So excited about this book! Do you ever read a historical book and think wow that was really interesting, but I’m sure glad I did not live back then? That was me with this book, I was definitely born in the right century!
Olivia Hawker’s descriptive storytelling Whisked me away to 1870s Wyoming. Gritty and raw this is a tale about resilience, acceptance, and forgiveness. Two families living on the Wyoming Prairie with their nearest neighbors over 20 miles away. When the husband of one family and the wife of another are caught in a compromising position. One man is killed and the other man is sent to jail, leaving the women Cora and Nettie Mae to pick up the pieces. Life on the frontier is hard and these women have to find a way past their grief, guilt, and hurt and help each other survive.
The strength of the story was in these characters. They will tug at your heart strings, you will cry with them, you will sweat with them, you will laugh with them, and you’ll pray with them. The main focus of the story for me was Beulah. Beulah was such a free spirit with a spark of magic. This was a quiet understated story that was loosely based on the author’s own family history. Sometimes it’s just nice to cozy up with a good book! An old fashion well told story full of colorful characters and descriptive writing that envelops you.
This book in three emojis: 💪🏻 👩🏼🌾 🙏🏻
*** Big thanks to Lake Union for my copy of this book ***
About the Book
From the bestselling author of The Ragged Edge of Night comes a powerful and poetic novel of survival and sacrifice on the American frontier.
Wyoming, 1876. For as long as they have lived on the frontier, the Bemis and Webber families have relied on each other. With no other settlers for miles, it is a matter of survival. But when Ernest Bemis finds his wife, Cora, in a compromising situation with their neighbor, he doesn’t think of survival. In one impulsive moment, a man is dead, Ernest is off to prison, and the women left behind are divided by rage and remorse.
Losing her husband to Cora’s indiscretion is another hardship for stoic Nettie Mae. But as a brutal Wyoming winter bears down, Cora and Nettie Mae have no choice but to come together as one family—to share the duties of working the land and raising their children. There’s Nettie Mae’s son, Clyde—no longer a boy, but not yet a man—who must navigate the road to adulthood without a father to guide him, and Cora’s daughter, Beulah, who is as wild and untamable as her prairie home.
Bound by the uncommon threads in their lives and the challenges that lie ahead, Cora and Nettie Mae begin to forge an unexpected sisterhood. But when a love blossoms between Clyde and Beulah, bonds are once again tested, and these two resilient women must finally decide whether they can learn to trust each other—or else risk losing everything they hold dear.
Excited to share with you today my review for this sweet and steamy book. 🔥
Imagine that someone has been searching for you for their past 50 lives? This is the second book in this steamy series, the book can definitely be read as a standalone, but will be better appreciated if you have read the first book. This is the story of Helle, Jason, and Sam Wolf three people whose lives have previously collided. This is however not a love triangle, one of these men is seeking love and the other is seeking to destroy it. The most frequent complaint I hear from people about romance is they’re too predictable, this story was not! It was unique, Creative, and clever. Reincarnation does play a part in the story, but if that’s not your jam I think the book will still work. The characters were so vividly and boldly drawn. The chemistry between Helle and Jason was off the charts HOT! If you are not someone who likes steam and sizzle with their romance, this is probably not the book for you, The door is pretty wide-open in this one! A well told romance when you’re in the mood for something a little different. Guaranteed to make you smile and swoon!
This book in three emojis: 🔥 💑 🔗
About the Book
Six months ago, Helle Madsen would have described herself as normal. Now she no longer knows if that terms applies, not after her entire life has been turned upside down by the reappearance of not one, but two, men from her very, very distant past.
Helle Madsen never believed in mumbo-jumbo stuff like reincarnation—until she came face to face with Jason Morris, a man who purportedly had spent fifty lives looking for her. Coping with being reunited with the lover from her ancient past was one thing. Having Sam Woolf, her vindictive nemesis from that same ancient past join the party was a bit too much. Suddenly, Helle finds herself the reluctant heroine of a far-flung, time-transcending epic story, one in which pain and loss seem to play a very big part.
