Category: Literary Fiction

#PubDay Book Review | “Beyond the Wild River” by Sarah Maine

Posted Tuesday, 18 April, 2017 by jorielov , , , 2 Comments

Book Review Banner using Unsplash.com (Creative Commons Zero) Photography by Frank McKenna

Acquired Book By: I received an enquiry from a publicist at Atria in regards to a novel of suspense by an author I had not yet heard of previously. What captured my attention about this release was the heart of the story itself and the way in which this felt like an Introspective Novel which is of particular interest in my reading life as I like seeking out the Literary novels which bespeak of digging a bit deeper than genre fiction and asking different kinds of questions on behalf of the readers who enjoy reading them. They genuinely get you thinking about the layers of the story and also, of the message within the fuller scope of what the author was attempting to present to you through the duration of the novel. I was keenly grateful I could receive a print ARC in order to read this ahead of publication.

I received a complimentary ARC copy of “Beyond the Wild River” direct from the publisher Atria (an imprint of Simon & Schuster) in exchange for an honest review. I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein.

Why I was keenly interested in this particular release:

One thing I truly appreciate is a wicked good novel of atmospheric suspense – which is a nod to my lifelong appreciation of Psychological Suspense films including those which were the founding entries which brought the Horror film genre to brilliant life. In other words, I grew up appreciating Alfred Hitchcock and his particular style of letting your imagination fill in the gaps between where his narrative lens left-off in such classics as: The Man Who Knew Too Much, The Lady Vanishes, North by Northwest, The Rope, Dial M for Murder and other such lovelies which truly knitted suspense into the cornerstone of the character’s journey. I specifically found his style of the craft to be a lead-in towards finding authors how convey the same appreciation for what he did in film.

A few years ago, I attempted to read my first Kate Morton novel (The Distant Hours) yet sadly never truly was able to attach myself into the story-line due to time constraints. Yet, in the beginning of her novel, I felt a kinetic energy of atmospheric beauty etching out of the narrative; both haunting and compelling all at once. There are other authors I’ve read and blogged about meeting here on Jorie Loves A Story, of whom write in a similar vein of interest – such as Kate Forsyth, M.J. Rose, Lena Coakley, Sarah E. Boucher, Richard Storry, Helene Wecker, Yangsze Choo, Edith Wharton and others of whom write in a particular style of evokes a certain layer of world-building through a Gothic-esque lens.

Whilst I continue to seek out stories which have this evocation, I am truly a Historical girl at heart – a realisation I discovered about myself as I became a book blogger, as until I blogged (in effect, journalled my reading life!) I hadn’t taken stock of which types of stories I lean towards to read moreso than others which happily enchant me as I meet them. Historical Fiction and all the lovely variants of it’s sub-genres have kept me entertained for the fullness of my reading life (ie. since I was a young girl!) due to how breath-taking Historicals can be penned! The eclipse of course to fully entreat into the historical past whilst following in the footsteps of characters so well conceived you feel as if you’ve slipped into their shoes and tackled living their life for a spell!

This particular novel felt it held enough Suspense threading through it to keep me on the pins of my nerves whilst the backdrop of moving between England and Canada would be a refreshing change in scenery! As I am oft wandering back through time periods and settings often visited; to where I like to switch things up a bit and go ‘somewhere’ new every once in awhile! I also felt it had an introspective vibe about it whilst attempting to pull out the human condition and psychological back-story of it’s lead characters who might not expect to be ‘caught’ at a fork in the road where they could chose which way they would go forward vs following an expected trajectory by someones choice.

As this is my first reading by the author, I was thankful to receive the ARC in which I had the joy of reading the Editor’s remarks on behalf of the author and of this story. I love receiving ARCs in that regard – for the little ‘extra’ insights into the author’s collective works or their initial debuts; it gives a sense of the author’s style but also, of their story’s heart. I also like seeing how each Editor in turn chooses to highlight what they feel is the core of the author’s message for the story at hand. I had to smirk to myself realising I had mentioned my personal love of Hitchcock when I was reading a direct reference to him in this Editor’s Note! Laughs. Sometimes I find there are happy coincidences and moments of quirky connections as I read and blog my reading life; this is surely one of them! I was keenly right about this being introspective – as there is a hint of a nod towards how this novel is both figuratively poignant as much as it is metaphorical; for me, that’s the baseline of a wicked good literary novel!

