The Summer House [Book Review]

June 2, 2020

The Summer House by Lauren K Denton

The Summer House by Lauren K Denton (cover) Image: a blue wooden swing on a wide white porch

Genre/Categories: Light Contemporary Women’s Fiction, Southern Fiction, Uplit, Divorce

*This post contains Amazon affiliate links.

Summary:

Thanks, @thomasnelson #netgalley for the complimentary e copy of #thesummerhouse. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.

From the author of Hurricane Season and Glory Road…

Lily is devastated to find a goodbye note and signed divorce papers on the kitchen table when she awakens. Before her brief marriage, she was a hairstylist, and she contemplates the possibility of leveraging this skill to make a fresh start. By chance, she notices a flyer advertising the need for a hairstylist in a nearby retirement community. Desperate for a job, she makes the call and shows up for the interview and also negotiates for the apartment above the salon.

My Thoughts:

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Sea Wife [Book Review]

May 1, 2020
“May Day”

Sea Wife by Amity Gaige

Sea Wife by Amity Gaige (cover) Image: a lagoon in the foreground and ocean expanse in the background

Genre/Categories: Contemporary Fiction, Family Life, Sea Life

*This post contains Amazon affiliate links.

Summary:

Thanks, #netgalley #knophpublishinggroup for granting my request for a free eARC of #seawife by Amity Gaige. All opinions are my own.

Juliet and Michael are disillusioned with work, life, and marriage for individual reasons, and even though they are novice sailors, they set out for a yearlong sailing venture with their two young children. Things are fine at first until the unexpected happens.

My Thoughts:

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#throwbackthursday Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng [Book Review]

April 30, 2020

Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng
#throwbackthursday

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

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 sharing my review of Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng.

Little Fires Everywhere is now a movie adaptation on Hulu. Have you seen it?

*This post contains Amazon affiliate links.

Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng (cover) I/mage: birdseye view of a pristine upper class neighborhood

Genre: Contemporary Women’s Fiction

My Summary:

Shaker Heights, a suburb of Cleveland, Ohio (yes, it’s a real place), strives to be a perfect planned community. In the words of the author there is a “propensity to over achieve and a deep intolerance for flaws…a utopia.” Every winding road is thoughtfully laid out, the list of house colors is a strict, guideline, trash pickup is conducted in the alleys and all trash cans are out of sight, and tradition is revered and informs the future. Generations of Elena Richardson’s family have lived in Shaker Heights, and she ensures that her family follows the rules and lives up to expectations. All through her life she has followed the rules and this is wholeheartedly embraced as her highest value. Part of her personal code of following the rules is giving back to those that are less fortunate whenever she can, and she’s the type who keeps a mental list of her good deeds. Elena especially wants to use her inherited rental property near her home to benefit others. She earnestly seeks out renters that could gain from the advantage of living in her perfect neighborhood in Shaker Heights. Mia Warren, a free-spirited artistic non-rule follower, and her teenage daughter, Pearl, are the most recent beneficiaries of Mrs. Richardson’s benevolence. Although when Mia is less than grateful for Mrs. Richardson’s offer to buy one of Mia’s photographs, Elena Richardson makes a mental note and this slight continues to bother her and becomes motivation for her future relationship with Mia:

“That’s very generous of you,” Mia’s eyes slid toward the window briefly and Mrs. Richardson felt a twinge of irritation at this lukewarm response to her philanthropy.

As the story unfolds, the two families become more involved with each other rather than simply remaining tenant and landlord. Soon the children become friends, Pearl spends her afternoons at the Richardson home, and Mia accepts a part-time position as a light house keeper and cook for the Richardson family.  Izzy Richardson, a teenage child who shares Mia’s artistic interests and temperament, and Mia develop a close relationship while Izzy learns photography skills in Mia’s darkroom. When one of Mrs. Richardson’s best friends is in the process of adopting a Chinese-American child,  the community is divided on the ethical issues and Elena Richardson and Mia Warren find themselves on opposite sides of the custody battle between the birth mother and adoptive mother. This conflict triggers Mrs. Richardson to find out about Mia’s motivations, her secrets, and her mysterious past. All of this has devastating consequences for the two families.

Are you a rule follower or a free spirit? Do you believe that following all the rules will lead to a happy and successful life?

Continue reading my review of Little Fires Everywhere….

QOTD: Have you read Little Fires Everywhere or is it on your TBR?

