Review: The Book of Summer by Michelle Gable

I’ve always wanted to read one of Michelle Gable’s novels and now, it’s finally happening! The first two books that caught my eye of her’s were both set in Paris so when I saw this one set on Nantucket Island, I felt kind of gypped. However, I have heard such great things about her writing style that I agreed to review it anyway.

Physician Bess Codman has returned to her family’s Nantucket compound, Cliff House, for the first time in four years. Her great-grandparents built Cliff House almost a century before, but due to erosion, the once-grand home will soon fall into the sea.

Though she s purposefully avoided the island, Bess must now pack up the house and deal with her mother, a notorious town rabble-rouser, who refuses to leave.

The Book of Summer unravels the power and secrets of Cliff House as told through the voices of Ruby Packard, a bright-eyed and idealistic newlywed on the eve of WWII, the home’s definitive guestbook, and Bess herself. Bess’s grandmother always said it was a house of women, and by the very last day of the very last summer at Cliff House, Bess will understand the truth of her grandmother s words in ways she never contemplated (summary from Goodreads).

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Review: Slightly South of Simple: A Novel (Peachtree Bluff #1) by Kristy Woodson Harvey

Peachtree’s motto is “A place to call home” and oh what a home it is! There is something about Southern literature that is so homey and comforting. I loved Kristy Woodson Harvey’s book, Lies and Other Acts of Love…..her books kind of have that sweet tea and a soft summer breeze feel to them. I can almost smell the magnolias from here!

In her latest book, we return to the South, this time to the town of Peachtree Bluff where, as I said it’s a ‘place to call home’ and that’s where we find Caroline Murphy.

Caroline swore she’d never set foot back in the small Southern town of Peachtree Bluff; she was a New York girl born and bred and the worst day of her life was when, in the wake of her father’s death, her mother selfishly forced her to move—during her senior year of high school, no less—back to that hick-infested rat trap where she’d spent her childhood summers.

But now that her marriage to a New York high society heir has fallen apart in a very public, very embarrassing fashion, a pregnant Caroline decides to escape the gossipmongers with her nine-year-old daughter and head home to her mother, Ansley.

Ansley has always put her three daughters first, especially when she found out that her late husband, despite what he had always promised, left her with next to nothing. Now the proud owner of a charming waterfront design business and finally standing on her own two feet, Ansley welcomes Caroline and her brood back with open arms.

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Review: All the Best People by Sonja Yoerg

I’ve come to hold Sonja Yoerg novels in very high esteem. They are usually very thought provoking, well written, and real. So naturally when this book came across my desk for review, I was thrilled. Though the description sounded slightly different than something I would expect from Yoerg’s novels…..this one had a magic element which surprised me.

While this was unexpected, I love books with magical realism and magic themes so I was even more excited to read this one than I was her other novels.

Vermont, 1972. Carole LaPorte has a satisfying, ordinary life. She cares for her children, balances the books for the family’s auto shop and laughs when her husband slow dances her across the kitchen floor. Her tragic childhood might have happened to someone else.

But now her mind is playing tricks on her. The accounts won’t reconcile and the murmuring she hears isn’t the television. She ought to seek help, but she’s terrified of being locked away in a mental hospital like her mother, Solange.

So Carole hides her symptoms, withdraws from her family and unwittingly sets her eleven-year-old daughter Alison on a desperate search for meaning and power: in Tarot cards, in omens from a nearby river and in a mysterious blue glass box belonging to her grandmother.

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Review: A Bridge Across the Ocean by Susan Meissner

After reading Stars Over Sunset Boulevard, I was really impressed with Susan Meissner’s writing. I started out not really in the mood to read her book and then I was sucked into the story and enjoyed the characters and plot so much that I was pretty bummed when it was over.

So obviously I had experience with Meissner’s writing before this book, so when it came across my desk for review it was an easy yes however her name wasn’t what caught my eye about this book. The name only cemented my acceptance to review it….what got me was the cover. I am absolutely in love with the beauty of this cover. It hints at glamour and romance and the colors worked so well that I couldn’t pass it up.

February, 1946. World War Two is over, but the recovery from the most intimate of its horrors has only just begun for Annaliese Lange, a German ballerina desperate to escape her past, and Simone Deveraux, the wronged daughter of a French Resistance spy.

Now the two women are joining hundreds of other European war brides aboard the renowned RMS Queen Mary to cross the Atlantic and be reunited with their American husbands. Their new lives in the United States brightly beckon until their tightly-held secrets are laid bare in their shared stateroom. When the voyage ends at New York Harbor, only one of them will disembark…

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Review: If I Could Tell You by Elizabeth Wilhide

Ahhh war romances how I love you! When this one came across my desk for review, I jumped at the chance to review it. The description was tantalizing and I just knew I had to read this one!

For some reason I just love books about ill-fated or impossible romances and while this one had an adultery element, that wasn’t a deal breaker for me….in fact I was curious to see how that angle would work within the story.

England, 1939: Julia Compton has a beautifully well-ordered life. Once a promising pianist, she now has a handsome husband, a young son she adores, and a housekeeper who takes care of her comfortable home. Then, on the eve of war, a film crew arrives in her coastal town. She falls in love.

The consequences are devastating. Penniless, denied access to her son, and completely unequipped to fend for herself, she finds herself adrift in wartime London with her lover, documentary filmmaker Dougie Birdsall. While Dougie seeks truth wherever he can find it, Julia finds herself lost.

As the German invasion looms and bombs rain down on the city, she faces a choice—succumb to her fate, or fight to forge a new identity in the heat of war (Summary from Goodreads).

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