I love books set in the ‘40s-60s. I prefer Hollywood for the setting, but I’m not too picky. I just love stories set in that era. I lucked out with Brooke Lea Foster’s debut novel, Summer Darlings. It takes place during the summer of ’62 on Martha’s Vineyard. Summer Darlings offers a peek into the lifestyles of the wealthy who summer on the island through the eyes of one wealthy family’s babysitter, Heddy.
Heddy has certain goals for herself and for the summer – mainly to figure out how to pay for college in the fall and how to incorporate herself into this glamorous world by finding a husband. But we all know how the old saying goes about the best laid plans. Heddy soon finds herself thrust into a world of wealth, privilege, movie stars, gossip, love, lust, backstabbing, and scandal.
One of the incredible things about being a book blogger is getting to read new and upcoming books. I enjoy books of all genres, including historical fiction. Today I’ll be reviewing a new book from Revell Reads, The Heart of a King, which takes place during the time of Solomon’s life in the Old Testament. This is a stand-alone novel that focuses on the relationships of Solomon, the son of King David. Solomon was a wise man, granted wisdom by God. Even if you haven’t read the Old Testament, you’ve likely heard some of the stories about Solomon, such as the two women fighting over an infant. It was Solomon’s wisdom in cases like this which made hundreds of people line up on a regular basis to seek Solomon’s wisdom on various issues. But for all his wisdom, Solomon struggled to make wise choices in his own life, particularly involving his relationships.
“The ocean rolled out before her like a bolt of black velvet, while the stars overhead were fixed like silver sequins. The night sky was so clear it seemed that Loretta could see all the stars in the heavens.”
My first novel of the summer took me back to the Golden Days of Hollywood. I’ve been leaning toward “comfort reads” lately – familiar stories, characters, and settings. I love reading about old Hollywood, and All the Stars in the Heavens was just what the doctor ordered. I found this book delightful. Not only was it one of my favorite genres, but the story featured real-life movie stars including Loretta Young, Clark Gable, and Spencer Tracy.
If you’ve followed my blog for a while, you probably know that I love books set in the Golden Age of Hollywood. So when I got the opportunity for a sneak peek at Amanda Quick’s newest mystery set in 1930’s California amidst the glamour of Hollywood movie stars, I couldn’t resist!
“I could not believe that I had said the name at last. I waited, wondering what would happen. I had said the name. I had said the word Rebecca aloud. It was a tremendous relief. It was as though I had taken a purge and rid myself of an intolerable pain. Rebecca. I had said it aloud.”
Rebecca has been on my book bucket list for years. I have heard it referenced countless times and decided to find out what it was all about. In case you’re unfamiliar with the story, it is about a young woman who works as an aide/ companion for an older, wealthy woman. On one of their vacations, the young woman meets a middle-aged widower named Maxim and he ends up proposing. It all seems a bit magical, even though he is rumored to have lost his wife less than a year before in a tragic accident. But when the newlyweds return to Manderley, Maxim’s estate, the story takes on an eerie tone as the new bride feels haunted by Maxim’s dead wife.
A couple of weeks ago, The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo started popping up all over my Instagram feed, and I became intrigued. The title alone is enough to pique one’s interest. At the bookstore last Friday, I came across this title and decided to see what all the fuss was about. After reading the synopsis, I was sold. I had to read this book!
Evelyn’s story takes place over several decades and falls into one of my favorite genres of books – the golden age of Hollywood. I love reading stories set in Hollywood from the ‘40s – ‘60s. I love watching old films and imagining what life was like for the movie stars who made them. I have read several celebrity autobiographies from that era, and they are always fascinating to me. Although Evelyn Hugo is a fictional character, I couldn’t wait to read her story. Keep Reading!
Years ago I read a novel written by Tracie Peterson, and I remember thinking how wonderfully written it was and how beautifully it handled difficult situations from a Christian perspective. That being said, when I saw that she had a new novel coming out, I jumped at the chance for a sneak peek, and I would like to say a huge thank you to Bethany House Publishers for providing me with a free copy of A Love Transformed in exchange for an honest review. Keep on Reading!
The Book Thief has been on my “to read” list for a long time. I picked it up over one school break but didn’t get very far before my classes started again and I just couldn’t keep up with it. So I picked it up again this summer and this time couldn’t put it down! What a unique story! World War II/ Holocaust stories are usually pretty difficult for me to read, and understandably so. What a sad time in our world’s history! This story, however, was so intriguing because it was told in such a unique way.
This book is the story of Liesel, a little girl who is taken in by the Hubermanns in Nazi occupied Germany. The story of Liesel, the Hubermanns and others is told through the narration of Death. Yes, Death narrates this story, and there could not be a more appropriate or unique voice to do so. I thought at first that a book narrated by Death could be nothing but sad and tragic, but it gives the book such an interesting spin. The story is told by the one voice that witnessed humans at their best and humans at their worst. Keep Reading!
As the late, great John Lennon once wrote: “Life is what happens to you while you’re busy making other plans.” In my opinion, this quote sums up Beautiful Ruins by Jess Walter, well, beautifully.
I’m going to be honest and admit that the cover was what initially attracted me to this book. I know, we shouldn’t judge books by their covers, but something about this gorgeous cover screamed a dated story set in Italy, and I couldn’t resist picking it up. Whoever designed this cover did well because, that is exactly how this story starts.
The story opens in 1960s Italy at a secluded hotel in a very small town. We meet Dee Moray, an American actress, and Pasquale, the young, Italian hotel owner. From that point on, the book is filled with twists and surprises, unfolding the stories of these two people, alternating between the past and the present. Keep on Reading!
The Tea Planter’s Wife is a period piece, set in the 1920’s and 30’s in Ceylon (present day Sri Lanka) on a tea plantation. The main character, Gwen, moves there from England after marrying an older man, Laurence Hooper, who runs his family’s tea plantation. Amidst the backdrop of the beautiful plantation house and the workers’ run down quarters, Gwen quickly learns that race and class differences are aplenty in her new world and struggles to align her morals of treating everyone the same with what is expected of her in her new household. The story unfolds as Gwen adjusts to her new life and new role and as we learn that she carries with her a secret, a secret which she feels would destroy her marriage and ruin her life. Keep on Reading!