Sunday, September 15, 2019

A LIFE WITHOUT WATER by Marci Bolden

There are two main characters in this book and then two that you meet throughout the story. Carol/Caroline, John, Katie and Tobias. Carol was married to John and they had Katie. She left John and met and married Tobias. The story is mainly about Caroline, John and how the loss they shared. John needs to make amends before he dies. They need to find a way to find closure and peace between them. They started out together as a young couple in love. They need to find a way back to that. Not as a couple but as friends. Caroline was the name John always called her and will forever. Caroline needs to find a way to forgive John and herself for things that happened between them. Things that happened that they could not seem to control.

This book has lots of heartaches in it. It’s actually one that will make you cry from almost the first page to the very end. I don’t mean just crying, I truly mean weeping, ugly, heartbreaking tears. The ugly crying you don’t want anyone seeing you do. I cried so much reading this book that if I had not invested time in it I would not have finished it. I kept having to put it down to get up and move around so I could actually see the words. It’s truly a very sad book. A very well written, very interesting, very good book but it will break your heart into tiny pieces if you have feelings at all.

I liked the story but hated the sadness. I loved the interaction between Caroline and John but hated what happened to them. I liked that she moved on but hated the why of it. I felt so sorry for John yet thought of him as a jerk so many times and blamed him so much until I finally realized that it was not him being so mean and cruel. He had a problem. He needed help. I liked Caroline a lot but also felt she was a bit selfish in places until I saw exactly why she did some of the things she did. Both were human. Humans are capable of failure without being bad people. Both experienced the ultimate pain. The deepest pain a person ever feels. Though Caroline went through it way more than John did. She lost so much and was there for him anyway. Until the end. She sacrificed for him in ways that some would never even think of doing. I’m not sure I would or could ever do what she did. I think she was a very very strong woman who lost so much and loved so deeply.

While this is not a love story it is about love. The love between a man and woman. A woman and a man. Parents and a child. It’s a story of a love so great you never get over it. It stays with you until you take your very last breath. It is a very heartfelt story for sure.

I do not believe the author could have possibly written this without shedding many many tears her own self. It’s a very well written book and makes you feel like you are right there with the characters. I went on a road trip. I saw places that I would never see if I had not of gone. I felt things I have never felt while reading. Deeply and heartbreakingly.

While I truly think this is one of the best books I have read in a long time, I also think or know, it’s one of the saddest that I have ever read. I only recommend this book if you need or want to weep. If you want or need to shed tears this is definitely the book for you. I will say it’s a great story and it’s worth every single tear. I actually loved the story. It was well written, well developed characters and a well developed story. You will either love it or hate it. Maybe like it. But you will without a doubt shed lots of tears while reading it. Every tear I shed,  I have to say was worth the ending and what Carol/Caroline went through to the very end.

Thank you to #NetGalley, #PinkSandPress for the ARC of this in exchange for my honest review.

I have to give it 5 stars and I only recommend it if you have lots and lots of tissue and are up for a deep ugly heartfelt cry. It’s good but so sad. Well done Marci Bolden. I look forward to checking out more of your books. I just hope they don’t make me cry quite so much.

Wednesday, September 11, 2019

THE MURDER LIST by Hank Phillippi Ryan

While I truly enjoyed this book, I did figure out who the guilty person was from fairly early on. To me it was obvious.

This book will keep you turning pages trying to find out the why and who of it all. I thought just from the title that the Murder list was a list of victims. Little did I know. I learned a lot reading this book about the law and how different lawyers do things.

The three main characters were all likable to me. Two lawyers and an up and coming lawyer still in college. At different times I detested them then felt sorry for them then liked them again. This book tells things that you don’t usually hear about. Like how angry the district attorney gets if she loses a case or how personal she may take it. How much she may hate the defense attorney for winning when she truly believes the person she is convicting is guilty and the lengths she may go to to prove it. Also the same can be said for the defense attorney. What they will do to get a person off even if they know in their heart that the person is guilty. The anger that stems from each. They don’t like to lose. But one has too. They can’t both win.

This is the story of a young woman who works for the President of the Senate as his secretary. The admiration she has for him. The feelings she thinks she has for him. It’s about a couple of trials at the same time and how losing affects the attorneys. The death of another young woman who works for the secretary to the President of the Senate. How they each got their jobs and what happens to one when she crosses a line that truly should not have been crossed at all. A cheating husband, a scorned wife, an angry woman who is delusional and two lawyers.

While I think this book was very well written and I found it very interesting, I hated that I was able to figure out who the guilty person was. I kept hoping I was wrong but to me it was kind of obvious. But still it was a very good book. The why of it and the way things happen are wonderful. It’s truly a very good book.

Great characters. Great plot. Great plot twists and I really loved the ending, though I would have loved to known a bit more.

