Book review: What is Forgiven (The Anna Klein Trilogy Book 2) by C.F. Yetmen

  • What is Forgiven by C.F. Yetmen
  • Publisher:  Ypsilon & Co. Press
  • Date published:  September 5th, 2017
  • Pages:  367
  • Genre:   Historical romance / historical fiction / mystery / suspense

DESCRIPTION:

At the end of 1945 in a shattered Germany, Anna Klein is faced with tough choices about her future. Her plum job working as a translator for Captain Henry Cooper, one of the American Monuments Men, means she has a house and an income, as well as hands-on access to some of the world’s most precious art. But her life is falling apart on all fronts: her family is displaced, the boy in her care is being sought by authorities, and she must resolve to finally end her marriage. When she realizes that someone has tampered with two important paintings taken from a Jewish collector—paintings she was charged with safeguarding—Anna is determined to solve the crime. But without hard evidence and no motive, she can prove nothing and as State Department big wigs threaten to shut down the Monuments Men’s operation, she and her boss are under special scrutiny. As all signs begin to point to an inconvenient suspect in the crime, she has to play it by the book to keep her job and return the art to its rightful owner, if she can find him.

Buy the book:   Amazon
MEET THE AUTHOR:

C.F. YETMEN is a writer and consultant specializing in architecture and design.

She is co-author of The Owner’s Dilemma: Driving Success and Innovation in the Design and Construction Industry and a former publisher of Texas Architect magazine. The Roses Underneath is her first novel.

Connect with the author:  Website   Facebook   Twitter   goodreads

REVIEW:

This book is a sequel to The Roses Underneath where we continue to follow the activities of Anna Klein and Captain Cooper as they become unwittingly become embroiled in conspiracies involving a huge cache of stolen artwork they recently discovered in an abandoned farmhouse.

Anna’s life has taken on another element as she “adopts” a streetwise orphan boy.  Her home with her mother’s friend has been requisitioned by the army and she has two days to find somewhere to place her family.  Captain Cooper, not an army man per se, has “bucked the system” a few times too many and now the army has them both under surveillance.  Anna is beginning to feel the pressure and has doubts who she can really trust – the army – her new roommate – even Captain Cooper.  Her husband has been branded a “Commie” and is not welcome in Wiesbaden.  Anna is unwilling to return to the Russian held part of Germany.  Her love for her husband but her respect and admiration for Captain Cooper pull her in two directions.

An excellent follow through of Anna’s story and I can’t wait to read the third segment.  Kudos to a wonderfully talented debut writer!

Book review: The Roses Underneath by C.F. Yetmen

  • The Roses Underneath by C.F. Yetmen
  • Publisher:  Ypsilon & Co. Press
  • Date published:  January 28th, 2014
  • Pages:  411
  • Genre:   Historical romance / historical fiction

DESCRIPTION:

It is August 1945 in Wiesbaden, Germany. With the country in ruins, Anna Klein, displaced and separated from her beloved husband, struggles to support herself and her six-year old daughter Amalia. Her job typing forms at the Collecting Point for the US Army’s Monuments Men is the only thing keeping her afloat. Charged with securing Nazi-looted art and rebuilding Germany’s monuments, the Americans are on the hunt for stolen treasures. But after the horrors of the war, Anna wants only to hide from the truth and rebuild a life with her family. When the easy-going American Captain Henry Cooper recruits her as his reluctant translator, the two of them stumble on a mysterious stash of art in a villa outside of town. Cooper’s penchant for breaking the rules capsizes Anna’s tenuous security and propels her into a search for elusive truth and justice in a world where everyone is hiding something.

In her debut novel C.F. Yetmen tells a story of loss and reconciliation in a shattered world coming to terms with war and its aftermath.

Buy the book:   Amazon
MEET THE AUTHOR:

C.F. YETMEN is a writer and consultant specializing in architecture and design.

She is co-author of The Owner’s Dilemma: Driving Success and Innovation in the Design and Construction Industry and a former publisher of Texas Architect magazine. The Roses Underneath is her first novel.

Connect with the author:  Website   Facebook   Twitter   goodreads

REVIEW:

This novel was an expected pleasure to read.  The book centers around Anna Klein, a mother with a five year old daughter who has fled the Russian held sector of Austria/Germany where her husband, a country doctor and communist, has decided to remain.  Fleeing to American controlled Weisbaden to find find her mother’s best friend, Anna struggles with extreme poverty and  lack of food .

She finds a job working for the Monuments Men, men of different artistic disciplines who were drafted from the US to recover art treasures stolen by the Nazis. Because of her ability to speak English as well as her background in art, she is hired as a translator for Captain Cooper, an architect drafted into the army to assist in the recovery of the artwork.

Although this is a piece of historical fiction with a gripping storyline, we also become privy to the private sentiments of extreme guilt felt by some the German civilians, even non-Nazi supporters, who saw or didn’t quite understand what was happening during the ethnic cleansing.  Anna’s need to expunge her past and redeem herself became a very meaningful part of this story.

