Book Review · Books

The Death & Life Of Eleanor Parker

Eleanor Parker wakes up one day to find herself soaked on the side of the local river. She doesn’t recall how she got there. When Eleanor goes home she can’t get warm and she can’t fall asleep either. Not recalling the night before doesn’t help.

A year earlier her brother’s girlfriend is found dead in the same river. Eleanor’s brother has been the lead suspect, though she’s sure he’s innocent. When a mutual classmate goes missing and the witch hunt starts again Eleanor is not sure who to believe. Why can’t she seem to sleep and food alludes her? Did someone try to murder Eleanor? Follow Eleanor on her journey to uncover the truth.

This novel is fast paced with twists and turns. If you love puzzles then this one is for you. This story deals with the topics of death, friendship, family, small town life and what it means to truly live again.

I received my free digital ARC copy of The Death & Life Of Eleanor Parker by Kerry Wilkinson care of NetGalley from Bookouture in exchange for my honest feedback. If you love YA mysteries and stories set in the U.K. then I recommend this novel. I couldn’t put it down. For some reason I gravitate toward first person novels. It does remind me a lot of the novel 13 Minutes, which is one of my favorites from last year.

Book Review · Books

Caroline

Growing up I was a big fan of “Little House On The Prairie.” I watched the show religiously M-F at 5pm sharp. I liked Laura, but found her sister, Mary stuffy. When I was asked if I wanted to review this historical novel, Caroline, I couldn’t resist.

Caroline is the viewpoint of Laura Ingall’s family’s move from WI to KS, but told from Laura’s mother’s stance. This novel is so detailed you feel as though you are traveling right alongside Caroline with Charles, Mary and Laura. The author, Sarah Miller’s research is detailed. One scene was so detailed regarding prepping hides to be tanned I almost got ill reading about brains being mushed to coat the hides.

I enjoyed reading this novel. The only challenge is I felt it was a tad too, long. The detail is excellent, but for that long of a book I’d almost want to read a biography on the subject. The realism of venturing out on the prairie is very vivid. The author took great care in explaining the little details of pioneer life. It makes me sit in awe how people could survive with such basic provisions and in modern times we are spoiled with an over abundance.

I received my free copy of Caroline by Sarah Miller care of TLC Book Tours from William Morrow in exchange for my honest feedback. If you would like purchase this title go grab a copy from HarperCollins and to read more about the author check out her website.

Book Review · Books

Discovery

I enjoy historical fiction and Christian historical fiction sounded different from what I normally read. This short novel is about the relationship between Dr. Giselle Gelis and Dr. David Rettig who are both researching Maria Madeline. Giselle from a Christian view point and David from his skeptics, archeologist stance. It mirrors their relationship with Abbe Francois Berenger Sauniere and Marie, whose the daughter of the family he stays with. Both couples want to discover the truth about Maria Madeline.

Giselle Meets David at a biblical conference where they both sense there is a romantic spark between them. Giselle is reserved at first because of being burnt by men in her past. David is thrilled, but understanding that they have opposite spiritual views.

I have never done any research on Maria Magdalena, but reading this novel makes me want to do more research about her. She has been known as the prostitute in the Biblical narrative. When Abbe Francois Berenger Sauniere begins to rebuild the church named after her he discovers more than he bargained for. When he asks to have what he’s discovered to be translated he realizes that he’s being kept quiet. Who would see what he discovered as a threat to the church and why?

I received my free paperback copy of Discovery by Leslie Schweitzer Miller for free from Smith Publicity in exchange for my honest feedback on this novel. My feedback is strictly my own. This novel is sweetly written, humorous at times, romantic, fascinating and makes the world of France come alive both in modern times and the 19th century.

Book Review · Books

Where Hope Begins

Some beautiful book covers are just that. Beautiful. The innards don’t always mirror the outer. Where Hope Begins by Catherine West is a book I asked to review because I thought the cover was gorgeous. The cover didn’t remotely prepare me for the depth of the story waiting for me.

Savannah is a mother still reeling from the untimely passing of her eldest daughter when her husband, Kevin, decides he wants to separate. He had an affair and decides to move out to go live with the other woman. To help herself heal and move forward, Savannah decides to go stay at her parent’s cabin.