This time round, Jason and Helle are determined to make it to the happily ever after. Unfortunately, Sam Woolf will stop at nothing to crush them. That ride into the golden sunset seems awfully far away at times…
What a week! I have felt behind all week probably because I have been behind! But I think I will finally be all caught up and have the weekend to maybe even get a little ahead! Excited to share with you today my review for this book that really emphasize the importance of female friendship!👯♀️
Sofia Grant has written an enlightening and engaging story about a part of history I did not previously know about. In The 1940s and 50s women seeking a divorce would take up residence in Reno Nevada where they could acquire a divorce in six weeks, the “Reno Cure“. This was the story of best friends Francie and Vi Who are traveling together on a train to Reno both seeking a divorce for very different reasons. While on the train they come across June a young lady fleeing an abusive husband, the friends sympathize with June’s plight and take her and her young daughter under their wings. After a night of dinner, drinks, and dancing, a celebration of their new found freedom, a tragedy strikes that will alter these characters lives forever.
This is a story about the strength of female friendship in a time when women had far fewer options than they do today. The story also addressed some other issues such as abuse, homosexuality and disability, made you realize how far we have come, but remember how far we still have to go. Sometimes I had to take a couple steps back and realize that this was the 50s and a different time. I loved the strong theme of friendship running throughout the story, that could be found in the most unlikely of situations. Virgi The 12-year-old daughter of the lady who ran the hotel added some levity to the story. I loved watching her spy on everyone, gather clues and make inferences that were completely incorrect. A miniature Nancy drew, Who ultimately save the day. The perfect blend of drama, history, friendship, and girl power!
This book in three emojis: 👯♀️ 💍 🔍
*** Big thanks to William Morrow for my copy of the books ***
Award winning author Sofia Grant weaves an entrancing tale of female friendship and new beginnings inspired by the true stories of those who “took the Reno cure”. In the 1940s and 50s, women who needed a fast divorce went to Nevada to live on a ranch with other women in the same boat.
“Sofia Grant entices us into following three women seeking the Reno Cure, as they overcome their disillusionment over the lives they expected to have and summon the bravery to embrace new and unexpected paths.” –Marie Benedict, New York Times bestselling author of The Only Woman in the Room
Francie Meeker and Vi Carothers were sold a bill of goods: find a man, marry him in a white wedding gown, and live happily ever after. These best friends never expected to be on the train to Reno, those “lies in white dresses” shattered, their marriages over.
On board the train they meet June Samples, who is fleeing an abusive husband with her daughter, and take the vulnerable young mother under their wing. The three decide to wait out the required six weeks together, and then they can toss their wedding bands into the Truckee River and start new lives as divorcees.
But as they settle in at the ranch, one shocking moment will change their lives forever. As it brings their deceptions and fears into focus, it will also demand a reckoning with the past, and the choices that a person in love can be driven to make.
Beatrice Williams, Karen White, and Lauren Willig’s collaboration was flawless, beautiful, and riveting. These three authors have seamlessly woven together the lives of three strong, smart, and brave women. Caroline and Tess are two women from very different circumstances who find themselves onboard the Lusitania in May of 1915. Where they find themselves tangled up in elicit love, scandal, and beTrayal. Caroline was sophisticated and charming while Tess was feisty and tenacious, but these two ladies will find themselves forever bonded together I tragedy and love. Sarah is a present day struggling author trying to find the perfect storyline for her next book when she comes across her great grandfather’s chest. The information inside the chest contains￼ some information about the Lusitania that could alter the perception of history. The story was exquisitely told, flowing together perfectly as the narrative bounced between these three women. I was never confused and I think this was helped by the fact that I listen to this on audio. The book had three amazing narrators who gave the perfect unique voice to each of these characters. A remarkable story equal parts romantic and mysterious. Atmospheric and evocative this book will transport you to the opulence of the Lusitania and then to the horror of tragedy. The present day story was equally as absorbing. I loved watching Sarah piece all the clues together.
This book really made me quite curious about the Lusitania and why it hasn’t been romanticize as much as the titanic, almost the same amount of lies were lost in both tragedies. It also made me wonder why in the world would the US allow a passenger ship to sail across the ocean in the middle of a war? Especially because according to history Germany said they would sink the ship, and they were true to their word. Sounds like a terrible vacation, if Caroline and her husband Gilbert had gone to the Grand Canyon none of this would’ve happened. But then I guess we wouldn’t of had this exceptional story!
