Book Review: The Tea Planters Wife by Dinah Jefferies

Book Review: The Tea Planters Wife by Dinah Jefferies

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The Tea Planter’s Wife is about a young English woman who heads to Ceylon to a tea plantation to meet up with her husband. While on the ship, waiting for her husband, she meets up with a nice young man, Savi. The problem, his skin color is different and on the island of Ceylon friendship with anyone of a skin color opposite their own is strongly discouraged. Her life on the tea plantation is not without strife, with her husband hiding from her about his first wife’s demise and then the stress of childbirth.

I did enjoy this book, the start of the book with her losing her purse in the deep waters to the end. The way Jefferies spun her tale and wrote with details often times had me there in Ceylon with her. But there were many characters whom I was introduced to, but never really got to know. Fran, Verity, Savi, Christina, Laurence, Naveena. Each person I was wanting to know more about. I felt like there were hints of more within their characters, but was left hanging and disappointed when nothing was forthcoming. That said, even though I really did enjoy the book, I didn’t love it based upon this.

I received this from the publisher, Crown Publishing, via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

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Book Review: In the Name of Gucci by Patricia Gucci

Book Review: In the Name of Gucci by Patricia Gucci

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I’m not well acquainted with Gucci outside of knowing that the brand is an exclusive product for those with a disposable income. I knew nothing about its foundation nor the later troubles it encountered, therefore I came into this book with no expectations.

In the Name of Gucci, it’s written by his daughter Patricia, the mother of whom was Aldo’s mistress. From the time that they met until the death of Aldo, her mother and Aldo remained close.

The book is an easy read, giving a little background on the woman who Aldo fell in love with and then the daughter who grew up knowing this man as her father, yet lacked the true father-daughter relationship.

Realizing that this book was written based on letters and other bits of information that her mother gave to her, I understand why it isn’t more deep and detailed. If anything, the book left me wanting to know more about this complex family.

To be honest, I did enjoy the book, although I did ponder why I felt sorry for Patricia’s mother, Bruna, when she was the one who was sleeping with a married man. True, this was in a time period where divorce was frowned upon, which in turn makes me wonder if divorce had been legal, would they have married succecssfully.

I received this book from the publisher, Crown Publishing, via netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

 

Book Review: Mercer Girls by Libbie Hawker

Book Review: Mercer Girls by Libbie Hawker

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The cover on this book intrigued me because it was obvious that effort was placed on appealing to the reader. The synopsis of the book on the back succeeded in getting me to select this book to read it.

Mercer Girls is about a group of women who leave Lowell, MA a mill town, to head to the west coast as brides. They are lured into the proposition by going to Seattle to meet men who are wanting women. But, he is wanting women of a higher caliber than those of the typical mail order bride. So this book follows along the trials and lives of three women, Josephine who leaves behind an unsettled life and eager looks forward to the opportunity of teaching, Sophronia, who is an uptight, “pious” woman, and young Dovey who is the youngest at 16 who flee’s from home due to an unwanted arranged marriage.

I found this book very difficult to get into and enjoy reading. There is a bit of history here, such as the Mercer Girls whom I had never heard of prior to this book. In turn, it sent me searching for documents telling about this excursion of women. So if anything, the book gets kudos’ for reviving my interest in revisiting history to learn about this time period.

The three characters within the book, the only one I tended to like was Dovey, because straight up at the beginning of the book we understood her reason for going to Seattle. The other two characters, I never seemed to come to love and have any sort of interest in. Perhaps if I had been introduced more so to the characters of either at the beginning, and their reasons for leaving.. then perhaps I may have developed more of an affinity. Actually, I don’t think I would have developed much of an affinity for Sophrania. She seemed more like a stuck-up prude, her character reminiscent of Grace Livingston books. In Grace’s books, I expect it. But not this one.

The author writes well, however if this was a book based on true events, memoirs, I may have taken more of a liking to it. But to know it was fiction and how it was written… it just bored me.

There was also a minor point of contention, that for this to have passed the editors and yet to have a glaring error made me wonder about the qualities of the book. The part that had me pause, then reread was Chapter two: A working girl: “Father had even begun “prizing” the plaster molding from the edges of the ceilings. The plaster would bring in some money…..” Initially I thought it was to be pricing, but now I ponder and wonder if the word was actually supposed to be prying.

This is one of the few books that I actually failed to finish. I even fast forwarded to chapters ahead, hoping that something there would catch my interest. I put it aside and instead put it into my delete folder on my kindle.

I did receive this book as an ARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. I do wish my review was more positive towards this book.

Book Review: Dawn at Emberwilde by Sarah E. Ladd

Book Review: Dawn at Emberwilde by Sarah E. Ladd

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Head’s up. This is one of those books where I started mid-way thru the day, on my lunch break and ended up finishing it at 2:00 in the morning because I didn’t want to wait until the next day to finish it!

Dawn at Emberwilde is about a young woman who has grown up in at the Fellsworth school, not necessarily a finishing school, but a school where rules and rigid following of the rules are required. Beyond the age of care, she remained at the school to care for her younger half-sister Lizzie, and taught as a teacher. But news comes to the headmaster that she actually has family and they have sought to bring her home. Once at her new, grand home, she overhears a discussion that the family is near bankruptcy and barely can manage to keep her and everyone else taken care of in the household.

There is mystery and intrigue involved, and of course romance between two men who vie for her attention.