She discovers she has nice neighbors to keep her company. One of the neighbors is Maisy, a little girl who looks so much like her late daughter. Savannah is captivated by Maisy’s Dad, Brock, not realizing who he actually is. Through her neighbor’s friendship she begins to heal her broken heart. Brock’s Aunt Clarice keeps Savannah on her toes spiritually, seeming to know so much without Savannah having to say a word.

Savannah feels like her life is finally showing signs of healing when Kevin wants back in. Will Savannah let him? How can you forgive someone you love and trust after betrayal? Is it possible for a family to be repaired? Can a family move forward after the loss of a child?

This novel tackles so many tough topics that are realistically portrayed through Savannah’s story: marriage, betrayal, death, faith, love, hope, family, relationships, friendship and more. This novel will stick with you long after the last page. I wish there was a sequel. Better yet a movie.

I received my free paperback ARC copy of Where Hope Begins by Catherine West for free from TLC Book Tours care of Thomas Nelson in exchange for honest review. To learn more about this talented author check out her website and buy a copy from Amazon.

Book Review · Books

It Takes Death To Reach A Star

If you love Game Of Thrones and are into futuristic sci-fi novels then, It Takes Death To Reach A Star May be the novel for you. I never read sci-fi, but this novel has encouraged me to start reading more from this genre. This novel follows the paths of Mila and Demitri who are thrown together when their worlds collide after the Third World War. This war wiped out many people with the NBD, or new Black Death epidemic. Mila is a Robust and Demotri is a Gracile. These two groups don’t normally socialize.

Mila clings to the old world’s faith, while Demitri tries to keep his secret under wraps. One carries information that is vital to surviving and the other has an addiction to numbing out his sameness existence. When they both realize what the Leader has in store will they band together to stop him, or will their social classes keep them from stooping the evil leader?

The topics that range throughout this book are what constitutes a family, faith, how knowledgeable can shape and change us. Other topics explored are, are demons real and if so, how do we handle them? Lastly the topic of religious differences is covered. Will we allow religious differences to separate us through violence, or will we learn from each other?

I received my free paperback copy of It Takes Death To Reach A Star by Stu Jones and Gareth Worthington for free from TLC Book Tours care of Vesuvian Books. To support these authors click here to purchase off Amazon and to check out more about the authors: Gareth and Stu . I enjoyed this novel. It’s fast paced with short chapters which is nice. Thank you for such an engrossing read.

Book Review · Books

The Fox Hunt

What would you do if you wanted to research opposite faiths than what you were raised with? Mohammed encounters a Christian teacher at his college. He wants to be an obedient Muslim and share his faith with his teacher, so he brings him a Quran. Surprisingly his teacher is of the same mindset and gifts him a Christian Bible, which for Mohammed is a forbidden item.

Mohammed reads his Bible and starts to have discussions with his teacher, but when his teacher moves away he branches out online to connect with others who can help further explain Christianity and Judaism. Through his studying he gets jobs at nonprofits where he can continue his studies and connecting with Christians, other Muslims and Jews to learn more about why there is conflict. Mohammed wants to help bridge peace between the groups, but when there is upheaval in his country of Yemen he is trapped in his home. He reaches out to others online to see if anyone will help him escape.

I received my ARC copy of The Fox Hunt by Mohammed Al Samawi for free from TLC Book Tours in exchange for my review. This book is intense from page one. Mohammed writes in such a way you feel as though you are walking by his side throughout his memoir, experiencing every moment. This book is a great window into what it’s like to grow up in Yemen.

Book Review · Books

Forgiving God

If you have a special needs child this book will be a comfort to you, to know you aren’t alone. Hilary was a newlywed with the surprise of getting pregnant. She was excited for her child and becoming a mother. When she went in for an appointment the doctor had some hard news. Her son would have some health changes. Hilary’s faith was tested to the max coming to terms with her son, Jack’s health. She gives an honest overview of her spiritual struggle, her struggle as a new mom and how to view herself with a disabled child.

This memoir gave me a window into what it would be like from a parental standpoint what it’s like to have to have your child have to live for a time in the NICU. I was on the side of Jack. I didn’t get to go home right away for different health reasons. My parents had to deal with doctors, health scares and scrubbing up before being allowed to enter the NICU area. The hospital is not the world you want your baby to have to live in beyond being delivered.

I received Forgiving God by Hilary Yancey for free from Hachette Book Group Nashville in exchange for my review. This memoir packed an emotional punch. Hilary’s faith survived, but not all parents of special needs kids have their faith intact after the fact. I appreciate that Hilary didn’t sugarcoat her experience.