Book Review: The Stolen Girl by Renita D’Silva

It’s been a while since I posted a book review, but trust me it isn’t because I haven’t been reading up a storm! I finished this little gem of a book months ago. Forgive me for not sharing it with you sooner!


 

Stolen GirlTitle: The Stolen Girl

Genre: Women’s Fiction

Description:

‘Your mother has been arrested. She stole you.’

For as long as thirteen-year-old Diya can remember, it’s always been just her and her mum, Vani. Despite never staying in one place long enough to call it home, with her mother by her side, Diya has never needed anything else.

Then, in an instant, Diya’s fragile world is shattered. Her mother is arrested, accused of abducting Diya when she was a baby…

Vani has spent a lifetime looking over her shoulder, determined to make the best possible life for her daughter. Now she must fight for her child, re-opening the door to her own childhood in India and the woman who was once as close to her as a sister.

Told through the eyes of Diya, Vani and Aarti, this is a heart-breaking story of friendship and betrayal, love and motherhood, which asks the question; how far would you go to protect your only child?

The Stolen Girl is an emotional, culturally rich and utterly compelling read from the new must-read name in women’s fiction—Renita D’Silva.


My Review: 

The Stolen Girl is classic women’s fiction done right. I don’t know why women have such an overwhelming fascination with stories about kidnapped children, but we do. Write a book or make a movie about it, and we show up front and center every single time. D’Silva takes a classic story line and revamps it by telling it from three different perspectives: the mother, the thief, and the child.  Don’t get me wrong, while it’s a classic story, it’s far from predictable. The author pulls you into the expertly woven fabric of these ladies live’s and you walk away with a clear understanding of why they made the choices they did.  There’s an element of suspense to the story and the descriptive language is rich and layered. All in all, it’s a great read when you’re in a sentimental mood.


 

Any thoughts on why people have such a fascination with kidnapping? Do you watch movies or read books about it? Have you read a book that you thought would be utterly predictable, but it surprised you?

** I was given a copy of this book by the publisher in exchange for my honest review, which I freely give.**

Advertisement

Book Review: “Acts of Contrition” by Jennifer Hanford

Acts of ContritionTitle: Acts of Contrition

Author: Jennifer Hanford

Description: 

Mary Morrissey is living the life of her dreams. She has a loving husband of ten years, Tom, two daughters, and twin boys. Her parents are just down the road. Her three sisters are nearby. Perfect—some might even say she is living the American Dream.

But beneath the shiny veneer, Mary hasn’t taken a calm breath in years. She lives in a constant state of panic, afraid that the secret she’s kept hidden for so long will be revealed, that it will shatter the life she’s worked so hard to build.

When Mary’s handsome and addictively charismatic ex-boyfriend Landon James reappears during his high profile Senate campaign, she feels the truth bubbling to the surface and knows she’s powerless to stop it. Mary has spent years trying to forget him, and now he’s on every TV she sees.

A conditional Catholic, Mary bargains with God, negotiating deals that will keep her happy life undisturbed for another day. She prays for strength and confesses her sins—anything that might let her sleep at night under the weight of the guilt she carries from lying to her husband and family for the entirety of her marriage.

When Tom learns what Mary’s been hiding, what once seemed unfathomable—a deep, heartbreaking divide between them—is now their new normal. Can they find a way to rebuild their life together? Is forgiveness possible?

Acts of Contrition is a richly drawn story of faith, family loyalty, and forgiveness, even in the face of moral ambiguity, guilt, and shattered trust.

My Review:

Family secrets…everyone’s got them. The secrets we keep can either tear our families apart or bind us together. For Mary Morrissey the coin has been tossed and she’s been waiting for over a decade to see which side it will land on.

“I’ve made my family a happy home, but it was a house built with stolen bricks.”

There was no need for me to judge Mary, she did a thorough job of that herself. She’s weighed down with the guilt of her deception but, despite her morally corrupt choices, I empathized with her. The reason I could identify with Mary was entirely due to Hanford’s brilliant skill at creating a distinctive narrative for her. Mary’s voice is honest and without guile, as if the entire novel was a diary of sorts.

