Thursday, August 17, 2017

Review: Persuading Austen

Title: Persuading Austen
Author: Brigid Coady
Publisher: 18 July  2017 by HQ Digital
Pages: 384 pages
How I Read It: ARC book
Genre: women’s fiction, contemporary, romance
My Rating: 3.5 cups

It is a truth universally acknowledged that working with an ex is a terrible idea…
Annie Elliot never expected her life to turn out this way: living with her dad, working as an accountant – surely the least glamorous job in Hollywood?! – and dodging her family’s constant bickering.
Landing a job as a producer on a new adaptation of Pride and Prejudice seems like the piece of luck she’s been waiting for. Until the cast is announced, and Annie discovers that the actor playing Mr Darcy is Austen Wentworth: the man she’s spent nearly a decade trying to forget.
Not only is Austen her ex – but while Annie’s life has stalled, Austen is Hollywood’s hottest property…and has just been voted World’s Sexiest Man.
With nowhere to hide, there’s just one question. Now the one who got away has come back, should Annie stand by her pride? Or give into Austen’s powers of persuasion?
My Thoughts

‘Who are you living for, Anne? You or them?’ She could still hear Austen saying it. And she knew that he meant it because he called her Anne. And she still couldn’t answer that question eight years later.’

Anything ‘Austen’ captures my attention, so this book came on my radar and what a bit of fun it proved to be - a great and much needed weekend escape. A modern retelling of Jane Austen’s ‘Persuasion’ with a touch of ‘Pride and Prejudice’ thrown in for good measure.

One aspect I particularly enjoyed was how the author kept most of the key scenes from the original but put a contemporary twist on them. The storyline was most definitely recognisable, yet Coady did not let it dominate. I loved the ending and how everything was nicely bought together - yes the romance - but with the two leads only trading a few lines in real time (there are flashbacks), it was more about the lead character and her journey. Her success in life was her decisions - not a knight in shining armour - so you witnessed her grow and discover her own voice.

‘Over eight years what had she learned? Nothing. Not one single thing except how to keep on allowing her family to squeeze and mould her into the gaps in their lives. She hadn’t been living; she had been merely existing.’

Being ‘chick lit’ you have to make some concessions. For example, the family will grate on your nerves (‘Sometimes she felt like David Attenborough hiding in the undergrowth, and trying to work out what made them tick’), Annie’s inner dialogue will make you want to shake her at times and some parts are just way out of the ball park - three words for you who will read it - My Little Pony! Wow! At times a bit repetitive - I would love to know on how many occasions the author wrote ‘eight years ago’ - GAH! However, you have to take the good with the bad and it being so light and entertaining compensated for these drawbacks.

This was a fun read. I appreciated the Austen references eg. ‘Northanger Agency’ and there are some funny moments with enough romance but not overbearingly so. I found it to be fast-paced, whizzing through it over a weekend - pure fun and escapism.

‘ You are too generous to trifle with me. If your feelings are still what they were last April, tell me so at once. My affections and wishes are unchanged, but one word from you will silence me on this subject for ever…’

This review is based on a complimentary copy from the publisher and provided through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. The quoted material may have changed in the final release

Friday, August 11, 2017

Review: The One That Got Away

Title: The One That Got Away
Author: Melissa Pimentel
Publisher: 22 August  2017 by St. Martin’s Press
Pages: 352 pages
How I Read It: ARC book
Genre: women’s fiction, contemporary, romance
My Rating: 3 cups

'A smart, funny retelling of Jane Austen's Persuasion that's perfect for a poolside read' Red
Ruby and Ethan were perfect for each other. Until the day they suddenly weren't.
Now, ten years later, Ruby is single, having spent the last decade focusing on her demanding career and hectic life in Manhattan. There's barely time for a trip to England for her little sister's wedding. And there's certainly not time to think about what it will be like to see Ethan again, who just so happens to be the best man.
But as the family frantically prepare for the big day, Ruby can't help but wonder if she made the right choice all those years ago. Because there is nothing like a wedding for stirring up the past . . .
My Thoughts

“Here I was, jet-lagged as all hell, standing in a sixteenth-century pub in the middle of nowhere and giving my ex-boyfriend advice on how to spend his magnificent fortune . . . it was all a bit much.”

