Tuesday, April 24, 2018

G995 Book Review of ICE by Lauren Carr

Name of Book: Ice

Author: Lauren Carr

ISBN: 9781983743382

Publisher: Acorn Book Services

Type of book: Mystery, thriller, family, relationships, pets, dogs, Harper's Ferry West Virginia, "book club" talents, moving on, romance, present times, gambling, murder, cold case, dysfunctional families, incest, rape, dreams

Year it was published: 2018


When Sandy Lipton and her unborn child disappeared, the court of public opinion found young Chris Matheson guilty. Decades later, the retired FBI agent returns home to discover that the cloud of suspicion cast over him and his family has never lifted.

With the help of a team of fellow retired law enforcement officers, each a specialist in their own field of investigation, Chris Matheson starts chipping away at the ice on this cold case to uncover what had happened to Sandy and her baby and the clues are getting hot!


There are quite a lot of characters, and luckily the author did provide a character sheet in beginning of the story to help readers out on who's who. Some memorable characters include both humans and animals, namely Chris who has suffered tragedy and becoming a widower. He loves classical music and is extremely passionate as well as sweet and loyal. He also has three daughters aged from teens to six years of age, and decides to join a "book" club run by his mother's friend. (If there are to be future books, I am hoping to see and get to know more of the Geezer Squad as well his daughters.) One animal character that really stole my heart is Sterling, the "goofy" German shepherd who has his own personality as well as some talents he keeps as secret. Secondary characters are also well developed, although I wish that there would have been more focus on the villain, at least more of his motivations.


Family and friends are important


The story is in third person narrative from Chris's point of view, although from time to time other characters make an appearance and make their thoughts known. The story is also linear, with prologue beginning twenty four years ago, and then the story moves on to the present where the reader meets Chris and his quirky family. Along the way the author fills in the blanks, often inviting the reader to speculate, or else scratch their heads on how the characters came up to that conclusion instead of another. The story is not solely mystery/thriller, but its focused on family, community and importance of friendships. Out of the previous Lauren Carr novels I read, I think this one is the most visible and obvious when it comes to showing friendships and family relationships.

Author Information:
(From iRead Book Tours)

About the Author:

Lauren Carr is the international best-selling author of the Mac Faraday, Lovers in Crime, and Thorny Rose Mysteries—over twenty titles across three fast-paced mystery series filled with twists and turns!

Now, Lauren has added one more hit series to her list with the Chris Matheson Cold Case Mysteries. Set in the quaint West Virginia town of Harpers Ferry, Ice introduces Chris Matheson, a retired FBI agent, who joins forces with other law enforcement retirees to heat up those cold cases that keep them up at night.

Book reviewers and readers alike rave about how Lauren Carr’s seamlessly crosses genres to include mystery, suspense, crime fiction, police procedurals, romance, and humor.

​Lauren is a popular speaker who has made appearances at schools, youth groups, and on author panels at conventions. She lives with her husband, and three dogs on a mountain in Harpers Ferry, WV.

​Connect with the author: Website ~ Twitter ~ Facebook ~ Instagram


After getting to know the Faraday and Thornton family members, the author decides to start a new series that besides the setting seem to have new people and new places as well as new crimes. Just like in her previous wonderful stories, I am happy to report that the story is not just a thriller with twisted plots and characters, but it also has heart and focus on family and friends and how they help the main character during the toughest time of his life. There is also some comedy and of course fascinating new dog characters, in particular Sterling who loves country music and is best described as goofy. While I'm uncertain on how the characters arrived at some of the conclusions that they had about the cold case, I really didn't expect to see it coming, although to be honest I did see one of the cases resolving itself the way it did. If you enjoy stories that are not only thrillers and mysteries but also have heart and relationships between the characters, then don't miss out on this book.

