Source: Simon & Schuster Canada

#BookReview
The Temptation of Gracie
by Santa Montefiore
@SantaMontefiore @SimonSchusterCA

#BookReview The Temptation of Gracie by Santa Montefiore @SantaMontefiore @SimonSchusterCATitle: The Temptation of Gracie

Author: Santa Montefiore

Published by Simon & Schuster UK on April 16, 2019

Genres: Historical Fiction

Pages: 416

Format: Paperback, ARC

Source: Simon & Schuster Canada

Book Rating: 8.5/10

 

 

Synopsis:

Love may be lost, but it’s not gone forever.

When Gracie Burton stumbles upon a weeklong cooking course at Castello Montefosco, a castle in the sun-kissed Tuscan countryside, she cannot resist the opportunity to revisit the past she left behind in Italy. Since her husband’s death eight years earlier, Gracie has grown apart from her daughter, Carina, a high-powered businesswoman in London and her granddaughter, Anastasia, who would rather spend her time on her phone than with her family, but both women decide to join her. Little do they know that a lifetime of secrets await them in Italy.

Over the course of the week, Gracie reveals the truth about what has drawn her back to the castle and its owner, the mysterious Count Bassanelli. Carina and Anastasia are shocked to discover that Gracie spent fifteen years in Italy as an apprentice to her uncle, a renowned art restorer and collector. While there, she fell madly in love. Now, forty-one years later, she has returned in hopes of righting past wrongs. With the help of Mamma Bernadetta’s magical recipes and the kindness of her fellow guests, Gracie reconnects with her family and together, all three women learn that love once lost, is not gone forever.

The Temptation of Gracie is a poignant, timeless tale of grand romance, a story of women through the generations, and a reminder that it’s never too late to love.


Review:

Atmospheric, immersive, and delightfully moving!

The Temptation of Gracie is a classic, magical tale that sweeps you away to Tuscany, Italy and into the life of Gracie Burton, as she revisits the past, repairs strained relationships, forges new friendships, and searches for love long lost.

The prose is seamless and lush. The characters are complex, independent, and memorable. And the plot moves between past and present effortlessly spinning a beautifully tender, beguiling tale of life, loss, family, friendship, revelations, secrets, guilt, forbidden love, art, passion, and food.

Once again with The Temptation of Gracie, Montefiore has written another skillfully plotted, multi-generational, family saga that has just the right amount of intrigue, colourful history, and enduring passion to be pleasing to both lovers of historical fiction and 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 Santa Montefiore

Santa Montefiore’s books have been translated into twenty languages and have sold more than four million copies in England and Europe. She is married to writer Simon Sebag Montefiore. They live with their two children, Lily and Sasha, in London.

Photograph by Santa Montefiore

#BookReview
At the Mountain’s Edge by Genevieve Graham
@GenGrahamAuthor @SimonSchusterCA

#BookReview At the Mountain’s Edge by Genevieve Graham @GenGrahamAuthor @SimonSchusterCATitle: At the Mountain's Edge

Author: Genevieve Graham

Published by Simon & Schuster Canada on April 2, 2019

Genres: Historical Fiction

Pages: 368

Format: Paperback, ARC

Source: Simon & Schuster Canada

Book Rating: 8.5/10

 

 

Synopsis:

From bestselling author Genevieve Graham comes a sweeping new historical novel of love, tragedy, and redemption set during the height of the Klondike Gold Rush.

In 1897, the discovery of gold in the desolate reaches of the Yukon has the world abuzz with excitement, and thousands of prospectors swarm to the north seeking riches the likes of which have never been seen before.

For Liza Peterson and her family, the gold rush is a chance for them to make a fortune by moving their general store business from Vancouver to Dawson City, the only established town in the Yukon. For Constable Ben Turner, a recent recruit of the North-West Mounted Police, upholding the law in a place overrun with guns, liquor, prostitutes, and thieves is an opportunity to escape a dark past and become the man of integrity he has always wanted to be. But the long, difficult journey over icy mountain passes and whitewater rapids is much more treacherous than Liza or Ben imagined, and neither is completely prepared for the forbidding north.

