Mailbox Monday is the gathering place for readers to share the books that came in their mailbox during the last week. Warning: Mailbox Monday can lead to envy, toppling TBR piles and humongous wish lists.Well here it is Monday once again! This past week I received the following advance titles for review through NetGalley:
By Kelly Romo
Lake Union Publishing
Publication Date: November 17, 2015
Set against the backdrop of the 1935 world’s fair, Whistling Women explores the complex relationships between sisters, the sacrifices required to protect family, and the devastating consequences of a single impulsive act.
Kelly Romo’s assured and compelling debut novel, Whistling Women (Lake Union; November 17, 2015), takes readers back in time nearly a century to an America where economic pressures and shifting societal norms were shaping a new world. Centered on two indomitable female characters—a long absent aunt and the niece she never knew she had—this wholly original historical novel brings to life San Diego, circa 1935, as its dazzling world’s fair provides the backdrop for a story of family, fidelity, and the choices women have been forced to make to protect themselves and those they love.
After a life of downturns and narrow escapes, Addie Bates has found refuge in an unusual place. The Sleepy Valley Nudist Colony, north of San Francisco, is the brainchild of Heinrich, a German naturist with forward thinking ideas. To promote the benefits of his lifestyle—and the money that would come with an increase in visitors—Heinrich transports the colonists south to San Diego, where they will be an “exhibit” at the California Pacific International Exposition. Addie is reluctant to go, not out of any sense of modesty, but because she has a secret past connection with the city. She moved there as a teenage orphan to live with her then newly married sister, Wavey. Wavey—who for years returned Addie’s letters unopened until the younger sister finally gave up writing—still lives there. With trepidation, Addie hopes for a reconciliation.
What Addie does not know is that Wavey has not one daughter, as she remembers, but two. Rumor, the younger girl, is spirited and inquisitive, and when she encounters the stranger at the door who bears a striking family resemblance, she is intent on figuring out who this stranger is. But, Wavey refuses to tell her daughters anything or even admit that she has a sister. Determined to discover the truth, fifteen-year-old Rumor resorts to petty subterfuge in an effort to piece together the puzzle of the past. What she does not know, and no one is ready to tell her, is that Addie’s transgressions extend to the greatest sin of all: murder.
Steeped in meticulous research that brings Depression-era San Diego and the wonders and oddities of its famed world’s fair to life, and told with great poignancy and candor, Whistling Women underscores the limited choices that women had, not so long ago, in charting their own destinies.
My Name Is Lucy Barton
By Elizabeth Strout
Random House Publishing Group
Publication Date: January 5, 2016
A new book by Pulitzer Prize winner Elizabeth Strout is cause for celebration. Her bestselling novels, including Olive Kitteridge and The Burgess Boys, have illuminated our most tender relationships. Now, in My Name Is Lucy Barton, this extraordinary writer shows how a simple hospital visit becomes a portal to the most tender relationship of all—the one between mother and daughter.
Lucy Barton is recovering slowly from what should have been a simple operation. Her mother, to whom she hasn't spoken for many years, comes to see her. Gentle gossip about people from Lucy's childhood in Amgash, Illinois, seems to reconnect them, but just below the surface lie the tension and longing that have informed every aspect of Lucy's life: her escape from her troubled family, her desire to become a writer, her marriage, her love for her two daughters. Knitting this powerful narrative together is the brilliant storytelling voice of Lucy herself: keenly observant, deeply human, and truly unforgettable.
And, after reading Sealed With A Loving Kiss By Ellie Dean last week, I decided to purchase a few similar WWII titles set in England: