Reviews by Elizabeth of Silver's Reviews

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Room: A Novel
by Emma Donoghue
Creative Thriller - Elizabeth of Silver's Reviews (3/29/2019)
What hold could Old Nick have over Ma that would make that room her world? Why didn't she just leave? Or maybe she wasn't able to leave?

Jack's fifth birthday definitely wouldn't be what a normal five-year-old would be delighted with, but Jack was happy to spend the day with his Ma in their ordinary, same-as-always routine. They spent every day in the "room" with the food and clothing that Old Nick provided for them.

Ma doesn't allow Old Nick to see Jack but she never tells Jack why. Ma and Jack's days are creatively spent inventing things, measuring everything in the room that has been Ma's space for the past seven years, reading books and changing the characters to suit them, and watching the clock so they know when it is time to eat or sleep. They never leave their "room," and Jack really doesn't know any better or know anything about the outside world except what his Ma tells him when they read books.

As much as Ma tries to protect and shelter Jack, he begins to question what is beyond the walls they live in. Ma tries to divert Jack's attention to other things, but sometimes it is unavoidable......especially the night when Jack overheard a conversation between Ma and Old Nick about him and the life Old Nick provides for her.

One comment made by Old Nick that stuck in my mind was: "I don't think you appreciate how good you've got it here," "Do you?" Page 69 To me that would be highly good could life be simply living in a room and never going outside?

I grew to hate Old Nick and how he treated both of them. When you find out the "whole" story, you won't want to stop reading.

This book is about fear, abuse, control, a mother's love, and wanting the best for your child. At first you may want to put the book down, but don't do will share Ma's feelings of fear for Old Nick and her dependence on him and also the heartbreak of Jack's acceptance of the only life he has known. You will fall in love with sweet, innocent, literal Jack, and you will think about both characters and their experience long after you turn the last page.

To me this was actually a "creative" thriller...excellent storyline. I really liked the book. 5/5
My Lovely Wife
by Samantha Downing
Unbelievable - Elizabeth of Silver's Reviews (3/29/2019)
A Lovely Wife is definitely a misnomer. A demented psycho is more like it.

Everything Millicent does seems innocent on the outside, but it is truly evil. She plans things that will benefit her and only her with her family being at the brunt of the control issues she has. Millicent is definitely a character to hate.

One day after a number of years of marriage, she had the most bizarre plan. Her husband who was never given a name in the book did what he did to keep Millicent pleased most likely because he was afraid of his wife.

MY LOVELY WIFE is unbelievable, but Ms. Downing does an excellent job of keeping you engaged from the first page, and the engagement doesn’t stop just like Millicent doesn't stop the murders of young women.

Ms. Downing's debut is unique and well-written, but also has a story line that is unthinkable and unimaginable.

If you enjoy a fast-paced book that takes you on a crazy ride and will have you biting your nails, then MY LOVELY WIFE will be a book you will want to take a look at.

You HAVE to read this book to believe what the characters are doing. You won't be able to turn the pages quickly enough. 5/5

This book was given to me as an ARC by the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
The Curious Charms of Arthur Pepper
by Phaedra Patrick
LOVED IT - CHARMING (3/26/2019)
How could a charm bracelet stir up so many emotions and curiosity?

After Arthur's wife passed away and he was cleaning out her things, his discovery of a hidden charm bracelet had him curious about what each charm meant. He also wanted to know why he never saw Miriam wearing it and why she had it hidden in the toe of a boot.

This charm bracelet pulled him out of his hermit slump and onto adventures he never dreamed of as he traced where each charm came from and what their meaning was to Miriam. He had a few surprises.

Every adventure made him wonder what his wife's life was like before she met him. He couldn't stop searching for the meaning of each charm. These adventures also made him feel guilty he never took Miriam anywhere.

Arthur's finds and discussions with the people he met left him happier and more confident. He also was helping those he met come to grips with what they were dealing with.

Arthur was an absolutely endearing, charming, sweet character for me. I really enjoyed his antics and his thinking and especially the adventures he took us on.? We traveled the globe with him. I wanted to know the answers about the charms too and loved sharing Arthur's days.

THE CURIOUS CHARMS OF ARTHUR PEPPER is an adorable, enchanting, uplifting read. Be prepared to fall in love with Arthur Pepper.

