I absolutely love historical fiction and read a lot of it; I love to learn history this way. I also enjoy reading science fiction, fantasy, horror, thriller and non-fiction science.
Read for Veteran's Day task- 24 tasks!
The Baker family was not the typical family of Leamington Spa, England in the late 1800's. Mrs. Baker is a widow who runs her own sweets shop, her oldest son, Luther is different from other children. People say he is possessed or a lunatic, what we would now diagnose as autism. Luther's younger brother, Jim protects Luther furiously, but still takes the brunt of his mother's pain and frustration. One day as Jim and Luther are playing with Jim's best friend, Rodney, Luther pushes Rodney and hurts him badly. Rodney recovers but the incident leaves its mark. Years later, a war breaks out. Rodney is fighting on the Western Front and finds a new recruit in his regiment acting strangely. He is surprised to find that it is Luther Baker. Rodney is pressed to protect Luther by childhood friend Ethyl, who is serving as a nurse and trying to find a way to send Luther home. Meanwhile, Jim has taken a job with the British Army Postal Service with his own plan to smuggle Luther out. As Christmas approaches on the Front, Luther cooks up his own plan for survival.
Royal Beauty Bright is a heartwarming tale of compassion that revolves around the Christmas Truce of 1914. Alternating between 1897 and 1914, the timeline immersed me in the lives of Constance Baker, Luther, Jim, Rodney, and Ethyl. Though Luther was met with much adversity in his life, including being tricked into service, the love that Luther shares with his family and friends and they love they return shines brightly through. I loved that Luther excelled at chocolate making and that it paved the way for him to form relationships with other people as well. The depictions of life in the trenches on the Western Front were brutally realistic and showed the impact on the soldier's mental well being. Luther's insights during this time were often the most honest and truthful sentiments during the war, unhindered by what others might think of him. I loved when he told Rodney to write his mother: "Tell her people don't want to kill each other, but they don't know how to stop." As Christmas approaches on the front, I could tell that something had to give. I enjoyed reading the reactions of the men on both sides as they realized that they could take a break from the War and have fun, if only for a day.
This book was received for free in return for an honest review.
It has been four years since Edie Blythe has seen her husband, Francis, alive. He is officially missing, but presumed dead in the Great War. When Edie receives a picture of Francis in the mail, she believes that he is out there somewhere, waiting to be found. Edie sends her brother-in-law, Harry on a mission to find Francis or his grave. After the war, Harry has taken a job photographing graves or deceased service men for loved ones, now his brother is one more to add to the list. As Harry returns to the war-ravaged landscape that he last knew as a soldier, the memories come flooding back and he struggles with the day that he left his brother for dead.
The Poppy Wife is a journey of finding things that are lost and examining the state of the world post World War I. I knew that many soldiers had been listed as missing after the War and that some were alive with no memory of life before; however, the impact that these missing men had on individual lives and whole town was immense. The writing portrayed an air of melancholy wherever the characters went and seemed to carry a weight with them throughout the story. While I expected the story to be about Edie's journey, it was mostly told through Harry's point of view and conveyed the psychological toll of surviving the War, revisiting the ravaged towns where he fought and finding closure. Edie's journey was also about finding closure, but focused more on discovering just what her husband as well as the other men went through during the war. The descriptions in the book took on the heavy task of describing a world torn apart and a people trying desperately to rebuild in the face of grief from many angles to accurately describe the overwhelming feeling post World War I.
Halloween Square for Halloween Bingo and another bingo!
Another square for Halloween Bingo- Magical Realism- used a transfiguration spell!
Supernatural Square and my first bingo!
Halloween Bingo Read for In the Dark, Dark Woods Square!
Relics and Curiosities Square for Halloween Bingo!
Ritchie Naughton's life is falling apart. After returning home on a break from work one afternoon, he discovers his long-time girlfriend in bed with a football player. The shock triggers a heart condition that Ritchie never knew about. After all this, Ritchie makes a decision to move back to New Jersey and into his sister's basement. Ritchie finally he finds a job as a staff photographer at a local paper. The paper has an older camera for Ritchie to use, and is only inscribed with the name Denlax. Along with his newspaper gig, Ritchie reluctantly agrees to work for his uncle in order to provide picture proof of his aunt's infidelity. With this side gig, Ritchie finds that the camera produces disturbing images of other worlds. Soon, the Denlax drags Ritchie into a dangerous world with extreme consequences.