Reviews by Elizabeth of Silver's Reviews

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Red Letter Days
by Sarah-Jane Stratford
Red Letter Days (9/29/2019)
Phoebe was finally making some money for her scripts and getting well known, but then for some reason she was tagged as being a communist by the government and blacklisted by the playwrights.

Phoebe had no idea what she did to be tagged, but she decided to leave the country and head to London where there was someone who would take her scripts no matter who or what she was.

We follow Phoebe on her trip across the ocean and when she arrives in London determined to make a name for herself in the seven weeks she was granted to be in the country.

I enjoyed the characters in RED LETTER DAYS. LOVE the cover.

Phoebe was funny and lovable and eager to take chances. Hannah was talented but flighty. Phoebe's sister, Mona, was upbeat even though her life wasn't.

We see the historical struggles and worries that play writes had at this time and how the blacklisted writers could get into deep trouble.

Historical fiction fans, fans of the theater and television productions, and fans of Robin Hood will enjoy RED LETTER DAYS.

Ms. Stratford did marvelous, in-depth research, but The Robin Hood pages that took up a great deal of the book actually were of no interest, and that did make the story drag for me. 3/5

This book was given to me by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
The House Girl
by Tara Conklin
Elizabeth of Silver's Reviews (9/11/2019)
From 1852 to 2004....from one artist to another....from a farm in Virginia to the hustle and bustle of New York City.

THE HOUSE GIRL flawlessly switches between these two time periods telling of the life of Josephine, a slave girl, Lina, a New York City attorney, and Lina's father, Oscar, an artist. The book leads you through the life of Josephine as she struggles with her decision to "run, it leads you through the life of Lina who is researching families who may benefit from wrong doing during the period of slavery in the United States, and it leads you through the life of Oscar trying to make amends through his artwork.

The most significant question, though, along with finding descendants is that of who really did create the paintings found in Lu Anne Bell's home? Was it really Lu Anne or was it Josephine? Corresponding with this painting mystery and the mystery of Josephine's descendants is that of Lina's mother...what really did happen to her when Lina was only four?

You will get caught up in both stories because of the great detail Ms. Conklin uses and because of the research. I love "digging" for historical information. As you switch between the two stories, you will ask yourself to choose which life you were more interested in....Lina's or Josephine's....it may be difficult to choose since both were appealing and drew you in, but for me Josephine's story wins hands down for interest.

It took a few chapters, but you will become so involved, it becomes difficult to stop reading....you want to know what will become of the characters and the answer to the mysteries.

Each character comes alive with the vivid detail Ms. Conklin uses, and she puts their feelings out in the open...you can feel the tension, the pain, the frustration, the longing, and the fleeting happiness they experience. I really enjoyed this book because of the history and the research and of course the detailed descriptions of the characters.

The historical aspect and the fact-finding kept me up late. It is very interesting how the farm's kitchen records, crop records, and births and deaths of every person including the slaves was kept. I thoroughly enjoy these types of findings. I also wonder how these records were not destroyed and who would have thought to preserve them. Such foresight....something to be grateful for.

Don't miss this book especially if you are a historical fiction buff. This book pulls you in and will cause you to pause and reflect on the human race and have you wondering about the reasons why we do what we do, have you wondering what the reasons are that lead us to make the choices we make, and have you wondering about the reason we turned out to be the person we are. 5/5

This book was given to me without compensation by the publisher in return for an honest review.
The Invention of Wings
by Sue Monk Kidd
Elizabeth of Silver's Reviews (9/11/2019)
Sarah Grimke and Handful were complete opposites in the society of the 1800's.

Sarah was the daughter of a plantation owner, and Handful was her maid. Both were strong women regardless of their station in life.

Sarah didn't want to have a maid, and Handful didn't want to be a maid. She wanted to sew just like her mother did. She wanted to be a seamstress, but in reality, she wanted to be free. Charlotte, Handful's mother, made all the clothes for the household including the slaves. She was a bit of of a handful herself.

Through the beautiful storytelling of Ms. Kidd, you will follow the Grimke family through the decades of life on the plantation. You will meet Missus who was the wife of the plantation owner and who was in charge of of the slaves. She was very cruel.