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#PubDay Book Review | “Beyond the Wild River” by Sarah MaineBeyond the Wild River
by Sarah Maine
Source: Direct from Publisher

The day comes sooner than expected when Charles, prompted by a near-scandal between Evelyn and a servant, brings her on a business trip to New York City and the 1893 World’s Fair in Chicago. Evelyn welcomes the chance to escape her cloistered life and see the world.

But a fishing expedition up the Nipigon River in Canada takes an unexpected turn when Evelyn discovers that their river guide is none other than James Douglas. Even more startling, her father betrays no shock, simply instructing Evelyn not to reveal their past connection with James to the rest of their party.

Evelyn never believed that James was guilty, but speculation about her father’s role in the killing has made her fearful. What is he hiding? As they travel deeper into the wilderness, and further from the constraints of polite society, the secrets and lies surrounding that night are finally stripped away, revealing the true natures of everyone in their party.

Places to find the book:

Borrow from a Public Library

Add to Riffle

Add to LibraryThing

ISBN: 9781501126956

Genres: Historical Fiction, Literary Fiction, Suspense


Published by Atria Books

on 18th April, 2017

Format: Paperback ARC

Pages: 352

Published By: Atria ()
{imprint of} Simon & Schuster (

Converse via: #BeyondTheWildRiver
Available Formats: Hardback and E-Book

About Sarah Maine

Sarah Maine Photo Credit Susie McDonald at Brick Lane Studio

Sarah Maine was born in England but grew up partly in Canada before returning to the United Kingdom, where she now lives. She is the author of The House Between Tides.

Photo Credit: Susie McDonald at Brick Lane Studio

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Reading this book contributed to these challenges:

  • 2017 Historical Fiction Reading Challenge
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Posted Tuesday, 18 April, 2017 by jorielov in 19th Century, ARC | Galley Copy, Blog Tour Host & Reviewer, Book Review (non-blog tour), Canada, Chicago, Coming-Of Age, England, Family Life, Father-Daughter Relationships, Historical Fiction, Historical Romance, Literary Fiction, Suspense

Book Review | “JUNE” by Miranda Beverly-Whittemore #BloggingForBooks

Posted Tuesday, 23 August, 2016 by jorielov , , , , 0 Comments

Ruminations & Impressions Book Review Banner created by Jorie in Canva.

Acquired Book By: I decided to join the “Blogging for Books” programme (on 9th July, 2014) which is a book for review programme created by the Crown Publishing Group. As a book blogger you are offered books in exchange for an honest review on your book blog as well as the ability to reach new readers when you cross-post your review to the Blogging for Books website. The benefit for the blogger is exposure as a reviewer as they put direct links back to your blog post on the book you select to review as well as your homepage.

I received a complimentary copy of “June” direct from the publisher Crown Publishers, in exchange for an honest review. I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein.

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

Book Review | “JUNE” by Miranda Beverly-Whittemore #BloggingForBooksJune
by Miranda Beverly-Whittemore
Source: Publisher via Blogging for Books

From the New York Times bestselling author of Bittersweet comes a novel of suspense and passion about a terrible mistake made sixty years ago that threatens to change a modern family forever.

Twenty-five-year-old Cassie Danvers is holed up in her family’s crumbling mansion in rural St. Jude, Ohio, mourning the loss of the woman who raised her—her grandmother, June. But a knock on the door forces her out of isolation. Cassie has been named the sole heir to legendary matinee idol Jack Montgomery’s vast fortune. How did Jack Montgomery know her name? Could he have crossed paths with her grandmother all those years ago? What other shocking secrets could June’s once-stately mansion hold?

Soon Jack’s famous daughters come knocking, determined to wrestle Cassie away from the inheritance they feel is their due. Together, they all come to discover the true reasons for June’s silence about that long-ago summer, when Hollywood came to town, and June and Jack’s lives were forever altered by murder, blackmail, and betrayal. As this page-turner shifts deftly between the past and present, Cassie and her guests will be forced to reexamine their legacies, their definition of family, and what it truly means to love someone, steadfastly, across the ages.

