Historical Fiction

#BookReview The Paris Secret by Natasha Lester @Natasha_Lester @readforeverpub @grandcentralpub #ReadForever #Forever20 #NatashaLester #TheParisSecret

#BookReview The Paris Secret by Natasha Lester @Natasha_Lester @readforeverpub @grandcentralpub #ReadForever #Forever20 #NatashaLester #TheParisSecret Title: The Paris Secret

Author: Natasha Lester

Published by: Forever on Sep. 15, 2020

Genres: Historical Fiction

Pages: 496

Format: Paperback

Source: Forever

Book Rating: 10/10

From the New York Times bestselling author of The Paris Orphan comes an unforgettable historical novel about a secret collection of Dior gowns that ties back to the first female pilots of WWII and a heartbreaking story of love and sacrifice.

England, 1939: The Penrose sisters couldn’t be more different. Skye is a daring and brash pilot, and Liberty the one to defy her at every turn. Even if women aren’t allowed in the Royal Air Force, Skye is determined to help the war effort. She’s thrilled when it reunites her with her childhood soulmate, Nicholas. She’s less thrilled to learn Nicholas is now engaged to an enigmatic Frenchwoman named Margaux Jourdan.

Paris, 1947: Designer Christian Dior unveils his glamorous first collection to a world weary of war and grief. He names his debut fragrance Miss Dior in tribute to his beloved sister Catherine, who forged a friendship with Skye and Margaux through her work with the French Resistance.

Present Day: Fashion conservator Kat Jourdan discovers a priceless collection of Dior gowns in her grandmother’s vacant cottage. As she delves into the mystery of their origin, Kat begins to doubt everything she thought she knew about her beloved grandmother.


Review:

Evocative, rich, and absorbing!

The Paris Secret is an alluring, highly affecting tale predominantly set in England during WWII, as well as 2012, that takes you into the lives of two main characters; Skye Penrose, a young flier who through grit and determination becomes one of the first woman pilots for the Air Transport Auxillary during the war; and Kat Jourdan, a young fashion conservator who unwittingly unravels a family history littered with secrets, heartbreak, and heroism when she stumbles across a closet full of vintage Dior dresses in her mother’s Cornwall cottage.

The prose is charged and emotive. The characters are courageous, multilayered, and strong. And the plot, including all the subplots, unravel and intertwine seamlessly into a sublime saga of life, loss, family, tragedy, expectations, sacrifice, secrets, self-discovery, friendship, enduring love, fashion, and an insightful look at the important roles and contributions that women had and made during the war.

Overall, The Paris Secret is an exceptionally atmospheric, beautifully written, impactful novel that sweeps you away to another time and place and immerses you into the lives of such enticing characters you can’t help but be thoroughly moved and engrossed. It is no surprise that Natasha Lester has quickly become one of my all-time favourite authors with The Paris Orphan being one of my must-read novels for 2019 and now The Paris Secret being on the top of that list for 2020.

This novel is available now.

Pick up a copy from your favourite retailer or from one of the following links.

            

 

 

Thank you to Forever & Grand Central Publishing for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review.

 

About Natasha Lester

Natasha Lester is a USA Today, internationally best-selling author. Prior to writing, she worked as a marketing executive for L’Oreal, managing the Maybelline brand, before returning to university to study creative writing.

Her first historical novel, the bestselling A Kiss from Mr Fitzgerald, was published in 2016. This was followed by Her Mother’s Secret in 2017 and The Paris Seamstress in 2018. The French Photographer is her latest book (note: this will be published as The Paris Orphan in North America in September 2019).

Natasha's books have been published in the US, the UK, Australia and throughout Europe. She lives in Perth, Western Australia with her 3 children and loves travelling, Paris, vintage fashion and, of course, books.

Photograph courtesy of Goodreads Author Page.

