Archives

“The Orphan Sisters” by Shirley Dickson

“The Orphan Sisters” by Shirley Dickson was one of the saddest novels I have read.  It is written about two sisters, Esther, 4 and Dorothy, almost 8, whose mother dropped them off at an orphanage in 1929.   Not understanding why their mom never returned for them, Etty grew up distrustful of everyone and harboring an intense dislike, almost hatred, for her mother.  Dorothy knew a little of why they were left there but never shared with Etty.  As they grew older, Dorothy, at age sixteen, had to strike out on her own, leaving Etty at the orphanage.  Dorothy married and when Etty was fifteen, Dorothy petitioned to have her live with her.  Her husband was called up to serve.  What happens next to the two girls is both happy and very sad.  Suffice it to say, that the war made difficult and extreme demands on everyone.  There was no end to suffering and still, the citizens stayed loyal and determined.

I enjoyed reading this book but was also very sad because of the circumstances that the two girls had to endure.

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

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“The Missadventure Brides” – Multiple Authors

“The Missadventure Brides” by multiple authors is an anthology about seven daring misses who decide for themselves what their future could hold.  Each one has a plan for her future, even though she is not sure how to make that happen, nor who may cross her path to change that future.  The stories vary from locations such as 1832 Montana to 1936 Arizona.  Each woman’s story is a testament to the tenacity of certain young women during a time when women were constricted to certain actions, clothing, and social norms.  I found this series of stories extremely interesting because of the diverse course of their lives.

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

“The Darkest Year” by William K. Klingaman

I was interested to read “The Darkest Year” by William K. Klingaman in order to understand exactly what the American people endured and suffered during WWII.  Although this book provided a psychological study of the citizens of a nation of war, I found it very difficult to follow.  Also, my perception of what life might have been like during that time was totally destroyed.  I was under the impression that the citizens of the United States did everything possible to support their governments during this time.  I was mistaken.  The human conditions of greed, selfishness, and self-preservation to the detriment of others was prevalent in both countries.  My fairy-tale theories of this “romantic”, at least to me, time in history were dashed.  I did not finish this book because of that.  It made my love of historical WWII fiction seem childish and unreal.

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

“My Heart Belongs in the Blue Ridge” by Pepper Basham

I have read quite a few of the “My Heart Belongs in…” series of books.  The latest one that I’ve had the privilege of reading is “My Heart Belongs in the Blue Ridge”.  I can honestly say that for me, this is the best of the series so far.  Pepper Basham has created a wonderful historical romance.  I loved everything about this book:  the characters, the storyline, and the beautiful location.  The dialogue between the two main characters was true to the times and the mountain dialect.  I was sorry when the story ended.  Kudos go to Ms. Basham for a beautiful novel.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from Barbour Publishing and was under no obligation to post a review.

“Woman of Courage” by Wanda Brunstetter

Wanda Brunstetter is a best-selling author of Amish stories and novels.  In “Woman of Courage”, Ms. Brunstetter tells the story of a young Quaker woman who is bound and determined to follow her father to minister to the Nez Percé Indians.  He has hired a guide for the long journey.  Along the way, her father becomes ill and dies and the guide is killed.  Amanda Pearson is determined to get to the mission.  She tries to move forward alone, but when winter weather and wild animals almost kill her, she accepts the help of a trapper, who takes her to friends to recuperate.

His story is very compelling but almost unbelievable for the fact that a young woman tries to traverse the western plains alone.  Her courage is no doubt strong, but at the same time, her choices are not well thought out.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from Barbour Publishing and was under no obligation to post a review.

“The Liberty Bride” by Marylu Tyndall

“The Liberty Bride” is one of the books in the Daughters of the Mayflower series, written by Marylu Tyndall.  Emeline Baratt is an American who has been in England and after caring for a great aunt, is coming back home.  She is traveling on one of her shipping magnate father’s privateers.  Sea travel is fraught with danger because of the war between America and England.  When one of her Majesty’s ships overtakes the American ship, all on board are transferred to the British ship.  She mistakenly seeks to make the Brits think she is loyal to England but tends to the wounded from both countries.

On board, the British ship is an American spy, First Lieutenant Owen Masters, who for a few years has ingratiated himself to the British captain in order to discover plans of attack on the Americas.  He does not trust Emeline because of her declaration.   The captain sends both Emeline and Masters on land to spy for the British, not knowing their allegiance lies with the Americans.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from Barbour Publishing and was under no obligation to post a review.  I enjoyed this book in the series, as well as ones that I’ve previously read.

“The Things We Cannot Say” by Kelly Rimmer

“The Things We Cannot Say” by Kelly Rimmer tells the story of a young Polish woman, Alina Dziak who has loved Tomasz Slaxki since forever and they are determined to marry one day.  Until the Nazi’s invaded, that is.  Tomasz reluctantly joins the Nazi’s to keep himself from being transported to a forced labor camp.  However, he becomes totally disillusioned and runs from the Nazi army to join the resistance forces.  He returns to Alina while helping a Jewish family escape.  The family is discovered and the wife and baby are murdered.  Saul, the father survives, but Tomasz is apprehended.

The Russian army defeats the Nazis in Poland and Alina and Saul are housed in a Russian camp.  Alina discovers that she is pregnant and is married in this camp before coming to America.  What happened next is the story of a lifetime of secrets…secrets that are at last uncovered.

I found this book to be difficult to read at times.  Man’s inhumanity to man is never understandable, but during this period in history, it seems to be overpowering.  I received a complimentary copy of this book from NetGalley.com and was under no obligation to post a review.