Beth's Book-Nook Blog

Reviews of What I've Been Reading….

Educated by Tara Westover

Since I still have my lengthier than ever commute, I used my Audible credit last month for this novel which I had heard so much about. Everyone has been VERY EFFUSIVE about it, so I assumed that I wouldn’t like it, because I rarely like the things that everyone else raves over (I’m weird like that).

However, I was wrong. This was a fascinating read/listen about an amazing young woman who overcame significant odds to become the person she is today. The description is about education (hence, the title) but there is so much more in this book about family and sibling relationships. Julia Whelan’s narration was spot on perfect and I highly recommend the audiobook. Readers should note that there are some triggers in this story in regards to emotional and physical abuse.

Here’s the overview, which pretty much sums it up!

Number-one New York TimesWall Street Journal, and Boston Globe best seller

Named One of the Ten Best Books of the Year by The New York Times Book Review

One of President Barack Obama’s Favorite Books of the Year

Bill Gates’s Holiday Reading List

Finalist for the National Book Critics Circle’s Award in Autobiography

Finalist for the National Book Critics Circle’s John Leonard Prize for Best First Book

Finalist for the PEN/Jean Stein Book Award 

Named one of the Best Books of the Year by: The Washington PostO: The Oprah Magazine Time NPR Good Morning America San Francisco Chronicle The Guardian The Economist Financial TimesNewsday New York Post theSkimm Refinery29 Bloomberg Self Real Simple Town & Country Bustle Paste Publishers Weekly Library Journal LibraryReads BookRiot Pamela Paul, KQED New York Public Library 

An unforgettable memoir about a young girl who, kept out of school, leaves her survivalist family and goes on to earn a PhD from Cambridge University

Born to survivalists in the mountains of Idaho, Tara Westover was 17 the first time she set foot in a classroom. Her family was so isolated from mainstream society that there was no one to ensure the children received an education and no one to intervene when one of Tara’s older brothers became violent. When another brother got himself into college, Tara decided to try a new kind of life. Her quest for knowledge transformed her, taking her over oceans and across continents, to Harvard and to Cambridge University. Only then would she wonder if she’d traveled too far, if there was still a way home. 

“Beautiful and propulsive…. Despite the singularity of [Tara Westover’s] childhood, the questions her book poses are universal: How much of ourselves should we give to those we love? And how much must we betray them to grow up?” (Vogue

“Westover has somehow managed not only to capture her unsurpassably exceptional upbringing, but to make her current situation seem not so exceptional at all, and resonant for many others.” (The New York Times Book Review)

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I Know You by Erik Therme

I had read several of Mr. Therme’s earlier novels (Mortem, Keep Her Close), so I was honored that he offered me an ARC of his new novel via Net Galley.

Here’s the overview:

Description

‘I can help you save your sister. But I need something from you …’

Sisters Bree and Alissa Walker share a special bond. Neglected by their parents, they have always looked out for one another. But one day, sixteen-year-old Alissa goes missing. When Bree discovers her green backpack with all her belongings, abandoned on the steps of their run-down trailer, she knows that something bad has happened …

Then she receives a chilling text message. Someone has Alissa. But Bree will have to give up something very precious in exchange.

Desperate to save Alissa, Bree looks at everyone close to their family. She’s sure that Alissa’s best friend is keeping something back about her little sister and a boy at school, and why has their estranged uncle, who they’ve not seen in years, been hanging around again?

It soon becomes clear that the person behind the message knows a lot about the dark truths within the Walker family and will go to any lengths to get revenge. And as the search for Alissa continues, Bree discovers something about her brother Tyler that she wishes she hadn’t, a dangerous secret, which is also the key to bringing her little sister back home …

A gripping and addictive thriller about family secrets and lies and the lengths people will go to protect them. Perfect for fans of Teresa Driscoll and Louise Jensen. 

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So – to be honest – this novel took me longer to get into than the previous ones I had read by Erik. There was a lot of dialogue and internal thinking, with less emphasis on action and descriptions. I had some trouble picturing things as I read, especially as there were a lot of twists and turns. I wasn’t sure where things were going as I read along, but I liked how they ended up.

Thank you, Mr. Therme, for giving me a chance to review another title of yours!

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Treading the Uneven Road – a short story collection by L.M. Brown

I received an electronic copy of this wonderful collection of stories from the author a few months ago. They take place in Ireland and are all inter-related.

