Genre: General Fiction

#BookReview We Are the Brennans by Tracey Lange @CeladonBooks #WeAreTheBrennans #CeladonBooks #CeladonReads #partner

#BookReview We Are the Brennans by Tracey Lange @CeladonBooks #WeAreTheBrennans #CeladonBooks #CeladonReads #partner Title: We Are the Brennans

Author: Tracey Lange

Published by: Celadon Books on Aug. 3, 2021

Genres: General Fiction

Pages: 288

Format: ARC, Paperback

Source: Celadon Books

Book Rating: 9/10

In the vein of Mary Beth Keane’s Ask Again, Yes and Cynthia D’Aprix Sweeney’s The Nest, Tracey Lange’s We Are the Brennans explores the staying power of shame—and the redemptive power of love—in an Irish Catholic family torn apart by secrets.

When twenty-nine-year-old Sunday Brennan wakes up in a Los Angeles hospital, bruised and battered after a drunk driving accident she caused, she swallows her pride and goes home to her family in New York. But it’s not easy. She deserted them all—and her high school sweetheart—five years before with little explanation, and they’ve got questions.

Sunday is determined to rebuild her life back on the east coast, even if it does mean tiptoeing around resentful brothers and an ex-fiancé. The longer she stays, however, the more she realizes they need her just as much as she needs them. When a dangerous man from her past brings her family’s pub business to the brink of financial ruin, the only way to protect them is to upend all their secrets—secrets that have damaged the family for generations and will threaten everything they know about their lives. In the aftermath, the Brennan family is forced to confront painful mistakes—and ultimately find a way forward, together.


Review:

Affecting, nuanced, and immersive!

We Are the Brennans is an intense, captivating, multi-generational story that delves into the complex bonds and emotional ties between family members and immerses you in a tale about confronting the past, accepting the things you cannot change, rediscovering one’s self, learning to trust, and moving on.

The prose is polished and smooth. The characters are conflicted, loyal, and scarred. And the plot told from multiple POVs is an exceptionally absorbing tale about life, loss, love, secrets, resentment, regret, acceptance, forgiveness, familial drama, friendship, loneliness, miscommunication, and passion.

Overall, I found We Are the Brennans to be a beautiful mix of hope, healing, and heart that is not only a moving, emotive, stunning debut by Lange but definitely a must-read for anyone who loves a well-written, meaty family saga.

This novel is available on August 3, 2021.

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

            

 

 

 

Thank you to Celadon Books for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review.

 

About Tracey Lange

Born in the Bronx and raised in Manhattan, Tracey Lange comes from a large Irish family with a few secrets of its own. She headed west and graduated from the University of New Mexico before owning and operating a behavioral healthcare company with her husband for fifteen years. While writing her debut novel, We Are the Brennans, she completed the Stanford University online novel writing program. Tracey currently lives in Bend, Oregon, with her husband, two sons and their German Shepherd.

Photo courtesy of Author's Goodreads Page.

#BookReview Shoulder Season by Christina Clancy @christi_clancy @StMartinsPress #ShoulderSeason #ChristinaClancy #SMPInfluencers

#BookReview Shoulder Season by Christina Clancy @christi_clancy @StMartinsPress #ShoulderSeason #ChristinaClancy #SMPInfluencers Title: Shoulder Season

Author: Christina Clancy

Published by: St. Martin's Press on Jul. 6, 2021

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

Pages: 336

Format: ARC, Paperback

Source: St. Martin's Press

Book Rating: 8/10

The small town of Lake Geneva, Wisconsin is an unlikely location for a Playboy Resort, and nineteen-year old Sherri Taylor is an unlikely bunny. Growing up in neighboring East Troy, Sherri plays the organ at the local church and has never felt comfortable in her own skin. But when her parents die in quick succession, she leaves the only home she’s ever known for the chance to be part of a glamorous slice of history. In the winter of 1981, in a costume two sizes too small, her toes pinched by towering stilettos, Sherri joins the daughters of dairy farmers and factory workers for the defining experience of her life.

