From award-winning New Yorker staff writer Patrick Radden Keefe, a stunning, intricate narrative about a notorious killing in Northern Ireland and its devastating repercussions.
The horrific conflict known as The Troubles is introduced to us beginning in 1972, when Jean McConville, 38 and a mother of ten children was abducted from her home in front of her children and neighbors, never to be seen again, until years later when bones found on a beach turned out to be hers.
Everyone knew it was the IRA, but no one was speaking out. Fear and Paranoia were rampant and no one was safe. Family members turned on each other. Neighbors turned a blind eye and some, like Dolours Price, were carrying on the family tradition of violence and proud of it.
This was a bitter conflict that I once thought was over Catholic vs. Protestants but that was only a small part of the story. Everyone wanted peace, but when it came, it was shaky at best.
This is one of the best books I have read on the Irish Conflicts. Turning loved ones against each other and so many deaths and in the end, who was right? Was it all worth it?
I don’t know but reading this account I fully intend to find out more.
Very Well Done!
Netgalley/ February 26th 2019 by Doubleday Books
A Heart of a Hero Novel
Harper Lee Wilcox has only loved one man. Noah Wilcox, a Navy SEAL and the father of her son, Ben. It’s been 5 years since his death and she is ready for a new challenge. She also wants answers. She doesn’t want the standard military version, she wants to know everything.
While visiting with another SEAL wife, also her best friend, Allison, she finds out that the man who showed up at her door after Noah’s death with a certificate of bravery and $100,000.00 is Bennett, Noah’s best friend in the Navy who was there when he died. But he isn’t talking. He’s fighting his own demons and trying to keep a promise he made to Noah. And soon they are falling in love.
I really enjoyed the telling of the lives of military wives. How much they give up to follow their husbands career, having to give up their own. It doesn’t matter how many degrees you have when prospective employers won’t hire you because you will probably not be in one place very long. And I loved Harper’s idea of a business that could be an ideal fit for the wives who want something more than volunteering.
PTSD is in the forefront here also. While I believe this was a Romance book, it was nicely balanced by real life issues and fears and how to cope with something you don’t even understand.
Netgalley/ February 5th 2019 by St. Martin’s Griffin
Such is the power and wealth of the Goldbaums that on dull days, it’s said, they hire the sun just for themselves.
This story is loosely based on the Rothschilds, one of the oldest and wealthiest families in the world.
It’s 1911 and Greta Goldbaum is set to be married off to her cousin in the English branch of the family to a man she has never met. The Goldbaum family has branches in Vienna, Paris and England and nothing happens without their knowledge and their money.
Their marriage if off to a rocky start and Greta is miserable. She’s young and wants to run around in her bare feet and dig in the dirt, which horrifies her family and her husband.
When in 1914 an Austrian Crown Prince is murdered by Serbians, throwing everyone into WWI. This is when Greta begins to see the world for what it is.
I really enjoyed the historical aspects of this. It was really well done.
What I didn’t care for was the pages of family drama. There was quite a bit that could have been just left out. For me it’s a like not a love.
October 23rd 2018 by G.P. Putnam’s Sons
It is 1914 in Vienna, Austria. Talk of war surrounds the privileged as well as the poor. Lucius is still in medical school, and wants nothing more than to be a doctor, even if it means joining the army and automatically becoming one. Up to this point he has only cut on pigs and has had almost no hands on experience.
Sent to the remoteness of the Carpathian Mountains, where he should find a well stocked medical unit,he finds a church turned into a hospital being run by nuns. One nun in particular. Sister Margarete has had more experience than any doctor and proceeds to teach Lucius the ropes.
The conditions are grim and yet he finds himself drawn to the nun and yet still wondering about her past and her honesty.
This wasn’t so much about the War. This was about the people impacted by that war. And the choices the people make when their backs are against the wall.
I wasn’t that interested in the beginning of the book or at the end. Not that it wasn’t written well, I just felt it dragged a bit.
Netgalley/ September 11th 2018 by Little, Brown and Company
A human drama unlike any other: the riveting and definitive full story of the worst sea disaster in United States naval history.
Just after midnight on July 30, 1945, days after delivering the components of the atomic bomb from California to the Pacific Islands in the most highly classified naval mission of the war, USS Indianapolis is sailing alone in the center of the Philippine Sea when she is struck by two Japanese torpedoes. The ship is instantly transformed into a fiery cauldron and sinks within minutes. Some 300 men go down with the ship. Nearly 900 make it into the water alive. For the next five nights and four days, almost three hundred miles from the nearest land, the men battle injuries, sharks, dehydration, insanity, and eventually each other. Only 316 will survive.
Coming from these two authors, I knew this was going to be a good book. And it was. I don’t usually do Military history. But something about this story pulled at me.
A true account of what happened to the ship and crew of the USS Indianapolis. After delivering precious cargo that would effectively end the war with Japan, she has limped on a course to complete the repairs that were not finished before they were pulled for a special top-secret mission. But they never made it. Torpedoed by the enemy and sank.
A story of bravery, of teen-aged boys stepping up when needed. Of the fight to survive for those left alive in the dark water surrounded by deadly oil slicks and sharks. I am not going to lie, it was hard to read some of this but then these young men sacrificed their lives and as we learn more about each one we become invested in their survival.
A story of how a crew and an enemy came forward to save their Captain from an unjust court-martial.
Any military fans will love this in-depth look at our military history. I know I will never forget this one.
Netgalley/ Simon and Schuster July 10, 2018
The bestselling author of The Paris Wife returns to the subject of Ernest Hemingway in a novel about his passionate, stormy marriage to Martha Gellhorn—a fiercely independent, ambitious young woman who would become one of the greatest war correspondents of the twentieth century
In 1937, twenty-eight-year-old Martha travels alone to Madrid to report on the atrocities of the Spanish Civil War and becomes drawn to the stories of ordinary people caught in devastating conflict. She also finds herself unexpectedly—and uncontrollably—falling in love with Hemingway, a man already on his way to becoming a legend. In the shadow of the impending Second World War, and set against the tumultuous backdrops of Madrid, Finland, China, Key West, and especially Cuba, where Martha and Ernest make their home, their relationship and professional careers ignite. But when Ernest publishes the biggest literary success of his career, For Whom the Bell Tolls, they are no longer equals, and Martha must make a choice: surrender to the confining demands of being a famous man’s wife or risk losing Ernest by forging a path as her own woman and writer. It is a dilemma that will force her to break his heart, and her own.
This was a great work of historical fiction. Coming after The Paris Wife, where we read about Hemingway’s marriage to Hadley Richardson, the first of his four wives, this to me was even better!
Martha Gellhorn is a well-known name in journalism and I loved her fierce independence and the way she knew herself so well. Instead of getting lost in the shadow of the great Hemingway, Martha was the one that got away. The one that left him and made her own star shine so brightly. I have great admiration for this woman and this was a very good look at two passionate people and the ups and downs of their relationship, but this was truly Martha’s story.
What a great story!
Netgalley/Ballentine Books May 01,2018
The debut political thriller from Jake Tapper, CNN’s chief Washington correspondent and the New York Times bestselling author of The Outpost — 1950’s D.C. intrigue about a secret society and a young Congressman in its grip
Charlie Marder is an unlikely Congressman. Thrust into office by his family ties after his predecessor died mysteriously, Charlie is struggling to navigate the dangerous waters of 1950s Washington, DC, alongside his young wife Margaret, a zoologist with ambitions of her own. Amid the swirl of glamorous and powerful political leaders and deal makers, a mysterious fatal car accident thrusts Charlie and Margaret into an underworld of backroom deals, secret societies, and a plot that could change the course of history. When Charlie discovers a conspiracy that reaches the highest levels of governance, he has to fight not only for his principles and his newfound political career…but for his life.
I enjoy listening and reading Jake Tapper, the journalist. I was excited to see this book.
I know it is set in the 1950’s but Charlie is not a stupid man. He knows right from wrong, he served our country in the military. He has principles. Oops, not a good thing to have as a politician.
You don’t even need to have average intelligence to know that Washington is one big game of who you know, who you owe, and who owes you. Trust no one and keep your mouth shut. I can’t believe with his famous father Charlie didn’t grasp that quickly. If you didn’t figure out what was going on by Chapter 2, after the car crash, well keep those rosy glasses on.
Other than a lot of political name dropping and the mix of fact and fiction, there wasn’t a lot of meat to this book. The characters were vague and some a bit over the top. All in all I was bored.
But I sure hope Mr. Tapper keeps up the journalistic career!
NetGalley/April 24th 2018 by Little, Brown and Company