Category Archives: Contemporary

The Englisch Daughter by Cindy Woodsmall and Erin Woodsmall

Publication Date: 21 April 2020

Publisher: Waterbrook Press, a division of Waterbrook Multnomah

ARC Copy from Waterbrook and NetGalley

Rated: 4 out of 5

 

“One of the things I’ve learned this past year is that whatever we choose to do sacrifices something else.”

–Roy Graber

The Englisch Daughter explores the implosion of Roy and Jemima Graber’s marriage. Living in the Old Order Amish requires a unique lifestyle, set of rules, and faith, particularly for the women. Jemima’s dreams and savings disappear overnight along with the husband she thought she knew well. Left with a husband who lies, cheats, and brings his secrets home, she struggles to find herself and to deal with four young children.

Pulled into the complexities of Roy and Jemima’s troubles is Abigail Graber, Roy’s younger sister. She too trusted her brother with her life savings and her future. Chris Fisher, a young man with his own set of challenges resulting from his lifestyle choices, comes to work at the Graber farm to help Roy. Abigail and Chris fight their attraction as they become pulled into Roy and Jemima’s problems.

A deeply moving story that centers on the lessons learned when we try to protect the ones we love with lies and dishonesty. Can the pieces of broken trust be healed? How far must a person go to figure out his personal self-identity? How far is too far? Read this compelling story about these four people each at different places in their life struggling to find forgiveness, trust, and to rebuild their family and lives.

This ARC copy was received from Waterbrook Press and NetGalley. The above thoughts and opinions are wholly my own.

#TheEnglischDaughter  #NetGalley

3 Comments

Filed under Amish, Book Reviews, Contemporary

The Moonglow Sisters by Lori Wilde

Publication Date: March 3, 2020

William Morrow

ARC copy from Netgalley.com and William Morrow

Genre: Contemporary Romance, Secular

Rated: 5/5

“Forgive one another. Love one another. That is the lesson of the quilt. ”

                                             -Grammy (Helen Chapman)

 Vivid characters, powerful sister chemistry, and a mystical town named Moonglow Cove weave a spell that will draw you in as you get to know the Chapman sisters. Join this intriguing trio of sisters as they work their way through a difficult summer filled with forgiveness, healing, and second chances. Lori Wilde’s latest book is a story in which to immerse yourself.

Meet Madison, the eldest and a high power television celebrity; Shelley, the middle child and more adventuresome of the trio; and Gia, the youngest and most easygoing of the three. Their grandmother, Helen, raised the girls and continues to run the family inn even as she struggles with changes in her life. When a health crisis brings the girls back to Moonglow, their sisterly split of five years requires work on all of their parts to do the best thing for Grammy and themselves.

A delightful spring read to get you thinking about summer! As each sister works her way through the summer dealing with her own personal issues, each finds new possibilities for the future. The ending is perfect. A delightful contemporary romance!

This copy was received from William Morrow in exchange for an honest review. The above thoughts and opinions are wholly my own.

#MoonglowSisters #NetGalley

1 Comment

Filed under Book Reviews, Contemporary, Contemporary

The Oysterville Sewing Circle by Susan Wiggs

Publication Date: 13 August 2019

Publisher: William Morrow

ARC copy from William Morrow and Netgalley.com

 

 

 

The Oysterville Sewing Circle is a story with depth and emotion that depicts the quote “life is what happens to you when you’re making other plans” perfectly.  Caroline Shelby, a young up and coming New York fashion designer, wakes up one day to find herself with a destroyed career and her best friend’s two children whom she unexpectedly has to raise. With few options left, Caroline heads for home in Oysterville, Washington, a small town perched on the edge of the ocean.

Caroline is not a quitter. With inspiration and drive she begins to put her life back together with the help of family and friends. Not only does she begin to rebuild her new life, she reaches out to help other women who have been victims of harassment, abuse, and violence. Part of the rebuilding process involves dealing with Will Jensen, a close friend from her younger years. Complex and problematical, they work to find what the future will hold for them.

 This novel depicts the themes of courage, survival, and trust. The story also highlights the bonds women build when they stand up and support each other during difficult times, as well as the strength of familial bonds.  The characters are real and dynamic. The book is an excellent read and one of the better books I have read this summer. Don’t miss it!

 This ARC copy was received from William Morrow and Netgalley.com. The above thoughts and opinions are wholly my own.

#TheOystervilleSewingCircle  #NetGalley

2 Comments

Filed under Book Reviews, Contemporary, Contemporary, Realistic Fiction

The Secret of Clouds by Alyson Richman

Publication Date: 19 Feb 2019

Publisher: Berkley Publishing Group

ARC copy from Netgalley.com and Berkley Publishing Group/Random House

“The thing about my job, Bill…it forces you to change the way you see things. And with a student like Yuri … I see life differently because of him, and that’s a good thing.”

                                                –Maggie Topper, teacher

This emotional story goes straight to the heart of why teachers teach and what they take away from the classroom and their students at the end of the day. Set in fall of 1999, Maggie Topper, a second year sixth grade language arts teacher, takes on an extra duty teaching assignment for Yuri, a young boy in need of tutoring outside of the traditional classroom. Unsure of herself with the new assignment, Maggie begins her journey with Yuri, who actually loves learning and hungers for companionship. Maggie works to bring both to this young boy by combining his love of baseball with education.