I snapped this read up hoping for some modern Austen escapism. From a chick lit perspective it was okay, however, I found the Austen link hard to determine and justify. It’s a pleasant enough read, if a little underwhelming, failing to hit the mark in the spark and romance area. I do not feel that the author truly set the scene in both explaining and capturing the depth of emotion to make it fully engaging and at times, was somewhat silly with the female lead jealous of a dead person!

The structure of the book didn’t quite gel either. Ruby and Ethan’s stories told in two time lines - now and then - was fragmented and difficult to keep track of and didn’t really work for me. It’s not a badly narrated story,  just lacking excitement and pizzazz. There are some worthwhile humourous moments that brought a smile to my face:

“I’d taken myself to see Frozen on a particularly dark day back in January and had found myself sobbing uncontrollably during “Let It Go”

As a modern telling of “Persuasion” (by Jane Austen) it is a bit of a stretch -“second chance” romance is the only real tenuous link. Although a reasonably well-written book, I found it lacking in quite a few areas. Overall, a was nice, light read.

“But here’s the thing that I’d realized: I sort of hated my life. Not entirely—pieces of it were great—but I’d been living on autopilot for too long, wearing grooves in the sidewalk between work and home.”

This review is based on a complimentary copy from the publisher and provided through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. The quoted material may have changed in the final release

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Review: Together

Title: Together
Author: Julie Cohen
Publisher: 11 July 2017 by Hachette/Orion
Pages: 336 pages
How I Read It: ARC book
Genre: fiction, romance
My Rating: 4 cups


This is not a great love story.
This is a story about great love.

On a morning that seems just like any other, Robbie wakes in his bed, his wife Emily asleep beside him, as always. He rises and dresses, makes his coffee, feeds his dogs, just as he usually does. But then he leaves Emily a letter and does something that will break her heart. As the years go back all the way to 1962, Robbie's actions become clearer as we discover the story of a couple with a terrible secret - one they will do absolutely anything to protect.

Perfect for fans of Jojo Moyes's Me Before You, David Nicholls's One Day and M L Stedman's The Light Between Oceans.

My Thoughts

‘He thinks about you every day. He doesn’t talk about you every day, but sometimes we don’t talk about the most important things to us. Sometimes we can’t.’

Do books often come along at a poignant time in a person’s life? This is such an interesting little book on so many platforms. It is well written and thought provoking, as it shines a light on relationships and family dynamics. However, let me say right from the outset, this is not a soppy, teary book because of romance - there is so much more involved in this little story that really packs a punch.

‘No. I think it’s most likely Alzheimer’s.’ She was brave. Her voice didn’t waver at all when she said it.’

‘Sometimes people just have to stay distant,’ she said.’

‘Emily stepped forward, feeling, for the first time, a stirring of anger at her own family.’

It took me a little while to get into this book. I had to put it down and come back to it a week later, as I did not think I was in the right frame of mind to read it. Starting with a devastating event, I was unsure if I was up for the journey. However, it all changed after a couple of chapters and I shall tell you why.

The book is written backwards. Highly unusual and requires flicking back and forth as the brain does not really compute that way. But really, when you think about it, it is probably the only way this tale could be told. From a writing perspective, it is quite incredible and most definitely unique - at the end you want to go back to the beginning and read it over with fresh eyes.

The author presents Robbie and Emily at key stages of their lives, commencing at 2016 until the final date of 1962 - which is of course, the beginning and when they first met. Each stage reveals a little more of the story, but also leaves with you with questions. There are twists and turns along the way, and the ending .... wow .... I did not see that coming. Then, and only then, do all the pieces fall into place regarding Emily and why she is estranged from her family. The ‘mystery’ that had been hovering over story up until this moment is revealed.

Overall, this is an unusual book, for both the way it is set out and the issues it tackles. Try not to let that distract you from what is in fact, a most thought provoking tale.

‘Sometimes we don’t know the moments that are going to be significant to us, not until later when we look back and reflect.’

