Not only was this a book I needed to read right now, but it's also a story I know I need to reread, several times, and here's why...
Plot: The book folNot only was this a book I needed to read right now, but it's also a story I know I need to reread, several times, and here's why...
Plot: The book follows two separate timelines and sets of characters. One is in the present day, the other, 1950s Tibet. The way the author has woven these storylines with the growing awareness and mindfulness of Buddhism throughout was pure literary beauty. One character is having a bit of a modern life crisis/change, while the other is a part of a small band of monks fighting against time to rescue some hidden and sacred texts from the invading Chinese army.
Characters: Before I talk about the two main characters, let me first say that there were no fluffy bunnies in here. All of the characters had a purpose and a uniqueness to them which was appreciated. So, the two MCs are Matt Lester, currently a science researcher/developer in nanotechnology, living in England, being faced with a drastic life change, and Tenzin Dorje, a sixteen-year-old monk, hiking through the Himalayans on a dangerous but important mission, with his older brother and teacher. Worlds apart in every way, it almost felt as though the two had nothing to do with the other... but you come to see soon enough just how alike and connected they truly are.
The Writing: The chapters alternate between Tenzin and Matt, both told in first person POV. The writing is fluid and smooth and engaging... very easy to get absorbed in.
In Case You Wanted to Know: There is within the first chapter some (not TOO explicit) sex, which on the whole, felt out of place with the rest of the book, but, in some way, it did help illustrate the differences between Matt and Tenzin. And when we follow along with Tenzin on his sacred mission, there is some violence faced as they try to evade the Red Army.
Overall: The book says it's a Spiritual Thriller, but I didn't get that feeling. Instead, I was warmed with feelings of hope and love, and convictions of beliefs I've always had. This is a story about fate, purpose, and connections, not magic. It's a story that really brings wonder and appreciation back into a busy modern life. Filled with so many quotable teachings, it's a book I'll come back to and read again many times....more
I was supposed to have read and reviewed this book, months and months ago... and somehow, Idk what happened?
About the Author: The author (per their inI was supposed to have read and reviewed this book, months and months ago... and somehow, Idk what happened?
About the Author: The author (per their introduction) has only been doing Tarot for a few years. However, they definitely understood the assignment. Not only was this book easy to read but the information was explained in a meaningful and accessible way that really made sense. I too am self-taught when it comes to Tarot, and even though I (mostly) read the cards intuitively, it was still appreciated and helpful to have something so digestible to fill in the gaps of my somewhat limited education.
Expectations: So, going in, I didn't expect I'd learn much from this book because I obviously know it all...duh?? But mostly, I thought that because I just hadn't found a book yet that I actually felt was a fit for me. Other books were either too dry or too black & white, so, I learned instead by watching other readers. But, this book is more nuanced and feels like a real person is teaching you.
Something I learned: I feel really saying this, but... right out the gate, I learned that the Major Arcana represents Karmic & Spiritual Lessons, while the Minor Arcana represent our efforts & behaviors in everyday life. I never heard this before. Like, I KNEW the card meanings... but I didn't KNOW it this specific way... if that makes sense?
Overall: From history and myths to picking a deck, to the Arcanas to spreads, for someone REALLY wanting to learn and get the best comprehension for your dollar--- this book has it. Best of all, there's no pressure to memorize or do anything a certain way. Just pure, simple encouragement for your own personal journey. ...more
This was the first book I'd ever read written about "the OTHER side". I've read plenty of books about the oppressed, and more specifically, the persecThis was the first book I'd ever read written about "the OTHER side". I've read plenty of books about the oppressed, and more specifically, the persecuted peoples of WWII... but never have I read about what it was like for the ordinary German people who started off fully embracing & supporting Hitler & the Nazi Regime.
Let me start by saying... whoa.
So, the book follows two families from different statuses & different towns, and also an orphaned boy, during the years of Hitler's rise to power, through the war, and on past its bitter end. And MY GOSH, how well-written their stories are!
I've heard my fair share of war stories from the viewpoint of a peasant farmer via my mom, who grew up in China during Japan's invasion... so the hardships the families all eventually found themselves in were all too familiar a tale to me. What was "new" (for me) was the realization that the German people (especially those on the Eastern side of the country) had it really bad towards the end of the whole deal. I hadn't even considered that the Germans suffered... I know, I know... don't judge me. I know, pretty ignorant of me, but it's the truth.
I remember the Berlin Wall coming down. I remember it being toted as this BIG DEAL... But I find it funny how this fictional book (based on real people), read some 32 years later, is finally putting into perspective for me some of the biases that existed, long before that wall ever went up, that divided a country in such a concrete way (pun intended).
Sorry, where was I?
So the author didn't hold back... my gosh, there's pain, and violence, and death, and some vivid imagery. But for a long time, I was reading about these seemingly "normal" families just living their best, ordinary-in-the-middle-of-their-country's-huge-looming-success-in-the-war-lives, thinking to myself, "this isn't too bad." And then slowly and steadily their lives begin to change... Little by little, they compromise and they make sacrifices... small ones at first, extra food, extra clothes... then bigger ones... They (mostly unwillingly) gave away their lands, their children, their fathers... then their ideals and values, then their most precious, of secret valuables... and then for more than some, ultimately their lives. And it's just this smooth/steady incline to the ultimate, sharp decline in their shared human experience.
And it's all written in a way that was impossible to look away from.
I've often questioned if we as a people would ever again fall into the same trap of hatred & destruction under a falsehood of hope & greatness, and the answer is always an unfortunate, terrifying & resounding, yes... Yes, of course, we will & of course, we can... The saying (paraphrasing, probably) "Those who do not study history are doomed to repeat it," is scarily accurate. Germany learned... learned the extremely hard & terrible lesson, and on a global, modern, scale. But they DID learn. There are no Nazi or Hitler statues in Germany. Nazi imagery/propaganda is illegal/not tolerated. But what of the rest of the world?
Did we learn?
Yeah, this book moved me... at least it moved my IDGAF-o-meter a little more towards Idk, empathy for others?
Ya know, nobody wins in war. They're all losers. And for the survivors, the effects of war don't stop with them, they're felt for many generations afterward.
This book is heartbreaking, but my goodness, it's such a necessary read. Look, if you're not able to speak to a REAL person, face to face, that survived the war, any war, then start reading some books like this... learn from the ugliest of human nature, vicariously through (based on real) fictional characters... And tell everyone else to, too. Maybe we can all GAF again about humanity as a whole and stop another genocidal a-hole from rising to power.