As Liza’s family nears the mountain’s peak, a catastrophe strikes with fatal consequences, and not even the NWMP can help. Alone and desperate, Liza finally reaches Dawson City, only to find herself in a different kind of peril. Meanwhile, Ben, wracked with guilt over the accident on the trail, sees the chance to make things right. But just as love begins to grow, new dangers arise, threatening to separate the couple forever.

Inspired by history as rich as the Klondike’s gold, At the Mountain’s Edge is an epic tale of romance and adventure about two people who must let go of the past not only to be together but also to survive.


Review:

Informative, fascinating, and emotive!

At the Mountain’s Edge is an engaging tale set in Northern Canada during the Klondike Gold Rush of the late 1800s when the prospect of fame and immeasurable wealth had thousands navigating the treacherous Chilkoot Pass in hopes of reaching the prosperous and bustling Dawson City.

The prose is evocative and fluid. The characters are scarred, driven, and resilient. And the compelling, well-paced plot is an adventurous journey filled with familial drama, heartbreak, loss, love, courage, self-discovery, hope, solace, romance, and survival that is told from two perspectives. Liza, a resourceful, hardworking young woman struggling to persevere in a city continually ravaged by nature and predominantly populated by men, and Ben, a North-West Mounted Police constable whose loyal, kind, and helpful, but continuously plagued by a troubled and violent past.

Overall, At the Mountain’s Edge is an atmospheric, absorbing, well-written novel by Graham that showcases her incredible knowledge and passion for Canadian history and highlights the indomitable spirit of humanity to survive, endure, conquer, and love in even the harshest environments and situations.

 

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 Genevieve Graham

Genevieve Graham is the bestselling author of Tides of Honour, Promises to Keep, and Come from Away. She is passionate about breathing life back into Canadian history through tales of love and adventure. She lives near Halifax, Nova Scotia.

Photograph (c) Janice Bray

 

#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 @SimonSchusterCATitle: The Island of Sea Women

Author: Lisa See

Published by Scribner on March 5, 2019

Genres: Historical Fiction

Pages: 384

Format: Paperback, ARC

Source: Simon & Schuster Canada

Book Rating: 10/10

 

 

Synopsis:

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
The Homecoming by Andrew Pyper
@andrewpyper @SimonSchusterCA

#BookReview The Homecoming by Andrew Pyper @andrewpyper @SimonSchusterCATitle: The Homecoming

Author: Andrew Pyper

Published by Simon & Schuster on February 26, 2019

Genres: Mystery/Thriller

Pages: 368

Format: Paperback, ARC

Source: Simon & Schuster Canada

Book Rating: 8/10

 

 

Synopsis:

Bestselling author Andrew Pyper returns with a riveting psychological thriller about how the people you’ve known your whole life can suddenly become strangers.

What if everything you knew about the people you loved was a lie?

After the death of their absentee father, Aaron and Bridge Quinlan travel to a vast rainforest property in the Pacific Northwest to hear the reading of his will. There, they meet up with their mother and troubled sister, Franny, and are shocked to discover the will’s terms: in order to claim their inheritance they must remain at the estate for thirty days without any contact with the outside world. Despite their concerns, they agree.

The Quinlans soon come to learn their family has more secrets than they ever imagined—revelations that at first inspire curiosity, then fear. Why does Bridge have faint memories of the estate? Why did their father want them to be sequestered there together? And what is out there they feel pulling them into the dark heart of the woods?

The Homecoming is at once a gripping mystery, a chilling exploration of how our memories can both define and betray us, and a riveting page-turner that will have you questioning your very existence.


Review:

Mystifying, unique, and eerily disconcerting!

