Review

Seven Perfect Things. Catherine Ryan Hyde

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Published by Lake Union

Date: 4th May 2021

Source: Publisher via NetGalley

Thirteen-year-old Abby Hubble lives in an unhappy home in the Sierra Nevada foothills where her father makes life miserable for her and her mother, Mary. One day Abby witnesses a man dump a litter of puppies into the nearby river. Diving in to rescue all seven, she knows she won’t be able to bring them home. Afraid for their fate at the pound, she takes them to an abandoned cabin, where all she can offer is a promise that she’ll be back the next day.

To grieving widower Elliot Colvin, life has lost meaning. Looking for solace, he retreats to the hunting cabin he last visited years ago, before his wife’s illness. What he discovers is not at all what he expected: seven puppies and one determined girl with an indomitable heart.

As Abby and Elliot’s friendship deepens, Abby imagines how much better her life—and the puppies’ lives—would be if her mother were married to Elliot instead of her father. But when Abby’s father moves the family hundreds of miles away, Abby and her mother must decide how long they’re willing to defer happiness.

Catherine Ryan Hyde has written another delightful, heart warming story. Its full of kindness and courage on the part of most of the characters.

Abby is one perfect person herself. When she sees a bag that seems to be alive thrown in the river she follows through, rescues them and then ensures that they are safe and cared for and that takes some doing for a thirteen year old. She can’t take them home because she has a father who is controlling and lacking in anything to do with fatherhood. 

Elliot is a middle aged man, he has just lost his wife – it was a good marriage and he is so sad and lost. Spending a little time in the country at his cabin, his life and Abby’s life and the puppies intersect. 

Mary – Abby’s mother is in a very unhappy, controlling relationship. Her husband is mean and really is the pits. When Mary discovers Abby’s puppies and Elliot she begins to see how things could be different. She gathers courage as time goes by. Plus Abby is so plucky, it must have come from somewhere, and there is a lovely relationship between mother and daughter.

The puppies of course provide a lot of joy and life, although seven puppies. I can’t even imagine looking after them! But Abby is nothing but determined.

So great characters, the plot moves along and a good steady pace and it wasn’t long before I was wishing for the very best for Abby, Mary, Elliot and the puppies.

Rating: 4 out of 5.
Review

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading?

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It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? a place to meet up and share what you have been, and are about to be reading over the week. It’s a great post to organise yourself. It’s an opportunity to visit and comment and er… add to your groaning TBR pile! So welcome in everyone. This meme started on J Kaye’s blog and then was hosted by Sheila from Book Journey. Sheila then passed it on to Kathryn here at The Book Date.
Jen Vincent, Teach Mentor Texts, and Kellee of Unleashing Readers decided to give It’s Monday! a kidlit focus. If you read and review books in children’s literature – picture books, chapter books, middle grade novels, young adult novels or anything in those genres – join them.

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Hope you are all doing well. And into May which I know for many of you will be looking forward into summer. Enjoy, especially all those who have now have had the vaccine, I hear of lovely stories of families meeting up. Some light at the end of the tunnel, although by no means are we at an end. It is so scary for those in India for instance.

I have mostly been hibernating … now we are facing into winter. Some reading and quilting of course and a little walking. The weather is okay today so hopefully I’ll get out for one.

What I read last week:

What I am reading now:

After reading a few contemporary fiction books I had to have something different so I picked this off my shelf. About to start.

Scandal in Skibbereen

And listening to Under the Southern Skies by Kristy Woodson Harvey.

Up next:

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Review

April Reading

April month

Total books read this month: 12

New to me authors:

Sheila Connolly

Maisey Yates

Anne Glenconnor

Top Book for April

Okay I am addicted to these books. Have already pre-ordered the next one that comes out in December, plus a spin off book that comes out early 2022.

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Looking forward to reading in May

Review of Reading Goals 2021

GR Challenge: Nicely ahead.

TBR/Library portion : Three books off my actual TBR this month.  Two were from the library.

Main Reading Goal for May

  •  Read one of the books I mentioned in my Friday Post Sorting My TBR: April – Stay or Go
  • Pick five books on the read section of my bookshelf to put in the bag for the book fair.

Linking up with Nicole from FeedYourFiction Addiction.