THE CURIOUS CHARMS OF ARTHUR PEPPER has a very clever, enjoyable story line that gives you a nice cozy feeling. It felt like a big hug that you didn't want to end.

Give yourself a marvelous treat, and don't miss reading THE CURIOUS CHARMS OF ARTHUR PEPPER.

There aren't enough delightful words to describe this book. 5/5
Rise and Shine, Benedict Stone
by Phaedra Patrick
Uplifting (3/26/2019)
A knock on the door in the middle of the night could only mean one thing, right? Bad news.

If it were Estelle, though, it would be good news so Benedict decided to answer the knock.

Much to his surprise, it wasn't Estelle, but Gemma who announced that she was his niece from America and she had lost her purse, her passport, and her phone. She wanted to stay with Uncle Ben. What else could he say but yes?

Gemma was a bit on the troublesome side, but she also was good for Benedict since the house was pretty lonely after Estelle left.

Gemma was the one who was helping Benedict change even though Gemma was pretty closed mouth about why she appeared on his doorstep and didn't want to call her father to let him know where she was.

Benedict was sweet but naive and had a heart of gold. He and Gemma grew together, and Gemma helped Benedict in his jewelry shop - a shop Gemma said needed some new ideas and changes just like Benedict did.

Gemma also was playing matchmaker as she helped her Uncle Ben get his wife back.

I thoroughly enjoyed Benedict and felt sorry for him as he worked through living without his wife. His jewelry shop and their love just hadn't been enough for them after they were unable to have children after eight years.

RISE & SHINE, BENEDICT STONE was a heartwarming read about family, about trying new things, and about trying to get what you need in life.

If you need an uplifting read for any reason, RISE & SHINE, BENEDICT STONE fits the bill. It brings back memories and thoughts of the precious things we all have in our lives and truly need to focus on.
The Last Year of the War
by Susan Meissner
The Last Year of The War - LOVED this book (3/20/2019)
A friendship made in an internment camp during WWII that lasted only eighteen months, but bonds and memories that lasted a lifetime.

Elise and Mariko met during WWII while attending school in an internment camp for Japanese and German Americans.

We follow both girls through their eighteen months in the camp as well as after even though the friends never saw each other again until they were older adults. They tried to connect with each other, but they never were able to.

At this time in their lives, Elise was suffering from dementia, and she found out Mariko was dying from stage four breast cancer.

Even though Elise had trouble remembering things, she remembered enough to find Mariko, to get on a plane, and to find her before they both were no longer alive.

THE LAST YEAR OF THE WAR is a marvelous history lesson and a testament to enduring friendship and learning lessons and making decisions.

The subject matter wasn't light, but it was wonderful learning more about this time in history. I actually wasn't aware of all that happened. It is very obvious that Ms. Meissner did extensive research and perfectly fit the facts into her book.

If you enjoy historical fiction and Ms. Meissner's books, you will want to make room on your bookshelf for THE LAST YEAR OF THE WAR.

As all of her books, the beautiful flow of Ms. Meissner's writing and her attention to detail make the book a treat to read. 5/5

This book was given to me as an ARC by the publisher via NetGalley in return for an honest review.
Along the Infinite Sea
by Beatriz Williams
Along The Infinite Sea (3/20/2019)
Pepper is back and as usual something is brewing. The brew is that she is pregnant and has no place to go.

Pepper did have some money, though, because she found an old Mercedes at her sister's home, got it in perfect working order, and sold it. Little did Pepper know that the car and Annabelle, the woman who bought the car, had a colorful and intense history of love, loss, and complications that involved the car.

What secrets do both Annabelle and Pepper have? Will they both reveal them after Annabelle Dommerich takes Pepper with her to her home? Will they be able to share their secrets since after one day at Annabelle's, Pepper finds that Annabelle has disappeared on one of her trips with no return date leaving Pepper at the house with Annabelle's housekeeper and dogs.

ALONG THE INFINITE SEA has beautiful descriptions, wonderful characters, secrets that everyone likes to hear, and amazing characters. Annabelle is a character you can't help but love. Pepper is fun and both Annabelle and Pepper are quite likable yet very mysterious. When Alice arrives, the story gets even more interesting.

ALONG THE INFINITE SEA is another book of Ms. Williams that I thoroughly enjoyed. I enjoyed the back and forth in time and the way Ms. Williams knows how to tell a story. Her way with words and the story line kept me wanting more. The story of Annabelle and the revelation of the history of the car and her marriage was very intriguing.

