Monday, May 19, 2014

The Last Letter from your Lover Jojo Moyes

The Last Letter from Your LoverThe Last Letter from Your Lover by Jojo Moyes

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I received a copy of this novel from the publisher in exchange for a fair and honest review

This novel was a let down after reading Me Before You and it struggled to gain my full attention as I slogged through it. Split into two books, the first set in the 1960's and the second sent during the present day the novel explores the relationship between Jennifer and Boot, and wealthy housewife and and alcoholic foreign corespondent.
Jennifer Stirling is a wealthy socialite who appears to have it all, when she meets Boot during a dinner party he is at to interview her husband, its not love at first site. However, once he convinces her to give him a second chance the two embark on a passionate love affair. Injured in a severe car accident, Jennifer awakes remembering nothing of her affair with Boot, slowly recalling details of the affair and uncovering his identity.
Ellie Haworth, is a young journalist with career that is quickly falling apart, when she discovers a letter to Jennifer from Boot in a stack of papers in her newspapers archives. Driven to uncover the identity of the two people in the letter and what happened to them, Ellie sets of on a mission that changes her relationships and revives her career.
The first book, is far to long and confusing bouncing back and forth between Jennifer before the car accident and after, often times I had to double check several times to verify what year each chapter was taking place, considerably slowing down my pace and causing me to quickly loose interest in the stereotypical, vapid characters. I didn't like them and I didn't care about them. I didn't not find the love affair or the circumstances around it believable and many of the incidences to convenient.
The second book was much more enjoyable with a story line that was easier to follow and a bit more compelling. However, Moyes novel began to become more stereotypical and formulaic as it progressed leaving me longing for a lot more that it delivered.

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Wednesday, May 14, 2014

ARC Review The Fortune Hunter Daisy Goodwin

The Fortune HunterThe Fortune Hunter by Daisy Goodwin

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I received a copy of this novel from the publisher in exchange for a fair and honest review.

I have given this novel 5 stars, not because it is destined to be a classic or because it is a masterpiece of writing but rather because it possesses everything a good novel needs to completely draw its reader in. Likable, sympathetic characters, action, romance and a really great original story. I read this book while vacationing, I couldn't put it down, leaving my husband to hike on his own while I holed up by a warm fire and immersed myself in this fantastic story.
The characters and many of the events in this novel are factual, however, there time line has been adjusted to fit the novel. Elizabeth, Empress of Austria (Sisi) did have hair to her ankles, was known to be very vain and concerned about aging, packing raw veal on her face to prevent wrinkles and avoiding photographs. Often compared to Princess Diana, Sisi had reluctantly married into royalty and hated the trappings of being a royal figure. She was know to have several extramarital affairs, have periods of depression and to be one of the best horse women in Europe.
Captain Bay Middleton was also one of the best horseman, having won several prestigious steeplechases including the Grand National, and was selected by Earl Spencer to pilot SIsi when she came in England to hunt in 1875. He too had a reputation for seeing married women and he did eventually marry Charlotte Baird.
This novel is primarily focused on Charlotte and her relationships with Middleton, her family, and SIsi's effect on her relationship with Middleton. Charlotte is a very likable, unique characters, avoiding all things women in her position should have embraced, instead becoming an accomplished photographer (a fictional hobby) while navigating life with her future sister-in-law and her complicated relationship with Middleton. The sole heir of the Lennox fortune, Charlotte must be careful to avoid fortune hunters, looking to marry only for her money. Captain Middleton's reputation and rumored relationship with Sisi have everyone concerned about his intentions with Charlotte, but despite his past and caddish behavior he is very charming and despite everything that happens you find yourself pulling for Charlotte and him.
I recommend this book for anyone looking for a great summer vacation read, lovers of English history and anyone looking for a great story. This is a highly entertaining novel.

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