Quick Review of RACHEL’S FOLLY by Monica Bruno

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I purchased RACHEL’S FOLLY through Amazon for my kindle when it was a deal of the day back in December. I tend to like Booktrope works and the overview sounded compelling:

Rachel Richards’ perfect life is about to come undone.

Rachel’s best friend is about to be married, but her fiancé is a mysterious man with seemingly no friends or family. After a night of drinking goes awry, Rachel is forced to face a dark part of herself she didn’t know existed. What began as a horrible mistake turns into a gripping mystery as the shocking truth begins to unravel, and Rachel’s life hangs in the balance.

Told from three unique perspectives—a young mother with everything to lose, a loving brother with a weakness for wine, and a love struck, troubled teen—and set against the backdrop of Austin, Texas, Rachel’s Folly is a suspense thriller that explores profound loss, morality, and the lengths to which we will go to keep our darkest secrets hidden.

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I really can’t say too much without giving it away, but I enjoyed this thrilling and suspenseful book. You know when you have that moment where you do something really stupid and think, “Wow – I shouldn’t have done that”? Well, this poor woman’s life becomes just that.

I read it quickly — you can find it on Amazon or get it at a bookstore near you!

Quick Review: DELIVERING THE TRUTH by Edith Maxwell

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I discovered this book on Net Galley and it sounded really interesting – a historical cozy mystery!

Here’s the Net Galley description:

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Review of FLIGHT OF DREAMS by Ariel Lawhon

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I’m a fan of Ariel Lawhon’s writing, so I was thrilled to see that she had a new novel out – this one about the Hindenburg.

Here’s the description via Net Galley:

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Audiobook Review: THE EDGE OF LOST by Kristina McMorris

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If you follow me regularly, you might remember that back in December I was part of a Historical Fiction Book Blast for THE EDGE OF LOST by Kristina McMorris. The book sounded so good I put it on my TBR list!

Here’s the overview:

On a cold night in October 1937, searchlights cut through the darkness around Alcatraz. A prison guard’s only daughter—one of the youngest civilians who lives on the island—has gone missing. Tending the warden’s greenhouse, convicted bank robber Tommy Capello waits anxiously. Only he knows the truth about the little girl’s whereabouts, and that both of their lives depend on the search’s outcome.

Almost two decades earlier and thousands of miles away, a young boy named Shanley Keagan ekes out a living as an aspiring vaudevillian in Dublin pubs. Talented and shrewd, Shan dreams of shedding his dingy existence and finding his real father in America. The chance finally comes to cross the Atlantic, but when tragedy strikes, Shan must summon all his ingenuity to forge a new life in a volatile and foreign world.

Skillfully weaving these two stories, Kristina McMorris delivers a compelling novel that moves from Ireland to New York to San Francisco Bay. As her finely crafted characters discover the true nature of loyalty, sacrifice, and betrayal, they are forced to confront the lies we tell—and believe—in order to survive.

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There’s a lot going on in this novel — from Ireland to coming to America to NYC to Alcatraz. Shan/Tommy goes from being a poor child immigrant with no family, to being part of an Italian clan, to trying to make a solid adult existence for himself, to ending up in Alcatraz. I enjoyed reading his journey along the way. Ms. McMorris’s writing kept me engaged and I felt connected to Shan, especially when things were not going his way! While I would have loved even more scenes/details about his life in Alcatraz (Alcatraz was my 5th grade field trip!), the book is already over 300 pages, so I am guessing that she needed to keep it trim.

With themes of forgiveness, self-fulfillment, and the undying bonds of family, THE EDGE OF LOST is a great read and one that lovers of historical fiction will enjoy.

The Audiobook is just under 11 hours and is read by Charlie Thurston. He did an amazing job because this book has Irish accents, New York accents, “gangster accents” (if you know what I mean), Italian accents, and voices that are male, female, and child. It must have been a task to do it and do it well!

I purchased mine from Audible.

Audiobook Review: CUTTING FOR STONE by Abraham Verghese

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So — since I’m probably the only person who hasn’t read this book, I put it on my “must get” list to purchase from Audible. I actually started this book when it came out several years ago, but couldn’t stay with it. I thought perhaps an audio version would be easier for me, especially since it had been so long I could not remember what it was about and why I didn’t stay with it.

This novel is the lifelong story of twins boys, Shiva and Marion, born to an English doctor and a young Indian nun. Their mother dies in childbirth and their father wants nothing to do with them, so they are raised by a pair of doctors who take the boys in and grow to love them (and each other). The story traces the boys’ development, growing up amid political turmoil in Ethiopia, falling in love with the same young woman (Genet – their childhood playmate), and making lives for themselves as physicians.

So here’s the thing — I wanted SO MUCH to like this story. It’s extremely well written, it has constant and universal themes in it of family, love, and sacrifice. Plus, EVERYONE I know has loved this book. Loved it. But I have to be honest – this book made me miserable. I found the almost gruesomely vivid medical details to be too much for me (driving to school one day I had to turn it off as I was going to throw up). I loved the part when the boys were young, but then some things occurred that involved Genet and I found them extremely disturbing. I was very troubled by the story and its outcomes. Yes, it’s  an incredible work, but it left me in tears and haunted (not in a good way) by the characters. What can I say? I read to escape and I enjoy positive and uplifting feelings and endings. I’m extremely sensitive.This book genuinely made me miserable, so I was happy to finish it.

I’d love to hear from others who read it and their experience!

The Audiobook was a lengthy 24 hours and was ably read by Sunil Malhotra.