Source: Simon & Schuster Canada

#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 Elaine Fattal

#BookReview
Us Against You by Fredrik Backman
@Backmanland @SimonSchusterCA

#BookReview Us Against You by Fredrik Backman @Backmanland @SimonSchusterCATitle: Us Against You

Author: Fredrik Backman

Series: Beartown #2

Published by Simon & Schuster Canada on September 4, 2018

Genres: General Fiction

Pages: 448

Format: Paperback

Source: Simon & Schuster Canada

Book Rating: 10/10

 

Synopsis:

After everything that the citizens of Beartown have gone through, they are struck yet another blow when they hear that their beloved local hockey team will soon be disbanded. What makes it worse is the obvious satisfaction that all the former Beartown players, who now play for a rival team in Hed, take in that fact. Amidst the mounting tension between the two rivals, a surprising newcomer is handpicked to be Beartown’s new hockey coach.

Soon a new team starts to take shape around Amat, the fastest player you’ll ever see; Benji, the intense lone wolf; and Vidar, a born-to-be-bad troublemaker. But bringing this team together proves to be a challenge as old bonds are broken, new ones are formed, and the enmity with Hed grows more and more acute.

As the big match approaches, the not-so-innocent pranks and incidents between the communities pile up and their mutual contempt grows deeper. By the time the last game is finally played, a resident of Beartown will be dead, and the people of both towns will be forced to wonder if, after all they’ve been through, the game they love can ever return to something simple and innocent.


Review:

Beautifully written, brilliantly plotted, and undeniably affecting!

Us Against You takes us back to the small-town of Beartown where the fate of the Bears is now looking grim, a scheming politician has a hidden agenda, families are still struggling to recover from the violence that shattered their sense of security, and residents are still reeling from the sex scandal that tore their community apart and took down their shining star.

The prose is vivid, lyrical, and eloquent. The characters are fragile, tormented, and raw. And the absorbing, astute plot takes us on a heart-wrenching rollercoaster ride of love, loss, friendship, family, rivalry, fear, hope, loyalty, resilience, economic uncertainty, political ambition, violence, hockey, and the weight of responsibility.

Us Against You is a poetic, gritty, philosophical tale that reminds us just how delicate the line between love and hate and right and wrong can truly be. It’s dark, poignant, and touching and with the incredible depth, authenticity, superb character development, and exceptional insight into human frailty we’ve come to expect from Backman it’s not just a good novel it’s great!

 

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 Fredrik Backman

Fredrik Backman is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of A Man Called Ove (soon to be a major motion picture starring Tom Hanks), My Grandmother Asked Me to Tell You She’s Sorry, Britt-Marie Was Here, Beartown, Us Against You, as well as two novellas, And Every Morning the Way Home Gets Longer and Longer and The Deal of a Lifetime. His books are published in more than forty countries. He lives in Stockholm, Sweden, with his wife and two children.

#BookReview
Foe by Iain Reid
@reid_iain @SimonSchusterCA

#BookReview Foe by Iain Reid @reid_iain @SimonSchusterCATitle: Foe

Author: Iain Reid

Published by Simon & Schuster on August 7, 2018

Genres: Mystery/Thriller

Pages: 224

Format: Paperback, ARC

Source: Simon & Schuster Canada

Book Rating: 8.5/10

 

 

Synopsis:

A taut, psychological mind-bender from the bestselling author of I’m Thinking of Ending Things.

We don’t get visitors. Not out here. We never have.

Junior and Hen are a quiet married couple. They live a comfortable, solitary life on their farm, far from the city lights, but in close quarters with each other. One day, a stranger from the city arrives with surprising news: Junior has been randomly selected to travel far away from the farm…very far away. The most unusual part? Arrangements have already been made so that when he leaves, Hen won’t have a chance to miss him at all, because she won’t be left alone—not even for a moment. Hen will have company. Familiar company.

Foe examines the nature of domestic relationships, self-determination, and what it means to be (or not to be) a person. An eerily entrancing page-turner, it churns with unease and suspense from the first words to its shocking finale.


Review:

Unique, reflective, and mystifying!

Foe is a dark, tense, disconcerting thriller that delves into the intricate and dynamic relationship between a husband and wife and has you quickly questioning how well do you really know someone.

The prose is edgy and tight. The characters are multilayered, inhibited, and anxious. And the plot is a skillfully paced, rapidly unraveling journey about life, love, marriage, loneliness, isolation, manipulation, dreams, desires, deception, futuristic endeavours, and the intense attraction of adventure.

Foe at its core is a twisty, darkly comedic, exceptionally clever tale that has an otherworldly, or should I say an OuterMore quality to it that will leave you contemplating whether humanity can truly be technologically replicated and whether predictive processing, perception and expectation, influences reality more than we consciously believe. It’s riveting, entertaining, and certainly worth a read or two.