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Book Connections

Women’s Contribution in War Times

Last weekend in New Zealand and Australia we had remembrance day for all the Australian and New Zealand soldiers. ANZAC  Day. This year the special focus was on the role of women. So I thought this Friday I would connect with some of the books that have helped me appreciate the role of women in war.

While I sometimes feel like every second historical book is set in one of the wars, when I looked back over the last couple of years reading to find books, I hadn’t read that many!

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I was drawn to this book because of the bookshop aspect, however Grace not only looked after a bookshop during the war.

At night she helps out patrolling the streets, putting out fires and helping injured people. Her kindness and compassion changes hearts and inspires the ordinary person in the neighbourhood to keep going.

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In this story we meet Louise who becomes a Gunner girl.  Her role was to identify German planes. The women were not allowed to actually fire the gun to shoot the plane down. Their male companion did that!

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While this book is not set in war time we do meet a woman who worked for the Secret Service from London.  She carried out missions into Europe that were dangerous and she stands for many women who were spies and carried important messages. Mind you soon as the war was over she was ousted out of the secret service. An example of the prejudice of the time.

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In The Last Correspondent Soraya M. Lane gives us a graphic portrayal of what it was like for women correspondents to do what they so strongly felt called to do. Report what was happening at the front of World War 2.

In Danni and Ella we meet very gutsy women. Danni a photographer and Ella a writer. They see and deal with life threatening circumstances.

And of course they have to use devious means to get to where the war is happening because they are not “allowed” by the men to go to such places.

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Nina is Russian and grew up in harsh conditions, survived and became a pilot in the Russian army, in a women’s division known as the Night Witches. What a character she is. She Is hard bitten and tough, a razor wielding vixen. But look closer and just maybe there is a softer side to her. I have to say I came to adore her.

The planes they flew were the worst but these women were skilled and brave.  This book would be my top book out of these five.

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Review

Confessions from a Quilting Circle. Maisey Yates. Blog Tour

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Published: Harlequin
Date: 4th May 2021
Source: Publicist via NetGalley

Confessions from the Quilting Circle is the story of women from one family, the secrets that burden them, the heartbreak they hide and how they find their way out of it all.

When three sisters find themselves in Bear Creek, mourning the loss of a mother and grandmother, they set about piecing a quilt from fabric in the Dowell house attic. Along with the fabric are some old diaries that will take each of them back to the distant past and link to their stories now.

Avery, married to a local surgeon with two children, the perfect mother and wife, totally involved in all things community. Hannah the violinist hoping for a big role in her orchestra and Lacey returning back to Bear Creek after tough times took her away. As well their mother Mary who always has felt “less than” because her mother left and went away when she was young.

As secrets are revealed, things shared and changes made the four women find a new way and new paths that will surely lead to greater happiness. And as they do so the quilt is finished.

I enjoyed the story, it’s heartwarming, although I felt the theme and messages in the book were a little labored, as a reader I prefer to find them by reading between the lines.

Photo Maisey YatesAuthor Bio: New York Times Bestselling author Maisey Yates lives in rural Oregon with her three children and her husband, whose chiseled jaw and arresting features continue to make her swoon. She feels the epic trek she takes several times a day from her office to her coffee maker is a true example of her pioneer spirit.

Buy Links: 
Harlequin 
Indiebound
Amazon
Barnes & Noble 
Books-A-Million
Walmart
Google
iBooks
Kobo

Social Links:
Author Website
Twitter: @maiseyyates
Facebook:@MaiseyYates.Author 
Instagram: @maiseyyates
Goodreads

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It’s Monday! What Are You Reading?

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It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? a place to meet up and share what you have been, and are about to be reading over the week. It’s a great post to organise yourself. It’s an opportunity to visit and comment and er… add to your groaning TBR pile! So welcome in everyone. This meme started on J Kaye’s blog and then was hosted by Sheila from Book Journey. Sheila then passed it on to Kathryn here at The Book Date.
Jen Vincent, Teach Mentor Texts, and Kellee of Unleashing Readers decided to give It’s Monday! a kidlit focus. If you read and review books in children’s literature – picture books, chapter books, middle grade novels, young adult novels or anything in those genres – join them.

