The Real Michael Swann by Bryan Reardon #travelingsistersread


The Real Michael Swann
by Bryan Reardon

Norma’s review and rating: 4.5 of 5 stars

THE REAL MICHAEL SWANN by BRYAN REARDON was an extremely gripping, intense, and suspenseful story that had me totally engaged and interested right from the very first chapter. I was totally intrigued and emotionally invested in this story and thought the premise was unsettling but also so terrifyingly realistic. The scenes were intense and dramatic that had my heart-pounding and on the edge of my seat in anticipation of what was going to happen next. I was totally entertained and flew through those pages!

BRYAN REARDON delivers a fast-paced and well-written read here which is told from two perspectives with short chapters to make this an extremely quick and easy read. I enjoyed the characters and really felt the desperation that Julia Swann felt as she frantically searched for her husband Michael Swann. The emotions were real and heartfelt.

This was another compulsive read for me as I was emotionally invested and gripped right from the beginning which followed through to that shocking and stunning conclusion. Would recommend!


Brenda’s Traveling Sisters review

One Group / Two Coulees

Norma and I read The Real Michael Swann with six of our traveling sisters and we had some different views on this one. This time in a coulee, I didn’t end up in the same coulee as Norma.

The Real Michael Swann is part family drama with a little love story there between our two main characters Michael Swann and his wife Julia along with an intriguing story of a disaster. We all agreed the plot to this story was interesting, and clever. There is a bit of drama here and some backstory into our characters lives that felt a bit like a love story. That’s where we started to split with how we felt about the story. For some of the drama drove the story forward and added tension to the story and for the rest of us it slowed the story down for us.

Bryan Reardon took us on a fast-paced game of cat and mouse while Julie races to find Micheal first, creating a bit of drama along the way. For some of us, this added some emotional depth to the story allowing them to connect more with the characters. For some of us, they got stuck in the weeds of all that drama and it weighted down the story.

In the end, Norma and Lindsay were left excited and feeling very satisfied with that clever ending. Some of our TS were left feeling drained and wanting to move on home, and another TS and I were standing in middle thinking what’s with all the drama sisters!

I recommend to readers who like some drama to their thrillers.


Lindsay’s Review

4.5 stars! I couldn’t put this book down!

Wow! This was a fast-paced, edge of your seat, gripping and suspenseful story. It had me glued to the pages from start to finish. I LOVED how this was narrated – the two perspectives kept the story fresh and interesting. The short chapters made this novel a breeze to fly through.

The storyline is unique and highly intriguing. Julia Swann is on the phone with her husband Michael when the call goes dead. A bomb has gone off at Penn Station in New York City where Michael was waiting to board a train. Lost in the chaos of the tragedy yet trying to stay strong for her two sons, Julia tries to locate Michael hoping and praying that he survived.

The tragedy is intense and heartbreaking. The aftermath of chaos and confusion is palpable. The desperate search for answers is a heart-pounding and jaw-dropping.

Thank you so much from all of us to Edelweiss, Dutton, and Bryan Reardon for the opportunity to read and review an advanced copy of this book.

For the different views on this story, please see our Traveling Sisters’ reviews on Goodreads.

Holly, Diane, Mary Beth, Marialcye, and Jan

Do you agree with The Sisters?  Drop us a comment




The Last Time I Lied by Riley Sager #travelingsistersread


The Last Time I Lied
by Riley Sager

Our rating: 5 of 5 stars

Creepy good, Creepy spooky, Creepy wow!

Norma and I were lost in a coulee reading The Last time I Lied with eight of our Traveling Sisters. We all ended up in the same coulee wiping the sweat off our foreheads after that fast-paced story left us sprinting right to that shocking good ending. After a nice cool drink to cool us down we shared our thoughts on that ending and there was a lot to talk about.

The Last Time I Lied had all the elements to make this a spooky, creepy good read. We all loved the camp setting, eerie lake, game of truth and lies and the mystery of three girls that go missing in the night.

We loved the atmosphere of the camp setting and Riley Sager does a great job setting the feel with the descriptive writing making the camp setting come alive in our heads. At times it felt like a movie playing out in our minds.

Riley Sager does a good job layering those secrets and lies and creating those twists and turns at just the right time. He took us down a path a twisty path, leaving those clues along the way that some of us pick up on. In the end, the story skillfully comes together leaving us sharing our excitement over this one with each other. Every time someone finished the excitement started all over it again. Almost like a party in a coulee. We highly recommend.

