Tag: women’s fiction

Oct 26

The Brazilian Husband by Rebecca Powell

Cozy Lady Fiction, Romance, Tear Jerkers 5

Olá Bookworms!

You know that thing where you do or say or think something only to realize later that it was a dumb thing to do or say or think? That’s basically my life, to be honest: I’m in a constant state of revision. But, among the dumb things I’ve done or said or thought as it pertains to this blog was that I would not accept pitches for self published books. It was snobby and shortsighted of me. I’m sure there are a lot of self published books out there in which I have zero interest, but there are a lot of traditionally published books that fall into that category too. So. I’m wrong a lot. To nobody’s surprise. All this is to say that I received a pitch from a self-published author I was completely unfamiliar with (which is totally different than reading a book written by a blogger I already love, though that has happened) and I accepted a review copy. Are you ready to hear about The Brazilian Husband by Rebecca Powell? *Full disclosure: I received a complimentary copy of this book for review consideration from the author. The following review reflects my honest opinions.*

brazilianhusbandDetermined to honor her husband’s final request, Judith embarks on a trip from London to Brazil with her reluctant daughter in tow. The trip turns out to be a bit more than Judith bargained for as she begins to uncover secrets to her husband’s past. She soon encounters Ricardo, the dreamboat/human rights lawyer/activist who helps Judith unravel the tangled web of her husband’s life in Brazil. All of this is set against the backdrop of Brazil’s favelas, corrupt city officials, and familial drama.

I can’t recall having read another book set in Brazil, so I was a little concerned a book about Brazil written by a British woman wouldn’t be terribly authentic. I needn’t have worried. A quick review of  Ms. Powell’s bio revealed she spent a year in Brazil working for a women’s shelter, so she knows a little something about the country. Plus, since the protagonist is a British woman visiting Brazil, it was the ultimate “write what you know” scenario. Although, I sincerely hope that the author’s story doesn’t totally mirror this book, because while it was a page turner, it was also heartbreaking.

It reminded me a little of Kate Morton’s work (The Forgotten Garden in particular), the way historical elements were revealed in snippets and the reader discovered the truth of the narrative right along side the protagonist. If you’re into family sagas with a bit of romance, a lot of secrets, and a smattering of tears, definitely give The Brazilian Husband a read. It’s a good one, I promise.

Talk to me Bookworms! I want to read more books set in Brazil. Bonus points if they’re written by Brazilian authors. Recommendations?

*If you make a purchase through a link on this site, I will receive a small commission. You’ll also be supporting an independent author, which is pretty great. Given the fact that the editing and formatting were on point, I imagine a professional editor was involved as well, so you’ll be supporting THAT person too. Just in case you needed to feel warm and fuzzy about indulging in the written word.*

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Jun 07

I Like You Just Fine When You’re Not Around by Ann Garvin: Review and GIVEAWAY!

Contemporary Fiction, Lady Fiction 13

Happy Tuesday Bookworms,

Whew! Summer, man! I’ve been reading plenty of books but I’ve been terrible about getting reviews written. It’s tough to buckle down and computer it up when the sun stays out so late and the weather is so delicious. I’m full of excuses. The point to all of this is that YES! Today I’m talking about a book! I was recently contacted by Ann Garvin and offered a complimentary copy of her latest book, I Like You Just Fine When You’re Not Around for review consideration. As per usual, I shall remind you that my integrity shan’t be compromised by the free book because I have truly terrible manners.

ilikeyoujustfinewhenyourenotaroundTig Monahan is has always been the steady, responsible type who helps everyone else out with their problems. She’s been taking care of her mother, who has been suffering from dementia. She’s always provided a soft landing for her flighty older sister. She’s a therapist, for heaven’s sake! Tig’s refusal to put herself (or more aptly, her boyfriend) first has caused immeasurable friction within her relationship. And all the glorious stability that Tig has worked so hard to build? It crashes down around her piece by piece. In the aftermath, Tig is forced into a new job, a new outlook on life, new roles, and unexpected challenges.

Dang. That little synopsis I just wrote doesn’t do it justice. This book was such a great exploration of messy feelings and complicated emotion. I love a feel-good novel, but I often find that they’re kind of one dimensional and obvious, you know? When I read a book in the self discovery vein, it often feels like there’s a sign blinking with “THIS IS THE CORRECT OPTION” when it comes to what choices the protagonist should be making, particularly in terms of her romantic life. I Like You Just Fine When You’re Not Around took a much more realistic approach to a set of improbable circumstances. It’s a hopeful book, on the whole, but it’s not one of those “follow your dreams and it’ll all work out perfectly” or “find your one true SOUL MATE and everything will fall into place” sort of narratives. It’s a little sad. A bit of a bumpy road. The choices aren’t always clear. Just like actual life. And you know what? I LOVED IT.

