Tuesday, 18 February 2020

Tuesday Reviews Day - Books

My first book review post for 2020 -

First up is The Great Alone by Kristin Hannah

In 1974, Ernt Allbright, a Vietnam vet who has been emotionally scarred by the war uproots his wife, Cora, and 13 year old daughter, Leni, to start a new life in Alaska. They are totally unprepared for the Alaskan wilderness but the tight knit community pulls together to welcome them and teach them the ropes. However, help can only go so far as the long, hard winters bring out the worst in Ernt. He is an alcoholic, a wife-beater, and doesn't like accepting help. When winter comes, it means Leni and Cora spend a lot of time trapped inside a small house with Ernt's increasingly unstable and explosive moods. 

My thoughts - I love the way Kristin Hannah tells a story and this one was no exception.  Full of interest and drama. It can be hard to read in areas and you can't help but pray that faith and hope will bring about a happy ending...is that even possible with someone like Ernt in control?  I can't say too much without giving away spoilers but I will say it was well worth the read. I gave it 5 stars.


Next up - How to Bee by Bren MacDibble

This story is set in a time when bees are extinct and their important role must be filled by young children who vie for the respected position of being a bee.  Peony lives with her sister and grandfather on the Goulburn Valley fruit farm where she dreams of being a 'bee'. She is fast but a little too young. The only way becoming a bee could happen for Peony would be for a bee-child to fall and injure themselves. Peony loves her family, the farm, and the community she is a part of. One day, her mother shows up and wants take Peony to work in the city with her — definitely not what Peony wants. Will her mother get her way?

My thoughts - Let me start by saying that this book is actually meant for a younger audience but I loved it! An easy read that definitely touches the heartstrings. I loved how Peony touched the lives and hearts of those around her. I gave it 5 stars.


Next up is Unspeakable Things by Jess Lourey

This book is inspired by true events in the author's hometown in Minnesota.

In the 1980's, twelve year old Cassie McDowall seems to have a fairly normal life on a farm with her parents and older sister. However, her parents do hold some very strange. orgy-like parties. Cassie's father is an artist and an alcoholic whose secretive behaviour makes Cassie question a lot of things. She also has a crush on a really sweet boy in school. 

Then local boys start to go missing, one by one. They show up days later but they are no longer the same. Another boy goes missing but doesn't return. Cassie wants to investigate the disappearances on the quiet. Is she putting herself in mortal danger by doing so? Something is definitely amiss in her town. On top of that, Cassie has a fear of her drunken father coming up the stairs each night while her mother is at work. She dreads that, one night, he will actually come all the way to and through her bedroom door. Are her fears founded?

My thoughts - This book was downright creepy in areas. Her father's behaviour made my skin crawl. It was a compelling read although I felt it was a little drawn-out in areas. It does keep you guessing until the end. I gave this one 4 stars.


And that wraps up the reviews for this week.


Victoria Zigler said...

The first two definitely sound like great reads. Actually, the first was already on my to-read list.

Rita said...

Wow! Quite different books but all sound interesting in their way. Glad to see a post, my friend. I hope you stay cool down there. ;)