There is no good & evil... just nuance & our concessions left to the interpretation & judgment of our descendants.
Final thought... Just read the book. And sorry for waxing poetic, this is why I usually try to stay with a format. Sorry again....more
I'm pretty generous with my stars... If a story can transport me in time & place, move me to tears, while entertaining and enrapturing me-- completelyI'm pretty generous with my stars... If a story can transport me in time & place, move me to tears, while entertaining and enrapturing me-- completely... it'll probably get 5 stars from me. This one? (It) tore my heart out in a beautiful setting & made me feel things this dead soul of mine hasn't felt in years... 5 stars, and here's the (spoiler-free) reason(s) why.
Plot: Believable? Sure, for those of us who are still waiting for our Hogwarts letter or a visit from Julie Andrews to find out our heritage is a bit more colorful than the muted grays we live in. NO MAGIC here, unless you count the majesty of a Tuscan Summer?
Characters: The story is told from 3 different POVs, one of them being in 1st person- that's Fiona (an MC). But the REAL main characters are Anton & Lilian. This is really their story, and as characters-- look, I JUST LOVE THEM, and my heart is so broken for them. I can't say more without gushing details & saying what I really think... and I don't want to spoil a beautiful, tragic, and bittersweet story.
The other characters, just like us, were there to just observe and vicariously live through these two individuals.
The Writing: No complaints on the writing. (It) was smooth and vivid & rich with details without ever feeling expositional; fully immersive & captivating.
In Case You Wanted to Know: I could FEEL the Tuscan sun. I could SMELL the fog and vines and cellars. I could TASTE the wine and the forbidden love. And worst of all-- I FELT the heartbreak and anger and tragic hopelessness experienced by the characters that I related to on a soul level. After reading/completing this novel, I had a rose-colored euphoric view of MY LIFE- however temporary- and I DO FEEL like maybe, just maybe, I might try & invite joy back into my life again... Maybe.
Because one thing is for sure... the message of living in the moment and celebrating each day was definitely not something that can be overlooked after this story that felt like an experience all to itself.
Overall: Yeah...I LOVED this book. I highly recommend (it) for a beautiful escape (however temporary) from normal, boring, hopeless living. ...more
This was a book that will work well in and benefit from, being part of a series/trilogy. As an introduction to this fictional world and cast of characThis was a book that will work well in and benefit from, being part of a series/trilogy. As an introduction to this fictional world and cast of characters, I'm rounding up from 3.5 to 4-stars, and here's why.
Plot: Two witches, a half-demon, and an ancient witch-hating/witch-hunting group of vampires... The story was creative and fast-paced. Believe-ability of witches & vampires aside, there were a couple of stretches that I can accept only because I guess if you're dealing with immortals- money isn't usually a problem, which means more things (like far away/last-minute travel) are possible. There were definitely some twists and turns I didn't see coming, which I liked. But some of the resolutions were a bit cliché and/or contradictory to what had already been done in a similar situation. All in all, the storyline worked and I was entertained.
Characters: The three main characters (Gilda, Jax, and Noelle) were sufficiently fleshed-out. Again, this is where I'd like to see their growth/arcs over the next few books.
The Writing: 3rd person POV, alternating between the three MC's POVs. The writing flows well and is easy to read.
In Case You Wanted to Know: There are quite a bit of (well-described) action sequences that can get a bit explicit & violent. Also, there is a sub-plot lesbian romance, and it is written like any good budding romance should be written... awkward and cute and I guess you call it a "slow burn" at first? I also liked that they created their own spells for this book and INCLUDED a FREAKING GLOSSARY in the back!
Overall: I liked it. I was interested enough in this new/alternate version of our world that I'd like to see what's next.
It's been a while since I've read a Shari Ryan book... my tastes for fiction led me down other paths. However, it was Shari's "Last Words" that led meIt's been a while since I've read a Shari Ryan book... my tastes for fiction led me down other paths. However, it was Shari's "Last Words" that led me to one of those paths: WWII/Holocaust Fiction. This one, the 'other side' of that aforementioned story, was just as heartbreaking and beautiful.
In "Unspoken Words" we get to hear Charlie's version of how he became part of one of the most hated groups of people in history, and how he struggled with that "forced" decision for his whole life. I don't want to give any spoilers. If you read "Last Words", you already know how the story ends, if you haven't- just read both; either order is fine.
Side note: There's a review for Last Words that points out all of the historical "inaccuracies". IMO, I think that when it comes to historical fiction, *some* artistic liberties should be allowed. If in fact, those inaccuracies ARE inaccurate, it still doesn't take away from the story itself. If you took the SAME story and placed it in any other world where love between a monstrous regime and an oppressed/persecuted people was forbidden, it would STILL work and be just as heartbreaking & beautiful.
AND, I know personally, from years of knowing Shari (a Jewish woman), first as an author and then as a friend, that this story (Unspoken Words) and Last Words, were INSPIRED by TRUE events & stories told to her from her own family members, etc. who lived through that time period/those events. These books have been a work of love AND healing for her. And for me, knowing that, makes me appreciate the bittersweetness of the whole experience. This felt very much fiction mixed with a sort of memoir because of that aspect, and any criticism to the contrary is an exercise in missing the underlying message of love and hope against the worst of odds.
4.5 stars and HIGHLY recommended for anyone that loves feeling the feels of sorrow, pity, love, and redemption... no matter how long the wait....more
I chose to read this book based on the reviews that praised the author for a nice way of positing how it all went down when the Book of Revelations waI chose to read this book based on the reviews that praised the author for a nice way of positing how it all went down when the Book of Revelations was first written, back in the late first century, AD. As a former Christian/ turned Atheist, for many years now... what I got instead, was a head-shaking disappointment.
Up until the 60% mark, the plot & story structure, which alternates (mostly) between two time periods, is "okay". The story moves along and is at least understandable if nothing else. Like, the modern-day timeline is a bit of a stretch, but whatever- creative liberties & differences- I'll overlook it. But then- when we DO get to the 60-65% point ALL sensibility in telling a story in the present-day goes straight out the window. Basically, the storyline that follows the journey of the 'original' scroll penned by John of Patmos in the latter part of the first century, stays pretty consistent with the pace and the raising of the stakes, but to hell with the modern-day...
Instead of staying a "story" and mixing in details in an unforced narrative, the author chooses to have his "non-expert", priest-character, give pages and pages of expositional dialogue... at dinner parties, museums, and just- really anywhere he can butt in; with a short, compulsory apology at the end of each outburst, for "accidentally" taking over the convo... whoopsie.