This book in three emojis: 🛳🎼✒️
*** thank you to William Morrow and Harper Audio for my copy of this book ***￼
From the New York Times bestselling authors of The Forgotten Room comes a captivating historical mystery, infused with romance, that links the lives of three women across a century—two deep in the past, one in the present—to the doomed passenger liner, RMS Lusitania.
May 2013 Her finances are in dire straits and bestselling author Sarah Blake is struggling to find a big idea for her next book. Desperate, she breaks the one promise she made to her Alzheimer’s-stricken mother and opens an old chest that belonged to her great-grandfather, who died when the RMS Lusitania was sunk by a German U-Boat in 1915. What she discovers there could change history. Sarah embarks on an ambitious journey to England to enlist the help of John Langford, a recently disgraced Member of Parliament whose family archives might contain the only key to the long-ago catastrophe. . . .
April 1915 Southern belle Caroline Telfair Hochstetter’s marriage is in crisis. Her formerly attentive industrialist husband, Gilbert, has become remote, pre-occupied with business . . . and something else that she can’t quite put a finger on. She’s hoping a trip to London in Lusitania’s lavish first-class accommodations will help them reconnect—but she can’t ignore the spark she feels for her old friend, Robert Langford, who turns out to be on the same voyage. Feeling restless and longing for a different existence, Caroline is determined to stop being a bystander, and take charge of her own life. . . .
Tessa Fairweather is traveling second-class on the Lusitania, returning home to Devon. Or at least, that’s her story. Tessa has never left the United States and her English accent is a hasty fake. She’s really Tennessee Schaff, the daughter of a roving con man, and she can steal and forge just about anything. But she’s had enough. Her partner has promised that if they can pull off this one last heist aboard the Lusitania, they’ll finally leave the game behind. Tess desperately wants to believe that, but Tess has the uneasy feeling there’s something about this job that isn’t as it seems. . . .
As the Lusitania steams toward its fate, three women work against time to unravel a plot that will change the course of their own lives . . . and history itself.
A graduate of Stanford University with an MBA from Columbia, Beatriz Williams spent several years in New York and London hiding her early attempts at fiction, first on company laptops as a communications strategy consultant, and then as an at-home producer of small persons, before her career as a writer took off. She lives with her husband and four children near the Connecticut shore.
So excited to share with you today my review for this Erie and atmospheric story. Gilly MacMillan has sealed her status as an autoread for me with this book!🖤
Sometimes the truth hurts so much, you’d rather hear the lie.
Gilly MacMillan has crafted a haunting and atmospheric story. An eerie tale threaded with Mystery with a strong Gothic feel. This was not a fast paced edge of your seat thriller full of twists and turns. This was a slow burn that completely transported me into the lives of these characters. I could feel the chill in the air and the goosebumps on my skin, I was right there in this big creepy house with Virginia, Jo, Hannah, and Ruby. The strength of this Book was in the storytelling, I was captivated from first word to last.
Jocelyn has not been home for years. But after the death of her husband she has to pack her and her daughter up leave California and head home to the UK. Jo’s return home forces her to face both her estranged mother and the abandonment of her nanny over 30 years ago. After the remains of a body are found in the lake on the family property and the missing nanny returns to town things start to both piece together and fall apart. The story is told from multiple perspectives and bounces between past and present. Neither Virginia or Hannah were tremendously likable, but as things were revealed I definitely saw the good in one of them more than the other. Jo was likable, but she was also very frustrating with how gullible she was. Ruby really was my favorite character in this book a flash of color in the midst of all the gloom. A beautifully told Gothic family Drama sprinkled with Mystery and a touch of thriller.
