There are three actual stories in this book but they all have one common thread. That common subject lies in a building, which has had many purposes over the years, if only the walls of that building could talk.
I liked the idea of how this huge building served many purposes over the years. The history that this building contained and how it served others was fascinating. To think, how many people walked and in-and-out of its doors intrigued me. Then, to read how the three women in this novel were also connected to this building, just added more significance to the structure. I had to wonder if there were any standing building today that have these same traits. Hum?
Anyways, back to the book. Following a trio of women, we crisscross over three different time periods (1892, 1920, and 1944) which I found confusing at times as I couldn’t keep everyone straight. These women are all from the same family, just years apart, which made it more confusing to me. I finally wrote everyone’s name down on a piece of paper and drew arrows to keep individuals separated as the romance in this novel adds even more complications.
Somehow over the years, these three women find their way back to New York, to this same building yet they’re there for different reasons. As the novel comes together, you’ll find out what ties them all together.
It’s a mystery that covers many generations. With strong-minded women and a terrific setting this book provided for me an interesting read. 3.5 stars
There were times that I found myself absorbed into the lives
of these two sisters, that I took a break from my own life, sat down and became
a part of theirs. This book covered a
lot time and the issues were staggering.
They led an exciting and eventful trail as they made their way through
I listened to this book on audio and as I tried to go about
my day, I found myself stopping to listen to it. It was no longer, just something to listen
to, but something I had to hear.
The novel began when these sisters were young, their future had
endless possibilities. Unfortunately, their
mother thought differently, and boy, did she irritate me. Each sister tells us their story and about
how each day brought new challenges and adventures into their lives.
I liked how each sister’s life was different. Between the two of them, they addressed
almost every important issue that women face. I thought that this made their lives
interesting. I enjoyed how the girls
cared for one another even though they were so different from one another. This book is rather long and I feel that it
could’ve been shorter and still effectively deliver the same message. 3.5 stars
I didn’t want this book to end because I had fallen hard for
these characters. Times were hard in the
Appalachian Hills of Kentucky, at the turn of the century, but as I turned the
pages of this book, I wanted/needed Bertie to get a break.
Bertie and Timmy liked to play hide-and-go-seek together until
the day, little Timmy wedged himself into a tight spot and couldn’t get
out. Every day, Bertie is haunted by
that day when her brother Timmy died. As
if that wasn’t enough, her mother now has basically, given-up-on-life and her
father is a drunk who comes and goes as he please. Add to that, four siblings and you have a lot
of responsibility and no adult in charge.
In walks, tired Bertie.
She’s 15 now, and if helping running the homestead wasn’t enough to
tire her out, add a new neighbor to her busy life, who doesn’t know what Bertie
is actually experiencing. I wanted to
give Bertie a break but the situations for Bertie were on a downward spiral. When
would they stop?
When her older brothers start to come up with a plan, I
started to have hope, I really did. Life is hard as the family moves about and
tries to make the best of the situation.
The highs and the lows kept me going and I loved this family. Oh, Bertie! You knew you had to be strong, you hid your
feelings but I knew how you felt. What a
I read this book for book club otherwise I don’t think I would
have picked it up. From reading the title,
I expected a more somber novel about the gold-rush era, not the adventurous,
dashy story that I read. Baby Doe gave
this era, something to talk about.
I knew nothing about Baby Doe before picking up this
novel. Now, after reading this novel, I want
to read more about her to hear the whole story.
The novel begins with Baby Doe traveling with her new husband
Harvey to Colorado, in the late 1800’s, as Harvey is going to manage a mine
that his father owns. Baby Doe has plans
of her own, to send money back to her parents to help them get by. Her husband ends up not being as business
smart as they thought and Baby Doe ends up helping him out with the business which
I feel is an important part to who she ends up becoming.
The mine becomes the central part of the story with the individuals
who work in it and their families also. Baby Doe becomes a working woman, yet some men
are drawn to her beauty and don’t take her seriously. She’s a smart, determined individual who
knows more than you think.
This was a fast-paced story what once I started, I couldn’t quit. There were numerous times while reading this
story, I found myself talking out loud, reacting to the other characters as
they conversed with Baby Doe. I laughed a
few times and there were even some harsh words spoken, for I thought they were being
very deceitful, given the circumstances. Baby Doe’s story is definitely a story that
you need to read.
I liked this novel more than I liked To Kill a Mockingbird which is supposed to be the first book in this series. I think that’s because I understood the characters more and their actions and attitudes seemed to fit them. I read this book for book club, and listening to the discussions surrounding this book, it was interesting to hear the different viewpoints on the topics that we covered.
