Friday, June 22, 2012

A Grown-Up Kind of Pretty: A Novel by Joshilyn Jackson~~Review

A Grown-Up Kind of Pretty: A Novel by Joshilyn Jackson

Synopsis: A GROWN-UP KIND OF PRETTY is a powerful saga of three generations of women, plagued by hardships and torn by a devastating secret, yet inextricably joined by the bonds of family. Fifteen-year-old Mosey Slocumb-spirited, sassy, and on the cusp of womanhood-is shaken when a small grave is unearthed in the backyard, and determined to figure out why it's there. Liza, her stroke-ravaged mother, is haunted by choices she made as a teenager. But it is Jenny, Mosey's strong and big-hearted grandmother, whose maternal love braids together the strands of the women's shared past--and who will stop at nothing to defend their future

My Review:
This is my first book by Joshilyn Jackson and I will be remedying that ASAP. This was such a great book almost impossible to put down. What great characters I loved them all! This book is about family and what it means to be family. The 3 generations of women in this book will make you smile, cry and cheer.

Once the first bombshell is dropped in this book you will not be able to turn back or put this book down! Oh my, it would be so easy to give away too much in a review but I want you to know how much I loved this book! Big, Little & Mosey are all great women in their own right, I loved how each chapter was told from each woman’s perspective so you knew what each was thinking and hiding and revealing to the other and how the other reacts to it. As you may be able to tell I fell in love with this family of women and I just want to gush on and on. Maybe I better just stop here and say READ THIS BOOK!!

5 Stars

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Mr. Churchill’s Secretary by, Susan Elia MacNeal

Synopsis:London, 1940. Winston Churchill has just been sworn in, war rages across the Channel, and the threat of a Blitz looms larger by the day. But none of this deters Maggie Hope. She graduated at the top of her college class and possesses all the skills of the finest minds in British intelligence, but her gender qualifies her only to be the newest typist at No. 10 Downing Street. Her indefatigable spirit and remarkable gifts for codebreaking, though, rival those of even the highest men in government, and Maggie finds that working for the prime minister affords her a level of clearance she could never have imagined—and opportunities she will not let pass. In troubled, deadly times, with air-raid sirens sending multitudes underground, access to the War Rooms also exposes Maggie to the machinations of a menacing faction determined to do whatever it takes to change the course of history.

Ensnared in a web of spies, murder, and intrigue, Maggie must work quickly to balance her duty to King and Country with her chances for survival. And when she unravels a mystery that points toward her own family’s hidden secrets, she’ll discover that her quick wits are all that stand between an assassin’s murderous plan and Churchill himself.

In this daring debut, Susan Elia MacNeal blends meticulous research on the era, psychological insight into Winston Churchill, and the creation of a riveting main character,  Maggie Hope, into a spectacularly crafted novel

My Review:

This book was not what I was expecting; I didn’t expect it to be a spy/war/mystery/family secrets story all rolled into a really good book. The setting was fascinating; the beginning of WWII and with people like the US Ambassador Joseph Kennedy who lost his post for being a Nazi sympathizer and an anti-Semite which I looked up and was a bit shocked to find this all to be true. And of course Winston Churchill it was fun to hear about his pets running rough shod over 10 Downing (I looked that up too and found it to be true). So this book was well researched and made me want to look things up and as I’ve said before that’s what makes a good historical fiction novel.

I really liked Maggie she did remind me a little of Maisie Dobbs but that could just be the setting and the fact that she is a strong independent woman in a time that was a bit frowned upon. I also liked the fact that Maggie was raised an American but by the end of this book has been found to be a valuable asset for the England. There are at times a lot of characters to keep track of  and I did get confused a couple times as to who was who so I hope in the next book this will be tightened up a bit. I do look forward to reading more of Maggie.

I felt this book was kind of a Cozy Spy Thriller it had all the great elements of a good spy novel plus the best of a cozy mystery. I look forward to more by this author.

All in all a good start of what I’ve heard is a proposed series and I look forward to the next one!

4 stars