This book in three emojis: 🛶 🏚 🎨
🎧🎧🎧 Clare Corbett, Patience Tomlinson, and Ben Eliot narrate this audiobook. All three of them did a wonderful job of bringing these characters to life giving them each a unique voice. My only tiny complaint is that occasionally I got a little confused because they both did Virginia’s voice so differently. I can understand why this would be they probably did not record together, but sometimes I had to think twice and think oh this is the other narrator doing her voice because there was dialogue in both sections. I’m sure this is often the case, I just noticed it more in this book than I usually do.
*** Big thanks to William Morrow and Harper Audio for my copy of the book ***
“The Nanny kept me in white-knuckled suspense until the very last page. Gilly Macmillan’s breakout thriller is a dark and twisted version of Downton Abbey gone very, very wrong.” — Tess Gerritsen, New York Times bestselling author
The New York Times bestselling author of What She Knew conjures a dark and unpredictable tale of family secrets that explores the lengths people will go to hurt one another.
When her beloved nanny, Hannah, left without a trace in the summer of 1988, seven-year-old Jocelyn Holt was devastated. Haunted by the loss, Jo grew up bitter and distant, and eventually left her parents and Lake Hall, their faded aristocratic home, behind.
Thirty years later, Jo returns to the house and is forced to confront her troubled relationship with her mother. But when human remains are accidentally uncovered in a lake on the estate, Jo begins to question everything she thought she knew.
Then an unexpected visitor knocks on the door and Jo’s world is destroyed again. Desperate to piece together the gaping holes in her memory, Jo must uncover who her nanny really was, why she left, and if she can trust her own mother…
In this compulsively readable tale of secrets, lies, and deception, Gilly Macmillan explores the darkest impulses and desires of the human heart. Diabolically clever, The Nanny reminds us that sometimes the truth hurts so much you’d rather hear the lie.
Please use the hashtag #thenanny and tag @williammorrowbooks, @gillymacmillan, and @tlcbooktours.
Gilly Macmillan is the Edgar nominated and New York Times bestselling author of What She Knew, The Perfect Girl, Odd Child Out, I Know You Know, and The Nanny. She grew up in Swindon, Wiltshire and lived in Northern California in her late teens. She worked at The Burlington Magazine and the Hayward Gallery before starting a family. Since then she’s worked as a part-time lecturer in photography, and now writes full-time. She resides in Bristol, England.
Excited to share my review with you today for this book that showcased a part of history I was not familiar with. That is the thing I enjoy most about historical fiction learning important things about the past.🌎
Talia Carner has written a raw, heartbreaking, disturbing, and important story. One of the things I like most about historical fiction is it is an engaging and entertaining way to learn about our past. This book spotlights a part of history I was not previously aware of. Thousands of eastern European women at the turn of the 20th century being tricked into moving to South America where they will work as prostitutes anti-Semitism was prevalent in Eastern Europe and these young girls and their families were hopeful for a better life in the Americas. There is no way to paint this desolate situation in a good light, but this book handled it with a loving and gentle hand. This book was not always easy to read, but I believe it is so necessary because human trafficking is still going on. And these girl’s deserve to have their stories told.
Batya and her family are living a life of poverty in Russia. When a stranger approaches offering Batya a Life of riches filled with big mansions and society events The family feels as though this could be their way out. The only thing is that young Batya will move to Argentina on her own and in a couple years at the age of 16 she will marry this man. When Batya arrives in Argentina she realizes all the promises were falls and she finds herself in a life full of beatings, rape, and prostitution. Batya was such a sympathetic character my heart could not help but break for her. She was so strong, so determined, and so angry. I loved the bond she found with the other girls in the house and I admired how she never lost her desire to reunite with her family. She was also extremely resourceful eventually finding love and even becoming a well-known tango dancer. This was such an important story about a determined girl and her relentless fight for a better life.
“In The Third Daughter, Talia Carner ably illuminates a little-known piece of history: the sex trafficking of young women from Russia to South America in the late 19th century. Thoroughly researched and vividly rendered, this is an important and unforgettable story of exploitation and empowerment that will leave you both shaken and inspired.” —Pam Jenoff, New York Times bestselling author of The Lost Girls of Paris
The turn of the 20th century finds fourteen-year-old Batya in the Russian countryside, fleeing with her family endless pogroms. Desperate, her father leaps at the opportunity to marry Batya to a worldly, wealthy stranger who can guarantee his daughter an easy life and passage to America.
