A murder mystery with a twist The Tenant was thoughtfully written and engages the reader with each page that is turned. When Gregers Hermansen wakes up on a regular Wednesday morning he decides to take his trash out however what Gregers doesn’t realize is that he will discover his biggest nightmare. As Gregers shuffles down crooked steps he realizes a door to a neighboring tenants home is open so he does what any concerned neighbor would do and pushes the door open. Instantly Gregers regrets prying the door open due to his old aging body he loses his balance and falls to the ground. Gregers is stuck and in the midst of trying to get up he looks down only to realize the large amounts of blood spread across the room and the body laying on the floor. Soon Gregers is discovered and is taken to the hospital while detectives Jeppe Korner and Anette Werner attend to the gruesome bloody scene. Jeppe and Anette make their first stop to the landlady who owns the building Esther de Laurenti. Esther is told the news and questioned about her whereabouts however Esther had heard nothing unusual and was baffled herself on the death in her building. After viewing the crime scene and sorting out who the tenants are it is made clear that the victim is Julie Stender. However the way she is murdered is like no other her killer made it clear that they wanted to draw attention to what they had done by leaving an intricate design carved into Julies face. Soon 1 victim becomes 2 and another tenant is also found dead but not before he becomes the main suspect to Julies murder. Kristopher comes into play as he was the last person to have seen Julie alive in fact he was following her the night she was murdered he was just feet away from her door. Kristopher was a singing instructor and was good friends with Esther however he had begun to have feelings for Julie and when she blew him off the night that she died she had just left a party and Kristopher followed her home hoping to somehow get her attention one more time. But when Kristopher sees a light appear in her house he immediately thinks there is someone else in the picture so he leaves. So did Kristopher murder Julie in spite of her possible new lover? After doing a sweep of Julie’s home there is no evidence left behind the killer was smart but he did leave a perfect hand print that was coated in cornstarch from the gloves worn while killing Julie. But why have a perfectly clean crime scene and leave a handprint? After getting a confirmation on the handprint being 100% Kristophers, Anette and Jeppe head over to arrest him the evidence points to him, it has to be him. As Anette and Jeppe arrive at the theater that Kristopher works at they both are shocked to find him hanging lifelessly on the chandelier above the theater. So many question marks are displayed on everyone’s faces why would he kill himself before being confronted? In all of this confusion Esther decided it is time to tell the truth, she killed Julie. As she calls Jeppe he is once again thrown a curveball. Esther did not physically kill Julie but she was an aspiring writer and had been writing a story and Julie happened to play the main character and she indeed dies in almost the exact way that she did in Esther’s story. But Esther hasn’t shared this story or well not to the world only in a writing group online which included Anna Harlov and Erik Kingo. So could they be the killers? With the many changes of suspects the reader learns the connection between Erik Kingo, Julie, Mr. Stender Julie’s father and Julies mystery boyfriend David Bovin. One night Esther had a get together with a few friends where she might have drank too much and revealed a little about her past childhood, she reveals that she had gotten pregnant young and her parents made her give up the child. I know what your thinking how does this tie into the murder well what Esther doesn’t know that night is the killer was at that party disguised. It isnt until the murder happens that Esther starts to think about Julies past and how they had shared similar traumas. Julie had slept with her teacher years ago and got pregnant and had to give up her child however what Julie never knew was her child was adopted and her grandfather happened to be Erik Kingo. Now to add another character David Bovin who was Julies secret boyfriend and a “work” friend of Julies father. Now David Bovin had a rough upbringing and happened to have always thought his birth mother abandoned him so when he heard Esther talk the night of her party he assumed she was his mother whom gave him up years ago however he wasn’t because Esther had given birth to a baby girl. In spite of Esther, David Bovin came up with a plan to seek revenge so he murdered Julie, he murdered Kristopher and he attempted to murder his mommy dearest Esther till she revealed the truth to him. So he then decided to go after Erik Kingo in the best way possible by taking his granddaughter in attempt he murdered Erik Kingo and David Bovin. Overall this novel had me turning each page trying to figure out who murdered Julie and why? I loved each character and felt like the novel was very well developed.
As I was walking down the aisles at Barnes and Nobles I stumbled upon Dear Edward, with its shiny gold BOOK CLUB sticker on it I decided it would be my next read. However what I didn’t know was the massive impact it would have on me. Dear Edward is a novel that revolves around twelve-year-old Edward Adler. Edward and is family are making a huge move to Los Angeles which is how they end up on an airplane with 183 other passengers. About half way to the destination the plane crashes leaving only one survivor Edward Adler somehow he is the only one alive. In this novel the reader really gets insight on what Edward feels throughout his journey of recovery not just physically but also mentally. When Edward is left without his sibling or parents custody is given to his aunt Lacey and uncle John. Edward awakens in the hospital trying to piece together the last moments of his life on the airplane. Shockingly Edward survived the plane crash with minimal injuries some bruised ribs and the most damaging area is his leg which he recovers from shortly and is released from the hospital. When Edward gets to Lacey and Johns home he is suddenly having to face the reality of his situation. Edward finds himself in a new room full of items that don’t belong to him and is wishing he could just be back in the hospital. But when Besa and her daughter Shay come knocking at the door Edward will soon find the comfort that he needs. Shay and Edward meet and Shay shares a story about Edwards brother Jordan and in that moment Edward is taken back to the crash. Edward constantly feels like it should have been his brother who survived not him and the reader really gets insight on were Edwards mind seems to wonder off to and the battle he has within. Edward finds himself at Besa’s front steps asking to speak to shay and once he makes his way to her room he is suddenly able to just be a normal kid. Not the “miracle boy” or the “lucky one” he gets to just be a normal boy. Edward finds comfort in speaking to Shay and soon finds himself sleeping in her room every night and creating an unspoken bond with her. Edward and Shay become each others savior throughout the book and soon Shay finds herself helping Edward face his new life. Edward soon realizes that his aunt and uncle are facing marital issues and can’t help but sense that it is his fault. Edward knows that his aunt had struggled with having multiple miscarriages but what he doesn’t know is she still is struggling, but is putting on a brave face to raise him. Throughout the novel the reader gets introduced to multiple people who were on the airplane with Edward and his family from the Afghanistan veteran on his way home from war to the unexpected mother to be. These passengers all belonged to a loved one whom they left behind and soon Edward is reading thousands of letters some from those loved ones and others are strangers whom offer Edward support. Edward is then once again transported back to the crash and finds himself wondering what everyone would want him to do. Ann Napolitano did an amazing job at introducing each character and telling their story in Dear Edward. The timelines did go back and forth from present day to before the airplane crash which i had no problem understanding. I loved every aspect of this novel along with each character. It truly captivated my heart and had me shedding some tears.
My first book to read for the year was The Whispers Of War by Julia Kelly I received an ARC from Gallery Books and Bibliofinder. I’ve started to be more and more of a historical fiction lover. The Whispers Of War did not disappoint one bit. It began with telling the story of three friends who go by the names of Nora, Hazel and Marie. These three childhood friends find themselves amongst the beginning of World War II. In the book the reader finds out the background of each women Nora who is a socialite and attends fancy balls and social outings. Hazel who works as a matchmaker and matches men and women who may have similar likings. Marie who was initially born a German but had been living in England since she was the age of 12. Throughout the book the three women hear more and more talk of the war and the internment camps. Marie is the one who is in true danger considering she was technically born a German and is an alien. When Marie becomes in danger of being taken to an internment camp the girls will do anything to protect her. Which then make the women think up an unimaginable plan in order to save Marie from the danger she may be in. During WWII the standards for a women was set and stone and they were not to be changed. However Nora, Hazel and Marie may just change the roles that women play. The whispers of War doesn’t have one timeline but two when Samantha is introduced as needing to travel back to England as a request from her deceased grandmother Marie. It is then that she meets Nora who sends Samantha back into time and tells a story of a lifetime. Along with Nora we see a romance start to blossom between Samantha and Noras Grandson. Overall The Whispers Of War was well written, I found the transitions from past to present flowed very well. I loved the fierceness of each women and the story behind them. I felt Julia Kelly dipped her feet into each section of the book equally love, war and sacrifices.
