Posted in Reviews, Traveling Sisters Read Reviews

One Day in December by Josie Silver @JosieSilver_ @CrownPublishing @penguinrandom @about_thethrill #travelingsistersread #BookBloggers

Reading One Day in December is a like a getting a warm hug on a chilly winter day.  It warmed our hearts and left us feeling like we just experienced something very special.  

One Day in December by Josie Silver

Web_L367-4_brunette_green-eyesBrenda’s review

I have been talking about a few books I have read lately that have not been my normal and One Day in December was definitely one of them.  This sister does not have a romantic bone in her. My poor husband.

One Day in December is warm, captivating, unforgettable and quirky love story not only between couples but within a friendship as well.  It’s a story of friendship, loyalty, and missing chances that left us questioning if they really were.

Sometimes I think I am more romantic when it comes to friendships.  I envied the relationship our main characters Laurie and Sarah had. Both characters were so different from each yet similar in some ways.  

One of the things that makes this story so great is how it is told over a long period of time.  We really get the chance to connect to the characters and see them develop, change, and experience different things.  The dynamic between the characters seemed realistic and was heartwarming and truly special.

One Day in December made for one of the best group discussions we have had.  We received a group kit with discussion questions and it had some of the best questions we have yet used.  You can find them online as well. The questions are very thought-provoking, easy to answer and really related to the theme, insight and emotions we felt towards the story.

We highly recommend this one and think it is one to put on your do not miss list.  If you get the chance to read it in a group we suggest taking it as its one of the best stories to discuss.  You could always join the Traveling Friends. This is one I am definitely going to suggest they read.

img_6779Norma’s review

Smashing, engrossing & devouring!

Wow! I absolutely LOVED this book! Laurie, Sarah & Jack were great characters!

Random amusing line:
“I squint, trying to duck my head to see what he’s reading ….”

Oh my, I think all of us book lovers can relate to that sentence. I know that I have done that very same thing so many times!

ONE DAY IN DECEMBER by JOSIE SILVER is a fabulous, brilliant, heartwarming and delightful story that completely stole my heart and consumed my thoughts. It took me less than 24 hours to read this book because once I started reading it I absolutely could not put it down. It had me totally absorbed, entertained, and interested in the storyline right from the very first page.

The way that this story was told and presented was actually much more than your typical love story. It was such a powerful and moving story that had so much heart and warmth flowing through the pages of this book that I absolutely could not get enough of. I’m actually kind of a little disappointed that the story was over. It definitely left me yearning for more but in a good way though.

JOSIE SILVER delivers an engaging, intriguing and beautifully written tale of love, friendship, hope, longing, loss and regret that flowed so perfectly. I was wholly impressed with Josie Silver’s writing style and how perfectly she interweaves the passage of time and storyline with the perspectives of Laurie and Jack. I have totally invested in these characters lives and was definitely hoping for a happily ever after for them.

It was one of those books that were definitely an all-consuming read for me and the perfect winter escape.

Web_L355-3_blonde_blue eyesLindsay’s review 

Charming.   Witty. Endearing.  Refreshing. Heartwarming.

I do not generally read romance, but when Brenda and Norma offered the Traveling Sisters the opportunity to read this title, I thought I would take a chance and try it out.  I am SO GLAD I did! This is not your typical love story.

This novel follows Laurie who believes she has found “the one” when she happens to look through the window of the bus she is on and makes magical eye contact with a handsome stranger.   She doesn’t believe in love at first sight, yet she feels an unexplainable intense connection to this man as her bus drives away. Along with the help of her best friend Sarah, Laurie spends the next year scouring the city in the hopes of reuniting with this handsome stranger.   Over a year later, Laurie does reunite with this man, named Jack, although it is not in the way she had hoped…..

This book spans over a decade in which we follow the ever-changing relationship dynamic between Laurie, Sarah and Jack.  The author, Josie Silver, does an outstanding job with character development. I was completely invested in their lives and I simply adored Laurie.   The pace and flow of the story was perfect which is impressive considering the many time jumps throughout the plot. I loved the ‘New Year’s Resolution’ sections – they were a brilliant addition to the novel.

