Historical Fiction

#BookReview
The Spanish Promise by Karen Swan
@KarenSwan1 @PGCBooks @panmacmillan

#BookReview The Spanish Promise by Karen Swan @KarenSwan1 @PGCBooks @panmacmillanTitle: The Spanish Promise

Author: Karen Swan

Published by: Pan Macmillan on May 1, 2019

Genres: Women's Fiction, Contemporary Romance, Historical Fiction

Pages: 384

Format: Paperback

Source: Publishers Group Canada

Book Rating: 10/10

 

 

Synopsis:

Charlotte, a wealth counsellor who knows from personal experience the complications that a sudden inheritance can bring, helps her clients navigate the emotional side effects of sudden wealth syndrome. When she is asked by Mateo Mendoza, heir to a huge Spanish estate, to fly to Madrid to help resolve an issue in his father’s will, she’s confident it will be straightforward. The timing isn’t great as Charlotte’s due to get married the following week, but once her client signs on the dotted line, Charlotte can return to her life in London and her wedding, and live happily ever after. Marrying Stephen might not fill her with excitement, but she doesn’t want to live in the fast lane anymore – safe and predictable is good.

But Carlos Mendoza’s final bequest opens up a generation of secrets, and Charlotte finds herself compelled to unravel the mystery. As Charlotte digs deeper, she uncovers the story of a family divided by Spain’s Civil War, and of a love affair across the battle lines that ended in tragedy.

And while she is consumed in the drama of the Mendozas, Charlotte’s own tragic past catches up with her, threatening to overturn everything in her life she’s worked so hard to build.


Review:

Evocative, mysterious, and incredibly enchanting!

The Spanish Promise is an alluring, mesmerizing tale predominantly set in Spain during the late 1930s, as well as present day, that takes you into the lives of both the prosperous, successful, multi-generational Fairfax and Mendoza families. But like most families with money, power, and privilege everything is not always as it seems, and behind the designer clothes and beautiful houses hides an abundance of secrets, betrayals, scandals, rivalry, conflict, and heartbreak.

The prose is seamless and eloquent. The characters are perceptive, intriguing, and scarred. And the plot, including all the subplots, intertwine and unravel effortlessly into a vividly satisfying tale of life, loss, family, friendship, self-discovery, regret, deception, love, duty, honour, and the turmoil of the Spanish Civil War.

The Spanish Promise is another magical, heartwarming tale by Swan that does a beautiful job of highlighting her exceptional ability to portray memorable characters, idyllic places, and historically troubling times that stay with you long after you finish the final page.

 

This book is available now.

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

                                  

 

 

Thank you to Karen Swan and PGC Books for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review.

 

About Karen Swan

Karen Swan began her career in fashion journalism before giving it all up to raise her three children and a puppy, and to pursue her ambition of becoming a writer. She lives in the forest outside Sussex, England, writing her books in a treehouse overlooking the Downs.

An internationally bestselling author, her numerous books include The Rome Affair, The Paris Secret, Christmas Under the Stars, and The Christmas Secret. 

Photograph by Alexander James

#BookReview
The Survivors by Kate Furnivall
@KateFurnivall @SimonSchusterCA

#BookReview The Survivors by Kate Furnivall @KateFurnivall @SimonSchusterCATitle: The Survivors

Author: Kate Furnivall

Published by: Simon & Schuster on April 30, 2019

Genres: Historical Fiction

Pages: 448

Source: Simon & Schuster Canada

Book Rating: 9/10

 

 

 

Synopsis:

Directly I saw him, I knew he had to die.’
 
Germany, 1945. Klara Janowska and her daughter Alicja have walked for weeks to get to Graufeld Displaced Persons camp. In the cramped, dirty, dangerous conditions they, along with 3,200 others, are the lucky ones. They have survived and will do anything to find a way back home.
 
But when Klara recognises a man in the camp from her past, a deadly game of cat and mouse begins.

