Publisher: Scribner

#BookReview When You Are Mine by Michael Robotham @michaelrobotham @ScribnerBooks #WhenYouAreMine #MichaelRobotham #ScribnerBooks

#BookReview When You Are Mine by Michael Robotham @michaelrobotham @ScribnerBooks #WhenYouAreMine #MichaelRobotham #ScribnerBooks Title: When You Are Mine

Author: Michael Robotham

Published by: Scribner on Jan. 4, 2022

Genres: Mystery/Thriller

Pages: 368

Format: ARC, Paperback

Source: Scribner

Book Rating: 9/10

In this page-turning psychological thriller from an author who Stephen King called “an absolute master,” a young female police officer faces danger on all fronts—from a clever victim of abuse, her colleagues on the force, and even her own mobster father.

Philomena McCarthy is a young, ambitious police office with the elite Metropolitan Police in London. When she responds to a domestic violence call, she finds the victim, Tempe Brown, trying to protect her abuser, a married man named Darren Goodall, a decorated Scotland Yard detective afraid of no one. As Philomena pursues the case against him, she not only encounters resistance from her police force colleagues but also becomes dangerously entangled with the victim—who is not at all whom she appears to be—much to the increasing endangerment of herself and Henry, her fiancée.

Complicating matters is Philomena’s estranged father Edward McCarthy, a powerful man who has built a criminal empire along with his brothers. Philomena has long tried to pursue her career as a police officer without her father’s involvement, but as she falls under suspicion of stalking and harassing Goodall, her father becomes involved.

As the situation escalates, Tempe’s sinister maneuvers further entangle Philomena in a web of secrets, corruption, and murder, putting Philomena’s impending marriage, career, and very survival in jeopardy…​

Spellbinding, suspenseful, and filled with complex characters that could be heroes or villains, Robotham has crafted a smart and propulsive thriller that’s impossible to put down.


Review:

Unpredictable, creepy, and brilliantly paced!

When You Are Mine is a sinister, psychological thriller that introduces us to Philomena McCarthy, a young police officer who, after responding to a domestic callout, finds her life turned upside down when she befriends the victim who seems to be an obsessive pathological liar, arrests the offender who turns out to be a decorated detective with corrupt friends in very high places, and ultimately needs some help from the one man, her gangster father, she never wanted to rely on to not only save her career but potentially save her life.

The prose is taut and intense. The characters are vulnerable, secretive, and suspicious. And the well-crafted, menacing plot builds nicely to create the perfect amount of tension and suspense as it unravels all the questionable personalities, duplicitous motivations, manipulative actions, and parasitic relationships within it.

Overall, When You Are Mine is an intricate, tight, satisfying thrill ride that had just the right amount of twists, turns, and surprises to keep me thoroughly engrossed from start to finish. It’s the first novel I’ve read by Robotham, but I can guarantee you it won’t be my last.

 

This book is available on January 4, 2022.

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

           

 

 

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

 

About Michael Robotham

Michael Robotham is a former investigative journalist whose psychological thrillers have been translated into twenty-three languages. In 2015, he won the prestigious UK Gold Dagger for his novel Life or Death, which was also shortlisted for the 2016 Edgar Allan Poe Award for best novel. Michael has twice won a Ned Kelly Award for Australia’s best crime novel for Lost in 2015 and Shatter in 2008. He has also twice been shortlisted for the CWA UK Steel Dagger in 2007 for The Night Ferry and 2008 with Shatter. He lives in Sydney with his wife and three daughters. His recent novels include When She Was Good; The Secrets She Keeps; and Good Girl, Bad Girl.

Photo by Tony Mott.

