Friday, April 13, 2018

Books, Books and More Great Books

I listened to two audio books in the last week and a half. Beneath a Scarlet Sky by Mark Sullivan and The Women in the Castle by Jessica Shattuck were both excellent books and I talked about them constantly with my family. I would highly recommend both books.

Beneath a Scarlet Sky by Mark Sullivan is based on the true story of Pino Lella. A bright teenager in Italy who loves to ski and hang out with his friends, he wants nothing to do with the Nazi who occupy his country. He's a trustworthy kid and soon he's enlisted to help the resistance. He will give up nearly all that he loves to fight against the Nazis. It's a moving and powerful book. There are a few issues with the writing style in the beginning but the books improves as it goes a long and it is definitely a valuable story from the Italian front of World War II.

Beneath a Scarlet Sky by Mark Sullivan was published by Lake Union in May 2017.

I knew absolutely nothing about The Women in the Castle before I started listening to it. I honestly thought it was a ghost story or a thriller. I was pleased to discover that it is historical fiction regarding three widows who live together in a Bavarian castle following World War II. Marianne von Lingenfels is the wife of a resister. Her husband and her closest friend were executed for their roles in an assassination attempt on Hitler. After the war, Marianne sets to find a rescue her friend's wife and son and the wives of the other men involved in the failed plot. Marianne, Benita and Ania and their children make their home in Marianne's castle while Germany tries to recover from the war.

The Women in the Castle by Jessica Shattuck is so emotional and so amazing. As it discusses morality, guilt, love and redemption, it is a powerful novel that I will not soon forget. The audio version was fabulous. Cassandra Campbell delivered a wonderful performance that gave the book the right atmosphere.

The Women in the Castle by Jessica Shattuck was published by William Morrow in January 2018.

Why Kill the Innocent by C.S. Harris is the newest mystery in the Sebastian St. Cyr series. I jumped into this without reading any of the previous novels. It was fine as a stand-alone. There's a lot of intrigue and twists in the story. Any number of individuals may have killed Jane Ambrose, the musician and piano teacher to the young Princess Charlotte. My favorite part was learning more of the history of Princess Charlotte and her intense parents--the Prince Regent and his despised wife Princess Caroline.

It's always a chance to read a book late in a series and not surprisingly I missed out on much of the characterization of the St. Cyr and his wife Hero that surely has happened in previous books. However, the mystery was fun and well plotted and learning more of the history was worth it.

Why Kill the Innocent by C.S. Harris is published by Berkley Publishing and released on April 3, 2018.

**I received a complimentary copy of the book. This review reflects my honest opinions. No compensation was received.**

Yesterday, I drove up to the Salt Lake Public Library for the semi annual used book sale. It's like Christmas for me. I went with a list of books that I wanted to buy (mostly books I listened to on audio or read on my kindle and loved enough to buy hard copies) and I only found one book from my list. However, I found lots of other books to enjoy. Now that I'm looking closely at the stack, I may actually own at least one of these books already. The book sale continues through this weekend.

1 comment:

Lindsey said...

I can certainly see how The Women in the Castle would be a great audiobook. There's so much to do with the different women's stories and personalities.

You got a great bunch of books at the book sale! Our local library book sale is coming up soon and I'm really excited to add some new books to my shelves. :)