Posted in Reviews, Traveling Sisters Read Reviews

The Eulogist by Terry Gamble @HarperCollinsCa @TerryGambleWri1 #travelingsistersread #askthetravelingsistersaboutourreads #askusaboutourbook #BookBloggers

The Eulogist by Terry Gamble

Brenda’s Review

Terry Gamble weaves some divisive issues here with race, slavery, and abolition of slavery with some real historical people and fictional characters. She creates an interesting family and I really enjoyed the family drama and dynamics between the characters. The writing and the story take on a lighter side to it as we follow Olivia’s journey from a woman unaffected by these issues to strong women with a sense for justice.

Terry Gamble creates an interesting character here with our main character Olivia. She is fearless (maybe a bit too much), strong, smart and engaging. I grew to really like her a lot. Even though I enjoyed these characteristics of her, I felt she didn’t really provoke much emotion from me and leaving me wanting a bit more emotional depth to the story.

As I was reading this one I was a little distracted and found it hard to keep my focus and I would of liked to have seen more depth to some of the issues explored here to drive the story forward for me.

The end left me thinking wow but not the way you might think. A lot of explanation for the story and characters happens in a few pages that left my head spinning. I would of liked a few more clues along the way instead of it all being told to me at once. I don’t think I was the only one because after reading this one we and our Traveling sisters had a few questions for each other.

Overall I enjoyed this one and I recommend it to readers who like to keep things light by not delving too deep into issues and enjoy some interesting family drama.

Norma’s review

Fascinating, passionate and compelling!

THE EULOGIST by TERRY GAMBLE was an interesting, steady-paced, and subtle story that I sort of have some mixed feelings about. At times the story really grabbed me and I was totally interested in what I was reading but then at other times I was a little lost with the author’s choice of words and found myself a little impatient to get to the heart of the story. 

TERRY GAMBLE delivers an intriguing and well-written read here that was definitely an enjoyable and entertaining one but I felt like I wasn’t always invested in what I was reading through. The story seemed to jump around a little and where this story I felt was historically reliable in it’s telling it missed to actually fully immerse me in the lives of these characters and these so important times from history.

Thank you so much from both of us to Edelweiss, William Morrow/HarperCollins and Terry Gamble for the opportunity to read an advanced copy of this book to read and review.

Angela’s review

An Irish immigrant family arrives in Ohio in 1818 and their future in America is told through the lives of the three children through 1890. The writing is very good and without being overly descriptive, I felt as though I was there in all of the scenes. James, the eldest tries to establish a candle making business. His brother Erasmus takes to drink and the road as a preacher. Their sister Olivia was my favorite character, a strong woman with convictions about the role of women and about the injustices of slavery. She also was inquisitive and engaged in scientific endeavors with a doctor who becomes her husband. While I connected with Olivia from the start, the story seemed to move a little too slowly and I was impatient for the abolition activities to happen and to see how this family gets involved in helping slaves to freedom. It did pick up and I found myself invested also in the story of Tilly, a young slave who comes to live with Olivia and her husband Silas. From a historical perspective, it feels very accurate – the position of women in society, slavery, the cholera outbreak. Things are revealed about family members that connect them to the slaves that they try to bring to freedom. Besides, Olivia there were other admirable women, Tilly, the young slave, Hatsepha and Bethany, her sister’s in law. While the history is aptly reflected and there are strong women characters, the story seemed to jump around and didn’t feel that there was a cohesive plot.

Norma’s Stats:
Cover: Intriguing, lovely, reflective, surreal and a fitting representation to storyline. 
Title: My feelings on this title has kind of left me feeling a little bit baffled and indifferent but it did definitely initially intrigue me though. 
Writing/Prose: Well-written, entertaining, telling, engaging and broken. I did quite enjoy the writing style but did question some of the narrative though. 
Plot: Engrossing, interesting, anticlimactic, steady-paced, and entertaining. 
Ending: A lot was explained and happened quickly in the last few pages but I was satisfied with the way the story wrapped up though.
Overall: Even though I didn’t end up loving this book, I still appreciated and certainly enjoyed the mellow escape that this book provided. 

