Tuesday, March 26, 2019

Julie's Review: Woman 99


Author: Greer Macallister
Series: None
Publication Date: March 5, 2019
Publisher: Sourcebooks Landmark
Pages: 368
Obtained: publisher via Netgalley
Genre:  Historical Fiction
Rating: 4/5
Bottom Line: Historical look at the treatment of women with mental illness
Grab, Just get it at the library, or Remove from your TBR list? Grab

Summary: When Charlotte Smith's wealthy parents commit her beloved sister Phoebe to the infamous Goldengrove Asylum, Charlotte knows there's more to the story than madness. She risks everything and follows her sister inside, surrendering her real identity as a privileged young lady of San Francisco society to become a nameless inmate, Woman 99. The longer she stays, the more she realizes that many of the women of Goldengrove aren't insane, merely inconvenient ― and that her search for the truth threatens to dig up secrets that some very powerful people would do anything to keep. A historical thriller rich in detail, deception, and revelation, Woman 99 honors the fierce women of the past, born into a world that denied them power but underestimated their strength. ~amazon.com  

Review:  Woman 99 is a story about how the bond and love between sisters is so strong one will go to extreme lengths to save the other one. Charlotte's sister Phoebe is the one person that she knows she can count on. She's the one that used to be full of fun and mischief but then all of the sudden she's gone, taken away to a hospital for women who have issues. Charlotte blames herself for her sister being taken away because she was defending her choices in life.

So Charlotte takes matters into her own hands to rescue her sister. Except that she's not really fully prepared for what awaits her. She's lived a privileged life and the things she sees within the walls of the asylum shock her.  She just figured she would walk in, find Phoebe and walk out but what happens is a bit of self discovery for her. She finds out that she is strong, brave and smart. It also leads her on a path that wasn't anything she expected. 

The book also highlights the mistreatment of Women in mental hospitals when they were privately owned and not well regulated. It does show how far we've come in the treatment of mental illnesses, particularly for women, but that we still do have a long way to go in the stigmas for mental illness.

 Share/BookmarkGoogle+

Continue reading the review...

Sunday, March 24, 2019

Sunday Skim



In the vain of trying something new here on the blog, I thought I might start with some Sunday posts summarizing what I've read, what I plan to start and upcoming books I'm looking forward to.

Week of 3/18/2019:


Finished:





Woman 99 was an interesting look at how woman were often put into asylums not because they were crazy but because they weren't following societal norms. It's also about love and loyalty. In the Garden of Beasts was a fascinating look at the rise of Hitler and the Nazi's through the US Ambassador's personal letters and diaries. I know hindsight is 20/20 but there were so many things that could have been done to stop him.  The Proposal was a fun, light read that was perfect for sitting at the pool with my kids. That's not to say that it didn't touch on some good subject matters though.

Currently Reading:



Looking Forward To:






It is a very rare day where I can start and finish a book in less than 12 hours. Due to us spending the day on Friday at the water park, I was able to do that. I savored every single moment because it won't happen again for a long time. When was the last time you started and finished a book in the same day?

Share/BookmarkGoogle+

Continue reading the review...

Tuesday, March 19, 2019

Julie's Review: In Another Time



Author: Jillian Cantor
Series: None
Publication Date: March 5, 2019
Publisher: Harper Perennial
Pages: 336
Obtained: Great Thoughts Great Readers Book Salon
Genre:  Historical Fiction
Rating: 5/5
Bottom Line: I had to collect myself after finishing the book
Grab, Just get it at the library, or Remove from your TBR list? Grab
Summary: A sweeping historical novel that spans Germany, England, and the United States and follows a young couple torn apart by circumstance leading up to World War II—and the family secret that may prove to be the means for survival. Love brought them together. But only time can save them…
1931, Germany. Bookshop owner Max Beissinger meets Hanna Ginsberg, a budding concert violinist, and immediately he feels a powerful chemistry between them. It isn’t long before they fall in love and begin making plans for the future. As their love affair unfolds over the next five years, the climate drastically changes in Germany as Hitler comes to power. Their love is tested with the new landscape and the realities of war, not the least of which is that Hanna is Jewish and Max is not. But unbeknownst to Hanna is the fact that Max has a secret, which causes him to leave for months at a time—a secret that Max is convinced will help him save Hanna if Germany becomes too dangerous for her because of her religion. In 1946, Hanna Ginsberg awakens in a field outside of Berlin. Disoriented and afraid, she has no memory of the past ten years and no idea what has happened to Max. With no information as to Max’s whereabouts—or if he is even still alive—she decides to move to London to live with her sister while she gets her bearings. Even without an orchestra to play in, she throws herself completely into her music to keep alive her lifelong dream of becoming a concert violinist. But the music also serves as a balm to heal her deeply wounded heart and she eventually gets the opening she long hoped for. Even so, as the days, months, and years pass, taking her from London to Paris to Vienna to America, she continues to be haunted by her forgotten past, and the fate of the only man she has ever loved and cannot forget. Told in alternating viewpoints—Max in the years leading up to WWII, and Hanna in the ten years after—In Another Time is a beautiful novel about love and survival, passion and music, across time and continents. ~amazon.com 
Review: What I say next for this novel I do not say lightly at all; if you loved Time Travelers Wife, then you will love In Another Time. Ok, now that I have that out of the way I can get on with the rest of the review. You will fall head over heels into this story, you might even fall a bit in love with the romantic Max during the course of the novel. He is the epitome of a romantic. Hanna, on the other hand, needs a bit more coaxing in her ability to love. She is singularly focused on her violin and playing in the Berlin Symphony so she was a bit thrown when Max walked into her life one fateful morning.

