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The Child
by Fiona Barton
Elizabeth@Silver'sReviews - It will keep you guessing (7/27/2021)
An unsolved mystery resurfaced when a baby's skeleton was found at a building site.

Along with the skeleton, three main characters emerge too. Kate is a reporter investigating the story. Emma is a nervous adult who became intrigued as well as possessed when she sees the story of the baby. Angela is the mother whose baby disappeared more than 40 years ago never to be found.

THE CHILD took a while to get interesting simply because it was a bit slow, and there were too many characters thrown in. I was lost with so many different characters and couldn't seem to figure out the connection until around half way through the book so don’t give up because it is worth the wait.

As the pages turned and I reached the halfway point, the book started making a connection for me and kept my attention. The mystery became intriguing.

The characters seemed genuine for their roles, but something was odd and different about each of them.

This was my first book by Ms. Barton so I imagine I needed to get used to her writing style and her attention to detail.

There are some good twists to the story as well as some disturbing subjects that are addressed.

All in all, THE CHILD is a good read that will keep you guessing. 4/5

This book was given to me free of charge and without compensation by the publisher and NetGalley in return for an honest review.
The Other Passenger
by Louise Candlish
Not a favorite (7/20/2021)
Friends living together, friends meeting on commutes to work, marital affairs, and now a missing friend and Jaime is the last one to see Kit alive.

We follow Jaime and Clare, Kit and Melia, and Gretchen, and Steve as we hear background information on all characters and their current shenanigans.

Everyone seems to be friendly, but some might be too friendly. We find out Jaime and Melia are having an affair. No one seems to know, but the police do when they are questioning Jaime.

There is a lot to absorb about each character, and when Kit goes missing you definitely can't figure out what's going on with each of them.

Can any of the characters trust each other? I wouldn’t have trusted any of them.

Just who is the other passenger who seems to be a witness to the fact that Jaime and Kit were in an argument before they left the commuter boat.

This book truly dragged for me, and I couldn't really connect with any of the characters.....they all were unlikable.

The story line was very confusing as well, but I do have to say the ending twist and the revelations were brilliant. 3/5

This book was given to me by the publisher via NetGalley and in print in exchange for an honest review.
The Forest of Vanishing Stars: A Novel
by Kristin Harmel
Another FIVE star but very heartbreaking gem from Kristin Harmel (7/20/2021)
Yona was kidnapped out of her crib at a very young age and forced to live in the forest with a woman named Jerusza. Jerusza felt it her duty to take Yona from her German parents.

Yona knew nothing other than living off the land, surviving in the forest, and stealing things from stores and people in the villages.

When Jerusza died at 102 years of age, Yona was alone but able to survive because of her skills.

When Yona meets a group of Jewish folks who had escaped the ghetto, she felt it her duty to help them survive.

THE FOREST OF VANISHING STARS takes us with Yona through her years with Jerusza and her harrowing, frightening, and dangerous time with the group as we see them learn the ways of the forest, live with fear, hide from the Nazis, and learn to trust each other.

When she is betrayed by the group, she leaves them and has to again make decisions on her own.

Ms. Harmel again did meticulous research and portrayed the plight of the characters with such authenticity that you were right there with them suffering through all the horrible conditions they had to endure.

This book is a beautiful tribute to the human spirit, to perseverance, and to finding the qualities a person possesses for empathy, kindness, and making choices.

Another FIVE star but very heartbreaking gem from Kristin Harmel. 5/5

This book was given to me by the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
Since She Went Away
by David Bell
Elizabeth @ Silver's Reviews - Page Turner (7/8/2021)
Jenna lives with worry and heartache since she feels responsible for the disappearance of her friend, Celia.

They were to meet, but Jenna was delayed as usual, and when Jenna did arrive at their arranged meeting place, Celia wasn't there and was no where to be found. Three months later, she was still missing.

?Secrets and clues kept popping up, but led to dead ends for the most part. Besides Jenna being completely involved in the first disappearance, her son had a girlfriend who then disappears and might have a connection.? What the connection may have been or if there really was one added intrigue.

SINCE SHE WENT AWAY is the first book I have read by Mr. Bell. His writing easily flows and pulls you along. The characters could easily be going through some of the problems they are encountering in real life.?? Social issues were addressed as well as the problem of “who done it” and “where are they.”

SINCE SHE WENT AWAY? was a tense read with characters that were believable as well as shady and scary. It was difficult to decide who you could trust and whose story to believe.

The ending had a good twist with hints that led me down the wrong path as I read.

ENJOY if you read SINCE SHE WENT AWAY. It is a well-written page turner that has you finishing the book before you know it. 5/5

I received this book free of charge and without compensation from the publisher in return for an honest review.
The Forest of Vanishing Stars: A Novel
by Kristin Harmel
Elizabeth @Silver's Reviews - Another FIVE star but very heartbreaking gem from Kristin Harmel (7/7/2021)
Yona was kidnapped out of her crib at a very young age and forced to live in the forest with a woman named Jerusza. Jerusza felt it her duty to take Yona from her German parents.

Yona knew nothing other than living off the land, surviving in the forest, and stealing things from stores and people in the villages.

When Jerusza died at 102 years of age, Yona was alone but able to survive because of her skills.

When Yona meets a group of Jewish folks who had escaped the ghetto, she felt it her duty to help them survive.

THE FOREST OF VANISHING STARS takes us with Yona through her years with Jerusza and her harrowing, frightening, and dangerous time with the group as we see them learn the ways of the forest, live with fear, hide from the Nazis, and learn to trust each other.

When she is betrayed by the group, she leaves them and has to again make decisions on her own.

Ms. Harmel again did meticulous research and portrayed the plight of the characters with such authenticity that you were right there with them suffering through all the horrible conditions they had to endure.

This book is a beautiful tribute to the human spirit, to perseverance, and to finding the qualities a person possesses for empathy, kindness, and making choices.

Another FIVE star but very heartbreaking gem from Kristin Harmel. 5/5

This book was given to me by the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
The Photographer
by Mary Dixie Carter
Well Written, unique story line, but not a favorite (5/25/2021)
A photographer or a manipulator?

Delta made her living photographing mainly children’s birthday parties.

Delta also worked with wealthy families. One particular family completely caught her attention, and she wanted to be part of their family in every way possible.

Delta also worked at being made an irreplaceable part of this family. She wanted what they had, and she was even working on trying to be a surrogate mother for them.

THE PHOTOGRAPHER was detailed and slow moving, but Delta certainly wasn’t.

She moved quickly to ingratiate herself with the Straubs. She actually was obsessed with them.

This book was well written and had a unique story line, but it was not a favorite. I did not like Delta, and the other characters were unlikable as well.

Photographers and those interested in photography will enjoy this book along with those who enjoy studying people’s motives and personalities. 3/5

This book was given to me by the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
The Good Sister
by Sally Hepworth
Elizabeth@Silver'sReviews - Keeps You Guessing (4/14/2021)
Which sister is the good sister?

You will ask yourself this question as you read.

They both seem to be good and good for each other especially after surviving their horrible childhood with a sociopath for a mother.

But is one better than the other? Is one actually more conniving than the other? You will find out.

We follow Rose and Fern's life and see that Rose protects Fern at all costs and that Fern listens to everything Rose tells her to do.

The alternating chapters of each sister's life as adults was described in detail and gave us insight into how they really lived and the secrets they kept from each other and one they kept for years.

This book was more character driven than plot driven for me, but that is great because the characters are likable.

You will like both Rose and Fern and especially Wally. Wally is a man Fern met when he came to the library. They have much in common and are a good pair and good for each other.

There is something happening in both stories, but something you can’t pin down or can't figure out.

The beginning has you wondering where it is going, but…oh does it get better and better.

Sister and family drama can be good or bad.

THE GOOD SISTER will let you know which way it goes for Rose and Fern. 4/5

This book was given to me by the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
The Lost Apothecary: A Novel
by Sarah Penner
Elizabeth@Silver'sReviews - Excellent (3/3/2021)
Who wouldn't like to solve a hundred-year-old mystery and especially one that had to do with poisons that were used to kill unfaithful husbands or boyfriends.