 

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 Iain Reid

Iain Reid is the author of two critically acclaimed, award-winning books of nonfiction. A recipient of the prestigious RBC Taylor Emerging Writer Award, Reid has written for a variety of publications throughout North America, including The New Yorker. His debut novel, I'm Thinking of Ending Things, was an international bestseller, and was translated into more than a dozen languages. Oscar-winner Charlie Kaufman is writing and directing a film adaptation. Foe is Reid's second novel.

Photograph by Lucas Tingle.

 

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

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

Author: A.J. Pearce

Published by Scribner on July 3, 2018

Genres: Historical Fiction

Pages: 288

Format: Paperback

Source: Simon & Schuster Canada

Book Rating: 9/10

 

 

Synopsis:

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 #20BooksofSummer
Beartown by Fredrik Backman
@Backmanland @SimonSchusterCA

#BookReview #20BooksofSummer Beartown by Fredrik Backman @Backmanland @SimonSchusterCATitle: Beartown

Author: Fredrik Backman

Series: Beartown #1

Published by Simon & Schuster Canada on April 25, 2017

Genres: General Fiction

Pages: 415

Format: Paperback

Source: Simon & Schuster Canada

Book Rating: 10/10

 

Synopsis:

The #1 New York Times bestselling author of A Man Called Overeturns with a dazzling, profound novel about a small town with a big dream—and the price required to make it come true.

People say Beartown is finished. A tiny community nestled deep in the forest, it is slowly losing ground to the ever encroaching trees. But down by the lake stands an old ice rink, built generations ago by the working men who founded this town. And in that ice rink is the reason people in Beartown believe tomorrow will be better than today. Their junior ice hockey team is about to compete in the national semi-finals, and they actually have a shot at winning. All the hopes and dreams of this place now rest on the shoulders of a handful of teenage boys.

Being responsible for the hopes of an entire town is a heavy burden, and the semi-final match is the catalyst for a violent act that will leave a young girl traumatized and a town in turmoil. Accusations are made and, like ripples on a pond, they travel through all of Beartown, leaving no resident unaffected.

Beartown explores the hopes that bring a small community together, the secrets that tear it apart, and the courage it takes for an individual to go against the grain. In this story of a small forest town, Fredrik Backman has found the entire world.


Review:

Gritty, insightful, and profoundly moving!

Beartown is an immersive, dark, riveting story that delves into the physical, psychological, and emotional effects of competitive sports on the youth that play them and highlights the ugliness and weaknesses of group mentality and the ease with which it allows one to turn the other way, ignore, overlook or cover-up even the most heinous of crimes.

The prose is dark and immersive. The exceptionally memorable, timely plot is a journey of life, loss, coming-of-age, familial drama, friendship, courage, morality, loyalty, sexuality, community, politics, and the culture of hockey. The characters are familiar, consumed, and raw. And the setting, Beartown is a character itself with its isolation, social strife, class division, and depressing economics.

Backman has an uncanny ability to write powerful, perfectly crafted, atmospheric novels that remind us that to be human is to be flawed and that even though we often forget strength, compassion, and kindness is the base of humanity and Beartown is no exception. It will make you think, it will make you cry, and it will resonate with you long after the final page. 

 

🏒 And get ready to head back to Beartown in Us Against You publishing September 4, 2018. 🏒

 

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 Fredrik Backman

Fredrik Backman is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of A Man Called Ove (soon to be a major motion picture starring Tom Hanks), My Grandmother Asked Me to Tell You She’s Sorry, Britt-Marie Was Here, Beartown, Us Against You, as well as two novellas, And Every Morning the Way Home Gets Longer and Longer and The Deal of a Lifetime. His books are published in more than forty countries. He lives in Stockholm, Sweden, with his wife and two children.

#BookReview
The Death of Mrs. Westaway by Ruth Ware
@RuthWareWriter @SimonSchusterCA

#BookReview The Death of Mrs. Westaway by Ruth Ware @RuthWareWriter @SimonSchusterCATitle: The Death of Mrs. Westaway

Author: Ruth Ware

Published by Gallery/Scout Press on May 29, 2018

Genres: Mystery/Thriller

Pages: 384

Format: Paperback, ARC

Source: Simon & Schuster Canada

Book Rating: 8.5/10

 

 

Synopsis:

From the #1 New York Times bestselling author of In a Dark, Dark Wood, The Woman in Cabin 10, and The Lying Game comes Ruth Ware’s highly anticipated fourth novel.

On a day that begins like any other, Hal receives a mysterious letter bequeathing her a substantial inheritance. She realizes very quickly that the letter was sent to the wrong person—but also that the cold-reading skills she’s honed as a tarot card reader might help her claim the money.

Soon, Hal finds herself at the funeral of the deceased…where it dawns on her that there is something very, very wrong about this strange situation and the inheritance at the center of it.

