New York Times Bestselling Author

Book Review: Fiction

Posted by on Dec 1, 2017 |

The Great Alone by Kristin Hannah

♥♥♥♥♥

Fiction > Historical Fiction

This is a breathtakingly well-written novel.

At only thirteen years old, Leni has already been bounced from school to school, city to city. Her father returned from Vietnam after being a POW a damaged man who is unable to control his nightmares—or his temper, causing him to get fired from job after job.

When he learns that a war buddy of his left him a house in Alaska, Ernt is sure this time happiness will be theirs, so he packs up his daughter and wife and they head for The Great Alone.

I fell in love with the characters of this town, specifically Large Marge, who’d once been a prosecutor in D.C. and now works at a convenience store and always has some weapon strapped to her—everyone does because who knows when a bear might get hungry? I also loved the Walker family.

As Leni and her mother Cora get a crash course in surviving inhospitable conditions, they find the biggest danger isn’t the weather or the wildlife, but the man they share a house with. Hannah does an exquisite job expressing the fear Leni lives with every day.

It’s also a beautiful story of star-crossed lovers. The Montagues and the Capulets in Alaska. I teared up several times during this story. I can’t recommend this novel highly enough.

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Book Review: Mystery

Posted by on Nov 26, 2017 |

Under the Shadows by Gwen Florio

♥♥♥♥♥

Mystery

Once again, Florio delivers an outstanding mystery with a heart-pounding ending.

The character Lola Wicks has been felled by the death of a loved one. A white woman who married into a Native American Indian family, Lola has the support of the “aunties”—the women on the reservation who come together, especially in times of crisis. But they, and Lola’s coworker Jan, have decided it’s time that she moves on with her life and takes better care of her eight-year-old daughter, Margarette. It’s a social worker threatening to remove Margarette from Lola’s custody that compels her to take a fluff piece about overseas adoption. Lola leaves her small-town Montana life to go to the comparatively big-town of Salt Lake City in the heart of Mormon country.

Initially, Lola wants to get out of writing the article, but when the teenager at the center of the story is accused of murder, things start to get interesting. Lola can’t help herself, the reporter in her has to follow every lead. The clues even lead her to Vietnam. As with all Florio’s books, the characters are well-drawn and compelling, including the setting as character. Here, Lola tries to adjust to Mormon culture, meaning her beloved caffeine is not on the menu. Alcohol? I don’t think so. Also, Vietnam and its differences, particularly since she doesn’t speak the language.

Lola Wicks is a phenomenally likeable heroine. She eschews dresses and dress shoes. Rather, her closet is filled with gym shoes is various states of disrepair and hiking boots. I love Lola and I love this book.

Thanks so much to NetGalley and Midnight Ink for the opportunity to read this book, which RELEASES MARCH 8, 2018.

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