Publisher: Ballantine Books

#BookReview
Always by Sarah Jio
@sarahjio

#BookReview Always by Sarah Jio  @sarahjioTitle: Always

Author: Sarah Jio

Published by Ballantine Books on February 7, 2017

Genres: General Fiction, Women's Fiction

Pages: 288

Format: eBook, ARC

Source: Random House, NetGalley

Book Rating: 7.5/10

 

 

Synopsis:

A gripping novel about the kind of love that never lets go, and the heart’s capacity to remember, from the New York Times bestselling author of Blackberry Winter and The Violets of March

Enjoying a romantic candlelit dinner with her fiancé, Ryan, at one of Seattle’s chicest restaurants, Kailey Crain can’t believe her good fortune: She has a great job as a journalist and is now engaged to a guy who is perfect in nearly every way. As she and Ryan leave the restaurant, Kailey spies a thin, bearded homeless man on the sidewalk. She approaches him to offer up her bag of leftovers, and is stunned when their eyes meet, then stricken to her very core: The man is the love of her life, Cade McAllister.

When Kailey met Cade ten years ago, their attraction was immediate and intense—everything connected and felt right. But it all ended suddenly, leaving Kailey devastated. Now the poor soul on the street is a faded version of her former beloved: His weathered and weary face is as handsome as Kailey remembers, but his mind has suffered in the intervening years. Over the next few weeks, Kailey helps Cade begin to piece his life together, something she initially keeps from Ryan. As she revisits her long-ago relationship, Kailey realizes that she must decide exactly what—and whom—she wants.

Alternating between the past and the present, Always is a beautifully unfolding exploration of a woman faced with an impossible choice, a woman who discovers what she’s willing to save and what she will sacrifice for true love.


Review:

Captivating, thought-provoking, and deeply moving!

Always is a poignant novel that delves into the emotional, physical and mental anguish suffered by those inflicted with brain trauma and touches on the hardships, prejudices and struggles experienced by those who find themselves homeless.

The prose is polished and precise. The characters are consumed, troubled and genuine. And the story which contains a subtle element of mystery is written in a back and forth, past/present style that gives a wonderful appreciation and depth to all the situations, personalities and relationships within it.

Overall, I enjoyed this novel about friendship, loss, jealousy, compassion, life and enduring love, but I have to say I still prefer Jio’s historical fiction novels, particularly “The Bungalow” which is still one of my all-time favourites.

 

 This novel is due to be published on February 7, 2017. 

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

Amazon UKAmazon USAmazon CanadaIndigoBook DepositoryKoboB&N

 

 

Thank you to NetGalley, especially Random House – Ballantine for providing me with a copy of this novel in exchange for an honest review.

 

About Sarah Jio

Sarah Jio is the New York Times bestselling author of ALWAYS, published by Random House (Ballantine), as well as seven other novels from Penguin Books, including, THE VIOLETS OF MARCH, THE BUNGALOW, BLACKBERRY WINTER, THE LAST CAMELLIA, MORNING GLORY, GOODNIGHT JUNE, and THE LOOK OF LOVE. Sarah is also a journalist who has contributed to The New York Times, Glamour, O, The Oprah Magazine, Glamour, SELF, Real Simple, Fitness, Marie Claire, and many others. She has appeared as a commentator on NPR’s Morning Edition. Her novels are translated into more than 25 languages. Sarah lives in Seattle with her three young boys.

#BookReview
Circling The Sun by Paula McLain

#BookReview Circling The Sun by Paula McLainTitle: Circling the Sun

Author: Paula McLain

Published by Ballantine Books on July 28, 2015

Genres: Historical Fiction

Pages: 366

Format: Hardcover

Source: Borrowed

Book Rating: 8.5/10

 

 

Synopsis:

Brought to Kenya from England as a child and then abandoned by her mother, Beryl is raised by both her father and the native Kipsigis tribe who share his estate. Her unconventional upbringing transforms Beryl into a bold young woman with a fierce love of all things wild and an inherent understanding of nature’s delicate balance. But even the wild child must grow up, and when everything Beryl knows and trusts dissolves, she is catapulted into a string of disastrous relationships.

Beryl forges her own path as a horse trainer, and her uncommon style attracts the eye of the Happy Valley set, a decadent, bohemian community of European expats who also live and love by their own set of rules. But it’s the ruggedly charismatic Denys Finch Hatton who ultimately helps Beryl navigate the uncharted territory of her own heart. The intensity of their love reveals Beryl’s truest self and her fate: to fly.


Review:

This was one of my book club reads for this month and I enjoyed it.

This is a story based on the real life of Beryl Markham.

Beryl was a strong, independent, remarkable women who was definitely ahead of her time. She accomplished some incredible things and had an indomitable spirit. At the same time, however, there always seemed be an aura of sadness surrounding her. She was constantly searching for true freedom and happiness, which she could never find. Her struggles with abandonment, loneliness, heartache and disappointment seemed to overshadow all the rest.

I have to admit that I knew very little of Beryl Markham before reading this book and I found it interesting and captivating right from the prologue.

The writing, itself, is poetic and flows from page-to-page effortlessly. And the imagery of colonial Kenya is beautiful and vivid.

This was a good choice for book club and I look forward to discussing it.

 

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