Ellie's father's and fiance's convictions of swindling thousands of dollars in an investment scheme have left Elllie with little to call her own. She has lost her job, apartment, car, and jewelry, but she has inherited her late mother's house in Maryland. Unfortunately, it needs a lot of work which she cannot afford. As Ellie begins a new life in St. Dennis, she also learns to allow others into her life again. Cameron O'Connor, a local contractor, lends her a hand, and their friendship begins to grow. Their biggest obstacle as their feeling deepen is that Ellie plans to sell the house as soon as she is able to begin a new life without the stigma of her father's conviction hanging over her. I enjoyed this fun,easy, and somewhat predictable read even though I have not read the earlier series entries.
This debut novel is a fascinating and enjoyable look at a woman's place in pre-Civil War America. It will be of interest to those who enjoy historical fiction, astronomy, or wish to learn more about the role of women in the mid-19th century. While I would not consider it a quick, easy read, it is well worth the little bit of additional effort, and Brill is an author to watch.Hannah dreams of being freed from "normal" female pursuits and desires the same opportunities as the men in her 1845 Quaker community on Nantucket. While her family and friends try to push her towards marriage, she studies the stars in the hope of discovering a new comet. Her passion is astronomy. When she begins to teach a black man how to navigate from the stars, she finds herself the subject of the town's gossip, and her behavior is seen as scandalous. In addition, her confusing feelings about him cause her to question her own beliefs.
Morgan's life has revolved around his 2-year old daughter since the death of his wife. His family fears that he will never be able to love again the way he cared for Jill. Then he meets Quinn who has been hired to clear out an estate so that he can buy the house. However, Quinn has her own problems when a man she testified against four years earlier is released from prison and comes looking for revenge. Morgan proposes a rather unorthodox solution which takes his family by surprise and will change both of their lives.This was a good story, and I enjoyed it. There were a few coincidences and at times, the characters' relationships seemed to change a little bit too abruptly. In spite of these minor flaws, this book will be enjoyed by Dee Henderson's fans and those who enjoy Christian fiction because it is clean, but don't want it to be preachy. I am looking forward to more books by this author, and may even read the earlier ones in the series.
This is an interesting novel about Elizabeth Keckley who was born as a slave, used her skills as a seamstress to make enough money to buy both her own and son's freedom, and had her own business in the nation's capital at the time of the Civil War. She made gowns for many of the prominent ladies of her day including Mrs. Jefferson Davis before succession. After Lincoln took office, she became not only Mrs. Lincoln's dressmaker but also her friend and confidante. Elizabeth's story is the heart of this book; unfortunately, there is also an omniscient narrator who fills in some of the historical facts. This bogs down the pace of the novel in places; it would have been better if the reader had seen the world only through Elizabeth's eyes. In spite of this shortcoming, it is well worth the time spent reading. There are some interesting insights into American culture and society during this time.
Stedman has produced a great debut novel. Tom Sherbourne has returned to Australia after fighting in World War I, and takes the job of lighthouse keeper on Janus Rock. Shore leaves are rare, but Tom enjoys the work and the solitude. Eventually he marries Isabel, and they plan on having a family together. After two miscarriages and a stillbirth, a boat washes up on shore. The man in the boat is dead, but Isabel immediately falls in love with the baby, claiming her as her own, and convincing her husband to report neither the death or the baby to the authorities. As the next four years pass, Tom's conscience bothers him more and more; when he learns that the girl's mother is living he tries to make things right. However, with each decision the problems continue to escalate. Stedman's characters are real, and she convincing conveys the problem of finding justice when no matter what is done, someone will be forever hurt. This is a wonderful read and an author to watch.
Thirteen year old Natalie Gallagher is facing a wealth of problems: her parents are separated, her mother is deeply depressed, her father has a new girlfriend with whom he is expecting a baby, and her best friend has turned against her and along with another girl has turned to cyberbullying which escalates very quickly. To top it all off, her English teacher has assigned an independent project of the student's choice; Natalie has decided to research her family tree, but that involves trips to the Massachusetts Archives.It is at the Archives she meets Kathleen and Neil. They have their own problems--Kathleen has lost touch with her only child years earlier, and Neil is attempting to adopt a Haitian baby with his partner. Yet as they help Natalie unravel her great great grandmother's story of immigration to the Boston area and work as a domestic, they all learn the importance of facing tomorrow with hope in spite of today's looming difficulties. They also learn about the importance of helping each other.This is a fascinating mix of history with current events. The past and present are drawn together into an unforgettable read.
This fun, entertaining romp finds suffragette Arabella Becket in jail. She has been looking for a missing woman, shot a man, and been arrested after fleeing the sheriff through a pig pen. Theodore Wilder, a private investigator, comes to her rescue at the request of her family and escorts her back to New York. They both find the other person extremely annoying--she is too independent and he is chauvinistic. This is a very humorous look at 1880 American society. Arabella's interest in women's rights eventually expands to helping some prostitutes who are seeing many of their friends simply disappear. Much of the story is preposterous (Arabella can get into more trouble than 3 ordinary people), but this only adds to the fun and humor. It is laugh-out-loud funny in places, yet carries a message about the dangers of judging others without really knowing them. Arabella finds herself in a number of peculiar circumstances, not the least of which are her changing feeling toward Theodore.
Piper and her siblings are shocked when their brother is arrested for the murder of a fellow snowboarder. Deputy sheriff Landon Grainger also has problems believing that his friend is guilty, but the evidence says otherwise. As Landon and Piper investigate they also struggle to sort out their own emotions. This is an easy, fun read, but, at times, the plot is predictable. The characters, however, are great. This is the second book in a series, and it would probably be best to read them in order.
This debut novel is a great coming of age story. Florine lives in coastal Maine and enjoys spending time with her friends and family. However, when she is 12 her mother suddenly disappears with no trace. Her father turns to alcohol and another woman to drown his sorrow; Florine would left to fend for herself if it wasn't for her grandmother's help. Set against the backdrop of the 196o's with its assassinations and the Vietnam War, this is the story of a girl growing up, learning what it means to love, and how to deal with loss. This is an author to watch. This book will appeal to those who enjoyed Cold, Sassy Tree.
Ann is living the good life-- a successful if workaholic husband, plenty of money, designer clothes, champagne, a large house, and two teenagers. She is obsessive about her weight, drinks a little too much, and spends a lot of money but these are just ways of dealing with her stress of being rich and serving on various charitable organizations' boards.Things change, however, when her mother calls and asks if she and Ann's father can move in with Ann and her family temporarily. Ann's family barely know her parents but they quickly become acquainted as they share meals and family events. Even the challenges of Ann's father's dementia can be overcome with love and understanding.This is a story with a lot of potential, but Ann's character becomes rather tiresome. Her resentment about the minimal changes her parents bring come across as pure selfishness. While the accommodations which often need to made for aging parents can be difficult, the reader just wants Ann to grow up and be a responsible adult instead of a whining, self-centered, obsessive, drunk snob; her children deal with the changes much better than she does. The conclusion of the story also wraps things up too neatly and quickly.