#BookReview Cloud Cuckoo Land by Anthony Doerr @ScribnerBooks @SimonSchusterCA @librofm #CloudCuckooLand #AnthonyDoerr #Librofm

#BookReview Cloud Cuckoo Land by Anthony Doerr @ScribnerBooks @SimonSchusterCA @librofm #CloudCuckooLand #AnthonyDoerr #Librofm Title: Cloud Cuckoo Land

Author: Anthony Doerr

Published by: Scribner on Sep. 28, 2021

Genres: Fantasy, General Fiction, Historical Fiction, Science Fiction

Pages: 640

Length: 14 hrs 51 mins

Format: ARC, Audiobook, Paperback

Source: Libro.fm, Simon & Schuster Canada

Book Rating: 10/10

Thirteen-year-old Anna, an orphan, lives inside the formidable walls of Constantinople in a house of women who make their living embroidering the robes of priests. Restless, insatiably curious, Anna learns to read, and in this ancient city, famous for its libraries, she finds a book, the story of Aethon, who longs to be turned into a bird so that he can fly to a utopian paradise in the sky. This she reads to her ailing sister as the walls of the only place she has known are bombarded in the great siege of Constantinople. Outside the walls is Omeir, a village boy, miles from home, conscripted with his beloved oxen into the invading army. His path and Anna’s will cross.

Five hundred years later, in a library in Idaho, octogenarian Zeno, who learned Greek as a prisoner of war, rehearses five children in a play adaptation of Aethon’s story, preserved against all odds through centuries. Tucked among the library shelves is a bomb, planted by a troubled, idealistic teenager, Seymour. This is another siege. And in a not-so-distant future, on the interstellar ship Argos, Konstance is alone in a vault, copying on scraps of sacking the story of Aethon, told to her by her father. She has never set foot on our planet.


Review:

Magical, memorable, and uniquely beautiful!

Cloud Cuckoo Land is a creative, moving, enthralling novel that sweeps you back and forth from the fifteenth century to the 1950s, to the present day and beyond and introduces you to five people whose lives are inexplicably impacted and changed based on their appreciation and love for an ancient manuscript, written by a Greek scholar, about a shepherd whose greatest desire is to escape to the sky.

The writing is eloquent and expressive. The characters are adventurous, inquisitive, and intelligent. And the compelling plot is an intricately woven, epic saga that touches on life, solace, innocence, sacrifice, imagination, survival, morality, and the power of the written word to guide, teach, fascinate, entertain, instil hope, and at its base level transcend time and space to entwine us all.

Cloud Cuckoo Land is another large novel by Doerr, with over 600 pages, but it is so remarkably immersive, affecting, and well written that before you know it, the story is finished, and you’re yearning for more. As some of you may know, I’m not a huge fan of science fiction, so I was a little worried at the start, but after receiving both the audio and paperback versions of this book and being able to enjoy them both, I can honestly say that this is one of the most enthralling novels I’ve read in a long time, and I was blown away by how effortlessly this novel transitions between the three distinct storylines and how powerfully moving and impactful it turned out to ultimately be.

This novel is available on September 28, 2021.

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

              

 

 

Thank you to Simon & Schuster Canada & Libro.fm for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review.

 

About Anthony Doerr

Anthony Doerr is the author of All the Light We Cannot See, winner of the Pulitzer Prize, the Carnegie Medal, the Alex Award, and a #1 New York Times bestseller. He is also the author of the story collections Memory Wall and The Shell Collector, the novel About Grace, and the memoir Four Seasons in Rome. He has won five O. Henry Prizes, the Rome Prize, the New York Public Library’s Young Lions Award, the National Magazine Award for fiction, a Guggenheim Fellowship, and the Story Prize. Born and raised in Cleveland, Ohio, Doerr lives in Boise, Idaho, with his wife and two sons.

Photo by Ulf Andersen.

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

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

Author: Lisa See

Published by: Scribner on Mar. 5, 2019

Genres: Historical Fiction

Pages: 384

Format: Paperback, ARC

Source: Simon & Schuster Canada

Book Rating: 10/10

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

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

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

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


Review:

Poignant, absorbing, and impactful!

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

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

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

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

This novel is available now.