Description:
The stories in this collection are set 1980’s and 90’s Ireland. A by-pass around a small village has rid the residents of their once busy traffic. They feel forgotten by the world. The need to reach out and be heard is explored in every story, from the young woman who starts to have phone conversations with her husband’s gay lover, to the dyslexic man who confronts his cruel teacher years later and the woman whose dreams are shattered because of a married lover. Treading the Uneven Road introduces us to a society that is unraveling and we cannot help feel for Brown’s characters who need to make a choice on how to carry on.

Me again!! I love Ireland and I love short stories where there is a connecting thread throughout them all. These aren’t all happiness and light, but they do leave you thinking about the characters and wondering about their lives. Brown has the ability to develop character and evoke setting, so that these stories are vividly impressed upon you as you read.

Thank you so much for my review copy! You can find it on Amazon and other online retailers!

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PIC Tour for The Buried Girl by Richard Montanari

I’m happy today to be part of the Partners in Crime blog tour for Richard Montanari’s new suspense novel: The Buried Girl. You know I love these heart-stopping, can’t-put-downable reads! I read this one through in two days as I wanted to see what would happen! It was complex, and I didn’t guess it all. I’d love to see more books with Will Hardy as the protagonist from Mr. Montanari!

The Buried Girl
by Richard Montanari
PIC Tour March 1 – March 31, 2019
 Synopsis:A haunting, nerve-jangling psychological thriller from Sunday Times bestselling author Richard Montanari, set in a small town hiding a very dark secret
New York psychologist Will Hardy had it all—a loving family, a flourishing career, a bestselling book. Until the night it all ended in a tempest of fire and ash, leaving only Will and his fifteen-year-old daughter Bernadette to stand in the ruins. Haunted and grief-stricken, Will accepts an enigmatic invitation from his family’s past to begin their lives anew in the small town of Abbeville, Ohio. Meanwhile, Abbeville Chief of Police Ivy Holgrave is investigating the death of a local girl, convinced this may only be the latest in a long line of murders dating back decades—including her own long-missing sister.But what place does Will’s new home have in the story of the missing girls? And what links the killings to the diary of a young woman written over a century earlier? The disappearances in Abbeville have happened before, and now Will’s own daughter might be next…
Book Details:Genre: Mystery
Published by: Witness Impulse
Publication Date: January 8th 2019
Number of Pages: 400
ISBN: 0062467468 (ISBN13: 9780062467461)
Series: Jessica Balzano & Kevin Byrne #10
Purchase Links: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Goodreads
Author Bio:RICHARD MONTANARI is the Sunday Times top ten bestselling author of The Echo Man, The Devil’s Garden, Play Dead, The Rosary Girls, The Skin Gods and Broken Angels, as well as the internationally acclaimed thrillers Kiss of Evil, Don’t Look Now (previously published as Deviant Way) and The Violet Hour. He lives in Cleveland, Ohio.Catch Up With Our Richard On:
WebsiteGoodreadsBookBubTwitter, & Facebook
But wait! There’s more! A Giveaway!
GIVEAWAY:This is a rafflecopter giveaway hosted by Partners in Crime Virtual Book Tours for Richard Montanari and Witness Impulse. There will be 3 winners of one (1) physical copy of The Echo Man by Richard Montanari . The giveaway begins on March 1, 2019 and runs through April 1, 2019. U.S. addresses only.  Void where prohibited.
Click below to enter:
http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/f24bf84b610/”

Thank you for making me part of the tour and for my review electronic copy!
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Between the Lies by Michelle Adams

I always love a good suspenseful thriller, and this novel was no exception. I find winter is the best time to read these types of books that I can’t put down. This one I read through in two days! The protagonist has suffered amnesia from a car accident and is trying to remember her life and all the people in it, but she comes to suspect that everyone – even her family – is lying to her. It was a bit creepy and definitely suspenseful, with a satisfying ending.

Thank you for my review e-copy through Net Galley!

Description via NG

In the vein of Allison Brennan, Michelle Adams’s Between the Lies is an addictive psychological thriller with twists that keep the reader guessing until the last page, in which a woman who’s lost her memory is back home with a family she doesn’t know—who are keeping secrets of their own. 

The truth is hiding between the lies.

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What would you do if you woke up and didn’t know who you were?