He knows exactly what she did during the war to save her daughter.

She knows his real identity.

What will be the price of silence? And will either make it out of the camp alive?


Review:

Haunting, moving, and gritty!

The Survivors is an edgy, poignant tale that sweeps you away to the Graufeld Displaced Persons Camp, post-WWII, where thousands of people live in cramped conditions with basic rations while they struggle to comprehend the horrors they’ve endured, find love ones possibly lost forever, protect their beloved, rebuild lives, and for some hide from the justice they deserve.

The prose is tense and mysterious. The characters are scared, vulnerable, and resilient. And the plot, set in Germany during the mid-1940s, is an exceptionally enthralling tale about life, love, strength, bravery, deception, loss, injustice, hope, survival, the aftermath of war, and the powerful bonds between a mother and her daughter.

Overall, The Survivors is a magical blend of historical facts, cat-and-mouse mystique, thrilling fiction, and heartwrenching emotion that does a beautiful job of reminding us that humanity can not only be barbaric and cruel but also incredibly compassionate, resilient, and kind.

 

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 Kate Furnivall

Kate Furnivall is the author of eight novels, including the international bestseller The Russian Concubine. She lives in Devon.

Photograph by Kate Wright.

#BlogTour #BookReview
The Girl in the Pink Raincoat
by Arlene Hughes
@alrenehughes @ HoZ_Books

#BlogTour #BookReview The Girl in the Pink Raincoat by Arlene Hughes @alrenehughes @ HoZ_BooksTitle: The Girl in the Pink Raincoat

Author: Arlene Hughes

Published by: Head of Zeus on March 1, 2019

Genres: Historical Fiction, Women's Fiction

Pages: 368

Format: eBook, ARC

Source: Head of Zeus, NetGalley

Book Rating: 8/10

 

Synopsis:

In wartime it takes courage to follow your heart.

Manchester, 1939.

Everyone hated the heat and the deafening noise, but for Gracie the worst thing was the smell of chemicals that turned her stomach every morning when she arrived at the Rosenberg Raincoats factory.

Gracie is a girl on the factory floor. Jacob is the boss’s charismatic nephew. When they fall in love, it seems as if the whole world is against them – especially Charlie Nuttall, who also works at the factory and has always wanted Gracie for himself.

But worse is to come when Jacob disappears and Gracie is devastated, vowing to find him. Can she solve the mystery of his whereabouts? Gracie will need all her strength and courage to find a happy ending.


Review:

Affecting, absorbing, and twisty!

The Girl in the Pink Raincoat is an intriguing story that takes you back to the streets of Manchester during the late 1930s, and into the life of Gracie Earnshaw a cheery, resilient, young woman who suddenly finds herself confused, overwhelmed, and heartbroken after her bridegroom-to-be unexpectedly goes missing, and family secrets threaten everything she believed about her past.

The writing is clear and fluid. The characters are resilient, hardworking, and determined. And the plot, including all the subplots, intertwine and unravel subtly into a compelling tale of life, loss, love, family, heartbreak, friendship, secrets, betrayal, obsession, and war.

Overall, The Girl in the Pink Raincoat is an uplifting, atmospheric, emotive tale about surviving wartime, taking chances, following your heart, and the power of first love.

 

This book is available now.  

Pick up a copy from your favourite retailer or from the following link.

                              

 

 

Thank you to Head of Zeus for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review.

 

About Arlene Hughes

Alrene Hughes grew up in Belfast and has lived in Manchester for most of her adult life. She worked for British Telecom and the BBC before training as an English teacher. After teaching for twenty years, she retired and now writes full-time.

