Monday, October 15, 2018

Review: Escape From the Tower (The Royal Rabbits of London #2) by Santa Montefiore, Simon Sebag Montefiore

‘Packed with fun, fantasy and the sort of adventure guaranteed to have sticky little fingers hungrily turning the pages’ The Mail on Sunday

 Life is an adventure. Anything in the world is possible – by will and by luck, with a moist carrot, a wet nose and a slice of mad courage!

 Little Shylo Tawny-Tail is proud to call himself one of the Royal Rabbits of London, a secret order who live under Buckingham Palace and fight evil across the world. But high up in London’s famous skyscraper, the Shard, the horrible Ratzis are plotting to cause chaos during a visit from the President of the United States. And when the Grand Burrow is attacked and Shylo is kidnapped, it looks as though they might just manage it! Can Shylo escape in time to save the day?

The Hobbit meets Fantastic Mr Fox meets Watership Down in this bestselling series from Santa Montefiore and Simon Sebag Montefiore, which proves even the smallest rabbit can be the biggest hero. Featuring illustrations throughout by award-winning illustrator Kate Hindley.

PRAISE FOR THE ROYAL RABBITS OF LONDON: ‘The Royal Rabbits of London is sweet, funny and beautifully illustrated' The Times ‘Enchanting….Kate Hindley’s illustrations are a treat’ The Lady

Hardcover, 224 pages
Published September 21st 2017
by Simon Schuster Children's UK
****
"Life is an adventure and anything in the world is possible - by will and by luck, a moist carrot, a wet nose and a slice of mad courage."
It was through searching for more Santa Mortefiore books that I discovered this series for middle grade and younger (even older). 

Call this a short and sweet review.  Perfect for the targeted audience with adventure and suspense.  The illustrations were great connecting the reader and characters.  You are stronger than you think, courageous when you don't feel like it.  Yea not just a good story but good morals for little ones.


click on cover for my 'short and sweet' review

Monday, October 8, 2018

Audio Review: The Masterpiece by Fiona Davis

In her latest captivating novel, nationally bestselling author Fiona Davis takes readers into the glamorous lost art school within Grand Central Terminal, where two very different women, fifty years apart, strive to make their mark on a world set against them.

For the nearly nine million people who live in New York City, Grand Central Terminal is a crown jewel, a masterpiece of design. But for Clara Darden and Virginia Clay, it represents something quite different.

For Clara, the terminal is the stepping stone to her future, which she is certain will shine as the brightly as the constellations on the main concourse ceiling. It is 1928, and twenty-five-year-old Clara is teaching at the lauded Grand Central School of Art. A talented illustrator, she has dreams of creating cover art for Vogue, but not even the prestige of the school can override the public's disdain for a "woman artist." Brash, fiery, confident, and single-minded--even while juggling the affections of two men, a wealthy would-be poet and a brilliant experimental painter--Clara is determined to achieve every creative success. But she and her bohemian friends have no idea that they'll soon be blindsided by the looming Great Depression, an insatiable monster with the power to destroy the entire art scene. And even poverty and hunger will do little to prepare Clara for the greater tragedy yet to come.

Nearly fifty years later, in 1974, the terminal has declined almost as sharply as Virginia Clay's life. Full of grime and danger, from the smoke-blackened ceiling to the pickpockets and drug dealers who roam the floor, Grand Central is at the center of a fierce lawsuit: Is the once-grand building a landmark to be preserved, or a cancer to be demolished? For Virginia, it is simply her last resort. Recently divorced, she has just accepted a job in the information booth in order to support herself and her college-age daughter, Ruby. But when Virginia stumbles upon an abandoned art school within the terminal and discovers a striking watercolor hidden under the dust, her eyes are opened to the elegance beneath the decay. She embarks on a quest to find the artist of the unsigned masterpiece--an impassioned chase that draws Virginia not only into the battle to save Grand Central but deep into the mystery of Clara Darden, the famed 1920s illustrator who disappeared from history in 1931.

Audiobook - 11 hours, 43 minutes
 Published August 7th 2018
by Penguin Audio
****

This is my second book by Fiona Davis, her previous The Address was a favorite from 2017.  Rich in detail and history with a writing style I loved, she took a part of New York City's history and brought it to life.  I was excited when I saw she was taking on another part of the city, the Grand Central Terminal in The Masterpiece.

I opted for the audio version this time, Cassandra Campbell was the reader and if you know audiobooks then you know she is a great reader, one of my favorites.  I borrowed via Scribd.