Web_L083-1_brunette_green-eyesFrom Kim’s review

This very well might be my biggest surprise read of the year. WOW! I can’t even express how much I loved this book. It is such a feel-good book, you just genuinely feel good after reading it. This book had me from page one. Okay, so you get the idea that I loved it.

I don’t read books that are not thrillers/suspense. Repeat I don’t read them……..until now! I can’t wait to get my hands on another Josie Silver book. This author has an amazing writing style. I flew through this book and it wasn’t because it was some mindless chick lit book, because it was not. The characters were well developed and I could completely relate with Laurie. She could be my BFF for sure. I can’t recommend this book enough and I swear if you are hardcore thriller/suspense readers and write this off because it is “not your type of book” you are missing out.  For Kim’s full review

Web_LF05-1_brunette_green-eyesFrom Stephanie’s review

I admit it, I love a good romance and One Day in December more than delivers. I was enthralled from the moment that I started reading; I felt like I was watching scenes from my favorite romantic holiday movies, and the entire time I was reading I felt like I was connecting with each character on a personal level! It is so emotional and so delightful to read, and I think that Josie Silver has written an outstanding debut novel. 

Most of all, the very real relationships and friendships these incredible characters share with one another was just amazing, and it made me cry and laugh, want to shake them sometimes, but mostly just root for them and wish them nothing but lives filled with love and joy!

This is a book that makes you question missed chances, fate, whether there is just that one special person for you in a lifetime, friendship versus true love, and moving on when life throws out the unexpected. It’s a romance, but a romance filled with heart and soul that will make you think, feel, dream, and love. You definitely don’t want to miss One Day in December this holiday season! I love it and think you will too!! For Stephanie’s full review

Web_L075-1_brunette_brown-eyesFrom Nikki’s review

One Day in December is an absolutely delightful read. It’s the story of friends, fate, what-ifs, navigating adulthood, and all the roads taken and not taken. Picture Laurie on a bus having a love-at-first-sight moment with a young man. A connection. A click. That once in a lifetime feeling. And the bus drives away. Laurie is left to ponder, stress, agonize over this moment and this man. She spends months and months looking and hoping to find her Bus Boy. And one day she does. But not at all under the circumstances she imagined.

Told from both Laurie’s and Jack’s perspectives, One Day in December takes the reader through the years of their lives, keeping the reader on edge and engaged the entire time. The characters are well developed and relatable, and I found myself completely connected to the story. This novel is a wonderful mix of heartwarming moments, heartbreaking moments, and laugh-out-loud moments.

Norma’s Stats:
Cover: I love everything about this cover from that beautiful design to the embossed snowflakes!
Title: Appealing, intriguing, and such a meaningful and fitting representation to storyline.
Writing/Prose: Well-written, beautiful, impressive, engaging, captivating, and fluid.
Plot: Warming, sweet, comical, thought-provoking, engrossing, perfectly-paced, enjoyable and extremely entertaining. I adored this storyline!
Ending: A touching and emotional ending that I was extremely satisfied with that left me with that warm fuzzy afterglow feeling. If a book produces that feeling from me then it is a splendid read indeed!
Overall: This book was beyond wonderful! Loved, loved, loved it! This book has made my top five books of the year! Would highly recommend!

*Thank you so much to Emily from Goodreads for making this spectacular Traveling Sisters group read possible!*

Thank you so much to Crown Publishing and Josie Silver for gifting us the Perfect Night In book club kit and sending out copies to The Traveling Sisters.  It was an absolute pleasure reading this incredible book!

img_6429Have you read this one?  What are your thoughts?  Want to read it? Drop us a comment!  We would love to hear from you!

Posted in Reviews, The Sisters Recommend, Traveling Sisters Read Reviews

The Shadows We Hide by Allen Eskens @aeskens @HBGCanada #travelingsistersread #BookBloggers

Joe Talbert is back in this highly anticipated title The Shadows We Hide!!  We are really excited to bring you our reviews from this Traveling Sisters group read.  It is now available, so if you haven’t read it we highly recommend getting your hands on it.  