Want to know if you’ll love it too? Ann Garvin was generous enough to offer a GIVEAWAY of the novel (US entrants only, please.) Enter below, my little Bookworms!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

*If you make a purchase through a link on this site, I will receive a small commission.*

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Jun 19

The Violets of March by Sarah Jio

Flowers 22

Happy Thursday, Bookworms!

Sometimes after having read something outside of my comfort zone, I like to follow it up with a comforting read. My happy place is women’s fiction. I hesitate to call it “chick lit,” because I tend to think of chick lit as sassy, but my comfort reads are decidedly sweet. I was in need of some comfort after reading (and maybe being a teeny bit traumatized by) Hannibal: Enemy of Rome so I picked up another Sarah Jio novel, The Violets of March

violets of marchSarah Jio man. She never disappoints with the sweetness, I tell you. The Violets of March begins with Emily Wilson attempting to recover from her recent divorce. After her picture perfect New York life crumbles, Emily takes refuge with her eccentric Aunt Bee on Bainbridge Island (a mere ferry ride away from Seattle.)

As Emily settles in with her aunt, she discovers a diary tucked into the guest room night stand. Completely enthralled by the story told in the diary, Emily’s own writer’s block begins to thaw as she uncovers a mystery dating back to 1943. Of course, it’s a Sarah Jio, so her trademark dual narrative style is on display in full force.

Y’all I think this is my favorite Sarah Jio to date. I liked the story lines in both the present and the past. It had quirky old ladies, mystery, flowers, and (of course) romance! If you’ve ever harbored a desire to escape your surroundings or suspected that flowers have mystical healing properties, you and this book will get along famously!

Fess up, Bookworms. How many of you have daydreamed about leaving your grown-up existence behind and holing up on an island? 

*If you make a purchase through a link on this site, I will receive a small commission. I will put it into the “buy myself a private island” fund, but give up and just put a clod of dirt in my bathtub and call it my island.*

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Feb 03

Saving Cee Cee Honeycutt by Beth Hoffman

Coming of Age, Contemporary Fiction, Flowers, Women's Studies 21

Howdy Bookworms,

Ah, comfort fiction. For me, it typically involves gardening, women supporting one another, and more often than not, it’s set in the South. Sure, sometimes it’s a little on the sweet side, some might argue it’s downright syrupy. Luckily, I never met a dessert I didn’t like, so sweetness is absolutely my thing. I just read Saving CeeCee Honeycutt by Beth Hoffman, and I loved it!

saving cee cee HoneycutCecelia Honeycutt has had a rough go of it. As a young girl in Ohio, she plays witness to her mother’s devastating descent into mental illness. Her father is absent as he’s a travelling salesman, so when CeeCee’s mother’s antics move from the eccentric into the psychotic, she is left to handle things on her own.

CeeCee finds her refuge in the library and in the arms of her elderly neighbor. She struggles to deal with her mother making trips to the grocery store in full pageant regalia and withers under the stares of her classmates. Having an untreated mentally ill mother doesn’t make you particularly popular, as it turns out. Then one day, everything changes.

CeeCee’s father arranges to have her move in with her Great Aunt Tootie, a woman she’s never met. She’s uprooted and re-installed in Savannah, Georgia. Aunt Tootie is pretty much the sweetest woman alive, and CeeCee takes to Oletta (Aunt Tootie’s cook and housekeeper) immediately. Unfortunately, a few weeks of good home cooking and affection can’t make up for a childhood rife with neglect. CeeCee slowly learns to accept and acknowledge her past while allowing the love of her new found life to heal her tortured soul.

What can I say? I’m an absolute sucker for this kind of book. It’s the type of novel that leaves me feeling warm and fuzzy about humanity. If you liked The Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd or Can’t Wait to Get to Heaven by Fannie Flagg, you will adore Saving CeeCee Honeycutt. If you haven’t read any of them, what in the sam heck are you waiting for?! Go forth and feel good!

Have you ever met a novel that makes you feel good about humankind? What are some of your favorites? 

*If you make a purchase through a link on this site I will receive a small commission, which I will probably use to buy more books. Honesty. It’s what I do.*

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