History and Mystery coming soon!

This is Historical Fiction novel that reads as more of a mystery than history.  It is by Beatriz Williams, and apparently she has written previous novels about some of the characters in this story.  I have not read any of them which could be why I am confused by the epilogue.   It was recommended that I read A Certain Age by her before this one….well…I did not do that.

I will tell you that I did enjoy this book…the beginning was a bit slow, but it eventually picked up and I read the last 200 pages in one afternoon.  It is about a strong woman named Virginia who is an ambulance driver in WWI in France, and it is there that she meets mysterious and handsome Captain Simon Fitzwilliams.  The two fall in love and have a passionate affair.  Yet they both have secrets from their past….some serious secrets that create tragedy to their eventual marriage and birth of their daughter.

Five years later, and they are living in America.  Virginia and her daughter are in NYC while Simon is in Florida running several businesses.   The pair become estranged for 3 years when Simon is  suddenly killed in a fire.  Virginia travel south to deal with the details of the death and the businesses she will inherit.  Enter Samuel and Clara Fitzwilliams…Simon’s siblings.  They welcome her with open arms, and yet Virginia senses something is off….something is not quite right.  The more she questions, the more dangerous her situation becomes.

 

 

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Love, espionage, friendship, and war

Two brave women’s lives are entwined after World War II: 1947.  Charlie St. Clair’s mother drags her over to England to discreetly take care of her “Little Problem”, but Charlie has other plans.   She breaks free to discover what happened to her cousin…her best friend Rose.  She has been told that Rose died during the war, but Charlie does not believe this to be the truth and is determined to rescue her cousin.  She has one lead: a woman name Evelyn Gardiner.

She finds Evelyn.  Eve is a mean, bitter drunk who threatens to shoot Charlie once she arrives, but as soon as Eve utters the words Le Lethe, she puts the gun down.  She agrees to help her.  Together with Finn Kilgore (who is quite the handsome mystery and their driver) they embark on an adventure that reaches back to WWI when Eve was part of The Alice Network and worked as a female spy.  Back when betrayal broke apart the group and ruined lives forever.

Both Eve, Charlie, and Finn are looking for things….a cousin, a place, a man, revenge….what they discover along the way is more than they could have imagined.  The characters in this book are so wonderful and I would follow their stories anywhere.  Yet it is not the places that they took me that I loved…it was them.  Their strength, their love, their devotion, their decision not to follow social norms of the time and be their own people.  And in the end, they discover friendship and love….maybe the answers they uncover were not what they quite thought they would be, but in life and adventure it is never has it is planned.

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Suspenseful

Hallie Ephron writes stories that command your attention until the end.  I picked this up and read until I had to put it down…I had to find out what happened to Janey.  Lis was a 7 year-old little girl when she was playing in the yard with her 4 year-old sister, Janey.  Lis sees a little dog and chases it into the woods, and her sister is left alone and ultimately disappears.   Lis is now in her 40s with her own daughter, and she has been living with her mother for quite a while.  Janey’s disappearances has effected them for decades.

Here is the creepy part, Miss Sorrel, Lis and Janey’s mother, is a doll maker.  She makes porcelain dolls in the likeness of a child who keeps the daughter….made with that child’s hair.  One day, a woman appears to Miss Sorrel with an old doll that looks just like Janey…..could this has been the doll that Janey had when she disappeared?  If it is the doll, where is Janey and what happened to her?

The story unfolds quickly, and Miss Sorrel and Lis realize they are in danger as they get closer to discovering what has happened to Janey.

Quick, easy read.   A few flaws with the characters, but nothing that gets in the way with the story.  Well-worth the read!

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England and WWII

  This will be my third book that focuses on a different perspective of World War II.  The Women in the Castle was set in Germany and focused on the people who lived there and did not support Hitler.  The Baker’s Secret took place in a small French village that becomes occupied by the Nazis.  This book is set n London, England and tells the story of an American journalist , Ruby Sutton, who is set to London in order to report on the events of WWII.

