Tag Archive | book club pick

Take Me With You #bookclubpick #amreading

Take Me With You

 

 

Synopsis from Amazon

August Shroeder, a burned-out teacher, has been sober since his nineteen-year-old son died. Every year he’s spent the summer on the road, but making it to Yellowstone this year means everything. The plan had been to travel there with his son, but now August is making the trip with Philip’s ashes instead. An unexpected twist of fate lands August with two extra passengers for his journey, two half-orphans with nowhere else to go.

What none of them could have known was how transformative both the trip—and the bonds that develop between them—would prove, driving each to create a new destiny together.

TOW Opinion
It is serendipity that August was on his way to vacation for the summer and his RV needed repairing in a shop where the mechanic needed to send his two sons away for the summer while he went to jail.
I can understand that August did not want to take on the responsibility of these two children much in the same way that many people do not want to be Foster parents. But when presented with the challenge, he accepted and treated them like he would treat his own son. In some respects, I think he might have even treated them better than he treated his son because he was able to learn from his mistakes and take that into consideration.

This story deal with several complex themes, including alcoholism, grief because of loss of a child, and emotional issues. For example, it is not just about the emotional journey of August, it is also about two little boys that are able to find a father figure when theirs was not a worthy role model.

This story might be a very emotional one for some because the interaction between the main characters is tender and sweet at times.

TOW Final Word: Buy, Borrow, Pass?

Buy. I love this story in a very sentimental way. It just touched me in a way that I don’t usually get that emotional about fictional events.

Book details

Series: No
Heat Level: not a romance

Print Length: 363 pages

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The Nightingale #bookclubpick #NYTbestseller

The Nightingale

Synopsis
In France in 1939, in the village called Carriveau, Vianne’s husband is going off to war. While he is gone, the Nazis invade France and a German soldier lives in her home.
In the intervening time period, Vianne’s sister, Isabelle, is searching for purpose and love in life that has been absent up until this point. Determined to do what she can, she joins the French resistance to oppose the Nazi occupation and risk her life time and time again.
The story tells the narratives of two sisters whose personalities are opposites and describes how each person deals with the challenges in front of them because of the Nazi occupation.

Opinion
I do not usually read historical novels about the effects of war. That being said, I give the author a lot of credit for the book was well written. The story was true to the time period. The story is very similar to the real story of war heroine Andree de Jongh.

The author does not gloss over any of the atrocities that were happening at the time. It demonstrated the insidious way that the Nazis manipulated people to carry out their nefarious agenda.

From the beginning, Isabelle recognized the threat and wanted to do all she could to fight the Nazis.

Vianne did not want to rock the boat. While she finally acted in a way that helped someone other than her immediate family, she seemed to me to be selfish most of the novel. There was a lot of denial based on a naive assumption of what an occupying military force would do. There was a deliberate lack of perception for fear of what she might find.

The difference in upbringing was evident. Vianne always looked for someone to take care of her. On the other hand, Isabelle knew she had to take of herself. She did not have the luxury of depending on others because she had been disappointed time and time again.

In my opinion, the most character development happens in Vianne. Isabelle has her own evolution, but I think it is more drastic in Vianne.

The author did a fantastic job writing this and I think you will enjoy. When reading, I encourage you to think about who you are and what sacrifices you can live with and what you think will break you. Be honest with yourself and confront what you truly fear. This is the type of book that I would suggest that you read with a friend so that you can discuss. Considering what is happening in the world around us, a lot of what was in the story could have been taken from the headlines today.

Trigger warnings: torture, rape

TOW Final Word: Buy, Borrow, Pass?
BUY especially if you like historical fiction set in WWII. Even though I do not read or recommend a lot of books from this genre, I rate this book highly because it spurred a lot of thought.

Book details
Series: N/A
Heat Level: 🔥
Print Length: 449 pages
Publisher: St. Martin’s Press (February 3, 2015)
Publication Date: February 3, 2015

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Review: Murder in the Mystery Suite #cozymystery #amreading

Murder in the Mystery Suite 

Synopsis
Jane is the manager of a resort that caters to book lovers. In order to draw more visitors, she decides to organize a themed Murder and Mayhem week. When a guest ends up dead and it looks less and less like an accident, Jane is on a mission to find out who did the dirty deed and why.
All the while, Jane is also juggling her responsibilities as a single mother of two young boys and caregiver of her aunt who is not in the best health.

Opinion
This is a cozy mystery for bibliophiles. The story flows well and makes for easy reading. The villain should have been obvious to me but there were enough twists and red herrings to make it interesting.

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Aunt Octavia was my favorite character. She might have been elderly, but she was very feisty.

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This was a book club pick. I probably would not have chosen this book on my own.  That being said, it was entertaining. I am glad that I got it and was introduced to this world. I want to read the rest of the books in the series to see what other adventures Jane encounters. Plus, I want to see how her love interest develops. You know I am always looking for a love story.

TOW Final Word: Buy, Borrow, Pass?
BUY. I am not usually one to recommend cozy mysteries, but I loved this one. I think it is because I was reminiscing to back in the day when I would watch Murder She Wrote with my mom. The additional plot twists added a little something extra that makes me want to read the rest of the books in the series.

Series: The Book Retreat Mysteries
Print Length: 306 pages
Sold by: Penguin Group (USA) LLC

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