The Indigo Girl

Book 52 in 2018.

“The Indigo Girl”, by Natasha Boyd.

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This book came to me recommended by one of the bestest friends a girl could have.  I was kind of mad at her half way through, because I kept wondering what she did to me.  Why would I want to read this sad story, where nothing seems to be going good, and doesn’t look like it ever will.  I persevered for her. Out of respect for our friendship.  She was forgiven by the end of the book.  Why did I doubt?

Eliza Lucas lives in the Carolina Colonies, in 1739.  Her family’s plantation is struggling to grow rice and other crops.  Her father leaves her in charge when she is 16, to go pursue his military career.  She begins a plan to try and grow indigo plants to produce the indigo dye, which can be sold in Europe for a lot of money.  She needs the trust and respect of her family’s slaves to succeed.  In the meantime, her mother is desperately trying to find a suitor for her who could put up with her work ethic and unladylike ambitions.  Eliza continues to focus on the task at hand, hardship after hardship she grows more determined to prove she can do it.

I did not realize this book was based on an actual person.  Natasha Boyd, used excerpts from Eliza’s correspondence and diaries.  Some of the events described really did happen.  I think that must be what I liked the most about it.  However close to true the fiction was, it is pretty crazy to think of such a character existing in 1739.  Go ahead Eliza Lucas, get it done sister.  Overall afterthought, respect.

One True Loves

Book 51 in 2018.

“One True Loves”, by Taylor Jenkins Reid

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I read Taylor Jenkins Reid’s book “Maybe in Another Life” last year and thought it was cute.  I usually like to try an author a couple times to see if I like what they got.  I definitely will be looking for another of her books to read!

Emma Blair found true love in high school.  She marries her teenage boyfriend Jesse, in her twenties and they live an adventurous life, traveling the world and meeting their dreams together.  On their one year anniversary, Jesse goes missing on a job assignment while flying over the pacific.  His body is never found and he is assumed dead.  Emma mourns his loss for two years, has met a new love Sam, who has allowed her to grow and become the person she is today.  They get engaged after a year, and their wedding is quickly approaching when Emma gets a phone call that changes everything.  It’s from Jesse, he survived the crash, was stranded on an island, and has now come home.

What?! Ahhhh!!!! Oh poor Emma, what to do, what to do?  Could not put this book down.  I told my husband if I ever go missing he will have to wait at least five years, in case I make a comeback.  He could not promise that, ha.  Fine.  But if Emma would of, than she would not be in this predicament.  He reminded me this is fiction.  Fine it’s fiction.  Overall afterthought, really good fiction.

 

 

The Sixth Man

Book 50 in 2018.

“The Sixth Man” by, David Baldacci.

Yay. I could not think of a better book to read for my number 50 of the year! I only read 52 books last year according to what I have written in my blog. However I did not start blogging until February, so I really could not say how many books I read before that. Let’s say 5-8 more max? Considering it is already the end of July, maybe I will hit 80? I would really think it would be swell to get 100, but that just sounds greedy.

If you have not read any of the “King and Maxwell” series, you should go back to the beginning and start there. This is book number five. There are only six in the series, so I will have to read the next one very soon.

Sean and Michelle find themselves in the middle of some pretty deep governmental cover ups. There are so many things going on around them, it is hard to figure out who the good guys are, and who are not. Key people in their investigation keep ending up dead, they will have to move fast before they are next.

Lots of twists and turns in this one! I really am not that in to political crime thrillers but my boy Baldacci keeps roping me in. Overall afterthought, team King and Maxwell .

The Glass Castle

Book 49 in 2018.

“The Glass Castle” by, Jeanette Walls.

I at one time had this rented from the library, but did not feel up to reading a difficult story. I returned it. I then rented the movie from the library, didn’t get to it. I returned it. I thought I would give it a go again.

Let me just say wow, wow, wow. Jeanette Walls is an amazing writer. Her story, her heart wrenching story, was so beautifully written. It flowed so well, you almost thought it was just a story and not a memoir.

Jeanette grew up poorest of the poor with her three siblings, alcoholic father and eccentric mother. They moved several times a year in her early years, until they settled in a falling apart shack in the hills of Welch, West Virginia during her teen years. Her stories of of survival in each new location, from people, hunger, and her parents neglect, were often shocking and sad. Yet, a lot of her earlier memories were happy for her, not knowing there was any other life out there.

Man, talk about perseverance and human endurance. Almost every chapter I would stop and think, what if my kids were having to grow up like this, or what if I had to?There are all kinds of heartaches people all over the world experience everyday. But when you read of someone who was able to rise above it, work against all odds, and start a new way of life, it blows you away. Overall afterthought, inspiring.

Dune Road

Book 48 in 2018.

“Dune Road”  by, Jane Green

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I cannot for the life of me figure out why I read this entire book.  I considered putting it down, and walking away about every twenty pages.  I kept thinking, “it’s going to get better”, “maybe this is almost it”.  Nope.  Did not do it for me. Yet, I read the whole stinking thing.

I don’t even feel like writing what it was about.  There were so many characters, lots of side stories, weird types of drama that didn’t resolve well.  Lots of language.  I could not even agree with how it ended.  I know, I have no credentials of any kind to say if it was a good story or not.  I just didn’t like it.  I read Jane Green’s “Swapping Lives” and thought it was decent, that is why I picked this one up.  Overall afterthought, blagh .  ( not sure if “blagh” is a word, but start off with “blahhhh” and a throaty “gah” at the end of it)

 

blagh

The Cavendon Luck

Book 47 in 2018.

