Friday, August 23, 2019

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My husband and I are on vacation with drinks in hand and a good book by a pool. 
I will be back in September to tell you all about the books that I read on vacation!

Monday, August 19, 2019

The Women of the Copper County
by Mary Doria Russell

Publisher: Atria Books
Pages: 352
Format: eARC
Buy the Book: Amazon

Goodreads:  In July 1913, twenty-five-year-old Annie Clements had seen enough of the world to know that it was unfair. She’s spent her whole life in the copper-mining town of Calumet, Michigan where men risk their lives for meager salaries—and had barely enough to put food on the table and clothes on their backs. The women labor in the houses of the elite, and send their husbands and sons deep underground each day, dreading the fateful call of the company man telling them their loved ones aren’t coming home. When Annie decides to stand up for herself, and the entire town of Calumet, nearly everyone believes she may have taken on more than she is prepared to handle.

In Annie’s hands lie the miners’ fortunes and their health, her husband’s wrath over her growing independence, and her own reputation as she faces the threat of prison and discovers a forbidden love. On her fierce quest for justice, Annie will discover just how much she is willing to sacrifice for her own independence and the families of Calumet.



Kritters Thoughts:  I have heard so much about this author before going into this book and maybe my expectations were a little on the high side, so this book didn't work for me, but it could totally be me!  To warn I can't avoid spoilers in this review, so beware!

It is 1913 and in a copper mining town in Michigan and Annie Clements is known to be a large woman and when she decides to become a part of the fight for the union she becomes even bigger - a symbol.  

The forming of the union and the fight against a large company was very interesting.  I was waiting the whole book for an incident to happen in the mine and it didn't!  Instead it happens at a party and it was very hard to read and for me sent the book in a different direction that I didn't completely love.  I understand that this historical fact, but the build up for me just didn't seem to work with the ending.  

Russell's writing was good, but for me didn't seem outstanding compared to the rave reviews I had heard before reading the book.  This book didn't stand out as a historical fiction book that I would set above any of the others.


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

Ebook 2019 Challenge: 33 out of 100


Disclosure of Material Connection:  I received one copy of this book free of charge from Netgalley.  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, August 15, 2019

The Accidentals
by Minrose Gwin

Publisher: William Morrow
Pages: 416
Format: book
Buy the Book: HarperCollins

Goodreads:  In the fall of 1957, Olivia McAlister is living in Opelika, Mississippi, caring for her two girls, June and Grace, and her husband, Holly. She dreams of living a much larger life--seeing the world and returning to her wartime job at a landing boat factory in New Orleans. As she watches over the birds in her yard, Olivia feels like an “accidental”—a migratory bird blown off course.

When Olivia becomes pregnant again, she makes a fateful decision, compelling Grace, June, and Holly to cope in different ways. While their father digs up the backyard to build a bomb shelter, desperate to protect his family, Olivia’s spinster sister tries to take them all under her wing. But the impact of Olivia’s decision reverberates throughout Grace’s and June’s lives. Grace, caught up in an unconventional love affair, becomes one of the “girls who went away” to have a baby in secret. June, guilt-ridden for her part in exposing Grace’s pregnancy, eventually makes an unhappy marriage. Meanwhile Ed Mae Johnson, an African-American care worker in a New Orleans orphanage, is drastically impacted by Grace’s choices.

As the years go by, their lives intersect in ways that reflect the unpredictable nature of bird flight that lands in accidental locations—and the consolations of imperfect return.



Kritters Thoughts:  June and Grace are sisters and their lives change when their mother makes a decision that sends both of their lives down a different path.  Without a mother at a young age, both girls make life choices that could have been different had their mother stayed in their lives til they were older.  Grace gets pregnant at a young age and has to deal with those consequences and June is caught up in Grace's drama and has some of her own!  

I love a story that spans many years and centers around how one generations decisions impacts future generations.  June and Grace react in very different ways to the death of their mother and then to see that impact others was very entertaining.  

Told through multiple points of view, I enjoyed seeing a fuller picture of the story from the lens of quite a few people.  There are even two external to the family that narrate and that was so interesting to read their chapters.  I have to admit I was nervous/sad that neither June nor Grace narrate the last chapter, but in the end I can say it worked and I was glad to have resolution to that minor plot line (sorry vague, no spoilers!)

I loved Minrose Gwin's ability to really send the reader back to place and time.  I felt swept up in the late 50s in the south and the way she progressed the story through time seemed seamless.  I am intrigued to read The Queen of Palmyra as it seems similar to this story with a distinct setting and an interesting plot to follow.  


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 TLC Tours.  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, August 13, 2019

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Today is my birthday!  I am taking it off to spend a day by the pool with a good book!

Monday, August 12, 2019

Relative Fortunes
by Marlowe Benn

Publisher: Lake Union Publishing
Pages: 320
Format: book
Buy the Book: Amazon

Goodreads:  In 1924 Manhattan, women’s suffrage is old news. For sophisticated booklover Julia Kydd, life’s too short for politics. With her cropped hair and penchant for independent living, Julia wants only to launch her own new private press. But as a woman, Julia must fight for what’s hers—including the inheritance her estranged half brother, Philip, has challenged, putting her aspirations in jeopardy.

When her friend’s sister, Naomi Rankin, dies suddenly of an apparent suicide, Julia is shocked at the wealthy family’s indifference toward the ardent suffragist’s death. Naomi chose poverty and hardship over a submissive marriage and a husband’s control of her money. Now, her death suggests the struggle was more than she could bear.

