Laura Brandon, renowned astronomer, promised her dying father she would look after Sarah Tolley, a woman with no family who lived in a retirement homeLaura Brandon, renowned astronomer, promised her dying father she would look after Sarah Tolley, a woman with no family who lived in a retirement home. Despite the fact that she'd never heard of her and had no idea who she was or how her father knew her, Laura felt obligated to fulfill his dying request. However, when she told her husband, Ray, about it, he tried to dissuade her from doing it, shocking her with his uncharacteristic display of anger when she refused to reconsider. Ray accused Laura of giving too little of herself to him and her daughter, Emma, saying she was always rushing off to further her career, or taking on pet projects, and never spending enough time with her family. Laura is stunned and hurt by this, but thinks his upset most likely stems from his inability to publish a book he'd poured his heart into writing. Ray apologizes, but is still upset that she still plans to see Sarah Tolley.
Two weeks later, Ray asked her again to forget about seeing Sarah, but Laura goes anyway. She's hoping Sarah can tell her how her father came to know her, but that hope is dashed when Laura learns that Sarah is in the early stages of Alzheimer's disease. She's further puzzled to learn that no one, not even her father, had ever visited Sarah. Left with more questions than answers, Laura leaves and returns home, where she is greeted by the sound of her daughter screaming. Emma is clearly traumatized, and Ray is nowhere to be found. Moments later, she discovers his body in the bedroom—Ray committed suicide while Laura was away.
Now, a grieving Laura must find the strength to help her little girl recover from the trauma that left her unwilling to speak, struggling with her own guilt about Ray's death and Emma's condition while at the same time trying to solve the mystery of Sarah Tolley. When six months have passed and Emma still isn't talking, Laura is persuaded to contact Emma's birth father, Dylan Geer, and see if he was willing to be part of Emma's life, in the hope that it would help her recovery.
In the meantime, Laura continues to visit Sarah, going on walks and listening to stories of Sarah's youth. Over time, the stories reveal a terrible tragedy Sarah endured... leading her to a sacrifice she never wanted to make. Laura wanted to help Sarah, but more than that, she wanted to know why someone was leaving anonymous letters in her mail, warning her to stay away from Sarah. In the end, Laura finds the answers she's been searching for, and Sarah ends up impacting her life, as well as Emma's, in ways Laura could never have imagined.
Breaking the Silence is a tale of love and loss surrounded by mysteries from the past, as well as the present. Each answered question raises others, and it is so skillfully written that it keeps you guessing all the way through. If you haven't read it, I urge you to give it a try... you won't be disappointed!...more
Lots of great information in this book about the most efficient ways to get a good ab workout. Some of the exercises look pretty tough, including someLots of great information in this book about the most efficient ways to get a good ab workout. Some of the exercises look pretty tough, including some that are marked as 'easy' exercises. I'm not certain all of them would be do-able in the beginning, but it's a goal to work towards, I suppose.
It also contains information about food, giving tips on what you should and shouldn't eat, and provides several meal suggestions and recipes for healthy, nutritious meals.
Definitely worth a read if you are looking to lose weight and improve your fitness level....more
Seventeen year old Nell Lillington finds herself pregnant after an innocent flirtation is allowed, by her naivete, to go too far. In the 1870s, the onSeventeen year old Nell Lillington finds herself pregnant after an innocent flirtation is allowed, by her naivete, to go too far. In the 1870s, the only respectable choice she has is to name the father and be promptly wed... but marriage is the last thing Nell wants for her life. She manages to disguise her condition for a while, but her secret is inevitably discovered and she is brought before her mother and stepfather (a man with political aspirations in their small town) and told she must name the man responsible and marry him at once. When Nell refuses, they must come up with a plan to keep her shameful fall from grace hidden, and quickly. Nell is hidden away from visitors under the guise of a lingering illness, unable to see her dear friend, Martin, or anyone else. Her stepfather, Hiram, eventually presents Nell with a choice: she will either be sent to the distant and isolated Prairie Haven Poor Farm, where she will give birth to her illegitimate child secretly and give it up for adoption, or, she can name the father and marry him.
