Tag Archives: slow paced

Review: I’ll See You in Paris by Michelle Gable

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

After losing her fiancé in the Vietnam War, nineteen-year-old Laurel Haley takes a job in England, hoping the distance will mend her shattered heart. Laurel expects the pain might lessen but does not foresee the beguiling man she meets or that they’ll go to Paris, where the city’s magic will take over and alter everything Laurel believes about love.

Thirty years later, Laurel’s daughter Annie is newly engaged and an old question resurfaces: who is Annie’s father and what happened to him? Laurel has always been vague about the details and Annie’s told herself it doesn’t matter. But with her impending marriage, Annie has to know everything. Why won’t Laurel tell her the truth?

The key to unlocking Laurel’s secrets starts with a mysterious book about an infamous woman known as the Duchess of Marlborough. Annie’s quest to understand the Duchess, and therefore her own history, takes her from a charming hamlet in the English countryside, to a decaying estate kept behind barbed wire, and ultimately to Paris where answers will be found at last.

Rating: 3-stars

Review:

I’ll See You in Paris by Michelle Gable sounded like an interesting story according to the plot summary. Yet, it was too dragged out and too slow for my taste. The mystery of who was the young woman’s father and when she finds out was just stretched out too much. I wanted there to be more action and more of an emotional journey. Sure, I was able to understand the protagonist’s frustration and determination to find answers. But I really could not connec with her. The ending made me connect to her finally but it was still was not the best.

The plot was heartfelt, sad, and sent me traveling to the past. Secrets and mystery combined to create a story of love, hope, and peace. Women who loss loved ones  are connected by blood. Figuring out the real father of a young proved harder than one thought. There was a promising future for this tale but it fell flat to me. I had to push myself to keep reading it.

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Review: The Diplomat’s Daughter by Karin Tanabe

 

 

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

During the turbulent months following the 1941 bombing of Pearl Harbor, twenty-one-year-old Emi Kato, the daughter of a Japanese diplomat, is locked behind barbed wire in a Texas internment camp. She feels hopeless until she meets handsome young Christian Lange, whose German-born parents were wrongfully arrested for un-American activities. Together, they live as prisoners with thousands of other German and Japanese families, but discover that love can bloom in even the bleakest circumstances.

When Emi and her mother are abruptly sent back to Japan, Christian enlists in the US Army, with his sights set on the Pacific front—and, he hopes, a reunion with Emi—unaware that her first love, Leo Hartmann, the son of wealthy of Austrian parents and now a Jewish refugee in Shanghai, may still have her heart.

Fearful of bombings in Tokyo, Emi’s parents send her to a remote resort town in the mountains, where many in the foreign community have fled. Cut off from her family, struggling with growing depression and hunger, Emi repeatedly risks her life to help keep her community safe—all while wondering if the two men she loves are still alive.

As Christian Lange struggles to adapt to life as a soldier, his unit pushes its way from the South Pacific to Okinawa, where one of the bloodiest battles of World War II awaits them. Meanwhile, in Japanese-occupied Shanghai, as Leo fights to survive the squalor of the Jewish ghetto, a surprise confrontation with a Nazi officer threatens his life. For each man, Emi Kato is never far from their minds.

Flung together by war, passion, and extraordinary acts of selflessness, the paths of these three remarkable young people will collide as the fighting on the Pacific front crescendos. With her “elegant and extremely gratifying” (USA Today) storytelling, Karin Tanabe paints a stunning portrait of a turning point in history.

Rating: 3-stars

Review:

The Diplomat’s Daughter by Karin Tanabe is a historical novel that just never hit it off with me. I felt more distaste for the characters than I have for any other book’s characters. They sunk my interest. The Japanese woman, Emi, was completely unlikable. I couldn’t connect with her on any level. She believes she is far greater than anyone else. She fell in love with two men. When one of them found happiness with another woman more mature than Emi, Emi tore the letter bearing the news. Anger, hatred, and sadness crept into her nature. Yet, there was still Christian remaining in the equation. Hope seeped into her being…and when she found him, she thought he was still the most handsome man he was when she first met him. Thoughts of what if she found him missing an eye or other body part…or what if he became ugly due to war injuries, would she have still accepted him or simply reject him? I could not like her at all. Even at the end, I still did not find anything about her to like.

Karin Tanabe wrote about the war time periods with great detail. I enjoyed that part of this book. The plot was slow and unbearable due to the characterization. The Diplomat’s Daughter was a crazy love triangle that quickly dissolved. Only at the very ending, did one man still hang on for the young Japanese woman. I could not fanthom why he liked her. I could not stand her personality. Looking for romance, do not read this book. If you want a picture of what world wars were like, then read this book. Overall, I would not recommend this to readers.

