Blog Tour and Audiobook Review: Bloomsbury Girls

*Review at the bottom of the page.

BOOK DESCRIPTION

Natalie Jenner, the internationally bestselling author of The Jane Austen Society, returns with a compelling and heartwarming story of post-war London, a century-old bookstore, and three women determined to find their way in a fast-changing world in Bloomsbury Girls.

Bloomsbury Books is an old-fashioned new and rare bookstore that has persisted and resisted change for a hundred years, run by men and guided by the general manager’s unbreakable fifty-one rules. But in 1950, the world is changing, especially the world of books and publishing, and at Bloomsbury Books, the girls in the shop have plans:

Vivien Lowry: Single since her aristocratic fiancé was killed in action during World War II, the brilliant and stylish Vivien has a long list of grievances–most of them well justified and the biggest of which is Alec McDonough, the Head of Fiction.

Grace Perkins: Married with two sons, she’s been working to support the family following her husband’s breakdown in the aftermath of the war. Torn between duty to her family and dreams of her own.

Evie Stone: In the first class of female students from Cambridge permitted to earn a degree, Evie was denied an academic position in favor of her less accomplished male rival. Now she’s working at Bloomsbury Books while she plans to remake her own future.

As they interact with various literary figures of the time–Daphne Du Maurier, Ellen Doubleday, Sonia Blair (widow of George Orwell), Samuel Beckett, Peggy Guggenheim, and others–these three women with their complex web of relationships, goals and dreams are all working to plot out a future that is richer and more rewarding than anything society will allow.

BOOK TRAILER

AUDIOBOOK

Narrated by esteemed stage and screen actress Juliet Stevenson, enjoy the full unabridged edition of Bloomsbury Girls. “Stevenson delivers the satisfying triumph at the end with perfect polish.” —AudioFile Magazine

AUDIOBOOK EXCERPT

ADVANCE PRAISE

“Jenner follows The Jane Austen Society (2020) with another top-notch reading experience, using the same deft hand at creating complex, emotionally engaging characters [against] a backdrop chock-full of factual historical information… Fans of Christina Baker Kline, Kate Quinn and Pam Jenoff [will] appreciate this gem.” —Booklist (starred review)

“An illuminating yarn… Fans of emotional historical fiction will be charmed.” —Publishers Weekly

“Bloomsbury Girls
 is an immersive tale of three women determined to forge their own paths in 1950s London. Jenner has proven to be a master at spinning charming, earnest characters and paints a vivid picture of postwar England. I wanted to stay lost in her world forever!” —Stephanie Wrobel, internationally bestselling author of Darling Rose Gold

“Bloomsbury Girls
 is a book lover’s dream, one of those rare reads that elicits a sense of book-ish wistfulness and nostalgia. Jenner has created a colorful cast of characters in a story about friendship, perseverance, and the ways that determined women can band together in a man’s world. You’re in for a treat.” —Sarah Penner, New York Times bestselling author of The Lost Apothecary

“In a London still reeling from the ravages of World War II and the changes war has brought to English society, three young women take their futures into their own hands. With Bloomsbury Girls, Natalie Jenner has penned a timely and beautiful ode to ambition, friendship, bookshops, and the written word.” —Janet Skeslien Charles, New York Times bestselling author of The Paris Library

“In post-war London, Bloomsbury Books survived The Blitz until Vivien Lowry, Grace Perkins, and Evie Stone set off their own bomb on the stuffy all-male management. What ensues is the most delightful, witty, and endearing story you will read this year. Natalie Jenner, bestselling author of The Jane Austen Society, proves that she was not a one hit wonder. Like Austen, her second book is even better than the first.” —Laurel Ann Nattress, editor of Jane Austen Made Me Do It 

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AUDIOBOOK

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A MESSAGE FROM AUTHOR NATALIE JENNER