#BookReview The Paris Children by Gloria Goldreich @Sourcebooks #TheParisChildren #GloriaGoldreich

#BookReview The Paris Children by Gloria Goldreich @Sourcebooks #TheParisChildren #GloriaGoldreich Title: The Paris Children

Author: Gloria Goldreich

Published by: Sourcebooks Landmark on Sep. 1, 2020

Genres: Historical Fiction

Pages: 432

Format: Paperback, ARC

Source: Sourcebooks Landmark

Book Rating: 9/10

Inspired by the true story of one woman’s fight to survive during the 20th century’s darkest hour

Paris, 1935. A dark shadow falls over Europe as Adolf Hitler’s regime gains momentum, leaving the city of Paris on the brink of occupation. Young Madeleine Levy—granddaughter of Alfred Dreyfus, a Jewish World War I hero—steps bravely into a new wave of resistance and becomes the guardian of lost children.

When Madeleine meets a small girl in a tattered coat with the hollow look of one forced to live a nightmare—a young Jewish refugee from Germany named Anna—she knows that she cannot stand idly by. Paris is full of children like Anna—frightened and starving, innocent casualties of a war barely begun. Madeleine offers them comfort and strength while working with other members of the resistance to smuggle them into safer territories. But as the Paris she loves is transformed into a theater of tension and hatred, many people are tempted to abandon the cause—and the country. And amidst the impending horror and doubt, Madeleine’s relationship with Claude, a young Jewish Resistance fighter, as passionate about saving vulnerable children as she is, deepens. With a questionable future ahead of them, all Madeleine can do is continue fighting and hope that her spirit—and the nation’s—won’t be broken.

A remarkable, paranoramic novel, The Paris Children is a story of love and tragedy that illuminates the power of hope and courage in the face of adversity.


Review:

Absorbing, haunting, and deeply moving!

The Paris Children is a compelling, immersive, beautifully written tale set in France between 1935 and 1943 that takes you into the lives of the Levy family, especially Madeleine, a young Jewish woman who spent the majority of the war helping to hide and save as many Jewish children as possible.

The prose is authentic and perceptive. The characters are selfless, brave, and vulnerable. And the plot is a rich, poignant tale of life, loss, love, friendship, family, perseverance, survival, betrayal, courage, sacrifice, Jewish traditions, war, and the important role played by the Jewish scouts in the French Resistance.

Overall, The Paris Children is a beautiful blend of horrifying facts and evocative fiction. It’s a pensive, affecting, powerful tale by Goldreich that highlights humanities incredible ability to love and still be kind, compassionate, and resilient even in the face of unimaginable evil.

This novel is available now.

Pick up a copy from your favourite retailer or from one of the following links.

              

 

 

Thank you to Sourcebooks Landmark for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review.

 

About Gloria Goldreich

Gloria Goldreich graduated from Brandeis University and did graduate work in Jewish history at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem. She was a coordinator in the Department of Jewish Education at National Hadassah and served as Public Relations Director of the Baruch College of the City University of New York.

While still an undergraduate at Brandeis, she was a winner of the Seventeen magazine short story contest where her first nationally published work appeared. Subsequently, her short fiction and critical essays have appeared in Commentary, McCalls, Redbook, Ladies Home Journal, Mademoiselle, Ms., Chatelaine, Hadassah Magazine and numerous other magazines and journals. Her work has been widely anthologized and translated.

She is the author of a series of children's books on women in the professions entitled What Can She Be? She has also written novels for young adults, Ten Traditional Jewish Stories, and she edited a prize-winning anthology A Treasury of Jewish Literature.

Her novel, Leah's Journey won the National Jewish Book Award for fiction in 1979, and her second novel Four Days won the Federation Arts and Letters Award. Her other novels include Promised Land, This Burning Harvest, Leah's Children, West to Eden, Mothers, Years of Dreams and That Year of Our War. Her books have been selections of the Book of the Month Club, the Literary Guild and the Troll Book Club.

She has lectured throughout the United States and in Canada.

Gloria Goldreich is married to an attorney and is the mother of two daughters and a son, and the grandmother of six grandchildren.

#BookReview Wedding Bells for Woolworths by Elaine Everest @ElaineEverest @PGCBooks @panmacmillan #Woolworths

#BookReview Wedding Bells for Woolworths by Elaine Everest @ElaineEverest @PGCBooks @panmacmillan #Woolworths Title: Wedding Bells for Woolworths

Author: Elaine Everest

Series: Woolworths #5

Published by: Pan Macmillan on Jun. 22, 2020

Genres: Historical Fiction, Women's Fiction

Pages: 384

Format: Paperback

Source: Publishers Group Canada

Book Rating: 8/10

Wedding Bells for Woolworths is the latest installment in Elaine Everest”s much-loved series, following A Gift from Woolworths.

