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review 2018-04-28 23:03
THE HOUSE ON FOSTER HILL by Jaime Jo Wright
The House on Foster Hill - Jaime Jo Wright

THE HOUSE ON FOSTER HILL

Jaime Jo Wright

Paperback, 364 pages
Published November 21st 2017 by Bethany House Publishers
ISBN: 
076423028X (ISBN13: 9780764230288

 

 

A parallel story following Ivy in 1905 and Kaine now. Ivy, the great great grandmother of Kaine, is a strong woman who makes it through some tragedy. Kaine has her own tragedies, and starts looking to find her own strength to move on. Wright tells the story in alternating chapters. Her main characters are well writing. The Kaine story is a little more predictable but overall, I enjoyed the book. Wright kept the plot moving along well. The small town setting, the house, and those that become fast friends with Kaine give the story some personality.

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review 2018-04-28 22:59
CITY OF HOPE BY Kate Kerrigan
City of Hope - Kate Kerrigan

CITY OF HOPE

Kate Kerrigan

Paperback, 352 pages
Published June 25th 2013 by William Morrow Paperbacks (first published November 1st 2011)
ISBN:  0062237284 (ISBN13: 9780062237286)

 

An Irish immigrant, Ellie, returns to New York city after her husband dies. Kerrigan gives Ellie some depth with Ellie's strength, independence, and entrepreneurship in the 1930s. I did find some parts slow moving but overall, the story is good. Following Ellie through her trials and tribulations was enough to keep my interest. Kerrigan does describe small town Ireland and depression era New York City well.

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review 2018-04-20 01:12
CAST TWO SHADOWS: THE AMERICAN REVOLUTION IN THE SOUTH by Ann Rinaldi
Cast Two Shadows: The American Revolution in the South - Ann Rinaldi

Cast Two Shadows: The American Revolution in the South

Ann Rinaldi

Paperback, 304 pages
Published March 1st 2004 by HMH Books for Young Readers (first published October 1st 1998)
ISBN: 0152050779 (ISBN13: 9780152050771) 

 

I was browsing the shelves when I found this book. Usually, an author sticks with the big events of the American Revolution, but Rinaldi sets this book in the south.  Caroline, the main character, is 14 years old and sees how the war has separated her family's loyalty, as well as how it has affected her friends. The British have taken over her family's plantation; her father is thrown in jail for supporting the patriots; the brother is fighting for the British. She sees some horrors on both sides and learns some secrets about herself as well. At some points, the reading is a little dry. Overall, a good book, though, YA readers who like historical fiction.

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review 2018-03-29 04:53
ON THE RUN by Iris Johansen
On the Run - Iris Johansen

ON THE RUN

Iris Johansen

Paperback, 368 pages
Published November 28th 2006 by Bantam (first published 2005)
ISBN:  0553586521 (ISBN13: 9780553586527) 
 
  3 1/2 stars...Iris Johansen writes thrillers/suspense extremely well. On the Run has a female main character; Grace is the female lead who is former CIA in hiding on a horse farm in Rural America. There is a daughter, a renegade former CIA agent, an under cover agent stationed in the same town watching over Grace, and leaks at CIA and FBI that cause Grace some trouble. Johansen keeps the plot moving quickly. Her characters are developed well, even though Grace's horse whisperer skills seem a little bit on the excessive side, though it works into the story line to keep it moving. Grace's daughter seemed a little "old" and too wise for her 8 years.
I did enjoy the book, and will most likely, read more of Iris Johansen
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review 2018-03-25 23:51
THE LIFE SHE WAS GIVEN by Ellen Marie Wiseman
The Life She Was Given - Ellen Marie Wiseman

THE LIFE SHE WAS GIVEN

Ellen Marie Wiseman
Library Binding, 527 pages, Large print
Published September 1st 2017 by Center Point Pub (first published July 25th 2017)
ISBN:  1683245032 (ISBN13: 9781683245032) 
also available in paperback, Audible audio, Kindle, ebook,
and in German on Kindle (Die Bittere Gabe, A Sin B072DTNYMD)

 

Some of the reviews were negative and I wasn't sure I would finish this book. As it turns out, I really like Wiseman's writing. There is the circus animal abuse in the book that was graphic;  but in remembering when Lilly's part of the story was to take place (1930's/1940s), this type of abuse is not addressed in the same way it is today. Lilly's character is different, her parents and the general population did look upon her as someone who needs to be caged or treated like a freak in the circus. The author does well in showing Lilly's progressing into accepting herself and her new circus family, and thus starts Lilly's understanding that all people and animals deserve respect.

Alternating chapters with Lilly is Julia. She had the choice to run from the same parents who raised Lilly. Julia's life is not so great on her own, but then she inherits the family property. The author does develop this character decently away from the angry daughter who ran away from home.

A lot happens in the book. It is a tough read with the animal abuse issue in the book, and the neglect and abuse that Lilly as a child, and her circus family endures as freaks. Seeing that people may be different on the outside, but more alike on the inside, is written well here. Understanding that people still hold the older views and how keeping all this private affects our lives is brought to light in the book.

Diversity, coming of age, forgiveness are all part of the plot. The ending could have been written a little tightened up, and maybe a not so perfect, happy ending. I believe, after reading <u>The Life She Was Given</u>, I will read more of Ellen Marie Wiseman.

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