Tuesday, October 3, 2017

More Things in Heaven and Earth by Jeff High

More Things in Heaven and Earth by Jeff High

Tucked away in the rolling Tennessee countryside is the charming community of Watervalley, whose inhabitants are quirky and captivating and more surprising than you might expect . . .

As an ambitious young doctor with a penchant for research, Luke Bradford never wanted to set up practice in a remote rural town. But to pay back his student loans and to fulfill a promise from his past, he heads for Watervalley, Tennessee - and immediately stumbles into one disaster after another. Will he be labeled the town idiot before he’s even introduced as the new doctor? 

Very quickly he faces some big challenges - from resuscitating a three-hundred-pound farmer who goes into cardiac arrest to not getting shot by a local misanthrope for trespassing. He expects the people of Watervalley to be simple, but finds his relationships with them are complicated, whether he’s interacting with his bossy but devout housekeeper, the attractive schoolteacher he consistently alienates, or the mysterious kid next door who climbs trees while wearing a bike helmet. 

When a baffling flu epidemic hits Watervalley, Luke faces his ultimate test. Whether the community embraces him or not, it’s his responsibility to save them. And he’ll soon discover that while living in a small town may not be what he wants, it may be just what he needs . . .

This book has a bit of everything in it and it will keep you entertained as well.  You are drawn into the story right away and before long you are laughing at the poor doctor and the silly things that happen to him.  The way the book was written you are also quickly drawn into the lives of the residents of Watervalley.

The book moves along at a fast pace but there is plenty happening so you won't get bored.  The mystery of the flu epidemic was a good read and again interesting.  This book is the first in the series and you can find out more information about the others here.

Stars out of 5 : 5 I have nothing negative to say about this book.  I thoroughly enjoyed it and am looking forward to reading more in the series.

I purchased the book and all of the opinions are my own.

Vintage by Susan Gloss

Vintage by Susan Gloss

At Hourglass Vintage in Madison, Wisconsin, every item in the boutique has a story to tell . . . and so do the women whose lives the store touches.
Yellow Samsonite suitcase with ivory, quilted lining, 1950s
A small-town girl with a flair for fashion, Violet Turner had always dreamed of owning a shop like Hourglass Vintage. But while she values the personal history behind each beautiful item she sells, Violet is running from her own past. Faced with the possibility of losing the store to an unscrupulous developer, she realizes that despite her usual self-reliance she cannot save it alone.
Taffeta tea-length wedding gown with scooped neckline and cap sleeves, 1952
Eighteen-year-old April Morgan is nearly five months along in an unplanned pregnancy when her hasty engagement is broken. When she returns the perfect vintage wedding dress to Violet's shop, she discovers a world of new possibilities, and an unexpected sisterhood with women who won't let her give up on her dreams.
Orange silk sari with gold paisley design, 1968
Betrayed by her husband, Amithi Singh begins selling off her vibrant Indian dresses, remnants of a life she's determined to leave behind her. After decades of housekeeping and parenting a daughter who rejects her traditional ways, she fears her best days are behind her . . . until she discovers an outlet for her creativity and skills with a needle and thread.
An engaging story that beautifully captures the essence of friendship and style, Vintage is a charming tale of possibility, of finding renewal, love, and hope when we least expect it.
The reason I bought this book was partly for the story and because I only paid a couple of dollars for it.  It is however a hidden gem of a book, with a lovely story too boot.
This story captures your heart right away and you will soon get involved with each of the characters and their stories.  One thing I do love at the start of each chapter there is a brief description of an item in the boutique telling you want the item is, what it is made of and the year and the source.  That I thought was a lovely way of introducing each chapter.
The way the author writes you feel like you are in the room with the characters and you can't help but get wrapped up in their lives.
Stars out of 5 : 5 Nothing negative to say. Loved this book, the story was easy to follow and it will capture your heart.
I purchased this book and all the opinions are my own.

Glory Over Everything, by Kathleen Grissom

Glory Over Everything, by Kathleen Grissom

A novel of family and long-buried secrets along the treacherous Underground Railroad.

The author of the New York Times bestseller and beloved book club favorite The Kitchen House continues the story of Jamie Pyke, son of both a slave and master of Tall Oakes, whose deadly secret compels him to take a treacherous journey through the Underground Railroad.

Published in 2010, The Kitchen House became a grassroots bestseller. Fans connected so deeply to the book’s characters that the author, Kathleen Grissom, found herself being asked over and over “what happens next?” The wait is finally over.

This new, stand-alone novel opens in 1830, and Jamie, who fled from the Virginian plantation he once called home, is passing in Philadelphia society as a wealthy white silversmith. After many years of striving, Jamie has achieved acclaim and security, only to discover that his aristocratic lover Caroline is pregnant. Before he can reveal his real identity to her, he learns that his beloved servant Pan has been captured and sold into slavery in the South. Pan’s father, to whom Jamie owes a great debt, pleads for Jamie’s help, and Jamie agrees, knowing the journey will take him perilously close to Tall Oakes and the ruthless slave hunter who is still searching for him. Meanwhile, Caroline’s father learns and exposes Jamie’s secret, and Jamie loses his home, his business, and finally Caroline.

Heartbroken and with nothing to lose, Jamie embarks on a trip to a North Carolina plantation where Pan is being held with a former Tall Oakes slave named Sukey, who is intent on getting Pan to the Underground Railroad. Soon the three of them are running through the Great Dismal Swamp, the notoriously deadly hiding place for escaped slaves. Though they have help from those in the Underground Railroad, not all of them will make it out alive.

I have to say I was a little disappointed that this book, didn't just carry on from The Kitchen House, but the more you read the book, the more you are hooked with this story.  It is as good as The Kitchen House, and although it says it's a stand-alone book, I do think it is helpful to read The Kitchen House first as some characters from that book pop up in this book.

It was a page turner and you had to know what was going to happen next.  The details that Kathleen wrote into this book made you stop and think and ask "why would they do that?"  There were some cruel people who ran those plantations.

Stars out of 5 : 5 Such a good read well worth buying or borrowing from your local library.  I wish I had read both books before we went away to Williamsburg on vacation.

I purchased this book and the opinions are my own.

The Kitchen House by Kathleen Grisson

The Kitchen House by Kathleen Grisson
Lavinia, a seven-year-old Irish orphan with no memory of her past, arrives on a tobacco plantation where she is put to work as an indentured servant. Placed with the slaves in the kitchen house under the care of Belle, the master’s illegitimate daughter, Lavinia becomes deeply bonded to her new adopted family, even though she is forever set apart from them by her white skin. As Lavinia is slowly accepted into the world of the big house, where the master is absent and the mistress battles an opium addiction, she finds herself perilously straddling two very different worlds. When Lavinia marries the master’s troubled son and takes on the role of mistress, loyalties are brought into question, dangerous truths are laid bare and lives are put at risk. The Kitchen House is a tragic story of page-turning suspense, exploring the meaning of family, where love and loyalty prevail.

This book is a page turner, you have to know what happens next.  Most books of this gendre tend to be told from the "Big House" side or from the "Slaves/Servants" side.  This book is different as it dips into both places and we see it all through the life of Lavinia.

You so want Lavinia to wake up from being so innocent but you know that will never happen and the more she lives in the white skin world the more she leaves her childhood behind. When she does realize exactly what has been hidden from her it's too late and to see how she copes is so sad.

Stars out of 5 : 5 I loved this book and ordered the sequel to this story right away.  It is so well worth reading in my humble opinion.  I do wish I had read this book before we went away to Williamsburg in Virigina as there were places mentioned in the book that I would have visited.  We did go to the Hospital that was mentioned in the book.

I purchased this book myself and all my opinions are my own.

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