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“The Captain’s Daughter” by Leah Fleming

“The Captain’s Daughter” by Leah Fleming, a British author, is an excellent novel.  Although the subject was about the Titanic disaster in 1912, the author did not dwell on the disaster itself, but on the aftermath which impacted so many individuals, families, and their futures.

Society’s class distinctions during that time period reflected in the room assignments on the Titanic.  However, after the ship hit the iceberg, everyone was thrown together in hopes of saving themselves and their families.  Women and children were saved first, but those passengers in the steerage decks were lost.  This novel tells the story of a first-class passenger Celeste, and a woman from steerage, May.  May has lost her husband and her baby girl as they were separated in the water.  Then the captain swims to the side of the boat and hands May a baby girl.  She is so thankful that her daughter was saved.  However, in the morning, she knew that this was not her baby, but another child.  She decides to keep this child, who obviously has lost her parents.

Unknown to all, the baby’s father, Angelo, is alive and well in New York, awaiting the arrival of his wife and child.  He cannot accept that both are dead when he finds a lace baby shoe on shore, an identical one to the shoes that his baby wore.  He never stops believing in her existence.

We follow the lives of this child, Celeste, and May, and Angelo and their families through three generations, two wars, and many more tragedies, to come to the conclusive end of the book.  I highly recommend this book as we see through the pages the passing of time and how we are all connected by one thing or another.

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“The Wife’s Secret” by Kerry Wilkinson

Kerry Wilkinson wrote the novel “The Wife’s Secret”.  I was looking forward to reading this novel because the rest of the title page promised a thriller – Charley Willis just married, and now she’s missing.  The stuff of drama!

We start at the wedding reception.  Seth, the bridegroom, is a bit snockered as is his best man.  He is looking for his wife, Charley so that they can leave the reception.  Except, no one can find her.  Search parties fan out from the venue, but no one has seen hide nor hair of her since the reception.  Seth finally just goes home, thinking Charley would be there.  She isn’t.  So, he goes to bed thinking that he will call the police in the morning.  From there things really get interesting.  As much as the thrilling story evolves and past actions come to light,  I can’t get over the fact that Seth just continues on waiting for her to come home –  no hysterics, no despair.  I felt as though I was reading a sci-fi novel.  Finding out about Charle’s past didn’t help the situation, and Seth’s demeanor after the revelation was just as disturbing.  I was not comfortable with this novel.

“The Christmas Trespassers” by Andrew J. Fenady

“The Christmas Trespassers” by Andrew J. Fenady, is a nice little Christmas story.  After the Civil War, Shad Parker returns home to the Shenandoah Valley to find that his wife and children did not survive the war.  In deep despair and vowing not to get close to anyone again, he moves to near Gilead, Texas.  He keeps to himself, is gruff with everyone he meets and is even feared by some of the townspeople.

A few weeks earlier, siblings Peg, Davy, and Austin ran away from the Faith, Hope, and Charity Orphanage in Palestine, Texas.  They had traveled on foot for a far piece and were desperately tired, hungry and dirty.  They had nowhere to go and no one to turn to.  The finally found refuge in a cave but needed to find food.  They’d been living on fish, birds, and, rabbits that they caught.  Davy, as the oldest, decided to do a little foraging for food.  He found Shad’s cabin and the chickens behind it.  He took a couple of eggs for the three of them to eat, but Shad caught him and told them to leave his property.  The children stayed in the cave for shelter, but it was getting cold and they were starving.

In town, there were three brothers up to no good, but trying to act as though they were going to settle in the town.  They were really there to hold up the bank.  When the robbery was committed, one of the brothers was killed and one shot.  Making their getaway, they stopped at Shad’s place.  During a struggle, Shad was shot.  The children came to his rescue and eventually all was well, especially as it was Christmas.

I downloaded a Kindle copy of this book by Netgalley.com in return for my honest review.

