Black Butterflies [Book Review]

May 4, 2022
Star Wars Day
(May the 4th be with you!)

Black Butterflies by Priscilla Morris

Black Butterflies by Priscilla Morris (cover) Image: white text over a background of colorful graphic shapes

Genre/Categories/Setting: Historical Fiction, Diverse Reads, Siege of Sarajevo

*This post contains Amazon affiliate links.

My Summary:

Thanks @BookSirens and the author/publisher for a complimentary eARC of #BlackButterflies upon my request. All opinions are my own.

In the spring of 1992, fifty-five year old Zora can’t imagine that the Siege of Sarajevo will last long. Her husband and elderly mother leave for England, and she stays behind to continue working as an artist and teacher. The situation deteriorates quickly and Zora has waited too long to leave. The places she loves are destroyed and black ashes float around. Zora joins with her friends to survive the days, offer comfort to each other, and find reasons to hope.

“Everything is better when done together. The taste of food and water, the touch when they hug each other hello. They’ve made it through one more day, each reunion a confirmation that they’re still alive.”

My Thoughts:

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Where the Lost Wander [Book Review] #ThrowBackThursday

March 24, 2022

Where the Lost Wander by Amy Harmon
#throwbackthursday

Where the Lost Wander by Amy Harmon (cover) Image: Two covered wagons crossing a prairie

Genre/Categories/Setting: Historical Fiction, Western Love Story, Westward Movement, Oregon Trail (U.S.History)

Welcome to Throwback Thursday where I highlight an older review or post a current review of an old read. Today, I’m re-sharing a page-turning historical fiction with a strong sense of place, Where the Lost Wander by Amy Harmon.

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 1853, newly widowed Naomi May sets out for the West with her family.  On the Oregon Trail which is filled with hardship, danger, and loss, she meets John Lowry. As the journey progresses and becomes more harrowing, they grow closer but their relationship is tested in intense and emotional ways.

 

Images Source: Wikipedia

A western love story that features a pioneer theme, feisty characters, and a strong sense of place…

Continue here for my full review of Where the Lost Wander..



QOTD:

Have you read Where the Lost Wander or is it on your TBR?

 

Castle of Water [Book Review] #ThrowBackThursday

March 10, 2022

Castle of Water by Dane Hucklebridge
#throwbackthursday

Castle of Water by Dane Hucklebridge (kindle propped against a softly muted floral pillow shows cover)

Genre/Categories/Setting: Contemporary Fiction, Survival, Action/Adventure, Love Story, Uninhabited Island

Welcome to Throwback Thursday where I highlight an older review or post a current review of an old read. Today, I’m re-sharing a survival story, Castle of Water by Dane Hucklebridge.

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

*This post contains Amazon affiliate links.

My Summary:

“And so it came to pass that two utterly disparate lives happened to overlap … bound together on an uninhabited island some 2,359 miles from Hawaii, 4,622 miles from Chile, and 533 miles from the nearest living soul.
Crap, as Barry liked to say.
Putain de merde, as Sophie was known to exclaim.”

Sophie, an architect and honeymooner, and Barry, disillusioned with his career in finance and seeking inspiration for his love of art end up on one very small island when their plane is hit by lightning and crashes in the middle of the South Pacific. Strangers and sole survivors and as different as night and day, Sophie and Barry wash up on a small uninhabited island and survival becomes their primary objective. Sophie and Barry draw from each other’s strengths and skills and through harrowing experiences, keep the hope of rescue alive.

 Themes of home, love, loss, sadness, perseverance, heartbreak, hope, resiliency, friendship, and desperation…

Continue here for my full review of Castle of Water…



QOTD:

Have you read Castle of Water or is it on your TBR?

 

The Girl With Seven Names [Book Review] #ThrowBackThursday

December 9,  2021

The Girl With Seven Names: Escape From North Korea by Hyeonseo Lee
#throwbackthursday

The Girl With Seven Names by Hyeonseo Lee (cover) red and black text and a headshot of a young Asian woman

Genre/Categories/Setting: Nonfiction, Memoir, Defection, Political Freedom, North Korea

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 memoir, The Girl With Seven Names by Hyeonseo Lee.

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 Girl With Seven Names, Hyeonseo Lee shares her experience as a child growing up in a high-class family in North Korea. Her home bordered China and as she became a teenager, she grew more curious about life outside of North Korea. On an impulsive lark, she decides to cross the river and sneak into China to take a peek and to visit some distant relatives. Her plan to come right back to North Korea is derailed when she receives word that it is not safe to return. For the next few years, she lives as an illegal immigrant in China, working and quickly learning the language to survive. After twelve years, she risks everything to seek asylum in South Korea and to rescue her mother and brother from North Korea. To complete her dangerous mission, she receives help from a kind and generous stranger.”