The story also follows Maggie’s personal life as she learns from her student and grows and expands her own life. The book touches on many important themes; a parent’s love for their child, a teacher’s dedication and growth, and a child’s recognition of his own truth and reality. Heartbreaking, endearing, and at the same time motivating, read this beautiful story of how one individual can change a person’s life. A terrific contemporary read with depth and complexity!

This ARC copy was received from Berkley Publishing Group/Random House and Netgalley.com. The above thoughts and opinions are wholly my own. 

#TheSecretOfClouds #NetGalley #BerkleyPub  #RandomHouse

 

Leave a comment

Filed under Book Reviews, Clean, Contemporary, Contemporary

Mysterious and Complex!

The Clockmaker’s Daughter by Kate Morton

Publication Date: Oct 9, 2018

Publisher: Atria Books

The book, set at Birchwood Manor in England where the heart of the story takes place, begins with Elodie Winslow finding of a sketchbook and a photograph in an old leather satchel. As she examines the items in the satchel, she feels a familiarity with the house in the photo. Elodie slowly gets drawn into the story behind the sketchbook and photo and she finds a familial thread intertwined.

This book weaves an extremely complicated story with more than one mystery at the center of the tale. The story is intertwined with time shifts between the 1860’s and 2017. Not only is the story complicated, but keeping track of the characters required work.

In my honest opinion the book is a challenging read much too complex for a casual, enjoyable read.  I have read the majority of Kate Morton’s other work and very much enjoyed them.

This ARC copy was received from Atria Books and NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. The above thoughts and opinions are wholly my own.

Leave a comment

Filed under Book Reviews, Contemporary, Contemporary, Mystery/Suspense

Ours for a Season by Kim Vogel Sawyer

Publication Date: Sept 11, 2018

Publisher: Waterbrook Multnomah

ARC copy from Netgalley.com and Waterbrook Multnomah

“And he reminded me that our children aren’t really ours anyway. They belong to God. We have them for one season of life, but then they have to move into their own season.”

–Evelyn Mast

Kim Vogel Sawyer brings to life the lesson of accepting our life the way the Lord gives it to us instead of the way we plan and hope for it to be. Marty and Anthony Hirshler, devout Mennonites raised and married in the faith, live in Pine Hill, Indiana. Their story of heartbreak, disappointment, and new chances is interwoven with that of Brooke Spalding, a close, non-Mennonite friend of Marty’s from childhood, who runs a successful real estate business in Kansas City. This book offers a genuine portrayal of lives planned and changed by circumstances beyond their control.

Mixing faith, fertility issues, medical crises, and family issues together creates an intriguing novel that draws the reader in right from the beginning of the story. I enjoyed the interweaving of Marty and Anthony’s Mennonite faith and way of life with that of Brooke’s modern lifestyle. Timing is critical and Brooke and Marty find in each other some much needed support. As Anthony brings Marty and his construction crew to Eagle Creek to work for Brooke on a restoration project, he finds that more than his buildings are being restored.

Don’t miss this emotional story by Kim Vogel Sawyer. Readers of Amish fiction and Christian fiction will truly enjoy this unique story.

This ARC copy was received from Waterbrook Multnomah and Netgalley.com in exchange for an honest review. The above thoughts and opinions are wholly my own.

#OursForASeason #NetGalley

 

Leave a comment

Filed under Amish, Book Reviews, christian fiction, Clean, Contemporary, Contemporary

Cottage by the Sea by Debbie Macomber

Publication Date: July 17, 2018

Ballantine Books

ARC from Ballantine Books and Netgalley.com

 

Excerpt: “Still, the cottage by the sea was the one place she could remember where she’d been completely happy. She didn’t know if she’d ever find that sense of peace again, but Annie was determined to try.”

In search of peace, Annie Marlow packs her bags and moves to the tiny beach town of Oceanside. As a physician’s assistant, Annie could have chosen from a vast array of locations, but she was searching for peace and a place to rebuild her life after a terrible tragedy. Going back to a familiar spot from childhood, Annie moves back into a cottage her family rented for many years.

This novel is all about the characters and their eccentric range of personalities. Seth Keaton, a gentle giant of a man, paints rooms and houses by day and quietly paints beautiful murals around town when no one is looking. Soft spoken, awkward and shy his crush on Annie has lasted for years unbeknownst to her. Melody Johnson, rude, ill-mannered and extremely anti-social, never leaves the old house behind Annie’s cottage. As Annie’s landlord, Melody and Annie have an uncomfortable working relationship which Annie is determined to better. A cast of minor characters play a role in Annie’s life and her battle to find her happy place again at Oceanside.

I enjoyed the quirkiness of the characters as well as the comfortable pace of the story. The book is one to read and enjoy slowly in spite of its rather serious tone and nature. Travel Annie’s journey with her to find her serenity and her happy place. Good beach read for the summer for those who want a little depth to their story!

This copy was received from Ballantine Books and Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. The above thoughts and opinions are wholly my own.

#CottageByTheSea #NetGalley

 

 

 

Leave a comment

Filed under Book Reviews, Clean, Contemporary, Contemporary, Realistic Fiction