Have you read this one? Want to read this one? Drop us a comment! We would love to hear from you!

Posted in Reviews

The Suspect by Fiona Barton @figbarton @BerkleyPub @about_thethrill #travelingsistersread #askthetravelingsistersaboutourreads #askusaboutourbook #BookBloggers

The Suspect by Fiona Barton is now available!!! The Suspect is the third book in the Kate Waters series. Our main character journalist Kate Waters is again on a new story here making this one a good one for a stand-alone.

Today we are linking up with Kim @It’s All About The Thrill and sharing our thoughts for The Suspect by Fiona Barton. Pop on over to her blog and see what she has to say.

Brenda’s review

Because of my fear of missing out on people thoughts, we read this one with a few of our Traveling Friends and Sisters and we had some mixed feeling here among us. We first read and discussed this story in our Instagram group and then we followed the thoughts of our Traveling Sisters as they read it. We really enjoyed seeing a few different thoughts on this story and I have added a few different thoughts from our group members here for all to see.

The Suspect explores one of a parent’s worst fear here, however, taking a bit of a different premise to it with the missing children being adult children. They go missing after taking a gap year and traveling to Thailand. I was intrigued right from the start as it played on one of my worst fears of the reality that we can’t keep our adult children safe and the fear of them becoming lost to us. Not only by the dangers around them but also lost to us by not knowing where or how they are really doing.  This lead to a very interesting discussion with some of us who shared the same fear. We connected a bit differently to the story then others did.

The story started off a bit slow and the suspense builds as we start to see some twist and turns. We could see some coming and a few that we didn’t that left us thinking oh that’s a great twist. Adding some fun and entertainment to the story and our discussion.

We see a personal side to our main character here Kate Waters and I really enjoyed the personal conflict she had with her loyalties that left us questioning what we would do in her place.

Overall we all enjoyed this story however a couple of us struggled a bit with the way the story was written. It took on a documentary feel to it. The chapters are short and the POV change often. For some us that made it bit harder for them to connect to the story and the characters. For the rest of us, it added some suspense to the story that drove the story forward for us. We recommend giving it a try and then come back and let us know what your thoughts are.

Norma’s review

Intriguing premise, short chapters & a suspenseful mystery!

Can you enjoy a book even if you don’t connect with the way a book is written? Fiona Barton is an author that I always find myself a little excited to read but I wouldn’t necessarily say that I enjoy the way she narrates her stories though. I find the narrative a little bit indifferent and challenging but I wouldn’t say that it hinders my reading experience all that much though. If so, it’s minimal and it definitely doesn’t stop me from picking up her next book offering. Weird I know! 

THE SUSPECT by FIONA BARTON is a slow-building suspenseful crime thriller that takes you on quite the intriguing journey that clips along at a nice swift pace. I was immediately intrigued within the mystery here and the short chapters definitely helps to move this story forward quickly. I absolutely love short chapters because they make me feel like I have to read just one more chapter. 

FIONA BARTON delivers an entertaining and interesting read here that is told through multiple perspectives with chapter headings labeled “The Reporter”, “The Mother”, “The Detective” and “Bangkok Day ?” from Alex, one of the missing girls. I really enjoy and love this format but I felt like there was something missing though to make me really connect and feel for these characters. I found Alex’s perspective the most interesting and would have liked to have read more of her story. 

Thank you so much to Elisha at Berkley Publishing Group and to Fiona Barton for the opportunity to read an advance reading copy of this novel.

Lindsay’s review

An extremely addictive, twisty and fast-paced journey.

Kate Waters, a determined and successful reporter, travels to Thailand to investigate the disappearance of two eighteen-year-old girls from her home town. The girls were on a backpacking trip, with a jam-packed itinerary and plans to be in touch with their parents every couple days. Their parents notified police after several days of not hearing from either girl. This leads to an investigation by the Thai police and then involves local Detective Inspector Bob Sparkes and his team who travel to Thailand to pick up the pieces that seem to be missing.

