This is a story of two sisters who are trying to come to terms with the probable suicide of their mom. Jazz is the older of the two girls and is tiredThis is a story of two sisters who are trying to come to terms with the probable suicide of their mom. Jazz is the older of the two girls and is tired of being forced into the role of good, responsible girl. Olivia, is the free spirit of the two. She also has a condition that allows her to see sounds, taste words and smell sights. Olivia leaves home to find her the infamous willow wisps that her mom said were visible in the bogs of the deep south. Her mom worked for years on a book she never finished and Olivia now believes that she must complete this journey for her mother's sake. Jazz, irritated and frustrated is forced to follow her sister. Along the way they encounter a rail road hopper that may not be who he seems. Both Jazz and Olivia slowly realize the importance of sisterhood. But the quest along the way, is an important step in their realization of that. This was a beautifully written story that was both sad and uplifting. I received a complimentary copy as part of the Librarything Early Reviewers....more
The first part of this book was really good. It set the characters up well, and the reader sensed that something mysterious and sinister was going toThe first part of this book was really good. It set the characters up well, and the reader sensed that something mysterious and sinister was going to happen. The middle and the end of the book was okay, too. Just not as good as the first part. I felt like the ending left me wanting to know more. It takes place in Victorian times England. Basically it is about James, who takes up lodging with a young aristocrat. When James goes missing, his sister Charlotte arrives in London to search for him. This is where we meet the sinister character of Augustus Mould and the men that belong to the Aegolius Club. I can't say too much more without ruining the true identity of these mysterious men. A well written first novel....more
This is a great story for teens and young adults. It has a bit of mystery, romance, suspense and it all takes place at an exclusive boarding school inThis is a great story for teens and young adults. It has a bit of mystery, romance, suspense and it all takes place at an exclusive boarding school in the East Coast.
The main character Liv, does not exactly meet the stereotype of the typical student there. She spent most of her life in foster care and is now awarded a scholarship due to her artistic talents to attend this school. Although she feels like a fish out of water, she slowly catches the eye of one of the popular elite students named Malcolm.
However, too quickly tragedy strikes and Liv is murdered. One other outcast student named Gabe had confided in Liv before her death, that he could see ghosts at the school. Now in her death, Liv turns to Gabe for help and what follows is a suspenseful tale of three students trying to uncover a terrible secret at the school.
I am in my late thirties, and still enjoyed this book. The characters were likable and the plot was both intriguing and full of mystery. I received a complimentary copy from Goodreads giveaway program....more
I enjoyed every bit of this book. I was not familiar with this part of history and the family of the Borgias. It was fascinating to read about the livI enjoyed every bit of this book. I was not familiar with this part of history and the family of the Borgias. It was fascinating to read about the lives of the powerful families of the Italian Renaissance. This book is told from the point of view of Ester, a lady in waiting to Lucrezia Borgia. She grew up Jewish, but converts to the Catholic faith and is renamed Donata. She falls in love with Cesaer Borgia and what follows is the story of the rise and fall of the Borgia clan. But mostly it is about Ester, eventually nicknamed Violante. She tragically falls in love with Cesaer who is unable to love her in return. I was a bit confused in the beginning of the story because of all the different names of the characters. Occasionally, some of the same characters are referred to by more than one name. So that took some getting used to. If you enjoy historical fiction, then this would be a book to add to your to read list. It can meander a bit, but I enjoyed the writing and the plot throughout! Thank you to the Goodreads First Reads program for this book. ...more
This book is definitely chick lit, but it was good, surprisingly good since I don't read too many romance, beachy novels. But I was hooked within theThis book is definitely chick lit, but it was good, surprisingly good since I don't read too many romance, beachy novels. But I was hooked within the first few pages. The writer does a great job making her characters likeable and very real. The book is mainly about Amanda Blick. She is a young, 30 something mother who also happens to be a rich California heiress. One day she walks into her husbands restaurant to find him literally wrapped around his sous chef in the kitchen. He's French and tries to win Amanda back by telling her it is normal for Frenchmen to take a lover and it means nothing, but Amanda is having none of it. She takes her son Max and escapes to the St. Regis Resort in So. Cal to recuperate and decide her future. However, she soon meets a kind, older divorcee who starts to shower her with attention. But don't be surprised if this novel catches you off guard. The ending was a different one than I anticipated. This was a great book to escape too. I loved how rich and extravagant Amanda and her mom's lifestyle was. Fun, fun book to read! I will put this author on my too read list for sure! I received this book as part of the Goodreads Firstreads program....more
