Book Review | No Ocean Too Wide

no ocean too wideTitle: No Ocean Too Wide (McAlister Family #1) by Carrie Turanksy

Pages: 368

Genres: Historical Fiction, Christian

Publisher Waterbrook & Multnomah (June 25th, 2019)

Summary

Between the years of 1869 to 1939 more than 100,000 poor British children were sent across the ocean to Canada with the promise of a better life. Those who took them in to work as farm laborers or household servants were told they were orphans–but was that the truth?

After the tragic loss of their father, the McAlister family is living at the edge of the poorhouse in London in 1908, leaving their mother to scrape by for her three younger children, while oldest daughter, Laura, works on a large estate more than an hour away. When Edna McAlister falls gravely ill and is hospitalized, twins Katie and Garth and eight-year-old Grace are forced into an orphans’ home before Laura is notified about her family’s unfortunate turn of events in London. With hundreds of British children sent on ships to Canada, whether truly orphans or not, Laura knows she must act quickly. But finding her siblings and taking care of her family may cost her everything.

Andrew Fraser, a wealthy young British lawyer and heir to the estate where Laura is in service, discovers that this common practice of finding new homes for penniless children might not be all that it seems. Together Laura and Andrew form an unlikely partnership. Will they arrive in time? Will their friendship blossom into something more?

Inspired by true events, this moving novel follows Laura as she seeks to reunite her family and her siblings who, in their darkest hours, must cling to the words from Isaiah: “Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God”.

No Ocean Too Wide (McAlister Family #1)

what i thought

*I received a free copy of this book.  All thoughts and opinions are my own.  A huge thank you to the publisher!*

I had heard so many wonderful things about Carrie Turansky’s books.  However, until reading No Ocean Too Wide, I had not read any of her books.  That being said, because of how well-loved she is, I went into this book with pretty high expectations.  I’m so happy to say, this book did not disappoint!

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Book Review | Midnight on the River Grey | Blog Tour!


Welcome to the Blog Tour for Midnight on the River Grey by Abigail Wilson, hosted by JustRead Publicity Tours!

ABOUT THE BOOK

Title: Midnight on the River Grey
Author:
Abigail Wilson
Publisher: Thomas Nelson
Release Date:
July 2, 2019
Genre: Historical Suspense/Gothic Romance

She knew the house was keeping secrets. If only the darkness would speak . . .

After her elder brother’s mysterious death, Rebecca Hunter vows to expose the man she believes responsible: Mr. Lewis Browning—known by the locals as the Midnight Devil and by Rebecca as her new guardian.

Summoned to his reclusive country estate to await her London season, Rebecca plans her own secret investigation among the darkened corridors of the mysterious Greybourne Hall. Yet Lewis Browning is not as she once imagined, and his motivation is horribly unclear. Recurrent nightmares and Rebecca’s restless feelings are further complicated by the shadow of her mother’s prior descent into madness and wondering if she, too, will follow the same heartbreaking path.

Even as midnight rides, strange injuries, and further murders lead back to Mr. Browning, Rebecca can’t ignore the subtle turn of her heart. Has she developed feelings for the man she swore to see hanged? And moreover, can she trust him with her uncertain future?

PURCHASE LINKS*: Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository | Christianbook

what i thought

*I received a free copy of this book.  All thoughts and opinions are my own. A huge thank you to the author and publisher!*

After reading the synopsis of this book, I was instantly intrigued.  I love a good mystery, and that is something Midnight on the River Grey definitely has!

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Book Review | The Witch of Willow Hall | Blog Tour + Giveaway!

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In honor of the recent release of Hester Fox’s debut novel, The Witch of Willow Hall, today I’m sharing with you all my thoughts about the book as well as how you can have the chance to win a copy, plus a fun and festive prize pack!

cover_The Witch of Willow Hall_Hester Fox_Graydon House Books_Oct 2 2018Title: The Witch of Willow Hall by Hester Fox

Pages: 368

Genre: Historical Fiction

Published by: Harlequin’s Graydon House Books (Oct. 2nd, 2018)

Summary

Two centuries after the Salem witch trials, there’s still one witch left in Massachusetts. But she doesn’t even know it.

Take this as a warning: if you are not able or willing to control yourself, it will not only be you who suffers the consequences, but those around you, as well.