The Shadows We Hide by Allen Eskens

Web_L365-4_brunetteBrenda’s review

Allen Eskens is a favorite author of ours and I have read and loved all of his books.  I think we read most of his books in our group. I was very excited to see Allen Eskens brought back Joe from The Life We Bury and couldn’t wait to get my hands on a copy. Thank you to HBG Canada and Allen Eskens for Norma, Lindsay and my ARCs and the opportunity to read this intriguing and exciting story here with The Shadows We Hide. We all were left cheering after reading and discussing this title.

The Shadows We Hide is the sequel to The Life We Bury where we meet and get to know Joe Talbert and his family.  Allen Eskens drew us in right away with the well-developed characters. He has this way of bringing such emotion to the story through the dynamics between the characters making them very real for us.  

In The Shadows We Hide we learn who might be Joe’s father and that brings a mystery to the story when he is found dead. We are taken to a small town where secrets are hidden and Joe is determined to find answers. The gripping story slowly unfolds with well plotted and perfectly paced twists.  We were glued to our books, turning the pages as fast as we could to that satisfying outcome that had us guessing right to the end.  Norma was so glued to this story, she read it in 24 hours, waking up with the best book hangover ever. 

The ending left us all cheering with how it all wrapped up and we really enjoyed discussing the ending.   If you haven’t read The Life We Bury yet we strongly recommend reading it and following it up with The Shadows We Hide.  You are in for a real treat.

Web_L337-4_brunetteNorma’s review

Suspenseful, gripping & thrilling!

THE SHADOWS WE HIDE by ALLEN ESKENS is an engaging, interesting, fast-paced and excellent mystery novel that pulled me in right from the very first page and held my attention right to the very end.  I was totally immersed in this suspenseful storyline and thoroughly enjoyed the narrative, the mystery and the characters.

ALLEN ESKENS delivers a complex, well-written and well-plotted read here with memorable and realistic characters, a great mystery and some surprising twists and turns along the way.  I absolutely loved how this story played out and I did not guess the ending at all. And I am so happy that I didn’t because I absolutely love it and find it so satisfying when the pieces of the puzzle all fall into place as the story unfolds and we learn the reveals right along with the characters.  

Eskens’ ease of writing and his choice of words is so appealing and highly entertaining.  He has this perfect skill of immersing you totally into the emotional side of the characters making the mystery that much more thrilling.

I was absolutely thrilled and pretty excited to revisit much-loved characters from Eskens’ first book, THE LIFE WE BURY, which I absolutely loved too.  Even though this is a sequel I think it would also work out really well as a standalone.

Web_L353-4_blondeLindsay’s review

A thrilling and suspenseful follow up to The Life We Bury.

Joe Talbert Jr. has graduated from college and is a journalist at the Associated Press. He comes across an article about the murder of a man named Joe Talbert in a small town a few hours away.   Desperately curious to find out if this could be a link to the father he never knew, Joe finds himself digging up details and chasing answers to try to sort through the small town’s secrets.

I thoroughly enjoyed this sequel from start to finish.  The writing is solid and suspenseful. I was glued to the pages, trying to piece together how things would play out.  The heart-pounding intensity and shock-factor really kicked up a few notches near the end – wow! There were a few things left open in the end, but I was still very satisfied and felt that it was a great way to leave the story.   I hope the intention was to leave the door open for Book #3.

I highly recommend this novel!   If you haven’t read The Life We Bury, I strongly suggest starting with that one so you can get the full backstory on Joe.  He is a fantastic character that I love rooting for.

Norma’s Stats:

Cover: Eye-catching, intriguing, and an excellent and fitting representation to the storyline.Title: Intriguing and an extremely fitting representation of the storyline.  I absolutely loved how the title played into the storyline. Writing/Prose: Well-written, catchy, suspenseful, and smooth.  Absolutely love Eskens’ writing style!Plot: Engrossing, suspenseful, interesting, fast-paced, and entertaining.Ending:  Surprising, gripping, and intensely satisfying.Overall:  A fantastic, highly entertaining, enjoyable and immersive read!  Would highly recommend!

