The Forgotten Family Of Liverpool

I love WWII whether it’s novels, or memoirs. The  Forgotten Family Of Liverpool is set in England where Dora dealing with the fall out of her marriage to Joe due to him being unfaithful with a coworker named Ivy. Dora and Joe have two daughters. Their daughters Jackie and Carol have their preferred parent. Jackie, the youngest likes her mom best and Carol, the eldest prefers her dad. When a unknown person reports that Carol isn’t safe to live with Dora her eldest is made to go live with Joe. Dora has postpartum depression she struggled with in the past, but with a new start she’s determined to get custody back. The challenge is that Joe wants her back. He’s asked forgiveness countless times, but Dora is too, burnt by his betrayal. When Dora’s mom is injured one day by an unknown individual, Dora wonders if there’s someone out to get her and her family. Thankfully Dora lands a job as a seamstress for a sweet elderly couple who become like second parents to her and surrogate grandparents to Jackie and Carol. This family drama has many twists and turns. 

If you enjoy this era and anything British this might be a great book for you. There are so many British expressions and words I had to bust out my dictionary. Not knowing lots of British expressions it was quite an educational read. It felt a tad slow paced till then. I would like to read the next book in the series, not to mention the first book. I received this ARC for free as a courtesy from NetGalley for my honest review. If you would like a copy of this book it comes out this Wednesday, July 26, 2017.

Letters To The Lost

The cover of this book caught my attention. Reading the inside blurb intrigued me even further. Letters Of The Lost is a story about family and what happens when life happens, when you aren’t quiet sure if there is any normalcy left. This novel is also, about friendship. It’s about new friends, old friends and friends you didn’t realize you had. This book had the perfect blend of humor, suspense, twists and turns. Juliet and Declan are two characters that won’t be forgotten any time soon. I hope this will be made into a movie. I got this from the library, but I definitely want to add it to my keeper collection. Thank you for writing such a lovely book Brigid. 

Love That Boy

A book about the relationship between a father and son sounded just right to me. Love That Boy is about political columnist Ron Fournier and his son Tyler’s relationship. Like every father out there Ron has expectations and hopes for his kids, but Tyler is unique in his own way. Not until he’s 12 do his parents find out that Tyler has Aspergers. This memoir is Ron’s journey to understand Tyler better and learn how to be a better parent through going on a Presidential themed road trip with Tyler. 

If you’ve struggled with feeling like you can’t measure up to your parent’s expectations then this book might make you feel better. Growing up I always felt like I couldn’t measure up to my own dad’s expectations for me. Sometimes praise felt hollow or forced, or worse I felt patronized. Who doesn’t hate feeling that way? 

Ron’s memoir is candid and provides a lot of fatherly insight into how it can be hard to relate to a child when you have polar opposite interests. You are an extrovert and your son is an introvert. I’m a mix of both intro and extrovert, but my dad is more extrovert. He can’t understand that after a few hours of intense socializing I need my me alone time or watch out for cranky lady. 

I think this book will help parents no matter if their child is special needs or not. I think this book gives great insight into a parent’s internal struggle in trying to relate to their child. It’s good to see the viewpoint from the parent and not just the child. I received Love That Boy, from Blogging For Books in exchange for my honest assessment.

All Our Waves Are Water 


I didn’t even read the blurb about All Our Waves Are Water by Jaimal Yogis. All I knew was it was a memoir and I love memoirs. This book is about Jaimal and his search for life’s meaning through going on trips to India, Bali, San Francisco, etc. He was raised Buddhist by his parents, but throughout his schooling he is exposed to other faiths and beliefs. Jaimal discovers that the scared can be found in many other faiths, even places he didn’t expect like the wailing wall in Jerusalem. He also, discovers that the most unlikely people can wake you up to realize what you truly have when you all you feel is blah about your life. One love of Jaimal’s life is surfing. It’s his way to regroup, get exercise and hone his surfing skills. He uses surfing as a way to describe how he has found the meaning of life.

At first this book was alright, but nearing the end I got sucked in and then I was on the last page wanting to read more. This book made me laugh and think outside the box. I’ve never been surfing, but after this book I might want to be brave and try it one day. I received my free ARC copy of All Our Waves Are Water  from TLC Book Tours in exchange for my honest assessment. If you are interested to get your own copy click here to purchase it from HarperCollins.

Max

Looking for a new book this cover stood out. My first reaction was, “What the?” The image of a baby with a Swastika armband on seemed like a twisted joke for a sadistic novel. Since WWII is one of my fave subjects to read about I just had to purchase this book.

Max’s story sucks you in from page one. He gives his unabashed viewpoint from prebirth to his delivery into the world. He is a special baby because Max was born as part of the Lebensborn program in Germany. His mother and father were hand picked, the finest German examples of a man and woman to produce a perfect German child. The blonder the hair and bluer the eyes the better. Max is a control freak from his birth onward. He is gifted and has been gleaming his education through his mother’s tummy. His anxiety at being born is eased when he arrives perfectly on the Fuhrer’s Birthday.

Max is brought up in this program at a special home of sorts for other perfectly bread German babies. The ones that don’t pan out as perfect are whisked away. Max is taken to a special, secret school where he will be trained further to be ready for the Hitler Youth. Max is rarely shown affection except for when his mother and other women at the home breast fed him. Hugs are foreign to Max.