This review is based on a complimentary copy from the publisher and provided through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. The quoted material may have changed in the final release

Friday, August 4, 2017

Review: Court of Lions

Title: Court of Lions
Author: Jane Johnson
Publisher: 6 July 2017 by Head of Zeus
Pages: 500 pages
How I Read It: ARC book
Genre: historical fiction, cultural Spain
My Rating: 3.5 cups


"Kate Fordham, escaping terrible trauma, has fled to the beautiful sunlit city of Granada, the ancient capital of the Moors in Spain, where she is scraping by with an unfulfilling job in a busy bar. One day in the glorious gardens of the Alhambra, once home to Sultan Abu Abdullah Mohammed, also known as Boabdil, Kate finds a scrap of paper hidden in one of the ancient walls. Upon it, in strange symbols, has been inscribed a message from another age. It has lain undiscovered since before the Fall of Granada in 1492, when the city was surrendered to Queen Isabella and King Ferdinand. Born of love, in a time of danger and desperation, the fragment will be the catalyst that changes Kate's life forever.

An epic saga of romance and redemption, Court of Lions brings one of the great turning-points in history to life, telling the stories of a modern woman and the last Moorish sultan of Granada, as they both move towards their cataclysmic destinies."

My Thoughts

I was drawn to this book as I do enjoy a good dual narrative. However, it would appear that the only thing these two stories had in common was geography. We live in a time of upheaval and this story sought to make a (tenuous) link between the fears and prejudices that have always simmered in societies, both present and past - even making reference to the Charlie Hebdo atrocity.

There is no doubt whatsoever the amount of research the author has put into this work. I did not really know that much about the the Granada War of the 1400’s, the culture or the people who existed at that time. Namely, the rise and fall of Abu Abdullah Mohammed, the last Islamic ruler of this empire. Jane Johnson certainly brought to life everything from the architecture and gardens, to the food and culture - from the highest to the lowest members of society. The focus is on the power struggles between Queen Isabella of Spain and her plan to remove the Muslim and Jewish people in her efforts to gain control of Granada. Full of treachery and violence, the vivid descriptions place you right at the heart of the struggle.

The modern day story was not as appealing.  The author even made mention that:

“I wanted to tell his personal story, as well as recount the great sweep of events leading up to the fall. The book was shaping up to be a straightforward historical epic...”

... and in some respects it should have remained so, as Kate’s story was a rather disconnected and weak link. If it was to have worked, there needed to be far more substantial links between the two storylines. Shared subtle and hard to pinpoint themes, were not enough, as the mystery surrounding the hidden paper Kate found, eventuated into nothing of  any real importance.

Overall, it is a well written and interesting read, the product of extensive research. The story of 15th century Granada was noteworthy, if at times, a little drawn out. If you are a reader looking for something unique with an inside view of both historical and modern religious eccentricities, then this would be the book for you.

“Sometimes surrender is more courageous than resistance. But it’s hard for people to see that.”

This review is based on a complimentary copy from the publisher and provided through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. The quoted material may have changed in the final release

Sunday, July 30, 2017

Review: Tiny House on the HIll

Title: Tiny House on the Hill (A Tiny House Novel)
Author: Celia Bonaduce
Publisher: 15 August 2017 by Kensington Books, Lyrical Press.
Pages: 304 pages
How I Read It: ARC book
Genre: Women's Fiction
My Rating: 3.5 cups


Home is where the heart fits . . .

Summer Murray is ready to shake things up. She doesn’t want to work in risk management. She doesn’t want to live in Hartford, Connecticut. So she plans a grand adventure: she’s going to throw out all the stuff she doesn’t want and travel the country in her very own tiny house house shaped like a train caboose. Just Summer, her chihuahua-dachshund Shortie, and 220 square feet of freedom.

Then her take-no-prisoners grandmother calls to demand Summer head home to the Pacific Northwest to save the family bakery. Summer has her reasons for not wanting to return home, but she’ll just park her caboose, fix things, and then be on her way. But when she gets to Cat’s Paw, Washington, she’s shocked by her grandmother’s strange behavior and reunited with a few people she’d hoped to avoid. If Summer is going to make a fresh start, she’ll have to face the past she’s been running from all along . . . 

My Thoughts:

One day, Clarissa (Summer) Murray finds herself at a cross roads in her life (instigated by the accidental shrinking of a cashmere jumper of all things!) and decides to quit her risk management job, downsize her life, and hit the road with her dog, Shortie, in a caboose shaped Tiny House, with grand plans to make and sell home-made purses at craft markets across the country.

