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#Daughter of Moloka’i by Alan Brennert–Review–4.5 Stars

daughter of Moloka'i:.jpg 850.jpgNew Historical Fiction Novel by Alan Brennert–Coming 2/19/19

 

 

Daughter Of Moloka’i is a well-written, poignant, and bittersweet novel. The story begins in 1916, in Moloka’i Hawaii, a place designated for people with Hansen’s disease (Leprosy). When Ruth was born to parents suffering from the disease, she was taken from them, within an hour of her birth.

Ruth was brought up in an orphanage, run by nuns, until she was adopted by Japanese immigrants, living in Honolulu. Ruth loved her parents but often wondered why her biological parents had given her away.

Ruth was content with her life in Hawaii until her Uncle convinced her father to move to California. The opportunity he was offered, was supposed to be, a wonderful one. It wasn’t. It was a scam. But after her father uprooted his family and moved to America, it was too late to turn back. Being taken advantage of was not the worse thing, that happened to Ruth’s family in California. WWII was about to break out, and with it, Japan’s bombing of Pearl Harbor. The President’s reaction to the Japanese invasion was to gather, isolate, and relocate all Japanese immigrants and their family members, to less than ideal internment camps. 

Everyone who was sent to these camps had given up their homes, farms, businesses, and belongings. Many of these people with Japanese parents and grandparents were US citizens, but sent to camps, just the same. 

Daughter Of Moloka’i is a compelling and engaging book, well-crafted and researched.

Thank you, St. Martin’s Press and NetGalley, for my advanced review copy.

~4.5 out of 5 stars~

 

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Bio (from author’s page on Amazon)

Alan Brennert is the author of the best-selling historical novels MOLOKA’I and HONOLULU, both favorites of reading groups across the country. MOLOKA’I was a 2012 “One Book, One San Diego” selection and HONOLULU was named one of the best books of 2009 by The Washington Post. PEOPLE Magazine said of his novel PALISADES PARK, “Brennert writes his valentine to the New Jersey plaground of his youth in RAGTIME style, mixing fact and fiction. It’s a memorable trip.” His work on the television series L.A. LAW earned him an Emmy Award in 1991 and his short story “Ma Qui” was honored with a Nebula Award in 1992. His latest book, DAUGHTER OF MOLOKA’I, is a follow-up to MOLOKA’I that tells the story of Rachel Kalama’s daughter Ruth, her early life, her internment during World War II, and her eventual meeting with her birth mother, Rachel. The novel explores the women’s 22-year relationship, only hinted at it in MOLOKA’I. It will be published by St Martin’s Press on February 19, 2019.

 

#The Wartime Sisters by Lynda Cohen Loigman–Review-5 Stars–#NetGalley

War time sisters..850.jpgDon’t Miss This Outstanding 5-Star Novel–Coming 1/22/19

 

 

The Wartime Sisters is a heartfelt, poignant story, rich in character development, historical details, and family drama. I enjoyed every page of this emotionally charged novel.

Ruth and Millie Kaplan have never been close, and their mother was the chief reason. Ever since childhood, Ruth lived under Millie’s shadow. In their mother’s eyes, Millie was perfect; Ruth was not. Ruth was considered the smart, responsible daughter and Millie, the beautiful, fragile one. The sister’s strained relationship worsened in their teen years; when every man whom Ruth brought home, eventually, turned their eyes toward Millie, except for one; Arthur. And, Ruth married him.

 Ruth was ecstatic when Arthur informed her that they needed to move away from Brooklyn, to the Armory, in Springfield, Ma. Ruth couldn’t be happier. Not only would she have the man she loved to herself, Ruth, was finally, going to have a life out from underneath Millie’s shadow. Years later, however, when Millie was alone with a two-year-old son, Ruth felt obligated to invite Millie to live with them. Reluctantly.

