Review

#BookReview
The Missing Girl by Jenny Quintana
@jennyquintana95 @PGCBooks @panmacmillan

#BookReview The Missing Girl by Jenny Quintana @jennyquintana95 @PGCBooks @panmacmillanTitle: The Missing Girl

Author: Jenny Quintana

Published by Pan Macmillan on October 2, 2018

Genres: Mystery/Thriller

Pages: 336

Format: Paperback

Source: Publishers Group Canada

Book Rating: 8/10

 

 

Synopsis:

When Anna Flores’ adored older sister goes missing as a teenager, Anna copes by disappearing too, just as soon as she can: running as far away from her family as possible, and eventually building a life for herself abroad. Thirty years later, the death of her mother finally forces Anna to return home. Tasked with sorting through her mother’s possessions, she begins to confront not just her mother’s death, but also the huge hole Gabriella’s disappearance left in her life – and finds herself asking a question she’s not allowed herself to ask for years: what really happened to her sister? With that question comes the revelation that her biggest fear isn’t discovering the worst; it’s never knowing the answer. But is it too late for Anna to uncover the truth about Gabriella’s disappearance?


Review:

Atmospheric, dramatic, and intriguing!

The Missing Girl is a slow-burning, captivating mystery that takes us into the life of Anna Flores who upon returning home to settle her mother’s estate decides to probe, explore and finally piece together what actually happened to her sister Gabriella on the afternoon she disappeared thirty years prior.

The writing is crisp and precise. The characters are troubled, determined, and genuine. And the plot, using first-person narration and alternating between 1982 and present, builds nicely and creates tension as it twists, turns, and unravels all the behaviours, actions, motivations, relationships, and personalities within it.

The Missing Girl at its core is a novel about family, friendship, secrets, kidnapping, and murder that highlights the emotional and psychological devastation caused by a missing child and the resulting finger-pointing, fragility and dynamics between family members, friends, neighbours, newcomers, and the community. It is an evocative and impressive debut for Quintana, and I look forward to reading what she comes up with next.

 

This book 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 Jenny Quintana

Jenny Quintana grew up in Essex and Berkshire, before studying English Literature in London. She has taught in London, Seville and Athens and has also written books for teaching English as a foreign language. She is a graduate of the Curtis Brown Creative writing course. She lives with her family in Berkshire. The Missing Girl is her first novel.

#BookReview
Becoming Mrs. Lewis by Patti Callahan
@pcalhenry @ThomasNelson

#BookReview Becoming Mrs. Lewis by Patti Callahan @pcalhenry @ThomasNelsonTitle: Becoming Mrs. Lewis

Author: Patti Callahan

Published by Thomas Nelson on October 2, 2018

Genres: Historical Fiction, Women's Fiction

Pages: 432

Format: eBook, ARC

Source: Thomas Nelson, NetGalley

Book Rating: 8.5/10

 

 

Synopsis:

In a most improbable friendship, she found love. In a world where women were silenced, she found her voice.

From New York Times bestselling author Patti Callahan comes an exquisite novel of Joy Davidman, the woman C. S. Lewis called “my whole world.” When poet and writer Joy Davidman began writing letters to C. S. Lewis—known as Jack—she was looking for spiritual answers, not love. Love, after all, wasn’t holding together her crumbling marriage. Everything about New Yorker Joy seemed ill-matched for an Oxford don and the beloved writer of Narnia, yet their minds bonded over their letters. Embarking on the adventure of her life, Joy traveled from America to England and back again, facing heartbreak and poverty, discovering friendship and faith, and against all odds, finding a love that even the threat of death couldn’t destroy.

In this masterful exploration of one of the greatest love stories of modern times, we meet a brilliant writer, a fiercely independent mother, and a passionate woman who changed the life of this respected author and inspired books that still enchant us and change us. Joy lived at a time when women weren’t meant to have a voice—and yet her love for Jack gave them both voices they didn’t know they had.

At once a fascinating historical novel and a glimpse into a writer’s life, Becoming Mrs. Lewis is above all a love story—a love of literature and ideas and a love between a husband and wife that, in the end, was not impossible at all.


Review:

Vivid, compelling, and immersive!

