The Devil’s Own: A tantalizing historical mystery by Maria McDonald – #BookReview – #TuesdayBookBlog

Rosepoint Rating: Five Stars 5 stars

Book Blurb:

A set of century-old diaries found in an attic draws an Irish couple into a tale of murder and madness, in this absorbing new suspense.

The Devil's Own by Maria McDonaldAfter forty years in the Irish army, Brian is looking forward to retiring and spending time with his wife—though he worries about adjusting to civilian life. While clearing the attic before they move house, he makes a discovery: three journals dating back to the early twentieth century.

One was written by Arthur, an ex-Connaught Ranger; another by Arthur’s wife, Edith, a colonel’s daughter; and the third by Henry, a British soldier and Arthur’s best friend.

Brian and his wife are soon engrossed in reading the diaries and following the intertwined stories of these three people from the past. But it soon becomes chillingly clear that these diaries contain more than the daily adventures of ordinary lives. Because one of the three is a killer . . .

My Review:

Well, how much fun was this?

This is one of those that I continued to read, fascinated, while my breakfast cereal became soggy.

A dual timeline novel that begins approximately 1880 to 1924 and the other present day. The main POV is that of Brian, retiring after spending forty years in the Irish army. His wife is thrilled with the new digs they’ve planned for years and eagerly looking forward to retiring with her hubby. It’s when Brian tackles the attic of the home previously occupied by myriad military families that he discovers journals hidden in a covered chest that date back a century where the real mystery suspense begins.

Brian and Jean become engrossed in reading what must have been the separate diaries of Arthur and his wife Edith, and that of Henry, Arthur’s best friend. The journals, however, turn rather dark and Henry’s diary becomes shocking.

The Devil's Own by Maria McDonaldThe journals take turns as the narrative progresses through the story of Arthur as an orphaned child and his eventual history with the Connaught Rangers. Edith has given up being the privileged child of an officer stationed in India at the Curragh Camp with all the privileges attendant to the British military of the time. Their union is marred by Arthur’s drinking encouraged by his army buddy Henry.

I loved the chapters with Arthur and Edith; Henry’s chapters turn grisly as he describes his exploits. The descriptions of the bases or camps are vivid with detail and include interesting tidbits of military life of the time. The characters are fully developed and evoke immersion into the storyline, creating a bond between both the current angst-filled Brian and the tragedy of Edith’s marriage.

So engrossing the laying out of the backstory of the individuals, it’s easy to be fully invested in them by the time the well-plotted and paced storyline plays out. I suspicioned Henry’s story early on, but the novel is so absorbing I had no problem burying myself in the pages in a race to the conclusion.

Gripping, it is indeed tantalizing and a particularly satisfying read. As with most journeys, the fun is not always in the destination—it’s the ride.

I previously read Charlie Mac back in May 2018 and enjoyed it. The author outdid herself this time–loved it. I received a complimentary review copy of this book from Bloodhound Books and the author that in no way influenced this review. These are my honest thoughts. This is one that will make my suggested favorites list for #readingirelandmonth in March.

Add to Goodreads

Book Details:

Genre: Historical Thrillers, Psychological Fiction
Publisher: Bloodhound Books
ASIN: B0BQ6LP15Y
Print Length: 348 pages
Publication Date: January 11, 2023
Source: Bloodhound Books and the author

Title Link(s):

Amazon   |   Barnes & Noble  |  Kobo

Maria McDonald - authorThe Author: Originally from Belfast, Maria McDonald lives in Kildare, with her husband Gerry.

Maria is an avid reader who loves to write but only indulged in her passion for writing fiction after retirement. Since then, her short stories and articles have been published in Woman’s Way and Ireland’s Own, as well as numerous anthologies; Intermissions, Grattan Street Press Melbourne; Same page anthology, University College Cork; Fragments of Time, Amber Publishers. Maria is a founder member of Ink Tank Writing Group, based in Newbridge library and contributed to their anthologies, Timeless in Kildare and Let Me Tell You Something.