#throwbackthursday America’s First Daughter by Stephanie Dray and Laura Kamoie

April 2, 2020

America’s First Daughter by Stephanie Dray and Laura Kamoie
#throwbackthursday

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

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 sharing my review of America’s First Daughter by Stephanie Dray and Laura Kamoie….a favorite histfic read. Enjoy!

*This post contains Amazon affiliate links.

America's First Daughter by Staphanie Dray and Laura Kamoie (coveer)

Genre/Categories: Historical Fiction, U.S. History, Biographical

My Summary:

Sacrifice … Devotion … Hardship … Privilege … Grit

A fast-paced read, this well-researched novel draws from thousands of letters and original sources as it tells the story of Thomas Jefferson’s eldest daughter, Martha “Patsy” Jefferson Randolph. Patsy shares her father’s devotion to their country and becomes his partner, protector, and loyal companion after the death of her mother. As a young girl, she travels with him to Paris when he becomes the American minister to France, and it is here she eventually learns of his relationship with Sally Hemings, a slave girl about her own age. According to the authors, it’s during these Paris years that Patsy falls in love with William Short, her father’s assistant and protégé who is an abolitionist and aspiring diplomat. Patsy is torn between love, principles, and family loyalty, and she questions whether she can be married to William and remain devoted to her father. Filled with thoughtful themes, this is a story of sacrifice and grit as Patsy tirelessly protects her father’s reputation and supports him as he guides and leads the nation he helped found.

Click here to continue reading my review of America’s First Daughter….

QOTD: Have you read America’s First Daughter or is it on your TBR?

#throwbackthursday Glass Houses Review and Inspector Gamache Series Overview

March 26, 2020

Glass Houses Review and Inspector Gamache Series Overview
#throwbackthursday

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

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 sharing my review of Glass Houses and an Inspector Gamache Series overview. Enjoy!

*This post contains Amazon affiliate links.

Glass Houses by Louise Penny (cover)

Genre/Categories: fiction, mystery, detective, suspense, Canadian

My Summary:

A mysterious figure appears in Three Pines one cold November day. Even though Armand Gamache and the rest of the villagers are curious at first, they soon become wary. The figure stands unmoving through the fog, sleet, rain, and cold, staring straight ahead. Chief Inspector Gamache, now Chief Superintendent of the Sûreté du Québec, suspects the mysterious figure has a unique history and a dark purpose. However, Gamache’s hands are tied because the figure hasn’t committed a crime, so he watches and waits. The villagers are tense hoping that Gamache will do something. The figure’s costume is historically tied to someone who acts as a “conscience” and comes to put pressure on an individual to pay a debt. Naturally, people in the village, including Gamache, start to examine their own consciences and wonder if the figure has come for them. Suddenly, the figure vanishes overnight and a body is discovered, and the investigation commences. This story is told in two timelines: the November timeline when the murder took place and later in July as the trial for the accused begins. In typical Penny style, more is happening on a larger scale than just the trial. Gamache wrestles with his own conscience, the decisions he has made, and the personal consequences he will pay.

Click here to continue reading my review of Glass Houses and a series overview….

QOTD: Have you read Glass Houses or is it on your TBR?

This Won’t End Well: A Review

March 6, 2020

This Won’t End Well by Camille Pagán

This Won't End Well (cover) .... a young woman peeking through some bushes

Genre/Categories: Contemporary Women’s Fiction

*This post contains Amazon affiliate links.

Thank Jaymi @ Orange County Readers for the free copy! All opinions are my own.

Summary:

No new people….

In the long tradition of other beloved, quirky characters, Annie Mercer feels best when she limits her interactions with new people. As a scientist, she analyzes her life experiences through the lens of science. Suddenly her organized life is turned upside down: she loses her job, curiosity about a new neighbor consumes her, her fiance takes a leave of absence, and a personable and charismatic private investigator surprises her. Ultimately Annie is faced with some big, life-changing decisions.

My Thoughts:

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The Winemaker’s Wife: A Review

February 26, 2020

The Winemaker’s Wife by Kristin Harmel

The Winemaker's Wife by Kristin Harmel (cover)

Genre/Categories: Historical Fiction, WW11, France

*This post contains Amazon affiliate links.

Summary:

Told from multiple perspectives and in a past and present timeline, The Winemaker’s Wife is a story of secrets, survival, guilt, and love.

Through the perspectives of Inès and Céline, we experience the intrigue of their daily lives before and during the German invasion of France during WW11; we learn details of the champagne production at the (fictional) Maison Chauveau in northern France near the city of Reims; and we also hear a little about the French resistance (hiding munitions and Jews). An alternate present-day timeline shares the story of Liv who is mysteriously whisked away from her home in New York to France by her eccentric grandmother. There are secrets from the past to be revealed.

