Word Press Blog Directing Readers to My Blogger Account

Hello:
Thank you for stopping.

You actually want to head over to my blogger account, Silver’s Reviews.

My blogger account, Silver’s Reviews, is my full site and the active site I use.

http://silversolara.blogspot.com

Thanks…see you there.

Elizabeth

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The Blackbird Season by Kate Moretti

A husband, a father, a teacher, a coach, and now a suspended teacher accused of having an affair with a student.

Did it really happen, though, or did Lucia make it up?   



Nate was always involved with this students on a personal level and helped the ones who appeared to be in distress.  Did this backfire on him?



THE BLACKBIRD SEASON is mainly about the characters and their lives after the blackbirds fell and after Lucia disappeared.  Did Lucia have anything to do with the blackbirds falling from the sky or did the blackbirds have anything to do with Lucia’s disappearance?  Her fellow students do call her a witch.



THE BLACKBIRD SEASON is considered a thriller, but it didn’t seem like a thriller to me.  I saw it more as an investigation into people’s lives and what some people have to go through on a daily basis or during a crisis. 



Addressing teenagers and their behavior was a major theme as well.



The book has four main narrators, and we hear from each one and how each one is connected to each other and to the situation.  

The intrigue for me was in the behavior of the characters. The characters did grow on you toward the end as you became familiar with their lives instead of feeling annoyed with them.

Nate seemed to be too helpful for his own good.



Poor Alecia was so overwhelmed with her special needs child and had no clue about anything her husband, Nate, did.



Bridget, still mourning the loss of her husband, seemed genuine and a bit shaky about the situation Nate was in since he was a good friend.



Lucia was a troubled teenager with a bad home life and a teenager who needed attention and got attention in the wrong way.



The flocks of blackbirds seemed to serve as the background for the ominous situations that occurred in the small, gossip-ridden, mill town of Mt. Oanoke, Pennsylvania.  



The book kept my interest because I wanted to see what happened to Lucia and if Nate would be found innocent.  The suspense definitely was not edge-of-your-seat.



If you enjoy digging into the lives of folks and their emotions along with a lot of questionable choices, THE BLACKBIRD SEASON should be a good read for you. 



Let me know what you think of this book.  I started out with a rating of 3/5, but raised it to a 4/5 because the ending was suspenseful.



This book was given to me free of charge and without compensation by the publisher and Net Galley in return for an honest review.

The Stolen Marriage by Diane Chamberlain

Please visit my active blog:  http://silversolara.blogspot.com

Tess, Tess, Tess, what did you do?  Is that the only decision you could have made?

Tess was engaged to her childhood sweetheart, Vincent, and to be married within the year, but she went on a weekend trip that she didn’t want to go on with her friend and something awful happened that changed her life and her plans.

Tess found out she was pregnant from the weekend away and broke her engagement to the love of her life, found the man who raped her, and married him.

She was moved from Baltimore, Maryland, to Hickory, North Carolina, had to change her religion, and had to live in Hank’s family home with his mother and sister who both disliked her along with the entire town.  She ruined her life and Vincent’s life, but it was 1943, and did she have any other choice?

We follow Tess through her days of actually being an outcast and in a loveless marriage.

There were a lot of secrets in the Kraft family and especially with her husband, Hank.  He would leave and not come home at night or not come home for days.  I didn’t like any of the Krafts and felt awful for Tess.  She was an innocent, unassuming girl whose life was ruined.

Despite the unlikable characters, the writing and story line of THE STOLEN MARRIAGE are marvelous as always with the backdrop being the South during WWII with all their proper, Southern ways and the polio epidemic. 

Ms. Chamberlain includes the history of Hickory’s Emergency Infantile Paralysis Hospital that took care of polio victims.

The book smoothly moved from page to page pulling you into the story and consuming you with the intrigue and tension as everything unfolded making it difficult to put down.

THE STOLEN MARRIAGE can only be described as addictive, amazing, and fantastic.

A MUST READ – my favorite of her books.  5/5

This book was given to me free of charge and without compensation by the publisher in return for an honest review.  All opinions are my own.

Odd Child Out by Gilly MacMillan

  

Best friends sometimes do unexpected things.  Abdi and Noah were best friends and did something that no one would expect.

The unexpected incident obviously brought the police in along with the two silent friends.  Noah was put into a coma because of his injuries, and Abdi wasn’t talking.

