Monday, July 15, 2019

Review: Meet Me in Monaco by Hazel Gaynor & Heather Webb

Set in the 1950s against the backdrop of Grace Kelly’s whirlwind romance and glamorous wedding to Prince Rainier of Monaco, New York Times bestselling author Hazel Gaynor and Heather Webb take the reader on an evocative sun-drenched journey along the Côte d’Azur in this page-turning novel of passion, fate, and second-chances.

 Movie stars and paparazzi flock to Cannes for the glamorous film festival, but Grace Kelly, the biggest star of all, wants only to escape from the flash-bulbs. When struggling perfumer Sophie Duval shelters Miss Kelly in her boutique, fending off a persistent British press photographer, James Henderson, a bond is forged between the two women and sets in motion a chain of events that stretches across thirty years of friendship, love, and tragedy.

 James Henderson cannot forget his brief encounter with Sophie Duval. Despite his guilt at being away from his daughter, he takes an assignment to cover the wedding of the century, sailing with Grace Kelly’s wedding party on the SS Constitution from New York. In Monaco, as wedding fever soars and passions and tempers escalate, James and Sophie—like Princess Grace—must ultimately decide what they are prepared to give up for love.

Kindle, 384 pages
Expected publication: July 23rd, 2019
by William Morrow Paperbacks
***

Three years ago I was in Cannes as they were preparing for the Film Festival as well as Monaco where I paid my respects at Grace Kelly’s graveside. So it only stands to reason that I jumped when the opportunity presented itself to read this one. Also, I really enjoyed the authors' previous collaboration Last Christmas in Paris.

Beginning in 1955 with Cannes, the French Riveria is alive as stars of Hollywood make their appearance while photographers hover and hide behind walls vying for the best pics. With a chance meeting, Grace and Sophie are introduced and a friendship is formed.

Meet Me in Monaco is the perfect beach read, it was quick, a little predictable but entertaining.  I learned a little about what Kelly went through but this book was focused more on Sophie - her life, relationship with both Kelly and photographer James. I wasn’t a fan of the ending, I just felt with the flow of the story it could have ended a little different, but then that’s just my opinion. 

If you haven't had a chance to read Last Christmas in Paris, check it out, click on the cover below for my review.

My thanks to the publisher (via Edelweiss) for an advanced copy.

Friday, July 12, 2019

Audio Review: The Bronze Horseman (The Bronze Horseman #1) by Paullina Simons

The golden skies, the translucent twilight, the white nights, all hold the promise of youth, of love, of eternal renewal. The war has not yet touched this city of fallen grandeur, or the lives of two sisters, Tatiana and Dasha Metanova, who share a single room in a cramped apartment with their brother and parents. Their world is turned upside down when Hitler's armies attack Russia and begin their unstoppable blitz to Leningrad.

 Yet there is light in the darkness. Tatiana meets Alexander, a brave young officer in the Red Army. Strong and self-confident, yet guarding a mysterious and troubled past, he is drawn to Tatiana—and she to him. Starvation, desperation, and fear soon grip their city during the terrible winter of the merciless German siege. Tatiana and Alexander's impossible love threatens to tear the Metanova family apart and expose the dangerous secret Alexander so carefully protects—a secret as devastating as the war itself—as the lovers are swept up in the brutal tides that will change the world and their lives forever.

Hardcover, 637 pages
Audiobook, Audible 30+ hours
Published September 8th, 2009
by William Morrow
***  1/2

Here is a book that has been getting rave reviews citing as an epic historical love story. It’s the love story part that had me hesitate to pick up and of course all the hype. In the end I grabbed the audiobook which comes in just over 30 hours. John Lee is the reader and he did a stellar job, though I wonder sometimes if his emotional presentation might have been over the top a few times (refers to comments below).

It’s 1941 when 17-year-old Tatiana’s story begins in Leningrad. The war is in full swing and this book gave a great glimpse of what was like for its citizens. What transpires is horrible and the author describes it authentically and with feeling. The characterization was spot on, those I loved, those I didn’t and I could feel the desperation. The plot played out nicely and I loved the uniqueness of the storyline.

Then I hit somewhere around the 50/60% mark and wham! Everything changed, now I’m not a prude, I get sex in books - when it’s warranted but jiminy cricket, a 100 or so pages of it was just way-way too much. I got the message the first time and really didn’t need to be hit over the head again and again. It changed my feeling for one of the characters, in a bad way - I could say more but that would send me into spoiler mode. I know I am going way against the flow with this one, so many 5 star reviews, but that disrupted the flow and I struggled to be invested like I was previously.

