Book-Review-Mary’s-Musket

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Mary’s Musket

(Clover Creek Caravan #2)

by

Kirsten Osbourne

If you are a series reader, that is book one to the end of series, you may be frustrated with Mary’s Musket, as I was.

Mary’s Musket commences not after, but during the last few chapters of Hannah’s Hanky, and spends roughly twenty percent of the book regurgitating those last Hannah’s Hanky chapters from Mary’s point of view.

As per the title Mary’s Musket focuses on Mary and her hunting skills, a fact thoroughly established in book #1 Hannah’s Hanky,  and also on her marriage to ‘…the most perfect husband ever…’.

And again the repetition continues; with the perfect husband/wife sentiment are repeated seemingly, ad nauseum.  Another passage that is comical, boring, silly or stupid is Mary’s thoughts about sex.  She focuses so much on bulls and the fact that cows and heifers do not appear to enjoy mating that she almost ruins her wedding night.

Again author Osbourne has ended her tale abruptly and for no apparent reason.

After reading Mary’s Musket it is highly unlikely that I will ever reach the end of the Oregon Trail.   However, I will never say ‘never‘ as each book only contains 10 chapters.

 

Ordinary editing and repetitive writing and dialogue were contributing factors to the book not flowing well and receiving a higher rating from this reviewer.

I rated

Mary’s Musket 

 as a

two-star read, at best.

*****

At the time of writing my review

other Goodreads readers had awarded

Mary’s Musket

an average of 4.28 stars

  from 334 ratings

 and 16 reviews


*****

Mary’s Musket

can be purchased online at

Booktopia, Fishpond and Amazon

Book-Review-Hannah’s-Hanky

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Hannah’s Hanky

(Clover Creek Caravan #1)

by

Kirsten Osbourne

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Set in the mid-1800s while wagon trains were still heading west, Hannah’s Hanky tells the story of an arranged marriage to the wagon train’s preacher (Jed) and Hannah, the step-daughter of the not very nice Mr Gaitlin.

Hannah has only remained at her family home to help her mother endure her marriage to Hannah’s stepfather. One day Mr Gaitlin (stepfather) arrives home and announces that he has arranged a marriage for Hannah tomorrow and if she doesn’t want to be married she is welcome to leave the house at her earliest convenience. After this ultimatum, Hannah agrees to meet the man, marrying him if she wants to. Jed and Hannah meet, agree to marry and so begins their life together on the Oregon Trail.

Hannah strikes up a friendship with twenty-three-year-old single Mary. Mary can outshoot any man she knows and is only on the rail because her mother needs help with Mary’s siblings the eldest of which is nearly ten years younger than may.

Hannah’s Hanky ends abruptly in my opinion just three weeks into a six-month journey.

The story is readable and enjoyable, however, there is far too much simplistic conversation for my liking. Passages similar to: ‘…It will be another long hard day tomorrow…’ ‘Yes, they will all be long hard days on the Trail…’ I quickly tired of reading the words ‘long hard days’. This phrase could/should have been tightened up. Once or twice in a chapter would have been enough and not four or five times in consecutive lines.

In one chapter there was a report of a five-year-old who had shot himself in the foot. Several pages later the same report came through. I was thinking he had been shot in the other foot until I read a Goodreads review pointing out the error in writing or editing. I couldn’t be bothered going back, to find the first reported shooting.

I rated Hannah’s Hanky as a three-star read, at best.

Hannah’s Hanky

 as a

three-star read

At the time of writing my review

other Goodreads readers had awarded

Hannah’s Hanky

an average of 4.21 stars

  from 728 ratings

 and 42 reviews

*****

Hannah’s Hanky

can be purchased online at

Booktopia, Fishpond and Amazon

Book-Review-Last-Christmas-In-Paris

Last Christmas in Paris:

A Novel of World War I

by

Hazel Gaynor & Heather Webb

 

Last Christmas in Paris was not my first World War I romance and from this reviewer, it comes highly recommended.  Initially, I was a little sceptical about taking it on especially when I realised it was simply a series of letters, and this is what set Last Christmas in Paris apart from the proverbial pack; that and the fact that there were no less than nine narrators.   I have often cited a narrators character voices as being a major negative (or positive) for audiobooks.  Now I am happy to spruik the benefits of multiple narrators from a listeners perspective.

Evie and Thomas exchange their thoughts about wartimes while Thomas is fighting ‘somewhere in France’ with Evie’s brother Will.  And that about sums up the story of Last Christmas in Paris.

I believe Last Christmas was an unusual, but highly effective, way to write a romance.

Be prepared if listening to the audiobook, for the short 1968 interludes which breaks the story into its various parts.  To the best of my memory, there is no indication prior to stating the date which is at the beginning of each letter.

I rated Last Christmas in Paris as a solid four star audiobook.

At the time of writing my review,

other Goodreads readers had awarded

Last Christmas in Paris

an average of 4.15 stars,

from 11,730 ratings

and 2,142 reviews.

Last Christmas in Paris

maybe purchased online at

Booktopia, Fishpond and Amazon

Not Available at Fishpond

 

 

 

 

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Book Review-Nightingale


Nightingale

by

Fiona McIntosh

 

Fiona McIntosh’s Nightingale was my sixth of this author’s offerings. However it was not my favourite.   Good, but not ‘up there’.  

While stationed off the shores of Gallipoli during World War I, Nurse Claire Nightingale meets and falls madly in love with Australian Light Horseman Jamie Wren.  Jamie is patched up and sent back to the front where he is again wounded.   Upon reaching hospital Jamie is told that Claire’s Hospital Ship sailed for the Western Front theatre of War shortly after he was declared fit for service and returned to the front some weeks earlier.

Still searching for each other in peacetime Claire receives notification of Jamie’s death, from his father.   Her world is shattered.  She has one last hope; a promised meeting for afternoon tea in London.

I enjoyed Nightingale, however I felt it was a three and a half star book, but not a four star read.   Therefore, instead of bumping my three and a half stars to four, I felt relegating it to three stars was the better choice.

Overall an enjoyable love story set against the backdrop of World War 1.

I thoroughly enjoyed

Nightingale

and rate it a three star story.rating.

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At the time of writing my review

other Goodreads readers have rated

Nightingale

an average of 4.00 stars

from 1,086 ratings

 and 123 reviews.

Nightingale

can be purchased on-line at

BooktopiaFishpond and Amazon.

Book Review-The-Last-Dance


The Last Dance

by

Fiona McIntosh

Stella Myles has lost both parents and is sole parent to a younger brother and sister.  She is finding it hard to make ends meets and decides to join her friend at a dance where girls are paid to dance with men.

Set in the 1930s in England, The Last Dance follows Stella’s life as she struggles to come to grips with the fact that she is in love with her employer.

At the aforementioned dance, Stella meets a suave, sophisticated Monty.  Monty gives Stella the name of an employment agency where she lands a job as a Nanny to two girls.

Upon arriving at her place of employment, ‘Harps End’, she finds Mum to epitomise the upper class English wife.  Eldest daughter 16 year-old Georgie is a spiteful brat, while little sister Grace is adorable.  It is fortunate that Stella is out walking when she meets the girls’ father, Douglas.  There appears to be more to the bespectacled Douglas (aka Monty…from the dance hall) than meets the eye.  However, Stella joins the subterfuge and soon loses her heart to Monty.   She is dragged deeper and deeper into Monty’s world and ends up transporting vital information smuggled out of Germany at great cost, to the British Home Office.

The epilogue wraps up many lose ends to create a warm ending to The Last Dance.   The Last Dance is the type of story which will be enjoyed by readers or listeners (like me).

I thoroughly enjoyed

The Last Dance

and rate it a three and a half star story.

Narrator, Madeleine Leslay, did a wonderful job

of presenting both male and female characters

with easily identifiable voices

for an overall…

four star


rating.

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At the time of writing my review

other Goodreads readers have rated

The Last Dance

an average of 3.77 stars

from 855 ratings

 and 69 reviews.

The Last Dance

can be purchased on-line at

BooktopiaFishpond and Amazon.

Book-Review-The-Good-People

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The Good People

by

Hannah Kent

 

I borrowed The Good People because I thought I had read another book by this author.  However, I had confused Hannah Kent with Kristin Hannah.

Halfway through the first 30 minute (audio) track of The Good People, I began to develop an uneasy feeling that this was going to be an extremely long and boring story or that I would toss it.  Two more 30 minute tracks and I gave up.

 

With Irish blood coursing through my veins I was looking forward to The Good People.  However, I just could not get into this one.  Nothing about the audio version of The Good People appealed to this reader/reviewer.

 

As an unfinished book I can only give it one star which puts me at odds with 10,962 other Goodreads readers who have reviewed and/or rated The Good People with three or more stars.

I did not enjoy

The Good People

The Good People

and rated it a

read.

 

At the time of writing my review

other Goodreads readers have awarded

The Good People

an average of 3.80 stars

from 15,225 ratings

and 2,053 reviews.

The Good People

can be purchased online at

Booktopia, Fishpond and Amazon

Book-Review-The-Beekeeper-of-Aleppo

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The Beekeeper of Aleppo

by

Christy Lefteri

The Beekeeper of Aleppo tells the story of Nuri and his family as they are forced to flee their home in Syria’s war torn city of Aleppo.  The Beekeeper of Aleppo is narrated by Art Malik whose voices suit the story, however but not my ear.

Soon after commencing The Beekeeper of Aleppo I was tempted to not complete listening to audio version.  Even now I am wondering…why?  True. Nuri was a beekeeper.  However, he could have been a butcher, baker or candlestick maker for all the influence his trade had on the story.  At least that is my opinion.  The story was of the struggles and hardship endured as a family escaped from Syria and the city of Aleppo.

As stated on more than one occasion, I read for enjoyment.  I do not like biographical stories.  In this instance it maybe because I have had contact with refugees from his part of the world and heard their stories and more recently know of a family who made it to Australia after watching other, close and not so close, family members executed prior to fleeing the home country.

I have rated

The Beekeeper of Aleppo

as a audiobook.

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At the time of writing my review

other Goodreads readers have awarded

The Beekeeper of Aleppo

an average of 4.23 stars,

from 23,999 ratings

and 3,124 reviews.

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The Beekeeper of Aleppo

is available online

at

Booktopia, Fishpond and Amazon

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Book-Review-Into-the-World

Into the World

by

Stephanie Parkyn

Into the World  was my first Stephanie Parkyn book.  Set in the late eighteenth century it tells the story of an unwed mother, Marie-Louise Girardin, and the lengths she went to earn some money and return to Paris to find and raise her child.

 

Marie-Louise Girardin earned her income not through nefarious means, as some may think.  Rather, she secured herself a stewards job on board a ship sailing for the Great Southern Ocean to find the missing explorer La Perouse who was sailing somewhere in the vicinity of Australia.

The thing that intrigued me was how did they know where to go as it was mentioned several times that any message sent would take around two years to reach ‘home’.  And considering La Perouse did not wake one day and think he would get lost, eaten by cannibals or his ship would sink why send a message at all.

I enjoyed the story from an historical point of view which was long before I knew it was based on fact according to the audio version of Into the World.  How Marie-Louise Girardin disguised her gender in that era, or any era for that matter, in an all-male environment, may have been stretched a little, however did make for a good story.

I think Into the World a solid 3 star read, or perhaps 3.5 stars for the historical aspect.  However as a Goodreads half-star is impossible I will settle on 3 stars.

I think

Into the World

is astar read.

At the time of writing my review

Goodreads readers have rated

Into the World

an average of 3.85 stars,

from 162 ratings and 30 reviews.

Into the World

Into the World

can be purchased online at

Booktopia, Fishpond and Amazon

Book-Review-A-Forgotten-Place

A Forgotten Place

(Bess Crawford, #10)

by

Charles Todd

A Forgotten Place was my second Charles Todd book, and although a bit slow and tedious at times, was an enjoyable story about nurse Bess Crawford and her patients during and after World War I.

 

Bess comes platonically attached to a group of Welsh patients and one in particular.  She follows this patient, Captain Williams, to a small Welsh coastal village.  Here she finds a village whose inhabitants could well be living in the seventeenth or eighteenth century and not in the early part of the twentieth century.  Villagers and their attitudes appear to have frozen in time.  At best the townsfolk are suspicious of any strangers who visit their village, and at worst violent.  After Bess’ driver vanishes during their first night in the village, there is very little transport back to a neighbouring village, from where Bess can return to her unit.  She is a virtual prisoner.  The only car in the village will not transport her.  Bodies appear; some being buried in the darkest hours of the night.

Narrator Rosalyn Landor’s voice did not appeal to me.  However, she probably voiced the characters as they may have spoken one hundred years ago.  For my ear there was little difference between characters which, in my opinion, makes or breaks an audio book.  This is another of those books which may have been more enjoyable had I read it.

A Forgotten Place was interesting enough

to finish the entire book so I will rate

A Forgotten Place

with three stars.

Goodreads readers have rated

A Forgotten Place

an average of

3.75 stars

from 1,987 ratings and 348 reviews 

36137547

A Forgotten Place

can be purchased online at

Booktopia, Fishpond and Amazon

 

 

Book Review-The-Tailor’s-Girl


The Tailor’s Girl

by

Fiona McIntosh

The Tailor’s Girl by Fiona McIntosh is the best book I have read this year; maybe all time.  Romance is combined with the trauma suffered by a returned World War 1 soldier who is suffering amnesia and shell shock, as it was known back then.  Jonesy, as the staff called him, is hospitalised towards the end of World War 1, and has no memory of anything prior to waking up in this establishment.

A friendly visitor (Eden) helps him escape from the hospital and he begins life again. Romance blooms, followed by marriage and a pregnancy.  Suddenly Alex is reborn with only flashes of memory and noises to remind him of those lost years.

The Tailor’s Girl was a thoroughly enjoyable novel.  It was well-paced and more than once I found myself sitting in our garage listening to the end of a chapter.  Narrator, Madeleine Leslay, made the nearly sixteen hours of this novel pass so quickly, it seemed more like a 7-8 hour book.

The Tailor’s Girl is definitely a five star audio book

 

The only negative comment is that I enjoyed The Tailor’s Girl so much it has been difficult to find a ‘next read’ that will hold my attention.

 

Other Goodreads readers have rated The Tailor’s Girl an average of 4.09 stars, from 1,135 ratings and 138 reviews.

 

Definitely a

5-stars

read.

The Tailor’s Girl

is the first novel to make

‘my favourites’ list in 2019.

The Tailor’s Girl

can be purchased on-line at

BooktopiaFishpond and Amazon.