Feeling like a princess in a fairytale, Batya leaves her old life behind as she is whisked away to a new world. But soon she discovers that she’s entered a waking nightmare. Her new “husband” does indeed bring her to America: Buenos Aires, a vibrant, growing city in which prostitution is not only legal but deeply embedded in the culture. And now Batya is one of thousands of women tricked and sold into a brothel.
As the years pass, Batya forms deep bonds with her “sisters” in the house as well as some men who are both kind and cruel. Through it all, she holds onto one dream: to bring her family to America, where they will be safe from the anti-Semitism that plagues Russia. Just as Batya is becoming a known tango dancer, she gets an unexpected but dangerous opportunity—to help bring down the criminal network that has enslaved so many young women and has been instrumental in developing Buenos Aires into a major metropolis.
A powerful story of finding courage in the face of danger, and hope in the face of despair, The Third Daughter brings to life a dark period of Jewish history and gives a voice to victims whose truth deserves to finally be told.
So excited for the long weekend coming up! This was a fun read perfect for both young adults and not so young adults!
This book was the perfect blend of politics and teenage drama. Michael French does a marvelous job of exploring The political world in an entertaining and relatable way. This is a young adult book, but you can definitely see a crossover to today’s political climate. The book starts off with Brit excited to be on “team Mathew“, putting up posters and campaigning for the boy who has always been part of the high school political arena. When she realizes things are a little shady she finds herself being framed for something she didn’t do and eventually being kicked off the campaign. Brit is now a little disillusioned, a little hurt, and a lot angry, so she decides she is going to run against the powerhouse that is “team Mathew“. But how do you fight a dirty campaign and loads of money? Well Brit gives it a shot with the help of an amazing AP history teacher and a lot of self-confidence and integrity.
I like this book way more than I was anticipating. I was so riveted and invested in Brit and her campaign. She was such a great character you could not help but cheer for her, I found myself crossing my fingers that she was going to be the next student body president. The book is set six years in the future and this gave it a bit of a unique twist. The story really delved into the world of politics not only at the high school level but at the national level, the good, the bad, and the oh so very ugly. Even our heroine Brit got a little caught up in it all and had to make some tough decisions. This book is a great teaching tool for middle grade and high school age kids, but I thoroughly enjoyed it and learned some things as an adult.
This book in three emojis: 🗳 👩🏼🎓 🏫
About the Book
Brit Kitridge’s plan was just to get her high school diploma and head to college and med school, but nobody can escape from fate, or is it history? The Beginner’s Guide To Winning an Election reveals our main character’s love for history, and after a summer reading books that fuel her passion for politics, Brit decides to join TM (Team Mathew), a fourteen-member group that has helped Mathew Boltanski win every election he’s ever entered. Now he’s going for the big one—student body president. By orchestrating brilliant campaigns one after the other, TM has made Matthew a national young star and promising politician who could even run for higher office in Washington. When Brit is accused of sabotaging the team, she realizes that Hawthorn High has its secrets, and someone needs to shed some light on them. The story is set in a world six years ahead of our time. Security is a constant issue. Politics isn’t black-and-white, it’s not even gray anymore. Inflation is out of control and the educational system is in crisis. But what happens when you find out what’s really going on? What do you do with secrets no one but you wants to hold up to the light?
Happy Thursday all! This was my first Karin Slaughter and I absolutely loved it! Definitely will not be my last! Thanks Trish for my invitation to the tour!
The Hype ISReal!!!
This was my very first Karin Slaughter and I have to say… I get it! Dark, disturbing, and oh so delicious! This is the ninth book in the Will Trent series, but I thoroughly enjoyed it as a standalone. I’d definitely go back and read the previous books I’d like to learn the history between these characters especially Will and Amanda (his boss/pseudo-mother). Will was quirky and likable, I’d love to witness how his character has evolved through the course of the series.