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

                                        

 

 

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

 

About Lisa See

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

#BookReview Dear Mrs. Bird by A.J. Pearce @ajpearcewrites @SimonSchusterCA

#BookReview Dear Mrs. Bird by A.J. Pearce @ajpearcewrites @SimonSchusterCA Title: Dear Mrs. Bird

Author: A.J. Pearce

Published by: Scribner on Jul. 3, 2018

Genres: Historical Fiction

Pages: 288

Format: Paperback

Source: Simon & Schuster Canada

Book Rating: 9/10

A charming, irresistible debut novel set in London during World War II about an adventurous young woman who becomes a secret advice columnist—a warm, funny, and enormously moving story for fans of The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society and Lilac Girls.

London 1940, bombs are falling. Emmy Lake is Doing Her Bit for the war effort, volunteering as a telephone operator with the Auxiliary Fire Services. When Emmy sees an advertisement for a job at the London Evening Chronicle, her dreams of becoming a Lady War Correspondent seem suddenly achievable. But the job turns out to be typist to the fierce and renowned advice columnist, Henrietta Bird. Emmy is disappointed, but gamely bucks up and buckles down.

Mrs Bird is very clear: Any letters containing Unpleasantness—must go straight in the bin. But when Emmy reads poignant letters from women who are lonely, may have Gone Too Far with the wrong men and found themselves in trouble, or who can’t bear to let their children be evacuated, she is unable to resist responding. As the German planes make their nightly raids, and London picks up the smoldering pieces each morning, Emmy secretly begins to write letters back to the women of all ages who have spilled out their troubles.

Prepare to fall head over heels with Emmy and her best friend, Bunty, who are spirited and gutsy, even in the face of events that bring a terrible blow. As the bombs continue to fall, the irrepressible Emmy keeps writing, and readers are transformed by AJ Pearce’s hilarious, heartwarming, and enormously moving tale of friendship, the kindness of strangers, and ordinary people in extraordinary times.


Review:

Spirited, poignant, and moving!

Dear Mrs. Bird is an intriguing tale that takes you back to the streets of London during WWII and into the life of Emmeline Lake a cheery, optimistic, young woman who after finding herself inadvertently working on the advice column for Woman’s Friend magazine takes it upon herself to begin secretly doling out guidance to those on the home front seeking advice for “inappropriate topics”.

The prose is comical and light. The characters are plucky, sympathetic, and real. And the plot is an engaging, perfectly paced tale about life, loss, self-discovery, friendship, tragedy, heartbreak, uncertainty, hilarious misunderstandings, good intentions, meddling, and the realities of war. 

Overall, Dear Mrs. Bird is a delightfully heartwarming, wonderful debut for Pearce that does an exceptional job of highlighting the incredible impact war had on the personal lives of those it touched both at home and away and the significant roles and contribution of women during those dark times.

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 A.J. Pearce

AJ Pearce grew up in Hampshire and studied at the University of Sussex. A chance discovery of a 1939 women's magazine became the inspiration for her ever-growing collection and her first novel Dear Mrs Bird. She now lives and writes in the south of England.

#BookReview Sing, Unburied, Sing by Jesmyn Ward @jesmimi @SimonSchusterCA

#BookReview Sing, Unburied, Sing by Jesmyn Ward @jesmimi @SimonSchusterCA Title: Sing, Unburied, Sing

Author: Jesmyn Ward

Published by: Scribner on Sep. 5, 2017

Genres: General Fiction

Pages: 320

Format: Paperback, ARC

Source: Simon & Schuster Canada

Book Rating: 8.5/10

A searing and profound Southern odyssey by National Book Award winner Jesmyn Ward.

In Jesmyn Ward’s first novel since her National Book Award winning Salvage the Bones, this singular American writer brings the archetypal road novel into rural twenty-first-century America. Drawing on Morrison and Faulkner, The Odyssey and the Old Testament, Ward gives us an epochal story, a journey through Mississippi’s past and present that is both an intimate portrait of a family and an epic tale of hope and struggle. Ward is a major American writer, multiply awarded and universally lauded, and in Sing, Unburied, Sing she is at the height of her powers.

