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review 2017-12-06 03:05
The Done Thing
The Done Thing: A Novel - Tracy Manaster

By:  Tracy Manaster 

ISBN: 9781507204894

Publisher: Gallery Books 

Publication Date:  12/5/2017 

Format: Paperback 

My Rating:  3 Stars 


A violent crime from years ago becomes front and center for Tracy Manaster’s characters in THE DONE THING – a tragic event changes the course of lives and nothing will ever be the same. How far will one woman go?

Highly-charged, emotional, and frustrating at times. From obsession, hatred, and revenge to an attempt at forgiveness and acceptance. One life-altering event catapults a family into turmoil, revealing secrets and feeling that may leave them fractured forever.

For eighteen years and four appeals, Lida had waited. Each April she had petitioned. She despised the man, Clarence who had been responsible for putting her sister, Barbra in the ground. Clarence was the husband of Barbra and father of Pamela. 

Barbra had left her daughter Pamela behind. Lida had raised Pam. Childless, she and Frank could not have children, and about the time their adoption came through, they had Pam to raise. Before they took custody he girl had spent exactly one weekend in her care. 

Prior to her retirement at sixty, Lida was a successful orthodontist. Now Frank was gone, dead . . . and Pam was grown with a life of her own. Married and expecting. 

Lida now has more time on her hands to obsess and scheme. She is bitter. She is angry. She wants Clarence to die. To suffer. “Clarence lingered, unshakable as the phantom weight a watch leaves on a naked wrist.”

She knew that once he died she could find new thoughts. She would love to serve him his last meal. 

Barbra’s lover. Lawrence Richard Ring. Next Barbra fell, split apart by four bullets. Clarence had picked up Pamela and lied about a dentist appointment. Pamela was in the car. Clarence had been granted three letters to Pamela a year. 

Presently, Lida has turned sixty-three and Pamela has purchased her a new computer. She comes up with a plan. She wants revenge. She discovers Clarence Lusk. Be a Penfriend. It’s the Write Thing. Be a Candle to Those in Darkness. 

The Prison in Arizona. Inmate 58344. He wants a pen pal. She would change her name and set up a post office. She would be Maisie. Lida crosses a line and begins to write to Clarence. Pretending to be a flirty twenty-three-year-old, in an effort to attain retribution.

Will Clarence open up to her if he thinks she is someone else? Or will he be smart enough to catch her deception? Will she lose control of the situation?

What is Pam thinking or feeling? Does Lida consider her actionsLida thinks she is always rushing to get married, hoping the baby would be born—before the needle. The death of her father. 

The author captures every evil thought of this angry, manipulative, and lonely woman. The strained relationship between aunt and niece. Lida is so consumed by revenge has she forgotten the family in front of her. She dwells on everything bad in her life and chooses to believe this one man is at fault and to blame. 

The letters between Clarence and Lida delve deep into the human emotions, and how deep the scars run after a tragedy that will forever change lives. How after years it begins to consume her. 

Scene (Chapter 35) was well done and quite comical. The phone call and banter between the two. The claws come out. 

The description summary from the publisher was right on – fans of Elizabeth Strout’s, Olive Kitteridge — complex; quite similar to the heavy mood of darkness, pain, and gloom. The internal war waging within. Human imperfections and family dynamics. Learning to let go and free oneself of anger. 

However, the writing is well-crafted as the author explores the complex minds of humans in the midst of tragedy and the overwhelming need for justice. The consequences of this obsession are at the heart of THE DONE THING. 

After reading three books in a row back to back, The Last Suppers(also death row), What Remains True ( the aftermath of a boy dying), and now THE DONE THING. Something a bit lighter with humor is in order. 

All three family dramas are well-written books which teeter on literary fiction; however, they are deep, dark, and sad. This is the type of book you may want to mix in among a few upbeat ones.

A special thank you to Gallery Books and NetGalley for an advanced reading copy. 


