THE STILLWATER GIRLS by MINKA KENT

The Stillwater Girls

A mother and her three daughters live totally off the grid in the Stillwater forest. A place no one wants to go. The girls, Wren, Sage and Evie know nothing beyond their own one room cabin and the mysterious supply man who their mother meets in the forest. The world is dark and dangerous they are told.

When Evie gets sick her mother leaves with to get help.  They never return. Months go by and Wren is sure they will die and then a mysterious man shows up asking questions and the girls take a chance and escape into the forest. What they will find on the other side will rock their lives.

The story is told from multiple view points and I was hooked from the first chapter! The author has a very engaging style and I was reading as fast as I could to see what happened. And at the end is when it all fell apart for me. It was so disappointing. I can suspend belief on a lot of things but this was just so real and raw and gritty up until the end that when the end came I couldn’t make it sync with the rest of the book.

Solid 3 stars on this one.

NetGalley/April 9th 2019 by Thomas & Mercer

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Hope Chest by Viola Shipman

The Hope Chest

The most recent book from Shipman, following close behind the best selling The Charm Bracelet is as brilliantly done as The Charm Bracelet was.

Shipman is so good at weaving themes into his writing. Hope, Love, Faith, Kindness  and Family. This particular story was beautiful. And sad. And hearbreaking. It was also full of hope and love and family and how important they are to us all.

We begin in the present with Don and Mattie Tice packing up all of their belongings from their home on the lake in Michigan and getting ready to move into town. Mattie has ALS and has advanced to the point where she is wheelchair dependant. As Don packs everything up, Mattie relives all of the wonderful memories she had in this house. With her parents, and then Don. It’s where her heart is. She never thought she would leave it. Hope Dunes is in her heart and soul.

As they settle into the house in town, Don is to the point where he knows he needs help with Mattie and here we meet Rose and her young daughter Jeri. Rose has her own problems and one is keeping her family home from being sold. She needs a job now.

When Don and Mattie meet Rose and Jeri they all know it’s a perfect match. And the book bounces between the past and the present, as they go through all the memories in Mattie’s hope chest.

All the special things that would have gone to Mattie and Don’s daughter if they had been blessed with children are taken out and stories told and new memories are made.

What a moving and lovely story this was. This is a book with a lot of feeling. And yes, there was some crying, but laughing too.

Thank you Netgalley and St.Martin’s Press for this early copy. The book is available on March 21, 2017.

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