I don’t know if it is just me but 2019 went by so fast, I was lucky to have read some really great novels. However these two novels by Kristin Hannah really left a lasting affect on me. Both novels focus on a multitude of themes and emotions that really make the reader feel connected and part of both stories.
The Great Alone was the first book I read I had no clue what to expect from this novel I had only seen its beautiful cover all over social media. One day I stumbled into a thrift shop and saw the cover sitting on the shelf and immediately grabbed it and purchased it. I was completely taken by it in the first chapter and couldn’t put it down. The Great Alone is a novel written around a family of three Lenni being the daughter of Ernst and Cora Allbright. At the beginning of the novel the background of Ernst is briefly gone over and the reader gets a little glimpse of the PTSD that he suffers from. Ernst had come home from the Vietnam war and when he did things got dark and twisted in his mind. In 1974 the Allbright family is having trouble surviving due to Ernst not being able to keep a job. However when Ernst gets news that a buddy from the Vietnam war has left him a piece of land in Kaneq, Alaska he sees this as a fresh start and immediately packs the family up and moves to Alaska. However as good as things start out they easily begin to take a downhill spiral. The harsh living conditions that are presented to the Allbright family makes Ernsts PTSD worsen day by day and in all of this Lenni begins to see who her father really is. Cora keeps a brave face and tries to be as positive as she can and is constantly walking on egg shells unsure of when her husband might be triggered. Cora and Lenni begin to carry the weight around the house and start to meet friends the reader gets to experience the comfort and love from the community that surrounds the Allbrights. Lenni begins to create a bond with a boy named Matthew who she learns suffers from a harsh upbringing just as she does. Kristin Hannah somehow managed to create this wonderful novel in which two innocent children come together and with the damage and heartbreak that they both experience they find themselves creating a safe place in each others arms. I completely loved every aspect of this novel and the way the timeline flows so well, it is easy for the reader to be pulled in. I also felt like Kristin Hannah really dug deep into the depiction of Ernsts PTSD and really made the reader see him in different forms.
The Nightingale was another book I had no clue what to expect, I was aware it was set back into a different time period and I knew it was set in France. Two sisters Vianne and Isabelle must survive what will become the most terrifying time in each of their lives. Vianne is a mother and wife and her husband just leaves for the war. However Vianne has a positive mindset and does not think the Nazis will invade France. Not until she see the marching soldiers and gets a knock on her door from a German captain who demands she hands over her house or let him live with her. Vianne finds herself having to accept the captain in order to survive. On the other hand her sister Isabelle who is the polar opposite of Vianne and is extremely independent and knows she is destined for something great. However when she falls in love with Gäetan a man who is passionate about fighting the Nazis it is then that she sees him for what he is. Unfortunately Gäetan betrays her and she fuels her sadness and anger with the passion to rescue as many people as she can even if it means putting herself at risk. I loved the powerful emotions that were brought into each sisters heart along with the growth that came with each sisters struggle. Kristen Hannah takes the reader back into the time of WWII and shows the other side of the war, the war that women and children battled while their husbands and fathers were gone.
Both of these novels really stayed with me and that is why they are my top two reads of 2019, Kristin Hannah is an all around amazing author. If you are looking for a good read I highly recommend either one of them!
Hello and welcome to my blog! By now you should know that I am a lover of coffee just by my blog name and photo. No like really! I will drive an hour in San Diego traffic just to try a new coffee shop. I also love books my mother tells me when I was the young age of three I would tag along with her into what used to be called Borders and I would skim through whatever book I could find as she picked out hers that she was going to purchase. So reading I guess has always just been my thing, I love all genres and have found myself getting into young adult more and more as well as historical fiction. I hope if your visiting my page and reading my reviews you keep coming back and seeing whats new!