Jean Louise has returned to her hometown again from New York and I feel that she has changed and her views are more open. When Henry (a.k.a. Hank) picks her up, she is surprised that her father is not there but she enjoys Henry’s kiss. I think she enjoys how Henry tends to her. Henry wants to marry her and playfully and seriously, he asks for her hand in marriage, for which Jean Louise turns him down, again and again. Jean Louise likes her independence and N.Y living. Why would she leave that to come back here to live the simple life in Maycomb, AL? She likes Henry but love is a different story.
While back in Maycomb, Jean Louise gets lost between the present and past many times. She enjoys revisiting her memories of growing up in Maycomb and then facing, the current Maycomb, which has changed some over the years. Whether that change is for the better, is a matter of opinion. I enjoyed Jean Louise’s flashbacks and a few of them brought back memories of my own. Her revival preacher story and Jean Louise’s first dance were great stories and I was glad that she shared them.
There are racial remarks throughout the novel. They are subtle and quick, and if you didn’t stop and think about them, you might just miss them. The world around this small town is changing and whether Maycomb is changing too or wants to change, is something to consider as you read the novel.
I started to feel sorry for Jean Louise as I read. She had matured over the years and returned home to be confused. The title and the ending of the book, sealed the book for me. Jean Louise had it all along, she just needed to be told.
I listened to this novel as I painted our fence in the backyard. This small, section of fence should have taken
just a few hours but when I finally made my way back inside, I realized that my
morning was gone and I was working into the afternoon. I know for a fact that I’d stopped a few times
while painting, as I realized that I had become so involved in the story, that I
couldn’t paint and listen at the same time.
I guess I had done more reading than painting today but at least the fence
I just couldn’t believe what I was hearing. This was a true story. These individuals were young teens, young men
being treated brutally, while everyone turned their backs on them.
As these individuals told their stories, I kept reminding
myself that this story had really occurred. This was supposed to be a reform school, a
place where change occurs for the better. The boys were at Nickel Academy either
because they were orphans or because of their behavior. They didn’t expect to
be someone’s target, they didn’t deserve the harsh punishment and the brutality
that they received. They most certainly
didn’t deserve death.
As I listened, I wondered how much longer the people in charge
could continue this practice and get-away with it? Wasn’t there any checks and balances along
the way? I cringed to think that these
individuals would take their authority further and push the envelope. It angered and frustrated me that some
individuals feel they have the right to behave this way to anyone or
I feel that it’s a powerful book, a book that allows their story
to be told but now, I have more questions after reading this book, than I did
when I first started. 4.5 stars
This was better than I imagined. I loved the cover and that is what sold me on
reading it. The story is part fantasy
and part western but the story is total enjoyment as Hettie tries to save her
little sister, Abby. Bonded with Diablo
(a.k.a the Devil’s Revolver) Hettie unfortunately is walking into many
situations blindly. Her accuracy holding
a firearm is one talent she can count on and one that she uses to her
I like how Hettie takes matters into her own hands. She doesn’t wait around and hope for someone
to help her out and she doesn’t whine, she moves. She almost moves too fast, sometimes. She immediately goes after Abby. When she sees Ling in trouble, she steps
in. She’s not afraid of speaking her
mind to anyone, she is herself. When bonded with Diablo, the unknown of what has
occurred doesn’t shake her, she just continues on.
With magic and loaded weapons, Hettie learns the truth behind
Diablo and the price this demonic weapon carries. This was a high energy read
for read and the magical aspects of the novel were entertaining. I can’t wait to read what happens in the next
novel. 4.5 stars
I received a copy of this novel from NetGalley and IBPA in
exchange for an honest review.
Velva Jean’s daddy often took off, leaving his family
wondering when he’d return. Later, he’d
walk back through the door, as if he’d just stepped outside for a break, and
the days and the months that he’d been gone, you’d think they were just all
your imagination. When their mama died,
the kids were at a loss, for their daddy was out somewhere. When he got done wandering, he would discover
that his wife had died and the letter that he had written to his wife, the one that
she kept reading after he left, is what his children believe caused her death.
I enjoyed this novel as I followed along beside Velva Jean
as she explored and grew-up in Sleepy Gap, North Carolina during the 1930’s. Velva
Jean had dreams of singing in the Grand Ole Opry and considering her situation,
I was impressed with this dream. With
her mama, gone and her daddy, a no-show, Velva Jean and her sibling were taken
in by her grandparents.
I think the grandparents did the best they could and I had
to laugh when they sent two of the kids off to a bootlegger. This incident lands the kids in jail which
changes them forever on many levels. The
kids feel they have now crossed the fence from being “good” kids, they’ve met some
new people, they seen new sights, and they’ve been arrested.
