Genre: Historical Fiction

#BookReview The Things We Leave Unfinished by Rebecca Yarros @entangledpub @angelamelamud #TheThingsWeLeaveUnfinished #RebeccaYarros

#BookReview The Things We Leave Unfinished by Rebecca Yarros @entangledpub @angelamelamud #TheThingsWeLeaveUnfinished #RebeccaYarros Title: The Things We Leave Unfinished

Author: Rebecca Yarros

Published by: Entangled Publishing on Feb. 23, 2021

Genres: Contemporary Romance, Historical Fiction

Pages: 400

Format: Paperback

Source: Entangled Publishing, Angela Melamud

Book Rating: 10/10

Twenty-eight-year-old Georgia Stanton has to start over after she gave up almost everything in a brutal divorce—the New York house, the friends, and her pride. Now back home at her late great-grandmother’s estate in Colorado, she finds herself face-to-face with Noah Harrison, the bestselling author of a million books where the cover is always people nearly kissing. He’s just as arrogant in person as in interviews, and she’ll be damned if the good-looking writer of love stories thinks he’s the one to finish her grandmother’s final novel…even if the publisher swears he’s the perfect fit.

Noah is at the pinnacle of his career. With book and movie deals galore, there isn’t much the “golden boy” of modern fiction hasn’t accomplished. But he can’t walk away from what might be the best book of the century—the one his idol, Scarlett Stanton, left unfinished. Coming up with a fitting ending for the legendary author is one thing, but dealing with her beautiful, stubborn, cynical great-granddaughter, Georgia, is quite another.

But as they read Scarlett’s words in both the manuscript and her box of letters, they start to realize why Scarlett never finished the book—it’s based on her real-life romance with a World War II pilot, and the ending isn’t a happy one. Georgia knows all too well that love never works out, and while the chemistry and connection between her and Noah is undeniable, she’s as determined as ever to learn from her great-grandmother’s mistakes—even if it means destroying Noah’s career.


Review:

Captivating, poignant, and incredibly romantic!

The Things We Leave Unfinished is an absorbing tale set in England during the early 1940s, as well as present-day Colorado, and is told from two different perspectives; Scarlett, a young officer in the Women’s Auxiliary Air Force who loves to tells stories and unexpectedly finds the love of her life in a tall, handsome American pilot, and Georgia, the newly divorced, great-granddaughter of a famous author who after her passing struggles to allow her final, uncompleted manuscript and life story to be finished and published.

The writing is passionate and moving. The characters are independent, hesitant, and stubborn. And the plot, using a story within a story, sweeps you away into an engaging, touching, heartfelt tale about life, loss, friendship, family, heartbreak, tragedy, forgiveness, war, and the magic of love.

I don’t even know how to express how much I loved The Things We Leave Unfinished. It blew me away. It’s an evocative, enchanting, immersive, beautifully written tale by Yarros that I absolutely devoured, highly recommend, and will undoubtedly be one of the books on the top of my favourite reads list for 2021!

This book is available now. 

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

            

 

 

Thank you to Entangled Publishing and Angela Melamud for providing me with a copy in an exchange for an honest review.

 

About Rebecca Yarros

Rebecca Yarros is a hopeless romantic and lover of all things chocolate, coffee, and Paleo. In addition to being a mom, military wife, and blogger, she can never choose between Young Adult and New Adult fiction, so she writes both. She's a graduate of Troy University, where she studied European history and English, but still holds out hope for an acceptance letter to Hogwarts. Her blog, The Only Girl Among Boys, has been voted the Top Military Mom Blog the last two years, and celebrates the complex issues surrounding the military life she adores. When she's not writing, she's tying on hockey skates for her kids, or sneaking in some guitar time. She is madly in love with her army-aviator husband of eleven years, and they're currently stationed in Upstate NY with their gaggle of rambunctious kiddos and snoring English Bulldog, but she would always rather be home in Colorado.