Full of spellbinding menace and told in Ruth Ware’s signature suspenseful style, this is an unputdownable thriller from the Agatha Christie of our time.


Review:

Ominous, atmospheric, and darkly mysterious!

The Death of Mrs. Westaway is a gothic, character-driven thriller that takes us into the life of Hal, a young woman recently orphaned and struggling to make ends meet as a tarot reader when she receives an unexpected bequest that will unearth tragic memories, powerful emotions, and long-buried skeletons that will change more than one life forever.

The writing is polished and taut. The characterization is well done with a cast of characters that are complex, troubled, and resourceful. The setting, Trepassen House, is a character itself with its dereliction, isolation, abundance of magpies, and multitude of secrets. And the plot is well crafted and builds subtly to create tension and suspicion as it unravels all the deceptions, lies, personalities, and relationships within it. 

Overall, The Death of Mrs. Westaway is another gripping, eerie, intelligent page-turner by Ware with a classical crime style that is guaranteed to mystify, surprise, and keep you guessing until the very last page.

 

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 Ruth Ware

Ruth Ware grew up in Sussex, on the south coast of England. After graduating from Manchester University she moved to Paris, before settling in North London. She has worked as a waitress, a bookseller, a teacher of English as a foreign language and a press officer, and is The New York Times bestselling author of In a Dark, Dark WoodThe Woman in Cabin 10, and The Lying Game. Her latest book, The Death of Mrs. Westaway, will be available in May 2018. She is married with two small children.

#BookReview
Bellewether by Susanna Kearsley
@SusannaKearsley @SimonSchusterCA

#BookReview Bellewether by Susanna Kearsley @SusannaKearsley @SimonSchusterCATitle: Bellewether

Author: Susanna Kearsley

Published by Simon & Schuster Canada on April 24, 2018

Genres: Historical Fiction

Pages: 414

Format: Paperback, ARC

Source: Simon & Schuster Canada

Book Rating: 10/10

 

 

Synopsis:

Some houses seem to want to hold their secrets.

It’s 1759 and the world is at war, pulling the North American colonies of Britain and France into the conflict. The times are complicated, as are the loyalties of many New York merchants who have secretly been trading with the French for years, defying Britain’s colonial laws in a game growing ever more treacherous.

When captured French officers are brought to Long Island to be billeted in private homes on their parole of honour, it upends the lives of the Wilde family—deeply involved in the treasonous trade and already divided by war.

Lydia Wilde, struggling to keep the peace in her fracturing family following her mother’s death, has little time or kindness to spare for her unwanted guests. French-Canadian lieutenant Jean-Philippe de Sabran has little desire to be there. But by the war’s end they’ll both learn love, honour, and duty can form tangled bonds that are not broken easily.

Their doomed romance becomes a local legend, told and re-told through the years until the present day, when conflict of a different kind brings Charley Van Hoek to Long Island to be the new curator of the Wilde House Museum.

Charley doesn’t believe in ghosts. But as she starts to delve into the history of Lydia and her French officer, it becomes clear that the Wilde House holds more than just secrets, and Charley discovers the legend might not have been telling the whole story…or the whole truth.


Review:

Powerful, absorbing, and incredibly fascinating!

Bellewether is an enthralling tale set on the eastern shores of Long Island during the late 1750s, as well as present day, and is told from three different perspectives. Lydia, a strong, hardworking young woman struggling to care and support those she loves in a time of uncertainty and upheaval. Jean-Philippe, a French-Canadian soldier who finds himself captured and a parole of honour in the final pivotal days of the Seven Years’ War. And Charley, an intelligent, independent woman determined to discover all the skeletons hidden inside the Wilde House, as well as her own.

The prose is eloquent and expressive. The characters are alluring, sympathetic, multi-layered, and authentic. And the plot is a sweeping saga filled with familial drama, introspection, love, loss, grief, mystique, heartbreak, romance, secrets, passion, loyalty, as well as a little peek into a war that had a tremendous impact on the culture and history of Canada as we know it today.

Bellewether is a beautifully written, exceptionally atmospheric novel that transports you to another time and place and immerses you so thoroughly into the personalities, feelings, and lives of the characters you never want it to end. It is without a doubt one of my favourite novels of the year that once again highlights Kearsley’s extraordinary imagination and talent as a masterful storyteller and researcher.

 

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 Susanna Kearsley

A former museum curator, Susanna Kearsley brings her passion for research and travel to her novels, weaving modern-day and historical intrigue. She won the prestigious Catherine Cookson Fiction Award for her novel Mariana, the 2010 Romantic Times Book Review’s Reviewer’s Choice Award for Best Historical Fiction novel for The Winter Sea, was shortlisted for a 2012 RITA Award for The Rose Garden, and was a finalist for the Arthur Ellis Award for Best Novel from the Crime Writers of Canada for Every Secret Thing.

Photograph © Jacques du Toit

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