Thursday, March 5, 2015

What Do We Know about the Hero’s Wife?



March is Women in history month.  Today I am sharing all about Anne Morrow Lindbergh.  Melanie Benjamin’s novel The Aviator’s Wife is a fictional account of her life.  When I was little I loved reading about women and their biographical stories.  What can we learn about Anne Lindbergh?

Synopsis: 

Anne’s story is told in two different story lines.  One is in 1974 where the family including Anne is on the way to take Charles Lindbergh to his final resting place.  She has a few questions that need answering by Charles before he dies.  Will the answers be satisfactory for her?  The other story line starts in the mid-1920s when an Ambassador’s daughter meets the colonel (Charles Lindbergh) that is famous all over the land.  She is the middle daughter and therefore not the one that is expected to marry first.  That honor was supposed to go to her sister Elizabeth, but she was not chosen by the famous Lindbergh.  What will life be life with him?

My Thoughts: 

I had wanted to read this novel for a while.  I initially did not realize that the subject matter would be Anne Morrow Lindbergh.  Ms. Benjamin gives the reader a front row seat for what her life might have been like.  You get to understand what it would have been like to be married to Charles Lindbergh.  Then also what happened during the Lindbergh baby kidnapping, and how it affected the family. 

I liked this novel.  I would definitely read another of Ms. Benjamin’s novel.  What I found most interesting was the notes that are included at the end of the novel.  It gave me a different perspective on her writing style and what she the author was trying to convey through this novel.  She explored the question:  Did Anne know about Charles affairs?  What was it like for her to be married to a hero? 

Rating: 

4/5

Please visit Melanie Benjamin on her Facebook page, Twitter, and her Website.

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Are Questions from the Past Meant To Be Answered?



I received this ARC as part of a program at DeKalb Library back in the fall of 2013.  A Question of Honor by Charles Todd is well known and popular with many of the friends.   Charles Todd is a new author who is not familiar for me.

Synopsis: 

Bess is currently serving as a nurse in the British Armed forces in the year of 1918.  Everyone hopes that the Great War will be over with soon.  One day while attending to her duties Bess runs across a soldier from her past.  He mentions that a Lieutenant Wade that everyone thought was dead is really alive. He was in her father’s regiment.  This soldier is fighting under an assumed name Corporal Caswell.  He is also linked to murders that occurred in both England and India.   Can Bess clear her father’s name? What really happened, and did Lieutenant Wade really commit these murders?  An investigation ensues with Bess and Simon putting the clues together. 

My Thoughts: 

Charles Todd is actually a mother son writing team.  They have written many Bess Crawford mysteries.  Many of my literary friends absolutely love them and can’t wait for the next novel in the series.  Since this series is new to me, I found it to be okay.  There was information that I felt was missing because I hadn’t read the other novels in the series.  So it is not really a stand-alone novel to me.  I did enjoy the novel.  It just wasn’t exciting to me.

A Great War novel with a mystery!  The novel is well written and paces the story well.  No characters really stood out for me due to reasons I just mentioned.  I would consider reading another in the series.

Rating:

3.75/5

Please visit Charles Todd on their Facebook page or their Website.

Monday, March 2, 2015

When It Feels Like a Book Is Speaking Directly to You… by Tina Guyden



Thank you to Carol Vorvain sending me a copy of When Dreams Are Calling in exchange for an honest review. The prologue of Carol Vorvain’s “When Dreams Are Calling” say it all: “Words have power, Dreams have power, and We have power.” I can’t wait to share her novel with everyone!

Synopsis:

Dora, Romanian-born heroine, has been on a life path chosen for her by well-meaning parents. They have encouraged her to become a lawyer, a perfectly respectable profession. Her energies seemed to be consumed with making her parents proud and finding happiness. The question is how do you marry the two objectives? Due to her choices she moves to Canada where she meets her best friend Robert.   He helps her when the job she flew across the world to take was no longer available.   Will she truly be happy? She travels extensively, visiting Cuba, Peru, Australia and Bali. Her journey eventually leads her to Paris, where she meets the love of her life Tomas, and an Argentinean chef in Paris for a cooking contest.  What truly defines happiness a romantic love or the perfect job or the perfect home?

My Thoughts: 

 I am definitely going to revisit this book when I need a reminder of that absolute power we all have to answer when dreams are calling.   I very much enjoyed this novel and encourage everyone to check out this novel by Carol.

Rating: 

5/5

Please visit Carol on her Facebook page, Twitter, and her Website.

Friday, February 27, 2015

With Friends Like These…by Tina Guyden



Thank you to Chick Lit Plus blog tours for sending me a copy of Absinthe.  I was given this copy in exchange for an honest review. I had the privilege of reading Holly Kerr’s “Absinthe Doesn’t Make the Heart Grow Fonder.”

Synopsis:

 We meet Josie, Lana, Poppy and Meredith as they gather for Josie’s fortieth birthday celebration. The first the time the foursome that formed in college has had a chance to be together minus significant others and offspring in quite a while.  Josie is the motherly one that does her level best to keep the friends connected. Poppy is the polished wealthy friend, and she and Josie practically grew up together. Lana is outspoken to the point of discomfort for some.  Meredith is looking for that one question or life change that will settle her.  All evening each of the women reveals life-changing challenges they are each facing. These challenges or circumstances that highlight that no one’s life is safe from insecurities, disappointments, and pain.  What can they learn from each other? The question is how well do you really know your oldest and dearest friends?

My Thoughts: 

I thought I was prepared for the ending. I so wasn’t, so much so that I have to read it again. That is the mark of an engaging read which includes great characters, plot, and setting. I loved “Absinthe” and will be reading it again.

Rating: 

5/5

Please visit Holly on her Facebook page, Twitter, and her Website.

To purchase Absinthe visit this site:



Thursday, February 26, 2015

How Do You Define Unbroken?



Who has seen the movie Unbroken yet?  I think you should be very interested in both the book and the movie Unbroken by Laura Hillendbrand as well.  I loved this story!  I had the honor of listening to the audiobook which was narrated by Bill Herrmann.    

The book covers the life and times of Louis (Louie) Zamperini.  We get the full story from birth to death of Louie.  His early life is split between New York City and Torrance California.  There was one person who made the biggest difference in Louie’s life is his brother Pete Zamperini.  He redirected Louie’s life through his involvement in athletics which carries him to the Olympics of 1936.   

The majority of the book covers Louie’s time in the military and the Prisoner of War (POW) camps in Japan.  What would become of this man through his many experiences?  How would be find the resilience and love for life.  How does he become a man of God?

My Thoughts: 

I honestly thought that I would listen to the first disk and be ready to return it to the library.  I would not want to listen to more of it.  I was so wrong.  The narrator Bill Herrmann made you feel as if he was sitting next to you telling this story.  I often wanted to extend my commutes or road trips just so I could hear more about Louis Zamperini. The story although real is told in such a way that you feel that you are listening to a fiction story.  Laura Hillenbrand has the ability to tell a great story!
How much do you know about the Japanese in World War II?  I learned in school about the atrocities of the Nazis against the Jews, but I knew nothing about the Japanese.  The one exception is the attack on Pearl Harbor. You learn in this book the philosophy of Japanese during the war and how that translates into how they treated the POWs. 

If I could have asked Louis Zamperini one question it would be.  How do you define being Unbroken?

Rating: 

5/5

Please visit Laura Hillenbrand on her Facebook page, Twitter, and her Website.