Thank you to #NetGalley for the copy of this in exchange for my honest review.

I give this a 4 star and do highly recommend it.

Monday, September 2, 2019

WHAT SHE SAW by Sara McFerrin

This is my first book by Sara McFerrin and most definitely will not be my last. Her writing style is wonderful. The characters in this book are so well formed and so likable, most of them, that you will feel like you know them all.

A family with so many secrets and hidden agendas. The more prominent family taking advantage of the younger girls. One man holds all the cards it seems. But for how long? Will he get away with what he’s done forever or is he really the guilty party in this mystery? Could there be a vengeful wife involved?

Jix restores things, mostly old trunks and has one that holds so many secrets. She goes on an adventure with her best friend Abby Gayle to find out what exactly the hidden message is in a diary she finds in an old trunk that has been given to her to restore. This particular trunk is very important and she gets paid more to move it ahead of the rest. It holds many secrets as does the family who brought it to Jix to be restored.

There are many twists and turns in this book to keep you guessing and turning the pages until the end. Things you won’t see coming and dangers in so many places. You won’t know exactly who to trust but you will certainly be trying to guess. You will love the characters in this book and will love to hate a couple. Most are good decent people and some are out for what they can get no matter who they hurt.

I throughly enjoyed this book and look forward to more by this author.

I give this book a big 5 stars. For originality, mystery, characters, settings, keeping me on edge and how it all came together. I honestly loved this book and recommend it to all my book loving friends. It’s a quick read that you will truly enjoy. I sure did.

Sunday, September 1, 2019

THIS TENDER LAND by Willian Kent Krueger

You can travel a road your whole life, only to find that you may have found happiness and love long before you arrive where you were headed. Love is not always blood relatives but can be the strongest from the friends you have in your life for many years. Life throws us many twists and turns but it’s what we choose to do with it that truly matters. For four orphan children this life has already dealt them so much love and happiness only to have it ripped away, replaced by horrible heartache and pain... How can anyone do that. How can anyone hurt a child. Take the things that are most valuable to them. Their innocence, views on life, the world, the things they knew before you added so much meanness in there. So much that they may never be the same again.

This is the story of many children. Many who were ripped from their families and placed in “schools” to be taught how to be “white”. Children who lost their whole families who were forced to live in these “schools” as orphans. Hurt and abused. Made to work in the worst of conditions and put in places where no human should be put, especially children, for punishment. Half starved while others eat well and make money from them being there. It’s the story of four orphans in particular who tried hard to keep believing things might get better.

I learned a lot while reading this book. I never learned about how awful the Indians, who owned this land before the white man ever came here, were treated like they were the lowest scum of the earth. How they were gathered up and their children taken from them. Many human beings were tortured, abused and murdered just because the color of their skin was different and they OWNED this land. I will never believe any other race was treated as bad as the American Indian. While much prejudice has always been and is very high again now, back then it was more than that. It was simply hatred because they owned something that man wanted and would do ANYTHING to own. It’s very sad what the Indians had to endure. It’s quite heartbreaking. At least to me it is and I truly hope it is to others. There is no excuse for prejudice in this country. We are all humans and should be kind to each other. But it does not happen and when it comes to children it makes my skin crawl. Breaks my heart. Makes me have many many tears.

This book tells the story of what happens to four orphan children. Two who are brothers, one Indian boy and a little orphan girl, who all need to escape the “Lincoln Indian Training School.” That was the name of the place they were forced to live. Forced to work farms for nothing but possibly a dry sandwich and a sip of water. In scorching heat or freezing cold weather. It didn’t matter to the woman running this “school”. School is a term I use very loosely here. It was more like a prison for children who had nothing and were basically forgotten by society. A society who didn’t really care. Yes there were a few, a very few, who tried to help but most just used these children.

This is the story of abuse, murder, helplessness, cruelty and yes there is happiness in here too. A story that will make you shed many tears. Very few laughs but a few. You meet people along the way that will make you believe that someone cares but also some who use and still hurt children just because they are different. From very evil men to some religious caring people, you will have opinions about them all. Question what they are truly after.

These four children endure so much but keep on going. They don’t give up completely though at times they sure want too. A woman and husband who are after them and want them back no matter what. They will do anything to bring them back to the hell they were living. To them, mostly the wife, it’s personal. You’ll find out everything reading this book. More than you might want to know but it’s so worth it.

I enjoyed this book so much. It was filled with lots of heartbreaking things but also some beautiful things that will make you feel you are there. I felt the pain and beauty these children went through. The travels they took you are right there. You will feel the same feelings they feel with each of the people they meet along the way.

Whether they make it or not I can’t tell you. It’s ending truly blew me away. I was shocked at the things I found out at the ending of this wonderful story. Well not the very end, but the end of the line for the children. One in particular.

