Posted in Audiobook Review, Domestic Drama, Historical Fiction, Mystery, Women's Fiction

The Stolen Marriage by Diane Chamberlain @D_Chamberlain @MacmillanAudio #AudiobooReview #Historical #Mystery

How are we all today book buddies?

Happy to bring you a review of this Historical Fiction book that had me gripped.

Why did you pick it up Vicci? – I’ve already read one of this authors books and reviewed it on here, and I really like her writing style, I also want to start reading more Historical books as I had previously given them a wide berth.

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My Thoughts

I really enjoyed this story and it is the second I have read from this author.

Tess DeMello is happy, she is engaged to a wonderful man, and is excited to become his wife, her husband-to-be is a doctor and is very passionate about his work, so much so, he hot foots it to Chicago to help out with the Polio epidemic that seems to be rife there.

She naturally misses him, and his time there seems to be getting longer and longer, each call she gets from him seems to be him changing the date that he will be coming home, this turns into months.

He friend tries to snap her out of her slump by inviting her to go away with her for a couple of days to her aunts house who lives out of town, but when they get there, it seems that her aunt has had to leave for a few days and has left instructions for them to have a good time, unfortunately there are also 2 men staying in the house with them.

Tess is very cautious about this, but they soon start chatting and the gentlemen invite them out for a friendly meal, which turns into an evening of bad choices for Tess, too much alcohol and another bad decision leads her into being single, pregnant and alone.

After finding out where the father of her unborn child lives, Tess breaks off her engagement, packs a bag and leaves to find him, Henry does the right thing and moves her in with him, and promptly marries her.

But things are not right in the house, Henry doesn’t seem to be the man she thought he was, and why doesn’t he want to spend any time with her?

A fab little mystery that had me guessing all the way through.

A great read, I personally thought that Tess was not totally to blame in this situation, Yes she had drunk too much alcohol and was a little worse for wear, but I didn’t really see any consent going on, I don’t remember Tess saying No, but she also didn’t say Yes, and I think really that Henry took advantage of the situation.

🎧🎧 – Narration was perfectly done by Susan Bennett and I will certainly be looking out for more of her narration.

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About the Book

The Stolen Marriage
By: Diane Chamberlain
Narrated by: Susan Bennett
Length: 14 hrs and 7 mins
Publisher: Macmillan Digital Audio

One mistake, one fateful night, and Tess DeMello’s life is changed forever.

It is 1944. Pregnant, alone, and riddled with guilt, twenty-three-year-old Tess DeMello abruptly gives up her budding career as a nurse and ends her engagement to the love of her life, unable to live a lie. Instead, she turns to the baby’s father for help and agrees to marry him, moving to the small, rural town of Hickory, North Carolina. Tess’s new husband, Henry Kraft, is a secretive man who often stays out all night, hides money from his new wife, and shows her no affection. Tess quickly realizes she’s trapped in a strange and loveless marriage with no way out.

The people of Hickory love and respect Henry but see Tess as an outsider, treating her with suspicion and disdain. When one of the town’s golden girls dies in a terrible accident, everyone holds Tess responsible. But Henry keeps his secrets even closer now, though it seems that everyone knows something about him that Tess does not.

When a sudden polio epidemic strikes Hickory, the townspeople band together to build a polio hospital. Tess knows she is needed and defies Henry’s wishes to begin working at there. Through this work, she begins to find purpose and meaning. Yet at home, Henry’s actions grow more alarming by the day. As Tess works to save the lives of her patients, can she untangle the truth behind her husband’s mysterious behavior and find the love—and the life—she was meant to have?

 

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Posted in Audiobook Review, Contemporary Romance, Historical Fiction, Women's Fiction

Evidence of the Affair by Taylor Jenkins Reid @tjenkinsreid #AudiobookReview

Hi Book friends,

I wanted to give you this review for a short and sweet story by Taylor Jenkins Reid.

Why did you pick it up Vicci? – Well Taylor Jenkins Reid has written 2 of the most gorgeous books, both of which I have placed lovingly on my 6 Star Goodreads shelf, so naturally I’m going to devour everything she has ever written now!

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My Thoughts

This book is super short – under 200 pages! But is is crammed full of content.

Told in letter form, this is the story about Carrie and David.

