Tag: 4 stars

The Mother’s Promise

Author: Sally Hepworth
Published: February 21, 2017
Paperback Release: January 30, 2018
368 pages

Reviewed By: Jessica
Dates Read: January 17-24, 2018
Jessica’s Rating: 4 stars

Book Description from Amazon:

All their lives, Alice Stanhope and her daughter, Zoe, have been a family of two, living quietly in Northern California. Zoe has always struggled with crippling social anxiety and her mother has been her constant and fierce protector. With no family to speak of, and the identity of Zoe’s father shrouded in mystery, their team of two works―until it doesn’t. Until Alice gets sick and needs to fight for her life.

Desperate to find stability for Zoe, Alice reaches out to two women who are practically strangers but who are her only hope: Kate, a nurse, and Sonja, a social worker. As the four of them come together, a chain of events is set into motion and all four of them must confront their sharpest fears and secrets―secrets about abandonment, abuse, estrangement, and the deepest longing for family. Imbued with heart and humor in even the most dismal moments, The Mother’s Promise is an unforgettable novel about the unbreakable bonds between mothers and daughters and the new ways in which families are forged.

Jessica’s Review:

This is quite a novel. Alice and her teenage daughter Zoe have been on their own for Zoe’s entire life: They have no one else.  Alice then gets sick and they need help. Kate and Sonja come into their lives and no one will be the same again.

You get to know all four ladies through the novel.  You feel the social anxiety that cripples Zoe; you want her to overcome and succeed. You experience everything Alice does with her journey as well as her thoughts and fears; you want her to defy the odds and survive.  You feel the heartache that Kate has gone through multiple times. You want Sonja to get out of the situation she is in.  And when you find out how all of their lives are connected you can’t help but be shocked.

The chapters are short, which make it a quick read and one you don’t want to put down. It goes in an unexpected direction and has a satisfying ending.  Without giving spoilers, I felt the author could have gone in a different direction, but that would have extended the novel exponentially. This direction would have been perfect for the suspense reader in me. I would have loved that route, but the author took the best route for her as this is an emotional roller coaster of women’s fiction.  There is an satisfying ending, but I wanted more.

We see several ways that someone can be alone, whether they are physically alone or not.  Each woman’s story shows the varying ways that one can be alone.  It is a touching novel that will have you emotional and possibly in tears.  You see the bond mothers and daughters have.

The Mother’s Promise is Recommended.

Special thanks to St Martin’s Press for sending me a copy in anticipation of the paperback release, which comes out tomorrow. It was a pleasure to read!

Purchase Links:
Amazon US
Amazon UK

The Creeping

Author: Alexandra Sirowy
Published: August 18, 2015
400 pages

Reviewed By: Kim
Kim’s Rating: 4 stars

Book Description:

Twelve years ago Stella and Jeanie vanished while picking strawberries. Stella returned minutes later, with no memory of what happened. Jeanie was never seen or heard from again. Now Stella is seventeen, and she’s over it. She’s the lucky one who survived, and sure, the case is still cloaked in mystery—and it’s her small town’s ugly legacy—but Stella is focused on the coming summer. She’s got a great best friend, a hookup with an irresistibly crooked smile, and two months of beach days stretching out before her. Then along comes a corpse, a little girl who washes up in an ancient cemetery after a mudslide, and who has red hair just like Jeanie did. Suddenly memories of that haunting day begin to return, and when Stella discovers that other red-headed girls have gone missing as well, she begins to suspect that something sinister is at work. And before the summer ends, Stella will learn the hard way that if you hunt for monsters, you will find them.

Kim’s Review:

This was a really good book! I got this book for Christmas in 2016 and I finally picked it up and I’m so glad I did. Let’s start with the amazing cover; it captures the spirit of the story perfectly! And all the characters were very likeable. Stella is a typical teenager who happened to walk away from a kidnapping when she was younger, but unlike many characters I’ve read, she didn’t let it cripple her life. She did her best to get over it and took it all in stride when others brought it up.

Zoey is someone that I would hate in real life, but somehow, I couldn’t hate her in this book. Although popularity is her number one priority, her loyalty and love for her friends is redeeming. Sam is one of my favorite characters. He could be put in an adult book and fit in just fine. His maturity was refreshing in a young adult book. I was also intrigued by the story and the mystery. I honestly had no idea who was responsible for Jeanie’s kidnapping until they came forward and admitted it to Stella.

I will admit that by the end, I was saying “oh be done already!” because the author dragged the story out a bit too long after the mystery was solved. But other than that, I liked this book a lot! There is some language and one vague adult scene, so I would reserve this for older teens. I would recommend this to anyone looking for an interesting mystery!

Purchase Links
Amazon US
Amazon UK

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Glaciers

Author: Alexis M. Smith
Published: January 17, 2012
177 pages

Reviewed By: Kim
Kim’s Rating: 4 stars

Book Description:

Isabel is a single, twenty-something thrift-store shopper and collector of remnants, things cast off or left behind by others. Glaciers follows Isabel through a day in her life in which work with damaged books in the basement of a library, unrequited love for the former soldier who fixes her computer, and dreams of the perfect vintage dress move over a backdrop of deteriorating urban architecture and the imminent loss of the glaciers she knew as a young girl in Alaska. Glaciers unfolds internally, the action shaped by Isabel’s sense of history, memory, and place, recalling the work of writers such as Jean Rhys, Marguerite Duras, and Virginia Woolf. For Isabel, the fleeting moments of one day can reveal an entire life. While she contemplates loss and the intricate fissures it creates in our lives, she accumulates the stories―the remnants―of those around her and she begins to tell her own story.

Kim’s Review:

This was a quick and easy read. The story is not action packed, but it is emotional. Isabel is a likeable character that gives us a glimpse into her past and into her heart. She doesn’t spend time complaining about things and by the end of the story, it was nice to see her adapt and move on with her life. I loved her junker tendencies and her love of vintage.

Stokes, a vet who works at the library with Isabel, is one of those characters that reminds you of the guy you crushed on in high school. This story brings back all of those feelings of nervousness and butterflies that I’m sure we all felt back when we quietly admired the guys or girls around us. This isn’t a long review because this book was a simple, short story. It isn’t deeply philosophical, or intellectual, or full of energy. It’s a quiet story that is nostalgic and sentimental. I would recommend this book to anyone looking for an easy story that still has a lot of feeling.

Purchase Links
Amazon US
Amazon UK

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