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Today is a holiday here as yesterday was ANZAC Day when Australia and New Zealand remember those who have served in various wars. Because it fell on a Sunday, workers have Monday off. It doesn’t really make any difference to me as being retired every day is a holiday, for which I am very grateful.

One of my sisters travelled to Brisbane and then the Gold Coast yesterday from here in New Zealand as we now have a travel bubble operating where there is no 14 days of quarantine. She was very nervous, but so looking forward to seeing her daughter and two grand children who are fair dinkum Aussies! One she hasn’t met yet as he was born only about three months ago.

What I read last week:

Loved Marie Force’s new book and new series. A Family of Strangers was a reread, this time via audio and loved that too.  Confessions of a Quilting Circle review will be published tomorrow.

What I am reading now:

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I am also reading A Wizard of Earthsea – first book and starting to listen to Under the Southern Sky by Kristy Woodson Harvey.

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Up next:

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Last Week’s Posts

Picnic in Someday Valley.  Jodi Thomas

My TBR Sorting: April

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Book Connections

Sorting my TBR April: Stay or Go

I have about 100 actual books on my bookshelf that I haven’t read. Do I still want to read them with all the new books being published and its challenging enough to keep up with them. Besides if I move some on, then I have an empty space on my bookshelf and it awaits something new.

I didn’t do that well, however taking five out and looking again at them, at least puts them in my thoughts and the likelihood of picking them up reasonably soon to read. By read I mean I’ll give them the first twenty five page test to see if I want to continue.

Making your mind upI like Jill Mansell but this one just feels old in terms of condition and I don’t think I’d enjoy reading it for that reason. So out it goes. I got it at a book fair so no loss. I have enjoyed some of Jill Mansell’s books before.

How Hard Can it Be? How Hard Can it Be?  is a Maybe, so back on the shelf. It’s about a fifty year old finding herself. It may have a rom comedy aspect, not sure and if I don’t like it after twenty or so pages I’ll send it on.  I’ve never read Allison Pearson. I picked this one up cheap at the bookshop.

Dune RoadI like the blurb on the back of Dune Road, its set in Connecticut and is about someone with new lease of life after divorce. I will certainly give this one a good go. I did get it at the book fair, but still in reasonably good condition. I have liked some of Jane Green’s books previously.

It's the Little ThingsIt’s the Little Things about three people who survive the Boxing Day tsunami and the years that follow. Another book fair buy. I will give this one a read as well. I don’t think I have read an Erica James book before, not sure.

The PossibilitiesThis is one I picked up at the bookshop, has a $34.99 price tag!  Why did I buy it? No idea! It’s about a woman who has lost her son in an avalanche. I’ll try this one too, the money outlay is enough to persuade me, but the story itself sounds readable.  I haven’t read this author before.

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Review

Picnic in Someday Valley Jodi Thomas

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Published: Kensington Books
Date::27th April 2021
Source: Publisher via NetGalley

Marcie Latimer longs to run away from Someday Valley–especially since her ex-boyfriend spun a web of lies that almost led to tragedy in neighboring Honey Creek. Little wonder so many locals have turned their backs on her. But not Brand Rodgers. The quiet cowboy comes to listen every time she sings at Bandit’s Bar, offering a glimpse of safety and calm that Marcie’s rarely known.

After Texas Ranger Colby McBride saved Honey Creek’s mayor, Piper Mackenzie, from a fire, she claimed him with a kiss. That was five months ago, and Colby still isn’t sure where they’re headed. Piper loves her town–but does she love Colby? And is he even ready for what comes next?

Pecos Smith, Honey Creek’s emergency dispatcher, is grateful to have a new bride he adores and a baby on the way–even if one vital piece of the puzzle is missing. But as trouble comes stalking through the valley, lives will cross surprising paths. And Marcie, who’s always felt that a forever love was out of reach, might discover that Someday is the perfect place to find it..

As soon as I open and read the first page of Picnic in Someday Valley by Jodi Thomas I am totally in. It’s like coming home and being able to rest in the arms of a storyteller who will spin a good yarn. For a start the cover draws me in, and as it will turn out, it is very relevant to the story of one of the characters.

It’s really a good time read. The characters are both sweet and tough. There is one bad guy out to do a lot of damage and he provides the suspense in the story. But maybe he’s about to meet his match from an unlikely source.