©2023 V Williams

#TuesdayBookBlog

The Italian Daughter (The Lost Daughters Book 1) by Soraya Lane – #BookReview – #historicaleuropeanfiction

The Italian Daughter by Soraya Lane

“An absolutely unputdownable and stunning page-turner”

Book Blurb:

Italy, 1946: As Estee bids farewell to Felix her heart breaks. Thinking back to her childhood when the two friends ran through the cobbled streets of their picturesque town hand in hand, she thought they would never part. But when Estee was offered a place at the world renowned La Scala theatre, she had to say yes. It would change her family’s fortunes forever.

The Italian Daughter by Soraya LaneSoon after, Felix began working for his family bakery, famed across Italy for its deliciously sweet pastries. The two lovers were never far from each other’s minds but when Felix’s parents demanded that he marry well to unite two prominent families, Estee felt sure that she had lost him.

Now, Felix has asked her to make the bravest decision of her life and run away with him. But with so much at stake, can she really follow her heart?

London, present day: Lily clutches a worn Italian recipe and theatre programme in her hands, having just discovered that her grandmother was born in a home for unmarried mothers. The faded objects are the only clues to her past.

Accepting a job on an Italian vineyard –a dream of her late father–, Lily enlists the help of the charming Antonio to help solve the mystery. But arriving in Felix’s town, Lily unearths a tragic love story: of families bitterly torn apart and of two lovers who were prepared to sacrifice everything to be together.

When Lily finds out the truth about her family and who she really is, will Felix and Estee’s story give her the strength to also follow her heart?

An utterly enchanting and heartbreaking novel about lost loves, family secrets and enduring hope. Perfect for fans of Lucinda Riley, Santa Montefiore and Victoria Hislop.

His Review:

Italy has had a magnetic attraction to its citizens throughout the ages. Roman legions and Praetorian Guards longed for home even though thousands of miles away. Estee feels that pull even though she does not know why. Felix had gone missing and was nowhere to be found. Pregnant and alone, she disappears to London to give birth to a love child she simply has no way to care for and nurture as a single mother.

The Italian Daughter by Soraya LaneEstee’s great-grandmother had met and fallen in love with a man at Lake Como. He was betrothed to another but swore she was the one he would marry. However, when the time arose for the wedding, he was nowhere to be found. Pressure from the family required him to complete the arranged marriage planned for him as a boy.

Generations later Lily in America is given a box with two items, one a recipe for a mixture of chocolate and hazel nuts and the corner of a program from Teatro Alla Scala in Milan. Italy is calling her like a siren and she cannot ignore the urge to visit Italy. Yes, she has long black hair and almond eyes, but why the inextricable pull to visit a country she had never been to?

Soraya Lane has woven a generations old tale of broken hearts and lost loves! The fabric of this story is well woven with physical attraction and love torn asunder side by side. I found myself wrapped in sympathy for each of the women from these families who deserved love that was denied. Giving up a child out of wedlock is one of life’s most heart-wrenching experiences. These women kept their strong personal values while enduring terrible betrayal and pain.

CE WilliamsThe dual timeline is well-plotted and strongly descriptive, emotive, and atmospheric. Both timelines are equally engaging, WWII and present day. Gripping and hard to put down, the characters are strongly dominant and the writing style gripping. 4.5 stars – CE Williams

Many thanks to Bookouture and NetGalley for providing me with the opportunity to read and review this book.

 

Rosepoint Publishing: Four point Five Stars 4 1/2 stars

 

Add to Goodreads

Book Details:

Genre: Historical European Fiction, Literary Sagas, 20th Century Historical Romance
Publisher: Bookouture
ASIN: B0B53Z9H3N
Print Length: 305 pages
Publication Date: September 23, 2022
Source: Publisher and NetGalley
Title Link: The Italian Daughter [Amazon]

 

Soraya Lane - authorThe Author: Soraya Lane graduated with a law degree before realizing that law wasn’t the career for her and that her future was in writing. She is the author of historical and contemporary women’s fiction, and her novel Wives of War was an Amazon Charts bestseller.

Soraya lives on a small farm in her native New Zealand with her husband, their two young sons and a collection of four legged friends. When she’s not writing, she loves to be outside playing make-believe with her children or snuggled up inside reading.

For more information about Soraya, her books and her writing life, visit sorayalane.com or http://www.facebook.com/SorayaLaneAuthor, or follow her on twitter @Soraya_Lane. She would love to hear from you.