 

         

 

For more information on Head of Zeus visit them at:

Website | Twitter | Facebook

#BlogTour #GuestPost
The Red Gene by Barbara Lamplugh #Barbara Lamplugh
@UrbaneBooks #LoveBooksGroupTours

#BlogTour #GuestPost The Red Gene by Barbara Lamplugh #Barbara Lamplugh @UrbaneBooks #LoveBooksGroupToursTitle: The Red Gene

Author: Barbara Lamplugh

Published by: Urbane Publications on April 18, 2019

Genres: Historical Fiction

Pages: 360

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

When Rose, a young English nurse with humanitarian ideals, decides to volunteer in the Spanish Civil War, she is little prepared for the experiences that await her.

Working on one front after another, witness to all the horrors of war, she falls in love with a Republican fighter, Miguel. In 1939 as defeat becomes inevitable, Rose is faced with a decision that will change her life and leave her with lasting scars.

Interspersed with Rose’s story is that of Consuelo, a girl growing up in a staunchly Catholic family on the other side of the ideological divide. Never quite belonging, treated unkindly, she discovers at a young age that she was adopted but her attempts to learn more about her origins are largely thwarted.

It falls to the third generation, to Consuelo’s daughter Marisol, born in the year of Franco’s death and growing up in a rapidly changing Spain, to investigate the dark secrets of her family and find the answers that have until now eluded her mother.

 

This novel is available now.

Pick up a copy of this novel from your favourite retailer or from the following link!

 

 

And now Barbara Lamplugh with:

 

FACT TO FICTION

I didn’t really think about writing fiction until I had children. My first two books were travel narratives, the first describing my overland journey by truck to Kathmandu in 1974, the second an account of my 1975 trip on the Trans-Siberian Railway and by boat to Japan. It was soon after I returned from that second trip that we decided to start a family, which obviously meant letting go of any ideas for more extensive travels – at least for the foreseeable future. But it didn’t mean goodbye to writing. I could conquer my addiction to travel (becoming a mother brought its own rewards) but I saw no reason to go cold turkey on my recently acquired addiction to writing. It would just have to be a different kind of writing.

I wrote my first novel while I was pregnant and carried on writing fiction throughout the years of bringing up my children. I love creating characters and a story, which fiction allows me to do. It involves the imagination in a way that travel writing doesn’t yet I can still use my descriptive, travel writing skills to build a setting that is both vivid and authentic. It seemed only logical to set my novels in Britain where the culture was familiar. After all, I’d been immersed in it all my life, absorbed it from birth.As it happened, none of those six novels was published – whether from bad luck, lack of persistence or because I was still honing my skills – but they served to keep my creativity alive and taught me some useful lessons.

When I moved to Spain in 1999, my previous travel writing experience came into its own again. I found work as a features writer for the English magazine Living Spainand also wrote occasional pieces for The Guardian. At the same time, I continued to write fiction. It took a few years but there came a point when I began to feel sufficiently connected with the culture of my adopted city and country to locate my writing as well as my life there. Secrets of the Pomegranate, my first published novel, was set in Granada, though the three main protagonists were English by birth. To write from the perspective of Spanish characters, whether historical or contemporary, presented a much greater challenge. It felt imperative that what I wrote should be authentic enough to convince Spanish as well as native English readers. But did I have the necessary in-depth understanding of the Spanish mind-set and culture, contemporary and historical? After all, I was an outsider here too.

In writing The Red Gene, I took on this challenge. After years living in a country, you get the flavour, the feel of how people think and speak, an insider’s familiarity with the culture. It’s more than just the landscape, the customs and habits, the daily routines; it’s something much more fluid and difficult to define, the psyche of a nation, shaped by its history. Of course, each of us is unique, the differences between individuals huge: it’s important to avoid generalisations and stereotypes. And perhaps I’m being a little arrogant in thinking that I’ve managed to capture this, even after twenty years. What I do know is that I now feel out of touch with life in my birth country. I’m not sure I could write convincingly any more of contemporary life in Britain. Cultures don’t stand still and some of the cultural references familiar to my family and British friends no longer mean much to me.