I really enjoyed the historical aspect a lot, it’s rare that I read much from the Russian side of the war so this was a treat. The last 10% picked up again, leaving a sequel necessary. In time I might read it but not right away.

This book was part of my 2019 reading of my shelf challenge.

Thursday, July 11, 2019

Review: Someone We Know by Shari Lapena

The new domestic suspense novel from New York Times bestselling author, Shari Lapena 

 Maybe you don't know your neighbors as well as you thought you did. . .

 "I'm so sorry. My son has been getting into people's houses. He's broken into yours."

 In a quiet, leafy suburb in upstate New York, a teenager has been sneaking into houses--and into the owners' computers as well. Learning their secrets, and maybe sharing some of them, too.

 Who is he, and what might he have uncovered? As whispers start to circulate, suspicion mounts. And when a woman down the street is found murdered, the tension reaches the breaking point. Who killed her? Who knows more than they're telling? And how far will all these very nice people go to protect their little secrets?

In this neighborhood, it's not just the husbands and wives who play games. Here, everyone in the family has something to hide. . .

 You never really know what people are capable of.

Paperback, 304 pages
 Expected publication: July 30th 2019
 by Pamela Dorman Books
****

My second book by Shari Lapena releases at the end of the month.

How far will a parent go to protect their child? As a parent, I know how far I’d go but watching someone else is an entirely different story.

Someone We Know is a book of secrets, oh its secrets!! It’s about relationships, insecurities and so much more. I wore my sleuth hat and was thoroughly invested. I will admit that sometimes these thriller 'gotta read' type books don’t always work for me and I'll also confess to being a picky reader especially when it to plausibility, anything too far fetched or unrealistic just ruins it for me.  I am happy to report that this one worked for me.

Someone We Know has many layers, many characters and at times had a Desperate Housewives feel. It’s a book that kept me guessing right till the end, there were many twists and turns and surprisingly not hard to keep straight. I read this in a matter of days and yes I did have to enlist my son to BBQ one night.

Heading back now to see what else Shari Lapena has written that I've missed.

My ARC was won from Doubleday on Twitter 

Wednesday, July 10, 2019

Review: Severed Knot by Cryssa Bazos

Barbados 1652. In the aftermath of the English Civil War, the vanquished are uprooted and scattered to the ends of the earth. 

 When marauding English soldiers descend on Mairead O’Coneill’s family farm, she is sold into slavery. After surviving a harrowing voyage, the young Irish woman is auctioned off to a Barbados sugar plantation where she is thrust into a hostile world of deprivation and heartbreak. 
Though stripped of her freedom, Mairead refuses to surrender her dignity. 

 Scottish prisoner of war Iain Johnstone has descended into hell. Under a blazing sun thousands of miles from home, he endures forced indentured labour in the unforgiving cane fields. 

As Iain plots his escape to save his men, his loyalties are tested by his yearning for Mairead and his desire to protect her. With their future stolen, Mairead and Iain discover passion and freedom in each other’s arms. Until one fateful night, a dramatic chain of events turns them into fugitives. Together they fight to survive; together they are determined to escape.

Severed Knot by Cryssa Bazos

Publication Date: June 7, 2019
W.M. Jackson Publishing
Genre: Historical Fiction/Romance
*****

The first word in the synopsis grabbed me right away, Barbados, one of my favorite vacation spots.  The '1652' just clinched it!  I love to read from places I've been, just getting a better feel for the place and its history.

The Civil War has taken its toll, not just the destruction of the land but its treatment of the enemy was cringe-worthy at times.  Severed Knot is a book of courage when things are at their absolute worst it's the perseverance of the characters that kept me going. While suspenseful it is also a book that tugs at the heartstrings seeing the cruelty of some and compassion of others.

It's quite evident that Cryssa Bazos has done a lot of research for this book.  She has taken a piece of history, forced slavery of Irish and Scottish, and created an atmospheric story which placed me in the middle watching it play out. I know how hot it can get in Barbados and with this book I could feel the heat, the smell, visualize the fields of sugar cane and understand how the market worked.

Historical fiction is my favorite and go-to genre and this book did not disappoint, I learned a lot of history from both England and Barbados while being entertained at the same time.