At the school Max meets Lukas whose older, but appears as though he could pass for his older brother. Lukas is another perfect example of a German male. Max is transfixed by Lukas and his looks. Lukas is rebellious and Max chooses to help him when Lukas is being punished. Due to Max being Christianed by Hitler himself he is untouchable at the school and the staff know this.

This novel is about their friendship and what it was like for Max to grow up in the program. This is a work of fiction, but after a few Google searches a lot of people and events in this book are based off real people and events. This book is not an easy read. Max is a very blunt character who tells it like it is. Even as a baby he doesn’t mince his words. I had no idea about the Lebensborn program before I read this book. I learned new things about the war, things that were tough to read. War is ugly and this book shines the light on further shocking things from a German perspective. If you like reading about WWII this novel might be your next favorite read.

Apprenticed To Venus

I’ve been fascinated by Anais Nin for years. I’ve always meant to read her diaries, but for some reason that’s never happened. When I saw Apprenticed To Venus as an option to review the ARC for I couldn’t help myself. This memoir is about the author Tristine whose godmother was a friend of Anais and asked Tristine to bring Anais something. This errand is what sprouted a friendship between Tristine and Anais. Tristine’s memoir is about her friendship with Anais and what it was like to be mentored by her.

I was in awe of Anais. I thought she was sophisticated, pretty, elegant, sensual and quite the muse for a number of people. Once I read this book my opinion of Anais changed. She comes across as a manipulative opportunist. Then I got to thinking aren’t we all that way to some extent? Some of us are more obvious about it than others. Anais just peppered hers with flattery and support through offering her friendship.

Tristine is enamored by Anais and yearns to be like her, to gain her approval. This brought to mind that we all have one person in our lives who we admire and want approval from. We spend our lives cowtowing to said individual and in the process we loose who we are. We are so caught up in wanting to be like this particular person our own sense of self goes right out the window. I, myself have had such a friend I was enamored with. I was so focused on getting her to like me, shower me with her praise that I ceased being me. Not until I backed away from this deep friendship did I start to rebuild who I was apart from her. It’s too, easy and convenient to fall back into the groupie mentality and not develop who are, so we can compliment the other person. This memoir explores this topic in depth and shows how much of our life can be so wrapped up in another we loose who we are as an individual for years. Lost years we can’t get back.

This book also, discussed that no matter how a close friend may wound you, you can still love them fiercely and not give up on their friendship. Tristine’s account is raw, moving and honest. Her account of Anais’ life is spellbounding. I know my thoughts about Anais fluctuated through out the book. Just when you want to throw in the towel Anais pulls you back in to insist you still love her.

If you are interested in Anais Nin I do recommend this book. It goes on sale this month on the 11th. I was provided the ARC care of NetGalley in exchange for my review.

In The Days Of Rain

In The Days Of Rain, is about Rebecca Stott and how she pieces together her father’s life in the Brethren cult. Rebecca was raised from birth only knowing the Brethren’s rules and ways of life. Before her father passes on he asks her to complete his memoir. Having left the cult with her family when she was a child Rebecca isn’t keen on going down memory lane, but wants to fully share her father’s story no matter how hard it is.

This memoir describes what life was like in the Brethren. Everything outside their close knit group was forbidden: TV, news, worldly people, books that were not approved, movies, etc. As a child Rebecca was caught up in thinking about the Rapture when Jesus would be returning to take all the Brethren to Heaven. This book not only describes what life was like, but about how being in such a controlled spiritual environment fractured relationships and one’s sense of self. Her father was the head of the household and had a bad temper. Rebecca never understood why until she dug deeper into her father’s past and what being a preacher in the Brethren was like for him. Rebecca never knew what it was like to voice her own opinion growing up. Women were to keep quiet and not question anything.  It took years for Rebecca to learn how to voice her own opinion and to patch up her relationship with her father.

For some reason this topic fascinates me. I can see why cults lure people. People like having spiritual matters laid out in black and white. Being told what to believe, how to act, dress and think is easier than having to make your own decisions. A few years ago I experienced what might be termed as an online Christian cult of sorts. I was enthralled by a particular Christian YouTuber. I befriended this woman, but as soon as I started being honest about red flags I was seeing I got disfellowshiped and unfriended. That is unless I had a prayer request, then by all means it was ok to contact this woman. At the time I discovered and befriended this woman I was spiritually vulnerable and spiritually hungry, so of course I gobbled up what she said. I followed her hook line and sinker. Sadly she burnt me. I thought I had a genuine sister in Christ, but instead I got black listed by her. Sadly there are others out there that had the same thing happen to them. One minute you are a blessing from God and the next you are not a true saved follower of Jesus. I can see why Rebecca’s Faith didn’t survive her cult indoctrination. It’s sad her faith didn’t survive her upbringing, but I don’t blame her for guarding her heart.

I received an ARC of In The Days Of Rain by Rebecca Stott for free from Blogging for Books in exchange for my honest review. If you’ve been raised in a cult this book may be too, much of a trigger, but it also, may help you sort through your own journey whether you are still inside the cult, or are free from it.