New Oldbury, 1821

In the wake of a scandal, the Montrose family and their three daughters—Catherine, Lydia and Emeline—flee Boston for their new country home, Willow Hall.

The estate seems sleepy and idyllic. But a subtle menace creeps into the atmosphere, remnants of a dark history that call to Lydia, and to the youngest, Emeline.

All three daughters will be irrevocably changed by what follows, but none more than Lydia, who must draw on a power she never knew she possessed if she wants to protect those she loves. For Willow Hall’s secrets will rise, in the end…

 

Add to your TBR list:  Goodreads

Available at:  Amazon  | Barnes and Noble  | Kobo  | iTunes

what i thought

*I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. A huge thanks to the publisher and Barclay Publicity!*

When I first found out about this book I was instantly intrigued.  The synopsis drew me in, and I just knew that this would be a book I would enjoy. The book’s description may be what caught my eye, but once I started reading, everything else about this book kept me hooked to the pages!

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Book Review | The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo

the seven husbands of evelyn hugo.jpgTitle: The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid

Pages: 388

Genres: Fiction, Contemporary, Historical, Romance

Published by: Atria Books (June 13th, 2017)

Summary

Evelyn Hugo is finally ready to tell the truth about her glamorous and scandalous life. But when she chooses unknown magazine reporter Monique Grant for the job, no one in the journalism community is more astounded than Monique herself. Why her? Why now?

Monique is not exactly on top of the world. Her husband, David, has left her, and her career has stagnated. Regardless of why Evelyn has chosen her to write her biography, Monique is determined to use this opportunity to jumpstart her career.

Summoned to Evelyn’s Upper East Side apartment, Monique listens as Evelyn unfurls her story: from making her way to Los Angeles in the 1950s to her decision to leave show business in the late 80s, and, of course, the seven husbands along the way. As Evelyn’s life unfolds through the decades—revealing a ruthless ambition, an unexpected friendship, and a great forbidden love—Monique begins to feel a very a real connection to the actress. But as Evelyn’s story catches up with the present, it becomes clear that her life intersects with Monique’s own in tragic and irreversible ways.

The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo

What I Thought

Honestly, The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo wasn’t a book that I planned on reading.  For the past year, I’ve seen mentions of it, but it just didn’t look that great in my opinion.  It wasn’t until the last few months that I actually started to really pay attention to what people were saying.  Everyone just seemed to love this book.  So much so that, I couldn’t ignore the hype any longer.  I just had to read it.  Let me just say that, I am so glad I did!

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Waiting on Wednesday

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Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly feature started by Breaking the Spine that puts the spotlight on upcoming releases! 

This week’s book is:

Come from Away

Releasing April 24th, 2018!

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Synopsis

From the bestselling author of Tides of Honour and Promises to Keep comes a poignant novel about a young couple caught on opposite sides of the Second World War.

In the fall of 1939, Grace Baker’s three brothers, sharp and proud in their uniforms, board Canadian ships headed for a faraway war. Grace stays behind, tending to the homefront and the general store that helps keep her small Nova Scotian community running. The war, everyone says, will be over before it starts. But three years later, the fighting rages on and rumours swirl about “wolf packs” of German U-Boats lurking in the deep waters along the shores of East Jeddore, a stone’s throw from Grace’s window. As the harsh realities of war come closer to home, Grace buries herself in her work at the store.

Then, one day, a handsome stranger ventures into the store. He claims to be a trapper come from away, and as Grace gets to know him, she becomes enamoured by his gentle smile and thoughtful ways. But after a several weeks, she discovers that Rudi, her mysterious visitor, is not the lonely outsider he appears to be, but someone else entirely—someone not to be trusted. When a shocking truth about her family forces Grace to question everything she has so strongly believed, she realizes that she and Rudi have more in common than she had thought. And if Grace is to have a chance at love, she must not only choose a side, but take a stand.

Come from Away is a mesmerizing story of love, shifting allegiances, and second chances, set against the tumultuous years of the Second World War.

Come from Away sounds like it’s going to be such a good book!  I’ve seen a few people mention this one on Instagram, and it’s been nothing but good things.  This book sounds like it’s going to be such a good love story, and I’m really looking forward to reading this one!