Living in the “bunny hutch”—Playboy’s version of a college dorm, surrounded by a twelve-foot high barbed-wire fence (to keep the men out, and the girls in)—Sherri gets her education in the joys of sisterhood, the thrill of financial independence, the magic of first love, and the heady effects of sex, drugs, and rock and roll. But as spring gives way to summer, Sherri finds herself caught up in a romantic triangle––and the tragedy that ensues will haunt her for the next forty years of her life.

Shoulder Season follows Sherri from her fledgling days as a bunny, when she tries to reinvent herself before she even knows who she is, to the woman she becomes years later. From the Midwestern prairie to the California desert, from Wisconsin lakes to the Pacific Ocean, this is a story of what happens when small town life is sprinkled with stardust, and what we lose—and gain—when we leave home. It’s about the brief but intoxicating experiences of our youth, and how they have the power to shape the rest of our lives. With a heroine to root for and a narrative to get lost in, Shoulder Season is a sexy, evocative tale, drenched in longing and desire, that captures a fleeting moment in American history with nostalgia and heart.


Review:

Engaging, dramatic, and informative!

Shoulder Season is an absorbing, intriguing tale that takes us to East Troy, Wisconsin during the 1980s when The Lake Geneva Playboy Club was the place to be, girls were excited for more than just marriage, and Sherri Taylor would quickly change from a naive, small-town girl to a bunny whose eyes would be opened wide to a world of sex, drugs, fortune, and fame.

The writing is vivid and expressive. The characters are young, impressionable, and impulsive. And the plot takes us from the 1980s to the present day and tells the story of a life filled with loss, love, loneliness, grief, coming-of-age, friendship, discontent, insecurity, and sexual awakening.

Overall, Shoulder Season is a captivating, candid, heartbreaking tale by Clancy that isn’t exceptionally exhilarating but is nevertheless an insightful tale that takes us back to a different era and does a wonderful job of reminding us that everyone who enters our lives, no matter how briefly, impacts, shapes, and defines it.

 

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 Christina Clancy

CHRISTINA CLANCY is the author of The Second Home. Her writing has appeared in the New York Times, The Washington Post, The Chicago Tribune, The Sun Magazine and in various literary journals, including Glimmer Train, Pleiades and Hobart. She holds a PhD in Creative Writing from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, and lives in Madison, WI with her family.

Photo by James Bartelt.

#BookReview What’s Mine and Yours by Naima Coster @zafatista @GrandCentralPub #NaimaCoster #WhatsMineandYours

#BookReview What’s Mine and Yours by Naima Coster @zafatista @GrandCentralPub #NaimaCoster #WhatsMineandYours Title: What's Mine and Yours

Author: Naima Coster

Published by: Grand Central Publishing on Mar. 2, 2021

Genres: General Fiction

Pages: 341

Format: Hardcover

Source: Grand Central Publishing

Book Rating: 8/10

From the author of Halsey Street, a sweeping novel of legacy, identity, the American family-and the ways that race affects even our most intimate relationships.

A community in the Piedmont of North Carolina rises in outrage as a county initiative draws students from the largely Black east side of town into predominantly white high schools on the west. For two students, Gee and Noelle, the integration sets off a chain of events that will tie their two families together in unexpected ways over the span of the next twenty years.

On one side of the integration debate is Jade, Gee’s steely, ambitious mother. In the aftermath of a harrowing loss, she is determined to give her son the tools he’ll need to survive in America as a sensitive, anxious, young Black man. On the other side is Noelle’s headstrong mother, Lacey May, a white woman who refuses to see her half-Latina daughters as anything but white. She strives to protect them as she couldn’t protect herself from the influence of their charming but unreliable father, Robbie.

