Tuesday, June 30, 2020

Review: The Sea Gate

Title: The Sea Gate
Author: Jane Johnson
Publisher: 4th June 2020 by Head of Zeus
Pages: 448 pages
How I Read It: ARC book
Genre: historical fiction, women’s fiction
My Rating: 4 cups

A broken family, a house of secrets—an entrancing tale of love and courage set during the Second World War.
After Rebecca’s mother dies, she must sort through her empty flat and come to terms with her loss. As she goes through her mother’s mail, she finds a handwritten envelope. In it is a letter that will change her life forever.
Olivia, her mother’s elderly cousin, needs help to save her beloved home. Rebecca immediately goes to visit Olivia in Cornwall only to find a house full of secrets—treasures in the attic and a mysterious tunnel leading from the cellar to the sea, and Olivia, nowhere to be found.
As it turns out, the old woman is stuck in hospital with no hope of being discharged until her house is made habitable again. Rebecca sets to work restoring the home to its former glory, but as she peels back the layers of paint and grime, she uncovers even more buried secrets—secrets from a time when the Second World War was raging, when Olivia was a young woman, and when both romance and danger lurked around every corner...
A sweeping and utterly spellbinding tale of a young woman’s courage in the face of war and the lengths to which she’ll go to protect those she loves against the most unexpected of enemies.
My Thoughts

‘For a moment it seemed as if the world shifted on its axis and she felt like a foreigner in her own village. They were so wrong, so dangerously wrong, and she had been right all along.’

Always up for a good dual time narrative, The Sea Gate ticks all the boxes venturing into Cornwall during WWII to the present day. Here is a story with strong characters involved in a family drama with some well kept secrets that lead to a present day mystery. 

The character of Olivia is the constant player in both timelines and boy! what a character she is! From a present day feisty 90 year old, to life in Cornwall as a teenager - she is overflowing with confidence and attitude - but her life has not been an easy one and the author does a fabulous job of digging deeper to see beyond the crotchety old lady persona. The characters, along with the plot, are complex and engaging. Even the parrot with the foul mouth needs to be included here. What is not to love about an old house with secrets and old Olivia telling Rebecca about her younger self during the war years. There is real growth for all the main players over the course of the story to entice the reader. 

‘Of course real life wasn’t like that. She couldn’t see a future for the two of them, not here, or anywhere, so she tried not to think about the future at all.’

Cornwall comes alive with detailed descriptions of sea breezes and secret coves. The plot is well thought out with lots of interconnecting pieces across both timelines that come together for a climactic conclusion. I thought it was cleverly constructed and the mystery has a super twist at the end that you will not see coming. There are multiple themes at play here from abandonment and abuse, to survival and self discovery, with subterfuge and violent confrontations.  Jane is to be commended for giving purposeful consideration to all these aspects along with the added light relief of humour and a foul mouthed parrot!

With so much going on it takes awhile to get going but by the end I was hooked. The depth of the  intrigue I was not expecting but once again Jane weaves it all together beautifully.  From the outfall of evacuees and war time prisoners, to interracial relationships, to murder and misdemeanours to caring for the elderly. When you sit back, there is a lot going on but somehow she makes it all blend together.

‘A seagull screeches overhead and when I look up I am dazzled by the golden light haloing its wings against the sky; and all at once Cornwall saves me.’

My fascination with Cornwall continues as it seems to be the perfect location for many a story with its rugged backdrop often being matched by an equally compelling storyline. The key figure here is the strength of character of Olivia who shines in both timelines and makes The Sea Gate a compelling read. 

‘I turn on my phone and find the photo I took of The Sea Gate and show it to her. ‘It’s so beautiful, and so sad. Tell me, Cousin Olivia, are you the “OK Painter”? It is you, isn’t it?’

