Posted in Reviews, Traveling Sisters Read Reviews

Truth and Lies by Caroline Mitchell #travelingsistersread #BookReview #BookBloggers @Caroline_writes

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Web_L365-1_brunette_green-eyesBrenda’s review

Lindsay and I read Truth and Lies with three of our Traveling Sisters and this one goes on my list of one of the best thrillers I have read in a while. For the most part we all had similar thoughts on this however one sister did see some things differently.

For me these fascinating and interesting characters and the dynamics between them really made the story for me.  Along with the mind games and manipulation played here I was intrigued and chilled at the same time.

First we meet strong, confident and respected Detective Inspector Amy whose’s world becomes too unhinged when she finds out she is a biological daughter of serial killers.

Then we meet Amy’s mother, dark minded, manipulative and terrifying Lillian a psychopathic killer wanting to play some dark and chilling mind games with Amy.  Amy not wanting to have anything to do with her mother and her games is forced to go along with it to get some information from Lillian.  We loved the dynamics here between them and were fascinated by them.  Caroline Mitchell does a great job here creating a chilling and terrifying killer with no empathy or remorse making Lillian one of the best psychopaths I have read about. We were drawn into Amy’s struggles with accepting and questioning who she was and is.

Truth and Lies is gripping right from the start to the finish however some of us did think maybe Caroline Mitchell did push that ending just a bit with a couple of the twists that we felt might not have been needed.  Anyway this made for an interesting discussion and always fun to see everyone’s different thoughts.

I highly recommend this one to readers who love a chilling, evil and manipulative psychopath the kind so unlikable and horrible that you can’t but find her fantasying and likeable as a character.

Web_L149-3_blonde_blue-eyesLindsay’s review

Highly addictive! Gripping suspense! Unique and twisty plot! Incredible characters! I loved this book!

Detective Inspector Amy Winter is shocked when she receives a letter from the infamous and imprisoned serial killer, Lillian Grimes, explaining that she is her birth mother. Lillian is requesting to reunite with Amy in person to disclose the location of three bodies that have been missing for years.  Amy must process her entire childhood under a new light, all the while working against the clock to return the bodies home to their grieving families.

I couldn’t flip these pages fast enough! This is my first book by Caroline Mitchell and I am now a HUGE fan! I absolutely loved her writing – the characters, the dialogue, the atmosphere, the language – it all felt so real and memorable. The narrative and pace were both done to perfection. Though I found a couple aspects of the novel were unnecessary near the end, I still whole-heartedly enjoyed this book
and would highly recommend!  DI Amy Winter is a fantastic main character – I can’t wait to read more in the series.

Thank you from both of us to NetGalley, Thomas & Mercer and Caroline Mitchell for a copy to read and review.

Web_L117-4From Bern’s review

This book had some serious cat and mouse action going between Amy & Lillian. I enjoyed their back and forth push and pull. Lillian is pure evil. She is a master manipulator, excelling at mind games. Amy never backs down, despite the turmoil she endures as her childhood memories begin to resurface. Amy must face her past in order to uncover the location of long hidden bodies and possibly save a young girl’s life.

The story took some well crafted twists & turns and left us with a very enticing cliffhanger. Mitchell certainly has an excellent start to a series here.

LC15-5From Mary Beth’s review

I was drawn immediately into this story. This book is a chilling thriller with lots of twists. I kept guessing and guessing and was wrong every time and didn’t find out things until the very end. This is one great serial killer thriller which was gripping and suspenseful. This was a real thrill ride that kept me on the edge of my seat. Lots of surprises in this one. The ending made me hold my breath and I had to come up for air.

LC15-9From Christina’s review

The last quarter of this book was chock-full of twists and turns that I definitely didn’t see coming. While in some cases that’s great and exciting, in others it means it came out of left field. Truth and Lies delivered both in spades. A few of the twists were shockers for me that amplified my enjoyment of the read overall and others were a bit far fetched. My main gripe and disappointment with this one is it felt that Mitchell wanted the mystery of Amy’s past to propel you to the end, instead of the story engaging you enough to finish.