When Gee and Noelle join the school play meant to bridge the divide between new and old students, their paths collide, and their two seemingly disconnected families begin to form deeply knotted, messy ties that will shape the trajectory of their adult lives. And their mothers-each determined to see her child inherit a better life-will make choices that will haunt them for decades to come.

As love is built and lost, and the past never too far behind, What’s Mine and Yours is an expansive, vibrant tapestry that moves between the years, from the foothills of North Carolina, to Atlanta, Los Angeles, and Paris. It explores the unique organism that is every family: what breaks them apart and how they come back together.


Review:

Graceful, thought-provoking, and moving!

What’s Mine and Yours is a beautifully written, affecting tale that takes you back and forth in time and immerses you into the lives of two single-mother families as they grapple with all the secrets, wounds, smiles, tears, strength, discontent, and compassion that life seems to have handed them.

The prose is effortless and rich. The characters are authentic, angry, and raw. And the story is a touching, coming-of-age tale about life, loss, love, grief, forgiveness, familial drama, friendship, race, discrimination, marital discord, courage, hope, socioeconomic disparities, and the complex dynamics that exist between family members.

Overall, What’s Mine and Yours is an insightful, nuanced, multi-generational family saga by Coster that reminds us that life is complicated, messy, challenging, short, heartbreaking, as well as all those other special moments and lovely times that happen in-between.

 

This book 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 Naima Coster

Naima Coster is the author of Halsey Street, and a finalist for the 2018 Kirkus Prize for Fiction. Naima's stories and essays have appeared in the New York Times, Kweli, the Paris Review Daily, Catapult, the Rumpus, and elsewhere. She holds an MFA in Creative Writing from Columbia University, as well as degrees from Fordham University and Yale. She has taught writing for over a decade, in community settings, youth programs, and universities. She lives in Brooklyn with her family.

Photo courtesy of grandcentalpublishing.com

#BookReview Catch the Rabbit by Lana Bastašić @PGCBooks @picadorbooks #CatchtheRabbit #LanaBastasic

#BookReview Catch the Rabbit by Lana Bastašić @PGCBooks @picadorbooks #CatchtheRabbit #LanaBastasic Title: Catch the Rabbit

Author: Lana Bastašić

Published by: Picador on May 27, 2021

Genres: General Fiction

Pages: 272

Format: Hardcover

Source: Publishers Group Canada

Book Rating: 7.5/10

A moving story about loss, forgetting and female friendship: two women on a road trip across Bosnia head towards a lost brother and a collision with the lies they’ve told themselves about where they’re from.

Sara hasn’t seen or heard from Lejla in years. She’s comfortable with her life in Dublin, with her partner, their avocado plant, and their naturist neighbour. But when Lejla calls and demands she come home to Bosnia, Sara finds that she can’t say no.

What begins as a road trip becomes a journey through the past, as the two women set off to find Armin, Lejla’s brother who disappeared towards the end of the Bosnian War. Presumed dead by everyone else, only Lejla and Sara believed Armin was still alive.

Confronted with the limits of memory, Sara is forced to reconsider the things she thought she understood as a girl: the best friend she loved, the first experiences they shared, but also the social and religious lines that separated them, that brought them such different lives.

In Catch the Rabbit, Lana Bastašic tells the story of how we place the ones we love on pedestals, and then wait for them to fall off, how loss marks us indelibly, and how the traumas of war echo down the years.


Review:

Frank, pensive, and melancholic!

Catch the Rabbit is a dark, gritty, nostalgic novel that takes us into the life of Sara, a young woman who is more than content with her current life in Dublin and how she’s managed to reinvent herself after growing up in Bosnia during the 1990s, until her childhood best friend, Lejla contacts her out of the blue after more than a decade to ask her to drive from Mostar to Vienna in order to find her brother who has been missing for more than twenty years, and whose disappearance has had a lasting impact on both of their lives.

