My book club read Before We Were Yours a few years ago and we all loved it. She told the true story of the Tennessee Children’s Home which none of us had ever heard of. So when I saw her new release I couldn’t wait to get started.
It was a little slow to start, and the good stuff didn’t really begin until over 50% of the way through the book because there was so much ground story to lay. But the good stuff is GOOD STUFF!
While the book is long I feel like I could have used another 100 pages to wrap up the story. Maybe a sequel is planned to share more of Benny’s story. There’s this thing hiding the entire book that is quickly revealed but never concluded in the final two paragraphs.
I’m fascinated by the real Book of Lost Friends and the families who were never reunited and those who were. I think I want more civil war era historical fiction in my life.
I read Brit’s newest release earlier this summer, The Vanishing Half, and loved it, so I knew I needed to pull her debut off my shelves and read it. It’s been sitting on a pile in my bedroom for over six months. I brought it with me to New York and picked it up two nights ago.
I read it all day yesterday and couldn’t get enough, almost staying up way too late to finish the last few pages. It’s really good – and also the story isn’t my favorite. Does that make sense? The writing is excellent. The story progresses really well. But the main theme of the story isn’t one I love to read about.
“The Mothers” are the elder women in the Church, Upper Room, who take care of things. They’re telling the story of Nadia, Aubrey, and Luke – and what happens when lying, deceit, and coverups become your life. What happens when a girl’s mother abandons her either to cruel men and drink or by leaving this world by her own choice.
Nadia and Aubrey had no one to teach them how to be a mother, so they turned to “The Mothers” at Upper Room in a way others didn’t. But these “mothers” spread gossip, promoted rumors, and were more “busy body” then anything else.
Such a cute story about how two people who were born within a minute from each other find one another again on New Year’s Eve (their Birthday Eve). I really enjoyed Minnie and Quinn’s story because it wasn’t just about them. Their mother’s both get beautiful conclusions as well as her best friend and the people who worked for her at “No Hard Fillings.”
There’s a bit of timeline hopping in this book as we relive previous New Year’s Eve’s of both Minnie and Quinn – seeing where their lives intertwined and they didn’t even realize it. It was such a delight – and a holiday read – but not a Christmas read! Can’t wait to see what Sophie Cousens writes next – this was a delightful debut.
Also – I learned something about London. In the first few chapters they talk about waking up at 7:45 am on New Year’s Day, just in time to see the first sunrise of the year. I didn’t realize the sun rose so late in London during the winter. This week (shortest day of the year) it rises at 8:04 am and sets at 3:53 pm. How depressing!
Our book club selection this month was the first in this series, Winter Street. But who can read only part in a series of 4? Not me.
I really appreciated this ending to the family of the Winter Street saga. There’s another story that wraps up here too from Eddie which I have not read the first in that series – and I don’t think I’m going to.
Everyone gets a little further along in their storyline here which is quite delightful. Ava is the one that I’m really in love with throughout the series. Her story line is just so delightful – and filled with a lot of self-development as well as a romantic interest from a truly amazing guy.
A sweet delightful read about books and writing and finding your voice and love. A friend wanted to buddy read and this was next on her TBR and I’d never heard of it … so I borrowed immediately.
Jett, Alexa, Coral, Chuck, and Ed are all invited to be part of a story society by a mysterious person. They’ve all been hiding behind their story for quite sometime, trying to believe a different reality. The weekly meeting develops these friends in a way that brings out their truth and changes their lives.
It’s quite delightful. There are a few conversion themes throughout that I felt were a little rushed. Some come to faith just by being asked “Want to know more about Jesus? I love Him and you should too.”
In my experience a little more is needed… but all in all a great book!!
This is my favorite C.S. Lewis book. I’ve been a bit ashamed to say that in the past, but it’s the truth. Why ashamed? Because it’s so simple, but honestly it’s the most transformational book for my spiritual life that he’s written. More than explanations of what Christianity is or allegories about who Christ is – this book has helped me understand the sly ways that Satan works in our lives and we don’t even know it.
Lewis writes as Screwtape, a senior demon, to Wormwood, his nephew who is just learning how to turn humans into devil food (i.e. get souls to Hell). The ways he’s tells him to invade his human’s soul, to do things that sort of look like Christianity, to turn him against other Christians.
Oh, I can see it all working in our world and the Church. I’ve been reading survey results for weeks and the fighting attitudes that Catholics have for other Catholics is unreal – and straight from Satan’s playbook. We fight over which Mass is holier: English or Latin? Which music is the right stuff: Contemporary or Traditional hymns or Chant? Who’s succumbing to the fear the government is wielding by wearing a mask and not trusting that God will take care of us?
Can’t we see that when we fight over these things we miss the things that really matter? Like charity, helping the poor, striving for holiness, and general loving one another. We seem to be so busy figuring out who’s the most holy that we are missing the point of actually trying to be holy.
I’ve read this book a few times, and I don’t think this time is my last!
Finished the 3rd in this series and it’s the best one! Ava’s story is finally better – although the dating of two men that happens in the first half of the year of this story’s plot is quite ridiculous. She finds herself by the end though.
Kelly, the patriarch of this story, has a rough year – and seems like things going down sometime next year … too bad #4 has a waiting list at the library!
I have a love hate relationship with book series. I really love the aspect of getting to know a family over the course of time. Not just the ability to spend a few years with a story, but to read different aspects of their lives. When it’s a series, I feel like we also get many different plots rather than a particular theme in a book with a long timeline.
But also, I have to just keep reading. I’m about to download #3 in this series and start it when I also have a bunch of books I just want to read but haven’t begun yet.
Oh the delights and dilemmas of the reading life!
This book is a continuation of Winter Street which absolutely has to be read first or you’ll miss the whole point even though the author gives a quick look back for each character. Ava is the one who really drives me crazy in this book – but I know from another Elin series that things work out ok for her in the end, so I’ll keep reading to see how she gets to the happily ever after.
Finished the third in the series which was a fun escape. The whole series takes place in about 9 months. I was happy to see a resolution to the story and a surprise visit from one of the characters of this month’s book club read Winter Street.
There were a few parts where I thought “what? Do people really think like that?”
All in all delighted to know what happens. Glad to have a fun, quick read. Read for more Elin!!