ODD CHILD OUT was definitely a study of personalities and human emotions.  Each character seemed to not fit with each other, and I thought it was odd that they were family members as well as friends.  I did like the “bucket list” that Noah and his father compiled, but one part of the bucket list is what caused a problem the night of the incident.

ODD CHILD OUT has us following along with the police in their investigation after Noah is found in the canal and an eye witness says she saw the best friends arguing.  When Noah who is terminally ill with cancer is found floating in the canal and Abdi, his best friend, had been with him, no one knows what to think.  It is difficult to imagine these boys doing anything out of the ordinary because they were star pupils.

We also follow the story being told by Abdi and Noah about what really happened as the friends silently re-live it in their minds.

The descriptions and the character development are very good and help you visualize the scenes and totally experience the emotions of each character which were mostly fear, loss, and questioning. You also feel the weight of lies and silence, truths untold, and prejudices.

ODD CHILD OUT is an emotional, tense book that will make you think and question.

Another excellent read by Gilly MacMillan.  4/5

This book was given to me free of charge and without compensation by the publisher in return for an honest review.

Drawing Lessons by Patricia Sands

 

Arianna and Ben had the perfect life…childhood sweethearts, family-owned business, and most importantly each other.

Their perfect life was shattered when Ben was diagnosed with dementia at a young age.  As the disease progressed, it became more and more difficult to cope with the illness to the point of Arianna’s children worrying that they were going to lose her too.

The children booked their mother a trip back to her beloved France where she had spent a month or so during college.  The trip was for two weeks at an art retreat to try to take her mind off of the stress of Ben and her loss of him even though he was still living.

Arianna met wonderful people at the art retreat, but would the trip and the time away help her to realize she is alone and must learn to cope with the loneliness?

DRAWING LESSONS has absolutely marvelous descriptions that put you right into the story and into France soaking in the landscape and drooling over all the delicious-sounding food.

The characters were ones that would be great to be with.  They all had their quirks as well as their endearing qualities that made the group well-rounded and enjoyable as companions.

If you enjoy traveling, reading about France’s beautiful landscapes and life of the French people, French artists especially Vincent Van Gogh, making new friends, and helping another person to feel welcome and overcome a problem, then DRAWING LESSONS will be an enjoyable read for you.

DRAWING LESSONS was a beautiful, heartfelt story about truly examining your life for the pleasures you have enjoyed and the pleasures you need to look for and experience. 4/5

This book was given to me free of charge and without compensation by the author in return for an honest review.  All opinions are my own.

The Trust by Ronald H. Balson

Being away from Ireland for 16 years had not eased the feelings a few of Liam Taggert’s cousins had for him.

Liam had moved to Chicago from Ireland 16 years ago on bad terms, and now that his uncle had been murdered, he returned for the funeral. 

What Liam returned to was his being chosen as the Trustee of his uncle’s will and a task that was both dangerous for Liam as well as his family.  There were a lot of stipulations set in the last will and testament for distribution of the estate as well as hard feelings because Liam had been out of touch and was now in charge.

Liam now wished he hadn’t answered that phone call not more than a week ago.  If he had ignored it, he may not be in the legal predicament he was put in by his uncle nor the danger it was causing the entire family both in Ireland and the United States.

Being Trustee carried a lot of responsibility as well as legalities family members didn’t want to understand. The family also couldn’t understand why Liam wouldn’t break the rules and tell them the details of the last will and testament of Uncle Fergus.

To further complicate things, the Taggert family was getting threats and notes indicating payback time. No one was sure who was murdering members of the Taggert family, but forty years of hatred, vengeance, and fighting still ran deep among the Northern Ireland residents.

The Taggert family was an interesting lot, and the murders and family mystery were intriguing.

THE TRUST is beautifully written and so well written that you smoothly move along and become captured in the story line and the characters.

If you enjoy books set in Ireland, mysteries, murders, and family drama, you definitely do not want to miss reading THE TRUST.

I truly enjoyed the book and found it difficult to put down. ​5/5

This book was given to me free of charge and without compensation by the publisher in return for an honest review.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

The information below including the photo is courtesy of Staci Burt and St. Martin’s.

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RONALD H. BALSON is a Chicago trial attorney, an educator and writer. His practice has taken him to several international venues. 

He is also the author of Karolina’s Twins, Saving Sophie and the international bestseller Once We Were Brothers.