The prose is perceptive and expressive. The characters are scarred, multilayered, and self-absorbed. And the plot, using a past-present style, is a reflective tale about life, loss, tragedy, family, friendship, coming-of-age, shared experiences, differing perspectives, and elusive memories, all interwoven with an undercurrent of the ongoing dread and tension experienced by those who must live and grow up in war zones.

Overall, Catch the Rabbit is a poignant, weighty, toxic tale by Bastašić that delves into all the messiness of life and highlights all the enduring psychological and emotional ties that exist between friends.

 

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 Lana Bastašić

Lana Bastašic is a Yugoslavborn writer. She has published two collections of short stories and one of poetry. Catch the Rabbit, her debut novel, was published in 2018 in Belgrade and was shortlisted for the NIN Award. Her short stories have been included in major regional anthologies and have won numerous awards throughout former Yugoslavia. She lives and works in Barcelona.

#BookReview The Newcomer by Mary Kay Andrews @mkayandrews @StMartinsPress #TheNewcomer #MaryKayAndrews #StMartinsPress

#BookReview The Newcomer by Mary Kay Andrews @mkayandrews @StMartinsPress #TheNewcomer #MaryKayAndrews #StMartinsPress Title: The Newcomer

Author: Mary Kay Andrews

Published by: St. Martin's Press on May 4, 2021

Genres: General Fiction, Women's Fiction, Mystery/Thriller

Pages: 448

Format: Hardcover

Source: St. Martin's Press

Book Rating: 8/10

In trouble and on the run…

After she discovers her sister Tanya dead on the floor of her fashionable New York City townhouse, Letty Carnahan is certain she knows who did it: Tanya’s ex; sleazy real estate entrepreneur Evan Wingfield. Even in the grip of grief and panic Letty heeds her late sister’s warnings: “If anything bad happens to me–it’s Evan. Promise me you’ll take Maya and run. Promise me.”

With a trunkful of emotional baggage…

So Letty grabs her sister’s Mercedes and hits the road with her wailing four-year-old niece Maya. Letty is determined to out-run Evan and the law, but run to where? Tanya, a woman with a past shrouded in secrets, left behind a “go-bag” of cash and a big honking diamond ring–but only one clue: a faded magazine story about a sleepy mom-and-pop motel in a Florida beach town with the improbable name of Treasure Island. She sheds her old life and checks into an uncertain future at The Murmuring Surf Motel.

The No Vacancy sign is flashing & the sharks are circling…

And that’s the good news. Because The Surf, as the regulars call it, is the winter home of a close-knit flock of retirees and snowbirds who regard this odd-duck newcomer with suspicion and down-right hostility. As Letty settles into the motel’s former storage room, she tries to heal Maya’s heartache and unravel the key to her sister’s shady past, all while dodging the attention of the owner’s dangerously attractive son Joe, who just happens to be a local police detective. Can Letty find romance as well as a room at the inn–or will Joe betray her secrets and put her behind bars? With danger closing in, it’s a race to find the truth and right the wrongs of the past.


Review:

Heartwarming, mysterious, and colourful!

The Newcomer is an offbeat, intriguing tale that takes us into the life of thirty-three-year-old Letty Carnahan, who after discovering her sister Tanya’s murdered body and a magazine clipping featuring the Murmuring Surf Motel, flees with her four-year-old niece from NY to the west coast of Florida, where unbeknownst to her Tanya’s past unsavoury friendships, secrets, behaviour, and acquaintances will finally come to light.

The prose is amusing and light. The characters are multilayered, quirky, and endearing. And the plot is an engaging tale of familial drama, loss, grief, deception, theft, murder, kindness, suspicious personalities, taking chances, community, happiness, and love.

Overall, The Newcomer is a humorous, action-packed, entertaining tale by Andrews, and even though it’s not my favourite novel by this author, I still think it’s a satisfying, enjoyable pick for any summer day you’re planning to spend at the beach.

