Book Reviews

Book Review: Cecily by Annie Garthwaite

Happy Monday bookish people! Today I am bringing you my book review for Cecily by Annie Garthwaite.

In this book review I will give star ratings to four categories and I will write a little bit about each one. I will do my best to not include spoilers. I hope you enjoy my book review.

Cecily Plot:

Rating: 5 out of 5.

I am a huge fan of history from the 1300s to the 1600s and this book was the perfect read for historical fiction of this period. I originally didn’t know much about Cecily Neville, but now I feel like I know every heartache and every victory that she experienced. This book is about a powerful, ambitious and intelligent woman who broke tradition in so many ways, she took risks to protect and advance her family and I was absolutely sucked into this book from the very first page.

Cecily Characters:

Rating: 5 out of 5.

This book obviously is characters that were real people and this relied on extensive research by the author. What I liked is that these characters felt real, they didn’t feel like the author took the shell of the person from the research and turned them into what they needed for the book, it felt like you had fallen into a history book and you were watching every moment of the court take place.

Cecily Writing and Dialogue:

Rating: 5 out of 5.

With the way this book is written, the way it had to be written because of the historical timeline, it could have felt more like non-fiction or like a letter in some cases but it didn’t, it was engaging and fluid.

Cecily Overall:

Rating: 5 out of 5.

This is my first five star book of this year and I can’t recommend it enough, I thought it was fantastic, a book I can read over and over again.

Blurb/Synopsis:

“Rebellion?”
The word is a spark. They can start a fire with it, or smother it in their fingertips.
She chooses to start a fire.

You are born high, but marry a traitor’s son. You bear him twelve children, carry his cause and bury his past.

You play the game, against enemies who wish you ashes. Slowly, you rise.

You are Cecily.

But when the King who governs you proves unfit, what then?

Loyalty or treason – death may follow both. The board is set. Time to make your first move.

Told through the eyes of its greatest unseen protagonist, this astonishing debut plunges you into the blood and exhilaration of the first days of the Wars of the Roses, a war as women fight it.

That’s it for this book review, I hope you all enjoyed it! Have you read this book? Did you enjoy it?

Book Reviews

Book Review: Mad Woman by Louisa Treger

Happy Tuesday bookish people! I was lucky enough to receive a copy of Mad Woman by Louisa Treger from the author and today I am sharing with you my review of it. If you’re interested in getting a copy of this book yourself it’s publication date is the 9th June 2022.

In this book review I will give star ratings to four categories and write a little bit about each one. I will do my best to not include any spoilers. I hope you enjoy my book review.

Mad Woman Plot:

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Mad Woman is an historical novel based on the true story of Nellie Bly. Going into this book I will be honest, I had heard of Nellie Bly but I didn’t know anything about her or what she did. The first page of this novel drags you into the mysterious depths of the book by starting in what seems to be a dangerous situation and you as a reader have no idea how or why the character has ended up there. I loved how this book began because I became emotionally invested in the character immediately, then you slowly learn her backstory interspersed with emotive, sensory descriptions of the situation she is in now. It is hard to talk much about the plot because there’s so many secrets that come to light throughout and I don’t want to spoil anything for another reader because I honestly enjoyed every minute of this book. One of my favourite things about this book was it’s bleak truthfulness, it didn’t shy away from the extreme descriptions and it didn’t ignore the very real consequences of what Nellie Bly goes through.

Mad Woman Characters:

Rating: 4 out of 5.

As I said before, Nellie Bly is the main character. She is a woman with determination and big ambitions in a world full of people who want to obstruct her. I really felt for this woman because she wanted to bring a voice to the people who didn’t have one: women, the poor, the ‘insane’. I felt each moment of hardship and because of the power of the story I also felt the anger and the despair that Nellie Bly was feeling.

Mad Woman Writing and Dialogue:

Rating: 4 out of 5.

This book is incredibly well written, I sped through it because the writing kept up with the pace of the story and it was brutal and honest in the way it was told. Even the chapters about the character’s childhood and family were told in the way that look, here is what I went through and this is how it made me. I thought it was very powerful writing.

Mad Woman Overall

Rating: 4 out of 5.

I gave this book four stars overall because I felt it was a powerful and important read and I really enjoyed the experience.

Blurb/Synopsis:

Based on a true story, a spellbinding historical novel about the world’s first female investigative journalist, Nellie Bly.

