The Scent Keeper by Erica Bauermeister | St. Martin’s Press | Book Review

The Scent Keeper by Erica Bauermeister

The Scent Keeper by Erica Bauermeister

Book Summary:

“Emmeline lives an enchanted childhood on a remote island with her father, who teaches her about the natural world through her senses. What he won’t explain are the mysterious scents stored in the drawers that line the walls of their cabin, or the origin of the machine that creates them. As Emmeline grows, however, so too does her curiosity, until one day the unforeseen happens, and Emmeline is vaulted out into the real world–a place of love, betrayal, ambition, and revenge. To understand her past, Emmeline must unlock the clues to her identity, a quest that challenges the limits of her heart and imagination.

Lyrical and immersive, The Scent Keeper explores the provocative beauty of scent, the way it can reveal hidden truths, lead us to the person we seek, and even help us find our way back home.”

Publication Date:

May 21st, 2019

Genre:

Coming of Age Fiction

My Rating:

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️💫

My Review:

Erica Bauermeister

You can read my interview with Author Erica Bauermeister HERE. 

Have you ever been in a reading funk? A couple of months ago I was having a hard time becoming fully immersed in anything I was reading. When St. Martin’s Press reached out and offered the opportunity to join their spring book tour for The Scent Keeper, I gladly accepted. I was ready to try something new and I was super intrigued by the summary of Erica Bauermeister’s newest fiction novel.

I dove right into the Scent Keeper that weekend and it was one of those books that just took me away from the very first page. The scenes are described so beautifully and I was was able to picture everything so perfectly from Bauermeister’s incredible storytelling. If you would like to learn more about Bauermeister, I was able to ask her some questions about this book and her work as an author last week and you can find that post HERE.

The Scent Keeper is a coming of age story with the element of incorporating the senses, in particular, the power of scent. The characters are raw and flawed, which I always find makes stories so much stronger. There are hidden secrets, self-discovery, and transformation, and the ending will leave you guessing but also feeling open to the power of your own imagination. When thinking of the genre this would fit into, it really is in a realm of its own.

If you enjoyed Where The Crawdads Sing and The Great Alone, I feel like this would be a wonderful addition to your spring and summer reading list. The Scent Keeper takes you away into a place you probably haven’t traveled to before in your reading world, and I can’t wait to read what Bauermeister comes out with next.

A huge thank you to St. Martin’s Press for having me on their blog tour and offering me the chance to share about this wonderful novel, AND providing one of my readers with a book giveaway of the Scent Keeper.


Disclosure: Some of the links above are affiliate links. This means if you click through and make a purchase, I receive a small commission that helps support this blog at no cost to you. Thank you!

Where The Forest Meets The Stars by Glendy Vanderah | Lake Union Publishing | Book Review

Where the Forest Meets the Stars by Glendy Vanderah

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Book Summary:

“After the loss of her mother and her own battle with breast cancer, Joanna Teale returns to her graduate research on nesting birds in rural Illinois, determined to prove that her recent hardships have not broken her. She throws herself into her work from dusk to dawn, until her solitary routine is disrupted by the appearance of a mysterious child who shows up at her cabin barefoot and covered in bruises.

The girl calls herself Ursa, and she claims to have been sent from the stars to witness five miracles. With concerns about the child’s home situation, Jo reluctantly agrees to let her stay—just until she learns more about Ursa’s past.

Jo enlists the help of her reclusive neighbor, Gabriel Nash, to solve the mystery of the charming child. But the more time they spend together, the more questions they have. How does a young girl not only read but understand Shakespeare? Why do good things keep happening in her presence? And why aren’t Jo and Gabe checking the missing children’s website anymore?

Though the three have formed an incredible bond, they know difficult choices must be made. As the summer nears an end and Ursa gets closer to her fifth miracle, her dangerous past closes in. When it finally catches up to them, all of their painful secrets will be forced into the open, and their fates will be left to the stars.”

My Rating:

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

My Review:

I initially glossed over this book because I wasn’t sure about the description but then I read a bunch of amazing review for it from my reading buddies and I had to see what it was all about.