In 1976, David receives a letter from Carrie shattering his illusion, hers has already been shattered, you see Carrie’s husband has been having an affair, and it looks like the person he is secretly seeing is Davids wife!

Carrie and David have never met, they live hundreds of miles away from each other, but Carrie feels that it is her duty to make David aware of the situation.

I loved this story, it was so well told, and I love the fact that Taylor Jenkins Reid gives a bit of a nod to Daisy Jones in this book (her next bestseller)

Because it is told in letter form between Carrie and David we obviously only know what we have been told, other things that have happened you have to piece together.

🎧🎧 – Expertly narrated by  Julia Whelan, George Newbern and James Daniels, this was a fab little audiobook to zip through in just over an hour.

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About the Book

Evidence of the Affair
By: Taylor Jenkins Reid
Narrated by: Julia WhelanGeorge NewbernJames DanielsDara Rosenberg
Length: 1 hr and 19 mins

Dear stranger…

A desperate young woman in Southern California sits down to write a letter to a man she’s never met – a choice that will forever change both their lives.

My heart goes out to you, David. Even though I do not know you…

The correspondence between Carrie Allsop and David Mayer reveals, piece by piece, the painful details of a devastating affair between their spouses. With each commiserating scratch of the pen, they confess their fears and bare their souls. They share the bewilderment over how things went so wrong and come to wonder where to go from here.

Told entirely through the letters of two comforting strangers and those of two illicit lovers, Evidence of the Affair explores the complex nature of the heart. And ultimately, for one woman, how liberating it can be when it’s broken.

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Posted in Audiobook Review, Historical Fiction

Daisy Jones and the Six by Taylor Jenkins Reid @tjenkinsreid @PRHAudio #AudiobookReview #HistoricalFiction

Coming to you live from a wet and windy UK,

Unfortunately I am nowhere close to being as cool as Daisy Jones is,  she was every mans fantasy, and every little girl wanted to be her when she grew up!

If I can make you take the plunge and listen to an audiobook just once, THIS would be the one I would choose, it was magical!

A full cast audio with some of my favourite narrators in it, and just look at that stunning cover!

Why did I pick it up? – After listening to The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo and falling in love with it, THIS book was one of my most anticipated reads, and I wasn’t disappointed in the slightest!

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Daisy Jones and the Six
By Taylor Jenkins Reid
Narrated by: Sara ArringtonJennifer BealsArthur BishopFred BermanBenjamin BrattJonathan DavisAri FliakosHolter GrahamJudy GreerJanuary LavoyRobinne LeePeter LarkinHenry LeyvaP.J. OchlanRobert Petkoff
Length: 9 hrs and 3 mins
Release date: 05-03-19
Publisher: Random House Audiobooks

My Thoughts

Daisy is kind of a Nobody, with being a Somebody dreams, so she makes those dreams a reality, she is exactly the girl who she wants to be and will not change for anyone! #FistBump!

I had absolutely no interest in being somebody else’s muse.
I am not a muse.
I am the somebody.
End of fucking story.

Told in the style of a Interview/Documentary, this is the story of how Daisy Jones, met The Six, how the band became a household name in the 70’s, how they sold out stadiums and the like.

It also tells the story of what happens after the audience goes home, after the lights have gone out, and after the fans have had their share of you.

It is about Sex, Drugs, and Rock N Roll, and it is also about how and what the band thought about each other, and their take on their own story.

Because it is being told by each member of the band, you get 7 or more different takes of the same story, but who’s account is really true?

I ADORED this story, it is so cleverly written and so believable, TJR has such a clever way of spinning her stories, once again I found myself Googling “Are Daisy Jones and the Six a real band?” *Spoiler – They’re not”

*Although they may be in the near future as this book has been grabbed by Reece Witherspoon for her Sunshine Books Read, and it is currently going into production for a TV series, I can’t wait to see the casting!

If you are going to grab ANY book this year, make sure it’s this one, you wont regret it I promise.

Think of this as a kind of Fleetwood Mac story, except you get to know the full story, warts and all.

🎧🎧 – I’m not sure if I can talk about the narration without getting all gushy, from what I have read, TJR cast the audio narrators herself, if this is the case, I bow down to her awesomeness, because it is PERFECTION!!!

