Genre: 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!

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

#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 | “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

Blog Book Tour | “Unlocking Worlds: a reading companion for book lovers” by Sally Allen

Posted Friday, 18 December, 2015 by jorielov , , 2 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 be a part of the blog tour for “Unlocking Worlds” hosted by iRead Book Tours. I received a complimentary copy of “Unlocking Worlds” direct from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein.

Why this particular non-fiction topical book on reading appealed to me:

If I were to be earnest, I’d say I have had a curiosity about ‘metafiction’ and non-fiction works for quite a bit of time – those curious delights inter-related to the craft of writing and the tomes of stories writers give us on an annual basis. Metafiction by definition is a collective work about how fiction becomes writ and how it’s story is technically put together. For me, I like the broader term to encompass any work that seeks to enlighten the reader about the benefits of reading and how reading is singularly a unique visitation with worlds writ through the eyes of writers we may never have the pleasure of knowing personally but whose worlds have given us such a breadth of joy as to give us this awe-inspiring moment of clarity.

I haven’t picked up the habit of selecting non-fiction works to read each year, as my non-fiction selections are such a random allotment of subjects, topics and near fanciful treats of unexpected delights, I simply do not make it an organised effort to consume more of this literary scope as well I should. What drew me into this particular release is how it was spoken about prior to seeing the book arrive by Post. It lent the impression that this was not only meant for ‘readers’ but for those who are passionately addicted to reading – to give themselves over to the stories and to allow the stories to give them back a piece of their memories for having spent a moment settled in thought and mirth of exploration of that world.

Blog Book Tour | “Unlocking Worlds: a reading companion for book lovers” by Sally AllenUnlocking Worlds
Subtitle: a reading companion for book lovers
by Sally Allen
Source: Author via iRead Book Tours

Award-winning writer and teacher Sally Allen knows that good books don’t just draw us in; they talk to us, shape us, and transport us to times, places, and minds different from our own.

In Unlocking Worlds: A Reading Companion for Book Lovers, Allen deftly weaves personal stories with fifteen thematized, annotated, and illustrated reading lists for what to read next. By sharing some of the treasures in her library and the secret lives they reveal, she gives us permission to embrace the shameless book lover inside each of us. Unlocking Worlds is a testament to how reading passionately — and compassionately — can unlock the world beyond our back yard. Celebrating books and those who read them, Allen shows how the solitary act of reading can be a powerful thread that creates community and connection.

Thought-provoking and eloquent, Unlocking Worlds: A Reading Companion for Book Lovers is a must-have for anyone who can’t leave the house without a book in hand.

Places to find the book:

ISBN: 9780983644613

Genres: Classical Literature, Literary Fiction, Metafiction, Non-Fiction


Published by Griffins Wharf Productions

on 2nd September 2015

Format: Paperback Edition

Pages: 248

Available Formats: Paperback

About Sally Allen

Sally Allen

Award winning writer and teacher Sally Allen holds a Ph.D. from New York University in English Education, with an emphasis in writing and rhetoric, and a M.A. in English Language and Literature. She teaches writing, literature, and communications, leads book group discussions, and is the founder and editor of Books, Ink at HamletHub.

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Posted Friday, 18 December, 2015 by jorielov in #JorieLovesIndies, Anthology Collection of Stories, Banned Books, Bits & Bobbles of Jorie, Blog Tour Host & Reviewer, Bookish Discussions, Classical Literature, Debut Author, Indie Author, Inspirational Fiction & Non-Fiction, Journal, Literary Fiction, Metafiction, Non-Fiction, Short Stories or Essays, The Writers Life, Writing Style & Voice

Blog Book Tour | “Yellow-billed Magpie” by Nancy Schoellkopf

Posted Monday, 19 October, 2015 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 was selected to be a part of the blog tour for “Yellow-billed Magpie” hosted by iRead Book Tours. I received a complimentary copy of the book direct from the author Nancy Schoellkopf in exchange for an honest review. I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein.

Why my interest was piqued with this novel:

I like novels which ask questions of it’s readers inasmuch as a story whose heart is aching for a reader to dig a bit deeper than the superficial level of insight. I like finding novelists who write a story with it’s own uniqueness to where it cannot be measured against another novel; for it’s originality sets it apart. I like finding authors who are daring in their courage to tell stories other writers might not feel they can write as eloquently but I appreciate all writers who strive towards pushing themselves past their own set of comfort zones.

I was enthralled with the idea behind Yellow-billed Magpie by the title and then the synopsis. Generally titles may or may not sway me one way or the other; usually because until you sit down with a novel, the title is a bit elusive in explaining itself to you. A synopsis is only a short breath of a clue to what a novel could speak to you about as you read it, but it’s a hint of a suggestion nonetheless. For book bloggers and reviewers (like myself) the synopsis either wins us over in curiosity or we might take a pass on a title until lateron down the road.

In this instance, I was finding myself enjoying the pleasure of seeking out Indie Writers and/or Self Published Writers who were happily giving me a story-line which did not feel repetitive nor re-invented. I like finding writers whose stories tend to stand out from the pack and give you a character who might stay with you longer than the time it takes to read their story. All novels effect us in different ways, some even flutter back inside our memories at later dates – randomly overtaking our thoughts. I like seeking out the stories which give me something to chew on and give me a hearty story to appreciate as I read the words their author left behind for me to find. I was hoping this might be one I would find I couldn’t quite put down without gratitude for taking a chance on it’s author’s style.

Blog Book Tour | “Yellow-billed Magpie” by Nancy SchoellkopfYellow-billed Magpie
by Nancy Schoellkopf
Source: Author via iRead Book Tours

Unlike their black-billed cousins, yellow-billed magpies are rarely found outside California’s central valley. So when they begin showing up in Samantha O’Malley’s dreams, she wonders: are they calling me home?

Disappointed by failed fertility treatments and the break-up of her marriage, Samantha returns to her home town and slips into old habits, resuming her teaching career, even hooking up with an old lover. But she also renews her friendship with Craig, the school custodian she honors as her spiritual guide. The work they do together with Samantha’s special education students will lead her to discoveries she never thought possible.

Yellow-Billed Magpie is a love story, a spiritual journey, a quest to look beyond appearances to the mystical rhythms that guide the human heart.

Places to find the book:

Add to Riffle

ISBN: 9780692445730

Genres: Literary Fiction, Spirituality & Metaphysics, Women's Fiction


Published by Butterfly Tree Publishing

on 3rd August 2015

Format: Paperback Edition

Pages: 216

Available Formats: Paperback

Converse via: #YellowbilledMagpie

About Nancy Schoellkopf

Nancy Schoellkopf

Nancy Schoellkopf has been telling stories and writing poems for many lifetimes. It goes without saying she’s needed a second income, so this time around she happily taught amazing children in special education classes in two urban school districts in Sacramento, California.

A full time writer now, she enjoys lavishing attention on her cat, her garden and her intriguing circle of family and friends.

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Posted Monday, 19 October, 2015 by jorielov in #JorieLovesIndies, 21st Century, Animals in Fiction & Non-Fiction, Bits & Bobbles of Jorie, Blog Tour Host & Reviewer, Bookish Discussions, Cats and Kittens, Debut Author, Indie Author, iRead Book Tours, Modern Day, Vulgarity in Literature

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