Still unwilling to marry, and wanting to be able to return to her ailing mother after the child has been born, Nell agrees to go to the Poor Farm. Once there, Nell earns her keep by working as a seamstress. She becomes friends with Mrs. Lombardi, the matron, and Tess, one of the "inmates", as they called, living on the farm. A few months later, in the midst of a blizzard, Nell gives birth to her daughter, Sarah. Her days are spent sewing and caring for Sarah, whom she quickly learns to love, and wants to keep.
The sameness of her days is shattered with the discovery of the corpse of a former inmate, still holding her dead baby in her arms. Everyone insists the troubled young woman must have shut herself up in a padded room of the long-unused wing of the house, staying until both she and her child froze to death, but Nell isn't at all convinced that's what happened. She believes someone forced the poor woman into that room, and left them there to die. But why would someone have cause to murder a young woman and her baby? Was it the unknown father, perhaps? Nell wanted answers, but more than that, she needed to find a way to escape the farm with her precious daughter, before her stepfather forced her to give baby Sarah away. But the cost of those answers is far more than Nell ever imagined it could be.
I enjoyed reading this book very much, but the one disappointment I had was that the ending felt a bit... unfinished. I'm hoping it's because a sequel is in the works, because I would dearly love to know what happens next. As a stand-alone, it's still a good story, and worth reading if you enjoy historical fiction/mysteries. After all, it certainly isn't the first book I've read that ended too soon for my liking. (But I'm still going to hold out hope that there will be more of Nell's story to be read in the future!)...more
What an exhilarating read! It's a joy to read about characters who feel so real. Not overly perfect, nor overly flawed. Characters who go through situWhat an exhilarating read! It's a joy to read about characters who feel so real. Not overly perfect, nor overly flawed. Characters who go through situations and emotions that never feel contrived, happening because it was time for x to be done, y to be said, and z to be the consequence. Alice and Nick felt like a real couple, having real problems made even more complicated by Alice's memory loss.
I really enjoyed the way the story was presented. So many little mysteries surrounding each of the main characters, raising questions that the reader is left to ponder and (try) to puzzle out, just like Alice. And, like Alice, you begin to learn that things are not always what they seem to be. As I neared the end, I was starting to dread the return of Alice's memory, because the "real" Alice seemed like someone who should be forgotten.
Highly recommend this book to everyone who loves this particular genre. ...more
Riley Macpherson has returned to her childhood home to deal with her father, Frank's, estate after his death. She's in a vulnerable state, overwhelmedRiley Macpherson has returned to her childhood home to deal with her father, Frank's, estate after his death. She's in a vulnerable state, overwhelmed by the numerous things she has to attend to in settling the estate, and feeling alone in her grief, with no one left to turn to for comfort. She's recently ended a two year relationship that was going nowhere. Her older brother, an emotionally distant, psychologically-damaged Iraq war veteran named Danny, wants nothing to do with any of it, due to the strained relationship he had with their father. Cancer had taken her mother seven years ago, and child-prodigy violinist Lisa, the older sister she never knew, committed suicide when Riley was less than two years old. At twenty five years old, Riley feels as if she's lost her entire family.
At the reading of Frank's will, Riley discovers things she never knew, such as his former employment as a U.S. Marshall . Frank's bequests to Jeannie Lyons (her mother's best friend), and Tom and Verniece Kyle (long-time residents at his RV park) were surprises, as well. When Riley, as executrix of the estate, informs them of their bequests, she gets the distinct impression that they all expected something more from her father. If that wasn't mysterious enough, she finds out that Frank and Jeannie were involved in a relationship her never told her about, and Verniece seems certain that Riley was adopted, even though she knows she wasn't.
Jeannie, a real-estate agent, offers to help her with the sale of the house and RV park, pressing Riley to let her come over and look around to figure out what needs to done with the house to get it ready for the market. Riley discovers Jeannie going through Frank's things, holding a box she insists belongs to her, and acting suspiciously. When Riley looks through the box, an even bigger mystery presents itself in the form of old newspaper clippings. Riley had always been told that Lisa became depressed and committed suicide, but the clippings revealed a dark fact that had been kept from her: Lisa's suicide occurred shortly before she was due to stand trial for the murder of her violin teacher.
