Tag: Historical Fiction

First Line Friday #58

Today’s First Line Friday is one I have had for a while, just not read yet (Yes, I know…. That never ending TBR mountain).  I love the cover, it’s so shiny! This week I am going to share the first few lines since it all flows well.

I have lived more than a thousand years. I have died countless times.  I forget precisely how many times.  My memory is an extraordinary thing, but it is not perfect. I am human.

Daniel has spent centuries falling in love with the same girl. Life after life, crossing continents and dynasties, he and Sophia (despite her changing name and form) have been drawn together-and he remembers it all. For all the times that he and Sophia have been connected throughout history, they have also been torn painfully, fatally, apart.

But just when Sophia (now “Lucy” in the present) finally awakens to the secret of their shared past, the mysterious force that has always separated them reappears. Ultimately, they must come to understand what stands in the way of their love if they are ever to spend a lifetime together.

Purchase Links:
Amazon US
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A Secret Kept

Author: Tatiana De Rosnay
Published: September 14, 2010
318 pages

Reviewed By: Kim
Kim’s Rating: 4 stars

Book Description from Amazon:

It all began with a simple seaside vacation, a brother and sister recapturing their childhood. Antoine Rey thought he had the perfect surprise for his sister Mélanie’s birthday: a weekend by the sea at Noirmoutier Island, where the pair spent many happy childhood summers playing on the beach. It had been too long, Antoine thought, since they’d returned to the island—over thirty years, since their mother died and the family holidays ceased. But the island’s haunting beauty triggers more than happy memories; it reminds Mélanie of something unexpected and deeply disturbing about their last island summer. When, on the drive home to Paris, she finally summons the courage to reveal what she knows to Antoine, her emotions overcome her and she loses control of the car.

Recovering from the accident in a nearby hospital, Mélanie tries to recall what caused her to crash. Antoine encounters an unexpected ally: sexy, streetwise Angèle, a mortician who will teach him new meanings for the words life, love and death. Suddenly, however, the past comes swinging back at both siblings, burdened with a dark truth about their mother, Clarisse.

Trapped in the wake of a shocking family secret shrouded by taboo, Antoine must confront his past and also his troubled relationships with his own children. How well does he really know his mother, his children, even himself? Suddenly fragile on all fronts as a son, a husband, a brother and a father, Antoine Rey will learn the truth about his family and himself the hard way.

By turns thrilling, seductive and destructive, with a lingering effect that is bittersweet and redeeming, A Secret Kept is the story of a modern family, the invisible ties that hold it together, and the impact it has throughout life.

Kim’s Review:

This was truly a page turner. I read this book in a 6-hour period and in just about one sitting. The synopsis really fascinated me; I love juicy family secrets! And the funny thing is, this family secret ended up being pushed to the back burner and doesn’t come out until nearly the end! I mean, De Rosnay dangled it in front of my face for the first several chapters and then nothing! Melanie got in her car accident and forgot it! At first, I thought I was going to die of curiosity, but then the more I read, the less I noticed.

I got so involved with Tonio and his life and his family. His emotional roller coaster is the only reason I gave this book 4 stars. I’m not going to be unrealistic and say that men can’t have emotional issues, but dang, whether it’s a man or woman, sometimes it gets to the point that it just gets annoying! Grow up, get over it, get back to living your life. Strangely enough, Tonio’s teenage kids didn’t actually annoy me at all. SHOCKER! I know!! Yeah, they acted like annoying teenagers, but Tonio and Astrid finally stepped up and decided to be parents and it worked.

I liked Melanie a lot. She’s a pretty cool lady. I’ve been in a bad car accident and struggled with my memory afterward so I totally get what she went through. And of course, the thing that I really want to write about is the secret that you’re not supposed to know until you read the book . . . so I won’t give it away. All I’m going to say is that this book could have strayed into the political realm and gotten preachy, but it didn’t. De Rosnay handled the issue very well and almost stayed neutral. She simply gave an account with no judgement on either side. I would recommend this to anyone wanting historical fiction, or anyone wanting an easy, yet involved read.

Purchase Links:
Amazon US
Amazon UK

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Sweet Madness

Authors: Trisha Leaver  and Lindsay Currie
Published: August 7, 2015
226 pages

Reviewed By: Kim
Kim’s Rating: 4 stars

Book Description from Amazon:

Sad young woman … or cold-blooded killer?

On a steaming August day in 1892, a sweet-faced, young woman in Fall River, Massachusetts stepped from a naive girlhood into a dark legend that has lasted for more than a hundred years. On that day, Andrew Borden, a prosperous businessman, was found hacked to death in his parlor. Upstairs, police find his wife, Abbey — just as dead. Andrew’s youngest daughter, Lizzie, was charged with the murders, sending shock-waves through the nation. A jury found her not guilty, for no one saw a thing and there wasn’t a single real clue. Still, as this captivating realistic novel suggests, someone may have known the truth.

Told through the eyes of Lizzie’s Irish maid, Bridget Sullivan, who may have been Lizzie’s only true friend, Sweet Madness tells of a cruel, penny-pinching father who had plenty of enemies, an ambitious second wife, a distant older sister and Lizzie, a trusting and kind soul who grew more unstable by the day. A carefully researched account from a bystander who was once a prime suspect, Sweet Madness will give you a look into the doomed house on Second Street and a deeper understanding of one of history’s saddest and most controversial crimes.

Kim’s Review:

I really liked this book and read it in almost one sitting. It kept me engaged and anticipating what the next page would say. Bridget was a realistic and likeable voice and I think she was the perfect narrator for the story. The authors captured the offness of the Borden house and of the Bordens themselves. I thought I knew the story of Lizzie Borden before I started reading, but the authors took the mystery surrounding the murders and molded it into a twisting and believable theory. The only critique I would give is that I wish the epilogue gave a little more info on Lizzie’s trial. I had to look up what the results of the trial were, even though the info was hinted at in the book. I just felt that I needed a little bit more. Other than that, the story was awesome. I didn’t want to put the book down. You felt every moment of tension, frustration, and fear right along with Bridget, Mr. and Mrs. Borden, and Lizzie. It amazed me the difference I could feel at specific times in the book. My stomach would literally lock up at the tension. This would be a great read for anyone looking for an easy mystery, especially those who enjoy cold cases. It’s on the shorter side so it doesn’t take long to get through. I absolutely recommend this book!

Purchase Links:
Amazon US
Amazon UK

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