I wanted to shake some common sense into the mother, and tell the father, to grow a backbone. The favoritism was a bit over-the-top in this book. But the emotional pull and turmoil crafted into each page was nothing short of exceptional. Once I started reading this book, I couldn’t put it down.  

Thank you, St. Martin’s Press and NetGalley, for my advanced review copy. I thoroughly enjoyed it!

~5 out of 5 stars~

 

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Bio (from author’s page on Amazon)

Lynda Cohen Loigman grew up in Longmeadow, Massachusetts. She received a B.A. in English and American Literature from Harvard College and a law degree from Columbia Law School. Lynda practiced trusts and estates law in New York City for eight years before moving out of the city to raise her two children with her husband. She wrote The Two-Family House while she was a student of the Writing Institute at Sarah Lawrence College. The Two-Family House was chosen by Goodreads as a best book of the month for March, 2016, and was a nominee for the Goodreads 2016 Choice Awards in Historical Fiction. Her second novel, The Wartime Sisters, will be published on January 22, 2019.

#Girls On The Line by Aimie K. Runyan–Review–5 Stars-#NetGalley

Girls on the Line:.jpg 850.jpgDon’t Miss The New Outstanding Book Release   by Aimie K. Runyan! Coming 11/6/18

 

Girls On The Line is a riveting well-written novel about the women in WWI, who made up the Army Signal Corps. 

Ruby Wagner’s family was part of Philadelphia’s elite class. Ruby found her prearranged life dull. She was to marry the man her father chose for her, and live as a wealthy society woman, hosting parties and supporting charities. But, Ruby wanted more. She wanted her life to count for something, especially after her brother died fighting the Germans in France. 

So, even though, Ruby’s parents and fiancé were against her joining the military. Ruby tested for the Army Signal Corps anyway. After being accepted, she was deployed overseas. It was in France where Ruby discovered what she really wanted in life. And, being married to a prominent wealthy gentleman, hosting balls and drinking tea was not it. Ruby was a talented leader. While in the military, she developed deep friendships, including a handsome medic, Andrew Carrigan.

The author brings WWI to life with compelling scenes, rich historical details, and realistic, flawed, likable characters. This story is not just about war, but about choices, and its consequences, true friendship, and love. Girls On The Line celebrates the women telephone operators who received very little recognition after risking their lives and helping to end WWI. I thoroughly enjoyed this compelling book and highly recommend reading it.

Thank you, Lake Union Publishing and NetGalley, for my advanced review copy.

~5 out of 5 stars~

 

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Bio (from author’s page on Amazon)

Aimie K. Runyan writes to celebrate history’s unsung heroines. She is the author of two previous historical novels: Promised to the Crown and Duty to the Crown. She is active as an educator and a speaker in the writing community and beyond. She lives in Colorado with her wonderful husband and two (usually) adorable children. To learn more about Aimie and her work, please visit www.aimiekrunyan.com.

 

#The Shipbuilder’s Wife by Jennifer Moore–Review 4.5 stars–NetGalley

the shipvuilders wife:.jpg 850.jpgDon’t Miss, The Shipbuilder’s Wife, An 1812 War Romance.  Out Now!

 

The Shipbuilder’s Wife is a well-written and compelling novel, taking place during the war of 1812. 

Beautiful southern socialite, Lydia Prescott was planning her wedding when British soldiers attacked her Virginia home. She survived the fiery explosion but not without injury. Lydia’s engagement was broken after her beloved saw the ugly gash on her face. Lydia’s confidence and charming manner evaporated. Depression and isolation became her norm. Lydia’s family should have been her support, but both parents avoided her; spending, as little time, as possible, with their not so perfect daughter.  

When Lydia was told that she was to marry Jacob Steele, the shipbuilder, she was nervous. She had only met him once, and although he wasn’t rude or condescending to her, he was intimidating. However, even though, she was anxious about marrying a stranger, she was glad to be leaving her present unhappy and isolated existence, behind. Lydia would soon find out, though, that being married to Jacob, was not an easy task. Jacob Steele was an aloof, moody, and guarded man. He also has a big heart.

