The Fashion Designer (The Pattern Artist #2) by Nancy Moser (review by Kristi)

the fashion designer

About the book:   The American Dream thrives in 1912 New York City

Annie Wood, the housemaid-turned-pattern designer in The Pattern Artist, jumps at the chance to design her own clothing line when a wealthy New York couple offer to finance her endeavor. Joining the project is Annie’s new husband, Sean Culver, her best friend at Butterick, Maude Nascato, and a mother figure, Edna Holmquist.

Annie and her colleagues give up their careers, risking everything to follow a shared passion: clothes that are both fashionable and functional for modern, busy women in 1912.

Personal and financial setbacks threaten to keep the business from ever selling a single dress and test old relationships and new romances. No one said it would be easy. But the promise of the American Dream holds a deep hope for those who work hard, trust God, and never give up.

Publication Date:  July 1, 2018

Publisher:  Shiloh Run Press

Genre:  Christian fiction, Historical Fiction

 

My thoughtsAfter reading The Pattern Artist I wanted more about Annie, Sean and their friends. So I was really excited when I was invited to read The Fashion Designer. I got to not only spend more time with these characters but I also got to learn more about the fashion industry in the early 1900s. A definite win~win!!

Nancy Moser has created believable, realistic and extremely likable characters. It’s was just impossible not to like the characters in this book. OK, so maybe I didn’t care for Sean’s dad, Richard, all that much. He was a total jerk! (And I’m being nice here.) The fact that I didn’t care for him one bit shows the ability of the author to create a wide range of characters with different personalities. I love the author created characters for me to both love and despise. (Although maybe towards the end I didn’t despise Richard as much.) I really liked the addition of Vesta, Sean’s mother.

Another aspect of the book I really liked was the attention to historical detail. The details add to the story and made me feel as if I were experiencing the time period along with the characters. In addition to the historical details, the author includes a lot of fashion design details that were very interesting. There is the inclusion of the story of Lane Bryant that was done in a way that felt genuine to the story and not just added in because the author discovered how the store got its start. All of the details added really brought the story to life and soon I wasn’t seeing words on the page but the workshop, apartments, and streets of NYC.

The book was effortless to read. As much as I wanted to rush through the book I also wanted to read it slowly and enjoy every moment with these characters. As satisfied as I was with the story I still want more of these characters and am hoping the author will give me a chance to visit with them again. Wouldn’t it be fun to see how Annie and the gang adapt to fashion in the 1920s??

This book is well-written and is just a really good story. It’s a story that makes you feel good while reading it. And with the lovely cover, it’s definitely a book for the keeper shelf! Happy reading!!!

I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher and was not obligated to write a review. All opinions are mine.

 

About the authorNancy Moser is the award-winning author of thirty inspirational novels that focus on discovering our unique purpose. Her genres include both contemporary and historical stories.

Her latest historical novel is “The Pattern Artist” about Macy’s and the Butterick Pattern Company in 1911 New York City. It was a finalist for a Romantic Times award. Its sequel is “The Fashion Designer”.

Other recent titles include the Downton Abbey-inspired Manor House Series: “Love of the Summerfields”, “Bride of the Summerfields”, and “Rise of the Summerfields.”

Her historical bio-novels allow real women-of-history to share their life stories: “Just Jane” (Jane Austen), “Mozart’s Sister” (Nannerl Mozart), “Washington’s Lady” (Martha Washington) and “How Do I Love Thee?” (Elizabeth Barrett Browning.)

“An Unlikely Suitor” was named to Booklist’s Top 100 Romance Novels of the last decade.

Nancy’s time-travel novel, “Time Lottery”, won a Christy Award, and “Washington’s Lady” was a finalist.

Her contemporary books are known for their big-casts and intricate plotting. Some titles are “The Invitation”, “John 3: 16”, “Crossroads”, “Solemnly Swear”, “The Sister Circle”, “The Seat Beside Me”, and “The Good Nearby”.

Nancy and her husband live in the Midwest. She’s earned a degree in architecture, traveled extensively in Europe, and has performed in numerous theaters, symphonies, and choirs. She knits voraciously, kills all her houseplants, and can wire an electrical fixture without getting shocked. She is a fan of anything antique–humans included.

