Book Report | September 2014

One of my favorite past times is reading and what I love even more is to share good books with others!  I don’t know about you, but my ears are always open to hearing about a good read! If that’s you too, then read on!  Today is my monthly book report where I share with you my favorite reads from the past month.

Before we dive into this month’s selections, if you want to check out the books I’ve recommended in the past, be sure to visit my Book Review page!

Close to Home (by Lisa Jackson)

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I love a good thriller book and Lisa Jackson’s books never fail to deliver!  Close to Home is her latest book and I couldn’t put it down!  The story centers around Sarah McAdams, a 30-something single mom of two daughters, moving back to her childhood home for a fresh start.  Her childhood home, rumored to be haunted, is not, however, full of warm cozy memories.  The wife of the original owner of 100 years ago, fell to her death following a terrifying attack.  Her half-sister disappeared from the home many years ago, and her mother was a cold, distant person that left Sarah feeling alone and afraid as a child.

From the moment she arrives with her family, strange things occur, local girls are going missing, and her youngest daughter swears she’s seeing a ghost.  Her neighbor, and former high school boyfriend, re-enter her world and she struggles with how to reconcile her past and move on with her future.  All the while, her former boss begins to follow and stalk her!

There’s a lot going on in this book, but it keeps you on the edge of your seat and flipping pages into the wee hours of the night.  While I did find it somewhat predictable, I thoroughly enjoyed the mystery and intrigue as each story was woven into the other.

Somewhere in France: A Novel of the Great War (by Jennifer Robson)

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I loved this book! But, then again, you know me…I have a weakness for historical fiction and this one didn’t disappoint!  Somewhere in France is set in World War I. Lady Elizabeth Neville-Ashford wants more from her life than being the trophy wife of a husband that she doesn’t love.  Intelligent and curious, she longs for adventure, responsibility, and to follow the love of her life, Robert Fraser (Robbie).  Robbie, her older brother’s school friend, is a doctor from an impoverished childhood.  Her family forbids any notion of her with him, but, Lady Elizabeth is determined to follow her heart and sets out on her own to become an ambulance driver on the front lines in France.

She’s stationed at the same camp as Robbie and pours her heart into her work and budding relationship.  Robbie is also in love with Lady Elizabeth, but knows she’s well above his class.  He wants no harm to come her way and is not too happy when she arrives at his field hospital.  He wants to do whatever he can to keep her safe and is even willing to push away the new relationship to ensure she makes it home safely, despite Lady Elizabeth’s desire to be together.

I couldn’t stop reading this book!  I loved the detail of the historical scenes, the intensity of their connection throughout time, and the strength of the main character.

The Governess of Highland Hall (by Carrie Turansky)

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Ahhh…another historical fiction!  This was another fantastic read and I believe it’s part of a series, so I must look into that!  The Governess of Highland Hall centers around Julia Foster, daughter of missionaries that have been serving in India for a number of years.  When her father’s health declines, they return to England for health care.  Julia is forced to look for work to help her parent’s make ends meet and becomes the governess at nearby Highland Hall.  She takes on the care of the two small children of the property’s owner, Sir William Ramsey, and his two spoiled teenager cousins.  While he is struggling to earn the money needed to save the estate, Julia is struggling to manage control of her charges (particularly the two teenage girls).

During their daily interactions, Sir William who is widowed, falls for the Governess despite the impropriety of such a move.  Julia, meanwhile, is starting to have feelings for Sir William and knowing this to be a potential problem, she plans to leave so Sir William may be matched with a more suitable wife.

This book is also somewhat predictable, but is quite enjoyable despite this.  It’s rich in description and kept me engaged until the very end.

Eleanor & Park (by Rainbow Rowell)

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Eleanor & Park is a quick read and a sweet (but sad) story.  Eleanor and Park are two high school students during the mid-1980s.  They come from vastly different backgrounds and homes, yet, they realize they’re kindred spirits while sharing a seat on the school bus each day.  She attempts to hide her family life from him as he pulls her more and more into his loving family.  They don’t really understand their feelings for each other, yet continue to navigate through the confusion to find the common connection with each other.  As Eleanor’s home life continues to disintegrate, Park is learning more and more of her daily struggles, until one day, she has to escape to save her life.  Park is the only person she can turn to and he’s right there to help her along.

It’s a sweet story of new love of which anyone that can identify.  Eleanor has a way of getting under your skin and making you feel her pain and frustration.  Park, with his constant support of Eleanor, is completely endearing and you can’t help but fall in love with him right along with Eleanor.

I read this book in a matter of days and could not put it down.  Despite the sad undertones, it’s really a good read and I highly recommend it!

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Your turn! What book have you read recently that you just couldn’t put down? 

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