This is such an example of not judging a book by its cover because it was so much more than I was expecting. I will admit, I don’t read books that are sci-fi or fantasy, EVER and I totally threw this one into that category and moved right along. One of the most wonderful things about being a part of the online reading community is the ability to be inspired to try books that are out of my comfort zone.

The gorgeous storytelling and amazing relationships in this book were the highlights of this book for me and I cannot believe this is Vanderah’s debut novel! While this book did have a paranormal aspect, that really wasn’t what stood out for me as the reader. The story of friendship, connection, and healing are so powerful and I am so happy I gave this one a chance.

Thank you to NetGalley and Lake Union Publishing for a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

Montauk by Nicola Harrison | St. Martin’s Press | Book Review

Montauk by Nicola Harrison

Montauk by Nicola Harrison

Book Summary:

“Montauk, Long Island, 1938.

For three months, this humble fishing village will serve as the playground for New York City’s wealthy elite. Beatrice Bordeaux was looking forward to a summer of reigniting the passion between her and her husband, Harry. Instead, tasked with furthering his investment interest in Montauk as a resort destination, she learns she’ll be spending twelve weeks sequestered with the high society wives at The Montauk Manor―a two-hundred room seaside hotel―while Harry pursues other interests in the city.

College educated, but raised a modest country girl in Pennsylvania, Bea has never felt fully comfortable among these privileged women, whose days are devoted not to their children but to leisure activities and charities that seemingly benefit no one but themselves. She longs to be a mother herself, as well as a loving wife, but after five years of marriage, she remains childless while Harry is increasingly remote and distracted. Despite lavish parties at the Manor and the Yacht Club, Bea is lost and lonely and befriends the manor’s laundress whose work ethic and family life stir memories of who she once was.

As she drifts further from the society women and their preoccupations and closer toward Montauk’s natural beauty and community spirit, Bea finds herself drawn to a man nothing like her husband –stoic, plain spoken and enigmatic. Inspiring a strength and courage she had almost forgotten, his presence forces her to face a haunting tragedy of her past and question her future.

Desperate to embrace moments of happiness, no matter how fleeting, she soon discovers that such moments may be all she has, when fates conspire to tear her world apart…”

My Rating:

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

My Review:

Montauk is the debut novel by Nicola Harrison. Through the eyes of Beatrice Bordeaux, we are taken to the shores of Montauk which was still a sleepy town in the late 1930s. Beatrice finds out that she will be spending the summer at the new luxury resort Montauk Manor which is nestled in a closely knit village.

Life for both Beatrice and the U.S. is a bit tumultuous at the time and we learn about her struggles in her own marriage and roles as a woman while also getting a wider view of life around her..specfically the small fishing town and the residents whom many are barely making it by.

While being a character study, there are nods to anti-Semitism, sexism, privilege, loss, and fertility. Harrison’s descriptions of the people, clothing, and environment drew me right into this storyline. Her writing is captivating and engrossing and the multifaceted characters and storylines added a lot of depth that made this so much more than just a beachy romance.

I rooted for Beatrice and loved seeing her find her courage and strength once again. I highly recommend this beautifully written story and if you have enjoyed books by Anita Shreeve or Beatrix Williams I think you will enjoy this one as well.

Thank you to NetGalley and St. Martin’s Press for a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

Book Giveaway on Instagram | The Scent Keeper | St. Martin’s Press

Instagram @genthebookworm Book Giveaway

book giveaway

Book Giveaway:

Hello! If you are following along on here I wanted to make sure you saw about my most recent book giveaway over on Instagram. Yesterday I talked about the highly anticipated release The Scent Keeper and I have partnered with St. Martin’s Press to give a hard copy to one of YOU!

Entering the Giveaway:

If you would like to enter you can click over to Instagram HERE.

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This contest ends tomorrow night at 8pm EST and I will be picking a winner shortly after. Good luck! <3

The Scent Keeper Q&A with Author Erica Bauermeister | St. Martin’s Press

The Scent Keeper Q&A

The Scent Keeper by Erica Bauermeister

Book Summary:

“Erica Bauermeister, the national bestselling author of The School of Essential Ingredients, presents a moving and evocative coming-of-age novel about childhood stories, families lost and found, and how a fragrance conjures memories capable of shaping the course of our lives.

