Atria Fiction Round-up Mini-Reviews!

With All My Love  My Mini-Review:

This book had all the ingredients for a great book: guilt, lies, secrets, mother/daughter relationships, family issues, 3 generations of strong women, and trying to rebuild together.  However, I just couldn’t find myself attaching to any one character and truly accepting the reasons for the secrets and betrayal.  Perhaps, I wanted it to be a bit more scandalous, or just even more layered.  While much attention is given to each character, this is one book that I would have preferred to have had only major lead.  Maybe because I love complexity and just love Patricia’s style of writing, but I would have rather seen this book in a series-broken down a little bit more, so that it didn’t seem so rushed.  All in all, a good book!


My Review:

This is one of those odd books that is like being a peeping tom. I don’t want to look in the window and see what’s going on, much less hear what they are saying, but I can’t stop.  The book seemed so scrambled at times, quite symbolic of the mice scrambling everywhere, but it somehow works.  It doesn’t matter that the book is loosely based on the author’s own personal life, but because it goes where people don’t always want to follow: the hard truth-life or death, acceptance or rejection, perfection or horrendous, etc.  It really gives a hard look into the way a couple copes with the loss of a dream: a perfect marriage, a perfect baby, and a perfect career.  What happens when none of it is perfect and in the midst of figuring out why, something happens: the finding of beauty in an imperfect world.  I loved the wacky characters that become housemates, the small town and it’s own scars, and the way a baby, no matter how imperfect-loves unconditionally and will slowly open the heart of others.  A brilliant book that will leave you wondering why in the world you’d want to read a book about mice and the parent’s rejection of a child born severely disabled.


  My Review:

Wow! This is a fantastic book that will draw you and keep you there, until the very last page!!!  I absolutely loved the storyline, the characters, and the way the story unfolds.  The description in the story brings everything to life and I immediately felt as if I was a fly on every wall.  It shows the bravery of one woman, who simply wants to be a housewife.  However, with her husband away at war, she also becomes part of the Resistance and trains alongside other men and women, to help free the people under Hitler’s regime.  It is so easy to place judgment on people, who befriended Nazi soldiers and to make grand assumptions about who they really are.  However, Lucinda shows the true complexity of those who had to balance their loyalty to their homeland and their relationship with the enemy.  However, love knows no boundaries, and we see a love that blossoms and how much it is tested, even after death.  This is a must read for any one that loves a great book! It is a fantastic book that will leave you wanting more!


My Review:

Grab your Kleenex!! You are going to need it for this one!  I was surprised at how much I absolutely loved this book.  Not because I didn’t like the synopsis, but because of how raw, real, and relevant this book is.  No one expects to lose their spouse, during their honeymoon, but this is what happens to Elsie, a woman in her 20’s.  I hurt so much for Elsie, that I found myself hoping the “what if’s” she had came true.  And, when they didn’t, I was sad with her….and grieved all over again, too.  While she grieves, she also tries to have a relationship with her mother-in-law…is that who she is?? Elsie doesn’t know if Susan (Ben’s mom) will even want to be a part of her life and if so, how will they fit in each other’s lives without the glue: their Ben.  I loved how the story slowly unfolded, never rushed, and just let the relationships and issues slowly fall where they may-like leaves falling from a tree.  It is a beautiful story, albeit, sorrowful, but in the end, there is hope…and that is all one can ever want!


  My Review:

I really wanted to love this book! I really, really did.  However, the further I went into the book, the less real it became for me. I loved the beginning and the weird relationship with Jago, an author who writes a book that seems to feed into Kate’s fears.  If the story had just focused on Kate finding her new normal with the loss of husband, and dealing with her over the top anxieties and in-laws that seem to be watching her like a hawk, it would have been great!  However, I just couldn’t buy into the other things that happened and I couldn’t understand the weird things Jago would make Kate do in the name of alleviating her anxiety.  Top that off with a psycho neighbor, who breaks in from the inside, and a big secret that isn’t disclosed until much later-that I just felt disconnected from Kate and felt hugely sorry for her son, Jack.  It’s a good read, but just not one that kept me fully engaged throughout the book.

*A HUGE thank-you to Atria Books and NetGalley for the opportunity to read some great books!!


2 thoughts on “Atria Fiction Round-up Mini-Reviews!

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