 

 

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About the Book

Everyone knows Daisy Jones & The Six, but nobody knows the reason behind their split at the absolute height of their popularity . . . until now.

Daisy is a girl coming of age in L.A. in the late sixties, sneaking into clubs on the Sunset Strip, sleeping with rock stars, and dreaming of singing at the Whisky a Go Go. The sex and drugs are thrilling, but it’s the rock and roll she loves most. By the time she’s twenty, her voice is getting noticed, and she has the kind of heedless beauty that makes people do crazy things.

Also getting noticed is The Six, a band led by the brooding Billy Dunne. On the eve of their first tour, his girlfriend Camila finds out she’s pregnant, and with the pressure of impending fatherhood and fame, Billy goes a little wild on the road.

Daisy and Billy cross paths when a producer realizes that the key to supercharged success is to put the two together. What happens next will become the stuff of legend.

The making of that legend is chronicled in this riveting and unforgettable novel, written as an oral history of one of the biggest bands of the seventies. Taylor Jenkins Reid is a talented writer who takes her work to a new level with Daisy Jones & The Six, brilliantly capturing a place and time in an utterly distinctive voice.

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Posted in Audiobook Review, Historical Fiction

Necessary Lies by Diane Chamberlain @D_Chamberlain @audible_com #AlisonElliott #AudiobookReview #HistoricalFiction

Another Historical read for me, and something that would have passed me by.

Why did I pick it up?  – If it hadn’t been recommended in a Facebook group I am in then I don’t think i would have (Thanks Cyndi)

This story was one that made me absolutely stunned, I had no idea that this was something that was practised, and also that it was STILL being practised up to the 1980’s!!

I was crazy mad listening to this book, how people can have been given this much authority over other human beings is just mind blowing.
If you are a Jodi Picoult fan then you will probably love this one too.

Anyhoo, back to my review!

My Thoughts

Set in the 60’s in Rural Grace County, Jane Forrester goes for an interview for a job as a social worker, much to the dismay of her fiance, he is unhappy in the fact that she is getting a job, let alone a job that might undermine his position as a doctor, and make him a laughing stock at the Golf Club, none of his friends wives work after all!

Jane wants to work, and feels that this would be an ideal position for her, that she may be able to do some good, she may even be able to help people less fortunate than her.

She gets the position and shadows another worker until an accident sets her on her own to carry on the job.

Ivy is one of her cases.

15 year old Ivy lives on a Tobacco farm with her family, her parents both died so she is now in the full time care of her grandmother, but her grandmother is ill, so it is Ivy that is doing the caring. Looking after her grandmother, her mentally ill sister and her sisters 2 year old son William is no mean feat, they rely on Welfare to get money for the family, they work on the Tobacco farm to pay for their lodgings.

Ivy has her own problems, she is epileptic, and because she is 15, she is “obviously” going to start sleeping around, I mean, look at Mary Ella her “feeble minded” sister, she had William after all!
They managed to fix that though, at least she won’t be bringing any more “retards” into this world!

Ivy is an ideal candidate for the program, it just needs to be signed off by the Social Worker, of course you don’t tell her what it is you are doing, just tell them that they look ill, Mary Ella had her “appendix” out, and look, she’s perfectly fine now!!

Jane cannot believe what is happening to these young girls, but what can she do, she’s already been reprimanded for something she did wrong, she may even lose her job.

This story is based on true events that happened, in the authors notes she does say that she didn’t want to focus on the actual deed, but to focus on the families and the aftermath, but some of the stories that she read about it were truly horrifying.

🎧🎧 – Brilliantly narrated by Alison Elliot, this story is one that will probably stay with you for a while!

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About the book

Bestselling author Diane Chamberlain delivers a breakout book about a small southern town fifty years ago, and the darkest—and most hopeful—places in the human heart

After losing her parents, fifteen-year-old Ivy Hart is left to care for her grandmother, older sister and nephew as tenants on a small tobacco farm.  As she struggles with her grandmother’s aging, her sister’s mental illness and her own epilepsy, she realizes they might need more than she can give.

When Jane Forrester takes a position as Grace County’s newest social worker, she doesn’t realize just how much her help is needed.  She quickly becomes emotionally invested in her clients’ lives, causing tension with her boss and her new husband.  But as Jane is drawn in by the Hart women, she begins to discover the secrets of the small farm—secrets much darker than she would have guessed.  Soon, she must decide whether to take drastic action to help them, or risk losing the battle against everything she believes is wrong.