My Thoughts:

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The Girl With the Louding Voice: A Review

February 14, 2020

On Valentine’s Day (U.S.), a love letter of hope and encouragement to girls worldwide who are dreaming and striving to use their own Louding Voices!

 The Girl With the Louding Voice: by Abi Daré

The Girl With the Louding Voice by Abi Dare (cover)

Genre/Categories: Contemporary Women’s Fiction, Nigeria, Oppression, Women’s Rights

*This post contains Amazon affiliate links.

Summary:

“Tomorrow will be better than today. I have value and I’m important.”

Life for a woman is not easy in Nigeria. Adunni’s mom plants the thought of having a “voice” in her spirit. Fourteen-year-old Adunni is determined to fight for her voice to be heard and for her future despite being sold as a third wife. Even when she runs away, she finds herself in another powerless position of servitude. Adunni is introduced to a more modern woman who befriends her and encourages her to keep hope alive and to think of herself as important and having value.

My Thoughts:

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Celebrate Friendship With Books on Galentine’s Day

February 12, 2020

A collage of flowers and a book's pages opened in the shape of a heart and the words "Celebrate Friendship on Galentine's Day"

Books Recommendations With Strong Friendship Themes For Galentine’s Day

If you need a thoughtful, bookish gift for a Galentine, here are ten books with strong friendship themes (all written by women) that I can confidently and wholeheartedly recommend for an enjoyable and appreciated reading experience for most bookworms.

Top Ten Tuesday (meme)

I’m linking up today with That Artsy Reader Girl for TTT: Valentine Freebie.

Titles are Amazon affiliate links and my reviews are linked.
(in no particular order)

The Printed Letter Bookshop by Katherine Reay

The Printed Letter Bookshop by Katherine Reay (cover)

My new favorite book about books! Strong and heartfelt themes of friendship and forgiveness. 4.5 stars (5 rounded up)

Full Review Here


The Island of Sea Women by Lisa See

The Island of Sea Women by Lisa See (cover)

A strong community of women working together in dangerous conditions to support their families. 4 Stars

Full Review Here


The Beantown Girls by Jane Healey

The Beantown Girls by Jane Healey (cover)

Three best friends join the war effort (some profanity). 4.5 Stars

Full Review Here


The Wartime Sisters by Lynda Cohen Loigman

The Wartime Sisters by Lynda Cohen Loigman (cover)

Friends and found family. 4 Stars

Full Review Here


The Chilbury Ladies’ Choir by Jennifer Ryan

The Chilbury Ladies' Choir by Jennifer Ryan (cover)

Women in the community join together during wartime. 4 stars

Full Review Here


Lost Roses by Martha Hall Kelly

Lost Roses by Martha Hall Kelly (cover)

A compelling story of friendship and survival. 5 stars

Full Review Here


Paper Hearts by Meg Wiviott

Paper Hearts by Meg Wiviott (cover)

One of my favorite WW11 histfic stories (free verse, YA). 5 Stars

Full Review Here


The Gown by Jennifer Robson

The Gown by Jennifer Robson (cover)

Finding friendship while working on Queen Elizabeth’s gown (histfic). 4.5 Stars

Full Review Here


Tell Me More by Kelly Corrigan

Tell Me More by Kelly Corrigan (cover)

Poignant reflections on life and a deep friendship (nonfiction, memoir). 4 stars

Full Review Here


The Orphan’s Tale by Pam Jenoff

The Orphan's Tale by Pam Jenoff (cover)

A harrowing tale of friendship and survival as the circus meets WW11. 4 Stars

Full Review Here



I "heart" books (books spelled out in book stacks)



More Valentine/Galentine Gifting Ideas

TTT: Book Gifts For a Galentine or Valentine

Last year’s Galentine Post for more book ideas.

The Caffeinated Bibliophile also has a list of Christian romantic reads in her post Ten Christian Romance Books to Read for Valentine’s Day.



QOTD:

Are you buying a gift for Galentine’s or Valentine’s this year?

If you have questions about any of the recommendations, or if you’d like a recommendation for a different genre, I’d be happy to answer in the comments or in email. 



Happy Reading Book Buddies!

image of a girl reading with one hand while pulling a wagon piled high with books

“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



ICYMI:

Black History Month: 10 Memorable Reads

 Why getting lost in a book is so good for you according to science!

Winter TBR (update)



In Movie News….

Rebecca by Daphne Du Maurier (cover)

I just read about a Netflix remake of the classic Rebecca by Daphne Du Maurier



Let’s Get Social!