Becoming Mrs. Lewis is an intriguing interpretation about the life of Joy Davidman, the American writer and poet who through a shared conviction of Christianity and love of writing became a close confidant, friend, and wife of the famous fantasy writer, C.S. Lewis until her untimely death from breast cancer in 1960.

It is a story about familial responsibilities, strength, friendship, kindness, encouragement, support, passion, desire, loss, and love.

Davidman was a strong, intelligent, forthright woman who not only found peace, contentment, and fulfillment through Christianity in midlife but also found her true self.

The prose is clear and precise. And the plot takes us back to the late 1940s to the early 1960s, from Ossining, NY to Oxford, England and tells the story of a life filled with loneliness, abuse, poverty, grace, riches, success, motherhood, and romance.

Becoming Mrs. Lewis is a well written, captivating, rich story by Callahan that does a remarkable job of highlighting her incredible knowledge and research into this complex, historical figure who 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.

                                            

 

 

 

I received a complimentary copy of this book from Thomas Nelson through NetGalley. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.

 

About Patti Callahan

Patti Callahan, who also writes as Patti Callahan Henry, is a New York Times bestselling author of thirteen novels, including this latest novel BECOMING MRS. LEWIS – The Improbable Love Story of Joy Davidman and C.S. Lewis. A finalist in the Townsend Prize for Fiction, an Indie Next Pick, an OKRA pick, and a multiple nominee for the Southern Independent Booksellers Alliance (SIBA) Novel of the Year, Patti is a frequent speaker at luncheons, book clubs and women’s groups. The mother of three children, she now lives in both Mountain Brook, Alabama and Bluffton, South Carolina with her husband.

#BookReview
The Dream Daughter by Diane Chamberlain
@D_Chamberlain @StMartinsPress

#BookReview The Dream Daughter by Diane Chamberlain @D_Chamberlain @StMartinsPressTitle: The Dream Daughter

Author: Diane Chamberlain

Published by St. Martin's Press on October 2, 2018

Genres: General Fiction, Women's Fiction, Science Fiction

Pages: 384

Format: eBook, ARC

Source: St. Martin's Press, NetGalley

Book Rating: 9/10

 

 

Synopsis:

From bestselling author Diane Chamberlain comes an irresistible new novel.

When Caroline Sears receives the news that her unborn baby girl has a heart defect, she is devastated. It is 1970 and there seems to be little that can be done. But her brother-in-law, a physicist, tells her that perhaps there is. Hunter appeared in their lives just a few years before—and his appearance was as mysterious as his past. With no family, no friends, and a background shrouded in secrets, Hunter embraced the Sears family and never looked back.

Now, Hunter is telling her that something can be done about her baby’s heart. Something that will shatter every preconceived notion that Caroline has. Something that will require a kind of strength and courage that Caroline never knew existed. Something that will mean a mind-bending leap of faith on Caroline’s part.

And all for the love of her unborn child.

A rich, genre-spanning, breathtaking novel about one mother’s quest to save her child, unite her family, and believe in the unbelievable. Diane Chamberlain pushes the boundaries of faith and science to deliver a novel that you will never forget.


Review:

Enthralling, memorable, and heart-wrenching!

The Dream Daughter is a unique, moving, time-slip novel that takes you into the life of Caroline Sears as she embarks on a perilous journey to save and protect her unborn child.

The writing is eloquent and sophisticated. The characters are genuine, compassionate, and courageous. And the captivating, time-travel plot sweeps you away into an intricately woven tale about life, loss, family, determination, hope, solace, sacrifice, remarkable medical and scientific advances, and a little magic.

The Dream Daughter is ultimately a mesmerizing, creative, well-written story that may be a little different than Chamberlain’s previous novels, but is nevertheless an emotional, satisfying, page-turner of a tale that reminds us that a mother’s love is all-encompassing, selfless, powerful, and everlasting.

 

This novel is available now.