This is for iRead Book Tours


April 2 - Working Mommy Journal - review / giveaway
April 2 - Live To Read ~ Krystal - review / guest post / giveaway
April 2 - XoXo Book Blog - book spotlight / guest post / giveaway
April 3 - Rockin' Book Reviews - review / guest post / giveaway
April 3 - Laurie's Thoughts and Reviews - book spotlight / guest post / giveaway
April 4 - Paulette's Papers - book spotlight / giveaway
April 4 - Elizabeth McKenna Romance Author - book spotlight / giveaway
April 5 - The World As I See It - review / giveaway
April 5 - Writers and Authors - book spotlight / guest post / giveaway
April 6 - Olio by Marilyn - review / author interview / giveaway
April 6 - Books And Tea - review / guest post
April 9 - Blooming with Books - review / giveaway
April 10 - 411 on Books, Authors, and Publishing News - bk spotlight / int / giveaway
April 10 - 3 Partners in Shopping, Nana, Mommy, & Sissy, Too! - review / giveaway
April 11 - Books are love - review / author interview
April 12 - Library of Clean Reads - review / giveaway
April 12 - Nighttime Reading Center - review / giveaway
April 13 - My Reading Journeys - review / author interview / giveaway
April 17 - A Mama's Corner of the World - review
April 17 - Lovely Loveday - review
April 18 - StoreyBook Reviews - book spotlight / author interview / giveaway
April 19 - FUONLYKNEW - review / giveaway
April 20 - Mystery Suspense Reviews - book spotlight
April 20 - fundinmental - review / author interview / giveaway
April 23 - Two Points of Interest - review
April 24 - Svetlana's Reads and Views - review
April 25 - Sefina Hawke's Books - review
April 26 - The Book Drealms - review / giveaway
April 27 - Pause for Tales - review / guest post
April 27 - LadyJ’s Bookish Nook - review / giveaway
April 30 - Jessica Cassidy - review / author interview / giveaway

4 out of 5
(0: Stay away unless a masochist 1: Good for insomnia 2: Horrible but readable; 3: Readable and quickly forgettable, 4: Good, enjoyable 5: Buy it, keep it and never let it go.)

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

G815 Book Review of Free food for the millionaires by Min Jin Lee

Name of Book: Free Food For the Millionaires

Author: Min Jin Lee

ISBN: 978-1-4555-7167-3

Publisher: Grand Central

Type of book: Korea-America, rape, negative portrayal of Korean men who like Caucasian women, New York, 1990s, haves and have-nots, pride, kindness, marriage, relationships, family, church, faith, struggling, surviving, class, Asian women/Caucasian men relationships, money, debts, working at a bank

Year it was published: 2007


Casey Han's four years at Princeton gave her many things, "But no job and a number of bad habits." Casey's parents, who live in Queens, are Korean immigrants working in a dry cleaner, desperately trying to hold on to their culture and their identity. Their daughter, on the other hand, has entered into rarified American society via scholarships. But after graduation, Casey sees the reality of having expensive habits without the means to sustain them. As she navigates Manhattan, we see her life and the lives around her, culminating in a portrait of New York City and its world of haves and have-nots.

Free Food For Millionaires offers up a fresh exploration of the complex layers we inhabit both in society and within ourselves. Inspired by 19th century novels such as Vanity Fair and Middlemarch, Min Jin Lee examines maintaining one's identity within changing communities in what is her remarkably assured debut.


There are quite a lot of characters in the story, but I think the author is skillful in having the reader remember them. Main character includes Casey Han, a snotty and spoiled Asian-American princess who has no idea what she wants to do with herself and tends to be prickly, cold, mysterious and a smoker. She loves spending money on brand-name clothing but isn't the type to explore why she is the way the is or try to change her personality. There is also Ella Shim who seems to be the antithesis of Casey Han and is warm, vibrant, meek but passionate. Ella also likes Casey and will do what she can to help her. Secondary characters include Unu is Ella's cousin and eventually becomes Casey's paramour and he has his own issues and debts to settle. the Casey's boss from Korea who went to the same school as Casey's mother and her white husband as well as Ted Kim who becomes Ella's husband but then cheats on her with a co-worker and so forth. Way too many characters to list here.


I read the book from cover to cover and have no idea what lesson I should have learned from it; maybe to make plot more visible?


