Review: I Wish You Happy by Kerry Anne King

I Wish You Happy by Kerry Anne King

I Wish You Happy is a rather strange book. Rae prefers animals to people, but really she likes rescuing and fixing things. When she runs over Kat, a woman who tries to commit suicide by riding her bike in front of a moving car, she gets tangled up in her recovery. She takes Kat in, and she becomes involved with her crisis worker. This book is quite dark, but it also has some magical elements. Rae is described as an Empath. She feels the emotions of others very deeply, as if they are her own. This reason is given for her withdrawal from people, but […]

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Review: The Two-Family House by Lynda Cohen Loigman

The Two-Family House by Lynda Cohen Loigman

The Two-Family House is a decent family drama. The wives of brothers live in a two-family house in Brooklyn in the 1940s. One has only girls and one has only boys, so when they both go into labor in the middle of a snow storm while their husbands are out of town, they switch babies thinking it could solve all of their problems. Instead it marks the beginning of the end. I enjoyed the plot of this book. I love family drama, especially when it involves sisters and/or children, but something about this book just didn’t work for me. I read it a couple of […]

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Review: The Museum of Extraordinary Things by Alice Hoffman

The Museum of Extraordinary Things by Alice Hoffman

The Museum of Extraordinary Things was not a good fit for me. It was recommended to me by a coworker, and when she described the side-show museum, I immediately wanted to read it. I love books about the circus, and a museum of oddities is kind of like a circus, right? Sadly, this book was too character-driven for my taste. There just wasn’t enough plot. The book jumps back and forth between past and present and between two main characters. Coralie is living on Coney Island with her father. She has been appearing as the Mermaid Girl in his museum since she was ten years old. Eddie […]

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Review: Belgravia by Julian Fellowes

Belgravia by Julian Fellowes

Belgravia by Julian Fellowes wasn’t as good as Downton Abbey, although it is set up well for television. It’s broken into “episodes” instead of chapters. The plot centers around the Trenchard family: James, who’s always looking to climb the social ladder, his wife Ann, much too smart and sensible for her husband, their dead daughter Saphia, and their son Oliver. The novel begins in 1815 Belgium on the eve of the Battle of Waterloo. We’re introduced to Saphia, who is tricked into a love affair by, Lord Bellesis. The result is an orphaned illegitimate son who the Trenchard keep secret and squirrel away to a clergyman somewhere […]

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Review: The Other Me by Saskia Sarginson

The Other Me by Saskia Sarginson

The Other Me had a lot of elements I enjoyed: multiple narrators, interesting historical question, complex family dynamics, romance. But it also had aspects that I struggled with: slow building plot, confusing characters (at the beginning). I was hoping I’d like it more than I ended up liking it, but I did enjoy the latter half of the book more than the beginning. Klaudia is the daughter of a German man growing up in England in the 1980s. She attends a school where her father is the custodian, and everyone knows he used to be a Nazi. Klaudia’s father, Otto, never talks about his time […]

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Review: Burial Rites by Hannah Kent

Burial Rites by Hannah Kent

I would never have picked up Burial Rites if it hadn’t been a book club selection. I don’t usually gravitate towards historical fiction. But I am so glad I read this book because I really enjoyed it. In 19th century Iceland, three people stand trial and are convicted of murder. Their punishment is to be death by hanging. There isn’t a prison system to house them until their execution can be arranged, so they are boarded with the families of some rural agents of the government. Iceland is under Danish rule at the time (which was a surprise to me). Agnes Magnusdottir is placed with a […]

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Review: Orphan Train by Christina Baker Klein

Orphan Train by Christina Baker Klein

Orphan Train was on my to read list for almost two years, and I finally read it as part of my 2015 reading challenge because my mother recommended it. Shortly after I picked it up from the library, my Aunt Nancy also recommended it. I think I may have enjoyed it more if I hadn’t had such high expectations going into it. When someone recommends a book to me, I expect it to be amazing. This book was sweet and the history was interesting, but it was very contrived. It felt like a slightly more serious beach read. Everything wrapped up so nicely. I did like […]

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