Despite the serious nature of the topic, I found myself flying through the pages.  An intelligent and absorbing storyline.

BOOK REVIEW: Letters from a Patchwork Quilt by Clare Flynn

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Book Details:

Book Title Letters from a Patchwork Quilt by Clare Flynn
Category:  Adult fiction, 360 pages
Genre:  Historical fiction
Publisher:  Cranbook Press
Release date:  September 24, 2015
Available for review in:  Print and ebook: mobi (for Kindle)
Tour dates: February 15 – 26, 2016
Content Rating: PG – 13 + M (sexual situations)

Book Description:

In 1875 England, a young man, Jack Brennan, from a large and impoverished Catholic family refuses to be pushed into the priesthood and runs away to fulfil his dream of becoming a teacher.

Jack falls in love with Eliza Hewlett, but his dreams and plans are thwarted when his landlord’s daughter, Mary Ellen MacBride, falsely accuses him of fathering the child she is expecting.

Rather than be forced to marry his accuser, Jack decides to run away to America with Eliza. Just as they are about to sail, Jack is arrested and dragged from the ship, leaving Eliza alone en route to New York with just a few shillings in her pocket.

Buy the book:   Amazon

PRAISE

“The story is different, original and touching. It’s interesting to read how the lives of Jack and Eliza unfold in different countries. The plot is powerful, the characters are well sketched, memorable, and their personalities will remain in the minds of readers even after they finish the story. It’s a story of love loss and tragedy; a heartbreaking and moving tale where readers will wish to see Jack and Eliza reunited and happy together. The narration is descriptive; it also speaks about the society that existed during that age and pulls readers into the story. It’s well written and the story is not predictable, making it a engaging read.” -Readers’ Favorite (5 Star Medal)

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

8151983Clare Flynn is also the author of A Greater World, set in Australia in 1920 and Kurinji Flowers, set in India in the 1930s and 40s. She is a graduate of Manchester University where she read English Language and Literature.

After a career in international marketing, working on brands from nappies to tinned tuna and living in Paris, Milan, Brussels and Sydney, she ran her own consulting business for 15 years and now lives in West London. Co-founder of the popular website, Make it and Mend it, and co-author of the 2012 book of the same name, Letters From a Patchwork Quilt is her third novel.

When not writing and reading, Clare loves to splash about with watercolours and grabs any available opportunity to travel – sometimes under the guise of research.

Connect with the author:     Website   Twitter   Facebook   Instagram   Blog   Goodreads   Pinterest

REVIEW:

What could be more intriguing that finding a letter stitched into the backing of a quilt?  Our curiosity is piqued when, under a magnifying glass the letters are unstitched from inside the quilt and the story unfolds.

Jack’s story begins in 1875 in Derby, England.  His very poor family intend for him to become a Catholic priest, sooner than later,  and as Jack has no ambition to become a priest he leaves for a teaching assignment in Bristol. Content with his new position and newfound love, Eliza it appears that his future prospects are well in hand.

Unaware of treachery brewing in the background, Jack falls victim to an unprincipled and unscrupulous priest who intends to ruin his life to protect his own reputation.  Jack and Eliza immediate make plans to leave for America, but at the last moment are separated.  Eliza, penniless, leaves for America alone.

The novel follows the storylines of both Jack and Eliza and what they must do to survive and move on with their lives.  Their love remains strong for each other even though they seem to be powerless to effect any change in their situation.  If you are looking for a light romance, this is probably not the story for you.  This book has its fill of plenty of tragedy and heartbreak. Personal weakness on Jack’s part as well as the methods used by the Catholic church to cover up wrongdoings of its priesthood arise time and again and you wonder, will things ever get any better?

This is not exactly a clean read, PG 13 + M.  The offensive subject matter is well within historical accuracy and has been inserted into the storyline for a reason.  Nonetheless, I found that the plot kept me interested until the last page.  Sorry, no spoilers!

Blog Tour Schedule

Monday, February 15
Review at Jorie Loves a Story
Review at Beth’s Book Nook Blog

Tuesday, February 16
Interview at Flashlight Commentary

Wednesday, February 17
Review at A Holland Reads
Review at With her Nose Stuck in a Book

Thursday, February 18
Interview at A Holland Reads

Friday, February 19
Excerpt at Layered Pages
Spotlight & Giveaway at Teddy Rose Book Reviews Plus More

Monday, February 22
Spotlight & Giveaway at Passages to the Past

Tuesday, February 23
Review at Back Porchervations
Spotlight at CelticLady’s Reviews

Wednesday, February 24
Review at Book Nerd
Excerpt & Giveaway at Let Them Read Books

Thursday, February 25
Review at A Silver Twig
Review at Author Dianne Ascroft’s Blog

Friday, February 26
Review at #redhead.with.book
Excerpt at Boom Baby Reviews

Book review: Mistress of the Court by Laura Purcell

Mistress-of-the-Court

 

  • Series: Georgian Queens
  • Paperback: 448 pages
  • Publisher: Myrmidon Books Ltd (August 4, 2015)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1910183075
  • ISBN-13: 978-1910183076

SYNOPSIS:

Orphaned and trapped in an abusive marriage, Henrietta Howard has little left to lose. She stakes everything on a new life in Hanover with its royal family, the heirs to the British throne. Henrietta’s beauty and intelligence soon win her the friendship of clever Princess Caroline and her mercurial husband, Prince George. But, as time passes, it becomes clear that friendship is the lastthing on the hot-blooded young prince’s mind. Dare Henrietta give into his advances and anger her violent husband? Dare she refuse?