The story is in third person narrative from what seems to be everyone's point of view. I love long detailed novels, but along with the details I also require plot and lessons that characters learn along the way. I expect for characters to change and to be present when changes occur. This book, aside from being long, had nothing of what I might enjoy. The events that I would deem important or that I would hope the author would focus more on were merely mentioned or skimmed while events that aren't important are expounded on page after page after page. The only good part I liked about the book is the first part, but parts 2 and 3 seemed a bit pointless. The issues that characters face, such as Casey's never-ending clothing shopping and debts are not addressed, that is the reader never learns what Casey is trying to say by buying things she can't afford; there is also very little exploration of Delia and Ted's relationship and the story hasn't really given me reasons to like them or to even root for them. Basically its a circular journey where the reader ends up on the same page as he begins it.

Author Information:
(From the book)

Min Jin Lee's debut novel, Free Food For Millionaires, was one of the "Top 10 Novels of the Year" for The Times (London), NPR's Fresh Air, and USA Today. Her short fiction has been featured on NPR's Selected Shorts., Her writings have appeared in Conde Nast Traveler, The Times (London), Vogue, Travel+Leisure, Wall Street Journal, New York Times Magazine, and Food & Wine. Her essays and literary criticism have been anthologized widely. She served as a columnist for the Chosun Ilbo, the leading paper of South Korea. She lives in New York with her family.


I expected to either hate or love the story, or to even discover hidden genius within the pages, but I'm sad to say that the only thing that came to pass is boredom and indifference. Although I'm not an Asian-American woman, I am an immigrant and I honestly thought I would be able to relate to the book and to the characters, but unfortunately, it was not happening. Compared with Pachinko, this was a big letdown for me, and yes, the review might be pretty long by the way because I have a lot to say about the book. One of my main complaints is portrayal of Korean men, and not just any Korean men but Korean men who either love or have loved Caucasian women. There is nothing sympathetic or warm about neither Ted nor Professor Hong, and the changes simply ring as too false to be human or believable. The only "good" Korean man in the story is Ella's father who remained chaste and unmarried after the death of Ella's mother. It's also interesting to note that Korean women/Caucasian men relationships are portrayed as far more relatable and human than Korean men/Caucasian women relationships are. For example, the Korean woman who gives Casey her job is married to a Caucasian male and they seem to have a peaceable and tranquil relationships, while another Korean woman gets with a very sweet and sympathetic Caucasian male. Neither Ted nor Professor Hong are given those positive portrayals; Ted is an asshole from start to finish and has even cheated on his wife with a Caucasian co-worker, while Professor Hong was married to Caucasian women, but he acts like a diva and is selfish and also happens to be a rapist...yeah, nothing wrong with that is all I can say. In this story as well, nothing happens, and when I say this, I mean that characters don't learn lessons from their setbacks and the characters remain the same from start to finish. In other words, if you're expecting a hidden genius of Pachinko, this book is not it.

This was given to me for a review

2 out of 5
(0: Stay away unless a masochist 1: Good for insomnia 2: Horrible but readable; 3: Readable and quickly forgettable, 4: Good, enjoyable 5: Buy it, keep it and never let it go.)

Monday, April 16, 2018

G919 Book Review of What is forgiven by C.F. Yetmen

Name of Book: Whats is Forgiven

Author: C.F. Yetmen

ISBN: 978-0-9988890-0-9

Publisher: Ypsillon & Co. Press

Part of a Series: Anna Klein Trilogy

Type of book: Post WWII Germany, 1945, relationships, decisions, gray life, Holocaust, Lebensborn, families, romances, Monument Men, high stakes decisions, resources

Year it was published: 2017


“What is Forgiven is danger, mystery and intrigue wrapped around a love story, but it’s much more than that: it’s an in-depth study of loyalty, justice and the moral aftermath of the war.”
Martha Louise Hunter, Author, Painting Juliana