Told through flashbacks and "current" time, we see their love and admiration grow for each other within the background of Hitler's rise to power. We see how the growing unease makes Max more frantic to ensure that Hanna is safe. It becomes his obsession and at times has disastrous effects on his romance with Hanna.

Hanna for being pragmatic has a hard time truly understanding that because of her religion/ethnicity she is in grave danger as the Nazi's control on Germany continues to grow. She is consumed with her love for Max, obtaining a place in the Berlin Symphony and her ailing mother.

Max and Hanna's love story is not without it's problems. While some of them are normal relationship issues, others of them are not.

What I think will stick with me is about powerful the love of music is and how it can truly save someone. I do think that music has the power to heal. Also, the power of love and not just romantic love either is balm for the soul. Sometimes just the memory or recollection can help heal the pain.

There are so many layers to this novel that I don't want to ruin it for you. So I've left significant story lines out of my review.  I strongly suggest that you read this novel immediately.


Share/BookmarkGoogle+

Continue reading the review...

Sunday, March 17, 2019

Sunday Skim


In the vain of trying something new here on the blog, I thought I might start with some Sunday posts summarizing what I've read, what I plan to start and upcoming books I'm looking forward to.

Week of 3/11/2019:


Finished:




The Beautiful Strangers  took us back to Old Hollywood and the grand Hotel Del Coronado. A bit of a ghost story thrown in for good measure. In Another Time is a wonderful historical fiction/romance that is easy to get lost in. 


Currently Reading:


Looking Forward To:






I flew through The Beautiful Strangers and loved every minute of it. In Another Time will have readers wistful for an all consuming love. In the Garden of Beasts is just as disturbing as I thought it would be but I also understand everything is clearer when you know the outcome. What is a non-fiction book that you found disturbing?


Continue reading the review...

Friday, March 15, 2019

Julie's Review: The Beautiful Strangers


Author: Camille Di Maio
Series: None
Publication Date: March 5, 2019
Publisher: Lake Union Publishing
Pages: 304
Obtained: Great Thoughts, Great Readers Book Salon
Genre:  Historical Fiction
Rating: 5/5
Bottom Line: A wonderful story about finding your place in the world and finding your place in your family
Grab, Just get it at the library, or Remove from your TBR list? Grab
Summary: 1958. Kate Morgan, tethered to her family’s failing San Francisco restaurant, is looking for an escape. She gets her chance by honoring a cryptic plea from her grandfather: find the beautiful stranger. The search takes her to Hotel del Coronado, the beachfront landmark on the Southern California coast where filming is underway on the movie Some Like It HotFor a movie lover like Kate, it’s a fantasy come true. So is the offer of a position at the glamorous hotel. And a new romance is making her heart beat just as fast. But as sure as she is that Coronado is her future, Kate discovers it’s also where the ghosts of the past have come to stay. Sixty years ago a guest died tragically, and she still haunts the hotel’s halls. ~amazon.com

Review: As a kid we stayed at the Hotel Del Coronado and I remember loving it. Of course the rich history of it alluded me then but if I were to go back I would want to know more about it. Ms. Di Maio does that with this book. She gives you some history of the hotel, the ghost and the making of a classic Hollywood film. In it though lies a family’s history that is about to be unraveled.

Kate leaves her life in San Francisco working in the family restaurant to pretty much go on a wild goose chase based on her ailing Grandfather's wish. This leads her to the Hotel Del Coronado looking for a job since that's where he told her to go. He had even circled the opening for a job since they needed extra workers due to a movie being filmed there. Luckily she lands the job and even more lucky that she gets to serve Ms. Monroe her morning tray and in a way they befriend each other. 

Kate is a dreamer and so is her granddad. They spent time together by going to the movies, where Kate develop a passion for them. So working on a movie set is a dream come true with peeks behind the curtain. Kate is a wonderful and endearing character that will have you rooting for her the whole novel. How Kate's family history is tied to the Coronado is what makes this story really hum. Any time Old Hollywood is involved I'm hooked because it's such a fascinating time in movie making and the shift in our culture. 

