Book Review – The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society

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Wonderful Wednesday reader friends! I hope that you are all having a fantastic week. I have been reading a lot lately and I will be spending a lot of time updating you all on some great reads over the next few weeks.

This week we are talking about The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows. Have you heard about this book? Perhaps you have heard about or even seen the movie of the same name. It is currently on Netflix.

Here is the synopsis from Amazon:

“I wonder how the book got to Guernsey? Perhaps there is some sort of secret homing instinct in books that brings them to their perfect readers.” January 1946: London is emerging from the shadow of the Second World War, and writer Juliet Ashton is looking for her next book subject. Who could imagine that she would find it in a letter from a man she’s never met, a native of the island of Guernsey, who has come across her name written inside a book by Charles Lamb. . . .

As Juliet and her new correspondent exchange letters, Juliet is drawn into the world of this man and his friends—and what a wonderfully eccentric world it is. The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society—born as a spur-of-the-moment alibi when its members were discovered breaking curfew by the Germans occupying their island—boasts a charming, funny, deeply human cast of characters, from pig farmers to phrenologists, literature lovers all.

Juliet begins a remarkable correspondence with the society’s members, learning about their island, their taste in books, and the impact the recent German occupation has had on their lives. Captivated by their stories, she sets sail for Guernsey, and what she finds will change her forever.

Written with warmth and humor as a series of letters, this novel is a celebration of the written word in all its guises and of finding connection in the most surprising ways.

My thoughts:

This story captured me in the first sentences. The style is a series of correspondence that takes you on a journey with the characters. I found it a very intriguing take on life after World War II. How each of the characters was affected by the horrible war, is told in such a unique and interesting way. Juliet is such a likable character. She leads this cast of unique individuals on a stunning journey of growth and love. Each of the different members of the Potato Peel Society brings their own special flair to the story. I can not tell you all how much I have loved this story. By use of the correspondence as the way to tell the story, everything flowed so easily. Each of these characters is searching for their own love and security. I found myself dreaming about writing letters more often as I read this story. Maybe this little blog is my way of writing a letter to each of you. Does that count? Now I need to find myself a pen pal.

Overall, this was an amazing read. Full of laughter, drama, tragedy and of course, love. I am giving this for sure ☕️☕️☕️☕️☕️ out of 5. If you would like to purchase the book here is a link on Amazon.

I am going to watch the movie and share my review of that as well very soon. Also, I need to seriously find a pen pal!

Love and 📖,

Becky

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Book Review – The Murder House James Patterson and David Ellis

The Murder House

Wonderful Wednesday Reader Friends,

So here is a little secret, I don’t always “read” these books. I have a decent commute every day (around 45 minutes each way) so I will often listen to audio books. I do not subscribe to Audible or anything like that, I use an app called OverDrive. This app is connected to my local library and I can “check-out” books to read through my Kindle or audio books to listen to through the OverDrive app on my cell phone, hands free of course people. I know this app is available via iTunes, not sure about other services like GooglePlay, etc.

Sometimes, I start to listen to a book and a stop for whatever reason. Maybe I didn’t get through it and the borrowing period ended, there is always a reason something didn’t get done. Anyway, as I started to listen to this story, it was very familiar. I was about a chapter in and realized I had started this before. I didn’t however, remember enough to make me want to stop listening and I am so glad that I didn’t. I never finished because the ending was a complete surprise to me.

The book I am talking about is of course The Murder House by James Patterson and David Ellis.

Summary (via James Patterson’s website)

Detective Jenna Murphy comes to the Hamptons to solve a murder-but what she finds is more deadly than she could ever imagine.

Trying to escape her troubled past and rehabilitate a career on the rocks, former New York City cop Jenna Murphy hardly expects her lush and wealthy surroundings to be a hotbed of grisly depravity. But when a Hollywood power broker and his mistress are found dead in the abandoned Murder House, the gruesome crime scene rivals anything Jenna experienced in Manhattan. And what at first seems like an open and shut case turns out to have as many shocking secrets as the Murder House itself, as Jenna quickly realizes that the mansion’s history is much darker than even the town’s most salacious gossips could have imagined.