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A Rebel Heart (Daughtry House #1) by Beth White (review by Cathy)

A Rebel Heart

About the book:

Five years after the final shot was fired in the War Between the States, Selah Daughtry can barely manage to keep herself, her two younger sisters, and their spinster cousin fed and clothed. With their family’s Mississippi plantation swamped by debt and the Big House falling down around them, the only option seems to be giving up their ancestral land.

Pinkerton agent and former Union cavalryman Levi Riggins is investigating a series of robberies and sabotage linked to the impoverished Daughtry plantation. Posing as a hotel management agent for the railroad, he tells Selah he’ll help her save her home, but only if it is converted into a hotel. With Selah otherwise engaged with renovations, Levi moves onto the property to “supervise” while he actually attends to his real assignment right under her nose.

Selah isn’t sure she entirely trusts the handsome Yankee, but she’d do almost anything to save her home. What she never expected to encounter was his assault on her heart.

My thoughts:

Let me start by saying this is the first book that I’ve read by Beth White, and after reading the first few pages, I was glad that I found a new to me author, but disappointed that I haven’t read any of her previous work.

I can honestly say that this book has everything I appreciate in a well written novel.  An engaging plot, well-developed characters, a little suspense, romance and has a perfect pace.  I’m a fan of historical romance, especially a well researched one like, A Rebel Heart.

Keep in mind that this is set during the Reconstruction Era, so there is a lot of research the author did, which I personally liked.  There were a few parts that I found sad, but the many good parts were fantastic.  But, that’s history, right?

Overall, I found this book to be a promising start to a new series and I’m looking forward to reading the next book when it releases.  A new to me author is now one I consider a must read author.  If you like Southern historical fiction than I’m sure you are going to enjoy this as much as I did.

I received a copy from the publisher and was not required to give a positive review.  All opinions are my own.

 

 

Cowboy Bodyguard (Gold Country Cowboys #3) by Dana Mentink (review by Kristi)

cowboy bodyguard.jpg

About the bookShe must protect a baby…With her secret husband’s helpIn this Gold Country Cowboys novel, Jack Thorn gets a surprise call from the woman he married in secret years ago. Shannon Livingston needs his protection for herself and the baby she’s hiding from a biker gang targeting the mother. Now Jack must help Shannon, even if shielding her means pretending to be a true husband to the only woman he’s ever loved…

Publication Date:  July 3, 2018

Publisher:  Love Inspired Suspense

Genre:  Suspense, Contemporary Fiction

 

My thoughts:  I probably say this in every review I write of a Dana Mentink book but it just amazes me that a dog-loving, elementary school teacher with a great sense of humor can write such great suspense stories. But Dana does just that. Each book of hers I read just wows me with the characters, descriptions, and storylines.

Jack’s story had me hooked from the very beginning. I sat down to read just a few chapters and soon realized I had read over half the book. And if it wasn’t for work the next morning I would have stayed up all night to finish the book. I just had to know how this story ended. The pace of the book is wonderful with all of the nonstop action. The story flowed easily from chapter to chapter and kept my interest.

Dana Mentink does a wonderful job of creating a wide range of characters. From cowboys to bikers she managed to perfectly capture the personalities of each. Each one seemed so realistic is was easy to picture them facing off with one another. To go along with these well-developed characters were descriptions that made me feel as if I were part of the story.

Realistic characters, a good storyline, and great descriptions made this book so easy to read it was as if the pages turned themselves. I can’t recommend Dana Mentink and her suspense books enough. Even though this is the third book in the series it can totally be read as a standalone. I think it would be the perfect introduction to the author’s work. Beware though! This book is hard to put down!

I received a complimentary copy of this book and was under no obligation to write a review. All opinions are mine.

 

About the authorDana Mentink enjoys writing in many different capacities. She currently writes for Harlequin’s Love Inspired Suspense, Harlequin Heartwarming and Harvest House Publishers.

Dana is the recipient of a Romantic Times Reviewer’s Choice Award, two ACFW Carol Awards as well as a Holt Medallion.

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Where Hope Begins by Catherine West (review by Cathy)

Where Hope Begins

About the book:

In the aftermath of her husband’s act of adultery and abandonment, Savannah must finally face the ghosts that haunt her and discover for herself whether authentic faith, grace, and ultimate healing really do exist.

