Willow’s memories of her parents are filled with love and happiness, but her time with them was brief. A tragedy at sea took them from her when she waWillow’s memories of her parents are filled with love and happiness, but her time with them was brief. A tragedy at sea took them from her when she was just a little girl, leaving Willow to be raised by her mother’s sister, Hope. Years later, she is back at her parent’s home, preparing it for sale, when she discovers an invitation for a photography exhibit—addressed to her, sent by a man she’d never met—opened and discarded in the trash. Willow questions her aunt about it, but Hope refuses to answer her questions. Frustrated, Willow searches for answers and, after discovering secrets that have been buried for years, wonders if her entire life has been built on a foundation of lies.
My Sister’s Secret hooks you from the start, and never lets go. The story is told through Willow’s eyes in the present, along with tantalizing glimpses of the past through the eyes of Charity, Willow’s mother. If you’re like me, you’ll think early on that you’ve got everything figured out, and know exactly where things are headed. And you’ll be wrong. This story is anything but predictable, filled with plot twists you’ll never see coming, and revelations that are as shocking as they are heartbreaking. The writing is pure perfection—the complexities of the characters are revealed with excellent timing, keeping you engaged in the story and provoking a whirlwind of emotions that linger long after you read the final sentence. All of which makes this a Book Worth Reading.
I’ll be keeping Tracy Buchanan on my author radar from now one… and you should, too....more
Claire Turner always wanted to be a mother, but after six years she and her husband, Josh, accepted that it wasn't going to happen.When Claire discoveClaire Turner always wanted to be a mother, but after six years she and her husband, Josh, accepted that it wasn't going to happen.When Claire discovers she is finally pregnant, the Turners are thrilled—until Claire begins to suffer excruciating headaches, and other symptoms that can't be attributed to her pregnancy. When Claire sees her doctor, she is given a heartbreaking diagnosis. Treatment could harm the baby, and Claire must choose between saving herself, or saving her baby.
This was an emotional read. Claire and Josh grabbed a piece of my heart right away, and the more I read, the larger it became. Learning Claire's backstory made her pregnancy and health issues even more poignant. There's so much I want to say about this book. I want to talk about certain scenes that were literally painful to read, not because the writing was sub-par, but because it was written so perfectly I had an intense emotional reaction to the event it described. But I'm holding myself to a strict 'no spoilers' policy in my reviews now, and I'm unable to find a way to write about it without giving away what happens.
What I can say is this: Holmes wrote a beautiful story that makes you want to rage against the capriciousness of Fate, every time something happens, or is said, that breaks your heart a little more. And—if other readers are like me—they will finish the novel and have a haunting realization about something (I can't mention what it is or I'd be spoiling it) that will have them tearing up all over again.
If you enjoy reading novels filled with all the 'feels', you should put this one on your to-be-read list. It's simply a great read.
I received an advance review copy of this book courtesy of Netgalley and Lake Union Publishing....more
Me and My Sisters tells the story of three Irish sisters—Julie, Louise, and Sophie—and how their relationships with each other begins to change and beMe and My Sisters tells the story of three Irish sisters—Julie, Louise, and Sophie—and how their relationships with each other begins to change and become more meaningful when their lives face unexpected challenges and upheavals. Julie is an exhausted mother of four very young boys—including a rambunctious set of triplets—struggling to make ends meet on her husband’s reduced salary. Louise is a very successful lawyer in a London law firm whose world is turned upside down when she becomes pregnant and decided to raise the baby on her own. And then there’s Sophie, the former model married to a very rich man with whom she has a perfectly-behaved daughter, living a life of glamour and ease until an unexpected disaster destroys every aspect of her life.
This is the first book I’ve read by Sinéad Moriarty, and I’m not exaggerating when I say that I was truly blown away. You know those books you read that immediately draws you in and emotionally attaches you to the characters in ways other books can’t? This is one of those books. I was overjoyed when one of the sisters was happy, and when one of them struggled with something, I felt every bit as frustrated or devastated as they did. As each one overcame obstacles, I would literally whoop with glee, grinning from ear to ear, and pause my reading so I could take a moment to enjoy their well-deserved triumphs.
