Monday, 12 November 2018

Audio: The lighthouse keeper's daughter - Hazel Gaynor


Audiobook, Unabridged, 10h
Published October 9th 2018 by HarperAudio
Historical fiction
Thank you Harper for this review copy

My Thoughts
This book takes part in 1938 and 1838 and as always there was one time period I found more interesting. There always is and I do always wish that it could have been only about that period in time. I get getting that other POV, but still 1838 would have been fine with me. Or 1938 alone in her time.

Grace is the daughter of a lighthouse keeper, and she knows the job as good as her father. But women could not take over then. She is also really brave, and makes her father set out with her in a storm to save people from a sinking ship. I liked how humble she was cos no, not everyone would have done that. The storm was furious, they could have died too.

The story is about the fame she gains, and does not want. How she feels about the wreck and those saved, and not saved. And a young artist she met before and meet again. A love story that can not be. Oh Grace. Her story broke me. I wanted her to be happy and free. How she loved her island and lighthouse!

The other story is about Mathilda, who is connected to Grace and wonders about her tale. She is pregnant and gets shipped off to a relative who works at a lighthouse.

This has nothing to do with this story, but I did not realise how lucky Mathilda was before I later today read an article about 700 kids found in a sewage drain behind a Nunnery. She was so resentful for being sent away, but she was lucky! Those being sent to the nuns were not lucky. Poor souls, poor kids!

Back to Mathilda. She stays with her relative Harriet. There are secrets and well I shall not dwell upon those, spoilers! But there is sadness here too and this story was actually the one that brought me to tears. Which was weird, because one story in Grace's was so sad! It broke me, and then this other one makes me cry.

Conclusion:
There is a lot of sadness, but also so much joy and I want to become a lighthouse keeper too! Even if I know that yes maybe not, all those boat trips and storms.
The author and then the narrator really brings life to these people and especially to the lighthouse.

Narrator: Imogen Church
I enjoyed all her voices, and she brought life into them all. She read with a calm voice that held in the most furious storm and ripped me apart

Blurb
1838: Northumberland, England. Longstone Lighthouse on the Farne Islands has been Grace Darling’s home for all of her twenty-two years. When she and her father rescue shipwreck survivors in a furious storm, Grace becomes celebrated throughout England, the subject of poems, ballads, and plays. But far more precious than her unsought fame is the friendship that develops between Grace and a visiting artist. Just as George Emmerson captures Grace with his brushes, she in turn captures his heart.

1938: Newport, Rhode Island. Nineteen-years-old and pregnant, Matilda Emmerson has been sent away from Ireland in disgrace. She is to stay with Harriet, a reclusive relative and assistant lighthouse keeper, until her baby is born. A discarded, half-finished portrait opens a window into Matilda’s family history. As a deadly hurricane approaches, two women, living a century apart, will be linked forever by their instinctive acts of courage and love.


Sunday, 11 November 2018

Carole's Sunday Review. Marilyn, my Marilyn - Art Johnson

Marilyn, My Marilyn
Author:  Art Johnson

Title: Marilyn, My Marilyn
Genre: Historical Fiction & Mystery
Pages: ebook
Published: May 10th 2018
Where I Got It: My shelf (Netgalley)


It’s the summer of ’62, and twenty-five-year-old journalist Rory Long receives a phone call at quitting time: it’s Marilyn Monroe. She wants to personally compliment him on a review he wrote of the new collected works of poet Carl Sandburg. 



She then enlists the cub reporter to tell her story; she doesn’t want to be remembered as a joke. When they meet, Rory is captivated by her knowledge of classical music, art and literature. As their relationship intensifies, Rory experiences a coming-of-age inspired by this side of Marilyn few know, and at the same time, Marilyn is influenced by Rory to begin reassessing her own life. 



But when Rory’s boss assigns him to write an article on the unsolved murder of the Black Dahlia, paranoia and tension mount. File papers go missing, then mysteriously return. An unknown covert organization watches Marilyn Monroe’s every move, thinking she may hold a clue to the Dahlia case. And just when Rory can feel he’s getting closer to the truth, J. Edgar Hoover himself intervenes to request that Rory be reassigned. Rapid changes are about to unfold in the land of the free, and they may be more costly than even Rory can surmise. 



In Art Johnson’s latest novel, he continues his style of combining historical fact with fiction to offer the reader a steady stream of drama, tension and humor. Marilyn, My Marilyn reveals fresh insight into the most iconic woman of modern times, not as a biography, but with a view of a nation which often buries the truth with its dead. 



Everyone knows the face and the name even today years and years after her death. Marilyn Monroe is considered one of the greatest beauties of the modern era. She is also considered one of the greatest mysteries and tragedies. I truly blame Hollywood for her demise. So many blame the government or other entities for her death. No. I flat out blame Hollywood and the paparazzi for her death. If they didn't physically do it; they drove her to do it. 


Sorry...back to the book. 



