Wednesday, August 02, 2017

Summer at Bluebell Bank: a Review

Summer at Bluebell BankSummer at Bluebell Bank by Jen Mouat
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This is a great debut from author Jen Mouat. My friend recommended it to me as something to read that is the same flavor and feel as Maeve Binchy, and I would agree.

Friendship, family, memories and loves lost and found again. These are just a few of the things Mouat brings into light throughout the novel, in the charming setting of small-town Scotland, with a summer home and a bookstore supplying plenty of fun as a setting.

This book has a lot going on, and by the end a whole large cast of characters that might feel a tad overwhelming. Nevertheless, I liked it very much and would recommend it to fans of Binchy and similar British women's fiction writers.

From the publisher:

Returning home is never smooth sailing…

Summoned by her childhood best friend, Kate Vincent doesn’t stop to think. Instead she books at one-way ticket from New York back to Wigtown, Scotland, leaving her glittering new life behind. Scenes of idyllic holidays at Bluebell Bank with the Cotton family dance in her mind, but not everything has stayed the way it once was… Especially when her first love, Luke, returns to town.

Emily Cotton never expected one email, sent off in a wine-fuelled daze, to bring her old friend barrelling through the front door of her dismally failing bookshop. But life for the Cottons isn’t what it once was; Emily’s brothers are hardly speaking, her beloved grandmother isn’t quite the same and Emily…well, Emily is the one most in need of Kate’s help.

Kate has given herself until the end of the summer to stay in Wigtown. Can she bring the Cottons back together, and save the family who once saved her?

**Thank you to NetGalley for an ebook review copy.**

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Tuesday, August 01, 2017

Of Mess and Moxie Review

Of Mess and Moxie: Wrangling Delight Out of This Wild and Glorious LifeOf Mess and Moxie: Wrangling Delight Out of This Wild and Glorious Life by Jen Hatmaker
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I wasn’t sure how in the world Jen Hatmaker would top her excellent book For the Love, and yet with this beautiful turquoise follow-up, she absolutely did. Of Mess and Moxie has heart, passion, a little bit of mess, and a whole lot of moxie.

I read this book with a pen in my hand and a lump in my throat. So much of what Jen Hatmaker wrote in this book resonated with me. I gleaned so much encouragement from her words, and even though many things she states are not new to me, they are fresh and full of moxie:

I don’t have to be who I was before. It’s never too late to change. It is perfectly fine to live in the world and love the world and yet still be devoted to Christ. It is never, ever too late for me to dream and be creative. Forgiveness is a process that takes a lot of time. Prayer matters. Stand. Tell the truth.

Jen Hatmaker is the friend we all wish we could meet for coffee: funny, snarky, and oh so very real. With her trademark honesty she relates her experiences in the church, in friendships, in family, and on television, with Biblical truths and encouragement for all her sisters around the world. This one’s for the girls, indeed. Moxie on, Jen.

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Thanks to HarperCollins for an advance copy to read for review. Part of this review is published as an endorsement of the book, and all words and opinions are my own. I am a member of the launch team for #OfMessandMoxie. You can preorder the book at your favorite online retailer.

All We Ever Wanted: A Review

All We Ever Wanted by Emily Giffin My rating: 5 of 5 stars All We Ever Wanted is worthy of the buzz it's receiving this summer. I h...