Category Archives: Kate Recommends…

What’s Kate Reading?

The Gown by Jennifer Robson was one of my October book club reads. I was a little hesitant about reading another WWII historical fiction book. I had enjoyed the other books I’d read but wasn’t sure where this story would take me.

I wrongly assumed it would be a memoir about Queen Elizabeth II’s wedding to Prince Phillip, but found it to be a fascinating fictional story about the dressmakers and embroiderers who constructed the then-Princess Elizabeth’s gown.

Next on my reading list

The Golem and the Jinni by Helene Wecker

This historical fiction story is set in post war England and is told through the eyes of three women. Two of them suffered the loss of loved ones during the war and struggle to make ends meet without any close family to support them financially or emotionally. Despite their different backgrounds they become friends, roommates and work closely together on the wedding gown.

The third woman’s tale begins many years after WWII. Heather is bequeathed a box from her late grandmother. Within the box are squares of tulle with delicate embroidered and beaded flowers. Heather is puzzled by the contents and the lack of any written information about the items. No one in the family has a clue what the story is behind the beautiful squares of fabric. Heather heads to England to uncover the meaning behind the keepsake.

This story of three working-class women struggling to find meaning in their lives is about friendship, sorrow and triumph. I would recommend it to anyone who loves historical fiction, women’s literature and a little romance.

What’s Kate Reading?

This month’s book club selection was The Tattooist of Auschwitz. The book is based on the memories of Lale Sokolov’s time as a prisoner in Auschwitz. It is a story filled with the atrocities witnessed first-hand by Lale, and it is also a love story. Lale met his soulmate in the camp and only knew her by the number he’d tattooed on her arm. He sought her out, and their relationship helped them fight for survival even when life seemed unbearable and death seemed to be a way to peace.

It was a fast read and the insider’s look into the concentration camp was fascinating and horrifying to read. The romance was an important thread throughout the book. I would recommend it to those who enjoy memoirs, historical fiction, WWII stories, and romance novels.

What’s Kate Reading…

I wish I could read more often than I do, but Need to Know by Karen Cleveland was a super quick read because it was sooo good! I love reading thrillers and suspense stories, and this novel was one of the better ones I’ve read in a while.

Cleveland weaves you through the intricacies of being a CIA analyst and having a family while trying to uncover Russian sleeper cells embedded in the US. Things get more complicated when she uncovers evidence that implicates someone close to her.

The rollercoaster ride is only beginning. When I reached the end, I closed the book firmly saying, “Brilliant ending” out loud. I don’t do that every day. I’d give this book 5 stars.

The Stories We Tell

Picture the family gathered around the radio on Friday night to hear the latest episode of “The Lone Ranger” or “Fibber McGee and Molly”.  Today’s radio show is the podcast or books on Audible. Combine them both and you have The Stories We Tell.

Check it out from the beginning on April 23rd! The podcast will feature short stories by a diverse group of writers, including yours truly! Join us for something new with a tinge of nostalgia.

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Mom’s Favorite Reads – New March Issue of Our Magazine Available!

The March issue of our Amazon #1 magazine!

 

In this issue…

 

• An exclusive interview with Terry Deary, bestselling author of the ‘Horrible Histories’

• Our new series of travel features, Off the Beaten Track

• How to start your own small business

• How to learn a new language

• The difference between psychology and

psychiatry, and so much more…

 

Read FREE here https://issuu.com/momsfavoritereads/docs/vol-2_iss-3_march2019_momsfavoriter?e=0

Book Review — Hotel at the Corner of Bitter and Sweet

My local book club selected the novel Hotel at the Corner of Bitter and Sweet by Jamie Ford for January’s meeting. I had two days to read it and let me tell you, I couldn’t put it down.

The story is set in Seattle’s Chinatown area, and the story’s protagonist, Henry, is in his mid-fifties at the story’s beginning.  Henry is passing by an old hotel in what was once the Japanese section of their community. It has been recently purchased for restoration, and the new owner has called a press conference after making an unbelievable discovery. After 40 plus years, she has found the stored belongings of Japanese residents of the area who were taken to internment camps after the attack on Pearl Harbor.

The news has Henry thinking back to those days when he was eleven years old and struggling with his place in this wartime world where the slant of your eyes and the color of your skin could make you a target.

The author does an insightful job of weaving his WWII tale of growing up in a strict Chinese family. Henry faces conflicts with his father, children at the “white” school and his former classmates at the Chinese school. His life seems dismal, and then he meets Keiko, a fellow scholarship student at the school.

The only problem is that Keiko is Japanese, and his father hates all the Japanese people because of their invasion of China.  Henry’s father makes him wear a button that states “I am Chinese” on it,  Whether it was for his protection so he wouldn’t be labeled as Japanese or because of his father’s hatred for the Japanese people or not, Henry detested wearing it.

The story painted a raw, detailed portrait of life for immigrants in this country; and especially for Japanese-Americans as they were forced to leave everything behind and were taken hundreds of miles away from their homes until after the war ended.  The conditions they lived under at the internment camps is a terrible stain on the history of the United States.

The story jumps back and forth between the 1980s and the 1940s as Henry tries to mend his relationship with his son as he searches for a treasure from his past.

This is a story of families, of different cultures, of generational conflict, of love, of loss and of prejudice.  I would recommend it to readers who like historical fiction, romance, and stories set in the WWII era.