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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

#fashionvictim by Amina Akhtar #travelingsistersread #BookBloggers @Drrramina @crookedlanebks

Web_L301-4_brunetteOut today!!!  Happy Pub Day!!!!!

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#FashionVictim
by Amina Akhtar

Norma and I read #FashionVictim with three of our Traveling Sisters and we all were drawn into this story right away.  However, we did have some different thoughts on this one.

Web_L337-3_brunette_brown eyesNorma’s review

Fashionably dark and a wickedly fun read! Dexter anyone?

#FashionVictim by Amina Akhtar is a campy, compulsive and highly entertaining dark comedy that was a refreshing and fun book to read. It started off a little shaky for me but it sure didn’t take me long to be wrapped up in Anya’s world of fashion, her deadly antics and her mood boards.

AMINA AKHTAR delivers a creative, interesting, unique and easy read here with characters that were not the easiest to like but boy were they ever compelling and highly entertaining to read about though. The story is told from Anya’s point of view and there isn’t a lot of surprises to be had here as we are pretty much privy to the way that Anya’s mind works and what she is up to right from the beginning of the novel. I really enjoyed this approach as she really had me so curious and the tension comes in with the suspense of what she is thinking, going to do next and how.

I haven’t had this much fun following along with a character like Anya since maybe Dexter. I wouldn’t say that the storylines were at all similar though but there were some aspects to their characters that were, which I found to be rather appealing in a fictional-based kind of way mind you.

Web_L367-1_brunette_green-eyesBrenda’s review

Amina Akhtar takes some of the sillier parts of the fashion world and turns it into a ridiculously, uncanny and bizarre over the top fun read. The characters are so exaggerated, unlikeable and stereotyped it will have you laughing out loud at times but also feeling a little uncomfortable as well.  There are some serious issues here as well but I felt that Amina Akhtar took them to show just how catty things can get in the fashion world.  This is where things went a little sideways for Christina as she felt it was a little much at times.

I love the title and how Amina Akhtar ties that into the story.  That was a laugh out loud moment for me when I read that part of the story.  Such a clever title for this story.

We all enjoyed our unlikable yet so likable in a very unsettling and weird way fashion psychopath Anya.  Amina Akhtar does a good job pulling us into her mind and her intrusive thoughts that really felt real in my head at times, leaving us feeling a little weird at liking her.  We could see how the cattiness like shallow friendships, betrayals, and shifting alliances played on her mind.

#FashionVictim made for a really fun, and interesting discussion for us and it’s one I recommend for groups.  It leaves you with a lot to talk about.  I also recommend this one to anyone looking for something fun and different for an entertaining read and not to be taken very seriously.

Publishing Date: September 11, 2018

Thank you so much from both of us to Sarah at Crooked Lane Books for sending us a physical copy of this book.

From our Traveling Sisters

From Carol’s review

This is an over-the-top, absolutely entertaining, dark comedy.

The story follows Anya St. Clair who works in a fashion magazine and whose main goal in life is to become besties with her glamorous and influential co-worker Sarah Taft. When the opportunity for a promotion is put on the table, Anya becomes hyper-focused on getting it, even if it requires taking extreme and deadly measures.

This novel is deliciously addictive and once I started reading I could not stop. The story is told from the point of view of Anya and takes place in NYC. The characters are not explored deeply but are still compelling enough to give you some chills.

From Christina’s review

God, there was always so much work to do. Update this, kill so-and-so. I wish people understood how hard we worked in fashion – all to make it look effortless, easy.

When we enter into the story Anya is at the very beginning of an ever-growing mania. Her mental health is waning and she’s just dipped her toe into a murder spree that will last the entirety of the book. This is told solely from the POV of Anya and she is something else, to say the least. She’s one of the most complexly one-dimensional characters I’ve ever read. She’s absolutely you’re unlikable, unreliable narrator trope to a T. However, I don’t think Akhtar wrote these characters to be likable, they’re written to be entertaining and this book was pure entertainment.