Definitely an author I will read more of.  

Available on Amazon

Cryssa Bazos is a historical fiction writer and 17th Century enthusiast, with a particular interest in the English Civil War (ECW). She blogs about English history and storytelling at her blog, the 17th Century Enthusiast, and is an editor of the English Historical Fiction Authors blog site.

 Cryssa’s debut novel, Traitor’s Knot, a romantic tale of adventure set during the English Civil War. Traitor’s Knot is the first in a series of adventures spanning from the ECW to the Restoration and is now available from Endeavour Press. The second book in the series, Severed Knot, will be released in June 2019.

 For more information visit Cryssa’s website.

You can also connect with her on FacebookTwitter, and Goodreads.


Thursday, July 4, 2019

Review: The Chef's Secret by Crystal King

A captivating novel of Renaissance Italy detailing the mysterious life of Bartolomeo Scappi, the legendary chef to several popes and author of one of the bestselling cookbooks of all time, and the nephew who sets out to discover his late uncle’s secrets—including the identity of the noblewoman Bartolomeo loved until he died. 

 When Bartolomeo Scappi dies in 1577, he leaves his vast estate—properties, money, and his position—to his nephew and apprentice Giovanni. He also gives Giovanni the keys to two strongboxes and strict instructions to burn their contents. Despite Scappi’s dire warning that the information concealed in those boxes could put Giovanni’s life and others at risk, Giovanni is compelled to learn his uncle’s secrets. He undertakes the arduous task of decoding Scappi’s journals and uncovers a history of deception, betrayal, and murder—all to protect an illicit love affair.

 As Giovanni pieces together the details of Scappi’s past, he must contend with two rivals who have joined forces—his brother Cesare and Scappi’s former protégé, Domenico Romoli, who will do anything to get his hands on the late chef’s recipes. With luscious prose that captures the full scale of the sumptuous feasts for which Scappi was known, The Chef’s Secret serves up power, intrigue, and passion, bringing Renaissance Italy to life in a delectable fashion.

Publication Date: February 12, 2019
Atria Books
Hardcover, Paperback, Audiobook, eBook
Genre: Historical Fiction

****


The Chef's Secret is a yummy (pun intended) mystery filled with food, forbidden love and murder that revolves around a set of journals and secret letters. How appetizing does that sound?

Bartolomeo Scappi is a chef right out of the history books. He lived from 1500-1577 and served many Popes and was even the author of a best selling cookbook, which he dedicated to his nephew Giovanni. The author used that as the base for this book and I loved the direction it went.

Giovanni plays center stage as he tries to discover a past that he wasn’t meant to see. There are many layers here that kept the suspenseful pace going. I learned a lot about the times and it was refreshing to read in Rome without being overpowered by the Borgias or Medici families.

I love reading about lesser known characters in history and this fit the bill very nicely. Rome is one of my favorite places to visit and it was brought to life not just the edible part but visually as well as getting a feel for the lifestyle amongst the different social classes.  

This is my first time reading Crystal King, her knowledge and passion of the era are evident.  Definitely will be reading more of her books.

My thanks to Amy at Historical Fiction Blog Tour for the invite to be part of this tour and a complimentary ebook (via Netgalley) in exchange for an honest review.


Amazon | Barnes and Noble | Books-a-Million | IndieBound


Crystal King is the author of THE CHEF'S SECRET and FEAST OF SORROW. A culinary enthusiast and social media professional, her writing is fueled by a love of history and a passion for the food, language and culture of Italy. She has taught classes in writing, creativity and social media at Harvard Extension School, Boston University, Mass College of Art, UMass Boston and GrubStreet, one of the leading creative writing centers in the US. A Pushcart-nominated poet and former co-editor of the online literary arts journal Plum Ruby Review, Crystal received her M.A. in Critical and Creative Thinking from UMass Boston, where she developed a series of exercises and writing prompts to help fiction writers in medias res. She resides in Boston.

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram


Giveaway

During the Blog Tour, one winner will receive a set of Feast of Sorrow and The Chef's Secret! To enter, please use the Gleam form below. Giveaway Rules – Giveaway ends at 11:59 pm EST on July 5th. You must be 18 or older to enter. – Giveaway is open to US only. – Only one entry per household. – All giveaway entrants agree to be honest and not cheat the systems; any suspicion of fraud is decided upon by blog/site owner and the sponsor, and entrants may be disqualified at our discretion. – The winner has 48 hours to claim prize or a new winner is chosen.    The Chef's Secret



 


Tuesday, July 2, 2019

Review & Giveaway: The Storyteller's Secret by Sejal Badani

From the bestselling author of Trail of Broken Wings comes an epic story of the unrelenting force of love, the power of healing, and the invincible desire to dream.

