I’m starting a fan club for Susan Meissner. Who wants in!? Ever since I read ‘Nature of Fragile Things’ when it first published and then zoomed with Susan with @mommaleighellensbooknook (#mommaleighellensbookclub) I have been a huge fan. Great news is it just recently released to paperback if you haven’t read it yet!
Slowly but surely, with @ buddy reads I have been making my way through her backlist. We’ve read As Bright as Heaven, A Fall of Marigolds, Secrets of a Charmed Life, and Stars over Sunset Boulevard. This month we are reading A Bridge Across the Ocean.
A Fall of Marigolds
A Fall of Marigolds is a dual timeline which is my absolute favorite style of historical fiction. We begin in 1911 out in Ellis Island meeting nurse Clara Wood who is quietly cares for the the immigrants that have falling ill with scarlet fever. Quiet people are always hiding something! Then in 2011 we meet widow Taryn Michaels who works in a fabric store. She seems distracted and bothered by something. Her storyline flashes back to the attacks on 9-11. Both women have faced tragedy and immerse themselves in their work as a distraction. A unique scarf ties these two timelines together. I really enjoyed this story, but wanted more of Taryn’s storyline. The stories felt unbalanced, slightly. ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
Secrets of a Charmed Life
This story begins in the present day with a journalist interviewing Isabel MacFarland; an elderly woman, finally ready to give up secrets about the war she kept for decades…beginning with who she really is! The interview takes us back to the 1940s in England just as Hilter is waging war against London. Most of the children are forced to flee and are taken in by families out in the countryside where it’s deemed safe. Fifteen year old Emmy and her younger sister Julia find refuge in Cotswold with a nice family. That is until Emmy’s ambition to be a designer brings her back to the city. I haven’t read a lot of historical fiction about the Blitz and man did this one tear at my heart strings. It’s everything I want in a HF…dual timeline, strong characters I care about, and an interesting topic where I might learn a thing or two. Absolute perfection! ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
Stars Over Sunset Boulevard
I found Stars Over Sunset Boulevard to be slightly different then the author’s usual books. I felt like this one was more like women’s fiction in a historical time period. Mind you that didn’t make me love it any less. 1938 - Violet Mayfield has moved from the south to Los Angelos after landing a job to be a secretary on the Gone With The Wind set. She meets Audrey Duvall, a once rising star, who is also a secretary and they become roommates and best friends. The present day storyline connects the past by an iconic hat from the Gone With The Wind Set. This story is full of secrets, trials & tribulation and most of all friendships. ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️