I would’ve liked to see some break-up of Anya’s frenzy. While I enjoyed reading her POV I think the book suffered a bit because it ended up being a little choppy. I would’ve loved to see the Detectives take on things or a past / present break up of how Anya got to where she is today.

“I need to look like I belong in a photoshoot! That I’m cool and chill and don’t care. I need to affect – what’s the word? Not boredom?” “Ennui?” “Yes!” I jumped up and clapped. “I need to ennui the fuck out of my life. You’re brilliant Dr. M.”

There was a dry, dark and campy humor here that really worked for me and colored my overall enjoyment of this. However, despite the interesting premise things grew a bit tired throughout. The overuse of OMG, WTF and other abbreviations was grating at times. There is also a bit of stereotyping going on in this read. From body shaming to the assumption that anyone working in fashion is vapid, vane and dense. I do think this was meant to be ironic and to poke fun at the stereotypes but it got a little old for me in its redundancy.  For Christina’s full review

From Mackenzie’s review

Anya is someone who is destined to carry a novel. Her voice demands to be heard, and she doesn’t shy away from anything. It might be hard to imagine that living inside the mind of a delusional, deranged, murderous fashionista would be fun, but here we have proof that it is.

Anya is absolutely nuts, in the most fun way. We may see her killing someone off, only to later envision interacting with them and calling them #TeamAnya (Thanks, girl!). Every time this would happen I got positively giddy! There is something about the way Akhtar writes that is so readable.

And then that ending! Wow, what a trip the ending to this book is!!! It is perfect and delightful and twisted—just what I wanted from Anya and her cast of zany fashion friends! I heard that this was chosen for a Book of the Month and I’m so happy for Amina Akhtar. It is a well-deserved, but surprising choice. (Surprising because this book is so different and unique, not because it isn’t amazing). I loved it! I am already excited to see what Akhtar does next! For Mackenzie’s full review

Publishing Date: September 11, 2018

Norma’s Stats:
Cover: Intriguing, dark and a good representation to story.
Title: Drew me in, extremely fitting and ties into plot perfectly with multiple scenarios.
Writing/Prose: colorful, exaggerated, satirical, and amusing.
Ending: Satisfying, wrapped up nicely but also open for the possibility of a sequel, and enjoyed Anya’s thought processes in the end.
Overall: An enjoyable, twisted, fun, quick, entertaining, and fast-paced read. Although there were definitely some aspects to this novel that was a little bit trying though with the way some things were portrayed and narrated. Would recommend!

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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

When the Lights Go Out by Mary Kubica #travelingsistersread #BookReview #BookBloggers @MaryKubica @HarlequinBooks

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When the Lights Go Out
by Mary Kubica

LC20-7Brenda’s review

Norma, Lindsay and I read When The Lights Go Out with three of our Traveling Sisters and this one made for such a great discussion for us.

We all were drawn in right away to the lives and struggles of our two main characters here with Jessie in the present dealing with insomnia and grief from losing her Mother Eden and in the past with Eden dealing with infertility issues that start to unravel her life.

When both women’s lives start to unravel they both become unreliable leaving us with so many questions as the suspense and tension increased.  We raced through the story as fast as we could, entertained and excited to get to that final reveal.  Well wow, that was an ending to talk about.  So many mounting questions and tension built up and that ending left some of us cheering in our coulee and for one sister she felt let down by that ending.

This is definitely one we recommend.  Whether that ending leaves you cheering or feeling let down, it’s guaranteed to provoke some kind of reaction from you.

img_6362Norma’s review

Having read all of Mary Kubica’s books to date and enjoyed them, I jumped at the chance of reading her latest, When the Lights Go Out. She is a go-to author of mine and always has me eagerly waiting for her next release.

I have seen some mixed reviews for this one and some not so favorable thoughts on that ending but for me that ending totally worked. I was tickled pink that Mary Kubica totally shocked and floored me with that unexpected ending! These types of books are what I seek and when little snippets of the mystery are hidden so well in the narrative, when the reveal comes and falls all into place, leaving me gasping out loud in awe, then I’m pretty much elated and totally satisfied.

