Beth's Book-Nook Blog

Reviews of What I've Been Reading….

The Hollywood Daughter by Kate Alcott

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I love books by Kate Alcott, so I was thrilled to see that she wrote one about the heyday of Hollywood. The Hollywood Daughter is told from the point of view of the daughter of a publicist who represents, among others, Ingrid Bergman. Jesse idolizes Ingrid Bergman and when Bergman comes to her school to film The Bells of St. Mary, Jesse’s strict Catholic upbringing and her Hollywood family life collide.

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The Sleepwalker by Chris Bohjalian

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So – you know that I LOVE Chris Bohjalian’s writing (plus he’s like the nicest and most humble guy ever!). I was so very excited when I saw that he a new book out – THE SLEEPWALKER. I was able to get it from Net Galley.

Here’s the overview:

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DUTY TO THE CROWN by Aimie Runyan

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Via GoodReads:
Set amid the promise and challenge of the first Canadian colonies, Aimie K. Runyan’s vividly rendered novel provides a fascinating portrait of the women who would become the founding mothers of New France.

In 1667, an invisible wall separates settlers in New France from their Huron neighbors. Yet whether in the fledgling city of Quebec or within one of the native tribes, every woman’s fate depends on the man she chooses—or is obligated—to marry.

Although Claudine Deschamps and Gabrielle Giroux both live within the settlement, their prospects are very different. French-born Claudine has followed her older sister across the Atlantic hoping to attract a wealthy husband through her beauty and connections. Gabrielle, orphan daughter of the town drunkard, is forced into a loveless union by a cruel law that requires her to marry by her sixteenth birthday. And Manon Lefebvre, born in the Huron village and later adopted by settlers, has faced the prejudices of both societies and is convinced she can no longer be accepted in either. Drawn into unexpected friendship through their loves, losses, and dreams of home and family, all three women will have to call on their bravery and resilience to succeed in this new world…

Praise for Promised to the Crown
 
“A heart-wrenching and timeless tale of friendship, love and hope that skillfully blends history and romance to educate, entertain and inspire.” –Pam Jenoff, author of The Last Summer at Chelsea Beach (less)

ebook, 352 pages
Published October 25th 2016 by Kensington
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I absolutely love this historical fiction series about the young women who were “Daughters of the King” – sent to Canada as the “New Land” to marry and populate for the good of France in the 1600’s. This was Book 2 in the series, and it continues the story of the characters introduced in Book 1, with individuals growing older as the books go along. Three young girls from Book 1 are now young women, and they have many trials and tribulations to face as they tackle pioneer life in the 1600’s. I love how these books encompass the highs and lows of life — births, deaths, joys, and sorrows.
I can’t wait for Book 3!
Thank you to the author who sent me this copy as she knew how much I enjoyed Book 1!
BBC – what are you waiting for? Make a miniseries from these novels!!
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Susan Schild’s SWEET SOUTHERN HEARTS

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I received this novel from the author via Net Galley, and it was the perfect read for my recent relaxing vacation! This is one of those “slice of life” novels, where realistic characters deal with real world problems, but with an uplifting and positive feel to it.

Here’s the overview:

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Audible Find: THE COUPLE NEXT DOOR by Shari Lapena ~ Read by Kirsten Potter

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What??

This was one of those “can’t stop listening to this roller coaster ride of a story” experiences for me last week. I had purchased this audiobook with my monthly credit.

Read it! Listen to it! Get it!

If you like those suspenseful books like “Girl on a Train” or “Gone Girl” or “Behind Closed Doors” -things like that, this is one for you!

Overview via Amazon:

How well do you know the couple next door? Or your husband? Or even yourself?

People are capable of almost anything….

A domestic suspense debut about a young couple and their apparently friendly neighbors – a twisty roller-coaster ride of lies, betrayal, and the secrets between husbands and wives.

Anne and Marco Conti seem to have it all – a loving relationship, a wonderful home, and their beautiful baby, Cora. But one night when they are at a dinner party next door, a terrible crime is committed. Suspicion immediately focuses on the parents. But the truth is a much more complicated story.