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Let’s Chat!

Have you read The Life We Bury? Want to?  It’s now being currently read in The Traveling Friends group!  You can find us on Goodreads to join in!

Have you read The Shadows We Hide?  Are you adding it to your want to read list?

Have you read any other books by Allen Eskens?  Drop us a comment!  We would love to hear from you!

Posted in Reviews, Traveling Sisters Read Reviews

Little Darlings by Melanie Golding @crookedlanebks #travelingsistersread #BookBloggers

If new Mother’s weren’t already afraid to leave their newborns alone they will be after reading this story!!


Little Darlings
by Melanie Golding

img_6779Norma’s review

Creepy, gripping, & atmospheric!

The story is inspired by some deliciously creepy dark fairy tales that adds an extra layer to the sinister, menacing and eerie feel of the book. I absolutely love these types of tales and found myself devouring this one!

LITTLE DARLINGS by MELANIE GOLDING is an unsettling, compulsive and mysterious tale that had me constantly wavering between believing Lauren’s story and thinking maybe she really is just imagining it all. The feelings that I had for Lauren throughout were quite intense and had me feeling her fear. I wanted to believe her!

MELANIE GOLDING delivers an atmospheric and well-written read here and does a great job with slowly building up the tension and making me believe in those dark folktales. I absolutely loved how the folklore was integrated into the storyline and how plot points were addressed quickly and flowed nicely into the next chapter. Not having to wait and leaving us hanging added some suspense to the actual storyline for me, that I really appreciated.

I think there were some characters and scenes that weren’t necessary though but all in all I thought this was a very good, entertaining and enjoyable read.

Web_L365-1_brunette_blue-eyesBrenda’s review

I decided to pack up my computer and go to our spectacular library to write this review.  I found my perfect spot right next to the fiction section.  I did get a bit sidetracked and didn’t quite get to the screen on my computer to start my review.  However, I did enjoy my afternoon at the library.

I remember that fear of leaving my newborns.  That’s an exhausting feeling but not wanting to fall asleep because I couldn’t watch them.  Thinking that one time my attention isn’t on them something will happen.

Melanie Golding has taken that fear and exhaustion and added some of the darkest folktales, the unknown and the unbelievable and created a sinister, creepy, haunting and exciting story here.  She takes some real-life scenarios and the supernatural and weaves a unique and creative story that had us questioning what was real and what wasn’t.  At times some of us wanted the story to be a bit creepier and dark that took on a little more supernatural.  Some of the character’s drama weighted down the story for us a bit but didn’t take away from any of our enjoyment for the story.

Little Darlings makes for a really good story if this isn’t your normal type of story.  If it is, it’s definitely one for you and it makes for a really good group read with a lot to discuss. We highly recommend!

Web_L355-6_blonde_blue eyesLindsay’s review

Creepy, haunting, addictive and atmospheric!

Lauren Tranter is a new mother to twin boys.   As many new moms do, Lauren struggles upon her return home from the hospital after giving birth.   She is exhausted, she is constantly feeding her babies, she can’t find time for a shower, she can’t possibly think of finding a way to venture out of the house with the boys to get groceries.   Her husband works a lot and pushes Lauren to get out of the house with the twins to refresh and reacquaint herself with society. Lauren’s first venture outside ends with a traumatic afternoon that changes her family forever.

I was immediately drawn into this story and felt a strong connection throughout.  The author, Melanie Golding, does a brilliant job building suspense, keeping the intensity of the intrigue engrossing throughout the entire story.   The characters were fantastic – I loved the two main characters, Lauren and DS Jo Harper. I could strongly relate to Lauren – Golding did an exceptional job capturing the chaos and exhaustion of a new mom.

This novel has supernatural aspects that were handled skillfully and believable.  Supernatural elements are usually a turn-off for me, but they were presented in such an intriguing and fascinating way, that I was completely drawn into the plot and invested in the characters.

Thank you so much to Sarah at Crooked Lane Books for providing us with an Advanced Reader’s E-Proof to read and review.