WHEN THE LIGHTS GO OUT by MARY KUBICA is a riveting, suspenseful, and an emotionally gripping tale that had me totally glued to those pages and swiping at breakneck speed. I was immediately drawn into this story and totally intrigued in the storyline which had me totally bewildered pretty much right up to the very end.

MARY KUBICA delivers a clever, twisty, unpredictable and thought-provoking story here with well-developed and interesting characters told between Jessie’s perspective in present tense and Eden, Jessie’s mother in past tense. I enjoyed both of these characters perspectives equally and had empathy for both of them, especially Jessie as some things that Jessie endured with her insomnia was very relatable and scary for me to read. The path that Eden’s character chose wasn’t without some pondering on my part though.

LC20-5Lindsay’s review

Addictive.  Emotional. Gripping.  Tension-filled.

I’ve heard so many fantastic things about Mary Kubica.   This was my first experience reading her work and it definitely lived up to the hype!   

This story revolves around Jessie Sloane, a young woman who loses her mother to cancer after many exhausting years battling the disease.   Jessie feels alone in the world and needs to push herself to focus and move forward. While applying for college, Jessie stumbles across a mysterious detail from her past that she can’t understand or accept. She becomes solely focused on figuring out the missing pieces of her childhood hoping to get answers that will help her move forward in life.

This suspenseful and twisty thriller packed quite the punch!  Not only did this book have me sitting on the edge of my seat, hanging on every word, it had me an emotional wreck!  On one page I would be holding my breath in tension-filled anticipation of what would happen next, and then the next page had me with tears streaming down my face, broken-hearted at what the characters were facing.   Wow! This was a fantastic mix of perfection!

Thank you so much from all of us to NetGalley, Harlequin/Park Row, and Mary Kubica for the opportunity to read an advanced copy of this book in exchange for a review. 

 

From our Traveling Sisters reviews

LC20-12Marialyce’s review

Told in two concurrent voices, that of Eden’s and Jessie, this story confronts the issue of family love, the overwhelming desire for a child, and finding oneself among the chaos of life and its many problems. It is a sensitive story, one that is written about so well, by the author. At times, the two unreliable narrators of this story relate things that seem murky and at times some of the details are slightly unrealistic. However, I do recommend this book as a worthwhile read and one many will enjoy as you ponder the issues these two women faced.  For Marialyce’s full review

LC20-4Mackenzie’s review

And then that twist… Well it is polarizing for sure! When I first read it I was so confused. Was that…? Did I just read that…? But yes, dear reader! You did just read that correctly! I can promise that whatever I thought the twist would be, it wasn’t that one. But it was positively mind-blowing and I enjoyed it. And then the very ending was completely perfect for me. I can’t say even a bit more on that because there is NO way I’m spoiling this book. I hope you enjoy this one, book friends!  For Mackenzie’s full review

LC36-23From Bern’s review

Then, we get to the big reveal. I’m almost sorry to admit what a letdown it was for me.  I truly enjoyed the book – right up until the ending! Personally, it didn’t work for me but I will say it was unexpected and different. I just felt there was so much more potential for the ending. Given all the twists the book took, I was simply expecting a much juicer culmination to it all.

Publishing Date: September 4, 2018

Norma’s Stats: 
Cover: Intriguing and a fitting representation to the storyline.
Title: Love the title! Extremely fitting and brilliantly ties into the plot.
Writing/Prose: Well-written, beautiful and engaging
Plot: Interesting, held my attention, and a little different
Ending: Totally unexpected and shocking! But, maybe a little controversial but in my opinion fit the story well and ended just the way I wanted it to.
Overall: A fantastic and an all-consuming read! Would recommend but my advice is to go into this one blind as I did and always do.

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Have you read this one?  Did it have you cheering or feeling let down?  Do you want to read it?  Drop us a comment!  We would love to hear from you!

Posted in Reviews, Traveling Sisters Read Reviews

not her daughter by Rea Frey #travelingsisterreads #BookReview #BookBloggers

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Not Her Daughter
by Rea Frey

One group / Two very different coulees / Somewhere in the middle

Norma, Lindsay and I read Not Her Daughter with seven of our Traveling sisters and not only were we split into two different coulees with our thoughts with some TS in the middle, some of us were in a coulee on a different planet with our thoughts.  