As I became more absorbed in my new country and learnt more about its recent history, had conversations with – in particular – older Spaniards, the story of The Red Gene began to form in my mind and eventually became compelling.

 

About Barbara Lamplugh

Barbara Lamplugh was born and grew up in London. An experienced traveller, she described her journeys in 'Kathmandu by Truck' and 'Trans-Siberia by Rail' published by Roger Lascelles. In 1999, spurred by the challenge of living in a different culture, she headed for Granada in Spain, where she still lives, inspired by views of hills and the Alhambra from her sunny terrace. A regular features writer for the magazine 'Living Spain', she has also written for 'The Guardian', 'The Times' and published her first novel Secrets of the Pomegranate in 2015.

 

Thank you to Barbara Lamplugh for being featured on my blog today!

 

#BookReview
The Temptation of Gracie
by Santa Montefiore
@SantaMontefiore @SimonSchusterCA

#BookReview The Temptation of Gracie by Santa Montefiore @SantaMontefiore @SimonSchusterCATitle: The Temptation of Gracie

Author: Santa Montefiore

Published by: Simon & Schuster UK on April 16, 2019

Genres: Historical Fiction

Pages: 416

Format: Paperback, ARC

Source: Simon & Schuster Canada

Book Rating: 8.5/10

 

 

Synopsis:

Love may be lost, but it’s not gone forever.

When Gracie Burton stumbles upon a weeklong cooking course at Castello Montefosco, a castle in the sun-kissed Tuscan countryside, she cannot resist the opportunity to revisit the past she left behind in Italy. Since her husband’s death eight years earlier, Gracie has grown apart from her daughter, Carina, a high-powered businesswoman in London and her granddaughter, Anastasia, who would rather spend her time on her phone than with her family, but both women decide to join her. Little do they know that a lifetime of secrets await them in Italy.

Over the course of the week, Gracie reveals the truth about what has drawn her back to the castle and its owner, the mysterious Count Bassanelli. Carina and Anastasia are shocked to discover that Gracie spent fifteen years in Italy as an apprentice to her uncle, a renowned art restorer and collector. While there, she fell madly in love. Now, forty-one years later, she has returned in hopes of righting past wrongs. With the help of Mamma Bernadetta’s magical recipes and the kindness of her fellow guests, Gracie reconnects with her family and together, all three women learn that love once lost, is not gone forever.

The Temptation of Gracie is a poignant, timeless tale of grand romance, a story of women through the generations, and a reminder that it’s never too late to love.


Review:

Atmospheric, immersive, and delightfully moving!

The Temptation of Gracie is a classic, magical tale that sweeps you away to Tuscany, Italy and into the life of Gracie Burton, as she revisits the past, repairs strained relationships, forges new friendships, and searches for love long lost.

The prose is seamless and lush. The characters are complex, independent, and memorable. And the plot moves between past and present effortlessly spinning a beautifully tender, beguiling tale of life, loss, family, friendship, revelations, secrets, guilt, forbidden love, art, passion, and food.

Once again with The Temptation of Gracie, Montefiore has written another skillfully plotted, multi-generational, family saga that has just the right amount of intrigue, colourful history, and enduring passion to be pleasing to both lovers of historical fiction and romance.

 

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 Santa Montefiore

Santa Montefiore’s books have been translated into twenty languages and have sold more than four million copies in England and Europe. She is married to writer Simon Sebag Montefiore. They live with their two children, Lily and Sasha, in London.

Photograph by Santa Montefiore

#BookReview
The Glovemaker by Ann Weisgarber
@AnnWeisgarber @MantleBooks @PGCBooks

#BookReview The Glovemaker by Ann Weisgarber @AnnWeisgarber @MantleBooks @PGCBooksTitle: The Glovemaker

Author: Ann Weisgarber

Published by: Mantle Books on April 9, 2019

Genres: Historical Fiction

Pages: 304

Format: Paperback, ARC

Source: Publishers Group Canada

Book Rating: 8.5/10

 

 

Synopsis:

From the critically acclaimed author of The Personal History of Rachel DuPree, comes a stunning historical novel for fans of Cold Mountain.