 

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 Mary Kay Andrews

Mary Kay Andrews is the pen name of American writer Kathy Hogan Trocheck, based in Atlanta, who has authored a number of best-selling books under the Andrews pen name since 2002.

Trochek graduated from the University of Georgia with a journalism degree in 1976. She worked as a reporter at a number of papers, and spent 11 years as a reporter for the Atlanta Journal-Constitution before leaving to write fiction full-time in 1991. She published ten mystery novels under her own name between 1992 and 2000, and switched to the Andrews pen name in 2002 to author Savannah Blues, which marked a change in her style to more Southern-flavored themes.

#BookReview Haven Point by Virginia Hume @virginiahume @RaincoastBooks @StMartinsPress #HavenPoint #VirginiaHume

#BookReview Haven Point by Virginia Hume @virginiahume @RaincoastBooks @StMartinsPress #HavenPoint #VirginiaHume Title: Haven Point

Author: Virginia Hume

Published by: St. Martin's Press on Jun. 8, 2021

Genres: General Fiction, Women's Fiction

Pages: 384

Format: ARC, Paperback

Source: Raincoast Books

Book Rating: 8.5/10

A sweeping debut novel about the generations of a family that spends summers in a seaside enclave on Maine’s rocky coastline, for fans of Elin Hilderbrand, Beatriz Williams, and Sarah Blake.

1944: Maren Larsen is a blonde beauty from a small Minnesota farming town, determined to do her part to help the war effort––and to see the world beyond her family’s cornfields. As a cadet nurse at Walter Reed Medical Center, she’s swept off her feet by Dr. Oliver Demarest, a handsome Boston Brahmin whose family spends summers in an insular community on the rocky coast of Maine.

1970: As the nation grapples with the ongoing conflict in Vietnam, Oliver and Maren are grappling with their fiercely independent seventeen-year-old daughter, Annie, who has fallen for a young man they don’t approve of. Before the summer is over a terrible tragedy will strike the Demarests––and in the aftermath, Annie vows never to return to Haven Point.

2008: Annie’s daughter, Skye, has arrived in Maine to help scatter her mother’s ashes. Maren knows that her granddaughter inherited Annie’s view of Haven Point: despite the wild beauty and quaint customs, the regattas and clambakes and sing-alongs, she finds the place––and the people––snobbish and petty. But Maren also knows that Annie never told Skye the whole truth about what happened during that fateful summer.

Over seven decades of a changing America, through wars and storms, betrayals and reconciliations, Virginia Hume’s Haven Point explores what it means to belong to a place, and to a family, which holds as tightly to its traditions as it does its secrets.


Review:

Tragic, nuanced, and moving!

Haven Point is a heartfelt, alluring story that immerses you into the lives of the Larsen family, especially three women, and all the secrets, smiles, tears, wounds, compassion, misery, and strength that has surrounded them through the years.

The prose is fluid and expressive. The characters are wounded, stubborn, and secretive. And the plot is a tender tale about life, loss, love, grief, forgiveness, familial drama, friendship, courage, hope, romance, and the unbreakable ties that bind us as family.

Overall, Haven Point is an immersive, compelling, multi-generational family saga by Hume that reminds us that life is a combination of all the complicated, messy, challenging, heartbreaking moments, as well as all the wonderful, special, lovely times that happen in-between.

 

This book is available now.

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

           

 

 

Thank you to Raincoast Books for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review.

 

About Virginia Hume

Virginia Hume is a freelance writer and editor. Her early career was spent in politics and public affairs. She lives outside Washington, D.C. with her husband, their daughters, and an under-groomed bichon named Chester.

Photo by David Baratz.

