Monday, June 24, 2019

The Poison Thread
by Lauren Purcell

Publisher: Penguin
Pages: 368
Format: book
Buy the Book: Amazon

Goodreads:  Dorothea Truelove is young, wealthy, and beautiful. Ruth Butterham is young, poor, and awaiting trial for murder.

When Dorothea's charitable work brings her to Oakgate Prison, she is delighted by the chance to explore her fascination with phrenology and test her hypothesis that the shape of a person's skull can cast a light on their darkest crimes. But when she meets one of the prisoners, the teenaged seamstress Ruth, she is faced with another strange idea: that it is possible to kill with a needle and thread--because Ruth attributes her crimes to a supernatural power inherent in her stitches.

The story Ruth has to tell of her deadly creations--of bitterness and betrayal, of death and dresses--will shake Dorothea's belief in rationality, and the power of redemption. Can Ruth be trusted? Is she mad, or a murderer? 


Kritters Thoughts:  Dorothea Truelove has been trying to uphold Catholic values especially since her mother passed away - one of those values is visiting inmates at the local prison.  On one of her recent visits, she meets Ruth Butterham who is a young girl in prison for murder.  Dorothea wants to learn about Ruth and see if she can rehabilitate her and get her out of prison and on a good path.

Told in two parts, one from Dorothea's voice that is the present and tells of her backstory and her current interactions with Ruth and then from Ruth's point of view that goes back in time a bit and tells Ruth's whole story.  I loved the alternating chapters and how they were placed at just the right spots.  

This book was the perfect creepy read, I wish I had read it in October!  I loved how Ruth believed so much in her power and at the same time Dorothea was waffling between trying to decide if Ruth really had a power or explaining away the things that were happening around Ruth.  There was a real atmosphere in this book and it gave me the goosebumps a few times!


Rating: definitely a good read, but can't read two in a row

Disclosure of Material Connection:  I received one copy of this book free of charge from Viking.  I was not required to write a positive review in exchange for receipt of the book; rather, the opinions expressed in this review are my own.

Sunday, June 23, 2019

Not a lot of reading happened, falling a little behind on things.

A
 meme hosted by Kathryn at The Book Date. 

Finished this past week:
The Woman in the Dark by Vanessa Savage
I'll Never Tell by Catherine McKenzie

Currently Reading:
The Poison Thread by Laura Purcell

Next on the TBR pile:
A Beach Wish by Shelley Noble

Friday, June 21, 2019

The Favorite Daughter
by Patti Callahan Henry

Publisher: Berkley
Pages: 368
Format: eARC
Buy the Book: Amazon

Goodreads:  Ten years ago, Lena Donohue experienced a wedding-day betrayal so painful that she fled the small town of Watersend, South Carolina, and reinvented herself in New York City. Though now a freelance travel writer, the one place she rarely goes is home--until she learns of her dad's failing health.

Returning to Watersend means seeing the sister she has avoided for a decade and the brother who runs the family's Irish pub and has borne the burden of his sisters' rift. While Alzheimer's slowly steals their father's memories, the siblings rush to preserve his life in stories and in photographs. As his secret past brings Lena's own childhood into focus, it sends her on a journey to discover the true meaning of home.


Kritters Thoughts:  Lena Donohue has only returned to her small hometown in South Carolina a handful of times since her disastrous wedding day, going back there takes her straight back to that day, so when her brother calls her home because their dad is in declining health, she must return and face the truths that she has avoided for years.

Although I have been avoiding books with cheating in them, this book is more a story about family and the resilience of family.  Through it all your family will be there wether you like it or not!  It was so interesting watching this family confront truths and really trying to rebuild their family piece by piece.  I loved how Henry wrote this family, you have sympathy for all and you are really hoping for each to find resolution and happiness.

Characters are one thing in this book, but so was the setting!  I loved this small town in South Carolina.  I could picture it completely.  I grew up in a small southern town and the feeling of everyone knowing everyone else and knowing everything about you and your family is such a feeling that is missing in big cities and it makes everything about this book possible.  

I was already a Patti Callahan Henry fan before this book and continue to be so after!    


Rating: absolutely loved it and want a sequel

Ebook 2019 Challenge: 26 out of 100


Disclosure of Material Connection:  I received one copy of this book free of charge from Berkley PRH.  I was not required to write a positive review in exchange for receipt of the book; rather, the opinions expressed in this review are my own.

Thursday, June 20, 2019

The Woman in the Dark
by Vanessa Savage

Publisher: Grand Central Publishing
Pages: 346
Format: eARC
Buy the Book: Amazon

Goodreads:  For Sarah and Patrick, family life has always been easy. But when Sarah's mother dies, it sends Sarah into a downwards spiral. Knowing they need a fresh start, Patrick moves the family to the beachside house he grew up in.

But there is a catch: while their new home carries only happy memories for Patrick, to everyone else it's known as the Murder House - named for the family that was killed there.
Patrick is adamant they can make it perfect again, though with their children plagued by nightmares and a constant sense they're being watched, Sarah's not so sure. Because the longer they live in their 'dream home', the more different her loving husband becomes . . .

Kritters Thoughts:  Sarah and Patrick have different ideas as to how to improve their family's lives.  Sarah thinks a vacation or two using some money her mother has left behind could really help them.  Patrick wants to purchase his family home that has a checkered past, but he thinks moving the family into this home they could remake the home and the family.  Both are keeping secrets that could eventually take this family to its knees.