Norma’s review

THE LAST TIME I LIED by RILEY SAGER was an absolutely fantastic, compulsive, thrilling, and tension-filled psychological thriller that had me totally engaged and racing through those pages as fast as I could to see how this story was going to end. I was totally blown away with that absolutely shocking and surprise ending! I did another whoop at books end.

RILEY SAGER delivers an extremely detailed, twisty, atmospheric and well-written story here. I absolutely love his writing style and the way that he set the mood was pretty much perfect for a creepy and thrilling reading experience for me. I had that uneasy and apprehensive feeling throughout most of this novel which I am always seeking from my thrillers. This one definitely delivered!

This novel was so gripping and intriguing and in my opinion, had the perfect setting. The creepy woods, cabin, and the eerie lake with the camp setting were so good. The camp setting had me reminiscing about my summer camp memories when I was younger. I couldn’t help thinking Nancy Drew or The Hardy Boys while I was reading this one too. Also, another fun aspect of this novel was the game “two truths and a lie” that the girls played at Camp Nightingale in their cabin. I’m not going to lie – I absolutely loved this book! Would highly recommend!

Expected Publishing Date: July 3, 2018

Thank you so much from both of us to Edelweiss, Dutton Publishing, and Riley Sager for the opportunity to read and review an advanced copy of this book.

You can find our Traveling Sisters reviews on Goodreads

Melisa, Debra, Mackenzie, Mary Beth, Holly, Carol, Berit, Marialyce, and Suzy.



Last Week / This Week in a Coulee

What we finished reading:

The Last Time I LiedThe Last Time I Lied by Riley Sager

Norma and I read The Last Time I Lied with eight of our Traveling Sisters and this was a fast-paced entertaining read for us all.

What we thought:

The Last Time I Lied had all the elements like the camp setting, the eerie lake and girls who go missing in the night to make this a spooky, creepy good story that sent chills up our back.  

Who we recommend to:

We recommend this one to all readers but especially for readers looking for a tense, entertaining and fun creepy good story.  If you enjoy a little cinematic feel to your story that is so well done – it feels like a movie playing in your mind.  This is definitely one not to be missed.  We also recommend to reading groups for a fun and entertaining discussion as you share your suspicions and theories.


The Death of Mrs. WestawayThe Death of Mrs. Westaway by Ruth Ware

Norma and I read The Death of Mrs Westaway with five of our Traveling Sisters.

What we thought:

This was a very interesting sister read for us.  We clearly were split into two different views on how we felt about this.  The twist and turns in this one kept some of us staying up late and feeling a little book hangover the next morning.   The rest of us were left with our heads spinning in confusion with those twists and turns.

Who we recommend to:

We recommend this one to all thriller lovers to see if it will leave you book hangover or your head spinning.  Please see on review and drop us a comment and let us know which side you were left on.

See our reviews here


The Keeper of Lost ThingsThe Keeper of Lost Things by Ruth Hogan

Norma and I read The Keeper of Lost Things with three of our Traveling Sisters.

What we thought:

We all thought the premise of The Keeper of Lost Things was an interesting and unique concept and we enjoyed the feel-good feeling after reading this one.

Who we recommend it to:

For readers looking for a cute, quirky, magical feel-good easy story.


Tin ManTin Man by Sarah Winman

I read Tin Man with my Traveling Sister Jan.  We ended up in two different coulees after reading this one.  We both enjoyed the story, however, I am not sure the timing was right for me with this story as I struggled to stay focused.

Who I recommend it to:

To readers looking for a quiet story that compacts a lot in it while exploring different types of grief, love and loss.

Jan’s review

What we are starting this week

A Constellation of Vital PhenomenaA Constellation of Vital Phenomena by Anthony Marra


The DateThe Date by Louise Jensen



The Boy at the DoorThe Boy at the Door by Alex Dahl


Traveling Sister in a Coulee Reading Tin Man by Sarah Winman

Tin Man
by Sarah Winman

Read in a coulee with Brenda

Review by Jan

This is a slim volume but it packs a lot of heart in achingly beautiful, simple prose. The book opens with the pregnant Dora’s first act of defiance in choosing a copy of Van Gogh’s “Sunflowers” as her raffle prize over the whiskey her husband wanted. It transformed her drab existence….”this was the life she wanted: Freedom, Possibility. Beauty.’