It really was an overall good book and I truly enjoyed reading it. The descriptions of how Sarah wrote had me feeling as though I was there in the rooms with Isabel experiencing what she was experiencing.

I found that there were some things that were hinted at, but not really answered. Such as the issue of her mother. Things were implied such as a mystery surrounding her death, but the explanation given just kind of melted away the intrigue initially.

Of course as the book went towards the last part of the book, my speed reading took hold. This is definitely a book that I will be putting on my shelves and will be re-reading in the future. I know that there are details I missed in the first go-round that I will enjoy picking up in subsequent reads.

I received this book from the publisher via BookLook in exchange for an honest review.

Book Review: Understanding Exposure by Bryan Patterson

Book Review: Understanding Exposure by Bryan Patterson

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This book by Bryan Peterson does just as the title claims to do. It helps you understand exposure on your camera. Any DSLR or the point and shoots that have the “M” mode. I own both, a Nikon D50 and a Sony Powershot and have found that this books gives me understanding on how to use both and obtain quality shots.

For many years I owned my Nikon D50 without fully really understanding why some of my shots turned out well and others did not. It became a case of trial and error. But when I started reading the chapters in this book it brought forth a light-bulb of understanding.

The book is easy to read and doesn’t necessarily dumb it down, rather it makes it understandable as to how he is describing different scenarios in how to take photographs.

You have the following chapters:

  1. Defining Exposure (what is exposure, photographic triangle, light meter/balance, six correct exposures vs on creatively correct)
  2. Aperture (aperture and depth of field, storytelling apertures, isolation or singular-theme, macro)
  3. Shutter speed (importance of shutter speed, right shutter for subject, freezing motion, panning, implying motion, making “rain”)
  4. Light (importance of light, best light, frontlight, overcast front light, sideling, backlight, exposure meters, reflectance, gray card, sky brothers, night and low light, light painting, flashlight and starlight)
  5. Special techniques (polorizing filters, neutral-density filters, multiple exposures)
  6. Electronic flash (photographic triangle and flash, three factors for correct flash, dangers of being a flashaholic, limitations of pop up flash, powering down the flash, flash as a fill light, wireless flash, colored gels, rear curtain sync)

All in all, I think this is an excellent book, especially for those of us who want to know more and learn about the capabilities of our cameras. The photography within is helpful in describing pictorially what he is saying with words in the book.

I did receive this book from Blogging for Books in exchange for an honest review.

Book Review: Her One and Only by Becky Wade

Book Review: Her One and Only by Becky Wade

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This book is about Dru Porter, the youngest sister of three brothers. Her older brothers are all married and a bit protective of their youngest sibling, even though she is definitely old enough to take care of herself. A former Marine, she works for a company who is hired as a body guard for a famous football player of the Dallas team who is receiving death threats from a stalker. Dru is one of the body guards on rotation, and of course, Gray Fowler isn’t sure how she can really protect him. Determined to protect him and find out who is stalking him, love is definitely a priority for her on this case.

I enjoyed this book, although just when I thought the story had ended… it hadn’t. Which I knew it wouldn’t, considering that I was no where near the end of the book. Despite my enjoyment of the book, I was really ready for the book to end.

The Porter family is highlighted within this book, and I believe this book would have truly succeeded as a stand-alone had the character Meg and her husband not been part of this series. To me, it made me wonder how they two would connect later in the story, the two different plot lines. Honestly? Not really. So for me, having Meg being a part of this story was disconcerning. Especially since it had been a long time since i had previously read any of the stories of the other Porter siblings and there romance with their spouses.

But truly, all in all, I really liked this book. I would definitely recommend it for others to read.

I received this complimentary book from Bethany House in exchange for an honest review.

Book Review: The Wedding Shop by Rachel Hauck

Book Review: The Wedding Shop by Rachel Hauck

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Superb. That’s how I describe this book. Just absolutely superb.

Let’s just say, this was one of those books that I just couldn’t put down. Prying the kindle from my hands would have emitted a cry of “noooooo….” But fortunately that didn’t happen. I was able to snuggle under my covers and read. And read I did until after the midnight hour.

I have to be honest, when I initially started on the book it threw me for a loop. I was in present day, and then was suddenly tossed back to the year 1930. Oh no, was my first thought, do I really want to read this? I tossed aside my hesitation and dove in. As I read about Cora, and Haley, I found myself in deep. I now completely understood the two era’s and how they were intertwined with each other, and then how they played a part in the end.

Wow. Just wow is my reaction at the end of the book.

The Wedding Shop, is about two women separated by decades, but are determined to discover their dreams. Cora, resides in the 1930’s and she has inherited the wedding shop from her aunt in Heart’s Bend, TN. Her shop is known and brides come to her shop to find their perfect wedding dress. In the mean time, her time is spent biding the time when her true love returns to marry her. Years pass by while she waits, while another patiently waits to claim her love.

Then there is Haley, who has returned to Heart’s Bend, to find herself. Reeling off from a bad relationship, she returns home trying to figure out where and what to do next. The wedding shop, now a fallen down, decrepit store seems to call to her. Fighting for the right to own the shop, she discovers secrets of the wedding shop that come forth and reveals itself to all.

Again, I really did enjoy this book and highly recommend it. I’ve read one other book by Rachel, and have found myself reading the story over again on several occasions (Once Upon a Prince). Needless to say, after this book, it’s awakened a desire to read more of her books.

This book is set to be sold in stores August 2016.

I received this digital edition complimentary from Zondervan Fiction, via NetGalley, in exchange for an honest review.