Source: www.judithdcollinsconsulting.com/single-post/2017/10/08/The-Done-Thing
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review 2017-12-06 00:17
She Said Yes
She Said Yes (Falling For A Rose Book 6) - Stephanie Nicole Norris Title: She Said Yes 'A Holiday Edition' Author: Stephanie Nicole Norris Publisher: S.N.N. Series: Falling For A Rose Book 6 Reviewed By: Arlena Dean Rating: Five Review: "She Said Yes" by Stephanie Nicole Norris My Thoughts..... What a beautiful series this "Falling For A Rose Book 6...She Said Yes" was that will keep you turning the pages to see who said Yes! You will definitely get caught up with this entire family of Roses and let's not leave out the mess that Martha and Adeline presented. It was quite a delight seeing who Christopher Rose finally ending up with after all was said and done. This story definitely ended very enjoyable and now we will be looking forward to the next series that is about another Rose family member..... Phoebe Alexandria Rose and Quentin.
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review 2017-12-03 10:06
The Story of Arthur Truluv
The Story of Arthur Truluv: A Novel - Elizabeth Berg

By: Elizabeth Berg 

ISBN: 1400069904

Publisher: Random House

Publication Date: 11/21/2017 

Format: Hardcover

My Rating: 5 Stars 


Loved this book! 

Talented storyteller Elizabeth Berg returns following The Dream Lover and Make Someone Happy: Favorite Postings with one of her most charming books yet, THE STORY OF ARTHUR TRULUV. Emotional and powerful, mixed with humor – three unlikely souls with their own loss, find solace in one another in this heartwarming tale.

Arthur Moses’ wife, Nola passed six months earlier. He has a routine. He tends to his cat Gordon, his rose garden, and takes the bus to the cemetery with his fold-up chair, to visit his beloved late wife for lunch. He is 85 years old. 

Lucille Howard is Arthur’s neighbor. A bit nosy; however, she loves to cook and makes sure Arthur has plenty to eat. She is in love with her high school sweetheart, Frank. She is 83 years old. (very funny) She is excited about her second chance until she receives devastating news. 

Maddy Harris is a troubled teen who sees Arthur at the cemetery. She has a strained relationship with her dad, bullied at school, a boyfriend who does not care about her, and a mother who died when she was but a baby. She is intrigued by Arthur and his relationship with his dead wife. She is 18 years old. 

A little naive, she takes the bus to the cemetery. To be with people. She loves photography; however, feels isolated and soon finds herself pregnant. With no support from her own dad, she turns to Arthur for help. 

Her own mother was cremated and she wished her mom had been buried at the cemetery. She finds graveyards comforting. She feels her dad blames her for his wife’s death. She lived, and her mother did not. 

Maddy and Arthur strike up an unlikely friendship. Arthur is a selfless man and thinks of others. He listens and offers his time. He loves talking to his wife and keeping her updated with engaging stories.

The teen soon names Arthur “Truluv” due to his devotion to his wife. Maddy soon finds herself pregnant and when everyone turns against her, Arthur is there to assist. They soon become best friends and then Lucille becomes a part of the group and the three move in together.

What they did not expect was to learn something about themselves in the process. A second chance at life. An unexpected friendship. Arthur soon finds he has a housekeeper and a cook. A lively and interesting home full of love and laughter. 

Elizabeth Berg has a remarkable and unique talent of peaking inside the lives and hearts of people and life. Her characters are real and authentic. You feel their emotions and they jump off the page.

If you have read Elizabeth Strout’s Olive Kitteridge and Fredrik Backman’s A Man Called Ove, you will see a difference in the character, Arthur. Everyone loves Arthur. He is not grumpy and is selfless. We all would love to have an Arthur in our lives! 

Was reminded of the movie “Our Souls at Night”, starring Jane Fonda and Robert Redford. A widow and widower who've lived next to each other for years, who barely spoke; ultimately make a connection. (minus the sex) with Arthur and Lucille.