Women's fiction fans will have another read that will stay with them after turning the last page. The Schuyler girls always have something fun or disastrous going on in their lives.

If you haven't read any of Ms. Williams' books, you definitely want to take a look at them. I know you won't be disappointed. 5/5

This book was given to me free of charge and without compensation by the publisher in return for an honest review.
A Certain Age: A Novel
by Beatriz Williams
A Certain Age (3/20/2019)
Falling in love with a younger man while you are still married and then having a younger woman come along wasn't the best thing to happen to Mrs. Theresa Marshall.

A CERTAIN AGE began with an excerpt from a murder trial then moved to alternating chapters and told of the life of high society and how they adapted social protocol to whatever they wanted.

We follow Mrs. Marshall, Mr. Marshall, Captain Rofrano, and Miss Fortescue in the scandalous antics they were all involved in. Decisions had to be made and?? Sophie Fortescue had the most difficult decision, even though her father was the one that would be making the decision about who she was to marry.

Ms. Williams again perfectly portrays the time period and how women in wealthy families really didn't have a choice about choosing their spouse. After the marriage proposal was made, an investigation into the Fortescue family adds another layer to the book. The Fortescues are not who they say they are, and a house that Mr. Rofrano grew up in was part of their secret.

Once the secret was revealed and Sophie Fortescue was more outspoken, the book heated up with an ending that was oh so good with an unexpected twist.

I enjoyed the characters, but Mrs. Marshall and Mr. Fortescue were my least favorites. Mr. Fortescue was too controlling, and Mrs. Marshall was too sneaky for me.

A CERTAIN AGE was beautifully written as all of Ms. Williams’ books even though it took me a while to get connected, but it was still enjoyable.

The book's cover is stunning, and the book is patterned after an opera titled Der Rosenkavalie.
The Summer Wives
by Beatriz Williams
The Summer Wives (3/20/2019)
Miranda has come back after eighteen years to the island where she has spent every summer since her mother married into the prestigious Fisher family. She hasn’t told anyone the reason why she has returned to Winthrop’s Island with bruises that no one mentions, but since she stays for a relatively long time, the reason can be assumed even though it might be the wrong guess.

Miranda's return isn’t a welcome event even after all of this time, though, because of her testimony at the trial of the lighthouse keeper’s son back in 1951 when she was eighteen and in love with the accused.

Miranda hadn’t grown up with the elite and wealthy. When her mother married Hugh Fisher after her father was killed in WWII, she is introduced to that life and also sees how the year-round residents who fish and work as domestics live.

THE SUMMER WIVES goes back and forth from 1930 to 1951 and then to 1969. We learn about Miranda’s life, the lives of the Fisher and Monk families, the lives of other island residents, and how the lives of the domestic help are all connected by one specific incident during those years.

I enjoyed the story from the 1950’s the best. It was the most interesting and the least confusing. The 1930’s didn’t make sense to me how it fit in, but as I kept reading, I found out that it kept a secret and held a BIG surprise.

Ms. Williams has written another book that will hold your interest but has a bit of confusing story line with all the back and forth.

THE SUMMER WIVES is a story of the typical antics and lives of privileged families. We learn that most of the Winthrop Island families may have had money, but most of them are not happy.

THE SUMMER WIVES has a great setting, good story line, and has characters with problems and secrets both past and present.

I enjoyed Ms. Williams’ latest even though it dragged a bit at times, but the ending had it all coming together and was very satisfying. 4/5

I received an advance copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.
The Forgotten Garden: A Novel
by Kate Morton
An All-Time Favorite - The Forgotten Garden (3/13/2019)
I would give this book a 10 if I could. Loved it...absolutely amazing....the writing is a masterpiece.

All the mysteries and secrets of the Mountrachet family are revealed....the ending is superb.

The story goes back and forth in time telling the story of how little Nell was put on a boat to Australia without an adult and how the portmaster and his wife in Australia took her in as their own. Nell's life makes a complete turn around for her when her father tells her on her 21st birthday that she isn't really his child.

The book tells of the generations before and after Nell. It is masterfully don't want to put it down until you find out who Nell really is and until you find all the secrets about how she arrived on the boat and in Australia and the significance of the forgotten garden....the garden plays a huge part in the unraveling of the secrets and mysteries in the book.