Photo by KATIE MARIE SENIORS

#BookReview The Nature of Fragile Things by Susan Meissner @SusanMeissner @uplitreads @BerkleyPub #TheNatureofFragileThings #SusanMeissner #UplitReads #gifted

#BookReview The Nature of Fragile Things by Susan Meissner @SusanMeissner @uplitreads @BerkleyPub #TheNatureofFragileThings #SusanMeissner #UplitReads #gifted Title: The Nature of Fragile Things

Author: Susan Meissner

Published by: Berkley Books on Feb. 2, 2021

Genres: Historical Fiction

Pages: 384

Format: Hardcover

Source: Uplit Reads

Book Rating: 10/10

April 18, 1906: A massive earthquake rocks San Francisco just before daybreak, igniting a devouring inferno. Lives are lost, lives are shattered, but some rise from the ashes forever changed.

Sophie Whalen is a young Irish immigrant so desperate to get out of a New York tenement that she answers a mail-order bride ad and agrees to marry a man she knows nothing about. San Francisco widower Martin Hocking proves to be as aloof as he is mesmerizingly handsome. Sophie quickly develops deep affection for Kat, Martin’s silent five-year-old daughter, but Martin’s odd behavior leaves her with the uneasy feeling that something about her newfound situation isn’t right.

Then one early-spring evening, a stranger at the door sets in motion a transforming chain of events. Sophie discovers hidden ties to two other women. The first, pretty and pregnant, is standing on her doorstep. The second is hundreds of miles away in the American Southwest, grieving the loss of everything she once loved.

The fates of these three women intertwine on the eve of the devastating earthquake, thrusting them onto a perilous journey that will test their resiliency and resolve and, ultimately, their belief that love can overcome fear.

From the acclaimed author of The Last Year of the War and As Bright as Heaven comes a gripping novel about the bonds of friendship and mother love, and the power of female solidarity.


Review:

Rich, tortuous, and absorbing!

The Nature of Fragile Things is a captivating, mysterious tale set during 1906 that takes you into the life of Sophie Whalen, a young, Irish Immigrant who after answering a newspaper ad for a bride travels from New York to San Francisco to become the wife of widower Martin Hocking and the mother to his five-year-old daughter Kat. But things aren’t as straightforward as they first appeared, and as an earthquake destroys the very foundation of the city and fires rage for days, malicious actions will be hidden, long-buried secrets will finally be uncovered, and unexpected, unbreakable friendships will be forged.

The prose is vivid and expressive. The characters are brave, resourceful, and dependable. And the plot is an enigmatic tale full of twists, turns, surprises, deception, betrayal, danger, family, friendship, life, loss, heartbreak, bigotry, and survival.

Overall, The Nature of Fragile Things is a skillfully crafted, perfectly plotted tale by Meissner that highlights once again her ability to write immersive, atmospheric, beautifully written novels that are moving and unforgettable.

 

This novel is available now.

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

            

 

 

Thank you to Uplit Reads for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review.

 

About Susan Meissner

Susan Meissner is a USA Today bestselling novelist with more than half a million books in print in fifteen languages. Her critically acclaimed works of historical fiction have been named to numerous lists including Publishers Weekly’s annual roster of 100 best books, Library Reads Top Picks, Real Simple annual tally of best books, Goodreads Readers’ Choice awards, Booklist’s Top Ten, and Book of the Month.

She attended Point Loma Nazarene University in San Diego and is a former managing editor of a weekly newspaper. Susan’s expertise as a storyteller and her thoroughly researched topics make her a favorite author of book clubs everywhere. Her engaging and warm speaking style appeal to all manner of women’s groups, literary organizations, libraries and learning institutions, and service clubs.

When she is not working on a new novel, she enjoys teaching workshops on writing and dream-following, spending time with her family, music, reading great books, and travelling.

Photo courtesy of Author's Goodreads Page.