July 1947. Britain is still gripped by rationing, even as the excitement of Princess Elizabeth”s engagement sweeps the nation. In the Woolworths” canteen, Freda is still dreaming of meeting her own Prince Charming. So far she”s been unlucky in love. When she has an accident on her motorbike, knocking a cyclist off his bicycle, it seems bad luck is still following her around. Anthony is not only a fellow Woolworths employee but has been an Olympic hopeful. Will his broken leg heal in time for him to compete? Can he ever forgive Freda?

Sarah”s idyllic family life is shattered when her seven-year-old daughter, Georgina, contracts polio and her time is spent at the hospital willing her child to recover. Freda steps in to help Sarah”s husband care for the home and their younger child, Buster.

The friends must rally round to face some of the toughest challenges of their lives together. And although they experience loss, hardship and shocks along the way, love is on the horizon for the Woolworths girls…


Review:

Quaint, sentimental, and cosy!

Wedding Bells for Woolworths is a sentimental, uplifting tale that takes us back to the small town of Crayford, England post-WWII and into the lives of all the characters we’ve come to know and love over the previous four novels as they once again tackle sticky situations, celebrate special moments, pull together to handle mayhem makers with sinister intent, welcome new arrivals, and say goodbye to a hero.

The writing is sweet and tender. The characters are multilayered, kind, and helpful. And the plot is a delightful mix of life, loss, love, family, heartbreak, gossip, community, and friendship.

Overall, Wedding Bells for Woolworths is a heartwarming, charming, nostalgic addition to the Woolworths series by Everest that does a wonderful job of reminding us of the importance and impact of one of the most iconic mass-market retailers of the twentieth century.

 

This novel is available now.

Pick up a copy from your favourite retailer or from one of the following links.

         

 

 

Thank you to Publishers Group Canada for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review.

 

About Elaine Everest

Elaine was born and brought up in North West Kent, where many of her Sunday Times bestselling historical sagas are set. She has been a freelance writer for twenty-three years and has written widely for women's magazines and national newspapers, with short stories, serials and features. Her non-fiction books for dog owners have been very popular and led to broadcasting on radio about our four-legged friends. Elaine has been heard discussing many topics on radio including her Kent based novels, canine subjects, and living with a husband under her feet! She was BBC Radio Kent’s short story writer of the year, a runner up for The Harry Bowling Prize, and winner of Myrmidon Books novel writing competition.

When she isn't writing, Elaine runs The Write Place, her successful creative writing school in Hextable, Kent. She hopes one day soon to have another old English Sheepdog and still keeps in touch with many of her dear friends from her days in the show ring.

Elaine lives in Swanley, Kent with her husband, Michael, and their Polish Lowland Sheepdog, Henry.

Photograph courtesy of Author's Website.

#BookReview The Woman in Red by Diana Giovinazzo @DianaGauthor @GrandCentralPub #TheWomaninRed #GrandCentralPub

#BookReview The Woman in Red by Diana Giovinazzo @DianaGauthor @GrandCentralPub #TheWomaninRed #GrandCentralPub Title: The Woman in Red

Author: Diana Giovinazzo

Published by: Grand Central Publishing on Aug. 4, 2020

Genres: Historical Fiction

Pages: 384

Format: Hardcover

Source: Grand Central Publishing

Book Rating: 9/10

Experience the “epic tale of one woman’s fight . . . to create the life of her dreams” in this sweeping novel of Anita Garibaldi, a 19th century Brazilian revolutionary who loved as fiercely as she fought for freedom (Adriana Trigiani).

Destiny toys with us all, but Anita Garibaldi is a force to be reckoned with. Forced into marriage at a young age, Anita feels trapped in a union she does not want. But when she meets the leader of the Brazilian resistance, Giuseppe Garibaldi, in 1839, everything changes.