When her husband of twenty-one years leaves her, Savannah Barrington believes she’s lost almost everything she’s ever loved. With her daughter in college and her son in boarding school, Savannah retreats to her parents’ lake house in the Berkshires, where hope and healing come in the form of an old woman’s wisdom, a little girl’s laughter, a touch of magic, and a handsome man who’s willing to risk his own heart to prove she’s still worth loving.

But when her husband asks to reconcile, Savannah is faced with the hardest challenge of all: Forgiving the unforgivable. Somehow she must find freedom from the chains of their past and move forward or face an unknown future without him.

My thoughts:

This is one of those books that will stay with me for a very long time.  I felt the emotions that Savannah felt and her overwhelming loss and sadness.  I loved her and strongly disliked her husband, Ken.

Now, keep in mind that the story begins with Ken leaving Savannah, so I had no idea  what had happened during their twenty-one years of marriage, all I knew was there was going to be a family in pain and that was so sad to me.

This isn’t just a sad story, it’s one of self discovery, love, forgiveness and finding there can still be good times with new friends and yes, even laughter. I loved seeing Savannah spend time in her parents lake house, meeting  and spending time with her neighbors in the Berkshires, Clarice, Brock and his young daughter, Maysie.  I found myself looking forward to their 4:00 weekly tea time.

Ms. West touches on some very heavy topics in this heartrending story, but she has woven in hope, forgiveness,  new beginnings and happiness.  I don’t know how she managed to put in  all of that, but she did and she did it beautifully. I found my self being more understanding and compassionate with all of the wonderful characters in this book.

I’ve read a few books by the author, but this one is my favorite so far.  I wanted to read this book as fast as I could, but I also wanted to make it last as long as I could, because it’s just that good.  I highly recommend this book and a box of tissue, because you’re going to cry.

I received a copy from the publisher and was under no obligation to write a positive review.  All opinions are my own.

 

 

 

 

 

All For Love: Three Historical Romance Novellas of Love and Laughter by Mary Connealy, Kristi Ann Hunter and Jen Turano (review by Cathy)

All For Love

About the book:

Bestselling, award-winning Christian fiction authors Mary Connealy, Kristi Ann Hunter, and Jen Turano are well-known and beloved for their sweet and humorous historical romances. For the first time in print, these three novellas offer delightful and heartwarming stories of couples finding a love worth giving it all for.

Mary Connealy’s “The Boden Birthright” journeys to the Old West, where ranch hand Chance Boden’s determination to be his own boss is challenged by his employer’s pretty daughter.

Kristi Ann Hunter’s “A Lady of Esteem” follows a Regency-era young lady whose reputation in society and chance at love are threatened by a nasty rumor.

Jen Turano’s “At Your Request” tells of a young woman who is humbled at her newly lowered status in society when she is reunited with the very man whose proposal she rejected.

My thoughts:

Okay, first of all I have to say that this is one of the loveliest covers I’ve seen in quite a while.   Now that I have that out-of-the-way, I’ll say that the three novellas are sweet, charming, humorous with the perfect amount of romance blended in.

I’m a fan of various genres, so I love that Mary Connealy took me on a journey to the Old West, Kristi Ann Hunter took me to the Regency Era , but my favorite stop on the journey was New York City in 1883 courtesy of Jen Turano!    As much as I enjoyed each one of the novellas, there is just something about Jens’ characters in, At Your Request that I loved.  They are oh so delightful and kept me engaged throughout the story. I felt as though I was hearing them speak and could clearly see what they were doing.

Overall, this is a wonderful collection that is a fast and fun read, especially for this time of year when you’re on vacation, at the pool or just relaxing at home and want something lighthearted to read.  This is definitely one that I recommend.

I received a copy of this book and was under no obligation to give a positive review. All opinions are my own.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Kappy King and the Pickle Kaper (An Amish Mystery #2) by Amy Lillard (review by Kristi)

kappy king and the pickle kaper

About the bookAs a fan of Amy Lillard’s Amish fiction and contemporary fiction books, I was a bit skeptical when I saw she was writing a cozy mystery. I didn’t know if she could pull it off so to speak. However, I kept an open mind and began reading and was I ever wowed! Amy can not only write great Amish fiction and romance but she can write a darn good cozy mystery!