From the synopsis, I was prepared for this book to be right up my alley, but there was one big thing that frustrated me and it was the unreliable narrator.  As the book is from Sarah's point of view there are some scenes at the very beginning that wipe away all trust that the reader has in Sarah and you question everything she says if it is truth.  I am not a fan of this plot device and I don't like wondering if I can trust my narrator, I need to be able to believe her to enjoy the reading experience.

Overall I liked the writing, the plot and how everything unfolded, but for me the narrator was so distracting that it took away from the book.  I would read another book by this author, but in hopes that I could trust the main character!


Rating: enjoyable, but didn't leave me wanting more

Ebook 2019 Challenge: 25 out of 100



Disclosure of Material Connection:  I received one copy of this book free of charge from Grand Central Publishing.  I was not required to write a positive review in exchange for receipt of the book; rather, the opinions expressed in this review are my own.

Tuesday, June 18, 2019

Dark Blossom
by Neel Mullick

Publisher: Rupa Publications
Pages: 224
Format: book
Buy the Book: Amazon

Goodreads:  Sam returns home from a business trip a day before his son's thirteenth birthday and is looking forward to being with his family, when his world is cruelly shattered in one fell swoop. Initially he thinks he can cope with the loss, but finally seeks the help of Cynthia, an experienced therapist, to regain his equipoise. What he does not know is that Cynthia herself is trying to cope with a debilitating divorce and the sinister shadow of her ex-husband over her daughter...

What happens when doctor and patient find themselves in the same sinking boat? Moreover, when they are rowing in opposite directions--one clinging to the past, and the other unable to get rid of it! In the midst of it all is Lily, Cynthia's daughter, who harbours a secret that has the power to explode the lives around her.

Kritters Thoughts:  A small, petite paperback that was easy to sit down and read in one sitting, but for me the story just didn't work.  Sam was a father and husband until a tragedy hit his family and he is still trying to cope with all of the change.  Cynthia is a therapist and is having her own life upheavals and when Sam comes to her for help their lives get very intertwined.  

I think my biggest complaint about this book was that I just couldn't trust either of the characters from the beginning.  I was waiting from page to page for something sinister or something to surprise me and it wasn't the good reading feeling that one can get from a mystery.  I wish one or the other of the characters was a little more honest and that I could trust them for the truth.  All of this made me just not care about the characters and I don't like not caring, I am fine with not trusting, but its hard not to care and keep reading.

The redeeming feature of the book was the twists and turns.  I won't spoil but I liked how the Sam and Cynthia's lives ended up connected.  That was interesting and I would have loved for that to come out earlier and for them to have to deal with that earlier in the book.  

AND the ending.  Call me an optimist, but I like a book to end with as few lingering questions and when it came to the end of this book I had some many questions and concerns and I felt very unsettled and I hated that feeling.


Rating: enjoyable, but didn't leave me wanting more


Disclosure of Material Connection:  I received one copy of this book free of charge from FSB Associates.  I was not required to write a positive review in exchange for receipt of the book; rather, the opinions expressed in this review are my own.

Monday, June 17, 2019

Waisted
by Randy Susan Meyers

Publisher: Atria Books
Pages: 288
Format: eARC
Buy the Book: Amazon

Goodreads:  Alice and Daphne, both successful and accomplished working mothers, harbor the same secret: obsession with their weight overshadows concerns about their children, husbands, work—and everything else of importance in their lives. Scales terrify them.

Daphne, plump in a family of model-thin women, learned only slimness earns admiration at her mother’s knee. Alice, break-up skinny when she met her husband, risks losing her marriage if she keeps gaining weight.

The two women meet at Waisted. Located in a remote Vermont mansion, the program promises fast, dramatic weight loss, and Alice, Daphne, and five other women are desperate enough to leave behind their families for this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. The catch? They must agree to always be on camera; afterward, the world will see Waisted: The Documentary.

The women soon discover that the filmmakers have trapped them in a cruel experiment. With each pound lost, they edge deeper into obsession and instability...until they decide to take matters into their own hands.


Kritters Thoughts:  Alice and Daphne both have lives that many would envy - careers, husbands, families, but with each carrying around a bit of extra weight they decide to make a big change and go to a remote Vermont mansion to hopefully send their lives in new directions.  

The experience at Waisted was an interesting behind the scenes.  It reminded me of the tv show The Biggest Loser and although I didn't watch that show religiously I caught it a few times and I wondered how close some of these women experiences were to that show.  To hear how hard they were working and what little change they would see in their bodies was so hard to read.    

This book had me questioning my own health which doesn't happen often when I read fiction.  I have gone through ups and downs with my health and weight, so to read a fiction book with women at the center and the unique experience it is to be a woman and fight to be near the "ideal weight", I enjoyed reading this one.  

I am not sure how often I want to read about this, but I am glad that books like this one exist.  


Rating: definitely a good read, but can't read two in a row

Ebook 2019 Challenge: 24 out of 100


Disclosure of Material Connection:  I received one copy of this book free of charge from Atria Books.  I was not required to write a positive review in exchange for receipt of the book; rather, the opinions expressed in this review are my own.

Sunday, June 16, 2019

Another busy week and a some hours spent playing on the phone instead of reading!!

A
 meme hosted by Kathryn at The Book Date. 

Finished this past week:
Waisted by Randy Susan Meyers
Tiffany Blues by MJ Rose
The Favorite Daughter by Patti Callahan Henry

Currently Reading:
The Woman in the Dark by Vanessa Savage

Next on the TBR pile:
The Poison Thread by Lauren Purcell
 

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