Dear readers, I am immensely grateful for the outpouring of affection that so many of you have expressed for my debut novel The Jane Austen Society and its eight main characters. When I wrote its epilogue (in one go and without ever changing a word), I wanted to give each of Adam, Mimi, Dr. Gray, Adeline, Yardley, Frances, Evie and Andrew the happy Austenesque ending they each deserved. But I could not let go of servant girl Evie Stone, the youngest and only character inspired by real life (my mother, who had to leave school at age fourteen, and my daughter, who does eighteenth-century research for a university professor and his team). Bloomsbury Girls continues Evie’s adventures into a 1950s London bookshop where there is a battle of the sexes raging between the male managers and the female staff, who decide to pull together their smarts, connections, and limited resources to take over the shop and make it their own. There are dozens of new characters in Bloomsbury Girls from several different countries, and audiobook narration was going to require a female voice of the highest training and caliber. When I learned that British stage and screen actress Juliet Stevenson, CBE, had agreed to narrate, I knew that my story could not be in better hands, and I so hope you enjoy reading or listening to it. Warmest regards, Natalie.

NATALIE’S BIO

Natalie Jenner is the author of the instant international bestseller The Jane Austen Society and Bloomsbury Girls. A Goodreads Choice Award runner-up for historical fiction and finalist for best debut novel, The Jane Austen Society was a USA Today and #1 national bestseller and has been sold for translation in twenty countries. Born in England and raised in Canada, Natalie has been a corporate lawyer, career coach and, most recently, an independent bookstore owner in Oakville, Ontario, where she lives with her family and two rescue dogs. Visit her website to learn more.

WEBSITE | TWITTER | FACEBOOK | INSTAGRAM | GOODREADS

AUDIOBOOK REVIEW

What a wonderful adventure into the world of books! Book lovers will delight in this journey as they meet three women in 1950s London who are oppressed by the times they are in but refuse to give up their dreams. Vivien, Grace, and Evie all experience struggles in a career dominated by men, but they push to change the way of society in a difficult time. I loved that each of the chapter headings begins with one of Mr. Dutton’s rules for the shop. The audiobook narration by Juliet Stevenson was very well done, and she kept each character distinct and memorable. We meet important women in the literary world, such as Ellen Doubleday, and we watch as our three heroines work to define their place at Bloomsbury Books. This is simply a glorious battle of wits that will delight anyone who adores books.

I received a free copy of this audiobook from Austenprose PR via Netgalley. My review is voluntary and my opinions are my own.

Book Promo: The Discontent of Mary Wenger #HistoricalWomensFiction

*Not a book review

TheDiscontent copy

Welcome to the book tour for The Discontent of Mary Wenger by Robert Tucker. Read on for more details! efortin ebook The Discontent of Mary Wenger (Paper Dolls #1) Publication Date: February 3rd, 2022 Genre: Historical Fiction Publisher: Tell-Tale Publishing Emotionally torn between the conflicting historical social forces of feminism and the traditional roles of women in post-World War II society, Mary Wenger struggles with a deep sense of despair. Spanning the continent during the decades of the 1930s, ‘40s and ‘50s to the turn of the century, her compulsive lifelong odyssey in search of an acceptable house in which to realize her personal and economic goals throws her out of balance with her family. A master wordsmith tells Mary’s story with a subtle touch of humor only an actual descendant could wield with success. Her fictional memoir is based on historical facts and bravely reveals Mary’s discovery and fear of separation from her children. The existential examination allows Mary to finally understand how her personal discontent, obsessions, internal demons, and depression affect her husband and children, as they mature and independently react to her attempts to mold them to her vision of how they all should be as a family. The life of every character is determined by his or her delusions and how they clash or compromise with one another. Add to Goodreads

Excerpt

Since I was a young girl, I have always believed that death is stalking me. It lurks and hovers in the dark recesses of my mind like a virus waiting to strike and destroy when I least expect it.

When I was eight years old, I wrote a poem about myself and death.

My name is Mary

Sounds airy

Death is scary

It makes me wary

Being wary makes me carey

All my life, I have developed defenses and tried to be a protector of the people I love. They often didn’t see things the way I did and they didn’t agree with me. But I knew what was best for all of us.