Norma and I don’t often end up in different coulees with our thoughts on stories, however, I tend to dig deeper into stories and we can see things differently then.  With this story, we did see some things very differently but in the end, Norma ended up in the middle. Lindsay and I clearly were in a coulee in a different planet.

Web_L147-3_brunette_brown-eyesNorma’s review

NOT HER DAUGHTER by REA FREY is a compelling, heartbreaking, and conflicting domestic suspense novel that is not your typical child kidnapping story but rather focuses on the moral ramifications around motherhood. This story definitely had me conflicted and questioning almost everything that happened throughout this book.

I was immediately drawn into this story and it had me feeling quite uneasy multiple times when the suspense was high. However, some parts didn’t pull me in as much as others though. But I will say though that I was emotionally invested in the well-being of this adorable little girl, Emma and my heart went out to her.

REA FREY delivers an intriguing, suspenseful, entertaining, and enjoyable read here that was told from the perspectives of Amy and Sarah in a before, during, and after the kidnapping timeline. I really enjoyed how this story was delivered and gave me a good sense into each of these women’s personalities and their motivations. I didn’t know who I should be rooting for! Is there such a thing as a “good” kidnapping?

img_6349Brenda’s Traveling Sisters review

Not Her Daughter started off intriguing and we really thought the premise of this story was quite interesting.  Who hasn’t been there witnessing a scene like this one between a Mother and child and want to rescue the child from their mother.  It opens up some moral questions and provokes some thought. This is where things went sideways for some us including me as the story takes off in a chain of events and direction way too implausible for belief and the characters and events became very stereotyped to provoke any moral dilemma for some of us to ponder.  

Some of the TS found the story a page-turner and really enjoyed the moral dilemma of the story and the suspense was enough to move the story forward for them.  The ending to this one was where some of the TS ended up in the middle of a coulee with mixed feelings.

Not Her Daughter did make for an interesting discussion amongst us and left us with lots to discuss but unfortunately just not enough to this story to make for a deep discussion.  I am going to end with that and let you see what the TS thought from their reviews.  

Web_L149-2_blonde_blue-eyesFrom Lindsay’s review

A five-year-old girl goes missing. A broken family with many hidden secrets. A highly successful young business woman with a weight on her conscience. This book had so much potential, however, the storyline just didn’t add up.

The novel started off strong and I enjoyed the writing and narrative flow. I really liked the way the dual narratives were broken down into ‘Before’, ‘During’ and ‘After’ – it kept the story fresh and intriguing. However, once I started to taste the sense of implausibility in the plotline, I just couldn’t snap out of it and my enjoyment faded. After the halfway point, it seemed to be a downward slope into eye-rolling territory.

Thank you so much from all of us to NetGalley, St. Martin’s Press and Rea Frey for the opportunity to read an advanced copy of the book in exchange for a review.

img_6359Traveling Sisters in the satisfied coulee

From Mary Beth’s review.  Mary Beth joined the TS a few months after we started.  She now reads regularly with us.

I did have some mixed feelings in the vetoing but after the beginning, it turned out to be an emotionally gripping read. It was a page turner and just loved some of the twists. I was so intrigued that I couldn’t put it down.

From our newest TS to join our group Jonetta

Incredibly, I found myself rooting for Sarah and Emma but also felt compassion for Amy, Emma’s mother, despite her horrible parenting. There are a host of issues presented in this story, none of them explored in any real depth but enough to stimulate thought-provoking inquiry. You see society passing harsher judgment on the mothers in this story while the enabling fathers seem to get a pass. The story provides quite a bit of background on both Sarah and Amy, providing some insights and contrasts into and between the two women.  For Jonetta’s full review

img_6362Traveling Sisters lost in too many holes to be able to suspend plausibility in another planet coulee

From Christina’s review

The implausibility here compounded with the horrendous descriptors used for Amy’s physical appearance lost the first 2 stars for me. When we are introduced to Sarah she’s successfully running her own business, she’s a literal workaholic and incredibly passionate about the life she’s building for herself. However, she sees a beautiful child in an inarguably sub-par family and out of literally nowhere decides to commit a felony that could ruin everything she’s worked for? I don’t buy it. As every page turned my questions built one on top of the other until it felt like I was drowning in a sea of unrefined plot points that hadn’t been fleshed out.

img_6356Traveling Sisters lost the middle of a coulee with mixed feelings

From Bern’s review

My momma’s heart was happy that this little girl was finally getting some positivity, love and nurturing. Even if it was in this outlandish, crazy way.