“The truth wasn’t pinning me down, I was pinning it down, pushing is mercilessly against the wall with my hand over its mouth.”

What made this story interesting to me was the all access pass into the shifting dynamics and subtle nuances of Mary’s marriage. Hanford manages to show how completely a single bad decision can slowly eat away at a relationship in the form of the lies and omissions continuously needed to bury the truth.

I thoroughly enjoyed Acts of Contrition and highly recommend it! Check it out via Amazon here.

Have you ever witnessed the funk hit the fan over a family secret? Dish in the comments below! I’d love to hear all about it. 

 

 

Book Review: “What Nora Knew” by Linda Yellin

What Nora KnewTitle: What Nora Knew

Author: Linda Yellin

Genre: Literature/Fiction (Adult)/Women’s Fiction

Book Description:

Molly is a thirty-nine-year-old divorced writer living in New York City who wants her own column, a Wikipedia entry, and to never end up in her family’s Long Island upholstery business. For the past four years Molly’s been on staff at Eye Spy, covering all the wacky assignments. She’s snuck vibrators through security scanners, speed-dated undercover, danced with Rockettes, and posed nude for a Soho art studio.

Fearless in everything except love, Molly is now dating a forty-four-year-old chiropractor. He’s comfortable, but safe. When Molly is assigned to write a piece about New York City romance “in the style of Nora Ephron,” she flunks out big time. Clearly she can’t recognize romance. And in her own life, she can’t recognize the one man who can go one-on-one with her, the one man who gets her. Mainly because he’s a well-known player.

But, with help from Nora Ephron’s movies, Molly learns to open her heart, suppress her cynicism, and find her very own fairytale ending. Linda Yellin’s WHAT NORA KNEW will captivate readers with its charm and humor.

My Review:

I have to start off by sheepishly admitting that I had no idea who Nora Ephron was. Not. A. Single. Clue. Amazingly enough, I (the self-proclaimed google queen) didn’t google her prior to reading this book. *GASP* I figured that if the author did her job right, I wouldn’t need to research Nora Ephron to ‘get’ this book. I figured correctly. There were many, many references to Epron’s movies. Thankfully, I’ve seen ‘Sleepless in Seattle’ and ‘You’ve Got Mail’. I just had no idea who the genius behind them was. Yellin expertly captures Nora Ephron’s signature style of witty understated comedy while developing a quirky romance.

What Nora Knew reads exactly like a Nora Ephron movie. The story is predictable, but that’s part of its charm. Everyone knows that in romantic comedies the two love interests eventually end up together. It’s the way and the how they accomplish their union that keeps us watching. The same is true of What Nora Knew. Reading this book was like curling up on the couch to watch a classic romantic movie. It was comforting and funny and sentimental. I finished it with warm fuzzy feelings and a wistful smile.

You can get your copy of What Nora Knew via Amazon here

What’s your favorite romantic comedy movie? Why do you love it?

I was provided an ARC of this book from the publisher in exchange for my honest review, which I have freely given.

Book Review: “Born at Dawn” by Nigeria Lockley

You may remember Nigeria from her stellar interview a few weeks ago. It’s my pleasure to review her debut novel! Check out the deets.

BORN-AT-DAWN-FRONTTitle: Born at Dawn

Author: Nigeria Lockley

Genre: Christian Fiction

Book Description: 

Thirty-four year old Cynthia Barclay knows that marriage is supposed to be for better or for worse. Unfortunately, for the last ten years of her marriage Cynthia has experienced the worst that marriage has to offer at the hands of her abusive husband Marvin Barclay. With the hope of saving herself and her family she turns to the Lord. Expecting to see God manifest himself greatly in her life sooner than later Cynthia is not content just waiting. She wants out.