Fast forward decades and this section of the book begins with Dora’s son, Ellis, who lost his wife and best friend 5 years ago. He is still in the depths of despair, and his grief and loneliness are heavy. We travel back and forth in time as Ellis gives us background into his childhood, his friendship with Michael, and his wife Annie.

Regarding the title: several references were made in the book about how Ellis needed to be better – better at showing emotion, making human connections. Is he the Tin Man? A reference not just to his job in an auto body shop, but to his heart?

The last half of the book is told in first person narrative by Ellis’s friend Michael, who fills in the large gaps in time and fits the pieces of the puzzle together for the reader.

This is in many ways a story of contrasts. Drab loneliness and color and beauty found in nature and art. It’s a story of bonding and friendship, but also love and loss, loneliness and simple human kindnesses. It’s about acceptance and finding our place in the world. And people are complicated…there are often stark contrasts within a person: Ellis wonders “how flowers and care can reside equally in a man of such rage”.

And love, it’s about love in all its forms: among friends, romantic love, the love between parent and child, and unrequited love. And the love and kindness showed to others. It’s about the beauty and hope that can be found in a simple piece of art. It’s the belief that “men and boys are capable of beautiful things.” Overshadowing it all is the tragic AIDS epidemic.

A few favorite quotes:
“I haven’t cried. But sometimes I feel as if my veins are leaking, as if my body is overwhelmed, as if I’m drowning from the inside.”

“But it was my humanness that led me to seek, that’s all. Led us all to seek. A simple need to belong somewhere.”

“I see how decisions are made, in moments like that, that change the trajectory of ones life.” How those decisions can change how one defines oneself.

“Autumn knocks on the window. I pull back the sliding doors and let it in. Lights from the meat market flicker and car light streak the gloom. Overhead the pulse of aeroplane wings replaces the stars. The flat is quiet. This is loneliness.”

“I wonder what the sound of a heartbreaking might be. And I think it might be quiet, unperceptively so, and not dramatic at all. Like the sound of an exhausted swallow falling gently to earth.”

As haunting and sad as this book was, it ends on a hopeful note. I really liked the message about belonging, acceptance and love and human kindness. This story and the characters are ones that will stay with me for a long time to come.

* I received my copy from Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review. Many thanks to EW, the publisher, and the author.


The Death of Mrs. Westaway by Ruth Ware #BookReview #travelingsistersread


IMG-4358The Death of Mrs. Westaway by Ruth Ware

Brenda’s rating & review: 3 of 5 stars

One Group / Two different Coulees

Norma and I started off lost in a coulee with five of our Traveling Sisters. By the time we finished this story we ended up in different coulees with how we felt about this story. Norma and I were left in the our heads are spinning barren coulee with two sisters, while three sisters were left sleepy from staying up all night and dancing in the garden lush coulee.

Ruth Ware does a great job of creating an engaging and intriguing story, and this story had all the elements to make it an interesting story for us all. We loved the gothic feel, the old mysterious mansions with creepy rooms that hold secrets, a shady family with an inheritance and one of our favorite characters an angry and unfriendly housekeeper. Lots of creepy good to this story.

We all started off intrigued and really liked our interesting main character tarot card reader Hal. We all soon grew to like housekeeper Mrs Warren who really gave a mysterious creepy feeling to the story as well for us. We soon meet the shady family members and that’s when we started to go our separate ways in the coulee. For some of us, our heads started spinning in confusion with trying to piece together who is who and who is connected to who. We were engaged enough in the story to hold our attention till the end, however, we just gave up trying to put the pieces together. For the rest of the sisters, they found it exciting and intriguing putting those pieces together and couldn’t put the book down till they were done. Leaving them reading to the wee hours and feeling a little book hangover the next day.

In the end when we all came together for our final discussion as we tried to piece everything together and our heads kept on spinning till one sister rescued us with helping us figure it all out. The Death of Mrs. Westaway lead to a fun, entertaining and interesting discussion and for that reason I recommend for group discussion.


Norma’s review

Ruth Ware, in my opinion, has the absolute best sinister, gothic, and enticing covers ever! They have always grabbed my attention and gave me that feeling that I just HAD to read the book. It is just too bad that my excitement didn’t follow through to the end of this story though.

