Trail of Broken Wings by Sejal Badani (Audiobook) & Giveaway (Paper copy – US/Canada)

May 19th, 2015

Trail-of-Broken-Wings_300dpiTrail of Broken Wings by Sejal Badani is an emotionally powerful book that portrays the effects of domestic abuse on a family throughout their lives.  It is an extremely well written book and despite the subject matter this is a book well worth reading.  You always think you know people but a family can look perfect on the outside and yet the inside is completely broken.  It’s a vicious cycle that destroys lives.

Sonya hasn’t been home in years and probably still wouldn’t be if not for her father being in a coma.  Sonya, a photographer, has been traveling the world and  living her life as she wishes.  It’s not as if she really cares what happens to her father having spent years living with his abuse as did her sister Marin.  Only one sister seemed to be his favorite and escape the abuse and that was Trish.  And in the background always was their mother Ranee who never lifted a finger to stop the abuse that she, along with her children, suffered.  Of course the abuser always has an excuse for his actions and in Brent’s case, having immigrated to America to give his family a better life, failed under the pressure of not fitting in and took it out on his family.

With Sonya home and the women all sitting with their father they find their memories of the past rushing to the surface.  None of them have gotten past the horrific violence they suffered at his hands and it’s invaded their lives.  Sonya doesn’t seem capable of having a relationship in her adult life, Marin feels she has to control everything in her family to the point of alienating both her daughter and her husband, and Trish is bent on destroying her marriage.  Even more disturbing both Ranee and her daughter Trish are harboring a secret that has the power to destroy them all.  As Brent’s condition worsens all of them have their own private thoughts on whether they want this man to live or die and in doing so – in bringing the past into the present – they might all be able to finally move on from the horrors of their past and look to the future.

I could not stop listening to this book.  It’s one of those books that even though the subject matter is disturbing you are still drawn into it.  The author really lets you get to know her characters so you become emotionally involved with them and the audiobook makes this story all the more real.  It is narrated by Karen Peakes who does a fabulous job of bringing all the emotion to this book that it deserves.  I highly recommend Trail of Broken Wings.

 

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GIVEAWAY – OPEN TO US & CANADIAN RESIDENTS

1 paper copy up for giveaway

*CLICK HERE* and fill out the form to enter

Draw Date June 3/15

 

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Source: Digital review copy provided by the publisher for an honest review.   Audiobook personal copy.  No compensation was received.

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I Regret Nothing by Jen Lancaster (Audiobook)

May 12th, 2015

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Let’s just start right off by me saying that I absolutely loved I Regret Nothing: A Memoir by Jen Lancaster! I listened to the audio version which is read by Jen herself and if you’ve never listened to her narrate one of her own books you are really missing out. I’ve listened to a couple of them and she is fantastic. Her personality and humor shine through as you listen and since I find her incredibly funny listening to her really adds to my enjoyment. She never fails to cheer me up!

I Regret Nothing is Jen’s latest personal memoir. Her memoir really resonated with me because I felt as though she was talking about me. I share her sense of humor, we are close to the same age, and have both been at that point in life where you begin looking around and assessing all the regrets you might have. Also I always connect with people who love their furbabies as obsessively as I do. We definitely share the same parenting skills there. Lol. Above everything I picture Jen as someone I could find myself sitting with and having a drink while our dogs poke us with their noses.  She’s very real and doesn’t sugar coat anything for her audience.  I like that.

In this book Jen writes herself a Bucket List to make sure she has no regrets when all is said and done. In doing so she takes us along as she attempts to ride a tricycle, learns Italian, and goes on a trip to Rome. All along she reflects back on her life and addresses current – sometimes serious – issues. What makes it all so special is Jen herself. When I wasn’t laughing out loud I was shaking my head as I agreed with something she said. She’s truly a story teller even when it’s the story of her own life.

I highly recommend Jen’s memoir especially to those who love her books but I think it will really appeal to women in their late 30’s and 40’s as they will be able to easily relate to being at that point in their own lives as Jen was. Jen shares her heart and soul in this memoir along with a good dose of humor and her message is clear – live your life without regrets! I loved it!

 

 

 

Source:  Review copy received from the publisher for an honest review.  No compensation was received.