As more bodies surface, and the secret that Jenna has tried desperately to escape closes in on her, she must risk her own life to expose the truth-before the Murder House claims another victim. Full of the twists and turns that have made James Patterson the world’s #1 bestselling writer, The Murder House is a chilling, page-turning story of murder, money, and revenge.

My take:

This story starts off from the very first sentence with action. You are pulled along for the ride whether you want to be or not. If I were reading this book physically, I have no doubt it would be a page turner. I know that I struggled to stop the audio when I would get to the office each morning or when I got home each evening. The characters are all flawed enough to be very believable. One character that we are introduced to, rather quickly is Noah Walker. The ups and downs of this character are enough to be a novel in itself. Jenna is one of those characters that you feel for, but at the same time you have moments where you want to grab her by the shoulders and shake her.

I enjoyed this story from start to finish. The town in the Hamptons is as much a character as the people in the story. You learn about the area and how it affects the comings and goings of all of the characters. I think that with this one James Patterson has outdone himself. I was very impressed by the speed of the action as well. For a novel that is 451 pages, you truly get 451 pages of interest. There did not appear to be a lull to me. Also, while I will not give spoilers, I will say that the ending left me satisfied. There were no holes that were left to annoy me when I  finished. It was a good wrapped up story.

I am going to give this read 🥐🥐🥐🥐🥐 out of 5 croissants. This is a grab a cup of coffee with a croissant, that turns into a glass of tea with your lunch, and a glass of wine after dinner kind of read. You won’t be able to put it down.

Sadly, I don’t have an author interview to go along with this review. I do have some things in the works though, so please keep checking back with me friends!

Love and 📚,

Becky

Thursday Story Telling – Update

I want to thank you all that have taken the time to follow along with the story, The Intervention. I want you to know that it means a lot to me that you would take the time to read and care about this work. I wrote this story many many years ago and it was my first and to date only “finished” work. Perhaps I will start another story and reveal it/publish it here on this blog in a similar format. If this is something that you would be interested in, please let me know.

To make it easy for future readers to check out my story in it’s entirety, I am going to link to each chapter in order below. Thank you again everyone for supporting me through this weird journey of putting my own words out there for all of you to read, critique and hopefully enjoy.

Chapter One

Chapter Two

Chapter Three

Chapter Four

Chapter Five

Chapter Six

Chapter Seven

Chapter Eight

Chapter Nine

Chapter Ten

I hope that if you are just finding this blog, you will take the time to check out the story chapter by chapter. It has been a scary and fun journey to reveal this personal work on this blog. For some reason, this work of fiction was more intimidating to publish here than all the times I have told about my personal life. I’m sure some psychologist would have a blast with an explanation for that weird part of me.

Thank you again my friends.

Lots of love,

Becky

Story-Telling Thursday The Intervention Chapter 3

She opens her eyes and tried to look around and quickly realized that she was actually looking down. She was watching herself below with the doctors. There were machines buzzing and beeping. Nurses were scurrying about. What had happened to her? She couldn’t remember how she had gotten here. She tried to yell to tell them she was there. She tried to tell them that she was ok. But was she? Was she dead? Was it possible? She had started the day as any other, and now she was lying in a hospital bed or rather, floating over it. She turned from herself. She couldn’t watch the doctors work. She couldn’t stand to see if they succeeded in their mission to save her body. She floated out of the room where her body lie on the gurney. She was in the main emergency room entrance and she saw nurses running and pushing wheelchairs. She saw many people that were sick or injured. She had always hated hospitals and watching this gave her a bad feeling in her chest. She decided that she needed to keep floating. Maybe this is a dream, she thought to herself. She floated out of the emergency room into the waiting room. She had floated through the automatic doors rather than them opening for her. No one could see her or hear her. She buzzed the heads of a couple of nurses passing by and they never looked up or even acknowledged the feeling. Britney wanted to continue toying with the nurses but thought better of it. They had important work to do. The thought of this being a dream kept Britney moving forward to the waiting room. She circled the room and then she saw him. Anthony was sitting there all alone. He looked so scared. He had tears in his beautiful blue eyes. She couldn’t remember ever having seen him cry. Now here he was, crying. He was crying for her. She came down from high above and sat herself in the chair beside him. He seemed so fragile sitting there with tears running down his face. Britney hoped she wasn’t dead. She hoped the doctors did what they had to do so that she could wipe those tears away. She didn’t know if they should be together but she didn’t want him hurting.

