Mailbox Monday is a gathering place for readers to share the books that came into their house last week and explore great book blogs.
Warning: Mailbox Monday can lead to envy, toppling TBR piles and humongous wish lists.
This week my mailbox wasn’t full, but I got several ARC E-books to add to my Kindle!
Veil of Pearls by MaryLu Tyndall from Barbour Publishing.
“She thought she could outrun her past. . .
It is 1811, and the prosperous port city of Charleston is bustling with plantation owners, slaves, and immigrants. Immigrants such as the raven-haired Adalia Winston. But Adalia has a secret: her light skin belies that she is part black and a runaway slave from Barbados. Skilled in herbal remedies, Adalia finds employment with a local doctor and settles into a quiet life, thankful for her freedom but still fearful that her owner will find her.
Born into one of Charleston’s prominent families, Morgan Rutledge is handsome, bored—and enamored of the beautiful Adalia, who spurns his advances. Morgan’s persistence, however, finally wins, and Adalia is swept into the glamorous world of Charleston high society.
But her new life comes at a high price—that of denying her heritage and her zeal for God. How far is Adalia willing to go to win the heart of the man she loves? And when her secret is revealed, will that love be enough, or will the truth ruin Morgan and send Adalia back into slavery?”
Making Piece by Beth M. Howard from Harlequin.
“A memoir of love, loss and pie.
“You will find my story is a lot like pie, a strawberry-rhubarb pie. It’s bitter. It’s messy. It’s got some sweetness, too. Sometimes the ingredients get added in the wrong order, but it has substance, it will warm your insides, and even though it isn’t perfect, it still turns out okay in the end.”
When journalist Beth M. Howard’s young husband dies suddenly, she packs up the RV he left behind and hits the American highways. At every stop along the way—whether fi lming a documentary or handing out free slices on the streets of Los Angeles—Beth uses pie as a way to fi nd purpose. Howard eventually returns to her Iowa roots and creates the perfect synergy between two of America’s greatest icons—pie and the American Gothic House, the little farmhouse immortalized in Grant Wood’s famous painting, where she now lives and runs the Pitchfork Pie Stand.
Making Piece powerfully shows how one courageous woman triumphs over tragedy. This beautifully written memoir is, ultimately, about hope. It’s about the journey of healing and recovery, of facing fears, fi nding meaning in life again, and moving forward with purpose and, eventually, joy. It’s about the nourishment of the heart and soul that comes from the simple act of giving to others, like baking a homemade pie and sharing it with someone whose
pain is even greater than your own. And it tells of the role of fate, second chances and the strength found in community.”
The Absolutist by John Boyne (of Boy in the Striped Pajamas) from Other Press.
“It is September 1919: twenty-one-year-old Tristan Sadler takes a train from London to Norwich to deliver a package of letters to the sister of Will Bancroft, the man he fought alongside during the Great War.
But the letters are not the real reason for Tristan’s visit. He can no longer keep a secret and has finally found the courage to unburden himself of it. As Tristan recounts the horrific details of what to him became a senseless war, he also speaks of his friendship with Will–from their first meeting on the training grounds at Aldershot to their farewell in the trenches of northern France. The intensity of their bond brought Tristan happiness and self-discovery as well as confusion and unbearable pain.
The Absolutist is a masterful tale of passion, jealousy, heroism, and betrayal set in one of the most gruesome trenches of France during World War I. This novel will keep readers on the edge of their seats until its most extraordinary and unexpected conclusion, and will stay with them long after they’ve turned the last page.”
The Book of Summers by Emylia Hall from Harlequin.
“For nine-year-old Beth Lowe, it should have been a magical summer—sun-kissed days lounging in rickety deck chairs, nights gathered around the fire. But what begins as an innocent vacation to Hungary ends with the devastating separation of her parents. Beth and her father return home alone, leaving her mother, Marika, behind.
