Monday, March 30, 2020

Review: The Island of Sea Women

The Island of Sea Women The Island of Sea Women by Lisa See
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

An excellent read. Historical fiction at its best. This was the first time that I had read anything about Korean culture and was completely captivated from the start. The women live on the small island of Jeju where there are collectives of women divers. These women divers basically support the family and the men stay at home and look after the children and cook. These women can withstand cold temperatures and can hold their breath for long periods of time. The story revolves around two friends who come from different backgrounds, but become very close, like sisters. One was the daughter of a Japanese collaborator whose mother had died in childbirth and the other was from a good Korean family whose father stayed home and mother was a diver. The story brings us all the way to them as great grandmothers and be prepared for a bit of a cry.

An excellent read.

Friday, March 27, 2020

Review: Single

Single Single by K.L. Slater
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This was a terrific read. There was a little spot where I had thought "get on with it" but generally it was great. Every time you think you had things figured out, it all changed.

Darcy is a widow with two small boys. Her in laws are terrific to her and help with the boys as much as they can, especially when Darcy has a type of breakdown after the death of her husband.

Do these very well meaning in laws really want to help or do they have ulterior motives. Poor Darcy just can't seem to win for losing. Her luck with men as well as friends and even her in law family, are all not what they seem to be.

An excellent read.

Saturday, March 21, 2020

Review: Where the Red Fern Grows

Where the Red Fern Grows Where the Red Fern Grows by Wilson Rawls
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

What a fantastic book. I have to say though that I won't be forgetting it for quite awhile. It was very sad. I got me thinking about all the dogs I have had and every one I missed so much. My first dog when I was young just disappeared. The rest passed away when they were old, but I still think about all of them and have a little cry once in awhile. Today was one of those days when reading this book. I am going to have to tell myself that it was just a story.

Friday, March 20, 2020

Review: Birds of a Feather

Birds of a Feather Birds of a Feather by Jacqueline Winspear
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

The continuing story of Maisie Dobbs and her assistant, Billy. A lovely,
feel good, story. Maisie and Billy are petitioned for a job to locate the daughter of an important business man in London. As they move closer with the investigation, they begin to find that there is more to this than a girl wanting to leave home.

A thoroughly enjoyable story and especially the audiobook.

Sunday, March 15, 2020

Review: Maisie Dobbs

Maisie Dobbs Maisie Dobbs by Jacqueline Winspear
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Maisie Dobbs' life changed at the age of 13 when her father, a barrow peddler, found a placement for her as a maid in one of the big houses that he delivered goods to. This was very good luck in the early years before WWI. Maisie worked very hard and loved to read and study. In the wee hours of the morning she would sneak into the huge library and study from books that she found there, until being discovered by the lady of the house.

This was a blessing for Maisie, who goes on to higher education, very unheard of in those days and especially for the so called lower classes.

A very enjoyable read.

Thursday, March 12, 2020

Review: Justified

Justified Justified by Carolyn Arnold
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Another police who done it book. It was interesting to a point but got a bit repetitive.

Tuesday, March 10, 2020

Review: You Don't Own Me

You Don't Own Me You Don't Own Me by Mary Higgins Clark
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Laurie Moran, has recently become engaged to her show’s former host, Alex Buckley. Since then, the two have been happily planning a summer wedding and honeymoon, preparing for Alex’s confirmation to a federal judicial appointment, and searching for the perfect New York City home for their new life together.

But then Laurie is approached by Robert and Cynthia Bell, parents of Dr. Martin Bell, a famously charming and talented physician who was shot dead as he pulled into the driveway of his Greenwich Village carriage house five years ago. The Bells are sure that Martin’s disgraced and erratic wife, Kendra, carried out the murder. Determined to prove Kendra’s guilt and win custody over their grandchildren, they plead with Laurie to feature their son’s case on “Under Suspicion,” ensuring her that Kendra is willing to cooperate.

A good read.

Friday, March 6, 2020

Review: The Irish Cottage: Finding Elizabeth

The Irish Cottage: Finding Elizabeth The Irish Cottage: Finding Elizabeth by Juliet Gauvin
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

Mediocre read about an attorney who loses her great aunt (who raised her) and decides to move to Ireland to regroup and recover. She immediately runs into a gorgeous Irish man coming out of the bathroom, naked of course. It's obvious where the book is headed. I used to read this genre when I was younger but have grown weary of the extremely detailed sex scenes and lack of more attention to the story line. The book ends rather abruptly but gives you a few pages of the next book in the series. Won't continue with this series.

Thursday, March 5, 2020

Review: Shaker

Shaker Shaker by Scott Frank
My rating: 1 of 5 stars

A good story but a bit too violent and too much blood for me.

Review: Familiar Strangers

Familiar Strangers Familiar Strangers by Jackie Walsh
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

An excellent read.

One day, Becca visits her mother in the care home that she has been in since her early-onset Alzheimer’s deteriorated to the point where she needed full time professional care. During this visit, Nancy has a seemingly lucid moment where she declares that Becca isn’t her daughter, that she took her. This news is like a bolt from the blue for Becca, who has never suspected that her roots lie anywhere else than her family. As quick as the moment comes, Nancy disappears back into herself and cannot clarify the bombshell that she has landed. Becca is left confused by the whole situation and wonders rather this is nothing more than confusion from her mum, words that she didn’t mean – but there’s a part of her that is also questioning everything she knows.

To add to the difficulties that Becca is having with her mother’s health and her father’s subsequent withdrawal from enjoying anything in life – Becca receives a phone call from the police investigating the disappearance of a woman who was apparently off to find ‘Rebecca Wall’. A woman as to whom Becca has no recollection of every knowing or ever meeting. The police seem hell bent on proving that Becca is involved but unwilling to share any details with her.

Familiar Strangers is such a brilliant read, engaging right from the start with a brilliant, and at times completely annoying, protagonist. Becca is at times frustrating as she doesn’t help herself in her quest to find out the reason that Katie Collins went missing looking for her. What is clear is that there are lots of secrets but as to whether they are anything to do with Katie is far from clear.

Jackie Walsh’s writing makes you question everything and everyone – similarly to Becca, you are made to feel that everyone is a suspect! I got so drawn into the narrative and also wanted to know why Katie was searching for Becca and what happened to her that I pretty much read this book in one day – I just needed to keep reading, wanting to know more. I am so pleased that I had the opportunity to read this in a day (thanks to my husband’s cycling sportive!) as I definitely would not wanted to have put it down!

This is brimming with suspense and red herrings that takes its reader on the journey alongside Becca as the secrets unravel and the truth comes out. A fantastic read which I highly recommend – but make sure you have a clear diary to maximise your reading time! 

Tuesday, March 3, 2020

Review: Accused

Accused Accused by Lisa Scottoline
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Mary DiNunzio is in the process of just being made partner, has a lovely boyfriend who is serious about her and loves her. When a 13 year old girl named Allegra comes into the office wanting to hire a lawyer to reopen a murder case. Mary and her friend Judy take on the challenge of trying to help this young girl.

I listened to the audio of this book which IMO is just so special. The performer, January Lavoy, is absolutely Mary plus she has the other accents right down pat.

A thoroughly enjoyable story with a mix of serious and humour making these audio books by Lisa Scottoline my very favourite.

Review: The Alice Network

The Alice Network by Kate Quinn My rating: 5 of 5 stars In an enthralling new historical novel from nati...