The book starts with a BANG! Dr. Michelle Spivey a scientist at the CDC is abducted from a Walmart parkinglot. The book then jumps forward a month, will and his girlfriend Sarah(Who is also a medical examiner) are at her parents house when they hear an explosion. The explosion appears to have happened at Emory university home of the CDC and several hospitals. Will and Sarah immediately start heading to thebombsight knowing they will be needed, but they never get there. There is a car accident, a gun fight, and then another kidnapping. Chaos ensues …we are then caught up in the dark world of white supremacy, terrorism, rape, and pedophilia. Most of this was so timely, so real, it made the book all that more frightening. The book jumps around between the perspectives of Will, Sarah, and Will’s partner Faith. This was extremely impactful because we were always privy as to what was going on, there were even a few times we got the same scene from both Will and Sarah’s perspectives. This book was action packed edge of your seat thrilling from first page to last. Never a doll moment! Karin Slaughter has a new fan right here!
New York Times bestselling author Karin Slaughter brings back Will Trent and Sara Lintonin this superb and timely thriller full of devious twists, disturbing secrets, and shocking surprises you won’t see coming
A mysterious kidnapping
On a hot summer night, a scientist from the Centers for Disease Control is grabbed by unknown assailants in a shopping center parking lot. The authorities are desperate to save the doctor who’s been vanished into thin air.
A devastating explosion
One month later, the serenity of a sunny Sunday afternoon is shattered by the boom of a ground-shaking blast—followed by another seconds later. One of Atlanta’s busiest and most important neighborhoods has been bombed—the location of Emory University, two major hospitals, the FBI headquarters, and the CDC.
A diabolical enemy
Medical examiner Sara Linton and her partner Will Trent, an investigator with the Georgia Bureau of Investigation, rush to the scene—and into the heart of a deadly conspiracy that threatens to destroy thousands of innocent lives. When the assailants abduct Sara, Will goes undercover to save her and prevent a massacre—putting his own life on the line for the woman and the country he loves.
Karin Slaughter is one of the world’s most popular and acclaimed storytellers. Published in 120 countries with more than 35 million copies sold across the globe, her eighteen novels include the Grant County and Will Trent books, as well as the Edgar-nominated Cop Townand the instant New York Times bestselling novels Pretty Girls and The Good Daughter. Slaughter is the founder of the Save the Libraries project—a nonprofit organization established to support libraries and library programming. A native of Georgia, Karin Slaughter lives in Atlanta. Her standalone novels The Good Daughter and Cop Town are in development for film and television.
excited to share with you today my review for this delightful story! I love historical fiction because it always teaches me something that I did not already know, and this one taught me a lot! Thanks much to Trish for my invitation to this tour.
Katia Raina brought the Soviet Union in the 1990s to life with her vivid writing. This book really made me realize how unaware I was of world events when I was 20. I did know that communism and the Soviet Union were crumbling, I did know there was a Gorbachev, but there was also much I did not know. This book did a marvelous job of enlightening me on important historical events by interweaving them into this story about this delightful girl. Sonia has spent most of her life living in Siberia with her grandmother, but now she has returned to Moscow to live with her mother. Not only does she now have to fit into a new school, but she is also torn between her Russian and her Jewish roots. Sonia really had a magnanimous personality, being a teenager is tough in the best of circumstances, I really admired her fortitude. I also felt so deeply for her, the poor girl was falling for a boy who was further tearing her in different directions. And her mother, I like to give her the benefit of the doubt, but I truly don’t think she always had a handle on the big picture. Beautifully told, highly engaging, A lovely story that taught me a thing or two about historical world events.
About Castle of Concrete
• Paperback: 304 pages • Publisher: Young Europe Books (June 11, 2019)
Set in the final year of Soviet Russia’s collapse, this stunning debut novel tells the story of Sonya, a timid Jewish girl reuniting with her once-dissident mother and falling in love with a mysterious boy who may be an anti-Semite. All the while, Sonya’s mama is falling in love also?with shiny America, a land where differences seem to be celebrated. The place sounds amazing, but so far away. Will Sonya ever find her way there?
When she was a child, Katia Raina played at construction sites and believed in magic mirrors. She emigrated from Russia at the age of almost sixteen. A former journalist and currently a middle school English teacher in Washington, D.C., she has an MFA in Writing for Children and Young Adults from Vermont College of Fine Arts. She lives with her family just outside of D.C., and still believes in magic.
