Wednesday, July 31, 2019

The Heart Keeper

~ I received no compensation and opinions are 100% my own or my family. ~

Synopsis: Two mothers. Two daughters. One heart. 

When Alison's beloved daughter Amalie drowns, her world turns impenetrably dark.  Alison tries to hold it together throughout the bleak Fall, but in the darkest days of the Norwegian Winter she completely falls apart. 

In another family, Amalie's passing is a new beginning. After years of severe health problems, young Kaia receives a new heart on the morning after Amalie drowns. Her mother Iselin has struggled to raise Kaia on her own and now things are finally looking up. She's even made an affluent new friend who's taken a special interest in her and her daughter. 

Alison knows she shouldn't interfere, but really, she's just trying to help Iselin and Kaia. She can give them the life they never had, and by staying close to them, she can still be with her daughter. Kaia is just like her, and surely, something of Amalie must live on in her. As her grief transforms into a terrifying obsession, Alison won't let anything stop her from getting back what she has lost. 

One (or more) Sentence Summary:  Wow.....this is like Girl on the Train meets I Invited Her In and the result is one crazy story.  I couldn't stop reading it.  I knew it couldn't end well for one of the mothers, but I couldn't put it down.  

There were times when I was reading The Heart Keeper that I just wanted to cry for Alison.  I can't imagine the grief she was suffering and how insane it made it her.  I wanted to scream, "get help Alison."  Other times I wanted to shake Iselin and say, "no....don't let her in."  As much as my own heart ached for the these two mothers, I had to turn the next page.  I couldn't get to end fast enough and it was an amazing ending.  

Take a break from your beach reads and crack open the spine of The Heart Keeper.  The Norwegian winter will help keep you cool during the summer. It was just so good!

Would I Read Other Books by the Author: Absolutely....I want to read her other novel, The Boy at the  Door.

Alex Dahl was born in Oslo and is the critically acclaimed author of The Boy at the Door.  She graduated with a B.A. in Russian and German linguistics with international studies and went on to complete an M.A. in creative writing at Bath Spa University, followed by an M.S. in business management at Bath University. Alex has published short stories in the U.K. and the U.S. and is a serious Francophile.

Monday, July 29, 2019

A Thread So Fine

~ I received no compensation and opinions are 100% my own or my family. ~

Synopsis:  Set in St. Paul, Minnesota, and Ithaca, New York, between August 1946 and November 1965, A THREAD SO FINE follows the lives of Eliza and Shannon Malone. So-called “Irish twins,” the sisters share a close bond—despite their often-clashing personalities. Studious and responsible, Eliza, the younger at 17, plans to pursue intellectual fulfillment, beginning with a Catholic college near her home. At 18, the spirited Shannon is less certain about her future—but wants it to include art, nature, and children. Suddenly, tragedy strikes. Shannon falls ill with tuberculosis. Eliza falls prey to a violent assault. Separated by increasing distance, physical and emotional, the sisters go on to live their own lives. One vows to hold fast to the invisible thread that connects them—and to protect her sister’s secret.  A sweeping work of fiction, A THREAD SO FINE is layered with realities, truths, and insights about life for women coming of age in the post-war boom and the conservative Midwest. 

One (or more) Sentence Summary: Last week was extremely hot and humid, so I stayed inside and got caught up on some reading.  A Thread So Fine is a really good book and I haven't read on like it in a long time. I think the Kennedy Debutante was the last book I read with a similar timeline.  

Historical, in nature, I love that it took place in the 40's through the mid 60's.  I love that time period, which was an added bonus.  A Thread So Fine is a tale of two sisters who were very close growing up and Shannon falls ill with TBin the mid 40's.  During this time Eliza is violently attack at home, keeps it to herself and ends up pregnant.  Just as Shannon is released from the hospital, Eliza has the baby and runs from home and everything she knows in order to try to erase the past and move forward.  She ends up at Cornell in Ithaca, New York, far from Minnesota, and makes a name  for herself. While Shannon is trying to figure out what happened to Eliza baby, she meets the Ross family and is most certain their baby is Eliza's.  After almost 20 years, the two sisters are brought together when Shannon is in a car accident and all the past comes tumbling out. 

A great story about family, history, tragedy, and forgiveness.  