Places to find the book:

Borrow from a Public Library

Add to Riffle

Add to LibraryThing

ISBN: 9780553447682

Genres: Crime Fiction, Historical Fiction, Suspense


Published by Crown Publishers

on 31st May, 2016

Format: Hardcover Edition

Pages: 400

 Published By: Crown Publishers (@crownpublishing)

(an imprint of Crown Publishing Group)

Available Formats: Hardcover, Audiobook & Ebook

Converse on Twitter via: #JUNE + #BloggingForBooks

About Miranda Beverly-Whittemore

Miranda Beverely Whittemore_Photo Credit Kai Beverly Whittemore

Miranda Beverly-Whittemore is the author of three other novels: New York Times bestseller Bittersweet; Set Me Free, which won the Janet Heidinger Kafka Prize, given annually for the best book of fiction by an American woman; and The Effects of Light. A recipient of the Crazyhorse Prize in Fiction, she lives and writes in Brooklyn.

Photo Credit Kai Beverly-Whittemore

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Reading this book contributed to these challenges:

  • 2016 Historical Fiction Reading Challenge
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Posted Tuesday, 23 August, 2016 by jorielov in Blog Tour Host & Reviewer, Blogging for Books, Book Review (non-blog tour), Death, Sorrow, and Loss, Grief & Anguish of Guilt, Historical Fiction, LGBTTQPlus Fiction | Non-Fiction, Literary Fiction, Small Towne USA, Vulgarity in Literature

Book Review | “The Little Paris Bookshop” by Nina George #BloggingForBooks

Posted Friday, 20 May, 2016 by jorielov , , , , , 1 Comment

Ruminations & Impressions Book Review Banner created by Jorie in Canva. Photo Credit: Unsplash Public Domain Photographer Sergey Zolkin.

Acquired Book By: I decided to join the “Blogging for Books” programme (on 9th July, 2014) which is a book for review programme created by the Crown Publishing Group. As a book blogger you are offered books in exchange for an honest review on your book blog as well as the ability to reach new readers when you cross-post your review to the Blogging for Books website. The benefit for the blogger is exposure as a reviewer as they put direct links back to your blog post on the book you select to review as well as your homepage.

I received a complimentary copy of “The Little Paris Bookshop” direct from the publisher Crown Publishers, in exchange for an honest review. I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein.

Inspired to Read:

Although I have taken a bit of a reprieve from seeking out French Literature from writers who are French bourne or simply stories that arise out of being set in France – I must confess, I still have a healthy interest in reading any story that would warm a Francophile’s heart. I simply think I overdid it initially – you can overtake your sensibility at times, wherein you devour such a large portion of something you love that a short hiatus away from it is better than becoming burnt out completely. In regards to the topic at hand, I believe I kept picking such hard hitting stories of the French, my mind and heart could not re-sync to yearn for more at that particular point in time.

When I first learnt of the story inside The Little Paris Bookshop my heart swelled with interest, as any booklover would whose also a bonefide postal correspondent – such as I. The mere idea of how letters are intersecting with personal lives and how stories are capturing the hearts of unexpected readers through circumstances that are quite kismet as they are karmic and serendipitously lovely. What is not to love at the onset of digging inside a novel like this one? I felt for the first time in a long while, I might have stumbled across a novel that would be enchanting rather than mind numbing and uplifting rather than angst ridden to the extreme. Personally I think I should limit how many war dramas I consume per annum. It has a way of getting to a girl! And, why pray tell I have the tendency to read such emotionally draining works of French Lit is beyond me – I need to sprinkle in some contemporaries and some light-hearted historicals; or simply expire my ticket for war dramas for a fraction of time before resuming where I left off.

