Posted in book reviews

BOOK REVIEW: The Girl in White Gloves: A Novel Of Grace Kelly by Kerri Maher

BOOK REVIEW: The Girl in White Gloves: A Novel Of Grace Kelly by Kerri MaherThe Girl in White Gloves by Kerri Maher
Published by Berkley on February 25, 2020
ISBN: 0451492072
Genres: Historical Fiction
Pages: 384
Source: NetGalley
Goodreads
four-half-stars
Synopsis

A life in snapshots…

Grace knows what people see. She’s the Cinderella story. An icon of glamor and elegance frozen in dazzling Technicolor. The picture of perfection. The girl in white gloves.

A woman in living color…

But behind the lens, beyond the panoramic views of glistening Mediterranean azure, she knows the truth. The sacrifices it takes for an unappreciated girl from Philadelphia to defy her family and become the reigning queen of the screen. The heartbreaking reasons she trades Hollywood for a crown. The loneliness of being a princess in a fairy tale kingdom that is all too real. Hardest of all for her adoring fans and loyal subjects to comprehend, is the harsh reality that to be the most envied woman in the world does not mean she is the happiest. Starved for affection and purpose, facing a labyrinth of romantic and social expectations with more twists and turns than Monaco’s infamous winding roads, Grace must find her own way to fulfillment. But what she risks--her art, her family, her marriage—she may never get back.

I received this book for free from NetGalley. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Yes, I’m actually posting a book review. You can close your mouth now!

It seems 2019 has been the year of reading books about things I know little to nothing about and The Girl in White Gloves by Kerri Maher continues that theme. I knew the name Grace Kelly and had seen some old movies with her in them but I knew absolutely nothing about her. For instance, I didn’t even know she married the Prince of Monaco!

I thoroughly enjoyed this peek into the life of Grace Kelly. It’s written in such a way that you actually feel as if you’re spying on this icon. The story felt intimate and almost too real. I loved every page of it!

The story goes back and forth between Grace’s struggle to make it on Broadway and her life after she’s left Hollywood behind for life in the palace in Monaco.

Grace spends so much time chasing after approval and dreams. Unfortunately, the two don’t always compliment each other. Her family, and more importantly, her father, don’t approve of her ambition to be a Broadway star. But she’s determined to have it all… Family, friends and a successful acting career. If only the men in her life would agree to let her have them!

If I was going to sum up this book in one word, it would be “brilliant.” Like all great historical fiction, it blurred the line between fact and fairytale and has made me hungry to read more about it’s subject. In this case, I want to watch every movie referenced in the story and find out more about the real life of Grace Kelly.

I recommend The Girl in White Gloves to anyone with even a passing interest in Grace Kelly!

four-half-stars
Posted in book reviews

The Night Olivia Fell by Christina McDonald

The Night Olivia Fell by Christina McDonaldThe Night Olivia Fell by Christina McDonald
Published by Gallery Books on February 5, 2019
ISBN: 1501184008
Genres: General (Adult) Fiction, Mystery
Pages: 368
Source: NetGalley
Goodreads
four-half-stars

This post contains affiliate links you can use to purchase the book. If you buy the book using that link, I will receive a small commission from the sale.

Synopsis

In the vein of Big Little Lies and Reconstructing Amelia comes an emotionally charged domestic suspense novel about a mother unraveling the truth behind how her daughter became brain dead. And pregnant.

A search for the truth. A lifetime of lies.

In the small hours of the morning, Abi Knight is startled awake by the phone call no mother ever wants to get: her teenage daughter Olivia has fallen off a bridge. Not only is Olivia brain dead, she’s pregnant and must remain on life support to keep her baby alive. And then Abi sees the angry bruises circling Olivia’s wrists.

When the police unexpectedly rule Olivia’s fall an accident, Abi decides to find out what really happened that night. Heartbroken and grieving, she unravels the threads of her daughter’s life. Was Olivia’s fall an accident? Or something far more sinister?

Christina McDonald weaves a suspenseful and heartwrenching tale of hidden relationships, devastating lies, and the power of a mother’s love. With flashbacks of Olivia’s own resolve to uncover family secrets, this taut and emotional novel asks: how well do you know your children? And how well do they know you?

I received this book for free from NetGalley. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

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My Thoughts on The Night Olivia Fell:

The love I have for my daughters exceeds anything else found on this earth. If you ask Thing 1, she’d tell you I love my children more than most other parents love theirs… to the point that it gets annoying and suffocating at times!

Thing 1 and I are especially close and she knows my biggest fear is to get “the call.” Even if you’re the type of parent that spends 20 hours of your 24 hour day complaining about your teenager, you know and fear “the call.” It’s the one that causes your stomach to drop before you even pick up the line, the one that changes your life forever, the one where a complete stranger tells you your child is seriously injured — or dead.

It’s every parent’s worst fear.

Thanks to some past events in my life, I suffer from PTSD. My particular trauma involves harm to my children and so this fear is even more magnified for me (probably why I get all suffocate-y sometimes).

It’s probably also why The Night Olivia Fell was such an emotionally gut-wrenching, roller-coaster ride of a story for me!