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

                                            


 

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

 

About Diane Chamberlain

Diane Chamberlain is the New York Times, USA Today and Sunday Times bestselling author of 25 novels published in more than twenty languages. Some of her most popular books include Necessary Lies, The Silent Sister, The Secret Life of CeeCee Wilkes, and The Keeper of the Light Trilogy. Diane likes to write complex stories about relationships between men and women, parents and children, brothers and sisters, and friends. Although the thematic focus of her books often revolves around family, love, compassion and forgiveness, her stories usually feature a combination of drama, mystery, secrets and intrigue. Diane's background in psychology has given her a keen interest in understanding the way people tick, as well as the background necessary to create her realistic characters.

Diane was born and raised in Plainfield, New Jersey and spent her summers at the Jersey Shore. She also lived for many years in San Diego and northern Virginia before making North Carolina her home.

Diane received her bachelor's and master's degrees in clinical social work from San Diego State University. Prior to her writing career, Diane worked in hospitals in San Diego and Washington, D.C. before opening a private psychotherapy practice in Alexandria Virginia specializing in adolescents. All the while Diane was writing on the side. Her first book, Private Relations was published in 1989 and it earned the RITA award for Best Single Title Contemporary Novel.
Diane lives with her partner, photographer John Pagliuca, and her sheltie, Cole. She has three stepdaughters, two sons-in-law, and four grandchildren. She's currently at work on her next novel.

#BlogTour #BookReview
The Makings of a Lady by Catherine Tinley
@CatherineTinley @HarlequinBooks @rararesources

#BlogTour #BookReview The Makings of a Lady by Catherine Tinley @CatherineTinley @HarlequinBooks @rararesources

#BlogTour #BookReview The Makings of a Lady by Catherine Tinley @CatherineTinley @HarlequinBooks @rararesourcesTitle: The Makings of a Lady

Author: Catherine Tinley

Series: The Chadcombe Marriages #3

Published by Harlequin Books on October 1, 2018

Genres: Historical Romance

Pages: 288

Format: eBook, ARC

Source: Harlequin Books, Rachel's Random Resources

Book Rating: 8/10

 

Synopsis:

Be calm , she thought.

Be gracious. Be twenty-two.

Lady Olivia Fanton is eager to prove she’s no longer a child. However, just as she thinks she’s found a suitable match in suave Mr. Manning, charismatic Captain Jem Ford walks back into her life, bringing with him all the embarrassment of her infatuation four years before! She’s determined to appear mature, distant, friendly. But dare she hope he’ll notice her as the lady she’s become?


Review:

Historical, entertaining, and lighthearted!

The Makings of a Lady is predominantly set at the Chadcombe estate in Surrey during 1819 and features the elegant, confident Lady Olivia who may unexpectedly find herself in need of her very own real-life, dashing hero, along with the charming, successful Captain Jem who may finally decide it’s time to stay home and settle down. 

The prose is amusing and authentic. The characters are engaging, fun, passionate, and in some cases devious. And the plot is a witty, mysterious mix of Regency customs and traditions, scoundrel behaviour, family drama, desire, humorous hijinks, mishaps, yearning, and romance.

Overall, The Makings of a Lady is an engaging, easy, enjoyable read that’s perfect for fans of the historical romance genre. And even though it’s the third book in The Chadcombe Marriages series, it can certainly be read as a standalone.

 

This novel is available now.

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

    

 

 

Giveaway:

Take a look at Catherine Tinley’s Social media accounts where she is running a giveaway to win a copy of the book, along with two other (surprise) romance novels by other writers.

2 x UK/Ireland Winners and 1 x International Winner.

For all the details look out for Catherine Tinley on Facebook and Twitter.

 

 

Thank you to Catherine Tinley and Harlequin Romance for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review.

 

About Catherine Tinley

Catherine Tinley writes witty, heartwarming Regency love stories. She has loved reading and writing since childhood, and has a particular fondness for love, romance, and happy endings. After a career encompassing speech and language therapy, NHS management, maternity campaigning and being President of a charity, she now works for Sure Start. She lives in Ireland with her husband, children, and dog.

