Friday, July 20, 2018

Women Of The Dunes by Sarah Maine

​Scotland, back and forth in time, murders, illegitimate children, missing jewels, secrets, buried treasures, legends, a permitted excavation, authentic characters, and an old estate all greet us in WOMEN OF THE DUNES.

We follow Libby as she and her university team have gotten permission to excavate the estate of Hector Sturrock and an estate where Libby's great grandmother worked as a servant.

Libby's grandmother told her of the legend of Ulla that was part of the estate and the town of Ullaness. Libby had always enjoyed the legend and liked to hear it every time she visited her grandmother.
When Libby joined the team for the excavation, she had to decide if she would tell what her grandmother had told her and what her great grandmother had kept from the estate.

The legend began with a ship coming into a harbor where a monk named Odrhan lived.  Ulla was pregnant with her husband’s brother’s child, but when the husband found out about the baby, he badly hurt his brother, Harald, so Ulla sailed away with the injured Harald and sailed to Odrhan for help. 

As generations continued so did the legend and its people. The most interesting aspect was that Libby was the current generation of the women involved, and there were many secrets kept by them all.

WOMEN OF THE DUNES was captivating simply because of the lifestyle of the original family as well as those who lived in the Sturrock estate today.

The women of all generations had stories to tell, the estate’s castle-like home still kept its charm, and the legend made WOMEN OF THE DUNES enticing.

I really enjoyed the descriptions of the land and the house.  Going back in time and hearing a story re-created is something I always love to read about.

The two stories - present and past - connected, came full circle, and brilliantly meshed together as mirrored stories. 

Any reader who enjoys castles, secrets, looking for clues in old documents, and re-tracing the steps of characters that lived long ago will want to read WOMEN OF THE DUNES.

WOMEN OF THE DUNES is going to be a favorite.  5/5

This book was given to be as an ARC by the publisher. All opinions are my own.

Book Beginnings - 7/20/2018

*Please join Rose City Reader every Friday to share the first sentence (or so) of the book you are reading, along with your initial thoughts about the sentence, impressions of the book, or anything else the opener inspires. Please remember to include the title of the book and the author's name.  *Taken directly from Rose City Reader's Blog Page. 
My Book Beginnings is taken from THE DAISY CHILDREN by Sofia Grant:

"At 3:20 this afternoon, as nearly seven hundred children and teachers finished the school day before what was to be a long weekend, an explosion ripped through the new Consolidated School, reducing one entire wing to rubble."
Books Finished:


Review will be on  August 8.

OUR HOUSE by Louise Candlish.

Wow...what a terrific suspense book.

Review will be on  August 7.

Review will be on August 6. 

A NOISE DOWNSTAIRS by Linwood Barclay.

Review will be on July 26.

Excellent story the typebars on the cover.

BABY TEETH by Zoje Stage.

Review is in the book's title.

GIRLS' NIGHT OUT by Liz Fenton and Lisa Steinke.

Review will be on July 24.

THE SUMMER WIVES by Beatriz Williams.

Review is in the book's title.


Book Blogger Hop - 7/20/2018

Question of the Week:

What's your proudest blogging milestone or achievement? (submitted by Cathy @ What Cathy Read Next)

My Answer:

Interesting question.

I will have to say that I am proud and thankful that my blog is still in place after eight years and I have many visitors and followers.

Totally Forgot this:  As I was reading the comments, Kathy of Bermudaonion reminded me about being quoted.  

I did have the honor of being quoted twice in Todd Borg's books.

Friendly Fill-ins - 7/20 2018

1. I tried  ___ and I liked it.

2. Am I the only one who ____?

3. ____ is my hero/heroine.

4. If I could eat only one food for the rest of my life, it would be ___.


1.  I tried salmon, and I liked it.

2.  Am I the only one who loves the heat?

3.  My parents are my heroes.

4.  If I could eat only one food for the rest of my life, it would be watermelon. 

Thursday, July 19, 2018

Baby Teeth by Zoje Stage


Before and After Hanna is how Suzette could label her life.  

Hanna actually ruined Suzette’s life.

Despite her pain from Chron’s disease, Suzette could handle that better than she could handle her daughter.  She also couldn’t handle how Alex, her husband, never saw how Hanna really was.  

Hanna was two different people - one when she was with Suzette and one with Alex. Alex was definitely clueless that 

Hanna was evil and manipulative.

Hanna is going on seven years old and still doesn’t speak, physically lashes out, plans things to harm her mother, plans things to exasperate her mother so she will leave, and won’t be accepted in any school because of her behavior.

Hanna is an evil, brilliant child who is definitely frightening.  I can’t even imagine how she thinks up these horrific things she does. She is VERY unlikable for a supposedly sweet girl. 

BABY TEETH has the reader following Hanna’s days with her mother and her evenings with her father as he reads to his sweet girl at night.  Many issues are brought up, and you can feel the frustration of Suzette in all aspects.