I always have.

My mother told me the first night when she and Dad moved in, the wail of an infant floated up to their bedroom. Eyes wide open with fear, she lay listening as the weak cry faded to silence.

“Mike, did you hear that?” she whispered and poked Dad in the ribs. “It came from the cellar.”

“Just a cat. I’ll chase it out in the morning.”

Shaking his arm, she insisted. “It sounded like a baby. You must go down and look.”

“I’m tired. I look in the morning.”

“Please, Mike, I scared.”

“Aah! All right.” He touched a lighted match to their bedside candle. The electricity had not yet been connected. He went down the creaking stairs into the cellar.

Unseen by him, a woman’s bare foot and leg were pulled out through the window. The glow of the candle light was reflected by the wet shine of an object in one corner. Dad approached it and his blood chilled.

A newborn infant lay curled, the blood and mucous of the afterbirth still clinging to its blue body.

In horror, he fumbled his way back up the stairs to the bedroom where he blew out the candle and set it on the dresser.

Mother pulled the blankets close around herself. “What was it?”

Dad quickly climbed into bed. “Nothing but cat. I get rid of it in the morning.”

Before Mother awoke, Dad buried the infant in the back part of the yard farthest from the house in a corner of what would be a vegetable garden.

Many years later, when I was a young woman, Mother told me she knew Dad had lied to her to shield her from the grotesque reality of what he had found in the basement. She knew the difference between the wail of a newborn infant and the wail of a cat.

She never asked him where he had buried the infant. She suspected she knew from the unusual growth and size of tomatoes she had planted in that section of the garden. The thought of the child as fertilizer sickened her. Believing the soul of the infant existed in the ripe red fruit, she buried the tomatoes in a field far from the house and dug up and destroyed the plants.

Refusing to explain why, she avoided planting any other vegetables in that part of the garden. The spot of untilled soil was a silent message to Dad that she knew what had lain buried there.

I was sitting between Ruth and Nina clinking ice in our glasses of lemonade. I slowly turned the pages of the latest Sears & Roebuck catalog while they chatted about the clothes and merchandise they would buy if they had the money. We all did a lot of wishing in those days. Wishing didn’t cost anything, but left us with an aching malaise and a shared emptiness that our imaginations could not fill.

Since we had little in the way of personal possessions, we shared everything. If one of us even bought a candy bar, we wouldn’t think of eating it all. We would divide it up so each of us had a taste.

Available on Amazon

About the Author

IMG_0987TuckerTU Author of 27 novels and a retired business and management consultant in a wide range of industries throughout the country, I reside with my wife in Southern California. I’m a graduate of the University of California, Santa Barbara and Los Angeles with Bachelor’s and Master Degrees. A Pulitzer nominated author, I am a recipient of the Samuel Goldwyn and Donald Davis Literary Awards. An affinity for family and generations pervades my novels. My works are literary and genre fiction that address the nature and importance of personal integrity. As the grandson of immigrants who fled persecution in Germany and Austria-Hungary and came to America during the early 1900’s, the early history of our country and the rise of the middle-class have always held a fascination for me. The dramatic depiction of fictional characters placed in actual events sharply and realistically bring alive the harsh times and adversity of the multitude of people who sought freedom and a better way of life and demonstrate that only a little over one-hundred years have passed to bring us to where we are as a struggling society today. The chronology and events of history have captured and held my interest for many reasons, among them being stories that entertain, educate, and inform. Learning about the lives of my immigrant grandparents coming to America from Czechoslovakia during the early 1900s and the lives of my parents during the 1920s, 30s, and 40s provided the initial motivation. Researching and writing historical fiction is a way to learn more about myself and my origins and the social, political, and economic influences related to my generation. Whether writing historical fiction or non-fiction or fantasy, I’m drawn into the societies and cultures of a particular period that inspire the creation of characters who bring that era to life. Not only do I experience this dynamic in books, but in films, plays, dance, music, and other art forms. Researching history takes me into the exploration of new territory perhaps outside of my own life experience through reading other sources, interviews, travel, and films. Although a number of fine books are written from personal experience by authors who lived through those times, much of the historical writing by contemporary authors is dependent on secondary sources. Forays into the past for story material is a rewarding part of the creative process. Robert Tucker Book Tour Organized By: R&R Button R&R Book Tours

Book Review: Lessons in Chemistry

What a gem! Dang, Bonnie Garmus, you can write!