Thank you for visiting and reading today! I’d be honored and thrilled if you choose to enjoy and follow along (see subscribe or follow option), promote, and/or share my blog. Every share helps us grow.

Find me at:
Twitter
Instagram
Goodreads
Pinterest



***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.

Book Cover and author photo are credited to Amazon or an author’s (or publisher’s) website.

 

Book Gifts For A Galentine (or Valentine)

February 11, 2020

a collage of flowers and a book's pages opened in the shape of a heart and the words "Book Gifts For Your Galentines"

Books are wonderful last minute, thoughtful gifts for Galentines or Valentines!

If you need a bookish gift for a Galentine/Valentine or for yourself this week, here are ten of my most recent, favorite fiction reads (all by women authors) that I can confidently and wholeheartedly recommend for an enjoyable and appreciated reading experience for most readers. In fact, you could print out this list or send it to your significant other and say “surprise me!”

(no particular order, reviews linked)

Top Ten Tuesday (meme)

Today I’m linking up with That Artsy Reader Girl for Top Ten Tuesday: Valentine Freebie.

Titles are Amazon affiliate links and my reviews are linked.
(in no particular order)

The Printed Letter Bookshop by Katherine Reay

The Printed Letter Bookshop by Katherine Reay (cover)

My new favorite book about books! Strong and heartfelt themes of friendship and forgiveness. 4.5 stars (5 rounded up)

Full Review Here


The Stationery Shop by Marjan Kamali

The Stationery Shop by Marjan Kamali (cover)

Heartfelt love story (diverse read). 4 Stars

Full Review Here


The Things We Cannot Say by Kelly Rimmer

The Things We Cannot Say by Kelly Rimmer (cover)

A poignant granddaughter/grandmother story and search for family history and lost love (WW11 histfic). 4.5 Stars

Full Review Here


Big Lies in a Small Town by Diane Chamberlain

Big Lies in a Small Town by Diane Chamberlain (cover)

Engaging light histfic and a little mystery. 4 Stars

Full Review Here


The Medallion by Cathy Gohlke

The Medallion by Cathy Gohlke (cover)

An unputdownable story of survival and sacrifice (WW11 histfic). 4 stars

Full Review Here


Dearly Beloved by Cara Wall

Dearly Beloved by Cara Wall (cover)

A compelling story of friendship and faith. 5 stars (a favorite of 2019)

Full Review Here


If You Want to Make God Laugh by Bianca Marais

If You Want to Make God Laugh by Bianca Marais (cover)

An unputdownable story of three strong women living in post-Apartheid South Africa (diverse read). 4 Stars

Full Review Here


Meet Me in Monaco by Hazel Gaynor and Heather Webb

Meet Me in Monaco by Hazel Gaynor and Heather Webb (cover)

Perfume, romance, and celebrity sightings. 4 Stars

Full Review Here


Maybe You Should Talk to Someone by Lori Gottlieb

Maybe You Should Talk to Someone by Lori Gottlieb (cover)

Engaging stories involving therapy experiences (nonfiction, memoir). 5 stars

Full Review Here


The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek by Kim Michele Richardson

The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek by Kim Michele Richardson (cover)

My favorite histfic of 2019 (the heaviest of all the titles on this list). 5 Stars

Full Review Here



I "heart" books (books spelled out in book stacks)



More Valentine/Galentine Gift Reading Ideas

Last year’s Galentine Post for more book ideas.

The Caffeinated Bibliophile also has a list of Christian romantic reads in her post Ten Christian Romance Books to Read for Valentine’s Day.



QOTD:

Are you buying a gift for Galentine’s or Valentine’s this year?

If you have questions about any of the recommendations, or if you’d like a recommendation for a different genre, I’d be happy to answer in the comments or in email.



Happy Reading Book Buddies!

image of a girl reading with one hand while pulling a wagon piled high with books

“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



ICYMI:

Black History Month: 10 Memorable Reads

 Why getting lost in a book is so good for you according to science!

Winter TBR (update)



In Movie News….

Rebecca by Daphne Du Maurier (cover)

I just read about a Netflix remake of the classic Rebecca by Daphne Du Maurier



Let’s Get Social!

Thank you for visiting and reading today! I’d be honored and thrilled if you choose to enjoy and follow along (see subscribe or follow option), promote, and/or share my blog. Every share helps us grow.

Find me at:
Twitter
Instagram
Goodreads
Pinterest



***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.

Book Cover and author photo are credited to Amazon or an author’s (or publisher’s) website.