AND to TOP IT ALL OFF... right when it looks like "they" figured it out: that it truly WAS a con and a tool to ensure loopholes for ages upon ages that would allow the church to rule by preaching salvation and redemption and enemy retribution in the form of smiting by the actual hand of GOD (my favorite), AFTER YOU DIE (of course, super convenient, IMO), the author ACTUALLY FEEDS into the hypocrisy and justifies THAT belief, by basically contradicting everything else he's laid out so plainly in all the preceding pages that a RATIONAL MIND would see???!
I haven't been this passionately displeased with a blatant near-end-of-book, sudden change of convictions, since "Man of Legends" by Kenneth Johnson.
"Clan of the Cave Bear", and to some extent, the second book in that series written by Jean Auel, called "Valley of the Horses" (I think), did an EXCELLENT job of working in plenty of (at the time) theoretical science into the story, to where it felt natural and imaginable that that's how everything happened. Likewise, the book "Sex, Time, and Power" by the late/great Leonard Shlain, put forth evolutionary theories AND included fictional short story hypotheses to illustrate HOW some of his theories might have played out... The author of "The Ephesus Scroll" would have done well to have read one or both, taken notes, and then copied either one of their formats; instead of creating this poorly executed conjecture.
His theory (Ben Chenoweth's) is good AND plausible. In fact, I'm so upset because the way (it) was presented fell short. If it would have been presented as a paper/thesis (OR), as a fictional book WITHOUT ALL of the EXPOSITINAL DIALOGUE... it would have been good. Great, even. I could've even overlooked the overlooking of the blatant con.
But, poor supposition presented in the forced 3rd person voice of an excited speculating cleric, is the WORST FORMAT POSSIBLE. I could've read this theory if Mr. Chenoweth was delivering it in the same voice, with the same cadence, as he gave to the priest, Zhenya. But, in a thesis format/ where I KNOW ahead of time that I'll be listening to a thesis... like, does that make sense?
*Also, side note... My Babushka's name was Zhenya (spelled differently, tho)... I never knew that to be a nickname for a man, but maybe that's a regional thing? IDK.
Obviously, this book irritated me. It interested me. It interested me so much so that I WANT to and more than likely WILL- read the other books in this series, because of the theories, alone. I've studied religion for over 30 years, and let me just tell you... I am a sucker for origin postulations...
And... just for the theory alone, this book deserves 5 stars... PLUS, it was able to get me fired up... and isn't that worth something? I'm uping my review to a 4, up from my original, salty, 3. Well done, Ben, well done.
So, in many ways, I feel like I should just point you in the direction of the reviews I've done for the other books written by this author; the accolaSo, in many ways, I feel like I should just point you in the direction of the reviews I've done for the other books written by this author; the accolades/praises are all the same, as far as how much I enjoyed this book. However, for some reason, I wasn't as blown away with this one as I was with the others? And I am a little annoyed with the fact that I can't figure out WHY that is.
Plot: The plot is good... in typical Pulley-style, a ghostly story is woven, back & forth, through time and through the 3rd person viewpoints of (in this book, several) the characters... into this well-thought-out tale of murder, ghosts, lies, lavish lifestyles, and history- loads of history. And, just like "The Dead Key" and "The Unclaimed Victim", this one ALSO was inspired by some true events.
Characters: I think THIS is where I ended up feeling not so enamored? So, the MAIN-main character is the teenage son, Hunter; and his parents (Margot & Myron) are these upper-middle-class, distracted, and all around- crappy parents. They're also not as fully fleshed out as I tend to prefer, considering they DO PLAY a pretty big role in the book. Maybe I was just having an off day when I read it? IDK. I just felt that his mom gets too much of a pass, without a fuller backstory to make her redemption arc make sense. Again, I'm not too sure why I felt a little less than thrilled with this newest release from one of my favorite authors... but that's my best guess as to why.
Overall: This was still an engrossing tale that once the pieces started coming together and we learned more and more about this *home*, I just couldn't put it down. I read it in one sitting- as is usual with books from this author... and, as with the rest of her literary contributions, I highly recommend this one, as well....more
Have you ever read a book you just COULDN'T relate to? Yeah... I may be white, but I am not, nor have I ever been, that *special* kind of privileged wHave you ever read a book you just COULDN'T relate to? Yeah... I may be white, but I am not, nor have I ever been, that *special* kind of privileged white that knows the truly expensive name brands and can call 911 twice within ten minutes, as easy and carelessly as changing a takeout order...
I gave this book 5 chapters to grab my interest before heavy sighing and rolling my eyes into the back of my brain and calling it a "nope".
Here's what I can say, about a book whose premise sounded enticing...
If you like REALLY LooooONG lists, like pages and pages worth of lists describing a setting; or a closet full of clothes; or a crime scene- minus the crime details but instead, the antique designer furniture pieces and collectibles... this book is for you. If you like to hear about privileged white people out of touch with reality, whose kids go to college in France because of that one time their mom decided to lie-to-kick-it with the big shots; this book is for you. If you like chapters of lists with no story substance and forced romance implications early on; and you also enjoy talking with that one pretentious party guest whose yarning about how great their life is/was but somehow, *poor me* and you DON'T end up gouging your eyes out with the toothpick from an hors-d'oeuvre... then this is DEFINITELY YOUR BOOK.
I'm kinda over stories that are written with no basis in reality. I've personally and unfortunately, have had to call 911, a few times in my life... NEVER have I, nor has ANYONE I know, called 911 (TWICE within ten MINUTES) and then hung up (BOTH TIMES) so nonchalantly, like, "okay cool... See you in a bit," ESPECIALLY at a potential MURDER SCENE??? THAT DOESN'T HAPPEN.
I just... can't. I can't go further with this review, just like I couldn't go further with this book that I'M SURE is an excellent read. But hey, don't take my word for it....more
This one surprised me. I thoroughly enjoyed this novel. I've had a lot going on lately so I stretched it out, savoring it; but easily could've read itThis one surprised me. I thoroughly enjoyed this novel. I've had a lot going on lately so I stretched it out, savoring it; but easily could've read it in one sitting. This is a solid 4.5-star novel, maybe even a five if I was still into romance novels... and I only have one "tiny" complaint with the formatting...