The Homecoming is a darkly intense, unconventional thriller that takes us into the life of the Quinlan family as they find themselves isolated, vulnerable, confused, and terrorized by an unknown threat.

The prose is calculated and taut. The characters are complex, mysterious, and tormented. And the plot unravels quickly into a horrifying tale of dreams, secrets, manipulation, perception, betrayal, violence, murder, and the shadowy corners of familial life.

Overall, The Homecoming is a spooky, deliciously, uncomfortable reading experience that gets darker and murkier with each page you turn and is a chilling reminder that monsters of one form or another actually exist and in a world where science and technology are advancing at an alarming rate anything is possible.

 

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 Andrew Pyper

Andrew Pyper is the author of nine novels, including the forthcoming THE HOMECOMING (February 2019). Among his previous books, THE DEMONOLOGIST won the International Thriller Writers award for Best Hardcover Novel and was selected for the Globe and Mail’s Best 100 Books of 2013 and Amazon’s 20 Best Books of 2013. LOST GIRLS won the Arthur Ellis Award and was a New York Times Notable Book of the Year. Three of Pyper’s novels, including THE HOMECOMING, are in active development for television or feature film. He lives in Toronto.

#BookReview
The Light Over London by Julia Kelly
@The_Julia_Kelly @SimonSchusterCA

#BookReview The Light Over London by Julia Kelly @The_Julia_Kelly @SimonSchusterCATitle: The Light Over London

Author: Julia Kelly

Published by Gallery Books on January 8, 2019

Genres: Historical Fiction

Pages: 304

Format: Paperback, ARC

Source: Simon & Schuster Canada

Book Rating: 7.5/10

 

 

Synopsis:

Reminiscent of Martha Hall Kelly’s Lilac Girls and Kristin Hannah’s The Nightingale, this sweeping, entrancing story is a must-read for fans of remarkable women rising to challenges they could never have predicted.

It’s always been easier for Cara Hargraves to bury herself in the past than confront the present, which is why working with a gruff but brilliant antiques dealer is perfect. While clearing out an estate, she pries open an old tin that holds the relics of a lost relationship: among the treasures, a World War II-era diary and a photograph of a young woman in uniform. Eager to find the author of the hauntingly beautiful, unfinished diary, Cara digs into this soldier’s life, but soon realizes she may not have been ready for the stark reality of wartime London she finds within the pages.

In 1941, nineteen-year-old Louise Keene’s life had been decided for her—she’ll wait at home in her Cornish village until her wealthy suitor returns from war to ask for her hand. But when Louise unexpectedly meets Flight Lieutenant Paul Bolton, a dashing RAF pilot stationed at a local base, everything changes. And changes again when Paul’s unit is deployed without warning.

Desperate for a larger life, Louise joins the women’s branch of the British Army in the anti-aircraft gun unit as a Gunner Girl. As bombs fall on London, she and the other Gunner Girls relish in their duties to be exact in their calculations, and quick in their identification of enemy planes during air raids. The only thing that gets Louise through those dark, bullet-filled nights is knowing she and Paul will be together when the war is over. But when a bundle of her letters to him are returned unanswered, she learns that wartime romance can have a much darker side.

Illuminating the story of these two women separated by generations and experience, Julia Kelly transports us to World War II London in this heartbreakingly beautiful novel through forgotten antique treasures, remembered triumphs, and fierce family ties.


Review:

Sweet, intriguing, and romantic!

The Light Over London is a compelling tale set during the early 1940s, as well as the present day, and is told from two different perspectives. Louise, a young girl who finds adventure outside her hometown by becoming a Gunner Girl in the British Army and being swept off her feet by a dashing RAF pilot; and Cara, a recent divorcee who after finding an old locket, photograph, and diary during an estate sale embarks on a journey to discover the owner’s identity and life story.