Jojo and his toddler sister, Kayla, live with their grandparents, Mam and Pop, and the occasional presence of their drug-addicted mother, Leonie, on a farm on the Gulf Coast of Mississippi. Leonie is simultaneously tormented and comforted by visions of her dead brother, which only come to her when she’s high; Mam is dying of cancer; and quiet, steady Pop tries to run the household and teach Jojo how to be a man. When the white father of Leonie’s children is released from prison, she packs her kids and a friend into her car and sets out across the state for Parchman farm, the Mississippi State Penitentiary, on a journey rife with danger and promise.

Sing, Unburied, Sing grapples with the ugly truths at the heart of the American story and the power, and limitations, of the bonds of family. Rich with Ward’s distinctive, musical language, Sing, Unburied, Sing is a majestic new work and an essential contribution to American literature.


Review:

Haunting, atmospheric, and powerful!

Sing, Unburied, Sing is an incredibly moving novel about life in small-town Mississippi where life is constantly inflicted by ravishing hurricanes, enduring poverty, rampant opioid availability, and racial prejudices.

The prose is eloquent and descriptive. The characters are tormented, fragile, and raw. And the plot takes us on a heart-wrenching rollercoaster ride full of love, violence, hatred, addiction, biracial tension, incarceration, abandonment, death, loss and the spirit world beyond. 

Sing, Unburied, Sing is ultimately a poetic tale woven with a supernatural thread that reminds us that strength, compassion, and kindness is the base of humanity that transcends skin colour, socioeconomic status, and the deepest, darkest realities.

 

This novel is available now.

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

                                            

 

 

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

 

About Jesmyn Ward

Jesmyn Ward is the author of Where the Line Bleeds, Salvage the Bones, and Men We Reaped. She is a former Stegner Fellow (Stanford University) and Grisham Writer in Residence at the University of Mississippi. She is an associate professor of Creative Writing at Tulane University.

Her work has appeared in BOMB, A Public Space and The Oxford American.

#BookReview The Tea Girl of Hummingbird Lane by Lisa See @Lisa_See @ScribnerBooks

#BookReview The Tea Girl of Hummingbird Lane by Lisa See @Lisa_See @ScribnerBooks Title: The Tea Girl of Hummingbird Lane

Author: Lisa See

Published by: Scribner on Mar. 21, 2017

Genres: Historical Fiction

Pages: 384

Format: eBook, ARC

Source: Scribner, NetGalley

Book Rating: 8/10

A thrilling new novel from #1 New York Times bestselling author Lisa See explores the lives of a Chinese mother and her daughter who has been adopted by an American couple.

Li-yan and her family align their lives around the seasons and the farming of tea. There is ritual and routine, and it has been ever thus for generations. Then one day a jeep appears at the village gate—the first automobile any of them have seen—and a stranger arrives.

In this remote Yunnan village, the stranger finds the rare tea he has been seeking and a reticent Akha people. In her biggest seller, Snow Flower and the Secret Fan, See introduced the Yao people to her readers. Here she shares the customs of another Chinese ethnic minority, the Akha, whose world will soon change. Li-yan, one of the few educated girls on her mountain, translates for the stranger and is among the first to reject the rules that have shaped her existence. When she has a baby outside of wedlock, rather than stand by tradition, she wraps her daughter in a blanket, with a tea cake hidden in her swaddling, and abandons her in the nearest city.

After mother and daughter have gone their separate ways, Li-yan slowly emerges from the security and insularity of her village to encounter modern life while Haley grows up a privileged and well-loved California girl. Despite Haley’s happy home life, she wonders about her origins; and Li-yan longs for her lost daughter. They both search for and find answers in the tea that has shaped their family’s destiny for generations.

A powerful story about a family, separated by circumstances, culture, and distance, Tea Girl of Hummingbird Lane paints an unforgettable portrait of a little known region and its people and celebrates the bond that connects mothers and daughters.


Review:

Atmospheric, evocative, and remarkably researched!

This story is predominantly set in a mountainous village in rural China where the Akha subsist off the tea tree leaves that grace the landscape and are governed by the ancient superstitions, traditions and spirituality passed down from generation to generation.