Lydia did her best to strengthen their relationship. But Jacob didn’t trust her. And, Lydia wasn’t so sure that she trusted him either. But, when Jacob started to think that Lydia could be a British spy, their fragile marriage began to crumble.  

The author’s historical descriptions and in-depth character development brought this book alive for me. And, although I liked Jacob and Lydia, and rooted for their relationship, it was Alden, Jacob’s friend, who won my heart. Alden is a charismatic, funny, and lovable character. He’s unique, quirky, and just so much fun. I sincerely hope that Alden gets his own book. I will definitely be looking forward to reading the next book in this series.

Thank you, Covenant Communications and NetGalley, for my advanced review copy. I loved it.

~4.5 out of 5 stars~

 

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Bio (from author’s page on Amazon)

Jennifer Moore is a passionate reader and writer of all things romance due to the need to balance the rest of her world that includes a perpetually traveling husband and four active sons, who create heaps of laundry that is anything but romantic. Jennifer has a B.A. in Linguistics from the University of Utah and is a Guitar Hero champion. She lives in northern Utah with her family, but most of the time wishes she was aboard a British frigate during the age of sail.

 

#The Girl From Berlin by Ronald Balson-Review–4.5 stars–#NetGalley

Girl from Berlin 850.jpgA Fascinating New Historical Fiction by Ronald Balson–Coming 10/9/18

 

 

In Italy, a lawyer representing a powerful company, handed Gabi, an eviction notice. He told her that the deed that she held to the land was not valid. The elderly woman was given only sixty days to evacuate. Out of desperation, Gabi’s nephew, pleaded with his American friends, Catherine and Liam, a lawyer and private investigator team, to help. The two Americans were not sure that they would be of any real assistance to Gabi until they read Ada Baumgarten’s memoir.

 Ada Baumgarten wrote about her life, as a Jew, living in Germany and Italy, under Hitler’s rule. As her memoir unfolded, Ada’s world, came alive for Catherine and Liam. Because Ada was a professional violinist, she was given more liberties than the average Jewish girl. But, that didn’t stop the Nazis from trying to remove everything that she loved from her. Unfortunately, Ada had embarrassed an SS soldier, and that Nazi, was not about to let the incident go until he had his revenge. 

The book alternates between the 1930s and 2017. It tells the poignant story about Hitler’s rise to power in Germany, the atrocities the Nazis carried out in his name, and the influence Hitler had in Europe. The Girl from Berlin is a well-written and captivating novel.  

Thank you, St. Martin’s Press and NetGalley, for my advanced review copy.

~4.5 stars out of 5 stars~

 

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Bio (from author’s page on Amazon)

Ronald H. Balson is an attorney practicing with the firm of Stone, Pogrund and Korey in Chicago. The demands of his trial practice have taken him into courts across the United States and into international venues. An adjunct professor of business law at the University of Chicago for twenty-five years, Ron has also lectured on trial advocacy in federal trial bar courses. 

During the early 2000s Ron spent time in Warsaw and southern Poland in connection with a complex telecommunications lawsuit. While in Poland Ron was profoundly moved by the scars and memorials of World War II, which inspired him to write Once We Were Brothers, his first novel. Extensive travels to Israel and the Middle East provided the inspiration for Saving Sophie, his second novel. While on his Once We Were Brothers book tour, Ron met Fay Waldman, a survivor of multiple Nazi prison camps. Her remarkable story inspired and provided the backdrop for Ron’s third novel, Karolina’s Twins. Ron is hard at work on his fourth.