 

#BookReview
Not Quite Perfect (Rocky Cove #1)
by Rebecca Norinne @rebecca_norinne

#BookReview Not Quite Perfect (Rocky Cove #1) by Rebecca Norinne @rebecca_norinneTitle: Not Quite Perfect

Author: Rebecca Norinne

Series: Rocky Cove #1

Published by Rebecca Norinne on September 26, 2018

Genres: Contemporary Romance

Pages: 119

Format: eBook, ARC

Source: InkSlingerPR

Book Rating: 9/10

 

Synopsis:

On the ferry to my mother’s wedding, I met the most amazing man—his love of Faulkner notwithstanding. Professor David Carstairs was funny, intelligent, and had the sexiest hands I’d ever seen. A conversation about classic American literature led to a romantic dinner at his house … and then a whole lot of dessert afterward. I’d never done anything like that before, but what we had was something special.

Unfortunately, everything came crashing down the next day. Because my supposedly perfect professor? His dad just married my mom, and now he’s my stepbrother!

Thanksgiving dinner just got a whole lot more complicated.


Review:

Sassy, amusing, and adorably romantic!

Not Quite Perfect is a sweet, provocative tale that features the independent, fun-loving Victoria and the confident, smart, professor David as they navigate a relationship that includes undeniable attraction, a hot-and-heavy one-night stand, a wedding with unexpected consequences, and an unhappy mother.

The writing is witty and crisp. The characters are smart, alluring, and lovable. And the plot is a delightful blend of humorous hijinks, flirty banter, steamy romance, smouldering chemistry, all-consuming desire, and family drama.

Overall, Not Quite Perfect is another entertaining, light, delectable indulgence by Norinne with an absorbing plot, irresistible characters, and an ending that will leave you yearning and excited for more!

 

This book is available now.

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

                              

 

 

Thank you to Rebecca Norinne for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review.

 

About Rebecca Norinne

Rebecca Norinne writes sexy romance from the heart. Her heroines are bold and headstrong, and her heroes will do anything for the ones they love.

When not banging away at the keyboard, she is watching rugby, enjoying a pint of craft beer, or traveling the globe in search of inspiration for her next book.

Originally from California, Rebecca currently resides in Dublin, Ireland, with her husband.

 

#BookReview
Wild Fire (Shetland #8) by Ann Cleeves
@AnnCleeves @PGCBooks @panmacmillan

#BookReview Wild Fire (Shetland #8) by Ann Cleeves @AnnCleeves @PGCBooks @panmacmillanTitle: Wild Fire

Author: Ann Cleeves

Series: Shetland #8

Published by Pan Macmillan on September 25, 2018

Genres: Mystery/Thriller, Police Procedural

Pages: 416

Format: Paperback

Source: Publishers Group Canada

Book Rating: 8.5/10

 

Synopsis:

Wild Fire is the much-anticipated final book in Ann Cleeves’s beloved Shetland Island series, now a major television triumph starring Douglas Henshall.

When the Flemingsdesigner Helena and architect Danielmove into a remote community in the north of Shetland, they think it’s a fresh start for themselves and their children.

But their arrival triggers resentment, and Helena begins to receive small drawings of a gallows and a hanged man. Gossip spreads like wildfire.

A story of dysfunctional families and fractured relationships, Inspector Jimmy Perez’s eighth case will intrigue series fans and Shetland Island newcomers alike.


Review:

Mysterious, precise, and atmospheric!

In this latest novel by Cleeves, Wild Fire, we head back to Deltaness where DI Jimmy Perez finds himself immersed in the evidence collection and investigation into the murder of a local nanny whose childhood was marred by hardship and tragedy and whose recent past was full of unusual and strained relationships.

The prose is intricate and deft. The characters are flawed, complex and intriguing. And the plot is a compelling, well crafted, police procedural full of suspects, clues, deduction, jealousy, obsession, manipulation, swirling emotions, secrets, familial drama, and murder.

Wild Fire is the eighth and final novel in the Shetland Series, and even though it’s a little bittersweet to say goodbye to the characters we’ve come to know and love over these last eight novels, it is nevertheless a lovely way to solve one last case with the usual gang and to finally discover whether DI Perez and Chief Inspector Willow will finally get their happy-ever-after ending.

 

This book 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 Cleeves

Ann Cleeves is the author behind PBS’s Vera and BBC One’s Shetland. She has written over twenty-five novels, and is the creator of detectives Vera Stanhope and Jimmy Perez – characters loved both on screen and in print. Her books have now sold over 1 million copies worldwide.