Over the next seven summers, Beth walks a tightrope between worlds, fleeing her quiet home and distant father to bask in the intoxicating Hungarian countryside with Marika. It is during these enthralling summers that Beth comes to life and learns to love. But at sixteen, she uncovers a life-shattering secret, bringing her sacred summers with Marika abruptly to an end.
Now, years later, Beth receives a package containing a scrapbook, a haunting record of a time long forgotten. Suddenly, she is swept back to the world she left behind, forced to confront the betrayal that destroyed her—and to search her heart for forgiveness.”
Unspoken by Sarah Rees Brennan from Random House Children’s Books
“Kami Glass is in love with someone she’s never met—a boy she’s talked to in her head since she was born. This has made her an outsider in the sleepy English town of Sorry-in-the-Vale, but she has learned ways to turn that to her advantage. Her life seems to be in order, until disturbing events begin to occur.
There has been screaming in the woods and the manor overlooking the town has lit up for the first time in 10 years. . . . The Lynburn family, who ruled the town a generation ago and who all left without warning, have returned.
Now Kami can see that the town she has known and loved all her life is hiding a multitude of secrets—and a murderer. The key to it all just might be the boy in her head. The boy she thought was imaginary is real, and definitely and deliciously dangerous.”
22 Brittania Road by Amanda Hodgkinson from Penguin Group
“It has been six years since Silvana has seen her husband, Janusz, when she boards a ship that will take her from Poland to England with their eight-year-old son Aurek. Asked for her occupation, “housekeeper or housewife?,” Silvana first responds softly, “survivor.” She and Aurek spent much of the war hiding in the forests of Poland, and when they arrive in England, they will have to learn a new way of living, and face an intense emotional adjustment to the new place they will now have to call home.
Meanwhile, in small-town England, Janusz prepares for his wife and son’s arrival. He rents a little house at 22 Britannia Road and plants a quaint English garden. Determined to be an Englishman now, Janusz wants to forget the war, his memories of both his own bravery and his shameful cowardice. With the sweet albeit awkward reuniting, Janusz, Silvana and Aurek enter their new life. But six years apart have changed all of them.
A lifetime without a father and a wild, almost feral existence in the woods of Poland has made Aurek suspicious of this man who expects him to sleep apart from his mother, and he begins to think of Janusz as “the enemy.” Janusz still has the letters from a love in France whom he cannot forget. Silvana is skittish and struggles to play the role of proper English housewife, but the shattering secret she keeps-an act permissible in the midst of war but unthinkable during peacetime-stands between husband and wife. When the dashing father of Aurek’s only friend shows up and makes Silvana feel like a woman again for the first time since the war began, the charade of contented family on Britannia Road comes crashing down.
22 Britannia Road is an unforgettable story about maternal love, overcoming hardship, and ultimately, acceptance – a tour de force that will pierce your heart.”
And I visited my library book store and scored Miss Julia Speaks her Mind by Ann B. Ross.
If you aren’t familiar with the Miss Julia series, you are missing some funny stuff! I bought the first four of the series and sent them to my Mom and Granny, and I’m happy to say that we shared Miss Julia out-loud over Spring Break, and now my Mom is hooked! 🙂 Here’s a summary of the book from the publisher, Harper Collins.
“After the unexpected death of her husband of 44 years, Julia Springer is more than just a grieving widow, she’s a rich one. She’s also a woman on the verge of finding herself. Freed at last from her husband’s sheltering, often suffocating gaze, Miss Julia realizes that she must learn to manage her money, to run her own household, and to carry on the substantial reputation that her husband built in their small Southern town.
It’s a tall order, and one she’s excited to take on. But just when she thinks she’s got her new life under control, an unexpected visitor arrives with news that would send anyone, let alone a proper Southern lady, into a tailspin. How Julia copes with the news of her husband’s secret life, and learns to rebuild her own, is the subject of this charming, often zany and always riveting novel.”
What new books came into your home this week?