Book Review: The Address (Fiona Davis) @FionaJDavis @DuttonBooks

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The Dollhouse by Fiona Davis was a book that I had seen over and over again in the past year, so, when I found out that Davis had her sophomore novel, The Address, publishing this month, I added it to my top of my TBR pile and hopped on the Fiona Davis bandwagon.

I do not read a ton of historical fiction so I wasn’t sure what to expect; however, when I started reading, I quickly discovered that Fiona Davis is a masterful storyteller with the capability to completely entrance her reader.

I was transported back to 1884, where, after a chance run in with a wealthy American family, Sara decides to back up her life and move to America to be the head of house at The Dakota. Flash-forward about a hundred years, in the autumn of 1985, Bailey is out of rehab, fired from her job and without anywhere she goes. In a panic, she turns to her cousin and finds herself in The Dakota.  The novel goes back and forth between these perspectives where Davis weaves a tale of love, the quest for success and betrayal within one of New York’s most famous residences.

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Book Review: See What I Have Done (Sarah Schmidt) @groveatlantic ‏

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I had heard of Lizzie Borden before but had never really given much thought to her actual trial until I began See What I Have Done by Sarah Schmidt. One of #cjsreads first August picks, I wasn’t 100% sure what to expect when I dove into this book. Generally speaking, I enjoy historical fiction but struggle when it has a mystery/thriller angle. I don’t know what it is about them, but they all feel a little “Sherlock Holmes” to me. However, with a cover quote by Paula Hawkins stating this book was “eerie and compelling” I was intrigued right away.   I would have to say that I agree with Hawkins on this one; See What I Have Done had an ominous vibe throughout.

Opening with Lizzie discovering her father dead in his study and going back and forth between the day of the murder and the days prior, the investigation into the murder begins and it doesn’t take long for Lizzie to be at the center when she begins to seem unreliable and struggles to remember events of the day. With her sister by her side and the police closing in, the novel is narrated through multiple character perspectives including a stranger and a housemaid.

The first thing that stood out for me while I was reading was how irritated I was with the multiple character perspectives. I didn’t care for the various POVs; I felt like I wanted to hear the story through the eyes of Lizzie and all the other characters felt a little bit irrelevant to me. I know they all played their role but I think I would have been completely consumed with the plot should it had been through Lizzie’s unreliable narration. I love me an unreliable narrator!

I was impressed with how Schmidt was able to take a real scenario and turn it into a fictionalized account without making it seem over-embellished or too far-fetched. I feel like it was kept realistic and took more of a rational approach. This was a smart decision on Schmidt’s part. I felt like I was truly reading more a “true crime” story instead of a work of fiction.

Overall, I felt like this was an entertaining read but, like some other historical mysteries, I found this one to be quite slow moving. If you are at all interested in Lizzie Bordon, this will obviously appeal to you and I also feel like fans of true crime will have a special interest in this tale. However, if you are looking for something incredibly fast paced, then I would skip this one!

Thanks to the publisher and the author for a copy of this book; it was my pleasure to provide an honest review.

Want to know what Chandra and Jessica thought of this one?  Keep reading to see what the other members of #cjsreads had to say about See What I Have Done!

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Book Review: Are You Sleeping (Kathleen Barber) @katelizabee @GalleryBooks

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Last night, I finished one of my favourite reads of the summer (so far!)

Are You Sleeping, by Kathleen Barber, was one of my most anticipated psychological thrillers for August and I had been reading rave reviews about this one all over the place. Now that I finished, I completely understand why. Fast paced and intricate, this one had me on the edge of my seat.

Josie and her boyfriend Caleb are living a blissful life in New York when a podcast, investigating a decade old murder case, begins to shatter everything.   Josie, the daughter of the victim, has spent most of her life trying to escape her family’s reputation and move past this tragedy (even going as far to changing her name) but old wounds are torn open rapidly as the podcast’s popularity increases and, soon, Jo finds herself back at home confronting her past. As Josie begins to question everything, she finds herself colliding with her twin sister Lanie, a girl whose sole testimony put a man in jail. Has Josie’s life been built on a lie? And can she move past them?
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Book Review: The Marsh King’s Daughter (Karen Dionne) @KarenDionne @PutnamBooks

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So many books are releasing in June that I have been highly anticipating.

The Marsh King’s Daughter, by Karen Dionne, was one of them!

I first saw this book back in January and knew I would have to read it immediately. The synopsis even gave me (the lover of all things skin-crawly and creepy) the “heebie jeebies”.

When a notorious child abductor, known as The Marsh King, escapes from prison, Helena knows her family is in danger.  For what no one knows, not her husband or her children, is that she has many secrets from her childhood.  No one knows that she was born in captivity.  No one knows she had no contact with the outside world until she was twelve.  No one knows she is The Marsh King’s Daughter and that he taught her how to be a killer.  And now, her target is him.

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