For almost four years, men came to my cabin carrying trouble on their backs, each one haunted and looking over their shoulders. They showed up during the spring, they appeared in the summer and early fall. But never now, never in January…

Winter, 1888. In the inhospitable lands of Utah Territory, glovemaker Deborah Tyler awaits her husband’s return home after months working across the state. But as his due date comes and goes without a word, Deborah starts to fear the worst. Facing a future alone, matters are only compounded when a desperate stranger arrives on her doorstep. And with him, trouble.

For although the man claims just to need a place to rest for the night, he wouldn’t be here in the bitter month of January if he wasn’t on the run. And where he goes, lawmen are sure to follow. Lawmen who wouldn’t think twice about burning Deborah’s home to the ground if they thought she’d helped their fugitive.

With her husband’s absence felt stronger by the minute, Deborah must make a decision. A decision that will change her life forever.


Review:

Unnerving, atmospheric, and insightful!

The Glovemaker is an immersive tale that sweeps you away to the harsh territory of canyon country, Southern Utah during the late 1880s when the strict rules and practice of polygamy by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints prompted even some of their most faithful followers to drift away to remote areas and create new, smaller communities of their own.

The prose is concise and expressive. The characters are hardy, resourceful, isolated, and tormented. And the plot, with an underlying current of dread, is a suspenseful, emotional filled tale of family, faith, loss, love, secrets, persecution, determination, morality, community, and violence.

Overall, The Glovemaker is a beautifully written, powerful, unique story, and even though there is not much known about these small groups of Mormon nonconformists, Weisberger has done a remarkable job of taking the barest of historical facts and surrounding them with fiction that is richly described, mysterious, believable, and exceptionally fascinating.

 

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 Ann Weisgarber

Ann Weisgarber was born and raised in Kettering, Ohio. She has lived in Boston, Massachusetts, and Iowa, but now splits her time between Sugar
Land and Galveston, Texas. Her first novel,The Personal History of Rachel Dupree, was longlisted for the Orange Prize and shortlisted for the Orange Prize for New Writers. Her follow-up book, The Promise, was a finalist in the Western Writers of America Best Historical Fiction Awards.The Glovemaker is Ann's third novel.

 

#BookReview
At the Mountain’s Edge by Genevieve Graham
@GenGrahamAuthor @SimonSchusterCA

#BookReview At the Mountain’s Edge by Genevieve Graham @GenGrahamAuthor @SimonSchusterCATitle: At the Mountain's Edge

Author: Genevieve Graham

Published by: Simon & Schuster Canada on April 2, 2019

Genres: Historical Fiction

Pages: 368

Format: Paperback, ARC

Source: Simon & Schuster Canada

Book Rating: 8.5/10

 

 

Synopsis:

From bestselling author Genevieve Graham comes a sweeping new historical novel of love, tragedy, and redemption set during the height of the Klondike Gold Rush.

In 1897, the discovery of gold in the desolate reaches of the Yukon has the world abuzz with excitement, and thousands of prospectors swarm to the north seeking riches the likes of which have never been seen before.

For Liza Peterson and her family, the gold rush is a chance for them to make a fortune by moving their general store business from Vancouver to Dawson City, the only established town in the Yukon. For Constable Ben Turner, a recent recruit of the North-West Mounted Police, upholding the law in a place overrun with guns, liquor, prostitutes, and thieves is an opportunity to escape a dark past and become the man of integrity he has always wanted to be. But the long, difficult journey over icy mountain passes and whitewater rapids is much more treacherous than Liza or Ben imagined, and neither is completely prepared for the forbidding north.