Whatever George’s shortcomings, Princess Caroline is determined to make the family a success. Yet the feud between her husband and his obstinate father threatens all she has worked for. As England erupts in Jacobite riots, her family falls apart. She vows to save the country for her children to inherit – even if it costs her pride and her marriage. Set in the turbulent years of the Hanoverian accession, Mistress of the Court tells the story of two remarkable women at the centre of George II’s reign.

Buy the book:   Amazon  Amazon.uk

98XkSu2NMeet the author:   Laura Purcell is a writer, history fan and guinea pig lover living in Colchester. She is writing a series of novels about the women who loved (and hated!) the Hanoverian monarchs.

Connect with the author:

Website   Facebook    Pinterest   Twitter 

REVIEW:

Sometimes you just want to sit down with a really, really good book.  I enjoy historical fiction and was thoroughly engrossed in Mistress of the Court.  The book was well-written, the characters fully developed and the storyline easy to follow.

Henrietta is a noblewoman with no income or future, married to a drunken, abusive soldier. She is desperate to improve her life for both herself and her son and sells everything she has, including her hair to enable her to travel to the Hanoverian Court in Germany where, with time, she can earn enough for her freedom.  Soon she moves up from poor relation to the mistress of George, the future King.  She longs for security and love but the intrigues, false friends, backstabbing and powerplays create turmoil for Henrietta, who also fears the return of her physically and emotionally abusive husband.

The plot is written from the viewpoint of both Henrietta and Princess Caroline.  You are able sympathize with both women, each with her own internal struggle and ambition.  Their relationship is symbiotic yet simultaneously destructive.  Who will survive?

 

TLC

Book review: The Debt of Tamar by Nicole Dweck

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Book Synopsis:

Bestselling author Nicole Dweck brings to life one of history’s greatest yet overlooked stories of love and resilience.

In 2002, thirty-two-year-old Selim Osman, the last descendant of Ottoman Sultan Suleiman the Magnificent, flees Istanbul for New York. In a twist of fate he meets Hannah, the daughter of a Holocaust survivor and an artist striving to understand a father she barely knows. Unaware the connection they share goes back centuries, the two feel an immediate pull to one another. But as their story intertwines with that of their ancestors, the heroic but ultimately tragic decision that bound two families centuries ago ripples into the future, threatening to tear Hannah and Selim apart.

From a 16th-century harem to a seaside village in the Holy Land, from Nazi-occupied Paris to modern-day Manhattan, Nicole Dweck’s The Debt of Tamar weaves a spellbinding tapestry of love, history, and fate that will enchant readers from the very first page.

Buy the book:   Amazon     Barnes & Noble

Link to my review in The Jewish Voice 

About the author:

Nicole Dweck hd8f0b3_da3e4f98261f40c5b764ac27c550a320.jpg_srz_p_357_238_75_22_0.50_1.20_0olds a BA in Journalism and a Master’s Degree in Global Affairs from NYU. When The Debt of Tamar, her debut novel, was self-published, it was a USA Today bestseller and received honorable mention in Writer’s Digest’s Self-Published Book Awards. She lives in New York City with her husband and their son.

Connect with the author:    Website     Facebook

REVIEW:

As I finished reading the last page of The Debt of Tamar, I had goosebumps.  A good story will draw you in and touch you emotionally and this book did exactly that.  Nicole’s poetic and descriptive writing transports you directly into the scenes of her characters.  You become a personal spectactor in her story.  Her narratives are simply beautiful.

The storyline begins in 1544 in Portugal with Dona Antonia, Jose and Reyna. Fearing for their lives, they must flee the Inquisition.  Their story then picks up in Istanbul where their lives become intertwined with the Sultan of the Ottoman Empire.  After an interval of 400 years, the thread of the story emerges in Paris, France and later returns to Istanbul. You are curious as to exactly how the storylines of the two families, one Jewish and one Muslim will finally meet and bring a debt or release to a final close.

One of my favourite passages in the book:

Through it all, the very same sun and moon and stars never wavered, never once failed to rise and fall and shine their light upon the world.  And though mankind itself had run amok, the universe never once collapsed in on itself.

As a history buff, I enjoy good historical fiction.  Nicole ranks along some of my other favourite authors such as Indu Sundaresan.  I look forward to reading more of Nicole’s work in the future.