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Gone South – A Novel by Meg Moseley

Gone South - A Novel by Meg MoseleyBlurb

The charm of the South drew her back to her family’s roots. But when the town’s old resentments turn the sweet tea bitter, can Tish find a welcome anywhere?

Leaving frosty Michigan for the Deep South was never a blip in the simple plans Tish McComb imagined for her life, dreams of marriage and family that were dashed five years earlier in a tragic accident. Now an opportunity to buy her great-great-great-grandparents’ Civil War era home beckons Tish to Noble, Alabama, a Southern town in every sense of the word. She wonders if God has given her a new dream— the old house filled with friends, her vintage percolator bubbling on the sideboard.

When Tish discovers that McCombs aren’t welcome in town, she feels like a Yankee behind enemy lines. Only local antiques dealer George Zorbas seems willing to give her a chance. What’s a lonely outcast to do but take in Noble’s resident prodigal, Melanie Hamilton, and hope that the two can find some much needed acceptance in each other.

Problem is, old habits die hard, and Mel is quite set in her destructive ways. With Melanie blocked from going home, Tish must try to manage her incorrigible houseguest as she attempts to prove her own worth in a town that seems to have forgotten that every sinner needs God-given mercy, love and forgiveness.

My Perspective

This is the fourth book I read from my post Credit Where Credit’s Due. I read about Gone South – A Novel by Meg Moseley from Ionia at Readful Things Blog. You can read her thoughts on the book here.

Gone South is the story of Letitia “Tish” McComb. Proud of her McComb heritage, she moves back to the house of her ancestors. However much to her surprise she isn’t welcomed by the locals and no one will tell her why.

I really enjoyed reading this book. Not everything went how I wanted it to and some of the characters were terribly frustrating however the way it was written and the general storyline was interesting and enjoyable to read.

I liked Tish however I did find her a little bit slow on the uptake. I was really rooting for her though and I admired her resolve. Mel was very frustrating and she did get on my nerves a little bit. She grew a lot throughout the book though and I enjoyed seeing her mature. I really liked George. He was a great romantic love interest. Daisy made me laugh a lot and I appreciated the detail in which the author went.

I enjoyed the mystery aspect in the book however I found that it kind of fell flat. It wasn’t properly resolved in my mind and I was hoping that there would be more.

The book was considered Christian fiction however it wasn’t preachy at all. I didn’t think there was enough “Christian” content to consider it in that genre (apart from the blurb) however it is what it is.

Overall I really enjoyed the book and would definitely recommend it to those who like lighthearted romance/drama with a little bit of mystery thrown in.

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Last Chance For Justice by Kathi Macias

Last Chance For Justice by Kathi MaciasBlurb

Welcome to Bloomfield, where life is simple, love is real, and stories are shared.

Lynn Myers is still reeling from losing her husband of thirty-five years when word comes that her only sibling, an older brother, has also died. With no one else to settle the estate, she must return to her small hometown of Bloomfield, however briefly, to settle his affairs.

Lynn’s daughter, Rachel, has just graduated from Bible college and with no other commitments comes along to sort through her uncle’s huge old home, right next to the local cemetery.

It isn’t long before Rachel has two men — a handsome CPA and the youth pastor — seriously vying for her attention. At the same time, Lynn’s attention is drawn to a set of journals her brother has left behind detailing a long-standing Bloomfield mystery.

As they pursue solving this mystery, Rachel must make some personal decisions about her future, while Lynn is forced to face unexpected issues from her own past.

My Perspective

This is the third book I read from my post Credit Where Credit’s Due. I read about Last Chance For Justice by Kathi Macias from Ionia at Readful Things Blog. You can read her thoughts on the book here.

Last Chance For Justice is about Lynn Myers and her daughter Rachel. Lynn finds out her brother has passed away and left everything to her. She must return to the town of her childhood, Bloomfield, to settle his estate. Rachel comes with her, and helps Lynn face the town she left behind. With only a quick visit in mind, God has other plans and soon she and Rachel find themselves caught up in the legacy that her brother, Myron, left when he died.

The book was well written and interesting. It was a little bit predictable and cliche in some parts however it wasn’t over the top so it wasn’t annoying.

The characters were extremely likeable. They did have their flaws though so I did find myself mildly irritated by some of their actions however this did make it more realistic. I did find it interesting as there was no “bad guy” or villain in the story. I didn’t actually notice this until I had finished reading.

The book is a Christian novel and there are obviously Christian themes. As I’ve mentioned before, I’m a Christian, so this obviously didn’t bother me at all. I didn’t find it preachy or too religious, it flowed well.

One thing I noticed about the style of writing is that everything is mentioned. “Pulling into the dirt-and-gravel parking lot, Rachel maneuvered the Corolla into a cool, shady spot and cracked the windows for the now-snoozing Beasley. Both women knew he’d be fine while they went inside to eat”. I actually really liked that. I don’t need to know if they go to the toilet however I’m the person that says, what about Beasley? You just left him in the car, is he okay? This book left me no doubts or unanswered questions like that and I really appreciated it. If you find that annoying, the book may irritate you, however for those like me – it is fantastic.