At the end of 1945 in a shattered Germany, Anna Klein is faced with tough choices about her future. Her plum job working as a translator for Captain Henry Cooper, one of the American Monuments Men, means she has a house and an income, as well as hands-on access to some of the world’s most precious art. But her life is falling apart on all fronts: her family is displaced, the boy in her care is being sought by authorities, and she must resolve to finally end her marriage. When she realizes that someone has tampered with two important paintings taken from a Jewish collector—paintings she was charged with safeguarding—Anna is determined to solve the crime. But without hard evidence and no motive, she can prove nothing and as State Department big wigs threaten to shut down the Monument Men’s operation, she and her boss are under special scrutiny. As all signs begin to point to an inconvenient suspect in the crime, she has to play it by the book to keep her job and return the art to its rightful owner, if she can find him.


Main characters include Anna Klein, a young German woman who shares a close friendship with Captain Cooper. Anna is resourceful, protective and will do what she can to either solve the mystery or do the right. She is worried about others, but some of Cooper's charms have previously rubbed off on her. Cooper is Anna's close friend and isn't afraid of bending a ruler or two to solve the mystery. At the same time he seems to be vulnerable in some ways and depends on Anna a lot. There is Anna's biological daughter Amalia "Maus" Klein who dreams of having her father and mother together and who has known nothing but war but is still dreamy and cheerful. There is also Oskar who has hidden origins of his own and who will be placed in a difficult position of making adult decisions of whom he is. Secondary characters are also memorable and heavily prominent in the book be it the mysterious owners of a painting, or Anna's older female friend.


Its hard to find the right path


The story is once more in third person narrative from Anna's point of view. The stakes are far more dangerous than in the previous story and Anna and Cooper have to be far more clever and resourceful. This book goes deeper into some of the secret programs such as Lebensborn, and the shadow of Holocaust begins to darken the story as well as the possible fate of German paintings, whether they will stay in Germany or be shipped out to United States. Told with verve for history and passion, this is a story to whet the appetite as the readers eagerly await the third installment of the series. Just like in the first book, relationships and mystery are in a perfect blend together, neither upstaging each other.

Author Information:
(From the book)

C.F. Yetmen is a writer and consultant specializing in architecture and design. She is the co-author of The Owner's Dilemman Driving Success and Innovation in the Design and Construction Industry and a former publisher of Texas Architect magazine. The Roses Underneath is her first novel. Visit cfyetmen.com


If I thought that the prequel, The Roses Underneath was good, this book was amazing, although I do wish that I could have seen more of Oskar in the story, (it seem as if the possible third book will answer that prayer...) The characters go through some changes, and the story picks up seamlessly from the previous book, as if it has been several months instead of years that the second novel was written. The issues that were hinted at in the first book go deeper and and issues are painted more as gray rather than black and white. There is a thrilling mystery that Anna and Cooper must solve, and once more careful details that seem true to life are written within the pages. Every aspect of the book stands out and there is realism as well.

This was given for a review

4 out of 5
(0: Stay away unless a masochist 1: Good for insomnia 2: Horrible but readable; 3: Readable and quickly forgettable, 4: Good, enjoyable 5: Buy it, keep it and never let it go.)

G918 Book Review for The Roses underneath by C.F. Yetmen

Name of Book: The Roses Underneath

Author: C.F. Yetmen

ISBN: 978-0-615-86836-3

Publisher: Ypsilon &Co. Press

Part of a Series: Anna Klein Trilogy

Type of book: Post WWII Germany, 1945, Monuments Men, paintings, art, families, mother/daughter relationships, translation, filing, scarcity, mystery, Lebensborn, Hitler's museum, complicity

Year it was published: 2014


It is August 1945 in Wiesbaden, Germany. With the country in ruins, Anna Klein, displaced and separated from her beloved husband, struggles to support herself and her six-year old daughter Amalia. Her job typing forms at the Collecting Point for the US Army’s Monuments Men is the only thing keeping her afloat. Charged with securing Nazi-looted art and rebuilding Germany’s monuments, the Americans are on the hunt for stolen treasures. But after the horrors of the war, Anna wants only to hide from the truth and rebuild a life with her family. When the easy-going American Captain Henry Cooper recruits her as his reluctant translator, the two of them stumble on a mysterious stash of art in a villa outside of town. Cooper’s penchant for breaking the rules capsizes Anna’s tenuous security and propels her into a search for elusive truth and justice in a world where everyone is hiding something.

