Britt-Marie was Here…by Fredrik Backman

Britt-Marie was Here…by Fredrik Backman

He’s small and chubby and has a head of hair like a lawn the day after an impromptu barbecue.     Britt-Marie is originally a character from Fredrik Backman’s book ‘ My Grandmother Asked Me To Tell You She’s Sorry’. When Britt-Marie leaves her cheating husband to strike out on her own, she learns it’s hard to start a new lief as a sixty-something woman.   Fredrik Backman writes the most amazing characters and Britt-Marie is one of his best. She is passive aggressive, judgmental, and set in her ways. She sees everyone around her as obstacles to keeping her OCD world clean and tidy.   I loved, ‘My Grandmother Asked Me To Tell She’s Sorry.’ In that book it is so easy to dislike Britt-Marie. In ‘Britt-Marie Was Here’ we learn more of her back story and her life […]

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Just For Clicks…by Kara McDowell

Just For Clicks…by Kara McDowell

‘I just can’t help but think, unhinged or not, the good moms are the ones who stay. The ones who keep trying day in and day out.’   Claire and her twin sister, Poppy, are ‘internet famous’. Every part of their lives have been blogged, photographed, and recorded by their fashion blogger mom. Claire begins to doubt her future on the internet while Poppy loves the limelight. The addition of a new boy in class helps push Claire to spread her wings and want more for her life.   The topic of this book is very timely. When I was growing up there was no YouTube, social medial, or email. There was no pressure to keep up on the latest internet trends and there was no such thing as being ‘internet famous.’ In todays world there are many people who […]

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The Secret Keeper…by Kate Morton

Posted February 9, 2019 by Karen in Books, Reviews / 0 Comments
The Secret Keeper…by Kate Morton

‘The landscape of one’s childhood was more vibrant than any other. It didn’t matter where it was or what it looked like, the sights and sounds imprinted differently from those encountered later. They became part of a person, inescapable.’   ‘… she and her tap shoes could be swept as easily as dust beneath histories carpet.’   Laurel is a successful actress in modern-day London. Seventy years earlier, her mother Dorothy is doing her best to survive war-torn London. As a child, Laurel witnesses a death that haunts her for the rest of her life. Laurel and Dorothy’s stories come together to form the dual timeline of a family’s secrets.   I love stories that take place in WWII London. I also love me some Kate Morton. She is one of my favorite authors and the ‘Forgotten Garden’ is one […]

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Between Before & After…by Maureen Doyle McQuerry

Between Before & After…by Maureen Doyle McQuerry

Favorite Quotes   ‘If we learn anything from a story at all, it’s through identification’   ‘It made me feel like a story could be more than words on paper, a living thing that may change in unpredictable ways.’   ‘Hope is made not given.’   ‘Once you open yourself  to miracles, they start showing up all around you.’   My Review   Elaine is the child of poor Irish immigrants. She is growing up in turn of the century New York City. When Elaine’s mother dies from the Spanish flu, Elaine struggles to keep her family together.   Elaine’s daughter, Molly, is growing up in 1950’s San José, California. She is crushed by the breakup of her parents marriage and desperately attempting to understand her distant mother and learn her secrets. I really love historical fiction. I find I […]

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Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine…by Gail Honeyman

Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine…by Gail Honeyman

The characters in this book, especially Eleanor, are  well thought out and quirky. I found the character of Eleanor to be one of my favorite characters of all time, second only to ‘Ove’ in ‘A Man Called ‘Ove’.   In some ways Eleanor reminds me of  Britt-Marie in ‘Britt Marie’ was Here’. Both are quirky and socially awkward.   The friendships in this novel are second to none. It is wonderful to read about what a wonderful friend Raymond is to Eleanor.   Scotland is an interesting setting for this book. I have read books before with Scotland as the setting but they have been historical fiction or adventure type books. I enjoyed seeing a slice of life story set there.   I thought Eleanor’s depression is portrayed well in this novel. Depression isn’t always extreme or obvious.   I […]