This story has fun characters who balance each other well. Kappy (short for Katherine) is not your typical Amish woman. While being Amish she describes herself as living on the fringe of the community. Not really belonging but also not not belonging. Ex-Amish Edie is a bit eccentric in her choice of clothes but she is a ton of fun and is the perfect partner for Kappy in their mystery-solving. And then there’s Jimmy, Edie’s special needs brother, who has an innocence about him and added some lighthearted moments in the book. These three are just the perfect combination of characters and worked well off each other. I can’t say as I have a favorite because I enjoyed them all separately and together.

The plot of this story is good and moves along at a good pace. There’s never a dull moment with Kappy and Edie (unofficially) on the case. There is the typical cast of characters who are suspects but I didn’t figure out who the guilty person was until the very end. I kept changing my mind between who and why. This story was easy to get into and it kept my interest until the end.

With a perfect mix of comedy and mystery, this book was a quick read. It would be a perfect weekend book. This is the second book in the series but can be read as a standalone. I, myself, haven’t read the first book yet but will soon be correcting that. I can’t wait for the next book in the series to see what Kappy and Edie get into next!

I received a complimentary copy of this book from the author but was not required to write a review. All opinions are mine.

Publication Date:  June 26, 2018

Publisher:  Zebra

Genre:  Cozy Mystery, Amish

 

My thoughtsAs a fan of Amy Lillard’s Amish fiction and contemporary fiction books, I was a bit skeptical when I saw she was writing a cozy mystery. I didn’t know if she could pull it off so to speak. However, I kept an open mind and began reading and was I ever wowed! Amy can not only write great Amish fiction and romance but she can write a darn good cozy mystery!

This story has fun characters who balance each other well. Kappy (short for Katherine) is not your typical Amish woman. While being Amish she describes herself as living on the fringe of the community. Not really belonging but also not not belonging. Ex-Amish Edie is a bit eccentric in her choice of clothes but she is a ton of fun and is the perfect partner for Kappy in their mystery-solving. And then there’s Jimmy, Edie’s special needs brother, who has an innocence about him and added some lighthearted moments in the book. These three are just the perfect combination of characters and worked well off each other. I can’t say as I have a favorite because I enjoyed them all separately and together.

The plot of this story is good and moves along at a good pace. There’s never a dull moment with Kappy and Edie (unofficially) on the case. There is the typical cast of characters who are suspects but I didn’t figure out who the guilty person was until the very end. I kept changing my mind between who and why. This story was easy to get into and it kept my interest until the end.

With a perfect mix of comedy and mystery, this book was a quick read. It would be a perfect weekend book. This is the second book in the series but can be read as a standalone. I, myself, haven’t read the first book yet but will soon be correcting that. I can’t wait for the next book in the series to see what Kappy and Edie get into next!

I received a complimentary copy of this book from the author but was not required to write a review. All opinions are mine.

About the authorI’m a wife, mother, and bona fide Southern belle. Published author, expert corn bread maker, and Squirrel Princess.

I live in Tulsa, though I was born in Mississippi. I moved to the Sooner State when I was seventeen and met my soul mate and best friend not long after. I’ve retained a little of my Mississippi accent though most people think I’m from Texas. (?) Rob and I have been married for over twenty years and have a son–a mom proclaimed prodigy, of course!

I love homemade tacos, nail polish, and romance novels–not necessarily in that order. I’m a big fan of country music, a staunch proponent of saving the Oxford comma, and I’m shamefully obsessed with all things Harry Potter.

I believe that God is love. I guess that’s why I adore romances.

I have always been intrigued with the Amish culture, their gentle ways and slower-paced lifestyle. (And I love, love, love the fact that they stay married for their lifetime.) But until recently I never thought to blend this interest with my penchant for romance. Okay, okay, I’m a bit old-fashioned and even enjoy the gender roles that are present in this culture. I love to cook and take care of my family. Yes, that’s me June Cleaver with a laptop.

I dislike people trying to convince me to read the Twlight series (I’ll get to it or I won’t, either way I’m good with it), gratuitous violence, and strawberry ice cream. (I know I’m alone on this last one, and again, I’m good with it.)

Favorite movies–(besides HP) French Kiss, Maid of Honor, A Lot Like Love, Just Married, and Sweet Home Alabama. Oh, and Miss Congeniality, Sabrina (both versions) and a 1940’s movie called Dear Ruth. If you haven’t seen it, you should! A-dorable. Anything with Doris Day and most all of Marilyn’s and Audrey’s.