Web_L301-1_brunette_brown eyesFrom Debra’s review

This is a well written psychological thriller which is atmospheric with a dark creepy feel. My only complaint is that I wanted this book to be darker, to be even creepier, and more suspenseful. I also thought there were “romances” and “possible romances” in this book which really did not add to the story and in fact detracted from the story to a small degree. I wanted more menacing and heart-pounding moments.

Web_L075-1_brunette_brown-eyesNikki’s review

A creepy read for that spooky time of year! I thoroughly enjoyed this eerie tale over the Halloween season. Life with newborn babies isn’t easy. The exhaustion, the responsibilities, the overall mega life change… and… suddenly something dark and fearful too? OH NO. Little Darlings is an interesting mix, combining real-life scenarios with folklore/fairytales along the way. It is a creative and unique tale that kept me guessing and questioning the entire time—even post read! I am still pondering this story! With well-developed characters and a storyline that immediately drew me in, Little Darlings is a quick, disturbingly fun read with that ‘something different’ quality. Well done, Melanie Golding!

Expected Publishing Date: April 30, 2019

Norma’s Stats:
Cover: I got a chance to vote on this cover and mine wasn’t chosen. To be honest I didn’t really care for any of the covers.
Title: A fitting and good representation to storyline.
Writing/Prose: Well-written, impressive debut, descriptive and absorbing.
Plot: Gripping, intriguing, engrossing, fascinating, sinister, steadily-paced, and entertaining.
Ending: An ending that left us with a little bit of mystery to ponder that I was totally satisfied with interpreting on my own.
Overall: Dare I say, just a little more creepy though! Would recommend!

Thank you so much to Sarah at Crooked Lane Books for providing me with an Advanced Reader’s E-Proof in exchange for a review!

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Have you read this one?  Have you added it to your want to read list?  Drop us a comment!  We would love to hear from you!!

Posted in Reviews, Traveling Sisters Read Reviews

The Dream Daughter by Diane Chamberlain #travelingsistersread #BookBloggers

Diane Chamberlain has done it again, she has left us all reaching for a tissue after reading this story.  Be prepared and grab some tissues, a nice comforting beverage and find that special spot to curl up with this book.  If you read this one, grab another book by her.  I think it’s required things for most of her books. Got to love the books that leave us emotional.

The Dream Daughter by Diane Chamberlain

Web_L057-3_brunette_green-eyesBrenda’s review 

Diane Chamberlain has taken a dream or maybe a fantasy here in this story that I think a few mothers have dreamed about. Being able to travel through time to save their child. To be given a chance to change or do something more for your unhealthy child. She took my dream and wrote a heartbreaking and heartwarming story that brought life to this fantasy and made the unbelievable so real for me.

The Dream Daughter blends the unrealistic dream of time traveling with the story of a mother’s love, hope and sacrifices for her unhealthy unborn child. Diane Chamberlain captures the length a heartbroken mother will go to save her child. Going on only hope and faith in her brother-in-law she risks everything and takes a chance to change the path for her unborn child.

This story pulled at my momma heartstrings and left this non-crier looking for tissues after finishing this story. I highly recommend.

Print_L435-2_auburn_green eyesNorma’s review

Captivating, breathtaking & unputdownable!

Wow! I absolutely love DIANE CHAMBERLAIN and this book was phenomenal, one of my top books of the year.

THE DREAM DAUGHTER by DIANE CHAMBERLAIN is an irresistible, powerful and deeply moving story that immediately captured my attention and my heart. It had me in tears so many times over the course of reading this emotionally captivating story and in the end, it left me with feelings of such warmth in my heart.

I am so glad that I go into my books totally blind because not knowing anything beforehand about this story was definitely very pleasing and appealing. I absolutely loved the direction that this story took and totally embraced it.

DIANE CHAMBERLAIN delivers a beautifully written, unique, magnificent and intense story here with absolutely wonderful, relatable and compelling characters. The emotions and compassion that you feel for them are so palpable. My heart especially went out to Carly. Her unconditional love, courage, and strength were absolutely admirable and I felt so much compassion for her.