I usually don't re-read books, but I would re-read this just to be sure I "got" all the facts was just fantastic....the story was very clever and the characters unforgettable....I didn't want the book to end.
The Secret Keeper
by Kate Morton
Another FAB book by Kate Morton - The Secret Keeper (3/13/2019)
To be sixteen, to witness a murder, and to keep it a secret your entire life? When would Laurel find out the "real" reason for the murder. After fifty years, she needed to ask, but could she really find the answer? She had to. Time was running out.

Set in England and moving from the 1930's to 2011, you will follow Laurel as she continues to keep this secret and attempts to find out why her mother stabbed a visitor on her brother's birthday. Did the baby see or remember anything? Could that be possible? What if he did remember? Laurel, her father, and her mother were the only ones that were supposed to know, but were they?

The storyline is intriguing and the descriptions are amazing as you go back and forth in time to see what Laurel's mother's life was like as a child and also as a young adult and what life was like for Laurel, her sisters, and her brother as they grew up on a quaint farm in a loving family. Dorothy, Laurel's mother, lead a very significant life and had interesting people in her life that shaped her and her decisions.

The book seamlessly moves between time periods giving creative details of each era in the characters' lives and has you wanting to know more. An amazing storyline that keeps you guessing about the real reason for the murder and one that makes you want to be a part of the story in order to be part of the life the characters lead in each decade of their lives.

Finding out about her mother's motives and life before she was married was a goal Laurel was determined to solve before her mother died, and her mother is the only one who could give the answers to many questions, but could their dying mother tell all? Once clues about Dorothy's past begin to surface, you will be as anxious as Laurel was to find out other secrets her mother kept to herself all her life and secrets that caused her mother to commit murder.

This book was marvelous and captivating as all of Kate Morton's books, and the ending is absolutely SUPERB.

I thoroughly enjoyed the walk through Laurel's life and the flashbacks to her mother's life. Don't miss this book or any book Kate Morton has will be taken away with her exceptional writing and fantastic storytelling skills as she weaves lives and situations together into incredible books. 5/5

This book was given to me free of charge by the publisher in return for an honest review.
The Lake House
by Kate Morton
LOVED The Lake House (3/13/2019)
Alice the author and sister of Theo and Sadie the detective.

Would these two women be able to find information about the disappearance 70 years ago of 11-month old Theo - if they worked together on this cold case even though the police had not been able to find one clue or to find Theo?

Alice had lived the nightmare of her brother's disappearance, and Sadie wanted to investigate the years-old case after she found the sprawling, abandoned estate of the Edevane family.

I LOVED exploring the estate and finding the clues of the case with Sadie and finding things that were left by the family. I would have loved to live on the estate as well as to be a part of the investigating.

THE LAKE HOUSE goes back and forth in time and is filled with mystery, hidden passageways, intrigue, family secrets, and all of Ms. Morton's wonderful, creative writing skills, marvelous story lines, and descriptions that get better each time you turn the page and that put you right at the scene or definitely wanting to be there with the characters.

?Ms. Morton knows how to keep her readers interested and not want the book to end.? Twists and turns seem to be Ms. Morton's trademark along with marvelous, surprise endings. And what a spectacular ending THE LAKE HOUSE has. You will love it!!

Ms. Morton had me hooked on her book THE FORGOTTEN GARDEN, and THE LAKE HOUSE is going to be right up there with it as one of my all-time favorites. 5/5

This book was given to me free of charge and without compensation by the publisher in return for an honest review.?
The Clockmaker's Daughter: A Novel
by Kate Morton
The Clockmaker's Daughter (3/13/2019)
An old house, an old sketch book, an old murder, an old photograph, and a lot of mysteries. Who doesn’t love all of those?


THE CLOCKMAKER’S DAUGHTER goes back and forth in time looking for clues to connect Elodie’s present-day questions and findings to the time when her mother was alive and how a country manor and other mysteries seem to have a connection to her mother. She KNOWS there is some connection with everything she finds circling around Birchwood Manor.

Ms. Morton definitely makes you “work” for the clues. Her writing is beautiful as always, but the story line was difficult to follow.

Each chapter began without the identification of the person talking so the reader has to figure out who has appeared on the scene now.

I always enjoy Ms. Morton's books because of the gothic atmosphere and marvelous connection between the characters and the story line, but THE CLOCKMAKER'S DAUGHTER had me confused most of the time. Finding the connections was similar to solving a difficult math problem.

Once the chapter got started and you became interested in the story line, it was over and another thought and character appeared.

I can't say I didn't like the book. THE CLOCKMAKER’S DAUGHTER had a skillfully constructed story line, but it wasn't an easy read.

Once you were connected, though, it all started to come together in her marvelous Kate Morton style with a brilliant ending.

I LOVE her books, her beautiful writing, and her involved story lines so I kept reading because I wanted to find out how it all fit together and what the ending would reveal. The revelations were marvelous as always.

Anyone who loves Kate Morton, who likes to unravel a book's story line, and who can wait until it all comes together will not want to miss reading THE CLOCKMAKER'S DAUGHTER. 4/5

This book was given to me as an ARC provided by the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.
A Reliable Wife
by Robert Goolrick
A Reliable Wife (3/13/2019)
A lie from the first moment they met....Ralph knew she wasn't the girl he had placed an ad for.

But Catherine never thought twice about how she lied to this man she was going to marry and how her destitute life before Ralph made her such a phony…but the lying didn't even faze her.

Her life before Ralph Truitt was always in her blood and on her mind...the men, the late nights, the lights, the music. But she had to not let it interfere with her life as she knew it now. She pretended that her previous life never existed even though she longed for her old life style. She had to "play" the part of a reliable, demure wife who had no history.

Neither had been honest with each other. Both Ralph and Catherine had plans after the marriage took place, but her plans were not the same plans Ralph had for her. Too bad they were not on the same page.

Deceit, unfaithfulness, poison, a life that was a lie, regret, unbelievable forgiveness, and a hint of mystery.....that is what A RELIABLE WIFE was made of. incredible writing style that will keep you reading way into the night, and one you will not want to put down.
The Brutal Telling: Chief Inspector Gamache Novel, #5
by Louise Penny
The Brutal Telling (3/13/2019)
A murder in a bistro during a busy Labor Day weekend in Three Pines, Quebec, makes for a great novel...add in beautiful Canadian landscapes, quiet village life, artists, hermits, bed and breakfasts, Inspector Gamache and his team, secrets, codes to break, antiques, and you can't stop reading.

Louise Penny has an intriguing method of keeping your interests through the descriptions of the characters, the settings, and the lives of those involved in the story.

Absolutely LOVED the book...a lot of life's lessons as well.
The Long Way Home: A Chief Inspector Gamache Novel, #10
by Louise Penny
The Long Way Home (3/13/2019)
Peter Morrow hadn't returned after the year he and Clara had agreed upon for his return so the search for Peter began. Of course, Armand Gamache was asked to be involved even though he had retired from the police force.

THE LONG WAY HOME has the well-known, well-loved residents of Three Pines we all are familiar with and the residents that make Louise Penny's books ones I enjoy reading.

THE LONG WAY HOME was a bit different from her other books. Instead of solving a murder, the Three Pines residents were working together to find Peter.

This book was different because of the way the investigation took place. Gamache actually was not in charge; Clara was. It discussed muses and different art terms. It was more about artists than the solving of a regular murder mystery, but the characters as always worked beautifully together.

I can't say I didn't like THE LONG WAY HOME, but it is quite different from her other books and took a bit of getting used to. Regardless of the style and plot, though, THE LONG WAY HOME still had the pull all of her books have on you.

Ms. Penny's books usually involve emotions. THE LONG WAY HOME was specifically about happiness, sadness, and finding oneself. 4/5

This book was given to me free of charge and without compensation by the publisher in return for an honest review.
Glass Houses: A Chief Inspector Gamache Novel
by Louise Penny
Glass Houses (3/13/2019)
A conscience - we all have one, but do we know what may be on another person's conscience or even on ours that may bother us?

When a hooded figure appeared on the green in Three Pines and stayed without moving for three days, all the residents were tense and wondered what he was doing there. Did the hooded figure date back to the historical Cobrador who collected debts?

Armand Gamache, Chief Inspector, kept an eye on the figure and could do nothing within his powers to remove him. But...why is Armand Gamache now on the witness stand testifying about a death that occurred during the time the hooded figure was present?

We follow the situation by being introduced to the trial and then back again to the events in Three Pines with the hooded figure standing on the village green. The trial has something going on besides the trial, though, and the judge seems to be picking up on it.

Louise Penny has given us another beautifully written, intellectual, intriguing plot that will have you glued to the pages, thinking about what a conscience really is and how it helps or hinders one's choices, and feeling for Gamache as he must defend all that happened in the quiet village of Three Pines.

GLASS HOUSES had me confused during the first few chapters, but once GLASS HOUSES got going another fantastic Louise Penny read and outcome awaits you with the endings always being brilliant and unexpected.

Don't miss reading the latest from Louise Penny. 4/5

This book was given to me free of charge and without compensation by the publisher in return for an honest review.
The Time Between
by Karen White
The Time Between (3/13/2019)
Pianos, beaches, mansions, guilt, accidents, decisions, grief, love, secrets and children who didn't know each other as children but knew each other now as adults.

Eleanor was the cause of her sister's paralyzing accident when they were children, and her mother never let her forget it. Eleanor was made to work and take care of her sister Eve. Eleanor seemed to be at the beck and call of every family member and did not think of herself or think of her own happiness. Eve seemed to enjoy how uncomfortable she always made her sister feel and how she could still make her feel guilty about the accident. Their mother wasn't any nicer to Eleanor and seemed to expect Eleanor to pay for what she did to her sister.

One day Eleanor's boss, Finn, had a proposition that would allow Eleanor to return to Edisto Island where she and her family had always spent their vacations. Would this be good for Eleanor or would it bring back too many sad memories of her father? Would it relieve some of Eleanor's guilt? She had to give it a try. Something had to help her heal and forgive herself and to gain her sister's forgiveness. The piano she saw in Helena's house cinched her decision about accepting the job. Playing the piano was Eleanor's passion.

When Eleanor arrived on Edisto Island, she met Aunt Helena and Genevieve. They both were likable characters even though Helena tried to rattle Eleanor at first, but that kept Eleanor going. Genevieve was an adorable girl who loved pink. The characters were authentic and genuine. The descriptions of the characters' every move and thoughts were marvelous.

THE TIME BETWEEN is a heartwarming, redeeming, cozy read with exceptional writing that sets the mood for the book's theme. I could feel myself become a part of the feelings of each character whether it was a sense of belonging or rejection. When Eleanor interacted with Helena, you could feel the warmth between them growing not only as caregiver and the one being cared for but as kindred souls searching for something, and in Helena's case hiding something. Each character kept you guessing about his/her motives, their reason for acting the way they did, and what they actually were looking for in their relationships with each other.

Through Ms. White's skillful writing style you could tell her characters were obscure but sincere in their feelings for each other and that something was being hidden and being held back by each of them. The book's chapters were titled with each character's name, and that character's voice spoke for that specific section.

The book had an effortless flow and a very appealing storyline. It addressed human feelings, choices, and healing. The ending was painful but uplifting as well as fascinating because of the added bonus of information about WWII.

It was an enjoyable but thought-provoking book that will have you sitting back and definitely thinking about "the time between" that was explained on Page 319 as:

"There is how we were before, and how we are now, and the time between is spent choosing which doors to open, and which to close."

This book was absolutely wonderful. I thoroughly enjoyed the characters, the lessons learned, and the book's comfortable pace. 5/5

This book was given to me free of charge and without compensation by the publisher in return for an honest review
The Last Summer at Chelsea Beach
by Pam Jenoff
The Last Summer at Chelsea Beach (3/13/2019)
Adelia Monteforte was put on a boat alone to America in 1941 as WWII was underway. Her mother forced her into leaving Italy and living with her aunt and uncle that she had never met.

Adelia was grateful for her aunt and uncle's love, but ?she ?felt out of place with them and with her accent. When she met the Connallys, things changed. There were children her own age, children to play with?, a family she felt very comfortable with, and their son she fell in love with.

Her aunt and uncle seemed distant but very kind to Adelia. Mrs. Connally was more of a mother to Adelia than her aunt, but I think Adelia made that happen as she chose to be closer to a stranger than her own relatives. She did upset me how she was closer to the family that lived next door at the beach than her blood relatives.

We follow ?Adelia who is a very strong-willed character and who makes decisions on her own even though she is quite young. I was surprised at her quick, poorly thought-out decisions. Some were decisions I definitely would not have made.?

Adelia had become unsettled in her town after a while and also with the Connallys and left for Washington, D.C. to escape Charlie Connally. She then moved on to London when Washington, D.C. wasn't far enough away for her.