©2022 CE Williams – V Williams V Williams

Have a great week!

The Lost Apothecary by Sarah Penner – #AudiobookReview – #TBT

The Lost Apothecary by Sarah Penner

The Lost Apothecary by Sarah Penner

 

Goodreads Choice Award nominee 

Book Blurb:

A forgotten history. A secret network of women. A legacy of poison and revenge. Welcome to The Lost Apothecary….

Hidden in the depths of 18th-century London, a secret apothecary shop caters to an unusual kind of clientele. Women across the city whisper of a mysterious figure named Nella who sells well-disguised poisons to use against the oppressive men in their lives. But the apothecary’s fate is jeopardized when her newest patron, a precocious 12-year-old, makes a fatal mistake, sparking a string of consequences that echo through the centuries.

Meanwhile in present-day London, aspiring historian Caroline Parcewell spends her tenth wedding anniversary alone, running from her own demons. When she stumbles upon a clue to the unsolved apothecary murders that haunted London 200 years ago, her life collides with the apothecary’s in a stunning twist of fate – and not everyone will survive.

With crackling suspense, unforgettable characters, and searing insight, The Lost Apothecary is a subversive and intoxicating debut novel of secrets, vengeance, and the remarkable ways women can save each other despite the barrier of time. 

My Review:

I have to admit, half the fun of this book is reading the reviews. Everyone has an opinion and they literally run from one star to five, more than a few quite vehemently.

Okay, so it isn’t the 2021 great American novel. I borrowed an audiobook from my lovely local library for the purpose of participating in their virtual book club choice for the quarter. (Yes, quarter—nothing is read in a month—or an audiobook listened in a week.) Obviously, a babe in the woods, I had no idea the controversy this title generated after its release of a much anticipated fantasy thriller-mystery. Well, picky, picky, picky.

The Lost Apothecary by Sarah PennerIt does actually start off with a hook, Nella (more than one POV, btw), is a late eighteenth-century apothecarist dispensing poisons to women seeking relief from abusive, explosive relationships. No simple divorce remedies back then. Eliza, however, (another POV) is only twelve sent to retrieve the potion for her mistress. Eliza is smart, manipulative, and brilliantly maneuvering herself into a position from which Nella may end up paying the price.

Okay, now switch to Caroline, an eccentric American in London using reservations previously meant to celebrate her wedding anniversary. Unfortunately, prior to leaving on the vacation, his affair is disclosed which pretty much puts the kibosh on any celebration. Yes, she goes anyway, sans said husband. She’s different, you see.

On a little tour of the mud from the river Thames, she discovers a little bottle—cue Gaynor the local library historian. But at least solving the burning question of the bottle takes her mind off her cheating husband and what?? She thinks she might be pregnant? Uh oh. That could be a sticky wicket!

So, are we having fun yet? Ah, come on—it’s magical realism—fantasy. I say, just go for it!

So flipping back to 1791, things are getting mighty dark for Nella and Eliza is a quick study. It doesn’t look like this can end well though—and doesn’t—Eliza lacking the experience. Phooey. And I preferred that timeline.

The storyline with Nella and Eliza can be pretty intense, while the timeline with Caroline packs in a little filler. Some of Caroline’s motives are muddled and you might be scratching your head, wondering where this is going. Or, is it going at all? Yeah, but not real fast.

This is a narrative that you are not to supposed to over think. So much to stop and contemplate, totally dismiss. In consideration, was it engaging or entertaining—sufficiently so that you finished the book? I zipped right through the audiobook—waiting—I’m not sure for what. Forget magical realism. Fantasy takes a hit as disbelief can’t be stretched far enough to think you could survive jumping very far into an icy river and surviving. Okay, I’m taking it too literally again. No over thinking.

While the conclusion seemed a bit abrupt and left more than a few shakes of the head, it was a bit farcical, remember? Just go with it and if this is a genre you enjoy, you’ll no doubt enjoy this novel. The narrators did a good job, too, you might enjoy that even more.