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

Sunday, June 28, 2020

Review: Tiny Pieces of Us

Title: Tiny Pieces of Us
Author: Nicky Pellegrino
Publisher: 30th June 2020 by Hachette Australia
Pages: 320 pages
How I Read It: ARC book
Genre: family, modern contemporary
My Rating: 4 cups

My heart is less than 1% of my body, it weighs hardly anything; it is only a tiny piece of me, yet it is the part everyone finds most interesting.
Vivi Palmer knows what it's like to live life carefully. Born with a heart defect, she was given a second chance after a transplant, but has never quite dared to make the most of it. Until she comes face-to-face with her donor's mother, Grace, who wants something in return for Vivi's second-hand heart: her help to find all the other people who have tiny pieces of her son.
Reluctantly drawn into Grace's mission, Vivi's journalist training takes over as one by one she tracks down a small group of strangers. As their lives intertwine Vivi finds herself with a new kind of family, and by finding out more about all the pieces that make up the many parts of her, Vivi might just discover a whole new world waiting for her...

My Thoughts

‘My heart is less than one per cent of my body; it is only a tiny piece of me. All I can do is trust it will keep beating, that its valves will open and close, pumping blood round my body. All I can do is hope and live, like everyone ... like other ordinary people.’

I have read and enjoyed a couple Nicky Pellegrino's books yet it would seem this is a step in a different direction and I liked it. Tiny Pieces of Us will inspire you with its tale of organ transplants. At first I was somewhat unsure, but I warmed to the story and the characters as Nicky’s writing encapsulated the grateful moments along with the heartbreaking ones. 

‘No one is ever safe,’ said Stefano, matter-of-factly, ‘that’s why it’s so important to make the most of life.’ 

This is an interesting fictional look into organ donations from both sides, something I failed to consider beyond the initial donation and transplant (‘People tend to think of an organ transplant as a happy ending’). I found it eye opening and learnt a great deal. The story will take you through a plethora of emotions - everything from love and laughter to tears and heartbreak. It will prompt you to reconsider ‘family’ and the importance of connections. 

Nicky will take you on a journey of how it must be for those who have lost a loved one and also the relief of receiving an organ is in fact, the beginning of a physical and emotional lifelong journey. I appreciated seeing things through Vivi’s point of view and the many hurdles (real and imagined) she put herself through. I enjoyed the backstories behind the other organ recipients and I particularly warmed to her sister Imogen as once again Nicky invites you to consider what it might be like for family members as well. A comprehensive and, I feel, realistic portrayal of all. 

‘Don’t you ever think that we got this second chance at life so should be doing something more important?’  ‘Like curing cancer or negotiating world peace?’ ‘Perhaps not that important.’ ‘I don’t know.’ Tommy sounded thoughtful. ‘We can’t live our best lives all the time, can we? Sometimes we just have to get through the day, same as anyone else.’ 

Woven into this is also family dynamics, a career quandary and relationships with some romance which adds depth and therefore this is not a one dimensional tale. There is much to appreciate here and a grateful heart (pardon the pun) to walk away with. I have always enjoyed Nicky’s writing but feel she has really stepped it up with her latest offering and I can’t wait to see what she comes up with next. 

 ‘The only thing that has ever made her feel slightly better is knowing that out there somewhere Jamie’s heart is still beating, that his death meant other people had a future. She  thinks about the ones that have tiny pieces of him inside them.’

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

Saturday, June 27, 2020

Review: The Silk House

Title: The Silk House
Author: Kayte Nunn
Publisher: 30th June 2020 by Hachette Australia
Pages: 384 pages
How I Read It: ARC book
Genre: historical fiction
My Rating: 4 cups

Weaving. Healing. Haunting. The spellbinding story of a mysterious boarding school sheltering a centuries-old secret by the bestselling author of THE BOTANIST'S DAUGHTER.
Australian history teacher Thea Rust arrives at an exclusive boarding school in the British countryside only to find that she is to look after the first intake of girls in its 150-year history. She is to stay with them in Silk House, a building with a long and troubled past, where the shadows hide more mysteries than she could ever imagine.
In the late 1700s, Rowan Caswell leaves her village to work in the home of an English silk merchant. She is thrust into a new and dangerous world where her talent for herbs and healing soon attracts attention.
In London, Mary-Louise Stephenson lives amid the clatter of the weaving trade and dreams of becoming a silk designer, a job that is the domain of men. Arriving in the market town of Oxleigh, she brings with her a length of fabric woven with a pattern of deadly plants that will have far-reaching consequences for all who dwell in the silk house.
Intoxicating, haunting and inspired by the author's background, THE SILK HOUSE is the exceptional new gothic mystery by Kayte Nunn.
My Thoughts

‘Now about Silk House: it’s been through more hands and incarnations than almost any other building in the high street, I believe.’

