Category Archives: fiction

Twists and turns…very dark

  

 

I have read several book by C.L. Taylor and have enjoyed them.  She writes thrillers that visit your deepest fears and will haunt you.   This is a story of 15 year-old Billy who goes missing in the middle of the night.  There are no clues as to where he could be or what could have happened.  Forward 6 months, and the family has fallen apart.  His older brother is drinking, mom is having blackouts and can’t remember things that she has done, and the father is distant and hiding some secret that could cause more agonizing news.

Throughout the book, we, the reader, are given clips of text conversations between two people who use aliases.  We come to learn quickly that one is Billy, but when we discover who the other is…we are shocked.

Fast-pace and engaging…I had to finish it before I went to bed last night.

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Delightful, Warm, and Sweet

  

I just finished reading the third book in this trilogy, and I am bittersweet over it.   It was such a delight to read, and I am a tad bit sad that I read the last one first.   I know I can go back and read the first two and pretend that I know nothing….I will certainly have to do that since I do love the characters so much.

The stories take place in a Cornish coastal village only connected to the mainland by the causeway…no road.  Polly is the baker of the bunch and has her own little bakery and she has two dear friends whose stories are both heartbreaking and lovely.   I do not want to tell too much about this book, but I do recommend it.   I would first read The Little Beach Street Bakery and then Summer at Little Beach Street Bakery and then finish with Christmas at Little Beach Bakery.  With the cooler temperatures coming soon…these books will warm you this winter.

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Filed under adult, fiction, romance

Timely novel

 

This novel tackles a timely topic that we are seeing every day in the world.  Racial divide and fear.  This story takes place in England.  The two main characters are two best friends.  Two 15 year-old boys.   One with terminal cancer.  One who is white.  The other is a Somali refugee.  They are quiet, nerdy boys who play chess and do everything together.

One night during a sleepover, Noah convinces Abdi to sneak out after his parents have fallen asleep.   Noah knows that his time is running out and he wants to do something mischievous.  Abdi is not so sure, but he reluctantly agrees.  Tragedy strikes when Noah ends up in the canal and is unconscious.  He ends up in the hospital in a coma.  Abdi is silent and refuses to talk about what happens.  People begin to assume that Abdi is the one responsible for what happened to Noah.  Both their families fight to find the truth and protect their sons.

Enter Detective Jim Clemo who is back on duty after a mandatory leave.  He begins to piece together the truth to that night, but he has to fight the media who wants to sensationalize the story and make Abdi and all Somali refugees the problem.   They blame Abdi and this fuels the belief for a White Nation as tension builds in Bristol.

Very hard to read at parts, very real, and a shocking ending.  Highly recommend!

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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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Filed under adult, fiction, mystery, Uncategorized

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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Filed under adult, fiction, historical, Uncategorized