I am so sad to be finished this novel. I thoroughly enjoyed reading this thrilling and suspenseful story, where I hungrily devoured every single word in extreme anticipation of what would happen next. The characters, setting and storyline pulled me right in from page one. Each chapter left me feeling an urgent need to continue on and fit another chapter in. I loved Kate Waters and DI Sparkes! I enjoyed their personalities and thought their personal side stories really enhanced the novel.

When I downloaded this ARC, I didn’t realize it was part of a series. I read Book #1 “The Widow” a few years back and enjoyed it, but didn’t love it. I haven’t read Book #2 “The Child”. This, being Book #3, is completely fine to read as a standalone. I feel that the author, Fiona Barton’s, writing is much more smooth and engrossing in this novel, compared to “The Widow”. I look forward to picking up “The Child” to see how it is in comparison and I look forward to Book #4!

Thank you to Edelweiss, Penguin Books and Fiona Barton for providing me with an ARC to read and review. 

Some thoughts from our friends and sisters

From Diane’s review

Told from the perspective of three different characters, one being posts from one of the dead girls. There was just something about this format that kept me from totally connecting to the story. There were many positives, a reporter who becomes part of the story, a moral quandary pertaining how far one would go to protect her child. One big twist in the story that I didn’t see coming. The format though, read more like a documentary, which made it difficult for an emotional connect. I just never really felt the characters. Was more a tell not feel. So for me, this was a good story, different plot, a locale, Thailand, that I have read little about, just wish I could have felt more.

From Christina’s review

Not only are these parents worst fears realized but they’re thrust into immediate limelight in the worst way. As they’re grappling with the reality of their situation, they’ve also become a worldwide source of entertainment.The Suspect is told from multiple POVs – Kate Waters, DI Bob Sparkes, Alex’s mother Lesley and Alex herself. Switching up the perspectives really kept the stories forward momentum chugging along in a way that was at times sluggish and at others built suspense like Jenga blocks waiting to be toppled.

While I enjoyed Barton’s storytelling, her writing and her ability to build some serious suspense I still found myself a bit let down by this novel. As the story progressed and the tension and suspense built up, and the forward progression sped along I found myself enjoying it much more than I had anticipated. I did enjoy this and once it got moving I found it quite compelling, I just wish that it had been a bit more developed and had grabbed me from the start. For Christina’s full review

From Heidi’s review

Barton vividly evokes not only the atmosphere of the Bangkok hotel the girls find themselves stranded in, but also of the nightmare of parents trying to find answers to their questions in a foreign country and a culture very different to their own. I found all her characters authentic and believable, and particularly enjoyed Kate, who I discovered has featured in two previous novels (which I will certainly read now). Whilst some aspects of the mystery did not come as a total surprise, the final reveal still packed some punch and gave a lot of food for thought. For Heidi’s full review

Norma’s Stats:
Cover: Eye-catching, intriguing, mysterious, and a fitting representation to storyline. 
Title: I really like the title of this book and how it played obscurely into storyline. 
Writing/Prose: I am not going to elaborate on the writing because I wasn’t able to connect and fully enjoy it. I read this with my Traveling Sisters and I was the only one that felt this way. 
Plot: Interesting, intriguing, predictable, fast-paced, and entertaining.
Ending: Satisfying but I have questions and wonder what is next in store for Kate.
Overall: There is something about her books that I just find so appealing and readable. Would recommend!

Have you read this one? Want to read this one? Drop us a comment! We would love to hear from you

Posted in Sneak Peek Sunday, Traveling Sisters Read Reviews

Sneak Peek Sunday on Monday: The Hiding Place by C.J. Tudor #travelingsistersread #askthetravelingsistersaboutourreads #askusaboutourbook

Sneak Peek Sunday is a weekly meme created by Kim, Christina and I where we give a peek into our thoughts for a book not yet published or we give a peek into an anticipating upcoming group read. It’s a great way to share thoughts on a book not yet published.

Today I am sharing my thoughts along with Kim @It’s All About The Thrill, for The Hiding Place by C.J. Tudor to be published February 5, 2019. So pop on over and take a look at her thoughts for this one. Christina @ Recipe and A Read is sharing her thoughts into an upcoming group read for My Lovely Wife  by Samantha Downing and also taking a peek into her upcoming 2019 list of reads.