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Book Review | The Lost Summer of Louisa May Alcott + Product Review

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Title: The Lost Summer of Louisa May Alcott by Kelly O’Connor McNees

Pages: 376

Genres: Historical Fiction, Romance

Published by: Berkley (May 3rd, 2011)

Summary

A richly imagined, remarkably written story of the woman who created Little Women– and how love changed her in ways she never expected.

Deftly mixing fact and fiction, Kelly O’Connor McNees returns to the summer of 1855, when vivacious Louisa May Alcott is twenty-two and bursting to free herself from family and societal constraints and do what she loves most. Stuck in small-town New Hampshire, she meets Joseph Singer, and as she opens her heart, Louisa finds herself torn between a love that takes her by surprise and her dream of independence as a writer in Boston. The choice she must make comes with a steep price that she will pay for the rest of her life.

The Lost Summer of Louisa May Alcott

 

What I Thought

*I received this book in exchange for an honest review. I huge thanks to Sullivan Entertainment!*

As someone who grew up in a family with three other sisters, and all four of us are quite close, Little Women has always been very relatable to me.  So, when I got the chance to read about the author of such a relatable book, I was quite intrigued.  The Lost Summer of Louisa May Alcott is fiction, but the family dynamics is all based on the life of the real Louisa May Alcott.  Just like Jo, Louisa May Alcott was the second sister of four and aspired to be a writer.  This book features a 22 year old Louisa who is filled with big dreams and just waiting for her chance.

I absolutely loved all of the characters! Honestly, these characters were so relatable, and probably my favorite part of this novel.  I’m 23, and from the relationship Louisa shares with her sisters and parents to relationship with her friends and hopes for the future,  I found myself relating so much to the situations that Louisa and her sisters and friends were going through.  I completely fell in love with Joseph and Louisa’s story, as well.  Joseph is probably one of my favorite love interests of this year, so far!

The writing in this novel was also so beautiful.  It was written in such a way that reminded me of some of my favorite classics, like Anne of Green Gables and Little Women.  I just loved it!

I never wanted to stop reading this book.  It was one of those books that were just so comfortably paced.  The story line was superb.  I also loved reading the parallels between the Alcott sisters and the March sisters.

Overall, I ended up loving this book way more than I expected.  It was an absolutely lovely read.  While it was a bit heartbreaking, it also left me feeling inspired.  I would definitely recommend this book to fans of Little Women, as well as anyone else who loves books with those classic heroines who have hope and believe.

4 stars 2


Today, I also wanted to share with you all another Louisa May Alcott-inspired item.  Sullivan Entertainment was kind enough to include this beautiful necklace, featuring this quote by Louisa May Alcott, along with The Lost Summer of Louisa May Alcott.

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I am completely in love with it!  Not only is this quote perfect for my life, but the necklace is so nicely made.  The chain and pendant are very sturdy and strong as well.  I would highly recommend it!

To find this and other wonderful products be sure to check out Shop at Sullivan!


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Book Review | In the Shadow of Blackbirds

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Title: In the Shadow of Blackbirds by Cat Winters

Pages: 387

Genres: YA, Historical Fiction, Paranormal, Mystery

Published by: Amulet Books (Apr. 2, 2013)

Summary

In 1918, the world seems on the verge of apocalypse. Americans roam the streets in gauze masks to ward off the deadly Spanish influenza, and the government ships young men to the front lines of a brutal war, creating an atmosphere of fear and confusion. Sixteen-year-old Mary Shelley Black watches as desperate mourners flock to séances and spirit photographers for comfort, but she herself has never believed in ghosts. During her bleakest moment, however, she’s forced to rethink her entire way of looking at life and death, for her first love—a boy who died in battle—returns in spirit form. But what does he want from her?

Featuring haunting archival early-twentieth-century photographs, this is a tense, romantic story set in a past that is eerily like our own time

In the Shadow of Blackbirds

 

What I Thought

Wow. Okay, where to start? First, this book was fantastic! When I saw this book, I figured it would be like Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children; It had a mysterious cover, there were vintage pictures inside, and a spooky story line. Despite all that, It’s wasn’t. In the Shadow of Blackbirds is very much it’s own, intriguing, original story (Although, I think it will appeal to Miss Peregrine fans, like myself).