Set in rural Grace County, North Carolina in a time of state-mandated sterilizations and racial tension, Necessary Lies tells the story of these two young women, seemingly worlds apart, but both haunted by tragedy.  Jane and Ivy are thrown together and must ask themselves: how can you know what you believe is right, when everyone is telling you it’s wrong?

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Have a great day!

Vicci

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Posted in Audiobook Review, Historical Fiction

Yellow Crocus by Laila Ibrahim #LailaIbrahim @TheRealBahniT @audibleuk #AudiobookReview #HistoricalFiction

I’m so happy to bring you a review for this stunningly beautiful and heartbreaking book.

If you know me at all, then you will know that Historical books are not my usual go-to reads, but it seems that I have missed out on a lot of fantastic reads, so I am aiming to rectify that and change my reading habits.

Why did I pick it up? –  1. It was the Audible Daily Deal, I couldn’t say no to it.  2. Bahni Turpin, I will literally listen to anything she narrates!

My Thoughts

This is a story set in the 19th century, an enslaved girl called Mattie is taken away from her 3 month old baby son, and moved to the “big house” to become a wet nurse for the newly born Lisbeth (Elizabeth)

(A wet nurse is a woman who breast feeds and cares for another’s child. Wet nurses are employed if the mother dies, or if she is unable or elects not to nurse the child herself.)

Mattie takes to the job, and the baby, and they both learn to love each other very much. Mattie gets to see her son and her family occasionally, even though they all live on the same plantation.

Lisbeth is brought up by Maddie to question things, even though she doesn’t say them out loud, she gets taught to not really see all of the problems that can arise when a white girl is friendly with a black family, but her Mother and Father, and the rest of the family certainly make their thoughts known!

Some of the things in this book just made me shake my head and think how shocking it was that people got treated this way, how “slaves are only three-fifths of a man. They are not entitled to the same rights” and they honestly believed this!

Lisbeth is very naive, she doesn’t see the anger and the cruelty that the slaves have to endure, she believes as her family has always told her, that they are lucky, and that they are doing a kindness by owning them.

Until one day she sees something that isn’t kind at all, and she questions everything.

All Maddie wants is to be free, she wants to be with her family, she wants to be with her son who doesn’t even recognise her really anymore, what can she do, the only thing she knows, Run…………

🎧🎧 – Narrated by the AMAZING Bahni Turpin, this one will have you shaking your head, and on the edge of your set, a fantastic listen.

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About the book

Moments after Lisbeth is born, she’s taken from her mother and handed over to an enslaved wet nurse, Mattie, a young mother separated from her own infant son in order to care for her tiny charge. Thus begins an intense relationship that will shape both of their lives for decades to come. Though Lisbeth leads a life of privilege, she finds nothing but loneliness in the company of her overwhelmed mother and her distant, slave-owning father. As she grows older, Mattie becomes more like family to Lisbeth than her own kin and the girl’s visits to the slaves’ quarters—and their lively and loving community—bring them closer together than ever. But can two women in such disparate circumstances form a bond like theirs without consequence? This deeply moving tale of unlikely love traces the journey of these very different women as each searches for freedom and dignity.

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Have those handkerchiefs handy!

Vicci

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Posted in Best of 2018, Fantasy, Historical Fiction, Mystery, Paranormal, Young Adult

The Diviners by Libba Bray @libbabray @justjanuary @audible_com #AudiobookReview #YoungAdult #Mystery #Historical #Fantasy #bestof2018

5 Naughty John Stars ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Well colour me surprised, one of my final reads for 2018, and a new favourite added to my shelf!

I have seen a few people recently mention this audio book, and saying that the narration is great. I had a spare credit, so I thought ‘what the hell’ and clicked the purchase button, hoping that I wasn’t going to be disappointed.

Judging by my 5 ⭐ rating, you can see that it was a credit well spent!

The Blurb

Evie O’Neill has been exiled from her boring old hometown and shipped off to the bustling streets of New York City—and she is pos-i-tute-ly ecstatic. It’s 1926, and New York is filled with speakeasies, Ziegfeld girls, and rakish pickpockets. The only catch is that she has to live with her uncle Will and his unhealthy obsession with the occult.

