Showing posts with label Kristin Hannah. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Kristin Hannah. Show all posts

Monday, November 26, 2018

Summer Island by Kristin Hannah - Book Review

Book Review on Review This!
Summer Island by Kristin Hannah, the audio version, has been playing during every free moment for the past few days. This story has kept my attention. I am so glad to have discovered this author following the recommendations by two of our Review This writers and one co-worker. Kristin Hannah has a large fan base. And it is easy to understand why. Summer Island is a story about families: mothers and daughters, and how our memories about the very same thing can be so wildly different.

While they were still young girls, Ruby and Caroline Bridge were abandoned by their mother. Caroline, now a wife and mother, has begun working at building a relationship with her mother. But the thread of trust between the two is new and fragile. However, Ruby remains angry and unforgiving. She masks her pain with humor, a struggling stand-up comedian. 

Nora, their runaway mother, has spent the years becoming wealthy. She is a famous giver-of-advice, with a newspaper column and a radio show. She is a modern day "Dear Abby". Her focus is on giving relationship advice. Nora's fans know nothing of her abandoning of her children. Until, the tabloids publish the photos of her affair while married to Ruby and Caroline's father.

We meet the family at the time the tabloids publish the scandal. And the readers follow along, as this angry and broken family are pushed back together through illness and car accident. Ruby and Nora have the most work to do to heal. 

To me, the story is realistic and the voices are clear. It is a sample of difficult mother-daughter relationships. And the fact that parents are humans too, complete with flaws. Also, that they too were at one time someone's child. Summer Island gives us both Nora's version and Ruby's version of what happened. Will they come to an understanding? Will they agree to meet in the middle and find some common ground? Will fences be mended before it is too late.


"To you, it was the beginning of the story. To me, it was deep in the middle" Nora Bridges says to Ruby about her disappearance.


Whether you buy this book or rent it from the library like I did, it is a story I recommend. At this point, I plan to read Kristin Hannah's entire collection.  




Related Links:

Brenda reviewed Home Front: a novel about a women who is sent off to serve her country and the family she leaves behind; holding things down at home. It is a story of "love, duty, honor, commitment, sacrifice". Brenda recommends this emotional book by Kristin Hannah. Please see Brenda's review for more details: Home Front Review. 

Brenda writes in her Home Front review that The Nightingale is the book that led her to read more books by Kristin Hannah. The Nightingale is set in occupied France during World War II. Both Brenda and a co-worker, describe this story as "excellent", a "favorite", and highly recommend it. 

It is because of Renaissance Woman's review of The Great Alone that caused me to finally pick up a Kristin Hannah book. Set in an off-grid cabin in remote Alaska, the story appealed to me on the setting alone. We joined the Allbright family as they were chasing peace. The descriptions of the family and the setting pulled me in. Please read Renaissance Woman's Review of The Great Alone for a better description of why you too should read this book.




Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article.

Thursday, April 5, 2018

The Great Alone by Kristin Hannah - Book Review

The Great Alone by Kristin Hannah - Book Review
The Great Alone by Kristin Hannah
Kristin Hannah, author of the runaway bestseller, The Nightingale, has yet another instant New York Times Bestseller in her new novel, The Great Alone.

It's 1974.  Turmoil abounds.  Think Watergate, the Munich Olympics massacre, Patty Hearst's kidnapping, and Vietnam.  Despite the great uneasiness of the times, our country's immense angst is no match for that which churns within Ernt Allbright, recently returned prisoner of war.

In search of escape from what Allbright perceives as external madness, he loads up the VW van and moves his family off-grid to Alaska's remote wilderness.  For a few idyllic weeks of summer, there is bliss in the Allbright's ramshackle cabin.  Just as Alaskan summers are the most fleeting of seasons, the much-needed respite known by Ernt's wife, Cora, and teen daughter, Leni, will disintegrate with the eternal darkness of the Arctic winter.  It is in the midst of Ernt's downward spiral that the women in his life will learn the truest lessons about what it means to survive, to love, and to find yourself.