Overall I enjoyed the book and I am interested to read the author’s other works that are set in Bloomfield. I would definitely recommend it to those who like light romance with a bit of mystery thrown in.

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Persuasion by Jane Austen

Persuasion by Jane AustenBlurb

Written at the end of the Napoleonic Wars, Persuasion is a tale of love, heartache and the determination of one woman as she strives to reignite a lost love. Anne Elliot is persuaded by her friends and family to reject a marriage proposal from Captain Wentworth because he lacks in fortune and rank. More than seven years later, when he returns home from the Navy, Anne realises she still has strong feelings for him, but Wentworth only appears to have eyes for a friend of Anne’s. 

My Perspective

As i mentioned in my review of Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen, after visiting The Jane Austen Centre in Bath when we were traveling through the UK, I had an urge to start reading all of her novels.

Persuasion is the story of Anne Elliot. Having been persuaded to break off her engagement at 19 to Mr Wentworth, she is now 27 and no man has ever been able to replace him. Having left on bitter terms, he vowing never to forgive her, it has been eight years since they last met. However through family circumstance, their worlds soon collide once more.

Having watched the newest version of “Persuasion”, I already knew the general gist of the storyline. This did not take away from the story though as the book is a lot richer in detail.

It was well written in true Jane Austen style. For those not used to older novels, it was a little slow to start off with however that is the style of the time and I still found it interesting. You are given a lot of back story and information and it helps to give a greater depth to the story.

I loved Anne. She was sweet, good natured and steady. I also really liked Wentworth. The other characters were equal mixtures of frustrating, loveable, loathsome and charming.

I found that the ending fell a little flat. There was quite a bit of drama and suspense throughout the book and the ending didn’t seem to match.

Overall I really enjoyed the book and I would definitely recommend it to those who like period fiction.

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Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen

Northanger Abbey by Jane AustenBlurb

In Northanger Abbey, a young woman’s penchant for sensational Gothic novels leads to misunderstandings in the matters of the heart. Austen’s first, this is considered by many to be among her most charming novels.

My Perspective

After visiting The Jane Austen Centre in Bath when we were traveling through the UK, I had an urge to start reading all of her novels. I’ve read the more popular ones: Pride and Prejudice, Sense and Sensibility, and Emma already, however I hadn’t read Northanger Abbey nor Persuasion. As both of these are set in Bath, I wanted to read them almost immediately! I started with the one that was written first, Northanger Abbey.

Northanger Abbey is about Catherine Morland, the eldest daughter of a clergyman. She is invited to travel to Bath with a childless couple she is family friends with in the village. Rather naive and innocent, her visit introduces to her both friendship and love as well as lies and betrayal.

If you’re not used to older novels, then the wordiness may probably get to you. I however, find it does not lose my interest at all.

The beginning took you almost straight into the story and it was a page turner from then onwards. Most of the time I could not turn the page fast enough in knowing what would happen next.

The characters were brilliantly written and you went from love to hate to outrage and everything in between. There were parts where I could have throttled some of the characters and I was in dread of what they would do next.

I really enjoyed the book and I love Jane Austen and her writing style. Her books always please. I wouldn’t say this was my favourite of her novels, I much prefer Pride and Prejudice and Sense and Sensibility – I found this wasn’t as well written as either of those – however it is shorter and was quite a quick read.

Overall I would definitely recommend this book however not as Jane Austen’s best – it is however, still amazing as Jane Austen is a brilliant author!

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Terra by Gretchen Powell

Terra by Gretchen PowellBlurb

A broken and desolate Earth. A young girl simply trying to survive. A lost boy with a powerful secret.

A discovery that will change everything.

In the distant wake of a plague that has decimated the Earth’s population, humanity is split in two: The rich and powerful live in skycities that float overhead, while those who remain on the ground have gathered in settlements strewn across a dying planet. Eighteen-year-old Terra Rhodon is a terrestrial–a denizen of the barren groundworld–who makes her living as a scav. Long abandoned by her father, her caregivers gone, Terra supports herself and her younger brother, Mica, by scouring the earth for discarded scraps and metals to recycle for profit. One day, while on a routine scavenging run, she discovers something that shocks her home settlement of Genesis X-16. When the value of her discovery is revealed, Terra’s world is turned upside down.

Terra suddenly finds herself asking questions no one will answer. Her search for the truth leads her to Adam–a beguiling skydweller unlike any she has ever met. But Adam has secrets and a quest of his own. With him by her side, the world Terra thought she knew begins to unravel. Soon her discoveries unearth a terrifying conspiracy that has the potential to shatter everything–a revelation that will test the bonds of loyalty, family, and love.

My Perspective

This is the second book I read from my post Credit Where Credit’s Due. I read about Terra by Gretchen Powell from Cely at Running Off The Reese’s. Unfortunately you can’t read her thoughts on the book anymore as her blog was hacked and her posts deleted :(

Terra is a dystopian novel. The Earth is dying and the population have been split between the rich Skydwellers and the poorer Terrestrials. Terra is a Terrestrial, an earth dweller, and her only means of survival is scavenging the wastelands outside the compound that she and her brother, Mica live in. However one day whilst scavenging she finds an item that changes the course of her future.