The Silk House is an extremely well written tale. After reading and thoroughly enjoying Kayte’s other two books - The Botanist's Daughter & The Forgotten Letters of Esther Durrant - I eagerly anticipated her latest offering. Kayte explains that her interest in topics such as medicinal and poisonous plants (especially when paired with suspicions of witchcraft) and  fabric weaving could come together to form a powerful story. She was right. 

The Silk House, being a dual narrative, offers on the one hand a rich gothic tale of the past and on the other, a present day haunting ghost story. If you are a lover of old houses with a dark mysterious past, then this is most certainly the book for you. From the time of its construction and first inhabitants in the 1700s, to the tale of today being a boarding dormitory for young girls, there is much to tell. The two stories work well together and revolve around three young women. 

In the past the main character is Rowan, employed as a maid at Silk House. Her knowledge of herbal tinctures may get her into trouble and accused of witchcraft. There is also  Mary-Louise, a talented artist who applies her creativity to silk design but finds it challenging to be accepted in a male dominated trade. In the present day there is Thea who has come from Australia to take up a position in an exclusive boarding school in the English countryside. Residing in ‘Silk House’ and curious about its history, she begins to research the history of the building after some strange occurrences. 

I particularly appreciated the strong female characters, especially Rowan and enjoyed learning about the silk industry and herbal lore of the time. The house holds a secret and over the years this continues to manifest through unusual events until Thea (present day) feels compelled to resolve this centuries old mystery. 

This was an enjoyable read even though I am not of gothic inclinations. Kayte is a quality writer and I was invested to find out if Mary-Louise could succeed with her ambitions; if Rowan could avoid the title of ‘witch’; and, if Thea could unravel why this house wanted to let go of all its secrets. 

‘Do you think you might perhaps be confusing tradition with history? One can evolve, you know.’

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

Tuesday, June 23, 2020

Review: The Lost Summers of Driftwood

Title: The Lost Summers of Driftwood
Author: Vanessa McCausland
Publisher: 16th December 2019 by HarperCollins AU
Pages: 352 pages
How I Read It: ARC book
Genre: family, mystery, contemporary
My Rating: 4 cups


Is it more dangerous to forget ... or to remember? A compelling drama about broken dreams, first love and the mystery of a lost sister, for all fans of Hannah Richell and Kate Morton. She remembered this part of the trip during the day time. Her sisters on either side in the back. The sunlight flickering through branches was like looking through a kaleidoscope. How could that be so long ago? How could so much have gone wrong?

Phoebe's life has fallen apart and there's only one place left to go. Alone and adrift after a failed marriage proposal, she flees Sydney to her family's abandoned holiday cottage.

On the slow-moving river Phoebe is confronted with the legacy of her older sister's suicide, a year before. Why did Karin leave a note written in flowers and walk into the water?

Phoebe's childhood love, Jez, has moved back to the beautiful old house, Driftwood, one jetty down. He's married now and the home has become a refuge for an unlikely little community.

As the river begins to give up its secrets, Phoebe finds herself caught up in old feelings and new mysteries.

The Lost Summers of Driftwood is a story of lost loves, rekindled passions, tragedy and betrayal set against the backdrop of an idyllic south coast town.

My Thoughts

The Lost Summers of Driftwood not only has a beautiful cover but a fabulous story to go with it. Whilst recalling a family tragedy, this is also a story about friendships and first loves. This is a tale that will slowly draw you in and keep you coming back until the last page is turned. Told against the backdrop of an idyllic setting, a mystery is on offer here that needs to be resolved.

One of the highlights for me was the beautiful setting with Vanessa seeming to make the landscape a character within itself. Her writing makes the sun warm our skin and the water cool our souls. Set in a picturesque Australian bush setting, Vanessa brings to life the bay and its river. Living in Australia, I found her passages surrounding the bushfire to be so authentic that it was as if the reader could smell smoke and ash in the air. 