“Sadie – An Amish Retelling of Snow White” by Sarah Price

“Sadie – An Amish Retelling of Snow White” by Sarah Price was a light diversion from the duties of life.  The story was a bit far-fetched for my liking.  I did see some truth in how Sadie was treated by her stepmother, but her father’s attitude bothered me quite a bit.  I felt that I wasted my time a little by spending so much of it reading this, but it did provide a bit of relief after the duties of the day.

I downloaded a Kindle copy of this book by Netgalley.com in return for my honest review.

“Christmas Angel” by Kat Martin

“Christmas Angel” by Kat Martin is set in Post-Civil War Savannah.  Angel Summer is left on the family plantation with her young brother, their Negro butler Serge and the Summers aunt, Ida Summers-Dixon.  Their supplies are dwindling and they are living off the land at this point.

She ventures into town to pick up a few sundries and meets the love of her previous life, Dr. Josh Coltrane.  At one time they were in love and planned a life together until the war broke out and Josh decided to fight for the Union.  Angel never forgave him.  Now he is back working as a doctor at the military hospital in town.

Angry Southerners have just derailed a train bound for Savannah with medical supplies among the other goods.  Josh needs these supplies to tend the Union soldiers who were unable to return home because of their injuries.  He tries to enlist the help of some of the townspeople to get back those supplies.  Angel refuses to help him because of their past.

Eventually, she relents and begins helping out at the hospital herself and scrambling to find the medical supplies that they so sorely need.  Of course, the two of them rekindle their love and find happiness again.

I enjoyed the story, although it was a bit predictable in its delivery.  This is a typical historical romance, not really based on any real history, but drawing from that time period to write a novel.

I was given a Kindle copy of this book by Netgalley.com in return for my honest review.

“The Widows” by Jess Montgomery

“The Widows” by Jess Montgomery takes place in Kinship Ohio in 1924, a time of prohibition, speakeasies, the start of the United Mine Workers union, the company store.  This story takes place in southeastern Ohio near the West Virginia border.

Sheriff Daniel Ross is killed transporting a prisoner.  Lily Ross, his wife, is determined to find the killer and avenge his death.  On the day of the funeral, a woman comes to the house, not knowing that Daniel is dead.  Marvena Whitcomb comes looking for information about her missing daughter.  Lily senses that there is more to this story.  She is asked by the town council to resume her husband’s place as sheriff until election time.  She searches for Marvena and finds that there is a connection between her and her dead husband.  The two women join forces, Marvena to encourage unionization of the mine and Lily to find out the truth about the murder of her husband.

There are sinister happenings going on between the coal miners, the owners, the bootleggers, and the syndicates.  This is a page-turner and very interesting in light of the times and the dangers of those times.  I highly recommend this book as an insight as to what might have transpired pre-union.  It is based on the true story of Ohio’s first female sheriff and what she might have encountered.

I downloaded a Kindle copy of this book by Netgalley.com in return for my honest review.

“All She Left Behind” by Jane Kirkpatrick

Jane Kirkpatrick is a very talented author.  Her books are very true to original stories and about true figures in history.  I read “All She Left Behind” and was anxious to read “Everything She Didn’t Say”.  I found the writing in both novels to be the same quality in describing the pioneers heading west in the late 1800’s.

This particular novel is based on the journal writings of Carrie Strahorn.  She details her journey west with her husband, who worked for the Union Pacific railroad.  His job was to start the beginnings of towns that the railroad would follow on its way west.  From her writings, it is clear that she was not really happy in her marriage and did what she had to do to keep her husband happy.  Her life did not turn out anything as she expected it to, but she persevered.

I felt so sorry for her and for the other pioneer women who traveled west because their husbands sought riches and prosperity both from the gold fields and from the land.  I’m afraid that I would not have made a good pioneer woman.  Traveling and living in the west at this time brought no refinement.  The living conditions were dirty, meager and lonely.  Most women of this day and age would not tolerate the control husbands had over their wives.  For women to have a say in any financial or any other aspect of their marriage was unheard of.  This novel gives a wonderful look into the life of women of that period.

As one of the Revell Reads Blog Tour Reviewer, I received a print copy of this book to read and review.  I voluntarily read and reviewed an advanced copy of this book.  All thoughts and opinions are my own.