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

The Stranger Game

Rebecca and her boyfriend were attempting to take a break from each other when one day he goes missing. Ezra doesn’t give any inkling as to where he’s gone, or why. Rebecca gets concerned as the days turn into weeks. In the midst of trying to locate her ex boyfriend she meets a dashing man named Carey. How Rebecca meets Carey is a tricky situation. Carey was playing the stranger game and Rebecca is fooled at first.

The stranger game is where you follow a stranger without them discovering you following them. Pretty much stalking.

The game was starting to get more intense with local home break ins happening. Rebecca realizes this game is getting dangerous when she witnesses the game turning sinister. After this incident Carey disappears as well. Will she find Ezra? Why did Carey disappear all of a sudden? Is the stranger game all that it appears to be?

This book took quite awhile to get into. Honestly, it’s categorized as suspense, but I didn’t find it that suspenseful. If you are into low key suspense then I would recommend this book. This novel does a good job of discussing the topic of human nature and the turn it takes when we turn people watching into a game that can turn ugly.

I received a complimentary ARC copy of The Stranger Game by Peter Gadol from Hanover Square Press/HarperCollins through TLC Book Tours. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own. To grab a copy off Amazon click here and to find out more about the author, Peter Gadol here’s his website.

Book Review · Books

Auschwitz Lullaby

Ever since I was lent a copy of Escape From Warsaw in the fourth grade I fell in love with the country of Poland. I am not Polish, but for some reason the Polish language sounds like music to me. This book for younger children set me on my interest of WWII. I’ve read countless memoirs and historical fiction on this awful war. A few stand out as excellent. Auschwitz Lullaby by Mario Escobar is one of the gems that is a must read.

This WWII historical fiction novel tells the story of real life German mother, Helene Hannemann who follows her five children to Auschwitz though she herself is not a Gypsy and required to go there. Sadly, they are separated from her husband and left to survive in the camp on their own.

Helene was seen as partly privileged since she was German and Dr. Mengele chose her to help operate a nursery school at the camp. Helene did her best to give the gypsy children of Auschwitz a glimmer of normalcy with the supplies Dr. Mengele is able to get for the school. Even though the school is just a smoke and mirrors of the truth of the camp it gives Helene, her children, other children and the ladies who assist with the school some routine that gives comfort.

This novel was hard to put down. The writing was beautiful, some of the sentences were like music in the depth of their power. The true horrors of this war aren’t sugarcoated in this novel, but it is a lovely tribute to Helene’s life and the power of love you have for your family, no matter the cost.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from Thomas Nelson through NetGalley. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own. If you enjoy historical fiction then keep an eye out for the release of this book. I know I want to grab a copy. I am thankful I got the privilege to read this ARC. Thank you!

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

What Blooms From Dust

Have you ever been caught in a dust storm, or even worse yet, a haboob? I have watched one roll in and they are quite fascinating to watch from inside your house. The sky turns a funny yellow color, sometimes reddish brown and one moment you can see objects in front of you, then next they are hidden by the giant cloud of dust. If you suffer from asthma don’t get caught out in one.

What Blooms From Dust by James Markert is the story of a town called Nowhere, where the 1930’s bring black as night dust storms that turn day into night. Twin brothers, Josiah and Jeremiah both love a woman named Ellen. Sibling rivalry turns ugly when Josiah rats out Jeremiah to the police. He witnessed his brother bury four men and figures his brother killed them. Jeremiah goes off to prison. When a tornado rips through where the prison is at, Jeremiah escapes.

On his way back to Nowhere Jeremiah spots a family trying to sell one of their kids. He’s shocked a child would be for sale. With a flick of his coin the boy ends up following him. This little boy is described as not all there since he smiles nonstop. Jeremiah takes the boy under his wing as he returns to his home town.

Ellen is married to Josiah and has a son. She’s a teacher trying to survive the dust storms. When Jeremiah and the little boy walk into town she’s shocked how the little boy makes her think of a child she almost had, but lost.

When the dust storms won’t stop the town starts to go haywire. People turn catatonic, not able to eat or drink. The dust becomes just another fixture the towns people have started to ignore.

Will the towns people survive? Who is this mystery child who finds comfort in typing on his type twitter? Will Jeremiah and Josiah clear the years of hurt between them? Will a reporter’s desire to uncover the truth put a wedge between Jeremiah and Ellen?

If you enjoy historical fiction with a unique twist you may enjoy this novel. Parts of this book made me think of Stephen King. Will Nowhere allow a dust storm to take them all down?

I received my free ARC paperback copy of What Blooms From Dust by James Markert from TLC Book Tours care of Thomas Nelson and Harper Collins in exchange for my honest feedback. If you are interested in getting a copy click here to purchase from Amazon and to find out more about the author check out his website. This novel made me want to research the dust bowl more thoroughly.

Book Review · Books

I’ll Be Your Blue Sky

Clare meets an older woman on the morning of her wedding. Edith is elderly, but sharp as a tack and helps Clare stop from entering into what would be a bad marriage. After Clare calls off her wedding to Zack she is trying to get her bearings again. One day she is informed that Edith gave her house to Clare in her will. Clare only clandestinely met Edith twice and wondered what would make Edith give Clare, a perfect stranger, her house?

When Clare goes to stay at her new house she discovers there’s more to Edith. Clare knew Edith had used her house as a guest house for vacationing families, but didn’t realize there were mystery guests she recorded, but that didn’t add up. Clare and her childhood sweetheart Dev go on an adventure to figure out who the mystery guests were.

If you enjoyed reading The Keeper Of Lost Things by Ruth Hogan then you will fall in love with Clare and Edith. This book is beautifully written, keeps you on your toes guessing and is a must read. To buy a copy click here and to find out more about Marisa De Los Santos check out her Twitter. I received my ARC copy of I’ll Be Your Blue Sky by Marisa De Los Santos for free from TLC Book Tours in exchange for my review.

Book Review · Books

Modern Loss

Modern Loss by Rebecca Soffer And Gabrielle Birkner is a tour de force on the topic of ways in which we deal with the loss of a loved one. Or even the loss of someone we may not be particularly fond of. Both authors experienced the loss of one or both their parents at an age they never expected to. These ladies decided to create an online community where people can be honest in sharing their grief. Modern Loss is a collection of personal essays written by many of the members of their website. Each essay is unique and powerful. The book is broken up into different things we deal with when it comes to loosing someone: the aftermath, what things trigger us in remembering the person, how do we address intimacy if it was our spouse/partner, and many other pertinent topics.

I received Modern Loss from TLC Book Tours care of Harper Wave in exchange for my feedback. This book is helpful in seeing the many facets of dealing with a loss and seeing it from many different perspectives. These essays were at times gut wrenching, humorous and thought provoking. I highly recommend this book.