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Search tags: Historical-fiction
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text 2017-04-29 13:51
Blog Tour Wrap-Up

I have been sharing all of the wonderful stops on my Queen of Martyrs blog tour. Now that it has come to an end, here is a summary of everywhere I have been and the latest book reviews. Thank you to everyone who has supported me on this journey!

 

Source: samanthawilcoxson.blogspot.com/2017/04/queen-of-martyrs-blog-tour.html
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review 2017-04-29 04:18
Davida: Model and Mistress of Augustus Saint-Gaudens - Karen Ingalls

          I was drawn to this book, expecting the best of fictional scandals given the title.  The story begins with a young Albertina Hultgren traversing the seas from Sweden to America with her mother, aunt, and uncle.  Immediately the themes of “family is a blessing” and “love trumps all” are apparent.  Albertina mourns the recent loss of her father, a death that catapulted her and her family into the foreign environment of New Jersey.  Albertina’s first few years as a Swedish immigrant are composed of nostalgia for her homeland and the magical tales that were told to her by her father.  However, the introduction to the famous married sculptor Augustus Saint-Gaudens serves as the catalyst for a completely new and exciting, yet untraditional life as the model Davida Johnson Clark. 

            Although the book is not written as an epistolary, the story reads as an intimate look into the heart and mind of Karen Ingalls’ protagonist.  As I read I could sense her developing maturity, yet the innocence that characterized her from the beginning was never lost.  What made this story enjoyable was the fact that I felt a connection to Davida Johnson Clark.  She was a woman led by love, not just for Augustus Saint-Gaudens, but also by the love for her family.  Her patience was immeasurable, her soul sincere, and her dedication to the passionate Augustus remarkable.

            As a novel categorized as historical fiction, I did feel like there could have been more context to supply the story with authenticity.  There were plenty of facts about the art exhibitions and Augustus Gaudens’ artistic process; however, there was no real cultural details that illustrated how alarming a relationship of this nature was at the time.  I would like to have been given the tools with which to build a more vivid picture of Ingalls’ world in my head, because I truly loved the characters that lived in it.

            I loved her characters so much that I cried as I empathized with their tragedies.  Moreover, I had come to rely on the company of the innkeeper Maria and the New York neighbor Helen much like Davida herself.  The kinship between the women in the book comforted me, and the course of events these women went through left me teary-eyed. While I wish that the book ended happily, the reality of the lives of Davida Johnson Clark and Augustus Saint-Gaudens was bittersweet and riddled with complications.  What began as an affair of the body inevitably ended as an affair of the heart.

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review 2017-04-28 18:41
Hannah's Moon
Hannah's Moon (American Journey Book 5) - John A. Heldt

Claire and Ron Rasmussen have struggled with fertility and loss for the past eight years. Wanting nothing more than to be parents, Claire and Ron turn to adoption after their last heartbreaking loss. However, adopting a healthy, caucasian infant in present day California is another long and sometimes painful road. When a distant aunt and uncle, the Bells, learn of Claire and Ron's struggle, they know that they have the perfect solution hidden away in the basement of their house, The Painted Lady. Using their time travel tunnel, the Bells prepare to send Claire, Ron and Claire's brother David back to 1945 near the end of WWII. Adoption policies are much less strict and infants are abundant in Chattanooga, Tennessee in 1945. Claire, Ron and David arrive safely, move into a nice house and find a perfect bundle of joy, Hannah. They plan to stay several months until the adoption is finalized. They make friends with a wonderful neighbor and begin to enjoy life in a different time. Nevertheless, meddling in a different time can have issues, the Rasmussen's are being watched by the FBI and Ron is forced to enlist leaving Claire and David to wonder if they will all make it back to their own home and time.


This is the fifth installment of the American Journey series and was a little different than the previous time travel romances I've read in the series. The love in Hannah's moon was very much focused on family life making Hannah's Moon a balance between heartwarming and dramatic. I was very happy to see that the plot pivoted on adoption; although, as a mother, the first chapter broke me a bit and I had to put the book down for a while. After that though, I was transported back to 1945. John A. Heldt always done a wonderful job of conveying the time period through the eyes of his time travelers. This time, with the help of their neighbor, Margaret, the Rasmussen's are given a full southern welcome. I absolutely loved the adoption of Hannah and Margaret's childhood story helped to solidify their decision. Being set at the end of WWII, I was not expecting to learn much about the actual war, although, with Ron's enlistment I was very intrigued to learn about the USS Indianapolis and the what happened to the Navy members aboard the ship. The ending of Hannah's Moon is bittersweet, I got to revisit all of time travellers from past novels as the Bell's revealed a secret.

This book was provided for free in return for an honest review.

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review 2017-04-28 02:59
Palatine: The Four Emperors Series- Book 1 by L.J. Trafford
Palatine: The Four Emperors Series, Book I (The Karnac Library) - L. J. Trafford

I enjoyed this book so much mainly because you get to witness the era of Nero, his downfall and the beginning of the year of four emperors through the eyes of several characters including a stuffy praetorian prefect, several lowly slaves who dwell in the background, but see plenty, Nero, Sporus, the guards, and several nobles. Looking forward to see what happens with Philo, one of my favorite characters in the book. Very entertaining, so much so, I flew through this book and can't wait to read the second one.
Recommended!

 

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review 2017-04-27 22:03
Review: The Nightingale Girls (The Nightingale Girls #1) by Donna Douglas
The Nightingale Girls - Donna Douglas

Although there is a lot of romance in the plotlines of this book, but it is definitely in the women's fiction genre. The books were published in the wake of the popularity of Call The Midwife (book and television show), but there is very little nursing since the main characters are in training.

 

There are a lot of characters to keep track of in this book, but the main characters are Helen, Amelia (Mille), and Dora - these three are student nurses at The Nightingale Hospital, founded to train nurses and doctors while also providing healthcare to the East End of London. It is 1934 and Britain is changing in a lot of ways - and not everyone is happy about that. The book deals many issues regarding class and societal structure - for example, Mille is titled daughter but wants to be a nurse rather than a socialite and Dora is from the East End and can't afford textbooks until months after starting her training.

 

Be ye warned - there is a scene where a child is beaten, there is sexual assault of a teen girl on the page, and multiple references to the sexual assault and other victims of same rapist throughout the book. It was tough reading at times. Still I look forward to book two in the series.

****************************************************************************************************

Read for Booklikes-opoly, Paradise Pier 29 The Monorail

407 pages = $5.00 to the bank

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