I don’t want to give anything away, but the story didn’t go at all where I thought it would, which I loved! The romance in this story is not like your average love story either. Mary Shelley is not all “Ohh I’m in love with my dead boyfriend! I’m going to go make out with a ghost boy!”  Which is something I greatly appreciated, because when I picked up In the Shadow Blackbirds I wanted to read something intriguing and mysterious, not a paranormal romance, and I got exactly what I was looking for.

I also loved all the historical facts in this book.  For example, to protect themselves from the flu, people would take drastic measures, such as eating onions constantly to even eating a sugar cube dipped in kerosene!  My eyes were really opened to the severity of the Spanish Influenza, and this book made it possible for me to feel the pain and sadness it caused to so many people, on a more real level.

Also, the pictures were wonderful.  They were featured at the beginning of some of the chapters and really helped show what it was like to be living in 1918.

Overall, this book is awesome. Go read it!  I would recommend In the Shadow of Blackbirds to anyone looking for a unique and mysterious, historical read, as well as fans of Miss Peregrine’s.

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Review originally written October 2013.

Book Review | A Valentine Secret | Blog Tour

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Hey everyone! Happy Valentine’s Day!!  Today I’m teaming up with Writerly Yours for the blog tour for A Valentine Secret by Emily Murdoch.  Be sure to check out Writerly Yours to learn more about them and this blog tour!

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Title: A Valentine Secret by Emily Murdoch

Pages: 94

Genres: Romance, Historical

Published by: Endeavor Press (Jan. 21, 2016)

Summary

The course of true love never did run smooth…

Jonathan Brodie, the only son of Sir Roger and Lady Brodie, has lived in the village of Maplebridge his whole life.

Penelope, the daughter of the local florist, was adopted by the Baldwins when she was just a baby.

They could not be more different and yet, one blustery January morning, their paths collide in a chance encounter that is destined to change their lives forever.

Jonathan soon discovers that Penelope is far from the quiet wallflower that she first seems, but rather a beautiful rose just waiting for its chance to bloom. After spending more and more time together, it’s not long before their feelings for each other begin to blossom.

However, when Jonathan starts investigating Penelope’s past, in order to present her with the truth about her biological parents, his grand Valentines gesture threatens to destroy any hope of a future with the woman he has grown to love.

Penelope begins to doubt Jonathan’s motives.

Is he only concerned with placating his domineering father and convincing him that she is worthy of the Brodie name?

Despite his good intentions, will Jonathan’s Valentine Secret ruin everything?

Or are two people from opposite ends of society simply destined to remain poles apart forever?

A Valentine Secret is a charming regency romance novella about never giving up on true love.

A Valentine Secret

 

What I Thought

This book was absolutely perfect for Valentine’s Day!  It’s quite short coming in at just under 100 pages, so if you don’t have any plans tonight, this book would be great.

My favorite part of this story was definitely the setting! It had that lovely, 1800’s feel and took place in Great Britain during the Regency period (1811-1820). Valetine’s Day was just becoming a thing, and so it was really fun to read about how people were learning to celebrate.  This book gave me classic lit feelings but it was written in a way that was simpler and easy to understand, which I, personally, enjoyed, because it allowed me to devour the book without having to stop and reread passages to gain understanding like I usually have to do with books originally written in the 1800’s. 

The characters were all lovely, too. I fell in love with Jonathan and Penelope’s relationship! He always treats Penlope so well, and not only that, but despite his upperclass upbringing, he never treats those lower in society than him as anything less. I also loved that Penlope was able to stand up for herself, despite the time period she lived in. The fact that her and her family owned a flower shop was just so lovely to me. It just seemed to fit perfectly with the whole Valentine’s Day vibe and the sweet nature of Penlope and the Baldwins. 

The story itself was also so enjoyable. I loved watching Jonathan and Penlope fall in love and all the drama (but not too much drama) that occurred because of it. 

Overall, this was a lovely, novella. It was romantic but not over the top, fun and festive, and so sweet. I would recommend this book to anyone looking for a quick, fun read this Valetine’s Day!

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*I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review! A huge thanks to Writerly Yours and the author.*

About the Author

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Emily Murdoch is a medieval historian and writer. She has authored a medieval series and a regency novella series, and is currently working on several new projects. To stay updated on her writing and upcoming books, follow her WEBSITE and on FACEBOOK, TWITTER and INSTAGRAM.


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