Inside the curtained house, an unsettling account of what actually happened unfolds. Detective Rasbach knows that the panicked couple is hiding something. Both Anne and Marco soon discover that the other is keeping secrets – secrets they’ve kept for years.

What follows is the nerve-racking unraveling of a family, a chilling tale of decepti

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THE SILENT LAND by David Dunham

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Today I’m happy to take part in THE SILENT LAND blog tour through HFVBTours!

This is a touching and memorable novel, taking place at the turn of the century and during WWI. The writing is beautiful (check out the excerpt below!). The main character is unforgettable.

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The Silent Land by David Dunham

Publication Date: June 28, 2016
Matador
eBook & Paperback; 300 Pages

Genre: Historical Fiction

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Rebecca Lawrence reached a count of sixty in her head and slid her finger into the back pages of her mother’s diary. Mistaking the diary for a book granted her innocence the first time she’d opened it. She had no argument for innocence now.’

Just when Rebecca Lawrence believed joy had come into her life, she learns the truth about how her mother died years before. Marriage to her first love and motherhood pulls her back from resentment, only for the First World War to threaten her peace when her husband is sent to fight.

When she discovers another lie which could fracture her world, she is faced with the choice of ignoring it, or letting the scars of the past corrupt her.

Set between 1903 and 1919, The Silent Land explores the complexities of love and the pursuit of truth in grief. The inspirational purity of the heroine will draw readers in, demonstrating how strength can be found at times when it would have seemed inconceivable.

The Silent Land explores the different shades of grief – the loss of a mother through assisted suicide, the loss of a father through a heart attack, and the loss of a husband through conflict. Comparable to works by Colm Tóibín and Sebastian Faulks, this is a moving and eloquently written tale of the overwhelming struggle faced by women left at home during the war.

A poignant tale through a woman’s viewpoint that won’t scare the horses or male readers with an especially effective second half.” – the bookbag.co.uk

I loved the story… makes you appreciate life and what you have.” – Mojomums.co.uk

A detailed story that shows what happens when there are dreadful and terrible secrets within a family and how the shadow of the great and terrible Great War was a long a dark one.” – thatsbooks.blogspot.co.nz

Amazon UK | WH Smith | Waterstone’s | Whitcoulls

Excerpt

The boys were sat at the table, their hands on their laps.

‘Please, begin,’ said Rebecca, pulling out her chair.

James and Sebastian began to eat. Rebecca waited until their mouths were full and said, ‘I’ll be coming with you in the morning. I’ll meet you after school and we’ll travel home together.’

James swallowed. ‘Why will you be in Worcester all day?’

‘I’m not, darling. I’ll be in Birmingham.’

‘Why are you going there?’

‘To visit your Uncle Teddy.’

James looked confused. ‘Why is he in Birmingham?’

‘He’s in hospital.’

‘Is he poorly?’

‘I don’t believe so.’

‘So why is he there?’

Rebecca hesitated and said, ‘I expect he’s hurt.’

‘From the war?’ asked Sebastian.

‘Yes.’ Rebecca took a sip of wine, hoping the questions would stop. James was soaking a potato in melted butter and Sebastian was chewing on a piece of bread.

‘Was Uncle Teddy with Papa?’ said James.

Rebecca remembered what Edward had written: Giving his life to protect mine. ‘He might have been.’

‘How do you know he’s in hospital?’

‘He wrote to me.’

‘What did he write?’

Rebecca took a longer sip of wine. ‘He told me the hospital he’s in and the time I could visit.’

‘Can we come?’ asked Sebastian.

‘No, you need to be at school.’

‘Can we go on Saturday then?’

‘Perhaps.’

James stabbed another potato with his fork. ‘Why didn’t he tell you what was wrong with him?’

‘I really don’t know, James.’

‘Can I read his letter?’

‘No, you can’t.’

‘Why not?’

‘Because you can’t.’

‘I don’t understand.’

‘It was addressed to me, that’s why.’

‘But…’

‘That’s the end of it. No more questions.’

James released his cutlery on to his plate.

