Review: Lost Roses by Marth Hall Kelly

Review by Karen B.

Overall this book got an 8/10

Lost Roses is the Sequel to Lilac Girls

Lost Roses by Martha Hall Kelly takes place in the years just before, during and after World War I. The book follows 3 women- Eliza, a New York heiress, Sofya a cousin of Tsar Nicholas II and Varinka a Russian peasant. Friends Eliza and Sofya are in St Petersburg just before the war breaks out. When Eliza leaves to return to New York Sofya and her family are unable to leave Russia and are forced to retreat to their country home outside St Petersburg. While there Sofya hires Varinka to work for the family and care for her young son, Max, a decision that has unforeseen consequences. Meanwhile, Eliza works in New York to assist Russian’s who have managed to escape the war torn country. When all contact with Sofya stops, Eliza is worried for her safety and works to uncover the mystery of what happened to Sofya and her family. Lost Roses travels from the court of Tsar Nicholas II to the wilderness of the Russian forests and from New York society to the streets of Paris. Eliza, Sofya and Varinka all deal with personal challenges, difficult decisions and heartbreak as they face the many casualties of war and find their lives intertwining in unexpected ways.

Lost Roses is the story of 3 young women during World War I. It is a prequel to Lilac Girls and is the story of Eliza Ferriday, the mother of Caroline, a character in Lilac Girls. The other 2 main characters are Sofya, a relative of the Tsar, and Varinka, a young Russian peasant girl. Lost Roses was slow to get started as each of the 3 characters’ stories are developed. However once the story starts to unfold it was a quick read. The book has a strong sense of place that contributes to each of the 3 main story lines. The setting includes the Russian royal court, Southampton and the streets of New York and Paris. This book would be perfect for fans of historical fiction and of course for the many readers who loved Lilac Girls.

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Review: Stay Up with Hugo Best By Erin Somers

Review by Lee. E

Stay up with Hugo Best, by Erin Somers, is a tale of a young wanna-be comedienne (June) who gets tangled up with her former boss and TV-icon, Hugo Best.  He spies her doing stand-up in a dank club after his retirement party, invites her to his house in Connecticut, and she agrees to go.  They spend the long Memorial Day Weekend together in his glass house that overlooks acres upon acres and hangar full of cars, with his teenage son, and their housekeeper, Ana. After a fateful night on his boat, June learns that she’s no different than any other woman who has ever been in Hugo’s life…other than his mother.

          This novel left something to be desired…like a moving plot.  The tale was so stagnant that it gave me a headache each time I tried to get into it.  The reader is bombarded with so much minute detail about every scene that the natural dialogue and minimal forward motion of the story get lost.  Connecting with a character never happened, so I found myself not really caring what happened between June and Hugo.  Not being able to get into the book, I skipped to the end and was not at all surprised by it.  Typical “crush on your boss, he uses you, you get tossed aside” novel with no heartstrings attached…for the reader or for Hugo. 

Have you read this title? What did you think? Leave your comment below. If this is something you’d like to read let me know and I can order it for you or you can check out the links in the shop tab for audio/e-book versions.

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Review: To Keep The Sun Alive

ARC reviewed by Miranda K.

            Caprichos Books gave me the opportunity to read an advanced copy of “To Keep the Sun Alive,” By Rabeah Ghaffari.  This book takes place on the eve of the Iranian Revolution and is based around a large family who are evaluating their place within the ever changing society in which they live. When Shazdehpoor, the family patriarch, reminisces about a time 30 years prior each of these character’s differences plays out.

            Out of this large family there are two brothers, Madjid and Jamsheed, who are the son’s of Shazdehpoor and reject everything that he believes in. These two brothers grew up having strong opinions for themselves which lead them to good and bad choices.  Madjid is a beginning university student who is looking to use his education to help his country in the future. Jamsheed is the brother who is absent from the family most of the time due to his opium addiction. When a fight breaks out in the street between two men, one of them ends up dead. These two brothers end up coming together by taking the side of the man who killed his foe. The fight within the town streets creates a rift within the community. This sets off the political groups and they are torn between which side to choose. Throughout all of this, there is a beautiful love story happening between Nasreen and Madjid.

Nasreen and Madjid’s love story plays out over time. From the first time they saw each other, to their secret love meetings, it shows just how intense their love is for each other. This love affair is rejected by Shazdehpoor and is one of the many things that pairs the family against each other. All this is going on as the revolution begins, which brings a divided family tragic results.

            In Ghaffari’s debut novel, it shows the choices of people of power and how these decisions shape one’s character and the effects it has on those around them. I really enjoyed this book but for me it took a little while to get thru with its heavy storyline and making sure I was following each characters story. I recommend this book to anyone who enjoys reading historical fiction or just wants to try a new genre!

In Stock now at Caprichos Books

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