Plot: So, it's been a while since I've read a romance novel, and even longer since one grabbed my emotions, even if I wasn't initially into the premise... The PREMISE being one of the "Pretty Woman" trope. But don't get it twisted... our character isn't a street worker, at all. Circumstances just evolve- as they do, that turns this story into THAT trope. Is the plot believable? The real-life aspects and relatability- absolutely. The accidental romance? Eh- I mean, sure? But, isn't that what a romance novel is all about, anyway? The happy accidents that lead us to love? Anywho, major points for the execution of the story are deserved in this area.
Characters: The two main characters, IMO, were fleshed out well enough to be believable within the confines of this type of book. The supporting characters also had distinct voices and a side note... I kinda love the MC's BFF, Stefano.
The Writing: The story itself read well, in 3rd person POV, BUT... there's this thing the author does every few chapters where we go back in time/ see a memory, which is GREAT, BUT- the whole thing is italicized and it for me, is hard on my eyes. That's it. That's my gripe.
In Case You Wanted to Know & Overall: There IS sex in this book and it's descriptive... but let me tell you... here's an area I'm gonna heap some praises on... There is a sexual tension build-up; the MCs don't just start banging right off the bat and ALSO, this book doesn't automatically turn into pages on end of gratuitous sex scenes once they DO. There's actually a story in there, and I APPRECIATE that on so many levels. And that story? Yeah, it made me cry; a couple of times. I ended up getting invested and for that, this book goes in the "Highly Recommended" pile for anyone wanting a beautiful, modern tale of love, in a big city.
*I received a free copy of this book in exchange for my honest review....more
I'm kind of on a Historical Fiction kick, featuring stories placed in the 1900s during either of the two World Wars. I came across this gem and LOVED I'm kind of on a Historical Fiction kick, featuring stories placed in the 1900s during either of the two World Wars. I came across this gem and LOVED it, even though it took more than half the book to get to the "point" of the initial synopsis, and it was FILLED with an abundance of niceties & conveniences.
Plot: The "plot" is about an upper-class girl, coming of age in British high-society in the middle of WW1. Upon turning twenty-one, she defies her parents in every polite way possible and in an effort to be near the man she has (semi-quickly) fallen in love with, she joins the Women's Land Army, and from there follows the circumstances where they lead her as they happen TO her.
Characters: Emily is the main character we follow through this book. She is privileged & hard-headed, educated & courageously cavalier in her naivete. Yes, she puts her foot down and "stands up" for what she wants in life; going against the grain of polite society as far as the expectations placed on her; but as a good, strong, character... I believe she falls quite flat. As do the other (supporting) characters. All of their voices, though some more distinct than others, all sound more like a bit of chatter really. If anything, I'd say this story was more plot-driven than character-driven. Everything happened TO her and she REACTED, instead of her DECISIONS being what changed the course of her fate.
The Writing: The writing was done well, no complaints here. The cadence and prose were enjoyable and written in 3rd person POV, from Emily's POV.
In Case You Wanted to Know: This book was fairly sweet and innocent, like a PG-13 movie. Anything "bad" was politely glossed over. Which, for me, seemed appropriate for the posh societal setting of the early 1900s this story takes place in.
Overall: Few books have made me want to start Book Tube videos as this one has. I expected one thing and got something completely different. I expected the plotline to be threaded much earlier in the book but was perfectly okay with that not being the case... because, all in all, it was a pleasant story to read.
ALSO... Ms. Bowen- I see what you did there at the end with the name association.
And there it is folks... the moment I threw my pen across the room and decided I'd begin to add Book Tube videos to my You Tube channel....more
I fell in love with Moonlight Sonata way back in the late 90s when I played as Jill in the first Resident Evil game. Ever since it's been on every oneI fell in love with Moonlight Sonata way back in the late 90s when I played as Jill in the first Resident Evil game. Ever since it's been on every one of my playlists, and I listen to (it) almost daily. I, however, never gave any thought to the story behind such an emotionally charged masterpiece. This novel takes care of that for me (thank goodness), even though I never knew I'd wanted to know until I read the synopsis... And oh my gosh- what an imagining this novel is. I felt SO much. My heart ached. My spirit soared. I cried. I laughed. I cringed. I'm just overwhelmed with the beauty the author captured and I refuse to think Beethoven wrote 'Moonlight' under any circumstances.
Also, kudos to Ms. Morrisroe for capturing the *madness* within. This was a heavy read in all the right ways; illustrating life & the political games of Europe in the 1800s while telling the story of a mysterious woman in Beethoven's small, social circle: Countess Julie Guicciardi.
Trigger warnings for rape and miscarriage.
I just want you to read this novel. Then listen to Moonlight Sonata en loop. This book gives life and a plausible explanation in a heartbreaking way to what has always been an unexplainably beautiful and gut-wrenching composed piece of art.
To sum up, this novel is written from Julie's POV is 1st person, and there's a quote she "says" which is so relatable to who I was when I first heard that enchanted melody: "I was accustomed to loving absent men." And that's a *mood* if ever I read one....more
Ever since I read Shari J Ryan's "Last Words", I have been fairly obsessed with WWII era novels. Both of my parents were born during WWII and grew up Ever since I read Shari J Ryan's "Last Words", I have been fairly obsessed with WWII era novels. Both of my parents were born during WWII and grew up feeling the after-effects of the war in China & Europe... Anyway, this was a bittersweet tale of lost & forbidden love- a US Jewish Dentist overseas as a field doctor, and he ends up meeting a German Resister and this turns into a love affair that can't be forgotten 60 some odd years later as the dentist, faces his own mortality.
Told from (the dentist) Max's POV during WWII, Johanna's POV in WWII (his love interest's sister), and Beth's (present-day/Max's daughter) POV, all using 1st person POV. It sounds like it could get confusing, but the author did a nice job of developing clear voices and traits for her three main characters.
Was there anything "special" about this novel that makes it "stand out"? No, sorry, but- no. I wasn't moved or invested, but I would read a novel about WWII over almost any other, any day. And this one was written well. I liked the story, but I REALLY liked the writing style-more. I guess for a historical novel, based in that time period, I expected more pain/suffering & the ultimate overcoming of adversity that's familiar to that type of novel; and I think the 3 storytellers actually detracted from what could have been an engrossing tale.
This was an interesting read and approach to telling the story of a character who's own voice you never really get to hear. For the artistry alone, I would recommend it, but stay till the end because it does have a lovely conclusion....more
Despite the setting being Florida & the beachy/resort environment one associates with "Florida", I would also categorize this book as a "beach read", Despite the setting being Florida & the beachy/resort environment one associates with "Florida", I would also categorize this book as a "beach read", and here's why...
