Book Reviews · Recommendations

TLC Book Tour: The Fire By Night by Teresa Messineo

About The Fire By Night

 Paperback: 336 pages
Publisher: William Morrow Paperbacks; Reprint edition (October 3, 2017)

A powerful and evocative debut novel about two American military nurses during World War II that illuminates the unsung heroism of women who risked their lives in the fight a riveting saga of friendship, valor, sacrifice, and survival combining the grit and selflessness of Band of Brothers with the emotional resonance of The Nightingale.

In war-torn France, Jo McMahon, an Italian-Irish girl from the tenements of Brooklyn, tends to six seriously wounded soldiers in a makeshift medical unit. Enemy bombs have destroyed her hospital convoy, and now Jo single-handedly struggles to keep her patients and herself alive in a cramped and freezing tent close to German troops. There is a growing tenderness between her and one of her patients, a Scottish officer, but Jo’s heart is seared by the pain of all she has lost and seen. Nearing her breaking point, she fights to hold on to joyful memories of the past, to the times she shared with her best friend, Kay, whom she met in nursing school.

Half a world away in the Pacific, Kay is trapped in a squalid Japanese POW camp in Manila, one of thousands of Allied men, women, and children whose fates rest in the hands of a sadistic enemy. Far from the familiar safety of the small Pennsylvania coal town of her childhood, Kay clings to memories of her happy days posted in Hawaii, and the handsome flyer who swept her off her feet in the weeks before Pearl Harbor. Surrounded by cruelty and death, Kay battles to maintain her sanity and save lives as best she can . . . and live to see her beloved friend Jo once more.

When the conflict at last comes to an end, Jo and Kay discover that to achieve their own peace, they must find their place and the hope of love in a world that’s forever changed. With rich, superbly researched detail, Teresa Messineo’s thrilling novel brings to life the pain and uncertainty of war and the sustaining power of love and friendship, and illuminates the lives of the women who risked everything to save others during a horrifying time.

Purchase Links

HarperCollins | Amazon | Barnes & Noble

About Teresa Messineo

Teresa Messineo spent seven years researching the history behind The Fire by Night,her first novel. She is a graduate of DeSales University, and her varied interests include homeschooling her four children, volunteering with the underprivileged, medicine, swing dancing, and competitive athletics. She lives in Reading, Pennsylvania.

Connect with Teresa on Facebook.

My Thoughts

I was sent a copy of The Fire by Night by Teresa Messineo, from the publisher in exchange for an honest review for TLC Book Tours.

Teresa Messineo’s impressive debut novel The Fire by the Night follows two nurses serving their country on two different fronts during World War II. I have previously read quite a bit of historical fiction set in Europe, however this was the first time I’ve read about those on the Pacific front.

The immense amount of research that went into writing this novel, is evident in the details. This is especially prominent in the use of medical terminology, which was included much more than is typical for this genre. I didn’t realise how little is known about the horrors female nurses faced during this time and the conditions they were forced to live in as prisoners of war.

Jo and Kay’s separate stories interested me for different reasons. While I felt Jo’s perspective offered more from a psychological point of view, Kay’s kept my attention from a geographical standpoint.

Unfortunately I did have some trouble with the graphic descriptions, which still haunt me even after I completed the novel. For this reason I would advise caution to those who are interested in reading The Fire by Night. I would recommend this book to those who enjoy detailed historical fiction.

tlc tour host

 

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Books Hauls

Book Haul: August-September 2017

Today I would like to share the books I have accumulated over the past couple of months.

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Have any of these titles caught your eye? I’d love to hear from you so leave me a message in the comments.

Linking up with Stacking the Shelves

Currently Reading · Wrap-ups

Monthly Wrap-up: September 2017

I have been dealing with a lot of problems with my internet and laptop this month, so I’m just going to do a quick wrap-up before it boots me offline again.

Books Completed:

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♥♥♥ 3/5
The Christmas Blessing by Melody Carlson
Genre: Historical Fiction, Christian Fiction, Holiday Story
SENT FOR REVIEW

The Stats

Total Number of Books Read: 1
Total Number of Fiction: 1
Total Number of Non-fiction: 0
Total Books Sent for Review: 1
Total Books Read From My Shelves: 0
Total Library Books Read: 0

Formats Read
Physical Books: 0
eBooks: 1
Audio Books: 0

Total Books Read in 2017: 20

Currently Reading

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Book Reviews · Read-a-thons · Recommendations

The Hangman (Chief Inspector Armand Gamache, #6.5) by Louise Penny


The Hangman (Chief Inspector Armand Gamache, #6.5)

By: Louise Penny

Published: 2010
Published by: Grass Roots Press

Format Read: Paperback
Genre: Mystery, Short Story, Series 

Rating: 3.5/5
♥♥♥.5

Synopsis

While out on a morning jog in the woods a man stumbles across the body of a man hung from a tree. What looked like a suicide is determined to be much more and Chief Inspector Armand Gamache is called to the small secluded town to investigate.

My Thoughts

The Hangman is part of a collection of short stories that is geared towards encouraging people to read. At under 100 pages, I picked this up for a read-a-thon and flew through it.

The Chief Inspector Armand Gamache series has been on my TBR for quite a while now, so I was pleasantly surprised when I came across this at my local library.

This was a fairly simple story, in the ‘locked room’ style. However instead of a ‘locked room’ it was set in a secluded town called Three Pines. The author included a detailed backstory for the suspects that fit well into its short length. Although I did enjoy it, I wish that there were more clues throughout instead of having the reader find out many facts when the truth is revealed. I am hopeful that the full length installments for the Armand Gamache series will allow for more of a build up.

I recommend The Hangman to mystery fans who are looking for a quick read.

Book Reviews

The Christmas Blessing by Melody Carlson

The Christmas Blessing
By Melody Carlson

Published: September, 2017
Published by: Fleming H. Revell Company

Format Read: NetGalley, eBook
Genre: Historical Fiction, Christian Fiction

Rating: 3/5
♥♥♥

I was sent a copy of The Christmas Blessing by Melody Carlson, from the publisher via NetGalley, in exchange for an honest review. 

Synopsis 

After a brief whirlwind romance, Amelia and James decide to marry, but are separated before tying the knot when he is called to report for duty as a pilot during the second world war. Shortly later she discovers that she is expecting his baby, then news arrives that his plane had been shot down over the Pacific. Alone and afraid, Amelia gives birth to a son she names Jimmy and decides to turn to James’ family for help. The Christmas Blessing follows her as she makes her way penniless to search for a family who doesn’t know that she or baby Jimmy exist.

My Thoughts 

The Christmas Blessing was a quick holiday story set in the home front of 1944 as war rages on.  Amelia’s life was riddled with tragedy, however the tone of the writing was quite light.

While I was able to relate to our main character was a single mother, but I didn’t quite feel enough emotion was conveyed as well as I would have liked. The World War II era time line was my favourite part of this story. However I enjoyed the characters and plot in Melody Carlson’s The Christmas Joy Ride, much more.

That being said it was a cute story that would make for a nice holiday movie and I would recommend it to fans of this author.

 

 

Book Reviews

The Islands of Doctor Thomas by Francoise Enguehard

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The Islands of Doctor Thomas
By Francoise Enguehard

 

 

Published: 2009
Published By: Breakwater Books

Format Read: Paperback
Genre: Canadian Literature

Rating: 3/5
♥♥♥

Synopsis

A successful architect returns to his childhood island home; St. Pierre et Miquelon. There he and a young family friend become fascinated with the discovery of a collection of photographs by a Dr. Louis Thomas dating back to 1913.

My Thoughts

I came across The Islands of Doctor Thomas at my local library and was intrigued by the setting. While St. Pierre et Miquelon are French islands, they are located very close to Newfoundland on the Atlantic Ocean. Even though it is on my bucket list to visit, I know very little about them.

So naturally this book interested me from a geographical point of view. It also compared the culture of these islands and how they differ and compare to that of France and North America (specifically Newfoundland).

The authors writing style (which was translated from French) is reflective and rich in metaphors. The story is very connected to the nature of the islands and the mood of those who live there.

Although the overall tone was quite melancholy it was still beautifully written. Unfortunately some of these traits went over my head and I don’t think that I was able to truly appreciate the meaning behind Enguehard’s words.

I would recommend The Islands of Doctor Thomas to those who enjoy literary fiction.

 

Book Reviews · Recommendations

The Luxe (Luxe, #1) by Anna Godbersen

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The Luxe (Luxe, #1)

By: Anna Godbersen

Published: October, 2008
Published By: Harper Collins Canada

Format Read: Trade Paperback
Genre: Historical Fiction, Young Adult

Rating: 3/5
♥♥♥

Synopsis..

In 1899 New York City’s high society appearances are everything. Gossip columnists report their every move. The Holland sisters grew up in the lap of luxury until their father’s death left their family in a financial crisis and their reputation rests on keeping this a secret.

My Thoughts..

I am writing this review after reading The Luxe for the second time. I first read it shortly after its release, but didn’t get a chance to continue on with the series. Now that I have refreshed my memory of the story, I plan to read book two; Rumors.
My thoughts after rereading this book mirror those that I had after first time I read it. The late 1800’s New York City setting remains my favourite part of The Luxe. The upstairs/downstairs story also drew me to this book.
Unfortunately it wasn’t very detailed in terms of the time period. Especially in the case of the dialogue or language. These aspects felt too modern for me. Although I wonder if the author took this approach in a bid to attract young adult readers.
With the exception of Diana, I didn’t really like any of the characters in this book. I also thought that the decisions Elizabeth made weren’t really I line with her character traits.
I would still recommend Anna Godbersen’s The Luxe series to fans of young adult with a light hint of historical fiction.

Articles

A Day in the Life of a Digital Media Publisher

Last month a good friend of mine was featured in an article on the blog State of Digital Publishing, written by Vahe Arabian.

In the article, Tammy gives some good advice for those who are just starting out in the industry. Although her focus is on travel writing the tips she gave can also be applied to small blogs like mine as well.

Click the link below to read the article.

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Tammy Burns; Urban Adventures by Vahe Arabian

Articles · Recommendations

For Fans of Gilmore Girls..

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Source: Gilmore News

If you are anything like me, you were super sad to see the Gilmore Girls end in 2007 after 7 seasons. And likewise you were super excited for its revival Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life, that was released last year on Netflix.

But now you are back to missing our favourite mom and daughter duo, right? Me too!

Well I recently stumbled across a 2016 article by Johanna Golden (from Book Bub Blog) entitled:

14 Books to Read if You Love ‘Gilmore Girls’

And while these books may not replace our favourite show, it may provide us with some great reading.

Several of these books I’ve had on my TBR for a while including: Where’d You Go Bernadette? by Maria Semple and Empire Falls by Richard Russo. Now, with this list of recommendations my TBR has grown again.

I can’t wait to read some of these books and see how they compare to Gilmore Girls.

Have you read any of the books from the article? Which were your favourite and did they compare to the show? I’d love to hear from you. Please leave me a message in the comments.