Delighted to share with you today my review for this engaging story. A beautiful story packed with interesting characters. Thanks Trish for my invitation to the tour!🦚
Minrose Gwin has written a beautiful story packed with Drama, tragedy, family, and hope. Life is complicated and the characters in this story had way more than their fair share of complicated situations. This family drama spans five decades of hurt and healing. The primary focus of the story is on sisters Grace and June, but we do get the point of view of several other characters. The story starts off with the death of Grace and June’s mother after a botched backstreet abortion. Grace carries around a lot of grief and guilt in regards to the death of her mother and this leads to some questionable choices in her own life. June is also struggling and this leads to her own poor decisions. When June betrays her sister in a big way a huge divide develops both physically and emotionally in the girls relationship. What follows is a heartbreaking story of hardship and regret that will eventually bring the sisters back together, and it only takes 50 years.
The book really makes you think about limitations that women had in the 1950s and 1960s. I personally thought that the issues that the women in this book struggled with and how they overcame them or didn’t really was the best part of the story. I’m not certain if I liked either Grace or June, but I really was rooting for them, these girls had a hard life. There were a few places the book fell a little flat for me. There was just way too much going on. I know the author was trying to give us a sense of time and place, but in doing so I think a lot was overlooked (everything having to do with the spacerace I felt that have been left out). The book was also extremely lopsided, most of the book focus on the first 10 years of the sisters lives and then raced through the final 40 years. I think I would’ve preferred it to end after the first 10 years and then conclude with a apologue. I mean I did not mind the book being wrapped up in a nice little bow, but it jumped around aimlessly in order to get there. But as I said this was such a small part of the book that it didn’t really bother me, for the most part I was thoroughly invested in the sisters lives.
*** Big thanks to William Morrow for my copy of this book ***
Following the death of their mother from a botched backwoods abortion, the McAlister daughters have to cope with the ripple effect of this tragedy as they come of age in 1950s Mississippi and then grow up to face their own impossible choices—an unforgettable, beautiful novel that is threaded throughout with the stories of mothers and daughters in pre-Roe versus Wade America.
Life heads down back alleys, takes sharp left turns. Then, one fine day it jumps the track and crashes.”
In the fall of 1957, Olivia McAlister is living in Opelika, Mississippi, caring for her two girls, June and Grace, and her husband, Holly. She dreams of living a much larger life–seeing the world and returning to her wartime job at a landing boat factory in New Orleans. As she watches over the birds in her yard, Olivia feels like an “accidental”—a migratory bird blown off course.
When Olivia becomes pregnant again, she makes a fateful decision, compelling Grace, June, and Holly to cope in different ways. While their father digs up the backyard to build a bomb shelter, desperate to protect his family, Olivia’s spinster sister tries to take them all under her wing. But the impact of Olivia’s decision reverberates throughout Grace’s and June’s lives. Grace, caught up in an unconventional love affair, becomes one of the “girls who went away” to have a baby in secret. June, guilt-ridden for her part in exposing Grace’s pregnancy, eventually makes an unhappy marriage. Meanwhile Ed Mae Johnson, an African-American care worker in a New Orleans orphanage, is drastically impacted by Grace’s choices.
As the years go by, their lives intersect in ways that reflect the unpredictable nature of bird flight that lands in accidental locations—and the consolations of imperfect return.
Filled with tragedy, humor, joy, and the indomitable strength of women facing the constricted spaces of the 1950s and 60s, The Accidentals is a poignant, timely novel that reminds us of the hope and consolation that can be found in unexpected landings.
Minrose Gwin is the author of The Queen of Palmyra, a Barnes & Noble Discover Great New Writers pick and finalist for the John Gardner Fiction Book Award, and the memoir Wishing for Snow, cited by Booklist as “eloquent” and “lyrical”—“a real life story we all need to know.” She has written four scholarly books and coedited The Literature of the American South. She grew up in Tupelo, Mississippi, hearing stories of the Tupelo tornado of 1936. She lives in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, and Albuquerque, New Mexico.