Great book! The story alternates between two main characters: Civil War-era Sarah Brown and 21st Century Eden Anderson. Sarah Brown is the daughter ofGreat book! The story alternates between two main characters: Civil War-era Sarah Brown and 21st Century Eden Anderson. Sarah Brown is the daughter of the infamous John Brown, a high-profile abolitionist who led — and was later hanged — for leading the slave uprising at Harper’s Ferry in the days leading up to the Civil War. In the 21st Century, Eden Anderson is a woman trying to reconcile her “personal failure” at her inability to conceive a child. She moves into a Civil War-era home and finds artifacts tied directly to the time period of Sarah Brown. While the two women appear to have nothing in common, they share the burden of their inability to conceive children and the heartache their infertilities cause.
I’m normally a fast reader, but McCoy’s writing caused me to slow down significantly. I just couldn’t get over the beauty of her writing and needed to slow down to savor it. The passages were descriptive enough to give a vivid image of the scenery without being superfluous and overly “flowery.” Each word appeared to’ve been selected with deliberate intent, rather than trying to impress the reader with her vocabulary. It was just nothing short of gorgeous and made me want to slow down to read more carefully.
As a reader who especially enjoys historical fiction, I always “grade” the overall appeal of the book by whether it makes me want to know more about the historical characters or time period. If I want to sit down and google the “real” characters or backdrop before I’ve even finished the book, then I know that the author has truly captured me as a reader; and that’s exactly what McCoy did. Using the historically prominent characters and the Underground Railroad (UGRR) as historical backdrop, I was drawn into the historical end of the story. I was fascinated by not only the story she was telling about the two women, but also the real story of these people and the UGRR. I wanted to know more…not only about both women, but about the history that eventually would tie them together. All I can say is that it’s been a long time since I’ve read a book where the author so beautifully weaved the history of the past with fictional characters of the present.
The Mapmaker’s Children is a novel I would strongly and very enthusiastically recommend to my reading friends....more
Once upon a time, I was an avid reader of fiction with a supernatural element. I absolutely devoured Charlaine Harris’ Southern Vampire Series, and thOnce upon a time, I was an avid reader of fiction with a supernatural element. I absolutely devoured Charlaine Harris’ Southern Vampire Series, and then fell in love with Laurell K. Hamilton’s Anita Blake Vampire Hunter Series. From there, I picked up just about anything I could get my hands on that included vampires, werewolves, fairies, telepaths…if it had a supernatural element, I actively sought it out and read it. Eventually, however, I stopped reading this genre because everything had been done a dozen times over. It got boring. There was nothing new. The stories had been told and told again and they became predictable.
This week I picked up a copy of Rebecca Croteau’s Clearer in the Night and I’m thrilled to say that someone has finally found a new angle to this genre, and it’s good!
Caitlyn is a telepath and the voices are getting harder and harder to tune out. When she suffers a traumatic injury that should’ve killed her, she finds herself fighting not only the voices around her, but an inner animal dying to get out. Caitlyn has been Afflicted and is destined to turn with the full moon. If all of that isn’t enough, she’s dealing with helping her mother pick up the pieces of her alcoholic life, and her long-lost-and-thought-dead-sister has returned. There’s just a whole lot going on at one time and it doesn’t slow down!
Surrounded on both sides by two men, both impossible to resist, she’s not sure who to trust. Does she opt for the equally wild and unpredictable Wes; or the “relationship” with Ian that she feels unworthy of having?
What makes this novel different than those that come before is the main character, Caitlyn. She’s independent and smart; and broken, but not damaged beyond repair.
With this genre, it’s impossible not to make comparisons between similar characters. Cosplay Connect University was spot-on when they said, “Cait is the Sookie Stackhouse everyone wanted.” (http://cosplayconnectuniversity.com/c...). While Caitlyn owns the telepathy and some of the sensitivity of Sookie Stackhouse, she lacks the whininess and indecision of Harris’ main character. Instead, Caitlyn’s as tough and badass as Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter. She’s a whole lot of dark, but there’s a brightness that shines through which makes her likable and not the least bit annoying.
Clearer in the Night is a thoroughly enjoyable read. If you’ve given up on books with a supernatural element, I strongly recommend you give this one a try. ...more
Wow! I wasn't sure what to expect with this book, but what I ended up with was a whole lot more than I'd bargained for. In fact, the only criticism IWow! I wasn't sure what to expect with this book, but what I ended up with was a whole lot more than I'd bargained for. In fact, the only criticism I can come up with is that I'm not sure how "realistic" the plot was. But then, I know nothing about the mafia world, so maybe the plot was entirely plausible. All I know is that I totally bought into the entire plot and loved this book. I loved the characters and I loved the story. I even loved what looks like it might be a small bit of a love triangle...which is usually something that I despise.
I guess if there was any one thing I found to be incredulous, it's that the main female character - Trace - didn't seem freaked out enough about the idea that she was in the midst of a lot of mafia hit men and that murder was a part of their every day lives. That's probably the only part I would change. I felt the character should've been a bit more out of sorts at the knowledge that she was in the midst of organized crime But otherwise, there isn't a thing I would change about this book.
I normally despise books that end in a cliffhanger, but not this time. This time I really feel like this story has to be more than one part. I didn't feel cheated as I normally do when I realize the story hasn't ended. Rather, this time, I felt like the story left off at a comfortable spot, but there was just so much more I wanted to know about the characters and what happened next.
All I can really say is EXCELLENT storytelling by Van Dyken and I can't wait to read the next book!...more
I simply cannot wait to see how this book is received by readers! I was fortunate to receive an ARC from the author for an honest (and entirely unsoliI simply cannot wait to see how this book is received by readers! I was fortunate to receive an ARC from the author for an honest (and entirely unsolicited by the author) review I planned to write for a local magazine. I had hoped for an interesting read, but I had not expected to love this book. And oh boy did I love this book! In fact, I’d say it’s among the top 10 books I’ve read in all of 2014.
Heart of a Dove is a beautifully written novel about a young woman who, orphaned in the days following the Civil War, is sold into the slavery of prostitution at the tender age of 15. She is eventually rescued by a former Confederate solider - a customer - who realizes that he had known her family in the days before the war. His Southern honor will not allow him to leave her behind, and together with two other men and a young boy, they begin their trek by wagon train toward a new life in Minnesota.
With the “feel” of Larry McMurtry’s Lonesome Dove, Abbie Williams brings the sights, sounds and hardships of the wagon train to life through the eyes of its main character, Lorie - an educated young woman, gently born and raised, who finds herself trapped in the life of a prostitute in order to survive. Through Lorie, we are reminded of the inner strength we all have deep inside that can see us through the most desperate of times, and the healing that is found through unconditional love and acceptance.
Heart of a Dove is a story about love, but not simply the romantic love between a man and a woman. It is, instead, the story about the love found through friendship; and it challenges the notion that family is defined strictly by genetic ties. Instead, it reminds us that family can be chosen through strong friendships and trust, and sometimes those ties are stronger than the families we are born into.
This book is the first in a trilogy, but not the “cheater trilogy” where the author leaves you hanging with a cliffhanger until her next installment. Instead, this book ends at a comfortable place where the reader can choose to continue reading or not. As for me, I loved these characters so much that I want to know more about them and can’t wait to continue reading. ...more