Rosepoint Reviews – May Recap—Welcome June!

Rosepoint Reviews – May Recap

Rosepoint Reviews - May recap

Yes, May is when I spend more time outside than in, working on my gardens; cleaning up the fairy garden, flower bed, and adding soil and amendments to the vegetable garden, turning that over and getting the veggies in. The tomatoes love it and take off immediately. Same with beans and peas—still cool enough for them with the occasional 90-degree day. I put in marigolds as usual to ward off bugs and the bunnies ate them. This year I’ve tried to secure all my defenseless little seedlings (except marigolds I guess) against all manner of deer and bunnies. (I’ve done that before but redoubled the effort this year.) The deer are being scattered due to construction on the other side of the pond. (I haven’t seen the doe with the broken leg in a while.)

Welcome Spring! I fired up the BBQ with a chicken and potatoes and then sat down to eat. Wasn’t long before we had a raccoon trying to clean up the drippings. He was wearing a mask and had no sense of humor. The bandit was a big boy intent on an easy meal and wasn’t happy with the interruption or my broom. At least the possums are smaller and non-threatening.

I relied pretty heavily on the CE for his reviews, so much of my time spent otherwise. The man can read three books to my one. We did read or listen to eighteen books in May, most from NetGalley as I’m still working on that badge, now up to a count of 460 and my ratio continues to be 95%.

May reads and reviews

The Trouble with Secrets by Jean Grainger
The Four Winds by Kristin Hannah (audiobook)
Somewhere in the South Pacific by John J Gobbell (a CE review)
Last Night with Tokyo Rose by Alexa Kang (a CE review)
Gambling with Murder by Lida Sideris
The Boys by Ron Howard and Clint Howard (audiobook)
Warrensburg by Fleury Sommers (a CE review)
Answering Liberty’s Call by Tracy Lawson
TV Netflix series Along for the Ride vs the audiobook
Darkest Fear by Harlan Coben (audiobook)
Playing with Fire by Mary Burton (a CE review)
The Physicists’ Daughter by Mary Anna Evans (a CE review)
The Doctor’s Daughter by Shari J Ryan
The Crystal Beads by Patricia Black Gould
Flat Broke with Two Goats by Jennifer McGaha (audiobook)
Tom Clancy Zero Hour by Don Bentley (a CE review)
The Last Saxon King by Andrew Varga
The Wylder Ghost and Blossom Cherry by Sharon Shipley

 

Reading Challenges

Reading Challenges

My challenges continue to be a problem keeping up. I’ll get them all caught up soon—spring planting push now mellow.  My challenges for 2022 are all listed and linked in the widget column on the right. You can check out the progress of my challenges by clicking the Reading Challenges page but so far I’m at 45% of the Goodreads Challenge of 180 books at 81.

Spring Challenge

Speaking of challenges, that little Spring Challenge in the Kindle app is progressing, albeit not at full speed.

Have you checked yours out yet? It’s not something you joined, it joined you. Now it says I’m a Silver Reader—40 books. (A Gold Reader is achieved upon reading any 75 days during the Challenge.) Also notes I’ve earned eight of 16 achievements with 30 days remaining in the challenge. Actually, there are several I do not see ever achieving including a non-fiction. It’s been a while. Memoirs don’t count(?).

Book Club and Reading/Listening Update

The Lost Apothecary by Sarah Penner is the new club pic. It had just started and I jumped the gun when I saw the audiobook. While it might not have been one I’d have chosen, it turned out to be quite compelling. Of course, it was published last year and achieved an “Amazon Best Book of 2021” designation—and a debut at that!

Soap Box

The NetGalley Shelf continues to be an exasperation. I thought short shelf life applied to food? The audiobooks are rift with blanks (guess I’m supposed to fill in whatever words I want?). I can’t afford to buy the books expired and I try very hard to fulfill the promise to review. Too new to be in the library. Ideas?

Have a rant you’d like to mention? Like the change in the Kindle app and mobi conversions?

June is a big birthday month around here (hubby and son on the same day). Welcome to my new followers and those who continue to read, like, share, and comment. What is this without you? Hope you saw something that piqued your interest above!

©2022 V Williams V Williams

 

The Trouble With Secrets: The Kilteegan Bridge Story by Jean Grainger – #BookReview – #TuesdayBookBlog

The Trouble with Secrets by Jean Grainger

Happy Release Day!

#1 New Release in contemporary British & Irish Literature 

Book Blurb:

Kilteegan Bridge, County Cork 1958

The Trouble with Secrets by Jean GraingerFor eighteen year old Lena O’Sullivan, life is predictable and dull. A future of hard work, marriage to a local boy, and a family of her own one day is all she has to look forward to. People from her background know not to expect too much, but Lena yearns for something different.