Ann worked as a probation officer, bird observatory cook and auxiliary coastguard before becoming a crime writer. She is a member of ‘Murder Squad’, working with other British northern writers to promote crime fiction. In 2006 Ann was awarded the Duncan Lawrie Dagger (CWA Gold Dagger) for Best Crime Novel, for Raven Black, the first book in her Shetland series, and in 2012 she was inducted into the CWA Crime Thriller Awards Hall of Fame. Ann lives in North Tyneside, England.

#BookReview
The Christmas Sisters by Sarah Morgan
@SarahMorgan_ @HarlequinBooks

#BookReview The Christmas Sisters by Sarah Morgan @SarahMorgan_ @HarlequinBooksTitle: The Christmas Sisters

Author: Sarah Morgan

Published by Harlequin Books on September 25, 2018

Genres: Contemporary Romance, Women's Fiction

Pages: 416

Format: Paperback, ARC

Source: Harlequin Books

Book Rating: 10/10

 

 

Synopsis:

In the snowy Highlands of Scotland, Suzanne McBride is dreaming of the perfect cozy Christmas. Her three adopted daughters are coming home for the holidays and she can’t wait to see them. But tensions are running high…

Workaholic Hannah knows she can’t avoid spending the holidays with her family two years in a row. But it’s not the weight of their expectations that’s panicking her—it’s the life-changing secret she’s hiding. Stay-at-home mom Beth is having a personal crisis. All she wants for Christmas is time to decide if she’s ready to return to work—seeing everyone was supposed to help her stress levels, not increase them! Posy isn’t sure she’s living her best life, but with her parents depending on her, making a change seems risky. But not as risky as falling for gorgeous new neighbor Luke…

As Suzanne’s dreams of the perfect McBride Christmas unravel, she must rely on the magic of the season to bring her daughters together. But will this new togetherness teach the sisters that their close-knit bond is strong enough to withstand anything—including a family Christmas?


Review:

Delightfully mesmerizing, positively heartwarming, and absolutely brilliant!

The Christmas Sisters is an engaging, beguiling story that sweeps you away to the beautiful ruggedness of the Scottish Highlands in winter and immerses you into the lives of the McBride family as they confront the past, accept the things they cannot change, forgive, accept, repair fractured relationships, take chances, and embrace the future.

The writing is expressive, effortless, and polished. The characterization is spot on with a whole slew of characters that are genuine, multi-layered, unique, and intriguing. And the plot, and it’s series of compelling subplots, skillfully unravels and intertwines to create an unforgettable, touching story about life, love, loss, family, secrets, friendship, romance, and happiness.

The Christmas Sisters is without a doubt the perfect festive read that highlights the magic of the holidays and reminds us to always live life to the fullest and surround ourselves with those we love. It is a fabulously irresistible read that proves once again that when it comes to writing heartfelt, moving stories with characters you can’t help but fall in love with Morgan’s one of the best!

 

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 for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review.

 

About Sarah Morgan

USA Today bestselling author Sarah Morgan writes contemporary romance and her trademark humour and sensuality have gained her fans across the globe. She is a 3 time winner of the prestigious RITA® Award from the Romance Writers of America and has been nominated five times. Sarah lives near London, England, and when she isn’t reading or writing she loves being outdoors.

#BookReview
Her Frozen Heart by Lulu Taylor
@MissLuluTaylor @PGCBooks @panmacmillan

#BookReview Her Frozen Heart by Lulu Taylor @MissLuluTaylor @PGCBooks @panmacmillanTitle: Her Frozen Heart

Author: Lulu Taylor

Published by Pan Macmillan on September 4, 2018

Genres: Mystery/Thriller, Historical Fiction

Pages: 480

Format: Paperback

Source: Publishers Group Canada

Book Rating: 8.5/10

 

 

Synopsis:

Caitlyn, there’s something I have to tell you. About Sara.

Caitlyn thinks her marriage to Patrick is a success. For one thing, he is one of the few people not to fall head over heels for her beautiful friend, Sara. Life is lived on his terms, but they are happy.

Aren’t they?

When a devastating accident turns her existence upside down, Caitlyn is forced to reassess everything she thought about her marriage, what she truly knows about Patrick, and his real feelings for her best friend. In the refuge of an old manor house, she begins to discover the truth.