‘James!’ snapped Rebecca, banging her fist on the table. ‘You will not behave like that.’

James dropped his head. He finished his dinner in silence and was excused from the table, taking Sebastian with him. Rebecca looked at the three empty chairs and reached for the wine bottle. She poured herself a second glass and then a third, and a fourth, not touching her food. The boys had gone to Rupert whenever she had raised her voice. Now they only had each other.

About the Author

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Having spent his career in the media industry, David Dunham has worked as a reporter, deputy editor, senior producer and homepage editor. David lives in New Zealand, where he was born, though from time to time can be found daydreaming about Worcestershire, England where he was raised.

For more information please visit David Dunham’s website. You can also find him on Facebook and Twitter.

Blog Tour Schedule

Monday, November 21
Review at Adventures Thru Wonderland

Tuesday, November 22
Guest Post at Let Them Read Books

Wednesday, November 23
Review at Beth’s Book Nook

Tuesday, November 29
Guest Post at What Is That Book About

Friday, December 2
Guest Post at Man of la Book

Monday, December 5
Review at Creating Herstory

Wednesday, December 7
Review at Book Nerd

Thursday, December 8
Guest Post at A Bookaholic Swede

Monday, December 12
Guest Post at Books, Dreams, Life

Tuesday, December 13
Review at Oh, for the Hook of a Book

Wednesday, December 14
Interview at Oh, for the Hook of a Book

Friday, December 16
Review at The Paperback Pilgrim

Saturday, December 17
Review at Kinx’s Book Nook

Monday, December 19
Blog Tour Wrap-Up at Passages to the Past

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TELL ME THREE THINGS by Julie Buxbaum

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I grabbed this YA title as it was on sale for kindle, and I was so thrilled with it that I bought it (in hardcover!) for my teen daughter.

Here’s the overview from GoodReads:

Everything about Jessie is wrong. At least, that’s what it feels like during her first week of junior year at her new ultra-intimidating prep school in Los Angeles. Just when she’s thinking about hightailing it back to Chicago, she gets an email from a person calling themselves Somebody/Nobody (SN for short), offering to help her navigate the wilds of Wood Valley High School. Is it an elaborate hoax? Or can she rely on SN for some much-needed help?

It’s been barely two years since her mother’s death, and because her father eloped with a woman he met online, Jessie has been forced to move across the country to live with her stepmonster and her pretentious teenage son.

In a leap of faith—or an act of complete desperation—Jessie begins to rely on SN, and SN quickly becomes her lifeline and closest ally. Jessie can’t help wanting to meet SN in person. But are some mysteries better left unsolved?

Julie Buxbaum mixes comedy and tragedy, love and loss, pain and elation, in her debut YA novel filled with characters who will come to feel like friends.

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I had never read anything by Julie Buxbaum and this is her first YA book, but I can hardly express what a treasure it is! I loved the characters, I loved the storyline, I loved the writing. I could not put it down and welcomed my insomnia so that I could continue reading during the night.

Poor Jessie is dealing with so much — her mother’s death, being new at school, moving from a “typical” Midwestern place to a wealthy part of LA, and being part of a new “step-family”. I think most teens can relate to at least one of these things.

I got it for my 13 year old, and had to ponder this as it is really geared to high school and up (some sexual content/discussion), but she is reading it now and loving it.

Highly Recommended!

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FAITHFUL by Alice Hoffman

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I always love Alice Hoffman’s writing and this new novel was no exception.

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MONSOON SUMMER by Julia Gregson

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I just loved this wonderful historical fiction novel about a young British woman and her Indian doctor husband, post WWII, as they return to India for her to work as a midwife.

There were so many different layers in this story, about culture, family, traditions. Beautifully written, with evocative descriptions of an amazing country, it is one to keep!

Thank you for my review e-copy, Net Galley!

Here’s the overview:

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THE TEA PLANTER’S WIFE by Dinah Jefferies

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I had heard good things about this book, so I was thrilled to recently receive it through Net Galley. It is historical fiction set in Ceylon – now known as Sri Lanka.

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