The main characters, Sarah, Handful, Charlotte, and Missus will keep you up late reading about the day's activities either covert or in plain sight and either cruel or humane. These characters and their bond as well as their differences will be pulling at your heartstrings.

Historical Fiction at its best will be yours when you pick up THE INVENTION OF WINGS. There is a lot of profound thinking and pondering in every paragraph. I wasn't aware of Sarah's role in the abolitionist movement, and was pleasantly surprised to find information about her and her sister, Angeline, as I did some research of my own.

The storyline of THE INVENTION OF WINGS flows easily and masterfully as Ms. Kidd brings to life Southern living, the horrors of slavery, and tells of the people who worked toward abolishing slavery.

Don't miss this well-written, researched book of Ms. Kidd. Ms. Kidd’s notes at the end of the book were very helpful as she explained how she took the basis of history and fictionalized key parts of it for her book. THE INVENTION OF WINGS was incredible. 5/5

This book was given to me free of charge by the publisher in return for an honest review.
That Night
by Chevy Stevens
Elizabeth of Silver's Reviews (9/11/2019)
Bullying and prison life were the main themes in THAT NIGHT.

The main character, Toni, had been bullied in high school because she was not in the "in" crowd. This bullying influenced her life in a negative way. Toni was very disliked by a group of girls in high school, and they kept after her for no other reason than to be mean.

Being accused of murdering her sweet sister and having the folks that bullied her testify that she always lied about things definitely didn't help her defense. She and her boyfriend were accused of the murder even though they were innocent and victims themselves and were sent to prison for 15 years.

Prison wasn't any better for Toni. Prison seemed like an extension of her high school problems.

THAT NIGHT is the second book I read by Chevy Stevens. To me it was not as good as the other book I read, but it did send a very powerful message?.

As I was reading, I was truly frightened which most likely was the author's purpose in getting across the points of the damaging and horrible aspects of bullying.

I really wasn't pulled in because of the beginning pages, but I kept coming back to learn about bullying and the repercussions of how it ruins a person's life. Stevens did a great deal of research and did a marvelous job of having the reader feel the fear caused by the bullying.

To me Ms. Steven's was unquestionably raising the awareness of bullying and excellently conveyed it in her book.

The book was very frightening as I was visualizing the scenes and thinking about what reaction I would have had in a bullying situation. If you have been bullied, you won't want to read this book; it will bring back too many unsettling memories. I never was bullied, but I was very shaken upon seeing how people act and the cruel things they do.

My rating is mainly affected by the first 200 pages that only talked of high school antics and their jealousy of each other. If you can get past the first 200 pages of high school drama and adolescent problems, the final pages are quite good.

I would have given the book a 2/5 because of the beginning pages, but I am changing the rating to a 3/5.

This rating is changed mainly because the ending pages were excellent as the true story of the murder became revealed and because bullying needs to be addressed. The public's awareness of bullying needs to be more in the open and needs to make the public realize this issue does exist and is a major social problem.

This book was given to me free of charge and without compensation by the publisher in return for an honest review.
Never Let You Go
by Chevy Stevens
Elizabeth of Silver's Reviews (9/11/2019)
You can't wear that, I saw you smiling at that man, you don't need to leave the house.

Those things happened to Lindsey as her marriage progressed. Andrew was so sweet and caring especially during her pregnancy, but it got worse every day.? She was afraid of her husband, Andrew, and she knew that wasn't how it should be. ?

Lindsey finally left Andrew, and in his rage Andrew was in a car accident, killed a woman, and went to jail for ten years.

Andrew is now out of jail??, and Lindsey’s fears are back. She knows he will find her and follow her because he always told her he will never let her go.

NEVER LET YOU GO has tension oozing through the pages and keeps you turning the pages as you want to know what is going to happen next. The ending is one marvelous surprise.

If you enjoy suspense and edge-of-your seat tension, NEVER LET YOU GO is a book you don't want to miss. Living through the nightmare with Lindsey is gripping and a tribute to the skillful writing style of Ms. Stevens.

There are no gory murder scenes but you become emotionally drained along with the characters as we follow them through their stress as well as their love.

Ms. Stevens addresses a social problem that I am sure plagues more women than we know of. Domestic abuse is most likely overlooked because the victims do not want to report the abuser.

If you are in the mood for a tense, well-written book with an unforgettable ending in more ways than one, you will want to read NEVER LET YOU GO. 5/5

This book was given to me free of charge and without compensation by the publisher in return for an honest review.
Tamarack County
by William Kent Krueger
Elizabeth of Silver's Reviews (9/3/2019)
Murders, children coming back home, folks getting run off the road, revenge for a 20-year-old murder, and many unusual things happening in the bitter cold county of Tamarack in Northern Minnesota.

What was happening in this town that usually was a quiet place to be? No one knew the answer, and the police had no clue either. Even Cork, a retired deputy sheriff, was called in for the investigation that he was more involved with than he knew.

Cork O’Connor wasn't aware that his family would be involved and that part of his family was changing. Cork is a character you would personally want as a friend. He is a great father as well as a dedicated law man.

TAMARACK COUNTY is the second book I have read by Mr. Krueger. It is quite different from ORDINARY GRACE, but still beautifully detailed and written.

Mr. Krueger's characters are always an interesting lot. I enjoyed learning about the Indian traditions and a few Indian words. The landscape descriptions were amazing, but I wouldn't want to live in that cold climate, though, which seemed to be a major theme.

TAMARACK COUNTY definitely kept my attention with a good storyline but a storyline that wasn't gripping until the last half of the book when things did heat up in those freezing temperatures as the mystery unraveled as well as the history of the characters.

The characters were well developed, authentic, and very plausible. TAMARACK COUNTY is a book about community and family all working together for the good of each other.

TAMARACK COUNTY has religious and philosophical themes as subplots.

A quote from page 205 is quite meaningful and something I believe needs to be shared:

“Anger, hate, jealousy envy, fear. Fill your pockets with these heavy stones and you spend your life trying not to drown. Throw them away, and you float."

I hope you get to read this book. It was thought provoking, introspective, and will hold your interest. I enjoyed it. 4/5

This book was given to me free of charge and without compensation by the publisher in return for an honest review.
Ordinary Grace
by William Kent Krueger
Excellent - don't miss reading this book (9/3/2019)
Frankie and Jake were brothers with Frankie being the braver of the two but not necessarily the ethical one. ORDINARY GRACE takes place when times were simpler but when problems still occurred in families and towns.

This specific summer in Frankie and Jake's life had adventures as well as misfortunes. Frankie was a character you will love. Frankie always seemed to be in the right place but never managed to figure out what was going on. He was growing up, being a boy, getting into and out of trouble, learning about life, and also learning how to deal with adult situations. His brother Jake was timid, adored his brother, and joined him on most of his adventures.

The book had a wonderful story line and great characters. The characters can be described as unique, loveable, different, and ones you would want to have for friends. Frankie was the narrator, Jake kept the story going, and Gus seemed to be the person Frankie and Jake looked up to. Frankie and Jake's parents were the typical couple of this era. All characters complemented each other.

The writing was extraordinary, the storyline was sweet, just like the era that pulled you in, and the storyline unquestionably kept your interest. You won't want to put the book down mainly because of the nostalgic theme. Keeping the storyline going are murders, deaths, a disappearance, a summer that would never be forgotten, and a mystery to solve.

I thoroughly enjoyed the book. The writing was moving, expressive, and powerful. The storyline moved effortlessly, and I loved the glimpse back into the 1960's.

ORDINARY GRACE is a book that will be on your mind long after you turn the last page. Don't miss this extraordinary book filled with the exploring of one's conscience and also with learning how to forgive. It is noteworthy and remarkable. 5/5

This book was given to me free of charge and without compensation by the publisher in return for an honest review.
This Tender Land: A Novel
by William Kent Krueger
Marvelous (9/3/2019)
The Lincoln School, an orphanage with horrible caregivers who beat the children and subjected them to even worse daily working conditions, is where we meet Odie, Albert, Mose, and then Emmy.

The three friends had to get away, and they had their chance one night.

We follow them as they escape with Emmy who didn't originally live at the school and move farther and farther away from Lincoln School and the horrors they had endured.

Following the three friends and Emmy down the Mississippi river and meeting the folks along the River was mesmerizing.

The trip down the river also seemed dangerous but was amazing how the friends always had another friend/stranger helping out.

THIS TENDER LAND's lush writing had me not wanting to stop reading because I didn’t want to miss their adventures, and I didn't want the book to end.

Mr. Krueger's writing pulls you in with his descriptions, lovable characters, and story line.

What a marvelous, master story teller Mr. Krueger is. His book even incorporated stories told by the characters within the book.

Mr. Krueger’s magic is indeed evident in THIS TENDER LAND and is a book that needs to be read by every book club and everyone who loves becoming engrossed in the lives of the characters in a book and an era.

This book is an absorbing tale of love, loss, and endurance and will fill your heart with the warmth that comes with feeling needed, helpful, and wanted.

You just have to read this book to understand its beauty and excellence.

This book was given to me as an ARC by the publisher via NetGalley.
The Perfect Son
by Lauren North
You most likely won't guess the ending (8/19/2019)
We meet Tess in the hospital after she had an accident at her son's birthday party and after coping with the death of her husband a few weeks ago.

Something is going on since her husband’s death, and Tess doesn’t know what it is. All she knows is that she is happy she has her son.

Her brother-in-law, Ian, says Tess needs to pay back the $100,000 her husband lent him, flowers are left on her doorstep with no note, her son is being very difficult, and an appointment with a social worker that Tess doesn’t remember making do not add up and make things worse for Tess.

We learn of all these things in between the time we meet Tess in the hospital and the flash backs to the days before her son’s eighth birthday party where Tess was stabbed.

There was a lot going on as Tess grieved for Mark, and what was going on wasn’t good. She thought she saw Mark in the grocery store, heard people in her driveway at night, had a social worker stopping by looking through her mail, had questions about what Ian told her, had hang-up phone calls at all hours, and other odd happenings.

You can feel there is something going on and plenty of hints that seem to go in the wrong direction not allowing you to be able to figure out what is really happening.

If you enjoy the feeling of something not quite right growing underneath it all, "The Perfect Son" shouldn’t be missed.

If biting your finger nails keeps you reading because of the choices a character makes and doesn’t make and other characters that don't really have another character's best interest in mind, "The Perfect Son" should be your next read.

"The Perfect Son" will lead you down the wrong path as you read, but a terrific book and a surprise ending await you. 5/5

This book was given to me by the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
The Oysterville Sewing Circle
by Susan Wiggs
A Must Read (8/14/2019)
Caroline never thought she would be returning to her childhood home of Oysterville and definitely not with two children that weren't her own.

Caroline had wanted to leave as badly as any young person and head to New York City. Caroline did make it big in New York until a famous designer stole her clothing line.

Her loss and the death of her friend had Caroline returning with her friend's two children because Caroline had no idea how to take care of a child let alone two.

Caroline had a loving, supportive family to help her and ideas on how to help women of domestic abuse since that is what took her friend who left her the two children.

We get a glimpse into Caroline’s life as a teenager as well as her life now. Her teenage years were just as full of love as her adult life with her family.

THE OYSTERVILLE SEWING CIRCLE was a sweet, beautiful read with lovable characters and a setting you will want to make your own.

If you enjoy sewing, the fashion world, being on a beach setting, learning about running a restaurant, being with loving characters, and seeing women helping other women, THE OYSTERVILLE SEWING CIRCLE will be a wonderful addition to your reading stack.

A truly cozy, heartwarming read for readers of women’s fiction.
The Winemaker's Wife
by Kristin Harmel
Do Not Miss Reading This Book (8/13/2019)
France, wine, WWII, present day, and love - all of this wrapped into one amazing, difficult-to-put-down read.

We meet Inez, Celine, Michel, Thor, Liv, and Liv's French grandmother, Edith, as the story moves back and forth in time.

We find out about the lives of the winemakers during the war and a secret that grandmother has kept for many years as well as a connection that the vineyards, a restaurant, and the characters have to both time periods and to their lives.

Grandmother Edith was my favorite character…mysterious and stubborn all rolled into one.

Liv was likable as well.

Inez, Celine, Michel, and Thor were interesting, and their wine tunnels were fascinating.

We learn more of the war, the resistance, the French people involved in the resistance, and how the danger of making one simple mistake could alter the safety of many people.

THE WINEMAKER’S WIFE is another marvelous, intriguing read about the resiliency and determination of the French people and the entire European population.

Those of us who were not living during this time, do not have any idea of the horrors and hardships endured by the European people.

Ms. Harmel weaved a beautiful tale filled with authentic characters and a story line that kept me turning the pages to learn more as well as cry with the characters.

Absolutely LOVED this book. Do not miss reading this book. 5/5
The Wedding Gift
by Marlen Suyapa Bodden
Elizabeth of Silver's Reviews (7/10/2019)
Avery is left with her grandmother's house after she passes, a wealthy family buys it, and they hire Avery to manage this house and their entire neighborhood of exclusive, rented summer cottages.

Avery is an excellent manager, becomes friends with the Lowman's daughter, Sadie, and is treated like family, and then is faced with Sadie's death that is being ruled as a suicide. Avery knows Sadie wouldn't kill herself and especially on the night of the annual Plus-One end-of-the-summer party.

Avery stuck to her theory that Sadie didn't commit suicide, and she found a few things to prove the police investigation hadn't been thorough and that no one could be trusted.

Her investigation made me nervous, though, because of the way she went about gathering evidence.

We move from chapter to chapter telling the before and after of Avery and Sadie's friendship and of the goings on at the rental community. Was Sadie really Avery’s friend or did she think of Avery as the help and pretend to be her friend? Was anyone really Avery's friend?

I was a bit confused at first about what was going, but once Avery found evidence and clues about what really happened and things were revealed, the interest kicked up.

THE LAST HOUSE GUEST will be for you if you enjoy a beach setting, characters that have secrets, characters that are broken, and a mystery that keeps you guessing.

The ending is definitely a surprise. 4/5

This book was given to me as ARC by the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
The Uninvited Guests: A Novel
by Sadie Jones
Elizabeth of Silver's Reviews (7/10/2019)
What else could happen on Emerald's birthday....her step-father leaves for one day to try to save their home, a friend isn't coming for her birthday, a suitor who isn't anyone she likes gives her a gift, a train accident that causes twenty or more "uninvited guests" to stay at their home, grumpy servants, and then Smudge's decision to carry out a ridiculous undertaking.

The Torrington family definitely had a situation on their hands mostly caused by the folks who have been in the morning room all day from the accident site and had only been given tea. Would they be staying there for more than that evening or would the railway station drop by and take them to their original destinations? No communication from the railway station was bad enough, but if the Torringtons thought the uninvited guests were a bad situation, wait until they find out what Smudge has done...their uninvited guests may not be considered a bad situation.

This book was filled with the propriety of an English household along with things that were not. The descriptive writing style of Ms. Jones is phenomenal....you feel as though you are right on the scene and can see all the details of the surroundings and furnishings. The characters are devilish, fun, and of course proper....well proper for the most part. You will feel each character's mood whether it be fear, pleasure, anger, or irritation. Most of the characters were filled with irritation at the things going on except Smudge who was in a world of her own.

Smudge is loveable and comical, but I felt sorry for the poor neglected girl. I can see why she did the things she did. Clovis was lazy, Charlotte was helpless and whiny and had a secret that became revealed to the horror of her family, Emerald was the responsible one, and the servants worked but complained. Charlotte couldn't handle anything out of the ordinary and would hide in her room....Charlotte was the mother of Clovis, Emerald, and Smudge. The children were more able to handle things than she could.

The book took a few pages to get going, but don't put it down....it is humorous and a bit odd. I enjoyed the book because of its being a bit absurd and because the proper English household wasn't a usual proper household. You will love the characters as I mentioned above. There is one chapter that is frightening because of the behaviors of one of the uninvited guests who was allowed to associate with the family, but overall it was an amusing look into an English household. 4/5

This book was given to me free of charge by the publisher and TLC Tours without compensation in return for an honest review.
The Railwayman's Wife
by Ashley Hay
Elizabeth of Silver's Reviews (7/10/2019)
Living without Mac was like not living for Ani, but she had to make the best of it. When she moved to Thirroul, Ani thought it would be wonderful for the rest of her life, but the railroad accident changed it all.

Everything reminded Ani of Mac. The slightest sound or sight would trigger memories

THE RAILWAYMAN'S WIFE moves back and forth between the times before the railroad accident and after the accident and the war.

THE RAILWAYMAN'S WIFE is beautifully written with wonderful description and has odd as well as endearing characters.

You will love Ani, Mac, and Isabel. You can feel the love between Mac and Ani oozing from the pages as well as Ani's grief and her quest for healing.

You will definitely dislike Dr. Frank and pity Roy. Iris was a pessimistic one. The town of Thirroul seems like a city that would be a great place to live with most of the residents being ones you would want to meet.

Ms. Hay definitely gives us a glimpse into the beauty of South Wales and the hearts and desires of the characters.


THE RAILWAYMAN'S WIFE is filled with love, loss, and thoughts to ponder.

THE RAILWAYMAN'S WIFE is a book women's fiction fans won't want to miss. Even though the ending was sad, it was a very positive read about healing, hope, and everyday issues.
Lies
by T. M. Logan
Elizabeth of Silver's Reviews (7/10/2019)
Can lies be deadly? Can lies ruin your life? Can lies be undone?

I think we know the answer to those questions, and Joe definitely knew the answer to two of these questions. His life was turned upside down because of lies his wife was telling him and lies that someone else was spreading about him.

Finding out your wife has been cheating on you for the past five months and then having to deal with what someone was doing to your life via social media is what Joe was dealing with.

How could this be happening and how could one person be orchestrating it alone. Someone had to be helping each other to bring Joe down.

LIES doesn't immediately pull you in, but once it does you won't be able to put the book down. The tension mounts with the turn of each page.

And…the ending...WOW!!

This is a must-read end-of-summer treat.

LIES will also have you considering canceling all of your social media accounts.
The Chelsea Girls
by Fiona Davis
Elizabeth of Silver's Reviews (7/10/2019)
What a fun, interesting place The Chelsea Hotel must have been.

Hazel was in a family of performers, but Hazel wasn’t a performer. Hazel was a playwright.

We meet Hazel when she was on tour with the USO during the war. Hazel met many actors and became friends with them.

We follow Hazel as she moves out of her childhood home and into The Chelsea Hotel during the McCarthy Era. When her friend, Maxine, from the USO moves in too, their friendship is renewed.

The description of the hotel's decorations, the secret places and passages in it, and the furnishings was fascinating. The impeccable research Ms. Davis had to do definitely shows. I had do a bit of googling of the hotel myself. :)

History buffs and theater goers will again be treated to a very descriptive story line that has Ms. Davis taking you back in time.

I do have to say THE CHELSEA GIRLS was a bit tedious to read, but I loved the history of the hotel and its inhabitants. The characters in the book were believable and most were likable.

The ending was satisfying and nicely wrapped up the story line..
The Last House Guest
by Megan Miranda
A surprise ending (6/18/2019)
Avery is left with her grandmother's house after she passes, a wealthy family buys it, and they hire Avery to manage this house and their entire neighborhood of exclusive, rented summer cottages.

Avery is an excellent manager, becomes friends with the Lowman's daughter, Sadie, and is treated like family, and then is faced with Sadie's death that is being ruled as a suicide. Avery knows Sadie wouldn't kill herself and especially on the night of the annual Plus-One end-of-the-summer party.

Avery stuck to her theory that Sadie didn't commit suicide, and she found a few things to prove the police investigation hadn't been thorough and that no one could be trusted.

Her investigation made me nervous, though, because of the way she went about gathering evidence.

We move from chapter to chapter telling the before and after of Avery and Sadie's friendship and of the goings on at the rental community. Was Sadie really Avery’s friend or did she think of Avery as the help and pretend to be her friend? Was anyone really Avery's friend?

I was a bit confused at first about what was going, but once Avery found evidence and clues about what really happened and things were revealed, the interest kicked up.

THE LAST HOUSE GUEST will be for you if you enjoy a beach setting, characters that have secrets, characters that are broken, and a mystery that keeps you guessing.