I love when a book opens my eyes to parts of history I know nothing about, this time around I learned about Grand Central Terminal (not Station). The bid to demolish this landmark, the School of Art and what an icon it was.  A dual time period story beginning in 1928 just before the Great Depression, when women couldn't succeed at 'men's jobs'.  When the struggle to have a career and succeed in a man's world was next to impossible.   Jumping ahead to 1974 life was still tough for women and a divorced one to boot was even harder.  Both these women, Clara and Virginia struggled but they were strong and had a passion for life. It wasn't hard to feel for them both, to be their cheerleaders and even shake my head at some of the decisions made. 

Both storylines were interesting, usually I enjoy one over the other (the past because of its history) but this time it was an equal liking.  Both had the historical facts I enjoy as well as the mysterious elements drawing the plots together.  While there was a little predictability it didn't take away from my enjoyment.

Definitely a book and author I recommend.

click on cover to take you to my review

Thursday, October 4, 2018

Review: The Clockmaker's Daughter by Kate Morton

A rich, spellbinding new novel from the author of The Lake House—the story of a love affair and a mysterious murder that cast their shadow across generations, set in England from the 1860's until the present day.
My real name, no one remembers. The truth about that summer, no one else knows.
In the summer of 1862, a group of young artists led by the passionate and talented Edward Radcliffe descends upon Birchwood Manor on the banks of the Upper Thames. Their plan: to spend a secluded summer month in a haze of inspiration and creativity. But by the time their stay is over, one woman has been shot dead while another has disappeared; a priceless heirloom is missing; and Edward Radcliffe’s life is in ruins.

Over one hundred and fifty years later, Elodie Winslow, a young archivist in London, uncovers a leather satchel containing two seemingly unrelated items: a sepia photograph of an arresting-looking woman in Victorian clothing, and an artist’s sketchbook containing the drawing of a twin-gabled house on the bend of a river. Why does Birchwood Manor feel so familiar to Elodie? And who is the beautiful woman in the photograph? Will she ever give up her secrets?

Told by multiple voices across time, The Clockmaker’s Daughter is a story of murder, mystery, and thievery, of art, love and loss. And flowing through its pages like a river, is the voice of a woman who stands outside time, whose name has been forgotten by history, but who has watched it all unfold: Birdie Bell, the clockmaker’s daughter.

Softcover, 496 pages
Expected publication: October 9th, 2018
 by Atria Books
*** 1/2

I very rarely read reviews before starting a new book, there is just too much of a chance for spoilers.  That being said, it wasn't hard to hear comments (via social media) about The Clockmaker's Daughter,  how it was garnering mixed reviews made me rather curious and a little nervous to begin reading.

I will confess right off the bat that I struggled to get into this book, but it was an 'it's me not you' situation.  My anticipation just got the better of me, times were hectic and yea to sit and read caused issues - nothing to do with the book. So I did the thing I've been doing a lot of the past few months and that is switching to the audio version for a bit.  Yea it came out on Audible before the print copy.  Did the audio cure my struggles? You bet it did!!  This is Kate Morton, one of my go-to authors, read without checking out the blurb. Joanne Froggatt was the reader and she did a great job of bringing this book to life.  I did switch back to the print copy for the last third.

There are multiple pov's here as The Clockmaker's Daughter travels across time to reveal what happened back in 1862 at Birchwood Manor.  You could almost say the Manor was one of the characters playing a pivotal part through the years.  There is a lot of years between 1862 and the present day, also many characters to remember. That I think is a Morton trademark because she can do it smoothly in a mesmerizing way. Her stories are multilayered and in this instance, it was the Manor revealing its history over the years.  The added unknown voice was interesting, spicing things up a little.

While this isn't one of my favorite Kate Morton books (that belongs to The Secret Keeper and The Forgotten Garden) I still enjoyed the ride. 

ARC won from the publisher.








Tuesday, October 2, 2018

Spotlight: Clash of Empires by Paul Bennett


Publication Date: December 8, 2016
Paperback & eBook; 224 Pages
ISBN-13: 978-1540666628
Series: The Mallory Saga, Book #1
Genre: Historical Fiction

In 1756, Britain and France are on a collision course for control of the North American continent. The eventual result can be described as the first world war, known as the Seven Year’s War in Europe and the French and Indian War in the colonies. The Mallory family uproots from eastern Pennsylvania, and moves to the western frontier, where they find themselves in the middle of war. Daniel, Liam, and Liza (the three Mallory siblings) become involved in the conflict in ways that lead to emotional trauma for each. The story focuses on historical events and includes historical characters. Clash of Empires is an exciting look at the developments leading to the events of July 1776, which are chronicled in the sequel as we follow the exploits and fate of the Mallory clan.