Review: Secrets of Cavendon

Secrets of Cavendon (Cavendon Hall, #4)

 

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

 

From the #1 New York Times bestselling author, a stunning, epic novel featuring the characters of the beloved Cavendon series.

 

For years things have run smoothly at Cavendon Hall, with very few quarrels, dramas, or upsets among the Inghams and the Swanns. But since the end of World War II, things have changed. The Secrets of Cavendon picks up in the summer of 1949, with the new generation of the estate at the forefront of the scandal and intrigue. With romance, betrayal, heartbreak, and possible murder threatening to tear them apart, the Inghams and Swanns will have to find a way to come together and protect each other in the face of threats they never could have predicted.

Rating: 4-stars

Review:

Secrets of Cavendon by Barbara Taylor Bradford is an engaging historical read. It’s similar to Downton Abbey. A big enormous place that is getting harder to keep up with…and families that have poured their money into keeping it alive. Then, there’s the secrets and history that are revealed. Plus, it too is set after the war. I enjoyed reading this novel.

As with all wars, things change. Drastic changes affect the Ingham and the Swann families. Finding ways to manage the finances and ways of the heart intrigued my attention. There was a lot of backstory and made this hard to get into quickly. I couldn’t move between pages that fast, because I needed to learn what was going on and who was involved with what.

The history of Cavendon is explored on these pages. Major themes of betrayal, romance, and heartbreak are incorporated into the tale. Some characters I enjoyed following more so than others. One of the ones I loved was Aunt Charlotte. She and Cecily Ingham had personalities that just drew me more into the plot. But others were not as captivating as them. There is a bit of mystery to follow here. Other than that it’s mostly a drama novel. So much drama within this book.

Overall, I was intrigued but bored. It has a historical slash women’s fiction genre to it. The strong characters were the females. The males seemed to be left behind mostly in the background of the story. Secrets of the Cavendon is good, but could have been better.

Review: Long Black Veil

Long Black Veil

 

 

 

Synopsis:

Publishers Weekly’s Best Books of 2017

 

 

For fans of Donna Tartt and Megan Abbott, a novel about a woman whose family and identity are threatened by the secrets of her past, from the New York Times bestselling author of She’s Not There.

 

 

On a warm August night in 1980, six college students sneak into the dilapidated ruins of Philadelphia’s Eastern State Penitentiary, looking for a thrill. With a pianist, a painter and a teacher among them, the friends are full of potential. But it’s not long before they realize they are locked in–and not alone. When the friends get lost and separated, the terrifying night ends in tragedy, and the unexpected, far-reaching consequences reverberate through the survivors’ lives. As they go their separate ways, trying to move on, it becomes clear that their dark night in the prison has changed them all. Decades later, new evidence is found, and the dogged detective investigating the cold case charges one of them–celebrity chef Jon Casey– with murder. Only Casey’s old friend, Judith Carrigan, can testify to his innocence.

But Judith is protecting long-held secrets of her own – secrets that, if brought to light, could destroy her career as a travel writer and tear her away from her fireman husband and teenage son. If she chooses to help Casey, she risks losing the life she has fought to build and the woman she has struggled to become. In any life that contains a “before” and an “after,” how is it possible to live one life, not two?

Weaving deftly between 1980 and the present day, and told in an unforgettable voice, Long Black Veil is an intensely atmospheric thriller that explores the meaning of identity, loyalty, and love. Readers will hail this as Boylan’s triumphant return to fiction.

Rating: 3.5-stars

Review:

Long Black Veil by Jennifer Finney Boylan is an interesting novel. A thriller that holds a lot of action, intrigue, and danger. Explorations of murder, past secrets, and the truth are found among these thrilling scenes from their past. I was captivated. Jennifer Finney Boylan created a thick mysterious atmosphere in which I couldn’t deny. Her characters were believable. It was fun following them especially, Judith, as the intensity of the situation came unraveling from the past. Friendships tested, complex scenarios, and drama filled characters made for a fun read.

The pacing of this story was slow. Not quite up to my normal steady/fast paced environments that I usually love. The whole position of the friends locked up and things escalating out of control reminded me so much of Pretty Little Liars. I noticed that the book switches from past to future a lot. This was understandable as it explored the backstory of what happened to the cast of characters and what was currently happening to them now. Despite their past that haunts them as adults that they are now, I wasn’t that impressed with the rest of the current happenings of the story. Overall, it was good but not as good as I had expected.