‘Feeling those fires so close, you start to think about what matters. What you’d leave behind, what you would save, no matter what. And it brings everything into focus. Why live life being so fucking unhappy?  Trying and failing so hard. Maybe this thing ... this meeting of minds, or hearts, whatever it is we have, maybe it’s that simple.’

I had no preconceptions regarding the plot and found myself fully engaged on a number of levels. I enjoyed the characters and their journeys - either individually or in some cases as a family. The tragedy is haunting and well written with just enough flashbacks to hook you in and think ‘what would I do?’ The relationships are real and relatable. The mystery is not predictable until the very end but by then the fallout is more impactful as this is not a one dimensional story. For a debut novel, this is really quite extraordinary.

I look forward to seeing what Vanessa will come up with next. If you enjoy a well told story with the perfect combination of mystery, reflection, location and atmosphere then I highly recommend this read. There is much to love here and I enjoyed all the aspects on offer.

‘Phoebe cringed at the thought of her last status update - a pair of cocktails sweating lazily against the setting sun. A post that was meant to convey the dreamy perfection of their lives in a single image. The sound of Nathaniel’s exasperation came back to her as she arranged the glasses just so for the picture. Of course, she hadn’t read it as contempt. She hadn’t read it for what it was: her arranging their lives, as though happiness would be inferred by the tilt of a straw.’

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

Friday, June 19, 2020

Review: The Vanishing Half

Title: The Vanishing Half
Author: Brit Bennett
Publisher: 9th June 2020 by Hachette Australia
Pages: 343 pages
How I Read It: ARC book
Genre: historical fiction, contemporary, race, cultural
My Rating: 3.5 cups

The Vignes twin sisters will always be identical. But after growing up together in a small, southern black community and running away at age sixteen, it's not just the shape of their daily lives that is different as adults, it's everything: their families, their communities, their racial identities. Ten years later, one sister lives with her black daughter in the same southern town she once tried to escape. The other secretly passes for white, and her white husband knows nothing of her past. Still, even separated by so many miles and just as many lies, the fates of the twins remain intertwined. What will happen to the next generation, when their own daughters' story lines intersect?
Weaving together multiple strands and generations of this family, from the Deep South to California, from the 1950s to the 1990s, Brit Bennett produces a story that is at once a riveting, emotional family story and a brilliant exploration of the American history of passing. Looking well beyond issues of race, The Vanishing Half considers the lasting influence of the past as it shapes a person's decisions, desires, and expectations, and explores some of the multiple reasons and realms in which people sometimes feel pulled to live as something other than their origins.
My Thoughts

The Vanishing Half  is an insightful and highly relevant book given the current situation in the global society. How much of an impact and influence does the past have on the present? Can you ever truly move beyond what may be innate? 

“She’d imagined, more than once, telling her daughter the truth ... how she’d pretended to be someone else because she needed a job, and after a while, pretending became reality. She could tell the truth, she thought, but there was no single truth anymore. She’d lived a life split between two women - each real, each a lie.”

Identical twins who grow up in a town where the population is composed mainly of light-skinned African-American people dream of a new life. After adventuring out together, they eventually separate with one, Desiree, returning to her hometown with her young daughter; and, Stella, the other twin, choosing a very different life, one in fact based on a lie. The book is divided into sections alternating between both the twins and eventually their daughters' stories - that being of particular interest when their paths intersect. 

The book has strong messages on how family bonds can be so strong and decisions made one day can have lasting implications through to the next generation. It also broaches the theme of transgender, however personally, I thought to tackle two really strong topics - racial and sexual (three if you include family relationships) - may have been a bit much in my opinion. I would have preferred to solely focus on the racial identification issue for a comprehensive tale. 

 “Sometimes she wondered if Miss Vignes was a separate person altogether. Maybe she wasn’t a mask that Stella put on. Maybe Miss Vignes was already a part of her, as if she had been split in half. She could become whichever woman she decided, whichever side of her face she tilted to the light.”

Taking place from the 1950s to the 1990s the book naturally moves with the times exploring biases within and without the immediate characters then and now. There are obvious conversation starters given the world’s current social climate and I admire that this is done in a gentle and engaging way. This is a book to get you thinking. Whilst I gained much from reading it, I still was left with wanting more answers, however,  maybe it was purposefully left open to interpretation. A smorgasbord of characters and circumstances are offered to make you empathise or oppose what was taking place. 