I liked the flow of this book. It wasn’t an intense, action-packed novel but
it had a calm, even-flow pace to it. It had the pace that I would think living
in the mountains would have. There was a
singing competition that stirs things up as Velva Jean wants to compete, religion
comes into the picture as Velva Jean started to worry about future, and it gets
interesting when Velva Jean begins to mature and she runs into a fellow from
I’m going to look into the other books in this series and I
like books about the Appalachian Mountains and I enjoyed this novel.
I was surprised how much I liked listening to this
novel. It felt dark and as the story
continued, I started to have feelings for the woman who was just waiting for her
sentence to be carried out.
The farmer’s wife was not too happy to have this
prisoner in her house but she had no choice.
They choose their house and now, they had to deal with it. Agnes was not supposed to be there long, for she
was sentenced to death for her crime. When
they brought Agnes, I loved the way the wife took charge over the situation. She was not having this prisoner contaminate
her house and the guards upset her household.
She seemed strong and determined, as she looked over the prisoner that
was before her.
As the story progressed, the characters seemed to
transform. We hear the truth and I began
to have a change of heart. Did Agnes really commit the crime, that they
said she did? That’s the question that
really needs to be answered here.
I liked the darkness of the novel and how the story
progressed. She was a prisoner yet it
there were times, I couldn’t see it and then, we had to remember what they said
happened. There was something about how the story was
written, for when I listened to it, the words just flowed out and the images
were right beside them.
I really wished that I would have read this novel
instead of listened to it as I had a hard time with the audio. I thought the main character was flirty. Why? I
thought the narrator’s voice had an accent which translated to the main character
and in this dark novel, it didn’t sit well with me considering her situation. It’s just me, but this effected how I felt
emotionally towards the characters too.
I would like to reread this novel in the future to hopefully get more
connected with the characters. A great
This was a terrific novel. At first, it seemed that Ginny living the perfect life. She stayed at home and cared for her son, Peyton while her husband provided for the family. As an attorney, working with his father, it seemed to me that they had a lot of things going for them. It wasn’t until the birth of Lucy that we really the truth.
The year was 1969 and things were winding down after her baby shower. It wasn’t punch that had soaked the couch where Ginny had sat and now, here she was, in the hospital, with a doctor staring down at her. Ginny couldn’t believe the words that were coming out of the doctor and the nurse. A girl? They’re sorry? She has a condition? Mongoloid? Lucy wanted her daughter and she wanted her now! Where was her husband? Ginny struggles to stay awake, the anesthesia takes over and she falls asleep,
When she finally awakens, Ginny wants to see her baby and her husband but it’s not time yet and I begin to get nervous as they tell Ginny to get more sleep and off to dreamland she goes. Hours later, when they feel it’s time, her husband and her father-in-law inform Ginny that the baby has been moved to a school where they will love and care for her. The doctor feels that the baby could have problems in the future so this is what they have done. Ginny wants to get the baby BUT it’s too late.
Fast forward to 1971, the family dynamics have changed, they’re going through the motions. Ginny hasn’t forgotten her baby and I can feel this void in her life. Her husband doesn’t talk about and their son doesn’t even know about his younger sister. Ab is working longer and is spending more time away from home, and now Peyton doesn’t bother asking when his father will be home. Ginny lives for Peyton and being a good wife. When she receives a phone call from her best friend Marsha, she becomes the person, I felt she was meant to be.
Marsha calls and informs Ginny about a reporter who went undercover at Willowridge. The same school that Ginny’s father-in-law put her infant daughter in years ago. When Ginny reads the papers, she’s hopeful that she’ll be united with her daughter with her husband’s help but that’s short-lived, after she talks to her husband.
Just like Ginny, I felt that her husband would read the papers and they would go rescue their daughter but the story is complicated. After reading the papers, Ginny just wants her daughter safe. I didn’t think she had it in her but with the help of Marsha, these two women lean against one another to do what they feel is best for Ginny’s children.
I enjoyed how the author showed us more of Ginny’s life, how she met her husband, and how this flowed into the present day. It showed a complete picture and a great flow. Ginny and Marsha’s relationship was fantastic and I liked how they figured things out along their journey. Peyton wasn’t a secondary character in this novel but an important one which I thought was needed.
I really enjoyed this novel, it was sad at times and it made my skin crawl and other times, it made me smile as I felt hope. The only problem I had with the novel was the last couple scenes in the novel. These scenes were a bit too much for me considering everything that had happened in the novel. 4.5 stars
I won a copy of this novel from St. Martin’s Press and Goodreads Giveaway. Thank you. This review was my own opinion.