REVIEW – The Dream Daughter by Diane Chamberlain

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Expected publication: October 2, 2018 by St. Martin’s Press

 

I have been reading Diane Chamberlain’s books for many years and I am always excited when a new book is going to be released. Needless to say, I was thrilled to have the opportunity to read an early copy of “The Dream Daughter”.

I think that the blurb for this book is very well written. It doesn’t give all the good stuff away, and I promise I won’t either. I didn’t know very much going into this novel and I’m glad it worked out that way.

The story begins in 1970. Twenty-six-year-old Caroline (Carly) Sears has just been told that the baby she’s carrying has a heart defect. Carly has already been through so much in the last year. So when she learns that it’s unlikely that anything can be done to help her baby, she is devastated. This baby means everything to Carly.

Thankfully she has the support of her sister, Patti and brother in law, Hunter. Hunter came to be a part of their family just a few years before. He is a physicist and he feels he can help Carly and her baby. He desperately wants to help her. But what Hunter tells Carly sounds unbelievable. At first, she wonders if he’s teasing her….and then she wonders if he’s lost his mind.

However, Carly will do anything if it means there is even the smallest possibility of saving her unborn child.

Wow! I LOVED this novel. I hated putting it down. But as I got close to the end, I started slowing down. I really didn’t want it to be over yet. I’m so thankful that I have a mother who will let me go on and on about the books I’m reading. But this time she asked me to stop sharing what was happening…. I got her hooked and now she wants to read it herself.

I will be honest; there was a moment or two near the beginning where I wondered if this book might not be for me. I wasn’t sure how I felt about the direction the story was taking. But I shouldn’t have worried as before I knew it, I was completely engrossed in the story.

I have so much respect for Diane Chamberlain. She takes chances and pushes the boundaries with her writing. This novel crosses genres that I never expected. “The Dream Daughter” is a wonderful story about love, family, courage, and the unbelievable power of a mother’s love.

In my opinion, this was definitely another home run by Diane Chamberlain. The unique story captured my imagination and all of the characters captured my heart. I highly recommend this novel, and I really hope that everyone who reads it loves it as much as I do.

I’d like to thank St. Martin’s Press for giving me the opportunity to read this book in exchange for my honest review.

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Music Monday: Tommy Tutone – 867-5309 Jenny

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Music Monday is a meme that was created by Drew from The Tattooed Book Geek. You pick a song and/or video and share it on Monday.

The song and video I am sharing today is:

Tommy Tutone – 867-5309 Jenny

Another 80’s song! I’m sorry (not sorry). I just can’t help it! This song popped into my head on Saturday and I haven’t been able to get it out.

So I thought I should share 😉

This song makes me so happy. And we used to be able to dial  867-5309 with my local area code and it would actually play the song. I haven’t tried it in a while though.

 

“Tommy Tutone – 867-5309 Jenny”

Jenny jenny who can I turn to
You give me something I can hold on to
I know you’ll think I’m like the others before
Who saw your name and number on the wall
Jenny I’ve got your number
I need to make you mine
Jenny don’t change your number
Eight six seven five three oh nine
Eight six seven five three oh nine
Eight six seven five three oh nine
Eight six seven five three oh nine
Jenny jenny you’re the girl for me
You don’t know me but you make me so happy
I tried to call you before but I lost my nerve
I tried my imagination but I was disturbed
Jenny I’ve got your number
I need to make you mine
Jenny don’t change your number
Eight six seven five three oh nine
Eight six seven five three oh nine
Eight six seven five three oh nine
Eight six seven five three oh nine
I got it (i got it) I got it
I got your number on the wall
I got it (i got it) I got it
For a good time, for a good time call
Jenny don’t change your number
I need to make you mine
Jenny I’ve called your number
Eight six seven five three oh nine
Eight six seven five three oh nine
Eight six seven five three oh nine
Eight six seven five three oh nine
Jenny Jenny who can I turn to (eight six seven five three oh nine)
For the price of a dime I can always turn to you (eight six seven five three oh nine)
Eight six seven five three oh nine
Eight six seven five three oh nine
Eight six seven five three oh nine
Eight six seven five three oh nine (five three oh nine)
Eight six seven five three oh nine
Eight six seven five three oh nine (five three oh nine)
Eight six seven five three oh nine (five three oh nine)

Songwriters: James Irwin Keller / Alexander Hughes Call
867-5309 / Jenny lyrics © Warner/Chappell Music, Inc

 

Review: These Violent Delights by Victoria Namkung

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Published November 7,  2017 by Griffith Moon

“In a single-sex school, a girl can comprehend her value and her capabilities in ways that have nothing to do with how she looks or whom she dates. She can be free to experiment and explore, trying out new things and trying on new roles. She can follow her ambitions without wasting a second thought or backward glance on how her male counterparts might perceive her. “

–National Coalition of girls’ Schools

 Investigative journalist, Jane March arrives home, exhausted after a long day. However, after reading an email from her current intern, Caryn, Jane’s tiredness is instantly forgotten. Caryn Rodgers is a USC journalism student and has just started interning for Jane. The email is about an essay Caryn has written, a personal essay about something that happened years ago when she attended Windemere, an elite all-girls school. Caryn has written about something happened with a teacher that he was never punished for.

 “Since finishing her first draft, my appetite has magically disappeared, and I know I won’t be sleeping well tonight, either. I guess even money can’t protect you from certain things.”

The teacher is, Dr. Gregory Copeland. Dr. Copeland has worked at Windemere School for Girls for many years. He’s popular with everyone…the staff, parents, and the students. He’s a married father of two and is currently chair of the English department at Windemere. However, Dr. Copeland is also a predator and has been using his position of power to take advantage of his young students for many years.

At first, Caryn isn’t sure if she wants to publicly name him. She knows her parents won’t be thrilled that she’s going public with this.

Jane gets a little pushback at first from some of her co-workers about publishing Caryn’s essay, but she quickly puts an end to that.

 “Don’t you find it interesting that these crimes against women – whether it’s violence, sexual assault, rape – are the only kinds where we force the victim to make a case about their own innocence before even investigating?”

After the article is published, other former students come forward with their own allegations against Copeland. Two alumnae join up with Jane and Caryn and are determined to do something about Dr. Copeland. Will they be successful? Will Dr. Gregory Copeland finally get what’s coming to him? And what about the others that were complicit in keeping some of his secrets? Will they be brought to task as well?

I was really excited to get my hands on this novel. The description was intriguing and the beautiful cover didn’t hurt either. “These Violent Delights” wasn’t exactly what I was expecting, but I enjoyed it nonetheless. This was a thought-provoking read that I read in just two sittings.

It’s scary how relevant and realistic the issues in this novel are and how often these things still happen. I don’t feel like anything was exaggerated or written for sensationalism. This novel highlights the failure of those involved in protecting young women. In what is supposed to be a safe place, they were targeted by a predator for years, where he was free to continue teaching and grooming even more young girls.

We also see what happens when social media gets involved in cases like this, often blaming the victims and/or offering excuses for the accused.

The story is told from multiple points of view. There were a few times that I got mixed up and wasn’t sure whose point of view I was reading, but for the most part, I was able to keep things straight. These characters were well-written and my heart broke for them as I read about the long-term and lasting effects the abuse had on them.

Victoria Namkung has written a very realistic, relevant, and timely novel. At times it really felt like I was reading a non-fiction book. It has a powerful message and also tells an interesting story.

Thank you to Griffith Moon for the opportunity to read this book in exchange for my honest review.

REVIEW: Sunburn by Laura Lippman

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Published February 20, 2018 by HarperLuxe

 

The cover of “Sunburn” caught my eye right away. And after reading the book description, I was really looking forward to getting my hands on this new novel from Laura Lippman.

The novel opens in Belleville, Delaware in 1995.

When Polly and Adam meet at the High-Ho restaurant in Belleville, they’re both just passing through. Polly, a redhead with a two-day-old sunburn catches Adam’s eye. They aren’t sure what to make of each other. It isn’t love at first sight but there is a definite attraction.

Polly has a past but she’s planning for a brighter future. She has no intention of changing those plans or letting anyone stand in her way. But sometimes people with the best intentions have the worst luck.

It’s not long before Adam and Polly are completely wrapped up in each other. Somehow these two strangers who are supposed to just be passing through end up staying in Belleville that summer.

They both know it won’t last. It can’t last….could it?

Although Adam knows some of Polly’s past he realizes there’s so much more that he doesn’t know.

But no one knows her whole story. She plans to keep it that way”

He’s been warned about Polly. He’s been told that she’s only out for herself.

Whatever you do, don’t turn your back on her. Even face to face, you might not be safe with that one.”

But Adam can’t reconcile these warnings with the woman he’s getting to know. But he does wonder where she goes on those days that she borrows his truck.

Polly also wonders if she can trust Adam. Is it really just a coincidence that they ended up in the same small town, at the same time? Polly’s track record with men…well, it’s muddy, to say the least. But for some reason, she feels safe with Adam, like she can finally be herself. But her past continues to haunt her, and not everyone is happy for Polly and Adam.

Though they both have some reservations, Polly and Adam start to make plans for the future. But then something happens that throws a wrench into those plans. Will what they have together survive what comes next?

I really enjoyed this novel. It was a bit of a slow burn at first, but the pace picked up and it wasn’t long before I was caught up in the story. Polly and Adam were both very complex characters, with secrets that left me unsure of who I should trust. Polly especially intrigued me. I wanted to know the reasons for some of her actions.

There were quite a few points of view, though the majority of the story was told from Polly and Adam’s perspective.

Sunburn” was an entertaining psychological suspense novel with an intriguing storyline that kept me flipping pages well past my bedtime. However, it was worth it as I loved how everything came together in an unexpected but extremely satisfying way.

Thank you to William Morrow for the opportunity to read this book in exchange for my honest review.