It’s always a delight to discover a new-to-me author whose words have the power to elicit such a response from me. I love reading authors who write such vivid characters and situations that I dread reaching the end. I’m just not ready to let go of the characters whose stories have taken hold of my heart. I was thrilled to discover I wouldn’t have to say goodbye forever to Julie, Louise, and Sophie. Book two of the Devlin Sisters series, The Secrets Sisters Keep, is on my reading queue for later this month, and I can’t wait to find out what happens next for the sisters!
I can’t recommend this book enough. Fans of women’s fiction must read this book, whether you’re familiar with Sinéad Moriarty’s work or not. I truly believe you will love this book as much as I do. And after you’ve read it, be sure to add Moriarty to your author watch-list. If Me and My Sisters is any indication, this is one author whose books you will NOT want to miss!
I received an advance review copy in exchange for an honest review courtesy of Netgalley and Bookouture....more
I received a free copy of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review.
Bill Ingram is looking forward to a Christmas visit with his adulI received a free copy of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review.
Bill Ingram is looking forward to a Christmas visit with his adult daughter, Carol, and is waiting for her train to arrive at the station so he can take her home. The train arrives at the station a few minutes late… but Carol isn’t on it, nor is she on the other two trains coming in from London that night. Convinced something is terribly wrong, Bill goes to the police, but finds little help. Determined to find his daughter, Bill embarks on his own investigation, discovering a secret lifestyle involving a seedy nightclub and unsavory people who led Carol down a dangerous path. Bill is willing to do whatever it takes to find her, no matter what—and the cost will be higher than he ever imagined.
Bloq is a mind-blowing crime novel that hooks you right from the start; a superbly written thrill ride that builds to an electrifying climax. Its fast pace keeps you on the edge of your seat, anxious to know more, and unwilling to put it down.
When I read crime novels, I’m always trying to guess how it’s going to end, and it’s a HUGE letdown when I’m successful at it, because I want to shocked at the ending. Bloq definitely doesn’t disappoint, delivering a conclusion that blindsides the reader with an emotional wallop.
If you enjoy crime thrillers, I highly recommend this one. I’m pleased to say that I consider Alan Jones’ Bloq is a Book Worth Reading....more
I received an advance review copy of this book via Netgalley and Gallery Books in exchange for an honest review.
It's been nearly 30 years since I firsI received an advance review copy of this book via Netgalley and Gallery Books in exchange for an honest review.
It's been nearly 30 years since I first read My Sweet Audrina. I loved the book, and read it many times over the years. I always wished a set of sequels had been written for this book, as there had been for the Dollanganger and Casteel series. When I heard a sequel had finally been written, I was very excited to read it. I was looking forward to finding out what came next for Audrina, and hoped the sequel would be a worthy follow-up to the story Virginia Andrews wrote so beautifully.
I was sadly disappointed, however.
Whitefern definitely had potential. Arden, once a loving husband, is now cruel to Audrina and obsessed with making money. Her father dies, leaving Audrina controlling interest in the family business, which surprises her and enrages Arden. Why did Arden change? And why did her father change his will? The answers to those questions were not nearly as shocking as I'd hoped they would be.
In fact, none of the major plot points delivered any shocking revelations. Every moment that was meant to leave the reader wide-eyed and thunderstruck fell flat, because I'd been anticipating it practically the entire time. There was only one thing that happened regarding a secondary character that actually surprised me, but given the explosive potential that could have played out involving multiple characters in the story, that one surprise didn't pack much of a punch. The final conclusion was unimaginative, and boring in its predictability.