In her debut novel C.F. Yetmen tells a story of loss and reconciliation in a shattered world coming to terms with war and its aftermath.


Main characters include Anna Klein, a young German woman who has a husband who is staying in East Berlin and has a young daughter. Anna Klein is resourceful, very detailed and intelligent as well as determined to do what she can no matter the cost. But at the same time she is very worried about what people might think and is very conscious of how she looks and appears although she has a big heart. Amalia is Anna's young daughter who has known nothing war but despite it she is cheerful, plucky and very friendly. Captain Cooper is an American working for Monuments Men and is best described as someone is carefree and believes that he is above authority and likes to bend rules. Other characters also include a young boy named Oskar who knows more than he lets on as well as the brother and sister duo who are keeping their own secrets about their lives and so forth.


Do the right thing, even if its difficult


Pretty much all the story is in third person from Anna Klein's point of view. Instead of choosing to disseminate through Holocaust or its aftermath, the author makes a choice to talk about Monuments Men and also chooses to focus on the infamous Lebensborn program. (I have heard of it, but was not familiar with the details of it...) I also loved the importance of family and friends in the story and also liked how families are formed rather than chosen. The characters are drawn with realistically and with flaws, both physical and mental (for example Anna mentions that because of lack of vitamins her teeth are loose.) 

Author Information:
(From the book)

C.F. Yetmen is a writer and consultant specializing in architecture and design. She is the co-author of The Owner's Dilemman Driving Success and Innovation in the Design and Construction Industry and a former publisher of Texas Architect magazine. The Roses Underneath is her first novel. Visit cfyetmen.com


I'm only sorry that I hadn't reviewed the book earlier. I found it to be an unexpectedly good read because to be honest from the last name I was expecting a Jewish female character, but in fact it turned out to be a German woman, and unlike most of WWII novels, this one focuses on the aftermath of WWII and how it affects the ordinary people who don't have money to back upon. In other words, this is about ordinary people, not ones who are high. I found a lot of things enjoyable about the book such as the characters, the details and time period as well as place which puts a different spin on post WWII world, the fact that characters are realistic and relatable to the time period and I also liked in learning little known fact about the Monument Men and their mission. The story hints at Holocaust as well as Russian occupation of East Berlin, but it doesn't go into the details, although if I recall right, the second book of the trilogy does go into great detail.

This was given to me for an honest review

4 out of 5
(0: Stay away unless a masochist 1: Good for insomnia 2: Horrible but readable; 3: Readable and quickly forgettable, 4: Good, enjoyable 5: Buy it, keep it and never let it go.)

G859 Book Review of The Service of the dead by Candace Robb

Name of Book: The Service of the Dead

Author: Candace Robb

ISBN: 978-1-68177-127-4

Publisher: Prometheus

Part of a Series: Kate Clifford Mysteries

Type of book: 1399, family, England, widow, woman, resourcefulness, mystery, life, Richard II, feuds, war, weapons

Year it was published: 2016


Political unrest permeates York at the cusp of the fifteenth century, as warring factions take sides on who should be the rightful king--Richard II or his estranged, powerful cousin in exile, Henry Bolingbroke. Independent minded twenty-year-old Kate Clifford is struggling to dig out from beneath the debt left by her late husband. Determined to find a way to be secure in her own wealth and establish her independence in a male dominated society, Kate turns one of her properties near the minster into a guest house and sets up a business. In a dance of power, she also quietly rents the discreet bedchambers to the wealthy, powerful merchants of York for nights with their mistresses.

But the brutal murder of a mysterious guest and the disappearance of his companion for the evening threatens all that Kate has built. Before others in town hear word of a looming scandal, she must call upon all of her hard-won survival skills to save herself from ruin.