He couldn’t cry, not now. He didn’t even know what was going on with her. He wiped at his tears and cleared his throat. He suddenly got a cold chill. It was almost a breeze. He was in the middle of the waiting room but he glanced to the doors to see whom had come through them, but the door had not been opened and was not closing either.

“That was weird,” he said aloud to himself. He talked to himself a lot. She hated it. She hated that he would express a general thought with no audience intended. She would say that he could carry on a conversation with a brick wall, and she promised not to be too concerned until the wall answered back. He laughed to himself as he thought of her standing in the kitchen chiding him for talking to himself like a child with an imaginary friend. Then the twinge of guilt again, how could he sit here and laugh? He didn’t want to think nice memories of her as if she wasn’t here anymore. He needed to know what was going on. He couldn’t stand one more minute of not knowing. He walked back up to the desk. The look on the nurse’s face was not one of welcome. He made his approach all the same and never broke stride.

“Sir, I told you that I would send someone out as soon as possible. Let them spend the time needed with your girlfriend.” The nurse advised before he even asked the question. “I am all she has, and she is all I have. I just need to know that she’s going to be ok.” he found his temper flaring as he tried to make this nurse understand how important he was to her life and she was to his. Although he was not sure of how important he still was to her, but in this moment she was all that mattered to him.

“I understand that you are concerned. The doctor has said that he will come and talk with you as soon as he can. Please have a seat and wait for him.”

“I can’t sit anymore. Please can’t someone just tell me what’s going on? I need something. I can’t just keep waiting.”

“It shouldn’t be much longer. Please have a seat.”

The nurse was beginning to get to the end of her rope with him. He decided to go ahead and sit back down before she called security or something. He was a larger man and knew that when he was angry he could appear intimidating. He didn’t want the nurse to worry and get him kicked out.

Story-Telling Thursday The Intervention Chapter 2

“Where is she? Where is Britney?”

“Sir, please, I need you to calm down. Please spell her last name for me again.”

“Are you kidding me? I have already spelled it for you three times. It is Henson H-E-N-S-O-N. And my name is Anthony Jones J-O-N-E-S. I have the paperwork right here that give you permission to speak with me. She just came in from a car accident.”

“Yes I see here. Sir, she is currently with the doctors and I do not have an update for you. I will let them know that you are here and they will come and get you when they are ready for you.”

“I want to see her. I want to know that she is ok. I want to know what is going on.”

“I will ask someone to come out and speak with you just as soon as I can. Right now they are helping her. Please have a seat.”

Anthony walked away from the counter. He didn’t understand why no one would tell him what was going on. His was the last number dialed in her cell phone and was saved as her ‘in case of emergency’ number and they had called him to check about next of kin. The thoughts had instantly started running through his head. Why did they need next of kin? What exactly had happened to her? She had been fine this morning. She was not exactly speaking to him, but that wasn’t anything unusual. They had been fighting a lot lately, and they had been talking about needing space. But he didn’t mean it. At least he didn’t think he did. Not knowing if she was ok and not knowing if he was going to see her again had him more scared than he had ever been in his whole life. After he got the call about the accident he had grabbed their medical paperwork, neither of them had family close and they had appointed each other for medical decisions long ago.

He sat in a chair in the waiting room. He was surrounded by kids coughing and adults who looked drugged. He hated the hospital. He had not been in a hospital in years and had wanted to keep it that way. A sudden twinge of guilt crept over him as he thought that he had almost not answered the call on his cell phone when he saw the number. He thought it was her. He thought she was calling to continue their fight from earlier that morning and he just couldn’t fight anymore. He just wanted to be done. He wanted them to be able to love as they had loved in the beginning; back when she had needed him, and most importantly had wanted him. Now he didn’t know where he fit into her life. She had her friends, her work, and her dreams for the future that didn’t seem to include him when she talked about them. So where did he fit and did he even fit at all? He looked at the double doors behind the counter where he just stood and worried about what was happening and if he would see her face again. Maybe one more fight wouldn’t be so bad.

Who was he kidding? If she was ok, he wouldn’t ever fight with her again. He would just let her have the future she wanted and try to support her in any way he could. She was the love of his life.