Review: Paper Ghosts by Julia Heaberlin

Paper Ghosts

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

Carl Louis Feldman is an old man who was once a celebrated photographer. That was before he was tried for the murder of a young woman and acquitted. before his admission to a care home for dementia. Now his daughter has come to see him, to take him on a trip. Only she’s not his daughter and, if she has her way, he’s not coming back . . .

Because Carl’s past has finally caught up with him. The young woman driving the car is convinced her passenger is guilty, and that he’s killed, other young women. Including her sister Rachel. Now they’re following the trail of his photographs, his clues, his alleged crimes. To see if he remembers any of it. Confesses to any of it. To discover what really happened to Rachel. Has Carl truly forgotten what he did or is he just pretending? Perhaps he’s guilty of nothing and she’s the liar. Either way in driving him into the Texan wilderness she’s taking a terrible risk. For if Carl really is a serial killer, she’s alone in the most dangerous place of all . . .

Rating: 4-stars

Review:

Paper Ghosts by Julia Heaberlin is a frightening thriller. A young girl looses her sister to a murderer. But no one knows who killed her. The young girl girl, now a grown woman, is desperate to find answers. She believes an older man, a photographer with dementia, is the killer. Yet, nothing fits. She goes a long way out to set-up an adventure to help the old man remember details. The longer she’s with him, the more she’s not sure if he’s really forgetting or just playing her. Traveling a lone with a possible murderer is the craziest thing ever. However, Grace is willing to do it. The plot was steady. Sometimes slow. It felt like the who dun it was dragged out so much that finding the real killer was lost. I am still left questioning everything that I just read. The ending to me, was unsatisfactory. It left more things open than closed. I wanted to know all the answers. Only questions kept popping up instead. Overall, it was creepy and strange.

Review: Love and Ruin by Paula Mclain

Love and Ruin

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

The bestselling author of The Paris Wife returns to the subject of Ernest Hemingway in a novel about his passionate, stormy marriage to Martha Gellhorn—a fiercely independent, ambitious young woman who would become one of the greatest war correspondents of the twentieth century

In 1937, twenty-eight-year-old Martha travels alone to Madrid to report on the atrocities of the Spanish Civil War and becomes drawn to the stories of ordinary people caught in devastating conflict. She also finds herself unexpectedly—and uncontrollably—falling in love with Hemingway, a man already on his way to becoming a legend. In the shadow of the impending Second World War, and set against the tumultuous backdrops of Madrid, Finland, China, Key West, and especially Cuba, where Martha and Ernest make their home, their relationship and professional careers ignite. But when Ernest publishes the biggest literary success of his career, For Whom the Bell Tolls, they are no longer equals, and Martha must make a choice: surrender to the confining demands of being a famous man’s wife or risk losing Ernest by forging a path as her own woman and writer. It is a dilemma that will force her to break his heart, and her own.

Rating: 4-stars

Review:

Love and Ruin by Paula Mclain is the saddest yet heartfelt story of two people. Ernest Hemingway and Martha Gellhorn were so in love with each other yet so broken. Both placed their careers over their relationship. Every time they got back together and fell apart again, it broke another piece of what was left of their hearts. I felt the love they felt when together. But the two were too stubborn too fierce to fit perfectly together. Like two jagged puzzle pieces that fit but won’t work due to chipped edges. The title fit this book in every way. Their love was ruined from the beginning. It tore them further apart then bringing them closer. Career obsessed and workaholics neither one wanted to sacrifice their work for their love. Truly, a sad story all around…overall, I recommend this literary novel to all readers. It was entertaining to follow.

Review: Before We Were Yours by Lisa Wingate

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

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.

Aiken, 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.

Rating: 4-stars

Review:

Before We Were Sisters by Lisa Wingate is an emotional rollecoaster ride. It has sad, sweet, and hopeful moments that tug at my heart. I loved how the cast of characters were portrayed and brought to life. They felt so real. I can only imagine what children like the siblings mentioned here, went through in times like those. Even today, children face the same issues. Danger, risks, and a heartbroken journey are found inside the pages. But the adeventure ahead also leads to hope. The depictions of an orphanage are so detailed it was hard to believe a I was reading a piece of fiction. Being an older sister, I was easily able to relate to the characters. I too, spent time in an orphanage. This story both broke and stole my whole heart. The plot was engaging, steady, and realistic. Overall, I would recommend this to readers everywhere.