The murder/mystery plot was enough to keep me interested although as far as "believability" goes, this one really stretches the possibilities. I mean, the knit together details are solid but extreme. And in this day and age, I'm just not sure how copacetic it is to read/write a story where an older white man is totally given carte blanche to take over a murder mystery after being suspected as a suspect, to begin with. Sure, that probably happens, but since I don't relate to that kind of privilege (no, not an SJW, just grew up poor, so not about that life), I honestly didn't care for it. But to be fair, the story is based in an apartment complex in Florida where the majority of people there are retired, semi-wealthy, white people. So I'm sure in some ways this whole premise and audacious-ness are realistic to someone out there? Basically, this isn't for me, but it was still a good quick read that read easily. 3.5 stars.
*I received a free copy in exchange for my honest review....more
I was asked to review this book, way back in 2016, I think? Shortly after that, my life got a little crazy and this book, along with several others, wI was asked to review this book, way back in 2016, I think? Shortly after that, my life got a little crazy and this book, along with several others, was put aside and forgotten about. Long story short... wow. This book was horribly good. Here's what I mean...
Plot: An abused child (yeah, it starts out that deep & dark), living with her parents in modern-day Poland, is haunted by a raven in her dreams, which only leads to trouble and heartache further on as the story progresses.
Characters: We get to see Hanka grow up from a seven-year-old to an adult. I hate her story, but only because so much of it is familiar in so many ways. Her parents remind me of my parents but in reverse. For Hanka, the alcoholic abuser is her mother, the enabler- her father. The story pretty much revolves around these three (and the raven) and I can say that each character was fleshed out & believable even if unlikeable.
The Writing: The story itself was easy to read cadence/prose-wise. There is a bit of syntax difference due to Ms. Mlek being a native Polish speaker and a few spelling mistakes... but nothing that got in the way of enjoying this dark story told in 3rd person POV.
In case you wanted to know: Dude. This is NOT a happy, feel-good story. It is dark and upsetting. There is child abuse (physical & neglect) and it is written in a normalized way. If reading this type of story offends you- you'll want to skip it. If you think it might trigger you- skip it. If however, you were raised in & survived an abusive upbringing, & have mostly healed/overcame all that comes from being abused as a child AND also (forgot to mention) can relate to a mental break & mental issues without wanting to self-harm- then you might be okay to read this. For anyone/everyone else- also know that there is infanticide, general poverty, alcoholism, infidelity, and lots of death.
Overall: So why would I rate this a 4.5/5 star? Because I wasn't expecting it. I wasn't expecting to feel so much for a character as I did for Hanka. And although this didn't leave me feeling all sweet & mushy- it DID leave a memorable mark on my damaged brain. I would recommend to anyone who is willing to go dark.
"In all fairness, this type of book just isn't my thing anymore," I realize and say to myself as I end up skipping over the next 30 pages or so to rea"In all fairness, this type of book just isn't my thing anymore," I realize and say to myself as I end up skipping over the next 30 pages or so to read (disappointingly) the last 4-5.
I'm breaking away from the usual format that I've been using for a few years (that I borrowed and adapted by awesome amazon reviewer, DeeArr1- amazing person & friend, btw), to just speak on why I didn't care for this book... at all.
But first... a quick story... I LOVED the late Bertrice Small. I own ALL of her books. (She) wrote romance novels (mostly historical, but she did also have a fantasy series "Hetar"). In her books, there were kidnappings, r*pes, attempted r*pes, and on the 'non-trigger-side'- REALLY EXPLICIT sex scenes. But there was also a well-laid plot behind almost every book of the 50+ she wrote. The exception being "Bedazzled". THAT BOOK, while yes, plot-full, was also SO FULL of sex scenes that I was skipping pages and pages and pages because I was like, "Oh, they're doing it again?" and then... read some more and then they're at it again? and again? and again? and "DUDE, do they EVER STOP?" Don't get me wrong- I am FAR FROM A PRUDE, very much the opposite, but if I wanted THAT MUCH SEX in a book, I'd get a 20/30 page (or less) Smut novella & get my rocks off that way. I do NOT NEED 6-7 pages of sex scenes with 6-7 pages of "plot" in between another 6-7 pages of explicit sex, again. Seriously.
Also, I AM SO SICK of the "perfect girl" with the "perfect" body that can beat ANY GUY at anything who is also (conveniently) a f***ing virgin turned SUPER FREAK once the "perfect guy" with the "perfect" body (who NEVER in the whole book hits the gym, btw)- deflowers her/claims her. I'm just over this trope.
3 out of 5 stars because I'm nice and can appreciate the fact that the author was able to write a "full-length" story- no matter how very (dirty)cookie cutter and too full of sex and not enough plot it might have been.
*I received a free copy of this book in exchange for my honest review....more
In a dystopian future where science has created enhanced, hybrid, and animal-like humans (wolfish, apish, etc.), a young man discovers his uniqueness In a dystopian future where science has created enhanced, hybrid, and animal-like humans (wolfish, apish, etc.), a young man discovers his uniqueness after he's lost everything he's ever known. I'm giving this story a 3.5, maybe a four... and here's why.
Plot: Immediately you're thrown into this version of our future where terms and labels are thrust into the story that only as you read further, do you begin to understand what "they" are talking about. It took me a minute to catch on, and even then, there were still bits of the world that didn't make sense as far as history/backstory & just how stuff worked, in general. But, the main plot- was very Divergent-esque (finding out you're different in a pretty much illegal kind of way) and Mockingjay-ish (being the rallying point for an oppressed group of people), only the M.C. is a boy (16y/o), not a girl. Putting aside the basics of exactly how the biology worked, the plot/story was enjoyable to read.
Characters: Raek (M.C.) tells the story from his 1st person POV. The author didn't go easy on him as far as problems go, however, he (Raek) is also armed with some pretty convenient genetic quirks that make it possible for him to rise to a leadership role in the span of just a few short months. That's not to say he isn't clever in his own right- he is, I think at this point though (in my life) I would've liked to see the main character REALLY fail at something... rather than a "circumstance" that was unavoidable being what ends up causing him "pain".
The Writing: After I got past the terms etc. that I wasn't familiar with, the writing style of this author made the story flow well and I was able to read it in a day.
In case you wanted to know/overall: There is violence and language, and also implied sex, but nothing too graphic. I enjoyed this novel enough that I'd be interested in reading what comes next. Especially if the "how they became this way" in the 1st place is more elaborated upon.