Evie worries he’ll discover her darkest secret: a supernatural power that has only brought her trouble so far. But when the police find a murdered girl branded with a cryptic symbol and Will is called to the scene, Evie realizes her gift could help catch a serial killer.

As Evie jumps headlong into a dance with a murderer, other stories unfold in the city that never sleeps. A young man named Memphis is caught between two worlds. A chorus girl named Theta is running from her past. A student named Jericho hides a shocking secret. And unknown to all, something dark and evil has awakened.

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My Thoughts

5 Naughty John Stars ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

“Naughty John, Naughty John, does his work with his apron on. Cuts your throat and takes your bones, sells ’em off for a coupla stones.”

Set in the 1920’s, New York City the time of Flapper girls and prohibition, Evie O’Neill is desperate to visit there.
She is a bit of a misfit, and manages to get herself into trouble wherever she goes.

After a drunken mistake at a party one evening, she manages to rat out the local Lothario by showing everyone her ‘party trick’
Unfortunately this doesn’t go down too well with her father, who is sick and tired of her antics, so his punishment is to send her to New York to stay with her weird Uncle Will.

Pretending to be oh so sorry, Evie can’t wait to get to NYC, in fact she thinks it is Pos-i-tute-ly the Cat’s Pajamas!

After arriving in New York, she is promptly pick-pocketed, and arrives at her Uncles house, which also doubles up as The Museum of American Folklore, Superstition, and the Occult, or as the locals call it, ‘The Museum of the Creepy Crawlies’.

Then the murders start happening, horrible, gruesome murders! But who is doing it?

Memphis is a ‘runner’, he gets everyone’s numbers to put on the draw (like a lottery)
He also looks out for his little brother Isaiah, who seems to have a strange ‘gift’ that he doesn’t want anyone else knowing about.

“The time is now. They are coming… Diviners

You see, there are rumours around that there are people with ‘powers’ they call them Diviners, and they are not wanted around there.

This book was so character driven, there are so many brilliant characters that I fell in love with, from Evie’s good friend Mabel, to Theta Knight, a glamorous Ziegfeld girl, to the the smooth talking Sam.

If you are thinking about reading this book, I would highly recommend the Audio Version, if you’ve never listened to one before, this one would be a great starter, simply because of the fantastic narration.

🎧🎧 – Narrated by January LaVoy, a new narrator for me, but certainly is going to be added to my favourites.

Her narration was Pos-i-tute-ly AMAZING! All of the characters has their own voices, I was not confused at any point, we also had a little bit of singing, and her Naughty John voice was just downright terrifying!

This was not a scary book, it is Young Adult after all, but it was I suppose a little creepy, but all in all it was a fantastic read, and I have book 2 lined up when my next credit drops in!

I hope you find this book the elephant’s eyebrows!

Vicci

Grab your copy here:

Audible US – https://amzn.to/2RsJlIi

Audible UK – https://amzn.to/2BQN3BD

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Posted in Historical Fiction, Mystery

Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens #AudiobookReview #DeliaOwens #CassandraCampbell @audible_com #Mystery #MarshGirl

Hello guys,

I’m so happy to bring you a review for this wonderful story, you may have seen it around quite a lot, as it was chosen by Reece Witherspoon as her Sunshine Bookclub for September.

Believe the Hype…It’s stunning!

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ Southern Stars

The Blurb

For years, rumors of the “Marsh Girl” have haunted Barkley Cove, a quiet town on the North Carolina coast. So in late 1969, when handsome Chase Andrews is found dead, the locals immediately suspect Kya Clark, the so-called Marsh Girl. But Kya is not what they say. Sensitive and intelligent, she has survived for years alone in the marsh that she calls home, finding friends in the gulls and lessons in the sand. Then the time comes when she yearns to be touched and loved. When two young men from town become intrigued by her wild beauty, Kya opens herself to a new life–until the unthinkable happens.

Perfect for fans of Barbara Kingsolver and Karen Russell, Where the Crawdads Sing is at once an exquisite ode to the natural world, a heartbreaking coming-of-age story, and a surprising tale of possible murder. Owens reminds us that we are forever shaped by the children we once were, and that we are all subject to the beautiful and violent secrets that nature keeps.

