The Wild Girl ~ BRC

I have been a bad blogger. It’s been months since I’ve posted. Seasons have changed, holidays have come and gone. Books have been read. Convenient, as today is the first-of-the-year get-together of Barrie Summy’s Book Review Club, and the book I’ve chosen to share is The Wild Girl by Kate Forsyth.

I will admit: at the writing of this review, I have not yet finished this book, but I’m close.  As soon as this review is written, I’ll be getting back to it.  I’ll explain below.

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From Amazon:
One of six sisters, Dortchen Wild lives in the small German kingdom of Hesse-Cassel in the early 19th century. She finds herself irresistibly drawn to the boy next door, the handsome but very poor fairy tale scholar Wilhelm Grimm. It is a time of tyranny and terror. Napoleon Bonaparte wants to conquer all of Europe, and Hesse-Cassel is one of the first kingdoms to fall. Forced to live under oppressive French rule, Wilhelm and his brothers quietly rebel by preserving old half-forgotten tales that had once been told by the firesides of houses grand and small over the land.

As Dortchen tells Wilhelm some of the most powerful and compelling stories in what will one day become his and Jacob’s famous fairy tale collection, their love blossoms. But Dortchen’s father will not give his consent for them to marry and war, death, and poverty also conspire to keep the lovers apart. Yet Dortchen is determined to find a way.

Evocative and richly-detailed, Kate Forsyth’s The Wild Girl masterfully captures one young woman’s enduring faith in love and the power of storytelling.

When I found this book at the library, I was giddy with excitement to read it.  The true story (mostly) of the Grimm brothers?  The girl who lived beside them and was the source of many of their stories?  Mid-nineteenth century Germany? Fairytales? Romance?  YES, PLEASE!

Merely taken as a diary-like account of Dortchen Wild’s life in turn-of-the-19th century Germany is imminently readable.  Add in Dortchen’s caring heart, deeply affected by the suffering of friends and family, and her knowledge of the remedies of (and superstitions surrounding) many flowers, plants, and trees, and the book comes alive.  Layer in the joys and sorrows of the Grim and Wild families: Five brothers and one sister and six sisters and one brother, respectively, and lay a pall over it all: Herr Wild, Dortchen’s abusive father, and this book is quite fascinating.

I admit, Herr Wild is the reason my reading has slowed.  His unnatural interest in his daughter.  I know what’s coming.  It’s been hinted at.  And I don’t want to read it, imagine it, or consider it.  So, I’m struggling.  I so want to read Dortchen’s story–I’ve been invested since she was seven years old, and at this point in the story she is seventeen.  And I know that before there can be a happy ending–which there will be–I have to push through the dark times.  So I will.  I just haven’t done it.

I recommend this book–highly.  To anyone interested in fairytales, Germanic or Napoleonic history, or general historical fiction.  The writing of this book must have been a monumental undertaking, involving considerable research, and it definitely shows.  It’s truly excellent.  I just need to power through…

Being that I’m a little fascinated and in love with book covers, I wanted to include two other versions of The Wild Girl here. While I think my favorite cover is the one above that I found at the library, I think the dark tone of the forest cover is spot-on. The other cover seems entirely too whimsical for the novel, although it fits well with Dortchen’s lively, sweet personality and her love of stories and nature.

Until next month…

Be sure to click through on the typewriter for some stellar reviews in all sorts of genres!

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FCC: I checked this book out from the library, and the Amazon URL above is linked to my Associates account.

Posted in book review club, books, Uncategorized on 02/03/2016 12:10 am | 5 Comments

Get Wicked with Entangled Halloween Blog Hop!

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******* CONTEST NOW CLOSED. MELISSA N. WAS THE WINNER, SELECTED BY RANDOM.ORG *******

Hey y’all!

My Entangled Select Contemporary novel JUST SAY YES released in August…

Single mom Jade Moran isn’t ready for any big changes in either her horrible ’70s kitchen or her romantic life. Her ex did a number on her, and she isn’t interested in getting hurt again. But when she meets a super-hot contractor, she wonders if avocado appliances are on the way out and romance is on the way in.

Max Gianopoulis doesn’t have a clue why he’s so enchanted by Jade. She’s almost as big a mess as her kitchen, and he’s a guy who likes to keep things simple. He let himself get involved with a previous client, and he’s not interested in repeating the experience. But Jade has turned up the flirty heat – and he can’t keep his hands off her.

With everything moving too fast and coming too easy, Jade’s insecurities kick into high gear. She’s not sure she can trust another man again – and she definitely doesn’t believe in magic.

…and given that my hero, Max Gianopoulis, was inspired by Neal Caffrey (aka Matt Bomer in White Collar), I couldn’t resist creating my own meme with a hunky image of Bomer and a wicked quote from Just Say Yes.

A bit of background: Max has just invited Jade to watch The Avengers with him on the lawn after dark.  (Imagine that’s grass beneath him and not carpet.)  She’s waffling because she’s afraid she won’t be able to keep her hands off of him.