THE DEATH OF MRS. WESTAWAY by RUTH WARE is a slow-building, dark, atmospheric, and gothic mystery that had me somewhat engaged, entertained, and interested enough throughout this book to keep me turning those pages but I was never truly invested in this story though.

When reading a thriller &/or suspense novel I like to be able to work out the why and how and be pleasantly surprised by the little pieces of puzzles that were left along the way that I either missed or didn’t think were important to the twists or reveals. I thought some pieces of that puzzle were left out here and in some instances didn’t match-up so therefore this novel just didn’t work for me.

I also had a little problem with keeping all the characters straight as they all just seemed to roll up into one and it was really hard to differentiate between who was who, which I found rather distracting.

I will say though that I absolutely loved the setting of creepy Trespassen House and the atmosphere of this novel though! I also thoroughly enjoyed Hal and her tarot card readings. I thought the explanations and the meanings behind the cards were quite thought-provoking and had me really interested. However, unfortunately, it wasn’t quite enough to make this story really work for me. Even though I feel like I wasn’t quite the right reader for this one, I still recommend giving it a try!

Thank you so much from both of us to NetGalley, Simon & Schuster Canada and Ruth Ware for the opportunity to read an advanced copy of the book in exchange for a review!

For our Traveling Sisters views please see their reviews on Goodreads 

Mackenzie, Nikki and Mary Beth who are still dancing in a coulee

Holly whose head is still spinning 

PS – That’s not coffee in my cup!

Do you agree with the Sisters?  Drop us a comment.


The Sisters Recommend & Book Giveaway: Don’t Believe It by Charlie Donlea @CharlieDonlea @KensingtonBooks #BookReview #travelingsistersread

Norma and I host a Goodreads reading group (The Traveling Sisters) and we thought it would be fun to start posting some weekly suggestions from some of our favourite reading experiences that we have had within our group.  Since these books were such a success within our reading group we thought we would share these novels with you and hopefully, you will consider these weekly suggestions with your book club or reading groups.

Our first reading group suggestion is Don’t Believe It by Charlie Donlea.  For our very first pick, we picked an unputdownable, fun and entertaining story with lots of twists and turns that kept us all guessing right up to the shocking and surprising ending.

Goodreads Summary

Don't Believe ItDon’t Believe It by Charlie Donlea

Category:  Crime Thriller

Why we chose this book

We read The Girl Who Was Taken with Lindsay and Kaceey and absolutely loved it and we thoroughly enjoy Charlie Donlea’s writing style.  We highly recommend this story as well.

Why we are recommending this book for book clubs or reading groups

We read Don’t Believe It with seven of our Traveling Sisters and we recommend this one because it is such an entertaining and enjoyable story that will lead to a very lively discussion as you share your suspicions and theories along with thoughts on those very clever twists and turns.  We think groups will love piecing this one together!

About Charlie Donlea from Goodreads

Charlie Donlea is the USA TODAY and International bestselling author of SUMMIT LAKE, THE GIRL WHO WAS TAKEN and DON’T BELIEVE IT. He lives in Chicago with his wife and two young children, where he is busy writing his next thriller.

Click here to see our reviews

Click here to enter Instagram Giveaway

Do you agree with The Sisters?  Drop us a comment!

Bring Me Back by B.A. Paris @BAParisAuthor @StMartinsPress #BookReview #travelingsistersread

FullSizeRender (1)
Bring Me Back
by B.A. Paris

Norma’s Review and Rating

4.5 stars for this ridiculously fun, brilliant & entertaining book!

BRING ME BACK by B. A. PARIS had me racing through the pages and finishing this in just two sittings which I haven’t done in quite some time. I really upped my Kindle “time left in book” reading average with this book.

So here’s the thing about this book. It was an extremely enjoyable, entertaining, fun, and ridiculous psychological thriller novel that had me totally engrossed and interested right from the very first page. The psychological aspect of this novel I thought was extremely clever and well executed. I know that doesn’t sound right but that is the way I felt while reading this one. I wouldn’t say that this storyline was all that suspenseful or thrilling but I absolutely love the way that B. A. Paris tells a story though. There were definitely some questionable storytelling and one-liners here that had me rolling my eyes a little bit but all in all, nothing really irked me and I absolutely loved the Epilogue. Let’s just say the last line of this book I gave a little whoop and thought it was a good one and thank you B. A. Paris for that!!