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My Thoughts

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ Southern Stars

What a beautiful story

I have to say that I tried to listen to this one…twice and struggled, I’m not sure what it was but it just didn’t grab me straight away.

This time I forced myself to carry on and listen, and I’m so glad I did because this book was just GORGEOUS!

The descriptions that the author uses are just stunning, I want to hug them all

“The morning burned so August-hot, the marsh’s moist breath hung the oaks and pines with fog.”

Kya is a happy child mostly, she lives in the Marsh area and is ‘at one’ with nature, she lives in her shack with her parents and siblings and doesn’t really see the bad in anything…until her family starts getting smaller.

One by one her siblings leave, and then it is her Mothers turn, she just leaves one day without looking back.

After a while she realises that it is because of her fathers alcoholic and abusive ways, and she is left to look after him.

She learns to live with her father, and they even become ‘friends’ for a while, but most of the time she is left for days at a time to fend for herself, while he goes out spending money they don’t have, and drinking to excess.

She learns that you don’t get ‘nothing for free’, so starts to sell what she can to the storekeeper in town, and soon makes a firm friend in him and his wife.

Kya is an incredibly knowledgeable girl, she could tell you what the weather was going to be like, just by the sound of the birds, but the one thing she cannot do is read, or write, until she meets Tate.

Gahhh, the friendship between Tate and Kya was just lovely, he really took the time to know her and help her, and I was really disappointed in him at certain points in the book!
Friends are something that Kya holds very dear, because she doesn’t have any, most of the townspeople are snobby toward her and look down their noses because she is the “Marsh-Girl”

In 1969 Chase Andrews a local football legend is found dead in the marsh area, the rumours start to fly, and The Marsh Girl’s name keeps being linked to his, but why?

This was an absolute joy to listen to, and the author Delia Owens certainly knows her stuff, she is a wildlife scientist, and this shows in her beautiful poetic writing.
I’m not at all surprised that Reece Witherspoon has chosen it to be in her Sunshine Bookclub, or that it will be coming to a movie theatre soon, I can’t wait to see it!!

🎧🎧 – Totally AMAZING narration by Cassandra Campbell, she made this listening experience even better.

Save a credit for this one it is a cracker

Vicci

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Posted in Historical Fiction

The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah #KristinHannah #PollyStone #AudiobookReview #HistoricalFiction @StMartinsPress @audibleuk @audible_com

Ok, Ok I admit it, I’m late to the party to this one, I tried twice before and couldn’t get into it at all, but this time I was determined to stick with it, and I’m so glad I did, why did I doubt myself, of course this book was phenomenal!!

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ Nightingale Stars

The Blurb

France, 1939
In the quiet village of Carriveau, Vianne Mauriac says goodbye to her husband, Antoine, as he heads for the Front. She doesn’t believe that the Nazis will invade France…but invade they do, in droves of marching soldiers, in caravans of trucks and tanks, in planes that fill the skies and drop bombs upon the innocent. When France is overrun, Vianne is forced to take an enemy into her house, and suddenly her every move is watched; her life and her child’s life is at constant risk. Without food or money or hope, as danger escalates around her, she must make one terrible choice after another.

Vianne’s sister, Isabelle, is a rebellious eighteen-year-old girl, searching for purpose with all the reckless passion of youth. While thousands of Parisians march into the unknown terrors of war, she meets the compelling and mysterious Gäetan, a partisan who believes the French can fight the Nazis from within France, and she falls in love as only the young can…completely. When he betrays her, Isabelle races headlong into danger and joins the Resistance, never looking back or giving a thought to the real–and deadly–consequences

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⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ Nightingale Stars

The Nightingale tells a story about World War II, and contrary to what I thought I was going to read about, this wasn’t about the fighting at all….well not in the way that you think, this is about the women who were left behind.

France 1939, Vianne says goodbye to her husband as he goes to the front to fight for the country, she doesn’t think for a minute that the Nazi’s will come to her town, let alone invade France, so she isn’t too worried about it.

However the realisation that this is exactly what is happening comes too quickly, and Vianne is eventually living in her house with a stranger, not just a stranger, but a Nazi officer!

She must teach her daughter to keep her head down, and her mouth shut, and take huge risks to protect and save lives of people that could get her not just into trouble, it could cost her life!

