A home worth visiting

This is the first novel that I have read by this Australian author…and I am glad that I did! The story of a home and the people who lived in it is told with warmth and insight. We follow the elderly seller of the house as she is moved to assisted living. She has her memories though and we experience her earlier life and relationships. In the present, a young mom tries to understand her life and parenthood. A warm and lovely book!  Thanks NetGalley.

#HerdingCats #NetGalley  I learned about this talented comic writer from my daughter. The cat cartoons have been especially enjoyed in our household but there is more. Sara Anderson humorously and effectively shows us our anxieties and issues. Try this book. Being able to laugh breaks the hard things down into manageable bites. It will help you to process and digest your experiences!

Product DetailsProduct DetailsI’ve already blogged about the first three books in this series; they are The Seven Sisters, The Storm Sister and The Shadow Sister.  So…that makes The Pearl Sister, book four, with three more  still to come.  I was very eager to read this book so ordered it from England as it has not yet released in the U.S..  (The U.S. cover is on the left and the U.K. one on the right.)   As in all of the novels in the series, this one is about a sister who was adopted as a baby.  CeeCee, learns about herself and her birth family along with the reader.  Parts of the novel take place in the present while the story of CeeCee’s birth family takes place in the past.  The parts of the novel join together well.  The characters are vivid and their stories well developed.  Australia is the setting for much of the novel and the historical background was fascinating; I learned about pearl divers, the fate of children who were sent to orphanages because of being aborigine and Caucasian and about aboriginal art and beliefs.  Some suspension of disbelief is required but I was more than willing.  If you enjoy historical/present tense novels with a good story in a long book, this one is for you!

Dive into this series

Product DetailsThe trend for Scandinavian mysteries continues.  My daughter pointed out an additional trend in these northern novels, when she observed that they include so many enticing food details and scenes of ordinary, daily life.  I wanted to eat with Nora and to visit the island of Sandham where she lives for the summer.

Viveca Sten is an author I did not know.  I just finished Still Waters and have immediately plunged into Closed Circles, the next in the series.  In her own country, Ms. Sten has sold millions of books.  I think that U.S. readers could also enjoy hunkering down with her novels.  The main characters come fully to life in a way that makes me want to follow them through the next books.  The final solution to the mystery is not the strongest part of the book but I did not mind as I so enjoyed everything else in this fun read.  Highly recommended.

I wish that I could shop here!

Product DetailsI have been “reading” this book in its audio edition.  A British novel, a British audiobook narrator; what could be better?  This is a charming story about the kind of store where a bibliophile would find bliss.  Well curated, family run, a good selection in stock and in a lovely town; indeed a perfect shop.  The stories of several characters are interwoven.  A really nice read to enjoy during the frantic holiday season.

Will you be persuaded to read this book?

Do we move on from past romances? Do we want to? What happens if we are given a second chance? Do we take it? In By the Book, we watch as Anne reconnects with her college boyfriend. Is he “the one” or is Rick, the rich, successful novelist? In this retelling of Austen’s Persuasion, we root for Anne as she explores her choices. The academic setting is fun. There are also subplots, involving Anne’s close friend, Larry, and Anne’s father so that the book is about different kinds of relationships.. The novel is an easy read and one that will be enjoyed by fans ofmodern day Jane Austen tales.

Upstairs/Downstairs in Carnegie’s Pittsburgh

Imagine that your family sends you (alone) to the U.S. because of financial hardship in Ireland and you will need to support your relatives back home. Imagine that you are able to take on someone else’s identity to become the servant of Andrew Carnegie’s mother. Will you be found out? Will your position be secure? These are among the premises of this richly detailed historical novel. Relationships between upstairs and downstairs, specifically between Clara and Andrew Carnegie are a major part of this novel. Read it too to learn more about the business world and women’s roles in the post Civil War U.S. Overall, an enjoyable read.