#BookReview Golden Girl by Elin Hilderbrand @elinhilderbrand @littlebrown @HBGCanada #GoldenGirl #ElinHilderbrand

#BookReview Golden Girl by Elin Hilderbrand @elinhilderbrand @littlebrown @HBGCanada #GoldenGirl #ElinHilderbrand Title: Golden Girl

Author: Elin Hilderbrand

Published by: Little Brown and Company on Jun. 1, 2021

Genres: General Fiction, Women's Fiction

Pages: 384

Format: Paperback

Source: HBG Canada

Book Rating: 10/10

On a perfect June day, Vivian Howe, author of thirteen beach novels and mother of three nearly grown children, is killed in a hit-and-run car accident while jogging near her home on Nantucket. She ascends to the Beyond where she’s assigned to a Person named Martha, who allows Vivi to watch what happens below for one last summer. Vivi also is granted three “nudges” to change the outcome of events on earth, and with her daughter Willa on her third miscarriage, Carson partying until all hours, and Leo currently “off again” with his high-maintenance girlfriend, she’ll have to think carefully where to use them.

From the Beyond, Vivi watches “The Chief” Ed Kapenash investigate her death, but her greatest worry is her final book, which contains a secret from her own youth that could be disastrous for her reputation. But when hidden truths come to light, Vivi’s family will have to sort out their past and present mistakes—with or without a nudge of help from above—while Vivi finally lets them grow without her.

With all of Elin’s trademark beach scenes, mouth-watering meals, and picture-perfect homes, plus a heartfelt message—the people we lose never really leave us—Golden Girl is a beach book unlike any other.


Review:

Thought-provoking, sentimental, and a touch mysterious!

Golden Girl is a heartfelt, compelling tale that sweeps you away to the idyllic Nantucket Island and into the life of novelist Vivian Howe, a mother of three, who after being killed in a hit-and-run accident is given one last summer to watch over those she loves and granted three small nudges to alter events on earth before she must finally accept her fate and pass over to the other side.

The writing is eloquent and expressive. The characters are complex, authentic, and troubled. And the plot is an irresistible, touching tale of relationship dynamics, familial drama, life, loss, acceptance, moral dilemmas, secrets, forgiveness, friendship, and the intricacies of small-island living.

Overall, Golden Girl is another absorbing, nostalgic, poignant tale by Hilderbrand that does a beautiful job of reminding us that to be human is to be flawed, and everyone should love and deserves to be loved for who they are, flaws and all.

This novel is available now.

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

            

 

 

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

 

About Elin Hilderbrand

Elin Hilderbrand is a mother of three, an avid runner, reader, and traveler, and the author of twenty-three novels. She grew up outside Philadelphia, and has lived on Nantucket for more than twenty years.

#BookReview The Mysteries by Marisa Silver @RaincoastBooks @BloomsburyPub #TheMysteries #MarisaSilver

#BookReview The Mysteries by Marisa Silver @RaincoastBooks @BloomsburyPub #TheMysteries #MarisaSilver Title: The Mysteries

Author: Marisa Silver

Published by: Bloomsbury Publishing on May 4, 2021

Genres: General Fiction

Pages: 256

Format: ARC, Paperback

Source: Raincoast Books

Book Rating: 8/10

From the New York Times bestselling author of Mary Coin, a masterful, intimate story of two young girls, joined in an unlikely friendship, whose lives are shattered in a single, unthinkable moment.

Miggy Brenneman is a wild and reckless seven-year-old with a fierce imagination, hellbent on pushing against the limits of childhood. Ellen is polite, cautious, and drawn to her friend’s bright flame. While the adults around them adjust to unstable times and fractured relationships, the girls respond with increasingly dangerous play. When tragedy strikes, all the novel’s characters grapple with questions of fate and individual responsibility, none more so than Miggy, who must make sense of a swiftly disappearing past and a radically transformed future.

Written with searing clarity and surpassing tenderness, The Mysteries limns the painful ambiguities of adulthood and the intense perceptions of an indelibly drawn child to offer a profound exploration of how all of us, at every stage, must reckon with life’s abundant and unsolvable mysteries.


Review:

Emotive, sobering, and nostalgic!