B. A. PARIS delivers a very readable, unique and fun story here with unreliable characters that weave back and forth in a then and now perspective with short chapters to make this an extremely quick and easy read.

So if you are looking for a compulsive read with the help of some Russian Stacking Dolls to solve this mystery then this book is for you! Would recommend!

Publishing Date: June 19, 2018

Thank you so much to NetGalley, St. Martin’s Press, and B. A. Paris for the opportunity to read an advanced copy of this book.



A Place For Us by Fatima Farheen Mirza @goodreads @fatimafmirza @SJP @SJPforHogarth @penguinrandom #travelingsistersread #BookReview


A Place for Us
by Fatima Farheen Mirza

5 of 5 stars for all The Traveling  Sisters

Brenda’s Traveling Sister Review

Norma and I read A Place For Us with 15 of our Traveling Sisters. Right from the very first mention of reading this book we were excited and had no idea the incredible reading experience that awaited for us. With a few sisters who mostly stick to thrillers and were a little hesitant at first as this was not their normal read we all dived in together and were immediately drawn into this family and story.

I will not be able to beautifully put my thoughts together or write a review as beautiful as my Traveling Sisters have with their reviews but I am going to try by sharing from my heart how much this story touched us and how it made us feel.

Sometimes a book hits in ways you don’t expect and everything becomes clear as to why you read and you seek book after book chasing that incredible feeling of finding that book that really spoke to you leaving you feeling so privileged to have read it. A Place For Us was that book for us.

Fatima Farheen Mirza took us on an emotional journey like we have never experienced before and we really wished we could have been lost in a coulee for real reading this together and hiding from the demands of life to solely focus on this read and reading experience. We took our time and savored every word and moment of this beautiful and gracefully written story as well with our very meaningful discussion. Through this journey, we experienced so many emotions as we read and discussed this story together.

Fatima Farheen Mirza does an amazing job of inviting us into the lives of this Muslim family and showing us their love, their struggle to find balance, their convictions, mistakes, their inner struggles and most of all, what they held dear to them as a family. We instantly connected with them and they became our family. They became us and we could see ourselves, our neighbors and our community in them. We could truly see the magic of Mirza’s talent and her ability to bring the private parts of this family to life not just by their struggles of each finding their place within their culture and religion but also with finding their place in this world. This allowed us to see the story on a more universal level that can be related to any family.

So much emotional depth to this one and we dug deep into the layers and really took our time discussing this story. Our hearts were twisted, broken and we were in agony at times with our emotions. After finishing reading this story, some of us were left weeping and others speechless as we felt our hearts were ripped out from our chests. In the end, we all came together and shared our feelings towards this tender story that touched us in so many similar ways yet so differently at times.

For a short time, we found our place together reading this unforgettable story and it will always be a very special Sister Read for us all.

Thank you so much from all of us Traveling Sisters to Goodreads, Sarah Jessica Parker’s new imprint SJP for Hogarth, Fatima Farheen Mirza, and Penguin Random House for bringing us all together for this Incredible Traveling Sister Read by providing us with the opportunity to read and review an advanced physical copy of this book.


Norma’s Review

5 Glowing Stars! Wow! This book was an absolutely phenomenal read and was quickly placed on my Goodreads Favourite Reads shelf for 2018!

This book was absolutely everything to me! My thoughts and emotions did not change from the very first sentence of this book and held dear right to the very last sentence. If anything it just reminded me of what I seek and why I love to read! A PLACE FOR US moved me more than any other novel has ever moved me before.

I have never been so excited to have received a book in the mail like I was with this one. Upon opening the package and actually having this book in my hands (giving it a smell & a hug ~ I think all of us Traveling Sisters can relate to that!) the first thing I noticed was that beautiful cover. This story is just as gorgeous and beautiful as that cover!

A PLACE FOR US by FATIMA FARHEEN MIRZA was an absolutely fantastic, powerful, thought-provoking, moving, and heartfelt novel that has affected me in ways that no other novel has ever done before. I was immediately drawn into this story and savored every single sentence! I absolutely love the title of this book and found it was extremely fitting to this story. No matter who we are or where we are from there is A Place for Us!