"I feel both educated and thoroughly entertained by Mr. Bennett’s debut novel ‘Clash of Empires’. Rich in detail mined from the author’s clearly painstaking research, we find lessons that should have been learned from the distant past rising to the fore once more; cannons boom, bullets fly and tomahawks spin through the air as the war builds towards a brutal climax. A fresh voice and a cracking tale. Recommended!" - Author Gordon Doherty

Amazon US | Amazon UK | IndieBound


Paul’s education was of the public variety and when he reached Junior High he discovered that his future did not include the fields of mathematics or science. This was generally the case throughout his years in school as he focused more on his interest in history; not just the rote version of names and dates but the causes. Paul studied Classical Civilization at Wayne State University with a smattering of Physical Anthropology thrown in for good measure. Logically, of course, Paul spent the next four decades drawing upon that vast store of knowledge working in large, multi-platform data centers, and is considered in the industry as a bona fide IBM Mainframe dinosaur heading for extinction. Paul currently resides in the quaint New England town of Salem, Massachusetts with his wife, Daryl. The three children have all grown, in the process turning Paul’s beard gray, and have now provided four grandchildren; the author is now going bald.

 For more information, please visit the Mallory Saga Facebook page.

You can also find Paul on his Blog, Twitter, and Goodreads.

Giveaway

During the Blog Tour we will be giving away a signed copy of Clash of Empires to one lucky reader! To enter, please enter via the Gleam form below.

Giveaway Rules
– Giveaway ends at 11:59pm EST on October 12th. You must be 18 or older to enter.
– Giveaway is open to US/Canada only.
– Only one entry per household.
– All giveaway entrants agree to be honest and not cheat the systems; any suspect of fraud is decided upon by blog/site owner and the sponsor, and entrants may be disqualified at our discretion.
– Winner has 48 hours to claim prize or new winner is chosen.

Clash of Empires Blast


Sunday, September 30, 2018

Review: The Dream Daughter by Diane Chamberlain


From bestselling author, 
Diane Chamberlain comes an irresistible new novel.

When Caroline Sears receives the news that her unborn baby girl has a heart defect, she is devastated. It is 1970 and there seems to be little that can be done. But her brother-in-law, a physicist, tells her that perhaps there is. Hunter appeared in their lives just a few years before—and his appearance was as mysterious as his past. With no family, no friends, and a background shrouded in secrets, Hunter embraced the Sears family and never looked back.

Now, Hunter is telling her that something can be done about her baby's heart. Something that will shatter every preconceived notion that Caroline has. Something that will require a kind of strength and courage that Caroline never knew existed. Something that will mean a mind-bending leap of faith on Caroline's part.

And all for the love of her unborn child.

A rich, genre-spanning, breathtaking novel about one mother's quest to save her child, unite her family, and believe in the unbelievable. Diane Chamberlain pushes the boundaries of faith and science to deliver a novel that you will never forget.

Hardcover, 384 pages
 Expected publication: October 2nd, 2018
by St. Martin's Press
****

I have read 4 books by Diane Chamberlain, though she has written quite a few more, and have thoroughly enjoyed each of them. The Dream Daughter is different with the added fantasy element.

How far will a mother go to save the life of her child, for Carly Sears it was taking an enormous leap of faith.  It was also a leap of faith for me as a reader to suspend my disbelief and just go with the flow of the story - probably why fantasy and sci-fi aren't favorites of mine. Leaving the comforts and security of home Carly sets a course to save the life of her child. 

The Dream Daughter is a captivating novel about courage, heartache, and acceptance. This is my 5th novel by Diane Chamberlain, it's a tie between Necessary Lies and The Midwife's Confession as to which one is my favorite. This earns a solid 4 stars. I was glued to the pages and anxious for Carly and her baby - finished this off in a couple days. It didn’t have the depth of those previous books with their multiple layers (remember just my opinion) that I love but still a book I will recommend.

My thanks to St. Martin's Press (via Netgalley) for an advanced copy in exchange for honest review.

