Tag: Books: First Reads

Review: Time and Regret (+ Excerpt + Giveaway)

Posted 1 September, 2016 by Lianne in Books / 7 Comments

Time and Regret
By: M.K. Tod
Format/Source: Paperback courtesy of the author as part of the Time and Regret France Book Tours

When Grace Hansen finds a box belonging to her beloved grandfather, she has no idea it holds the key to his past—and to long-buried family secrets. In the box are his World War I diaries and a cryptic note addressed to her. Determined to solve her grandfather’s puzzle, Grace follows his diary entries across towns and battle sites in northern France, where she becomes increasingly drawn to a charming French man—and suddenly aware that someone is following her…

Through her grandfather’s vivid writing and Grace’s own travels, a picture emerges of a man very unlike the one who raised her: one who watched countless friends and loved ones die horrifically in battle; one who lived a life of regret. But her grandfather wasn’t the only one harboring secrets, and the more Grace learns about her family, the less she thinks she can trust them.

Exciting, a new novel from M.K. Tod! I read her first two books (see author tag) as part of book blog tours in the past so naturally I jumped at the chance to read her latest novel and take part in this wonderful blog tour today. The premise of this novel is a bit different from her previous two, which particularly piqued my interest. This book was released on 16 August 2016. Included in this post are an excerpt from the book and details on how to enter for a chance to win a copy of this book!

Thank you to France Book Tours for letting me take part in the book tour for this novel.

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Review: The Crew

Posted 16 August, 2016 by Lianne in Books / 2 Comments

The Crew
By: Joseph Kessel
Format/Source: eARC courtesy of Pushkin Press via NetGalley

The crew of a French reconnaissance plane during WW1 consisted of just two men: a pilot and an observer. Two such men are Jean Herbillon and Claude Maury. Herbillon’s dreams of glory as an air ace have been dashed after only a few months at the front; Maury suffers from a broken heart–his only hope is that his exploits as a pilot will win back his lost love. Together the two form one of the best crews in the air, fighting in the first aerial conflict in history–one in which a combatant can count his life expectancy in weeks. The pressure of war forges a strong bond between the two flyers, but can it survive the discovery that they are both in love with the same woman?

Joseph Kessel’s autobiographical novel is a staggering tale of courage, brotherhood and loss.

I’ve becoming something of a fan of the classics that Pushkin Press have been publishing after reading Alexander Lerner-Holenia’s Mona Lisa (review) so I immediately requested an eARC of this title when I saw it on NetGalley. It’s something different, this time from French literature, and I had heard of the author in passing. Of course it was only afterwards that I learned that he’s quite the titan in modern French literature. I also learned an interesting piece of trivia: his nephew is author Maurice Druon (see author tag). Anyway, this book will be available on 16 August 2016.

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Review: Girl in the Afternoon

Posted 4 July, 2016 by Lianne in Books / 4 Comments

Girl in the Afternoon
By: Serena Burdick
Format/Source: eARC courtesy of St. Martin’s Press via NetGalley

The Savarays are at the center of bourgeois Parisian society, as supporters of the Impressionist movement, friends of Édouard Manet, and citizens relatively unaffected by the Franco-Prussian war raging beyond their estate – until their beloved adopted son Henri, a burgeoning artist, disappears early one morning and 18-year-old Aimee Savaray sets out to find him. But Henri doesn’t want to be found, and only one member of the family knows why. As Aimee seeks refuge in the art world, mentored by Manet, she unwittingly finds her way back to Henri. After so many years passed and secrets buried, their eventual reunion unmasks the lies that once held the family together, and now threaten to tear them apart.

Serena Burdick’s rich and opulent saga, Girl in the Afternoon, brings the Impressionists to life in this portrait of scandal, fortune, and unrequited love.

I believe I first encountered this book while browsing GoodReads one day but I didn’t quite check out what the book was about until I saw it on NetGalley. The premise was definitely my kind of read–Paris during the Impressionist movement, family drama, secrets–so I requested a copy to read for revew. This book will be available on 12 July 2016.

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Review: Mona Lisa

Posted 13 June, 2016 by Lianne in Books / 2 Comments

Mona Lisa
By: Alexander Lernet-Holenia, Ignat Avsey (Translation), Neil Gower (Illustrations)
Format/Source: eARC courtesy of the publishers via NetGalley

‘Love does not need any comforting. It does not even need requiting. All it needs is itself.’

Florence, 1502. Marshal Louis de La Trémouille’s small army has stopped off en route to Naples, to buy objects d’art for King Louis XII of France. Naturally, Leonardo da Vinci’s workshop is on the shopping list; and during their visit to his house, the young nobleman de Bougainville chances upon the not-quite-finished Mona Lisa. He promptly, utterly and hopelessly falls in love with the woman in the painting, and is determined to find her – despite rumours that she has long ago died. A visit to an empty tomb, assault upon an Italian nobleman’s mansion, duel and execution later, the secret of la Gioconda’s smile is (possibly) revealed.

An entertaining story, told with style – about love, life, art, and the Quixotic things that a man will do to realise his dream.

I found out about this novella whilst parusing through NetGalley a few months back (a dangerous activity–ended up requesting for a number of ARCs, lol!). I’m always open to checking out lesser-known authors and translated works and the premise of this title sounded really interesting. So I was quite delighted to learn that I was approved a copy of this book to read. This book will be available on 14 June 2016.

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Review: The Railwayman’s Wife

Posted 29 April, 2016 by Lianne in Books / 0 Comments

The Railwayman’s Wife
By: Ashley Hay
Format/Source: Advanced reading copy courtesy of Simon & Schuster CA

When Anikka Lachlan’s husband, Mac, is killed in a railway accident, she is offered—and accepts—a job at the Railway Institute’s library and searches there for some solace in her unexpectedly new life. But in Thirroul, in 1948, she’s not the only person trying to chase dreams through books. There’s Roy McKinnon, who found poetry in the mess of war, but who has now lost his words and his hope. There’s Frank Draper, trapped by the guilt of those his medical treatment and care failed on their first day of freedom. All three struggle to find their own peace, and their own new story.

But along with the firming of this triangle of friendship and a sense of lives inching towards renewal come other extremities—and misunderstandings. In the end, love and freedom can have unexpected ways of expressing themselves.

The Railwayman’s Wife explores the power of beginnings and endings, and how hard it can sometimes be to tell them apart. Most of all, it celebrates love in all its forms, and the beauty of discovering that loving someone can be as extraordinary as being loved yourself.

I honestly had not come across this title until Simon & Schuster CA kindly sent me a copy for review. The premise sounded interesting–three different people struggling to reconcile with their own griefs and experiences–and I don’t read very many novels either set in Australia or written by Australian authors so that was a bonus. This book was released on 05 April 2016.

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