Author of Sweet Hope and Happy Endings

Tag: time slip

BOOK REVIEW: The Butterfly and the Violin

BOOK BY: Kristy Cambron

What a poignant story of finding beauty in ashes.

This dual time story takes the reader to Vienna, Austria from 1939-1945. Adele is Austria’s Sweetheart, a violin prodigy and daughter of a high ranking Third Reich officer. Her future is bright in a world that is rapidly changing. Her faith is strong and her compassion for others something to admire.

In present day Manhattan, Sera is obsessed with finding the original painting of Austria’s Sweetheart – a painting she’s searched for since she was eight years old and saw it hanging in an art museum in Paris. When a lead brings her to the home of a business mogul, she is shocked to learn that her very life’s work is caught in the middle of a multi-million dollar estate dispute.

Kristy Cambron weaves the past and the present in an intricate pattern of intrigue. These two women’s stories will collide in a beautiful finale of healing from the pain of the past.

A beautiful narrative. A horrendous event. A delicate balance between past and present. A story of hope, and beauty, when all seems lost.

I loved it.

BOOK REVIEW: THE CURATOR’S DAUGHTER

Book By: Melanie Dobson

A captivating, thought-provoking read by Melanie Dobson – her best novel yet.

Be prepared to experience the heartbreak of the stories of the Jewish people during WW2 and the people who tried to help them. And don’t be surprised at how much our world hasn’t changed since then.

A young, ambitious archaeologist working for the Third Reich is eager to make a name for herself in a world where women are expected to abide by the 3Ks – kunchen, kirche and kinder (kitchen, church and children). When she’s pulled from the field and reassigned to curate treasures others have found, it’s only the beginning of a series of twists and unexpected turns neither Hanna, nor the reader anticipates.

A young, teenaged girl is caught in a modern cult, fighting for the same purity of the Aryan race. She will spend the rest of her life fighting the hate that dictated her early teens and left her with a trauma that haunts her dreams.

Both these women are intricately linked – but the connection is not easily seen by the reader. And once all is revealed, hang on to your page! It will leave your head spinning.

There are so many great things about this novel. I think what struck me the most about it, is that it’s a novel relevant to our time. Like, this month. With all the rioting and messages of hate that have been regularly reported on, The Curator’s Daughter is releasing at the right moment in our history. There was evil in the world back then, there is evil now.

A beautiful thread of hope, forgiveness, and second chances is sewn together through the end. It’s a story about discovering your roots, preserving the stories of those who have gone before us and overcoming the past.

Go buy the book! You won’t be sorry you did.

I received an ecopy of the book from the publisher through NetGalley. All opinions expressed are my own.

Set the Stars Alight

BOOK REVIEW

BOOK BY: Amanda Dykes

This is the first time I’ve read a book by this author.

The novel has a slow beginning and reads more literary in the first several chapters than the rest of the novel. It isn’t until near the end of the story the reader is enlightened as to why there was so much foundation laid in the beginning chapters. If you can handle the literary narrative style and the slow pacing, this is a story you’ll likely enjoy.

Due to the length and pacing of the contemporary opening, I almost gave up. My attention wasn’t captured until the author brings the reader into the historical story line, which wasn’t until chapter seven. Once I was thrown into the late 1800’s, the author presented a different vibe with the story of Frederick Hanford, future traitor of England (though there are literary style passages throughout the entire novel).

I wasn’t sure what to make of any of the characters. Frederick is a noble, though a self-depriving character who sacrifices his life for another because of guilt. He blames himself for the death of someone and spends the rest of the story trying to make it up to people who are undeserving – though I think that is the point of the novel in drawing a parallel with the Ultimate Sacrifice made for mankind. He carries a weight on his shoulders that isn’t his to bear and he reacts to a childish misunderstanding that sets him on a collision course to becoming a labelled traitor.

There are two characters from the historical storyline I liked, one due to his humour and ability to see past appearances and the other due to his kindness and love for others. The other characters, the ones which Frederick makes it his business to care for are hard to like and left me questioning Frederick’s reasons for continuing to protect them.

Frederick is a legend and in the contemporary story line, Lucy is a grad student looking for funding to unearth the location where the SS Jubilee disappeared piloted by Frederick Hanford. No one has uncovered the truth of why he betrayed England, nor where his ship was run aground. He disappeared into the night on the eve before he was to be executed.

Dashel Greene is a childhood friend of Lucy’s and a forensic astrologer. Combining their efforts they are able to uncover the truth of the Jubilee, its location and the story of its captain.

All the characters in the contemporary story are interesting however their quirks and differences tend to be a bit much at times.

Characters are well developed and descriptions are quite vivid, allowing the reader to envision the places mentioned in the story. The author has a unique narrative style and weaves the historical and contemporary stories well.

I received an ecopy from the publisher through NetGalley. All opinions expressed are my own.

The Secrets of Paper and Ink

BOOK REVIEW: The Secrets of Paper and Ink

BOOK BY: Lindsay Harrel

This third book by Lindsay Harrel is a time slip – quite the popular genre these days, and one I can’t quite wrap my mind around when it comes to actually writing one. Ms. Harrel does a wonderful job weaving the stories of two young women living in Cornwall, 150 years apart (Sophia is our modern day heroine with Emily as our historical one).

How could these women possibly be connected?

If you want to know, you’ll have to read the book (no spoilers here!).

The author’s descriptions of Cornwall and London are so well done, I could picture them in my mind. It made me wish I lived in Port Willis with Sophia. Such a peaceful, tranquil place!

It was easy to follow the point of view – whose story we were in. There was a distinct voice for each era, so it wasn’t an issue to keep up (it also helped to have the title of the chapter named the POV person). Although, the last pages of Emily’s story felt off. Her voice was really lost, it almost felt like the point the author was making was too forced and I lost the sense of “Emily”. It bordered on preachy, and I’m not sure I quite agreed with everything said, but I could see how it fit within the storyline.

I think this is the first time I’ve seen this in a novel, which I thought was quite clever. In one of the present day scenes Sophia references a story she read on a blog. The summary was definitely the premise of Ms. Harrel’s previous novel, The Heart Between Us (a must-read if you haven’t read it). Well done and quite brilliant!

There wasn’t a lot of action, but the story was intriguing. I did guess the connection between Emily and Sophia early on, but it was still fun to discover along with Sophia. And all women found themselves at the end of the story with a faith, firmly rooted in the Lord.

photo source: lindsayharrel.com

There are sensitive topics covered that may not appeal to readers of Christian Fiction: domestic abuse and one very brief scene involving a sexual encounter.

All said and done, I expected a solid story and I got one. This book didn’t disappoint.

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