REVIEW// The Saturday Evening Girls Club by Jane Healey

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31815418Title: The Saturday Evening Girls Club

Author: Jane Healey

Genre: Historical Fiction, Women’s Literature

No. of Pages (Paperback): 250

Date Published: April 25th of 2017

Publisher: Lake Union Publishing

Synopsis (via Goodreads):

For four young immigrant women living in Boston’s North End in the early 1900s, escaping tradition doesn’t come easy. But at least they have one another and the Saturday Evening Girls Club, a social pottery-making group offering respite from their hectic home lives—and hope for a better future.

Ambitious Caprice dreams of opening her own hat shop, which clashes with the expectations of her Sicilian-born parents. Brilliant Ada secretly takes college classes despite the disapproval of her Russian Jewish father. Stunning Maria could marry anyone yet guards her heart to avoid the fate of her Italian Catholic mother, broken down by an alcoholic husband. And shy Thea is torn between asserting herself and embracing an antiquated Jewish tradition.

The friends face family clashes and romantic entanglements, career struggles and cultural prejudice. But through their unfailing bond, forged through their weekly gathering, they’ll draw strength—and the courage to transform their immigrant stories into the American lives of their dreams.

Rate: 4 of 5

Thoughts bannerI had no high hopes for this book when I picked it up assuming that it would just be another one of my endeavors in reading Historical Fiction again after quite a while.  And the cover didn’t speak to me so much at the time. What I didn’t expect is how immersive and beautiful both the writing and the story will be. I was completely taken aback when this book became the object of my adoration for the four days that I’ve read it. Continue reading “REVIEW// The Saturday Evening Girls Club by Jane Healey”

Redeeming Love by Francine Rivers // Thoughts

11422Title: Redeeming Love

Author: Francine Rivers

Series: None

Genre: Christian, Romance, Historical Fiction

Number of Pages (Paperback): 464

Date Published: May 9th of 2005 (but first published in 1991)

Publisher: Multnomah

Synopsis (via Goodreads):

California’s gold country, 1850. A time when men sold their souls for a bag of gold and women sold their bodies for a place to sleep.

Angel expects nothing from men but betrayal. Sold into prostitution as a child she survives by keeping her hatred alive. And what she hates most are the men who use her, leaving her empty and dead inside.

Then she meets Michael Hosea. A man who seeks his Father’s heart in everything, Michael obeys God’s call to marry Angel and to love her unconditionally. Slowly, day by day, he defies Angel’s every bitter expectation, until despite her resistance, her frozen heart begins to thaw.

But with her unexpected softening come overwhelming feelings of unworthiness and fear. And so Angel runs. Back to the darkness, away from her husband’s pursuing love, terrified of the truth she no longer can deny: Her final healing must come from the One who loves her even more than Michael does … the One who will never let her go.

Rate: 5 of 5

Get a copy: Book Depository (Paperback, Hardcover, CD-Audio)

Continue reading “Redeeming Love by Francine Rivers // Thoughts”

And I Darken (The Conqueror’s Saga #1) by Kiersten White

General Info

27190613Title: And I Darken

Author: Kiersten White

Series: The Conqueror’s Saga, #1

Genre: Historical Fiction, Young Adult

Number of Pages (Hardcover): 475

Date Published: June 28th of 2016

Publisher: Delacorte Press

Synopsis (via Goodreads):

No one expects a princess to be brutal. And Lada Dragwlya likes it that way. Ever since she and her gentle younger brother, Radu, were wrenched from their homeland of Wallachia and abandoned by their father to be raised in the Ottoman courts, Lada has known that being ruthless is the key to survival. She and Radu are doomed to act as pawns in a vicious game, an unseen sword hovering over their every move. For the lineage that makes them special also makes them targets.

Lada despises the Ottomans and bides her time, planning her vengeance for the day when she can return to Wallachia and claim her birthright. Radu longs only for a place where he feels safe. And when they meet Mehmed, the defiant and lonely son of the sultan, Radu feels that he’s made a true friend—and Lada wonders if she’s finally found someone worthy of her passion.

But Mehmed is heir to the very empire that Lada has sworn to fight against—and that Radu now considers home. Together, Lada, Radu, and Mehmed form a toxic triangle that strains the bonds of love and loyalty to the breaking point.

Rate: 2 of 5

Before I start talking–er, writing?–I just want to let you know that I wanted to love this book. It has been one of those books in my Goodreads TBR that I keep eyeing for so long. It has all the elements that characterize the books I love reading. So, it has been quite a blow to me that I didn’t like this book. I mean, so many people loved it and honestly, I might have set the bar too high since almost all of my friends on Goodreads said that it is very good, there might have been a sprinkling of bad reviews but overall it promised me a nice time reading. And so, I dived into the book with very high hopes.

I had been quite disappointed (as can be reflected with my rating) which is really sad since I was so prepared to get into a new series. Right off the bat, the writing is gorgeous. It is fairly obvious that White is a talented writer however, the story didn’t engage me so much that after reading quite a third of the book, I just knew this reading experience will not go well. Now, you are perhaps wondering why I’m whining about this and just didn’t put the book down if I thought it was particularly bad. And my answer would be this: I don’t give up on books. Give me a particularly bad book and I will give it a shot until the very end. I’ve had multiple books that I was prepared to not finish but sticking to them to the end had been their redeeming mercy, e.g. The Wasp Factory by Iain Banks. As for this book, the story itself felt lulling. I had difficulty immersing myself within the confinements of And I Darken. The reading of the latter half of the book just made me want it to be over so I can move on to my next read. I so desperately wanted to make it work–but to no avail. There were some instances wherein I was picking up situations that excited me but then it would trail off to another direction all to be forgotten for yet another circumstance. There were so many loose ends–for lack of a better term–flying around that I felt if the author picked a couple of ideas in could have spun into another direction. There were so many things to tackle in the story, all of which are quite intriguing, i.e. sexism, religion, etc. It doesn’t really help that I thought this was totally another genre. I thought it is fantasy. Well, truth be told, it is fantasy since apparently alternative history can be flagged down as fantasy (I’m sorry, I didn’t know!) but I guess you understand the point I’m trying to make. I thought it is fantasy fantasy, as in high fantasy. Apparently not and boy did that give me a kick in the ass. Halfway through reading this, I had A Game of Thrones kinda vibes. Apparently, I was correct since I was informed that this has been marketed as a teen GoT type of thing. I see it, I just don’t like it. 


Also, I didn’t feel enamored with the characters, truth be told. They seem to be a walking mass of their weaknesses. They are characterized by what they are lacking and what their fears are. I did appreciate, however, a kick-ass female lead–Lada. But, even she had been particularly irritating for me.

The writing talent is excellent but that hadn’t been enough to get me to love this book. And I see it, I see the glimpses of what could’ve been an excellent read for me but there’s just this something missing. Perhaps the characters or the storyflow irritated me the most but there’s just this certain kind of engagement in the book that failed to beguile. Now, I understand that this book can prove to be a very nice read for other people. But this just wasn’t for me, I’m sorry. I wanted to love it but I guess that’s not happening anytime soon.


Do I recommend it? No.
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*Cover image and Synopsis via Goodreads; Gifs via Giphy