Swept into a passionate affair with the idolized mercenary, Anita’s life is suddenly consumed by the plight to liberate Southern Brazil from Portugal — a struggle that would cost thousands of lives and span almost ten bloody years. Little did she know that this first taste of revolution would lead her to cross oceans, traverse continents, and alter the course of her entire life — and the world.

At once an exhilarating adventure and an unforgettable love story, The Woman in Red is a sweeping, illuminating tale of the feminist icon who became one of the most revered historical figures of South America and Italy.


Review:

Engaging, enlightening, and inspiring!

The Woman in Red is a compelling, adventurous interpretation of the life of Anna “Anita” Garibaldi, a strong-willed, Brazilian woman who after meeting the Italian revolutionary Giuseppe Garibaldi spent the next ten years of her life participating in and supporting his conquests for freedom and a unified Italy until her untimely death at the tender age of 27 from Malaria.

The prose is evocative and expressive. The characters are strong, passionate, determined, and courageous. And the plot, set in Brazil, Uruguay, and Italy during 1839 to 1849 is a fast-paced, fascinating tale about life, love, bravery, strength, loss, loyalty, danger, motivation, heroism, and survival.

I have to admit that I knew very little about Anna Garibaldi when I started The Woman in Red, but Giovinazzo did such a wonderful job of blending historical facts with captivating, alluring fiction that I was not only left entertained but incredibly intrigued to learn more about this exceptionally fearless, iconic woman’s legacy.

This novel is available now.

Pick up a copy from your favourite retailer or from one of the following links.

           

 

 

Thank you to Grand Central Publishing for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review.

 

About Diana Giovinazzo

Diana Giovinazzo is the co-creator of Wine, Women and Words, a weekly literary podcast featuring interviews with au­thors over a glass of wine. Diana is active within her local literary community as the president of the Los Angeles chapter of the Women’s National Book Association. The Woman in Red is her debut novel.

Photograph courtesy of Author's Website.

#BookReview The Skeptical Physick (The Sockbridge Series #2) by Gail Avery Halverson @gailhalv #TheSkepticalPhysick

#BookReview The Skeptical Physick (The Sockbridge Series #2) by Gail Avery Halverson @gailhalv #TheSkepticalPhysick Title: The Skeptical Physick

Author: Gail Avery Halverson

Series: Stockbridge #2

Published by: Knight Wenstrom Publishers on Sep. 8, 2019

Genres: Historical Fiction

Pages: 337

Format: Paperback

Source: Gail Avery Halverson

Book Rating: 9/10

In this gripping follow up to “The Boundary Stone,” Lady Catherine Abbott’s life takes an unexpected turn when an abused young woman forces her to examine the privileges of 17th century aristocratic English society, the roles of women, and her own place in the world.

Determined to discover the mysteries of the human body, daring physick, Simon McKensie, fights once more against superstition, ignorance and the vast, unknown boundaries of science when he creates a remarkable experiment that could change the very course of medicine itself.

Set against the sweeping backdrop of both the Great Fire of London and the extraordinary discoveries of the Scientific Revolution, Simon and Catherine together must face the villainous consequences of his fierce, intellectual curiosity and his dangerous thirst for knowledge.


Review:

Multilayered, alluring, and exceptionally atmospheric!

The Skeptical Physick is a rich, informative tale that picks up right where The Boundary Stone left off taking us back to seventeenth-century London and into the lives of Simon and Catherine as they endure one of the most devasting disasters of all time, The Great Fire of London while continuing to also battle those who frown upon, discount, and discourage scientific exploration and medical research.

The prose is eloquent and vivid. The characters are reliable, selfless, and courageous. And the plot is an immersive, fascinating tale of life, loss, love, optimism, bravery, tragedy, devastation, romance, and the procedures and evolution of early medicine.

Overall, The Skeptical Physick is another beautifully written, incredibly enthralling tale by Halverson that grabs you from the very first page and does an exceptional job of blending historical facts with fiction that is both enlightening and wonderfully compelling.

This novel is available now.

Pick up a copy from your favourite retailer or from one of the following links.

    

 

 

Thank you to Gail Avery Halverson for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review.

