Finella Mayfield hates two things: liars and thieves. And she’s determined to marry a man who’s neither. Chasing her dead father’s dreams, the twenty-year-old English bride arrives in Australia in 1875 for an arranged marriage. Anticipating her future as village preacher’s wife, she records her thoughts in her Everlasting journal.
But instead of her fiancé, Finella is met by Shadrach Jones, a poor farmer sent to collect her from the busy Melbourne pier.
This is not what her father planned. And it’s only the beginning of the unraveling of Finella Mayfield ~ the bride with no groom.
All Shadrach Jones longs for is rows of mustard and chicory. He’s busy growing a farm near the Phillip Island fishing village of Cowes, and caring for Molly, his simple sister. Far from the brutal life they remember with their ex-convict father, Shadrach’s building something new.
But he’s also made a promise to a dying friend. To collect and marry the English girl destined to never be a preacher’s wife.
Can Shadrach convince Finella she has a future with a farmer? Can he convince himself, knowing his family secrets will haunt their future? Continue reading “Book Review – Carry Me Home”
I think I’ve seen just about every film adaptation of Louisa May Alcott’s book that is known to man. No matter the version, I’ve always loved the March family and their relationships with each other and those they adopt into their circle. But, I’ve never been happy with the romantic relationships as portrayed on screen.
After watching the 1994 version starring Winona Ryder again recently, I decided it was high time I finally read the book for myself. Especially since my strategy for reading more classics is to tackle the novels of film adaptations I really enjoy. And that is how I finally found myself reading Little Women.
The story of the four March sisters, Meg, Jo, Beth and Amy is so well-known that I hardly think I need to summarize it here. Suffice it to say, that at over 500 pages long, the book gives much more time to developing and detailing these beloved characters, their relationships, their personal growth, their trials and triumphs.
You are the gull, Jo, strong and wild, fond of the storm and the wind, flying far out to sea, and happy all alone. Meg is the turtledove, and Amy is like the lark she writes about, trying to get up among the clouds, but always dropping down into its nest again. Dear little girl! She’s so ambitious, but her heart is good and tender, and no matter how high she flies, she never will forget home.
Continue reading “Book Review -Little Women”
All her life, Valancy Stirling lived on a quiet little street in an ugly little house and never dared to contradict her domineering mother and her unforgiving aunt. Then she gets a letter—and decides that very day things need to change. For the first time in her life, she does exactly what she wants to and says exactly what she feels.
At first her family thinks she’s gone around the bend. But soon Valancy discovers more surprises and adventure than she ever thought possible. She also finds her one true love and the real-life version of the Blue Castle that she was sure only existed in her dreams…
I’m going to admit to my deep shame that I can’t remember ever finishing a book by L.M. Montgomery. Yet, I can’t tell you how many times I’ve seen the Anne of Green Gables television series. So, when The Blue Castle kept popping up as a personal favorite of various authors I read, I knew I had to read it. Still, it sat on my TBR list for longer than I care to admit. Continue reading “Book Review -The Blue Castle”
Escaping the constraints of life as a village schoolmistress, Lilia Brooke bursts into London and into Paul Harris’s orderly life, shattering his belief that women are gentle creatures who need protection. Lilia wants to change women’s lives by advocating for the vote, free unions, and contraception. Paul, an Anglican priest, has a big ambition of his own: to become the youngest dean of St. John’s Cathedral. Lilia doesn’t believe in God, but she’s attracted to Paul’s intellect, ethics, and dazzling smile.
As Lilia finds her calling in the militant Women’s Social and Political Union, Paul is increasingly driven to rise in the church. They can’t deny their attraction, but they know they don’t belong in each other’s worlds. Lilia would rather destroy property and serve time in prison than see her spirit destroyed and imprisoned by marriage to a clergyman, while Paul wants nothing more than to settle down and keep Lilia out of harm’s way. Paul and Lilia must reach their breaking points before they can decide whether their love is worth fighting for. Continue reading “Book Review -Impossible Saints”
After the tragic death of her husband, Aven Norgaard is beckoned to give up her life in Norway to become a housekeeper in the rugged hills of nineteenth-century Appalachia. Upon arrival, she finds herself in the home of her late husband’s cousins—three brothers who make a living by brewing hard cider on their three-hundred-acre farm. Yet even as a stranger in a foreign land, Aven has hope to build a new life in this tight-knit family.
But her unassuming beauty disrupts the bond between the brothers. The youngest two both desire her hand, and Aven is caught in the middle, unsure where—and whether—to offer her affection. While Haakon is bold and passionate, it is Thor who casts the greatest spell upon her. Though Deaf, mute, and dependent on hard drink to cope with his silent pain, Thor possesses a sobering strength.
As autumn ushers in the apple harvest, the rift between Thor and Haakon deepens and Aven faces a choice that risks hearts. Will two brothers’ longing for her quiet spirit tear apart a family? Can she find a tender belonging in this remote, rugged, and unfamiliar world?
A haunting tale of struggle and redemption, Sons of Blackbird Mountain is a portrait of grace in a world where the broken may find new life through the healing mercy of love. Continue reading “Book Review -Sons of Blackbird Mountain”
The year is 1792 and the French Revolution is in full swing. In Paris, the guillotine claims scores of aristocratic victims every day. However, one brave man known only as the Scarlet Pimpernel somehow continues to rescue a small percentage of the victims right out from under the watchful eyes of the bloodthirsty French citizens. Other than his mysterious moniker, nothing much is known of him, other than that he is an Englishman of means.
Meanwhile, in England. Sir Percy Blakeney, has been married to the celebrated French beauty Marguerite St. Just for about a year. In that time, they have become the most celebrated couple in England. They are even personal friends of the Prince of Wales. Marguerite is not only renowned for her beauty but also her wit. Many wonder how and why she married Sir Percy as he is considered one of the dullest men in England, despite his immense wealth and fancy clothes.
The fates of the Blakeneys abruptly changes when incriminating evidence is found on Marguerite’s beloved brother Armand. The French spy Chauvelin uses it to blackmail the lady into finding out the identity of the Scarlet Pimpernel. Feeling cornered and unable to confide in her dim witted husband, Marguerite agrees. But what she eventually discovers is a shocking and well-kept secret which not only endangers the life of the English hero but her husband as well. Continue reading “Book Review -The Scarlet Pimpernel”
World War II is over. Juliet’s war time series has been turned into a book with great success. Her editor and close friend Sydney is pushing her for new content to publish. But Juliet is lacking inspiration. Her imagination is as worn and grey as her flat in London.
Unexpectedly, she receives a letter from Dawsey, a stranger from the Isle of Guernsey. He is in possession of one of her old books by a favorite author. Her margin notes in the book inspired him to write her with questions. In their correspondence he mentions the island’s book club oddly named The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society. Before she knows it, Juliet is corresponding with several other members of the society. Their letters spark an idea for a new book using the group’s story of their resistance of the German occupation during the war.
Soon letters are not enough and Juliet heads to the island to continue her research. Only, she quickly finds her life entwining with those of her lettered friends. Not to mention, Juliet finds herself intrigued by Elizabeth central figure they all speak of with love. Continue reading “Book Review -The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society”
Isabella Grayson is the daughter of a self-made newspaper magnate. Her parents are pushing her to marry in order to increase her family’s social standing. But Isabella has no interest in the old money, aristocratic young men that her parents prefer. In fact, she has little interest in marriage at all. Bella has a secret dream of publishing as a journalist in one of her father’s papers. She has a particular interest in the brand new field of aviation.
James Drake is an orphan who has risen above his tragic beginnings. With the help of his mentor, James is designing an airplane he hopes will bring him enough prestige to start his own company. While test piloting his plane, he crash lands at the Grayson’s new country estate, where he meets Bella.
Striking a deal with her parents to encourage marriage minded suitors, Bella is given permission to write a series of articles on a contest for pilots to be the first to cross the English Channel. She and James develop an appreciation for each other as Bella uses him as a source for her articles. In addition, she decides to help James track down the mystery of his birth parents. However, though their friendship is acceptable, any romantic interest between them is not. As their feelings for each other deepen, they must balance their personal relationship with their professional interests.
To read my full review, please follow me over to The Silver Petticoat Review
Adela McGirth is thankful her life is spared after a run-in with a small party of Creek Indians in a meadow by her home. Little does she know that this will not be the only meeting with the Indian warrior who saves her life.
An Indian attack on the fort where Adela and her mother and sisters are staying for protection, leaves her fiance and hundreds others dead. But an old connection between her mother and another Indian sees them saved but taken captive.
Upon arrival in the village of Kossati, Adela once again catches the eye of her savior, Totka Lawe. He is impressed by her courage and compassion and a spark of attraction ignites between them.
Despite their differences of language, culture and religious beliefs, Totka determines to claim the female he names Copper Woman for himself. Meanwhile Adela, her mother and sister must learn to survive and understand a very different way of life.
The longer Adela lives with her captors, the more she becomes Copper Woman as she builds relationships with those whose hearts are really not that different from her own. And the more she finds her heart bound to the warrior Totka, whose desire to care for his clan in peace conflicts with the warring desire to defend their lands.
Despite a deep love between them, Totka and Copper Woman wonder whether the differences between them are greater than their ability to overcome. Continue reading “Book Series Review -Creek Country Saga; Beneath the Blackberry Moon, Books 1&2”
Another year has passed and as usual it was full of good books. Although I didn’t quite reach last year’s book tally of over 100 books, I still managed to become finish over 65 titles. I think this is a pretty good number considering I went back to work full time this year.
I read a lot of really great books this year, many of them by authors who are new to me. But I managed to condense my favorites list down to a manageable size. Continue reading “Book Year 2017 Review”