This is not an action, plot driven book. This is a story to make you question and consider - identity and its impact, consequences of making changes (legitimately or otherwise) and the sacrifices that will need to be made in order to elicit those changes. Will the price then, be too high? A most timely book that is recommended to readers who wish to be immersed to viewpoints that may in reality be unfamiliar to them. 

 “In the morning .. she closed her eyes and slowly became her. She imagined another life, another past ... she let her mind go blank, her whole life vanishing, until she became new and clean as a baby,”

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

Thursday, June 18, 2020

Review: The Imperfects

Title: The Imperfects
Author: Amy Meyerson
Publisher: 20th April 2020 by Harlequin Australia, HQ & MIRA
Pages: 384 pages
How I Read It: ARC book
Genre: family, mystery, contemporary
My Rating: 3.5 cups


From the bestselling author of The Bookshop of Yesterdays comes a captivating new novel about a priceless inheritance that leads one family on a life-altering pursuit of the truth.

The Millers are far from perfect. Estranged siblings Beck, Ashley and Jake find themselves under one roof for the first time in years, forced to confront old resentments and betrayals, when their mysterious, eccentric matriarch, Helen, passes away. But their lives are about to change when they find a secret inheritance hidden among her possessions—the Florentine Diamond, a 137-carat yellow gemstone that went missing from the Austrian Empire a century ago.

Desperate to learn how one of the world’s most elusive diamonds ended up in Helen’s bedroom, they begin investigating her past only to realize how little they know about their brave, resilient grandmother. As the Millers race to determine whether they are the rightful heirs to the diamond and the fortune it promises, they uncover a past more tragic and powerful than they ever could have imagined, forever changing their connection to their heritage and each other.

Inspired by the true story of the real, still-missing Florentine Diamond, The Imperfects illuminates the sacrifices we make for family and how sometimes discovering the truth of the past is the only way to better the future.

My Thoughts

“I’ve been so busy thinking she betrayed me I didn’t stop to consider that she may have been protecting me.”

The Imperfects by Amy Meyerson is a contemporary tale with an interesting historical backstory. Travel along with the family as they investigate the mystery behind the Florentine Diamond and how it came to be in their family’s possession. Much like the stone itself, this tale is as much about the individual members of the family as they face their own ‘imperfections’. 

The most interesting aspect of this novel for me was the history (fiction based on some truth and myth) behind the diamond. Amy lets her creativity flow as she imagines how it might have ended up with this family. This is so engaging that you are left wishing more time were devoted to this aspect of the story. The history of the diamond is fascinating and Amy’s twist on where it might have gone to after its disappearance in 1918 is worthwhile. I particularly enjoyed these historical aspects to the novel. Sadly, the majority of the novel is not dedicated to this but rather the family members and their backstories. 

Each member of the Miller family is given the opportunity to tell their story with its many obstacles, challenges and many, many setbacks. With the discovery of the diamond it sets in motion their journey to prove its authenticity and their legitimacy eager to anticipate how it could change their lives. Whereas I would have preferred the story behind the diamond's journey, we are left with a squabbling family that do nothing to endear themselves to the reader, despite their obvious ‘imperfections’. They are hard to like and the ending ... well, a bit of a letdown despite the author's obvious wish to indicate otherwise.  The bickering between siblings gets too much at times, despite labelling them dysfunctional. 

The premise of the book had much potential and overall the historical mystery kept it afloat. If only there had been more of the grandmother and less of the squabbling siblings.  The story of the grandmother Helen and her mother Flora would have made a very compelling tale. I understand the modern characters were flawed and that this was a journey to maybe allow them to work together and heal their rifts?

“You can’t make characters like these up.” “Don’t worry,” Jake assures him. “I won’t write about your friends.” Mr. Frankel stops, still holding Jake’s arm. “Oh, you must. If we don’t tell stories, they disappear. You must write everything. You must keep us alive.”