Goodreads summary 

The thrilling second novel from the author of The Chalk Man, about a teacher with a hidden agenda who returns to settle scores at a school he once attended, only to uncover a darker secret than he could have imagined.

Joe never wanted to come back to Arnhill. After the way things ended with his old gang–the betrayal, the suicide, the murder–and after what happened when his sister went missing, the last thing he wanted to do was return to his hometown. But Joe doesn’t have a choice. Because judging by what was done to that poor Morton kid, what happened all those years ago to Joe’s sister is happening again. And only Joe knows who is really at fault.

Lying his way into a teaching job at his former high school is the easy part. Facing off with former friends who are none too happy to have him back in town–while avoiding the enemies he’s made in the years since–is tougher. But the hardest part of all will be returning to that abandoned mine where it all went wrong and his life changed forever, and finally confronting the shocking, horrifying truth about Arnhill, his sister, and himself. Because for Joe, the worst moment of his life wasn’t the day his sister went missing.

It was the day she came back.

With the same virtuosic command of character and pacing she displayed in The Chalk Man, CJ Tudor has once again crafted an extraordinary novel that brilliantly blends harrowing psychological suspense, a devilishly puzzling mystery, and enough shocks and thrills to satisfy even the most seasoned reader.  

Well, I am not even sure I can share my thoughts as I am not sure how I feel about this story. I feel like I was left with a few questions after reading this one. So today I am going to do a little something different with my sneak peek because I am curious about how more of you felt about this story.

A terrifying, bone-chilling atmosphere that felt creepy good or creepy bad? Where some parts used for creep factor that did or didn’t add to the atmosphere or plot? Was it really creepy good or creepy bad? Was it similar to Stephen King’s plot? If you haven’t read this one, are you now curious to find out what you think?

I read The Hiding Place by C.J. Tudor with a couple of our Traveling Sisters and it really made for an interesting discussion and it was one that we had mixed feeling with. Not amongst us but with the way we felt about it. It was hard not to make comparisons to Stephen King while reading this one and maybe that had a bit to do with the way we felt about the story.

Putting that all aside it’s also hard not to compare this one to her first book The Chalk Man and I did really enjoy that one however I did have a nagging feeling about that one that I carried over to this story. After reading this one, how I felt about The Chalk Man changed a bit. I wanted darker and creepy with the supernatural. I found the supernatural elements in both stories to be confusing and didn’t really think it was balanced with the humanity and human behavior to the story. I was left asking what was supernatural and what was people just behaving badly.

I haven’t read to many books by Stephen King but what I have read I thought he masterfully balances the supernatural elements to the story to the humanity of the characters. Making his stories darker and creepier. So for me, I think that feeling that this story might be similar to Stephen King’s plots might have affected the way I felt about the story.

So I have a question for you that have read this one. Did you find it was written to be similar to Stephen King’s writing or to the plot of Pet Cemetary? As readers do you think this is something we draw conclusions too and maybe affects our expectations? Drop us a comment and let us what you think. We would love to hear from you.

 

Posted in Traveling Sisters Reads

Ugh, As If Book Stack For Remaining January and February #travelingsistersread #askthetravelingsistersaboutourreads #askusaboutourbook

We have a pretty tight and intense reading schedule here with our remaining January and February reads. It’s hard not to think “Ugh, as if” lol. However, we are going to do our best to get as many as we can in.

What we are reading in our Traveling Friends Instagram group. You can find us @travelingsistersread to join.

  • The Line Between by Tosca Lee start date January 25
  • Don’t Wake Up by Liz Lawler start date January 28
  • House on Fire by Bonnie Kistler start date February 1
  • The Stranger Inside by Laura Benedict squeezing it in before February 5
  • My Lovely Wife by Samantha Downing start date February 7
  • Beautiful Bad by Annie Ward start date February 21

What Norma and I are reading:

  • One Fatal Mistake by Tom Hunt
  • The Matchmaker’s List by Sonya Lalli
  • The Beasts Heart by Leife Shallcross
  • Say You’re Sorry by Karen Rose

What the Traveling Sisters are reading:

  • The Dead Ex by Jane Corry
  • The End Of Loneliness by Benedict Wells
  • The Secret of Clouds by Alyson Richman
  • The Last Woman in The Forest by Diane Les Becquets
  • The Hunting Party by Lucy Foley
  • I Invite Her In by Adele Parks

What Brenda is reading by herself. That doesn’t happen often….