The writing is light and fluid. The characters are intelligent, resilient, and determined. And the plot, including all the subplots, intertwine and unravel subtly into an engaging tale of life, loss, family, heartbreak, betrayal, friendship, secrets, and love.

Overall, The Light Over London is an uplifting, atmospheric, informative tale about taking chances, moving on, and discovering one’s true self. And even though I felt it delved a little deeper into the romance, relationship side than the historical fiction side of things I did enjoy the little glimpse into some of the unknown, specialty roles women played during WWII.

 

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
Watching You by Lisa Jewell
@lisajewelluk @SimonSchusterCA

#BookReview Watching You by Lisa Jewell @lisajewelluk @SimonSchusterCATitle: Watching You

Author: Lisa Jewell

Published by Atria Books on December 26, 2018

Genres: Mystery/Thriller

Pages: 320

Format: Paperback, ARC

Source: Simon & Schuster Canada

Book Rating: 9/10

 

 

Synopsis:

Melville Heights is one of the nicest neighbourhoods in Bristol, England; home to doctors and lawyers and old-money academics. It’s not the sort of place where people are brutally murdered in their own kitchens. But it is the sort of place where everyone has a secret. And everyone is watching you.

As the headmaster credited with turning around the local school, Tom Fitzwilliam is beloved by one and all—including Joey Mullen, his new neighbor, who quickly develops an intense infatuation with this thoroughly charming yet unavailable man. Joey thinks her crush is a secret, but Tom’s teenaged son Freddie—a prodigy with aspirations of becoming a spy for MI5—excels in observing people and has witnessed Joey behaving strangely around his father.

One of Tom’s students, Jenna Tripp, also lives on the same street, and she’s not convinced her teacher is as squeaky clean as he seems. For one thing, he has taken a particular liking to her best friend and fellow classmate, and Jenna’s mother—whose mental health has admittedly been deteriorating in recent years—is convinced that Mr. Fitzwilliam is stalking her.

Meanwhile, twenty years earlier, a schoolgirl writes in her diary, charting her doomed obsession with a handsome young English teacher named Mr. Fitzwilliam…


Review:

Dark, eerie, and spine-chillingly mesmerizing!

Watching You is a complex, intense, psychological thriller that highlights that every choice, good or bad, has a consequence and perspective is everything.

The writing is polished and crisp. The characterization is spot on with a multitude of characters that are multi-faceted, secretive, and vulnerable. And the plot told through a mixture of narration and interview-style musings builds steadily creating tension, suspicion, and unease as it unravels all the personalities, relationships, motivations and actions within it.

Watching You is, ultimately, a story of deception, obsession, desperation, vengeance, violence, manipulation, and murder. It’s shocking, satisfying, hard to put down and without a doubt another must-read novel by Jewell.

 

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 Jewell

Lisa Jewell is the internationally bestselling author of sixteen novels, including the New York Times bestseller Then She Was Gone, as well as I Found You, The Girls in the Garden, and The House We Grew Up In. In total, her novels have sold more than two million copies across the English-speaking world and her work has also been translated into sixteen languages so far. Lisa lives in London with her husband and their two daughters.

Photograph by Andrew Whitton.

#BookReview
My Favorite Half-Night Stand by Christina Lauren
@christinalauren @SimonSchusterCA @GalleryBooks

#BookReview My Favorite Half-Night Stand by Christina Lauren @christinalauren @SimonSchusterCA @GalleryBooksTitle: My Favorite Half-Night Stand

Author: Christina Lauren

Published by Gallery Books on December 4, 2018

Genres: Contemporary Romance

Pages: 400

Format: Paperback

Source: Simon & Schuster Canada

Book Rating: 10/10

 

 

Synopsis:

By the New York Times bestselling author who “hilariously depicts modern dating” (Us Weekly), My Favorite Half-Night Standis a laugh-out-loud romp through online dating and its many, many fails.

Millie Morris has always been one of the guys. A UC Santa Barbara professor, she’s a female-serial-killer expert who’s quick with a deflection joke and terrible at getting personal. And she, just like her four best guy friends and fellow professors, is perma-single.

So when a routine university function turns into a black tie gala, Mille and her circle make a pact that they’ll join an online dating service to find plus-ones for the event. There’s only one hitch: after making the pact, Millie and one of the guys, Reid Campbell, secretly spend the sexiest half-night of their lives together, but mutually decide the friendship would be better off strictly platonic.

But online dating isn’t for the faint of heart. While the guys are inundated with quality matches and potential dates, Millie’s first profile attempt garners nothing but dick pics and creepers. Enter “Catherine”—Millie’s fictional profile persona, in whose make-believe shoes she can be more vulnerable than she’s ever been in person. Soon “Catherine” and Reid strike up a digital pen-pal-ship…but Millie can’t resist temptation in real life, either. Soon, Millie will have to face her worst fear—intimacy—or risk losing her best friend, forever.

Perfect for fans of Roxanne and She’s the Man, Christina Lauren’s latest romantic comedy is full of mistaken identities, hijinks, and a classic love story with a modern twist. Funny and fresh, you’ll want to swipe right on My Favorite Half-Night Stand.


Review:

Amusing, smart, and adorably romantic!

My Favorite Half-Night Stand is an engaging, witty, friends-to-more romance that features the spunky, intelligent Millie whose finding it harder and harder to keep her attraction for her best friend a secret, and the charming and honest Reid who may finally realize everything he’s ever wanted or needed is standing right in front of him.

The writing is whimsical and crisp and uses a delightful mix of text messages, group chats, snappy dialogue, and first-person narration from dual points of view. The characterization is spot on with an incredible cast of characters who are quirky, charismatic, and genuine. And the plot is an irresistible blend of shameless flirting, friendship, family, light drama, tricky situations, spirited shenanigans, awkward moments, steamy romance, and the hilarious ups and downs of online dating.

I’ve always been a fan of Christina Lauren novels, and My Favorite Half-Night Stand has just become my new favourite. It’s outrageously funny, deliciously swoon-worthy and without a doubt one of the best rom-coms I’ve had the pleasure to read this year.

 

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 Christina Lauren

Christina Lauren is the combined penname of longtime writing partners/best friends Christina Hobbs and Lauren Billings, the New York Times, USA TODAY, and #1 International bestselling authors of The Beautiful and Wild Seasons series, Dating You/Hating You, Roomies, Love and Other Words, Josh and Hazel’s Guide to Not Dating, and the critically acclaimed Autoboyography.

Photograph by Alyssa Michelle.

#BookReview
Lying in Wait by Liz Nugent
@lizzienugent @SimonSchusterCA

#BookReview Lying in Wait by Liz Nugent @lizzienugent @SimonSchusterCATitle: Lying in Wait

Author: Liz Nugent

Published by Simon & Schuster on November 27, 2018

Genres: Mystery/Thriller

Pages: 310

Format: Paperback, ARC

Source: Simon & Schuster Canada

Book Rating: 10/10

 

 

Synopsis:

The second heartstopping suspense novel by international bestselling author Liz Nugent—filled with dark secrets, twisted relationships, and unexpected surprises.

My husband did not mean to kill Annie Doyle, but the lying tramp deserved it.

In 1980s Dublin, Lydia Fitzsimons seems to have the perfect life—wife of Andrew, a respected judge, and mistress of Avalon, the beautiful house where she grew up. Her pride and joy, however, is her only child, her son Laurence, to whom she is utterly, obsessively devoted.

But her husband’s murder of Annie Doyle, accidental or not, sets into motion a dark downward spiral. No one knows what Lydia and Andrew were doing with a drug-addled prostitute late at night on a deserted stretch of the strand near Dublin, but they stuffed her body into the trunk of their car and buried it in their tidy suburban garden, hoping that will put the matter to rest. Annie was a junkie from the wrong side of the tracks; surely no one will miss her or care to find out what happened to her.