A compelling story of escape…determination…survival…family…kindness…

Continue here for my full review of The Girl With Seven Names…



QOTD:

Have you read The Girl With Seven Names or is it on your TBR?

 

The Stranger in the Lifeboat [Book Review]

December 3, 2021

The Stranger in the Lifeboat by Mitch Albom

The Stranger in the Lifeboat by Mitch Albom (cover) Image: white and red text on a dark blue background....small image of people in a red boat against a sinking white sun

Genre/Categories: Fiction, Literary Fiction, Reflection, Survival

*This post contains Amazon affiliate links.

My Summary:

What if?

What if we called on God for help and God appeared?

What then?

After a catastrophic ship explosion, a desperate group of individuals struggle to survive on a lifeboat. One of them claims to be “the Lord.” Will he help them? Save them? How will the individuals in the group react? Will they believe him? One of the passengers, Benji, keeps a journal documenting each day, reflecting on his guilt over the accident, and expressing his love for his wife. This journal is found a year later on the abandoned and empty lifeboat. This journal affects the man who found it in profound ways.

My Thoughts:

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The Night of Many Endings [Book Review] #BlogTour

October 20, 2021

The Night of Many Endings by Melissa Payne

The Night of Many Endings by Melissa Payne (cover) Image: white text over a background of shelved books

Genre/Categories/Setting: Contemporary Fiction, Colorado, Drug Addiction, Public Library

*This post contains Amazon affiliate links.

My Summary:

Welcome to my stop on the Let’s Talk Books Tour. Thanks #NetGalley #LetsTalkBooksPromo @LetsTalkBooksPromo @Getredprbooks @AmazonPublishing (Lake Union) for a complimentary eARC of #TheNightOfManyEndings by @MelissaPayne_writes upon my request. All opinions are my own.

Let's Talk Books (text plus a stack of three books inside a quote bubble

Nora Martinez is a kind and compassionate librarian in the small Colorado community of Silver Ridge. Nora has a heart for the homeless population and after work she can be found delivering blankets, coats, and food to those sleeping on city benches. She welcomes the homeless into the library to use the restroom, treats them compassionately, believes in second chances, and tries to learn their names.  Nora finds great comfort herself working in the library, and it becomes her home away from home. One reason she works tirelessly on behalf of the homeless is the concern she has for her brother who is living on the streets and is addicted to drugs. If she can’t help him, maybe she can help others. One night, a blizzard hits the small town and Nora and four others are stranded in the library overnight. As the storm rages outside, Nora and the patrons struggle to keep warm and to share their personal stories.

My Thoughts:

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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?

 

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?

The Forest of Vanishing Stars [Book Review]

July 6, 2021

The Forest of Vanishing Stars by Kristin Harmel

The Forest of Vanishing Stars by Kristin Harmel (cover) a woman wearing a red coat stands with her back to the camera looking out over a valley....planes fly overhead.....white text on the red coat)

Genre/Categories/Settings: Historical Fiction, WW11, Poland/Germany, Survival, Jewish

*This post contains Amazon affiliate links.

My Summary:

“You are a warrior. You are a hero, and a fighter, and a savior. You are a caretaker and a life giver.”

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

The Forest of Vanishing Stars is inspired by true stories of survival in the expansive forests of Poland during WW11. The movie Defiance with Daniel Craig depicts one of the largest hidden groups.

Yona is stolen from her wealthy Germany parents when she is two years old (1922) and raised in the wilderness by an elderly eccentric herbalist and visionary. In 1941 when Yona is a young woman, her kidnapper dies and she is left to fend for herself in the forest. She is surprised to stumble upon a group of Jews fleeing the Nazis. After her fear subsides, she is determined to teach the group all she knows about surviving in the forest. However, they teach her about community and friendship after living her life in isolation. Told in one straightforward timeline from one perspective, this is a story of found family, finding people to trust, and of survival.

My Thoughts:

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Sparks Like Stars [Book Review]

June 2, 2021

Sparks Like Stars by Nadia Hashimi

Sparks Like Stars by Nadia Hashimi (cover) Image: gold and white text on a black background)

Genre/Categories/Setting: Historical Fiction, Afghanistan, Asian-American Literature

*This post contains Amazon affiliate links.

My Summary:

Nadia Hashimi, the author of The Pearl That Broke Its Shell, tells the story of Sitara Zamani who lives a privileged life in Kabul Afghanistan in 1978. Sitara’s father works for the progressive president and the children from the two families play together. When Sitara is ten years old, the communists stage a coup and Sitara is the only survivor. She is smuggled out of the palace by a sympathetic guard and into the home of an American diplomat. Years later while working as a successful surgeon in America, Sitara (now known as Aryana) is confronted with her past which causes her to ask questions and awakens strong feelings of anger and revenge.

My Thoughts:

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