I'm always off to the next bright and shiny book and there is always a new bright and shiny book!
It's time to reveal our new bingo card!
Over the next 13 days, Obsidian and I will be posting some of our favorite books to fit under some of the categories.
Rules of the Game
If you have questions or comments, post them below!
This had everything I could want in a book!
This story takes place in 1861--the year after the "Opium Wars" had finally ended between England and China.
Elodie is the eldest of ten sisters who's father is a plant hunter, spending most of his time in exotic locations and then showing up yearly to make another baby before heading out again. Things go wrong on his last journey and he is unable to find orchids promised to a very rich client which could cause the family to end up in the workhouse. Mom has also had complications from a pregnancy causing the local physician to give her Dr J. Collis Browne's Chlorodyne which only makes her worse. Elodie is rightfully suspicious of the treatment and discovers later on this medicine is opium.
With the only way to take care of the debt owed being a return trip to try once again to find the orchids her father was unable to get on his last journey and her father unable to make the trip alone due to circumstances involving his last journey, Elodie shows away on the boat to China. Her discovery halfway through the journey changes not only her life but the life of sailor Alex Balasov, who helps her out. To say more would spoil the story.
In this story we have a heroine who goes from being the put upon dutiful daughter to woman who has found her place in the world and is going to claim it, even if it doesn't conform to what society expects of her. A very powerful and positive message!
I loved this book and would highly recommend it!!
| I loved this! Much darker than book one of the series so be prepared. For people who loved all the gadgets in book one, you are going to be disappointed because there is none of that in this volume. Lots of death and destruction and loss with another cliffhanger ending that will have you frantic for the next volume. But this book wrapped itself around my heart it was so amazing!
| This probably wouldn't have come across my radar without the Detroit connection and might have languished on my TBR shelf if it hadn't turned up at my local library in the front area new book shelves--one of the best (and most dangerous) areas in the library.
The Turner House is the story of a family and the story of a city both undergoing extreme changes. Viola Turner is the matriarch of thirteen children, who's been forced to leave the family home of 50 years on Yarrow Street and live with her eldest son Cha-Cha and his wife Tina. This of course, is only temporary until she recovers from some health issues she's been having.
The home is no longer in a desirable neighborhood and sadly only worth 1/10th of it's mortgage, so the kids have to decide what they are going to do. Lots of suggestions but nobody's happy with any of them. And it's becoming more and more obvious as time passes that Viola will end her days at her son's home--regardless of her wishes.
Told between the two time frames of 1944 when the Turner patriarch Francis first arrived in Detroit from Arkansas to 2008 and mostly following the oldest son Cha-Cha and the youngest daughter Lelah with appearances by the other siblings along the way this is a bittersweet story with lots of heart.
I love Susanna Kearsley!!
Reading her (for me at least) is the literary equivalent of a favorite old sweater--comforting and warm. Almost as soon as I start I can feel it gathering around me like a safe little bubble. They are not for everyone--the romances in them always seem to end a little too perfectly with the future all mapped out but never ever discussed and you must be able to suspend disbelief at least somewhat.
This particular story doesn't have a dual time line/time travel story like many of her others but instead has a ghost story. We have archeologists looking for the famous missing Roman Ninth Legion in Scotland and a ghostly Sentinel watching over what may or may not be a Roman marching camp.
I loved the setting-the small town of Eyemouth (which from the outside seems quaint but would probably drive me nuts if I lived there) and most of the characters (Adrian & Fabia I'm looking at you!) Things ended a little too tidily and of course left other things just hanging in the breeze but that's just how it goes.
If you decide to check out Susanna Kearsley and I highly suggest you do start with Mariana or The Winter Sea which are my two favorites! This is a great addition for the person who loves to read an author's complete collection but don't make this your first.
This book was sweet and charming--sucking you in right from the very start. I wasn't surprised by the ending but I was super sad by the twist (which is why it lost .05 points) the author used to end the book--you'll just have to read this to find out what that might be.
If you're looking for what I'd term "recovery fiction" I'd highly recommend this along with the mysteries by author Barbara Seranella though it is much more than that. I just know when you are new in recovery and are desperate for something life affirming a novel that helps reaffirm your sobriety is a godsend.
I was almost ready to bail on this at about the 150 page mark but since this was a Goodreads giveaway title I thought I'd give it a more time and even though I didn't love it I'm glad I stuck with it.
When the twist finally happened I was sure i had it figured out and then I didn't and then I did so I give the author props for throwing me a curve but overall it wasn't anything new and while my younger self probably would have loved it I finished it more out of obligation.
The 0.5 was for the nice ending--otherwise a solid but not terribly exciting 3.
What can I say--I loved it and will be looking for more of her historical romances. Love that this took place in California, giving me the chance to learn some more things about the state's history.
A nice mini history of Queen Califia (who was a warrior queen who ruled over a kingdom of Black women living on the mythical Island of California) is casually slipped into the story.
Jenkins also includes a partial list of her sources at the end as a helpful resource if you want to learn more.