#BookReview The Four Winds by Kristin Hannah @RaincoastBooks @StMartinsPress #TheFourWinds #KristinHannah

#BookReview The Four Winds by Kristin Hannah @RaincoastBooks @StMartinsPress #TheFourWinds #KristinHannah Title: The Four Winds

Author: Kristin Hannah

Published by: St. Martin's Press on Feb. 2, 2021

Genres: Historical Fiction

Pages: 464

Format: Paperback, ARC

Source: Raincoast Books

Book Rating: 10/10

From the #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Nightingale and The Great Alone comes an epic novel of love and heroism and hope, set against the backdrop of one of America’s most defining eras—the Great Depression.

Texas, 1934. Millions are out of work and a drought has broken the Great Plains. Farmers are fighting to keep their land and their livelihoods as the crops are failing, the water is drying up, and dust threatens to bury them all. One of the darkest periods of the Great Depression, the Dust Bowl era, has arrived with a vengeance.

In this uncertain and dangerous time, Elsa Martinelli—like so many of her neighbors—must make an agonizing choice: fight for the land she loves or go west, to California, in search of a better life. The Four Winds is an indelible portrait of America and the American Dream, as seen through the eyes of one indomitable woman whose courage and sacrifice will come to define a generation.


Review:

Gritty, insightful, and incredibly atmospheric!

The Four Winds is an intriguing tale that sweeps you away to Dalhart, Texas during the 1920s – 1930s, when the country is reeling from the great depression and the townsfolk of West Texas must decide to continue to struggle to maintain their livelihoods, identities, and health through the relentless heat, devastating wind storms, and catastrophic droughts or relocate to the lushness of California where water is plentiful, the land is fertile, but survival may be just as difficult or worse.

The prose is poetic and lyrical. The main characters are strong, resilient, and hardworking. And the plot is an enthralling, emotional saga filled with life, loss, self-discovery, motherhood, familial drama, social stratification, poverty, tragedy, discrimination, inequality, heartbreak, courage, romance, and friendship.

Overall, The Four Winds is another exquisitely written, exceptionally detailed, beautiful novel by Hannah that I absolutely adored, and is undoubtedly going to be a big hit with historical fiction fans and book clubs everywhere.

This novel 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 Kristin Hannah

KRISTIN HANNAH is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of more than twenty novels, including The Nightingale, The Great Alone, and The Four Winds. A former lawyer turned writer, she lives with her husband in the Pacific Northwest.

Photo by Kevin Lynch.

#BookReview The Engineer’s Wife by Tracey Enerson Wood @TraceyEnerson @Sourcebooks @sbkslandmark #TheEngineersWife #TraceyEnersonWood #bookmarkedbylandmark

#BookReview The Engineer’s Wife by Tracey Enerson Wood @TraceyEnerson @Sourcebooks @sbkslandmark #TheEngineersWife #TraceyEnersonWood #bookmarkedbylandmark Title: The Engineer's Wife

Author: Tracey Enerson Wood

Published by: Sourcebooks Landmark on Feb. 2, 2021

Genres: Historical Fiction

Pages: 384

Format: Paperback

Source: Sourcebooks Landmark

Book Rating: 8.5/10

She built a monument for all time. Then she was lost in its shadow. Discover the fascinating woman who helped design and construct the Brooklyn Bridge.

Emily Roebling refuses to live conventionally—she knows who she is and what she wants, and she’s determined to make change. But then her husband asks the unthinkable: give up her dreams to make his possible.

Emily’s fight for women’s suffrage is put on hold, and her life transformed when her husband Washington Roebling, the Chief Engineer of the Brooklyn Bridge, is injured on the job. Untrained for the task, but under his guidance, she assumes his role, despite stern resistance and overwhelming obstacles. But as the project takes shape under Emily’s direction, she wonders whose legacy she is building—hers, or her husband’s. As the monument rises, Emily’s marriage, principles, and identity threaten to collapse. When the bridge finally stands finished, will she recognize the woman who built it?