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

Saturday, June 13, 2020

Review: Code Name Hélène

Title: Code Name Hélène
Author: Ariel Lawhon
Publisher: 31st March 2020 by Simon & Schuster (Australia)
Pages: 464 pages
How I Read It: ARC book
Genre: historical fiction
My Rating: 4.5 cups


February 29, 1944: I am about to jump out of an aeroplane for the first time … I don’t care that every man is looking at me as though I don’t belong. Besides, I’m hungover. And I think I might throw up …

In 1936 intrepid young New Zealand journalist Nancy Wake is living in Paris after witnessing firsthand the terror of Hitler’s rise in Europe, firing her resolve to fight against the Nazis. When Nancy falls in love with handsome French industrialist Henri Fiocca, no sooner has she become Mrs Fiocca than the Germans invade France and Nancy takes yet another name, a codename – the first of many.

As the elusive Lucienne Carlier she smuggles people across borders and earns a new name ‘The White Mouse’ along with a five million franc bounty on her head, courtesy of the Gestapo. Forced to flee France, Nancy is trained by an elite espionage group under the codename Hélène. Finally, with mission in hand, she is airdropped back into France as the deadly Madame Andrée. But the closer to liberation France gets, the more exposed Nancy – and the people she loves – will become.

Based on the true story of an extraordinary woman who saved countless lives, Code Name Hélène is a thrilling tale of danger, intrigue, unfaltering courage, remarkable sacrifice – and love.
My Thoughts

Being Australian, I am familiar with Nancy Wake and the heroic events she was involved in during WWII in France. I find it interesting that this is the second book to have been released at the same time regarding Nancy. I read and thoroughly enjoyed ‘Liberation’ (review HERE) and although both focus on Nancy with similar events, they are quite different in their approach. Liberation is shorter and I found it to be more action packed. This book is longer and therefore has the time to delve deeper especially involving Nancy’s marriage. I appreciated both. I am a fan of Ariel’s having read and thoroughly enjoyed her book, ‘Flight of Dreams’ (review HERE) and knew she would do a fine job of capturing the essence of the enigma that was Nancy Wake. 

“You’re not the only English rat crawling these hills. I’ll get my weapons from someone else.” He pauses here, then leans in for the kill. “Non, you’re no rat like Victor and Patrice. You are la Souris Blanche, aren’t you?” The White Mouse.’ “But why would you even want to help? War isn’t for women.” I lean very close to him and lower my voice to a dangerous pitch. “And yet we suffer most in them.”

This is a fictional retelling based on real life events of Nancy Wake - the Australian woman who was a spy operating in France during WWII. Nancy was a formidable foe and Ariel takes you on a journey from pre war to its conclusion allowing the reader time to form a real understanding of who and what motivated this courageous woman. Such independence and strength of character, a woman who refused to take the feminine  backseat in this war, instead forging forward, taking a stand for those persecuted by the Nazis. 

“What just happened? I wouldn’t treat an animal that way, much less a human.” “That’s because you are human, Nancy. They are not. Or at least not anymore.”

Ariel has taken the time to build up a cast of strong characters who have interweaving relationships that allow the reader to really get invested at all levels. The strong factor I found in this version was the development of the relationship from beginning to end of Nancy with Henri - it was real and it was heart wrenching - I was invested .... I cared.  The dual timeline approach Ariel adopted allowed the reader to see the Nancy that fell in love and it opened a window to many personal encounters. 

Speaking of the dual timeline - you will either love it or hate it. Many reviewers found the jumping back and forth difficult to follow. I did not. There is something to be said for sequential delivery, however on this occasion, I believe Ariel did the right thing and those windows to the past helped to solidify your understanding of present day events. At times the story does slog through drawn out descriptions of wartime details but I was a fan of the socialite Nancy that I was not so familiar with as she trapsed around the continent. 

Ariel has certainly done her homework through loads of reading and investigation with the  ‘Author’s Note’ at the conclusion making it abundantly clear the lines of nonfiction and storytelling. All up this is a most worthy interpretation into the life of an amazing woman and must read historical fiction

‘The thing about lipstick, the reason it’s so powerful, is that it is distracting. Men don’t see the flashes of anger in your eyes or your clenched fists when you wear it. They see a woman, not a warrior, and that gives me the advantage. I cannot throw a decent punch or carry a grown man across a battlefield, but I can wear red lipstick as though my life depends on it. And the truth is, these days, it often does.’

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