 

About Gail Avery Halverson

Award-winning writer, Gail Avery Halverson, is the author of The Boundary Stone, and its sequel, The Skeptical Physick, a historical romance novel set in 1666 England at the time of the Great Fire and the Scientific Revolution. The Boundary Stone is a Chaucer Award Finalist (historical fiction), a Cygnus Award Finalist (speculative fiction), and a Chatelaine Award Winner (historical romantic fiction). The Skeptical Physick is currently long-listed for both the Chatelaine and the Chaucer Awards. Ms. Halverson is also the writer/producer for “Take it From The Top,” (sitcom pilot, Twin One Productions, Inc.), as well as the playwright and composer of musical plays that have been performed for nearly 300,000 children since 2004. Writing for both theater and television, she holds a B.A. in English Literature/Communications from the University of California, Davis, and is currently at work on the third novel in the Stockbridge Series. She lives in Northern California with her husband and son.

Photograph courtesy of Author's Goodreads Page.

#BookReview Paris Never Leaves You by Ellen Feldman @StMartinsPress #ParisNeverLeavesYou

#BookReview Paris Never Leaves You by Ellen Feldman @StMartinsPress #ParisNeverLeavesYou Title: Paris Never Leaves You

Author: Ellen Feldman

Published by: St. Martin's Press on Aug. 4, 2020

Genres: Historical Fiction

Pages: 368

Format: Paperback, ARC

Source: St. Martin's Press

Book Rating: 8/10

Living through WWII working in a Paris bookstore with her young daughter, Vivi, and fighting for her life, Charlotte is no victim, she is a survivor. But can she survive the next chapter of her life?

Alternating between wartime Paris and 1950s New York publishing, Paris Never Leaves You is an extraordinary story of resilience, love, and impossible choices, exploring how survival never comes without a cost.

The war is over, but the past is never past.


Review:

Nuanced, pensive, and intriguing!

Paris Never Leaves You is an atmospheric, compelling story set in Manhattan in the 1950s, as well as Paris during WWII that takes you into the life of Charlotte Foret, a young widow who spent the majority of the war running a bookshop, protecting her infant daughter, hiding an enormous secret, and befriending a German Officer who had the means to provide the much-needed food and safety she needed for survival.

The prose is precise and vivid. The characters are complex, secretive, and vulnerable. And the plot using a past/present, back-and-forth style is an engaging tale about life, loss, war, heartbreak, guilt, betrayal, loyalty, forbidden love, and desperation.

Overall, Paris Never Leaves You is an immersive, gritty, satisfying tale by Feldman that does a lovely job of blending historical events, intense emotion, and thought-provoking suspense.

 

This novel is available now.

Pick up a copy from your favourite retailer or from one of the following links.

               

 

 

Thank you to St. Martin’s Press for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review.

 

About Ellen Feldman

Ellen Feldman, a 2009 Guggenheim Fellow in fiction, is the author of Scottsboro, which was shortlisted for the UK’s prestigious Orange Prize, Next to Love, The Boy Who Loved Anne Frank, which was translated into nine languages, Terrible Virtue, The Unwitting, and Lucy.

In addition to her novels, she writes articles on social history and has published numerous book reviews and blogs. She has lectured extensively around the country and in Germany and England.

She grew up in northern New Jersey and attended Bryn Mawr College, from which she holds a B.A. and an M.A. in modern history. After further graduate studies at Columbia University, she worked for a New York publishing house.

She lives in New York City and Amagansett, New York, with her husband and rescue terrier Charlie.

Photograph by Laura Mozes.

#BookReview Hamnet & Judith by Maggie O’Farrell @KnopfCA @PenguinRandomCA #HamnetandJudith

#BookReview Hamnet & Judith by Maggie O’Farrell @KnopfCA @PenguinRandomCA #HamnetandJudith Title: Hamnet & Judith

Author: Maggie O'Farrell

Published by: Knopf Canada on Jul. 21, 2020

Genres: Historical Fiction

Pages: 384

Format: eBook, ARC

Source: Penguin Random House Canada, NetGalley

Book Rating: 9/10

TWO EXTRAORDINARY PEOPLE. A LOVE THAT DRAWS THEM TOGETHER. A PLAGUE THAT THREATENS TO TEAR THEM APART.