Whitefern is a pale imitation of the brilliant and hauntingly tragic My Sweet Audrina. As readers, we often crave to know what happens next with characters we've grown attached to... but —as the sequels to Gone with the Wind have proved— sometimes 'what happens next' is best left to the reader's imagination....more
For many couples, getting pregnant and having a child is as simple as making the decision to do so. For couples struggling with infertility, however,For many couples, getting pregnant and having a child is as simple as making the decision to do so. For couples struggling with infertility, however, the desire to have a child often becomes a reality only with in vitro fertilization. When Catriona Sinclair becomes pregnant, she makes it clear to her husband, James, that she is unwilling to go through it again if she miscarries. They still have one remaining embryo, so they decide to let it be 'adopted' by another couple who long to have a baby. Diane and Liam Simmons are the recipients of the Sinclair's remaining embryo.
Both mothers deliver healthy babies, but while Diane easily adapts to motherhood, Catriona struggles to bond with her baby and is overcome with a terrible case of post-partum depression. While she's in the process of recovery, one of the babies is kidnapped, setting into motion a chain of events that further links these two couples, changing all their lives forever.
Claiming Noah is the first novel written by Australian author Amanda Ortlepp. It's always exciting for me to read a new author, and even more so when it's their first book. It makes me feel like I've discovered a wonderful new author before most people were aware of them—which is a lot of fun for me since I'm used to being the one who discovers those authors and their books long after everyone else has already read them.
There's a great deal I want to say about this book, but I can't even allude to things without the risk of giving away details that would spoil key parts of the story. What I can say is Claiming Noah is a very complex story. I found myself continually changing my mind on how I felt about each of the major characters, and they all surprised me by doing or saying something I least expected. The ending was perfection, though not at all how I expected it would end (which is a very good thing). I'm definitely recommending this book to others, and declaring it a Book Worth Reading.
I received an advance review copy of this book courtesy of Netgalley and Center Street in exchange for an honest review....more
I received a review copy of this book courtesy of Netgalley and First Edition Design Publishing.
By the time I started going to school, legally enforceI received a review copy of this book courtesy of Netgalley and First Edition Design Publishing.
By the time I started going to school, legally enforced segregation was a thing of the past. I never saw the ‘whites only’ and ‘colored only’ signs that were displayed everywhere in the South. I didn’t know that in the not-so-distant past there were places African-Americans were not allowed to go, things they were not allowed to do. And I didn’t think it was upsetting to have an African-American boy in my class. I do clearly remember being curious as to why his skin color was so different from mine when I first saw him, but only for a little while before I shrugged it off and decided it didn’t matter. He was just a boy going to school for the first time, the same as me.
Growing up in the South, racism was (and still is) all around me. It wasn’t until I was nine or ten that I began to understand what it was. It was a terrible shock for me to realize that others were hated or thought inferior simply because of the color of their skin. When I became aware about segregation and the Civil Rights Movement, I wanted to learn more about it, and have done so whenever possible in the years since then.
What It Was Like is a collection of short stories describing Lois Watkins’ personal experiences of growing up in the segregated South. Her memories are shocking, horrifying, and heartbreaking to read, particularly if the reader has no personal knowledge of what things were like in those dreadful times.
Some of the memories she spoke of involved people or places I was somewhat familiar with, but didn’t know the complete story. The one that disturbed me the most was how, at age 11, she saw a photograph of a deceased Emmett Till in an issue of Jet Magazine.
At the age of 14, Emmett Till was beaten, mutilated, and shot. His body was discovered three days later in the Tallahatchie River. His mother insisted on an open casket, wanting the world to see what had been done to her son in retaliation because he supposedly flirted with a white woman.
Commonly known as the Tulsa Race Riot, the story about the destruction of Black Wall Street (a thriving, successful community of African-Americans in Tulsa’s Greenwood District) is similarly hard to read. On May 30, 1921, an African-American boy was falsely accused of raping a white girl. The district was burned to the ground, leaving thousands of people homeless. The numbers on casualties vary widely, from as little as 30 to as many as 300 or more. Upwards of 1,000 people were admitted into hospitals for treatments of injuries. 191 businesses were destroyed, along with over 1200 homes.