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

Notation on Cover Art: Do you see that little postal stamp in the upper right corner of the postcard? Notice how half cover is overtaken by said postcard? Do you have know wicked happy it is to receive a letter by postal mail? There is such a ferret of joy erupting out of seeing a postmark, a stamp and an envelope addressed to you arriving by Post. A well of happiness about to enter your life via the written or typed conversation eagerly greeting your fingers as you slice open the envelope to reveal it’s contents. So too, is the same thirst for excitement I found in spying this book cover as a precursor to what I might find inside it’s novel’s heart. The backdrop of Paris was quite a smashing find as well.

Book Review | “The Little Paris Bookshop” by Nina George #BloggingForBooksThe Little Paris Bookshop
by Nina George
Translator: Simon Pare
Source: Publisher via Blogging for Books

Monsieur Perdu can prescribe the perfect book for a broken heart. But can he fix his own?

Monsieur Perdu calls himself a literary apothecary. From his floating bookstore in a barge on the Seine, he prescribes novels for the hardships of life. Using his intuitive feel for the exact book a reader needs, Perdu mends broken hearts and souls. The only person he can’t seem to heal through literature is himself; he’s still haunted by heartbreak after his great love disappeared. She left him with only a letter, which he has never opened.

After Perdu is finally tempted to read the letter, he hauls anchor and departs on a mission to the south of France, hoping to make peace with his loss and discover the end of the story. Joined by a bestselling but blocked author and a lovelorn Italian chef, Perdu travels along the country’s rivers, dispensing his wisdom and his books, showing that the literary world can take the human soul on a journey to heal itself.

Internationally bestselling and filled with warmth and adventure, The Little Paris Bookshop is a love letter to books, meant for anyone who believes in the power of stories to shape people’s lives.

Places to find the book:

Borrow from a Public Library

Add to Riffle

ISBN: 9780553418774

Genres: Contemporary (Modern) Fiction (post 1945), French Literature, Literary Fiction, Men's Fiction


Published by Crown Publishers

on 23rd June, 2015

Format: Hardcover Edition

Pages: 400

 Published By: Crown Publishers (@crownpublishing)

(an imprint of Crown Publishing Group)

Available Formats: Hardcover, Audiobook & Ebook

Converse on Twitter via: #TheLittleParisBookshop + #BloggingForBooks

Jorie Loves A Story Cuppa Book Love Awards Badge created by Jorie in Canva. Coffee and Tea Clip Art Set purchased on Etsy; made by rachelwhitetoo.

About Nina George

NINA GEORGE works as a journalist, writer, and storytelling teacher. She is the award winning author of 26 books, and also writes feature articles, short stories, and columns.

The Little Paris Bookshop spent over a year on bestseller lists in Germany, and was a bestseller in Italy, Poland, and the Netherlands. George is married to the writer Jens J. Kramer and lives in Hamburg and in Brittany, France.

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Posted Friday, 20 May, 2016 by jorielov in Adulterous Affair, Animals in Fiction & Non-Fiction, Apothecary, Blog Tour Host & Reviewer, Blogging for Books, Book Review (non-blog tour), Bookish Discussions, Cats and Kittens, Death, Sorrow, and Loss, Debut Author, Debut Novel, France, French Literature, French Novel Translated into English, Grief & Anguish of Guilt, Humour & Satire in Fiction / Non Fiction, Jorie Loves A Story Cuppa Book Love Awards, Literary Fiction, Men's Fiction, Mental Health, Modern Day, Philosophical Intuitiveness, Publishing Industry & Trade, Vulgarity in Literature, Wordsmiths & Palettes of Sage

Book Review | A #LuminisBooks special focus on #stringtheory with Chris Katsaropoulos. Two stories, two books, and a world of thought: “Antiphony” & “Entrevoir”.

Posted Monday, 28 December, 2015 by jorielov , , , 0 Comments

Ruminations & Impressions Book Review Banner created by Jorie in Canva. Photo Credit: Unsplash Public Domain Photographer Sergey Zolkin.

Acquired Book By:

I was selected to review “Entrevoir” by JKS Communications: A Literary Publicity Firm. JKS is the first publicity firm I started working with when I launched Jorie Loves A Story in August, 2013. I am honoured to continue to work with them now as a 2nd Year Book Blogger. I received my complimentary copy of Entrevoir direct from JKS Communications in exchange for an honest review. I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein.

Whilst I was discussing reviewing Entrevoir, I enquired about Antiphony as to the best of my understanding although the two stories are independent of each other, I felt it would behoove me to read them in tandem rather than to attempt to read Entrevoir without knowledge of Antiphony. Therefore, I received a complimentary copy of Antiphony without obligation to post a review as I did so for my own edification.

On my fascination with the Quantum World:

The following is an excerpt of my response to the JKS publicist who contacted me. I elected to share most of this conversation as it illuminates my interest in Quantum Physics and how relevant my curiosity has remained me with me ever since I first started researching the field; both in my early twenties and previously as a young adult teen.

I am keenly interested in this author and his works, as I personally love string theory and quantum physics — I started to collect books on the subject in my early twenties, including but not limited to “Lucifer’s Legacy” and the works of Dr. Brian Greene. I approach it through Copernicus, Aristotle, and Einstein’s legacies of thought and dimensional observations on the subjects, but I have a keen interest in da Vinci as well, who was a bit ahead of his time across all fields. It isn’t often quantum physics is a featured subject for either non-fiction or fictional releases, and I’m always giddy as a cat when I discover a new author or physicist, who is endeavouring to have us enlarge our perspective and point of view on the world and realms by which we live inside.

I pulled up the author’s Twitter feeds and liked the esoteric and metaphysical tweeting he was projecting inasmuch as the clarity of his thoughts being conveyed in such a small space! I love introspective and thought-provoking texts, especially when your shifting from how we view and understand our world and the cosmos above us.

I was going to ask, can “Entrevoir” be read and understood without having read “Antiphony”? Sometimes physicists carry forward their thoughts from one release to another, so I wasn’t sure if perchance this is the case here or if they are substantially heading off in different directions from one release to the other?! [the key reason I requested to read both of these titles together]

Anything to do with the quantum world, either in fiction (esp hard science fiction) or non-fiction is going to appeal to me, as I love black hole science, string theory, quantum mechanics, dimensional space and the theory of the time continuum, as well as straight-up quantum physics and the curious attraction I have to studying symmetry vs asymmetry in both design and elemental physics. I started to soak inside the theories after picking up “A Wrinkle in Time” which opened the door to understanding the projections of the theories inside “Flatland” by Edwin Abbott. From these two explorations as one was rooted in fact and the other was expressed in fiction (fiction is a beautiful gateway to the imagination, to help us harbour a direct connection in how to purport what was not able to be fathomed by granting us the grace of familiarity), I moved forward into the works I mentioned above: “Lucifer’s Legacy” and the works of Dr. Greene.

You have a keen eye to notice [in reference to the publicist] where my interests lie, as Dr. Brian Greene is one contemporary physicist alongside Dr. Michio Kaku I have my eye on. Another is a mathematician: Dr. Clifford Pickover, where I get to explore where mathematics have a sublet of inspiration on the bearing of how art is seen, produced, and explored — especially when it comes to fractals!

Sometimes I just like to “browse” the science shelves in book shoppes to see what jumps out at me, and therein, I discover other wicked sweet things like ‘quasars, quirks, and the little bits’ which make up the interior fabric and framework of outer space possible. Mathematics is the language of how the design of our world is possible but it also bears understanding to become closer to God. He left behind such a prism of insight just by the science of how everything kinetically works together. Most scientists (i.e. Issac Newton, Einstein, etc) were attempting to understand God through the language of mathematics and the intricacies of quantum physics; this fascinates me, and as I follow their paths, I start to see what they discovered too. The infinite beauty of how all of what we know and everything we have yet to know is plausible; it’s joy doubled and bound through eternity.

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

Book Review | A #LuminisBooks special focus on #stringtheory with Chris Katsaropoulos. Two stories, two books, and a world of thought: “Antiphony” & “Entrevoir”.Entrevoir
by Chris Katsaropoulos
Source: Publicist via JKS Communications

The unveiling of a new work of art by Jacob Marsteller is typically one of the most highly anticipated events in the international art scene—but not this time. Jacob's new piece is a labyrinth of gossamer fabric perched on the peak of a mountain called Entrevoir in a remote corner of the south of France. It looks as if nobody except Jacob's teenage children and a few neighbors from the village will bother to show up at the gallery.