In 1947, the worst winter in decades hits England, cutting off entirely the inhabitants of Kings Harcourt Manor. For Tommy Carter, widowed at the start of war, it is particularly hard: the burden of the family falls on her. She has the solace of her children, and the interesting presence of her brother’s friend, Fred. But there is also Barbara, a mysterious figure from her past who appears to want a piece of Tommy’s future as well.

Her Frozen Heart is a thrilling mystery from Lulu Taylor, top ten bestselling author of The Snow Rose.


Review:

Simmering, menacing, and dramatic!

Her Frozen Heart is predominantly set in the Oxfordshire countryside during the late 1940s, as well as present day, and is told from two different perspectives, Tommy, a young widow struggling to keep her family fed, safe, and warm during the harshest of winters, continuing war rations, and an unexpected visitor with malicious intentions; and Caitlyn, a young woman who finds her life unexpectedly turned upside down by the sudden loss of her husband and a secret that threatens everything she thought she knew about her marriage.

The writing is descriptive and unsettling. The characters in both time periods are troubled, determined, protective, and strong. And the plot, including all the subplots, intertwine and unravel subtly into a mysterious tale filled with life, loss, family, survival, heartbreak, betrayal, obsession, romance, misdirection, manipulation, and violence.

Overall, Her Frozen Heart is a clever, atmospheric, brooding thriller that reminds us just how quickly life can spin out of control and just how parasitic some of our relationships can truly be.

 

This novel is available in Canada on September 25, 2018.

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 Lulu Taylor

Lulu Taylor moved around the world as a child before her family settled in the Oxfordshire countryside. She studied English at Oxford University and had a successful career in publishing before becoming a writer. Her first novel, Heiresses was published in 2007 and nominated for the RNA Readers' Choice award. It was followed by Midnight Girls, Beautiful Creatures, Outrageous Fortune, The Winter Folly, The Snow Angel, The Winter Children, and The Snow Rose. She lives in Dorset, England, with her husband and two children.

Photograph by Alicia Clarke.

#BookReview
Sea Prayer by Khaled Hosseini
@khaledhosseini @PenguinRandomCA

#BookReview Sea Prayer by Khaled Hosseini @khaledhosseini @PenguinRandomCATitle: Sea Prayer

Author: Khaled Hosseini

Published by Riverhead Books on September 18, 2018

Genres: General Fiction

Pages: 48

Format: Paperback, ARC

Source: Penguin Random House Canada

Book Rating: 9/10

 

 

Synopsis:

The #1 New York Times-bestselling author of The Kite Runner, A Thousand Splendid Suns, and And the Mountains Echoed responds to the heartbreak of the current refugee crisis with this deeply moving, beautifully illustrated short work of fiction for people of all ages, all over the world.

A short, powerful, illustrated book written by beloved novelist Khaled Hosseini in response to the current refugee crisis, Sea Prayer is composed in the form of a letter, from a father to his son, on the eve of their journey. Watching over his sleeping son, the father reflects on the dangerous sea-crossing that lies before them. It is also a vivid portrait of their life in Homs, Syria, before the war, and of that city’s swift transformation from a home into a deadly war zone.

Impelled to write this story by the haunting image of young Alan Kurdi, the three-year-old Syrian boy whose body washed upon the beach in Turkey in September 2015, Hosseini hopes to pay tribute to the millions of families, like Kurdi’s, who have been splintered and forced from home by war and persecution, and he will donate author proceeds from this book to the UNHCR (the UN Refugee Agency) and The Khaled Hosseini Foundation to help fund lifesaving relief efforts to help refugees around the globe.


Review:

Impactful, evocative, and profoundly moving!

Sea Prayer is an intense, beautifully depicted story that highlights the plight of thousands around the world who are forced to leave their homes and embark on a perilous journey to find safety and freedom for themselves and their families.

The prose is lyrical and fluid. The narration is unique and powerful and told entirely through a heartfelt letter written by a father to his young son. And the illustrations are a perfect complement to the compelling, emotional plot as they transport you from the greens and reds of content country life to the blacks and browns of turmoil and war, and then on to the blues and dark greens of the unpredictable, endless raging sea.