FATIMA FARHEEN MIRZA delivers a steady-paced, fascinating and beautifully written story here with interesting, compelling, realistic and believable characters that I absolutely fell in love with. The story is told from multiple perspectives which alternates between the voices of Layla, Hadia, and Amar, with a surprising narrative near the end which I absolutely loved. We see the same events unfold through the different perspectives and what the significance of each event meant to them and how it ultimately shapes each character. We really get a good look and understanding into each of these events. Even though there is a lot of memories within each chapter that flip around in place and time I didn’t find it at all confusing and really enjoyed the way that this story was told.

In the end, I thought this was such an important, touching and powerful story and I am so happy that I had the pleasure of reading it! This book has the power to change the way we think and feel and has reminded me of all the reasons of why I love to read! 💕 This is by far one of the best books that I have ever read!!


Kaceey’s Review

A powerful debut novel that explores the complicated relationship of a traditional family existing in a modern world.

Tradition. Respect. Strong words that run deep. Words not only meant to guide ones’ life, but in many ways define it.
Some stay within the tight circle of what they hold to be true. Others, rebellious and curious, seek the lure of the unknown. Would it be possible to find the joy and happiness everyone seeks somewhere in the middle?
To be sure, a delicate line between honoring your heritage while co-existing in the modern culture you find yourself in. For some, it may be an easy path. For others, it may be a struggle they carry their entire lives.
The very human desire to stay true to who you are without losing your self.

Hadia and her 2 siblings have grown up in a traditional Muslim family in a modern American culture. It is up to them to navigate the pull that each society has on them.

Today Hadia is getting married and her greatest wish is to have her brother Amar standing by her side. A brother that has sadly been estranged from the family for years. Can the family put their differences behind them and come together on this special day? Or will tradition and stubborn minds hold them back from reconciliation.

I believe everyone struggles to find their “Place.” A sense of belonging. To find that bit of peace in this confusing, ever-changing world. So, if you’re lucky enough to find yours, hold onto it with everything you have!

This book touched me more than I ever imagined it would and was a major step out of my bubble. With the encouragement of my sisters I embraced it. And what a touching gift it turned out to be. This book and it’s messages will stay with me for a very long time.


Susanne’s Review

Extremely rare are the novels that touch the soul, permanently marking the heart, creating a burning in the lungs, making it impossible to draw in enough air. “A Place for Us” by Fatima Farheen Mirza is that kind of novel.

Every word read, causing an emotional chill and creating a sensation that coursed through me, making my heart all a flutter.

“A Place For Us” is a novel about a family of five: Rafiq, Layla, Hadia, Huda and Amar, all of whom struggle to be true to themselves, while trying to remain faithful to each other, their religion and their traditions as Muslim Americans. Rafiq, runs a tight ship, strictly adhering to the militant upbringing, he himself grew up with. Layla, lives for both her family and her religion, they go hand in hand and she believes in the power of her faith to help guide her through. Her children are her life, though unconsciously she gravitates to one, more than the others. Hadia, the eldest daughter, is the best and the brightest, the one who needs recognition, personally and professionally above all else. She has a need to live by a certain code, regardless of who it impacts. Huda is the quiet one, the most confident, the most self-assured. The one everyone goes to when they need to be consoled. Amar, is the youngest child, the one who struggles the most: within his family unit, with school and with his beliefs. He has always been the outsider. The one thing he wants most in this life is forbidden.

At the outset of “A Place for Us,” the family comes together to celebrate Hadia’s wedding. Amar returns for the celebration from parts unknown, having been estranged from the family for many years. Everyone walks on eggshells. afraid of each other and most of all, afraid of facing the truth.

Emotions are palpable, from the very first moment, the tightness in the chest, the sinking, nervous feeling in the stomach. I am there, scared straight, watching, waiting, all eyes on Amar.

Fatima Farheen Mizra created characters who I felt a complete and utter kinship with, almost a “oneness” with when reading this. I am Hadia, when she is in competition with Amar and when confronts her Baba (Rafiq) about him; I am Amar, when he dotes on his mother, when he plays with his friend Ali, when he looks longingly at Amira and when he hangs his head in shame. I am also Huda, when she comforts those around her. Whose character resonates most with me you might wonder..gnawing away every fiber of my being? Amar. Always Amar. Thinking of his unrelenting heartache, his unwavering need for acceptance, love and understanding, my chest is tight and my eyes fill with tears.