Emmeline lives an enchanted childhood on a remote island with her father, who teaches her about the natural world through her senses. What he won’t explain are the mysterious scents stored in the drawers that line the walls of their cabin, or the origin of the machine that creates them. As Emmeline grows, however, so too does her curiosity, until one day the unforeseen happens, and Emmeline is vaulted out into the real world–a place of love, betrayal, ambition, and revenge. To understand her past, Emmeline must unlock the clues to her identity, a quest that challenges the limits of her heart and imagination.

Lyrical and immersive, The Scent Keeper explores the provocative beauty of scent, the way it can reveal hidden truths, lead us to the person we seek, and even help us find our way back home.”

Scent Keeper - Author Image_credit to Susan Doupé

About the Author:

Erica Bauermeister is the author of the bestselling novel The School of Essential Ingredients, Joy for Beginners, and The Lost Art of Mixing. She is also the co-author of the non-fiction works, 500 Great Books by Women: A Reader’s Guide and Let’s Hear It For the Girls: 375 Great Books for Readers 2-14. She has a Ph.D. in literature from the University of Washington and has taught there and at Antioch University. She is a founding member of the Seattle7Writers and currently lives in Port Townsend, Washington.

Q&A with Author:

St. Martin’s Press offered me the opportunity to ask Erica Bauermeister some questions about her work and life as a writer. I enjoyed hearing about what influences her creative work and learning more about her as an author. I hope you enjoy learning more about Erica!

Q: Your last book, The School of Essential Ingredients, also incorporated senses into your storytelling. What inspired you to integrate senses into your fiction writing?

A: I am drawn to the subliminal, the things that affect us even though we rarely pay attention to them. Food was a logical place to start, as I love to cook. But the more I wrote about food, the more intrigued I became with the sense of smell. Smell is perhaps the most subliminal of all our senses. It has the power to take us back in time, make us fall in love. By putting a signature fragrance in the slot machine room at the Mirage Casino, the owners increased the amount of time people spent gambling by up to 45%! And we don’t even see it coming. My goal with my books is to help people pay attention.

Q: What message/s do you hope readers will take away from The Scent Keeper?

A: The power of the subliminal. But more importantly, the power of compassion, and the recognition that in order to become adults ourselves we have to learn to see our parents as human beings.

Q. How do you get inspired to write? And do you have a certain routine or space that you use when you are writing?

A: I have written in many places—coffee shops, kitchens, in cars or in bed—but I think I finally have the perfect one. A few years ago, we built a small writing studio down in the orchard at our house. Every morning I go down there early, with a cup of coffee. The deer come and lie on the grass in front of the studio and watch me, a strange audience. I sometimes wonder what stories they would write if they had fingers.


Thank you SO much, Erica, for taking the time to answer some of my questions. The Scent Keeper was such an entrancing novel and I highly recommend it. I found the story unique and I loved the abundance of relationships and connections throughout. The Scent Keeper will be published on May 21st, 2019 and I strongly recommend adding it to your summer reading list! I will be sharing my personal review of The Scent Keeper next week so stay tuned. <3

My 2019 Summer Reading List! | Book Recommendations

My Summer 2019 Reading List:

2019 Summer Reading

Summer will be here soon:

Hello! Can you believe it is already almost mid-May? While it is still not feeling entirely like spring over here in Vermont, the countdown is on until the end of the school year which means warmer weather will be here eventually. During the last month of school, life feels pretty hectic with spring sports and end of the year activities for the kids. It is a fun time of year but also a little exhausting!

Summer reading:

When life feels more chaotic, I am drawn to books that are engaging but also easy to pick up in shorter chunks of time. Summer tends to be filled with lots of exciting things but it also flies by. As a photographer, my work life is the busiest in the summer and it also happens to be the time of year that EVERYTHING happens in Vermont because it is finally nice out.