Nothing prepares Jaya, a New York journalist, for the heartbreak of her third miscarriage and the slow unraveling of her marriage in its wake. Desperate to assuage her deep anguish, she decides to go to India to uncover answers to her family’s past. Intoxicated by the sights, smells, and sounds she experiences, Jaya becomes an eager student of the culture. But it is Ravi—her grandmother’s former servant and trusted confidant—who reveals the resilience, struggles, secret love, and tragic fall of Jaya’s pioneering grandmother during the British occupation.

Through her courageous grandmother’s arrestingly romantic and heart-wrenching story, Jaya discovers the legacy bequeathed to her and a strength that, until now, she never knew was possible.


Category: Adult Fiction, 399 pages
Genre: Literary
Publisher: Lake Union
Release date: September 2018
Tour dates: June 3 to July 12, 2019
Content Rating: PG-13 (There are some non-explicit sex scenes)


I was attracted to this book not just because of the cover but the location as well.  India is a place that I rarely venture and with my self proclaimed goal to read outside of my usual neighborhoods I jumped at the chance to be part of this blog tour.  I was not disappointed.

The Storyteller's Secret is a dual time period story.  Beginning in the summer of 2000 Jaya is a mess, her life is not going in the direction is hoped and I could feel her despair as she suffers yet another miscarriage.  I have never experienced that so I can only imagine the disappointment and heartache, I felt for Jaya. Add in the mystery of family estrangement where very little is ever said of the reasoning had me intrigued.

Then we have Amisha beginning in the 1930's India, occupied by the British.  Her story was equally captivating where women's role is to serve her husband - who she will meet for the first time at their wedding.  Amisha was a woman ahead of her time but living in a place where they are only valued to service her husband and bear children.

I loved the setting and got a true picture of the country, both the good and the bad. Definitely the author's research showed in her writing, it was atmospheric along with some interesting characters.  They rounded out the story nicely, especially Ravi, he was a favorite of mine.

My thanks to IRead Book Tours for the invite to be part of this blog tour - in exchange for an honest review.

To read more reviews, please visit Sejal Badani's page on iRead Book Tours.



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A former attorney, Sejal Badani left the law to pursue writing full time.

She is a USA Today, Washington Post & Amazon Charts bestselling author, Goodreads Fiction Award Finalist and ABC/DISNEY Writing Fellowship Finalist.

Connect with the author: 

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Monday, July 1, 2019

Audio Review: Mission: Jimmy Stewart and the Fight for Europe by Robert Matzen

Get to know the real George Bailey.

 MISSION: JIMMY STEWART AND THE FIGHT FOR EUROPE [GoodKnight Books, October 24, 2016] provides the first in-depth look at the military career of Hollywood actor James M. Stewart, beginning with his family “mission” passed on from his grandfather (a Civil War hero) and father (who served in World War I) that military service in time of war was mandatory for the Stewarts. Jim tailored his life to this eventual outcome, learning to be a pilot so he could serve as an aviator in the war.

 MISSION describes Stewart’s childhood, college years at Princeton, Broadway career, and meteoric rise to Academy Award-winning actor in Hollywood. People today can’t imagine that Stewart was a ladies’ man, but he had a reputation as one of the most active bachelors in Hollywood, with a list of lovers that includes the A-list of female movie stars.

 In 1941, before America entered World War II, Jim was drafted into the Army and gleefully left Hollywood behind to fulfill that family mission. What happened to him in the service has never been covered in detail because he refused to talk about his experiences afterward. MISSION begins and ends with production of the first film Stewart made after returning from the war: It's a Wonderful Life, which in December 2016 will celebrate its 70th anniversary.

 MISSION also includes the stories of three other supporting characters, a radio man who flew with Stewart, a German civilian girl, and the German general in charge of fighter aircraft. They provide perspective on what Stewart was attempting to do and why.

