Browsing Tag

Historical Fiction

The Space Between Words Book Review | juliekmccomas.com
Book Reviews

The Space Between Words – Book Review

Book Description:

“There were seconds, when I woke, when the world felt unshrouded. Then memory returned.”

When Jessica regains consciousness in a French hospital on the day after the Paris attacks, all she can think of is fleeing the site of the horror she survived. But Patrick, the steadfast friend who hasn’t left her side, urges her to reconsider her decision. Worn down by his insistence, she reluctantly agrees to follow through with the trip they’d planned before the tragedy.

“The pages found you,” Patrick whispered.

“Now you need to figure out what they’re trying to say.”

During a stop at a country flea market, Jessica finds a faded document concealed in an antique. As new friends help her to translate the archaic French, they uncover the story of Adeline Baillard, a young woman who lived centuries before—her faith condemned, her life endangered, her community decimated by the Huguenot persecution.

“I write for our descendants, for those who will not understand the cost of our survival.”

Determined to learn the Baillard family’s fate, Jessica retraces their flight from France to England, spurred on by a need she doesn’t understand.

Could this stranger who lived three hundred years before hold the key to Jessica’s survival?

Review:

This is two stories set three centuries apart.  It’s about a present time woman learning how to heal, live and love from a woman in the past.

The story is well written and well plotted.  With that being said, some of the details seem a bit questionable.  The historical backstory of the Huguenots (French Protestants) fleeing from France to avoid persecution was quite interesting, and has made me want to research that piece of history.  There is a bit of a mystery, and I have to say that there is quite a twist that I never saw coming.

This book was easy to put down, and hard to pick up again.  But… every time I read it, I enjoyed it.  I really like this book, and I would recommend it to everyone.  It is a great story of friendship, healing and hope. It is also considered a Christian Fiction novel, but it isn’t preachy by any means.  There is a bit of romance thrown in, but that does take a backseat to the mystery.

I hope you’ll read this one, and let me know how you like it!

The Space Between Words Book Cover The Space Between Words
Michele Phoenix
Historical Fiction, Christian Fiction, Contemporary
Thomas Nelson
September 5, 2017
eARC
336
Received ARC from Thomas Nelson publishing via NetGalley in exchange for my honest review.

Big News - New Reviewer Lindsey Trammell | juliekmccomas.com
Book Reviews, Reviews, Reviews by Lindsey

Big News – There’s A New Reviewer Here

Big News!!

I have asked one of my best book buddies to write reviews here for all of us to enjoy!   Everyone meet Lindsey!

Lindsey Trammell

Hey! My name is Lindsey, wife to Anthony and mom to Kendall and dog Charlie. We are from and live in Oklahoma. I like Piña Coladas and getting caught in the rain…. Just kidding. I love to cook, listen to podcasts, read, and attend group fitness classes. I am just your average yoga pant wearing, nosy, coffee drinking soccer mom with a passion for discussing books.  Mysteries and historical fiction are my favorite genres. I’m always in search for books that will stick with me for a long time no matter the category.

Please give Lindsey a warm welcome!  Friend her on Goodreads. Stick around, she is reading some great books on her upcoming vacation, and I bet she has some reviews for us when she gets home.

So glad to have you contributing your reviews here on my little dot on the web.  Thank you!!

Before We Were Yours - Review & Release Day | juliekmccomas.com
Book Reviews

Before We Were Yours: A Novel – Book Review

Book Description:

Two families, generations apart, are forever changed by a heartbreaking injustice in this poignant novel, inspired by a true story, for readers of Orphan Train and The Nightingale.

Memphis, 1939. Twelve-year-old Rill Foss and her four younger siblings live a magical life aboard their family’s Mississippi River shantyboat. But when their father must rush their mother to the hospital one stormy night, Rill is left in charge—until strangers arrive in force. Wrenched from all that is familiar and thrown into a Tennessee Children’s Home Society orphanage, the Foss children are assured that they will soon be returned to their parents—but they quickly realize that the truth is much darker. At the mercy of the facility’s cruel director, Rill fights to keep her sisters and brother together—in a world of danger and uncertainty.

Aitken, South Carolina, present day. Born into wealth and privilege, Avery Stafford seems to have it all: a successful career as a federal prosecutor, a handsome fiancé, and a lavish wedding on the horizon. But when Avery returns home to help her father weather a health crisis, a chance encounter leaves her with uncomfortable questions—and compels her to take a journey through her family’s long-hidden history, on a path that will ultimately lead either to devastation . . . or redemption.

Based on one of America’s most notorious real-life scandals—in which Georgia Tann, director of a Memphis-based adoption organization, kidnapped and sold poor children to wealthy families all over the country—Wingate’s riveting, wrenching, and ultimately uplifting tale reminds us how, even though the paths we take can lead to many places, the heart never forgets where we belong.

