The Lost Carousel of Provence by Juliet Blackwell

So good ❤️📚

An artist lost to history, a family abandoned to its secrets, and the woman whose search for meaning unearths it all in a sweeping and expressive story from the New York Times bestselling author of Letters from Paris . 

Cady Drake had a rough start in life. Orphaned and shuffled through the foster system she lucked out the day Maxine, owner of an antique and junk shop, takes her in for good. From Maxine, Cady learns about life and restoring to life beautiful pieces of the past that have been abandoned or neglected.

When Maxine dies, Cady is adrift. Terrified to be alone and her good friend Olivia thinks she has the answer to Cady’s problems. A book. Not just any book, but a book about the carousels of Paris. Cady has her own carousel rabbit. Gus, who in a fit of frustration Cady gives a good kick, unlocking a hidden compartment containing a box and a photo with a full carousel in the background. As a photographer, Cady is intrigued by the photo and how old it is. And in that moment she takes the commission and heads to Paris.

She loves taking pictures of the beautiful carousels in Paris but she really wants to find this Chateau Clement in Provence and find out if her Gus is part of their carousel.
What she finds is a long neglected château, and an angry old man who wants nothing to do with her or anyone else. But Cady isn’t one to take no for an answer and soon she has everyone involved trying to put the carousel back and find out who this mystery woman is.

Told in the past and the present, this was such a beautiful story. No, the characters weren’t perfect. And the past isn’t always pretty. But it’s only when secrets and misunderstandings come out in the light, that healing will begin.

I’m quite sure I will never miss a novel by Ms. Blackwell!

*****

THE GIRLS AT 17 SWAN STREET by YARA ZGHEIB

The Girls at 17 Swann Street

The chocolate went first, then the cheese, the fries, the ice cream. The bread was more difficult, but if she could just lose a little more weight, perhaps she would make the soloists’ list. Perhaps if she were lighter, danced better, tried harder, she would be good enough. Perhaps if she just ran for one more mile, lost just one more pound.

Anna was once a professional ballet dancer in Paris. When she meets Matthias, it is love at first sight. So she marries him and moves to the States. Hoping to recover from an injury that left her unable to dance as she once had.

Anna has had a lot of heartbreak in her life. Nothing she shares. No, she punishes her body. At 88 pounds she believes she is hideous, and as she begins to fade away, her husband brings her to a home for young women with eating disorders.

Anna chafes against the rules and schedules and doesn’t really share much with her team. She tells herself she is a failure, imperfect and lies to herself about how lonely she really is.

There are many girls at 17 Swan Street. All struggling just to stay alive. Some can’t eat and some can’t stop eating. But with the help of these struggling young ladies, Anna may have the best chance of beating this and returning to being Anna because she has Matthias, someone who wants her to be well and happy.

This was a beautifully written novel. It was unbearably sad and torturous watching these young women try so hard and when one can’t go on, my heart broke for them all.

 

Well Done!

Netgalley/February 5th 2019 by St. Martin’s Press

 

WHAT WILL YOU BE READING THIS WEEKEND?

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What a glorious Friday this has turned out to be. 60 degrees and sunny. A good day for a run in the park and chatting over the fence with neighbors.

Bones Behind the Wheel, a cozy mystery, comes out today. It’s quite a different type of cozy!

This weekend we shall be reading The Gardener of Eden by David Downie and Perfunctory Affection by Kim Harrison. And watching Netflix. I’m behind on Schitt’s Creek and Grace and Frankie return tonight!

So what are all of you other Bookworms reading? What’s your favorite genre?

Enjoy your evening!

xx P

Unmarriageable by Soniah Kamal

Unmarriageable

Pride and Prejudice re-imagined in 21st century Pakistan.

The five Binat sisters couldn’t be more different. Alys is a modern woman with a career and has no intention of ever marrying much to the chagrin of her obsessed mother!

Alys and her sister Jena teach English to girls knowing full well that most of them will choose marriage over career. Alys teaches them all things Jane Austen and wants to inspire them to do more with their lives.

I love how the characters names were versions of the Pride and Prejudice novel. I especially loved that mother. Oh my goodness she was dramatic! I laughed so hard at all of her efforts to marry off at least one daughter and hopefully keep them all from being ruined before then.

She sets them all up at the biggest wedding their town has ever seen and sits back and waits for the proposals to pour in. Imagine her horror when they all take control over their own lives without any help from her. Though she will take credit.

I have to say I am not a big Jane Austen fan. So much angst among them all. But this version, oh yes! I loved every minute of it!

Very Well Done!

Netgalley/January 15th 2019 by Ballantine Books

 

 

 

THE TRUTHS AND TRIUMPHS OF GRACE ATHERTON by ANSTEY HARRIS

The Truths and Triumphs of Grace Atherton

Grace Atherton is not only an exceptionally talented musician, she also creates beautiful works of art in her shop. Her dream was to play professionally but was devastated when a professor kicks her out of his class and tells her she has no talent.

Now her world is her violin shop and her boyfriend of eight years, David. David who is married with children. But he and his wife have an arrangement. Keep it quiet. So the day David jumps in to save a woman in the train stations, photos appear and David is keeping a low profile. Finding out that he has lied to her for years and she wasn’t the only one leads Grace down a destructive path.

Her saving grace will be an elderly musician and a smart mouth teen, Nadia. They all are broken in some way. Which made me love them so much.

I have to admit I didn’t like Grace. I don’t like adultery and I don’t like women who fall for lies wrapped in pretty packages. I was very happy with the way the book played out, especially all of the beautiful music you could almost hear. But for the most part I didn’t feel sorry for her and felt she was rather cold.

Netgalley/January 10th 2019 by Simon & Schuster

 

THE WHISPERED WORD BY ELLERY ADAMS ( A Secret,Book,and Scone Society Novel #2)

In New York Times bestselling author Ellery Adams’ intriguing new Secret, Book, and Scone Society novel, Nora Pennington and her fiction loving friends in small-town Miracle Springs, North Carolina, encounter a young woman desperately in need of a new beginning . . .
This is the second in this new series. Nora is the owner of Miracle Books and believes with all of her warm heart that there is a book for everything and the right ones can bring healing of the heart and mind.
The core group has all had their share of horrific challenges and rather than sit home and feel sorry for themselves, they have joined Nora in the Secret,Book,and Scone Society to do for others. They each have a story and we haven’t heard about all of them yet, but I already love these women.
When Nora finds a slip of a girl in a hospital gown sleeping in her store she and the group try to help but the girl who calls herself Abilene isn’t ready to share her story. Obviously terrified and abused, the group does what they can, each using their own talents to draw her out. 
When one of the towns not so favorite older ladies is found by the group while delivering nice baskets of things to those in need face down in the pond dead, Nora and the ladies are ready to solve a mystery. 
At the same time as a new business comes to town and another person is helped into the afterlife they aren’t sure if Abilene is a victim or a killer. Either way they won’t stop until they find out.
I love these characters. Women who with just a nudge and a lot of hope have become the hero of their own lives. Now I’m going to see if there really is a Miracle Springs because the pastries alone are worth moving!
Well Done on this new series!
Netgalley/ November 27th 2018 by Kensington
 

THE SISTERS by KATE FORSTER

The Sisters

This one had everything! Spoiled rotten and filthy rich, the de Santoval triplets are a handful.

Grace is interested in nothing or no one except art. Violetta has just signed up for a reality show based on her love of partying and making the papers. Carlotta just wants to work with her horses and she’ll do anything to get what she wants.

When they receive a call saying their mother is in a coma and their father is on the lam with millions, their lives are turned inside out. All of them have dirty little secrets as well as some tragic ones.

We watch them go from very unlikable girls to strong adult women who have to learn to run their mother’s company, and in doing so they discover who they really are and what they really want.

I really loved this one. It had everything. Fashion, Art, Horses and women who take their destiny into their own hands, sleazy businessmen and cheating husbands as well as a man claiming to be their brother.

I loved their mother Birdie most of all. And I’m still not sure she didn’t know what was going on. Well Done!

Netgalley/ November 20th 2018 by Aria