Hannah's descriptions of Alaska's raw beauty are breathtaking.  It is here that her writing soars.  Having spent significant time immersed in the splendor of the last frontier (her family owns an adventure lodge there), the author has an intimacy that draws the reader into her own authentic wilderness experience.  Even when the circumstances in the story were bleak, or daunting, I found myself wanting to pack up and leave for the Great Alone.

The book's title comes from a poem by Robert W. Service:
"Were you ever out in the Great Alone, when the moon was awful clear, and the icy mountains hemmed you in with a silence you most could hear... "
It is that awful clarity, and the many different kinds of alone, that make this a powerful story of forging the only kind of connectedness that really matters.











Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article.

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Kristin Hannah’s Home Front Book Review

HOME FRONT is an excellent fictional story by Kristin Hannah. I previously reviewed and loved Hannah’s The Nightingale, which sent me looking for more titles by this author.

It is a relationship story and a war story. It features a husband and wife who seem to be perfectly situated with a wonderful marriage, great careers and lovely children. However, as happens, they have drifted apart and are headed for disaster and when she is sent overseas to Iraq and the rift is almost too much for this family to bear.

This novel presents an interesting role reversal with the mother a helicopter pilot and the man trying to maintain order at home. What happens is dark and dreadful and presents a mountain for this family to surpass.

Here is the official video book trailer. In this trailer, I think the book is represented in a very light and fluffy manner especially given that divorce and military service are not easy things to deal with.



I believe that this second video, in which Hannah Kristin discusses the book, does a better job of representing the issues faced by the family in Home Front and by families in the same situation.



Hannah calls the book “the best, most emotional book she has ever written” and goes on to say that it is about “love, honor, duty, commitment, sacrifice.” I agree that it was an emotional book. It is RECOMMENDED by me and yes, you will cry. For what it is worth, I preferred the book The Nightingale.

Have you read either book? What did you think?

If you are interested, you can see all of Kristin Hannah’s books including Home Front on Amazon here.

See you
at the book store!
Brenda

Quick Links:

Buy Home Front from Amazon.
See all of Hannah's books on Amazon.


Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article.

Wednesday, January 3, 2018

HIGHLY RECOMMENDED: Best Books As Reviewed By Me in 2017

HIGHLY RECOMMENDED Best Books & Reviews 2017
What follows is a list of the books that I highly recommended in my book reviews in 2017. I did not write a book review for absolutely every book that I read though I did cover quite a few of them and I think that I probably included the best of them. How could I resist writing about a book that I loved? I figure that the few that are missing are likely the books that I did not enjoy reading or perhaps a couple that were missed during a busy time. Anyway, here is my list of HIGHLY RECOMMENDED books that I reviewed here on Review This.

I wrote eleven book reviews and five of them ranked well enough to receive the coveted HIGHLY RECOMMENDED distinction, LOL. These are the books that I thoroughly enjoyed and that stood out above the others:

Kristin Hannah The Nightingale

The Nightingale


Kristin Hannah’s The Nightingale is a World War II story set in German-occupied France. I recommend this novel for anyone who enjoys World War II fiction and a good story. Find my complete review here.

The One Man Andrew Gross

The One Man


Andrew Gross’ The One Man is another well-crafted World War II story this time set in Poland. Once again, I recommend this book for anyone who enjoys World War II fiction and a gripping story. Find my complete review here.

John Sanford Extreme Prey

Extreme Prey


John Sanford’s Extreme Prey is also on this list because it is highly recommended but it earned that distinction from a guest writer for whom I have the utmost respect, my husband. Chris has read and enjoyed almost all of Sandford’s works so obviously, I must check out John Sanford in 2018. Meanwhile, you can find Chris' complete review here.

Stephen King Mr. Mercedes

Mr. Mercedes


Stephen King’s Mr. Mercedes is an unexpected book addition to both my reading list and to this list of highly recommended books. In 1987, with the release of the book Misery and the subsequent movie, I decided that King's works were too horror filled for me. Until that year, I had read every book he had written but since that day, I have read none. That is, until Mr. Mercedes.