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The Love Letter by Rachel Hauck (review by Kristi)

the love letter.jpg

About the book:  With the colonies at war and his country divided, Hamilton Lightfoot must choose sides: Fight for the British Crown or for the Independence of America. But after witnessing the death of his family at the hands of redcoats, he fears he’ll fight for revenge instead of honor. On the verge of a great battle, he pens a letter to Esther, the woman he loves.

Esther Longfellow is in love with Hamilton, but her father is a loyalist, living in upcountry South Carolina and working for a wealthy British lord. When the Revolutionary War comes to her doorstep she is forced to choose between devotion to her father and her love for Hamilton.

Chloe Daschle is the daughter of Hollywood royalty—a great director and an Oscar-winning actress. Yet her career has taken an unexpected turn: She’s the queen of death scenes. Trying to break out, she accepts a supporting role in a revolutionary war film. But she longs for the perfect role and the perfect real-life romance. Does happily ever after only exist in the movies?

After a life-changing tragedy, MIT graduate Jesse Gates decides to leave his life behind and move to LA to try his hand at acting and screenwriting. When he finds a page from one of his ancestor’s letters, he becomes consumed with the love he finds there. Determined to help his grandfather find happiness at the end of his life, Jesse writes and sells a screenplay based on the events surrounding the lost love of previous generations.

When Jesse meets the woman he has cast to play Esther Longfellow—his grandfather’s one true love—the stories of all four collide across time and space. The love letter from the past might have more power to affect the future than any of them could have imagined.

Publication Date:  June 12, 2018

Publisher:  Thomas Nelson

Genres:  Christian Fiction, Historical Fiction, Contemporary Fiction (dual timeline)

 

My thoughtsRachel Hauck is one of my favorite dual timeline authors. She is able to write compelling stories set in different time periods and combine them into quick, easy, can’t-put-them-down reads. However, The Love Letter seemed to be missing something. Exactly what was missing I can’t put my finger on. I just know it wasn’t there.

For me, the story started off a bit slow. I found myself more drawn to Chloe and Jesse than Esther and Hamilton. I liked the instant connection between Chloe and Jesse but then became a bit disappointed in them. Jesse has a secret from his past and readers are also clued into an embarrassing video of Chloe that’s on the internet. I didn’t like the way Jesse and Chloe told each other their secrets at the same time. Were they even listening to each other? I’ve been in conversations such as theirs and just gave up trying to tell my story but these two characters kept going on and on until they had finished. Also, I think the phrase “hot and heavy” was a bit overused. It seems like within a few pages I read this phrase several times. (Does anyone even say that anymore?)

As for Esther and Hamilton the more I read about them the more I enjoyed their story. I’m not a big fan of the Revolutionary War and thought the all the fight scene details slowed down the flow of the story, which was slow enough on its own. I did enjoy the aspect of the story as far as them being on different sides of the war but still maintaining their friendship.

All in all, this isn’t a bad story and once I got into it I found it was a fairly quick read. I will admit towards the end I was ready for it to wrap up. While this isn’t one of my favorite stories from this author she is still on my must-read list.

I received a free copy of this book from NetGalley and was not required to write a review. All opinions are mine.

 

About the authorNew York Times, USA Today & Wall Street Journal Bestselling author Rachel Hauck writes from sunny central Florida.

A RITA finalist and winner of Romantic Times Inspirational Novel of the Year, she writes vivid characters dealing with real life issues.

She loves to hear from readers. She also loves to encourage new writers and sits on the Executive Board of American Christian Fiction Writers..

A graduate of Ohio State University with a BA in Journalism, Rachel is an avid OSU football fan. She hopes to one day stand on the sidelines in the Shoe with Urban Meyer.

An avid Diet Coke fan, she is caffeine free. Sometimes you just have to compromise.

She’s never skied or jumped out of an airplane. She leaves such hijinks to Jason Bourne.

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The Paris Wedding by Charlotte Nash (review by Cathy)

The Paris Wedding book

About the book:

When is it right to follow your heart? From the plains of rural Australia to Paris, the City of Love, lose yourself in this touching and romantic story by the bestselling author of THE HORSEMAN

Ten years ago, Rachael West chose not to move to Sydney with high-school sweetheart Matthew. Instead she stayed on the family wheat farm, caring for her seriously ill mother and letting go of her dreams. Now, Matthew is marrying someone else. And Rachael is invited to the wedding, a lavish affair in Paris, courtesy of the flamboyant family of Matthew’s fiancée – a once-in-a-lifetime celebration at someone else’s expense in Europe’s most romantic city.

