The Red Address Book by Sofia Lundberg

Doris is 96, lives alone in Stockholm, and only has a niece in the United States that she Skypes with.

Doris has caregivers stopping by during the day and is essentially alone except for her memories and the red address book her father gave to her when she was thirteen.  The red address book has kept track of every person she has met over her life time.

At thirteen after her father died, Doris was forced into becoming a servant in a wealthy household since her mother couldn’t afford to feed her.  While in the wealthy household, a model agency saw Doris and Doris became a living mannequin in Paris.

THE RED ADDRESS BOOK takes us back and forth in Doris’ life as she reminisces about her past and all the people that have been in and have touched her life.

This book was a beautiful, beautiful read that I didn’t want to end.

It was heartwarming as well as heartbreaking.

For a debut novel, the author did a marvelous job with the dual time line and with keeping my interest.

I truly enjoyed Doris’ interesting life story.  It made me want to document anything in my life that might be important for my family to know.

If you are in need of a book that will have you remembering and loving the characters and the story line long after you close the last page, THE RED ADDRESS BOOK will be a welcome read.

I absolutely LOVED this book that was filled with love and a book everyone needs to read.  5/5

This book was given to me as an ARC by the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

 

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Half of What You Hear by Kristyn Kusek Lewis

Moving to her husband’s small home town was something Bess always wanted to do because of the lovely homes, and because she thought it would be good for the twins.

The move wasn’t without problems.  Two of a number of problems were that she would be across the street from her mother-in-law, and they would be taking over the inn that had been in the family for years.

Little did she know about the problems that would come up dealing with the residents. One of the residents who was quite famous because of an accident is Susannah Lake.  Susannah is a woman that Bess is asked to interview.

Susannah is a woman who moved back to this small town after many years, lives in a forty-room house, and is the talk of the town as well as a former girlfriend of Bess’s father-in-law.  

Susannah is also a woman who you can’t really be sure what she says is the truth.

The other residents were nosey, catty, and loved to gossip – the beauty of a small town, right? Everyone knows everyone’s secrets and pasts.

Poor Bess became the target of all the women….not what she expected when she moved to this quiet, small town. She thought everyone would be kind, but they all knew the history she and Cole shared and made sure they commented on it. 

The problem with commenting on their history was that Cole seemed to side with the people from when he was growing up instead of Bess….not a good thing.

HALF OF WHAT YOU HEAR addressed social issues as well as personal issues of fitting in.

There are secrets that the residents of Greyville have kept for  many years, and as the mystery unravels, the book’s interest picks up and ends up with a few surprises.

There also are a few very unlikable residents. 4/5

This book was given to me by the publisher via Edelweiss as an ARC in exchange for an honest review.

 

Watching You by Lisa Jewell

 

Just who is Tom Fitzwilliam?  Does anyone really know?

To the outside world he is a handsome, popular, successful man, but is he really all that?

Strange things always happen in the neighborhoods where Tom lives, and Melville Heights is no exception.  

There is spying in the neighborhood by his son, there are women in love with Tom, and there is a neighbor, Mrs. Tripp, who thinks Tom is the cause of numerous strange things happening to her and has remembered something about Tom that happened a few years ago.  

Could Mrs. Tripp be right about Tom and everyone else wrong thinking he is perfect?   She doesn’t give up.

Tom’s son, Freddie, is definitely odd and frightening.

There are other characters that play some major roles such as Joey who is a suspect in a murder investigation that occurred in the neighborhood and who has a crush on Tom Fitzwilliam.

WATCHING YOU is definitely a study in human nature with nosy neighbors being the focus.  It seemed that everyone was spying on someone with Freddie being the major one.

As the book continues, the mystery about who Tom really is and who the murdered person is at the beginning of the book are slowly revealed.

WATCHING YOU has a lot of unlikable and odd characters, but that is what made it good and typical Lisa Jewell.

I was asking myself just who is anyone in this twisty, strange, but excellent thriller that had me wondering about all of the characters and what was happening.

If you enjoy Lisa Jewell’s books, you won’t want to miss reading WATCHING YOU.  4/5

Sophie Last Seen by Marlene Adelstein

Having a child disappear is a parent’s worst nightmare, and Jesse has been living the nightmare for six years.

Jesse lost Sophie at the local mall and goes back nearly every day to look for clues that might tell where she is.  She went a bit too far one day and was banned from the mall.

Jesse and her husband Cooper had divorced shortly after Sophie’s disappearance.  Cooper moved on, remarried, and isn’t as obsessed as Jesse.

Jesse lives in the house where Sophie grew up, and she doesn’t want to leave in case Sophie comes back.

Jesse’s obsession with finding her daughter turned into hoarding everything she found that she thought was a clue to her daughter’s disappearance.  She thought notes, shirts, grocery lists, pages from dictionaries, and bird trivia were signs from her daughter.

The reader follows Jesse through her days along with Sophie’s friend Star as they both can’t forget her and hope she will return.  Star sees Sophie as Sophie taunts her, and Jesse sees Sophie as she reads to her and talks to her.

