Showing posts from November, 2022

Book Review: Factory Girls by Michelle Gallen

My Rating: 3.5 ⭐️ Eighteen year old Maeve Murray has her future planned out. Waiting for her A-level results to be published, she decides to take a summer job in a shirt factory with her closest friends Aoife and Caroline to earn some money before she moves to London to pursue higher education with the intention of embarking on a career in journalism. She can’t wait to get out of her Northern Ireland town and start a new life. Her first step towards independence is getting a summer job (despite the fact that she has to deal with an unpleasant boss whose treatment of his female employees is disrespectful to say the least) and renting a flat with her friend Caroline near her (temporary) workplace. Over the next few months, we follow Maeve as she adjusts to life as a factory worker, meets new people and makes new friends all the while hoping for a better future. Michelle Gallen’s Factory Girls  is an entertaining novel. Maeve is spirited (a bit brash at times) and resourceful. She observe

Book Review: The Love Song of Miss Queenie Hennessy by Rachel Joyce (Harold Fry #2)

My Rating:⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ “We write ourselves certain parts and then keep playing them as if we have no choice. But a tardy person can become a punctual one, if she chooses. You don’t have to keep being the thing you have become. It is never too late.” I started this book immediately after finishing The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry. This novel focuses on Miss Queenie Hennessy’s final days at St. Bernadine’s Hospice as she waits for Harold Fry to complete his walk from Kingsbridge to Berwick-upon-Tweed to visit her. Queenie, though terminally ill, begins to write a final letter to Harold. With Sister Mary Inconnu typing out whatever she can write down, she manages to chronicle the story of her life highlighting and sharing memories from her early childhood, her days in Kingsbridge working in the brewery where she strikes a friendship with Harold and unbeknownst to Harold, interacts with his son David, and her days after leaving. As we get to know more about Queenie, we also learn about her t

Book Review: Iona Iverson’s Rules for Commuting by Clare Pooley

My Rating:⭐⭐⭐⭐ Fifty-seven-year-old Iona Iverson, spends her thirty-six-minute morning commute (ten stops to Waterloo), preparing for her day and observing the commuters around her with her dog Lulu by her side. Working as an advice columnist (“magazine therapist”) for a women’s magazine for the last 30 years and married to her long-time partner Bea, she has a specific set of “rules” to adhere to as far as her commute goes among which are to always pack for any eventuality (which explains her well-stocked bag) and to not talk to anyone (though that does not stop her from giving her fellow commuters interesting names such as Smart-But-Sexist-Manspreader based on her observations of their behavior) However when one of her fellow commuters almost chokes on a grape and is saved by another commuter, this is just the beginning of a sequence of events through which a diverse group of people become friends, with Iona in the middle of it all. Initially, Iona, who is on the verge of being pushed

Book Review: The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry by Rachel Joyce (Harold Fry, #1)

My Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐ Sixty-five-year-old Harold Fry, recently retired, receives a letter from an old friend Queenie Hennessy who is terminally ill and is in the care of St. Bernadine’s Hospice in Berwick-upon-Tweed. Queenie was a friend from work, with whom Harold has not been in touch for almost twenty years but to whom he owed a great debt. Initially, he writes a response but on his way to posting it Harold is motivated to change direction and walk to Queenie, with faith that walking would keep her alive. It won’t be easy but in his yacht shoes and coat and otherwise unprepared, Harold embarks on his “pilgrimage”. The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry  by  Rachel Joyce  follows Harold over the course of his eighty-seven-day, six hundred-and-twenty-seven-mile journey from Kingsbridge to Berwick-upon-Tweed. His pilgrimage attracts fans, followers and quite a bit of public attention (that quickly turns into a media circus). As Harold meets people from different walks of life, hears their sto

Book Review: Locust Lane by Stephen Amidon

My Rating : ⭐⭐⭐ When twenty-year-old Eden Perry is found murdered in a house on Locust Lane in an affluent Boston suburb, three teenagers Hannah, Jack, and Christopher who were the last to see her alive are suspected to be involved. While Eden’s mother wants justice for her daughter, the families of the teens scramble to protect their children, often turning against one another while juggling their own complicated family issues. Added to the fray is an unreliable witness who might have seen the killer. Who killed Eden and why? Drugs, money, love or is there more to the story? Stephen Amidon’s Locust Lane has its share of murder, lies, indiscretions, cover-ups, and a whole lot of family drama. The narrative is shared from the perspectives of Patrick, an alcoholic who is grieving the loss of his own daughter due to a drug overdose and who might have seen the killer while driving on Locust Lane, Danielle (Eden's mother), Alice (Hannah's stepmother), Michel (Christopher's fath

Book Review: Stealing by Margaret Verble

My Rating: 4.5⭐ “But a lot of the girls here have already given up. You can see it in their eyes and their shoulders. But not me. I’m not going to be that fence standing alone out in the field, so I don’t give up hope. That would be against my nature. I am descended from people who survived the Trail of Tears.” It has been over two years since Karen "Kit" Crockett was forcibly sent to The Ashley Lordard Children’s Home. After her mother’s demise Kit was being by her father who though a bit distant was never unkind to her. Close to her late mother’s Cherokee family, Kit had a caring and loving group of relatives who also looked out for her. Her days were spent attending school in town, roaming the countryside, fishing in the bayou, and reading Nancy Drew books borrowed from the bookmobile. When an enigmatic young woman named Bella moves into her late great uncle’s home nearby, Kit makes a new friend. But Kit’s closeness to Bella triggers an unfortunate sequence of events that