This book is a short collection of nine contemporary Vietnamese ghost stories. Each story was interesting and weaved old folktales into modern day VieThis book is a short collection of nine contemporary Vietnamese ghost stories. Each story was interesting and weaved old folktales into modern day Vietnam and the United States. Almost every story involves Vietnamese characters except for one that focuses on an American expat working at the U.S. consulate in Ho Chi Minh City. The stories are sinister and haunting yet also mix in humor and imagination. I normally do not read books that contain a collection of short stories, but this is one I am glad I did not miss. Well written and entertaining! I received a complimentary copy through the Goodreads giveaway program. ...more
This was an book dealing with a huge family drama. Not only does the family in this book have a 14 year old son suffering from a rare, life-threateninThis was an book dealing with a huge family drama. Not only does the family in this book have a 14 year old son suffering from a rare, life-threatening disease that can kill you if you are exposed to light, but there is another very tragic event that happens. The story is heart wrenching. It leaves you sympathizing with the culprit of a horrible crime while at the same time, thinking how could they have done that? I learned a lot more about this disease known as XP. Also the book exposes all the many secrets, some big, some small that everyone keeps. I was really impressed with this story and it kept me engrossed from beginning to end. I do wish the ending had a bit more too it, but I think the author really wanted us to focus on the dilemma this person had to go through. Most of the story is told from Eve's point of view. She is the mom of Tyler who has the XP disease. I thought this was a really good book that I would definitely recommend to anyone. I received this book as part of the Goodreads giveaway program....more
The Book of Madness and Cures was an adventurous journey of a young female doctor in search of her missing father. All the while taking place in sixteThe Book of Madness and Cures was an adventurous journey of a young female doctor in search of her missing father. All the while taking place in sixteenth century Venice. I really like books that take the reader on a journey to other lands and this one was enjoyable for that reason.
Gabriella's father, a physician himself has been away from his family for 10 years now. Through out that time, Gabriella has been receiving letters from her father. But 2 years ago, all correspondence has stopped. It was a little curious why Gabriella waited so long to begin her journey. Perhaps it had to do with the doctor guild finally putting a stop to a female doctor practicing. Now that she can no longer work, Gabriella and her two elderly servants journey from place in search of her dad.
It was also a mystery to me why Gabriella started the journey at the beginning of her dad's travels and not the last place his letters were sent from. But then, the story would not have been as interesting.
I liked this book for it's adventure and the gradual mystery of what happened to Gabriella's dad as it slowly unravels.
I received a complimentary copy through the Goodreads giveaway program.
I thought this was a great book. Surprisingly, I have yet to read Donoghue's popular novel, Room. This book is a historical fiction novel that takes pI thought this was a great book. Surprisingly, I have yet to read Donoghue's popular novel, Room. This book is a historical fiction novel that takes place in 1876 during the middle of a known heatwave and smallpox epidemic in San Francisco. The story is actually based on the real life unsolved murder of Jenny Bonnet. In the story, we are introduced to Blanche, a dancer and prostitute who befriends Jenny, a know cross dresser and frog catcher(which she sells to local restaurants).
Blanche is pretty much supporting her lover Arthur and his tag along best friend, Ernest. Until she met Jenny, Blanche never really questioned her lifestyle or the decision she made in letting her young infant be raised at a "child farm."
Jenny stirs things up, but it seems as though Blanche was just waiting for the slightest nudge. Tragically, Jenny is murdered by gunshots, but Blanche, in the same room, survives. What follows is the few days afterwards where Blanche tries to figure out who did this and where her child is being hidden.
The novel does flip flop back and forth between present day and the past and how Blanche and Jenny met and the days leading up to her murder. You have to pay close attention between the timeshifts as it often happens in the same chapter. This was a raw, gritty look at life in the late 1800's in San Francisco. It may not be for everyone. It does lightly touch on the graphic nature of Blanche's sex life and the odd living arrangement of her, Arthur and Ernest. I thought it was a fantastic story and interpretation of what may have occurred. Can't wait to read more from this author. I received a complimentary copy in exchange for a review. ...more
This book is centered on Lainey. Lainey, her husband, 2 teenage children and her dad Peter, who suffers from Alzheimer's live in England. Their life iThis book is centered on Lainey. Lainey, her husband, 2 teenage children and her dad Peter, who suffers from Alzheimer's live in England. Their life is happy, if a bit chaotic. One day Lainey gets a text, saying "ask your husband about Julia."
