Thursday, May 31, 2012

Within the Dark Hills - Sian Ann Bessey

I need to start this review by saying that lately I have been purchasing many books with my Kindle app. I have loved the fact that I can buy books in the middle of the night and start reading right away. I also love that I don't have to wait for shipping and handling. The problem with this is that my library is suffering, and I miss having a book in my hands. One of the great parts of holding a book is that you get to see how long a book is, and how large the print is. Because with this book I feel like I got cheated.

I was so excited to read this book. I loved how we got the in depth lesson about Welsh mining in the 1800's.  And I have to say that I LOVED the first part of this book.

We start with Annie Morgan, a young chambermaid running for her life, after being accosted by a wealthy mine owner. She runs through a terrible rain storm and runs to the only place she can think to go, the home of the town reverend. She is warmly embraced by the reverend and his wife, and is ready to collapse when the alarm sounds at the mine. At this point there is no time to rest. There is only the desire to rescue and care for those who are trapped miles below the surface.

Evan Powell is a miner who becomes buried beneath the rubble with his partner Hugh. They wiggle through their tunnel only to trip over the legs of a very young boy under a pile of rubble. Evan and Hugh dig as fast as they can and are able to pull out a young friend and fellow miner Rhodri. He is alive but unconscious. It is a great challenge for Evan and Hugh to make it to the exit, especially carrying a fellow miner.

We are walked through a harrowing rescue at the mine. Followed by a fantastic story of fear, love faith and trust. The time spent in the mine felt like you were in the mine. Sian Ann Bessey has a wonderful way with words. I truly felt the pain that Evan felt, the fear that Annie felt on a daily basis, and the terror the wives of the miners felt every time the mine alarm sounded. This is a fantastic read. I was thoroughly intrigued and entertained.

But here is my problem. The book was extremely well written until the end. It felt like just when the story started getting really good it was over. And this is the second book I read this week that left me feeling very unsatisfied. I don't know if there was a deadline approaching, or the publishers were getting anxious, but this book was over way too soon. I truly hope that in the future the story is really what matters most to all those involved in writing and publishing books.

Friday, May 25, 2012

The Heirs of Southbridge - Jennie Hansen

Now I have always been a fan of Jennie Hansen, I have loved most of her books, but this book I am sorry to say is not one of her best. 

The Heirs of Southbridge begins on a Plantation in 1878. Clayton and Travis have just lost their mother and their grandfather, Desmond and father, Gavin are at war with each other. Gavin is forced to flee the plantation with only his wife's horses and his boys. But Desmond is determined to get his grandson's back and sends out wanted posters with a great reward, and the family begins a life on the run.

We then meet Lucy and her parents as their family is losing their home with no where to go. But it turns out that Lucy's father is the brother of Desmond and with no other "family," Lucy and her parents move in to the Southbridge plantation.

In 1887 we join the boys at a crossroads. After the death of another loved one the boys decide to go their separate ways. This is where her book loses steam. The book flounders between college and the plantation. We meet new characters that seem to be important, but then they are gone. There was very little character development. It seemed like she was pushed to finish the book. It could have been so much better, but it felt rushed and not thought out. I am sorry to say that I would not recommend paying full price for this book. Wait until it goes on sale!

Friday, May 4, 2012

The Newport Ladies Book Club: Daisy - Josi S. Kilpack

Daisy is book number two in the Newport Ladies Book Club. If you look through my previous post's you will find my review for the first book in the series, Olivia. Book number two brings us the story of Daisy, a mother of two who is about to become an empty-nester and can't wait for that day. Daisy is literally counting down the days when she can be done being a mother. Her new husband is also excited to be entering this new stage of life. Trips, vacations, alone time just between the two of them can not sound any better to the two of them.

Daisy is not searching out a book club to join, she accidentally falls into joining the club after calling the leader of the group a serial killer. But she joins almost as a penance for the a fore mentioned slight. But join she does and finds that she does not share a lot in common with the other ladies, but reading these books does let her take some time to herself and get lost in another world. Little does she know that she will be needing that escape very soon.

I will not be revealing anything new if you have read the first book, but if not stop reading now!!

Daisy's story takes us through the ups and downs of learning that at the age of 46 she finds out she is having another baby. This is extremely disturbing to Daisy, she was almost done! She does not want this! In fact she starts complaining to God that this isn't fair. "Why are you doing this to me," Daisy screams. But with this new revelation she finds she does not have the love and support that she thought she would have, because at this revelation her new husband tells her he does not want this. He doesn't want the baby and doesn't want her anymore.

This is a great story that gives us not only a new story, but allows us a new glimpse into this ever evolving story. I love that we now get to see these women through the eyes of someone completely different. I love that the stories are all written by different authors. The writing is different, the feelings are different, the emotions are different. What a great premise. Keep up the great work!!

Book number three, the story of Paige, comes out September 2012. Paige's story is written by one of my favorite authors Annette Lyon. Keep your eyes peeled.