Posted in Last Week / This Week in a Coulee, WWW Wednesday

WWW Wednesday! with What Happened Last Week / This Week in a Coulee #travelingsistersread #bookbloggers

img_1384-0

Since Norma and I have been joining in on a meme almost everyday, we decided to join in on WWW Wednesday.

WWW Wednesday! is a meme hosted by Sam@Taking on a World of Words  where we answer the three questions below and leave a link to your post in the comments for others to look at. No blog? No problem! Just leave a comment with your responses.

The three Ws are:

  • What are you currently reading?
  • What did you recently finish reading?
  • What do you think you will read next?

Let’s get started……….

What we are currently reading:

Norma is reading The Lightkeeper’s Daughters with our Traveling Friends.

The Lightkeeper's DaughtersThe Lightkeeper’s Daughters by Jean E. Pendziwol

 

 

I am a little out of control and have a few books on the go.  I usually have three but right now I have about five, but really that is not reasonable for me and I am not really reading a couple of them.  I have only really started a couple but need to just focus on three of them to finish.  So the three I am currently reading are:

I am reading The Home for Unwanted Girls with my Traveling Friends.  Norma and Lindsay have finished and both loved it.

The Home for Unwanted Girls

The Home for Unwanted Girls by Joanna Goodman

 

 

Lindsay and I are reading Not Her Daughter with our Traveling Sisters.  Norma has finished this one and it was a good one for her.

Not Her Daughter

Not Her Daughter by Rea Frey

 

 

Lindsay and I are also reading The Word is Murder with our Traveling Friends.

The Word Is Murder

The Word Is Murder by Anthony Horowitz

 

 

Kristin has joined in writing part of this post with me.  She has written most of the content below.

What we have finished:

Beasts of Extraordinary CircumstanceBeasts of Extraordinary Circumstance by Ruth Emmie Lang

What we thought:

Beasts of Extraordinary Circumstance is a unique read with an atmospheric setting and whimsical plot. We got lost in the magic of this one, and fell in love with the entire cast of characters, namely the main protagonist, Weylyn, whose humility and genuine innocence pays tribute to the power of kindness.

Who we recommend to:

This one is recommended for readers who enjoy magical-realism, a shout out to nature, and vivid imagery in their fiction. It’s also a great introduction to magical-realism, for those who haven’t yet dabbled.

Norma and Kristin’s review

Overall Review Rating Scale 

5 out of 5 for a safe, easy, quick, and whimsical read

4 out of 5 for depth and complexity

4 out of 5 for character development

Rust & StardustRust & Stardust by T. Greenwood

Our reviews

A heartbreaking, fictional depiction of the real-life abduction and abuse of Sally Horner. This author uses beautiful writing to tell a tragic story but is thankfully merciful with details and the omission of graphic descriptions. The content will easily dismantle you, but there are pockets of hope to be found inside the hearts of many of these characters. 

What we thought:

We all fell in love with Sally and our hearts went out to her.  We thought T. Greenwood wrote a beautiful story here while keeping details to a minimal.

Who we recommend to:

Would recommend to those unopposed to a gut-wrenching reading journey, and ones with no strong emotional triggers to abuse.  We highly recommend to reading groups, it was nice to have friends to discuss our feelings with.

Overall Review Rating Scale 

5 out of 5 for a heart-wrenching read

5 out 5 for a well-done and sensitive read.

5 out of 5 for characters who crawled in our minds and didn’t leave us.

The WifeThe Wife by Alafair Burke

A fun, twisty ride with a gradual build-up of mystery and surprise. This domestic thriller takes a more gentle approach than those of the fast-paced variety, and zeros in on the declining relationship between a husband and wife. Deceit and betrayal make for some interesting drama, with clever little reveals lurking around each corner that you’re likely to never see coming.
Who we recommend it to:
Would recommend to readers who enjoy a layered plot and a slow-burning mystery, and of course, some good old-fashioned craziness!

Overall Review Rating Scale 

3 out of 5 for a fun, entertaining read

3 out 5 for a fast-paced read to hold your attention

4 out of 5 for unlikable characters

What we started this week:

The Lightkeeper's DaughtersThe Lightkeeper’s Daughters by Jean E. Pendziwol

 

 

 

The Home for Unwanted GirlsThe Home for Unwanted Girls by Joanna Goodman

 

 

 

The Last Mrs. ParrishThe Last Mrs. Parrish by Liv Constantine

 

 

 

Next Year in HavanaNext Year in Havana by Chanel Cleeton

Posted in Reviews, Traveling Friends Reads Reviews

The Wife by Alafair Burke #travelingfriendsread #BookReview #bookbloggers

IMG-4523

The Wife by Alafair Burke

One Group  / Two Coulees

Norma read The Wife with nine of our Traveling Friends and they were split into two different coulees after finishing this one. Some of our friends were left excited including Norma with how this one ended and enjoyed the pace of this story.  The rest of our friends found it to be a little slow paced for them and didn’t really get too engaged in the story.

The very unlikable characters in this story, especially Jason brought a bit of discussion here for our friends.  This read made for a great group discussion and we highly recomennd to reading groups and thriller lovers.

Norma’s Review

Whoa! What an ending!!

THE WIFE by ALAFAIR BURKE was an extremely fun, enjoyable, twisty, and surprising psychological domestic thriller that started out a little bit slow for me, but once I grasped the focus of this story, I was totally intrigued and immersed in this tale.

ALAFAIR BURKE delivers a multi-layered, well-written, and suspenseful story here that was cleverly written with some perfectly timed twists and turns along the way to make this quite the satisfying book to read.

This book pretty much had all the elements that I seek in my thrillers which made this an all around GREAT reading experience for me!

