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review 2019-11-17 02:56
WWII History Part 3 of 4
When The Children Came Home: Stories Of Wartime Evacuees - Julie Summers

By the time I got to this book I was starting to get a bit fatigued with the topic of WWII but once I got truly stuck into this book and discovered just how much I didn't know on the topic...I was hooked. Children were evacuated to the countryside during WWII (this much I knew before) but I learned that they were also sent to America, Canada, South Africa, New Zealand, and Australia. Parents weren't especially picky as long as they were away from London. This book is chock full of recollections which recall the 'waves' of children which would leave suddenly only to be called home again especially during the Phoney War when the prejudice against 'townies' coupled with the desire to see their children again prompted parents to yank their kids back to the city. Understandably, the uncertainty of the situation created a lot of anxiety among children and adults alike. The psychological trauma of abandonment had a lifelong effect on most of the children which manifested itself in a variety of ways. Some children never reconnected with their biological family while others felt their foster family was their 'true' family (some were eventually adopted and stayed in their new homes). I had never really given much thought on the intricacies of the evacuation scheme and what kind of result it had on the children and their families so this was an eye-opening reading experience. 9/10 

Source: readingfortheheckofit.blogspot.com
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review 2019-11-08 13:24
A solid first novel for lovers of psychological suspense and Basset Hounds
Closer Than You Think - Lee Maguire

Disclaimer: the publisher offered me a free ARC copy of this book. This this not affect my review.

In brief, this is a promising debut novel (in a planned series of psychological thrillers), narrated in the first person, with a solid stalker plot (clues, red-herrings and twists likely to make most readers of the genre happy), an interesting setting (a mental health treatment facility for troubled youths) and a good development of the main character (psychologist Bryce Davison, a man with an unsettled and traumatic past), and a wonderful Basset Hound. On the minus side, it could do with a tighter editing, more development of the secondary characters, and more attention to the pacing of the action.

This book will be especially appealing to those who enjoy psychological suspense, with particular emphasis on the “psychological” part. The author’s professional experience shines through, and that aspect of the novel is particularly well achieved, although it might seem overdetailed to people used to faster-paced thrillers.

The first-person point of view works well for the type of story, as it allows readers to share in the doubts and thoughts of the victim, experiencing his anxiety, reliving the trauma he experienced when he was young, and also trying to piece together the clues with him. On the other hand, the novel reads, at times, like a poorly focused memoir, with plenty of repetition of everyday living activities and chores that don’t help move the action forward and don’t add much to our understanding of the character. (There are so many times we can read about the character having a shower, the fact that his fridge is empty, or his switching or on off the computer). I’ve read novels that meander through stuff that does not seem particularly noteworthy, but the style of writing makes it impossible not to enjoy the detour. In this novel, neither the style of writing nor the genre are best suited for it. The other characters are not very well developed, partly perhaps to do with the choice of point of view, and in some cases, like Bryce’s wife, that has the effect of making them appear inconsistent or totally at odds with the protagonist’s opinion of them.

The suspenseful plot and the way it builds up work well, although I agree with some of the reviewers that complain about the ending and the final explanation being too rushed. The story is not heavy on action or violence, although there is some, and the ending itself is satisfying.

As I said, this is a solid first novel that could be further improved by another round of editing, and I’d recommend it to people who prefer psychological suspense and who value plot over character building. Also recommended to Basset Hound lovers.

 

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review 2019-10-19 11:47
Scars and Secrets (Loose Ends Book 1) - Avril Ashton

I have been waiting for Levi Donovan Story since "Sinner Like Me", and at last here it is.

 

I expected to be over the moon on this story but unfortunately I didn't, I still loved the writing Avril Ashton can write her men in a very captivating and deep ways that made me love part of this book, but the biggest downside for me was that I didn't like the relationship dynamics between Levi & Van and that made me unable to connect to them on every level.

 

Overall the story was likeable to a degree and it was awesome to see all the boys again especially Israel and Reggie.

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review 2019-10-13 02:49
Helping Her Get Free: A Guide for Family and Friends of Abused Women
Helping Her Get Free: A Guide for Families and Friends of Abused Women - Susan Brewster

This was helpful for me in teaching me to let go of any expectations or judgments I have about my loved one leaving her abuser, and instead learn to be a better friend to her--so that she can leave him if she chooses to leave, or she can have me as a source of support and safety if she chose to stay.

 

I had an "aha moment" when this book talked about how my insisting that my loved one leave the relationship, and badgering her about it, was precisely what the abuser does to her--tries to exert power over her and control her actions, and implies that she cannot be independent and is not capable of making her own choices.

 

The book helps you to let go of your old goals for your loved one and form new, healthier ones that you have control over.

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review 2019-10-13 01:51
It's My Life Now: Starting Over After an Abusive Relationship
It's My Life Now: Starting Over After An Abusive Relationship or Domestic Violence - Meg Kennedy Dugan,Roger R. Hock
Don't be dissuaded because the title implies that this book is geared toward life after leaving someone. In some ways I feel like it's especially helpful in the case of a person who is trying to choose between staying and leaving. I love the list-making and written self-exploration sections. Their detailed specificity makes it impossible for the survivor of abuse to let their brain sort of "look away" or to follow its usual, well-grooved paths.
 
The goal here is to guide survivors toward reclaiming themselves--to recognize your value and regain your self-worth and self-esteem--to be strong and independent (and maybe creative and fulfilled again), either while being in a challenging relationship, or after having left.
 
 
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