Our March 2023 Wrap Up!
We are back with our March reads! Remember Kim is spending her days in NICU with Mr. Gus who is doing wonderfully! They are slowly reading the Harry Potter series! That’s a way to get him into reading! <3
I had 9 books read in total: One audiobook short story, 4 audiobooks, and 4 kindle reads.
I am getting there with the Mindf*ck series! There are 5 books in total, so I have one more to get to!
This is the books in no particular order other than where they are in the collage:
Sidetracked (Mindf*ck series #2) -S.T. Abby- 3.5 stars
Scarlet Angel (Mindf*ck series #3)-S.T. Abby- 4 stars
All the Lies (Mindf*ck series #4)- S.T. Abby- I will actually be finishing this one today, but wanted to get this post out this morning!
The Soulmate– Sally Hepworth- 3.5 stars
The Four Winds– Kristin Hannah- 5 stars
Three Widows- Patricia Gibney- 2 stars
Love, Loss, and Life in Between– Suzanne Rogerson – 4 stars
Houdini’s Fabulous Magic– Walter B Gibson and Morris N Young- 4 stars
Trouble- Janelle Brown- 4 stars
My favorite read was The Four Winds by Kristin Hannah. It was an eye opening read about the Dustbowl and those hard times. It makes you thankful for what we have. It was narrated by one of my favorite narrators: Julia Whelan!
My least favorite was Three Widows. It is book 12 in the series and I have not read any in it beforehand. I think you do need to read the others first. I did not know it was part of a multi book series when I went to listen to it!
Kim (And Gus!):
Audiobook Review: The Soulmate by Sally Hepworth
Author: Sally Hepworth
To Be Published: April 4, 2023
Audiobook: 7 hours 44 minutes
Reviewed By: Jessica
Dates Listened To: March 20-23, 2023
Jessica’s Rating: 3.5 stars
There’s a cottage on a cliff. Gabe and Pippa’s dream home in a sleepy coastal town. But their perfect house hides something sinister. The tall cliffs have become a popular spot for people to end their lives. Night after night Gabe comes to their rescue, literally talking them off the ledge. Until he doesn’t.
When Pippa discovers Gabe knew the victim, the questions spiral…Did the victim jump? Was she pushed?
And would Gabe, the love of Pippa’s life, her soulmate…lie? As the perfect facade of their marriage begins to crack, the deepest and darkest secrets begin to unravel.
Secrets and lies is what most of this book is about! It is also a book dealing with mental health and family drama. It is seemingly being advertised as a thriller, but it is not, and I mostly enjoyed it throughout. From the book description sounding intriguing and having read several of Hepworth’s previous novels, I was ready for this one.
We have Pippa and Gabe who recently moved to this cottage on the extreme edge of a cliff with their young daughters. They are in for more than they bargained for since people seem to like to commit suicide on this cliff! Gabe has a knack of talking potential jumpers out of what they are doing until one lady shows up and jumps. Later on Pippa finds out that Gabe knew the woman who jumped and many questions start to come to mind.
We have both Pippa and Amanda as our narrators. Amanda’s narrations take place before and after her jump. Through both narrators the reader/listener find out all kinds of connections that come to a head. Some are unexpected: but remember its all about secrets and lies!
Part of the climax really wasn’t, it was more of a letdown. Ultimate motives really did not work for me. But the ending was ultimately satisfying as everything came together despite everything that occurred.
I did have some issues with the narrators. Their voices seemed so similar for me that it was hard to distinguish between Pippa and Amanda at times. For this particular book, I would say read it. I think I would have enjoyed it more that way.
So far this is the weakest novel by Hepworth for me, but she is still enjoyable and I look forward to reading more by her!
Many thanks to the publisher Macmillian Audio for granting me an audio arc to listen to and review.
Audiobook Review: The Four Winds by Kristin Hannah
The Four Winds
Author: Kristin Hannah
Narrator: Julia Whelan
Published: February 2, 2021
Audiobook: 15 hours 2 minutes
Reviewed By: Jessica
Dates Read: March 2- 8, 2023
Jessica’s Rating: 5 stars
“My land tells its story if you listen. The story of our family.”
Texas, 1921. A time of abundance. The Great War is over, the bounty of the land is plentiful, and America is on the brink of a new and optimistic era. But for Elsa Wolcott, deemed too old to marry in a time when marriage is a woman’s only option, the future seems bleak. Until the night she meets Rafe Martinelli and decides to change the direction of her life. With her reputation in ruin, there is only one respectable choice: marriage to a man she barely knows.
By 1934, the world has changed; millions are out of work and drought has devastated the Great Plains. Farmers are fighting to keep their land and their livelihoods as crops fail and water dries up and the earth cracks open. Dust storms roll relentlessly across the plains. Everything on the Martinelli farm is dying, including Elsa’s tenuous marriage; each day is a desperate battle against nature and a fight to keep her children alive.
In this uncertain and perilous time, Elsa—like so many of her neighbors—must make an agonizing choice: fight for the land she loves or leave it behind and go west, to California, in search of a better life for her family.
The Four Winds is a rich, sweeping novel that stunningly brings to life the Great Depression and the people who lived through it—the harsh realities that divided us as a nation and the enduring battle between the haves and the have-nots. A testament to hope, resilience, and the strength of the human spirit to survive adversity, The Four Winds is an indelible portrait of America and the American dream, as seen through the eyes of one indomitable woman whose courage and sacrifice will come to define a generation.
This was a book club selection and most likely one I would have never picked up otherwise. It was my first novel by Kristin Hannah and it will not be my last!
I never really learned about The Dust Bowl in school and never had to read The Grapes of Wrath in school, but now I think I need to. Not knowing about The Dust Bowl, when I read the book description I wasn’t interested in this one, and it was quite the surprise for me!
Hannah is so descriptive and fully brings you into the story and you feel like you are there experiencing everything with these characters! I could picture so much of what was going on while listening to it! And Julia Whelan is the narrator and she is one of my ‘will listen to’ narrators so I enjoyed this novel 1000%!
This is not an easy novel to read/listen to because life was extreme during this time. And Hannah didn’t hold anything back either! The reader sees all aspects of life on the farm and what the farmers go through. We also see Elsa’s growth as a woman and her life experiences. She’s a character that you won’t easily forget. I became so attached to Elsa as she matured into the woman she became. And she has a mother-in-law to just fall in love with!
After The Four Winds became such an unexpected ‘enjoyable’ read (it’s hard to say enjoyable with the harshness of life the characters experienced) I will be looking into Hannah’s large backlog of novels to choose from. After listening to this one, you really see how hard it was back then with the depression first and then the dust bowl, we really do have it easy these days! Women were so much tougher back then and underestimated by the men of the time! The Four Winds makes you appreciate what you have.