It is a wonderful time of year but also sometimes a bit harder to concentrate on reading. I tend to pick books that are a little more lighthearted and super easy to engage with during the summer. Below is my list of books of upcoming summer releases that I have either already read or have been highly recommended to me by other book reviewing friends. They are a mix of fiction, romance, mystery, and thrillers and I hope you find some that are a perfect fit for your summer reading list.

My Summer Reading List:

Mrs. Everything by Jennifer Weiner

Mrs. Everything by Jennifer Weiner

Publication Date June 11th, 2019

Genre: Women’s Fiction

Book Summary:

“Do we change or does the world change us?

Jo and Bethie Kaufman were born into a world full of promise.

Growing up in 1950s Detroit, they live in a perfect “Dick and Jane” house, where their roles in the family are clearly defined. Jo is the tomboy, the bookish rebel with a passion to make the world more fair; Bethie is the pretty, feminine good girl, a would-be star who enjoys the power her beauty confers and dreams of a traditional life.

But the truth ends up looking different from what the girls imagined. Jo and Bethie survive traumas and tragedies. As their lives unfold against the background of free love and Vietnam, Woodstock and women’s lib, Bethie becomes an adventure-loving wild child who dives headlong into the counterculture and is up for anything (except settling down). Meanwhile, Jo becomes a proper young mother in Connecticut, a witness to the changing world instead of a participant. Neither woman inhabits the world she dreams of, nor has a life that feels authentic or brings her joy. Is it too late for the women to finally stake a claim on happily ever after?

In her most ambitious novel yet, Jennifer Weiner tells a story of two sisters who, with their different dreams and different paths, offer answers to the question: How should a woman be in the world?


Life and Other Inconveniences by Kristan Higgins

Life and Other Inconveniences by Kristan Higgins

Publication Date August 8th, 2019

Genre: Women’s Fiction

Book Summary:

“Emma London never thought she had anything in common with her grandmother Genevieve London. The regal old woman came from wealthy and bluest-blood New England stock, but that didn’t protect her from life’s cruelest blows: the disappearance of Genevieve’s young son, followed by the premature death of her husband. But Genevieve rose from those ashes of grief and built a fashion empire that was respected the world over, even when it meant neglecting her other son.

When Emma’s own mother died, her father abandoned her on his mother’s doorstep. Genevieve took Emma in and reluctantly raised her–until Emma got pregnant her senior year of high school. Genevieve kicked her out with nothing but the clothes on her back…but Emma took with her the most important London possession: the strength not just to survive but to thrive. And indeed, Emma has built a wonderful life for herself and her teenage daughter, Riley. 

So what is Emma to do when Genevieve does the one thing Emma never expected of her and, after not speaking to her for nearly two decades, calls and asks for help?”


The Scent Keeper by Erica Bauermeister

The Scent Keeper by Erica Bauermeister

Publication Date May 21st, 2019

Genre: Women’s Fiction

Book Summary:

“Emmeline lives an enchanted childhood on a remote island with her father, who teaches her about the natural world through her senses. What he won’t explain are the mysterious scents stored in the drawers that line the walls of their cabin, or the origin of the machine that creates them. As Emmeline grows, however, so too does her curiosity, until one day the unforeseen happens, and Emmeline is vaulted out into the real world–a place of love, betrayal, ambition, and revenge. To understand her past, Emmeline must unlock the clues to her identity, a quest that challenges the limits of her heart and imagination.

Lyrical and immersive, The Scent Keeper explores the provocative beauty of scent, the way it can reveal hidden truths, lead us to the person we seek, and even help us find our way back home.”