Rosepoint Rating: Three-point Five Stars 3 1/2 stars

Add to Goodreads

Book Details:

Genre: Magical Realism, Historical Fantasy Fiction, Literary Fiction
Publisher: Harlequin Audio
ASIN: B08BXB3JVY
Listening Length: 10 hrs 18 mins
Narrators: Lorna BennettLauren AnthonyLauren Irwin
Publication Date: March 2, 2021
Source: Local Library (Audiobook Selections)

Title Link(s):

Amazon   |   Barnes & Noble  |  Kobo

 

Sarah Penner - authorThe Author: Sarah Penner is the New York Times bestselling author of THE LOST APOTHECARY (Park Row Books/HarperCollins), available now wherever books are sold. THE LOST APOTHECARY will be translated into two dozen languages worldwide. Sarah and her husband live in St. Petersburg, Florida with their miniature dachshund, Zoe. To learn more, visit SarahPenner.com.

©2022 V Williams V Williams

#throwbackthursday

Medicina, Cultura, e Legge.

Articoli su Medicina, Legge e Diritto, ma anche Aforismi, Riflessioni, e Poesie.

Kiran ✨

Reading And Writing is the best Investment of Time ✨ ( Motivational Thoughts) "LIFE IS A JOURNEY"

Taking On a World of Words

Homepage for fledgling writer Sam A. Stevens

Reading Is My SuperPower

BOOK REVIEWS, GIVEAWAYS, AUTHOR INTERVIEWS

Psychic Devis

Lane is mine!🚦🚙😊

Barb Taub

Writing & Coffee. Especially coffee.

Learning with Life

A learner for life….wants to live fully….destination matter so does the journey…every movement to feel alive…and die with peace in eyes…being me…

Premier Tech Studios

You press Digital, We Do The Rest

Akwafrigeria

Truth to Light

Reading with My Eyes

lots of tales from the spine, your place for book reviews of all kinds

Oma's Minute

The heart and thoughts of man is broad. I share reasonings that alot of people out there needs to hear and hopefully adds value to their world***

beauty care products

I am a blogger of beauty care products

skyy

Short Story Blogger

Emma's Writing Things

A place to share the things that I write

An Amyzing Journey

A spiritual journey with adventures & side quests

coolpeppermint

memories and musings

Scribbles 'n Bits

Original poetry, short stories, and other bits.

BEST WEB DESIGNING INSTITUTE

BEST WEB DESIGNING INSTITUTE

Let's talk

Vibe alone for a while

Barbara Crane Navarro

Rainforest Art Project - Pas de Cartier !

RealStuff by RealMe

Before, After, Then, Now and NEVER!

Islamic Dua and Wazifa For Love back and Solve All problems

Love problem Solution in just 2 Days: Lost love back, ex love back, ex husband back, ex boyfriend and other all love problem Solution. Call and Whatsapp +91 9571300113

Poetic reflections

Poetry and expression of ideas

Julia's Bookshelves

Book Reviews and Book Adventures

stephiebooks.wordpress.com/

Book Reviews, Tags, Vlogs, & More.

a.mermaid'spen_

I read, rant and write ;)

Beneath The Bones

seeking inspiration

Learning Thursdays

It is hard to fail, but worse to have never tried - Abraham Lincoln

ARBIND KUMAR BLOG

arbindkumar475151597. wordpress.com

Bhuvana Chakra

The Power of Living God Ministries

The Wild Coach

You are an important nexus of energy

Virtualidades

Blog do jornalista e professor Solon Saldanha

Happiness for a moment with you....

I'm glad I learned to express my thoughts clearly and everyone loves to read them. Sometimes it takes a lot of thinking power to think about the surroundings. Someone who likes it, someone who enjoys it, appreciates that he is writing very well. Reading and commenting on the post I wrote would give me a lot of bullshit and I would get new ideas to write new ones. I'm really glad I got your response.

Brian Cook's Blog

When the gods wish to punish us they answer our prayers. - Oscar Wilde

Writing Roses

Welcome to the Roses

Sophrosyne

I'm a Doctor with so many random thoughts, so I decided to blog.

Scott Clark | Teaching, Writing, Research

Portal to primary school blogs, research and resources | Middle Years/Young Adult story writing

UNITBALL

a medical education website

%d bloggers like this: