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Welcome! The ultimate luxury for me is curling up with a good book and a warm blanket. The next best thing is reviewing books and sharing them with others.

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18 04, 2017

Book Preview: Lilli De Jong by Janet Benton

By | April 18th, 2017|Categories: Family Life, Genre Fiction, Historical, Literary, Literature & Fiction|Tags: , , |5 Comments

Lilli de Jong
by Janet Benton

Publication Date: May 16, 2017
Nan A. Talese
Hardcover & eBook; 352 Pages

Genre: Fiction/Historical/Literary

READ AN EXCERPT.

A young woman finds the most powerful love of her life when she gives birth at an institution for unwed mothers in 1883 Philadelphia. She is told she must give up her daughter to avoid lifelong poverty and shame. But she chooses to keep her.

Pregnant, left behind by her lover, and banished from her Quaker home and teaching position, Lilli de Jong enters a home for wronged women to deliver her child. She is stunned at how much her infant needs her and at how quickly their bond overtakes her heart. Mothers in her position face disabling prejudice, which is why most give up their newborns. But Lilli can’t

17 04, 2017

Review: The Expatriates by Janice Y.K. Lee

By | April 17th, 2017|Categories: Contemporary, Literary, Literature & Fiction, Women's Fiction|Tags: , , , |5 Comments

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expatriates book coverReviewed by Lauren Cannavino

Janice Y.K. Lee’s novel, The Expatriates, is a lyrical and close look at the lives of three women living in Hong Kong. While the women do have differences, their stories and lives have strong intersections and Lee’s wonderful storytelling ability blends the stories together smoothly. The novel speaks of three lives on hold while in Hong Kong and the development of the characters, their emotions and their situations, make this a fast, enjoyable read.

Mercy, Margaret and Hilary are in Hong Kong for different reasons, Mercy a former student laden with bad luck and the latter two being wives and/or mothers, in Hong Kong for their husband’s careers.

11 04, 2017

Review: The Orphan’s Tale by Pam Jenoff

By | April 11th, 2017|Categories: Genre Fiction, Historical, Literary, Literature & Fiction, War|Tags: , , , , |4 Comments

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orphan's tale book coverReviewed by Savannah Sawyer

The Orphan’s Tale by Pam Jenoff was life changing in a way that I’ve never experienced with any other book. I picked up this novel thinking it was simply an account of a girl who snatched an infant from a train cart destined for doom on a terribly freezing night. Instead, Jenoff gifted me the privilege of following Noa on her journey and witnessing her transformation from a timid young girl to a resilient and self-assured aerialist.

Noa was kicked out of her home mercilessly by her father after spending a long night under the sheets and becoming pregnant with a German man at the fresh age of fifteen. She sought refuge at a home for pregnant, vagrant women, planning to give up her baby the moment it was born. Noa gave birth shortly after arriving, and bonded with her baby before having him snatched away and more than likely sent to imminent death since he wasn’t the Aryan baby that most favored in Nazi-Germany. After giving birth, Noa became truly homeless.

10 04, 2017

Review: Border Child by Michel Stone

By | April 10th, 2017|Categories: Family Life, Genre Fiction, Literary, Literature & Fiction|Tags: , , |2 Comments

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border child book coverReviewed by Stacie Nielsen Bortel

Border Child (follow-up to The Iguana Tree) begins with Lilia and Hector back in Mexico, three years after their deportation. The young couple is dealing with the aftermath of the loss of Alejandra, their daughter, who was taken by a stranger at the border. Losing a child is every parent’s worst fear, and Lilia and Hector have the added agony of blaming themselves – and each other – for losing her. To make matters worse, there is the torture of not knowing if she is still alive. Although Lilia has since given birth to a healthy boy and is pregnant with their third child, she is consumed with grief and guilt over losing Alejandra, and their marriage is suffering the consequences.

7 04, 2017

Review: A Bridge Across the Ocean by Susan Meissner

By | April 7th, 2017|Categories: Contemporary, Genre Fiction, Historical, Literary, Literature & Fiction, Women's Fiction|Tags: , , |5 Comments

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a bridge across the ocean book coverReviewed by Charity Lyman

Have you ever started a book and found yourself unsure of where the author was going to take you? Well, that is where I began my journey through A Bridge Across the Ocean by Susan Meissner. I entered a world of ghosts, intrigue and ethereal people. Believe me, I don’t think I will be the same after reading this book.

The plot bounces back and forth between many different time periods, including present day California, and 1940s Boston, England and France. There are many characters who are a part of the tale, but all are connected in some manner or another. Even if only by the fact that they can see ghosts, or people from other dimensions.

1 04, 2017

Review: Lucky Boy by Shanthi Sekaran

By | April 1st, 2017|Categories: Family Life, Genre Fiction, Literary, Literature & Fiction, Women's Fiction|Tags: , , |6 Comments

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lucky boy book coverReviewed by Jessa Larsen

Solimar Castro-Valdez is eighteen years old and has the red, white, and blue stars in her eyes of the hope life in American has to offer her. Her father pays dearly to allow her passage on the potentially perilous journey across the Mexican border and into Berkeley, California. Soli finds both love and hardship along the way and eventually arrives at her cousin’s home. Unbeknownst at the time, and completely off the charted path, Soli discovers that she is pregnant and realizes that her son, Ignacio, can anchor her in this new land, giving her an identity and purpose in an otherwise invisible and aimless life.

23 03, 2017

Review: The Housekeeper by Suellen Dainty

By | March 23rd, 2017|Categories: Family Life, Genre Fiction, Literary, Literature & Fiction, Mystery, Thriller & Suspense|Tags: , , , , |4 Comments

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the housekeeper book coverReviewed by Jennifer Jensen

After a humiliating breakup, Anne Morgan disappears into herself and separates from the culinary world that she has worked in her entire adult life. Finding comfort in the words of celebrity blogger Emma Helmsley, Anne sees an ad that Emma is looking for a housekeeper. Though overqualified, Anne applies for the position and is welcomed into the private life of the Helmsley family.

Anne becomes intimately immersed in the private lives of each member of the Helmsley family, from having deep morning conversations with Rob that grow a little too friendly, to impersonating Emma at their son Jake’s school. The deeper that Anne falls, the more secrets that she uncovers—including some that hit a little close to home.

28 02, 2017

Review: No Other World by Rahul Mehta

By | February 28th, 2017|Categories: Coming of Age, Cultural Heritage, Gay & Lesbian, Genre Fiction, Literary, Literature & Fiction|Tags: , , , |6 Comments

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no other world book coverReviewed by Kate Schefer

Kiran Shah is a little different compared to his peers in 1980s Western New York; he is Indian, obviously gay, and also somewhat geeky. His older sister Preeti is more conventional in her ways; while Indian, she has converted to Christianity (and religion will be a large influence on the family in this book), and she fits in well as a pretty cheerleader. She even dates baseball star Shawn for a period in middle school. But Kiran has his own secret relationship with Shawn, which may have contributed to Shawn’s public humiliation of Preeti when they are 12, and Kiran is only 8. The guilt from this event follows him into adulthood, and even spreads out to affect his family.

27 02, 2017

Review: Moonglow by Michael Chabon

By | February 27th, 2017|Categories: Family Life, Genre Fiction, Literary, Literature & Fiction, Urban Life|Tags: , , |9 Comments

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moonglow book coverReviewed by Alisha Churbe

Chabon’s newest book, Moonglow is a literary treat. It’s a departure from a regular novel in that it is, at least in part, biographical. The novel follows Chabon as he sits with his grandfather during his grandfather’s last days. His grandfather tells him stories about his life and Chabon is able to piece together the past based on stories he’s heard and the new stories and retellings his grandfather tells him during these final moments. The book begins with an Author’s Note that is fitting for a memoir that isn’t necessarily a memoir, but one that reads more like a novel, “I have stuck to the facts except when facts refused to conform with memory, narrative purpose, or the truth as I prefer to understand it. Wherever liberties have been taken with names, dates, places, events, and conversations, or with identities, motivations, and interrelationships of family members and historical personages, the reader is assured that they have been taken with due abandon.” This declaimer of sorts sets the reader up for one very engaging novel.

23 02, 2017

Blog Tour: The Possessions by Sara Flannery Murphy

By | February 23rd, 2017|Categories: Genre Fiction, Ghosts, Literary, Literature & Fiction, Mystery, Thriller & Suspense, Romance|Tags: , , , , , , |4 Comments

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the possessions book coverPlease join Sara Flannery Murphy, author of The Possessions, as she tours the blogosphere with TLC Book Tours!

Reviewed by Jennifer Jensen

Debut author Sara Flannery Murphy drew me right in with The Possessions and kept her hooks in me until the very end. The plot line of this first novel sounded similar to the canceled-too-soon TV show Dollhouse, which was a favorite of mine, so I simply had to read it. Written in first person, The Possessions is a raw account of a troubled young woman’s intriguing career as a “body” for the Elysian Society. Eurydice, as she calls herself, though this is not her true name, lends her body to clients who are looking to gain closure with loved ones who have passed on.