Just before Summer embarks upon her adventure she is contacted by her irascible Grandmother Queenie, who demands she return to Cat’s Paw Washington to help save the family bakery, Dough Z Dough. Even though she is reluctant to face the people she left behind Summer decides to make Cat’s Paw the first stop on her adventure so that she can fix what needs fixing and then move on to her life on the road.  After collecting her new home from the intriguing and attractive tiny house designer/builder Bale (the king of mixed messages and “maybe” flirting!) Summer’s trip across country provides a number of amusing insights for the reader into the life of the tiny house traveller. From dealing with surly tiny-house-hating RV park operators, unravelling the intricacies involved with the proper Walmart over-night parking etiquette, and accepting the difficulties of parking the whole rig to do a spot of shopping, the reader follows Summer's journey as she makes her way back home.  There, parked in her snug little home atop her favourite hill, she must not only come to terms with all the issues that she had turned her back on years before, she must also make some decisions about her first love vs. the new-comer vying for her affections.

A story of second chances, growth and acceptance, Tiny House on the Hill is a charming read that cleverly taps into the reader’s curiosity about the life and travels of the Tiny House community. Let’s face it, haven’t we all watched the Tiny House reality TV shows and thought to ourselves …..”why not me?”. While for me, the romantic resolution wasn't as satisfying as I like, it was overall, a delightful story and I look forward to reading more by this author.  A solid 3.5 stars from me!

This review is based on a complimentary copy from the publisher and provided through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. The quoted material may have changed in the final release

Saturday, July 22, 2017

Review: Royally Romanov

Title: Royally Romanov
Author: Teri Wilson
Publisher: 17 July 2017 by Gallery, Threshold, Pocket Books.
Pages: 304 pages
How I Read It: ARC book
Genre: romance
My Rating: 4.5 cups

In this charming modern day retelling of the 1956 classic Anastasia, a museum curator falls for a mysterious man who may or may not be a long lost heir to Russia’s imperial Romanov dynasty.

Finley Abbot is organizing the most prestigious art exhibit of her career at the Louvre museum—a retrospective of art from the House of Romanov. But the sudden appearance of Maxim Romanov threatens to turn her into the biggest laughingstock of the art world. When she finds herself falling in love, she realizes there’s even more at stake than her career. How can she trust a man with her whole world when he can’t remember a thing about his past?

After suffering a violent blow to the head, Maxim’s only clue to his identity is a notebook containing carefully researched documentation in his own handwriting indicating that he is the sole surviving descendant of the Grand Duchess Anastasia, previously thought dead in the murder of her family during Russia’s Bolshevik revolution. His struggle to put the mysterious pieces of his past back together leads him to Finley. At first, she’s convinced Maxim is nothing but a con artist. But there’s something undeniably captivating about the beautiful, brooding man who claims to be searching for his identity—something Finley can’t quite bring herself to resist. When he reveals a secret about one of the imperial FabergĂ© eggs in the collection, she accepts he may actually be telling the truth. But as soon as Finley and Maxim act on their feelings for one another, Maxim is confronted with evidence that calls into question everything he’s begun to believe about himself.
My Thoughts

“Everyone’s into the Romanovs. Their story is one of history’s most famous unsolved mysteries.”

“What if there was more to the story?”

I admit to always having been fascinated by the Romanov’s, the last ruling family of Russia before the revolution. The intrigue continues over the supposed survival of Anastasia. Therefore I readily sign up for any new, fictional or otherwise, read regarding this. Knowing this is a ‘chick lit’ (after my last few heavy reads, I was in need of some ‘light and fluffy’ as I like to call it!) I was pleasantly surprised to discover this book contains so much more than romantic escapism.

In equal parts this is a romance AND, importantly,  a rewrite of the classic story, ‘Anastasia’. This is the second book in the Royally series, but the books are in no way related and this most definitely reads as a standalone. What a delightful surprise to discover that there were bonus and legitimate historical references.

‘July 17, 2018 will mark the one hundredth anniversary of the execution of the Tsar and his family ... the Century Rule was instituted here in France after so many claims were made on notable pieces.’

So on the one hand you have this simmering romance but at the same time, this engaging mystery that could possible change history! What fun! A  mysterious, exciting, romantic love story!!!! I was hooked. Add to the usual recipe of romance, an assortment of clues and it proves a fun adventure. The inclusion of things such as the famous Romanov FabergĂ© eggs, and the female lead working at the Louvre make for some credible facts.