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Summer of ’69 by Elin Hilderbrand

Publication Date June 18th, 2019

Genre: Women’s Fiction

Book Summary:

“Welcome to the most tumultuous summer of the twentieth century. It’s 1969, and for the Levin family, the times they are a-changing. Every year the children have looked forward to spending the summer at their grandmother’s historic home in downtown Nantucket. But like so much else in America, nothing is the same: Blair, the oldest sister, is marooned in Boston, pregnant with twins and unable to travel. Middle sister Kirby, caught up in the thrilling vortex of civil rights protests and determined to be independent, takes a summer job on Martha’s Vineyard. Only-son Tiger is an infantry soldier, recently deployed to Vietnam. Thirteen-year-old Jessie suddenly feels like an only child, marooned in the house with her out-of-touch grandmother and her worried mother, each of them hiding a troubling secret. As the summer heats up, Ted Kennedy sinks a car in Chappaquiddick, man flies to the moon, and Jessie and her family experience their own dramatic upheavals along with the rest of the country. 

In her first historical novel, rich with the details of an era that shaped both a nation and an island thirty miles out to sea, Elin Hilderbrand once again earns her title as queen of the summer novel.”


The Wedding Party buy Jasmine Guillory

The Wedding Party by Jasmine Guillory

Publication Date July 16th, 2019

Genre: Romance

Book Summary:

“Maddie and Theo have two things in common:

1. Alexa is their best friend
2. They hate each other

After an “oops, we made a mistake” night together, neither one can stop thinking about the other. With Alexa’s wedding rapidly approaching, Maddie and Theo both share bridal party responsibilities that require more interaction with each other than they’re comfortable with. Underneath the sharp barbs they toss at each other is a simmering attraction that won’t fade. It builds until they find themselves sneaking off together to release some tension when Alexa isn’t looking, agreeing they would end it once the wedding is over. When it’s suddenly pushed up and they only have a few months left of secret rendezvouses, they find themselves regretting that the end is near. Two people this different can’t possibly have a connection other than the purely physical, right?

But as with any engagement with a nemesis, there are unspoken rules that must be abided by. First and foremost, don’t fall in love.”

The Other's Gold by Elizabeth Ames

The Other’s Gold by Elizabeth Ames

Publication Date August 27th, 2019

Genre: Women’s Fiction

Book Summary:

“Assigned to the same suite during their freshman year at Quincy-Hawthorne College, Lainey, Ji Sun, Alice, and Margaret quickly become inseparable. The leafy green campus they move through together, the idyllic window seat they share in their suite, and the passion and ferocity that school and independence awakens in them ignites an all-encompassing love with one another. But they soon find their bonds–forged in joy, and fused by fear–must weather threats that originate from beyond the dark forests of their childhoods, and come at them from institutions, from one another, and ultimately, from within themselves. 

The Other’s Gold follows the four friends as each makes a terrible mistake, moving from their wild college days to their more feral days as new parents. With one part devoted to each mistake–the Accident, the Accusation, the Kiss, and the Bite–this complex yet compulsively readable debut interrogates the way that growing up forces our friendships to evolve as the women discover what they and their loved ones are capable of, and capable of forgiving. A joyful, big-hearted book that perfectly evokes the bittersweet experience of falling in love with friendship, the experiences of Lainey, Ji Sun, Alice, and Margaret are at once achingly familiar and yet shine with a brilliance and depth all their own.”

Someone We Know by Shari Lapena

Someone We Know by Shari Lapena

Publication Date: July 7th, 2019

Genre: Mystery &  Thriller

Summary:

‘”I’m so sorry. My son has been getting into people’s houses and meddling with their computers. He’s broken into yours…”

That anonymous note has arrived at houses in a quiet leafy suburb of Rochester, New York. It seems that a teenager has been sneaking into houses and getting up to no good. His mom found out and felt she had to apologize. But she kept the boy’s name out of it. So the cops wouldn’t come calling. 

But now, her neighbors know some kid has been through their homes, rooting through their lives, maybe finding out things best kept hidden. Starting with what happened to that woman down the street whose husband has reported her missing. He says he doesn’t know where she is. But it’s always the husband, isn’t it? 

Maybe her son found out something about that. Or maybe he found out something else. Because in this neighborhood there are a lot of secrets. Secrets that people might kill to keep quiet. And kill again…’


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Lock Every Door by Riley Sager

Publication Date: July 2nd, 2019

Genre: Mystery & Thriller

Book Summary:

“No visitors. No nights spent away from the apartment. No disturbing the other residents, all of whom are rich or famous or both. These are the only rules for Jules Larsen’s new job as an apartment sitter at the Bartholomew, one of Manhattan’s most high-profile and mysterious buildings. Recently heartbroken and just plain broke, Jules is taken in by the splendor of her surroundings and accepts the terms, ready to leave her past life behind.