A light-hearted, a deeply moving novel (with a powerful takeaway), Berg once again delivers a thought-provoking tale of the resilience of the human spirit in the midst of grief and loneliness. Proof people can bond, outside of family across generations. 

In our world of doom and gloom, it is pleasant to read such a charming book to lift your spirits. 

A special thank you to Random House and NetGalley for an advanced reading copy. 


Source: www.judithdcollinsconsulting.com/single-post/2017/08/02/The-Story-of-Arthur-Truluv
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review 2017-11-29 05:52
A Lifetime With You
A Lifetime With You (Falling For A Rose Book 5) - Stephanie Nicole Norris

Title: A Lifetime With You
Author: Stephanie Nicole Norris
Publisher: S.N.N.
Series: Falling For A Rose Book 5
Reviewed By: Arlena Dean
Rating: Five

"A Lifetime With You" by Stephanie Nicole Norris

My Thoughts....

This was another well told story in this Book 5 of the Falling For A Rose series in 'A Lifetime With you' dealing with another one of the famous Rose brothers...Jonathan. I really liked how this story was of friends that become more than friends as it was for Jonathan and Octavia. Be ready for a story with some drama as Octavia seems to have a lots on her mind due to what had happened to her some sixteen years ago that still comes to her in her dreams. Will these two best friends be able to become more than friends even though there will be some hurdles to overcome? Well, if you haven't picked up the first four series I would definitely suggest you do so along with this one book five "A Lifetime With You" to get another well written story that leave you with a smile on your face.

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review 2017-11-18 09:30
Little Broken Things
Little Broken Things: A Novel - Nicole Baart

By:  Nichole Baart

ISBN: 1501133608

Publisher:  Atria 

Publication Date:  11/21/2017 

Format: Paperback  

My Rating:  5 Stars (ARC)


A compelling multi-layered story of family, LITTLE BROKEN THINGS by talented Nichole Baart —a beautifully written story of secrets of the past, motherhood, and sacrifices. Those desperately trying to protect those secrets. 

Triumph over tragedy. Loss, hope, and forgiveness. 

Set in Minnesota the Sanford family. Two estranged sisters, Quinn and Nora. They have never been close and Quinn is shocked when she receives a cryptic text message from her older sister Nora.

Nora shows up with a six-year-old girl. Her name is Lucy. (Everlee) She instructs her sister to keep her safe and not mention the child to anyone. Particularly their overbearing mother, Liz.

Quinn is married to an artist. Nora always thought her sister was the perfect one. Quinn was the beauty of the family and JJ was the brains – where did Nora fit in? 

Turns out Nora was the whole package: whip-smart and lovely, bighearted and wise. She is hiding a secret. Who is she protecting?

Quinn does not understand where this child came from and why is Nora leaving her in her care? Everyone wants answers. 

They must protect the child. Slowly the family mystery is unraveled and the parentage of Lucy. 

Told from three POV with highly charged topics. When nothing is as it appears. A family hiding behind a façade.

Haunting and heartbreaking, the painful past is revealed. A tragedy turns into something beautiful, bonding a family from the sins of the past. 

Powerful, emotional, and suspenseful. Love and friendship. An inside look at a family. A relationship between a mother and two sisters. The lengths one sister will go to protect the ones she loves. 


“Broken things are the loveliest.” —Sara Teasdale

For fans of domestic suspense and authors Amy Hatvany, Karma Brown, Joshilyn Jackson, and Heather Gudenkauf.

“We are all broken—that’s how the light gets in.”― Ernest

My first book by the author and looking forward to reading more. Would encourage you to read more about the author on her website! 

Impressive. Truly, her stories celebrate the triumph of the human spirit and beauty in the midst of brokenness. 

A special thank you to Atria and NetGalley for an advanced reading copy. 



Source: www.judithdcollinsconsulting.com/single-post/2017/08/06/Little-Broken-Things
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