Sunday, October 22, 2017

The Stolen Marriage by Diane Chamberlain - Reshelved Books

Hello Dewey Readers!

I just finished an absolutely amazing book.  It was just the book I needed to distract myself from my life. I could NOT put it down.  What was this magical book, you ask?  Diane Chamberlain's The Stolen Marriage.  


I love Diane Chamberlain.  She blends suspense with women's fiction (and this time historical fiction) in a way that just makes you keep wanting more. 

In this novel we meet Tess, a young woman who is studying to become a nurse and who is engaged to a newly minted young doctor named Vincent.  Tess and Vincent grew up together in Baltimore's section of Little Italy, both as devout Catholics and both with families who love the couple and each other dearly.  It is also1943, the middle of WWII, and  the beginning of a large polio epidemic, which at this point is hitting it's hardest in Chicago.  Vincent, being the good man and enthusiastic new doctor he is, goes to Chicago to volunteer his time.  What he claims to be a few weeks turns into a few months and Tess is well... she's upset and lonely.  So, rather than sit home and sulk, Gina and Tess take a girl's weekend trip to Washington D.C.  Only Tess makes one large and horrifying mistake that changes EVERYTHING.  

Now, while I absolutely adored this book I did have one complaint.  I wanted more.  I felt that the ending was too abrupt, and prior to the epilogue, I was hoping that this novel would continue into a sequel.  WHY DID IT HAVE TO END SO QUICKLY!?!? 

So Dewey Readers, I give you a rating of 4.5 out of 5 Coffee Beans.  (But, I gave it 5 on GoodReads.)  

Until the next read!
~Jessica  

Thursday, October 19, 2017

The Witchfinder's Sister by Beth Underdown - Reshelved Books


Hello everyone!  

In honor of the spooky pumpkin spice latte season, I bring you a review that's rather witchy, at least in the historical sense.  When we think of historical witches, we often think of Salem, Massachusetts and the Salem Witch Trials that took place in the 1690's.  Beth Underdown's The Witchfinder's Sister takes us to pre-Salem overseas in England in 1645 where like in Salem, women were hunted, tried, and murdered for being a suspected "witch." 


This novel follows the story of Alice Hopkins, who after becoming a recent widow when her husband dies in an accident, is forced to return to her childhood home, which is now owned by her brother Matthew Hopkins.  Alice, after miscarrying and losing many children while her husband was alive, is pregnant once again.  This is both a blessing and a curse.  It is a blessing because it is something that she has yearned for, for so many years and because it is the last physical tie she has to her deceased husband, but it is also a curse because now it will be so much harder for her to remarry.  It appears as though her future lies with being a single mother under the rule of her brother's home.  But then Alice loses this baby as well.    
One night, Matthew comes home late and terribly frightened.  He saw something, but when questioned by Alice he will not speak of it.  Alice herself had felt something... animal and dog-like come inside with Matthew that night but she cannot explain the phenomena and wishes to forget it.  It is after this, that Matthew begins to hunt women, especially those without family, children, or who have had children recently  pass, as well as those who may be suffering from mental distress and tries and kills them for being witches.  According to this Wikipedia article, the real life Matthew Hopkins is believed to have murdered 300 women for suspected witchcraft.  Isn't that crazy?


I always had a fascination with the witch trials, which I why I decided to pick up this book.  That being said, historical fiction isn't always my thing.  While I found this book interesting, I wasn't overly blown away with it, especially towards the end.  So dear Dewey Readers, I leave you with a rating of 3 out of 5 Coffee Beans.  

Until the next read!

~Jessica 
  

Thursday, October 12, 2017

Dorothy Must Die by Danielle Paige -- Reshelved Books

Once upon a time a girl went into a book store with thou who shalt not be mentioned.  The girl got a strange urge to purchase 3 books that all somehow spin off of or relate to the Wizard of Oz.  This review is on one of those books.  


Behold 3 Wizard of Oz-esc books in the ever growing to-read pile! 

Hello there Dewey Readers!  I told you I was going to start getting back into the swing of things, and I am!  My last review was of Stephanie Perkin's new horror novel, which is quite fitting for October.  Today's review is along those lines... not horror, but the Wizard of Oz.  We are talking about Danielle Paige's novel Dorothy Must Die.  

Amy Gumm lives in Kansas in a trailer park with her single mother, who after an accident has become addicted to pain medication.  On a day that a tornado is supposed to rip through the trailer park, Amy's mother gets up off of the couch to go out to a bar, leaving Amy home with her mother's pet rat.  Next thing you know, Amy's trailer is lifted into the sky and transported into the Land of Oz... which isn't as magical and vibrant as one would think.  When Amy and the rat step out of the trailer, the trailer falls into a deep, dark pit.  The land around them is barren, and the munchkins she meets are fearful and depressed.  This is because after being given the ability to have magic, Dorothy has become greedy and in her greed she has become truly the Wicked one.  To save Oz and to save magic, Amy is recruited by the order of the Wicked to KILL Dorothy.  

This book was a fun read, and while I wasn't sure why I picked it up (it's not something I'd usually go for)  I'm glad I walked home with this one and it's sequel.  The characters, well besides Dorothy, are likable, the writing flows and is easy to read, and the plot isn't dull or boring like a series sometimes could be.  Plus, the whole ninja-esc Amy / rat companion reminds me of my early 2000 days watching Kim Possible on the Disney Channel. 

So Dewey Readers, I leave you with a rating of 3.5 out of 5 Coffee Beans.  It's definitely a series worth checking out.   

Until the next read!
~Jessica