Overall I would have to say that Sea Prayer is a short but incredibly poignant tale that reminds us that the base of humanity is kindness, compassion, and strength and that no matter nationality, locale, or religious beliefs everyone deserves to be loved, protected, and free.

 

This book is available now.

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

                                        

 

 

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

 

About Khaled Hosseini

Khaled Hosseini was born in Kabul, Afghanistan, and moved to the United States in 1980. He is the author of the New York Times bestsellers The Kite Runner, A Thousand Splendid Suns, and And the Mountains Echoed. Hosseini is also a U.S. Goodwill Envoy to the UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, and the founder of The Khaled Hosseini Foundation, a nonprofit that provides humanitarian assistance to the people of Afghanistan.

Photo by Brian Sokol.

#BookReview
The Lost Carousel of Provence by Juliet Blackwell
@JulietBlackwell @BerkleyPub

#BookReview The Lost Carousel of Provence by Juliet Blackwell @JulietBlackwell @BerkleyPubTitle: The Lost Carousel of Provence

Author: Juliet Blackwell

Published by Berkley Books on September 18, 2018

Genres: General Fiction, Historical Fiction, Women's Fiction

Pages: 368

Format: eBook, ARC

Source: Berkley Publishing, NetGalley

Book Rating: 8/10

 

 

Synopsis:

An artist lost to history, a family abandoned to its secrets, and the woman whose search for meaning unearths it all in a sweeping and expressive story from the New York Times bestselling author of Letters from Paris .

Present day, San Francisco. During her free time, professional photographer Cady Drake shoots local carousels, a hobby inspired by a gift that transformed her childhood: a wooden rabbit supposedly created by master French carver Gustave Bayol a century ago. And when she’s offered a freelance assignment for a book on the antique merry-go-rounds of Paris, Cady can’t refuse the opportunity to visit the famous carousels for the first time….

1900s, France. In a small town outside of Avignon, a husband and young wife struggle to keep up their ancestral chateau–and start the family they so desperately desire. For the children they hope to have, the Clements hire the famous Bayol to build a carousel, but as the carver and his apprentice work on the beautiful and whimsical creation, fate will entwine them all in unseen ways–for generations to come…

Present day, Provence. As Cady’s research leads her to the dilapidated Chateau Clement and its fabled carousel that was lost to the ravages of World War II, she will uncover a shocking truth in a set of one-hundred-year-old photographs that could guide her in reuniting a family torn apart by petty jealousies over several generations.


Review:

Intriguing, atmospheric, and uplifting!

The Lost Carousel of Provence is an alluring tale predominantly set in the majestic southeastern region of France during the early 1900s, as well as present day, and is told from three different perspectives. Maelle, an independent, hardworking young woman struggling to showcase her talents and prove her worth in a male-dominated environment. Fabrice, a lonely, elderly man who has sacrificed, endured and lived a life weighed down by deception, regret, and unrequited love. And Cady an intelligent, independent, young woman who endeavours to photograph all the lost carousels of France and uncover all the stories and secrets that surround them.

The prose is expressive and eloquent. The characters are scarred, complex, and authentic. And the plot is a sweeping saga filled with familial drama, introspection, love, loss, life, family, friendship, community, mystique, heartbreak, romance, secrets, passion, loyalty, as well as a little insight into the designing and building of some of the most famous merry-go-rounds of all time.

Overall, The Lost Carousel of Provence is an informative, romantic, mysterious tale that is a well-written, exceptionally researched, beautiful, picture postcard of the history, landmarks, culture, culinary fare, and lost art forms of a country Blackwell obviously loves and knows well.

 

This book is available now.

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

                                        

 

 

Thank you to NetGalley, especially Berkley Publishing Group, for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review.

 

About Juliet Blackwell

Juliet Blackwell is the New York Times bestselling author of Letters from Paris and The Paris Key. She also writes the Witchcraft Mystery series and the Haunted Home Renovation series. As Hailey Lind, Blackwell wrote the Agatha-nominated Art Lover's Mystery series. A former anthropologist, social worker, and professional artist, Juliet is a California native who has spent time in Mexico, Spain, Cuba, Italy, the Philippines, and France.

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