Publication Date: 08 May 2018
ARC from Netgalley and Thomas Nelson
“Sir, we live in an angry, evil world. Where stuff doesn’t always make sense. Where hope seems like something we did when we were kids and the love we cling to slips through our fingers like cold water, but” –I tapped my chest—nothing that happens here today changes the fact that love heals the shattered places.”
–Joseph “Jo-Jo” Brooks
Once again Charles Martin draws the reader into a multi-layered, emotional drama with depths that just will not let you put this story down. Two brothers. A past love. A radio talk show host. An abused mother and two children. A drug gang. All of these people are woven in to this tale about Joseph, “Jo-Jo”, Brooks, a man who lives a shadowy existence in each of their lives.
Joseph’s life story plays out predominantly against the backdrop of coastal Florida and Vietnam. The novel encompasses love, war, and violence. Joseph and Bobby Brooks are two brothers with a complicated past and an even more complex relationship as adults. The complexity of their relationship is uncovered a layer at a time as the story progresses often moving back in time in order to help the reader understand Joseph and his choices.
The book is filled with themes on finding forgiveness, love, protecting family, friendship, and healing. The book is deep and filled with emotion and pain. The voice of Charles Martin whispered in my ear long after I finished the story. This book is so worth reading.
This ARC copy was received from Thomas Nelson and Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. The above thoughts and opinions are wholly my own.
Publication Date: Nov 2016
St. Martin’s Press
ARC copy from Netgalley.com and St. Martin’s Press
Daisy Goodwin once again takes on a cast of historical characters in this novel set in England during the early 19th century. The novel details the early years of Queen Victoria’s ascendance to the throne of England as well as detailing some of her earlier years prior to becoming queen.
Alexandrina Victoria was a young woman who lived an extremely sheltered life guided by her single parent mother and her mother’s advisor, Sir John Conroy, a rather shifty individual who stood to gain much through his manipulations of Victoria and her mother. However upon gaining her crown, Alexandrina Victoria retitles herself as Queen Victoria and finds her own mentor in the form of Lord Melbourne.
The book portrays the Queen as having a less than discreet romantic interest in Melbourne; however, Melbourne treats her for the most part like his Queen in spite of his feelings for her as a female. The reality of the story is not really known, but Ms. Goodwin does a nice job of portraying Melbourne in a positive manner.
As Victoria gets a couple of years experience behind her and learns some difficult lessons along the way, she receives a visit from her cousin Prince Albert of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha. Her Uncle Leopold did his best to match make, and he eventually succeeds. Victoria marries Prince Albert in what will become a very strong love match.
The characters are dynamic and changing as they age and progress through the story. They are not always likeable, but generally always interesting. A fun read filled with historical data based on the real life of Queen Victoria, her family, and the political intrigues that followed her! A well written, interesting story!
This ARC copy was received from St. Martin’s Press and Netgalley.com in exchange for an honest review. The above thoughts and opinions are wholly my own.