Main characters include Kate Clifford, a resourceful and business-minded young lady who is determined not to let things get her down. Secondary characters would be Kate's step-children who are wary of their stepmother, especially with their father's death as well as Kate's servants and some of her family who either hinder or help Kate a great deal. Kate must also be careful and must be wary of whom to trust, which the author does a good job of establishing.


There is always unexpected help


The story is in third person narrative from Kate's point of view. The book is rife with details on life during the time period and it seems as if the author took little to no liberties of what was happening with the story. I don't think the story is for those who don't know much about medieval ages because while the author does try to explain what is going on during that time period, I don't think she does a very good job and it leaves the readers struggling a bit.

Author Information:
(From HFVBT)

About the Author

Candace Robb did her graduate work in medieval literature and history, and has continued to study the period while working first as an editor of scientific publications and now for some years as a freelance writer. Candace has published 13 crime novels set in 14th century England, Wales, and Scotland. The Owen Archer series is based in York and currently extends over 10 novels beginning with THE APOTHECARY ROSE; the most recent is A VIGIL OF SPIES. The Margaret Kerr trilogy explores the early days of Scotland’s struggle again England’s King Edward I, and includes A TRUST BETRAYED, THE FIRE IN THE FLINT, and A CRUEL COURTSHIP.

Writing as Emma Campion, Candace has published historical novels about two fascinating women she encountered while researching the Owen Archer mysteries, Alice Perrers (THE KING’S MISTRESS) and Joan of Kent (A TRIPLE KNOT).

Candace was born in the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina, grew up in Cincinnati, Ohio, and has lived most of her adult life in Seattle, Washington, which she and her husband love for its combination of natural beauty and culture. Candace enjoys walking, hiking, and gardening, and practices yoga and vipassana meditation. She travels frequently to Great Britain.

For more information, please visit Candace Robb’s website. You can also find her on Facebook, Twitter, and Goodreads.

This is a very late review for the book, which I feel bad about. What I found impressive by the story was the time period and the details that the author researched as well as a very admirable woman who is strong in adversity and doesn't let things get her down, be it her husband's death or trying to prove herself to her husband's illgetimate children, she doesn't let anything get her down. What I didn't enjoy of the story is the fact that the main character's dead brother speaks to her, which I feel really takes away from enjoying the story a lot. At some points I also found myself confused as to how the laws and life worked back in medieval ages. I also had trouble figuring out the logic of the mystery, but other than that, for an authentic medieval mystery, I would recommend this book.

This is for HFVBT

Blog Tour Schedule

Monday, July 3
Kick Off at Passages to the Past

Tuesday, July 4
Review at Laura’s Interests (The Service of the Dead)
Review & Guest Post at Books of All Kinds (The Service of the Dead & A Twisted Vengeance)

Wednesday, July 5
Review at Broken Teepee (A Twisted Vengeance)

Thursday, July 6
Review at Jorie Loves a Story (The Service of the Dead)
Interview at Dianne Ascroft’s Blog

Friday, July 7
Review at Brooke Blogs (The Service of the Dead)
Excerpt at What Is That Book About

Sunday, July 9
Feature at Svetlana’s Reads and Views (The Service of the Dead)

Monday, July 10
Review at Queen of All She Reads (The Service of the Dead)
Review at Ageless Pages Reviews (The Service of the Dead)

Tuesday, July 11
Review at Rainy Day Reviews (The Service of the Dead)

Wednesday, July 12
Review at 100 Pages a Day (The Service of the Dead)
Review at History From a Woman’s Perspective (The Service of the Dead)

Thursday, July 13
Guest Post at Let Them Read Books

Friday, July 14
Review at The True Book Addict (The Service of the Dead)
Review at History From a Woman’s Perspective (A Twisted Vengeance)

Monday, July 17
Review at Laura’s Interests (A Twisted Vengeance)
Review at CelticLady’s Reviews (The Service of the Dead)

Tuesday, July 18
Review at Brooke Blogs (A Twisted Vengeance)
Guest Post at Cafinated Reads

Wednesday, July 19
Review at CelticLady’s Reviews (A Twisted Vengeance)
Review at The True Book Addict (A Twisted Vengeance)
Review at Queen of All She Reads (A Twisted Vengeance)

