Saturday, February 10, 2018

Short Reviews on Books I just Couldn't Make Up My Mind On

Finding Hope by Stacy Finz
Description:  Clay is a widowed rancher with two sons who are still grieving the loss of their mother.  Emily is a cookbook author trying to move on with her life after the abduction of her daughter and the dissolution of their marriage.  She's looking for a place to begin again and the renovated barn on Clay's ranch seems like just the place.

My Thoughts: I’m torn on this one.  I enjoyed seeing the town of Nugget and all the people who call it home.  I thought Clay’s sons were grieving their mother in a way that came off as very authentic and Clay’s  utter loss at how to handle this felt true.  I enjoyed Emily’s cookbook editor/ghost writer job and her struggles to rejoin life after the abduction of her daughter 4 years prior.  My main problem is I had a hard time believing in the relationship.  Clay is so dismissive of Emily’s attractiveness for so long - regularly referring to her as frumpy - and even begins a relationship with another woman after Emily has moved to the ranch.  Even though he comes around it just didn’t fit.  As well Emily is just starting to take the first tiny steps back into life and just doesn’t feel ready for a relationship.  I can believe in a friendship between the two but an HEA just feels impossible.

Map of the Heart by Susan Wiggs -
Description:  After her daughter has a disaster year at school and her father is given a clean bill of health after a battle with cancer photographer Camille finds herself talked into taking a trip to France to find answers about her father's past and her own future.

My Thoughts:  Let me start by saying that I love Susan Wiggs and there was a lot in this book that I absolutely loved.  I loved Julie and I loved the World War II story.  I loved when they were in France - especially as they are clearing out the attic and everyone - Camille included - is thriving and relaxing.  What kept this from being a truly outstanding book for me was Camille herself.  I understood the reasons for her intense caution but it was so over the top and she was so blind to the harm she was doing to Julie that I wanted to shake her.  She's also so guarded and prickly that I never truly warmed to her and I was even more irritated by her response to what is going on with Julie at school.  However, while I really disliked Camille most of the time this was still a completely engaging read that left me with tears in my eyes - of the happy kind!

Description:  After finding a box of journals written during the filming of the first Star Wars movie awakened long pushed aside memories Carrie Fisher decided it was time to write about her time as Princess Leia.

My Thoughts:  The Princess Diarist by Carrie Fisher - I wanted to love this one.  I really did.  I mean it's Carrie Fisher talking about her time filming Star Wars.  How could I not love it?  But when it really comes down to it I just didn't.  I loved her enthusiasm about being part of the film and the background information on growing up with America's Sweetheart - Debbie Reynolds.  However, there was a lot rambling and it felt like her journal readings went on too long and were kind of pointless.  I know lots of people really enjoyed this book and so I think it's strictly a case of writing style not meshing with this particular reader/listener.


  1. I am so with you on The Princess Diarist. There were parts I liked but yes to rambling and the journal entries feeling long.

  2. YIKES! I just want to speak to Finding Hope because it really got me steamed! A man calling a woman frumpy and getting into a relationship with someone else right in front of her practically, speaks to the beginnings of an emotionally abusive relationship. Frumpy! I don't get it. Ugh... Kudos to you for not having it on the DNF list Katherine, and finding some redeeming qualities. Hugs and Happy Saturday! RO

  3. I have heard such great things about Map of the Heart. I am glad to know your thoughts, especially about Camille.

  4. I have The Princess Diarist waiting for me at the library. After reading your thoughts I think I'll pass. I just finished a book that had too much rambling.

  5. The Princess Diarist sounds interesting but I don't think it's something that's calling out to me to read? Love the cover of Map of the Heart. Some covers just give a sense of place. :)

  6. I did like Map of the Heart but I know what you mean about Camille - I cringed for Julie more than once.

  7. Sorry your reads this week have been "okay." You sure gave them a chance though and read each through.

  8. If I can get the audiobook book from the library, I am going to try The Princess Diarist. I want to be able to say I read at least a little of it. :)