 Audible Audio, Unabridged (11 hours and 45 minutes)
Peter Berkrot (Narrator)
Published April 10th,2017
 by Blackstone Audio, Inc.
****

I have always liked Jimmy Stewart, he acted in an era with some of the greats and eluded class and dignity. I knew nothing about his personal life and grabbed the audiobook as soon as I heard about this book. I shared the experience with my husband during a couple of road trips.

While the majority of this book revolved around the war and his experience there it was interesting to hear of his life before and after the war. It’s been stated that Stewart was a private man, not wanting to share the things that took place during the war and his climb up the ranks. He flew over 30 missions, witnessed untold tragedy and lost so many friends and comrades it’s no wonder it affected him the way it did. I don’t think I will be able to watch the bar scene in Its a Wonderful Life and not be reminded of all he went through.

Parts of the war years were written with the author sharing Stewart’s emotional struggles and fears, I am left to wonder where the author got that info from. It was common knowledge Stewart never divulged those years. Those parts of the book read more as HF verse non-fiction.

But all in all an eye opener to a Hollywood legend who gave his all during a dark time in history.

Sunday, June 30, 2019

Review: Home for Erring and Outcast Girls by Julie Kibler

An emotionally raw and resonant story of love, loss, and the enduring power of friendship, following the lives of two young women connected by a home for “fallen girls,” and inspired by historical events.

 In turn-of-the-20th century Texas, the Berachah Home for the Redemption and Protection of Erring Girls is an unprecedented beacon of hope for young women consigned to the dangerous poverty of the streets by birth, circumstance, or personal tragedy. Built in 1903 on the dusty outskirts of Arlington, a remote dot between Dallas and Fort Worth’s red-light districts, the progressive home bucks public opinion by offering faith, training, and rehabilitation to prostitutes, addicts, unwed mothers, and “ruined” girls without forcibly separating mothers from children. When Lizzie Bates and Mattie McBride meet there—one sick and abused, but desperately clinging to her young daughter, the other jilted by the beau who fathered her ailing son—they form a friendship that will see them through unbearable loss, heartbreak, difficult choices, and ultimately, diverging paths.

A century later, Cate Sutton, a reclusive university librarian, uncovers the hidden histories of the two troubled women as she stumbles upon the cemetery on the home’s former grounds and begins to comb through its archives in her library. Pulled by an indescribable connection, what Cate discovers about their stories leads her to confront her own heartbreaking past, and to reclaim the life she thought she'd let go forever. With great pathos and powerful emotional resonance, Home for Erring and Outcast Girls explores the dark roads that lead us to ruin, and the paths we take to return to ourselves.

 Kindle Edition, 368 pages
 Expected publication: July 30th, 2019
 by Crown
***

I was drawn to this book by its cover and a synopsis that sounded intriguing.  Stories around real historical events are a favorite of mine and this one appears to have a unique twist.  Rather than having unwed mothers separated from their newborn they were offered a place to recover, build a new life that included their infant. Usually, babies were separated, adopted out and moms told to forget about them. This home changed that and I was curious to read about it.

Told in dual time periods, it's 1904 when Lizzie and Mattie are introduced and tell of how they ended up at Berachah Home.  Their friendship takes off as they get closer and go through a lot together.

Current day we have Cate and I was really interested in her story.  Her fascination with the Berachah Home and her mysterious past kept me reading.

The first half of the story had me intrigued but after that, it kinda flattened out, not for lack of plot but maybe because the characters just didn't talk to me anymore or a plot while still interesting but not enough to keep me glued to the pages.  It doesn't usually take me 2 weeks to finish a book but I didn't have that burning desire to know the outcome.

I did love the author's descriptions, the amount of research is evident as she vividly portrayed the times at the turn of the century, the poverty, struggles, and hardships that women went through. I know I am going against the flow here, it started out as 4 star read but even though I am giving it 3 stars still means I liked it.  I have heard good this about Julie Kibler's previous book Calling Me Home and will read it at some point.

My thanks to the publisher (via Netgalley) for an advanced ebook copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

Thursday, June 27, 2019

Review: The Last Resort by Marissa Stapley

“Marissa Stapley’s writing is a gift.”—Pam Jenoff, New York Times bestselling author of The Orphan’s Tale

 The Harmony Resort promises hope for struggling marriages. Run by celebrity power couple Drs. Miles and Grace Markell, the "last resort" offers a chance for partners to repair their relationships in a luxurious setting on the gorgeous Mayan Riviera.

