July Book Reviews by Robin

IMG_2664My Mother’s Journals by Suzanne Whitfield Vince. I met Suzanne at the Solano Book Fest and we traded books. She is a good writer and not one of the indie published who releases a book before it is ready. She either is a top notch editor or had it edited because I didn’t see any errors. This is the story of three women, intertwined and connected by events in their lives. Initially I had trouble seeing how one of the characters tied in, but Vince pulls it all together nicely. Rate 4.0.

Everything I Never Told You by Celeste Ng This book was recommended by several people and it is a great book. A complex story of relationships slowly unfolds following the death of a family member. The author is great at pacing and surprises, as well as smooth language describing the internal emotions connected with being a parent, daughter, brother, sister, mother, husband, wife and more. Woven into the story is the extra complexity of being “different”. Rate: 4.0

Devoured by D.E. Meredith. I don’t know who gave me this book. It was tucked away in my stacks. I really liked it. The story is a “murder mystery” set in London 1856, and with the “specimen collection/ science” rage going on, we also meet Adolphous Hatton, a surgeon who is trying to launch the new science of forensic autopsy. Meredith does a nice job of moving from character view point (by chapters) and maintaining the suspense, while painting a very realistic picture of the class differences and moral questions (science vs religion) of the times. Rate: 4.0

The Many Lives of June Crandall by Suzanne Whitfield Vance. This is the second book I read by Suzanne, who I “traded” novels with at the Solano Bookfest. While I enjoyed the book I have to admit it wasn’t as “polished” as her other novel (My Mother’s Journals). I felt there were small details which didn’t exactly flow for me – the main character, Grace Adams, is a very smart girl who graduated cuma sum laude, and yet too often she doesn’t see what is right before her eyes. As a result the story was not quite believable. It also hovered on giving the reader a great story with the very real dreams Grace has, but didn’t elaborate or use the dreams to really hook or build the excitement of the story. If it were my book I would have gone for one more revision. Rate: 3.0

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