Terra was an enjoyable read. The beginning really sucked me into the story. It was interesting, kept me turning the pages and flowed well. However I did notice there was a subtle change in the book when Adam was introduced. It became slightly cheesy and even though I was still interested in finding out what happened, it lost the appeal it had before.

I really liked Terra’s character except I found she irked me when Adam was introduced. I liked Adam as a character though – again there was something that changed and I’m not sure it was for the better. Mica was your typical teenager however you couldn’t help having a soft spot for him.

I found some of the story a bit unbelievable. The romance in particular. The novel is aimed at young adults though so it would most likely appeal to them.

The book leaves you on a pretty large cliffhanger – I didn’t realise it was a series! I must admit that even though it was quite cheesy the cliffhanger definitely makes me want to read the sequel.

Overall I did enjoy the book and I would recommend it to those who like young adult dystopian fiction.

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Summers In Supino: Becoming Italian by Maria Coletta McLean

Summers In Supino: Becoming Italian by Maria Coletta McLeanBlurb

An Italian Canadian woman recounts her annual summer trips with her husband to her ancestral village of Supino, Italy, in this heartwarming hybrid of travel guide and memoir. Written with humor and heart, it describes her process of adjusting to life in her father’s hometown, as well as the eccentricities of its people. Supino’s colorful landscapes and citizens make for vivid stories, from pizzerias in sheep pastures and fish restaurants hidden in the woods to village-wide celebrations of figs, watermelon, azaleas, and artichokes. The book goes on to explain how with every trip, the budding Italian gains a deeper understanding of her connection to Supino and comes to more fully embrace her cultural heritage. Filled with brilliant stories about a fascinating land, this engaging narrative explores notions of identity and the restorative power of community.

My Perspective

This is the first book I read from my post Credit Where Credit’s Due. I read about Summers In Supino: Becoming Italian by Maria Coletta McLean from Ionia at Readful Things Blog. You can read her thoughts on the book here.

Summers In Supino: Becoming Italian is a true story of Maria’s memories of her summers in Supino, Italy from when she and her husband bought a house there.

The story was written in an unusual format. It was in chronological order however apart from that it kind of was just written as a continuous memory. Some parts was almost summarised and other parts were intrinsically detailed. Sometimes it flowed beautifully and other times it was jolted. The style didn’t bother me majorly however I did find that sometimes I was taken out of the story because of it.

Supino sounds like a truly fascinating place and I was actually reading this while we traveled through Italy on our European adventure. I was sad that it was not near where we were visiting because I would have liked to have visited and seen what I read about.

I loved reading about the Italian way of life. The comparisons between the Supinese culture and the North American culture were so different and it was sad to see how the North American culture started influencing the area and changing it.

I loved reading about the food too – it all sounded so delicious!

The humour was subtle and I really enjoyed it. It was also quite a sad book.

I enjoyed reading this book and I would recommend it to anyone who enjoys memoirs and reading about other cultures.

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A Tiny Bit Marvellous by Dawn French

A Tiny Bit Marvellous by Dawn FrenchBlurb

Everyone hates the perfect family.

So you’ll love the Battles.

Meet Mo Battle, about to turn 50 and mum to two helpless, hormonal teenagers. There’s 17-year-old daughter Dora who blames Mo for, like, EVERYTHING and Peter who believes he’s quite simply as darling and marvellous as his hero Oscar Wilde. Somewhere, keeping quiet, is Dad . . . who’s just, well… Dad.

However, Mo is having a crisis. She’s about to do something unusually wild and selfish, which will leave the entire family teetering on the edge of a precipice. Will the family fall? Or will they, when it really matters, be there for each other?

My Perspective

This was the first book that i read on our epic adventure. I read it on the plane ride over to Beijing.

A Tiny Bit Marvellous is about the Battle family. Mo, the Mum, is a child psychologist and is practically starting a mid life crisis. Dora, the teenage daughter, is struggling with her relationship with her mother and navigating through her last year of high school. Peter/Oscar, the sixteen year old son, is very well to do. And then there is Husband/Dad. He is the rock of the family.

I’m not sure what i expected the book to be like however it wasn’t what I expected. If that makes any sense at all.

I enjoyed reading it and I was interested in the story however I did find that it was a bit disjointed. The book is written in diary entry formats and from the perspectives of all of the different characters. This was super interesting as you saw situations from all angles however if you have to be really careful that it flows properly, which i found it didn’t. It was quite eye opening as well.

The characters are what really make this book. They are developed really well over the entire length of the book and you truly get to know them.

Even though the pacing was steady, I did find in parts that my interest waned slightly. It was also slightly predictable.

Altogether I don’t know what to make of the book. I enjoyed it however found it lacking. The writing was unique however I’m not sure it worked.

Overall I would recommend this book however not highly. It was an interesting book to read while on the plane and it might appeal to those who like reading stories that explore inner thoughts with a bit of humour.