Book Reviews · Recommendations

The Enigma by T.C. Badcock

The Enigma

By T.C. Badcock

Published: May 2009

Published by: DRC Publishing

Format Read: Trade Paperback

Genre: Historical Fiction

Rating: 3.5/5

♥♥♥.5

Synopsis

In September 1942 a German submarine left its home base of St. Nazaire bound for the tiny Newfoundland outport of Three Rock Harbour. The Enigma is Tom Badcock’s compelling story of what happens when the Germans meet up with the Newfoundlanders and the events that changed all of their lives forever. Tom is a five-time decorated retired air force officer who began his career as a cryptographer at the former Fort Pepperrell American base in St. John’s, Newfoundland. He says equipment he used throughout his career functioned nearly exactly like the German Enigma Machine which, at the outbreak of WW2, was considered to be the best and safest mechanical cipher machine available to any country.

My Thoughts

I picked up TC Badcock’s The Enigma by accident, mistaking it for another book about a German U-boat in Labrador. Thankfully I gave this book a try as it turned out to be equally as fascinating.

Badcock begins stating that this was based on a true story that was told to him by a woman on her deathbed. However upon some research I learned that the events that take place aren’t exactly fact. Still there were aspects of the book that may well have been true. Could an isolated Newfoundland community have unknowingly played host to a German U-boat crew? It may well be true, but I chose to read The Enigma as a work of fiction.

The authors knowledgeable of the operations on U-boats and the fishery was quite interesting to me. The deception on behalf of the merchants and the inflation that was the result really gave a good idea of how fishermen and their families lived.

I would recommend TC Badcocks The Enigma to be read with a grain of salt. And maybe a good feed of jigs dinner.

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Memes · Recommendations

Top 10 Tuesday: New to Me Authors I read in 2018


Top 10 Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl

Here are some of the authors I read for the first time in 2018..

  • Morgan Matson
  • Colleen Hoover
  • Heather Smith
  • Aimee Molloy
  • Jacqueline Winspear
  • Hugh Brewster
  • A.J. Pearce
  • Rhys Bowen
  • Jean E. Pendziwol
  • Karen Kingsbury
Book Reviews · Recommendations

The Lightkeeper’s Daughters by Jean E. Pendziwol

 

The Lightkeeper’s Daughters
By Jean E. Pendziwol

Published: July 2017
Published by: Harper
Format Read: eBook, Library Book, Libby App
Genre: Historical Fiction, Mystery, Contemporary

Rating: 5/5
♥♥♥♥♥

 

Synopsis

Though her mind is still sharp, Elizabeth’s eyes have failed. No longer able to linger over her beloved books or gaze at the paintings that move her spirit, she fills the void with music and memories of her family—a past that suddenly becomes all too present when her late father’s journals are found amid the ruins of an old shipwreck.

With the help of Morgan, a delinquent teenager performing community service, Elizabeth goes through the diaries, a journey through time that brings the two women closer together. Entry by entry, these unlikely friends are drawn deep into a world far removed from their own—to Porphyry Island on Lake Superior, where Elizabeth’s father manned the lighthouse seventy years before.

As the words on these musty pages come alive, Elizabeth and Morgan begin to realize that their fates are connected to the isolated island in ways they never dreamed. While the discovery of Morgan’s connection sheds light onto her own family mysteries, the faded pages of the journals hold more questions than answers for Elizabeth, and threaten the very core of who she is.

My Thoughts

Historical fiction, set in a place I’ve visited, with a nautical element: three of my favourite things to read about. Jean E. Pendziwol’s The Lighthouse Keepers Daughters is worthy of a 5 star rating.

It follows an unlikely pair of characters as they revisit the past with the help of the Lighthouse Keepers old log books. This story was the perfect book to read during the fall, as the atmospheric tale set a haunting tone.

The premise initially reminded me of the book Perdita by Hilary Scharper with its dual timeline, lighthouse setting and artistic elements. However I did enjoy this book far more. Other books it has been related to include The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield and The Language of Flowers by Vanessa Diffenbaugh, which I have also read and would agree with.

I would highly recommend The Lighthouse Keepers Daughters by Jean E Pendziwol to fans of Canadian historical fiction.