‘The Louvre was the biggest museum in the world. The tour guides and docents were fond of telling visitors that the museum was so immense that it would take one hundred straight days to see every piece of art in the Louvre’s extensive collection. And that would leave a mere thirty seconds to look at each one.’

The tragic end to this famous Royal Family has always intrigued and produced many ensuing legends. What the author has done here is create a credible storyline of a man who may indeed be the grandson of the Archduchess Anastasia. It’s a great to journey along with Maxim and Finley as together they seek to investigate and discover the truth behind who he really is.

‘what about the Dowager Empress Maria Feodorovna, who’d been the Tsar’s mother’

Does the combination work? I believe it does. Yes there is some humour but instead of detracting from the story it provided lighter moments:

‘...meeting a man who gave her serious Mr. Darcy vibes.’

In conclusion, Royally Romanov is a good romantic story with a most worthy and interesting twist on a classic tale - that little bit of  mystery that will engage you through to the very end.

‘She ate, drank, and slept the Romanovs twenty-four hours a day. She’d been chasing them through decades of history’

This review is based on a complimentary copy from the publisher and provided through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. The quoted material may have changed in the final release

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Review: Beneath a Burning Sky

Title: Beneath a Burning Sky
Author: Jenny Ashcroft
Publisher: 29 June 2017 Little Brown Book Group UK Sphere
Pages: 416 pages
How I Read It: ARC book
Genre: historical fiction
My Rating: 5 cups

When 22-year-old Olivia is coerced into marriage by the cruel Alistair Sheldon, she leaves England for Egypt, his home and the land of her own childhood. Reluctant as she is to go with Alistair, it's in her new home that she finds happiness in surprising places: she is reunited with her long-estranged sister, Clara, and falls - impossibly and illicitly - in love with her husband's boarder, Captain Edward Bertram.

Then Clara is abducted from one of the busiest streets in the city. Olivia is told it's thieves after ransom money, but she's convinced there's more to it. As she sets out to discover what's happened to the sister she's only just begun to know, she falls deeper into the shadowy underworld of Alexandria, putting her own life and her chance at a future with Edward, the only man she's ever loved, at risk. Because, determined as Olivia is to find Clara, there are others who will stop at nothing to conceal what's become of her....

My Thoughts

"Beneath a Burning Sky" is Jenny Ashcroft's debut novel, and what a debut it was! Initially I was interested in this book because it takes place in Egypt and I love to learn about this ancient place - fact or fiction. This story was set mostly in Alexandria during the end of the 19th century, when Egypt was still under British rule. Not really knowing what to expect from a debut, I was transported to another place and time in this beautifully written tale.

Jenny Ashcroft has written a wonderful story, a fabulous historical romance in colonial Egypt, one that is full of intrigue and mystery, love and hate. There is an interwoven plot that will keep you guessing right to the very end. There are wonderful descriptions of Egypt at the turn of the century, but this book is really all about the characters and their relationships. This is most definitely the driving force - the life of an expat during the 1890s.

There are many characters and each have their contributions to make. From the disappearance of the main character’s sister - who did it? How? Why? Where? - to the brutality of a violent marriage (you will really despise Alistair). But at the heart of this tale is a love story and what a classic it is. Edward is the personification of the dashing hero and his relationship with Olivia will most certainly pull at your heartstrings.

‘I’m trying to keep you safe.’ His soft voice was baffled. ‘You cannot know the dangers of this land, the things people do.’

The flip story of Nailah, whilst a little difficult to follow at times, helps provide the voice of the Egyptians, demonstrating the contrast between the ruling British and the downtrodden Egyptians. However, this is such a well crafted mystery that at the end, when all the puzzle pieces start to come together, you will understand more and more her role and those of her family and friends.

Jenny Ashcroft is to be congratulated on how easily, and seemingly effortlessly, she brings to life the tense atmosphere of colonial rule. She evokes such a range of emotions through her characters  that their stories will stay with you long after the final page is turned. It’s fast paced and addictive with characters that will grow on you - you will want to despise Alistair, slap Jeremy, swoon over Edward and rally behind Olivia - just to name a few.

'Life wasn’t long enough to waste with unhappy decisions.'