Malachy Berger was different, for him, the world is at his feet. An only child of a wealthy, if peculiar father, a large inheritance, a beautiful house and a fine education are his due.

Nobody is in favour of Lena and Malachy’s friendship, but why not? What harm are they doing? Why is everyone so dead set against it?

Then fate takes a hand, and Lena realises that secrets and lies have bound her and Malachy in an impossible situation. And their future seems determined by events that happened long before they were born.

From rural Ireland to post-war Cardiff, Lena and Malachy’s story winds its way back to wartime Germany and occupied France in a web of deceit that threatens to destroy them both.

My Review:

It’s a given that if Jean Grainger comes out with a new book, I’m going to be reading it—having done so for most of her books, series or standalones. Of course, I have my favorites.

The Trouble with Secrets by Jean GraingerThis one tells the story of Lena O’Sullivan and her family in the Irish countryside of Kilteegan Bridge and is one of the reasons I love the author’s books so much—the authentic atmosphere she brings to her storytelling. It’s palpable. It’s the late 1950’s and apparently as in America during that time, a young lady finding herself in a family way, unmarried, was dealt with in one of several (often severe and) shameful ways.

Lena was luckier than most, however, having a loving father, Paudie, who took good care of his wife who would probably now be diagnosed as bi-polar. She tended to have manic episodes and when Paudie dies in a tragic accident, Lena is left with her fragile mother and siblings.

The baby’s daddy comes from a well-to-do family who has familial problems of their own and resides in Kilteegan House. Malachy Berger’s father carries a vendetta against the O’Sullivan’s and makes sure Malachy won’t be involved further with Lena.

I loved most of the support characters, railed against the Berger father who made a despicable antagonist and loved the character of Doc, Lena’s godfather. Eli made a great character, but almost too good to be true, and it was fun to watch Lena’s maturation process.

The trouble with secrets is that they almost always are exposed (sooner or later). The journey through the process of devising a credible story to satisfy the people of the village is an interesting one—but one I fear hangs like a loose tooth. And I have a feeling we haven’t truly gotten the whole story yet.

I received a complimentary review copy of this book from the author that in no way influenced this review. These are my honest thoughts.

Rosepoint Rating: Four Stars 4 stars

Add to Goodreads

Book Details:

Genre: Contemporary British & Irish Literature, Historical Irish Fiction, British & Irish Literary Fiction
ASIN: B09V5MWCP5
Print Length: 313 pages
Publication Date: May 2, 2022
Source: Author
Title Link: The Trouble with Secrets [Amazon]  

Jean Grainger - authorThe Author: JEAN GRAINGER

USA TODAY BESTSELLING AUTHOR

SELECTED BY BOOKBUB READERS IN TOP 19 OF HISTORICAL FICTION BOOKS.

WINNER OF THE 2016 AUTHOR’S CIRCLE HISTORICAL NOVEL OF EXCELLENCE

Hello and thanks for taking time out to check out my page. If you’re wondering what you’re getting with my books then think of the late great Maeve Binchy but sometimes with a historical twist. I was born in Cork, Ireland in 1971 and I come from a large family of storytellers, so much so that we had to have ‘The Talking Spoon’, only the person holding the spoon could talk!

I have worked as a history lecturer at University, a teacher of English, History and Drama in secondary school, a playwright, and a tour guide of my beloved Ireland. I am married to the lovely Diarmuid and we have four children. We live in a 200 year old stone cottage in Mid-Cork with my family and the world’s smallest dogs, called Scrappy and Scoobi..

My experiences leading groups, mainly from the United States, led me to write my first novel, ‘The Tour’. My observances of the often funny, sometimes sad but always interesting events on tours fascinated me. People really did confide the most extraordinary things, the safety of strangers I suppose. It’s a fictional story set on a tour bus but many of the characters are based on people I met over the years…

[Truncated. Please read her full bio on her Amazon book pages.]

My current series, The Queenstown Series, centres on twelve year old Harp Devereaux and her mother Rose and the first book opens on the day Titanic sails from Queenstown, Co Cork on her last fateful journey. It is a bestselling series and people really seem to connect to the precocious Harp and her hard-working mother as they battle to survive in a society where conforming and playing by the rules was paramount. It is so far a three book series, The West’s Awake, and The Harp and the Rose being the next two books but I’m currently writing book four.

Many of the people who have reviewed my books have said that you get to know the characters and really become attached to them, that’s wonderful for me to hear because that’s how I feel about them too. I grew up on Maeve Binchy and Deirdre Purcell and I aspired to being like them. If you buy one of my books I’m very grateful and I really hope you enjoy it. If you do, or even if you don’t, please take the time to post a review. Writing is a source of constant contentment to me and I am so fortunate to have the time and the inclination to do it, but to read a review written by a reader really does make my day.

©2022 V Williams V Williams

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