Saturday, September 29, 2018

Review: The Swallow: A Ghost Story by Charis Cotter

In 1960s Toronto, two girls retreat to their attics to escape the loneliness and isolation of their lives.

Polly lives in a house bursting at the seams with people, while Rose is often left alone by her busy parents. Polly is a down-to-earth dreamer with a wild imagination and an obsession with ghosts; Rose is a quiet, ethereal waif with a sharp tongue. Despite their differences, both girls spend their days feeling invisible and seek solace in books and the cozy confines of their respective attics. But soon they discover they aren't alone--they're actually neighbors, sharing a wall. They develop an unlikely friendship, and Polly is ecstatic to learn that Rose can actually see and talk to ghosts. Maybe she will finally see one too! But is there more to Rose than it seems? Why does no one ever talk to her? And why does she look so... ghostly? When the girls find a tombstone with Rose's name on it in the cemetery and encounter an angry spirit in her house who seems intent on hurting Polly, they have to unravel the mystery of Rose and her strange family... before it's too late.

 Hardcover, 318 pages 
Published September 9th, 2014 
by Tundra Books
**** 1/2

Polly - "There's no place for me. I'm getting squeezed out of my own house.  My parents want to save the world, and they're doing it one unwanted kid at a time."

Rose - "I don't fit in.  There's no place for me.  Not at school, not with Mother and Father, not in this new house, not anywhere."

It's 1963 in Toronto and these two 12-year-olds are searching. Where one wants to see ghosts the other wants to stop seeing them.  Where one wants to be alone the other is tired of it.  Such begins The Swallow and how could I not get draw right in. This story weaves back and forth to the voices of Polly and Rose, relatively short chapters making it a perfect fit for middle grade, also made it very easy to think, hmmm just one more chapter. 

It's been a while since I've read a really good ghost story and this one fit the bill.  While The Swallow is a story of friendship it is also a mystery and this reader kept trying to unravel what was going on.  Hats off to the author for keeping me guessing right till the end. 

I found the writing to be atmospheric, witty and suspenseful. Charis Cotter is a new author to me and one I will be reading again.
"When you see a swallow, it means that spring is coming, and with spring comes new life and hope."
The Swallow comes from my personal library and part of my 'reading my shelf challenge'

Tuesday, September 25, 2018

Audio Review: Daughter of a Daughter of a Queen by Sarah Bird

From author Sarah Bird comes the compelling, hidden story of Cathy Williams, a former slave and the only woman to ever serve with the legendary Buffalo Soldiers.

 Here’s the first thing you need to know about Miss Cathy Williams: I am the daughter of a daughter of a queen and my mama never let me forget it.

 Though born into bondage on a “miserable tobacco farm” in Little Dixie, Missouri, Cathy Williams was never allowed to consider herself a slave. According to her mother, she was a captive, bound by her noble warrior blood to escape the enemy. Her means of deliverance is Union general Phillip Henry “Smash ‘em Up” Sheridan, the outcast of West Point who takes the rawboned, prideful young woman into service. At war’s end, having tasted freedom, Cathy refuses to return to servitude and makes the monumental decision to disguise herself as a man and join the Army’s legendary Buffalo Soldiers.

 Alone now in the ultimate man’s world, Cathy must fight not only for her survival and freedom, but she vows to never give up on finding her mother, her little sister, and the love of the only man strong and noble enough to win her heart. Inspired by the stunning, true story of Private Williams, this American heroine.

 Audible - 16 hours, 31 minutes
Published September 4th, 2018
by Macmillan Audio
**** 1/2
“Here’s the first thing you need to know about Miss Cathy Williams: I am the daughter of the daughter of the queen and my mama never let me forget it.”
One of the things I love about reading historical fiction is discovering people, places, and events that are new to me. Cathy Williams - doesn’t ring any bells. The Buffalo Soldiers - nope nothing, even General Sheridan offers no recognition. Mind you I am Canadian but I have heard my fair share of US history. Now I do know the time, slavery has been abolished, and though I’ve heard of former slaves joining the army, a women doing this, yea that’s a new one. Part of me was skeptical, not even believing it could actually happen, let alone go on for 2 years. It was my friend Stephanie and fellow blogger from Layered Pages that changed my mind. I always notice when 5 stars come from her.

This book was told from Cathy’s POV, and I went the audio route here. I say that because audio in first person is wonderful. It’s like Cathy was sitting right there telling me her story and what a story it is. Every time I had a question she answered it, she shared the struggles and horrors the troop encountered. The reader was Bahni Turpin, she did a great job capturing Cathy’s voice, it was like I was right in the action.