Don’t get me wrong, I loved every minute of it… But it was hard to get through. I saw so many similarities between Olivia and Abi’s relationship to my relationship with Thing 1 that it all felt way too personal and real!

Abi and her daughter are obviously super close and Abi loves Olivia fiercely. But then comes the night Olivia falls… suddenly, Abi has to come to terms with the fact that maybe she didn’t really know her daughter at all.

Not only does she have to keep processing that bit of life-altering, earth-shattering news, but her daughter’s pregnant, the police refuse to believe the fall wasn’t an accident, and Abi’s life is just all around spinning out of control! She’s built her entire adult life around Olivia and now she’s gone. Even if she does find out what happened that night, how does she go on???

Final Thoughts:

I’ve got to tell you, this book gave me chills! (And nightmares.) I definitely recommend it for anyone looking for a good suspense novel featuring relatable characters and a totally believable plot!

What do you think? Have you read The Night Olivia Fell? Have a suggestion for my next read? Leave me a comment below!

four-half-stars
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Day 1 & Goals: 2018 Tackle Your TBR Read-a-thon


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And so it begins…
The 2018 Tackle Your TBR Read-a-thon hosted by Wishful Endings started today! If you want to learn more or participate, please visit her site!
My goal for the read-a-thon is to finish at least 6 books. Not sure how well that’ll work out since I still have a houseful of kids and a husband, so my alternative goal is to read at least 100 pages per day…
So without further ado, here’s how Day 1 went for me:

Books Read: Hunting Annabelle & Get Weird

Pages Read: Hunting Annabelle doesn’t show a page count on my kindle, but I went from 62% to 100% do that’s Book 1 checked off the TBR already!!! Yay!!!
I read 62 pages from Get Weird.
So I definitely hit my secondary goalof reading 100 pages for the day and I’m on track for my first goal already!

Total Books Read: 1
Total Pages Read: Unsure
Finished Books: Hunting Annabelle
I’m hoping to finish Get Weird tomorrow and start on A Home for the Redeemed. Wish me luck and Happy Reading!!!

Posted in book reviews

Dark Queen Rising by Paul Doherty – BOOK REVIEW

cover141884-mediumTitle: Dark Queen Rising
Author: Paul Doherty
Publication Date & Publisher: October 1, 2018, Severn House
Genre(s): Historical Fiction
Length: 224 pages
ISBN: 9781780291079
My Rating: 3.0/5.0

Description (from Goodreads):

First in a brand-new historical mystery series featuring Margaret Beaufort, mother of King Henry VII and matriarch of the Tudor dynasty.
May, 1471. The Wars of the Roses are reaching their bitter and bloody climax. Edward of York has claimed the English throne, and his supporters are extracting a savage revenge on all who supported the Lancastrian cause. Surrounded by enemies wherever she turns, the position of Margaret Beaufort, Countess of Richmond and mother to Henry Tudor, the last remaining hope of the House of Lancaster, is precarious to say the least.
Determined to protect her son whatever it takes, Margaret must rely on her sharp-witted clerk Christopher Ulswicke to be her eyes and ears. When four bodies are discovered in a London tavern, their throats slit, and Margaret herself is suspected of being behind the crime, it’’s up to Ulswicke to prove his mistress’ innocence and unmask the real killer.

My review: 

This may be a really confusing review… which is probably good because I’m really conflicted on exactly how I feel about Dark Queen Rising.
I picked Dark Queen Rising fully expecting more murder mystery than historical fiction, but I personally wouldn’t have categorized it as a mystery at all.
Although it didn’t have the mystery I was looking for, overall, I did actually enjoy the story. It begins with Margaret witnessing a horrific slaughter in what should have been a place of sanctuary. (I mean, how could you go wrong from there, right?)
The story goes back and forth between Margaret and her trusted henchman, Ulswicke. Ulswicke was definitely my favorite character in this book! He’s funny, smart, and scary all at the same time. He also came across as more of believable/relatable character than Margaret (which seems a little odd now that I’m sitting here writing it down for all the world to see. I mean, he kinda kills some people… weird).
At the beginning of the book, there are a lot of people thrown at you and it got confusing for me trying to keep up with everyone. Thankfully, it doesn’t take long for the main characters to surface and it gets easier to follow who’s who, who did what, who’s on who’s side, etc. There was also a handy dandy list of key players at the start, so that was nice!
There were times when it seemed like there was too much detail and it slowed the pacing down for me. Other times, I couldn’t seem to put the book down because I was so into it! (Another sign of how conflicted I am with this one!)
I could totally see this being made into a movie. And I’d definitely go watch it… and I’ll probably be reading the next book in this series when it comes out… So a definite “okay” pick…
I’d recommend it for fans of historical fiction, especially fans of fiction during the War of the Roses.

Thank you to NetGalley and Severn House for providing me with a free digital copy of this book. This in no way influenced my review.

What do you think of Dark Queen Rising? Have a suggestion for my next read? Leave me a comment below!
Affiliate Links to Purchase Dark Queen Rising: Amazon, Book Depository