 Johanna and Ben have a marriage that looks perfect on the surface, but in reality, they don’t know each other at all. Shell and Colin fight constantly: after all, Colin is a workaholic, and Shell always comes second to his job as an executive at a powerful mining company. But what has really torn them apart is too devastating to talk about. When both couples begin Harmony's intensive therapy program, it becomes clear that Harmony is not all it seems—and neither are Miles and Grace themselves. What are they hiding, and what price will these couples pay for finding out?

 As a deadly tropical storm descends on the coast, trapping the hosts and the guests on the resort, secrets are revealed, loyalties are tested and not one single person—or their marriage—will remain unchanged by what follows.

 Marissa Stapley is a journalist and the author of the acclaimed novel Things to Do When It's Raining. She writes page-turning, deeply emotional fiction about families, friends and women's lives. Visit her at marissastapley.com or follow her on Twitter, @marissastapley.

 Paperback, 368 pages
Published June 18th, 2019
by Graydon House
****

Marissa Stapley is a new-to-me author, but one I have heard about through social media. When the opportunity presented itself to attend an author event (thank you TheBakingBookworm) I took that as a sign to grab this her latest book.

With the setting in the Mayan Riviera how can one not help but be captivated?  I wasn’t sure what to expect at first, there were a couple different format methods the author used - different POV’s, news stories and an interview with unknown people weaved throughout, this is where the reader has to trust that the author knew what she was doing. She did and it all worked out nicely and I even found myself looking forward to the changes. As the guests make their appearance the author didn’t waste time but dove right in with their characterization,  and the story just took off.

The Last Resort is as much a mystery as it is suspenseful, it’s a story of secrets, relationships, and trust - not just of others but yourself also. With the twists and turns I was entertained and thankful to discover another author and more books to add to my TBR pile.

This book was from my personal library and part of my ‘2019 reading off my shelf’ challenge.

Tuesday, June 25, 2019

Review: The Gilded Hour by Sara Donati

The year is 1883, and in New York City, it’s a time of dizzying splendor, crushing poverty, and tremendous change. With the gravity-defying Brooklyn Bridge nearly complete and New York in the grips of anti-vice crusader Anthony Comstock, Anna Savard and her cousin Sophie—both graduates of the Woman’s Medical School—treat the city’s most vulnerable, even if doing so may put everything they’ve strived for in jeopardy.

 Anna's work has placed her in the path of four children who have lost everything, just as she herself once had. Faced with their helplessness, Anna must make an unexpected choice between holding on to the pain of her past and letting love into her life.

 For Sophie, an obstetrician and the orphaned daughter of free people of color, helping a desperate young mother forces her to grapple with the oath she took as a doctor—and thrusts her and Anna into the orbit of Anthony Comstock, a dangerous man who considers himself the enemy of everything indecent and of anyone who dares to defy him.

  Hardcover, 741 pages
 Published September 1st 2015
 by Berkley
**** 1/2

Sara Donati wrote the Into The Wilderness Series and I loved it! Six big books to get lost in, that follow the lives of Nathaniel and Elizabeth Bonner. The Gilded Hour is a stand-alone but it continues many, many, many years later with descendants of the Bonner's.

One of first things I love is the blurb, there is no hint possibility of spoilers but just enough to whete the senses.

Originally I had planned on going the audio route but read it instead. I'm glad for that decision, not just for the number of characters but the many layers to this story. Sara Donati is a wonderful storyteller, her words put me right in New York City in the year 1883. Anthony Comstock is a real historical figure (as are a few others) and one unknown to me and I love reading about the past, learning the history and being served a great story.  As I said many layers here and without revealing too much The Gilded Hour is a story of mystery, suspense, perseverance, heartache and love.  It’s about relationships and a city that can’t take care of their own and those that step in to help.

The character development was spot on, getting to know not just Anna but other key players - seeing what made them tick and the unique personalities. A woman doctor was a rare thing and not easily accepted by some. Times are changing but not quickly enough for some and too quickly for others.

I had been hesitant to pick this up because of its size - 730 pages, but they flew by. With the sequel, Where the Light Enters, set to release September 10th, 2019 I knew it was time.  This book ended with some unresolved issues making a sequel necessary and I am truly grateful my wait won’t be as long as those that read this at its release.

Sara Donati is an author I highly recommend, especially to those that love an epic-sized series that takes the reader to different places.

This book is part of my 2019 Reading off my shelf challenge.