Ms. Watkins gives several examples of the things she experienced herself—such as the painful ordeal of having her hair regularly straightened and why she had to do it, the forbidden taste of water from the ‘whites only’ water fountain and the discovery of how even the things they were allowed was sub-standard to what white people received, and always knowing she had to remain in her ‘proper place’. It was heartbreaking to read of how her family moved to California, thinking they were leaving segregation behind them, only to discover that the ways of segregation were not exclusive to the South.
The best way to learn about something is to hear (or read) stories about it from someone who experienced it… particularly when it deals with something that was part of America’s shameful past policies. History is often revised to be more palatable to modern society, and it’s only by hearing personal experiences of others that we can be certain those shameful parts of our history are not left to fade from memory.
I learned a lot about what things were like during segregation from reading this book. Anyone who is interested in this part of America’s history would likely find this book to be an informative, as well as emotional, read. The only way to avoid the mistakes of the past is to know your history. Given the state of things in America at this time—the debate over Syrian refugees, the blatant racism you see all over the internet, the events that inspired the Black Lives Matter movement— in my opinion, makes this book (and others like it) absolutely relevant to the turmoil we’re experiencing as a nation.
Give this book a read. It’s definitely an eye-opener....more
This is one of the most difficult books I have ever read. Not due to the writing—which was compelling and eloquent—but because of the subject matter iThis is one of the most difficult books I have ever read. Not due to the writing—which was compelling and eloquent—but because of the subject matter itself. The eight families we meet through this book are all living in poverty, and all have the constant threat of eviction hanging over their heads because it takes nearly all of what little money they do have to pay the rent for the substandard apartments, mobile homes, and houses they live in. Many of their homes are in terrible states of disrepair and neglect, and the landlords have no incentive to actually make those much needed repairs. The repairs are done poorly, if at all, because they know there will always be someone desperate enough for a roof over their head to overlook the most reprehensible conditions. If the tenant refuses to pay the rent because repairs are needed, the landlord will simply evict them, safe in the knowledge that someone else will be along very shortly to rent it, despite the property’s lack of upkeep.
The stories of two landlords are told, as well. Desmond present their stories as he does that of the tenants; without judgment or censure.
I knew this wasn’t going to be an easy book to read, but it was engrossing, just the same. From the first few paragraphs, I cared deeply about Arleen, and the same was true as each new family/person was introduced. Some of the things I learned about them were stereotypical, but that didn’t change the compassion I felt for them.
Being given a glimpse into their world has made me more aware of what a terrible problem poverty is, and how it causes millions of evictions every year in America. History teaches us that the most vulnerable in any society are taken advantage of and discriminated against in the worst ways. But it also teaches us that things can change, if enough people want it badly enough.
How long will it be before America wants it badly enough that this egregious wrong is finally made right? How long will it be before we start acting like the greatest nation in the world that we claim to be, and do something about it? Who will fight for the poorest of the poor, who have no voice, and allow their silent cries to finally be heard? I was left with many questions such as these after reading this book.
Being informed about societal issues is important. Evicted is an excellent source of information on a subject that desperately needed to be spoken about. I’m glad I read it, and learned from it.
I highly recommend this book to anyone interested in current social issues....more
I received an advance review copy of this book via Netgalley and Thomas Nelson Fiction in exchange for an honest review.
Mrs. Lee & Mrs. Gray tellsI received an advance review copy of this book via Netgalley and Thomas Nelson Fiction in exchange for an honest review.
Mrs. Lee & Mrs. Gray tells the story of Mary Anna Custis Lee and Selena Norris Gray. Mary is the great-granddaughter of Martha Washington, and the only living child of George Washington Parke Custis and Mary Lee Fitzhugh Custis. She lives with her parents at the family home, Arlington. Selina is one of Arlington’s slaves, the daughter of Leonard and Sally Norris. The story is told, alternately, in each woman’s point of view, sometimes allowing the reader to see an event through the eyes of Mary and Selina both.