Review:

Have you ever had a novel hangover? Where you feel like you just can’t move on to another novel? Where you wonder what happens to the characters after you’ve finished the last page? Before We Were Yours by Lisa Wingate was this for me.  I loved this book!

As I read about the life Rill, her siblings, Queenie and Briny lived my heart went out to them.  I could visualize the shanty they lived on, and their surroundings.  Lisa Wingate writes in such a way that you find yourself right there on the river bank with them, locked in the basement of the orphanage with them, and then the mansions too.

The fast-moving plot ranges from magical to evil, and then lovely.  It is sad to say that many of the orphans that went to the Tennessee Children’s Home did not have the same results as little orphan Annie.  I read this whole book before realizing that it was partially a true story.  Georgia Tann was real, and real children were kidnapped and then basically sold to the highest bidder.

This novel would make a great Hallmark movie!  It has a little bit of everything… family secrets, a touch of romance, hope and a mystery.

This novel will be released June 6, 2017, so put this title on your to be read (TBR) list.  I will remind you when it is available.  But while you wait, you should also check out Lisa Wingate’s book, The Prayer BoxClick here for that review.

Thanks go out to Netgalley and publisher for providing me with a copy of this title in exchange for my honest opinion.

FYI: The little photo above my review is actually an affiliated link. Basically, if you would like to purchase this book and you click on that photo or any of the title links and it will send a few pennies my way.  I use those pennies to keep my blog going. (Actually, if you want to know the truth, I’ve never received enough pennies to pay for it, but it will help.) Thanks!

Before We Were Yours: A Novel
Lisa Wingate
Fiction, Historical, Literary, Women's Fiction
Ballantine Books
June 6, 2017
352

The Enemies of Versailles - Review | juliekmccomas.com
Book Reviews

The Enemies of Versailles – Book Review

Book Description:

In the final installment of Sally Christie’s “tantalizing” (New York Daily News) Mistresses of Versailles trilogy, Jeanne Becu, a woman of astounding beauty but humble birth, works her way from the grimy back streets of Paris to the palace of Versailles, where the aging King Louis XV has become a jaded and bitter old philanderer. Jeanne bursts into his life and, as the Comtesse du Barry, quickly becomes his official mistress.

“That beastly bourgeois Pompadour was one thing; a common prostitute is quite another kettle of fish.”

After decades of suffering the King’s endless stream of Royal Favorites, the princesses of the Court have reached a breaking point. Horrified that he would bring the lowborn Comtesse du Barry into the hallowed halls of Versailles, Louis XV’s daughters, led by the indomitable Madame Adelaide, vow eternal enmity and enlist the young dauphiness Marie Antoinette in their fight against the new mistress. But as tensions rise and the French Revolution draws closer, a prostitute in the palace soon becomes the least of the nobility’s concerns.

Told in Christie’s witty and engaging style, the final book in The Mistresses of Versailles trilogy will delight and entrance fans as it once again brings to life the sumptuous and cruel world of eighteenth century Versailles, and France as it approaches irrevocable change.

Review:

Normally I am one of those people that has to read trilogies in the correct order, but here lately I’ve read two series out of order.  I don’t know what has come over me.  I will go back and read The Rivals of Versailles, really I will.

The Enemies of Versailles is a great blend of history and fiction, just like The Sisters of Versailles.  I love the way Sally Christie writes from the different characters viewpoints.  I especially liked Madame Adelaide’s.  It is interesting  that Louis XV’s daughters were allowed to stay unmarried, the wars they waged on his favorite mistresses, and the influence they had on Marie Antoinette.  At first, I found that du Barry was a much more compelling character than Adelaide.  Adelaide was very pompous about her nobility while du Barry was, at first, doing what she could to survive and eventually coming to love Louis.

When you open this book it is like entering a time machine, and being there to enjoy every aspect of Versailles…the food, jewels, attire. It is almost like you are there, which made me dread the book coming to an end.

Thank you to NetGalley for providing me with an advance copy in exchange for my honest review.

FYI: The little photo above my review is actually an affiliated link. Basically, if you would like to purchase this book and you click on that photo or any of the links and it will send a few pennies my way.  I use those pennies to keep my blog going. (Actually, if you want to know the truth, I’ve never received enough pennies to pay for it, but it will help.) Thanks!

The Enemies of Versailles
The Mistresses of Versailles
Sally Christie
Christian Fiction, Historical, Fiction, Religion
Atria Books
March 21, 2017
416

Book Reviews

The Heiress of Winterwood by Sarah E. Ladd – A Review

Winterwood
The Heiress of Winterwood by Sarah E. Ladd

Book Description:

Darbury, England, 1814

Amelia Barrett gave her word. Keeping it could cost her everything.

Amelia
Barrett, heiress to an estate nestled in the English moors, defies
family expectations and promises to raise her dying friend’s baby.
She’ll risk everything to keep her word—even to the point of proposing
to the child’s father—a sea captain she’s never met.

