Tag Archives: TLC Book Tours

Blog Tour – The Girl Who Stayed

The Girl Who Stayed

Title: The Girl Who Stayed

Author: Tanya Anne Crosby

2016 – Fiction

Source: TLC Book Tours

The Story: After years of running from responsibility and her past, Zoe Rutherford returns to the island where she grew up in order to take care of the family’s home, which has fallen into disrepair due to years of neglect. From the moment she steps foot onto the island, she is beset by memories of her sister, who went missing as a child and was never found. She also must come to terms with the realities of her family and the culture in which she grew up, exploring how that has shaped her as an adult. Dealing with these family skeletons only adds anxiety, as Zoe also faces a grumpy neighbor, an abusive ex, an attentive man who happens to be the police chief’s son, and the fact that women are going missing and a murderer may be running loose on the island.

Review: For me, the book started off really slowly. To be honest, I’m not sure if this is actual truth or if it is due to the current reading slump in which I find myself. It’s been a couple of weeks now with no end in sight. Regardless, I read the book in fits and starts, a chapter here, ten pages there. As I read, the story started to slowly draw me in.

I love novels that are set on the coast – they just feel so atmospheric and set such a believable scene. So the backdrop of the low country, the small details of living by the ocean, the small town behaviors and habits, these things really provide a great setting for a story which is ultimately about facing the past, realizing that it has an impact on who you grow up to be, and learning to love yourself.

I had a couple of issues with transitions – sometimes it wasn’t quite clear to me when the story transitioned from present to past. Nothing that can’t be cleared up with further reading, of course, but it did leave me confused a couple of times.

Overall, Zoe’s story felt really authentic. She often makes the point that she wouldn’t have believed that she could end up a victim of domestic abuse, which could really hit home with other women who have found themselves in situations that they can’t quite understand. For Zoe, when it rains, it storms, but it didn’t really feel overdone or too much. It just read like real life. Even in the midst of a slump, this book was a quick read that I enjoyed.

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Blog Tour – Maisie Dobbs

Maisie Dobbs (Maisie Dobbs, #1)

Title: Maisie Dobbs

Author: Jacqueline Winspear

2003 – Fiction – Mystery/Historical Fiction

Rating: 4/5

Source: TLC Book Tours

The Story: Years after World War I, Maisie Dobbs opens her door to clients who need answers in their lives. Her first client is a husband afraid that his wife is having an affair. But what Maisie finds is much deeper – a young woman grieving the loss of her first love. A suspicious home for wounded veterans known simply as “The Retreat”. And always, the memories of war lurking in the background.

The Opening Line: Even if she hadn’t been the last person to walk through the turnstile at Warren Street tube station, Jack Barker would have noticed the tall, slender woman in the navy blue, thigh-length jacket with a matching pleated skirt short enough to reveal a well-turned ankle.

Review: Sadly, this is one of those books that I stumbled upon years ago, banished to my ever-growing, looming TBR (to-be-read) list, and pretty much forgot about. I’m happy to report that now my TBR list is one book shorter and that this truly worthy book no longer languishes unread.

I love mysteries, and the historical fiction genre is one that continues to grow on me. Turns out, the two pair quite well, especially in the hands of an author like Winspear, who deftly weaves a narrative that leaves no loose ends or plot holes to infuriate the reader. Every last nugget of information felt well-earned, and I came to care about Maisie on such a deep emotional level. With each new added bit to Maisie’s story, I felt my heart twist in sympathy or leap with joy.

With, what, something like 12 books (?) in the series now, I was prepared to read this novel and be done. I mean, 10+ books is a  big commitment. But after finishing Maisie Dobbs, I think I’ll keep reading, keep getting to know these characters and be a part of their lives. This book is a masterpiece, something to read and treasure and think about long after you’ve finished.

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Blog Tour – Silver Tongue

Silver Tongue

Title: Silver Tongue

Author: AshleyRose Sullivan

2015 – Historical Fiction

Rating: 4/5

Source: TLC Book Tours

The Story: After the colonies lose the Revolutionary War, the land is divided into three territories – New Britannia, Nueva Espana, and Nouvelle France. Now it’s 1839, which is going to prove a year of upheaval and change for Claire Poissant and her friends Phileas and Sam. First, there’s Claire’s magical gift of persuasion, which can cause others to follow her will. Then there’s Phileas, who opposes his family’s expectations and is bullied because of his sexuality. And Sam is cursed, an inherited curse that changed the very course of history. The three friends embark on a journey of adventure and revenge, meeting new friends and allies along the way that will change them forever.

Thoughts: Anyone interested in reading this novel should realize that this isn’t your standard historical fiction. This is alternative history, set in a world where the United States never existed. It’s in this divided world that our main characters must navigate an assortment of challenges, personal setbacks, and more. Although the alternative history isn’t played up as often as in other books of the same type, the subtleness of it all was just right.

I really loved the characters, main and otherwise. Our three main characters each have completely unique personalities and challenges to overcome, and there are events that definitely test their friendship. So it was completely realistic in that aspect. In fact, it was super relatable – it made me think about the fights I have with my roommates, who are my best friends. Even when we have a bad argument, I know that our friendship will emerge all the stronger for it. So I loved the depictions of their friendship. The other characters were all strong as well. Whether an ally or villain, the characters were dynamic and believable.

Speaking of those supporting characters, there were a number of cameos from some famous names throughout history. Claire and friends meet P.T. Barnum on their journey, where he tries to convince Claire to join his traveling show. She declines of course, having her own personal agenda to deal with. The group also befriends William Frankenstein, who struggles with the definition of what it means to be “human.”

I read the book pretty quickly and enjoyed it all the way through. For fans of YA historical fiction with just a touch of the supernatural, this book should fit the bill nicely!

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