London wasn't what she expected, but Adelia was able to make new friends and continue to work at the same newspaper she worked for in the USA. Adelia never thought London would be a?s? war torn as it was?, but no matter what the circumstances or how far she went, she never could get Charlie out of her mind.

THE LAST SUMMER AT CHELSEA BEACH is filled with loss, growing up, learning about life, and a love story.

THE LAST SUMMER AT CHELSEA BEACH had a lesson about the importance of family and the importance of following your heart.

As always, Ms. Jenoff's books are well researched and very well written. You become part of her books and want to be one of the characters simply because of the marvelous way Ms. Jenoff tells a story.

If you haven’t read THE LAST SUMMER AT CHELSEA BEACH or any of Ms. Jenoff’s books, what are you waiting for? :)

You won't go wrong with any of her books. ENJOY....I know you will. 5/5
The Walnut Tree: A Holiday Tale
by Charles Todd
The Walnut Tree (3/13/2019)
Alain told Lady Elspeth Douglas not to worry as he went off to fight and she stayed home with his ring on her finger because the war would be over by Christmas. Little did they know that the war would NOT be over by Christmas.

Lady Douglas decided that she didn't want to just sit around and wait so she joined the Nursing Sisters...she meets Todd's famous Bess Crawford during this time. Since Lady Douglas was born and raised in a privileged household, it was unheard of for a woman of her class to join the nursing profession and treat wounded men. It was stated that anyone of her class wouldn't be acceptable as a wife to a gentleman if she was part of the nursing sisters. She thought otherwise. To avoid being turned down, she kept her title a secret when she applied to become a nurse.

The book follows Elspeth through her duties as a nurse in France and England during WWII. Of course, she met someone else even though she was engaged to Alain....this theme was the main part of the book. You will find out how she handles this situation and each situation that occurs whether the situation is traveling alone on trains and boats filled with soldiers, visiting relatives, or nursing.

The book is mixed with this love story and war. Mr. Todd takes the reader into the hospitals and gives details about the surgical and nursing units and the unpleasant tasks carried out by the nurses and doctors. He also brings the reader into the thick of the heartbreak, disasters, and ugliness of war. Elspeth's love story has a culminating scene under a walnut tree that binds her and her true love.

I enjoyed the book, but it was a bit of a tedious read. You will want to keep reading, though, because you will want to find out how the love part of the story turns out. WWII history buffs will love all the details that Mr. Todd so exquisitely and brilliantly knows how to portray. My rating is 4/5.

This book was given to me free of charge and without compensation by the publisher in return for an honest review.
After I'm Gone
by Laura Lippman
After I'm Gone (3/13/2019)
One disappearance and then another ten years later. Could both these disappearances have been planned far apart so no one would know the real reason?

Felix Brewer disappeared because he wanted to avoid going to jail for his misdeeds. He left his wife and three daughters, but was his wife really surprised he had left? He never really was with her in the first place. He always had a mistress and was rarely home. His mistress, Julie, was his most steady one. To cause more heartache and questions after Julie’s disappearance, Felix's wife wonders if she may have gone with him.

The questions about whether they were together or not surfaced twenty-six years later when they found Julie's body.

AFTER I'M GONE moves from present to past and from character to character. I actually was not swept away as I had been with Ms. Lippman's other books until the ending pages.

It was very confusing even when I was three quarters of the way into the book. I had trouble following the storyline. The detective, Sandy, made the book for me.

I had to keep reading, though, just to see if they found out where Felix was and who had killed Julie.

I am not going to say I disliked this book, but it just didn't grab me, didn’t pull me back to reading, or have me thinking about the characters or story when I wasn't reading. AFTER I'M GONE definitely has a character-driven storyline even though they were not likeable. Most of them were only worried about themselves.

Ms. Lippman may have been trying something different with this book, but I have to say I was disappointed until the end. Whenever I hear Laura Lippman, I normally know I am in for a real treat. The treat was late in coming as it came toward the end of the book as Sandy was wrapping up the investigation. AFTER I'M GONE actually got quite good at this point, and the outcome of “who done it” was very clever.

As I turned the ending pages, I said: "I know this person did it," and then I said: "no that person did," but I was wrong. When you find out who really “did it,” you will love it.

My rating originally was going to be a 3/5, but the sensational, clever ending that kept me guessing is going to move it up to a 4/5.

This book was given to me free of charge and without compensation by the publisher in return for an honest review.

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