Abandoning her hope, her husband, and her two young sons Cynthia boards a bus from New York City to Richmond, Virginia. She begins a new life armed with six thousand dollars on a prepaid credit card, a sketchy plan for success, and a promise to return for her sons. That is until she meets Cheo, a photojournalist with enough connections to take her where she wants to be and forget where she came from.

After six years in Richmond Cynthia’s dark past resurfaces. At the risk of losing it all–her past and her present Cynthia returns home to right her wrongs. Has Cynthia chosen the right time to return home or is it too late for God to restore everything she has broken?

My Review:

I loved this book! It forced me to re-evaluate so many of my moral codes.

Cynthia chose to do the unthinkable: she abandoned her children and left them with an abusive parent. She escaped, but left her two sons behind in a dangerous situation. I wanted to judge her. I wanted to dislike her. But Lockley manages to portray Cynthia’s humanity and brokeness in a way that garnered my sympathy. For Cynthia, leaving her children was the equivalent of putting the oxygen mask on herself first when the plane is going down. She had to save herself in order to have any chance of being there for her children.

Born at Dawn also offers narrative from the perspective of Cynthia’s abusive husband Marvin. The monster becomes human as we are allowed to see the history and patterns of neglect that stem from Marvin’s shady childhood. He is flawed, arrogant, manipulative and childish, yet I found myself rooting for his recovery.

Born at Dawn is unpredictable and delectable. I devoured this book and savored the flavor of love long after I finished it. I have mixed feelings about the ending, and I hope there’s a sequel or spin-off coming soon. If you want to read a book that will challenge your moral compass and have you feeling some type of way, then you HAVE to read Born at Dawn!

It’s Born at Dawn’s release day!!!! You can get your’s via Amazon now by clicking here!

First week sales are crucial for authors, so if you’re planning to purchase ‘Born at Dawn’ I encourage you to do so sooner, rather than later. 🙂 

Book Review: “When You Let Go” by Unoma Nwankwor

I normally don’t review the books that I recommend in my monthly e-reader posts. Mainly this is because when I recommend those books, I have no idea whether they’re any good or not. I share them because the description sounds interesting and I plan to read them. Whether they’re any good or not is a total gamble.  But lately I’ve been hitting the jackpot! Check it out.

When you let goBook Title: When You Let Go

Author: Unoma Nwankwor

Book Description: 

An answered prayer. An unforeseen betrayal. A family healed by grace.
Amara and Ejike Dike had been married for six glorious years. Amara was convinced Ejike, was the perfect gift from God. Loving, charming and very easy on the eyes. They had a beautiful life. Well, not so beautiful. Amara’s inability to bear children made her feel like a less than the perfect mate for her husband.Then after many years, God lifted her faith and had finally heard her cry. The Dikes couldn’t be happier.
A surprise visit from Chinelo, Amara’s long lost cousin, turns Amara’s world upside down and threatens to turn her once-perfect existence into ashes.
Ejike loved his wife with a passion. They shared a burning desire and faith in God that burned deep. However Chinelo’s appearance would open a Pandora’s Box that had purposely been kept shut.
Faced with the loss of all she holds dear, Amara finds herself at crossroads. Would she lean on God’s sustaining grace to let go and travel the rocky path to forgiveness? Or would she throw everything to the wind and walk away?
When You Let Go is a novel about people who know what the Word of God instructs but struggle with actually doing it when the chips are down.

My Review:

When a couple gets married two individuals come together as one. Each of these individuals has an entire history and experience separate from the other. What happens when the past of one those individuals shows up in the happy life they’ve created and wreaks utter havoc? I’ll tell you what happens: all hell breaks loose and the fragility of faith is exposed. One thing I particularly enjoyed about When You Let Go is that strong faith does not equal perfection for any of the characters. They make mistakes. They try to cover those mistakes up. They hurt each other and let each other down. They lose a lot and fight to hold on to what they have left. Real life is messy and the heart of  Christianity is to help make sense of the mess and offer beauty for ashes. Unoma Nwankwor paints a picture of faith at its best!