Am I gushing? Yes I am - it was absolutely brilliant. Whether or not historical fiction is your thing it doesn’t matter for this is so much more than that. The harsh brutality of life at times, the intriguing mystery and the quest for true love will sweep you away to a time and place long gone.

'For lies were all she had to give. The truth, always terrifying, had never felt more impossible than now.'

This review is based on a complimentary copy from the publisher and provided through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. The quoted material may have changed in the final release

Friday, July 14, 2017

Review: Beneath the Apple Leaves

Title: Beneath the Apple Leaves
Author: Harmony Verna
Publisher: 27 June 2017 Kensington Books
Pages: 516 pages
How I Read It: ARC book
Genre: historical fiction
My Rating: 5 cups


From the author of Daughter of Australia comes a sweeping, heartfelt historical novel that follows a family of German immigrants who trade city living for the harsh realities of Pennsylvania farm life.
In 1914, Andrew Houghton s family is one of hundreds eking out an existence in the coal mines of southwestern Pennsylvania. Though he longs to be a veterinarian, he s fated for a life underground, picking rock alongside his father.

That destiny changes when his aunt, Eveline Kiser, arranges for her husband to secure Andrew an apprenticeship on the railroad. Wilhelm Kiser, a German immigrant, has found his American dream in Pittsburgh, with a well-paying job as a brakeman, and a secure pension. But on Andrew s first week, an incident goes tragically wrong, leaving him severely injured, his dreams shattered. Wracked with guilt, Wilhelm finally agrees to his wife s pleas to leave Pittsburgh s smog behind. With Andrew in tow, they swap their three-story row house for a rough-and-tumble farm.

Life in rural Pennsylvania is not as idyllic as Eveline imagined. The soil is slow to yield and their farmhouse is in disrepair. But there is one piece of beauty in this rugged land. Lily Morton is quick-witted and tough on the outside, but bears her own secret scars inside. Andrew s bond with her will help steer them through all the challenges to come, even as anti-German sentiment spreads across America with the outbreak of World War I.

Beneath the Apple Leaves is a vivid, deeply moving portrait of family its hardships, triumphs, and passions and a powerfully authentic evocation of life on the land and the hearts that sustain it.

My Thoughts

Having read and LOVED Harmony’s debut novel, Daughter of AustraliaI did not hesitate to embark on another journey with her. Would it, however, live up to her first inspiring saga? I can say without the shadow of a doubt, it was right up there beside her first amazing novel. As Harmony states in her acknowledgements,

‘The seeds of this book came from my mother ... who shared the stories - the sorrows and the joys - of growing up on a farm in rural Pennsylvania ... I am humbled and proud of the strength and sacrifices of my German ancestors’.

‘Beneath the Apple Leaves’ is another emotional roller coaster ride, that is the epitome of what good historical drama is all about. This will undoubtedly pull at your heartstrings as Harmony takes you on a journey to another place and time. Yet another powerful drama that incorporates not only the plight of German immigrants during World War I, but topics ranging from the hardships of life on the land, family love and loss, terrible tragedies and great moments of hope and joy.

“It’s too much for any of us. We’re all drowning. Like the whole world is drowning!”

This book is indeed most beautifully scripted from the enduring love story to the emotional heartbreak of unbearable losses. There will be times when you feel, surely fate will cut them some slack for these much deserving characters; but as the war ensues and deliberate harassment and persecution is rife, you begin to wonder if you will get a happy ending. If things could go wrong, invariably they seemed to.

“They’re good people. Love this country as much as the Simpsons. Except they don’t have to attack people to prove it.”

Yet despite, or in fact because of this, these characters will pull at your heartstrings. You just have to read through hoping against hope that life will be kinder to these deserving souls. Will love endure ‘beneath the apple leaves’?

‘With ax in hand, Andrew stared at the enormity of the ancient apple tree. The limbs, old, had witnessed too much suffering. And they seemed to ask to be relieved, to say good-bye. A wind blew and rustled the branches, the leaves waving in surrender.’

This is another amazing journey that Harmony takes you on and you will be swept away as becoming emotionally invested in these characters, especially the stoic Andrew. Such a finely crafted story I cannot recommend highly enough - historical drama of immigrants in early 1900s Pennsylvania.

‘For life began anew, grew again, beneath the apple leaves.’

This review is based on a complimentary copy from the publisher and provided through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. The quoted material may have changed in the final release