerr

Cloud Cuckoo Land by Anthony Doerr (cover)

Genre/Categories/Settings: Myth/Historical Fiction/Science Fiction/Contemporary/Literary Fiction mashup, Books About Books, Libraries/Librarians, Constantinople, Idaho, Spaceship

*This post contains Amazon affiliate links.

My Summary:

Thanks #NetGalley @ScribnerBooks for a complimentary eARC of #CloudCuckooLand upon my request. All opinions are my own.

Some books are daunting to summarize and review. This is one. I apologize for the longer than usual summary.

Cloud Cuckoo Land is four stories in one. The stories involve three different time periods and genres and one myth (a story within the stories).

One story is set in the 1400s in Constantinople. There are two main characters. One is a poor thirteen-year-old orphan girl who lives and works with other women who embroider the robes of priests. Anna is curious and exhibits an insatiable desire to learn to read. She discovers the ancient manuscript of the story of Aethon who wants to be turned into a bird. The other main character is Omeir, a village boy who lives outside the walls of Constantinople. He has a cleft palate and is an oxen whisperer. One day he is forced to join an invading army and sets out with the soldiers toward Constantinople. His path will cross with Anna’s.

Another story is set five hundred years later in a library in Idaho. In this contemporary story, Zeno is eighty something and volunteers at the library and right now he’s helping children rehearse for a play adaptation of the ancient story of Aethon. He will cross paths with a troubled teenager, Seymour, who has planted a bomb in the library shelves as a statement about the environment and the endangerment of Owls.

The third story is set in the future and is about young Konstance who is on a spaceship called the Aros. Her favorite story is one her father has told and retold about Atheon.

The fourth story is a myth about Aethon and his fascination with the city in the clouds and his quest to be turned into a bird.

The @PulitzerPrizes author of Cloud Cuckoo Land hops between the stories and time periods with great finesse and frequency.

My Thoughts:

(more…)

The Medallion [Book Review] #ThrowBackThursday

September 23, 2021

The Medallion by Cathy Gohlke
#throwbackthursday

The Medallion Review

Genre/Categories/Setting: Historical Fiction, WW11, Jewish, Christian, Warsaw

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 compelling and page-turning story of WW11, The Medallion by Cathy Gohlke.

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

*This post contains Amazon affiliate links.

My Summary:

“1939 Warsaw is the setting for this harrowing, heartfelt, and inspirational WW11 tale of survival, courage, loss, hope, risk, and faith. Sophie works in the city library, and her husband, Janek, is deployed with the Polish Air Force. When the Germans invade Warsaw in 1939 and streets become a dangerous war zone, Sophie feels compelled to help friends and strangers. Rosa and Itzhak are pregnant with their first child when they seek shelter in the Jewish ghetto. When Itzhak leaves her to check on the safety of his family, Rosa faces the horrific possibility of sending their small child into hiding to save her life, but first Rosa cuts a medallion (the Jewish Tree of Life) in half and places half around her young daughter’s neck. She prays that this will be enough to reunite them after the war.

We follow the lives of these two memorable couples whose worlds are torn apart and, in post-war years, connected by a shared love for a young daughter.”

“When all seems lost, God can make a way forward.”

Continue here for my full review of The Medallion…



QOTD:

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

 

If You Want To Make God Laugh [Book Review] #ThrowBackThursday

September 9, 2021

If You Want To Make God Laugh by Bianca Marais
#throwbackthursday

If You Want To Make God Laugh by Bianca Marais (cover) black text on a yellow background....a graphic image of a dog and bird surround the title

Genre/Categories/Setting:  Historical Fiction, (post Apartheid) South Africa, Family Life, Sisters

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 compelling family drama, If You Want To Make God Laugh by Bianca Marais.

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

*This post contains Amazon affiliate links.