“The Cavendon Luck” by, Barbara Taylor Bradford

91eMq7lCSXLBook number three in the Cavendon Chronicles kind of slowed down for me.  We are now in the years 1938 through 1945.  Things have been tough on everyone with World War II, leaving no one unscathed.  The Ingham sisters and Swan ladies have done all that they can to keep their beloved families and Cavendon in tact.

Ok, I really did enjoy book one and two in this series.  This book was just alright.  It felt like it was searching for more story to tell. But just didn’t get there.  There was a lot of long pages full of new characters, describing long side stories from the war.   I just wanted to know about the originals.  It took me a long time to muster up the energy to finish it.  Lame of me, I know.  I will still read book four as it is the last one in the series.  We shall see how it all ends.  Overall afterthought, just fine but not a favorite.

Rise & Shine Benedict Stone

Book 46 in 2018.

“Rise & Shine Benedict Stone” by, Phaedra Patrick

With all this historical fiction I have been reading, it was time to throw in a little modern novel. Phaedra Patrick also wrote “The Curious Charms of Arthur Pepper”, you should definitely check out that cute story if you have not yet! You will fall in love with dear, sweet, widowed Arthur Pepper.

I did not fall in love with Benedict Stone, ha, but I liked him a lot. He is a little bit lost since his wife of almost ten years, told him she needed some space to think about their marriage. One lonely night he received an unexpected visitor, his sixteen year old niece from America. She came into his little sad world and turned it upside down. She helps him realize he needs to get out of his mid life funk, and find what parts of life are worth putting some hard work in to.

So cute. A little sad, but worth it to cheer Benedict on. Just a sweet simple story. Overall afterthought, enjoyed it so much!

The Far Side of the Sun

Book 45 in 2018.

“The Far Side of the Sun” by, Kate Furnivall

A couple books ago, I read Kate Furnivall’s “The White Pearl” and really enjoyed it. I quickly looked for another of her stories to read. This one I did not like as much.

The Bahamas in 1943. A hub of military action new to the once peaceful, British occupied Island. Twenty three year old Dodie Wyatt was minding her own business coming home from work, when a bleeding man in the alley asked her for help. Not able to leave him to die, she reluctantly helped him. What she didn’t know, was this stranger would take her seemingly quiet life and thrust her into a world of corruption, mobsters and danger.

I thought the plot of the story was really good. Another new location to learn about in WWII, the Bahamas. I knew the Duke of Windsor was sent to live there and act as Governor during this time period, but had not read anything about it. Apparently there really was an unsolved murder mystery there, and Kate Furnivall decided to make her own fictional story around it. It kind of reminded me of “Girl Waits With Gun”, by Amy Stewart. Only in the fact that it is a fictional story created around a small newspaper article. Just not enough to make an entire story about it. (Purely my lame opinion, I am always awed that authors can write a story about anything, I don’t think I could)

I just don’t think the story flowed that well. I thought this shy and timid Dodie, all of a sudden was ready to take on everyone? I felt confused a lot. Who? What? Where? Maybe it was me, or the sun bathing? Eh, I will still try another of Furnivall’s books. Overall afterthought, not my favorite.

Somewhere in France

Book 44 in 2018.

“Somewhere in France”, by Jennifer Robson.

I am in full vacay reading mode. Eat, read, swim, read, repeat. We have fives days left on the lake. We shall see how much more of my book stack I can get through. When I pulled this one out, it looked vaguely familiar. At some point I have read this. I do not like to read books twice. I can only think of two, that I read again on purpose. I just feel like there are so many things to read!

I could not for the life of me remember what happened at the end of this. So why not just read it real quick. ( Now why I didn’t just read the last chapter? I don’t know, I am on vacation!)

Lady Elizabeth Ashford wants to do her bit, for the war effort at the beginning of World War I. Her strict mother forbids her to participate, so at 20 she runs away from the comforts of her privileged life. She joins the Women’s Auxiliary Army Corp as an ambulance driver. Her brother’s best friend from University is a doctor stationed in the same place, somewhere in France. Romance buds, but can they stay together through the horrors of war and their different stations in life?

Eh. I should of just read the last chapter. I think it could of just stayed a one time read. It just moved kind of slow. Overall afterthought, ok.

How to Stop Time

Book 43 in 2018.

“How to Stop Time” by, Matt Haig

Ok. So Matt Haig is a new author for me. Can’t remember why I picked this book out. It may of been a random choice from a list I saw on Pinterest? Does it matter? No. For the most part I thought his writing was great. Very clean, until the end, which had some massive language, however, it made sense for the character.

Tom Hazard is an anomaly. He is 439 years old. His body for some reason ages very, very slow. He was born in 1581. Where of course once he stopped growing around the age of 13, life was very difficult. ( I mean, life  in the 1500’s was always difficult, but when you are an unexplainable freak?) So tragedy after tragedy poor Tom had to move and change is identity through the centuries just to stay safe. He had to leave behind a wife and a daughter. He later found his daughter had inherited his rare condition, but also went into hiding. He has been searching for her ever since.

Man, Tom was a tortured soul. So sad. Lots of regrets. Lots of headaches. Always trying to find out if life was really even worth living. Each chapter bounces through his memories and experiences through 400 years.  I found this story interesting, but sad. Tom received bad advice to never connect with anyone. He was so lonely! By the end of the book he did find some happiness but it took the entire story. Since I am a sucker for a happy ending, I will forgive Tom of his moping. Near the end of his Tale Tom came to this conclusion on page, 321

There are things I have experienced that I will never be able to experience for the first time: love, a kiss, Tchaikovsky, a Tahitian sunset, jazz, a hot dog, a Bloody Mary. That is the nature of things. History was – is – a one way street. You have to keep walking forwards. But you don’t always need to look ahead. Sometimes you can just look around and be happy right where you are.

Awe such a little nugget of truth. Lots of history, unique story line, overall afterthought, an ok read.