Isabelle is Vianne’s younger sister, she is always getting herself into trouble, and has always been a bit of a rebel.

She is opposite to her sister, in that she is totally ready for the Nazi’s, in fact she would be quite happy to head off to Paris to join the fight, and that is exactly what she does.

Against her sisters advice that she couldn’t do anything to help, Isabelle is determined that she can do something, so she packs a bag and sets off to Paris.

“Oh, for heaven’s sake, Isabelle. Paris is overrun. The Nazis control the city. What is an eighteen-year-old girl to do about all of that?”

But a difference she does make, to many lives, after joining the French Resistance with her new friend Gäetan, she was known to many as “The Nightingale” and risked her life helping others.

“On this cool October morning, her life would change. From the morning she boarded this train..

From now on, she was Juliette Gervaise, code name the Nightingale”

🎧🎧 – Narrated expertly by Polly Stone who did a wonderful job, her voice was just perfect for this book and I will definitely be looking out for other books that she has narrated.

A fantastic read that I would recommend to anyone.

Vicci

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Posted in Historical Fiction

The Great Alone by Kristin Hannah #KristinHannah #HistoricalFiction #AllTheFeels @justjuliawhelan @StMartinsPress

Hello everyone,

I am so happy to bring you my review for this stunning book.

Alaska hasn’t really been anywhere on my Bucket List, but a visit may just have been added to it now after reading this piece of fabulousness.

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ Alaska Stars

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The Blurb

Alaska, 1974.
Unpredictable. Unforgiving. Untamed.
For a family in crisis, the ultimate test of survival.
Ernt Allbright, a former POW, comes home from the Vietnam war a changed and volatile man. When he loses yet another job, he makes an impulsive decision: he will move his family north, to Alaska, where they will live off the grid in America’s last true frontier.
Thirteen-year-old Leni, a girl coming of age in a tumultuous time, caught in the riptide of her parents’ passionate, stormy relationship, dares to hope that a new land will lead to a better future for her family. She is desperate for a place to belong. Her mother, Cora, will do anything and go anywhere for the man she loves, even if it means following him into the unknown
At first, Alaska seems to be the answer to their prayers. In a wild, remote corner of the state, they find a fiercely independent community of strong men and even stronger women. The long, sunlit days and the generosity of the locals make up for the Allbrights’ lack of preparation and dwindling resources.
But as winter approaches and darkness descends on Alaska, Ernt’s fragile mental state deteriorates and the family begins to fracture. Soon the perils outside pale in comparison to threats from within. In their small cabin, covered in snow, blanketed in eighteen hours of night, Leni and her mother learn the terrible truth: they are on their own. In the wild, there is no one to save them but themselves.
In this unforgettable portrait of human frailty and resilience, Kristin Hannah reveals the indomitable character of the modern American pioneer and the spirit of a vanishing Alaska―a place of incomparable beauty and danger. The Great Alone is a daring, beautiful, stay-up-all-night story about love and loss, the fight for survival, and the wildness that lives in both man and nature

My Thoughts

 

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ Alaska Stars

This book bought out ALL of the feels from me, I have read a few by this author, so I knew i liked her writing style, and this one blew me away!

Told through the eyes of our protagonist Lemi, we see her growing up in a household with her and her parents.

Her father was an ex POW from Vietnam, and has PTSD although in those days (1974) this had not been recognised or diagnosed yet.

Her mother was kind, sweet and always looking to make her husband happy…ALWAYS!

The rule in the house was basically, if your father is happy, then we’ll all be happy, and unfortunately, this means jumping from place to place, running from bills and creditors, and starting new schools.

Lemi doesn’t really see the bad side of the marriage, her parents manage to keep that part quiet, but she does hear the fighting, and the breaking of things, and her mother telling her that she is just clumsy and walked into a door!

The dark days really seem to set her father off, his moods change, and so does his temper.

One day when he comes home to tell them that one of his old Vietnam buddies has left him some land in Alaska and they can go and live off of the land and finally be happy, Lemi doesn’t really want to leave another school, but what makes Dad happy…….

He says that this will be the making of them, that they can be really happy there, and she believes him.