Lessons in Chemistry was just a joy to read. The pacing is fantastic, and although there are plenty of sad moments, it has a delightfully comedic tone that I loved. The main character, Elizabeth Zott, commands attention, and her way of looking at the world keeps the reader turning the page. This story is expertly layered, with chemistry and television cooking somehow blending easily with crew rowing and child-rearing. It is an intelligent, witty, thoughtful, and sad look at life, with bits of humor mixed in. It brings home the importance of how you treat others and the way that each individual’s actions greatly affect another, good or bad.

The treatment of women in the workplace in the 1960s was shown in shocking detail, as was the way that society looked down on single mothers and their children at that time. The characters were unique and fresh, from the determined Elizabeth to the brilliant Calvin, and the precocious child Madeline. Even their dog, Six-thirty, was a fresh, unique, and insightful character in this story. Everything in this book stands out, from the phrasing to the quirky characters. It is a book I will recall often and will read again. I would recommend this to anyone who wants to read a well-crafted novel.

I received a free copy of this book from the Doubleday Books via Netgalley. My review is voluntary and my opinions are my own.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Bonnie Garmus

Bonnie Garmus is a copywriter and creative director who’s worked widely in the fields of technology, medicine, and education. She’s an open-water swimmer, a rower, and mother to two pretty amazing daughters. Born in California and most recently from Seattle, she currently lives in London with her husband and her dog, 99.

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Blog Tour and Book Review: My Mother’s Gift #Dementia #Alzheimer’s

BOOK DESCRIPTION

Can your heart belong somewhere that you’ve never called home?

When Erica gets a phone call to say her mother, Ione, is ill in St Lucia, she knows she must go to her. Though the island – the place of her mother’s birth – is somewhere that Erica has never seen as her homeland.

Even when the plane touches down in the tropical paradise, with its palm trees swaying in the island breeze, the sound of accents so like her mother’s own calling loud in the air, Erica doesn’t find herself wanting to stay a moment longer than she has to.

But stepping into her mother’s house, she is shocked by what she finds. Her mother’s memory is fading, her once-immaculate house is now dirty and messy, and she’s refusing help from anyone but family. And Erica knows she must stay with her, even though it means leaving everything else behind.

What she doesn’t know is that – even as her mother’s memories get worse – Ione still has a final gift for her daughter. Because the unspoken secrets of their past are about to emerge, changing everything Erica thought she knew about her mother, her home, and who she really is…

BOOK REVIEW

This was a heartbreaking read about a woman losing her mother to Alzheimer’s. She is also forced to confront painful truths from the past. As someone who had a parent and grandparent with dementia, I know that towards the end they live mostly in the past, and I know the pain of watching a parent forget you. The author lays this story out in a forthright way, without trying to sugarcoat the truth. Caring for a patient with Alzheimer’s/Dementia is incredibly tough, not very pretty, and you need help. Erica’s journey to get to the point where she accepts help, and the decision about what that is going to entail, is a big part of the story. It is also a journey of acceptance–acceptance of the past, and acceptance of a new future.

I found the descriptions of life in St. Lucia and the Caribbean culture interesting and I hope to learn more about it.

I received a free copy of this book from Bookouture via Netgalley. My review is voluntary and my opinions are my own.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Steffanie Edward was born in St Lucia, brought up in London and now straddles between the two.

Anancy, Crick-crick and other Caribbean folk stories have been a part of her life since childhood. In her late teens she enjoyed reading Susan Howatch and books on slavery. Her absolute favorite reads have been Wild Seed by Octavia E Butler, and Woman At Point Zero by Naawal El Saadawi.