As Liza’s family nears the mountain’s peak, a catastrophe strikes with fatal consequences, and not even the NWMP can help. Alone and desperate, Liza finally reaches Dawson City, only to find herself in a different kind of peril. Meanwhile, Ben, wracked with guilt over the accident on the trail, sees the chance to make things right. But just as love begins to grow, new dangers arise, threatening to separate the couple forever.

Inspired by history as rich as the Klondike’s gold, At the Mountain’s Edge is an epic tale of romance and adventure about two people who must let go of the past not only to be together but also to survive.


Review:

Informative, fascinating, and emotive!

At the Mountain’s Edge is an engaging tale set in Northern Canada during the Klondike Gold Rush of the late 1800s when the prospect of fame and immeasurable wealth had thousands navigating the treacherous Chilkoot Pass in hopes of reaching the prosperous and bustling Dawson City.

The prose is evocative and fluid. The characters are scarred, driven, and resilient. And the compelling, well-paced plot is an adventurous journey filled with familial drama, heartbreak, loss, love, courage, self-discovery, hope, solace, romance, and survival that is told from two perspectives. Liza, a resourceful, hardworking young woman struggling to persevere in a city continually ravaged by nature and predominantly populated by men, and Ben, a North-West Mounted Police constable whose loyal, kind, and helpful, but continuously plagued by a troubled and violent past.

Overall, At the Mountain’s Edge is an atmospheric, absorbing, well-written novel by Graham that showcases her incredible knowledge and passion for Canadian history and highlights the indomitable spirit of humanity to survive, endure, conquer, and love in even the harshest environments and situations.

 

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 Genevieve Graham

Genevieve Graham is the bestselling author of Tides of Honour, Promises to Keep, and Come from Away. She is passionate about breathing life back into Canadian history through tales of love and adventure. She lives near Halifax, Nova Scotia.

Photograph (c) Janice Bray

 

#BlogTour #BookReview
The Forgotten Secret by Kathleen McGurl
@KathMcGurl @rararesources @HQDigitalUK

#BlogTour #BookReview The Forgotten Secret by Kathleen McGurl @KathMcGurl @rararesources @HQDigitalUK

#BlogTour #BookReview The Forgotten Secret by Kathleen McGurl @KathMcGurl @rararesources @HQDigitalUKTitle: The Forgotten Secret

Author: Kathleen McGurl

Published by: HQ Digital on March 1, 2019

Genres: Historical Fiction, Women's Fiction

Pages: 285

Format: eBook, ARC

Source: HQ Digital, NetGalley, Rachel's Random Resources

Book Rating: 8/10

 

 

Synopsis:

A country at war

It’s the summer of 1919 and Ellen O’Brien has her whole life ahead of her. Young, in love and leaving home for her first job, the future seems full of shining possibility. But war is brewing and before long Ellen and everyone around her are swept up by it. As Ireland is torn apart by the turmoil, Ellen finds herself facing the ultimate test of love and loyalty.

And a long-buried secret

A hundred years later and Clare Farrell has inherited a dilapidated old farmhouse in County Meath. Seizing the chance to escape her unhappy marriage she strikes out on her own for the first time, hoping the old building might also provide clues to her family’s shadowy history. As she sets out to put the place – and herself – back to rights, she stumbles across a long-forgotten hiding place, with a clue to a secret that has lain buried for decades.

For fans of Kate Morton and Gill Paul comes an unforgettable novel about two women fighting for independence.


Review:

Pensive, interesting, and insightful!

The Forgotten Secret is an intriguing tale predominantly set in County Meath during the summer of 1919, as well as present day, and is told from two perspectives, Clare, a middle-aged woman who stumbles across long-hidden family secrets after moving to Clonamurty Farm to rediscover herself and start afresh, and Ellen, a young girl in love who finds herself unexpectedly caught up in her country’s fight for self-identity and independence against Anglo rule.

