Full review at Review: The Perfume Collector is a lush, rich, multi layered novel that takes the reader from 1950 London social circles back in time t...moreFull review at Review: The Perfume Collector is a lush, rich, multi layered novel that takes the reader from 1950 London social circles back in time to 1920's New York, to Monte Carlo and Paris, France. Flipping between two spaces in time it is the unraveling of the mystery behind the estate left to Grace Monroe by a woman in Paris she has never met. Grace is bored with the role she is supposed to play as a new wife and member of a titled English family of the 50's. It seems the [push is for her to look pretty and make her husband successful by her presence in social circles. She has a brilliant mind and can't seem to find her expected role interesting enough. Along comes an unexpected letter beckoning to meet with a solicitor in France to go over the terms of her inheritance and so begins the first step to discovering an altered past and a new future.
Tessaro concocts a novel that evokes all of the senses and in particular the sense of smells that tie us to memories-- the scent of rain, the familiar signature scent of our childhood and later, a love. My mind wandered to the eccentric exclusive perfume shop Grace and Monsier Tissot uncover in her search for whispers of the past.
"Even in the state of extreme neglect, the room dazzled; walls of glass and mirrors reflecting light so that Grace was blinded of r a moment. As her eyes adjusted, she could see that the space had been designed as a series of bold contrast. The dark wood counter was a rich warm mahogany. The floor was covered in black and white marble tiles. A tiered crystal chandelier, thick with dust and filmy cobwebs, hung from a heavy black silk cord in the center of the ceiling. And the shelves were filled with rows and rows of slim glass flacons, cloudy grey with dirt.
Several times you'll find yourself transported to the world of creating scent and to the field of Grasse where field of lavender abound. However, amidst the magic that is spun, there is also the dark shades of the not so glamorous night life of the Follies. Content wise there are some parts that leave a not so nice, gritty and sometimes down right yucky impression. The workings of childhood neglect, prostitution, drug use, extramarital affairs, alcohol addiction, gambling and codependency. I struggled with several elements of the lives of the characters and their moral reasoning as well as the strong sexual undercurrent that felt heavy handed at times. There is also a push and pull with feminism vs. victimization that was muddy.
Overall I will say this is unlike any other book I've ever read. It got me curious about the lives of Jews in occupied France, about the fascinating wizardry of the genius perfume makers and about life in London during the 50's. The setting awakened all of my senses and made me want to revisit several scenes that left me longing to drink in the same air as Grace.
Thanks so much to Harper Collins for the preview.
I might suggest checking out the other reviews for this one on one of the many perfume blogs. It's a whole new world I am now determined to learn more about.
You might also like Coming to My Senses: A Story of Perfume, Pleasure, and an Unlikely Bride and The Perfect Scent: A Year Inside the Perfume Industry in Paris and New York.
My children love Watson, the cute terrier who lives a life full of values and politeness. Each book in the four book series teaches children simply and clearly how to have manners, respect for their elders and how to contribute to school and home. As a mother I appreciate books like this that are enjoyable for all ages and have a moral built in. Out society needs more citizens like Watson who are willing to do chores without complaining and prodding. Thanks so much to the author for his insight!(less)
As a lifetime member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints I confess I did not know much about Eliza R. Snow before picking up this book. I had heard her name and seen her portrait but the innermost thoughts of her heart were a mystery to me. After reading Eliza I feel I have grown to love her and revere her as an example of strength, fortitude and faith.
Eliza R. Snow was born to a New England family with strong revolutionary War roots. Her father was respected in his civic and business spheres and he often took Eliza with him to work alongside him in his duties. From a young age she was exposed to a world many women of her time never saw. Through the encouragement of her parents, she sought an education and developed a love of writing poetry which later flourished until she came to be known as "Zion's poetess." She left behind so much of what she loved in her childhood home of Mantua, Ohio to follow the prophet Joseph Smith- later to become his wife before the martyrdom. Then, once again she picked up her things and traveled West with the Saints making her way to Utah with Brigham Young as one of his wives. Eliza was instrumental is organizing and leading the women, youth and children of the church as well as devoting much of her time in the endowment house doing Temple work. She was stalwart, encouraging and uplifting-- often penning personal letters and verse to those she loved.
This book is a multi-media, gift quality collection of handwritten poems, antique cabinet card photos and historical documents. It gives the reader a taste of what it was like to step into each period of Eliza's long life. Many of the pages are filled with the hymns and poems that we have come to love including one of my favorites "Oh My Father." I even found one of my ancestors, German Ellsworth listed in a musical program copy tying my family roots to Eliza's story. I would whole heartedly recommend this book and it is a treasure I will keep on my shelves and share with my children.