When the
child vanishes with little more than an ominous ransom note hinting at
her whereabouts, Amelia and Graham are driven to test the boundaries of
their love for this little one.

Amelia’s detailed plans would
normally see her through any trial, but now, desperate and shaken, she’s
forced to examine her soul and face her one weakness: pride.

Graham’s
strength and self-control have served him well and earned him much
respect, but chasing perfection has kept him a prisoner of his own
discipline. And away from the family he has sworn to love and protect.

Both must learn to have faith and relinquish control so they can embrace the future ahead of them.

Review:

Wonderful, wonderful, wonderful book!

I have been on a historical fiction kick of late, and this might just be the best that I've read in a long time. I would recommend it to everyone!

Sarah E. Ladd was able to write a story with a goulash of genres. First off, it is a historical fiction with a little bit of romance, adventure, suspense, and faith mixed in. The characters were realistic, and most were very likable. Ladd was able to paint very vivid scenes with her words, which made me feel like I could've been there.

Beware, I am still trying to catch up on sleep after reading this book. Once you start, you will not want to put it down. In fact, this is the first in a series to be written by Ms. Ladd, and I cannot wait for the next book to come out.

I was given a copy from Thomas Nelson via booksneeze in exchange for my honest review.

Book Reviews

Daughter of Jerusalem by Joan Wolf – A Review

Daughter-Jerusalem

Daughter of Jerusalem by Joan Wolf

A Novel

In Daughter of Jerusalem,
readers will quickly identify with Mary Magdalene – a woman of deep
faith who used her wealth and influence to serve Jesus. This
fictionalized story of Mary Magdalene is, in the truest sense of the
word, an inspirational novel for modern people who are looking to renew
in themselves the message of Christ. It’s the greatest story ever lived,
told by one of the most famous women who ever lived, and it’s a
page-turner. Joan Wolf’s years of success as a novelist enable her to
combine storytelling and a faith plot in this beautifully written
biblical fiction.

About the Author

Joan Wolf has lived most of her adult
life with her husband in Milford, Connecticut, where she raised two
children and an assortment of horses, dogs, and cats. Along the way she
also managed to write forty-six published novels—the writing of which
profoundly enriched her life.

Review:

I loved this book! Loved. It.

First of all, let me just say that yes, it is a biblical fiction. I had to keep telling myself that. It is fiction. It is fiction. It is fiction.

Since we got that all out in the open, I want you to know that this book is 320 pages and it seemed so much shorter than that. It is a very fast read. Joan Wolf has a way with words, she pulls you into the story and makes it all so easy to visualize.

I enjoyed reading about the politics of that time. Sometimes I wonder if we Christians of today would have dropped what we were doing to follow some man we believe to be the Son of God. Leave our families, our jobs, our lives.

I hope that you will read this book. It will be available April 16, 2013. Please come back and let me know your thoughts.

I received this ARC from Netgalley.

Book Reviews

Iscariot by Tosca Lee – My Review

Iscariot Book Cover Iscariot
Tosca Lee
Fiction: Religious & Inspirational: Historical
Howard Books
Paperback
368

Book Description:

Acclaimed New York Times bestselling author Tosca Lee brilliantly adapts the life of Judas Iscariot into a dazzling work of fiction—humanizing the man whose very name is synonymous with betrayal.

Based on extensive research into the life and times of Judas Iscariot, this triumph of fiction storytelling by the author of Havah: The Story of Eve revisits one of biblical history’s most maligned figures and brings the world he inhabited vividly to life.

In Jesus, Judas believes he has found the One—the promised Messiah and future king of the Jews, destined to overthrow Roman rule. Galvanized, he joins the Nazarene’s followers, ready to enact the change he has waited for all his life. But soon Judas’s vision of a nation free from Rome is crushed by the inexplicable actions of the Nazarene himself, who will not bow to social or religious convention—who seems, in the end, to even turn against his own people. At last, Judas must confront the fact that the master he loves is not the liberator he hoped for, but a man bent on a drastically different agenda.

Iscariot is the story of Judas, from his tumultuous childhood to his emergence as the man known to the world as the betrayer of Jesus. But even more, it is a singular and surprising view into the life of Jesus that forces us to reexamine everything we thought we knew about the most famous—and infamous—religious icons in history.

Review:

What a great book!

Tosca Lee is brilliant!

When I read biblical fiction I find myself comparing the biblical parts with the Bible. (You do that too, right?) She brought life to the stories of the Bible. I could see the scenes being played like a movie in my mind.

The story is written in first person, narrated by Judas. When reading this story you almost feel sorry for Judas. He has always been made out to be such a villain, a traitor, and then Lee humanizes him before your very eyes. Yes, I realize that it is in fact fiction but Lee writes so well that you have to step back and remind yourself that it is just that.

I appreciate all the hours Tosca Lee put into researching this time, and place. The book certainly displays all of her hard work.