Saturday, July 13, 2019

Review: The Eulogist

The EulogistThe Eulogist by Terry Gamble
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

For me, this book was ‘meh’; ok, but nothing special. I didn’t quite get what I was expecting. I thought the book was going to be about the immigrant experience in the early 1800s. This was a family who immigrated from Ireland ca 1819. The mother immediatedly died in childbirth, and the father abandoned the remaining children soon after. From here, the story could have been about any family of struggling orphans of that time, whether or not they were recent immigrants. Instead the main focus of the story was about slavery; the injustice, the people risking their lives to either escape or aid escape. It was interesting, but I’d been looking forward to the immigrant story.

The focus aside, I found the book difficult to get through. At times the story would pick up steam, only to veer off again into a s-l-o-w moving portion. There were a lot of characters in the story; some with no real purpose. One example — after one brother attains some financial and social success, a cousin comes over from Ireland with proposition. It really didn’t add much to the story, and could have been omitted, allowing the story to progress more smoothly.

There was an epilogue of sorts; a chapter that jumped several decades into the future. Much of it was a rehash of the story, and much of it was confusing. It wasn’t satisfying in the way most epilogues are, but just made me antsy to get through it.

This wasn’t a terrible book; it just wasn’t one I was in the mood for. It may hit you differntly than it did me and become your ‘book of the year’ so give it a try!

I won a copy of this book through the Library Thing Early Reviewers program.

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Monday, July 1, 2019

Review: A Nantucket Wedding

A Nantucket WeddingA Nantucket Wedding by Nancy Thayer
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This was a good beach read that I was able to finish in a day. Tt was an easy read, with plenty of time spent at the beach or relaxing watching the ocean. Of course not everything was easy for the characters; most of them had problems they were dealing with. But since this was a ‘feel good’ type of story, you knew it would all turn out.

I can’t say this is a story that will stick with me for a long time, but i did enjoy it. I tired sometimes of the descriptoins of the food served at meal times, but I enjoyed the descriptions of the beach; the sounds, the smells, and the colors. While I enjoyed the story, i did find the last chapter, where we finally got to the wedding, was a little anti climactic. The book could have easily ended a chapter early and I wouldn’t have felt that I’d missed anything. If you are lookinig to get away to the beach, but can’t work it in right now, this book may provide a taste of the beach until you get there!

I won a copy of this book through the Library Thing Early Reviewers program.

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Thursday, March 14, 2019

The Chilbury Ladies' ChoirThe Chilbury Ladies' Choir by Jennifer Ryan
My rating: 2½ of 5 stars

I received a copy of this book through there Library Thing Early Reviewers program. I read this one almost two years ago and have yet to review it. I just didn’t know what to say about it. I read it, but it was a very slow read and I never really connected to it. I’m not sure why, because it gets high ratings on the review sites.

It wasn’t a particuarly memorable story for me. The story reminds me a lot of The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society—The setting is a small town in Great Britain during World War II. The people are facing hardship. They bond together and prove to be resilient. But still, there is a difference. I can’t put my finger on it, but I connected much more to ‘Guernsy’ and enjoyed it. ‘Guernsey' was a book club selection and often a good discussion improves how I feel about a book, so that may be part of why I feel that was a better book.


I won a copy of this book through the Library Thing Early Reviewers program.

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Monday, March 4, 2019

Review: The Winter Sister

The Winter SisterThe Winter Sister by Megan Collins
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This was a Feb 2019 Book ot the Month selection. It was billed as thriller, but to be honest, it wasn’t all that suspenseful.There was not a lot of suspense because we already know there was a murder 16 years ago, but there is a mystery, because the murderer has never been identified. Nevertheless, I did find it very interesting; almost ‘unputdownable’. I would call if more of a family drama with a touch of mystery.

The story reminds me a little of All the Missing Girls and The Long and Faraway Gone, where young woman solve confront cold case murders from the past. In this story, Sylvie is the younger sister who was 14 at the time of the murder of her older sister, Persephone, and Sylvie feels responsible. Her mother, who she was formerly close to, abandoned Sylive emotionally after Persephone’s death, submerging herself in drugs and alcohol.

There was a twist to the story that I guessed early on, maybe 50 pages in. But while I guessed the twist to the family drama, it could have gone 2 or 3 slightly different ways and I wasn’t sure which way it would go. The murderer was a little harder for me to figure out. The author did a pretty good job of playing ‘it was him….wait, no…it was him….wait, maybe it WAS him…’.

While I enjoyed the story, it left a few questions unanswered. These were not directly related to the murder, so it’s fair to say the story ended, but an epilogue telling a bit about the characters 5-10 years down the road would have left me feeling more satisfied with the book.

This is a great pick for readers who enjoy occasional mysteries and family dramas. This book will give book clubs plenty to discuss. There are discussion questions on the publisher’s website.


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