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PRAISE FOR RONALD H. BALSON

“A heart-wrenching…triumphant story.” —The Chicago Tribune on Karolina’s Twins

 “Secrets, friendships, survival, and the Holocaust are woven together in Ronald H. Balson’s haunting Karolina’s Twins.”—Family Circle on Karolina’s Twins

“A new look at an old story…will stay with you long after you have finished it.” —The Huffington Post on Once We Were Brothers

 “Uplifting and moving, intelligently written…an unusual insight into human character.” —Library Journal, starred review on Once We Were Brothers

 “A page-turning read filled with despair and anger but with hope, love, and humanity at its core.” —Jewish Book Council on Saving Sophie

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COMMENT FROM ME

Karolina’s Twins and Once We Were Brothers were both riveting, engaging reads.  Both are reviewed on my blog
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Love and Other Consolation Prizes

Leaving your mother at age five, going with a stranger, and living in the bowels of a boat to America was not something anyone would wish for a child but what was done back in 1909.

Yung had to leave his mother because they both were starving, and her hope was for a better life for her son.

When Yung got to America, his name was changed to Ernest, and he spent his first few years at a school where he was always the underling even though a rich woman, Mrs. Irvine, was paying for his room and board.

One day Mrs. Irvine told Ernest she was taking him to the World’s Fair.  She didn’t take him to enjoy it, but to be auctioned off in a raffle as a strong, healthy boy.

Ernest ended up being won by the owner of a brothel as a houseboy, and the place he met his wife.

Now his childhood and his life before children and marriage were coming to light.  His daughter is a reporter and is investigating the World’s Fair and stories she heard about those who attended.  She knew her father had been there and wants to know everything.

Ernest didn’t want to tell his daughter his story because then she would find out about her mother’s life at that time.  It was a life that wasn’t anything to be proud of.  Gracie was now suffering from dementia, and Ernest was hoping she wouldn’t accidentally remember the life she led when she was young and tell her daughter.

We follow Ernest from his childhood to present day and learn what life was like for him in both times.  We get a well-researched glimpse into everyday living during the early 1900’s as well as the life in a brothel.

LOVE AND OTHER CONSOLATION PRIZES is another marvelous, stunning, beautifully told story by Jamie Ford with  characters that will steal your heart.

Mr. Ford knows how to tell a story and keep your interest with his meticulous historical research, his history lesson, and his superb writing style.

I thoroughly enjoyed this book – I hope you are able to also read it.  5/5

This book was given to me free of charge and without compensation by the publisher and Net Galley in return for an honest review.

The Space Between Words by Michele Phoenix

Jessica was talked into going to a concert at The Bataclan Concert Hall in Paris with her friend, Vonda, instead of to an art show with Patrick, and it proved to be the wrong choice.


Jessica and her friend were caught in the terrorist attack at the 2015 Concert Hall, but thankfully Jessica and Vonda were only harmed.

After Jessica was released from the hospital, her parents insisted she return home to the United States, but Patrick insisted more heavily that she stay in France and go on their planned trip.

While staying at a bed and breakfast and as she was antique hunting, a sewing box caught Jessica’s eye.

As Jessica pried the bottom of the sewing box off, she noticed a piece of red yarn sticking out from under the box’s bottom and found pages torn from a Bible that triggered something in Jessica’s mind that she couldn’t understand.

The Bible pages turned out to be a marvelous treasure with secrets of their own and also something that brought Jessica to a reality she hadn’t been aware of.

I was intrigued when Jessica found the sewing box and the pages of handwritten notes.  I love finding out origins of things and especially diaries or notes from a  real person.  

The pages from the Bible spurred the characters to do research and find family members who fled France during the time in history when The Huguenots were forced out because of their religious beliefs.

THE SPACE BETWEEN WORDS moved from present to past telling the story of the Huguenot persecution and their flight out of France.  This is another part of history I had heard about but never studied.

I didn’t know what to expect when I first started to read THE SPACE BETWEEN WORDS, but the story line quickly went from an OK read to a WOW read as the characters uncovered more history of the handwritten notes in the Bible pages.

THE SPACE BETWEEN WORDS also addressed Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.

If you enjoy historical fiction, finding treasures at flea markets, a marvelous story line, and detailed character description, you will not want to miss THE SPACE BETWEEN WORDS.

Ms. Phoenix paired two horrific historical events and created a marvelous book that will stay with long after you turn the last page.  4/5

This book was given to me free of charge and without compensation by the author, the publisher, and NetGalley in return for an honest review.