**I received a free copy of this book for my honest opinion....more
This novel was slow to start and (for me, at the time I chose to read it) hard to follow in the beginning. But after the first few chapters, I was folThis novel was slow to start and (for me, at the time I chose to read it) hard to follow in the beginning. But after the first few chapters, I was following along just fine and had stayed with it anyways because what was actually happening was interesting.
Plot: The author took artistic & creative liberties to tell the story of Sigrid the Haughty and let me just say-YES. Yes, the story was believable and full of rich details and imaginings of tenth-century Scandinavia. The novel follows young Sigrid as she faithfully follows her belief in the Norse Gods and their plans for her destiny.
Characters: There were quite a few main and supporting characters that were (at first) hard to keep straight; mostly because of their Scandinavian names which I’m not used to reading/familiar with. However, moving past that. The MC, Sigrid… she was a delight in every way; although personally, I loved Emma, way more (Yeah, probably the only name in the book that was a “common” name). Sweyn’s story & character arc were far more plot-driven with action sequences and stuff so I didn’t really feel too invested in him.
The Writing: If it hadn’t said it on the cover I would’ve never known this was a translated book. There is a lot of detail included, the dialogue is sensible… it’s told in 3rd person POV, alternating between Sigrid, Emma, and Sweyn. There’s even a glossary at the back to help with the “foreign” words.
In Case You Wanted to Know: This is a decent-sized book and the only thing I disliked was that the main part, her destiny basically, isn’t fully realized in this part of the two-book set; it’ll be revealed (I’m assuming) in Book #2. Instead, this story is the back-story in a way to how Sigrid positioned herself to become the woman history remembers her for, but not the after-effects of her actions.
Trigger Warnings: There are some pretty gory violence scenes, as well as rape and incest.
Overall: Omg… I just have to say it… One of my favorite authors that really got me into reading again as an adult is/was Bertrice Small (RIP) and damnit, this reads like one of her earlier books; think “Enchantress Mine” or “Beloved”. Just like how I had to read “All the Sweet Tomorrows” and the rest of the books following Skye O’Malley and her legacy; so too will I read the story of Estrid (Book #2, this duet/series) because I simply fell in love with this version of the legendary, strong & bold, 10th century Viking Queen. ...more
Okay, so if this novella had been longer, I’m not sure if I’d have gone higher with my rating or lowered it to a three? But, because of its short lengOkay, so if this novella had been longer, I’m not sure if I’d have gone higher with my rating or lowered it to a three? But, because of its short length and the fact that I liked the premise, I’m going to be generous and give it a 4; here’s why…
Plot: The plot is intriguing; a time-traveling witch, the first of her kind, who finds she has an important role to play in the shaping of the future of womankind. YES!! Great idea for a story! Was it executed in a believable fashion within the confines of 152 pages? Eh… I guess so. However, a longer book would’ve done this story justice since so much was glossed over & opportunities to enrich the tale weren’t taken.
Characters: Here’s where a longer book could have helped for sure. Margaret’s husband and how his arc finishes out at the end is just- no. I mean, in an HEA, he’s great, but so no believable. But again, there weren’t enough pages to show how he’d evolved. Margaret as well (the MC), I would’ve liked to read more about her experiences to see how they shaped her, rather than seeing her ALREADY shaped by the next chapter.
Overall: Short story: short review. Again, it could have been so much more, but for what it was- I liked it enough to recommend as a quick & thought-inspiring, wishful, read. ...more
I really, really, REALLY enjoyed this book… until I got to the end and realized it was a cliffhanger and there was no resolution. It was SO GOOD. Now,I really, really, REALLY enjoyed this book… until I got to the end and realized it was a cliffhanger and there was no resolution. It was SO GOOD. Now, I’m super upset & here’s why…
Plot: What a unique and fascinating story premise: a school for W.I.P. characters. Sure, the boarding school idea has been used plenty of times (H.P. anyone?), but that’s pretty much the only obvious similarity. The rest is (for me, at least) refreshing and exciting and believable and new.
Characters: I loved Irving- really. I loved seeing him develop as his writer tries to create Irving’s story. He’s supposed to be a hero but he’s kind of a putz and only accidentally does he occasionally do something heroic/get things “right”. He’s flawed, but hey, that’s cause he’s not fully developed yet; just like the rest of the characters at the Questing Academy… clever really, of the Real Author (Clopper) to have this “excuse” for flawed and/or under-developed characters. I personally think it’s genius and wish I’d thought of it.
The Writing: Switches from 3rd person POV (Irving’s author, present-day, real-world with real-world situations that inspire his creative experience) and 1st person POV (Irving Wishbutton, a student newly arrived at the “mysterious” Questing Academy) seamlessly and reads like butter. Writing style alone would merit 5 stars.
In Case You Wanted to Know: There’s nothing extreme or unfriendly in this book that needs any forewarning, with the one exception THAT THE ONLY (SUB) PLOT RESOLVED is Irving getting fleshed out!!! Everything else you “think” you’ll get an answer to- you don’t. Sorry, that should’ve come with a “spoiler alert”, but see how mad you are now? Glad I could share my ire.
Overall: 50-100 more pages and this book would’ve gone from exposition/world building to an actual finished product. But, at 290 pages, all of the beautiful & imaginative details of Irving’s world are for nothing because I’m too disappointed at being left hanging to even bother reading the next three books in the series, regardless of how much I LOVED the whole damn thing up 'til the “end”....more
This was an enjoyable read from beginning to end. I’m a sucker for stories that give nods to other stories/worlds that I love, but unfortunately for tThis was an enjoyable read from beginning to end. I’m a sucker for stories that give nods to other stories/worlds that I love, but unfortunately for this book, too many nods took away from me rating it higher than a three.
Plot: Okay, with no spoilers, let’s just say that plot-wise--- totally believable, in the way that Harry Potter/Narnia, etc. are believable. In fact, although this story isn’t “exactly” a cookie-cutter version of those series, there are plenty of eh-hem “stolen” elements that made this book fun & interesting and easy to read/follow, but also easy to predict and definitely cliché.
Characters: So, you know how I just mentioned this book’s similarities to other well-known/loved series? Yeah, the biggest, most-glaring-est nod is the characters’ names. The M.C. is Peter, his friend is Lily (side note: I’m kinda over girls in books being named Lily at this point, personally. But who am I to judge? I really wish authors would stop this. There are a million other nice female names, JS). There’s also a Polly and a Eustace, and a ghostly thing whose name and persona reminds me of Mundungus Fletcher. There are character arcs here, some more extreme than others; and although I wouldn’t use the phrase “strong character development” to describe these characters, I would at least say each one was unique and distinguishable, enough.