I really enjoyed reading this, and thought the writing was excellent. I have a fondness for historical fiction, and American history is an area of particular interest for me, as well. I’d never heard of Selina Gray before reading this book, which is astounding considering what she did. Left in charge of Arlington after Mary and her children fled their home after the start of the Civil War, it was Selina who prevented the loss of all the George Washington heirlooms hidden inside the house.
This is the first book I’ve ever read by Dorothy Love, but I’m interested in reading more of her work in the future....more
I received this ebook from Netgalley and Redhook in exchange for an honest review.
The year is 1871, and Dr. Catherine Bennett overcame obstacles to eaI received this ebook from Netgalley and Redhook in exchange for an honest review.
The year is 1871, and Dr. Catherine Bennett overcame obstacles to earn her medical degree, but fighting the prejudice against female doctors will be a never-ending battle. Forced into an unsavory partnership with a ‘Resurrection Man’ in order to better her skills as a physician and a surgeon, something that would be particularly frowned upon simply because she is a woman, Catherine is returning from her latest visit there when she learns she has been accused of murdering the husband of one of her well-connected patients. Her alibi—the Resurrection Man—would end her career as quickly as the murder accusation and likely conviction. Catherine has no choice but to run.
With her protective maid, Maureen, at her side, Catherine sails to Galveston, Texas, hoping for a fresh start. Circumstances beyond her control and a chance meeting with a former patient lead her to join a wagon train bound for Colorado Territory. Things go from bad to worse, and Catherine, now calling herself Laura, finds herself alone at an army fort filling in temporarily as the post’s doctor until a replacement can be sent. But even at a remote fort in the vast Southern Plains, her true identity and the secret that must stay hidden is in danger of being revealed.
I really enjoyed reading this. Lenhardt’s words painted a vivid picture of Catherine’s plight, and I could easily put myself in Catherine’s shoes and feel what she felt at any given point of the story. The cast of characters were simply wonderful, and quite believable in their portrayal. They were anything but predictable, however… several characters surprised me more than once. Particularly during scenes when I just knew things were going to play out a certain way, only to find I was proven wrong once again.
Every detail in not tied into a neat little bow by the end of the book—this is the first book in a series, after all—but I have to say, I think the loose ends that were left were perfectly chosen. They are the very ones I want to know more about! I’m looking forward to reading more of Catherine’s story, as well as certain other characters.
I’m hesitant to add this last bit, but I did promise to give an honest review, so I suppose I should. I wanted to read this book the instant I read “Outlander meets post-Civil War unrest in this fast-paced historical debut.” Even more truthfully… as soon as I read the word “Outlander.” That’s not to say that the description of the book didn’t further reel me in… it did. I would have wanted to read the book based solely on that, minus the bit about Outlander. The thing is… other than the fact that Catherine is a doctor and Outlander’s Claire Randall is a known as a healer after time traveling to 18th century Scotland, and both have to deal with societal mores regarding a woman’s “proper place”… I’m not completely certain using it in the tagline is fitting. (To clarify, I’m not saying that because of the time travel aspect of Outlander.) Then again, I’m not completely certain it isn’t, given the similarities I noted between Catherine and Claire. It’s something I’ve puzzled over more than a few times as I was reading, and I’m still not sure how I feel about it. It feels not quite right, somehow, but not quite wrong, either. I’m interested to see what others who read Sawbones think about it, if they have any thoughts about it at all.
But enough about that. The tagline isn’t the important thing, it’s the story itself, which is absolutely fantastic and well written from start to finish. I’m looking forward to book two, and will definitely be reading it. I have a theory or two about what might happen next… can’t wait to find out!...more
I received this ARC from Netgalley and Bookouture in exchange for an honest review.
The Island Escape is a wonderfully written story focusing on two loI received this ARC from Netgalley and Bookouture in exchange for an honest review.
The Island Escape is a wonderfully written story focusing on two long-time friends and how both their lives are affected when one of them finds herself going through a divorce.
Roberta is the elegant one, accustomed to a life of wealth. She is unhappily married to Scott—a successful businessman who can be very charming when he wants to be—and mother to their only child. She once dreamed of being an interior designer, but Scott wouldn’t allow her to do it. When they’re together, Roberta spends most of her time trying to gauge his moods, hoping she won’t say or do anything that brings out the bullying, controlling side of him.