Thanks so much to Deseret Book for allowing us to be a part of the blog tour(less)
So many of us feel that we just don't measure up or can't make it into heaven. Mr. Wilcox addresses this very issue in his newest book The Continuous...moreSo many of us feel that we just don't measure up or can't make it into heaven. Mr. Wilcox addresses this very issue in his newest book The Continuous Conversion. "We aren't earning our way into heaven were are learning our way into heaven."
The entire book is filled with the profound idea that we are making it there step by step and that the path to becoming a better person takes a gradual and continual progress over time. Conversion is not a fast or "on the surface" change, it is a deep rooted and little by little, day by day-- totally achievable goal.
As a former missionary in Chile I could relate to his examples from the field there. My favorite stories were of him reaching to youth at EFY and prisoners who had and had not experienced conversion. Brother Wilcox has a deep love for others and his counsel is filled with compassion.
Each chapter of The Continuous Conversion has a theme with so many hopeful point of doctrine to ponder. Temple worship, repentance, the names we are given and serving with zeal are some of the topics addressed. This book should and could be read more than once. Brother Wilcox really helped me look at things in a completely new light and I would love to hear this one in audio so we can listen to it again and again as these are lessons for everyone that make an impression on the soul.
Thanks so much to Deseret Book for the wonderful read!(less)
I'm so excited to be a part of Deseret Book's blog tour for Cragbridge Hall, Book One: Inventor's Secret. I heard of this book the week I recived it f...more
I'm so excited to be a part of Deseret Book's blog tour for Cragbridge Hall, Book One: Inventor's Secret. I heard of this book the week I recived it from my elementary aged children who had a visit form the author, Chad Morris at their school. They were so entertained and excited about his presentation that they tried to wrangle the book away from me and I've been in a hurry to finish it ever since so they can have their turn! It's always a good sign when they get book envy.
Chad spends a lot of time weaving obscure and not so obscure elements of history into his storyline which takes place at a prestigious school for brilliant students of the future. The two main heroes are brother and sister team Abby and Derick who are on a mission to find out what happened to their grandfather, the schools founder as well as their parents....before it is too late. There is plenty of adventure packed into the quest to find clues. The team and their peers are allowed to use "the Bridge" which takes allows them to see history come to life and feel it as it is happening. Readers get sucked right along with them into scenes as horrifying as a bear attack and as thrilling as a slave escape.
I really loved the characters and my ability to relate to them. It is truly middle grade perfect. Everyone knows the annoying best girl friend who is vying for the attention of your brother, the mean girl who is trying to turn her clique of friends against you, and the teachers who you can't tell are on your side or not. The main voice, Abby is good just the way she is and is not perfect or fatally flawed.
My children are going to eat this one up and I am pleased to pass it on to them as it is clean and not overly violent. Well done Chad Morris for keeping me and my family fascinated with the past and the future (less)
I will be the first to admit that zombie stories are usually not my cup of tea but I love J. Scott Savage as a person and an author. So when his ARC came on tour in the mail, I picked it up curious...and began to read...and read...and read. Could not put the book down! The thing caught me completely off guard with its hilarious laugh out loud moments and brilliantly crafted characters-- the "three monsterteers."
It's close to Halloween and the three of them have the best costumes ever cooked up. However, Nick's Aunt Lenore has just died and he's off to Louisiana for the funeral leaving all plans of trick or treating behind. But there are secrets and creepiness awaiting down in the bayou. Voodoo secret supplies, a mysterious black cat, a hidden family crypt and crocodiles, oh my!
This is absolutely a book you do not want to miss. Carve out an entire day to devour it and then hide it from your children, because if they are anything like mine they'll want to steal it. I was blown away by the clever writing and fun paranormal history elements. Pre-order now!!!! Thanks to J. Scott Savage for sharing his genius with us.
Wow. This book is absolutely stunning. The illustrations are life like and vivid, beautiful and attention grabbing. I enjoyed traveling with children...moreWow. This book is absolutely stunning. The illustrations are life like and vivid, beautiful and attention grabbing. I enjoyed traveling with children of different nations to their native lands. Readers see what kind of homes they live in and what types of church buildings they meet in on Sundays. From New York City, to Finland, Spain and Taiwan. So many different faces, cultures and ways of life are explored all in a few pages. The teachings are simple and beautiful.
I would recommend I Believe in Jesus Too to all ages. As an adult I found myself turning the pages again and again. It would make a wonderful gift for a child in your life or a treasure for your own family to read out loud and pass on. Thanks so much Mark S. Nielsen for sending me a copy!
I met author Holly J Black at the Deseret Book Flagship store a couple of weeks ago and right away was impressed without even having read her book. Now having read it, I can say Invaluable is perfect for Young Women in our generation who are fighting to stay true to their values.
Eliza Moore, the main heroine is a sophomore in High School who is going through the transitions many her age do- a strained relationship with her sister, balancing work and a job, figuring out just who she is and getting attention from older boys... but not the one she is hoping for. Mysterious notes start showing up in her locker from a secret admirer during the day, and at night Eliza is being visited by her grandmother in her dreams. Life is all about to change.
Taking the reader through time to meet influential women in history, Invaluable teaches us that there is more to life than texting, gossip, crushes and trying to get to the top of the class the wrong way. Eliza learns to choose a better destiny than the one she is carving out by every day choices, and a long the way an unexpected surprise lands her right where she longs to be.
I loved Invaluable! The plot was a little slow in some places but it progresses the characters well as they mature over the course of the school year. It's a book I would gladly pass on and wholeheartedly recommend to tweens and teens, as well as adult women.
Content: Clean. Mention of the dangers of underage drinking, pornography, and immorality.
Emerald City is one young woman's journey from the harrowing feeling of hopelessness to beginning to heal. 20 year old Olivia has suffered...more3.5 stars-
Emerald City is one young woman's journey from the harrowing feeling of hopelessness to beginning to heal. 20 year old Olivia has suffered far more than most 20 year olds and feels alone in the world, her mother having committed suicide and her father abandoning the family after living a lie. One particularly hard night Olivia reaches her breaking point and in an effort to end the pain ends up in a hospital bed with no knowledge of how she could have possibly been saved. Her front door was locked, she has no real friends or neighbors in her apartment building that would check up on her, yet a mysterious man name Jude is said to have found and rescued her. Soon Jude has taken Olivia under his wing and shows her what it means to be cared for and looked after, but feelings are growing on both sides and there are so many unanswered questions about Jude's past and who he is.
As a reader I found myself wondering who and what Jude is through out most of the book until we get his back story over 20 chapters in. I really enjoyed learning more and wish we would have been filled in a bit sooner. From there this romance with a twist of Urban fantasy takes off. It's a darker read until then as Olivia is treading through the absolute hopelessness of clinical depression and suicidal ideation. I like that she addresses her issues through seeing a psychiatrist and going on medication when she so clearly needs it. But I think this is an older read for 17- adults because of the sad tone and traumatic life events Olivia faces. I am curious if there will be more in the series! If you are a fan of the Heavenly series by Jennifer Laurens this has similar character elements. I love love the cover and the chapter headings which highlight Seattle where the book was set, and I am pleased the author shows how one person can change the life course of another.
Content: no swearing or sex, some violence, suicidal and traumatic life events, some kissing and sleep overs.
Jessie's in her mid twenties with a well established career and not much time to spare considering she works 8o hour work weeks. She believes in doing...moreJessie's in her mid twenties with a well established career and not much time to spare considering she works 8o hour work weeks. She believes in doing her best and investing herself in things with measurable results. So, when her roommate Sandy signs her up for an online dating service she is skeptical. Jessie's love life hasn't been so hot in the past. With a failed long-term romance and a broken heart under her belt, she's afraid to take a chance. But Ben Bratton knows just what makes Jessie tick. He is attracted to women with drive. At the same time isn't willing to commit to someone not committed to carve out the most important hours for him. Can Jessie put aside her over achiever turbo drive and follow her heart and will Ben wait for her to figure out the perfect balance?
Melanie Jacobson once again left me smiling and laughing at the clever dialogue between her characters. I could relate to the storyline since I myself was knee deep in a post degree career and in my late twenties when my mother signed me up against my wishes for LDS Singles online. On the other end the story was my now husband Todd, whose co-workers signed him up. I had to chuckle at the similarities and am happy to announce ten years later (on the 23rd) I am still happily married to my online set up!
I whole heartedly recommend all of Melanie's books to readers looking for a light hearted, clean romance. She is so talented at fleshing out real life people and situations that are perfect for our generation. You will adore getting to know Melanie's style and following her blog and twitter. It's simpy brilliant!
I have always been interested by the dramatic story of the sinking of the Titanic. And as a history buff,this book appealed to me on so many levels. I love that Deborah Hopkinson used real photos of the ship and it's passengers as well as first hand accounts. The narrative came alive for me in a way that it never has before thanks to a visually and historically rich account of that fateful night. There are so many new facts I had never heard, including he location of rescue ships in the area and the miscommunication or ignoring of warning messages from other ships nearby. Once again the tragedy of that event becomes crystal clear, but the author adds so many layers of new information that I found myself immersed from page one.
Titanic: Voices From the Disaster is an excellent non-fiction gem for both teens and adults alike. Teens will find it easy to read and interesting, chock full of well researched primary resources. I was so impressed by the amount of end notes and extras included. Deborah Hopkinson and Scholastic have given us a wonderful gift to commemorate 100 years since the Titanic's sinking. (less)