The ending is definitely a surprise.
Girl in the Rearview Mirror
by Kelsey Rae Dimberg
Elizabeth of Silver's Reviews (6/17/2019)
The title intrigued me from the start. Does it mean not looking back? Does it mean looking the other way? Does it mean keeping your secrets and your past hidden?

We meet Finn whose real name is Natalie, but she doesn't tell anyone because she wants to hide her past.

Finn left her home and moved to Arizona, worked in the office of a Senator's son, and then became the nanny for his four-year-old daughter.

Everyone seemed to have secrets, told lies, were manipulative, and users. Some of the characters were also odd but most were selfish.

GIRL IN THE REARVIEW MIRROR dragged a bit at first, and the story line was difficult to get straight, but the writing and the underlying hints about what was really going on kept me reading as the author has us mingling with the upper crust.

The chapters will keep your interest because of the author's skill of inserting subtle facts throughout the chapters and as the chapters end.

The story line increased in intensity and twists and kept me rapidly turning the pages to find out what really was going on, what really was happening, who could be trusted, and who was lying.

If you enjoy personal and family drama, seeing how the upper crust lives, and what lengths people go to in order to keep something hidden, GIRL IN THE REARVIEW MIRROR, will be something to add to your reading list.
The Summer Country: A Novel
by Lauren Willig
The Summer Country - review by Elizabeth of Silver's Reviews (6/5/2019)
A run-down sugar plantation was the last thing Emily thought her uncle would leave to her, but Emily was thrilled about it even though her cousin wasn't.

Emily, her cousin, and his wife traveled to Barbados to meet a few people and to see the plantation.

We meet the family from 1812 and the opulence of their home, food, and life style and then turn to 1845 and meet “friends” of the family.

The connection between the time periods was smoothly done. I really liked how Ms. Willig ended one chapter with a comment and started the next chapter with that comment but in a different time period.

Some of the characters were quite devious, and as the pages turned we find out there was more to the family than what was known or heard and something about the plantation and about the Davenant family that someone wanted to keep a secret.

Ms. Willig definitely knows how to use adjectives for describing the characters and settings with her beautiful prose. The characters are described and perfectly portrayed for the time periods.

It was as though I were right there immersed in the lives of the characters whether they were the wealthy or the indentured. I became attached to a few of the characters.

If you enjoy learning about past cultures, delving into life in another country and century, and finding out family secrets that were kept for years, THE SUMMER COUNTRY should be on your summer reading list.

You will definitely get a vocabulary work out. :)

THE SUMMER COUNTRY is another beautiful, enjoyable, well-researched read by Lauren Willig. 5/5

This book was given to me as an ARC by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
Letters from Paris
by Juliet Blackwell
Elizabeth of Silver's Reviews (5/7/2019)
I fell in love with LETTERS FROM PARIS the minute Claire walked into the warmth of her childhood home as she returned to take care of her dying grandmother.

Claire had left Louisiana right after college for a high-paying job in Chicago, but returned because her grandmother needed her. While Claire was in Louisiana, she found a treasure in the attic that she remembered from her youth and a treasure that her grandmother suggested had a secret that Claire may find the answer to if she went to Paris.

Claire wasn't sure what she would find but complied with her dying grandmother's wishes and left for Paris.

Claire found more than the secret of the mask when she arrived. What else is there an abundance of in Paris? Love, of course.

As for her mission, Claire found a mask creator in Paris who made copies of “L’Inconnue” - The Unknown Woman, obtained a temporary job there, and learned how to sculpt while learning the ?mask's story and about the family legacy behind the mask.

Meanwhile LETTERS FROM PARIS takes us back to the life of the model for the mask and her tragic, difficult life. The tragedy and story of "L'Inconue" was well known in France and was part of many French households.

Ms. Blackwell did another marvelous job of taking you to Paris and experiencing the life there. I enjoyed Claire's adventures and loved the description of the market and the delicious, mouth-watering meals made by the French people.

Being taken to Paris and its countryside through Ms. Blackwell's descriptions was a marvelous treat. I would have loved to join in the fun at the gorgeous family estate. A family anyone would love to be a part of.

LETTERS FROM PARIS left me with a warm, cozy feeling because it was filled with history, family, Paris, love, and was simply a lovely read.

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