Review: Women in Sunlight by Frances Mayes

Review: Women in Sunlight by Frances MayesTitle: Women in Sunlight
Author: Frances Mayes
Publisher: Crown Publishing
Publication Date: April 3rd 2018

three-stars
Summary (from Goodreads):

The new novel from the mega bestselling author of Under the Tuscan Sun about four American expats and strangers who become unexpected friends during one magical Italian autumn

Three American women--new friends, all older single women--have taken a lease on a stone manse in Tuscany. They are escaping, reinventing, reevaluating, the fates expected of them as aging women in America. They are novices in a foreign culture, figuring out the day to day, but what they share is a gusto for life and a sturdy if indefinite determination to thrive. Released from their former lives, encouraging each other, and finding a lot of "why not" courage, each woman becomes more than she'd dreamed she'd be. Though there are serious setbacks because of cultural misunderstandings, jealous locals, and tensions from home, their trajectories throughout the novel are big affirmations of late-life possibilities.

The novel is narrated by Kit Raine, an American expat living in Italy, whose current project is a biography of her friend, novelist Margaret Merrill. Her work is waylaid by the arrival of the three women in her small town, who force Kit to question what such arrivals (and departures) mean for expats like her. The women's life stories begin to intrigue her as their trajectories veer in unexpected directions.

Readers of Under the Tuscan Sun will relish this return to Frances's trademark warmth and heart, as well as more delicious descriptions of Tuscany's food, wine and culture to savor. This novel is for anyone who dreams of an escape to Italy or a second chance at happiness.

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❃ I received this book for free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review. ❃

Review

Women in Sunlight by Frances Mayes is a book that will appeal to those who enjoy travel and learning about other cultures. The story has some wonderful elements that describe life in Tuscany and the concept is quite interesting. Unfortunately, there are just too many characters to keep track of in the novel, which distracts the reader from the main plot. Continue reading

ARC Review: The Chalk Man by C.J. Tudor

Book cover for The Chalk Man

Title: The Chalk Man
Author: C.J. Tudor
Publisher: Crown Publishing Group
Publication Date: January 9, 2018
Stars: 4/5

Summary (from Goodreads): In 1986, Eddie and his friends are just kids on the verge of adolescence. They spend their days biking around their sleepy English village and looking for any taste of excitement they can get. The chalk men are their secret code: little chalk stick figures they leave for one another as messages only they can understand. But then a mysterious chalk man leads them right to a dismembered body, and nothing is ever the same.

In 2016, Eddie is fully grown and thinks he’s put his past behind him, but then he gets a letter in the mail containing a single chalk stick figure. When it turns out that his friends got the same message, they think it could be a prank–until one of them turns up dead. That’s when Eddie realizes that saving himself means finally figuring out what really happened all those years ago. Continue reading

Review: Goodbye Days by Jeff Zentner

Book cover for Goodbye Days by Jeff Zentner

I received a copy from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

Title: Goodbye Days
Author: Jeff Zentner
Publisher: Crown Books for Young Readers
Publication Date: March 7, 2017
Stars: 5/5

Summary (from Goodreads): What if you could spend one last day with someone you lost?

One day Carver Briggs had it all—three best friends, a supportive family, and a reputation as a talented writer at his high school, Nashville Academy for the Arts.

The next day he lost it all when he sent a simple text to his friend Mars, right before Mars, Eli, and Blake were killed in a car crash.

Now Carver can’t stop blaming himself for the accident, and he’s not the only one. Eli’s twin sister is trying to freeze him out of school with her death-ray stare. And Mars’s father, a powerful judge, is pressuring the district attorney to open a criminal investigation into Carver’s actions.

Luckily, Carver has some unexpected allies: Eli’s girlfriend, the only person to stand by him at school; Dr. Mendez, his new therapist; and Blake’s grandmother, who asks Carver to spend a Goodbye Day with her to share their memories and say a proper goodbye to his friend.

Soon the other families are asking for a Goodbye Day with Carver, but he’s unsure of their motives. Will they all be able to make peace with their losses, or will these Goodbye Days bring Carver one step closer to a complete breakdown or—even worse—prison? Continue reading

Review: Hag-Seed by Margaret Atwood

Review: Hag-Seed by Margaret AtwoodTitle: Hag-Seed (Hogarth Shakespeare)
Author: Margaret Atwood
Publisher: Hogarth Press
Publication Date: October 11, 2016

five-stars
Summary (from Goodreads):

William Shakespeare's The Tempest retold as Hag-Seed

Felix is at the top of his game as Artistic Director of the Makeshiweg Theatre Festival. His productions have amazed and confounded. Now he's staging a Tempest like no other: not only will it boost his reputation, it will heal emotional wounds.

Or that was the plan. Instead, after an act of unforeseen treachery, Felix is living in exile in a backwoods hovel, haunted by memories of his beloved lost daughter, Miranda. And also brewing revenge.

After twelve years, revenge finally arrives in the shape of a theatre course at a nearby prison. Here, Felix and his inmate actors will put on his Tempest and snare the traitors who destroyed him. It's magic! But will it remake Felix as his enemies fall?

Margaret Atwood’s novel take on Shakespeare’s play of enchantment, retribution, and second chances leads us on an interactive, illusion-ridden journey filled with new surprises and wonders of its own.

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❃ I received this book for free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review. ❃

Review

Hag-Seed by Margaret Atwood is one book that is not to be missed if you are a fan of Shakespeare and his plays. Margaret Atwood has crafted an interesting and creative revisiting of Shakespeare’s The Tempest in this 4th book in the Hogarth Shakespeare series. This book actually is a story within a story that has a familiar setting and cast of colourful characters. Continue reading