England, 1580. A young Latin tutor–penniless, bullied by a violent father–falls in love with an eccentric young woman: a wild creature who walks her family’s estate with a falcon on her shoulder and is known throughout the countryside for her unusual gifts as a healer. Agnes understands plants and potions better than she does people, but once she settles on the Henley Street in Stratford she becomes a fiercely protective mother and a steadfast, centrifugal force in the life of her young husband. His gifts as a writer are just beginning to awaken when their beloved twins, Hamnet and Judith, are afflicted with the bubonic plague, and, devastatingly, one of them succumbs to the illness.

A luminous portrait of a marriage, a shattering evocation of a family ravaged by grief and loss, and a hypnotic recreation of the story that inspired one of the greatest literary masterpieces of all time, Hamnet & Judith is mesmerizing and seductive, an impossible-to-put-down novel from one of our most gifted writers.


Review:

Rich, immersive, and evocative!

Hamnet & Judith is a vivid, compelling, powerful interpretation that sweeps you away to Stratford-upon-Avon in the late 1500s and into the life of the Shakespeare family, from the courtship and marriage of William and Agnes to the devastating loss of their young son Hamlet at the tender age of eleven.

The prose is eloquent and emotive. The characters are well-drawn, endearing, and authentic. And the plot is an absorbing tale of life, loss, love, grief, family, aspirations, heartache, and motherhood.

Overall, Hamnet & Judith is a pensive, alluring, beautifully written story by O’Farrell that does a remarkable job of highlighting her incredible knowledge and research into these renowned historical figures whose personal lives are often unknown, forgotten, or overshadowed by the patriarch’s incredibly profound contribution to the world of drama and literature.

This novel is available now.

Pick up a copy from your favourite retailer or from one of the following links.

            

 

 

 

Thank you to Knopf Canada for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review.

 

About Maggie O'Farrell

Born in Northern Ireland in 1972, MAGGIE O'FARRELL grew up in Wales and Scotland and now lives in London. She has worked as a waitress, chambermaid, bike messenger, teacher, arts administrator, journalist (in Hong Kong and London), and as the deputy literary editor of The Independent on Sunday. She is the author of After You'd Gone (winner of the Betty Trask Award); My Lover's Lover; The Distance Between Us (recipient of a Somerset Maugham Award); The Vanishing Act of Esme Lennox; The Hand That First Held Mine; Instructions for a Heatwave (winner of a Costa Book Award); This Must Be the Place; and most recently, I Am, I Am, I Am.

Photograph by Murdo Macleod.

#BookReview The Book of Lost Names by Kristin Harmel @kristinharmel @GalleryBooks @SimonSchusterCA #TheBookofLostNames

#BookReview The Book of Lost Names by Kristin Harmel @kristinharmel @GalleryBooks @SimonSchusterCA #TheBookofLostNames Title: The Book of Lost Names

Author: Kristin Harmel

Published by: Gallery Books on Jul. 21, 2020

Genres: Historical Fiction

Pages: 400

Format: eBook, ARC

Source: Simon & Schuster Canada, NetGalley

Book Rating: 9/10

Inspired by an astonishing true story from World War II, a young woman with a talent for forgery helps hundreds of Jewish children flee the Nazis in this unforgettable historical novel from the international bestselling author of the “epic and heart-wrenching World War II tale” (Alyson Noel, #1 New York Times bestselling author) The Winemaker’s Wife.

Eva Traube Abrams, a semi-retired librarian in Florida, is shelving books one morning when her eyes lock on a photograph in a magazine lying open nearby. She freezes; it’s an image of a book she hasn’t seen in sixty-five years—a book she recognizes as The Book of Lost Names.

The accompanying article discusses the looting of libraries by the Nazis across Europe during World War II—an experience Eva remembers well—and the search to reunite people with the texts taken from them so long ago. The book in the photograph, an eighteenth-century religious text thought to have been taken from France in the waning days of the war, is one of the most fascinating cases. Now housed in Berlin’s Zentral- und Landesbibliothek library, it appears to contain some sort of code, but researchers don’t know where it came from—or what the code means. Only Eva holds the answer—but will she have the strength to revisit old memories and help reunite those lost during the war?

As a graduate student in 1942, Eva was forced to flee Paris after the arrest of her father, a Polish Jew. Finding refuge in a small mountain town in the Free Zone, she begins forging identity documents for Jewish children fleeing to neutral Switzerland. But erasing people comes with a price, and along with a mysterious, handsome forger named Rémy, Eva decides she must find a way to preserve the real names of the children who are too young to remember who they really are. The records they keep in The Book of Lost Names will become even more vital when the resistance cell they work for is betrayed and Rémy disappears.

An engaging and evocative novel reminiscent of The Lost Girls of Paris and The Alice Network, The Book of Lost Names is a testament to the resilience of the human spirit and the power of bravery and love in the face of evil.


Review:

Fascinating, heartwrenching, and exceptionally absorbing!

The Book of Lost Names is an evocative, beautifully written, touching tale set in France during WWII, as well present day, that takes you into the life of Eva Traube, a young Jewish woman who spent the majority of the war, to the detriment of herself and those she loved, using her artistic talents to help save as many lives as possible.

The prose is atmospheric, authentic, and insightful. The characters are vulnerable, brave, and strong. And the plot is a poignant tale of life, loss, love, deception, perseverance, survival, betrayal, sacrifice, courage, selflessness, the unimaginable horrors of war, and the important role of the Resistance in transporting people from the free zone in France to the safety of Switzerland.

Overall, The Book of Lost Names is a thought-provoking, immersive, moving tale by Harmel that does an incredible job of reminding us that millions of lives were lost, numerous aliases were given, but real names and true identities should never be forgotten. 

This novel is available now.

Pick up a copy from your favourite retailer or from one of the following links.

              

 

 

Thank you to Simon & Schuster Canada for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review.

 

About Kristin Harmel

Kristin Harmel is the international bestselling author of THE ROOM ON RUE AMELIE, THE SWEETNESS OF FORGETTING, THE LIFE INTENDED, WHEN WE MEET AGAIN, and several other novels. Her latest, THE WINEMAKER'S WIFE, is coming in August 2019 from Gallery Books/Simon & Schuster. A former reporter for PEOPLE magazine, Kristin has also freelanced for many other publications, including American Baby, Men’s Health, Glamour, Woman’s Day, Travel + Leisure, and more.

Kristin grew up in Peabody, Mass.; Worthington, Ohio; and St. Petersburg, Fla., and she graduated with a degree in journalism (with a minor in Spanish) from the University of Florida. After spending time living in Paris, she now lives in Orlando, Fla., with her husband and young son.

Photograph by Phil Art Studio, Reims, France.

#BookReview My Name is Eva by Suzanne Goldring @SuzanneGoldring @readforeverpub @grandcentralpub #ReadForever #Forever20 #SuzanneGoldring #MyNameisEva

#BookReview My Name is Eva by Suzanne Goldring @SuzanneGoldring @readforeverpub @grandcentralpub #ReadForever #Forever20 #SuzanneGoldring #MyNameisEva Title: My Name is Eva

Author: Suzanne Goldring

Published by: Forever on Jul. 14, 2020

Genres: Historical Fiction

Pages: 336

Format: Paperback

Source: Forever

Book Rating: 8.5/10

You can pay a terrible price for keeping a promise…

Evelyn Taylor-Clarke sits in her chair at Forest Lawns Care Home in the heart of the English countryside, surrounded by residents with minds not as sharp as hers. It would be easy to dismiss Evelyn as a muddled old woman, but her lipstick is applied perfectly, and her buttons done up correctly. Because Evelyn is a woman with secrets and Evelyn remembers everything. She can never forget the promise she made to the love of her life, to discover the truth about the mission that led to his death, no matter what it cost her…

When Evelyn’s niece Pat opens an old biscuit tin to find a photo of a small girl with a red ball entitled ‘Liese, 1951’ and a passport in another name, she has some questions for her aunt. And Evelyn is transported back to a place in Germany known as ‘The Forbidden Village,’ where a woman who called herself Eva went where no one else dared, amongst shivering prisoners, to find the man who gambled with her husband’s life…


Review:

Captivating, mysterious, and cunning!

