Monday, March 1, 2021

the books I read in February


Happy Monday, friends! I am linking up with Tanya from The Other Side of the Road for this weekly blog post linkup. Since my weekend was pretty uneventful, I thought I'd make today's post about the books I read this month. 

I read four books in February. First up is Sunshine Sisters by Jane Green. ⭐⭐

Here is how the book is summed up on GoodReads—

Ronni Sunshine left London for Hollywood to become a beautiful, charismatic star of the silver screen. But at home, she was a narcissistic, disinterested mother who alienated her three daughters.

As soon as possible, tomboy Nell fled her mother's overbearing presence to work on a farm and find her own way in the world as a single mother. The target of her mother s criticism, Meredith never felt good enough, thin enough, pretty enough. Her life took her to London and into the arms of a man whom she may not even love. And Lizzy, the youngest, more like Ronni than any of them, seemed to have it easy, using her drive and ambition to build a culinary career to rival her mother's fame, while her marriage crumbled around her.

But now the Sunshine Girls are together again, called home by Ronni, who has learned that she has a serious disease and needs her daughters to fulfill her final wishes. And though Nell, Meredith, and Lizzy are all going through crises of their own, their mother's illness draws them together to confront old jealousies and secret fears and they discover that blood might be thicker than water after all.

Out of five stars, it gets two and only because once I FINALLY got into it, I couldn't wait to see what train wreck was going to happen next. I have read several books by this author and liked her before this book, but this one was not my favorite. Oddly enough, one of my favorite books I read a few years ago was by her—her book Falling. 

Next up was Frontier Follies by Ree Drummond. ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Oh, I loved this book! First off, I have read Ree's blog ever since way before the Food Network ever discovered her. Then the Food Network started airing her show and I used to love watching it with the boys as part of our homeschool day once a week. We'd usually go concoct something in the kitchen right after an episode. I owned her first cookbook, but loaned it to someone and never had it returned. (Lesson well learned.) Nobody inspires me to cook like Ree Drummond, aka The Pioneer Woman. This book was so good and is filled with tales from her life on the ranch as an accidental cowgirl. She talks of her husband Lad, her four kids that she homeschooled and her newest bonus son and life with kids that have grown up and flown the coop. I laughed my way though it and got teary a time or two as she talked of the circle of life and saying goodbye to her beloved mom-in-law Nan. I cannot recommend this book enough.

Next up was The Bookshop on the Corner by Jenny Colgan. ⭐⭐⭐

Here is a synopsis from GoodReads—

Nina Redmond is a literary matchmaker. Pairing a reader with that perfect book is her passion… and also her job. Or at least it was. Until yesterday, she was a librarian in the hectic city. But now the job she loved is no more.

Determined to make a new life for herself, Nina moves to a sleepy village many miles away. There she buys a van and transforms it into a bookmobile—a mobile bookshop that she drives from neighborhood to neighborhood, changing one life after another with the power of storytelling.

From helping her grumpy landlord deliver a lamb, to sharing picnics with a charming train conductor who serenades her with poetry, Nina discovers there’s plenty of adventure, magic, and soul in a place that’s beginning to feel like home… a place where she just might be able to write her own happy ending.

I wanted to love this book. It seemed so good from the cover and the description inside and it was really good, mostly. My issue with it is that the book should have ended about a hundred pages before it actually ended. The main character was likeable and it was easy enough to get into, but some of the other characters left a lot to be desired, in my opinion.

Last up is a new-to-me author, All the Flowers in Paris by Sarah Jio. ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Once again, I'm deferring to GoodReads for their summary.

Two women are connected across time by the city of Paris, a mysterious journal, and shocking secrets, sweeping from World War II to the present--for readers of Sarah's Key.

When Caroline wakes up in a Paris hospital with no memory of her past, she's confused to learn that she's lived a sad, reclusive life for years in a sprawling apartment on the Seine. Slowly regaining vague memories of a man and young child, she vows to piece her life back together--though she can't help but feel she may be in danger. A budding friendship with the chef of a charming nearby restaurant takes her mind off of her foggy past, as does a startling mystery from decades prior...

In Nazi-occupied Paris, young widow Celine lives a quiet life with her father, the local florist, and her daughter, Cosi. When a ruthless German officer discovers the family's Jewish ancestry, he blackmails Celine, forcing her to become his mistress in exchange for the others' safety. The trio plans an escape, but their mission goes horribly awry and Celine's beloved father and daughter are sent away to a cruel fate. Initially distraught, Celine fears the worst. Yet she soon discovers that Cosi has snuck away and followed her into captivity. More motivated than ever, Celine must now fight to hide and protect the person she loves most.

Parallel timelines intersect when Caroline discovers Celine's diary tucked away in a closet, and it is revealed that the walls of her apartment harbor dark secrets. With the help of a local student from the Sorbonne, she realizes that she may have more in common with Celine than she could ever imagine.

I loved this book! It was very easy to get into and though it's told from differing perspectives and times, it was well written and not confusing at all. I'll be reading more books by this author, because I liked her writing style and the ability she has to tell a story. It grabbed me from page one, which is important to me. One of my life mottos is that life is too short to read mediocre books. 

Thanks for reading my blog! If you have book recommendations, I'd love to hear them. Love to all! 


Memphis Bridges said...

I am enjoying my Frontier Follies book, and once I get through the books I have on hand to read, All the Flowers in Paris sounds like a very interesting story. Have a good day!

Jennifer Goodwin said...

One thing I loved about Frontier Follies were the short chapters. The same is true for All the Flowers in Paris. I think you'll enjoy it, even though parts of it were hard to read. Thanks, Marilyn! You too. ❤️

Jennifer said...

I love good book reviews. I'm pretty sure I would love the Pioneer Woman's could you not??:) Hope you have a wonderful week ahead!! Happy Monday:)

Joanne said...

I just love that you used to cook together after watching a show as part of your homeschool! Looks like you read some really great books this month. I am reading a WWII novel right now with alternate timelines and points and view called The Winemaker's Wife-- I really enjoy those kinds of stories!

Tanya said...

I also have been reading Ree's blog since the very beginning. She's an inspiration. I want to read the Paris book...sounds good! Thanks for linking up with Hello Monday! Tanya - The Other Side of the Road

Jennifer Goodwin said...

Jennifer- you should check the book out! I think you'll love it, we seem to have the same taste! I agree, who doesn't look Ree? She's so endearing. Have a great week!

Jennifer Goodwin said...

Joanne- it will always be a favorite memory of mine. I miss those days! Thanks for that book recommendation, it sounds something I'd like as well! I hope you have a great week!

Jennifer Goodwin said...

Tanya- I think we've earned our spot in the early bloggers club! ;) I hope you like the book as much as I did, let me know what you think!

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