#The Dutch Wife by Ellen Keith–Review-4.5 Stars #NetGalley

the dutch wife..:. 850.jpgDon’t Miss Ellen Keith’s Novel–The Dutch Wife–Coming 9/4/18

 

 

The Dutch Wife is a well-crafted, riveting, and haunting novel. It held me captive from the very first page. There are two stories which run parallel in this book, with different timelines. The first story takes place in Germany during WWII, and involves, a political prisoner, Marijke, and the Schutzhaftagerfuhrer for Buchenwald, Karl Muller. And, the second timeline, is in Argentina, during the Dirty War, involving, a University student, Luciano Wagner.

In Amsterdam, Marijke de Graaf, and her husband, Theo, were arrested for taking part in the resistance against the Third Reich. The two of them were considered political prisoners and sent to different camps. Because Marijke was beautiful, she was given the choice of working in a brothel at Buchenwald, or staying where she was, and possibly not surviving the work camp. She chose the brothel. Initially, she was hoping to see her husband at Buchenwald. But as time went on, Marijke felt more and more ashamed, for prostituting herself, and for her growing attachment to Karl Muller, the Schuzhaftagerfuhrer. 

 The parallel story in this book, takes place in Argentina, during the 1970s. Anyone in Argentina who was discovered, speaking out, against the government, disappeared. Luciano Wagner, a University student, was arrested for attending a resistance rally. He became one of many students who were kidnapped by the military and tortured. I didn’t know much about the Dirty War, so the details shocked me. The torture that took place was hideous, heartbreaking and haunting. 

Although I was totally engrossed in this novel, and highly recommend reading it; switching back and forth, between Germany, 1943, and Argentina, 1977, in my opinion, took away from the book. The two parallel stories do come together, however, in the end. The Dutch Wife is a compelling read, realistically graphic, engrossing, and well-researched.

Thank you, Harlequin and NetGalley, for my advanced review copy. I loved it.

~4.5 out of 5 stars~

 

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Bio (from author’s page on Amazon)

Winner of the HarperCollins/UBC Prize for Best New Fiction, Ellen Keith is a Canadian writer and a recent graduate of the University of British Columbia’s MFA program in creative writing. Her work has appeared in publications such as the New Quarterly and the Globe and Mail. She currently lives in Amsterdam.

 

#So Much Life Left Over by Louis De Bernieres–Review-4 stars #NetGalley

So Much Life Left Over::::.jpg 850.jpgNew Historical Fiction Novel by Louis De Bernieres–Out Now

 

So Much Life left Over is a captivating and compelling historical fiction novel. The story takes place between the end of WWI and the beginning of WWII.  

Daniel Pitt was an RAF ace pilot. When WWI ended, Daniel settled in Ceylon with his wife, Rosie, and their daughter. The family was happy there, for a few years, until the second child was born deformed, and died, shortly after birth. Both Rosie and Daniel grieved their deceased baby. Rosie wrapped herself in religion to survive her overwhelming sadness. Although Daniel and Rosie were happy that their third child was born healthy, their marriage did not thrive. Rosie turned Daniel away at night, and during the day, did her best to keep him away from the children. With Daniel’s physical and emotional needs unmet, Daniel sought comfort elsewhere. 

The book has several complex stories including a few love affairs and the beginning horrors of Hitler’s reign.  Although the story is poignant and even tragic at times, it has an authentic feel to it. The book is well-written, riveting and perfectly paced. Although I cared for the characters, I didn’t find them likable. If you are looking to read a complex historical fiction novel, So Much Life Left Over may be just the book for you. It does end in a cliffhanger, though.

Thank you, Random House UK- Vintage Publishing and NetGalley, for my advanced review copy.

~4 out of 5 stars~

 

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Bio (From Amazon)

LOUIS DE BERNIÈRES is the author of many award-winning novels, including Birds Without Wings, Corelli’s Mandolin, The Dust That Falls from Dreams, Notwithstanding, A Partisan’s Daughter, Red Dog, Señor Vivo and the Coca Lord, The Troublesome Offspring of Cardinal Guzman, and The War of Don Emmanuel’s Nether Parts. Selected by Granta as one of the twenty Best of Young British Novelists in 1993, de Bernières lives in England.