Unfortunately, there were a few things in the last 30% of the book that just didn’t jive with me. Even in a work of fiction, I just can’t suspend ALL belief. Things just kept getting more and more unplausible and I had a problem with it.

Overall, I did enjoy a good bulk of the book. The ending though – I would have liked to see it play out differently. I think Frey tried to tie things up, hastily, into a happy ending and the result fell a little flat for me.

From Marialyce’s review

The ending of the story leaves more questions than ever as we see an ending that we might have hoped would occur and yet it is its abruptness that is unnerving. Would life really be like this or is it an illusion that safety and happiness can be achieved when one is hiding a very deep dark secret? But…this could never happen right? or could it? For Marialyce’s full review

Norma’s Stats: 
Cover: Eye-catching and an extremely fitting representation to the storyline.
Title: Drew us all in instantly & perfectly ties into the plot.
Writing/Prose: readable, straightforward
Plot: Requires you to suspend disbelief, but that never bothers me though but did brother Brenda and some of the other TS’s.
Ending: Maybe unrealistic but I felt it fit the story well and ended just the way I wanted it to.
Overall: A very good read for me but there were some aspects to this story in the way that a character was portrayed that didn’t sit well with me and for some of us TS and therefore interfered a little bit with our overall enjoyment towards this novel. And I found some areas much more engrossing than others. Would recommend to thriller fans looking for a unique approach to your usual kidnapping story. 

Published August 21, 2018

Have you read this one?  Want to read it? Which TS do you agree with?  Drop us a comment!  We would love to hear from you.

Graphics by Lovelytocu

 

Posted in Reviews, Traveling Sisters Read Reviews

Sold on A Monday by Kristina McMorris #travelingsistersread #BookReview

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Norma’s review

First things first……This is one of those books where I just had to read it because of that totally captivating cover and title of this book, which I found both to be absolutely intriguing!

SOLD ON A MONDAY by KRISTINA MCMORRIS was definitely an interesting, heartbreaking but yet heartwarming, and haunting tale but it left me with some mixed feelings upon finishing though. I thought this book was a good, quiet, easy and quick read that definitely had some great aspects to it but it didn’t really have enough emotional depth to it to make me feel emotionally engaged in this whole story.

I thought that this story had so much potential but unfortunately this book went a little differently than I expected. This was more of a story about Ellis, the reporter who takes a picture of two boys with a sign that reads “2 children for sale” and Lillian a secretary that works at the same newspaper as him. I would have liked the story to have given me a little more insight into the actual photos rather than the consequences surrounding the story behind that picture.

KRISTINA MCMORRIS does deliver a descriptive read here when it came to the life and times of a reporter and I could really envision some of the scenes that transpired in this book. The characters were well-developed and likeable but somewhat predictable. The ending was sweet & satisfying for me.

Knowing that the theme of this book was inspired by an actual newspaper photograph taken in 1948 of a mother and her four children with a sign that says “4 CHILDREN FOR SALE INQUIRE WITHIN” was absolutely heartbreaking and definitely pulled at my heartstrings. I just wish that the emotional pull that I felt while reading the “Author’s Note” would have happened for me while I was reading this book.

Brenda’s Traveling Sisters review

Norma, Lindsay and I read Sold on a Monday with five of our Traveling Sisters and we all had similar thoughts on this story.

We were immediately drawn into the story with the photo of the “2 Children For Sale” We were intrigued by the photo and the story it held. The children in the photo pulled at our heartstrings and we wanted to know more about them.  However, that was not the story told here. The story takes a different turn and becomes about two other children and our main character quest to find them.

