Book Review – Before We Were Yours

Before We Were Yours by Lisa Wingate
Genre: Historical Fiction

Synopsis:

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.

Thoughts:

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.

Book Review – How Mrs. Claus Saved Christmas

How Mrs. Claus Saved Christmas by Jeff Guinn
Genre: Historical Fiction (Holiday)

Synopsis

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.

Thoughts

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!

I gave this book 4/5 stars.

Book Review – The Autobiography of Santa Claus

The Autobiography of Santa Claus by Jeff Guinn
Genre: Historical Fiction (Holiday)

Synopsis

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.

Thoughts

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!

I gave this book 4/5 stars.

Book Review – Daisy Jones & The Six

Daisy Jones & The Six by Taylor Jenkins Reid
Genre: Historical Fiction

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!

Definitely a 5 star read for me!!!

Book Review – Summer of ’69

Summer of ’69 by Elin Hildebrand
Genre: Historical Fiction

What a great book to start the summer with! 

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.

This book received a 5/5 stars from me!

May 2019 Wrap-Up

I was able to finish 2 books during the month of May. Both books were from authors that were new to me and one of the books was another ARC that I received through NetGalley!

In Total I read 837 pages and my average rating was 4.25 stars.

Full reviews of both books are in prior posts on my blog but short recaps of the books are below:

Miracle Creek
Genre: Mystery
5/5 Stars
From my Book of the Month subscription
The Golden Hour by Beatriz Williams
Genre: Historical Fiction
3.5/5 Stars
ARC from NetGalley
Publish Date: July 9, 2019

Now that nicer days are finally here (we seem to have gone through a monsoon season instead of Spring here in the Northeast!), I’m looking forward to spending time out on my deck with a book in hand!

Happy reading friends!! 🙂

Book Review – The Golden Hour

The Golden Hour by Beatriz Williams
Genre: 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!

I rated this book a 3.5/5 stars.