She is utterly unprepared for what the week brings. Friendships will be upended, secrets will be revealed – and on the eve of the wedding, Rachael is faced with an impossible dilemma: should she give up on the promise of love, or destroy another woman’s life for a chance at happiness?

I

My thoughts:

While I was reading this book, I wondered how I would feel if I received an invitation to the wedding of a former boyfriend, especially one that I cared so much for.  I have to admit that I probably would have declined, but I’m glad that Rachael West didn’t.  It was a destination/all expenses paid trip and she needed to get on with her life since, Matthew was getting married, right?

I liked Rachael right from the start and quickly got caught up in her story.  The setting of rural Australia with  farming communities was very interesting to me as were her friends and neighbors, especially since I haven’t read very many novels set there.  The  fact that some of the characters from the community were going to  the wedding  lent a bit of humor to their travels.

The author wrote such vivid descriptions of everything, the  beautiful clothing, the lovely sights and even the food, making me feel like I was part of their group.  However, this isn’t just another book with the glitz and glamour of the very rich. .  This is a story of people from different walks of life with real problems and how they are trying to figure out the best way to face them and figure out what they need to do and who they need in their lives.

Charlotte Nash is a new to me author and I can’t  believe that I haven’t read her work before now, but I liked this book so much I will read more from her.

I received a free copy from the publisher and was under no obligation to write a positive review.  All opinions are my own.

 

 

The Heart Between Us by Lindsay Harrel (review by Cathy)

HeartBetweenUs2

About the book:

Megan Jacobs always wished for a different heart. Her entire childhood was spent in and out of hospitals, sitting on the sidelines while her twin sister Crystal played all the sports, got all the guys, and had all the fun. But even a heart transplant three years ago wasn’t enough to propel Megan’s life forward. She’s still working as a library aide in her small Minnesota hometown and living with her parents, dreaming of the adventure she plans to take “once she’s well enough.” Meanwhile, her sister is a successful architect with a handsome husband and the perfect life—or so Megan thinks.

When her heart donor’s parents give Megan their teenage daughter’s journal—complete with an unfulfilled bucket list—Megan connects with the girl she meets between the pages and is inspired to venture out and check off each item. Caleb—a friend from her years in and out of the hospital—reenters her life and pushes her to find the courage to take the leap and begin her journey. She’s thrown for a loop when Crystal offers to join her for reasons of her own, but she welcomes the company and the opportunity to mend their tenuous relationship.

As Megan and Crystal check items off the bucket list, Megan fights the fears that have been instilled in her after a lifetime of illness. She must choose between safety and adventure and learn to embrace the heart she’s been given so that she can finally share it with the people she loves most.

My thoughts:

When I first started hearing about this book, I was intrigued with the premise so I was anxious to read it.  Truthfully, it took me while to get interested once I started reading it and I put it aside for a while. Having said that, I did enjoy it more as the twins set out on a whirlwind adventure to complete the donors bucket list.  Amanda is the donor that gave Meghan the gift of life when she receives Amanda’s heart.

I liked the bonding between Meghan and Crystal, even though they are twins it was so nice seeing them connect in ways that weren’t possible without the transplant.  I was probably the most surprised that Meghan went full throttle in the fulfilling the dreams of Amanda,and  perhaps it was  because she had been sickly and sheltered her whole life  that she had the nerve to run with the bulls.  There were other and less dangerous activities the sisters engaged in which made for lovely insights into places that I hope to see for myself one day.   I would like to travel at a more leisurely pace than they did, but it was still fun to read about everything  they saw and did.

I had actually thought that Meghan would be my favorite of the two sisters, but I liked Crystal much more by the end of the book.  I understand that she was more mature due to her circumstances, whereas Meghan seemed very child like to me and I’m sure that was due to her having been so ill for most of her life.

Overall, the pace of the book was at first too slow for me and then it just picked up really fast with the girls traveling.  I wish that  part  had a slower pace which I think would have made me it more pleasant to read.  Other readers may not find it to  be that way for them, which is why  I think that this is a good beach/vacation read and would recommend it those looking for something  a bit different.

