Book Review · Books

Body Leaping Backward

I’m a 70’s baby, so I don’t remember that era. Maureen Stanton does a fantastic job of bring that decade to life in her memoir: Body Leaping Backward. Maureen’s world is broken the day her parents gather her and her many siblings to tell them that they are separating. With her father out of the house Maureen is left to her own devices. This equals trouble as she becomes addicted to the drug Angel Dust.

Maureen brings the 70’s into full color with all its quirky traits. She’s in high school when she becomes addicted. Her candid description of being high before, during and after school is eye opening. If you need a drug deterrent then her memoir is just the cure you’ll need to steer clear. Maureen doesn’t sugarcoat ANYTHING. She shows how addiction put a veil over her life and being able to honestly deal with the emotions of her parents divorce, the swirl of adolescence and school life.

This book isn’t long in length, but deep in content. At first I found it ok, but the further I got into Maureen’s memoir the more I wanted to see what became of her. Thank you Maureen for baring your soul on the page. One thing I gleaned is how important it is to keep a diary and not chuck them because they are your recorded history and a window into your past, in your own words.

I received my complimentary copy of Body Leaping Backward by Maureen Stanton from Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, care of TLC Book Tours. The views are mine and of my own will. To find out more about the author, check out her website and go grab yourself a copy here.

Book Review · Books

The Clergyman’s Wife

Charlotte Collins is the wife of a local vicar. Her husband is caught up with what their landlady, Lady Catherine deems appropriate for high society. Charlotte is more concerned with taking care of their daughter and learning the ropes of being a vicar’s wife. She misses her family back home, but their maid Martha keeps her company while Charlotte’s husband is in his book room writing his sermons.

When Charlotte’s husband summons’s the farmer, Mr. Travis’s son to help plant roses for them, Charlotte meets a new possible kindred spirit, but decorum persists. Over time by visiting old Mr. Travis she sees how he enjoys getting to see her little daughter and how kind his son is. They speak occasionally at church and when they bump into each other on walks.

Over time Charlotte discovers she has more than friendship feelings for Mr. Travis’s son. Unlike her sister, Maria who married for love, Charlotte married out of convenience since her husband, William was the only eligible bachelor and a good social catch. Charlotte is ashamed about the feelings that are welling up for her regarding their neighbor. She senses Mr. Travis’s son has mutual feelings, but they are both conscious of what’s appropriate when interacting. It’s hard when there are nosey town neighbors spreading gossip.

This novel made me thankful I’m a women in modern times. The view of women and wives in this older era is depressing. It shows how back then marriage was a contract between esteemed families and depending on who you paired up with reflected back on your family’s status within the community. Marrying for love was not the priority and I think looked down upon. Or matching from different social classes was another huge no, no. If you never found a decent marital match then you were left to live at home indefinitely.

I received my complimentary copy of The Clergyman’s Wife by Molly Greeley from William Morrow, care of TLC Book Tours. The views are mine and of my own will. To procure a copy visit HarperCollins and check out more on Molly Greeley. If you enjoy Victorian era novels then you may enjoy this debut novel. Unfortunately, this one wasn’t my cup of tea, but it did provide a clear example of Victorian life.

Book Review · Books

How Languages Saved Me

I have a soft spot for Poland. I am not even Polish. I also, have had an intense interest in reading about World War II; which I have done since fourth grade after being loaned Escape From Warsaw. If you are like me and like to read memoirs set during WWII then I recommend you go find a copy of How Languages Saved Me.

This short memoir is about Tadeusz Haska who had a hard life growing up in Poland. Him and his brother are orphaned at a young age. When the war started he discovered how tricky it is to keep under the SS radar being that he was an intellectual, but couldn’t appear as such. Thankfully he knew 9 languages which helped him assist others in keeping up to date on the news of the war. When he met his lovely wife, Jadwiga he had to figure out a way to get her out of Poland. At the time he had escaped to Sweden. Tad’s journey through the war is an adventure you won’t forget.

I received my complimentary copy of How Languages Saved Me by Tadeusz and Stefanie Naumann from Koehler Books, care of Smith Publicity. The views are mine and of my own choice. This memoir is brief, but full of adventure, action, romance, challenges and most of all filled with a love for life.

Book Review · Books

Postmark Berlin

Father Burke was at the pub drinking away his worries while Meika Keller was needing to speak with him. Why ten at night? The next morning she is found dead, floating in the water of the Halifax coast. Father Burke is overcome with remorse. His gift of sight doesn’t help him sleep at night when all he can see is her expression as she’s floating in the water.

Why would Meika be killed off or kill herself off? From outer appearances she seemed to have a wonderful life teaching at a prestigious university, her stepchildren adored her, as did her husband. Who would want such an accomplished, beautiful woman dead?

Father Burke knows a little bit of her past from Meika sharing with him that she’d escaped East Germany in the 70’s and that her daughter had not survived the escape. He decides he wants to figure out why she died. His conscious won’t let him rest till he figures out the mystery. Father Burke decides to travel to Germany with his brother Terry after they discover that Meika received a cryptic postcard from Germany.

Father Burke is not only dealing with Meika’s sudden death, but the drama at the school where he teaches music. He has one troublesome student who thinks he can get away with bullying since his parents are one of the main financial donors. One of his students, Normie is a young girl who cares about her priest and is worried about how much he’s known to drink. Will Father Burke be able to cut back on his addiction?

I received my complimentary digital copy of Postmark Berlin by Anne Emery from Baker and Taylor Publishing Services, care of NetGalley. The views are mine and of my own choice. This novel is filled with twists and turns that will keep you reading to find out what happened to Meika. This novel was a tad long, but interesting enough to keep you guessing what happened. The characters are complex and interesting. I will have to read the other books in the Father Burke series.