Ruby Sutton lives alone, grew up in an orphanage, and has no connection to anyone in America, so when she is asked to go to London to report on the war, she does not hesitate.  Her passion is writing and telling a story…true stories.  She makes the journey by boat and is greeted by Captain Bennett and quickly meets all the staff at the newspaper where she will be working.  They are welcoming and friendly, and she quickly finds a place for herself in London.

She spends her days working at the paper  and her nights in a shelter enduring the bombings known as the Blitz.  She could have easily requested to be sent back home, but she is determined to tell the stories of the people whose reality has become the bombings.  She begins to feel an attraction towards Bennett, but he is so mysterious and seems to disappear for long periods of time and returns sullen and secretive.  The war has taken a toll on him, and yet Ruby is determined to love him.  Is he able to love her back?

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Deep Family Secrets

  The setting is Birchville, Alabama which is named after Leia’s great grandfather, and the town and her family is filled with secrets.  Secrets which Leia is about to uncover as she finds herself back to help care for her aging grandmother along with Wattie, her grandmother’s life-long friend.

Leia has lead a lonely, yet successful life as a writer and graphic artist with her bestselling graphic novel V is Violence.  Now Leia is back in her small hometown, and she is not only dealing with her 90-year-old grandma’s affairs, but she is also newly pregnant.  The pregnancy is result of a night at a comic convention and some tequila and a man dressed as Batman.  To add to the craziness, her seemingly perfect stepsister, Rachel, has kicked her seemingly perfect husband out of their house and sends her teenage daughter down to Leia while she sorts everything out.

Things get even crazier when Birchie (grandma) tries to take a trunk from the attic and load it into her car….she crashes the car and out comes a decomposed human skeleton that has been hidden in her attic for decades.  The story goes for a wild ride of emotions, mystery, and secrets.  This is one you do not want to miss!  Well-written with excellent character development.  The only negative is the book will not be released until July, so put it on your summer reading list now!

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California Dreaming

  Georgia Bockoven is an award-winning author of numerous beach reads.  And with summer coming, this is perfect timing.   Sit back and read this story that takes place in California on the beach in a quaint cottage….and yet this story has its ups and downs.

Twelve years previously, 16-year-old, Melinda is pregnant and scared.   She decides with her family that the best path is adoption.  They find a family across the country to adopt her daughter.   It was the hardest things for Melinda to do.  Jeremy and Tess adopt the little girl, and life moves on, or does it?

Melinda thinks about her daughter every day and wishes she had made a different choice.  Meanwhile, Jeremy’s life revolves around his daughter, Shiloh.  Shiloh is diagnosed with a chronic illness, and Tess cannot handle the pressure and leaves the family.   Shiloh is desperate to know her birth mother.  Jeremy consents and contacts Melinda.   Melinda who now has a successful career, but all alone, quickly makes arrangements to come out and immediately flies out to meet her daughter.

Jeremy and Melinda are reunited at the beach house and both are ready to fight for Shiloh.   Jeremy is not so keen to allow Melinda back into their lives….he does not trust her.   Can Melinda earn his trust and become a part of Shiloh’s life?

 

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The Color of Our Sky

  Amita Trasi is the author of this emotional story of two childhood friends in India in 1986.  Two friends from different castes – unlikely friends.  Mutka is from a lower class and is destined to become a temple prostitute while Tara’s family is an upper caste and her father takes in orphans and finds safe homes for them.   He takes in Mutka.  Mutka and Tara become as close as sisters until tragedy strikes once again, and Mutka is kidnapped in the middle the night in front of Tara.  Soon after, Tara and her father leave India behind and move to America to start over.

Now in the beginning of a new century, Tara finds her way back to India to find her childhood friend, and what she discovers is more shocking than she could imagine.

This is an emotional read…a story where I was invested in the characters….wanted to keep reading to find some hope.  The story centers around the sex slave trade in India and how truly awful their world is….unconceivable.  The story is not an easy one to read, and even though the characters and this particular story is fiction….the India sex slave is not fiction.   This book will stay with me for quite a long time.

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