Wednesday, May 17, 2017

The Chilbury Ladies' Choir by Jennifer Ryan

The Chilbury Ladies' Choir by Jennifer Ryan is a historical fiction novel set during the early days of WWII in a small town of England. Told through letters and diary entries, the story follows a few of the women in the local town ladies' choir as the struggles of war hit closer to home.

One of my favorite characters, Mrs. Tilling, leads the town through her quiet steadfast determination to not let the Nazis take away all of their happiness. Her character's transformation from a subservient wife and mother to a strong woman with a voice made me want to applaud her by the end of the book! One of my favorite quotes of the book came from her chapter...

"Everything was black in the moonless night, the blackout rules forcing all of the light out of the world. But with a cautious smile, I realized that there are no laws against singing, and I found my voice becoming louder, in defiance of this war. In defiance of my right to be heard."

I enjoyed the shenanigans of the other townspeople as well and my heart hurt right along with them when things went badly and the war turned up right on their doorstep. I think this story made more of an impact to me because it dealt with the personal lives of the people left behind, the women specifically, left to keep their world turning without the men they had learned to rely upon.

I'd love to see a sequel to this book! I was so proud of Mrs. Tilling by the end and would love to hear more about her time surviving the war with her fellow villagers and everything that followed in their lives during its aftermath.

The Chilbury Ladies' Choir by Jennifer Ryan
384 pages
Crown Publishing

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

The Animal Under the Fur by E.J. Mellow

I finished The Animal Under the Fur by E.J. Mellow a few weeks ago, after reading it as fast as humanly possible. I couldn't put it down!! I definitely ordered this on a whim, pulled in unashamedly by the various posts on Instagram I was seeing before the release. I splurged on the paperback copy (I can't read on e-readers) and am SO glad I did!

Nothing gets me to read a book faster than when I can picture the story unfolding in my head like a movie. From the first chapter, the seamless writing and easy to follow storyline pulled me in and I was a goner.

Set around the main character, Nashville (or Kill Operative 3, her "work" name) the story takes off right away introducing us to a kick-ass unforgettable character and doesn't let go until the very last line. As the plot unfolds and Nashville has to align herself with another hired assassin, Carter, the fierce and sexual tension between them becomes almost too much to read! It made me turn the pages faster, hoping for each of them that they would just fight it out and then get it together. As much as both characters had their own arsenal of flaws and negative qualities, I rooted for them the whole time, hoping they would find each other and a little bit of peace amongst all the killing and espionage.

I don't want to share too much of the actual story, its too good and plays out like any five start blockbuster movie would, fast and furious and set in an exotic/foreign setting. I will say this, if you need something good to read, just really really good and want a cool, enviable strong, bad ass female character to go with it: THIS IS YOUR BOOK.

So so glad I splurged on this one, it didn't let me down in the slightest.

The Animal Under the Fur by E.J. Mellow
452 pages
Published by Four Eyed Owl