I do love my thrillers but I also love stories that take me on an emotional journey and this one definitely moved and touched me.

Thank you from both of us to NetGalley, St Martin’s Press and Diane Chamberlain for a copy to read and review.

Web_L301-3_brunette_brown eyesSuzy’s review

What a beautiful, heartwarming, addictive and truly unique book I just read! Diane Chamberlain, you’re quite an awesome storyteller!

I’ve never been a fan of science fiction type novels, let alone time travel. Please don’t let this be the reason you don’t want to read this fabulous book! It’s so much more than that. It’s about a mother’s love and sacrifice and what lengths she will go to for her child. I’m SO thankful that I didn’t let that hinder my decision to join some of my fellow Traveling Sisters in reading this.

I was hooked from the first page. I loved all of the characters – primary and secondary – which added a lot of depth to the story. I want to keep my review short because I don’t want to give anything away. It never slowed down, I never felt bored and cannot imagine giving it anything less than all the stars. The ending was perfection. Simply wonderful.

Web_LF05-1_brunette_green-eyesFrom Stephanie’s’ review

The Dream Daughter is about a mother’s frantic, urgent, and passionate need to do anything and everything within her power to save and protect her unborn child.

The Dream Daughter is just gorgeous, flawless writing. It is a heartwrenching, emotional story but it’s joyful too. I actually finished reading this several weeks ago, and I’m still feeling so many emotions after reading this superb book! I really loved this book, and it’s now my favorite book by Chamberlain. Of course, I highly recommend it to everyone and hope anyone who reads it loves it too! For Stephanie’s full review

Norma’s Stats:
Cover: Affecting, fascinating, suspenseful, eye-catching, piqued my interest, and an extremely fitting representation to storyline. The significance of this cover after reading this novel definitely made its impact on me.
Title: Oh my that title….that is all I’m going to say!
Writing/Prose: Well-written, beautiful, captivating, skilled, and proficient. I absolutely love this author’s writing style and will read anything she writes.
Plot: Suspenseful, thought-provoking, heartbreaking, heartwarming, complex, imaginative, perfectly-paced, enjoyable and extremely entertaining.
Ending: Tearjerker, satisfying, and heartwarming that gave me that gratifying afterglow upon finishing.
Overall: This book contained all the elements that I absolutely love in my books. For me, this was book perfection! Would highly recommend!

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Lets chat!  Have you read Dream Daughter?  Want to read it?  Have you read any other books by Diane Chamberlain?  Drop us a comment!  We would love to hear from you?

 

Posted in Reviews, Traveling Sisters Read Reviews

The Line That Held Us by David Joy #travelingsistersread #BookBloggers

The Line That Held Us by David Joy

Web_L117-1_brunette_green-eyesBrenda’s review

Lindsay and I read The Line That Held Us with six of our Traveling Sisters and this was one that left us all breathless after reading it. It made for a great discussion.

David Joy holds nothing back here and pulls no stops with this stunning and violent story that explores sacrifice and suffering. We were immediately drawn into a world where our characters live by a code and where family roots run deep and the lines that hold them are clear. The story is fiercely intense with descriptive violence that at times forced me to put up some filters to not absorb some of the violence. David Joy does have a way with his writing and it beautifully flows easily without any shock value.

David Joy does such a great job here creating a haunting fascinating yet terrifying character here with Dwayne who is driven by rage and savage revenge. He is like no other character I have met before. He is compelling, unpredictable and unforgetting. I sat on the edge of my seat as the tension grew and I became scared about what he would do next. His character is so well done I could vividly see how his mind started to deteriorate, at times allowing me to feel empathy for his situation. That alone is brilliant writing to me.

The Line That Held Us is one I recommend with caution due to the violence and isn’t one for everyone. It needs some filtering or looking past the violence and into the words that are written around the violence.
Web_L109-3_blonde_blue-eyesLindsay’s review

I can’t shake the spine-tingling, stomach-churning, revenge-seeking, heart-pounding tension that filled every page of this intense, gritty, gun-slinging backroads tale.   