Lainey's whole world tips upside down when she discovers another woman and child in her husbands life.
Along with this storyline is another. Lainey has also always wondered who her biological father is. Her pregnant mother immigrated to the US from Italy as a young woman and eventually married Peter, who raised Lainey as his own child. Lainey's mom never talked about her past and eventually died from cancer before Lainey could learn the truth from her.
These two storylines weave in and out of the book. The first half is about Lainey's discovery of Julia and the second part features her travels to Europe to learn more about her past. Both stories are wrapped up nicely in the end.
The book was entertaining and well written. A few spoiled, rude teenage children, but they seem to right themselves along the way. All in all, a good suspenseful read, just have to deal with some self indulgent characters throughout the book. I received a complimentary copy from the Goodreads giveaway program....more
The story takes place in Victorian England and each section of the story is told by one of the main characters. It is a haunting mystery complete withThe story takes place in Victorian England and each section of the story is told by one of the main characters. It is a haunting mystery complete with sinister characters, seances, a dilapidated house in the English countryside and a haunted wood surrounding it. I very nearly could not put this book down. It immediately pulled me into its story and I desperately read to find out more about the strange disappearances from Wraxford Hall and the mystery surrounding this spooky, old house. ...more
This is the ninth novel in the Maisie Dobbs mysteries that take place in the aftermath of WWI. It is now 1933 and there is rumors of another war on thThis is the ninth novel in the Maisie Dobbs mysteries that take place in the aftermath of WWI. It is now 1933 and there is rumors of another war on the horizen. The story begins when some local market sellers seek out Maisie's help in a finding out what really happened in a suspicious death. This request sends the now wealthy Maisie back to her poor Lambeth roots to investigate the death of a "slow" but well-loved man named Eddie Pettit. As Maisie investigates more, she realizes that Eddie may have been in over his head involving matters of national security. Although this is only the second Maisie Dobbs novel I have read, I once again had no problem in understanding the plot and characters. These are great mysteries due to the time era, the issue of class and the compelling character of Maisie. This particular book focuses quite a bit on Maisie and her discovery of some possible flaws and issues she must deal with within herself. This is an excellent series and the ninth novel was well worth the read. I received this book as part of the Goodreads First reads program. ...more
This was a very good story about 5 generations of women all living together on an olive grove in California. The oldest is Anna who is 112. At first itThis was a very good story about 5 generations of women all living together on an olive grove in California. The oldest is Anna who is 112. At first it was a little bit confusing to keep all the names straight and who was whose grandmother, mother, daughter,etc. Each woman has an interesting background story. One of the most interesting to me was Deb, who is in prison for shooting her husband. A geneticist comes to study the women's unusual longevity. But his arrival also brings forward buried secrets kept quiet throughout the years. When I first read the description of the book, I did not think I would enjoy it as much as I did. It is very well written and I like that sometimes different chapters focus on one of the different women. Here we learn a bit more about who they are and what they feel. Great storyline and recommended. ...more
The Sometimes Daughter is a story highlighting the bond between mother and daughter. In this case, it is the mother who is irresponsible, afraid of coThe Sometimes Daughter is a story highlighting the bond between mother and daughter. In this case, it is the mother who is irresponsible, afraid of commitment and brazenly forgoing rules in search of freedom and fun. The book begins with Cassie and Kirk, at Woodstock. Sweet Judy Blues Eyes, as she was named by her mother, is born in a tent. Kirk, eventually is pulled toward a more conventional life and returns to law school to create a secure household for his family. However, Cassie is unable to shake her hippie ways. She craves an unconventional life by cheating on her husband and eventually sneaking off with Judy to a commune in the Midwest. This is the last straw for Kirk. He eventually finds Judy and Cassie and files for divorce. The book focuses on Judy and her on and off relationship to her mom. She is raised by her grandparents and her dad, Kirk. Dad is a great character, patient, hardworking and committed to creating the best home-life for Judy. In contrast, Cassie is such an immature, errant mother who seems weak-willed and naive. Cassie calls and writes, occasionally entering Judy's life just long enough to disrupt it. But little by little, Judy is growing up. She is dealing with all the normal childhood dilemas, and finally teenage issues, and it affects her greatly not to have a mom to gain insight and advice. This book is about Judy and how she carries on with a mom who only occasionally appears. She finally must decide if Cassie really deserves a place in her heart at all. I loved reading this book. It was interesting throughout. A great read for older teenagers and all adults. Highly recommend. I received this book as part of the Goodreads First reads program. ...more