Chloe Daniels regains consciousness in a hospital with no memory of how she got there. 
She doesn’t recognise the strangers who call themselves family. She can’t even remember her own name.

What if your past remained a mystery?

As she slowly recovers, her parents and sister begin to share details of her life. 
The successful career. The seaside home. The near-fatal car crash.
But Chloe senses they’re keeping dark secrets—and her determination to uncover the truth will have devastating consequences.

What if the people you should be able to trust are lying to you?

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Keep Her Close by Erik Therme

Description

Someone took your daughter. And nobody believes you …

Then:
Three-year-old Ally was found alone in a parking lot.
She was barefoot and dressed only in a yellow sundress. In the middle of winter.
What kind of person would abandon their daughter?

Now:
Fifteen years later and Ally has a new family. 
But her real father has sent her a letter.
Ally doesn’t tell anyone she’s going to meet him.

And now Ally is missing. 

A gripping twist-filled thriller that will have you looking over your shoulder. Perfect for fans of Gone Girl, The Girl on the Train and Teresa Driscoll.

I had read Mr. Therme’s earlier novel, Mortom, a while ago (see https://drbethnolan.com/2015/05/24/quick-review-mortom-by-erik-therme/

and I enjoyed it, so I was happy to read his next novel (and I’m currently reading his third!). I was wary that this story may be disturbing or overly scary – I generally can’t read books where bad things happen to children or if they are gruesome, but Mr. Therme correctly assured me that it was not R rated. This was a quick read for me (as I wanted to see what would happen!) and I recommend it for those who like a quick, suspenseful read!

Thank you for my review e-copy!

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The Victory Garden by Rhys Bowen

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Description (via Net Galley)

A Note From the Publisher

If you read me, you know I LOVE Rhys Bowen’s books — Molly Murphy Mysteries, Royal Spyness mysteries, Tuscan Child, In Farleigh Field, etc. etc. This novel is a stand alone, historical fiction piece, that reminded me a bit of In Farleigh Field, as it was a war story. I loved Emily’s character and found the historical piece so interesting — young women volunteering to work on farms in the British countryside as “land girls’. She is quite resourceful and plucky, though when she becomes pregnant she certainly has to make some decisions as to where her future will lie. There is a bit of mystery, too, as to the history of the cottage where she lives and its former inhabitant. All in all it was a great read and I hope Ms. Bowen continues to writes historical stand alones!
Thank you for my review e-copy!
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The Winter Sister by Megan Collins

Description (via Net Galley)

In this spellbinding and suspenseful debut, a young woman haunted by the past returns home to care for her ailing mother and begins to dig deeper into her sister’s unsolved murder.

Sixteen years ago, Sylvie’s sister Persephone never came home. Out too late with the boyfriend she was forbidden to see, Persephone was missing for three days before her body was found—and years later, her murder remains unsolved.

In the present day, Sylvie returns home to care for her estranged mother, Annie, as she undergoes treatment for cancer. Prone to unexplained “Dark Days” even before Persephone’s death, Annie’s once-close bond with Sylvie dissolved in the weeks after their loss, making for an uncomfortable reunion all these years later. Worse, Persephone’s former boyfriend, Ben, is now a nurse at the cancer center where Annie is being treated. Sylvie’s always believed Ben was responsible for the murder—but she carries her own guilt about that night, guilt that traps her in the past while the world goes on around her.

As she navigates the complicated relationship with her mother, Sylvie begins to uncover the secrets that fill their house—and what really happened the night Persephone died. As it turns out, the truth will set you free, once you can bear to look at it.

The Winter Sister is a mesmerizing portrayal of the complex bond between sisters, between mothers and daughters alike, and forces us to ask ourselves—how well do we know the people we love most?

Well – I got this one a while ago via Net Galley (thank you!) and I started it right away and could not put it down! It was a suspenseful read and not easy to figure out. I really liked Sylvie’s character and I had my fingers crossed for a happy (or at least uplifting) ending with a sense of resolution and forgiveness. I was not disappointed! I read it in two evenings because I wanted the resolution.

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Watching You by Lisa Jewell

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I love Lisa Jewell’s novels. They are always so suspenseful! I was able to get her latest (publishing 12/26/18) via Net Galley. Of course I read it in two days as I just could NOT stop reading! Thank you for my review copy.

Here’s the overview:

Description

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The Rain Watcher by Tatiana De Rosnay

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