Julia, however, is skeptical. Doubtful of her suspicions, Philip proposes a glib wager: if Julia can prove Naomi was in fact murdered, he’ll drop his claims to her wealth. Julia soon discovers Naomi’s life was as turbulent and enigmatic as her death. And as she gets closer to the truth, Julia sees there’s much more at stake than her inheritance…


Kritters Thoughts:  I am typically a huge fan of mystery/thrillers and a huge fan of historical fiction, so when I was pitched this book where both are in one book I was very excited to read and review it.  Unfortunately, putting both in this book didn't work and I think maybe the author was trying to accomplish too much between these covers.

For me the mystery didn't hold up, but I enjoyed the historical aspects of it much better.  Every time the book took more of a focus on the mystery, I lost interest and had a hard time paying attention.  I wish that there was more of a plot driver than the mystery in this book.  I was glad to read I wasn't in the minority when I finished reading the book and went to go check out some reviews and many agreed with me.  

The characters were great and they were what drove me through this book.  They made me care enough to know what was going to happen and got me to finish the book.  I loved learning about the lack of rights women had beyond just the vote but the ability to manage their own futures, especially when they didn't have a husband and were trying to just live and let live.  

I hate to be a negative nancy about a book and try to avoid it in general, but this book just didn't cut it for me and even put me in a reading rut, which rarely happens to me!


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

Disclosure of Material Connection:  I received one copy of this book free of charge from Little Bird Publicity.  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, August 8, 2019

Keeping Lucy
by T. Grenewood

Publisher: St Martin's Press
Pages: 320
Format: eARC
Buy the Book: Amazon

Goodreads:  Dover, Massachusetts, 1969. Ginny Richardson's heart was torn open when her baby girl, Lucy, born with Down Syndrome, was taken from her. Under pressure from his powerful family, her husband, Ab, sent Lucy away to Willowridge, a special school for the “feeble-minded." Ab tried to convince Ginny it was for the best. That they should grieve for their daughter as though she were dead. That they should try to move on. 

But two years later, when Ginny's best friend, Marsha, shows her a series of articles exposing Willowridge as a hell-on-earth--its squalid hallways filled with neglected children--she knows she can't leave her daughter there. With Ginny's six-year-old son in tow, Ginny and Marsha drive to the school to see Lucy for themselves. What they find sets their course on a heart-racing journey across state lines—turning Ginny into a fugitive.

For the first time, Ginny must test her own strength and face the world head-on as she fights Ab and his domineering father for the right to keep Lucy.



Kritters Thoughts:  Historical fiction could possibly be my favorite genre and this book proves my love.  To learn about something while being entertained is ideal!  In Massachusetts in 1969, Ginny Richardson has married into a wealthy family with expectations for each of the members.  When she births a child that is less than perfect, she is taken away and Ginny starts living a new normal.  It is brought to her attention two years later that the place that she thought was raising her daughter right is a hell hole and she sets off on an adventure that she didn't think she could even do.

I adored this book.  The characters, the story, the adventure - they were all so good.  I read this book in one day because I just couldn't put it down, I wanted to know what was going to happen next.  Ginny and her best friend Marsha were pure fun.  The road trip adventure was so fun to follow with two children and two single ladies driving south in hopes that Ginny can get to know her daughter and possibly fight to get to keep her.  

I was such a fan of this story and the writing.  It was my first T Greenwood read and I am intrigued to check out some of her backlist very soon.


Rating: absolutely loved it and want a sequel

Ebook 2019 Challenge: 32 out of 100


Disclosure of Material Connection:  I received one copy of this book free of charge from St Martin's Press.  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, August 6, 2019

Because You're Mine
by Rea Frey

Publisher: St Martin's
Pages: 400
Format: eARC
Buy the Book: Amazon

Goodreads:  But it’s the lies that keep you safe. 

Single mother Lee has the daily routine down to a science: shower in six minutes. Cut food into perfect squares. Never leave her on-the-spectrum son Mason in someone else’s care. She’ll do anything—anything—to keep his carefully constructed world from falling apart. Do anything to keep him safe.

But when her best friend Grace convinces her she needs a small break from motherhood to recharge her batteries, Lee gives in to a weekend trip. Surely a long weekend away from home won’t hurt?
Noah, Mason’s handsome, bright, charismatic tutor—the first man in ages Lee’s even noticed—is more than happy to stay with him.

Forty-eight hours later, someone is dead.

But not all is as it seems. Noah may be more than who he claims to be. Grace has a secret—one that will destroy Lee. Lee has secrets of her own that she will do anything to keep hidden.
As the dominoes begin to fall and the past comes to light, perhaps it's no mystery someone is gone after all…


Kritters Thoughts:  With a prologue with a tragic death, it was easy to get into this book and earn to know more and from beginning to end I couldn't put it down and read in a few sittings all in one day!  A group of four women go on a girls trip and one dies during the trip.  Within this group of four are two single moms who value each other's friendship more than anything.  

With secrets and a prologue this book had the beginnings of a book that would drive me crazy BUT the secrets are revealed less than half way through and the prologue's hints come soon after and then the second half of this book is the what happens after AND I loved that.  I love when "shit hits the fan" and then you get the story afterwards.  

I also loved the characters in this story.  They felt so rich and real and I was invested in all of them.  I wish I had made a chart at the beginning to remember who belonged to whom, but the cast wasn't crazy big so I figured it all out in the end.  Each character had drama, but it didn't feel like soap opera drama, it felt real and plausible.   

I can't wait to read another by Rea Frey.  With great story and great characters, this was a solid read.  


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

Ebook 2019 Challenge: 32 out of 100

Disclosure of Material Connection:  I received one copy of this book free of charge from St Martin's Press.  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.
 

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