Thursday, July 20
Review at Jorie Loves a Story (A Twisted Vengeance)
Review at Just One More Chapter (The Service of the Dead)

Friday, July 21
Review at Rainy Day Reviews (A Twisted Vengeance)
Review at Ageless Pages Reviews (A Twisted Vengeance)
Review at Svetlana’s Reads and Views (A Twisted Vengeance)
Interview at Jorie Loves a Story

3 out of 5
(0: Stay away unless a masochist 1: Good for insomnia 2: Horrible but readable; 3: Readable and quickly forgettable, 4: Good, enjoyable 5: Buy it, keep it and never let it go.)

Tuesday, April 10, 2018

FFE17. Book Review of The Vineyard by Maria Duenas

Name of Book:  The Vineyard

Author:  Maria Duenas


Publisher: Atria

Year it was published: 2017


The New York Times bestselling author of The Time in Between returns with a magnificent new novel set in 1860s Mexico City, Havana, and Spain about a self-made man who loses his fortune overnight but finds his destiny as he works to restore a legendary vineyard to its former glory, and to win the love of the combative widow who once owned the property.

Mauro Larrea sees the fortune that he had built after years of hardship and toil come crashing down on the heels of a calamitous event. Swamped by debts and uncertainty, he gambles the last of his last money in a daring move that offers him the opportunity to resuscitate his fortune. But when the unsettling Soledad Montalvo, wife of a London wine merchant, comes into his life, her passionate intensity lures him toward an unanticipated future.

The Vineyard spans diverse worlds, from the young Mexican republic to magnificent colonial Havana; from the West Indies to the Jerez of the second half of the nineteenth-century, when its wine trade with England turned the Andalusian city into a legendary cosmopolitan enclave. A novel replete with glories and defeats, with silver mines, family intrigues, vineyards, and splendid places whose grandeur has faded in time, The Vineyard is a story of resilience in the face of adversity, of a lifeline forever altered by the force of passion.

Link for Review

2 out of 5
(0: Stay away unless a masochist 1: Good for insomnia 2: Horrible but readable; 3: Readable and quickly forgettable, 4: Good, enjoyable 5: Buy it, keep it and never let it go.)

FFE38 Book Review of White chrysanthemum by Mary Lynn bracht

Name of Book: White Chrysanthemum

Author: Mary Lynn Bracht


Publisher: G.P. Putnam's Sons

Year it was published: 2018


The Korean Nightingale, a sweeping historical debut for fans of Lilac Girls, Memoirs of a Geisha, and Kristin Hannah that brings to life the heartbreaking history of Korea through the deeply moving and redemptive story of two sisters separated by World War II.

Korea, 1943. Hana has lived her entire life under Japanese occupation. Following her mother’s footsteps into the sea as a haenyeo, one of the famed female divers of beautiful Jeju Island, she enjoys an independence that few other Koreans can still claim. Until the day Hana witnesses a Japanese soldier threatening her beloved younger sister on shore. Desperate to save her, Hana is captured and transported to Manchuria where she is forced to become a comfort woman in a Japanese brothel. But haenyeo are women of power and strength and Hana holds close the lessons her mother taught her. She will find her way home.

South Korea, 2011. Emi has spent more than sixty years trying to forget the sacrifice her sister made. Now in the sunset of her life, Emi must finally confront the past to discover the peace she so desperately seeks. Finding hope in the healing of her children and her country, can Emi move beyond the legacy of war and find forgiveness?

At once suspenseful, hopeful, and ultimately redemptive, White Chrysanthemum puts a human face to the heartrending history of Korea and tells a story in which two sisters’ love for one another is strong enough to triumph over decades and the grim evils of war.

Link for Review

(Was a Fresh Fiction Pick for April 6th, 2018!) 

5 out of 5
(0: Stay away unless a masochist 1: Good for insomnia 2: Horrible but readable; 3: Readable and quickly forgettable, 4: Good, enjoyable 5: Buy it, keep it and never let it go.)
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