Personal Pick #1
The Mapmaker's Children by Sarah McCoy
When Sarah Brown, daughter of abolitionist John Brown, realizes that her artistic talents may be able to help save the lives of slaves fleeing north, she becomes one of the Underground Railroad’s leading mapmakers, taking her cues from the slave code quilts and hiding her maps within her paintings. She boldly embraces this calling after being told the shocking news that she can’t bear children, but as the country steers toward bloody civil war, Sarah faces difficult sacrifices that could put all she loves in peril. Eden, a modern woman desperate to conceive a child with her husband, moves to an old house in the suburbs and discovers a porcelain head hidden in the root cellar—the remains of an Underground Railroad doll with an extraordinary past of secret messages, danger and deliverance. Ingeniously plotted to a riveting end, Sarah and Eden’s woven lives connect the past to the present, forcing each of them to define courage, family, love, and legacy in a new way
This book has a fabulous story line. The history lesson I was given was an added bonus. You feel connected to both Sarah and Eden and the flow of the book is never confusing, it's very obvious who each chapter is about. There is a bit of a love story involved but nothing that would make this a romance novel. I found myself cheering on both women all the while learning more and more about the Underground Railroad. If you are looking up a book based on historical events but not too much of a history lesson, pick this novel up.
Personal Pick #2
The Rumor by Elin Hilderbrand
And rumor has it...
...that Madeline, a novelist, is battling writer's block, with a deadline looming, bills piling up, and blank pages driving her to desperation--and a desperately bad decision;
...that Grace, hard at work to transform her backyard into a garden paradise, has been collaborating a bit more closely that necessary with her ruggedly handsome landscape architect;
...that Grace's husband, successful island real estate developer "Fast Eddie" Pancik, has embarked on quite an unusual side project;
...that the storybook romance between Madeline's son, Brick, and Grace's daughter Allegra is on the rocks, heading for disaster.
As the gossip escalates, and they face the possible loss of the happy lives they've worked so hard to create, Grace and Madeline try mightily to set the record straight--but the truth might be even worse than rumor has it.
I really enjoyed this book. It shows how rumors can fly around a small community even if they might not be true. Both of these families have issues and as the story goes along, they slowly unravel. I enjoyed the different characters. There were a few I wanted to slap and a few I wanted to comfort. This is the perfect beginning of Summer read. This is the second Hilderbrand book I read and while I liked book and the first was okay, I'm still hoping to be wowed by her. Any suggestions?
My Book Club Pick
Me Before You by Jojo Moyes
Lou Clark knows lots of things. She knows how many footsteps there are between the bus stop and home. She knows she likes working in The Buttered Bun tea shop and she knows she might not love her boyfriend Patrick. What Lou doesn't know is she's about to lose her job or that knowing what's coming is what keeps her sane. Will Traynor knows his motorcycle accident took away his desire to live. He knows everything feels very small and rather joyless now and he knows exactly how he's going to put a stop to that. What Will doesn't know is that Lou is about to burst into his world in a riot of colour. And neither of them knows they're going to change the other for all time.
I first read this book in January of 2014 and haven't forgotten about how amazing it is. So much so that I recommended for book club this month. We are reading it and then going to see the movie when it comes out on June 3. And I recommend you do the same! You will not be let down. But back to my review. I am not going to spoil this book for you with giving too many details but here is my opinion... this is a book that gives you a love story that we have yet to see in the more popular novels as of late. It's refreshing to find a book that teaches is the lesson of learning to love yourself. Each character has a battle they are fighting but what allows them to face their fears, their dreams is believing in themselves thanks to the love and friendship they never saw coming their way.
For June, I will be reading The Secret Keeper by Kate Morton (Book Club Pick) and Seven: An Experimental Mutiny Against Excess by Jen Hatmaker (Personal Pick). I am hoping to read a third book but I'm not sure what just yet. Any summery recommendations?
Now it's your turn to share what you've been reading. Add our button to your book themed post and linkup your book reviews and lists. You have until June 3 to add your May reading list.