Based on the true story of an American icon, The Engineer’s Wife delivers an emotional portrait of a woman transformed by a project of unfathomable scale, which takes her into the bowels of the East River, suffragette riots, the halls of Manhattan’s elite, and the heady, freewheeling temptations of P.T. Barnum. The biography of a husband and wife determined to build something that lasts—even at the risk of losing each other.


Review:

Immersive, insightful, and alluring!

The Engineer’s Wife is a fascinating tale that sweeps you away to 1870s New York and into the life of Emily Roebling, a young woman ahead of her time who is a suffragist at heart but due to the sudden loss of her father-in-law and her husband’s debilitation from caisson disease focuses her attention on overcoming the social constraints, corruption, and prejudices of the time to complete the construction of the infamous Brooklyn Bridge.

The prose is descriptive and rich. The characters are flawed, driven, and engaging. And the plot is a vivid, absorbing tale of life, loss, love, hope, greed, politics, family, sacrifices, tragedy, successes, and the intricacies of building a suspension bridge in the late 19th century.

Overall, The Engineer’s Wife is a nuanced, perceptive, well-written tale that does a beautiful job of highlighting Tracey Enerson Wood’s impressive research and considerable knowledge into this magnificent engineering feat that still graces the New York skyline today and the people who dared to imagine, design, and build it.

 

This novel is available in paperback on February 2, 2021.

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

            

 

 

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

 

About Tracey Enerson Wood

Tracey Enerson Wood has always had a writing bug. While working as a Registered Nurse, starting her own Interior Design company, raising two children, and bouncing around the world as a military wife, she indulged in her passion as a playwright, screenwriter and novelist. She has authored magazine columns and other non-fiction, written and directed plays of all lengths, including Grits, Fleas and Carrots, Rocks and Other Hard Places, Alone, and Fog.

Her screenplays include Strike Three and Roebling’s Bridge.

Other passions include food and cooking, and honoring military heroes. Her co-authored anthology/cookbook Homefront Cooking, American Veterans share Recipes, Wit, and Wisdom, was released by Skyhorse Publishing in May, 2018, and all authors’ profits will be donated to organizations that support veterans.

A New Jersey native, she now lives with her family in Florida and Germany.

#BookReview Meet Me in Bombay by Jenny Ashcroft @Jenny_Ashcroft @StMartinsPress #MeetMeinBombay #JennyAshcroft #StMartinsPress

#BookReview Meet Me in Bombay by Jenny Ashcroft @Jenny_Ashcroft @StMartinsPress #MeetMeinBombay #JennyAshcroft #StMartinsPress Title: Meet Me in Bombay

Author: Jenny Ashcroft

Published by: St. Martin's Press on Jan. 19, 2021

Genres: Historical Fiction

Pages: 352

Format: Paperback, ARC

Source: St. Martin's Press

Book Rating: 9/10

All he needs is to find her. First, he must remember who she is.

It’s New Year’s Eve in Bombay, 1913, and Madeline Bright, new to the sweltering heat of colonial India, is yearning for all she has left behind in England. Then, at the stroke of midnight, Maddy meets Luke Devereaux, and as the year changes so do both their lives.

Bold and charismatic, Luke opens her eyes to the wonders of Bombay, while Maddy’s beauty and vivacity captures his heart. Only her mother disapproves, preferring the devoted Guy Bowen as a match for her daughter.

But while Maddy and Luke are falling in love, the world is falling apart. World War I is on the horizon, and Luke will be given no choice but to fight. They will be continents apart, separated by danger and devastating loss, but bound by Luke’s promise that they will meet again in Bombay. His only wish is to return to her–but first he must remember who she is . . .


Review:

Heartwrenching, beautiful, and bittersweet!

