Sunday, January 31, 2016

Book Talk: The Silver Suitcase by Terrie Todd

The Silver Suitcase

Published January 26th 2016 by Waterfall Press


"It’s 1939, and Canada is on the cusp of entering World War II. Seventeen-year-old farm girl Cornelia is heartbroken when she learns that her beloved soldier, Henry, has been killed in a train wreck. Alone and carrying a heavy secret, she makes the desperate choice that will haunt her for years to come. Never telling a soul, Cornelia pours out the painful events of the war in her diary."

The first thing that drew me to this book was the beautiful cover! It is extremely pleasing to the eye, especially a woman's eye. The next part that intrigued me was the book's description. I love to read books set in this particular time period, and I was not disappointed!

This is the story of Cornelia, a 17 year old girl living on a farm in rural Manitoba, Canada. Her story begins in 1939 and readers are given the opportunity to learn parts of her life by reading her diary, which she tucks into an old silver suitcase in the attic.

The book switches back and forth between the 30's-40's, when Cornelia was writing the diary, to present day. Her granddaughter, Benita, now has the suitcase after Cornelia's death and is changed by reading the diaries. Normally, I don't like reading a book that goes back and forth between different eras, but this is the exception. I think the author did a wonderful job of keeping the story easy to read. As the story of Cornelia's life unfolds, we learn about what it means to sometimes feel that we hate God, about making mistakes, and about how everything in one life affects so many other lives, now and in the future. Ultimately though, we learn about forgiveness and redemption. Just to be clear, this is a Christian novel, so it is heavy on religious themes.

I enjoyed reading this book and hope to see more from this author in the future!  4/5 stars    ~Amy

*I received this book for review from NetGalley, but these are my own thoughts and opinions.


Saturday, January 30, 2016

A Book That Caught My Eye

As I was stumbling through sites on StumbleUpon last night, I came across a really good article entitled 53 Books You Won’t Be Able To Put Down found on the BuzzFeed Books website. There were so many books listed there that are now on my TBR list (the one in my head!) However, one book in particular caught my attention. It was this one:

The blurb: 
Reconstructing Amelia tells the story of a mother trying to piece together the last few weeks of her daughter’s life in the wake of her suicide. It gets you thinking about how well you can really ever know someone. The mystery as to whether Amelia did kill herself will keep you gripped until the end (which I personally have mixed feelings about, but that’s another matter).
—Michelle O’Brien

The Goodreads link:
 Reconstructing Amelia

This one is going on my actual TBR, so be on the lookout for a Book Talk in the near future! What book has recently caught your eye? I would love to hear about it!   ~Amy

Friday, January 29, 2016

Friday at the Library

Today is Friday, so that means I go to the library! It is one of the highlights of my week. When I was a little girl, my grandmother (aka GranMa) took me to our public library for the first time. I instantly fell in love! Just the atmosphere there along with the smell of all those life was changed forever. Back then, there were no computers, so the library assistant would pull out the little cards from the back of the book to check it out for me. Needless to say, that became my favorite thing to pretend throughout my childhood. I played librarian assistant.

The photo here is an actual picture of my public library. For a relatively small town, we have a really nice one! It's probably my favorite place to visit, except for Clemson University, which is only 20 minutes away. Go Tigers! (sorry, but I just had to.)

Here are the books I checked out today:

Happy reading friends!       ~Amy                              

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Book Talk: The Secret Wisdom of the Earth by Christopher Scotton

The Secret Wisdom of the Earth

"After seeing the death of his younger brother in a terrible home accident, fourteen-year-old Kevin and his grieving mother are sent for the summer to live with Kevin's grandfather. In this peeled-paint coal town deep in Appalachia, Kevin quickly falls in with a half-wild hollow kid named Buzzy Fink who schools him in the mysteries and magnificence of the woods. The events of this fateful summer will affect the entire town of Medgar, Kentucky."

This was a very atmospheric novel. I felt like I was right there in the Appalachian town of Medgar. Since I live in this region of the US, I could relate to so many things going on in the book. The characters and their quirks, the dialect, and the way of life in a small town. The characters were very well developed and every thought and emotion felt authentic. I was engrossed in the story until I was about 2/3 of the way in. Then the descriptions were too drawn out and filled with way too many details. Frankly, I got bored and started skimming through quite a bit of the pages. The story did pick back up, but just for a moment. It seemed the conclusion happened before the end of the book, and I had no desire to even finish reading the last few chapters. Overall, this was an excellent story line with well thought out characters. But in my opinion, the author didn't structure the book in a way to keep a reader going to the end. Still, it was a good debut novel for Scotton and I would pick up another book by this author in the future. 3/5 stars.