Would I Read Other Books by the Author: Yes, I would.

SUSAN WELCH grew up in Minnesota and Wisconsin with either her nose in a book or her toes in the water. She earned a Masters in International Management and built an international career in the brewing industry, and now works for a company focused on regional agriculture, new technologies, and craft brewing. When not traveling for work or pleasure, she spends her time either on the family houseboat in Seattle or in a cabin in the woods of Lummi Island, preferably with her husband, Bruce.  

Friday, July 12, 2019

The Great Unexpected

~ I received no compensation and opinions are 100% my own or my family. ~

Synopsis (from Amazon):  A curmudgeon and his eccentric new roommate join together to plan an epic escape in this charming, poignant tale.

Joel lives in a nursing home, and he’s not one bit happy about it. He hates being told when to eat, when to sleep, when to take his pills. He’s fed up with life and begins to plan a way out when his new roommate, a retired soap opera actor named Frank, moves in and turns the nursing-home community upside down.
Though the two men couldn’t be more opposite, a fast friendship is formed when Frank is the only one who listens to and stands up for Joel. When he tells Frank about his burgeoning plan, they embark together on a mission to find the perfect escape, and along the way will discover that it’s never too late for new beginnings.
Filled with colorful characters, sparkling humor and deep emotion, The Great Unexpected is the story of friendship, finding oneself later in life and experiencing newfound joy in the most unexpected places.

One (or more) Sentence Summary:  Oh, I absolutely loved The Great Unexpected.  Frank and Joel are complete opposites and yet in such a short amount of time, become thick as thieves. The journeys (or escapes) they take together outside the nursing home are unforgettable.  The Great Unexpected is beautifully written and so lovingly takes us through life of residents in a nursing home along with the ups and downs. It will make you laugh and it will make you cry. 

The characters are so unbelievably perfect.  We all know a Joel (on the outside), but what he is going through on inside just broke my heart (even while he made me laugh a lot). We should all hope to have Frank in our lives.  What a special man and what a difference he made in a short period of time.  Joel's grandkids - loved them! 

If I had to compare The Great Unexpected to something, I would say a modern day On Golden Pond meets Dirty Grandpa (but a clean version).  Frank and Joel's outings are really too funny (clean version of Dirty Grandpa) and yet very magical (On Golden Pond - modern day). Again, absolutely LOVED it. 

Would I Read Other Books by the Author:  I most certainly would.  I think The Great Unexpected is just the being of many great books from Dan Mooney!

Other Reviews on TLC Book Tour: May sure you check out all the other reviews.

Monday, June 17th: @nerdybooknurse
Tuesday, June 18th: @shereadswithcats
Wednesday, June 19th: @ohthebooksshewillread
Thursday, June 20th: @sweethoneyandbrei
Friday, June 21st: @crystals_library
Saturday, June 22nd: @downtogetthefictionon
Sunday, June 23rd: @hollyslittlebookreviews
Monday, June 17th: Patricia’s Wisdom
Tuesday, June 18th: BookNAround
Wednesday, June 19th: A Lovely Bookshelf on the Wall
Thursday, June 20th: Bookchickdi
Monday, June 24th: Diary of a Stay at Home Mom
Tuesday, June 25th: @thriftybibliophile
Wednesday, June 26th: Cheryl’s Book Nook
Thursday, June 27th: @saturday_nite_reader
Friday, June 28th: A Chick Who Reads
Tuesday, July 2nd: Lori’s Reading Corner – spotlight
Wednesday, July 3rd: Books and Cats and Coffee
Friday, July 5th: The Book Return Blog
Monday, July 8th: Book by Book
Tuesday, July 9th: Openly Bookish
Wednesday, July 10th: @one_more_paige
Friday, July 12th: Seaside Book Nook
Monday, July 15th: Asha Reads and @ashareads
Tuesday, July 16th: Real Life Reading
Wednesday, July 17th: Jathan & Heather
Thursday, July 18th: @theunreadshelf
Friday, July 19th: Eliot’s Eats

Dan Mooney is an amateur filmmaker and air traffic controller, and a friend to many cats. He wrote his first piece of fiction for a child-operated local newspaper at age ten and has been writing ever since. He lives in Ireland.

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