To sum it all up it was an entertaining, compulsive, appealing, quick and easy read with an ending that will definitely surprise you! Would highly recommend!

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Rose’s Review

A sleepy thriller with a tedious build-up but a shocking payoff!

“In a case of he-said, she-said, ‘she’ had just racked up one small point on her side of the board.”

Jason Powell is a famous economist who’s afforded his family a lavish Manhattan lifestyle through his books, lectures, and media appearances. Angela Powell is his faithful wife who sticks beside him as his fame grows and draws unwanted attention to their family unit, which includes 13-year-old Spencer. After two successful women accuse Jason of lurid behavior, Angela worries that her secret past will come to the surface. Things get even more tense when one of the accusers goes missing, and Angela must face the reality of Jason’s demons and her own.

This one is hard to dissect without spoiling, which is a plus, because it means that things end on an entirely different planet than where they start.The Wife had me doing mental gymnastics about which crimes are the most heinous, as well as whether I can personally justify the crimes someone commits based on the trauma they’ve experienced.

“…some part of Angela actually felt for the intern. She of all people knew what it was like for people to believe you can’t really be a victim if you’re ‘that kind of girl.'”

Burke was well-balanced in her treatment of feminism. There were strong female characters and weak ones. Some women felt pressure to support others out of solidarity, even when their gut was telling them not to. There was plenty of discourse about women’s rights and what constitutes assault without being heavy-handed or blaming the entire male race.

Mysteries fall flat to me when there’s either too much or too little about the justice procedure, so it’s a fine line. While The Wife had a nice blend of detective work and Angela’s narrative voice, it was still longer than necessary. A good portion of the book rotated between the cops driving somewhere, the lawyers waiting for updates, and Angela nervously skimming the web for news on her high-profile husband. The backstory is sprinkled throughout consistently, but there was too much in between.

However, when that backstory and the current timeline eventually collapsed on one another in the final chapters, things REALLY picked up. Some events were easier to predict than others, but it’s safe to say you won’t be able to see exactly where this thing is headed.

“She had proven over and over again…that she would run through fire to protect me. And that is probably why I had trusted her, as always, with the entire truth.”

While the prose itself isn’t very shiny or impressive, the characters are solidly crafted, and the climax was surprising enough to make the read well worth it. I read this with some wonderful ladies from the Traveling Friends group, which always makes reading a little more joyful!

From Kris’s Review

The writing style is straightforward and unembellished, but strong and clear and delivers this story well.

This isn’t a heart-pounding, race-to-the-finish experience, but a tame psychological voyage that entices you with its mystery and enchants you with its design.

Fans of the genre should certainly give this one a read when in the mood for a more humble thriller with mystery and mind play.

From Christina’s Review

The pacing of this novel was achingly slow for me. There was so much wasted time on police procedural drama that in the end didn’t particularly affect the outcome. I think this came from an effort to mislead the reader as the police were being misled but it fell short for me here. I think if Burke had cut down on that a bit this would’ve been a more well-rounded read.

A look inside our discussion

It was a real twister, done the right way. I loved the ironic ending, but I do hope Burke follows up on this one someday! Julie

I listened to this one and enjoyed the narrator’s performance. I loved this one, too, particularly that ending. Jonetta

This book was unexpected and had me at the edge of my seat. All those twists and turns added intrigue to the plot. And that ending? Shocking and oh so satisfying. Its one of my standout reads for 2018 so far. Stephanie 

Have you read this one?  What did you think?  Had you on the edge of your seat or aching slow for you?  If you haven’t read it, did we convince you to try and see which one he ended up feeling?  Drop us a comment!  We love to hear from you.

Posted in Can't Wait Wednesday

We Can’t-Wait to Read: Where The Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens #travelingfriendsread

cant-wait-wednesday

Can’t-Wait Wednesday, a weekly meme hosted by Wishful Endings to spotlight and discuss the books we’re excited about and that we have yet to read.  It’s based on Waiting on Wednesday, hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine.

Between our two groups The Traveling Sisters and The Traveling Friends we have many reads we just can’t wait for, so it seems fitting to do a post on the ones that we are very excited to read.

We can’t wait for an upcoming Traveling Friends group read for Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens.   It was published August 14,  2018 by G.P. Putnam’s Sons.

IMG-4524.JPG

Summary from Goodreads

For years, rumors of the “Marsh Girl” have haunted Barkley Cove, a quiet town on the North Carolina coast. So in late 1969, when handsome Chase Andrews is found dead, the locals immediately suspect Kya Clark, the so-called Marsh Girl. But Kya is not what they say. Sensitive and intelligent, she has survived for years alone in the marsh that she calls home, finding friends in the gulls and lessons in the sand. Then the time comes when she yearns to be touched and loved. When two young men from town become intrigued by her wild beauty, Kya opens herself to a new life–until the unthinkable happens.

Perfect for fans of Barbara Kingsolver and Karen Russell, Where the Crawdads Sing is at once an exquisite ode to the natural world, a heartbreaking coming-of-age story, and a surprising tale of possible murder. Owens reminds us that we are forever shaped by the children we once were, and that we are all subject to the beautiful and violent secrets that nature keeps.

About the Author

Delia Owens is the co-author of three internationally bestselling nonfiction books about her life as a wildlife scientist in Africa—Cry of the Kalahari, The Eye of the Elephant, and Secrets of the Savanna. She has won the John Burroughs Award for Nature Writing and has been published in Nature, The African Journal of Ecology, and International Wildlife, among many others. She currently lives in Idaho, where she continues her support for the people and wildlife of Zambia. Where the Crawdads Sing is her first novel.

Is this one a Can’t wait to read for you or have you read it?  Drop us a comment!  We love to hear from you.