Monday, April 21, 2014

The Daring Ladies of Lowell: A Novel by Kate Alcott, narrated by, Cassandra Campbell

This book is available in hardcover in-house, and Ebook & Audiobook from Library2Go

The Daring Ladies of Lowell: A Novel by Kate Alcott, narrated by, Cassandra Campbell

Synopsis from Goodreads: Determined to forge her own destiny, Alice Barrow joins the legions of spirited young women better known as the Mill Girls. From dawn until dusk, these ladies work the looms, but the thrill of independence, change in their pockets, and friendships formed along the way mostly make the backbreaking labor worthwhile. In fact, Hiram Fiske, the steely-eyed titan of industry, has banked on that. But the working conditions are becoming increasingly dangerous and after one too many accidents, Alice finds herself unexpectedly acting as an emissary to address the factory workers' mounting list of grievances.
After traveling to the Fiske family's Beacon Hill mansion, Alice enters a world she's never even dared to dream about: exquisite silk gowns, sumptuous dinners, grand sitting parlors, and uniformed maids operating with an invisible efficiency. Of course, there's also a chilliness in the air as Alice presents her case. But with her wide, intelligent eyes and rosy-hued cheeks, Alice manages to capture the attention of Hiram's eldest son, the handsome and reserved Samuel Fiske.
Their chemistry is undeniable, soon progressing from mutual respect and shy flirtation into an unforgettable romance. But when Alice's best friend, Lovey, is found strangled in a field, Alice and Samuel are torn between loyalty to "their kind" and a chance for true love.

This review is for the audiobook:

This was such a great book, it’s not only the story of the ladies that worked at the Lowell Mills but also a murder mystery, fabulously written by the author and fantastically narrated by Cassandra Campbell.

This was a fascinating look at the working conditions of the cotton mills of Lowell, how sick these girls got because the windows were closed and their lungs would fill up with so much cotton they would cough up balls of cotton. How awful is that? Also the machinery isn’t in the greatest condition and accidents happen more often than they should.  All of the ladies are well written and each has their own voice. Alice is the main character, but the other ladies are great too and poor Lovey, she had so much going for her but her murder and the trial that followed brought about small changes in the mill that were good for the workers, not as much change as they should have had but as one worker said it’s uphill from where we were before. Of course, the owners of the mill are pretty much bad guys not wanting to change anything that would affect their bottom line and Hiram Fisk is a huge jerk. He has two sons one that truly wants to help the ladies and one that is just pretty much a waste. (Can you guess which one is involved in the love story?) There is a chaste love story that doesn’t overwhelm the book and actually had me hoping things would work out for the two of them.

Cassandra Campbell’s narration of this one is just superb; it may be my favorite of all Cassandra’s narrations to date. Everyone had a clear voice and you always knew who was talking, her narration of Hiram was perfection!  All of her characters and accents were so perfect I absolutely loved this narration, and I have been a fan of Cassandra’s for awhile now but I think this is my favorite and I was very surprised it didn’t win an earphones award and won’t be surprised to see it as audie nominee for best female narration next year!

This book was a great story and I will read anything Kate Alcott writes I really enjoyed her book The Dressmaker too! If you like historical fictions with a good story give this one a try.

5 Stars

I found this fascinating video on youtube about the Lowell Mill Girls

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Missing You by, Harlan Coben

Missing You by, Harlan Coben
Synopsis from GoodreadsIt's a profile, like all the others on the online dating site. But as NYPD Detective Kat Donovan focuses on the accompanying picture, she feels her whole world explode, as emotions she’s ignored for decades come crashing down on her. Staring back at her is her ex-fiancĂ© Jeff, the man who shattered her heart—and who she hasn’t seen in 18 years.

Kat feels a spark, wondering if this might be the moment when past tragedies recede and a new world opens up to her.  But when she reaches out to the man in the profile, her reawakened hope quickly darkens into suspicion and then terror as an unspeakable conspiracy comes to light, in which monsters prey upon the most vulnerable.

As the body count mounts and Kat's hope for a second chance with Jeff grows more and more elusive, she is consumed by an investigation that challenges her feelings about everyone she ever loved—her former fiancĂ©, her mother, and even her father, whose cruel murder so long ago has never been fully explained. With lives on the line, including her own, Kat must venture deeper into the darkness than she ever has before, and discover if she has the strength to survive what she finds there.

My Review:

Harlan Coben has written another non-stop thriller that will leave you on the edge of your seat, and make you never want to stop reading!  This book grabbed me immediately and never let go till the very end. I really like the character of Kat and would read more books with her in them.

What would you do if you found your ex (the one who got away) on a dating site (well you find his picture but the name isn’t the same) and when you message him he at first doesn’t seem to remember you. As if that isn’t bad enough some kid (Brandon) shows up at your door saying that same man went away with his mother and he thinks she is in trouble. Throw in a mystery about who really killed Kat’s father and away we go on this rollercoaster ride of a story. Be ready for twists and turns and red herrings, which will keep you guessing all the way to the end.

I love Harlan Coben’s books he always writes a good solid story with a mystery that keeps you on your toes, there was one part of the story I had figured out but my theory was not what Coben ended up writing so I still wasn’t 100% right and I love that in a mystery. I liked the fact that there weren’t any cardboard cutout characters in this book each character had their own identity and back story, which made me care about them even the ones that didn’t last long. 

If you can’t already tell I loved this book, so the only thing I can say to you is, what are you waiting for get to reading!

5 Stars