This is a novel that will hook you from the first few pages and won’t let you go until you read the final two words. I highly recommend. 


Share/Bookmark

Continue reading the review...

Tuesday, March 12, 2019

Julie's Review: The Huntress




Author: Kate Quinn
Series: None
Publication Date: February 26, 2019
Publisher: William Morrow
Pages: 560
Obtained: publisher
Genre:  Historical Fiction
Rating: 4/5

Bottom Line: Lengthy but worth it historical fiction/thriller

Grab, Just get it at the library, or Remove from your TBR list? Grab
Summary: In the aftermath of war, the hunter becomes the huntedBold and fearless, Nina Markova always dreamed of flying. When the Nazis attack the Soviet Union, she risks everything to join the legendary Night Witches, an all-female night bomber regiment wreaking havoc on the invading Germans. When she is stranded behind enemy lines, Nina becomes the prey of a lethal Nazi murderess known as the Huntress, and only Nina’s bravery and cunning will keep her alive. Transformed by the horrors he witnessed from Omaha Beach to the Nuremberg Trials, British war correspondent Ian Graham has become a Nazi hunter. Yet one target eludes him: a vicious predator known as the Huntress. To find her, the fierce, disciplined investigator joins forces with the only witness to escape the Huntress alive: the brazen, cocksure Nina. But a shared secret could derail their mission unless Ian and Nina force themselves to confront it. Growing up in post-war Boston, seventeen-year-old Jordan McBride is determined to become a photographer. When her long-widowed father unexpectedly comes homes with a new fiancée, Jordan is thrilled. But there is something disconcerting about the soft-spoken German widow. Certain that danger is lurking, Jordan begins to delve into her new stepmother’s past—only to discover that there are mysteries buried deep in her family . . . secrets that may threaten all Jordan holds dear.In this immersive, heart-wrenching story, Kate Quinn illuminates the consequences of war on individual lives, and the price we pay to seek justice and truth. ~amazon.com

Review: I know I say this with a lot of historical fiction but I always learn something new from these books. Especially when they are obviously well researched. I loved learning about the Night Witches and how they took on the Nazi. How they put the fear of God into the Germans to earn the nickname Night Witches. Nina Markova is one of those fearful women. Coming from the "wild" part of the USSR she finds her passion in being in the air. It is how she escapes from her horrible upbringing.
Nina's got moxie that's for sure to saunter her way into an elite women's flying group.

We meet Ian Graham and Tony who are on the hunt for Nazi's who have escaped prosecution by taking on new lives. They are on the hunt for The Huntress; who is one of  most skilled Nazi killers that they are after. Meanwhile, Jordan meets her soon to be step-mom, Annaleise, and while she seems kind there is something about her that Jordan feels doesn't quite fit. She's cagey about her history and about why she carries a Nazi Iron Cross. It is evident to the reader how these story-lines will intersect but how they come to a climax is heart-pounding.

The only drawback to this novel is the length in which it takes to get to the climax. There is a lot of research done, which is essential to a strong historical fiction novel but it definitely could have used a bit more editing.

For those of you who love historical fiction and I know there are many, you won't want to miss The Huntress.

Continue reading the review...

Sunday, March 10, 2019

Sunday Skim


In the vain of trying something new here on the blog, I thought I might start with some Sunday posts summarizing what I've read, what I plan to start and upcoming books I'm looking forward to.

Week of 3/4/2019:


Finished:




First, Kate Quinn's novel is wonderful. It is a historical fiction with a bit of thriller mixed in. When you pick it up just beware that it is lengthy and detailed but worth it. It is such a shame that Anita Shreve is no longer of this earth because her last book was fantastic. It reminds me of all her earlier work that made me love her writing and her stories.

Currently Reading:


Looking Forward To:





Not the best reading week due to life and the fact that The Huntress is 500+ pages.We all have weeks like this where life gets in the way and you don't get to read as much. For me it's my escape from stress, my relaxation and sometimes the only thing that keeps me sane. What does reading mean to you and for you?


Share/BookmarkGoogle+

Continue reading the review...

Sunday, March 3, 2019

Sunday Skim


In the vain of trying something new here on the blog, I thought I might start with some Sunday posts summarizing what I've read, what I plan to start and upcoming books I'm looking forward to.

Week of 2/25/2019:


Finished:


I swear I haven't read a bad Sophie Kinsella book ever. Of course there are some I didn't like as much but every time she's got a new one out, I make sure it's a priority to read. This one had me cracking up and tearing up, sometimes at the same time. It's one you don't want to miss. 

Did Not Finish: 



I really don't like DNFing books but sometimes if it's not capturing your attention, it's time to move on and that's what I did.

Currently Reading:



Looking Forward To:













Share/BookmarkGoogle+

Continue reading the review...

  © Blogger templates The Professional Template by Ourblogtemplates.com 2008

Back to TOP