Thursday, October 19, 2017

Review and Giveaway: "The Murderer's Maid" by Erika Mailman

Synopsis: The Murderer’s Maid interweaves the stories of two women: one, the servant of infamous Lizzie Borden, and the other a modern-day barista fleeing from an attempt on her life.

Trapped by servitude and afraid for her own safety, Irish maid Bridget finds herself an unwilling witness to the tensions in the volatile Borden household. As Lizzie seethes with resentment, Bridget tries to perform her duties and keep her mouth shut.

Unknowingly connected to the legendary crime of a century ago, Brooke, the illegitimate daughter of an immigrant maid, struggles to conceal her identity and stay a jump ahead of the men who want to kill her. When she unexpectedly falls in love with Anthony, a local attorney, she has to decide whether to stop running and begin her life anew.

With historical detail and taut, modern storytelling, Erika Mailman writes a captivating novel about identity, choices, freedom, and murder. She offers readers a fresh perspective on the notorious crime and explores the trials of immigrants seeking a better life while facing down fear and oppression, today and throughout history. Intelligent and detailed, The Murderer’s Maid is a gripping read from beginning to bloody conclusion.

My Thoughts: Lizzie Borden is such a fascinating figure that I couldn't resist reading this book. I found this story to be completely riveting.  The story also was kind of creepy.  I don't think anyone can not be weirded out by the Borden story but the descriptions of Lizzie were especially creepy.  This made it the perfect read for this time of year.

The story was told from several different perspectives which made for a really interesting look at what was happening in both the past and present.  The events occurring in the Borden house were seen mostly through the eyes of the family maid, Bridget.  I really loved Bridget.  I admired her strength and willingness to stay working with the family despite their oddities.  She had an interesting background and her perspective on the events kept me flipping pages as fast as I could.  I also really liked Brooke's story in the present.  Brooke was an amazing character and she really made the story.  I think the author did an excellent job of mixing the past and present stories together and creating a really cohesive tale.

I always love a good author's note at the end of a book and I really appreciated the extra details as well as the author's opinion on the murders. I've been in a reading funk for a while and it was nice to read something so engrossing.  This was a really great read and I hope to see more from Ms. Mailman in the future. 4 stars.

About the Author:
 Erika Mailman is the author of The Witch’s Trinity, a San Francisco Chronicle Notable Book and Bram Stoker Award finalist, and Woman of Ill Fame, a Pushcart Press Editor’s Book Award nominee. She’s a Yaddo fellow and lives in Northern California with her family.

For more information, please visit Erika Mailman’s website. You can also find her on Facebook, Twitter, and Goodreads.

I received this book from HFVBT in exchange for an honest review.

Monday, October 9, 2017

Mailbox Monday (79)

It's Monday again and I'm linking up with Mailbox Monday today.

It's a very busy Monday for me as it's time for university students to start enrolling.  My job is to help them pick the right classes so things will be hectic for the next few weeks.

My reading is slow.  I'm slogging through a review book right and I'm hoping I can just get it done this week and move on.  I hate not finishing books so I'm trying to put in the effort to get through it.

I got a few fun books from the library this week.  I can't wait to dive in.

This is the only book of his I haven't read yet and I'm really looking forward to it.

This song irritates me so much but I really enjoy this author's books so I thought I would check this one out.
Her Christmas books are the best!
This is a new to me author but I'm in love with the house on the cover!

What books did you get this week?

Saturday, October 7, 2017

September 2017 Wrap Up

I know I'm late to the party with my September wrap up but I wanted to post it anyway.  

September was a better reading month for me and we took a bookish family trip!  My family and I met my mom in Mansfield, Missouri and went to the Laura Ingalls Wilder museum and Wilder Days event.  It was so neat!  

We got to tour the farm house at Rocky Ridge farm, the Rock House that Laura's daughter Rose had built and the museum.  There was a lot to see and I was so glad we went.  I wouldn't mind going back when it's less busy so I can get a better look at some things.  I absolutely loved the Rock House!  It's about a mile and half from the farm house and museum and the view is spectacular.  It was so peaceful and beautiful; I would have happily lived there.

I read more books than I have in the past couple months.  I got through seven books!  I know that's not much but I have barely been able to get six books read in a month lately.  I am really behind on my reading goal for the year and I'm pretty sure that I'm not going to make it to 100 this year and I'm kind of sad about it.  I have read 61 books and I don't think I can fit 39 more books into the next three months.  So boo.  It's been kind of a crazy year so I guess I shouldn't be too hard on myself about it. 

I read the following books in September:

4.) Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix by J.K. Rowling
6.) By the Shores of Silver Lake by Laura Ingalls Wilder
7.) The Long Winter by Laura Ingalls Wilder

My September reading stats:

-7 books read
   - 0 non-fiction
   - 5 historical fiction
   - 4 review books
   - 3 library books
   - 0 books I own
   - 7 ebooks

I'm hoping October will be even better!  How was your September?

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Mini Reviews (22)

This is one of my favorite books of the year.  Pevear and Volokhonsky (the best Russian translators!) have created a wonderful translation of Ms. Alexievich's amazing oral history.  The author interviewed Soviet women who fought in World War II and recorded their stories.  These stories were beautiful and heart-breaking and such an eye-opening look at the Soviet experience in World War II.  The translators did such a good job and making it seem as thought the book was written in English; it wasn't choppy or weird, it flowed exactly as it should.  I would highly encourage anyone interested in this part of history to read this book.  I will definitely be buying a copy for my home library.  5 stars.

I have such a love/hate relationship with this author but I can't turn down a book on the Grey sisters.  I find them to be so fascinating!  That being said, the whole section on Lady Jane Grey was rough.  Jane was completely insufferable and I just did not like her at all.  The rest of the story that focused on Katherine and Mary was pretty good.  I can't help but feel sympathy for those two because their lives could not have been easy and I enjoyed Ms. Gregory's portrayal of them.  Overall, this was an okay read if you can get past the sections on Jane. 3 stars.

I love this author and I love this series.  The Library of Light and Shadow is a wonderful addition to the Daughters of La Lune series.  Delphine Duplessi is the main focus of this novel and I think she is my favorite so far.  Her gift is so unique and I really liked reading about her regular art as well as her shadow art.  In addition to Delphine's art, the story surrounding the search for Flamel's book kept me reading as fast as I could.  This was a delightfully magical mystery and I highly recommend this series. 4 stars

I received all of the above books from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Sunday, October 1, 2017

Mailbox Monday (78)

 Happy Sunday everybody!  September is over and I can hardly believe it.  It seems as though the month has flown by.  Now I'm excited for fall and all of the upcoming holidays.  October is the start of my favorite time of year and I'm hoping there will be plenty of room for reading in between all of the upcoming events.

I requested some new holiday books from the library and had no idea all of my holds would come in at once so I need to get moving on these.  I'm really excited to dig into some sweet, fluffy reads and these will do just the trick.

From the Library:

This is the fourth book in a series that I really enjoyed so I'm eager to get started on it.

I was so intrigued by the cover on this one that I had to pick it up.

For Review (from NetGalley):

 I really need to stay away from review books for a while but I can't say no to anything about Anastasia.
I hope y'all have a great week!

I Was Anastasia
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