My Summary:

If You Want to Make God Laugh is the compelling story of three unforgettable women living in post-Apartheid South Africa at the time of a growing AIDS epidemic and threats of civil war. Zodwa is seventeen, pregnant, poor, and lives in a squatter’s camp. Ruth and Delilah are middle-aged sisters who live on an inherited, rural farm. While Ruth is an unhappy, disillusioned, and newly divorced socialite, Delilah is a former nun and social worker who is hiding a big secret. A newborn baby will bring these characters together, and this is a story of their precarious relationships, of sibling jealousy, rivalry, and healing, and of found family.”

“I’d often wondered since then if a child could be inoculated in the womb against the horror of the world through the power of its mother’s love; if that love could infuse joy into a child even when her presence couldn’t.”

If You Want to Make God Laugh…..tell Him your plans…

Continue here for my full review of If You Want To Make God Laugh…



QOTD:

Have you read If You Want To Make God Laugh or is it on your TBR?
Have you read Hum If You Don’t Know the Words by the same author?

 

The Vanished Bride [Book Review] #ThrowBackThursday

September 2, 2021

The Vanished Bride by Bella Ellis
#throwbackthursday

The Vanished Bride Review

Genre/Categories/Setting:  Historical Fiction, Siblings, Cozy Mystery, Yorkshire

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 historical fiction mystery, The Vanished Bride by Bella Ellis.

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 Vanished Bride is the highly imagined story of the famous Brontë Sisters before they were authors. In 1845, when all four Brontë siblings return home to live with their father (for various reasons), Charlotte, Emily, and Anne hear about the disappearance and suspected murder of a young neighbor woman, they decide to become lady detectors and embark on an ambitious endeavor to solve the mystery. Relying on their resourcefulness, determination, energy, wits, cleverness, and creativity, they investigate, interrogate, analyze clues, and follow leads. The sisters need to pursue these activities without drawing attention to themselves because of the expectations for women and their roles at that time. Since they are already intrigued by the idea of becoming authors in a male-dominated field, they are already thinking outside the box and challenging boundaries. Although at times they need to involve their brother, most of the investigation is accomplished without the knowledge of their protective father. Will they solve the mystery of the vanished bride?”

Authentic and delightfully entertaining characterizations of the three Brontë sisters….

Continue here for my full review of The Vanished Bride…



QOTD:

Have you read The Vanished Bride or is it on your TBR?

#CoverReveal #BloomsburyGirls

September 1, 2021

Cover Reveal of Bloomsbury Girls by Natalie Jenner

The internationally bestselling author of The Jane Austen Society returns with a compelling and heartwarming story of post-war London, a century-old bookstore, and three women determined to find their way in a fast-changing world.

Bloomsbury Girls Cover Reveal Banner

Do you love Jane Austen?

One of my loveliest reads last year was The Jane Austen Society by Natalie Jenner, an imagined story inspired by the first meetings of the Jane Austen society that was formed to preserve and honor Austen’s work.

Bloomsbury Girls by Jenner is a “spin off” of The Jane Austen Society and builds a story featuring one of the interesting characters. A book about books, bookshops, and booksellers! Pub Date: 5/17/2022.

Book Description and Summary

“One bookshop. Fifty-one rules. Three women who break them all.”

Bloomsbury Books is an old-fashioned new and rare bookstore that has persisted and resisted change for a hundred years, run by men and guided by the general manager’s unbreakable fifty-one rules.  But in 1950, the world is changing, especially the world of books and publishing, and at Bloomsbury Books, the girls in the shop have plans:

Vivien Lowry:  Single since her aristocratic fiancé was killed in action during World War II, the brilliant and stylish Vivien has a long list of grievances – most of them well justified and the biggest of which is Alec McDonough, the Head of Fiction.

Grace Perkins: Married with two sons, she’s been working to support the family following her husband’s breakdown in the aftermath of the war. Torn between duty to her family and dreams of her own.

Evie Stone:  In the first class of female students from Cambridge permitted to earn a degree, Evie was denied an academic position in favor of her less accomplished male rival. Now she’s working at Bloomsbury Books while she plans to remake her own future.