Sarah Bird is a new author to me, how she came about writing this book was a bonus feature in the audio version and I loved it. Her research shines through, and she doesn’t hold back but tells it like it was.

Daughter of a Daughter of a Queen is definitely a book I recommend, especially for those looking for strong female figures from the past.

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

Monday, September 24, 2018

Review: In Her Bones by Kate Moretti

“A higher level than the standard thriller. Readers will enjoy this book for the suspense…[and] love it for the skill and mastery Moretti has for her craft.” —New York Journal of Books

 “Morbid…Moretti pulls some tricky tricks.” —The New York Times

 New York Times bestselling author Kate Moretti’s next “exceptional…emotionally astute, [and] deliciously sinister” (Kirkus Reviews, starred review) thriller follows the daughter of a convicted serial killer who finds herself at the center of a murder investigation.

Fifteen years ago, Lilith Wade was arrested for the brutal murder of six women. After a death row conviction, media frenzy, and the release of an unauthorized biography, her thirty-year-old daughter Edie Beckett is just trying to survive out of the spotlight. She’s a recovering alcoholic with a dead-end city job and an unhealthy codependent relationship with her brother.

Edie also has a disturbing secret: a growing obsession with the families of Lilith’s victims. She’s desperate to see how they’ve managed—or failed—to move on. While her escalating fixation is a problem, she’s careful to keep her distance. That is, until she crosses a line and a man is found murdered.

Edie quickly becomes the prime suspect—and while she can’t remember everything that happened the night of the murder, she’d surely remember killing someone. With the detective who arrested her mother hot on her trail, Edie goes into hiding. She’s must get to the truth of what happened that night before the police—or the real killer—find her.

Unless, of course, she has more in common with her mother than she’s willing to admit…

Perfect for fans of Ruth Ware, In Her Bones features Moretti’s “riveting and insightful” (Megan Miranda, New York Times bestselling author) prose and “chillingly satisfying” (Publishers Weekly) twists, and will leave you questioning the nature of guilt, obsession, and the toxicity of familial ties.

Paperback, 320 pages
Published September 4th, 2018
by Atria Books
****

There seems to be a lot of hype with serial killer books, but what about the family left behind? Those stunned with what they missed and was there something they could have done to prevent a loved one's crimes? Kate Moretti tackles that very subject with her latest, In Her Bones.

Edi's mother is on death row for her horrible crimes. In Her Bones isn’t just a present day story but weaves back in time with Edi’s growing up years and what turned her into the woman she is. Getting inside her brain as she becomes obsessed with the ‘remainders’ - the loved ones of her mother's victims. But when tragedy strikes again she is forced to come to grips with the past if she wanted a future.

This is my third book by Moretti and I think my favourite. With plenty of twists and turns I was kept on my toes. While this wasn’t a fast-paced story I still managed to read in a couple days. The ending is always important in these types of books, are they believable even plausible? Or just something pulled out of the air. This one worked and loose ends were tied up nicely.

In Her Bones isn’t just a murder mystery but also a story of healing, acceptance, and trust, one I recommend, my thanks to Atria Books for an advanced copy in exchange for honest review.


click on the cover to take you to my review

Wednesday, September 12, 2018

Review: Louisiana's Way Home by Kate DiCamillo

From two-time Newbery Medalist Kate DiCamillo comes a story of discovering who you are — and deciding who you want to be.

When Louisiana Elefante’s granny wakes her up in the middle of the night to tell her that the day of reckoning has arrived and they have to leave home immediately, Louisiana isn’t overly worried. After all, Granny has many middle-of-the-night ideas. But this time, things are different. This time, Granny intends for them never to return. Separated from her best friends, Raymie and Beverly, Louisiana struggles to oppose the winds of fate (and Granny) and find a way home. But as Louisiana’s life becomes entwined with the lives of the people of a small Georgia town — including a surly motel owner, a walrus-like minister, and a mysterious boy with a crow on his shoulder — she starts to worry that she is destined only for good-byes. (Which could be due to the curse on Louisiana’s and Granny’s heads. But that is a story for another time.)

Called “one of DiCamillo’s most singular and arresting creations” by The New York Times Book Review, the heartbreakingly irresistible Louisiana Elefante was introduced to readers in Raymie Nightingale — and now, with humor and tenderness, Kate DiCamillo returns to tell her story.