I received a copy from the publisher and was under no obligation to write a review.  All opinions are my own.

 

 

 

Caroline: Little House, Revisited by Sarah Miller (review by Kristi)

Caroline Little House Revisited

About the book:  In this novel authorized by the Little House Heritage Trust, Sarah Miller vividly recreates the beauty, hardship, and joys of the frontier in a dazzling work of historical fiction, a captivating story that illuminates one courageous, resilient, and loving pioneer woman as never before—Caroline Ingalls, “Ma” in Laura Ingalls Wilder’s beloved Little House books.

In the frigid days of February, 1870, Caroline Ingalls and her family leave the familiar comforts of the Big Woods of Wisconsin and the warm bosom of her family, for a new life in Kansas Indian Territory. Packing what they can carry in their wagon, Caroline, her husband Charles, and their little girls, Mary and Laura, head west to settle in a beautiful, unpredictable land full of promise and peril.

The pioneer life is a hard one, especially for a pregnant woman with no friends or kin to turn to for comfort or help. The burden of work must be shouldered alone, sickness tended without the aid of doctors, and babies birthed without the accustomed hands of mothers or sisters. But Caroline’s new world is also full of tender joys. In adapting to this strange new place and transforming a rough log house built by Charles’ hands into a home, Caroline must draw on untapped wells of strength she does not know she possesses.

For more than eighty years, generations of readers have been enchanted by the adventures of the American frontier’s most famous child, Laura Ingalls Wilder, in the Little House books. Now, that familiar story is retold in this captivating tale of family, fidelity, hardship, love, and survival that vividly reimagines our past.

Publication Date:  June 12, 2018

Publisher:  William Morrow Paperbacks

 

My thoughts:  I was thrilled to get the chance to read this book as the Little House series was my favorite as a young girl. I read those books again and again so I was really excited to get a chance to hear the story in Caroline’s voice. Holding this book in my hands took me back to my childhood and all those wonderful hours spent with the Ingalls family. My expectations were extremely high for this book and I didn’t want to be disappointed. I’m so happy to say I wasn’t one bit disappointed in this book and it was everything I was hoping it would be and more.

The tone of this book is different than the Little House books of course since it is told from Caroline’s perspective. I have a whole new admiration for Caroline Ingalls after reading this book. To pack up your family and take what belongings would fit in the wagon and leave everyone you knew and loved behind to go to unsettled territory had to be frightening, to say the least, but Caroline Ingalls did it with grit, determination, and grace (much better than I would have done it all). I could feel her reluctance to go but also the love she had for her husband and the acceptance that this is what she would do.

It made my reader’s heart happy to see some of the same events in the Little House books told in this book. It was like a trip back to my youth and a smile came to my face as I read these parts of the story. I won’t say what they are because I think that’s part of the fun of reading this book is to be able to think “I remember that!” as you come across these events. Oh, and how happy I was to see Mr. Edwards make an appearance in this book! To see him was like securing the knot on the bow that ties this book to the Little House series.

The author did a wonderful job of bringing Caroline Ingalls to life and really telling her story of the move from the big woods of Wisconsin to the flat, sometimes harsh, prairies of Kansas. Her descriptions made me feel as if I were there right alongside the family and experiencing everything Caroline did: her joys at sugar and window panes and also her fears of Indians and the unknown. There are some intimate scenes between Charles and Caroline that, while are tastefully done, are not for young readers.

All in all, this is a fun read. It was great to visit the Ingalls family again after all these years. It was great to get to know Caroline better and afterward, I can definitely say she was the glue that held the Ingalls family together. A wife, mother, nurse, cook, teacher, she was anything and everything she had to be. Caroline Ingalls was a strong woman and this book allows us to see how truly strong she was. This is a must-read book for fans of the Little House series and definitely one for the keeper shelf.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher and was not required to write a review. All opinions are mine.

 

About the authorSarah Miller began writing her first novel at the age of ten, and has spent the last two decades working in libraries and bookstores. She is the author of two previous historical novels, Miss Spitfire: Reaching Helen Keller, and The Lost Crown. Her nonfiction debut, The Borden Murders: Lizzie Borden and the Trial of the Century, was hailed by the New York Times as “a historical version of Law & Order.” She lives in Michigan.

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