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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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Last week I visited around to see what everyone was up to. It’s always dangerous of course because books get added to the TBR. However it is so good to see what everyone is reading and doing. It makes me learn a little, enjoy your happy news and have my heart ache at the sad news.

So last week I looked up the map to see where Montana is exactly is in the USA and while I was there I looked for New Mexico. I did stay for about 10 months in Washington state, but my geography is somewhat hazy. Anyway there you are Montana, sitting right up on the border next to Washington.

And of course so many different books, while we are all readers we have such a wide variety of tastes and that is just great, pointing to our uniqueness in reading. Keep on enjoying those books.

What I read last week:

I had a great reading week, not a lot of reading but the book I read I loved. I finished also listening to a very enjoyable read by Jenny Colgan.

What I am reading now:

From an Irish author I’ve come to really like

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And I started listening to this one, it’s very long so I was putting it off, it will most likely take me all of July to get through it but it will be good.

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Up next:

 

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Last Week’s Posts

Daring and the Duke. Sarah MacLean

Half Year Favourites of 2020

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You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!

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Review

The Storm Sister. Lucinda Riley

The Storm Sister  book cover

Published: Atria Books
Date: 22nd March 2016
Format: e-ARC
Pages: 512
Genre: Contemporary/Historical fiction
Source: Publisher via Edelweiss
Rating:
5 stars              Add to Goodreads

Gathered at their childhood home to mourn their father’s death, Ally D’Aplièse and her five adoptive sisters receive tantalizing clues to their distinct heritages. Ally soon finds herself in Norway where she begins to make sense of her elusive past in the second part of an epic new series by #1 internationally bestselling author Lucinda Riley.

Olympic hopeful Ally is in the midst of preparations for one of the world’s most challenging yacht races when news of her beloved father’s death shocks the accomplished sailor. Saying goodbye to the love of her life, a man her family knows nothing about, she rushes back to her family home, an enchanting chateau where she and her five sisters—each adopted as infants—were raised on the shores of Lake Geneva.

When new tragedy strikes on the high seas, pummeling Ally yet again with a terrible and unexpected loss, she turns her back on the water and instead follows her own North Star—an intriguing clue left by her father which leads her to Norway and the promise of unmasking her origins. Surrounded by the majestic beauty of an unfamiliar homeland, Ally begins to unpack the century-old story of a remarkable young woman named Anna Landvik, a talented singer with an astonishing link to composer Edvard Grieg and his celebrated musical accompaniment to Henrik Ibsen’s iconic play “Peer Gynt.”

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The Storm Sister is the second book in the series by Lucinda Riley. While each is part of a series they can be read as “standalones”.  I have actually not read the first book and in no way felt that I should have. However I will be reaching out to read Maia’s story before too long.  There are six sisters, and the final book will hopefully be a rounding out of all the sisters and their families. Of course we wonder what about the seventh sister? What about Pa Salt? My question to myself is – did he die? We’ll have to wait patiently and see! 
I soon fell in love with this story about Ally, the book sucks you in and spits you out at the end as I reluctantly accept I must wait until the next one comes along. I wanted to stay there and live a little longer within the pages. I know – 512 pages later, and  I still wanted to be there. 
There is so much to love in the book – the quest for Ally to find out her roots, the beautiful relationship she develops with Theo and then his parents. The sadness and drama of losing loved ones. The joys of finding new hopes and things to live for. Ally herself is a strong, talented woman, caring and compassionate. 
As well as the contemporary story we are taken back in time to lives connected in some way to Ally in her quest. I moan as I am taken there, and then hate it when I am whipped out of that time. Each story is so good. It is full of Norway, music, love, tragedy and hope.  There is mythology and history and the contemporary world. All combine in an intricately woven way that provides a riveting read.
If you would like to read more about this series then go to The Seven Sisters Series to find out more. Don’t hesitate – go get stuck into this series.
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The Midnight Rose. Lucinda Riley

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The Midnight Rose
Lucinda Riley
Publisher : Atria Books
Date: 18th March 2014
Format: e-ARC
Pages: 496
Genre: Historical/Contemporary
Source: Publisher via NetGalley

In the heyday of the British Raj, eleven-year-old Anahita, from a noble but impov­erished family, forms a lifelong friendship with the headstrong Princess Indira, the privileged daughter of Indian royalty. As the princess’s official companion, Anahita accompanies her friend to England just before the outbreak of WorldWar I. There, she meets young Donald Astbury—reluctant heir to the magnifi­cent, remote Astbury Estate—and his scheming mother.

Ninety years later, Rebecca Bradley, a young American film star, has the world at her feet. But when her turbulent relationship with her equally famous boyfriend takes an unexpected turn, she’s relieved that her latest role, playing a 1920s debutante, will take her away from the glare of publicity to a distant cor­ner of the English countryside. Shortly after filming begins at the now-crumbling Astbury Hall, Ari Malik, Anahita’s great-grandson, arrives unexpectedly, on a quest for his family’s past. What he and Rebecca discover begins to unravel the dark secrets that haunt the Astbury dynasty . . .

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The Midnight Rose is the first book I have ever read by Lucinda Riley and I did enjoy it.  It is a book that goes back into the past and also has a contemporary story that links to the past.  How that past links to the present is gradually revealed.
My favorite character and past was that of Anahita.  I loved her life as a child in India, and her growing friendship with Indira.  Usually I am not so fond of books set in India, usually told from a British viewpoint.  Told from Anahita’s viewpoint it was so much more rich and interesting, the customs of India as they came to life from her tale held my interest.  
Rebecca in the present day, an actress, part of series being shot at the Astbury estate made me think of the Downton Abbey series!  There she meets Ari, the grandson of Anahita, he has come in response to the dying request of his grandmother.  She has left behind the story of her time in England, and especially her relationship with Donald Astbury, the heir to the estate in her time. Rebecca and Ari work together to unravel the mystery of the past and in doing so hopefully bring peace to Anahita’s spirit.
Anahita’s story is one of courage and care, yet one of sadness. A story that brings to light the evil happenings of the past and the oddness of the present.  Towards the end of the book, I felt the whole story became a little melodramatic and over reaching.  Although there were parts of the denouement that I did appreciate, especially the part about Anahita’s long lost son.
4 stars