Jo and Bethie Kaufman were born into a world full of promise.
Growing up in 1950s Detroit, they live in a perfect “Dick and Jane” house, where their roles in the family are clearly defined. Jo is the tomboy, the bookish rebel with a passion to make the world more fair; Bethie is the pretty, feminine good girl, a would-be star who enjoys the power her beauty confers and dreams of a traditional life.
But the truth ends up looking different from what the girls imagined. Jo and Bethie survive traumas and tragedies. As their lives unfold against the background of free love and Vietnam, Woodstock and women’s lib, Bethie becomes an adventure-loving wild child who dives headlong into the counterculture and is up for anything (except settling down). Meanwhile, Jo becomes a proper young mother in Connecticut, a witness to the changing world instead of a participant. Neither woman inhabits the world she dreams of, nor has a life that feels authentic or brings her joy. Is it too late for the women to finally stake a claim on happily ever after?
This book truly is EVERYTHING! The relationship between Jo and Bethie resonated with me and I thought about it long after finishing the book. It is beautifully written and I absolutely loved it!!! I will definitely be checking out other books written by Jennifer Weiner. I would highly recommend this book.
Told in interweaving timelines organized around the four code names Nancy used during the war, Code Name Hélène is a spellbinding and moving story of enduring love, remarkable sacrifice and unfaltering resolve that chronicles the true exploits of a woman who deserves to be a household name.
It is 1936 and Nancy Wake is an intrepid Australian expat living in Paris who has bluffed her way into a reporting job for Hearst newspaper. She is fighting to cover the disturbing reports of violence coming out of Vienna and Berlin when she meets the wealthy French industrialist Henri Fiocca. No sooner does Henri sweep Nancy off her feet and convince her to become Mrs. Fiocca than the Germans invade France and she takes yet another name: a code name.
I received this ebook ARC through NetGalley. The book will be published on March 31, 2020 by Doubleday Books.
Nancy Wake was a real life spy and one of the most decorated women for her role during WWII. She went by four code names throughout the war (Lucienne Carlier, The White Mouse, Helene and Madam Andree). While the author did tweak some of the facts in the book, the majority of what you will read in this story really happened.
I enjoyed reading the relationship that was developed between Nancy and her husband, Henri and the heartbreak she endured at the end of the war.
What Nancy did during WWII was extraordinary and taught me that women who were involved during that war were true heroes and complete and total badasses.
If you like stories about strong women or Historical Fiction, I think you would enjoy this book and would definitely recommend it!
Memphis, 1939: Twelve-year-old Rill Foss and her four younger siblings live a magical life aboard their family’s Mississippi River shantyboat. But when their father must rush their mother to the hospital one stormy night, Rill is left in charge — until strangers arrive in force. Wrenched from all that is familiar and thrown into a Tennessee Children’t Home Society orphanage, the Foss children are assured that they will soon be returned to their parrents — but they quickly realize the dark truth. At the mercy of the facility’s real-life director, the cruel Georgia Tann, Rill fights to keep her sisters and brother together.
Aiken, South Carolina, Present Day: Born into wealth and privilege, Avery Stafford seems to have it all: a successful career, a handsome fiance, and a lavish wedding on the horizon. But when she returns home to help her father weather a health crisis, a chance encounter leaves her with uncomfortable questions and compels her to take a journey through her family’s long-hidden history, on a path that will ultimately lead either to devastation or to redemption.
This book is gut wrenching at times. To think of the horrors children lived through in the orphanage is unbearable, especially knowing that all of them didn’t survive. Rill Foss is a character that I will not soon forget about and this extraordinary story will stay with me for a long time. I can’t think of a better way to kick off 2020 than reading this book which is also the January pick for a book club I belong to. Please, if you haven’t read this book and you enjoy historical fiction, get this book and read it!
If it wasn’t apparent from my thoughts, I gave this book 5/5 stars.
It’s 1620, and Mrs. Claus’s beloved husband is off in the New World, planting the seeds for what will become a glorious Christmas tradition. Meanwhile, Mrs. Claus has chosen to stay in England, where the first signs of a dangerous threat to Yuletide cheer are in evidence. The Puritans have gained control of Parliament and appear determined to take all the fun out of Christmas. But Mrs. Claus knows that it’s time for serious action when, in 1647, a law is passed by Parliament that actually punishes anyone who celebrates Christmas. Based on the actual events of Christmas Day in 1647, when ten thousand peasants marched through the streets of Canterbury demanding their right to celebrate a beloved holiday.
This is the 2nd book in Jeff Guin’s The Christmas Chronicles and just like the first book in the series The Autobiography of Santa Claus, there are 24 chapters which are to be read one at a time beginning December 1. Another wonderful holiday read!
This enchanting holiday treasure combines historical fact with glorious legend as Saint Nicholas reveals the definitive story of Santa Claus.
In The Autobiography of Santa Claus, Santa shares his story with readers for the first time. Nicholas (his real name) was born in Lycia, in Asia Minor, to wealthy parents who died when he was young. The kind people of Lycia taught him the lessons of goodness and generosity that led to his lifelong mission to remind the world about the importance of giving.
This is definitely a feel good holiday story which I refer to as an advent book. There are 24 chapters to be read one at a time beginning on December 1. A great book to read with your family!
This was the first book I’ve read by Taylor Jenkins Reid and it will not be my last. If you haven’t read this book yet, do it NOW! I loved this book.
The book is about a rock band from the 70’s and it reads as an interview. I felt as if I were present watching the interview take place. All of the characters were relatable and there is a revelation towards the end of the book that truly surprised me. Fantastic summer read!
This is the story of the Levin family and the summer they spent on Nantucket during 1969. Blair, the oldest sister, is pregnant with twins. Kirby, the middle sister, is very much caught up in the civil rights movement. Tiger, the only son, has been drafted and was recently deployed to Vietnam. Jessie, the youngest daughter, just turned 13 and is trying to find her way.
Kate, their mother, has been keeping a secret for years that she is afraid will come out. Finally, there is Exalta, Kate’s Mom, who is the Matriarch of the family and seems to be out of touch with the times.
I loved this book! This was the first book I’ve read by Elin Hildebrand and I know it won’t be my last! I felt as if I was truly transported back in time. I laughed and, yes, I cried too.
HIGHLY recommend this book to everyone who enjoys historical fiction.
Thank you to NetGalley and Harper Collins Publishing for allowing me to read an advanced copy of The Golden Hour! This book comes out on July 9, 2019.
The story takes place between WWI and WWII and follows the lives of Elfriede and Lulu. The women are from two different times and are connected but don’t know it.
Historical Fiction is my favorite genre and I really enjoyed the book overall but I did feel like there were parts of this book that moved a little slow for me. With that being said, there were some twists at the end that I didn’t see coming which I thoroughly enjoyed!
This was the first book I have ever read by Beatrix Williams. I’m not sure it was her best book, but I will definitely give some of her other books a try!
April started out really strong for me and then fizzled out, but that’s ok. I was able to read 2 books during April and they were both ARCs (Advanced Reader Copies) that I received through NetGalley so that was very exciting for me!
Both authors were new to me. In total I read 638 pages and my average rating was 3.5 stars.
Full reviews of these books are in prior posts on my blog but short recaps of the books are below:
I have 2 more ARCs waiting for me in NetGalley. I’ll be splitting those up between May and June and will post reviews as I finish them. Here’s hoping I have a more productive reading month during May!