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The Roanoke Girls…by Amy Engel

The Roanoke Girls…by Amy Engel

Lane Roanoke returns to her ancestral home after her mother’s untimely death. Lane learns that everything and everyone within its walls are not as they seem.   Since ‘ The Roanoke Girls’ is such a polarizing book, I am going to keep this review fairly short. This book is engrossing and interesting. It has a mystery/thriller element that pushes the story forward. The dual timelines  added a bit of foreboding.  The characters are incredibly complex and human, both likable and unlikable at the same time. However, (and this is a big however) the storyline is gritty, raw, and graphic. It’s dark and disturbing.  It’s about incest in its extreme. It’s about sexual abuse and victim blaming. It’s about women blaming each other and themselves for abuse at the hands of a man. It’s about things in our society that do happen […]

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Attachments…by Rainbow Rowell

Attachments…by Rainbow Rowell

It’s the late 1990’s and the newspaper that Beth Fremont and Jennifer Scriber-Snyder work for has begun monitoring their emails.  Lincoln O’Neill  has been assigned the task of reading them. In the process Lincoln finds out that his job may be more challenging than he thought.   I am a big fan of Rainbow Rowell. She writes great characters and wonderful storylines. I am also a big fan of fresh and new premises. Combine these with a book set in the 1990’s and you got me. (Also, I love a good double meaning title!)   Vintage pop culture references is one of my favorite things in books and movies. Rainbow Rowell mentions in an interview that she does not shy away from pop-culture references in her books. This is evident in ‘Attachments’. It is full of 1990’s pop-culture (including references […]

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Antipodes…by Michele Bacon

Antipodes…by Michele Bacon

In geography, the antipode (/ænˈtɪpədiː/) of any spot on Earth is the point on Earth’s surface diametrically opposite to it; the antipodes of a region similarly represent the area opposite it.   High school student Erin’s life is in shambles after a run of bad luck. She is worried that she will not have what it takes to get into a top college. She decides to opt for a work-study program in New Zealand to add to her résumé.   It’s evident from the beginning that Erin leads a privileged life in America. When she arrives in New Zealand she is taken aback by her host family’s small, cold, house. Erin often comes across as spoiled and bratty.   This was one of three recent books I read that take place in New Zealand. The scenery seems amazing and New […]

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Step Spinsters…by Madina Papadopoulos

Step Spinsters…by Madina Papadopoulos

You think you know the story of Cinderella and her evil step sisters but do you know the whole story. ‘Step Spinsters’ gives an alternate view of the classic fairy tale. In ‘Step Spinsters’ the stepsister are misunderstood and Cinderella isn’t as perfect as we thin she is. After Cinderella leaves to marry her prince charming we learn that her step sisters and mother are in a dire situation. Non-noble women are not allowed to own property. As such the step sisters and mothers will have nowhere to live should one of them not marry in a short amount of time. I was really pleasantly surprised by ‘Step Spinsters’ I thought that a retelling through the eyes of the step sisters would be silly and hard to believe by this wasn’t true at all. Both stepsister, Fredegonde  and Javotte came across […]

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Ink & Ivy…by Sara Martin

Ink & Ivy…by Sara Martin

Ink & Ivy is a timely story about a girl struggling to figure out what to do with the rest of her life. As the story opens, Ivy is riding her bike when a downpour hits. She runs into a shop and meets an eccentric shop owner and her nephew Julian. Ivy’s picture of her perfect career soon begins to unravel and her dreams along with it.     The cover got me on this one. Simply amazing!     Ink & Ivy has a unique but important theme. Teenagers must often choose their careers while still in high school and they do not know themselves well enough to do so.     The love of writing is described perfectly throughout the novel. I love how those close to Ivy (but outside her family) were so supportive of Ivy.   […]

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