Book Review · Books

The Fading Of Kimberly

This novel takes place in the early 1900’s when Kimberly Weatherspoon is born to a rich railroad tycoon Warren Weatherspoon. Sadly Kimberly’s mother doesn’t survive the delivery and Kimberly is left to be raised by her aloof father. Kimberly is given anything she wants except what she truly needs, her father’s love. When she becomes school age her father whisks her off to go to boarding school, where a female headmistress can oversee Kimberly’s care.

At the boarding school Kimberly witness a tragic event that will shape her life. She is like her father more than she knows, butting heads against authority. After being kicked out of boarding she spends her time going out to flirt with men, drink and be wild. When one of her lovers disses her she takes justice into her own hands. Due to her choices Kimberly lads in a mental hospital. Will her wealthy father rescue her?

I received a complimentary digital copy of The Fading Of Kimberly by Kit Crumpton care of the author through Booktasters. The views are mine and of my own will. This novel tackles topics like family relationships, mental illness, crime and more. This is a fast paced novel that keeps you on your toes. If you enjoy historical fiction this novel may become a new favorite.

Book Review · Books

The Boys Who Woke Up Early

Stony lives in small town Early, VA where in the 1950’s it’s the dawn of the Civil Rights movement. He befriends a new kid at school named Jack. They both want to be detectives so they venture to the sheriff’s office to see if they can be of any help. They are asked to help investigate a local theft.

When Stony and his cousin Gina discover a secret KKK room they realize those they know in town might be more involved than what may appear. Stony doesn’t agree with the KKK and feels that blacks should be allowed to vote and have more rights.

Roosevelt starts working at the local garage where Stony works at after school and Stony isn’t too, keen on it. Stony has never befriend a black boy, but changes his mind after Roosevelt wins a drag race against arrogant Todd from school. The only challenge is that Roosevelt is sweet on Stony’s love interest, MaryLou. His love interest has no clue of his crush.

When the town gets wind of MaryLou and Roosevelt’s relationship things turn ugly fast. Will Stony and Jack be able to stop the chaos? What does it take to be a man when you are on the cusp of adulthood?

I received my complimentary copy of The Boys Who Woke Up Early by A.D. Hopkins from Smith Publicity. The views expressed are my own. This historical novel started out slow, but got more interesting towards the end. If you enjoy historical fiction and novels based in the south then this book may be a good fit for you. I did enjoy learning more about Virginia and what life was like during the dawn of the Civil Rights movement. I also, learned quite a lot about different types of firearms used in that era.

Book Review · Books

The Long Way Home

This historical novel is the story of Murphy and Thomas. They are two slaves in the south caught in the middle of the American Revolution. They decide to fight on the side of the British since they promised freedom if their side wins. Thomas just wants to live his life in peace as a free man and Murphy has a lot of pent up anger he needs to let loose. This book is their journey through the war to reach for home.

I haven’t read many novels on the American Revolution, but this book brings to life the grit of the fighting, the moral quandary of wanting to do the right thing, but being asked to do the opposite by your army supervisors. This novel is poetic and yet graphic in parts. If you enjoy reading about the Revolution I think you will find this novel fascinating. It’s very insightful as to what it would have been like to be a slave fighting for your freedom.

I received my complimentary copy of The Long Way Home by Kevin Bannister from Fireship Press care of TLC Book Tours. The views expressed in this review are strictly my own. Go grab a copy and check out Mr. Bannister’s website.

Book Review · Books

Becoming Mrs. Lewis

I haven’t read the whole Chronicles Of Narnia series. Yes, it’s a shame since it was one of the earliest series my mom would start to read to me as a little girl. As an adult I had heard bits and pieces about C.S. Lewis and his marriage, but until I read this stunning historical novel about his wife, Joy Davidman I had no idea all it entailed.

Becoming Mrs. Lewis sucked me into Joy’s 1950’s world of New York. She was married to Bill with two little boys. Her and her husband were both writers. Bill was an alcoholic and a cheater. Joy was miserable, but did her best to try and keep the peace at home.

One day Joy has a spiritual conversation of sorts. She decides to write to C.S. Lewis some of her spiritual, Christian questions. She had read one of this books and thought he may be able to provide her some insight. This brings to life a correspondence between them that gets intense. Bill starts to get concerned, but when Joy’s health goes down hill she is told she must get away to rest. Of course Joy decides to go to the UK, to C.S. Lewis, to finally meet the man, the myth, the legend. Will meeting her new friend be all she hopes it to be? Will Joy and C.S. Lewis’ friendship blossom, or will the reality of being in person dampen their connection?

This novel is the best love story I’ve read in a long time. I’m not into romance novels, but this one is sweetly written, magical, suspenseful and leaves you feeling stunned after the last page. If you are a fan of C.S. Lewis and want to read a historical novel that will keep you reading nonstop, and it’s over 400 pages, then I highly recommend this beautiful novel.

I received a complimentary copy of Becoming Mrs. Lewis by Patti Callahan care of TLC Book Tours from Thomas Nelson. The opinions in this review are strictly my own. If you are interested in obtaining a copy of this amazing book grab a copy from Amazon and check out more about the author, Patti Callahan. To get a sneak peak of the audio clips of chapters one and two: https://soundcloud.com/harperaudio_us/sets/becoming-mrs-lewis

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

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.