Meet Me in Bombay is predominantly set in India during the early 1900s and is told from two different perspectives; Maddy, a young woman who finds the love of her life only to lose him to war, and Luke, a young officer who can’t remember his name or where he’s from, but knows deep down that he’s experienced the all-consuming, power of true love.

The prose is expressive and vivid. The characters are vulnerable, multi-layered, and resilient. And the plot is a mysterious, moving tale about life, love, familial relationships, heartbreak, loss, guilt, grief, hope, regret, friendship, and the physical and psychological tragedies of war.

Overall, Meet Me in Bombay is a lovely blend of evocative fiction and palpable emotion. It’s a poignant, tender, affecting tale that will make you smile, make you cry, and definitely tug at your heartstrings.

This novel is available now.

Pick up a copy from your favourite retailer or 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 Jenny Ashcroft

JENNY ASHCROFT is a British author of historical fiction books including Beneath a Burning Sky and Island in the East. Having spent many years living, working and exploring in Australia and Asia, she is now based in Brighton where she lives with her family by the sea. She has a degree from Oxford University in history, and has always been fascinated by the past—in particular the way that extraordinary events can transform the lives of normal people.

Photograph by David Myers Photography.

#BookReview A Mother’s Promise by K.D. Alden @KDAldenAuthor @readforeverpub @grandcentralpub #ReadForever #Forever2021 #KDAlden #AMothersPromise

#BookReview A Mother’s Promise by K.D. Alden @KDAldenAuthor @readforeverpub @grandcentralpub #ReadForever #Forever2021 #KDAlden #AMothersPromise Title: A Mother's Promise

Author: K.D. Alden

Published by: Forever on Jan. 19, 2021

Genres: Historical Fiction

Pages: 384

Format: Paperback

Source: Forever

Book Rating: 10/10

Based on the true story behind a landmark U.S. Supreme Court Decision, K.D. Alden’s debut is a rich and moving story of one woman’s courage and strength at a pivotal point in America’s history.

Virginia, 1927. A chance to have a family. That’s all Ruth Ann Riley wants. But because she was unwed and pregnant, she was sent away and her baby given to another woman. Now they’re trying to take Ruth Ann’s right to have another child. But she can’t stand the thought of never seeing little Annabel’s face again, never snuggling up to her warmth or watching her blue eyes crinkle with laughter. Good thing she has a plan.

All the rich and fancy folks may call her feeble-minded, but Ruth Ann is smarter than any of them have bargained for. Because no matter how high the odds are stacked against her, she is going to overcome the scandals in her past and get her child back—and along the way, she just may find unexpected friendships and the possibility of love in the most unlikely of places.


Review:

Heartwrenching, insightful, and incredibly absorbing!

A Mother’s Promise is a poignant, compelling tale that sweeps you away to the Virginia State Colony for Epileptics and Feebleminded during 1927 and delves into the daily lives, anxiety and true horrors experienced by those young women and men deemed unfit to procreate and thus denied parental rights of any children they may already have had and in turn also forcibly sterilized.

The prose is eloquent and expressive. The characters are genuine, sympathetic, vulnerable, and lovable. And the plot is a beautifully written, poignant tale about life, loss, love, heartbreak, courage, hope, manipulation, power, corruption, ethics, morality, motherhood, and the unconscionable theory of eugenics.

Overall, A Mother’s Promise is an emotional, heartbreaking, masterfully woven tale by Alden that immerses you so thoroughly into the lives, feelings, and personalities of the characters you never want it to end. It is without a doubt going to be one of my favourite novels of the year and it really shouldn’t be missed.

This novel is available now.

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

                

 

 

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

 

About K.D. Alden

K.D. Alden is the pseudonym of an award-winning author who has written more than twenty novels in various genres. She has been the recipient of the Maggie Award, the Book Buyer’s Best Award and an RT Reviewer’s Choice Award. A Mother’s Promise is her first historical novel.

K.D. is a graduate of Smith College, grew up in Austin, Texas, and resides in south Florida with her husband and two rescue greyhounds.

Photograph by Christhopher Hawke.

#BookReview The Last Garden in England by Julia Kelly @The_Julia_Kelly @GalleryBooks @SimonSchusterCA #TheLastGardeninEngland #JuliaKelly

#BookReview The Last Garden in England by Julia Kelly @The_Julia_Kelly @GalleryBooks @SimonSchusterCA #TheLastGardeninEngland #JuliaKelly Title: The Last Garden in England

Author: Julia Kelly

Published by: Gallery Books on Jan. 12, 2021

Genres: Historical Fiction

Pages: 368

Format: Paperback, ARC

Source: Simon & Schuster Canada

Book Rating: 8.5/10

Present day: Emma Lovett, who has dedicated her career to breathing new life into long-neglected gardens, has just been given the opportunity of a lifetime: to restore the gardens of the famed Highbury House estate, designed in 1907 by her hero Venetia Smith. But as Emma dives deeper into the gardens’ past, she begins to uncover secrets that have long lain hidden.

1907: A talented artist with a growing reputation for her ambitious work, Venetia Smith has carved out a niche for herself as a garden designer to industrialists, solicitors, and bankers looking to show off their wealth with sumptuous country houses. When she is hired to design the gardens of Highbury House, she is determined to make them a triumph, but the gardens—and the people she meets—promise to change her life forever.

1944: When land girl Beth Pedley arrives at a farm on the outskirts of the village of Highbury, all she wants is to find a place she can call home. Cook Stella Adderton, on the other hand, is desperate to leave Highbury House to pursue her own dreams. And widow Diana Symonds, the mistress of the grand house, is anxiously trying to cling to her pre-war life now that her home has been requisitioned and transformed into a convalescent hospital for wounded soldiers. But when war threatens Highbury House’s treasured gardens, these three very different women are drawn together by a secret that will last for decades.


Review:

Absorbing, romantic, and beautifully written!

The Last Garden in London is an engaging, moving tale that sweeps you away to the Highbury House Estate in Warwickshire, England from the original commission of the estate’s gardens, through WWII and its requisition as a convalescent hospital, to the current day garden restoration efforts and the discovery of some long-buried secrets hidden beneath its soil.

The prose is rich and eloquent. The characters are resilient, brave, and authentic. And the plot is a delightful tale set in 1907 to the present day that moves seamlessly between multiple perspectives and the past and present as it unravels all the personalities, behaviours, motivations, secrets, and complex relationships within it.

Overall, The Last Garden in London is ultimately a tale about life, loss, tragedy, grief, hope, history, family, sisterhood, and friendship. It’s a captivating, heartwarming, uplifting novel that I thoroughly enjoyed and am certain will please all those who love to read historical fiction that has alluring characters, an evocative, timeslip storyline, and a sliver of 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 Julia Kelly

Julia Kelly is the award-winning author of women's fiction and historical romance books about the extraordinary stories of the past. She also writes fast-paced contemporary sports romance as Julia Blake. In addition to writing, she’s been an Emmy-nominated producer, journalist, marketing professional, and (for one summer) a tea waitress. Julia called Los Angeles, Iowa, and New York City home before settling in London.

Photograph by Scott Bottles.

#BookReview Yellow Wife by Sadeqa Johnson @Sadeqasays @37INKBOOKS @SimonSchusterCA #YellowWife #SadeqaJohnson

#BookReview Yellow Wife by Sadeqa Johnson @Sadeqasays @37INKBOOKS @SimonSchusterCA #YellowWife #SadeqaJohnson Title: Yellow Wife

Author: Sadeqa Johnson

Published by: 37 INK on Jan. 12, 2021

Genres: Historical Fiction

Pages: 288

Format: Paperback, ARC

Source: Simon & Schuster Canada

Book Rating: 10/10

In the tradition of Wrench and Twelve Years a Slave, this harrowing story follows an enslaved woman forced to barter love and freedom while living in the most infamous slave jail in Virginia.

Born on a plantation in Charles City, Virginia, Pheby Brown was promised her freedom on her eighteenth birthday. But when her birthday finally comes around, instead of the idyllic life she was hoping for with her true love, she finds herself thrust into the bowels of slavery at the infamous Devil’s Half-Acre, a jail where slaves are broken, tortured, and sold every day. Forced to become the mistress of the brutal man who owns the jail, Pheby faces the ultimate sacrifice to protect her heart in this powerful, thrilling story of one slave’s fight for freedom.


Review:

Gritty, haunting, and extremely moving!

Yellow Wife is a poignant, impactful tale that sweeps you away to Virginia during the mid-1850s and into the life of Pheby Delores Brown, a young woman of mixed race who struggles to survive a life of brutality and protect those she loves while confined within the walls of the Devil’s Half Acre prison and as the mistress of the jailer, Rubin Lapier.

The prose is eloquent and expressive. The characters are vulnerable, strong, and scarred. And the plot is an exceptionally enthralling tale about life, love, strength, bravery, hope, survival, savagery, violence, and the unimaginable horrors and injustices of slavery.

Overall, Yellow Wife is a magical blend of historical facts, heart-wrenching emotion, and powerful fiction that does a wonderful job of reminding us that humanity can not only be cruel and barbaric, but also incredibly 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 Sadeqa Johnson

Sadeqa Johnson is the award-winning author of four novels. Her accolades include being the recipient of the National Book Club Award, the Phillis Wheatley Award and the USA Best Book Award for best fiction. She is a Kimbilo Fellow, former board member of the James River Writers, and a Tall Poppy Writer. Originally from Philadelphia, she currently lives near Richmond, Virginia, with her husband and three children.

Photograph courtesy of Author's Website.

#BookReview Outlawed by Anna North @annanorthtweets @RaincoastBooks @BloomsburyPub #Outlawed #AnnaNorth

#BookReview Outlawed by Anna North @annanorthtweets @RaincoastBooks @BloomsburyPub #Outlawed #AnnaNorth Title: Outlawed

Author: Anna North

Published by: Bloomsbury Publishing on Jan. 5, 2021

Genres: Historical Fiction

Pages: 272

Format: Paperback, ARC

Source: Raincoast Books

Book Rating: 8.5/10

The Crucible meets True Grit in this riveting adventure story of a fugitive girl, a mysterious gang of robbers, and their dangerous mission to transform the Wild West.

In the year of our Lord 1894, I became an outlaw.

The day of her wedding, 17 year old Ada’s life looks good; she loves her husband, and she loves working as an apprentice to her mother, a respected midwife. But after a year of marriage and no pregnancy, in a town where barren women are routinely hanged as witches, her survival depends on leaving behind everything she knows.

She joins up with the notorious Hole in the Wall Gang, a band of outlaws led by a preacher-turned-robber known to all as the Kid. Charismatic, grandiose, and mercurial, the Kid is determined to create a safe haven for outcast women. But to make this dream a reality, the Gang hatches a treacherous plan that may get them all killed. And Ada must decide whether she’s willing to risk her life for the possibility of a new kind of future for them all.

Featuring an irresistibly no-nonsense, courageous, and determined heroine, Outlawed dusts off the myth of the old West and reignites the glimmering promise of the frontier with an entirely new set of feminist stakes. Anna North has crafted a pulse-racing, page-turning saga about the search for hope in the wake of death, and for truth in a climate of small-mindedness and fear.


Review:

Unique, tender, and thrilling!

Outlawed is a compelling, adventurous tale featuring Ada, the young daughter of a midwife whom after being unable to bear her husband a child flees her hometown, to rumblings of witchcraft, to a convent run by nuns before finally settling and finding a home as the doctor for the notorious outlaws, non-binary, Hole in the Wall Gang.

The prose is rich and expressive. The characters are strong, determined, passionate, and loyal. And the plot set in the wild west during the mid-1890s is an intense, fast-paced tale of love, life, loss, bravery, strength, loyalty, danger, gender neutrality, nonconformity, gunslinging, violence, and survival.

I have to admit that I didn’t know what to expect when I started Outlawed, but North did such a wonderful job of blending a classic western story with such an original, alluring, feministic spin that I was not only left highly entertained but incredibly impressed.

 

This novel 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 Anna North

Anna North is a novelist and journalist. She is the author of the novels America Pacifica (2011), The Life and Death of Sophie Stark (2015), and Outlawed (forthcoming with Bloomsbury, January 2021). She has been a writer and editor at Jezebel, BuzzFeed, Salon, and the New York Times, and is now a senior reporter at Vox.

Photograph by Seth Pomerantz.

#BookReview The Paper Bracelet by Rachael English @EnglishRachael @Mobius_Books @headlinepg #ThePaperBracelet #RachaelEnglish #MobiusBooksUS

#BookReview The Paper Bracelet by Rachael English @EnglishRachael @Mobius_Books @headlinepg #ThePaperBracelet #RachaelEnglish #MobiusBooksUS Title: The Paper Bracelet

Author: Rachael English

Published by: Headline Books on Jan. 5, 2021

Genres: Historical Fiction

Pages: 384

Format: Paperback

Source: Mobius Books US

Book Rating: 9/10

Every baby’s bracelet held a mother’s secret…

Inspired by heartrending real events, the gripping new novel from No. 1 bestselling author Rachael English. Readers of Diane Chamberlain and Kathryn Hughes will love this book.

‘A true storyteller who keeps you turning the pages’ Cathy Kelly

For almost fifty years, Katie Carroll has kept a box tucked away inside her wardrobe. It dates from her time working as a nurse in a west of Ireland mother and baby home in the 1960s. The box contains a notebook holding the details of the babies and young women she met there. It also holds many of the babies’ identity bracelets.

Following the death of her husband, Katie makes a decision. The information she possesses could help reunite adopted people with their birth mothers, and she decides to post a message on an internet forum. Soon the replies are rolling in, and Katie finds herself returning many of the bracelets to their original owners. She encounters success and failure, heartbreak and joy. But is she prepared for old secrets to be uncovered in her own life?


Review:

Absorbing, poignant, and heartrending!

The Paper Bracelet is a harrowing, moving novel set in Ireland during the 1970s, as well as present-day, that takes you into the halls of Carrigbrack, a mother-and-baby home run by nuns where unwed pregnant girls are unwillingly banished to repent, deliver, and subsequently relinquish their parental rights under conditions of emotional and physical abuse, meagre basic necessities, excessive workloads, and often vicious, sadistic punishments and the complex, emotional journey to reacquaint mothers with their long-lost children years later.

The prose is sentimental and rich. The characters are vulnerable, strong, and brave. And the plot told from multiple perspectives is a compelling blend of life, loss, secrets, surprises, heartbreak, abuse, survival, motherhood, and friendship.

Overall, The Paper Bracelet is a compassionate, enlightening, hopeful tale inspired by true-life events that is a haunting reminder of all those women who lived, suffered, and endured in these horrific institutions and continued to do so late into the 20th century. It’s a book that, ultimately, needs to be read to appreciate just how well researched, beautifully written, and extremely memorable it truly is.

This novel is available now.

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

                

 

 

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

 

About Rachael English

Rachael English is the author of five novels: GOING BACK, which was shortlisted for the most-promising newcomer award at the Irish Book Awards, EACH AND EVERY ONE, THE AMERICAN GIRL, which reached number one on the Irish paperback best sellers list, THE NIGHT OF THE PARTY and THE PAPER BRACELET.
Like many many writers, she also has a day job. She's a presenter on the radio programme, Morning Ireland.

Photograph courtesy of Author's Goodreads Page.

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