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review 2017-04-30 00:24
Spring Fling
Spring Fling (A County Fair Romance Book 3) - S.I. Hayes,J. Haney

Title:  Spring Fling

Authors:  S. I. Hayes & J Haney

Publisher:  S.I.H. & J. H.

Series:  A County Fair Romance Book 3

Reviewed By:  Arlena Dean

Rating: Five

Review:

 

"Spring Fling" By:  S. I. Hayes & J. Haney

 

My Thoughts....

 

These authors give the readers quite another good series...'A County Fair Romance Book 3' in 'Spring Fling that will keep you turning the pages till the end.  I liked how this story picks up from Book 2 in 'Winter Kisses' that involves Fallon, Justin and the other interesting men in her life.  As you read through the story one will finds that there will be many issues and insecurities that will befall on Fallon as she finds out about her multiple pregnancy.  What I really enjoyed about this series was all of the help that was their for Fallon whether she wanted it or not.  Some of the story will have you laughing at some of the bantering that does take place, to even some moments that will leave the reader in tears with some of the family craziness to that deep love for one another in this well written dramatic romantic story. Will there be a HEA and what's  next for Hopkins/Blackthorne family?

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review 2016-12-16 00:39
Lacks the charm of her other memoir.
Life Without a Recipe: A Memoir of Food and Family - Diana Abu-Jaber

Even though I wasn't in love with her other memoir, 'The Language of Baklava', this still sounded quite charming. In the previous book it seemed like she merely skimmed over other parts of her life and so I had hoped this would fill the other parts she didn't talk about.

 

Instead, the book is more like snapshots of her life and pieces that were just not all that interesting. She talks a bit about her grandmother, her marriages, the adoption of her daughter, etc. Her other family (including her parents and especially her father, who featured prominently in 'Baklava') do pop up but this is a different type of memoir that was less of a continuation and more of a different story.

 

It was terrible. It lacks the charm of her original book and has less of her dad (who appears to be quite the character).

 

Honestly I'm shocked at the all the positive reviews. I don't know if the reviewers knew what to expect or if I went in with the wrong expectations. It might stand on its own if you hadn't read the previous book but this just wasn't interesting. Borrow from the library if you're really curious.

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review 2016-12-05 14:34
Such an extraordinary and haunting tale
Idaho: A Novel - Emily Ruskovich

I truly didn’t want this book to end. At its heart is the story of a tragic act, but it’s so much more than just that act.  Each chapter is a literary work of art.  There’s the story of Wade and Jenny and their two daughters, June and May, and the terrible act that tore them apart.  There’s the story of Wade and Ann and her efforts to heal his broken heart and mind.  There’s the story of Wade and his father and the health issue they share.  There’s the story of June and May, two young sisters living their lives in the days before tragedy strikes.  There’s the story of the friendship between Jenny and Elizabeth.  There’s the story of a young boy who loses his leg in a freak accident.  Each of these stories are tied together but each is worthy of its own telling.

 

The story is not told in a linear fashion. The chapters travel between present, past and future but are not confusing in any way.  Time weaves back and forth to create a beautiful mosaic.  All is tied together – love, forgiveness, regrets, memory, imagination.  Ms. Ruskovich’s book deserves every award I’m sure it will get.   This is one of my favorite books of the year.  Most highly recommended.

 

This book was given to me by the publisher through NetGalley in return for an honest review.

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review 2016-09-28 00:10
The power of the past
The Life-Writer - David Constantine

This is a beautiful book about a literary biographer named Katrin, whose beloved husband, Eric, is dying from cancer. I had to marvel at the author’s ability to so movingly depict those last months they have together.  After Eric’s death, Katrin starts reading through his paperwork and old letters and decides to write his life history in the hope that it will help her through her grief.  As painful as it is, she begins to reconstruct the time frame when Eric falls passionately in love with Monique when he was a young man.  Katrin had been so happy with Eric but now she begins to doubt whether their life together could begin to compare with his love for Monique.

 

Katrin’s dwelling on Eric’s past became obsessive. There were times when Katrin would want to stop reading the letters and just get on with her life and I wanted to selfishly plead with her to please keep reading since I wanted to know more.  This was one of those books that I didn’t want to end and when it did end, I wanted to start from the beginning again and that doesn’t happen often.  This book wrapped its words around my heart and just wouldn’t let go.  Gorgeous writing that touched me in so many ways.

 

The only negative thing about the book was that there were times when the French was not translated and I had no idea what was being said. There was one vitally important sentence in a letter from Monique to Eric that wasn’t translated which I found very frustrating.  At the end of the book, there was a list of translations with the page numbers, which wasn’t very helpful when reading an e-book.  Plus I wasn’t aware those translations were there until the book had ended.  Since I was reading an ARC of the book, hopefully that will be rectified in the final edition.

 

Highly recommended.

 

This book was given to me by the publisher through Edelweiss in return for an honest review.

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review 2016-09-10 20:57
Shocking and heartbreaking
The Other Side of the World - Stephanie Bishop,Penelope Rawlins

This book had quite a profound effect on me. It’s the story of a married couple, Charlotte and Henry, who are living in England in the 1960’s.    Charlotte is an artist, but when she begins to have children, she goes through a depressed period and has difficulty painting or dealing with life as a mother and wife.  Henry, having been born in India and who has never liked English weather, decides that it would help their family to move to Australia and start a new life there.  Charlotte has no desire at all to leave her beloved England behind but is so worn out that she gives in. 

 

While there was a part of me that could certainly relate to Charlotte’s struggles, my main sympathy was for Henry, who tried so hard to make life better for his family, even throughout his own difficulties.   I can understand Charlotte being homesick as I know I would be, too, if I left all that was familiar.  But home is where the heart is and she had her “heart” with her – her husband and little girls – and I feel that she was almost trying not to adjust to the new country.  Regardless of how I felt about the decisions that Charlotte makes, I also cared for her and so very much wanted the best for them all.  The author developed her characters magnificently and had great insight into their lives.

 

This is such a beautifully written piece of literature. I truly loved it.  Ms. Bishop has written an honest, no bars held masterpiece.  She knows how to capture her readers’ attention and hearts.   The ending is shocking and heartbreaking and literally took my breath away.   Most highly recommended.

 

This book was given to me by the publisher through NetGalley in return for an honest review.

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