The Mysteries is a pensive, tragic novel that takes you back to 1973 and into the lives of two families, specifically two seven-year-old friends, Miggy and Ellen, whose worlds will be irrevocably changed and shattered one summer day when a fatal accident leaves one family devastated by loss and the other overwhelmingly consumed with guilt.

The prose is clear and precise. The characters are genuine, lonely, and flawed. And the plot is a simmering, emotional tale of life, loss, heartache, depression, grief, guilt, friendship, family, acceptance, introspection, and forgiveness.

Overall, The Mysteries is an intense, touching, compelling tale by Silver that does a lovely job of reminding us to savour every moment because life can often change in a heartbeat.

 

This book is available now.

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

             

 

 

Thank you to Raincoast Books for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review.

 

About Marisa Silver

Marisa Silver is the author of The Mysteries (2021), Little Nothing (2016), a New York Times Editor's Choice, and winner of the 2017 Ohioana Book Award for Fiction, Mary Coin (2013), a New York Times Bestseller and winner of the Southern California Independent Bookseller's Award, and an NPR and BBC Best Book of the Year, Alone With You (2010), The God of War (2008), a finalist for the Los Angeles Times Book Prize for fiction, No Direction Home (2005), and Babe in Paradise (2001), a New York Times Notable Book of the Year and a Los Angeles Times Best Book of the Year. Her short fiction has won the O. Henry Prize and has appeared in The New Yorker, The Atlantic.com and many other publications, and has been included in The Best American Short Stories, the O. Henry Prize Stories, as well as other anthologies.

In 2018, Silver was awarded the Mary Ellen von der Heyden Fellowship at the Dorothy and Lewis B. Cullman Center for Scholars and Writers at The New York Public Library. In 2017, she received a Guggenheim Fellowship for the Creative Arts. She teaches at The MFA Program for Writers at Warren Wilson College.

Photo courtesy of Author's Website.

#BookReview Love in Color: Mythical Tales from Around the World, Retold by Bolu Babalola @WmMorrowBooks #LoveinColor #BoluBabalola

#BookReview Love in Color: Mythical Tales from Around the World, Retold by Bolu Babalola @WmMorrowBooks #LoveinColor #BoluBabalola Title: Love in Color: Mythical Tales from Around the World, Retold

Author: Bolu Babalola

Published by: William Morrow on Apr. 13, 2021

Genres: Fantasy, General Fiction, Women's Fiction

Pages: 304

Format: ARC, Paperback

Source: William Morrow

Book Rating: 8/10

A high-born Nigerian goddess, who has been beaten down and unappreciated by her gregarious lover, longs to be truly seen.

A young businesswoman attempts a great leap in her company, and an even greater one in her love life.

A powerful Ghanaian spokeswoman is forced to decide whether she should uphold her family’s politics or be true to her heart.

In her debut collection, internationally acclaimed writer Bolu Babalola retells the most beautiful love stories from history and mythology with incredible new detail and vivacity. Focusing on the magical folktales of West Africa, Babalola also reimagines Greek myths, ancient legends from the Middle East, and stories from long-erased places.

With an eye towards decolonizing tropes inherent in our favorite tales of love, Babalola has created captivating stories that traverse across perspectives, continents, and genres.


Review:

Uplifting, thought-provoking, and empowering!

Love in Color is an astute, beautiful collection of short stories that takes a variety of ancient folklore and tales and creatively reinvents them into contemporary love stories.

The writing is bold and colourful. The stories are imaginative, well written and romantic. And the plots, although slightly different, all feature strong, independent women and highlight the incredible power of love in all its forms.

Overall, Love in Color is a thoughtful, inspirational, perceptive anthology by Babalola that ultimately reminds us that to love and be loved is one of humanity’s most fundamental needs, or to quote Mahatma Gandhi’s iconic words, “Where there is love there is life.” 

 

This novel is available now.

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

           

 

 

Thank you to William Morrow for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review.