Yes there are lots of characters but it’s easy to follow and stay up to date with them. Some get happy at least for now endings and I sense there is more to come for others that I need to know, so expecting more for them in another book. Honey Creek #3 I am looking for you.

Full of small town goodness, Texas flavour and characters to cheer for and chuckle at appropriate times. 

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.
#IMWAYR

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading?

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It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? a place to meet up and share what you have been, and are about to be reading over the week. It’s a great post to organise yourself. It’s an opportunity to visit and comment and er… add to your groaning TBR pile! So welcome in everyone. This meme started on J Kaye’s blog and then was hosted by Sheila from Book Journey. Sheila then passed it on to Kathryn here at The Book Date.
Jen Vincent, Teach Mentor Texts, and Kellee of Unleashing Readers decided to give It’s Monday! a kidlit focus. If you read and review books in children’s literature – picture books, chapter books, middle grade novels, young adult novels or anything in those genres – join them.

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Hope you are all doing well. Feeling a little colder here. I went to the library recently to find they had updated their returns and issues machines. All so modern. Put all the books together under the scanner and all issued together. I wonder if they will ever work out how to float the books to the exact spot on the shelf all by themselves!

What I read last week:

What I am reading now:

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And listening to…

It’s a reread – I read it but haven’t listened to the audio version.

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Up next:

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Book Connections

Recommended (or Not) Reads by Other Readers

My goal this year is to note who I got the recommendation from that interested me in a book. That is… most likely I read their review and fell for it.

book cover From Mary from Bookfan is where I heard of this book. Then as I marked I was reading it on Goodreads I looked down the list of readers I follow,  and so many of them had loved it. So into it I put my reader’s nose.

Really enjoyed this heart warming story of family and a small town. Some magical realism which was downright delicious. Loved the characters, didn’t want the story to end. Would read anything more that Heather Webber writes in this kind of genre – magical realism, southern fiction.

book coverCharlotte by Helen Moffett comes recommended by Shelleyrae from Book’d Out. It is a spin off from Pride and Prejudice and takes up Charlotte’s story as Mrs Collins.

It is very well written and stays reasonably true to Jane Austen’s world. However there are inclusions that maybe Jane would have left out! I liked how Charlotte’s story was developed, quite realistic and possible. 

book cover Wrong Alibi is by Christina Dodd and I picked it up because Susan Elizabeth Phillips recommended it. And it didn’t hurt that Elizabeth from Silvers Reviews liked it a lot as well.  It is suspense and a wrong accusation set in Alaska.

This was a good read, it hooked me in straight away. I loved the main character Petie who had so many challenges to face and who grew up fast. Some murder, a little surprise here and there and some family regrouping. Will certainly want to try the next one. This one published at end of 2020 so guess its a little way away!

book coverThis Side of Murder wasn’t exactly recommended but the second one in the series was loved by Katherine from I Wish I lived In a Library. To read that one I wanted to start with the first one in the series.  I have since read the second one and it was really very good.

Set in England in 1919 on an island a group of people meet for a celebration. Or is it! Verity Kent lost her husband in WW1 and she is among some of his fellow officers and soldiers. It is full of intrigue and murder. It was a little slow getting into it, but that could have been my tiredness rather than the book. It sure builds to a climax and we eventually find out who is behind treason and murder. A series to follow up on.

book cover The Four Winds is the most recent book by Kristin Hannah.  It’s set in the 1930’s and explores the Depression era in the Great Plains on a farm.

I thought this might be a bit too sad reading for myself but I did buy the audiobook for one of my sisters who reads much more challenging books than I.

However I was rather shattered by her verbal, might I suggest brutal review. It was not a book for her!  So now I think I’d better take it back and see for myself. She said

Rather Mills and Boonsy, and nothing happens and I just couldn’t go any further than Chapter 20. And I wouldn’t even listen to the end to see what happens to her because I just couldn’t care about her!

 I look non plussed at all the four and five star reviews on GR of people I follow. 55 users even tag it literary fiction.  So Mills and Boonsy ( = Harlequin) doesn’t seem to have any tags. So I am putting it back on my TBR although it will be down the track as have others in my line up.

Have you read it?

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