Category: Review

Book Review: Daughters of the Lake by Wendy Webb

Daughters of the Lake
Wendy Webb
Published: November 1, 2018
317 Pages

Reviewed By: Kim
Kim’s Rating: 5 stars

Book Description:

After the end of her marriage, Kate Granger has retreated to her parents’ home on Lake Superior to pull herself together—only to discover the body of a murdered woman washed into the shallows. Tucked in the folds of the woman’s curiously vintage gown is an infant, as cold and at peace as its mother. No one can identify the woman. Except for Kate. She’s seen her before. In her dreams…

One hundred years ago, a love story ended in tragedy, its mysteries left unsolved. It’s time for the lake to give up its secrets. As each mystery unravels, it pulls Kate deeper into the eddy of a haunting folktale that has been handed down in whispers over generations. Now, it’s Kate’s turn to listen.

As the drowned woman reaches out from the grave, Kate reaches back. They must come together, if only in dreams, to right the sinister wrongs of the past.

Kim’s Review:

Ooh starting the year off right! This is my 2nd book of 2021 and I loved it! And that cover; take a second and revel in it.

I half guessed the mystery before it was all revealed so bonus, my smartness is intact. This story was great with lovable characters and a perfect setting. Wharton reminded me of those little New England towns and now I want to go visit. I do have a gay cousin but he’s way older than me and I haven’t talked to him in years; maybe I should call him. Kate was such a good protagonist and for someone who is inclined to dislike female characters, I actually liked her from the start. Her relationship with her cousin was so much fun! When they decided to research their family’s home while making it a bed and breakfast, I wanted to join them.

Addie’s story and the multiple timelines were engaging and not confusing in the least. Once I learned everyone’s names, I was good to go and I greatly enjoyed the history and mystery. This is a great book for those who like historical fiction or the paranormal. I felt fulfilled and satisfied with the ending and I would absolutely recommend this book!

Purchase Links:
Amazon US
Amazon UK

Book Review: Saint X by Alexis Schaitkin

Saint X
Author: Alexis Schaitkin

Published: February 18, 2020

Reviewed By: Jessica
Dates Read: November 24- December 9, 2020
Jessica’s Rating: 3 stars

Book Description:

Claire is only seven years old when her college-age sister, Alison, disappears on the last night of their family vacation at a resort on the Caribbean island of Saint X. Several days later, Alison’s body is found in a remote spot on a nearby cay, and two local men – employees at the resort – are arrested. But the evidence is slim, the timeline against it, and the men are soon released. The story turns into national tabloid news, a lurid mystery that will go unsolved. For Claire and her parents, there is only the return home to broken lives.

Years later, Claire is living and working in New York City when a brief but fateful encounter brings her together with Clive Richardson, one of the men originally suspected of murdering her sister. It is a moment that sets Claire on an obsessive pursuit of the truth – not only to find out what happened the night of Alison’s death but also to answer the elusive question: Who exactly was her sister? At seven, Claire had been barely old enough to know her: a beautiful, changeable, provocative girl of eighteen at a turbulent moment of identity formation.

As Claire doggedly shadows Clive, hoping to gain his trust, waiting for the slip that will reveal the truth, an unlikely attachment develops between them, two people whose lives were forever marked by the same tragedy.

Jessica’s Review:

I am not really sure what to think of this one. It was not really good, but also not really bad, so I put it in the middle and give it three stars.  Though taking place before Natalie Holloway’s disappearance in Aruba, it was reminiscent of that story even though we don’t and most likely never will have answers to that case. 

Saint X deals with the disappearance/murder of Alison Thomas at 18 years of age on the last night of her family’s Caribbean vacation which includes her younger sister Claire at age seven.  Two native islanders are accused of Alison’s murder, but things eventually amount to nothing.

We then come to present day and Claire is all grown up. She still deals with her sister’s death even to this day and encounters one of the men who was accused of killing her sister.  Then this leads to a story of obsession on Claire’s part and reflecting on who she is and who her sister might have been. 

Saint X focuses on three people telling their story: Alison, Claire and Clive Richardson.  The three stories are blended together to get a whole picture. We also have interviews, audio diaries (yes, Claire gets to hear her own sister’s voice) and autopsy reports. 

I think why I have some issues with this one is that I was not connected to the characters, but was involved enough in the story to keep listening.  It did help me that there was a cast narration.  There are many themes dealt with throughout the novel including class, race, and privilege. Saint X gives you enough to keep you thinking. 

This one seems to be an average novel that may or may not be for you.

Purchase Links:
Amazon US
Amazon UK


Book Review: Hawthorne & Heathcliff by R.K. Ryals

Hawthorne & Heathcliff
Author: R.K. Ryals
Published:  August 2, 2015

425 Pages

Reviewed By: Jessica
Dates Read: December 14-24, 2020
Jessica’s Rating: 4.5 stars     

Book Description:

Two names that didn’t belong to us. Two shoes that did.

Intense and introspective, seventeen-year-old Hawthorne Macy knows all about being abandoned. She’s felt the stark pain of being left behind by the people who are supposed to love her the most; her parents. Raised by her caring uncle on an old plantation, Hawthorne lives her life on the fringes of her small Southern town.

Until she meets his shoe.

Senior year, last period English class, and a pair of silent tennis shoes resting next to hers in the back of the room throws Hawthorne into a world she’d learned to stay outside of.

His name is Max Vincent, but in her mind, he’s Heathcliff. The handsome eighteen-year-old boy behind the shoes will pull Hawthorne into a passionate and unforgettable adventure of self-discovery during a time when love seems impossible.

Shoes can tell a lot about a person. The journey they take you on can tell a lot about how they’ll hold up.

Jessica’s Review:

Hawthorne & Heathcliff is not my usual genre as it is romance.  In fact the only reason I picked it up was because it was my friend Beccie’s top read in 2019. But I am so glad I did pick it up as it is so much more than a teenage romance!  (Thankfully there was no love triangle as Beccie does not like those!) There is a very special relationship that Hawthorne has with her uncle which struck a chord with me.  This is also a novel where the characters grow over the entire story. 

Hawthorne (Clare) and Heathcliff (Max) meet in class in school and gradually their shoes get closer to each other until they connect and eventually a speical romance begins. Shoes are also very important to the novel: You can tell a lot about a person by the shoes they wear. Shoes hold the secrets that are not hidden and are in plain sight.

There are a variety of emotions that will be felt while reading, which may or may not include crying.  I expected myself to cry as this is a novel that also deals with grief , and if you are currently experiencing this emotion, I will say that yes, you will cry. 

If you are a reader of YA, first love, second chances and emotional reads I say pick up Hawthorne & Heathcliff!  You will be glad you did.

Purchase Links:
Amazon US
Amazon UK