Her writing career started with short stories, five of which have been published. Her first attempt at writing a novel was over twenty years ago, whilst living and working in Abu Dhabi. That novel, Yvette, didn’t make it into print, but the main protagonist, Yvette, has muscled her way into Steffanie’s debut novel, This Other Island.

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Book Review: High Stakes

This is the story of five women in a literary agency and how they cope with double standards, sexual harassment, marital problems, and abuse. It is set during the height of the “me too” movement and shows how each woman deals with these issues.

The newest employee, Jane, comes from a life of privilege, is not worried about losing her job, and is not about to take sexual harassment and abuse. When she stands up against a boss who won’t take no for an answer, she knocks over the first domino, and an avalanche follows.

What was made most evident when the abusive actions of one of the bosses at the agency are brought to light is that other people in power knew or suspected and did nothing. I think that is a true representation of what goes on in these situations in real life. In my opinion, the abuser’s business partner who turned a blind eye to it all is just as guilty and should have been prosecuted too. Although this is a strong story with a good message of women banding together and fighting back, I feel Ms. Steel wasn’t hard enough on the business partner in this novel.

Overall I would recommend this to anyone interested in women’s fiction and the “Me too,” movement.

I received a free copy of this book from Random House via Netgalley. My review is voluntary and my opinions are my own.

About the Author

Danielle Steel has been hailed as one of the world’s most popular authors, with nearly a billion copies of her novels sold. Her recent many international bestsellers include Against All Odds, The Duchess and The Right Time. She is also the author of His Bright Light, the story of her son Nick Traina’s life and death; A Gift of Hope, a memoir of her work with the homeless; and the children’s books Pretty Minnie in Paris and Pretty Minnie in Hollywood. Danielle divides her time between Paris and her home in northern California.

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Audiobook Review: A Woman of Intelligence

This review is of the audiobook, received from Macmillan Audio.

On the surface, Katharina Edgeworth has it all–a rich and handsome doctor husband, two gorgeous sons, and an expensive New York apartment. But reality is very different. She is a college graduate who speaks four languages and worked at the United Nations until she got pregnant. She loves her kids, but wants more than motherhood. It is the 1950s, and it is frowned upon for women with children to work. Now she has been forbidden to work or use any babysitters by her controlling husband, who works days at a time, but doesn’t want babysitters or anyone else raising his children. When an FBI agent leaves Katharina his card and says he could use her help, she is tempted, but how can she work as a spy while raising two boys practically on her own? To top it all off, her rich and haughty mother-in-law is continually butting into her business, and is even more controlling than her husband.

I enjoyed many aspects of this women’s fiction and spy thriller mashup. Katharina’s struggle to be more than a housewife in a time when this was discouraged makes an engaging read. Her work for the FBI during the McCarthy era is thrilling. Her friendship with a stunning woman who happens to be a prominent member of the Communist party is one of the best parts of the book. Her determination to use her talents in a fulfilling way for herself is admirable. However, the characterization of her husband Tom is way over the top. He is every stereotype of a 1950s husband–times ten. I also did not like some of the choices Katharina made along the way, but overall this was a satisfying and compelling thriller.

The narration of the book is well done, and the narrator, Jennifer Jill Araya, handles different characters and accents with ease.

My review is voluntary and my opinions are my own.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Karin Tanabe

Karin Tanabe is the author of six novels, including A Hundred Suns and The Gilded Years (soon to be a major motion picture starring Zendaya, who will produce alongside Reese Witherspoon). A former Politico reporter, her writing has also appeared in The Washington Post, Miami Herald, Chicago Tribune, and Newsday. She has appeared as a celebrity and politics expert on Entertainment Tonight, CNN, and CBS Early Show. Karin is a graduate of Vassar College and lives in Washington, D.C.

