Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Review: A Place We Knew Well: A Novel

A Place We Knew Well: A Novel A Place We Knew Well: A Novel by Susan McCarthy
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I received this book as an advanced e-galley from Penguin Books through their First to Read program. Review to follow, but I will say that I enjoyed this book. I don't know much about the Cuban Missile Crisis, other than what was covered in high school history classes back in the 1990s, so reading about it and how impacted a close-knit family, was very powerful. I love Charlotte and Wes Avery, these 2 characters have the kind of father-daughter relationship that reminds me very much of my relationship with my own father (and made me miss him, terribly). I want a little more time to think about this story before writing a full review, but I am very glad I received this book. I don't know who I would recommend this book to specifically, so I'll just do a blanket recommendation. Look for this book when it appears in stores, and read it, even if you lived through the Cuban Missile Crisis (or only heard about it in history class). It's very well written and the characters are written in such a way that they seemed very familiar.

View all my reviews

Monday, August 17, 2015

Review: The Middle of Somewhere

The Middle of Somewhere The Middle of Somewhere by Sonja Yoerg
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I received a free advanced e-galley of this book from the Penguin First to Read program and did not receive any compensation for the below review.

Sonja Yoerg presents a tale about a journey a couple takes, both physically, emotionally and mentally, along the John Muir trail. The couple, Liz and Dante, face heavy decisions about their relationship as well as the long trek along the trail, while encountering other hikers of varied and interesting backgrounds. This story is as much about one person's quest to work through deeply personal experiences, as well as a fight for survival in more ways than one.

As Liz and Dante travel along the trail, enduring its various valleys and peaks, they encounter, and become suspicious of, two brothers by the last name of Root, who seem, at first, ill prepared for the demand of the trail, yet also a bit too comfortable. Strange things begin to happen along the trail, as Liz and Dante continue to travel forward, with the Roots on their heels. Liz and Dante are working through very large issues within their own relationship, dealing with the pain of honesty and heartbreak, while also fighting to stay one step ahead of the Roots, who seem determined to make this hike more adventurous than it should be.

I enjoyed reading this book and want to read it again! Liz's story is very compelling, and her desire to walk the entire trail has deep meaning for her. She's a very likeable character with just the right amount of flaws. Dante is also very likeable and flawed, but the love they have for another seems to help them make the trek as well as forgive each other, and themselves, for breakdowns in the relationship. The addition of the Root brothers created just enough suspense to make the hair on my arms stand up and I found myself pushing Liz and Dante along, hoping they'd remain out of the path of the Roots, two men who were suspicious at first glance, and then downright dangerous.

I would recommend this book to fans of both suspense as well as travel. Hiking the John Muir trail is a big part of the background in this story, this trail is where a lot of deep thinking and whole-hearted confessions are made, and it's where Liz and Dante heal. This is a story about love, forgiveness, suspense, a little murder and some heartpounding adventure.

View all my reviews