Caroline came to London for a tenth anniversary celebration, but found out her husband had been having an affair so she came alone.

She didn’t want to follow through with her itinerary she was to have had with her husband and happened upon a man who suggested she go mudlarking with a group.

Mudlarking was done in the 1800’s as a means of survival by finding things washed up on the shore, but this group did it for fun.

Caroline finds a vial with a bear on it. Her curiosity as a historian had her searching for what the vial may have been used for and the place where a shop probably existed in 1791 that could have created remedies.

While Caroline is looking for clues, we flash back to 1791 and meet Nella who made remedies, actually poisons, for women who needed to be rid of their husbands. A young girl, Eliza, who came to the shop to have Nella make a potion for her mistress, took an interest in the shop.

Nella, Eliza, and Caroline collide virtually in present day through research and poisons.

THE LOST APOTHECARY is very clever, enjoyable, different, unique, and very well researched.

I loved the information about the maps of London and finding clues to how others lived and worked in past times.

History buffs, those who love solving years-old mysteries, and those who love Old London won’t want to miss this book.

ENJOY!!

An amazing debut!! 5/5

This book was given to me by the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
Sarah's Key
by Tatiana de Rosnay
Elizabeth@Silver'sReviews - Excellent (2/24/2021)
Excellent author...everything flowed smoothly...too bad history wasn't as smooth and kind.

The book was about when France was occupied and specifically Vél d'Hiv when the French police were instructed to carry out the horror at the camps by the Germans...July 16, 1942, was the roundup of Parisian Jewish Citizens.

It makes you cry and hope that history won't repeat itself.
The Rain Watcher
by Tatiana de Rosnay
Elizabeth@Silver'sReviews - family drama (2/24/2021)
Linden wondered why his mother organized a family get together in Paris for his father’s 70th birthday since his father didn’t like Paris.

In addition to his dislike of Paris, Paris was having torrential rainfall with threats of flooding. The rain and flooding continued throughout their time in Paris and throughout the book with worries it would be as bad if not worse than the Paris floods of 1910.

THE RAIN WATCHER brings together this family of four from Venozan, London, and San Francisco - no spouses or children - just the four of them. We meet Linden from San Francisco who never got along with his father, Tilia from London who is unhappily married for the second time, and Paul and Lauren their parents.

All the characters seemed to have something to hide, but you warmed up to them as the book continued.

The children had grown up in Venozan after their parents met when Lauren was on a vacation in France more than 30 years ago. It was a whirlwind romance that had Lauren never going back to the states.

The family was still indifferent as always as they gathered together for breakfast and the rain continued to pour down. Lauren insisted they were in a non-flood area of Paris and should continue with their celebration plans.

Their celebration was wonderful until something tragic happened at the restaurant and Lauren became ill as well.

Besides being part of family issues and seeing how people interact, there was a lot of interesting information about photography. Linden was a famous photographer with a photo of his father taken years ago that made him famous. There is also wonderful information about plants and gardening and Paris.

THE RAIN WATCHER is beautifully written and pulls you into the story line with Ms. De Rosnay’s marvelous storytelling skills and details about every situation.

If you like rainstorms and family drama, this book will be of interest. 4/5

This book was given to me by the publisher via NETGALLEY and in print in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.
The Paris Library
by Janet Skeslien Charles
Impeccable Research (2/9/2021)
The American Library in Paris 1939 then to a small town in Montana 1983.

Odile is a librarian at the American Library in Paris as the war breaks out. Lily is a teenager in Montana whose mother passed and is having trouble at school.

Both women find solace in each other after Lily finally meets her elegant neighbor from Paris.

THE PARIS LIBRARY moves back and forth and allows us to see into the lives of both characters.

Odile has the perfect job until it was necessary to provide books in secret.

Lily has the perfect life - well almost perfect - until her mother dies, but Odile helped her through this time and Lily helped Odile to not be so alone.

I enjoyed how the staff at the library was like a family itself and how the library delivered books to soldiers and others who couldn’t enter or were forbidden to enter the library. I never knew this happened.

Both Lily and Odile were very likeable characters. I truly enjoyed watching Lily grow up.

THE PARIS LIBRARY will appeal to all bookworms, romantics, and historical fiction fans.

It is heartwarming as well as heartbreaking, and despite the heartaches most of the characters were lighthearted and positive.

Once you get to know the characters, you will cry with them, wish them well, and not want them to leave you alone as you close the last page.

This book is about friendship, the love of books and libraries, regrets, giving advice, and forgiveness.

Ms. Skeslien Charles' research is impeccable. 4/5

This book was given to me by the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
The Last Tiara
by M.J. Rose
Elizabeth@Silver'sReviews - a bit wordy (2/4/2021)
What is the mystery behind a tiara obtained in Russia?

This mystery is the main focus of the book.

We meet mother and daughter in different years.

Sofiya is a nurse in an infirmary for wounded soldiers during the war in Russia in 1915. She takes care of one of the soldiers and falls in love. She also has many secrets her daughter, Isobelle, wants to find the answers to.

Her daughter, Isobelle, finds a tiara hidden in the wall of her mother’s bedroom, and Isobelle's curiosity begins the search for answers of why and how it got there.

THE LAST TIARA goes back and forth with background information of Isobelle’s mother and Isobelle’s present-day search in 1948.

I wasn’t really thrilled with the mother’s story. It was difficult to get interested in even though it was this background information that was needed to solve the tiara’s mystery.

I did enjoy Isobelle’s search for the mystery of the tiara.

My only complaint is that even though THE LAST TIARA had a good story line, it was quite wordy.

I struggled through some of the chapters, but the ending brought my rating from a 3/5 to a 4/5.

The unraveling of the mystery is worth wading through the extra wordy chapters.

Fans of art, the history of Russia and its royal family, and their jewels will enjoy this book.

And how about that gorgeous cover? 4/5

This book was given to me by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
Juliet
by Anne Fortier
Couldn’t put it down - Elizabeth@Silver’sReviews (1/16/2021)
Julie saw Umberto at the back of the room as she was leaving the stage. She knew this wasn't going to be good news because he wasn't smiling like always. "Aunt Rose has died" were the words that tumbled out of his mouth. As sad as Julie was, she also knew there would be something even more distressing....she had to face her twin sister Janice. Janice was four minutes younger than Julie, but she always upstaged her no matter what, and there was always conflict when Janice arrived on the scene.

It was pouring down rain the day they buried Aunt Rose. As soon as she was buried and they were leaving the gravesite, Janice demanded to see the will right then. The attorney did have the will and showed it to both girls, but nothing had been left to Julie...everything was left to Janice.

Julie was devastated, but then Umberto said he had something that her mother had left for her....a key, a passport, and a letter. The letter wanted Julie to go to Italy, but Julie knew she couldn't go to Italy because she had been thrown out of the country when she was 18. Umberto had another means to get her to the country she was born in and to carry out her mother's wishes that Aunt Rose kept secret until she had passed away. Julie had no desire to go to Italy, but Umberto insisted...who couldn't resist a trip to Italy...mama mia :)

Julie Jacobs aka as Giulietta Tolomei was on the plane to Italy the next day and met Eva Maria, an Italian citizen. She informed Giulietta that she knew her family and that her family and Giulietta's family were rivals back in the Middle Ages. Eva Marie took her under her wing and insisted that her grandson show Giulietta the town of Siena and keep her safe.

The next day Giulietta went to the bank with her key. The bank manager had known Giulietta's father, and he took Giulietta to the safety deposit box with the matching key. What Giulietta found was her family and frightening and wonderful adventures. The key, the box her mother left her, and the story of Romeo and Juliet is the novel's main theme with lots of mystery and intrigue surrounding them.

This book is outstanding...the storyline, the descriptions, the characters, and Italy.

I loved how the book went back and forth from the 1300's to present day using the story of Romeo and Juliet as the main plot and how the main characters unraveled family and life-long mysteries....you will love the present-day characters Julie and Janice Jacobs also known as Giulietta and Giannozza Talomei.

I couldn't put it down. I loved "being in Italy" again, and could just see the buildings and all the quaintness of the country and the city of Siena. The web page Random House set up for the book adds to your interest because the pictures go along with the pages of the book.

I can't see how it wouldn't be liked...it is a book you won't want to miss. It has something for everyone...history, romance, mystery, betrayal, life in the 1300's in Italy, ancestors, middle-age family feuds, suspense, and a great author. Ms. Fortier did a superb job with her novel.

It is absolutely wonderful right up to the last page. You will not want it to end. What an extraordinary novel. ENJOY!!
Take It Back
by Kia Abdullah
Elizabeth@Silver'sReviews - powerful and thoughtful (1/16/2021)
Who can you believe?

Four boys accused of rape and put on trial and stories that don’t match Jodie's the victim.

Jodie has a facial deformity that even her mother can’t face and continually brings it up as the reason they live in poverty. Her mother is cruel.

As you read and follow the trial, you don't know who to believe.

I trusted and believed Jodie, but didn't like her friend Nina. She seemed shady and not loyal to Jodie.

Not sure if I believed the boys.

I felt bad for Zara, the case worker and attorney, because the public ridiculed her along with her client.

You won't want to stop reading because you want to find out what really happened and who was telling the truth. TAKE IT BACK is a tense, high interest, well-written thriller.

There are some sensitive and cruel situations, but this thriller has a non-stop pulse to it.

TAKE IT BACK is a very powerful, thoughtful book that will stay with you. 5/5

This book was given to me by the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
The Sea Gate
by Jane Johnson
Elizabeth@Silver'sReviews - Great characters, pull-you-in writing, and a surprise ending. (1/16/2021)
Who is cousin Olivia? Rebecca remembered visiting her a few times when she was a child, but her mother didn’t mention her too often.

Finding letters from cousin Olivia addressed to her mother pleading for help had Rebecca on her way to Olivia’s house.

What a mess she found. The house was in shambles, Olivia wasn’t there, her finances were very bad, and Rebecca finds a hidden tunnel in the basement which had been used during the war along with other secrets from WWII.

We go back and forth from present day to 1943 and find out about Olivia...she is some character. The bird she has is even more upsetting than what Rebecca found out about Olivia.

It took a few chapters to get into the book, but it’s worth the wait.

I loved all the secrets of the house and Olivia’s life, and I loved Rebecca’s perseverance.

THE SEA GATE has great characters, pull-you-in writing, and a story line that will keep you turning the pages to a marvelous revelation of the secrets and an unraveling of Olivia and her life. 4/5

This book was given to me by the publisher via Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review.
The Survivors: A Novel
by Jane Harper
ELIZABETH @ SILVER'S REVIEWS - A GOOD, FLOWING MYSTERY (1/1/2021)
The locals have never forgotten the tragedy that most people believe was Kiernan’s fault because he shouldn’t have been in the caves when the storm surged.

Kiernan had been with his girlfriend in the caves, and Kiernan was blamed for the the death of his brother and the father of seven-year-old Liam for risking their lives to save him. A local teenager also disappeared during the storm.

Just what was the intrigue of those caves?

Twelve years later Kiernan has come back to Evelyn Bay to help his parents pack up their house because his father has dementia and needs to be in a home.

A few days after Kiernan and his family arrive, tragedy strikes again on the same beach.

Will this current investigation be more thorough than the one many years ago that never did solve the disappearance of the local teenager?

Will it bring up things that were kept hidden?

Will this new tragedy bring the guilt and regret back to the surface and have everyone reliving the first tragedy?

THE SURVIVORS took a bit to connect with, but once you figured out who was who, what the town and the people who lived there were going through, and the magnitude of the first tragedy, the tension ramped up.

There were a lot of characters and quite a few that could have been the person who was responsible for the second death on the beach. Ms. Harper kept that a well-hidden secret.

I had a few people in mind, but was kept guessing until the end.

This was my first book by Ms. Harper, and she definitely keeps your interest with the subtle hints about the characters and who the responsible person could be as well as where the story line is going.

Her descriptive writing pulled you right into every place the characters were and into every situation.

I enjoyed trying to figure out the undertone of the town as well as the mystery.

THE SURVIVORS is an excellent mystery with revelations you won’t see coming. 4/5

This book was given to me by BookBrowse and the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
Take It Back
by Kia Abdullah
ELIZABETH @ SILVER'S REVIEWS - TENSE, BUT WELL WRITTEN (12/8/2020)
Who can you believe?

Four boys accused of rape and put on trial, and stories that don’t match Jodie's the victim.

Jodie has a facial deformity that even her mother can’t face and continually brings it up as the reason they live in poverty. Her mother is cruel.

As you read and follow the trial, you don't know who to believe.

I trusted and believed Jodie, but didn't like her friend Nina. She seemed shady and not loyal to Jodie..

Not sure if I believed the boys.

I felt bad for Zara, the case worker and attorney, because the public ridiculed her along with her client.

You won't want to stop reading because you want to find out what really happened and who was telling the truth.

There are some sensitive and cruel situations, but this thriller has a non-stop pulse to it.

TAKE IT BACK is a tense, high interest, well-written thriller.

TAKE IT BACK is a very powerful, thoughtful book that will stay with you. 5/5

This book was given to me by the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
The Night of the Fire: Ann Lindell Mysteries #8
by Kjell Eriksson
Well written, but not my cup of tea (11/18/2020)
Who started the fire that killed three people?

Someone knows but isn’t telling. Then there is another fire.

??Ann Lindell a retired policewoman who moved to the country for some peace and quiet finds out that it isn’t all that peaceful in the country.

Even though she isn’t a policewoman any longer, she feels compelled to look into the investigation. ??What’s funny is that someone who didn’t identify himself called her at the police station and asked for her after the first fire.??

The investigation moves on and one of the suspects is found dead after a second fire. With that lead being gone now, their investigation starts again and down a different route.??

I really liked Ann even though Sammy took up most of the book’s investigation time.

THE NIGHT OF THE FIRE was a different read and a bit slow for me because of the setting and the names of the characters, but it was interesting.??

I did like the mystery and the unraveling of it, but not sure I would read another in this series.

I may have been a bit lost since it was the first one I read in the series, but I did like most of the characters, and the writing is well done.??

Thank you to St. Martin’s for giving me a chance to get to know these characters. 3.5/5
Confessions on the 7:45
by Lisa Unger
Be sure it is in your TBR (10/7/2020)
Strangers telling each other their deepest secrets starts the ball rolling as we find many characters with secrets, characters who tell lies, characters who are manipulative, and characters who aren’t who they seem.

Martha and Selena meet by chance on the train coming home, and they exchange secrets.

Martha is having an affair with her boss.

Selena saw in the nanny camera that her husband was having an affair with the nanny.

Martha replied by saying that maybe the nanny will disappear, and then the nanny does disappear.

Selena doesn't reply but regrets telling her secret.

What do all of these characters have to do with each other and with the events that have been happening?

There are quite a few characters to keep straight and characters that cross paths, but how do they all fit in and connect?

CONFESSIONS ON THE 7:45 is truly addictive. It is one surprise after another.

You won’t want to put it down because of the writing and the cunning, who-do-you-believe characters and the who-could-think-of these things that are happening.

Make sure this book makes it into your TBR for this fall. 5/5

This book was given to me by the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.
The Talented Miss Farwell
by Emily Gray Tedrowe
ENJOYABLE (9/29/2020)
Becky Farwell was brilliant in math and made money during high school tutoring friends either for money, clothes, or shoes.

Her life wasn't easy, though. Her mother had died, and she was left taking care of her ill father so she felt she couldn't go to college.

What she did do was help her father with his failing business and work as the town's treasurer.

She does some shady things with the town's money because she had developed a love and obsession for art, and you know art is expensive.

We follow Becky from her high school days to her days as an art connoisseur which got her into terrible debt to the town as she skimmed money from the treasurer’s office accounts into a personal account.

I actually liked her even though she was doing things not on the up and up. Becky was a determined woman when it came to her art and what she wanted.

THE TALENTED MISS FARWELL is an enjoyable read simply because you can't believe what she is doing.

The writing is fresh and pulls you in. A wonderful book for a debut.

Art aficionados and any reader who just needs something different will find this book enjoyable. 5/5

This book was given to me by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

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