Hardcover, 240 pages
Expected publication: October 2nd, 2018
 by Candlewick Press (MA) 
*****

~~~~~~~~~~
The beginning is that my great-grandfather was a magician, and long, long ago he set into motion a most terrible curse.
~~~~~~~~~~

I read this over the summer when I needed something light, whimsical and almost magical. I enjoyed  Flora & Ulysses and The Tale of Despereaux also by Kate DiCamillo, so I had a rough idea that I was in for a real treat with this one.

The blurb above tells you what takes place for Louisiana, she is only 10 years old as she tells her story, of being pulled out of bed in the middle of the night and the terrible curse that seems to be following them.  She is quite the character with a vivid imagination, vocabulary beyond her years and amazing reasoning skills. I loved Louisiana, she made me smile and I just wanted to give her a hug (along with some milk and cookies).

Louisiana's Way Home was a delight to read, it's a story of self-discovery, hope, and forgiveness. Told with wit and compassion, Kate DiCamillo has landed as one of my favorite children's author.

~~~~~~~~~~
“Perhaps what matters when all is said and done is not who put us down but who picks us up”
~~~~~~~~~~

Thank you to the publisher (via NetGalley) for an advanced e-arc. 

click on cover to see my review

Monday, September 10, 2018

Review: Hidden Among the Stars by Melanie Dobson

From the award-winning author of Catching the Wind, which Publishers Weekly called “unforgettable” and a “must-read,” comes another gripping time-slip novel about hidden treasure, a castle, and ordinary people who resisted evil in their own extraordinary way.

The year is 1938, and as Hitler’s troops sweep into Vienna, Austrian Max Dornbach promises to help his Jewish friends hide their most valuable possessions from the Nazis, smuggling them to his family’s summer estate near the picturesque village of Hallstatt. He enlists the help of Annika Knopf, his childhood friend and the caretaker’s daughter, who is eager to help the man she’s loved her entire life. But when Max also brings Luzia Weiss, a young Jewish woman, to hide at the castle, it complicates Annika’s feelings and puts their entire plan―even their very lives―in jeopardy. Especially when the Nazis come to scour the estate and find both Luzia and the treasure gone.

Eighty years later, Callie Randall is mostly content with her quiet life, running a bookstore with her sister and reaching out into the world through her blog. Then she finds a cryptic list in an old edition of Bambi that connects her to Annika’s story . . . and maybe to the long-buried story of a dear friend. As she digs into the past, Callie must risk venturing outside the safe world she’s built for a chance at answers, adventure, and maybe even new love.

Kindle ebook, 400 pages
Published September 2018
by Tyndale House Publishers
*** 1/2

Opening Line:
The blade of a shovel, cutting through frosted grass. That’s what she remembered most from the spring of 1938.

I have been a fan of Melanie Dobson since reading her books Catching the Wind, Ch√Ęteau of Secrets and Shadows of Ladenbrook Manor - all historical fiction.

It is 1938 and Austria is getting overtaken by the Nazis, three young people’s lives are about to get entwined together as family secrets are uncovered and friendships are put to the test. How an original copy of Bambi, gifted from mother to daughter, ignites a journey for the present day story. 

Hidden Among the Stars weaves between 3 women with 3 vastly different stories to tell. Again I found myself drawn to the past story (nothing new there). Set around a castle, hidden treasure and forbidden love I couldn’t help feeling for these young women. It was a brutal time with the author not holding back on the atrocities that took place. While I enjoyed this book I was able to predict the outcome as the story unfolded - which isn't a bad thing.

Sometimes it’s the little tidbits I glean from certain books that stay with me, such is the case here. Callie works in a bookstore and it’s her knowledge of children’s literature and the past that did interest me.  References to some of my favorite kids' books even adding a few to my tbr pile. The author of Bambi and Curious George both Jewish fled hours before Nazis invaded (I’m still googling).

This is Christian fiction and heavy in both time periods, more so than in the author’s previous books. I feel there is a fine line where it can be too over-the-top, just right or not enough, in terms of sharing the faith of the characters, without sounding overly preachy and taking away from the story. With this book I think it was just the right blend, especially the past story. The  nightmarish path these girls faced, the struggles, it was authentic and believable. For Callie while her story was not as devastating as the other two she clung to her faith.

All in all an entertaining read, my thanks to the publisher (via netgalley) for an advanced copy of this book.


click on cover to take you to make review (except Catching the Wind - review coming soon -how did I miss that!?)