BABY TEETH is set in Pittsburgh, and the author lives in Pittsburgh.

Ms. Stage’s writing is truly marvelous and immediately draws you into the story line but at the same time has you shaking your head at what is happening because it is unbelievable.

I am not a normal reader of disturbing situations or horror, but any reader who likes disturbing reads will like this book.

The last line leaves the reader with more questions.    4/5

I received an early copy of this book.  All opinions are my own.

Wednesday, July 18, 2018

Summer Wives by Beatriz Williams

Miranda has come back after eighteen years to the island where she has spent every summer since her mother married into the prestigious Fisher family.  She hasn’t told anyone the reason why she has returned to Winthrop’s Island with bruises that no one mentions, but since she stays for a relatively long time, the reason can be assumed even though it might be the wrong guess.

Miranda's return isn’t a welcome event even after all of this time, though, because of her testimony at the trial of the lighthouse keeper’s son back in 1951 when she was eighteen and in love with the accused.

Miranda hadn’t grown up with the elite and wealthy.  When her mother married Hugh Fisher after her father was killed in WWII, she is introduced to that life and also sees how the year-round residents who fish and work as domestics live.

THE SUMMER WIVES goes back and forth from 1930 to 1951 and then to 1969.  We learn about Miranda’s life, the lives of the Fisher and Monk families, the lives of other island residents, and how the lives of the domestic help are all connected by one specific incident during those years. 

I enjoyed the story from the 1950’s the best.  It was the most interesting and the least confusing. The 1930’s didn’t make sense to me how it fit in, but as I kept reading, I found out that it kept a secret and held a BIG surprise.

Ms. Williams has written another book that will hold your interest but has a bit of confusing story line with all the back and forth. 

THE SUMMER WIVES is a story of the typical antics and lives of privileged families.  We learn that most of the Winthrop Island families may have had money, but most of them are not happy.

THE SUMMER WIVES has a great setting, good story line, and has characters with problems and secrets both past and present.  

I enjoyed Ms. Williams’ latest even though it dragged a bit at times, but the ending had it all coming together and was very satisfying.  4/5

I received an advance copy. All opinions are my own.

Wonderous Words Wednesday - 7/18/2018

This is a weekly meme hosted by Kathy at her blog.

Puerile - childishly silly and trivial:  You’re making puerile excuses.

That word was taken from THE MASTERPIECE by Fiona Davis - 25% into the e-book.

Monday, July 16, 2018

It's Monday! What are YOU Reading? -7/16/2018
I hope you had a great reading week.  
This is a weekly meme hosted by Kathryn at BOOK DATE!

Post the books completed, the books you are currently reading, and the books you hope to finish at some point.

Books Completed:

THE MASTERPIECE by Fiona Davis - review will be on August 8, 2018 - finished on July 13. 
LOVE her is a "masterpiece."  ENJOY if you read it.

OUR HOUSE by Louise Candlish - review will be on August 7, 2018 - finished reading on July 9.

TIFFANY BLUES by M. J. Rose - review will be on August 6, 2018 - finished on July 5.

WOMEN OF THE DUNES by Sarah Maine - review will be on July 20, 2018 - finished July 2.

A is set in Scotland!!

A NOISE DOWNSTAIRS by Linwood Barclay - review will be on July 26, 2018 - finished on June 25.

Look at that fabulous cover. 

THE BOY AT THE DOOR by Alex Dahl - review will be on July 25 - finished on June 18.

GIRLS NIGHT OUT by Liz Fenton & Lisa Steinke - review will be on July 24 - finished June 10.

SUMMER WIVES by Beatriz Williams - review will be on July 18, 2018 - finished May 7.

Good story line as always.

Book Currently Reading
THE DAY OF THE DEAD by Nicci French - review will be on August 9, 2018.

Books Up Next:

THE OTHER WOMAN by Sandie Jones - review will be on August 21.

SOLD ON A MONDAY by Kristina McMorris - review will be on August 28.

THE SUMMER SAIL by Wendy Francis - review will be on September 5, 2018.

HOW TO MURDER YOUR WEALTHY LOVERS AND GET AWAY WITH IT by Jane Simon Ammeson - review will be on September 18.

THE DREAM DAUGHTER by Diane Chamberlain - review will be on October 2, 2018

THE FALLEN ARCHITECT by Charles Belfoure - review will be on October 10.

THE CLOCKMAKER'S DAUGHTER by Kate Morton - review will be on October 9, 2018.

BEDSIDE MANNERS by Heather Frimmer - review will be on October 16.

THE LAST CAROUSEL OF PROVENCE by Juliet Blackwell - review will be on October 18, 2018.

ANNELIES by David R. Gillham - review will be on January 19, 2019.

The premise involves Anne Frank.  :) Sounds VERY good.

WOMAN 99 by Greer MacAllister - review will be in March 2019.

No data base photo yet, but the publisher is Sourcebooks.