The writing is fluid and thoughtful. The characters are strong, kindhearted, and courageous. And the engaging and fascinating plot is written in a past/present style that sweeps you back and forth through all the highs and lows of both Clare and Ellen’s life.

Overall, I would have to say that The Forgotten Secret is a warm, compelling, absorbing novel that does a lovely job of highlighting and reminding us of a time, where for years, Ireland endured rebellion, oppression, political upheaval, and economic instability.

 

This book is available now.

Pick up a copy from your favourite retailer or from the following link.

    

 

 

Thank you to Kathleen McGurl, HQ Digital, and Rachel’s Random Resources for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review.

 

About Kathleen McGurl

KATHLEEN MCGURL lives near the sea in Bournemouth, UK, with her husband and elderly tabby cat. She has two sons who are now grown-up and have left home. She began her writing career creating short stories, and sold dozens to women’s magazines in the UK and Australia. Then she got side-tracked onto family history research – which led eventually to writing novels with genealogy themes. She has always been fascinated by the past, and the ways in which the past can influence the present, and enjoys exploring these links in her novels.

 

#BookReview #GoodreadsGiveaways
The Lieutenant’s Nurse by Sara Ackerman
@ackermanbooks @HarlequinBooks @goodreads

#BookReview #GoodreadsGiveaways The Lieutenant’s Nurse by Sara Ackerman @ackermanbooks @HarlequinBooks @goodreadsTitle: The Lieutenant's Nurse

Author: Sara Ackerman

Published by: Mira Books on March 5, 2019

Genres: Historical Fiction

Pages: 352

Format: Paperback, ARC

Source: Harlequin Books, Goodreads Giveaways

Book Rating: 10/10

 

 

Synopsis:

November, 1941. She’s never even seen the ocean before, but Eva Cassidy has her reasons for making the crossing to Hawaii, and they run a lot deeper than escaping a harsh Michigan winter. Newly enlisted as an Army Corps nurse, Eva is stunned by the splendor she experiences aboard the steamship SS Lurline; even more so by Lt. Clark Spencer, a man to whom she is drawn but who clearly has secrets of his own. Eva’s past–and the future she’s trying to create–means that she’s not free to follow her heart. Clark is a navy intelligence officer, and he warns her that the United States won’t be able to hold off joining the war for long, but nothing can prepare them for the surprise attack that will change the world they know.

In the wake of the bombing of Pearl Harbor, Eva and her fellow nurses band together for the immense duty of keeping the American wounded alive. And the danger that finds her threatens everything she holds dear. Amid the chaos and heartbreak, Eva will have to decide whom to trust and how far she will go to protect those she loves.

Set in the vibrant tropical surroundings of the Pacific, The Lieutenant’s Nurse is an evocative, emotional WWII story of love, friendship and the resilient spirit of the heroic nurses of Pearl Harbor.


Review:

Poignant, romantic, and incredibly absorbing!

The Lieutenant’s Nurse is an intriguing tale that sweeps you away to the shores of Hawaii in the early 1940s and immerses you into the life of Eva, a young nurse whose heart, strength and compassion are about to be tested when the Japanese unexpectedly rage war on Pearl Harbor.

The prose is eloquent and vivid. The characters are complex, resilient, genuine, and endearing. And the plot, including all the subplots, intertwine and unravel subtly into a captivating tale of life, loss, family, heartbreak, secrets, betrayal, friendship, determination, self-discovery, true love, and the harrowing effects of war.

Overall, The Lieutenant’s Nurse is an atmospheric, evocative, beautifully written novel by Ackerman that grabs you from the very first page and does an exceptional job of blending historical facts with fiction that’s both moving and wonderfully captivating.

 

This novel is available now.

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

                                            


 

Thank you to Harlequin Books and Goodreads Giveaways for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review.

 

About Sara Ackerman

Sara writes books about love and life, and all of their messy and beautiful imperfections. Born and raised in Hawaii, she studied journalism and later earned graduate degrees in psychology and Chinese medicine. She is the author of historical novels Island of Sweet Pies and Soldiers and The Lieutenant's Nurse, with several more in the works. She blames Hawaii for her addiction to writing, and sees no end to its untapped stories. Sara lives on the Big Island with her boyfriend and a houseful of bossy animals.

#BookReview
The Island of Sea Women by Lisa See
@Lisa_See @ScribnerBooks @SimonSchusterCA

#BookReview The Island of Sea Women by Lisa See @Lisa_See @ScribnerBooks @SimonSchusterCATitle: The Island of Sea Women

Author: Lisa See

Published by: Scribner on March 5, 2019

Genres: Historical Fiction

Pages: 384

Format: Paperback, ARC

Source: Simon & Schuster Canada

Book Rating: 10/10

 

 

Synopsis:

A new novel from Lisa See, the New York Times bestselling author of The Tea Girl of Hummingbird Lane, about female friendship and family secrets on a small Korean island.

Mi-ja and Young-sook, two girls living on the Korean island of Jeju, are best friends that come from very different backgrounds. When they are old enough, they begin working in the sea with their village’s all-female diving collective, led by Young-sook’s mother. As the girls take up their positions as baby divers, they know they are beginning a life of excitement and responsibility but also danger.

Despite their love for each other, Mi-ja and Young-sook’s differences are impossible to ignore. The Island of Sea Women is an epoch set over many decades, beginning during a period of Japanese colonialism in the 1930s and 1940s, followed by World War II, the Korean War and its aftermath, through the era of cell phones and wet suits for the women divers. Throughout this time, the residents of Jeju find themselves caught between warring empires. Mi-ja is the daughter of a Japanese collaborator, and she will forever be marked by this association. Young-sook was born into a long line of haenyeo and will inherit her mother’s position leading the divers in their village. Little do the two friends know that after surviving hundreds of dives and developing the closest of bonds, forces outside their control will push their friendship to the breaking point.

This beautiful, thoughtful novel illuminates a world turned upside down, one where the women are in charge, engaging in dangerous physical work, and the men take care of the children. A classic Lisa See story—one of women’s friendships and the larger forces that shape them—The Island of Sea Women introduces readers to the fierce and unforgettable female divers of Jeju Island and the dramatic history that shaped their lives.


Review:

Poignant, absorbing, and impactful!

The Island of Sea Women is a heart-wrenching, pensive tale that sweeps you into a country ravaged by Japanese Colonialism, WWII invasion, American occupation, rebellion, oppression, political upheaval, and economic instability.

The story is set on Jeju Island from the 1930s to present day and is a generational tale of friendship, grief, sorrow, guilt, history, family, culture, courage, loss, hope, sisterhood, as well as the responsibilities, life, and indomitable spirit of the haenyeo.

The prose is vivid and eloquent. The characters are diligent, resilient, brave, and authentic. And the plot is a skillfully crafted read that moves seamlessly from past to present as it unravels all the personalities, struggles, atrocities, dangers, motivations, and complex relationships within it.

The Island of Sea Women is truly a perfect blend of historical facts, compelling fiction, and palpable emotion. It’s a beautifully depicted, fascinating, heartbreaking, unforgettable tale that does a remarkable job of highlighting See’s incredible knowledge and passion for a time and place that is often unknown, forgotten or overlooked.

 

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 Lisa See

Lisa See is the New York Times bestselling author of The Island of Sea Women, The Tea Girl of Hummingbird LaneSnow Flower and the Secret FanPeony in LoveShanghai GirlsChina Dolls, and Dreams of Joy, which debuted at #1. She is also the author of On Gold Mountain, which tells the story of her Chinese American family’s settlement in Los Angeles. See was the recipient of the Golden Spike Award from the Chinese Historical Association of Southern California and the History Maker’s Award from the Chinese American Museum. She was also named National Woman of the Year by the Organization of Chinese American Women.

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