Octavia is the adventurous one—or rather, she used to be. When she and Roberta were young, Octavia was all about spontaneity. Eighteen years later, she is married to practical, predictable Jonathan, who has always been more interested in work and his high expectations of their household should run, than in helping an often frazzled Octavia care for their three children. She loves him, but she can’t help but remember her time in Corsica with the equally adventurous Xavi, the young man she loved and lost. Wondering if he was still there… and if he ever thought of her.
I was familiar with Kerry Fisher’s work, having read another of her novels, After the Lie, last month. While it was the beautiful cover that first caught my eye, seeing her name at the top (before I’d even read the synopsis) was enough for me to decide I wanted to read this book. I expected a well-written, engrossing novel full of interesting characters and emotional situations, and Fisher didn’t disappoint. I was completely caught up in everything Roberta and Octavia were going through, and felt protective of them when I felt someone else in the story was treating them unfairly.
The best thing about reading is that you can ‘visit’ places you’ll never go, and ‘see’ things you’ll never actually see, if the writing is good enough. Corsica and Sardinia—places that are only names on a map to me—came alive for me through Fisher’s vivid imagery.
While I won’t give away anything that happens, I will say that I loved the ending. It wasn’t exactly what I expected, but it was definitely satisfying!
I highly recommend this book to readers who enjoy quality women’s fiction. Put this one on your TBR list now. You won’t regret it....more
Simone and Matt Porter’s daughter, Helena, was kidnapped when she was six months old. She was never seen again. Devastated, Simone and Matt managed toSimone and Matt Porter’s daughter, Helena, was kidnapped when she was six months old. She was never seen again. Devastated, Simone and Matt managed to live their lives, despite their grief, but they’ve never forgotten their lost daughter. Eighteen years later, a young woman named Grace approaches her, saying she needs to speak with her about her daughter, telling her she is still alive. Simone is angry, thinking Grace is lying and trying to get money from her, until she sees the blue velvet rabbit. Helena’s rabbit. The one she had with her when she was stolen.
It’s enough to get her to listen to Grace’s story, though Simone finds it hard to believe. When she tells Matt about Grace, she tells him everything… well, almost everything. She keeps to herself that Grace has asked for her help, thinking it best that Matt didn’t know if it turned out that Grace wasn’t their Helena after all. Instead, she agrees with Matt’s idea to do a DNA test on Grace. With rushed results, they would know within a day or two if Grace was really Helena, or just an imposter.
Except the DNA from Grace was contaminated, and they can’t do another test because Grace is missing. Desperate to know the answers, Simone begins searching for answers, not realizing that the closer she gets to the truth, the more her life is in danger.
I really enjoyed this book. With lots of suspense and surprises, it is a well-written story that keeps you guessing all the way. If you enjoy thrillers, I think you’ll find this book a good read....more
I received this ebook from Netgalley and Bookouture in exchange for an honest review.
Lydia appears to have the perfect life: a loving husband, two chiI received this ebook from Netgalley and Bookouture in exchange for an honest review.
Lydia appears to have the perfect life: a loving husband, two children, and a thriving business of her own. She’s the one who always knows what to do, and what to say. But the image of that ‘perfect life’ couldn’t be further from the truth. Everything she has, everything she’s done is based on a lie. A lie that covers a truth so shameful, it hasn’t been spoken of for thirty years. A lie her husband and children must never find out about. A lie that she and her parents have gone to extraordinary lengths to protect from discovery.
But lies don’t stay hidden forever. And when they finally see the light of day, the lives of those affected will never be the same.
When the one person who might shine the light of truth on Lydia’s carefully constructed lie reappears in her life, she’s in a panic. Stressed and uncertain what the future holds, she becomes impatient and angry with her family, who can’t understand why she’s behaving so strangely. She turns to her mother for help, but only finds more stress and is ultimately pushed into confronting the one person she wants to avoid the most.