This dark, unflinching and violent story follows Darl Moody and Calvin Hooper, two men who have been friends since childhood.   Darl and Calvin find themselves caught in the deceit of covering up an accidental murder.  They are faced with unexpected and unending repercussions and revenge.   

This is not an easy read by any means.  It is dark, brutally violent and descriptively disturbing.   This would be hard on those readers with a weak stomach.  It had me queasy and cringing several times.   I found myself holding my breath and squinting my eyes while reading at several points in tension-filled anticipation of what brutal scene lay ahead on the next page.   With that being said, the writing is so strong and compelling that I couldn’t look away – I just had to keep reading.    This story gripped me from start to finish, my heart pounding in anticipation of where this haunting story would lead.

Thank you to Edelweiss, G. P. Putnam’s Sons and David Joy from both of us for an ARC to read and review.

FC-5-VerityFrom Debra’s review

An accidental shooting in the woods and the deadly aftermath could be a very sad yet simple tale – but not in the hands of David Joy. In the pages of “The Line that held us”, Joy has created a beautifully written gritty novel set in Appalachia. This book is violent, heart breaking and gut wrenching. The characters in this book are struggling – struggling with the consequences of their actions, struggling with poverty, struggling with loss, struggling with grief, struggling with keeping secrets, struggling with doing the right thing and struggling to survive. Love, loyalty, friendship, rage, loss, despair, and revenge are all combined and laid bare.

Web_L323-1_brunette_green eyesFrom Jan’s review

The characters are complex and for such a gritty book it’s very philosophical, which saves it from being just a simple tale of vengeance.  These are not characters I will soon forget. Be aware it’s not for the faint of heart. There were parts where I cringed, parts where I teared up, and the ending is so tense I couldn’t flip the pages fast enough.

The setting is Appalachia where people do what they do in order to survive. It’s a harsh life and the people are tough. Family and friendship ties are very strong. What happens when something happens to a loved one that forces us to make a choice? What are the consequences?

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

Posted in Reviews, Traveling Sisters Read Reviews

The Lighthouse Keeper’s Daughter by Hazel Gaynor @HarperCollinsCA @HazelGaynor #travelingsistersread #BookBloggers


The Lighthouse Keeper’s Daughter
by Hazel Gaynor

Web_L339-4_brunette_brown eyesNorma’s Review

Captivating, affecting & heart-wrenching!

This was my very first HAZEL GAYNOR book, and I must say that I absolutely loved her writing style.  I was immediately drawn into this extraordinary story by her beautiful storytelling right from the very first page and had me totally immersed, entertained, and interested throughout this entire book.

THE LIGHTHOUSE KEEPER’S DAUGHTER by HAZEL GAYNOR is an absolutely stunning, sad, moving, heartwarming, and an excellent historical fiction novel that was inspired by the true story of Grace Darling, a lighthouse keeper’s daughter.  A fascinating story!

Some parts of this book was extremely sad and heartbreaking for me to read as it takes you on quite the emotional journey and I couldn’t help but feel right along with all the characters heartache, loss, and tragedy.  Even though there was so much sadness the book also had so much warmth and love emanating throughout that was so inspiring and empowering to read. Just how strong, resilient, and brave these women were was absolutely remarkable and it was an absolute pleasure reading and learning Grace Darling’s story.

HAZEL GAYNOR delivers a vividly descriptive, intriguing and beautifully written story here where she interweaves skillfully two different timelines, spanning over decades and centuries.  Grace’s story in 1838 and Matilda Emmerson’s in 1938. Both of these women’s stories captured my heart and I found them both as equally compelling and not once did I feel like one was more interesting than the other.    

I have a fascination for books with settings of lighthouses and it was one of those books for me where the author’s beautiful prose, moving storyline, and endearing characters made this an all-around fabulous read for me.  I love it when an author can bring out so many emotions from me while I am reading and for me, that is one incredibly satisfying reading experience!

Web_L365-3_brunette_blue-eyesBrenda’s review

The Lighthouse Keeper’s Daughter was an unexpected gem I stumbled upon thanks to HarperCollins Canada. I quickly added it as a group read for the Traveling Sisters and along with Norma, Lindsay and I, two other sisters joined in on the discussion with us.

