"The Ones Who Matter Most" is the story of Abby who wants freedom from her husband. When he dies suddenly, Abby realizes how much she didn't know abou"The Ones Who Matter Most" is the story of Abby who wants freedom from her husband. When he dies suddenly, Abby realizes how much she didn't know about him and how much he had hidden. He had an entire family that Abby knew nothing about. Fern and Matias were abandoned and have always been jealous of the other woman: Abby. When Abby forcible inserts herself into their lives, they are shaken. This is a story of family and secrets. Sometimes family is not the ones we are born with but the ones we make.
Those in this book are put into some unthinkable circumstances. I loved both of the women main characters in this book: Abby and Fern. They are both very different. Abby is sort of a shrinking violet who doesn't have a lot of confidence. Fern is incredibly strong. These women will create a lot of friction between them. I loved how we see them change throughout the book. It was so interesting to see them go from butting heads to finding peace.
I was so intrigued by the story of these two families. The author does a really good job of giving us a lot of good detail about the characters without an information dump. I loved getting to know these characters. They will definitely stick with me for a really long time! I got so sucked into their story and could not wait to see how it all ended!...more
"The Rivals of Versailles" is the second book in Sally Christie's The Mistress of Versailles series. In this book, we meet Jeanne Poisson who will bec"The Rivals of Versailles" is the second book in Sally Christie's The Mistress of Versailles series. In this book, we meet Jeanne Poisson who will become yet another mistress for France's King Louis XV. Stunningly beautiful, Jeanne, called Reinette, throughout the book is told from a young age that she will become the King's mistress. Rising to fame as the Marquise de Pompadour, Jeanne is a force to be reckoned with. Others we are introduced to throughout the book will try to unseat her but there's a good reason she is still so well-remembered throughout history.
This book works nicely as a standalone as the book really focuses on a new set of characters. There is Reinette as well as Rosalie de Romanet-Choiseul, Morphise, and Marie-Anne de Mailly de Coislin. Most of the narrative belongs to Reinette but we do get a chance to hear from each of these other women in the latter half of the book. They definitely have much smaller sections so we don't get to know them quite as well as we get to know Reinette, which was just fine with me - she is fascinating! I really liked how the author chose to divide up the narratives - it was almost as if she was leading the reader to pay the most attention to Reinette while relegating the other women to mere dalliances for the King.
I liked this book much better than the first book. Reinette is such a great character. The author makes her feel very accessible. It was so interesting to see how she is able to captivate the King and keep his attention for so long. Her narrative is from her point of view, which made me feel even closer to her!
"The Dark Lady's Mask" is the story of Aemilia who is mostly known to history as William Shakespeare's mistress. This has been oft questioned and disp"The Dark Lady's Mask" is the story of Aemilia who is mostly known to history as William Shakespeare's mistress. This has been oft questioned and disputed but this books drives forward under the premise that she was his mistress. This book breathes life into a woman's story who has mostly been lost to history.
I loved the character of Aemilia and I loved that Sharatt lets her truly stand on her own and out of Mr. Shakespeare's shadow. So much of the detail of her life seems to be lost to history and she is only remembered often for her dealings with Will. Aemilia is a fascinating person in her own right. She was incredibly educated, which was so unusual for women of her time. The story goes through a good chunk of her life so we the readers really get to know her well. I loved following her life.
The writing of the book was good! There is so much detail that the characters really come to life! The author did a great job of evoking the time period. I loved imagining all of the places that Aemilia goes throughout the book. One of the fantastic things about historical fiction is that it can help tell the story of people forgotten to history. The details of Aemilia's life are too often forgotten. Overall, this is a great pick about a fascinating woman!...more
"The Girl From Home" is the story of Jonathan, a man who always gets what he wants. He is incredibly driven and doesn't mind breaking the rules in ord"The Girl From Home" is the story of Jonathan, a man who always gets what he wants. He is incredibly driven and doesn't mind breaking the rules in order to get what he wants, which is at the center of this book. Back home, he connects with Jackie, the one-time high school prom queen who Jonathan is determined to have. Jonathan is married and Jackie is married to an abusive guy but that doesn't stand in Jonathan's way. Meanwhile, he is also under fire for some extremely questionable ways he handled money as a fund manager. This is a look at the lengths one man will go in order to demand what he believes to be his.