As she gets to know the residents and staff of the Bartholomew, Jules finds herself drawn to fellow apartment sitter Ingrid, who comfortingly reminds her of the sister she lost eight years ago. When Ingrid confides that the Bartholomew is not what it seems and the dark history hidden beneath its gleaming facade is starting to frighten her, Jules brushes it off as a harmless ghost story . . . until the next day, when Ingrid disappears.

Searching for the truth about Ingrid’s disappearance, Jules digs deeper into the Bartholomew’s sordid past and into the secrets kept within its walls. What she discovers pits Jules against the clock as she races to unmask a killer, expose the building’s hidden past, and escape the Bartholomew before her temporary status becomes permanent.”


The Friends We Keep

The Friends We Keep by Jane Green

Publication Date: June 4th, 2019

Genre: Women’s Fiction

Book Summary:

“Evvie, Maggie, and Topher have known one another since college. Their friendship was something they swore would last forever. Now years have passed, the friends have drifted apart, and they never found the lives they wanted—the lives they dreamed of when they were young and everything seemed possible. 

Evvie starved herself to become a supermodel but derailed her career by sleeping with a married man. 

Maggie married Ben, the boy she fell in love with in college, never imagining the heartbreak his drinking would cause. 

Topher became a successful actor, but the shame of a childhood secret shut him off from real intimacy. 

By their thirtieth reunion, these old friends have lost touch with one another and with the people they dreamed of becoming. Together again, they have a second chance at happiness…until a dark secret is revealed that changes everything. 

The Friends We Keep is about how despite disappointments we’ve had or mistakes we’ve made, it’s never too late to find a place to call home.”


Disclosure: Some of the links above are affiliate links. This means if you click through and make a purchase, it helps support this blog. Thank you! 

Normal People by Sally Rooney | Crown Publishing | Book Review

Normal People by Sally Rooney

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Book Summary:

“At school, Connell and Marianne pretend not to know each other. He’s popular and well-adjusted, star of the school football team, while she is lonely, proud, and intensely private. But when Connell comes to pick his mother up from her job at Marianne’s house, a strange and indelible connection grows between the two teenagers—one they are determined to conceal. 

A year later, they’re both studying at Trinity College in Dublin. Marianne has found her feet in a new social world while Connell hangs at the sidelines, shy and uncertain. Throughout their years at university, Marianne and Connell circle one another, straying toward other people and possibilities but always magnetically, irresistibly drawn back together. And as she veers into self-destruction and he begins to search for meaning elsewhere, each must confront how far they are willing to go to save the other.

Sally Rooney brings her brilliant psychological acuity and perfectly spare prose to a story that explores the subtleties of class, the electricity of first love, and the complex entanglements of family and friendship.”

My Ratings:

⭐️⭐️⭐️💫

My Review:

I was very intrigued to read Normal People by Sally Rooney as I have heard such varying responses from the book community. I have not read any of Rooney’s writing previously, so her storytelling style was totally new for me. Normal People is a character study and definitely isn’t plot driven so if you are looking for a fast-paced read this might not be the right fit. We meet Marianne and Connell and follow them through adolescence and into early adulthood.

This reads a bit like a YA novel but it is quite deep and while I can’t say that I enjoyed reading it, I did get a lot out of it. I appreciate that Rooney was able to able to take on such important topics like class, social status and mental health issues which all played into the relationship between these two main characters in so many different ways. It is an awkward and depressing novel but it also caused me to do a lot of reflection as the reader.