The story follows Rory who is a new and young journalist. A certain article of his draws the attention to Marilyn who reaches out to him. She wants to give him an exclusive interview. She wants the world to know she isn't some dumb, sexy blond. She has a brain and is a person like everyone else. Rory, of course, agrees to meet her and write her story. We get to see a side of Marilyn that was a rarity.



I really enjoyed this story. I know it is all fiction, but I really hope there is an interview out there was covered up and hidden that shows the truth behind Marilyn. How cool would that be? 



I like Rory and I really liked Marilyn in this. She was just so sad. Poor girl. 



There is also a murder mystery going on in the background that Rory is working on researching. It fit a little bit and then at the end you really get to see the connection. It was a nice add-on, but it really wasn't necessary for the story. But it show that even though Rory is now a close friend to Marilyn, he still has work to do to pay for his bills at the newspaper. 



In the end, I really enjoyed this. It was a nice what-if. There is more to the star and we have seen glimpses of this throughout the years, but wouldn't it be nice if there was a secret interview none of knew about? I highly recommend this. I'll stamp it with 5 stars. 







Saturday, 10 November 2018

Best of October



Happy November!! Here are our Best of's for OCTOBER!



First, favorite movies:

First, my  favorite.....Anne with an 'E' (season 1)


"Again it has been a dreadful movie month. Cant I just say that I have enjoyed Anne with an E s1 and that is my best of. So there"




"The book was good, but I adored this movie. Such a sweet and funny story. I do not miss High School."


Next, Book favorites:

First, C's pick.............Magic Burns by Ilona Andrews


"I had a few choices this month that I could've picked from. But I really must pick this one because the first book was not as good. This was really good and made me curious about the series! Thank you Book 2!"




"October has been a rather dreadful month. More DNFS than any month this year, books that turned out just ok. Bad bad month. But I did read some good ones ;) Like Lake Silence by Anne Bishop!. So good! Great in audio"


Lastly, best covers:
Mine is on the left and Carole's on the right





About the Authors
Carole and Blodeuedd have been blogging a long while now. The last couple of years the epic duo have been discussing books, watching movies, and even wetting the pen and sharing their stories with the worldwide web. They both love cats, chocolate, and a good story.






Friday, 9 November 2018

Audio: Christmas on the Island - Jenny Colgan



Audio CD, 7 Hours and 35 Minutes
Narrator: Sarah Barron
Published October 16th 2018 by HarperCollins
Series: Summer Seaside Kitchen #3
Women's fiction
Thank you Harper for this review copy

My Thoughts
This story certainly was bittersweet. It was a story about the people, this island, and their hopes and dreams.

But first, this is book 3 and at first I felt, well not lost, but I did feel like I if I had gone into a room filled with people who knew each other. And I dared not approach anyone cos they all seemed to enjoy each other's company so much. But I got to know them by watching them, it that makes sense.

The book is mostly about Flora, a former lawyer, who now runs the Seaside Kitchen. She loves this windswept island and its people. And her big farming family.

I do not know the story of her and Joel. But I guess they worked together, became a couple and now live on Mure. But not together. And she is preggers, and he has some horrible past that makes him scared of loving anyone. So she takes small steps and this could break him. Which is so sad, because she needs some support too. But he does seem really messed up.

There is her brother Fintan, and hos husband Coltan who is dying. I guess if I had seen them meet and fall in love then this would have been so sad.It still was sad, but yes it would have been so much more heartbreaking then.

Then there is Saif, a doctor from Syria who was reunited with his boys, but his wife is still missing (and yeah, after this book I doubt she is alive.) But he mourns and feels like maybe they still live somewhere where there are more like them.

Lorna, the teacher who is in love with Saif, but she also knows he still loves his wife. Poor Lorna. Poor Saif.

And then there Christmas approaching.  A person in itself. And the light it brings this island. And I mean literally cos yes I know the darkness of December. You get up it is dark, you get home it is dark.

Conclusion:
Some romance, friendship, heartache and longing. A sweet and sad Christmas tale. And the stories are not over.

Narration
Sarah was really good. I loved her accent and her kid voice was so fun. Perfect
I was there on the island with them. Feeling sadness,  being hungry and happy

Cover
SO pretty

Blurb
On the remote Scottish island of Mure, the Christmas season is stark, windy, and icy-yet incredibly festive and beautiful ...

It's a time for getting cozy in front of whiskey barrel wood fires, and enjoying a dram and a treacle pudding with the people you love-unless, of course, you've accidentally gotten pregnant by your ex-boss, and don't know how to tell him. In the season for peace and good cheer, will Flora find the nerve to reveal the truth to her nearest and dearest? Will her erstwhile co-parent Joel think she's the bearer of glad tidings-or is this Christmas going to be as bleak as the Highlands in midwinter?

Meanwhile Saif, a doctor and refugee from war-torn Syria is trying to enjoy his first western Christmas with his sons on this remote island where he's been granted asylum. His wife, however, is still missing, and her absence hangs over what should be a joyful celebration. Can the family possibly find comfort and joy without her?

Travel to the beautiful northern edge of the world and join the welcoming community of Mure for a Highland Christmas you'll never forget!




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