Category Archives: Fiction/Literature

Another lovely read by Jill Mansell

And Now You’re Back

By: Jill Mansell

Rating: 5 of 5

I’ve been a fan of Jill Mansell for many years. Her books always leave me feeling happy. While the endings are feel good, there is much of real life also included.

In this book, we follow the relationship between Didi and Shay. They were together as teenagers but split apart when Shay moved away following a huge blow up. Years later, Shay is back in town but Didi is engaged and is to be married shortly.

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Compelling saga of two women

The Lynmara Legacy

By: Catherine Gaskin

Rating: 5 of 5

I read one of Catherine Gaskin’s books when I was young. I recently came across The Lynmara Legacy and decided to give it a read.

It is a compelling novel. It captured me from the beginning. I wasn’t sure which way the book was heading at any time. There were scenarios that I thought would continue but things changed in the space of a few paragraphs and would send me reeling but also reaching for the book until I finished it.

It’s not often a book stays with me for weeks after I read it but this one has. There are elements that will continue to be part of my thoughts for a long, long time.

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It took me long enough

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone

By: J.K. Rowling

Rating: 5 of 5

I admit it. I’ve never read any of the Harry Potter books. I have never seen any of the Harry Potter movies. However, my son-in-law is a huge fan of the series and is reading the illustrated version of this book to his children. My husband, likewise, has never read the books or seen the movies.

We decided to listen to an audio version together, to keep up with our young grandkids. We enjoyed it and are ready for the next book in the series.

I won’t give a synopsis of the book because almost everyone has already read it. I can only say that, late as I am to the series, I am so glad I have finally started it.

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A story of strength, endurance and starting over

The Beekeeper’s Promise

By: Fiona Valpy

Rating: 5 of 5

This is a story which is told in two time periods. The older one is set just prior to and including World War II. The current story is set in 2017, which I believe was when the book was released.

Abi Howes has been convinced to visit France at the Chateau Bellevue for a yoga retreat with her friend, who promptly deserts her when she meets a good-looking man. Abi has not been much around people because of events in her past. Her story is her struggle to find herself and to learn to live once again.

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Enlightening and engrossing

The Four Winds: A Novel

By: Kristin Hannah

Rating: 5 of 5

This is a fictional story set in the era of the Dust Bowl. Elsa Martinelli is part of a farming family. There is a one-two punch as first the Depression hits and then the weather event known as the Dust Bowl begins.

Her family is fighting a losing battle for survival as the dust covers their crops and the winds and the heat wreck havoc. It seems like the rain has dried up forever and Elsa, just like so many others ends up heading west to find work in California.

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Layered slice of life story

Two’s Company

By: Jill Mansell

Rating: 5 of 5

I own many books by Jill Mansell but, somehow, I missed this novel when it was first released. I’m very happy that it has been released again. While there are a few things that date the book (notably, the lack of cell phones), the human stories within it hold true to the test of time.

This is, primarily, a story about the relationship between Cass and Jack Mandeville. They have been married for decades and Jack has just reached his fortieth birthday. Their is the perfect marriage until a chance invitation to a reporter, Imogen, turns their lives upside down. Jack goes into a midlife crisis with a vengeance.

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Such a delight to find this book available again

The Cuckoo in Spring

By: Elizabeth Cadell

Rating: 5 of 5

I have been a fan of Elizabeth Cadell for decades. It was very difficult to find her books as they went out of print long ago. I was very happy to find that they were available again in ebook format. Even more so to find that they were available in audio format as well.

I read this book several times over the years, so I decided to listen to it this time. I have to admit it gave me even more of an appreciate for the late author’s talent. I also bought the ebook to switch back and forth as time allowed.

In this story, a rather spoilt young man is tricked into going off to evaluate a old miser’s painting collection. While there, he meets a young woman who is absolutely delightful but things go amiss and he finds himself not being indulged this time.

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Heartwarming Christmas tale

The Christmas Table: A Novel (Christmas Hope Book 11)

By: Donna VanLiere

Rating: 5 of 5

I have read several other books in this series. While it is a series, it can absolutely be read stand-alone. The books are lightly interconnected, with backstories of some of the individuals. It took reading a bit of it for me to actually remember the prior books and their plots.

This is a Christmas table that interconnects two times and the struggles that individuals are and have been going through. The tale of the past is woven into that of the present with a set of recipe cards and a handmade table. How the stories converge surprised me and delighted me as well.

The recipes, themselves are lovely and the introductions to them are exceptional reading. I had a wonderful time reading through them and plan to try some myself.

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Another great Nancy Naigle Christmas story

A Heartfelt Christmas Promise

By: Nancy Naigle

Rating: 5 of 5

I always look for books by Ms. Naigle. I know that they will be heartwarming and believable. She has a knack of putting a story together with great characters, amusing situations and bringing the story to such a satisfying end.

In this story, Vanessa Larkin works in a cutthroat industry. Her company acquires other companies. They then decide what to keep, what to sell and what to close down.

Vanessa is top at the game and should be heading to one of two great cities to work over Christmas. She is looking forward to Paris, but at the last minute, she is sent to a small town in North Carolina. To say she is not happy is putting it mildly.

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Made me laugh and cry at the same time

What You Wish For

By: Katherine Center

Rating: 5 of 5

This was the first book I have read by this author, so I wasn’t sure of what to expect. Having read it, I will certainly be reading more books by her in the near future.

Samantha Casey is the librarian at the fun private school in Galveston, Texas. She loves the principal and his wife, who also happen to be her landlords.

As events unfold, another principal comes to the school. That person is Duncan Carpenter, who just so happens to be the individual who was behind Samantha’s move from a California school to Texas.

While she is personally disturbed by his coming, she is sure that his quirky and lovable antics will soon put others at ease. Turns out Duncan has changed and not for the better.

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