SOPHIE LAST SEEN flows smoothly with some odd, but likable characters.   The book addresses many issues and is a book that will tug at your heartstrings.  The town of Canaan is a town that helps each other out in any crisis.

I enjoyed the book and also felt the pain Jesse was going through with her obsession of finding her daughter, with remembering her daughter and the secret about her, with her hoarding, and with the fact that she did need to move on and change her current life.  I kept hoping it would happen for her.

The tension and suspense ramped up as the book continued.

If you enjoy a bit of oddity, a fast-paced story line, a few ghosts, and characters that will stay with you, then SOPHIE LAST SEEN will be a book you will want to read. 5/5

This book was given to me by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

Once Upon A River by Diane Setterfield

Storytelling at the Swan is the favorite past time of the crowd and the reason so many men stop by for their drinks.

One night the storytelling became real when a man who had been hurt and a small girl who appeared as if she had drowned fell through the inn’s front door.

  Then a miracle happened….the girl came alive again.

The townspeople and their storytelling ways had many questions, and some thought the girl was one of their own who had passed.

We follow the characters as they try to interpret what happened as we are treated to Ms. Setterfield’s beautiful, poetic, descriptive style.  

And…we can’t forget the character, the Thames River….it is a part of everyone’s lives and what  the story line revolves around.

The ending of each character’s story made the statement….”Something is going to happen,” and something definitely did.

ONCE UPON A RIVER beautifully and slowly unfolded as the mystery of the little girl was revealed and as we learn about the lives of the characters.

If you enjoy a Gothic theme, and a story line with intriguing as well as odd characters, ONCE UPON A RIVER should be a book you will enjoy.

I do have to say it was a bit long, but Ms. Setterfield’s marvelous storytelling skills make you want it to go on even longer especially once the mystery is revealed and you find out more about the characters.  4/5

This book was given to me free of charge by the publisher and NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

A Dangerous Duet by Karen Odden

What else could be happening behind the scenes at The Octavian except piano playing and entertaining of every sort?

Nell played there to earn money for tuition to the Royal Academy even though her policeman brother didn’t know about it and wouldn’t approve.  Too many shady characters in that building and not safe to be walking back alone at night.

Nell was definitely getting herself into something dangerous, and she didn’t know it.  Nell heard so many different stories about what each person was like and what was going on that it was difficult to know who was telling the truth.

One thing that did happen was that one of the actresses was badly beaten and her partner was no where to be found.  Other incidents occurred too to make Nell and her brother wonder what was going on.

With the beating of the actress, the missing actor, and the death of a policeman, Nell’s brother had his doubts about one of his fellow policemen.  He believes there is a snitch at Scotland Yard.

Meanwhile, Nell is learning things aren’t as “clean” as they appear at The Octavian.  Was she getting herself into danger she didn’t know about?  Nell was taking chances being dressed as a man in a place that wasn’t as safe as she thought.

A DANGEROUS DUET was part learning about the lifestyle of folks in the Victorian era as well as learning that people actually haven’t changed behaviors that much over the years.

Living in the Victorian era actually wasn’t safe in many respects, and the lack of today’s conveniences such as cars and sanitation makes you happy you live today.

The suspense was enough to keep you guessing and doing some detective work of your own.  Nell’s involvement was not the best decision on her part.  She was dealing with a dangerous group of thieves.

I enjoyed the characters, and Ms. Ogden’s writing style was detailed and interesting.
If you enjoy mystery, secrets, and the Victorian era, A DANGEROUS DUET will be an appealing read.  4/5

This book was given to me as an ARC by the publisher and Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review.  All opinions are my own.

Giveaway and Review of The Promise of Provence by Patricia Sands

 

Kat was happily married and had been for twenty-two years.

On the day of her twenty-second anniversary, she came home to the usual bouquet of flowers and the note from her husband.  The note definitely wasn’t the normal loving one.  This note was one saying he was in love with someone else and was leaving her.

Kat couldn’t believe it, but she had her mother and some terrific friends to help her through it all.

Kat moved in with her ailing mother who had lived through the horrors of WWII as a Jewish child and would never tell Kat about that time.  One day unknown to Kat, her mother wrote the events down with Kat being instructed by her mother to not read her mother’s account until she passed.

When she read her mother’s account, she cried and I did too.

As the months moved on,

Kat decided she needed something different, and her cousin Andrea told her about a house swap program.  Kat decided to do a house swap, and found a farmhouse in Provence – see photos below.

What a wonderful decision for Kat.

Ms. Sands’ marvelous descriptions have you right there with Kat enjoying the delicious food, the landscape, the views, the history of France, and the wonderful people.

THE PROMISE OF PROVENCE is a story of healing and finding yourself and your happiness.

Ms. Sands has written another beautifully told story that will have you wanting to make immediate plane reservations.  5/5

This book was given to me by the author and NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.  All opinions are my own.

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Photos:

Antibes and the Provence Area

Farmhouses

Photos courtesy of Patricia Sands

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Giveaway:

I am partnering with the author for this giveaway.

USA ONLY

October 29 – November 5


Enter here

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