What started off as a gut-wrenching story started to lose that emotional pull we really needed and the story started to become a bit predictable for us resulting in how we felt about this story.

In the end, we were left disappointed and wanting more and exhausted from all the drama in this story when we really wanted to be exhausted from our emotions instead.

I think that had we known the story was inspired by the photo and not about the children in the photo we might have enjoyed the story more.  This is probably one we shouldn’t of went in blind with. Even though we had our issues with this one we still highly recommend this story for readers looking for a lighter story with some drama.

Lindsay’s review

Oh, that cover!!!

Perhaps due to my intense attraction to that heart-wrenching cover along with the book blurb, my expectations may have been set a little too high. With that stated, it was still an enjoyable story, just much lighter and different than expected. It simply didn’t ‘pack the punch’ (thank you, Marialyce) that I was hoping for.

This novel follows Ellis Reed, a rookie employee in the newsroom who is trying to make a name for himself as a reporter. He is on a small assignment in a little town when his car breaks down and he finds himself taking a random photo of two young boys sitting on a rundown porch holding a sign “2 Children For Sale”. Though a completely random decision to take the photo, it is a life changing choice that leads to a long trail of consequences for Ellis.

The idea for this book came from an actual photo taken in 1948 showing four children sitting on their front porch steps with a sign saying “4 Children For Sale – Inquire Within”, their mother hiding her face in the background. My hope was that this would be their story. I wanted to know what would bring a mother to the point of selling her children. What happened to these poor, innocent children? The novel took a completely different path than I had anticipated which unfortunately felt like a letdown. I was craving the knowledge that could possibly explain this haunting photo. The story that did unravel through these pages was interesting, yet lacked the intensity and emotion I had hoped for. The first half of the book held my interest much more than the second half where I found that it became overly dramatic with a few too many things going on.

Overall, this was an enjoyable story that had a lighter tone than I had expected.

From our Traveling Sisters reviews.

From Angela review.  Angela joined the Traveling Sisters over the summer and this was her second sister read with us.

I can’t stop thinking about the photographs – the cover of this book and the one that Ellis stages to support his piece for the newspaper he works for after his first photo is inadvertently destroyed, and the one in the author’s note that inspired her to write this book. I always love knowing the author’s inspiration for a story. But the one that haunts me the most is the first photo that Ellis takes, the one that is lost, the one that I only see in my imagination. The description of two little boys sitting on a porch with a sign next to them – “2 children for sale”. When I read about this first photograph and Ellis’s reaction “A breath caught in his throat”, it did in mine as well and was a truly visceral reaction for me. It’s a year after the stock market crash and a time when things are hard for people, but I shuddered to think – selling your children! I thought the story would be about these two little boys, their family, the impact of the Depression, but it turned out to be about two other children, and mostly about a man trying to make amends for a mistake he makes

From Diane’s review.  Diane joined our group shortly after we started the group. Diane often joins in on sisters reads and you can see many of her reviews on Goodreads.

A picture speaks a thousand words, and it is a picture that will start Ellis on a journey of self discovery and moral questioning. Set against the Great Depression, this novel brings home the many things people had to do to survive. It is the children and a new picture that will bring Ellis his first success as a journalist, and that will bring Lily and Ellis together in a far reaching quest.

It is the realistic atmosphere created, of a busy newsroom, of single mom trying to earn a living during a time when unmarried women were not easily accepted, and of course the desperation of the times, that was my favorite part of this novel. Lily and Ellis are flawed characters, as these are usually the most interesting, and though I liked them, I wasn’t really drawn into their stories. Just didn’t feel the emotional connection that I usually feel with this authors books.

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Posted in Reviews, Traveling Sisters Read Reviews

The Other Woman by Sandie Jones #travelingsistersread #BookReview

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The Other Woman
by Sandie Jones

Brenda’s Traveling Sisters review

Lindsay and I read The Other Woman with four of our Traveling Sisters and we all pretty much had the same thoughts on this one till that shocking reveal that split us into two different coulees.

