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review 2018-02-20 21:05
As Bright as Heaven by Susan Meissner
As Bright as Heaven - Susan Meissner

As Bright as Heaven is a novel that feels like a friend by the time one finishes it. The storytellers, a mother and her three daughters, each add their own perspective and emotion to the events of 1918: World War I and the Spanish flu on a global level, love and loss on a personal level. I was captivated from the beginning and sad when it ended.

The method of telling each chapter from the perspective of one of the women/girls of the Bright family reminded me of The Poisonwood Bible. Both books include families moved from all that is familiar with faith and expectations packed in their luggage. This book is not as academically written and does not make such an obvious political statement, but it also feels more real. The faith of the Bright family is ever-present but not overbearing. They struggle, make mistakes, love, forgive, and lose precious loved ones in the flu epidemic that stole more from the world than the war did.

If some of the plot twist in this novel was predictable, I think the author can be forgiven. The development of the Bright girls' characters as they grew up and the emotions elicited throughout the novel more than make up for the lack of mystery. The spotlight on the impact of the flu in Philadelphia and the setting of an undertaker business are brilliant choices that make this an original and inspirational story.

I received this book through NetGalley. Opinions are my own.

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review 2018-02-19 09:08
{ARC} Book Review: An Unsuitable Heir by K.J. Charles

In 2016, I discovered one of the most brilliant LGBTQ series there is, the Captive Prince by C.S Pacat. Since then, I’ve been looking for the next book that will make the same impact and though I’ve come across unforgettable ones, nothing could still compare to Captive Prince but I’m not one to easily give up. So in my search, I found The Unsuitable Heir in Netgalley and after reading the premise, I thought, this is it.

 

But one chapter into the story, I was bored as hell and gotten confused with the characters.  Essentially, this is not a bad book but I could not feel any sympathy for the main character who struggled outing his sexuality considering the time period. I could not care  about the impending doom our characters have to face because of a loose killer. I could not care about the budding romance between the two male protagonists because they’re bland as fuck. I could not care about the supporting characters and their dilemma.  I could not care about the setting which in another author’s (I’m sorry okay?) hands might have been lovely. I. Just. Could. Not. Bring. Myself. To. Care. About. This. Book.

 

So all in all, I’d be wasting both our time if I make this review any longer.

Source: waywardkitsune.com/2018/02/arc-book-review-unsuitable-heir-k-j-charles
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review 2018-02-18 02:55
The Second Winter by Craig Larsen
The Second Winter - Craig Larsen

Many thanks to the author, who provided a complimentary copy of the book via the publisher. I wrote half of my senior thesis on women’s relational bonds during the Holocaust, and this time period has always interested me. “The Second Winter” provides a different perspective, one with which I was mostly unfamiliar. Rather than focusing on concentration camp experiences or the lives of soldiers, Craig Larsen draws forth various ordinary characters whose lives slowly coalesce throughout the narrative, forming a compelling tapestry of fate and fortune. As such, this novel has a far-reaching scope, reminding me of Vasily Grossman’s “Life and Fate”. Each character’s actions and decisions produce a ripple effect that inevitably has an influence on many others, demonstrating that in either peace or wartime, in occupied or freed territory, no one exists in a vacuum.

Gritty realism characterizes “The Second Winter”. Larsen pulls no punches, and this is not a happily-ever-after tale. Much of the story unfolds in Denmark during WWII, with forays into East and West Berlin a few decades thereafter, and the impact of German occupation and poverty features prominently throughout the storyline. Hardworking people who find themselves with no good prospects are forced into the territory of moral ambiguity, as Larsen adroitly emphasizes. Polina, the primary character, is a young Polish Jew forced into prostitution, and her interactions with both Germans and Danes imbue the tale with a unique viewpoint without being salacious. The commonplace routine of daily life belies the complexities of relationships and motives that make this a notable book worthy of a thoughtful read.

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text 2018-02-17 20:54
Reading progress update: I've read 74%.
The Gentleman's Guide to Vice and Virtue - Mackenzi Lee,Christian Coulson
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review 2018-02-17 11:00
The Powerful Heritage of a Woman: The Loving Spirit by Daphne du Maurier
The Loving Spirit - Daphne du Maurier

In spite of its title, the novel The Loving Spirit isn’t just another one of those shallow romances set in the picturesque landscape of Cornwall that swamp the book market. Much rather the English novel from 1931 is a family saga with obvious echoes of Emily Brontë’s Wuthering Heights and poetry.

 

Spanning a hundred years, it shows the fate of four generations of the Coombie family starting in 1830 with wild Janet whose boundless love not only marks her own life but also that of her descendants... including that of her unloved son who makes a fortune to gain power and have his revenge to the very last. But he can't destroy the strong seed that Janet planted.

 

Please click here to read my long review on Edith’s Miscellany!

Source: edith-lagraziana.blogspot.com
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