The Writing: The story is written in 3rd person POV, mostly from Peter’s perspective. I didn’t notice too many errors/mistakes, so that was nice. The style & flow of this author made the book readable in one sitting.
In Case You Wanted to Know: As a YA novel, there weren’t any aspects of this book that’d warrant any kind of warning label; I would, however, like to say that although these kids are in high school and subjects like chemistry & physics are portrayed in some detail, the actual story-- plot-wise/overall theme/tone is and feels more Juvenile than Y.A., IMO. The author did an excellent job of mashing together so many stories. She even managed to include the King Arthur Legends making (it) a huge part of the back story. I also (honestly) liked her magical take on science because really--- isn’t that all magic is; science that hasn’t been understood yet?
Overall: The storyline/premise was great. The world-building and writing were enjoyable. I finished the book wanting to read more. This review comes after having read it a second time since I honestly remember very little from reading it only about 5 months ago. I did remember however from my first read-through noting how much this book combined a bunch of well-known/loved series (H.P., Narnia, His Dark Materials), and I remember getting the impression that the author tried too hard to produce an epic classic. That’s not to say I didn’t enjoy reading the story, but the lack of originality left me feeling (twice now) like I’d read a sort of fan fiction. Regardless, I would still recommend this book to anyone who needs more of “that type” of book--- like a celebrity’s favorite cousin, Intangible fits right in....more
This novel was a good read. For the most part, I enjoyed the story, it read well and the two underlying plots were woven together in a cohesive way.
PlThis novel was a good read. For the most part, I enjoyed the story, it read well and the two underlying plots were woven together in a cohesive way.
Plot: I love the background storyline that forces the characters together- the impending (and eventual) eruption of Mt. Rainier in Washington State. Meanwhile, there’s a serial killer on the loose and now, the residents of a posh, exclusive, golf-course community, are trapped; and among them is the killer. At its bones, this book is like a modern day game of Clue.
Characters: Here’s where for me, the story loses some of its luster. There are SO many characters; a handful of main & almost-main characters, and then dozens of supporting and small/briefly mentioned ones. Where Riley, the main protagonist, is fleshed out fairly well, as is her male counterpart, Nate, there were several other secondary characters who were given just as much “stage time”, and it was borderline hard to follow. Especially since I had the feeling they were all going to merge together sooner than they all actually did. The part about the ‘too many characters’ that I disliked the most, was even though I’d figured out who the killer was before the BIG REVEAL, there was an accomplice involved- which came out of nowhere and really felt like (after the reveal) a forced plot twist to warrant the writing of a sequel. And I think honestly, it was those last few chapters as the story wraps up, where they take a turn into the realm of “REALLY?”… I mean, I get the gist, but the motivation for the elements that clearly suggest an upcoming sequel really feel in hindsight, underdeveloped; with not enough character or circumstantial, motivational detail in that respect, provided.
The Writing: The writing was beautiful. Ms. Chase has elegant prose, and the rich detailed knowledge of certain aspects that were included made this a visually immersive jaunt. Switching back and forth between the viewpoints of a handful of those characters I mentioned, the book is easy enough to read, written in 3rd person POV.
In Case You Wanted to Know: This book doesn’t overdo it with offensive language, graphic or triggering content- although there is some of all that included. There are a few weird moments when the Killer is on the hunt, but I expect there to be weird stuff in the mind of a killer?
Overall: The talent of this writer is apparent, and even though there were some aspects I didn’t like, I would be open to reading more from her in the future. Ms. Chase also added a nice little ‘extra’ at the end where she draws out her basis and inspiration for the story. I love knowing these tidbits and seeing “how the magic was made”. 4.5 stars.
*I received a FREE copy of this story, in exchange for my honest review. ...more
This book was so completely NOT like the movie. In fact, this is one of those rare instances (for me) when the movie is better than the book. I know… This book was so completely NOT like the movie. In fact, this is one of those rare instances (for me) when the movie is better than the book. I know… why review such a well- known novel at this point? I dunno, why not?
I’m going to break away from the format I usually use for reviews, and instead, I’m going to compare the book to the movie. Spoiler alerts follow for those of you who haven’t seen the movie/read this book.
I fell in love with the 1998 movie based on this book, as did many, many other women I know, who’ve seen it. Some of the main parts of the movie that were NOT originally part of the book, that MADE me fall in love with the movie (and now, a feeling of deep disappointment from reading this) were as follows: Sally’s girls were young in the movie, vs. in the book they are early to late teenagers. Now, I will say that the girls got more exposure in the novel and they were more developed as characters- which as a book to read, was a nice touch.
But the movie had me believing the story was about two sisters (Sally & Gillian) mostly, and the Aunts (who are barely there/make an impression at all in the book & are nowhere near as cool as the Aunts in the movie), and there are two small little girls who add an air of innocence and hope for the future but at its core- the story (in the movie) revolved around their witchy history and lack of loving, lasting relationships. Yes, that is a part of the book’s premise… but maybe going into (finally) reading Practical Magic after all these years set me up for the disappointment that I feel?
There are NO MIDNIGHT MARGARITAS in the book FFS??? And the bestest- most magical part of the whole plotline that made the movie magical, was the spell young Sally Owens casts so she’ll never fall in love… guess what? In the book… that DIDN’T HAPPEN, EITHER!!
So dissimilar were the two stories (book vs. movie) that they could almost be unrelated. Almost. Look, I just haven’t been this disappointed since I read Jurassic Park and THEN watched the movie, okay?
What gets me is my feeling of “no magic” that I’m left with after reading (it). All in all, movie feelings aside, it read well, and in and of itself was a good book. But if you found yourself spellbound by Practical Magic, the movie, and are hoping to find a deeper love by reading the novel… if you haven’t read it yet, do yourself a favor and skip it. The movie is something I watch more times a year than I’ll admit to because it makes me feel so good on so many levels… whereas the book? I will never read it again. *Dramatic Ugly Crying*
4.5 stars to be fair and unprejudiced… 2 stars because I am extremely biased. Giving a final 4 stars. ...more
I felt going into this read as though I had heard of Ruth Rappaport before… maybe I did? Maybe I didn’t? Either way, I am so glad I’d chosen this as oI felt going into this read as though I had heard of Ruth Rappaport before… maybe I did? Maybe I didn’t? Either way, I am so glad I’d chosen this as one of my First Reads Picks, and here’s why…
(From her Amazon Author Profile) Kate Stewart is a third generation librarian whose work has included working at the Library of Congress (just like Ms. Rappaport did until she retired). After an invite to an estate sale (that of Ruth’s home after her death), Ms. Stewart finds a slightly obsessive need to know more about this fellow librarian who traveled the world, never married and built a life for herself- post-Holocaust. Let me just say- I would’ve done the same thing. In another life, I would’ve and/or might’ve been a librarian as well, as is evidenced in my voracious appetite for books, knowledge, researching, and cataloging… yeah, I can relate.