 

Review: Woman Enters Left 





Synopsis:

A woman sets out on a cross-country road trip, unknowingly tracing in reverse the path her mother traveled thirty years before.
In the 1950s, movie star Louise Wilde is caught between an unfulfilling acting career and a shaky marriage when she receives an out-of-the-blue phone call: She has inherited the estate of Florence “Florrie” Daniels, a Hollywood screenwriter she barely recalls meeting. Among Florrie’s possessions are several unproduced screenplays, personal journals, and—inexplicably—old photographs of Louise’s mother, Ethel. On an impulse, Louise leaves a film shoot in Las Vegas and sets off for her father’s house on the East Coast, hoping for answers about the curious inheritance and, perhaps, about her own troubled marriage.

Nearly thirty years earlier, Florrie takes off on an adventure of her own, driving her Model T westward from New Jersey in pursuit of broader horizons. She has the promise of a Hollywood job and, in the passenger seat, Ethel, her best friend since childhood. Florrie will do anything for Ethel, who is desperate to reach Nevada in time to reconcile with her husband and reunite with her daughter. Ethel fears the loss of her marriage; Florrie, with long-held secrets confided only in her journal, fears its survival.

In parallel tales, the three women—Louise, Florrie, Ethel—discover that not all journeys follow a map. As they rediscover their carefree selves on the road, they learn that sometimes the paths we follow are shaped more by our traveling companions than by our destinations. 

Rating: 4-stars

Review:

Woman Enters Left by Jessica Brockmole is an interesting adventure. A young woman suddenly learns that she inherits quite a lot from a woman she barely knows. This only intrigues her curiosity. As the plot unfolds, she finds more clues. Turning to her father she learns about her past. Then, there’s the situation with her husband. Not exactly on best terms, but then she learns things about her husband. Understanding sets in and maybe forgiveness too. It was a heartfelt story that holds a lot of details in the beginning…making the plot feel a bit like it’s dragging but then, it picks up speed. I enjoyed following the main protagonist, Louise. Her marriage and history is fascinating to follow. Overall, I recommend this tale to readers everywhere. 

Review: Lilac Girls

 

Synopsis:

Inspired by the life of a real World War II heroine, this powerful debut novel reveals an incredible story of love, redemption, and terrible secrets that were hidden for decades.
 
New York socialite Caroline Ferriday has her hands full with her post at the French consulate and a new love on the horizon. But Caroline’s world is forever changed when Hitler’s army invades Poland in September 1939—and then sets its sights on France.

An ocean away from Caroline, Kasia Kuzmerick, a Polish teenager, senses her carefree youth disappearing as she is drawn deeper into her role as courier for the underground resistance movement. In a tense atmosphere of watchful eyes and suspecting neighbors, one false move can have dire consequences.

For the ambitious young German doctor, Herta Oberheuser, an ad for a government medical position seems her ticket out of a desolate life. Once hired, though, she finds herself trapped in a male-dominated realm of Nazi secrets and power.

The lives of these three women are set on a collision course when the unthinkable happens and Kasia is sent to Ravensbrück, the notorious Nazi concentration camp for women. Their stories cross continents—from New York to Paris, Germany, and Poland—as Caroline and Kasia strive to bring justice to those whom history has forgotten.

In Lilac Girls, Martha Hall Kelly has crafted a remarkable novel of unsung women and their quest for love, freedom, and second chances. It is a story that will keep readers bonded with the characters, searching for the truth, until the final pages.

My Rating: 5 stars

My Review: 

Lilac Girls by Martha Hall Kelly is a powerful story for readers everywhere. It’s war time and the Nazi are a real nightmare. Many have forgotten the horrors that many have faced. Innocent lives struggling to survive the horrendous fate awaiting them. Inside this historical remembrance tale, readers meet three women whose lives will forever change history. Martha Hall Kelly has brought readers a first hand glimpse into one of history’s most frightening memories. A novel that brings to life what these women and many others suffered.

Martha Hall Kelly’s debut novel, Lilac Girls, is symbolic of what happened in the past. Lilac being the flower that struggles through a harsh winter and yet still blooms later. Lila flowers grew in the back yard of one of the three women portrayed in this brilliant masterpiece. Readers will find three different paths crossing into one as they journey back to 1939. World War II was a terrible time. A time most would like to forget. Generations have no idea what it was really like during these times nor what suffering a majority of people were forced to take. Caroline, Kasis, and Herta are the three women described and relived in this stunning piece. Each one has a life so different than the others yet, all brought together. Death, loss, and fear were strong elements in this story. Yet love and hope persisted. I was moved with tears for all the lives lost during World War II. Overall, I highly recommend Lilac Girls to readers world wide.

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