I loved the main characters in this book. I hated the couple running the “school.” I loved most of the people along the way and some that I thought I would hate turned out ok.
This book was obviously well researched. It had a few stories told within the main story. It’s the story of love and loss. Cruelty and happiness. Hate and love. It’s the story I think everyone should read. It’s so well done.

There are some mistakes in this book that I hope the author fixed, only because I know how cruel some people are when they read a book with errors in it. Me personally, I can read right past them. If a book is this good, errors do not bother me. But there truly are some people who will leave bad reviews based on mistakes in a story. That is their prerogative when they buy, read and review a book but I would hope they can overlook some and see this story for what it is.. A heartfelt story told from the heart of this author.

This is my first book by this author but will not be my last. I’ve already bought one and hope I can get ahead on my TBR list and get it read. I’m looking forward to more by him for sure.

This is an excellent book.

A few things in this book really jumped out to me.
1) I think now how unfitting it was to force children who had no freedom, whose freedom had, in fact, been ripped from their people decades before, to take part in this observance. (Referring to Independence Day) I agree with this wholeheartedly too!!
2) THERE IS A river that runs through time and the universe, vast and inexplicable, a flow of spirit that is at the heart of all existence, and every molecule of our being is part of it. And what is God but the whole of that river?
3) perhaps the most important truth I’ve learned across the whole of my life is that it’s only when I yield to the river and embrace the journey that I find peace.
4) of all that we’re asked to give others in this life, the most difficult to offer may be forgiveness.
6) In every good tale there is a seed of truth, and from that seed a lovely story grows.
7) Our eyes perceive so dimly, and our brains are so easily confused. Far better, I believe, to be like children and open ourselves to every beautiful possibility, for there is nothing our hearts can imagine that is not so.

Be sure and read the Author’s notes at the end of this book. Very interesting.

Thank you to #NetGalley and #Atria for the ARC of this wonderful book in exchange for my complete and honest review. It was a wonderful book.

A huge 5 stars and would be more if I could. I HIGHLY recommend this book.

Tuesday, August 27, 2019

THE MISSING ONES by Edwin Hill

THE MISSING ONES(Hester Thursby’s Mystery #2) by Edwin Hill

Hester Thursby is back but doesn’t want to go back into finding people after what she and her niece, Kate, went through the last time. They had both been kidnapped and Hester was hurt pretty bad. She is so afraid of losing Kate that she has started lying to her boyfriend Morgan about her going to work and Kate going to preschool. She’s to afraid of letting Kate out of her sight again. But she gets a text and off she goes again.

It’s not just any text, it’s a text for help from Kate’s mother, Morgan’s twin sister, who you meet fairly early in this story.

Anne/Daphne is in trouble and wants someone to know just in case she does not make it, or if she just goes missing and needs help. She’s been staying on an island for a few months in an old Victorian house where drug addicts usually stay. While there, two children have gone missing. One belongs to the town’s bakery owner, Lydia, while the other belongs to a drug addicted woman. The local cop, Rory, is in love with Lydia and everyone in this small town knows it.

Trey, Lyndia’s husband is a cop also but I didn’t like him. He seemed like a real jerk to me. I liked Rory for a while but figured him out too. I liked Vaughn, Lydia and of course loved Hester. I also did not like Daphne. I think she is a terrible person and I hope she never comes back into Kate’s life. She deserted her and in my opinion gave up her rights to the child when she left her alone with a post it note. Even though it was explained why she left I personally think she could have done it in a better way. Anything could have happened to the child. So no I do not like Daphne either.

I think Morgan is a very understanding man and Hester should love him. I hope they get married eventually and get to raise Kate. I also hope they get to keep Ethan. Ethan needs a loving, caring, understanding home and he would certainly get that with them.

This book was very well written. I loved or hated the characters. It made me cry in all the right places and laugh out loud in a few. Kate, the four year old, is so funny. I love how she is portrayed. She’s a very loving and happy child with Hester and Morgan. Though she loves her mom she is happy with her uncle and aunt. They take such good care of her.

This book is set in the present and in a few places it goes back to when certain things happened so you know exactly what is going on. It’s well written and will keep you turning pages until the very end. I had to read the ending a couple of times to realize exactly what was going on I admit. But it’s setting the scene for the next Thursby book I hope....

I loved it!!

Thank you to #NetGalley, #Kensingtonbooks, and #EdwinHill for the copy of this book in exchange for my complete and honest review.

I give it 4 stars and highly recommend it!!

A LIFE WITHOUT WATER by Marci Bolden

There are two main characters in this book and then two that you meet throughout the story. Carol/Caroline, John, Katie and Tobias. Carol ...