In 1887, young Nellie Bly sets out for New York and a career in journalism, determined to make her way as a serious reporter, whatever that may take.

But life in the city is tougher than she imagined. Down to her last dime and desperate to prove her worth, she comes up with a dangerous plan: to fake insanity and have herself committed to the asylum on Blackwell’s Island. There, she will work undercover to expose the asylum’s wretched conditions.

But when the asylum door swings shut behind her, she finds herself in a place of horrors, governed by a cruelty she could never have imagined. Cold, isolated and starving, her days of terror reawaken the traumatic events of her childhood. She entered the asylum of her own free will – but will she ever get out?

An extraordinary portrait of a woman ahead of her time, Madwoman is the story of a quest for the truth that changed the world. 

That’s it for this book review, I hope you all enjoyed it!

Book Reviews

Book Review: Lily by Rose Tremain

Happy Monday bookish people! Today I am bringing you a book review for Lily by Rose Tremain. This is a mystery/historical fiction book with a beautiful cover that sounded so good to me, I read the blurb and I was desperate to read it and I have to say I was disappointed.

In this book review I will give star ratings to four categories and I will write a little about each of them. Now, usually I say here I will try not to include spoilers but that’s not easy for this book so I will be giving spoilers to this book in this book review. If you don’t want to be spoiled I would recommend reading the book before you read this review.

*SPOILERS*

Lily Plot:

Rating: 2 out of 5.

The blurb of this book sold it to me as a story of a young woman who gets into a romance with a policeman, after having murdered someone in her troubled past. I thought it would be an exciting cat and mouse style chase while she tries to not be discovered. Instead what I got was 150 pages before I even found out what the murder was and where it happened and soon after the reader learns that although the policeman believes it was murder, he wasn’t even investigating it. It took all the (already very limited) suspense out of the novel. For me there was too much description in this book, it details almost every aspect of Lily’s life, all throughout her childhood at the children’s orphanage and the treatment she suffered there and then her employment at the wig emporium. As a reader I didn’t need most of this, some of the chapters about Bridget her friend and her fate, and the abuse she suffered were relevant especially because it shows the reader why the murder happened. But the rest was too much unnecessary information. There was also a plot point about her trying to find out who her mother was and why she was left in the park in the snow, this is never completed. It seems to just get forgotten about in the book.

Lily Character:

Rating: 2 out of 5.

Lily is the main character, and I didn’t feel anything for her. I understood that you were meant to have an emotional connection to her because of her backstory but I didn’t get that from the story. I wanted to see more of the policeman, Sam Trench, he barely featured and definitely not in the ways the synopsis suggested he would be.

Lily Writing and Dialogue:

Rating: 3 out of 5.

This book did manage to get the feel of a Victorian novel, dark and sensory and this was put across in the writing, which was good but the dialogue wasn’t as good as I expected.

Lily Overall:

Rating: 2 out of 5.

I gave this book two stars because, as I am sure my review shows, this book wasn’t what I thought it would be and I was very disappointed.

Blurb/Synopsis:

Nobody knows yet that she is a murderer…

Abandoned at the gates of a London park one winter’s night in 1850, baby Lily Mortimer is saved by a young police constable and taken to the London Foundling Hospital. Lily is fostered by an affectionate farming family in rural Suffolk, enjoying a brief childhood idyll before she is returned to the Hospital, where she is punished for her rebellious spirit. Released into the harsh world of Victorian London, Lily becomes a favoured employee at Belle Prettywood’s Wig Emporium, but all the while she is hiding a dreadful secret…

Across the years, policeman Sam Trench keeps watch over the young woman he once saved. When Sam meets Lily again, there is an instant attraction between them and Lily is convinced that Sam holds the key to her happiness – but might he also be the one to uncover her crime and so condemn her to death?

Book Reviews

Book Review: The Lost Apothecary by Sarah Penner

Happy Monday bookish people! Today I’m bringing you two book reviews, of which this is the first, and I ended up reading both of these books in June.

In this book review I will give star ratings to four categories and I will write a little bit about each one. I will try to keep it as spoiler free as possible. I hope you enjoy my book review.

The Lost Apothecary Plot:

Rating: 5 out of 5.