The Other Woman is a fun and entertaining domestic suspense thriller with some very unlikable characters. The kind you just love to hate and the kind that can cause you to question them and this created some discussion for us. Our favorite character here that we loved to hate was “the other woman” Pammie who was the MIL from you know where. The length she went to stop our main character Emily from marrying her son Adam left us with a bit to talk about. A few things didn’t ring true for us with some of the actions of the characters causing us to suspend some disbelief

On to that ending that none of seen coming and split us into different coulee. The big reveal seemed to come out of nowhere and we began to question if some clues were given to us along the way that we missed or did it just come out of nowhere. For some of us the ending made the story for us and for the rest it just didn’t work for them.

I recommend this one to readers looking for an entertaining and fun read with some very unlikable character and an ending that we will challenge your detective skills. There is some need to spend some disbelieve with some of the actions of these characters.

Published August 21, 2018

Thank you to NetGalley, St Martin’s Press and Sandie Jones for a copy to read and review.

Lindsay’s review

Interesting plot. Suspenseful intrigue. Unforgettable characters.

This story follows Emily, who has met handsome and successful Adam, the man of her dreams. They fall in love and are engaged within months. Things begin to drastically change when Emily meets her future mother-in-law, Pammie. Pammie is a character I will not soon forget! I’m so glad that my mother-in-law is nothing like her!

This book is intense and will keep you flipping the pages. There were many moments I found my mouth dropping in wonder of what was going to happen next. However, there were also several times I felt the plot steered into highly implausible territory. Some of what happened was just “too much” for me to believe. Regardless of this, I still found the story entertaining and well written, just not the gripping thriller I was hoping for.

I applaud the author, Sandie Jones, for this debut. The novel had a good pace and the story flowed well. The characters were unique, although mostly unlikeable. I did have a hard time connecting to any of the characters – for me, they were entertaining, but unrealistic.

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

Kaceey’s review

At long last, Emily has finally found the man of her dreams…Adam. Just one itsy-bitsy problem. Marrying Adam also means marrying the other woman in his life…. his mother!!

Pamela (Pammie), the soon to be mother-in-law is going to do whatever it takes to drive a permanent wedge between her darling sonny boy and his soon to be wife.

Or even better, if she can pull it off, get Emily out of the picture…permanently!

Wow! I’ve heard of some awful mother in laws but this one really took the cake. She makes the average MIL look like an angel in training! Caution. Be prepared for some unbelievably over the top behavior!

Poor Emily. Will she be able to open her fiancés eyes before it’s too late? There’s only room for one woman in Adam’s life…but who exactly will that be? You’ll just have to read it to find out!

Fast-paced with short chapters will keep you blazing through the pages just to see how far Pamela will go to stop the wedding!

Once again I found myself screaming at Emily to just leave Adam! No man is worth that! If this is the behavior before the wedding…well, can you even imagine?

From Susanne’s review

“The Other Woman” by Sandie Jones is a campy entertaining mystery/suspense. It reminded me of The Girlfriend by Michelle Frances which I read last year – though I preferred this. I really enjoyed where “The Other Woman” was going, right up until the end where I felt kind of bamboozled. The ending snuck up on me – there were no bread crumbs to lead me there… and for that I was a bit frustrated. Personally, I like having an idea of where a storyline is going – that didn’t happen in this instance, which I found disappointing. Though parts of the novel were a bit unbelievable, it was an enjoyable read which I would recommend.

From Debra’s review

The characters in this book are fantastic, some you will love to hate and there are some you will love. I love when an Author can pull of characters that readers love to hate. I think that is a gift and, in this book, made the book even more enjoyable. Talking about enjoyable, I enjoyed this book from beginning to end but that ending…. Read and find out!  

For more of Debra’s review

From Marialyce’s review

Ms Jones takes us on a wild ride with these characters, making those of us who ever had nasty mother in laws cheer Emily on. We think we know the inner workings of Pammie. We have met her type before. We know she thinks that her son is perfect and that no woman alive will ever be good enough.

For more from Marialyce’s review

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