The pressure of having lived with a terrible secret for most of her life becomes too much for Lydia, leading her down a path of dangerous choices that puts her marriage in even greater jeopardy. As her secrets begin to come out, one by one, Lydia is forced to face her deepest fears and make choices that will not only affect her own life, but the lives of everyone involved in the tangled threads of her deception.
After the Lie was an emotional ride. There were moments that were genuinely laugh out loud funny, some that made me feel terrible dread, and others that were heartbreaking to read. There is one character I was so certain had no redeeming qualities to offer at all, and it surprised me to find myself feeling sorry for that same character near the end of the story. For just a moment, I was able to see things from their point of view, and it completely changed my opinion of that character. (I’m being deliberately vague about the identity of that character, because I don’t want to risk spoiling a moment of the story for anyone.)
This is the first book I’ve read by Kerry Fisher, but I’ll definitely be reading more of her work in the future....more
I received this eBook from Netgalley and Gallery Books in exchange for an honest review.
I was completely blown away by this book! No One Knows is fullI received this eBook from Netgalley and Gallery Books in exchange for an honest review.
I was completely blown away by this book! No One Knows is full of twists and turns you never see coming, and just when you think you have the Big Mystery figured out, something unexpected happens and you’re back to square one all over again.
I spent most of my time wondering about every character that Aubrey interacted with, looking for clues that indicated whether they were good or bad people. I wondered which ones were to be trusted, and which ones were playing some kind of an angle. I thought about it while I was reading it. I thought about it when I wasn’t reading it. I was never able to figure it out, and that’s a very good thing! I spent four days completely wrapped up in the mystery of Josh’s disappearance, and what might have happened. And when the Big Reveal finally came—I was absolutely stunned.
5 stars is the highest rating I give, but the highest praise I can give any book is to declare that it is a Book Worth Reading, and this one is most definitely deserving of that title. If No One Knows isn’t already on your wish list, trust me… it needs to be there. You won’t be sorry....more
I received this ARC from Netgalley and Ballantine Books in exchange for an honest review.
I’m going to say this right off the bat: If you love to readI received this ARC from Netgalley and Ballantine Books in exchange for an honest review.
I’m going to say this right off the bat: If you love to read historical fiction, particularly that which was inspired by the lives of real people, you need to put this book on your to-be-read list, because this is most definitely a Book Worth Reading. The only thing more impressive than the quality of the writing itself is that this is a debut novel. For a first novel, I would rank it right up there with Gone with the Wind by Margaret Mitchell, or Outlander by Diana Gabaldon.
Lilac Girls is told from the perspective of three women. Caroline Ferriday, who spends her time volunteering at the French Consulate in New York, sending aid for orphaned children; Kasia Kuzmerick, a young woman from Poland who is part of the underground resistance working against the German occupation; and Herta Oberheuser, a German doctor who takes a job at the Ravensbrück concentration camp.
Each woman’s story is captivating and, at times, heartbreaking… in particular, the story of Kasia and her time in Ravensbrück. The details of what she went through were disturbing, but necessary to the story. All the things Kasia felt—fear, distrust, anger, hopelessness—were echoed in my own heart. Sometimes I would have to stop reading a particularly distressing passage, because I was so fearful of what the outcome for Kasia would be. I felt deep concern for her almost immediately after being introduced to her character, and it only grew as her story intensified and became more dangerous.
Caroline’s altruistic efforts to provide aid for those affected by the war was both heartwarming (when her efforts went according to plan) and frustrating (when she was stymied by things beyond her control).
What can I say about Herta that won’t be a potential spoiler? Hmm. The best I can say is, I disliked her from the start. There were rare moments early on when my attitude toward her softened just a bit, but that didn’t last for long.
Knowing our history is important, perhaps even more so when it comes to the most horrific times in our history. Lilac Girls, while fictional, tells the important story of such a time, and of the women who lived it and should be remembered—not only for their sufferings but for their triumphs. ...more