Except that Annie has a sister. Her twin, Karen, who has fared much better in life, is desperate to find her. And when Karen crosses paths with Laurence, isolated and lonely, things begin to unravel. Laurence may be overweight and ungainly and bullied at school, but he’s more clever than he’s given credit for. He knows that something is very, very wrong in the Fitzsimons household—and he is determined to discover the truth…


Review:

Gothic, twisty, and downright creepy!

Lying in Wait is a compulsive, macabre, psychological thriller that isn’t so much a whodunit as a whydunit that delves into the complex dynamics between family members and reminds us just how controlling and possessive some of these relationships can truly be.

The prose is insightful, intense, and dark. The characters are obsessed, secretive, and perfectly unlikable. And the plot told from multiple perspectives and alternating timelines builds and unravels exquisitely into a story filled with unexpected twists, well-timed surprises, manipulation, fixation, ruthless deception, and pure wickedness.

Lying in Wait is an intelligent, murky, tragic tale that highlights the scheming, selfish, desperate side of human nature and the ability of even the most ordinary of people to commit the most heinous of crimes. It’s a tight, propulsive, shocking, must-read novel by Nugent that will grip you from the very first line, make your skin crawl throughout, and undoubtedly leave you wholly unnerved.

 

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 Liz Nugent

Liz Nugent has worked in Irish film, theater, and television for most of her adult life. She is an award-winning writer of radio and television drama and has written critically acclaimed short stories both for children and adults, as well as the novels Unraveling Oliver and Lying in Wait. She lives in Dublin.

Photograph by Beta Bajgartova.

#BookReview
The Girl They Left Behind by Roxanne Veletzos
@r_veletzos @SimonSchusterCA

#BookReview The Girl They Left Behind by Roxanne Veletzos @r_veletzos @SimonSchusterCATitle: The Girl They Left Behind

Author: Roxanne Veletzos

Published by Atria Books on October 30, 2018

Genres: Historical Fiction

Pages: 368

Format: Paperback, ARC

Source: Simon & Schuster Canada

Book Rating: 10/10

 

 

Synopsis:

A sweeping family saga and love story that offers a vivid and unique portrayal of life in war-torn 1941 Bucharest and life behind the Iron Curtain during the Soviet Union occupation—perfect for fans of Lilac Girls and Sarah’s Key.

On a freezing night in January 1941, a little Jewish girl is found on the steps of an apartment building in Bucharest. With Romania recently allied with the Nazis, the Jewish population is in grave danger, undergoing increasingly violent persecution. The girl is placed in an orphanage and eventually adopted by a wealthy childless couple who name her Natalia. As she assimilates into her new life, she all but forgets the parents who were forced to leave her behind. They are even further from her mind when Romania falls under Soviet occupation.

Yet, as Natalia comes of age in a bleak and hopeless world, traces of her identity pierce the surface of her everyday life, leading gradually to a discovery that will change her destiny. She has a secret crush on Victor, an intense young man who as an impoverished student befriended her family long ago. Years later, when Natalia is in her early twenties and working at a warehouse packing fruit, she and Victor, now an important official in the Communist regime, cross paths again. This time they are fatefully drawn into a passionate affair despite the obstacles swirling around them and Victor’s dark secrets.

When Natalia is suddenly offered a one-time chance at freedom, Victor is determined to help her escape, even if it means losing her. Natalia must make an agonizing decision: remain in Bucharest with her beloved adoptive parents and the man she has come to love, or seize the chance to finally live life on her own terms, and to confront the painful enigma of her past.


Review:

Evocative, absorbing, and incredibly affecting!

The Girl They Left Behind is a powerful, riveting tale that sweeps you into a country ravaged and oppressed by war and then forced to endure economic instability, political upheaval, social injustice, and lack of freedoms under Stalinist rule.

The prose is poetic and enchanting. The characters are multi-layered, resilient, and vulnerable. And the plot, set in Romania during the mid-1900s, is a profoundly moving tale about war, familial relationships, heartbreak, loss, guilt, grief, suspicion, desperation, resilience, courage, coming of age, and hope.

Overall, The Girl They Left Behind is the perfect blend of historical facts, compelling fiction, and palpable emotion. It’s a beautifully written story that is nostalgic, heart-wrenching, and impactful and does a remarkable job of highlighting not only the indomitable spirit of humanity to endure, survive, conquer, and even love under even the most atrocious of circumstances but also Veletzos’ passion for her maternal heritage.

 

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 Roxanne Veletzos

Roxanne Veletzos was born in Bucharest, Romania and moved to California with her family as a young teen. Already fluent in English and French, she began writing short stories about growing up in her native Eastern Europe, at first as a cathartic experience as she transitioned to a new culture. Building on her love of the written language, she obtained a bachelor’s degree in journalism from California State University, Northridge and has worked as an editor, content writer, and marketing manager for a number of Fortune 500 companies.

Photograph by Eric Lindstrom.

#BookReview
Daughters of Castle Deverill by Santa Montefiore
@SantaMontefiore @SimonSchusterCA

#BookReview Daughters of Castle Deverill by Santa Montefiore @SantaMontefiore @SimonSchusterCATitle: Daughters of Castle Deverill

Author: Santa Montefiore

Series: Deverill Chronicles #2

Published by Simon & Schuster UK on September 4, 2018

Genres: Historical Fiction

Pages: 592

Format: Paperback, ARC

Source: Simon & Schuster Canada

Book Rating: 9/10

 

Synopsis:

The second book in the #1 international bestselling series about the powerful ties between three women and their determination to return home.

The war is over. But life will never be the same…

It is 1925 and Castle Deverill has burned to the ground. War and deception have divided the daughters of Ireland, but Celia vows to return her ancestral home to its former glory. Kitty raises a young family but longs for something more, and Bridie flourishes as a New York socialite consumed by revenge. Celia works to reunite her childhood friends and restore the place they once called home, but soon everything she knows is cast into doubt as the Great Depression looms.

In the second installment of Santa Montefiore’s sweeping generational epic, Celia, Kitty, and Bridie must once again face the dark shadows of history. Daughters of Castle Deverill is an unforgettable story of enduring friendship and the inner strength needed to start again.

Previously published in the US as The Daughters of Ireland.


Review:

Epic, intriguing, and mesmeric!

Daughters of Castle Deverill is a meticulous, fascinating tale that picks up where Songs of Love and War left off, taking us back to south-east Ireland during 1925 where Kitty is raising her father’s illegitimate child, Birdie has returned wealthy and intent on claiming her son, and Celia is determined to restore Castle Deverill to a more luxurious version no matter the cost.

The prose is polished and rich. The characters are flawed, driven, eccentric, and alluring. And the exceptionally compelling, well-paced plot is filled with familial dynamics, drama, emotion, self-discovery, secrets, revelations, love, loss, heartbreak, courage, duty, and passion all surrounded by authentic historical events of the time.

Once again with Daughters of Castle Deverill (Deverill Chronicles #2), Montefiore has written a novel that showcases her extraordinary talent as a writer and her passion for history in a tale that sweeps you away to another time and place and leaves you yearning for more. It’s a beautifully written, romantic, heartwarming tale that grabs you from the very first page and leaves you eagerly awaiting the final novel in the series, The Last Secret of the Deverills, due to be published in Canada in January 2019.

 

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 Santa Montefiore

Santa Montefiore’s books have been translated into twenty languages and have sold more than four million copies in England and Europe. She is married to writer Simon Sebag Montefiore. They live with their two children, Lily and Sasha, in London.

Photograph by Santa Montefiore

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