  • Willa & Hesper by Amy Feltman
  • Last Night by Karen Ellis

From Norma’s never-ending TBR. Book hoarder, book collector or building a library? These are not on our list yet and won’t be till March when we hope to get back into reading a few from our own book library.

Have you read any of these titles listed? Which ones did you love or think could be missed? Do you want to read any? Join in on any? Drop us a comment. We love to here from you!

Posted in Reviews, Reviews by Lindsay

Songs of Love and War by Santa Montefiore @SimonSchusterCA #BookBloggers #askthetravelingsistersaboutourreads #askusaboutourbook

Songs of Love and War

Songs of Love and War by Santa Montefiore

Lindsay’s review

A charming historical fiction tale set in the early 1900s in Ireland and England. The story follows three young women whose connection weaves thick and thin throughout several years and many life-changing situations. One of the best aspects of this novel is that it largely revolves around an old family castle in the countryside in Ireland. There is love, loss and death. There are ghosts, love triangles and hidden secrets. All of these ingredients add up to one enticing tale that kept me curious to the end. 

While I enjoyed this generational saga, it did feel quite lengthy. My attention did waver in and out as far as feeling truly connected to the characters and storyline. It almost felt as though there was one too many storylines involved that made the novel spread a little too far. 

Thank you to NetGalley, Simon & Schuster Canada and Santa Montefiore for providing me with an ARC to read and review!

Have you read this one? Want to read it? Drop us a comment! We would love to hear from you!

Posted in Reviews

The Taste of Air by Gail Cleare #BookBloggers #BookReview #travelingfriendsread @gcleare #askthetravelingsistersaboutourreads #askusaboutourbook

We did a little something different here with our group read for The Taste of Air by Gail Cleare. I set up a special group and we had the pleasure of Gail joining us in our discussion. We used discussion questions provided for the story and it really enhanced our reading experience. We received some insight into Gail’s writing experience and she answered some questions we had for her and about the story. We really enjoyed our discussion and this story, that we highly recommend this one for group reads. Thank you so much for joining us Gail and for sending Norma and I our copies to read with the group.

Brenda’s Review

The Taste of Air has it all to make this an interesting and engaging family saga with a mystery to it to add some suspense to the story. It is a thought-provoking emotional yet entertaining and pleasing realistic story that explores the secrets, some that are buried that a mother keeps from her children. Her life before and separate from her grown children.

Gail Cleare does a great job creating interesting realistic characters and I really enjoyed the dynamics between them. As we get to know our characters, secrets are revealed that had us thinking about what we would do in that situation. The story and the discussion questions had us also thinking about our own families and sharing stories with each other. We discussed how we thought we would react to some of the situations in the story and this made for a very interesting discussion.

I really enjoyed this pleasing story from start to finish. The pace is well paced and I was intrigued by Mary’s past. I was completely satisfied with how everything wrapped up and came together in the end. I highly recommend.

Norma’s Review

Heartwarming, delightful & touching!

THE TASTE OF AIR by GAIL CLEARE was such a comforting, uplifting, and enjoyable read that had so much warmth flowing through the pages of this book. I immediately felt a connection to the authors writing style and thought this story was so tastefully told. It wrapped me up tightly in a warm comfy hug transporting me right back to all the tastes of home.

GAIL CLEARE delivers a beautiful, well-written and engaging read here that takes you on a journey full of family secrets, love and relationships with some added revelations and soul-searching for you to ponder right along with the characters. The story is told between the perspectives of Nell and Bridget in the present and Mary’s perspective from the past. I enjoyed all perspectives equally and really enjoyed learning Mary’s secrets as the story progressed. I was totally surprised with the reveal and loved how it all came together in the end.

Can you taste the flavour of the air?

I really never thought of tastes being comforting and nostalgic before reading this novel or else I just took it for granted. It really made me think and realize that different experiences can certainly affect us in how we perceive those different tastes that bring out a sense of happiness, comfort, love and fond memories for us. This novel definitely brought that all out for me!

Lindsay’s Review

An eye-opening glance into one woman’s choice to follow her heart and find true happiness. This novel surrounds Mary and her two adult daughters, Nell and Bridget. Nell is shocked to receive a phone call requesting her presence at hospital hours away from Mary’s retirement home. Confused as to how her mother could be so far from home, Nell packs quickly and leaves to pick up the pieces and find answers as to what happened.  Upon reaching her mother at the hospital, Nell uncovers an avalanche of secrets and people from her mothers’ life that has been hidden for years. Nell and
Bridget work together to reveal the hidden truths behind Mary’s past and the shocking surprises that change their lives forever.


This novel is presented through Mary, Nell and Bridget’s perspectives. Mary’s perspective is revealed through a Past and Present timeline adding multiple layers of intrigue to the story. My favorite parts of the book were the sections from Mary’s past when we learn about her life prior to having children.

These powerful sections reveal much emotion and heartache. I thought the author, Gail Cleare, did a fantastic job with that piece of the story.
I found this novel enjoyable and entertaining, however, there were some parts that felt implausible to me. I liked the characters but didn’t ever get to the point of feeling fully invested in them. What I truly appreciate about this book is that it gave me a lot to think about. It challenged me to consider multiple angles of the character’s choices. The topics presented are intense and thought-provoking.

From Debra’s Review

I found this book to be refreshing and interesting. The subject matter is thought-provoking and captivating. There are situations where readers may stop and ponder “what would I do in this situation?” or “how would I react?” and “would I have done the same thing?”. While the focus on the book is on Mary’s secret, each woman had her own secret as well. I enjoyed how the secret cottage became a place Nell and Bridget to reflect and discuss their secrets and goals/hopes/dreams for their futures. Well written and thought out. This is women’s fiction done right. A pleasure to read!

DeAnn’s Review

This is my first experience with the author Gail Cleare. I was not disappointed. Her story carried me along, revealing surprises and story twists exactly when needed. Not a book of high drama, nor heart throbbing suspense – but a soothing story about a families life, one that needed to come to the surface. Engagingly told, throughout many years, gave the needed time frame and space to unravel all the secrets that were so lovingly kept.

Sweet tale of mothers and daughters and family secrets.

Daughters Nell and Bridget are shocked when they find out that their mother Mary is hospitalized in Vermont when they thought she was living in assisted-living in Massachusetts. In fact, they discover she’s had a cabin in Vermont for many years. This is just the start of secrets that are uncovered throughout this book.

We are treated to chapters with Mary’s life in the past as a nurse in the Vietnam war and the friends that she makes there. The pieces slowly come together and the daughters are able to figure out the puzzle while Mary is struggling in the hospital.

I enjoyed reading this book with the Traveling Friends and having the author participate in our book discussions. It certainly makes me think more about family secrets and how well we know our parents . . . The writing in this book was enjoyable and it made me yearn for New England!

Norma’s Stats:
Cover:
Eye-catching, peaceful, relaxing and an excellent and fitting representation to storyline.
Title: I had no idea the meaning behind this title before reading this novel. I was quite baffled but after reading a couple of chapters the meaning behind this title became quite apparent. I absolutely loved how the title played into the storyline.
Writing/Prose: Well-written, suspenseful, and beautiful.
Plot: Engrossing, suspenseful, heartfelt, interesting, steady-paced, and entertaining.
Ending: Surprising, heartwarming, and satisfying.
Overall: I was definitely taken with this storyline and really enjoyed learning all the family secrets as they unfolded. Making this novel hard to put down. Would recommend!

Thank you so much to Gail Cleare for gifting me a copy of this book, it was an absolute pleasure reading it.

Have you read this one? Want to read it? Drop us a comment! We would love to hear from you!