The prose is descriptive and precise. The characters are genuine, strong, intelligent and hardworking. And the story has two distinct plots; one involving the coming-of-age, independence, perseverance and success of Li-Yan as she bravely follows her aspirations beyond the confines of her home; and the other which details the struggles and difficulties faced by her daughter, Haley, being raised by adoptive parents of a different race, culture and country than that of her ancestry. 

I would have to say that although I found the history of tea production and insight into the ethnic minorities of China incredibly fascinating and enjoyable in this novel the ending felt just a little bit rushed. I would definitely have appreciated and welcomed a few more pages dedicated to the climactic mother-daughter reunion at the end.

However, overall this book is well written, engrossing and well worth the read.

 

This book is due to be published on March 21, 2017.

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

Amazon UKAmazon USAmazon CanadaIndigoBook DepositoryB&NKobo

 

 

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

 

About Lisa See

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

#BookReview The Boston Girl by Anita Diamant

#BookReview The Boston Girl by Anita Diamant Title: The Boston Girl

Author: Anita Diamant

Published by: Scribner on Dec. 9, 2014

Genres: Historical Fiction

Pages: 320

Format: Paperback

Source: Purchased

Book Rating: 8.5/10

From the New York Times bestselling author of The Red Tent and Day After Night, comes an unforgettable coming-of-age novel about family ties and values, friendship and feminism told through the eyes of a young Jewish woman growing up in Boston in the early twentieth century.

Addie Baum is The Boston Girl, born in 1900 to immigrant parents who were unprepared for and suspicious of America and its effect on their three daughters. Growing up in the North End, then a teeming multicultural neighborhood, Addie’s intelligence and curiosity take her to a world her parents can’t imagine – a world of short skirts, movies, celebrity culture and new opportunities for women. Addie wants to finish high school and dreams of going to college. She wants a career and to find true love.

Eighty-five-year-old Addie tells the story of her life to her twenty-two-year-old granddaughter, who has asked her “How did you get to be the woman you are today?” She begins in 1915, the year she found her voice and made friends who would help shape the course of her life. From the one-room tenement apartment she shared with her parents and two sisters, to the library group for girls she joins at a neighborhood settlement house, to her first, disastrous love affair, Addie recalls her adventures with compassion for the naïve girl she was and a wicked sense of humor.

Written with the same attention to historical detail and emotional resonance that made Anita Diamant’s previous novels bestsellers, The Boston Girl is a moving portrait of one woman’s complicated life in twentieth-century America, and a fascinating look at a generation of women finding their places in a changing world.


Review:

I really enjoyed this book.

This is the life story of Addie, an eighty-five-year-old woman, who was born and raised in Boston in the early 1900s to Jewish immigrants. It is a sentimental story that touches on the importance of friendship, family relationships, the fight for women to be educated and employed outside the home, love, loss, disappointment, frustration, and success.

I thought this story was extremely interesting and captivating, and I really liked the way it was narrated.

I would definitely recommend this for book clubs.

 

This book is available now.

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

Amazon UKAmazon USAmazon Canada

 

 

About Anita Diamant

Anita Diamant is the author of twelve books -- the newest novel being THE BOSTON GIRL.

Anita is best-known for her first novel, THE RED TENT, which was published in 1997 and won the 2001 Booksense Book of the Year Award. Based on the biblical story of Dinah, THE RED TENT became a word-of-mouth bestseller in the US and overseas, where it has been published in more than 25 countries.

Three other novels followed: GOOD HARBOR, THE LAST DAYS OF DOGTOWN and, DAY AFTER NIGHT.

Anita has also written six non-fiction guides to contemporary Jewish life, which have become classic reference books: THE NEW JEWISH WEDDING, THE JEWISH BABY BOOK, LIVING A JEWISH LIFE, CHOOSING A JEWISH LIFE, HOW TO RAISE A JEWISH CHILD, and SAYING KADDISH..

An award-winning journalist, Diamant's articles have appeared in the Boston Globe Magazine, Real Simple, Parenting Magazine, Hadassah, Reform Judaism, Boston Magazine and Yankee Magazine.PITCHING MY TENT, a collection personal essays, is drawn from twenty years worth of newspaper and magazine columns.

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