While I can’t say that I loved this book, I am glad I read it and I applaud Rooney for writing a book that covered so many uncomfortable yet powerful topics while not using them to “hype up” her storytelling. Thank you to NetGalley and Crown Publishing for a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

Lost Roses by Martha Hall Kelly | Ballantine Books | Book Review

Lost Roses by Martha Hall Kelly

historical fiction

Book Summary:

“It is 1914, and the world has been on the brink of war so often, many New Yorkers treat the subject with only passing interest. Eliza Ferriday is thrilled to be traveling to St. Petersburg with Sofya Streshnayva, a cousin of the Romanovs. The two met years ago one summer in Paris and became close confidantes. Now Eliza embarks on the trip of a lifetime, home with Sofya to see the splendors of Russia: the church with the interior covered in jeweled mosaics, the Rembrandts at the Tsar’s Winter Palace, the famous ballet.

But when Austria declares war on Serbia and Russia’s imperial dynasty begins to fall, Eliza escapes back to America, while Sofya and her family flee to their country estate. In need of domestic help, they hire the local fortune-teller’s daughter, Varinka, unknowingly bringing intense danger into their household.

On the other side of the Atlantic, Eliza is doing her part to help the White Russian families find safety as they escape the revolution. But when Sofya’s letters suddenly stop coming, she fears the worst for her best friend. 

From the turbulent streets of St. Petersburg and aristocratic countryside estates to the avenues of Paris where a society of fallen Russian émigrés live to the mansions of Long Island, the lives of Eliza, Sofya, and Varinka will intersect in profound ways. In her newest powerful tale told through female-driven perspectives, Martha Hall Kelly celebrates the unbreakable bonds of women’s friendship, especially during the darkest days of history.”

My Rating:

⭐️⭐️⭐️

My Review:

I was very excited to read Lost Roses, which is the prequel to Martha Hall Kelly’s novel Lilac Girls. Lilac Girls is one of my favorite historical fiction books I have ever read. I haven’t read a lot of fiction about World War I so I was interested to learn more about this important time in history.

I am not sure if my expectations were so high from my experience with her previous novel, but I had a hard time connecting with the characters in Lost Roses. Some of the storylines seemed somewhat rushed and other parts of this book dragged a bit for me, especially at the beginning which made it harder to feel engaged with Kelly’s storytelling throughout the rest of her writing.

You can tell Kelly did an immense amount of research for this story and helped set the scenes so wonderfully with vivid details of the times and that was a big highlight of this book for me. If you enjoy historical fiction I definitely suggest checking this out one, it just didn’t wow me like Lilac Girls.

Thank you to NetGalley and Ballantine Books for a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

Sorry I’m Late, I Didn’t Want to Come by Jessica Pan | Andrews McMeel Publishing | Book Review

Sorry I’m Late, I Didn’t Want to Come by Jessica Pan

Sorry I'm Late, I I Didn't Want to Come

Book Summary:

“An introvert spends a year trying to live like an extrovert with hilarious results and advice for readers along the way.

What would happen if a shy introvert lived like a gregarious extrovert for one year? If she knowingly and willingly put herself in perilous social situations that she’d normally avoid at all costs? Writer Jessica Pan intends to find out. With the help of various extrovert mentors, Jessica sets up a series of personal challenges (talk to strangers, perform stand-up comedy, host a dinner party, travel alone, make friends on the road, and much, much worse) to explore whether living like an extrovert can teach her lessons that might improve the quality of her life. Chronicling the author’s hilarious and painful year of misadventures, this book explores what happens when one introvert fights her natural tendencies, takes the plunge, and tries (and sometimes fails) to be a little bit braver.”

My Rating:

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

My Review:

I was totally intrigued when I saw the title of this book. I am a social introvert and I enjoyed this lighthearted but relatable non-fiction book that read like an engaging novel.

As a shy introvert frequently known as a “shintrovert”, Jessica Pan decided to take a year to step out of her shell and enter the “extroverted world”. After a family crisis in her family turned into a light bulb moment she realized she was lacking in the friend’s department. She decided to take this time to focus on connecting with new people who might just turn into the good friends she was hoping for in her own life.

She shares her trials and tribulations and also the things she learned along the way…many of which, pleasantly surprised her. This book was insightful and humorous and if this title catches your eye, you might enjoy it too!

Thank you to NetGalley and Andrews McMeel Publishing for a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.