While Jonathan is not exactly likeable (like at all), his motivation was very clear throughout the book. It was interesting to step into someone's shoes like that. I felt sympathetic for Jackie mostly. She is so driven by the dream of getting away from her abusive husband that she will do anything, even if it means that she could possibly get into trouble. Much of this book seemed to be about what happens when you don't think of the consequences of your actions.
Overall, the book was nicely paced except for a few places where the narrative got very bogged down with detail. This is billed as a thriller but I wasn't really surprised by any of the twists and turns here and there. The conversations in the book were one of the things that I liked best about this book. The author has a good ear for writing how people actually talk and using the way people talk to create very distinctive characters. ...more
4.5 stars. "Emotional Rescue" is a self-help book that shows how to take negative energy and turn it into something positive. I was intrigued by this4.5 stars. "Emotional Rescue" is a self-help book that shows how to take negative energy and turn it into something positive. I was intrigued by this book because one of my resolutions for 2016 was to meditate on a more regular basis. I have been doing pretty well but thought this book may help me out a little bit and it definitely did!
This book is going to make a great tool for me and I know I will go back to it again and again. What I like about this book is that it has a lot of lessons but it also has some exercises in order to reinforce the lessons. I like the way the author has the book laid out - lessons are simple and meaningful. While I read this book as a whole, I could see this book working really well reading a chapter at a time. This isn't a book that you need to (or will want to) go through quickly!
Mindfulness is powerful! If you have ever thought about trying to be more mindful or meditation, this book has a nice introduction!...more
"The Beauty Queen of Jerusalem" takes on the complicated relationships between mothers and daughters. It explores the relationship between a great gra"The Beauty Queen of Jerusalem" takes on the complicated relationships between mothers and daughters. It explores the relationship between a great grandmother, grandmother, mother, and daughter. Each of these women are very different from each other and very different in the way that they interact with the world. All of these relationships are set against a rapidly changing Israel. For those that want to get deep into family relationships and how those relationships can build us, break us, and change us! I was drawn tot the book by the relationships and they are so interesting and kept me turning the pages.
I loved the setting of the book. This book is very much character driven but Jerusalem and Tel Aviv and how they affect the women in the book almost become other characters! The detail of these places that the author includes really shows us who these women are and how they see themselves. I love visiting places in books that I haven't been to much before, Israel is definitely one of those places. The author did a great job of evoking place throughout the book.
I felt closest to Gabriela in the book. Much of the book is about her trying to deal with her making sense of her relationship with her mother. It's tumultuous and not always pretty. The narrative was a little difficult at times to follow due to the point of view changing. I had to keep turning back to figure out where we were, which took away a bit from the book. Even with all this, the story kept me engaged!...more
4.5 stars. "Tides of Honour" is the story of Danny, a soldier from Canada, meets the love of his life in war torn France during WWI. He dreams of spen4.5 stars. "Tides of Honour" is the story of Danny, a soldier from Canada, meets the love of his life in war torn France during WWI. He dreams of spending the rest of his life with Audrey, a beautiful Englishwoman. When he's sent home with injuries, he's hoping to bring Audrey home with him. Little do both of them know that their lives in Halifax will be chaotic and heartwrenching. With great historical detail and a lot of swoonworthy romance, Graham creates a memorable romance that I will be thinking about for a very, very long time!
The romance in the book is fantastic. The author creates two really realistic characters that I rooted for throughout the book. I loved all of the little details in the book. Neither Danny nor Audrey are perfect and it's their imperfections that really endeared me to them. Danny has a lot of trouble reintegrating himself back into society after he comes home. He's injured and all of the planning he did on what he would do when he came home has to change due to his injuries. I really thought the author did a great job of capturing all of Danny's internal turmoil. Audrey is an artist and begins to make a living painting for others. The push and pull between Danny and Audrey as Audrey begins to do more to to support the family was so interesting. You are still pulling for both of them in both cases!
I love historical fiction because it can teach me something new! This book introduced me to a new historical event - there was a huge explosion in Halifax due to two ships crashing into each other - one was loaded with explosives. It decimates much of the city and kills so many people. I had no idea that this had happen. The explosion almost becomes another character in the book with the way that it drives the action in the latter half of the book. This adds a very interesting and often heartwrenching element to the book that had me holding on to my seat.
Overall, this was a great pick. It had so many elements of what I like in a book: great characters, good pacing, romance, action, lots of historical detail.... the list goes on! ...more