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As you can imagine, Max can be very convincing, and soon, Jade’s given in, and things are heating up…

“But as the minutes passed with adrenaline pumping continuously through her veins, keeping her in a state of constant, edgy awareness, she came to an unexpected decision. There was a way to avoid all this angsty uncertainty. Okay, maybe “repressed lust” was the spot-on terminology.

She didn’t have to wait and wonder and, yes, kind of hope he eventually made a move. She could do it.Cover JUST SAY YES-1600px

One kiss didn’t mean anything. Okay, one more kiss. The first one had been an anomaly—unexpected by both of them—and she’d survived it with no adverse effects. More or less. So, beyond being a huge tension reliever—she hoped—what was one more? Right now she was part consenting adult, part nervous wreck, and the combination was making her twitchy. She wouldn’t be able to relax until it was done.

Setting her beer in the grass, she closed her eyes, said a quick prayer to whoever might be the patron saint of awkward situations, and, in one semi-smooth move, leaned into him, fisted her free hand in his shirt, and tugged him toward her. Staring into his startled eyes, her breath caught, and she lost her nerve.

As the moment hung between them, the scent of popcorn and dark beer and spring grass crowding in, he didn’t move, waiting. Gathering her courage, she slowly dipped her mouth to his, feeling that first velvet touch, and then, quickly, the seductive slide of urgent lips and tangled tongues. Jade let out a breathy sigh, overwhelmed with relief to have finally reached this moment.”

Now for the treat!

I’m giving away an ebook of JUST SAY YES (or a gift card for the equivalent amount should the winner be international.)  To enter, tell me your favorite Avenger and what it is about them that appeals to you.

Good luck and Happy Halloween!  And be sure to click through to all the other participants on the hop!

 

Posted in blog hop, Just Say Yes on 10/29/2015 12:10 am | 21 Comments

Girl Waits With Gun ~ BRC

It’s October! My favorite month of the year! Fall is here–or in south Texas it’s thinking about maybe showing up sometime in the near future. (Very often kids are sweating profusely through their full body Halloween costumes come the end of the month.) Anyway, the Book Review Club was postponed a week, but now it’s here, so get ready to read some awesome reviews. I’ve read some good books recently, and out of all of them, I’ve chosen to review GIRL WAITS WITH GUN by Amy Stewart.

635767173455744497-9780544409910-hresFrom Amazon:

Constance Kopp doesn’t quite fit the mold. She towers over most men, has no interest in marriage or domestic affairs, and has been isolated from the world since a family secret sent her and her sisters into hiding fifteen years ago. One day a belligerent and powerful silk factory owner runs down their buggy, and a dispute over damages turns into a war of bricks, bullets, and threats as he unleashes his gang on their family farm. When the sheriff enlists her help in convicting the men, Constance is forced to confront her past and defend her family — and she does it in a way that few women of 1914 would have dared. 

You know I have to mention that cover–LOVE the newspaper aesthetic, the simple, eye catching coloring, and, of course, the calm composure of the “girl with the gun.”

While based on a true story, this is historical fiction, and it is written in such a way that reading about the Kopp sisters’ disrupted farm life is full of tension and comfort at the same time.  I didn’t read the author’s note, which specifies which parts of the book are true and which are fiction, until I’d finished the book, and I must say that the author did such a stellar job of interweaving both parts together that I never would have guessed which parts were fabricated.

What I loved about this unique book:

1.  The glimpse into small town and country life in the early 1900s in New York.  Even though the world was changing, ushering in automobiles, electricity, and modern conveniences, the Kopp sisters lived on an isolated farm with none of these things.  As they occasionally went into town–even into New York City–the disparity was notable.  They were, in very many ways, living in the past.  And yet, rather amazingly, they were ahead of their time.

2.  The sisters!  Constance’s courage and spunk, Norma’s snarky attitude and fascinating hobby (pigeon training!), and Fleurette’s flair for drama.

3.  The ingenuity involved in trying to bring a malicious thug (a mill owner) to justice in a time when the odds were weighted decidedly with the thug.

4.  Girl power!!  Three women, living alone on a farm in 1914, being terrorized by a gang of thugs.  They persevered, proved their mettle, and won the day.  (And Constance even roughed up the mill owner a bit–whoop!)

5.  The secret.  I won’t spoil it, but I didn’t see it coming.  (Probably should have, but I didn’t.)

6.  The dialogue:  Plain talking.  Sometimes it’s exactly what a situation needs.

Really, I loved all of it.  This is an excellent read, and I highly recommend it.  I became so fascinated by these characters, that I felt compelled to look up the real people behind the story.   I’ll save you the trouble…  http://www.amystewart.com/characters/

 

Now click on for more reviews of more great books!

 

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Posted in book review club, Uncategorized on 10/14/2015 12:10 am | 9 Comments