This biography read as part documentary and part extended conversation with a friend who was telling me a story about someone they had a fascination for, and how they themselves related to that person in their own life.
I went into this book just wanting to hear the story of a woman named Ruth Rappaport, a librarian, who somehow inspired another woman enough to have a book written about her. What I got was a strong and stubborn, rebellious woman’s lifetime, well-researched and brought to life in the space of 350+ pages.
Ruth Rappaport’s life began as a young Jewish girl, right before the Holocaust began. She survived by a choice she made, to leave as a young girl, thereby taking her life into her own hands. From there, she remained her own person for her entire life, even up until she died- on her own terms. Her life wasn’t as colorful and exotic as some biographies you might read, but for a woman of her time, her tenacity was admirable and noteworthy.
The author included excerpts from Ruth’s diaries as well as other sources, such as an interview about the Holocaust she’d recorded shortly before her death. From the many sources, Ruth’s voice speaks out bravely and brazenly. Some gems I highlighted were like this one, where a 6-year-old Ruth is at a Zionist meeting (pre-WWII) and speaks up amongst all the adults present against the argument of Dying a Hero FOR your country, “What’s so great about dying for your country? Isn’t it more important to LIVE for it?” This quote is followed up with Ruth’s recollection of that moment, “I thought that was a pretty astute comment from a six-year-old.”
So did I Ruth.
As Ruth tells it, to sum up, her life… “My whole behavior is strictly existential. Meet what comes.”
And that’s just what she did.
As an additional, well-appreciated bonus, Ms. Stewart added at the end, 19 Life Lessons/Words of Wisdom, gleaned from Ruth’s lifetime/story. I’m currently hanging a typed-up version of (them) on my office wall.
In closing, if you’re looking for EPICNESS… sorry, this isn’t epic. It is, however, a damn good story. Again, it’s a biography, and where a lot of bios can be told with a dryness that makes it hard to get through, I didn’t find that an issue in Kate Stewart’s book. Of course, I happen to LOVE books and reading and history and women who can happily throw a middle finger up at the rules and Patriarchy, and live the life THEY want. If that’s not something you can relate to or aren’t interested in reading about, then skip this one.
Btw, the books that made a difference in Ms. Rappaport’s life are mentioned throughout the story, but they’re NOT the focus, by any means.
If you, like me, can appreciate the kind of woman I described, then read this. Grab a coffee, settle in, take a few cigarette breaks if necessary (Ruth was a chain smoker), and this can be read in an afternoon… it’s that fluid and engrossing. 10 stars if it was possible. Thank you, Kate Stewart, for bringing Ms. Rappaport into my home, my heart, and my mind. ...more
D.M. Pulley’s books are like bags of Cheetos… They’re addicting and I NEED more! Disclaimer: I might just suck at solving mysteries. I think? Real LifD.M. Pulley’s books are like bags of Cheetos… They’re addicting and I NEED more! Disclaimer: I might just suck at solving mysteries. I think? Real Life problems and scenarios of whodunit- no problem; but written suspense novels, I’m almost always unsure. Well, maybe 80% of the time. Some stories kinda leave enough clues that it’s just obvious I guess… But so far, not D.M. Pulley, she has me guessing 'til the very end and then it’s so beautiful how it all comes together! Anyway, on with the review… sorry!
Plot: If you read her first book, ‘The Dead Key’, I’d say that this book follows the same formula. If you didn’t read her debut novel- you NEED to. The plot of this story follows a fictional theory of what might explain who was behind the (very real) “Torso Killer” killings of Cleveland, in the 1930s and beyond; (it’s) based off of real events, real characters, and real evidence. And, just like with ‘The Dead Key’, I’ll repeat the same sentiment; the plot was well thought out, there were no loose ends left untied. All questions were answered – beautifully – with surprises. The story kept me guessing until the satisfying end.
Characters: The story follows from 3rd person POV, the two main characters, Kris Wiley and Ethel Ann Harding. Kris is our present-day protagonist, who doesn’t believe that her father is really dead (even though pieces of him have been found); so she snoops through all of his belongings for clues and stumbles upon his notes on the Torso Killer. And so begins her journey to find out what he knew, how he was involved in the investigation, and who is behind his tragic death. Ethel is Kris’s 1930s counterpart who is alive and present during the initial period of Torso killings. She is a prostitute, who by a twist of fate ends up being right smack in the middle of the events that have haunted history for decades. She too is trying to find answers and possibly stop the killer, before another friend or even herself ends up hacked to pieces. Both women have a cast of supporting characters that are equally well-developed.
The Writing: I devoured this book in a few hours. Ms. Pulley’s style is so easy to read and flows effortlessly…even with the dual timelines/back-and-forth (Every 3) chapters of Kris and Ethel's individual experiences.
In Case You Wanted to Know: A majority (like half) of this book takes place in the 1930s where wars were done and a new one was on the horizon. Human life wasn’t valued if you were poor and living in the slums. Unfortunately, these souls were seen as expendable/disposable, and White Supremacy was rampant. Do not head into this book expecting to not be exposed to the vileness that is- Men in Power, and some women as well. Trigger warnings for some sexual and abuse situations, and violence, as well. Expect to see life differently. Expect to be bothered and concerned, and possibly offended by the behaviors of some characters. But do take all of this into consideration – the story reads like a real-life/true crime story. This is not a pretty tale. Although I'm sure you will agree it ended well.
Overall: I can’t leave this review without commenting on the very real similarities that this story illustrates to “back then” and “now”. Yes, Ms. Pulley’s take on who might’ve been behind the murders is, in my mind, plausible; but for the sake of contrast, the link between some of the worst people in history, and the idea that these people just went underground until it was time to rise again, is a hard truth in today’s political atmosphere that I can’t ignore. The author used this thread artistically, without pushing an agenda… something I think is brilliant and easily missed by those that choose to believe history cannot/is not repeating itself....more