 

About Bolu Babalola

Bolu Babalola is a British-Nigerian woman with a misleading bachelor's degree in law and a masters degree in American Politics & History from UCL. She feels it is important to state that her thesis was on Beyoncé's "Lemonade" and she was awarded a distinction for it. So essentially she has a masters degree in Beyoncé. A writer of books, scripts and retorts, a lover of love and self-coined "romcomoisseur", Bolu Babalola writes stories of dynamic women with distinct voices who love and are loved audaciously. She is a big believer in women being both "Beauty and the beast". She is not a fan of writing her own bios.

Photo by Folaju Oyegbesan.

#BookReview I Thought You Said This Would Work by Ann Garvin @LUAuthors @AmazonPub @OverTheRiverPR #IThoughtYouSaidThisWouldWork #AnnGarvin #LakeUnion #OTRPR

#BookReview I Thought You Said This Would Work by Ann Garvin @LUAuthors @AmazonPub @OverTheRiverPR #IThoughtYouSaidThisWouldWork #AnnGarvin #LakeUnion #OTRPR Title: I Thought You Said This Would Work

Author: Ann Garvin

Published by: Lake Union Publishing on May 1, 2021

Genres: General Fiction, Women's Fiction

Pages: 302

Format: Paperback, ARC

Source: OTRPR, Amazon Publishing

Book Rating: 8/10

A road trip can drive anyone over the edge—especially two former best friends—in bestselling author Ann Garvin’s funny and poignant novel about broken bonds, messy histories, and the power of forgiveness.

Widowed Samantha Arias hasn’t spoken to Holly Dunfee in forever. It’s for the best. Samantha prefers to avoid conflict. The blisteringly honest Holly craves it. What they still have in common puts them both back on speed dial: a mutual love for Katie, their best friend of twenty-five years, now hospitalized with cancer and needing one little errand from her old college roomies.

It’s simple: travel cross-country together, steal her loathsome ex-husband’s VW camper, find Katie’s diabetic Great Pyrenees at a Utah rescue, and drive him back home to Wisconsin. If it’ll make Katie happy, no favor is too big (one hundred pounds), too daunting (two thousand miles), or too illegal (ish), even when a boho D-list celebrity hitches a ride and drives the road trip in fresh directions.

Samantha and Holly are following every new turn—toward second chances, unexpected romance, and self-discovery—and finally blowing the dust off the secret that broke their friendship. On the open road, they’ll try to put it back together—for themselves, and especially for the love of Katie.


Review:

Humorous, heartwarming, and sweet!

I Thought You Said This Would Work is an optimistic, touching story that takes you into the lives of three old friends and one unexpectedly new one as they embark on a journey to steal a camper, rescue a dog, confront grievances from the past, meet new people, welcome new additions, and prepare for a heart-wrenching goodbye.

The writing style is sensitive and light. The characters are quirky, multilayered, and endearing. And the plot is a heartfelt, lovely mix of friendship, family, introspection, parenthood, support, forgiveness, love, loss, drama, taking chances, and moving on.

Overall, I Thought You Said This Would Work is a pensive, witty, heartfelt tale by Garvin that reminds us to always live life to the fullest and highlights the importance and power of female friendships.

 

This book is available now.

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

         

 

 

Thank you to OTRPR and Amazon Publishing for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review.

 

About Ann Garvin

Ann Garvin, Ph.D. is the USA Today Bestselling author of I Like You Just Fine When You’re Not Around, The Dog Year, and On Maggie’s Watch. She teaches writing at the University of Wisconsin Continuing Education and Drexel University Masters of Fine Arts program and has held positions at Miami University and Southern New Hampshire in their Masters of Fine Arts program.
Ann is the founder of the Tall Poppy Writers where she is committed to helping women writers succeed. She is a sought-after speaker on writing, leadership and health and has taught extensively in NY, San Francisco, LA, Boston, and at festivals across the country.

Photo courtesy of Author's Goodreads Page.

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