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September 24, 2018

Monthly Wrap-up: September 2018 #MondayBlogs

by Donna Huber



It has been another busy month at Girl Who Reads. Thankfully work has fallen into a routine again so it is more manageable. I'm loving my spin class, but it wears me out. Instead of more energy, I seem to have to take a nap every day. I hope that my body will adjust soon to the increased activity. I've picked up a couple of new TV shows this month, both on PBS - The Miniaturist and The Great American Read. I didn't read The Miniaturist as it isn't my kind of book, and though I'm enjoying the show I still don't think I would read the book. I enjoy hearing about a wide range of books and getting some literary history during The Great American Read. Fall television kicks off this week, so we'll see how much reading I get done the next couple of months. I only have to read 8 more books to meet my Goodreads Challenge of 100 books.

Here's what's happened around Girl Who Reads this month: (the links will take you to the posts)

Susan Roberts discussed The Stand by Stephen King and The Color Purple by Alice Walker from The Great American Read list. She reviewed The Space Between and Whisper Me This, The Secret of the Irish Castle by Santa Montefiore, Tear Me Apart by JT Ellison, Warm Transfer and Thread for PearlsThe Boy at the Keyhole by Stephen Giles, and When the Lights Go Out by Mary Kubica. Stop back this week on Tuesday for her review of Lies by T. M. Logan and on Saturday for The Fourteen of September.

MK French reviewed Drawn to the Marquess by Bronwen Evans, The Girl in the Locked Room by Mary Downing, The Book of Hidden Things by Francesco Dimitri, The Forbidden Door by Dean Koontz, Set the Night on Fire by Laura Trentham, My Own Devices by Dessa, and Trust Me by Earl Javorsky, and The One Unspoken by Sarah Bryant. This week she will review An Unexpected Adventure by Kandi Wyatt on Tuesday, Ginseng Tango by Cheryl Pallent on Friday, and The Christmas Wishing Tree by Emily March on Sunday.

C. M. North discussed writing opening paragraphs to keep readers reading in Shocking Introductions: Crafting the Perfect Start to a Story.

Alison Deluca took at look at Educated: A Memoir by Tara Westover.

I reviewed The Fated Sky by Mary Robinette Kowal and Clutch by Lisa Becker, both of which I read last month. I also discussed the new television show, Jack Ryan. On Thursday, I'll discuss some more bookish TV.

September 23, 2018

The One Unspoken by Sarah Bryant ~ A Review

by MK French

The One Unspoken
April 2018; Curiosity Quills;
ebook, print ( pages); historical, fantasy
Sidonie Verdier was born in the middle of a storm and is raised by Adelis, the midwife and former slave that birthed her. Her father had run off while her mother was still pregnant, and her mother died soon after the childbirth. Sidonie and Adelis were close, especially as it became clear that they both were able to see and communicate with ghosts. When her father returns to make a Creole debutante out of her, Sidonie's only escapes are her music and occasionally talking with her neighbor, Gabriel St. Martin, the only son of a free black plantation owner.

Antebellum New Orleans and Louisiana make up the setting of the novel, including its gorgeous architecture, socially rigid structures based on class and race, as well as the heartbreak and cruelties of slavery and the state of marriage in the day. Sidonie, not brought up with those perspectives, is as horrified by those stories and injustices as we are while reading about it. Gabriel is at least a free man of color, so his lot is much better than the slaves' are. Even so, the microaggressions and the laws are against the free people of color, so those with money and talent have to go to Europe for further training.

There are hints at a larger kind of mystery, as multiple people know Adelis and her gift. Sidonie's mother had it as well, as there are complicated ties between Sidonie's family and the St. Martin family. It's eventually revealed, and the ties between them have tightened further as Sidonie's and Gabriel's relationship deepened and changed over time. The story is beautiful and beautifully tragic, as any interracial love would be in that period. Both are very likable characters, even with mistakes or unkind words that they say.

The plot really draws me in, and I lost track of time while reading the book because I was so immersed in it. This is a fantastic and gripping novel.

Buy The One Unspoken at Amazon

Born and raised in New York City, M.K. French started writing stories when very young, dreaming of different worlds and places to visit. She always had an interest in folklore, fairy tales, and the macabre, which has definitely influenced her work. She currently lives in the Midwest with her husband, three young children, and golden retriever.

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September 22, 2018

The Bone Whistle by @KBHoyle_author ~ a Review #TheGatewayChronicles

by Donna Huber

I have now finished my third reading of The Gateway Chronicles and I loved it just as much as the first time I read it. I kind of dreaded reading The Bone Whistle partly because it would mean the end of the series. But I also dreaded the deterioration of the relationship between Darcy and her family.

September 21, 2018

When the Lights Go Out by @MaryKubica ~ a @HarlequinBooks Review

by Susan Roberts

How it begins...

Prologue

The city surrounds me. A panorama. With arms outstretched, I can't help but spin, taking it all in. Enjoying the view, knowing fully well this may be the last thing my eyes ever see.

September 20, 2018

Save the Date by Morgan Matson ~ an @Audible_com Review

by Donna Huber



After reading Never Let Me Go and The Woodcutter, I wanted some light frivolity and the young adult novel Save the Date seemed just the right book. And indeed it was the fun read (er...listen) that I was looking for.

September 19, 2018

Trust Me by Earl Javorsky ~ a Review

by MK French

Jeff Fenner had an up and down kind of career, but it's come crashing to a halt. Police are investigating him, he owes money to the wrong people, and he doesn't have much of a future. His sister commits suicide, but that isn't like her at all. It leads him to try to investigate the death, and he meets Ron Pool, the reporter that covered his sister's death and thinks others might be related. In addition, there is also the relatively new member Holly Barnes. She's troubled and involved in the same self-help group that seems implicated in a string of suicides eerily like his sister's. The worst part? Holly seems to be next.

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