Anyway, Mr. Mercedes was a book club pick from a member whose preferred books are by Stephen King. She wanted to introduce the members of our group who had never read one of his books to his writing.  In my mind, this was an excellent choice and many were enthralled by this police detective novel though of course it opens in a very horrible manner. Crime/detective stories often do. Find my complete review of Mr. Mercedes here and be sure not to miss the rest of the trilogy.

Ken Follett Century Trilogy

The Century Trilogy


Finally, Ken Follett’s The Century Trilogy, which includes three volumes: Fall of Giants, Winter of the World and Edge of Eternity. These three lengthy novels kept me thoroughly entertained for many, many hours. Find my review here.

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Other books that I wrote about but that did not receive the top designation of HIGHLY RECOMMENDED were Losing Graceland by Micah Nathan, Remains of the Day by Kazuo Isiguro, A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman, Hallmark’s A Century of Caring, Talking As Fast As I Can by Lauren Graham and The Art of Racing by Garth Stein. They are still worth options for your book list.

How does my list stack up? Did you enjoy any of these books? What were your favorite reads in 2017?

Here’s to another
great year in books!
Brenda

Quick Links:

See all of the book reviews on Review This.
Amazon’s Bestsellers 2017 Book List.  
(Yes, I may receive a small commission if you make a purchase through this link.)





Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article.

Thursday, August 31, 2017

Kristin Hannah’s The Nightingale Book Review

A friend told me that Kristin Hannah’s novel The Nightingale was an excellent book and it was. Though I know this book is a work of fiction, it does deal with real situations that happened during the time period that France was occupied by Germany in World War II.

I know things that happen in this book happened to real people in France. I have always read books set in this time period. However, what happened in that war is still hard to believe. Truly unbelievable. Despite knowing that people were treated in this manner, I still managed to come away in disbelief saying to my husband things like, "How could anyone treat people the way they did?" and "How did the French people manage to survive in those conditions?" We are not talking about one or two crazy people here, right? We are talking about an 'army' of people mistreating people.

Anyway, in my opinion, Kristin Hannah has crafted a wrenching story with a family and with characters that you will come to love. Yes, you are likely going to shed some tears. Yes, you will be upset by the violence and the cruelty and the sexual situations in this book though I must say that it is far from the worst book that I have read in those matters though perhaps more disturbing because it feels so real.

The Nightingale deals with the contributions made to World War II by women. Unfortunately, those important contributions like the women depicted in this book who joined the French Resistance or who managed despite incredible odds to feed their families, have not been as widely acknowledged or recognised as those of men.

In particular, this book deals with two quite different sisters: One who wants to keep her family safe; the other who is not willing to accept the things that are happening to them. It is a story of courage and survival parts of which were inspired by real women like 19-year old Belgian, Andrée De Jongh, who took considerable risks helping people escape from France.

Here is the book trailer. I do not know if it is official or not but it does give a good idea of the things that happen in this story:



This book is well done and HIGHLY RECOMMENDED by me and by many others. If you love a book that shares a great story about women’s lives and that is historically based you will enjoy The Nightingale. It is riveting. You will not even notice that it the hardcover book is 440 pages or that the paperback is 600, particularly if you read it as an ebook.

By way of further recommendation, you might take the fact that, according to The New York Times in 2016, this book had sold more than two million copies. This book has drawn both men and women as well as young and old readers. As one who has always been captivated by World War II novels it comes as no surprise to me when the Times stated that people are drawn to them. However, I was interested to learn that this book has drawn a younger generation of readers who perhaps relate to this novel because of how young people were drawn to the French Resistance.

If you are interested in reading The Nightingale, you can find it in all formats including eBook, audiobook and traditional paper book, on Amazon by clicking right here.  I’ve just noticed on the cover that this movie is to become a major motion picture. There is not much information available as I write this other than a rumoured movie release date of 2017, which means that once you have read the book you have a movie to look forward to.

If you like historical fiction, you might also enjoy these reviews on Review This:

Secret Healer by Ellin Carsta, which is set in 14th Century Germany.

The movie The Bridge of Spies, which is set in the cold war.

The One Man by Andrew Gross, which is set in Poland in 1944.

See you
At the book store!
Brenda

Quick Link:

Order your copy of Kristin Hannah's The Nightingale from Amazon.






Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article.