Every Time You Go Away (by Beth Harbison) … not very appealing read

To be honest, this book was just not very appealing to me. I felt like Willa’s inability to move on after her husband’s death was trite. While I understand her grief, the fact that she abandoned her motherly duties with her son was atrocious. What mother would do that There could have been so much depth to this book, but it fell flat and did not engage me in the story.

Thank you to NetGalley and St. Martin’s Press for an ARC in exchange for my honest review.

Sold on a Monday (by Kristina McMorris) … heartwrenching story based on a true story

This book has been on my to-be-read list since it was released. And my anticipation of being able to read it was rewarded with a wonderful well-written story. The cover alone will pull you in with a sense of mystery and intrigue.

Ellis and Lily are well developed characters and you will begin to care what happens in their lives. The author does a great job of sharing the lives and situations during the great depression. Your heart will ache with the tale of the two children “sold on a Monday.”

The story is a wonderful example of the repercussions of one person’s actions and the ripple effect. If you discovered a decision you made seriously affected the life of another individual, how far would you go to undo the damage you caused? Ellis has to make a decision between putting his career as a priority or be a man of high morals and integrity.

This book is at moments heartwrenching and have you biting your nails in fear the next. It is just a wonderful book and should be moved to the top of your to-be-read list.

The First Emma (by Camille Di Maio) … beautiful historical fiction novel about an amazing lady

A beautiful historical fiction novel that will draw you into the life of Emma Koehler. She was an amazing individual and a lady ahead of her time. The author does a wonderful job of drawing you into the story as soon as you open the book and read the first word. And you will not be able to put it down until you’ve absorbed the last word and slowly closed the book.

I am a huge Camille Di Maio fan and her well-researched books are a delight to read. She does an amazing job of providing the historical details in an interesting manner that weaves a story you will enjoy.

Thank you to NetGalley and Wyatt-MacKenzie Publishing for an ARC in exchange for my honest review. I strongly encourage you to read this book! I know that I will be reading every book Ms. Di Maio will write in the future. She is a gem!

The Book of Longings (by Sue Monk Kidd) … not my cup of tea

The Book of Longings is about Ana, the wife of Jesus Christ, the Son of God.  Honestly, I was disappointed.  I have enjoyed previous books by Sue Monk Kidd.  This book was a great change from her normal style of writing.  Though well researched, it was not appealing to me.

And if you can believe that Jesus was married, then there are some shocking details about his wife, Ana.  I won’t elaborate so I don’t spoil the shock value should you choose to read this book.

Thank you to NetGalley and Viking Publishing for an ARC in exchange for my honest review.

Botched Butterscotch (by Amanda Flower) … entertaining cozy mystery novella

This was an entertaining cozy mystery novella. Located in an Amish community, not all of the characters are part of the Amish fellowship. The interactions are interesting and will have you rolling your eyes, laughing, and thinking that you know someone just like some of the characters!

Thank you to NetGalley and Kensington Books for an ARC in exchange for my honest review. This is the first book I’ve read in the series, but I would enjoy joining Bailey for more adventures.

The Road to Bittersweet (by Donna Everhart) … coming of age in the mountains of NC

This was a wonderful book that deals with a young girl who is coming of age and life in the mountains of NC in the 1940.  It’s so much more than that!  Wallis Ann Stamper will guide you through her life and all the adventures and tragedies she experienced.  The book quietly draws you in but packs an emotional punch frequently.

This was another emotional journey that Donna Everhart does so well.  I highly recommend curling up in your comfortable reading spot and getting lost in Wallis Ann’s story.

The Long Way Home (by D. L. Norris) … story of family and community relationships

This was a story focused on family and community relationships. There were several strong, loving, and supportive female characters. Maggie, as the main character, is a gem. Her personality, combined with the relationships she develops and nurtures, will touch you. Her best friend since childhood, Lee, is a pistol. You will find yourself laughing one moment, then rolling your eyes, and even getting irritated at her inappropriate beliefs and misconceptions. But deep inside, she does love Maggie and Maggie’s daughter, Jenna. Just a good wholesome read which I needed at this time in my life.

Thank you to NetGalley and Outskirts Press for an ARC in exchange for my honest review.

Seeking Glory (by Patricia Hamilton Shook) … journey of discovery

What a wonderful debut novel.  I look forward to future books by this author and the setting in Cape Code, MA was another bonus.  I recognized many of the towns and sights mentioned from my previous trips to the Cape.

You will be drawn into the story from the first page.  You will begin a journey with Kate as she discovers she is a grandmother.  There are threads of love, loss, anger, hurt, the confrontation of past and present, and the complexities of family relationships.  The twists and turns will keep you invested in the story and have you anxiously awaiting the unexpected conclusion.

Thank you to Bookoutre and Outskirts Press for an ARC in exchange for my honest review.

You and Me and Us (by Alison Hammer) … you won’t be able to put it down once you’ve read the first word

First of all, bring out the box of tissues because you will need a bunch by the time you’ve absorbed the last word and closed the book.

I did experience some irritations, but they had nothing to do with the writing style. For one of them, Alexis drove me nuts! She was so wrapped up in her job that she couldn’t eke out enough moments in her work-focused life to be active in her daughter’s life. And irritation number two was Cece’s snarky attitude. Granted, she is a teenager and that’s who they tend to be. But it was still irritating to see how little respect she had for her mother.

All of that was balanced out by Tommy. His love for, and patience with, Alexis and Cece were beyond amazing. I fell in love with him and his commitment, emotional strength, and down to earth personality. Is there really a man like him out there? If so, I want to meet him!

Thank you to NetGalley and William Morrow Paperbacks for an ARC in exchange for my honest review. This book is one you will not be able to put down once you’ve read the first word. The story is a beautiful portrait of love, anger, loss, relationships, growth, insecurity, and healing. Put this on your to-be-read list so you can enjoy the myriad of emotions you will experience as you flip through the pages as fast as you can.

Loving Your Friend Through Cancer (by Marissa Henley) … practical but perfect book of advice

What a practical but perfect book for people who are wondering how to step in and be a source of strength and comfort when someone is struggling with cancer. And, to be honest, much of the advice and guidance can be used in many situations. I appreciated the various levels of help you can offer depending on your relationship. If you’re a really close friend vs. an acquaintance, or somewhere in between, the author suggests types of assistance you can provide she also helps the reader determine where you fall in that realm of cohort.

Thank you to NetGalley and P&R Publishing for an ARC in exchange for my honest review.