My 3 Last Book Reviews for 2011: Blank Slate Kate by Heather Wardell, Sunrise on the Battery by Beth Webb Hart, and Her Life as She Knew it by Karen Schwind

Posted on Updated on

I have managed to end the year 2011 with 3 more book reviews before the new year.  I have read quite a lot this past week and really wanted to write the reviews for these books I agreed to reading.  While these are not comprehensive book reviews like I normally try to do, I know that readers will still be able to get the gist of what I thought.

Have a great and happy New Year!

*************************************************

 

 

Synopsis: 

Waking up with a strange man is scary. Realizing you lost fifteen years of your life overnight? That’s terrifying. With her memories from seventeen to thirty-two gone, Kate has no idea who she is and where she belongs. As she begins to fall for the man who found her, she wonders if she forgot those years for a reason. Should she keep trying to retrieve her original self, or start a new life?

My Review:

Kate is a 32 year old woman, who has lost all memory of the past 15 years.  In her mind, she is 17 years old, and sees the world through the eyes of an innocent young teenager.  Heather Wardell brings the reader along as Kate tries to figure out what happened during those lost years, work through trying to catch up with world events, and even figure out the world of technology (think iphone, Twitter, Facebook, etc).  Heather Wardell writes very realistically in this  “too crazy to be true” scenario, as Kate also finds without her family, friends she knows, and a sweet bartender guy who she a crush on.  At times I wanted to hurry the story along because I wanted to know why this had happened to Kate.  However, everything is unraveled in its due time and all questions are answered in the end.  This is a story that is authentically told only through the eyes and thoughts of Kate, so as she unravels the mysteries, you will to…at her pace.  Hang tight, the book is worth the read, and it’s a book that I really enjoyed reading!  I highly recommend this book to those who love a good chick-lit book and who like mysteries weaved with a little romance.

*This book was provided by the author for an honest review. No forms of monetary or other compensation were given.

*********************************************************************************************************

 

Synopsis:

Now that she’s arrived at her ultimate address, will Mary Lynn’s longed-for view of the harbor satisfy the craving of her heart?

At last, Mary Lynn and Jackson Scoville are living the life they’ve dreamed of. Two self-described “small town bumpkins” from Round O, South Carolina, they made a small fortune selling the little gems of lowcountry real estate Jackson inherited and now they are living in the heart of Charleston, South Carolina, carefully working their way up the social ladder in hopes of meeting their ultimate goal:  to give their three daughters the life they themselves never had.

But the long-forgotten God of Mary Lynn’s childhood seems to be trying to get her attention in clear and unusual ways.   So clear and strange she can no longer deny it.  When Mary Lynn prays for Jackson to open his mind and heart to God, her prayers are answered beyond her wildest imaginings.  Now Jackson’s dramatic conversion (which includes street witnessing, giving away a lot of money, and inviting poor, desperate and marginalized people into their home) is threatening their social status as well as their family mission statement.  Is she willing to go along with him?

What would it be like to go “all out” for God?  Jackson, a sharp and focused Type A man, is unafraid and willing to go all the way.  Mary Lynn has her doubts.

My Review:

Mary Lynn and her husband both grew up from humble families and both became rather wealthy and live in the plush town of Charleston, SC.  Both deal with their own inner demons, while their oldest daughter Katherine tries to please her father, deals with severe anxiety, and begins to take pills to deal with her own demons as well.  There were quite a few very realistic scenarios in this story as Jackson grapples with handling his success and keeping up with Jones’, wanting the best for his children, and dealing with the death of his mother (who he lost at 9 years old), all while also questioning his own spiritual existence and relationship with God.  While I really thought this story dealt with some very real and raw issues that all families deal with, even Christian families, I felt that some of the issues weren’t addressed fully and that the story ended too perfectly.  For example, Mary Lynne recognizes some changes in her daughter Katherine and suspects something is going on with her when she sees Katherine’s hands often shaking.  However, she never quite addresses the issue and Katherine soon stops using and instead focuses on her studies and running. I felt that there was a huge piece of the storyline missing.  It would also have been helpful to have seen more of the struggles Jackson and Mary Lynne experience as a result of their spiritual walk, or lack thereof.  While Mary Lynne was attending church, it would have given a more realistic portrait to what a family experiences when one partner chooses not to embrace faith and spirituality.  I also wanted more surrounding Mary Lynne’s miracle.  Nonetheless, this was a good read and one I would recommend to those who enjoy reading Christian fiction.  Keep an eye out for this Christian author…she has a gift for writing!  Maybe just adding an extra 100 pages would be helpful for my inquiring mind ;)

*This book was provided by Book Sneeze in exchange for an honest review.  No forms of compensation were given.

*********************************************************************************************************

*Click picture to purchase book for $1.99

Synopsis:

For readers who believe that the best lives are built on the firmest foundations.

Karen Schwind brings us Caroline McKee, a girl on the cusp of womanhood who is determined to use her wit and fearlessness to right the wrongs former friends did to her. She gets her chance when Billy Taylor, a veteran of the Great War, returns to Greensboro and opens a newspaper in the spring of 1919. Together they dig into the lives of townspeople until Caroline discovers a secret that lays bare the sorrow and shame of people she’s known all her life. Publishing a front-page story of betrayal and tragedy, Caroline learns a lesson that only her devout Christian father could teach–about love, loyalty and letting go. Schwind has crafted “a memorable setting that feels historically authentic” and “portrays Caroline McKee’s longing for an idealized childhood . . . in tender, nostalgic” language that captures the reader’s imagination until the last unexpected turn of this amazing story.

My Review:

I loved the character of Caroline McKee.  She is a woman destined to be a great writer and finds creative ways to do just that in a town where not much happens, during a time when women didn’t work outside the home.  This is a sweet story, nothing sexual and profanity is zilch.  While I enjoyed reading how she becomes a writer and tries to please her father while also fulfilling her own life long dreams, I would have liked a little more inner struggles with her mother (who abandoned her and the family), as well as seen the relationship between her and Johnny evolve.  Because he marries, it would have been helpful to see how Caroline handles the news of his marriage and its impact on her.  However, it is a very sweet story and gives a small snapshot into the life of one woman and those she interacts with.  Overall, this was a really good book and I look forward to reading more from this author.

*This book was provided for review by Skoobpress for an honest review.  No forms of compensation were given.

One thought on “My 3 Last Book Reviews for 2011: Blank Slate Kate by Heather Wardell, Sunrise on the Battery by Beth Webb Hart, and Her Life as She Knew it by Karen Schwind

    Be Back Soon! « Books in the Burbs said:
    January 2, 2012 at 12:38 am

    [...] My 3 Last Book Reviews for 2011: Blank Slate Kate by Heather Wardell, Sunrise on the Battery by Beth… (booksintheburbs.com) [...]

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s