When reading this novel, my head swirled with a myriad of thoughts. How do you define “A Place for Us?” Is it culture, family, religion or tradition? It it a “place” for you or a “place” for me? In my opinion, the answer isn’t that simple. It is the “place” where each character feels the most comfortable being the person they are, the “place” they feel the safest and most at ease and for each it is different.

No one knows how they might impact someone else and yet, in “A Place for Us” each and every character’s life is impacted by another’s actions and decisions. Ways in which you would never imagine. In my mind, this was the take-away – to be accountable for your actions and think about how your choices affect those around you as all actions have consequences, even the trivial ones.

“A Place for Us” is novel I lived and breathed. It is full of life lessons and a gazillion heartfelt, desperate, tear-jerking moments. To say that I was invested in and loved Amar, Huda, Hadia and Baba and this book is an understatement. The writing is so fluid, like a fountain, the water rising up, up, up ever so slowly, and splashing over quickly. It calming, exquisite, intricate, muted. In other words, sheer perfection. It has a “place” in my heart and soul and the characters will continue to give me chills for a long time to come. 


Lindsay’s Review

Emotional. Eye-opening. Beautiful. Breathtaking. Intense. Raw. Unforgettable.

This novel follows the lives of a Muslim Indian American family. The eldest daughter, Hadia, is getting married which brings the family back together under one roof after being apart for the last few years.

Let me start by saying, the writing was absolutely stunning, exquisite and quite simply – perfection. The fact that this author is 27 years old is mind-blowing. She writes with such maturity, elegance and beauty that the words have no choice but to lift off the page and work their way deep into your heart.

These characters are real. I feel like I know them. Each and every character came to life for me – they stirred up my emotions and had me enthralled in this heart-wrenching story.

This story will make you think. It will make you feel. It will challenge your thoughts and beliefs.


For more of our Traveling Sister’s reviews we have included their links to GR and blog posts.

Melisa’s Review   /   Melisa’s Blog

Kristin’s Review

Mackenzie’s Review   /  Mackenzie’s Blog

Melissa’s Review

Jan’s Review

Carol’s Review




The Life Lucy Knew by Karma Brown @KarmaBrown @HarlequinBooks #Bookreview #travelingsistersread

The Life Lucy Knew
by Karma Brown

Norma’s review & rating: 4 of 5 stars

3.5 Stars!

THE LIFE LUCY KNEW by KARMA BROWN was an enjoyable, interesting, quick and easy read that had an extremely interesting and fascinating premise to it. I absolutely love books with an amnesia component to the storyline and whereas I did enjoy this one I was a little disappointed with the ending. I normally thoroughly enjoy Epilogues and all that they reveal to us but with this one I would have liked to have had a little more insight into the in-between of our main characters relationship, therefore lowering my overall rating.

KARMA BROWN delivers a well-written read here with an engaging and unique storyline that has us following along with Lucy and her heartbreaking journey. Our main character, Lucy is suffering from a head injury where her brain has re-written her memories causing false memory. I really felt strong emotions for Lucy and what she endured. I can’t even imagine how I would feel or how I would react in a similar situation.

Overall, it was an enjoyable, entertaining, and quick read with an ending that I wasn’t completely satisfied with. Karma Brown is an author that I thoroughly enjoy as she always delivers a reliable, heartwarming, and emotional read. Would recommend!


Lindsay’s Review

3 stars.   

I have read and loved every one of Karma Brown’s books.  She is one of my favourite authors! Unfortunately, this novel fell shy of my hopes and expectations.

Lucy Sparks wakes up from a coma after falling and hitting her head.   She has lost most of her memory from the last four years. She also discovers that she has what her doctors call, ‘false memories’ or ‘honest lying’.   Her brain has created memories that feel real but are not real. Through therapy sessions along with the help of her friends and family, Lucy works to unravel the details of her life that seem scattered and broken.   

I found the premise of the story intriguing, however, the execution didn’t quite work for me.  I couldn’t connect with Lucy. As devastating as her situation was, I didn’t “feel” anything for her.  For me, the storyline seemed to take on a less serious tone than Brown’s previous novels.

Even though this novel didn’t live up to my love of her previous books, I still look forward to what Karma Brown has in store for us next.  I remain a huge fan of her work.

Thank you so much from both of us to NetGalley, Karma Brown, and Harlequin – Hanover Square Press (U.S. & Canada)/Park Row for the opportunity to read an advanced copy of this book in exchange for a review.

Blog at

Up ↑

%d bloggers like this: