The Brothers of Auschwitz by Malka Adler

Rating: 5 out of 5.

I read a lot of books with “of Auschwitz” in the title, and I have loved every one of them. While these are stories that are hard to read, I truly feel they are important books that cannot be missed. The Brothers of Auschwitz was an emotional, raw story that left me in awe of the strength of some humans and horrified at the actions of others.

Dov and Yitzhak are two brothers living in a small village, largely untouched by the devastation of WWII. Then, in 1944, the Nazi’s invade their home and take them to Auschwitz. Years later, they share their story with a friend.

Three months was enough for the Germans to turn healthy young men into a pile of disgusting rags.
The Brothers of Auschwitz by Malka Adler

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The London Restoration by Rachel McMillan

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Wow! This was a wonderful book! I read a lot of historical fiction, and I really enjoy the WWII timeframe. I haven’t read one that focuses on the direct aftermath of the war though, so this was an exciting new book for me!

The London Restoration introduces us to married couple Diana and Brett in post-world-war-II London. Diana and Brett spent much of the war separated from each other and now are back together, trying to repair their marriage. Diana has secrets that she must keep from Brett about what she was doing during the war, and Brett has secrets of his own.

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Copy Boy by Shelley Blanton-Stroud

Welcome to the blog tour for Copy Boy hosted by iRead Book Tours!

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Wow! This was such a captivating story! I loved the descriptions of the era and location. This historical mystery is set during the Depression in San Francisco, and I felt like I was right in the story!

Jane has hidden her identity by dressing as a boy for a newspaper copy boy job. She’s quite successful and works her way up in the newspaper world. Then, a photo surfaces with her Daddy and his arm around a girl that has recently turned up dead. Jane realizes her Daddy may not be dead, and he could ruin everything she has worked to accomplish.

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The Takeaway Men by Meryl Ain

Welcome to the The Takeaway Men blog tour
hosted by iRead Book Tours!

Rating: 5 out of 5.

What I Loved:

I read a lot of historical fiction, and a significant amount of those books revolves around WWII, so I’m always excited when I find a book that provides a new perspective on the war. The Takeaway Men was a beautiful, emotional journey into the lives of holocaust survivors as they immigrate to America. We experience their joys and sorrows as they try to navigate a new world, and it is a beautiful story.

How I Felt:

The Lubinski family has experienced so many horrors at the hands of the Nazis during World War II and has decided to make a fresh start in America. This new country is so different from anything they have experienced before. It is vast, loud, and new. While the twin girls begin to settle in quickly, Aron is plagued by his past. His Holocaust experiences are a secret from his girls, which creates a rift between the father and his daughters. When their Hebrew school covers the war and the treatment of Jewish people, the girls want to learn about their parents’ past.

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Folly at the Fair by Kari Bovee

Rating: 5 out of 5.

I absolutely loved that this book was about Annie Oakley! I think she is such an interesting person, and having this fun mystery series with her in the center is awesome!!

This plot was fast-paced and easy to jump right into! I appreciated that I was able to fall right into the story without any confusion because this is the 4th book in the series. I was a bit worried that I’d be lost and need to read the first three, but that was not the case. This is an easy stand-alone! However, I now need to go back and read the other three books!!

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Her Last Flight by Beatriz Williams

Rating: 5 out of 5.

What I Loved:

Historical fiction is one of my favorite genres, and books like this are exactly why I love the genre! I loved the peek into the world of early aviation, and it was great to see it from a female’s view!

How I Felt:

The story is told through two timelines, one in the ’40s and one in the ’30s. I love stories that unfold this way! In Her Last Flight, there were so many details that just came together towards the end, and I loved that I wasn’t expecting so many of them! It was an amazing story!

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The Woman in the Green Dress by Tea Cooper

Rating: 4 out of 5.

What I Loved:

I loved the location of this story. Every time I come across a story set in Australia, I find myself just succumbing to the lovely descriptions of the land and people. Tea Cooper did a fabulous job of placing the reader in the setting. It was written beautifully.

How I Felt:

The Woman in the Green Dress is told through two timelines. One in 1853, and one in 1919. I really enjoyed the perspective of the story from these two different times. I felt like the author did a fabulous job of transitioning between the two periods.

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The Time Capsule by Connie Lacy

Rating: 5 out of 5.

What I Loved:

There was a lot I loved about this story! I loved the way the main character, Hannah, travels back in time. I loved the determination she had to make things right. It made her character so interesting, and I enjoyed her story!

My Synopsis:

Hannah Meyers has just quit her job and is looking forward to a break from some jerky co-workers. She heads to her theater practice where she holds a small role in a play. Through a set of events, she didn’t know she was putting into motion, she is propelled back in time to 1918.

Completely confused and disoriented, she stumbles around the theater, meeting two gentlemen that take pity on her. Through their kindness, she is set up in a boarding house, getting the chance to figure out what on earth has happened to her.

All she wants is to find out how to get back to her time, but when one thing after another happens, she realizes that she cares for the people she has met and that she may have a role to play in their lives.

How I Felt:

This book was so wonderful! It had time travel, which I love, but more than that, it was a wonderful story with characters that I cared about, and a wrap-up that I adored!

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Nocturne by Cheryl Mahoney

Welcome to the Nocturne blog tour
hosted by RockStar Book Tours!

Rating: 5 out of 5.

What I Loved:

I love a retelling! I especially like one that comes from a story I love so much. I’ve seen Phantom of the Opera on multiple occasions, I’ve read the book multiple times, and now…my first retelling! Nocturne was a wonderful retelling that really pulled me into the story.

How I Felt:

Nocturne tells the Phantom of the Opera tale, but from the perspective of Meg Giry, a dancer and friend of Christine Daaé. I really enjoyed that this new character was added to the story. I liked her perspective and her investigative mind.

The story’s beginning had me completely pulled in. I love it when a book grabs you from the start, and this one did! Meg is lost in the depths of the Opera trying to get to dance class. I loved the way the author made me feel Meg’s emotions through this. I felt her fear and concern over being late to class, and then of being lost. Cheryl Mahoney’s writing grabbed me emotionally again and again throughout the story. She has a great way of making the reader feel what is happening!

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A Goddess Among Men by Daniel Davidsohn

Welcome to the A Goddess Among Men blog tour
hosted by iRead Book Tours!

Rating: 4 out of 5.

What I Loved:

I love that this book covered three generations of characters. I think it really helped me to understand who Christel, the main character, was. I got an excellent understanding of why her emotional state was the way it was, and I appreciated all the details that went into building the timeline.

My Synopsis:

Alan and Julian are an odd-couple type of business relationship. Julian is a wonderful man with a lovely personality, while Alan is the exact opposite. He is a cruel, ruthless man that is focused on making it to the top of the success ladder.

Julian finds out he is a father shortly before his death, and he entrusts his daughter to Alan. WHY?!?!? I know as the reader we know more than the characters, but this decision broke my heart. So, Alan ends up the caregiver for Christel, and he is terrible. Christel endures unthinkable acts *see warnings below* and her treatment emotionally hollows her out.

Christel’s early childhood experiences shape who she becomes as a woman. She must work to embrace who she is with the help of someone from her past.

How I Felt:

The plot was so interesting. I really liked how the story covered such a wide range of years. There were twists and turns that I didn’t expect throughout the book, making the story such a page-turner! Christel’s history provides so much for the reader to learn about, and as the information was revealed, I just needed to know more!

The characters were so well-written. They had a depth that stemmed from their expansive histories, as well as the care the author took to develop them throughout the story. Alan is a despicable person. I was disgusted by him throughout the entire book. I found myself blaming Julian again and again for putting Christel in this horrible situation.

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Above the Bay of Angels by Rhys Bowen

Rating: 5 out of 5.

What I Loved:

What an absolutely lovely surprise this book turned out to be! I loved everything about this book. The characters, the setting, the plot, the mystery…everything.

My Synopsis:

Isabella Waverly was born into an aristocratic family that fell from grace early in life. After her mother’s death and her father’s drunken escapades, Isabella finds herself as a servant. After growing up as the one being served, this change of events is frustrating and “beneath her”. Isabella perseveres though. She is earning money that supports her father who can’t get a job and her younger sister who would go hungry without Isabella’s wages.

Isabella is a hard worker and finds she has an interest in the kitchen, soon managing to get placed there as an assistant. After her father’s death, she mentions her dreams of possibly going to America to start a restaurant, and her employer tells her she would not provide a reference. Isabella feels stuck.

Then, she witnesses a young woman get hit by an omnibus in the street. The girl hands Isabella a letter before she dies. Inside she finds an invitation for an interview as a cook…at Buckingham Palace. Isabella decides to impersonate the girl, Helen.

Above the Bay of Angels follows Isabella/Helen on her incredible journey through the kitchens of the palace. There is court intrigue, murder, love, and above all else, a fierce determination to succeed.

How I Felt:

This is my first book by the author, Rhys Bowen, but it will NOT be my last. I am so happy that I stumbled across this book on Netgalley, and after the last page, I jumped on Netgalley hoping for more!

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Stitching a Life: An Immigration Story by Mary Helen Fein

Rating: 4 out of 5.

What I Loved:

Following the story of Helen from Lithuania to America was just wonderful. Helen is the kind of character you just need to see succeed. I loved reading about her story and her determination.

My Synopsis:

This historical fiction is based on the author’s grandmother’s experiences,but is a work of fiction. Helen (Hinde), just sixteen-years-old, lives in war-torn Lithuania where Jewish people are persecuted daily. At her brother’s 12th birthday, the army comes to take him away to force him into their ranks. After hiding him during the army’s visit, the family knows that they must leave to keep their children safe.

Helen’s father is first to go to America, working to save enough money to bring Helen over next so that she can assist in working and saving money to bring the next family member over until everyone is safely in America.

Helen travels by ship from Lithuania to America in search of a better, safer life for her and her family. She begins work in the garment section of New York and works hard to bring her siblings to America.

How I Felt:

Stitching a Life: An Immigration Story follows Helen on her journey to America and her life there. It was a beautiful story featuring a determined, hardworking main character, and her love for her family.

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