As they interact with various literary figures of the time – Daphne Du Maurier, Ellen Doubleday, Sonia Blair (widow of George Orwell), Samuel Beckett, Peggy Guggenheim, and others – these three women with their complex web of relationships, goals and dreams are all working to plot out a future that is richer and more rewarding than anything society will allow.

 Doesn’t this sound great?

Quotes From Author, Natalie Jenner

“I never intended for Evie Stone to be a major character in my debut novel, let alone inspire my second one, Bloomsbury Girls. But as time went on, I found I could not leave her behind in Chawton with the other society members. And then one day I rewatched a favourite movie, 84 Charing Cross Road, and I remember thinking, there’s a whole other story in here still to be told, of an upstairs-downstairs motley crew of booksellers, and right away the figures came to life.”

“As with The Jane Austen Society, Bloomsbury Girls features multiple characters and storylines revolving around one very charming location: this time, the quintessential Dickensian-type bookshop.”

“If The Jane Austen Society was the book I wrote when I was coming out of sadness, Bloomsbury Girls was written when I was very happy, and I hope it provides a little cheer to readers during this difficult time.

Meet the Author, Natalie Jenner

Author Natalie JennerNatalie Jenner is the author of two books, the instant international bestseller THE JANE AUSTEN SOCIETY and BLOOMSBURY GIRLS. A Goodreads Choice Award finalist for best debut novel and historical fiction, THE JANE AUSTEN SOCIETY was a USA Today and #1 national bestseller and has been sold for translation in twenty countries. Born in England and raised in Canada, Natalie has been a corporate lawyer, a career coach and, most recently, an independent bookstore owner in Oakville, Ontario, where she lives with her family and two rescue dogs.

Cover Reveal!

Do you love the cover?

Bloomsbury Girls by Natalie Jenner (cover) Image: three young women walking arm in arm toward the camera, pinkish/red text and a large pinkish/red blooming flower in the lower left corner

I already have Bloomsbury Girls on my Spring 2022 TBR! Look for my review on or near 5/17/2022.

What a pretty set these two books make!



QOTD:

Have you read The Jane Austen Society or is it on your TBR?

If you’ve read Jane Austen Society, does Bloomsbury Girls sound interesting?



Happy Reading Book Buddies!

“Ah, how good it is to be among people who are reading.”
~Rainer Maria Rilke

“I love the world of words, where life and literature connect.”
~Denise J Hughes

“Reading good books ruins you for enjoying bad ones.”
~Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society

“I read because books are a form of transportation, of teaching, and of connection! Books take us to places we’ve never been, they teach us about our world, and they help us to understand human experience.”
~Madeleine Riley, Top Shelf Text



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

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Meet Me in Monaco [Book Review] #ThrowBackThursday

August 26, 2021

Meet Me in Monaco by Hazel Gaynor and Heather Webb
#throwbackthursday

Meet Me in Monaco Review

Genre/Categories/Setting:  Romantic Historical Fiction, Royalty, Monaco (the French Riviera)

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 romantic historical fiction, Meet Me in Monaco by Hazel Gaynor and Heather Webb.

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

*This post contains Amazon affiliate links.

My Summary:

Grace Kelly, Hollywood actress, and Prince Rainier of Monaco meet in the 1950s at the Cannes Film Festival, and their story is the backdrop of this imagined love story of a perfumer, Sophie Duval, and a British press photographer, James Henderson. As Sophie develops an exclusive perfume for Grace Kelly and James is an assigned photographer, the wedding of Grace Kelly and Prince Rainer is the setting for the bittersweet and sometimes star-crossed romance of Sophie and James.

The subtitle needs some explanation in that this is a story INSPIRED by the Grace Kelly and Prince Rainier wedding; the wedding is simply a backdrop and not the primary story.

“To be a parfumeur is to be a keeper of memories, Sophie. Every scent will remind you of something, or someone.” 

Continue here for my full review of Meet Me in Monaco…



QOTD:

Have you read Meet Me in Monaco or is it on your TBR?