The Mapmaker’s Children by Sarah McCoy (Audiobook) & Giveaway (Paper Copy) (US/Canada)

May 8th, 2015

MapmakerThe Mapmaker’s Children by Sarah McCoy is a wonderful blend of the past and present that completely captivates the reader from the first page to the last.   Sarah McCoy tells a beautifully written story that is told in the past by Sarah Brown (daughter of abolitionist John Brown) and in the present by Eden Anderson, a woman struggling to have a child.  Having read and loved The Baker’s Daughter I had high hopes for The Mapmaker’s Children and Sarah McCoy lived up to every expectation I had with yet another mesmerizing story.  The audiobook production of The Mapmaker’s Children is absolutely fabulous with multiple narrators including Abby Craden, Cassandra Campbell, Jane Jacobs, and the author’s note read by Sarah McCoy herself.  With narrators such as these ladies you know you are in for a listening experience you won’t soon forget – very well done!

Sarah Brown’s father John worked hard in the 1800’s to end slavery.  While he kept his work from his family it still happened that he discovered that Sarah was artistically talented and that talent lent well to creating maps that were then used on the Underground Railroad.  Since Sarah, having had a bad illness, would never bear children she threw herself completely into her father’s work and continued on even after his passing to do what she could for the cause.  Eden, in the present time, has moved into an old house with her husband.  She’s extremely unhappy with her inability to bear a child and this is consuming her every moment.  When the young Cleo shows up at her door she’s pretty snarky but this young girl soon enough worms her way into her good graces.  Meanwhile Eden has found a head from an old porcelain doll that had been used in the Underground Railroad in her cellar.  Both she and Cleo discover the many hidden secrets and past lives that this doll has lived and in doing so this opens Eden up to healing her broken soul.

The Mapmaker’s Children is a fantastic novel with such depth and beauty.  With my love of historical fiction I loved Sarah’s story and while I’ve read some on the Underground Railroad before it was great to learn more of this strong woman and her bravery.  I even liked Eden who is entirely an unlikeable character in the beginning but as the story progresses so does she.  What I really loved though was how Sarah McCoy wove the two narratives together with an old house, a porcelain doll’s head, and a fascinating look back into history.

Utterly fantastic storytelling!  Highly recommended!

 

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Author Links: Website, Facebook Fan Page, Twitter
Buy: Amazon, IndieBound, B&N, Audible

 

GIVEAWAY – OPEN TO US & CANADIAN RESIDENTS

1 paper copy up for giveaway

*CLICK HERE* and fill out the form to enter

Draw Date May 23/15

 

 

 

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Source: Review copy provided by the publisher for an honest review.  Giveaway sponsored by the publisher.  No compensation has been received.

The Bookseller by Cynthia Swanson (Audiobook)

May 4th, 2015

BooksellerThe Bookseller by Cynthia Swanson is a a She Reads Books of Spring selection and one I really enjoyed.  I have to say my initial attraction to the book was its cover.  I always find myself drawn to novels that picture books on them in some way.  I grabbed The Bookseller in audio from the library and I’m so glad I did.  It’s narrated by Kathe Mazur who I’ve listened to previously.  I really enjoy the tone of her voice and the different voices she uses for the characters.  All in all it makes for a great listening experience!

It’s 1962 and Kitty and her best friend Frieda own and run a bookshop.  Kitty loves running the store and after spending many years in a relationship that didn’t work out she has even somewhat come to accept her life as a single woman.  Her life is full enough with her loving parents, Frieda, her cat, the bookshop, and of course books.

But then … the dreams begin.  In her dreams it is 1963 and Kitty is Katharyn Anderson.  She finds herself very much in love with her husband Lars and is surprised she has three children as well.  It appears she lives a fairly affluent life in her dreams – one she has always hoped to have but it only exists when she’s asleep.  Yet even in a world seemingly perfect there can be struggles.

Kitty begins to crave this other world which is so different than the one she inhabits when she’s awake.  As time passes she finds the line between her dream world and her real world blurring.  She becomes more and more confused as she struggles to determine what is real and what is just her imagination.  Which world is the real one?  Ultimately can Kitty choose which life she wants and if she does what does she sacrifice in doing so?

I really enjoyed The Bookseller.  Even in audio it was a page turner for me.  I liked the characters and especially the storyline.  Alternate worlds always intrigue me.  It makes a person wish they could fall asleep and dream up an alternate – and hopefully better – world for themselves.  Highly recommended!

 

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Source: Library copy.
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