It’s an emotional gem of a story that is so perfectly paced and took us on the best possible emotional journey I could imagine. The characters crept into our hearts and haven’t let go.  This story and the characters are unforgettable and compelling with their bravery and strength.

The strength of the story lies in the emotions that drive the story forward.  From the moment we opened this book till the final pages we took a heartbreaking and heart-wrenching journey that explores bravery, duty, love, sacrifice, and loss. The characters here are not only brave with their actions but with their hearts.

Inspired by true events Hazel Gaynor develops compelling characters and completely emerges us in their timelines. They inspired us, brought us to tears and found a spot in our hearts.

This story makes for such a great discussion for group reads to share your emotional journey with.   I highly recommend this emotional and unforgettable story.

Web_L355-6_blonde_blue eyesLindsay’s review

Excuse me, while I dust off my Favourites shelf to make room for this beautiful, spellbinding, unforgettable novel that has secured a forever spot in my heart.   Not only does this mesmerizing book belong on my Favourites shelf, it easily takes top spot as my favourite read of 2018! I simply cannot imagine anything surpassing the love I have for this story.

I have such a soft spot for books involving lighthouses.   There is something about them that I am drawn to – they have such a secretive, magical, historic feel that intrigues me.  This breathtaking novel, which strongly focuses on life as a lighthouse keeper, follows two interwoven timelines one hundred years apart – 1838 in Northumberland, England and 1938 in Newport, Rhode Island.  Each timeline was equally intriguing for me – I was completely engrossed by every single word of this beautifully written multigenerational story. My mind and heart were fully captivated from the very first sentence.     

The start of this tale introduces us to twenty-two year old, Grace Darling, whose entire life has been lived simply on Farne Islands as a lighthouse keeper’s daughter.  One day, during a horrific storm, Grace and her father bravely battle the sea in a row boat to rescue the survivors of a nearby shipwreck. Grace’s courage and bravery during the storm is unexpectedly publicly celebrated and honored, making Grace a famous hero.   The unanticipated praise and attention are hard for Grace to accept and handle.

The lighthouses in this story are characters of their own.   The author, Hazel Gaynor, creates an atmosphere so vivid and gripping that I truly felt like a part of this compelling and unforgettable scenery and the cast of characters.   The isolated islands, the damp and windy weather, the sparse beaches where washed-up treasures were found and cherished, simple and quaint Cherry cottage. As I was reading, I could hear the echoes of the footsteps on the winding staircase as Grace climbed the lighthouse steps to proudly handle her daily duties.  

Upon finishing this amazing novel, I googled the name Grace Darling to find out this book is based on a true story.  Wow – I had no idea! This knowledge enhanced my love for this novel as I absolutely love historical fiction for that reason – I love learning about a time in our history that I knew little or nothing about.  

This book is written so beautifully that there will be no choice other than to make its way into your heart.  I warn you to have plenty of Kleenex ready, as this is an emotional journey that had me sobbing uncontrollably a few times.  I just love a good book cry! As my lovely GR Traveling Sister Norma brilliantly stated, as sad as this story is, it is filled with so much warmth and love.  Heart-wrenching and heartwarming!

To see Stephanie’s Novel Fiction wonderful review 

Web_L149-4Norma’s Stats:

  • Cover: Formidable, somber, breathtaking, wondrous, intriguing and an extremely fitting representation to storyline.
  • Title: Appealing, intriguing, interested and a simple but yet such a powerful representation to storyline.
  • Writing/Prose: Well-written, vivid, exquisite, engaging, captivating, and fluent.
  • Plot: Thought-provoking, powerful, passionate, emotional, engrossing, steady-paced, enjoyable and extremely entertaining.  
  • Ending: A sorrowful ending that I was extremely satisfied with as it ended historically correct.
  • Overall: An enthralling and memorable read that had me totally engrossed, emotional, and interested from start to finish!  Would highly recommend!

Thank you so much to HarperCollins Canada and Hazel Gaynor for providing us with an Advanced Reader’s E-Proof in exchange for a review!

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