My friend, Iris, has a new release this week: AMAZON LINK
The discovery of her mother’s diaries unravels a secret which sends Lani on a journey to New Zealand …
She lost her mother in an accident. Now, Lani Dekker is determined to meet the man who, according to her mother’s diaries, is her father. He’s not what she expected, a bit on the extravagant side, but she soon warms up to him, thanks no less to Dylan, her father’s neighbour. Despite her attraction to Dylan, she can’t figure out whether he’s a friend or foe.
Dylan Harper is merely going through the daily motions after his wife died in a ski crash. That is, until his life is turned upside down by the arrival of his neighbour’s daughter. Their attraction is instant, even more so when they wake up in the same bed after an earthquake. However, it’s her accusation that his interest in her involves her father’s money rather than their mutual magnetism that derails their newfound bond.
Will finding the truth about her parents be a chance for Lani and Dylan to overcome their differences?
I have a little free library at my office and tend to pick up books of all genres and subjects for the neighborhood folks to take and read. I picked up this middle grade book at our local library’s book sale a few months ago. I was intrigued enough by it to read it one Saturday.
It is a book about discovering who your true friends are and how to be a real friend as well. The story is about two girls who start out with vastly different lives. One is the spoiled, rich girl and the other the poor orphan who is employed as a servant in the magic school the first girl comes to as a new student.
The rich girl makes friends easily, but she is someone who spends money on her friends and buys them gifts. The poor girl has a harder time as the students (as well as the owner of the school- who is a truly awful person) are not kind to the servants and staff at all. As this is gilded age New York City, that wasn’t surprising.
A change of fate is in store for the rich girl and things change drastically in her life. This change in circumstances leads to both girls discovering a lot about themselves as well as about the other people in their lives. Many surprises and adventures are in store for them. And many discoveries about the world and life await.
This was a great story for 9-13 year olds. It teaches lessons about the true nature of friendship. It shows money doesn’t make you a likeable person or even a good person. It shows that things are not always how they seem and people can disguise their true selves depending on circumstances.
I recommend this for pre-teens but it also has valuable lessons for us adults as well.
I bought this book after seeing the author on Jeopardy a couple of weeks ago.
The book was good, but it was one of those books where I didn’t really care for the protagonist. She was just thoroughly unlikeable throughout the book. We’re supposed to feel sorry for her for being trapped in a situation beyond her control and for having lost her job in the economic downturn in 2008. But she just grated on my nerves. She was a total snob and wouldn’t even consider a lower level legal job when she lost the Wall Street job, even to the point of choosing to live in the slums as a better option than taking a job she deemed beneath her. It was pretty weird. She also, to be such a snob, had a victim mentality and was a liar. To the point of lying on her resume which offends me greatly.
So, I asked myself, why are you keeping on reading? I don’t have an answer to that. But read on, I did. Lol.
The villain was very one dimensional and clearly a sociopath. He irritated me too. I wanted to smack him for his pure evilness with no redeeming qualities at all- such a vicious man.
A very big hint was dropped at a point in the story and I kept waiting for someone to mention it and check on that aspect of the protagonist’s story, but it never was mentioned again until the last two pages of the book.
The protagonist was a lawyer (as is the author) but she violated the number one rule you learn as a lawyer. If you’re detained by the police, you never, ever give a statement even if you are innocent as traps lay everywhere in an interrogation room. You invoke your right to counsel, discuss your knowledge of the matter with your lawyer, and make an informed decision with the benefit of counsel on what to share. This character rattled on to the police—not just once, but over and over—and was basically hoisted on her own petard. Her lies caused her way more distress than she ever needed to face. But I guess without that stupid move there would be no book, right?
All that being said, it was a pretty good story, just not really anyone to root for in the tale, except maybe the women who were ultimately saved.
Three very different women with something in common.
One a wife and mother, one a career girl and one a recent graduate of Cambridge University. They all work at the bookstore and share common issues even though that’s not readily apparent at the beginning of the story.
The author takes us on three distinct yet interwoven journeys with these women. Real literary figures appear in the tale and interact with the fictional characters which gives the setting, as well as the prose, a realism that was well done.
The social issues at play here are the end of WWII return of the men from fighting and how that affected the workforce that had been relying on women while the men were gone, the societal expectations of wives and mothers, privilege in society and how that affects behavior, and racism. The author gave us a compelling story for each of the women while weaving in these issues in a finely crafted way.
The path each of the three protagonists took and where they ended up was obvious pretty early on to this reader, but the journey of each was fulfilling and interesting.
Overall, I liked the story and the way the author interwove the various narratives. The setting was perfect as it moved the plot along at a nice pace and contributed to the issues facing the main characters. The bookstore was a little microcosm of society contained in four walls. The time period chosen for the story emphasized the issues as well. Sadly, some of the themes covered in the book are still problematic to this day. Some things seem slow to change in society and this book shows that in many ways.
An enjoyable, thought provoking read that was entertaining as well. Not at all preachy, but the author has a lot to say.