Book Reviews · Recommendations

The Shoe Box: A Christmas Story by Francine Rivers

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The Shoe Box: A Christmas Story
By: Francine Rivers 

Published: September 2011
Published By: Christian Audio Fiction 
Format Read: Audio Book, Libby App, Library Book
Genre: Christian Fiction 

Rating: 4/5
♥♥♥♥

Synopsis 

This Christmas novella tells the unforgettable story of little Timmy, a foster child with a very special and mysterious shoe box. Designed for gift-giving, this heartwarming book features new illustrations, updated content–including Francine Rivers’ favorite holiday recipes and Christmas traditions–and the complete Christmas story from the New Living Translation.

Goodreads 

My Thoughts

Author Francine Rivers found inspiration in her own prayer box, to write a story of a little boy and his special shoe box. 

This beautiful short story deeply touched me, as a mother with a young son of my own. Timmy’s unfortunate circumstances only served to strengthen his faith. In turn he shined a light on the true meaning of the Christmas season. 

This audiobook also included a version of the Christmas Story that I hadn’t heard before. 

The Shoe Box made for the perfect holiday listen and I would highly recommend it to those who enjoy inspirational Christmas stories. 

Book Reviews · Recommendations

A Lancaster County Christmas (Lancaster County Secrets) by Suzanne Woods Fisher

10426868

A Lancaster County Christmas
(Lancaster County Secrets)
By: Suzanne Woods Fisher 

Published: October 2011
Published by: Revell 
Format Read: eBook, Kobo
Genre: Amish Fiction, Christian Fiction 

Rating: 3.5/5

Synopsis


Jaime and C. J. Fitzpatrick began their married life as most couples do–in love and looking forward to a bright future together. But four years later they’ve drifted apart and are almost ready to call it quits.

Mattie Riehl was hoping to give her husband Sol the Christmas gift they have both longed for–news that a baby was on the way. But as usual, she is disappointed. The holidays bring an acute awareness to Mattie that her dream of a big family isn’t likely to become a reality.

Then a winter storm raging outside blows the Fitzpatricks into the Riehl home–and into a much slower pace of life. Can these two couples from different worlds help each other understand the true meaning of love this Christmas?

With her trademark plot twists and attention to detail, Suzanne Woods Fisher offers readers a beautiful Christmas story of love, forgiveness, and what truly matters in life.

Goodreads 

My Thoughts 

Over the past couple of years, Amish fiction has become the genre I turn to when I’m in the mood for a warm, inspirational story. Suzanne Woods Fisher has become one of my go-to authors. 


A Lancaster County Christmas follows Mattie and Solomon who are characters from the Lancaster County Secrets series. Set during Christmas, this story explores the differences and similarities between the Amish and English.


I found Matties mental health struggles to be quite relatable. Although it was her young son Danny, who was the true shining star. He was a curious child with a heart of gold. Danny was such an endearing and memorable character. 


Unfortunately at times the story felt rushed and predictable. However it was an enjoyable novel that can be read as a stand-alone. I would recommend it to fans of Amish fiction 

Recommendations · Wrap-ups

Monthly Wrap-up: December 2018

Total Books Read in December: 8

Total Books Read in 2018: 41

25057909

A Christmas Cracker by Trisha Ashley
Genre: Contemporary Fiction
Rating: 3/5

10426868

A Lancaster County Christmas (Lancaster County Secrets) by Suzanne Woods Fisher
Genre: Christian Fiction, Amish Fiction
Rating: 3.5/5

16638445

Visions of Sugar Plums: A Stephanie Plum Holiday Novel (Stephanie Plum, #8.5) by Janet Evanovich
Genre: Audio Book, Mystery, Contemporary
Rating: 1/5

162085

Pretty Little Liars (Pretty Little Liars, #1) by Sara Shepard
Genre: YA Lit, Mystery
Rating: 3/5
Quick Thoughts: Pretty Little Liars was a quick young adult novel that wasn’t exactly as suspenseful as I anticipated. Although I enjoyed it well enough, I found some parts to be somewhat lame. Still Sara Shepard set the stage for a mystery I am interested in uncovering.

402013

Angus, Thongs and Full-Frontal Snogging (Confessions of Georgia Nicolson, #1) by Louise Rennison
Genre: Young Adult Lit
Rating: 3/5
NOTE: This was a re-read.

40680965

The World’s Best Jokes for Kids Volume I: Every Single One Illustrated
By: Lisa Swerling & Ralph Lazar

Genre: Childrens, Humour
Rating: 3/5
NOTE: Sent for review.

1074833

The Tea House on Mulberry Street
By: Sharon Owens

Read by: Caroline Winterson
Genre: Women’s Fiction, Audio book
Rating: 3/5

35059208

Summer Baby: A Novella (The Summer Series, Book 3)
By: Beth Labonte

Genre: Novella, Contemporary Fiction
Rating: 3/5

The Stats


Total Number of Books Read: 8
Total Number of Fiction: 7
Total Number of Non-Fiction: 1
Total Books Sent for Review: 1
Total Books Read from My Shelves: 3  
Total Library Books Read: 3

Formats Read


Physical Books: 2
eBooks: 3
Audio Books: 2 

January TBR

From my TBR Jar:

Follow me on Instagram @melissaleesredhousereviews to see the video I posted where I chose my January TBR jar book.

The Years Before Anne: The Early Career of Lucy Maud Montgomery, Author of Anne of Green Gables

I also plan to read:

36576096
40590406

I hope that you all had a wonderful holiday season and wishing you a very happy new year.

Memes · Recommendations · Wrap-ups

#Top10of2018 The Best of the Best

Top 10 of 2018

Today on Top 10 of 2018, hosted by KimberlyFaye Reads, we are talking about our top 10 favourite books of the year.. 

The Lightkeeper’s Daughters by Jean E. Pendziwol

Save the Date by Morgan Matson

Hopeless by Colleen Hoover

The Bridge by Karen Kingsbury

Nights of Rain and Stars by Maeve Binchy

Maisie Dobbs (Maisie Dobbs, #1) by Jacqueline Winspear

An Amish Kitchen by Beth Wiseman, Amy Clipston & Kelly Long

The Meeting Place (Song of Acadia, #1) by Janette Oke

Rumors (Luxe, #2) by Anna Godbersen

The Perfect Mother by Aimee Molloy

Book Reviews · Recommendations

The Bridge by Karen Kingsbury

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The Bridge 
By: Karen Kingsbury

Published: October, 2012
Published by: Howard Books
Format Read: Hardcover
Genre: Contemporary Fiction, Christian Fiction, Inspirational Fiction

Rating: 5/5

Synopsis


Number one New York Times bestselling author Karen Kingsbury delivers an instant classic with this heartwarming Christmas story about a hundred-year flood, lost love, and the beauty of enduring friendships. Molly Allen lives alone in Portland, but she left her heart back in Tennessee with a man she walked away from five years ago. They had a rare sort of love she hasn’t found since.

Ryan Kelly lives in Nashville after a broken engagement and several years on the road touring with a country music duo. He can still hear Molly’s voice encouraging him to follow his dreams; Molly, whose memory stays with him. At least he can visit The Bridge—the oldest bookstore in historic downtown Franklin—and remember the hours he and Molly once spent there.

For thirty years, Charlie and Donna Barton have run The Bridge, providing the people of middle Tennessee with coffee, conversation, and shelves of good books—even through dismal book sales and the rise of digital books. Then in May, the hundred-year flood swept through Franklin and destroyed nearly every book in the store.

Now the bank is pulling the lease on The Bridge. Despondent and without answers, Charlie considers the unthinkable. Then tragedy strikes, and suddenly, everything changes. In the face of desperate brokenness and lost opportunities, could the miracle of a second chance actually unfold?

The Bridge is a love story set against the struggle of the American bookstore, a love story you will never forget.

Goodreads

My Thoughts

Karen Kingsbury’s The Bridge told a story that was as beautiful as its cover. 

Two long lost college friends are reunited when their favourite bookshop is in jeopardy of being shut down. Set during the holiday season, it tells a story of life long dreams, true love and friendship. 

I loved learning about Charlie and Donna’s life together and how they built up the store that meant so much to so many. Oh how I would love to have a special place like that. I couldn’t put down this book with its story that was both heartbreaking and heartwarming. 

I would highly recommend Karen Kingsbury’s The Bridge, to those who enjoy inspirational fiction. I look forward to rereading it again.