After moving there with practically nothing with them, the “cabin” (read that as shack) proves, at the beginning to be just what the family needed, and they are all so happy.
The locals are wonderful and all help them out, and Lemi finally finds somewhere where she belongs.

Until Alaska decides otherwise!

You see, for 6 months of the year, Alaska is in perpetual darkness, constant night time, Dads drinking gets the better of him, and his jealousy towards one of the locals is a recipe for disaster!

There was so much more in the book I could gush about, I could practically close my eyes and see everything the author wrote, it was such a wonderful story.

🎧🎧 Narrated by the always amazing, and one of my favourite voices, Julia Whelan, who brought every character to life, her narration was just perfect, and I can’t think of a better person to narrate this wonderful book.

Definitely save a credit for this one guys, it’s a Feeler 😥😭

Vicci x

Grab your copy here:

Audio
Kindle

 

Posted in Contemporary Romance, Historical Fiction, Women's Fiction

The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid @tjenkinsreid @justjuliawhelan #AlmaCuervo #RobinMiles #AudioBookReview #Historical #Romance

I am absolutely thrilled to bring you a review for this gorgeous piece of fabulousness!

This is probably to date one of my favourite audios this year, it is THAT good.

Believe the hype that this one is getting, I picked it up and went in blind, which I’m so glad I did as I would never have done so otherwise as it not my usual type of story.

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ 6 Timeless Beauty Stars

The Blurb

Evelyn Hugo is finally ready to tell the truth about her glamorous and scandalous life. But when she chooses unknown magazine reporter Monique Grant for the job, no one in the journalism community is more astounded than Monique herself. Why her? Why now?

Monique is not exactly on top of the world. Her husband, David, has left her, and her career has stagnated. Regardless of why Evelyn has chosen her to write her biography, Monique is determined to use this opportunity to jumpstart her career.

Summoned to Evelyn’s Upper East Side apartment, Monique listens as Evelyn unfurls her story: from making her way to Los Angeles in the 1950s to her decision to leave show business in the late 80s, and, of course, the seven husbands along the way. As Evelyn’s life unfolds through the decades—revealing a ruthless ambition, an unexpected friendship, and a great forbidden love—Monique begins to feel a very a real connection to the actress. But as Evelyn’s story catches up with the present, it becomes clear that her life intersects with Monique’s own in tragic and irreversible ways.

My Thoughts

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ 6 Timeless Beauty Stars
I kept seeing this book pop up everywhere and everyone is loving it, so, even though it is not my usual type of story, i jumped in without reading the blurb.
This book deserves ALL of the hype and then some!!
I cannot recommend this book of perfection enough, honestly, it is just so beautiful.
Evelyn Hugo is an icon to a lot of people, she was the style icon for women and men around the world, Women wanted to look like her, and men wanted to bed her, and lots did.
She was Hollywood’s 50’s glamour girl, a movie star, a sex symbol – think Marilyn Monroe / Jayne Mansfield / Elizabeth Taylor.
When budding journalist Monique gets a call at work for her to visit Evelyn, well she jumps at the chance just like anyone would.
The request is for Monique… JUST Monique, but why her?
Deciding that she wants Monique to write her memoirs, Evelyn then tells us the story of her rise in Hollywood, and the thing that everyone wants to know, out of her 7 husbands, who was the greatest love of her life?
This gets answered in spades and we learn a hell of a lot about Evelyn, sometimes, not so good things about her.
We learn about her using her strengths *cough* Boobs *cough* to get herself ahead in the business, we learn about her actually falling in love and who with, we learn about an unexpected friendship, and a great forbidden love.
We learn that, even though Hollywood is this glamorous place that we all seem to view through rose tinted glasses, it actually is a place that strips you of your own self, your heritage, your name, even the people who you are “supposed” to be in love with.
Oh how I cried reading/listening to this, by the time you have read to near the end of the book, Evelyn feels like a real person, i even googled her because i thought that she was an old Hollywood actress (spoiler, she isn’t)
🎧🎧 – Narrated by the always wonderful Julia Whelan and 2 new-to-me narrators Alma Cuervo and Robin Miles, this was one of the best books i have listened to in a long long time.
If you really want to read something that is going to become a best BEST seller, and I have absolutely no doubt a movie for sure, then you should pick up this stunning piece of gorgeousness.

Be happy, and be yourself

Vicci