One of my favourite things about this book was the worldbuilding, for both the past and the present tense. I felt like I was walking the streets with the characters. This book is told through the interwoven stories of two, technically three but I won’t spoil anything there, women – one from the past and one in the present discovering what happened in the past while dealing with all the things happening in her life. The way the stories are interwoven is incredible, it was smooth and clear where we were and when and I loved being able to see both sides of the apothecary. This plot was very different to anything I’ve read before, it’s a combination between mystery and historical fiction. It’s actually the book that made me realise I really love historical mystery books (then I bought up a few of them…).

The Lost Apothecary Characters:

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Both of the women that you follow within this book have many layers that are constantly being explored and challenged throughout the novel. One of the things I liked the most about them was that they had flaws, and these flaws are part of the catalysts that set events in motion. The way the women led this story was a great thing to see, they are strong in different ways and it shows them taking control of their own lives. I won’t spoil anything about the ending but the characters never stray from their personalities and this is what leads eventually to the ending – which by the way ended perfectly for me.

The Lost Apothecary Writing and Dialogue:

Rating: 4 out of 5.

It did take me a few chapters to get comfortable with the writing style in this book however once I got past that I began to enjoy how it was written and how the writing style fit with both time periods and the characters within them.

The Lost Apothecary Overall:

Rating: 5 out of 5.

I gave this book five stars overall because I just couldn’t give it anything less. The world building, the mystery, the strong female leads – everything about this book was amazing and I couldn’t put it down.

Blurb/Synopsis:

A female apothecary secretly dispenses poisons to liberate women from the men who have wronged them—setting three lives across centuries on a dangerous collision course.Rule #1: The poison must never be used to harm another woman.
Rule #2: The names of the murderer and her victim must be recorded in the apothecary’s register.

One cold February evening in 1791, at the back of a dark London alley in a hidden apothecary shop, Nella awaits her newest customer. Once a respected healer, Nella now uses her knowledge for a darker purpose—selling well-disguised poisons to desperate women who would kill to be free of the men in their lives. But when her new patron turns out to be a precocious twelve-year-old named Eliza Fanning, an unexpected friendship sets in motion a string of events that jeopardizes Nella’s world and threatens to expose the many women whose names are written in her register.

In present-day London, aspiring historian Caroline Parcewell spends her tenth wedding anniversary alone, reeling from the discovery of her husband’s infidelity. When she finds an old apothecary vial near the river Thames, she can’t resist investigating, only to realize she’s found a link to the unsolved “apothecary murders” that haunted London over two centuries ago. As she deepens her search, Caroline’s life collides with Nella’s and Eliza’s in a stunning twist of fate—and not everyone will survive. 

That’s it for this book review, I hope you all enjoyed it!

Book Blitz, Uncategorized

An Irish Immigrant Story Book Blitz

 

 

Viking Historical Romance

 

Cultural Heritage Fiction

Date Published: November 19, 2018

Publisher: Page Publishing, Inc

Johanna Cashman and John McCarthy, along with over a million others, immigrated to America to escape a devastating famine. They left behind family members who faced starvation to come to a land that would give them a new opportunity for a good life. They were soon made aware that they were not welcome in this new land and that every day would present a new struggle for survival. Johanna and John got married, determined to raise a family in their adopted country. In spite of all the obstacles they encountered, including John’s untimely death, the family grew and found success. The second generation used their success to lend assistance to the country their parents were forced to leave in Ireland’s drive for independence from its oppressor. This historical novel brings the reader through the heartwarming story of a family that overcomes adversity to thrive in America. At the same time, it details the movement in the country they left to find its own independent place in the world.

 

 

About The Author

Jack Cashman’s career has put him in a number of roles, although the title of “author” is a relatively new one. Coming from a background of small business ownership, real estate, and insurance, Cashman was first elected to serve in the Maine House of Representatives in 1982. After five terms in office and some time away from state government, he returned to public service in 2003 in a variety of roles with the administration of Maine Governor John Baldacci. Cashman’s first book, An Irish Immigrant Story, was published in 2018 as a historical novel based on the story of his own family’s journey from Ireland to the United States during the time of the Potato Famine. Cashman’s unique background of business owner, elected office-holder, and government official combine with his creative mind to bring together a collection of stories unlike any author working today. Jack has spent nearly all of his life in Maine, and currently lives in Hampden with his wife of nearly 50 years, Betty. They are the proud parents of two sons and grandparents of five granddaughters.

Contact Links

Website

Facebook

LinkedIN

Pinterest

Twitter

Instagram

Purchase Links

Amazon

B&N

Goodreads

Maine Irish

RABT Book Tours & PR