ABOUT THE NARRATOR

Jennifer Jill Araya

Jennifer Jill Araya has been listening to audiobooks since she was a young child, and the fact that she now gets to narrate audiobooks for a living is a dream come true. Jennifer’s training as an opera singer and orchestral cellist lend a musicality and depth of understanding to her narration that help bring her authors’ stories to life. A two-time Independent Audiobook Award Finalist, Jennifer has narrated over 150 audiobooks for a variety of publishers and producers, including Penguin Random House Audio, Simon & Schuster Audio, HarperAudio, Blackstone Publishing, and Audible Studios. When she’s not narrating, Jennifer can be found hiking, biking, running, or generally exploring her home city of Cincinnati with her husband Arturo (aka “Partner in Crime”) and their two children.

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#Book Review: The Accidental Suffragist

BOOK DESCRIPTION

It’s 1912, and Helen Fox is a factory worker living in New York’s tenements. When tragedy strikes in the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire, Helen is seduced by the Suffragist cause and is soon immersed, working alongside famous activist

As Helen’s involvement with the cause deepens, she encounters myriad sources of tension that test her perseverance: estrangement from her husband, who is blindsided by his wife’s sudden activism; ostracization by neighbors; unease at working side by side with wealthier suffragettes; and worry about her children as she leaves them to picket the White House in Washington.

The narrative spans World War One and concludes with the triumph of 1919. In a time when the obstacles for women, from any background, were insurmountable, Helen discovers her voice as an independent woman and dreams of equality in a male-dominated society.


BOOK REVIEW

This is gritty historical fiction set in a time when women had few rights, and their fight for the right to vote would get dirty and even bloody. The protagonist, Helen, is a poor housewife in New York City who also has to work and eke out a meager existence for her family. She has just lost her daughter in a factory fire and her whole family is hurting. She stumbles into a job with the Suffragettes, who are fighting for the right to vote for women. Her husband’s actions puzzle me throughout the book. He is a piece of work who is supposed to love her deeply, but 21st Century women will probably not see any evidence of that. He stands as a symbol for what the average man thought and did at that time. Helen’s actions show tremendous growth throughout this book, but not as much growth as I would have wished. That being said, I think that this is a very real depiction of what life would have been like for women of that time period, and although I would have liked Helen to stand up to her husband more, that is probably not realistic. Women of that time period were treated like property, and it did not change overnight.

The description of the protest in Washington DC and what happened afterward is as realistic as it is horrifying. The Accidental Suffragist is the very definition of real historical fiction. This is no fairy tale. This book is about the suffering and subjugation of women in American in and prior to the early 20th Century, and the blowback, indignation, and violence that resulted from their fight to rise above it.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Galia Gichon

About the Author:

Widely quoted in The New York Times and more, Galia Gichon spent nearly ten years writing financial research for top investment banks before launching Down-to-Earth Finance, a top personal financial advising firm in New York.

Galia is the author of My Money Matters, a personal finance book which received notable press from the New York Times, TODAY Show, CNN, Newsweek, Real Simple and more. Galia Gichon consistently leads seminars for Barnard College where she has taught for 13 years, and other organizations. She is an avid angel investor focusing on women-led and impact startups and actively counsels startups through accelerators.

Readers can connect with Galia on InstagramTwitter, and Goodreads. To learn more, go to: https://www.galiagichonauthor.com

#Book Review: Celestial Persuasion

This is such a brilliant combination of historical and women’s fiction, as well as a tribute to Jane Austen’s Persuasion.  It begins in England in the Regency era and travels to Buenos Aires, in the beginnings of a fight for the South American colonies’ independence from Spain. 

Brilliant, but unable to go to college because she is a woman, Abigail Isaacs has few choices other than to study astronomy in her comfortable English home. However, upon the death of her father, Abigail writes to her brother Jonathan, who is serving on a ship called The Argo. Unfortunately she is told by none other than Austen character Captain Wentworth that her brother, a friend of Wentworth’s, has just passed away under violent circumstances because he was Jewish. Abigail is surprised to find out that her late father and brother had invested in property in South America, and that they were part of a secret society that wants to free Buenos Aires from Spanish rule. She eventually decides to travel to Buenos Aires on the frigate George Canning, along with her loyal companion, Mrs. Frankel. They are also accompanied by her brother’s associates, José Francisco de San Martín and Raphael Gabay de Montoya. St Martin and Montoya are part of a Freemason-affiliated secret society interested in freeing Buenos Aires from Spanish rule.

I was immediately transported to the Regency era in Britain, and then to South America at the time of Spanish rule. The characters all came to life and the places were described in such vivid detail that I felt as if I were there. The descriptions of the ship voyage were especially real and fascinating. The customs, rules, and prejudices of the Regency era were described in sometimes painful detail, especially the racism against Jews, which was evident in circumstances that occurred early in the book. Jewish traditions, terms, and customs are explained throughout this captivating novel. 

The bow to Jane Austen comes not only in the inclusion of Wentworth, but also in the language and tone of the book. There is also a surprise in the book that nobody will see coming.

I was blown away by the author’s remarkable ability to write a prequel to Persuasion, add in Jewish traditions and history, expertly combine historical, literary, and fictional characters, and eloquently surround it all with the South American independence movement. I would highly recommend this to fans of Jewish and South American historical fiction, as well as to readers who love strong female characters. 

I received a free copy of this book from the author. My review is voluntary and my opinions are my own.

Kindle Unlimited subscribers can download the book for free or it can be purchased outright for only $2.99.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Mirta Ines Trupp

Mirta is a second generation Argentine; she was born in Buenos Aires in 1962 and immigrated to the United States that same year. Because of the unique fringe benefits provided by her father’s employer- Pan American Airlines- she returned to her native country frequently- growing up with “un pie acá, y un pie allá” (with one foot here and one foot there).

Mirta’s fascination with Jewish history and genealogy, coupled with an obsession for historical period drama, has inspired her to create unique and enlightening novels. She has been a guest speaker for book clubs, sisterhood events, genealogy societies and philanthropic organizations. Sharing her knowledge of Jewish Argentina has become her passion.

Besides being an avid novel reader, she has had a lifelong love for choral music and is a devoted Beatles fan. Follow Mirta on Amazon, Goodreads, Pinterest and Instagram for interesting tidbits and photos.

MIRTA INES TRUPP’S WEBSITE

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#Book Review and #Blog Tour: Her Family Secret

*Book Review towards the bottom of the page.

BOOK DESCRIPTION:

The father you never knew, has left behind a heartbreaking secret…

June Westwood is devastated by the news the father she never met has died. Now the truth about why Jasper abandoned her as a child will be buried forever. Escaping to the secluded beach house she’s inherited, June hopes to spend time bonding with her two little daughters, away from her hectic job and failing marriage.

On the wild shores of the Pacific Northwest, her father’s hideaway leaves June breathless. But it’s his oil paintings decorating every wall that surprise her most. How could someone paint other people so beautifully, but reject those closest to him? And why is every drawer in her father’s workshop locked? June hopes her new neighbor—her father’s apprentice Caleb—will provide the answers. But Caleb won’t talk about the past.

Then, hidden in her father’s workshop, June discovers a box of newspaper clippings that reveal the shocking reason why her father left years ago—and uncovers Caleb’s own devastating secret…

When her old life comes calling, June has an impossible decision to make. Unsure what’s best for her girls, and if she can trust Caleb, will digging deeper into her father’s dark past heal or destroy her precious family?

An absolutely heartbreaking and emotional page-turner about the incredible strength of family bonds, how we can hurt those closest to us, and the healing power of love. Fans of Diane Chamberlain, Kerry Lonsdale and Kerry Fisher will devour this powerful read from award-winning author Melissa Wiesner.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Melissa Wiesner

Author Bio:
Melissa Wiesner is a night-owl who began writing novels about five years ago when her early-to-bed family retired for the evening. In 2019, she won the Romance Writers of America Golden Heart® Award in the Mainstream Fiction Category for her first novel. Melissa holds two Master’s Degrees in Public Health and Community Agency Counseling. Her day job is in Social Work where she often encounters people knocked down by hard times but who pick themselves up and keep going, just like the characters of her novels. Melissa lives in Pittsburgh, PA with her charming husband and two adorable children.

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#BOOK REVIEW

June is living the storybook life–fabulous career, two children, and a rich and handsome husband–when she is summoned out of the blue to the beautiful beach house of a father who abandoned her and has recently died. June and her two sisters find out that their long-lost father is a famous artist, and they are heirs to his fortune. They eventually meet up at the beach house to take care of his affairs. When June arrives first, she meets Caleb, her father’s protege, and things do not go well. Will she ever get answers as to why her father abandoned them?

This is well-written women’s fiction with a bit of romance, but it is much more than a romance. June’s anger at her father for his abandonment is the true focus of the story, and she begins to go through his belongings, looking for answers. We are drawn into the art world and introduced to June’s father through his paintings. The biggest theme in this story is sacrifice. June and her father have both made sacrifices and life-changing choices. Were they right to do so? Mental health issues are also discussed. This is a beautifully written story of a family, with all its bumps and bruises, and of a busy woman who pauses at a crossroads long enough to look at her future. Fans of women’s fiction and romance will enjoy this book.

I received a free copy of this book from Bookouture via Netgalley. My review is voluntary. 

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#Book Review: The Far Away Girl

This was probably my favorite read for the May issue of Historical Novels Review., the magazine of The Historical Novel Society. They also made it an “Editor’s Choice.”

In 1976, five-year-old Rita is ripped away from the only family she has ever known and is taken to Georgetown, Guyana, to live with her father, Jitty Miraj. A wild child, she surrounds herself with animals and   books,   and   shares   everything   with   her   diary,   a   gift   from   her   father.   Her    father becomes    her world,    and   she     forgets   her     past.      When     Doomsday     comes,     and     she    meets Jitty’s   new   wife Chandra,   Rita    is    told   that   she is not good   enough.    Chandra   is   embarrassed   of Rita’s African and Amerindian roots, her curly hair, and the fact that her parents weren’t married. Rita is quickly set off to the side.   Then a chance to visit her mother’s family presents itself.    Will Rita finally learn the truth her father will never tell? How did her mother die? This is the coming of age story of Rita Miraj, from five years old to adulthood.

This is an absolutely gorgeous, soul-touching book that I could not put down. We are immediately drawn into Rita’s life and grow up with her as she learns to cope with a weak but manipulative father and his empty promises. Words are her gift, and we are gifted with her poems and diary entries. Music, movies, and   political/historical   events   of   the   1970s   and    1980s    are relayed    through Rita,    Jitty,    and flashbacks   to   Rita’s   mother   Cassie.   The   lush   beauty, diverse wildlife,   and   rich   history    of the Pomeroon River area   are   described    in   vivid   detail.    Rita    has    a    deeply    moving     and     soul- changing moment on Shell   Beach   watching   a   turtle   lay   her   eggs,   and   I was drawn in to her overwhelming wonder and joy. The evolution of Rita’s heart, mind, and goals as she grows and learns is so well captured here. This book was an unforgettable, magical joy to read.  Highly recommend.

I received a free copy from Bookouture for Historical Novels Review. I also purchased a copy to support this amazing book. My opinions are my own.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Sharon Maas was born in Georgetown, Guyana in 1951, and a sense of adventure has followed her around the world. In 1971 she spent a year backpacking around South America, followed by a few months with pioneering friends in the Guyana rainforest, followed by an overland trip to India, followed by a year in a Hindu Ashram.

She settled in Germany where she married, studied, worked, and raised children. 

Officially retired, she continues to write from her new home in Ireland.

Her first novel was published by HarperCollins in 1999, followed by two more in 2001 and 2002. At present she has 10 published works with the digital publisher Bookouture.

She has one self-published work, a retelling of the magnificent Indian epic Mahabharata: a project of love which took her over 30 years to “get right”, written under the pen name S. Aruna.

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