Driven to find out what happened, Lisa starts digging into the past, finding more questions than answers. Why was Frank giving $500 a month to Tom, a man Jeannie insists he didn't even like? Why did he have a post office box in another town, under a false name? Why did Lisa kill her violin teacher? And why does Tom Kyle act as if he knows a lot more than he's letting on?
The Silent Sister is a well-written, enjoyable read. A few of the plot twists were predictable (for me, at least), which is a shame because it would have been a more satisfying mystery if I hadn't seen any of the plot twists coming. So instead of a four-star rating, I had to knock it down to a three. Still, it was a good story and I'm glad to have read it. ...more
What a wonderful book this is! It's absolutely one of the best historical fictions I've read this year, if not the best. If you enjoy historical fictiWhat a wonderful book this is! It's absolutely one of the best historical fictions I've read this year, if not the best. If you enjoy historical fiction, and haven't already read this, I highly recommend this book. ...more
Wow. Just... WOW. This is definitely one of the best books I've read this year. So much going on with everyone in the story, intrigues wrapped in moreWow. Just... WOW. This is definitely one of the best books I've read this year. So much going on with everyone in the story, intrigues wrapped in more intrigues. I love a book that keeps me guessing, and this one has me changing my mind about who did what, and what was going on, pretty much the entire time.
I definitely recommend this book to anyone who hasn't read it. And if you're not sure you want to read it, based on the summary? Give it a try anyway, because the summary just scratches the surface on what this book has to offer. I'm looking forward to reading more books by Ms. Moriarty. She is my best new author find of the year!...more
The truth? I read this because I love really Outlander, and it’s going to be a long time before bookSpoiler alert! There are spoilers in this review!
The truth? I read this because I love really Outlander, and it’s going to be a long time before book nine is published. So I thought I’d give it a try, and hoped it would be a fun read. And it was, most of the time.
The reason I’m giving this book three stars, even though I truly enjoyed parts of it, is because I got annoyed with Emma more than a few times for being so damned stupid. She trusted Susan (or rather, Gail, but I’ll call her Susan since that’s how Emma always referred to her, even after she learned her true identity) far too easily, and I wasn’t a bit surprised when Susan robbed her blind. I understand it was important for something to happen that would turn Emma’s plans upside down—I didn’t have a problem with that—but it would have been much more dramatic if I hadn’t seen it coming right from the start. It was too easy to figure out.
And Hamish? It took a bit longer, but it was soon clear that he wasn’t all he was cracked up to be, either. Too many brief, not-quite-dates and then there was the insulting way he casually gives her a gym pass, saying she needed to work on her abs and get her body “bikini ready” for when they go to California. Rather than give him an earful and breaking it off with him, she becomes obsessed with looking at pictures of women with perfect abs online. Seriously? I really started to dislike Emma at this point, and felt like it served her right when she discovered Hamish tangled up with Susan in the garage.
The redeeming factor was her relationships with other people she met along the way. Jack Findlay, Morag, Gerald… it was fun watching these friendships develop. And the snarky emails from her sister were always entertaining to read. Very believable. The blog posts Emma made, her joy and awe as she marveled at the beauty of Scotland, and her interactions with people who followed her blog… all these things were enjoyable to read. (These are the parts of the story deserving of a higher rating, but I just couldn’t get past the things that annoyed me enough to feel motivated enough to do it.)
Another thing: If Emma hadn’t been so busy blindly thinking of Hamish as her Fraser she might have noticed that Jack was definitely interested in her, and had more time to spend with someone who was far more worthy of her. So much time wasted on the wrong man!
I did enjoy Susan/Gail finally getting her just desserts, and Hamish having his California dreams ruined. Ha!
Overall? I mostly enjoyed this book, but the parts I didn’t like, I really didn’t like. I’m not sorry I read it, though, and would probably read this author again. I do have mixed feelings about this particular book, but wouldn’t use that as a deciding point on whether or not to read another of her novels....more