As Jacob finishes dressing for the party, he and his wife Marya begin to argue. She warned him that moving from the vibrant art scene of New York to a tiny village in the middle of nowhere would be a fatal mistake for his career. As she turns her back to him and walks down the stairs, Jacob tells her there was a reason he had to come here to create this piece—and that's when Jacob's whole world begins to unravel. Without realizing what is happening, he is lifted out of his body and taken to another dimension, where he becomes the watcher, the witness, and experiencer of lives he lived six decades ago and thousands of years ago, on other planets and as the highest forms of life.

In the span of one instant and over the course of millions of years, Jacob comes to understand that he is not his body, he is not his mind, and he is not even his soul. By the end of the amazing unveiling of Jacob's true self, he will experience the greatest transfiguration any human being has ever known: the realization of the ultimate nature of human life, and of spirit itself.

Places to find the book:

Borrow from a Public Library

Add to Riffle

Genres: Quantum Physics, Science Fiction, String Theory


Published by Luminis Books

on 15th April, 2015

Pages: 208

Book Synopsis for Antiphony:

Chris Katsaropoulos dramatically depicts the downfall of Theodore, a String Theory physicist who commits the biggest faux pas in the world of science, proposing to his colleagues at a major international conference that perhaps consciousness—God—could be the missing piece in discovering the Final Theory of the universe. To the horror of everyone at the meeting, Theodore proposes, “What if the Universe is really a giant thought?”

ANTIPHONY traces the downward spiral of Theodore’s career in the wake of what he has said, and the remarkable transformation that leads him into the depths of madness . . . or the revelation of the Final Theory, the ultimate secret of the universe.

Katsaropoulos explores Theodore’s downfall with a depth of feeling and meaning that is expressed in a lyrical style that challenges readers to think beyond what is readily apparent and on the surface of things. As novelist Al Riske put it in his recent review of ANTIPHONY, “Katsaropoulos has a way of delving deeply into what seem like small moments—the whole novel takes place in just three or four days—and capturing all their nuances and vibrating tension.”

As Riske says in his review, “Throughout Antiphony, the protagonist experiences dreams and visions that fill pages the way a flash flood fills a ravine—a torrent of words flowing into the space between the margins and pressing onward to the next page and the next. It makes me wonder how he did it.”

Is there a God, and if so, is science fighting a losing battle in its search for the ultimate Theory of Everything? In the end, ANTIPHONY lets each reader decide for themselves…

Read an Excerpt of the Novel:

Antiphony via Midpoint Trade Books (Luminis Books)

[ Antiphony ] Add to Riffle | Public Library

Genre(s): Science Fiction based on Science Fact | Quantum Theory

Spiritual Metaphysics | String Theory | Hard Sci-Fi | Literary Fiction

Published By: Luminis Books (@LuminisBooks) | Blog

Available Formats [for both]: Paperback and Ebook

Converse via Twitter: #StringTheory, #SciGeek,

#LuminisBooks and #JKSLitPublicity

About Chris Katsaropoulos

Chris Katsaropoulos is the author of more than a dozen books, including two critically acclaimed novels, Fragile and Antiphony, and Complex Knowing, the first collection of his poems. He has been an editor at several major publishing houses and has published numerous trade books, textbooks, and novels over the course of his publishing career. He lives in Carmel, Indiana.

Interview on Luminis Books Blog | About "Antiphony"

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Posted Monday, 28 December, 2015 by jorielov in #JorieLovesIndies, ARC | Galley Copy, Astrophysics, Asymmetry, Bits & Bobbles of Jorie, Blog Tour Host & Reviewer, Book | Novel Excerpt, Book Review (non-blog tour), Debut Author, Debut Novel, Fly in the Ointment, Genre-bender, JKS Communications: Literary Publicity Firm, Literary Fiction, Quantum | Mechanics Physics Theory, Quantum Physics, Scribd, String Theory, Superstrings, Supersymmetry, Vulgarity in Literature