My Name is Eva is an intense, affecting tale that immerses you into the life of Evelyn Taylor-Clarke as she spends her final days remembering loves lost, sacrifices made, and secrets long buried.

The prose is descriptive and insightful. The characters are anguished, resilient, and clever. And the plot using a past-present, back-and-forth style and using a unique mixture of narrative, letters, and crosswords unravels quickly into a tale of life, love, loss, family, friendship, injustice, guilt, self-identity, war, bravery, and survival.

Overall, My Name is Eva is a compelling, touching, haunting debut by Goldring that highlights the inconceivable hardships, suffering, and horrors endured during wartime and reminds us that revenge is always best served cold.

 

This novel is available now.

Pick up a copy from your favourite retailer or from one of the following links.

            

 

 

 

Thank you to Forever & Grand Central Publishing for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review.

 

About Suzanne Goldring

Following an eventful career as a public relations consultant, specializing in business and travel, Suzanne Goldring turned to writing the kind of novels she likes to read, about the extraordinary lives of ordinary people. She writes in a thatched cottage in Hampshire and a cottage by the sea in North Cornwall. My Name is Eva was inspired by visiting elderly ladies in care homes and an aunt’s touching wartime letters saved from the flames.

Photograph by Anna McCarthy Photography.

#BookReview The Black Swan of Paris by Karen Robards @TheKarenRobards @HarperCollinsCa @Bookclubbish #BooksofHCC #TheBlackSwanofParis

#BookReview The Black Swan of Paris by Karen Robards @TheKarenRobards @HarperCollinsCa @Bookclubbish #BooksofHCC #TheBlackSwanofParis Title: The Black Swan of Paris

Author: Karen Robards

Published by: Mira Books on Jun. 30, 2020

Genres: Historical Fiction

Pages: 480

Format: eBook, ARC

Source: HarperCollins Canada, Edelweiss

Book Rating: 8.5/10

A world at war. A beautiful young star. A mission no one expected.

Paris, 1944

Celebrated singer Genevieve Dumont is both a star and a smokescreen. An unwilling darling of the Nazis, the chanteuse’s position of privilege allows her to go undetected as an ally to the resistance.

When her estranged mother, Lillian de Rocheford, is captured by Nazis, Genevieve knows it won’t be long before the Gestapo succeeds in torturing information out of Lillian that will derail the upcoming allied invasion. The resistance movement is tasked with silencing her by any means necessary—including assassination. But Genevieve refuses to let her mother become yet one more victim of the war. Reuniting with her long-lost sister, she must find a way to navigate the perilous cross-currents of Occupied France undetected—and in time to save Lillian’s life.


Review:

Absorbing, intense, and pacey!

The Black Swan of Paris is a suspenseful, thrilling tale set in Paris during WWII that takes us into the life of Genevieve Dumont a beautiful, Parisian performer who uses her charisma, fame, and desirability to acquire crucial information from high-ranking Nazis that will not only aid Allied Forces and the Resistance but also provide her with the intelligence needed to rescue her recently captured mother from the hands of the ruthless enemy.

The prose is descriptive and tense. The characters are committed, supportive, and courageous. And the plot is a compelling mix of life, love, loss, secrets, passion, heartbreak, betrayal, danger, tragedy, survival, friendship, and war.

Overall, The Black Swan of Paris is an emotive, action-packed, gripping tale by Robards that transports you to another time and place and immerses you so thoroughly into the feelings, lives, and personalities of the characters you can’t help but be fully invested and enthralled.

 

This novel is available now.

Pick up a copy from your favourite retailer or from one of the following links.

                

 

 

Thank you to HarperCollins Canada for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review.

 

About Karen Robards

Karen Robards is the New York Times, USA Today, and Publishers Weekly bestselling author of more than fifty books and one novella. Karen published her first novel at age 24 and has won multiple awards throughout her career, including six Silver Pens for favorite author.

Karen was described by The Daily Mail as one of the most reliable thriller....writers in the world.

Photograph courtesy of Author's Website.

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