Review: Phoebe’s Light by Suzanne Woods Fisher

I’m not usually a historical fiction fan, but this book was terrific, with its focus on Nantucket and the Quaker religious sect. I grew up in Massachusetts, so reading this book put me back in grade school, on fun-filled field trips to Plymouth Rock, the whaling museum in New Bedford, and Sturbridge Village.

Phoebe isn’t your average young lady. She has a plan. The plan involves not hanging out with her poverty stricken dad who can’t finish a plan or a project. The plan involves not playing games with her childhood crush. The plan involves marrying a handsome, rich, prestigious Captain of a whaling boat.

Phoebe makes some headway on her plan, but the childhood crush crashes her party a couple times, and the Captain is much more (or way less) than he appears to be. Lucky for Phoebe, she has her great grandmother’s journal as her personal treasure map, leading Phoebe toward the light, the righteous, and the Divine. Phoebe takes her successes and multiplies them, much to the blessing of the rest of Nantucket.



Review: The Book of Summer by Michelle Gable

New England family saga set in a beach town – my cup of tea! Author Michelle Gable puts the reader on Cissy’s bicycle for a Nantucket journey through time. The Cliff House holds memories and secrets – and Gable does a phenomenal job weaving them together. With flashbacks to the 1940s, we find out what the Cliff House meant to Cissy’s mother … then fast forward to find out what makes it so hard for Cissy to leave. 

My favorites parts were the Bess parts. Love that Cissy’s daughter came to “save” her from herself -and Mother Nature.  Bess is a woman I can identify with – good head on her shoulders, self-reliant, smart. When she’s dealt a raw deal, Bess puts it aside to help her mom. And when high school ex boyfriend Evan comes into the picture, Bess lets herself lean on him just a little bit. 

I’m not a flashback kinda reader, so I wish this was actually two separate books. I loved the Ruby-Hattie friendship and the marriage issues described in the ’40s and could’ve read about that all day long.  I also totally enjoyed some of the contemporary romance going on in the 2010s – as well as the mother-daughter dynamic and the environmental issues that arose on the island cliffs. But mostly the romance. 🙂



Review: Beautiful Day by Elin Hilderbrand

beautifulI wasn’t going to review this one, even though I so enjoyed it. However….after my decision, I read the first few reviews listed on Goodreads….and I felt a bit irritated! So here I am….So many of the 2 star reviews were from people who have read Elin Hilderbrand in the past and just didn’t think this one was as good as the some others….several said, “good characters, good story, good writing, but I liked x or y better”…..So this kind of validates Margaret Mitchell and Harper Lee’s decision to never write a second book, eh? Ha Ha! I jest! I jest! Of course this isn’t a masterpiece. I’m not trying to imply that! I’m sure Hilderbrand didn’t mean for this to measure up to a renowned classic….My point is that, not all books are the same….not even the ones written by the same author! How boring would that be? Now, I confess….there are tons of books/authors just like that. I for one, usually grow tired of these very quickly. I guess some don’t….not only do they not grow bored, they almost expect it. Again, this is my first Hilderbrand novel…but if this is her worst….hey ho! I am so excited to read the others!

The second group of people who rated the book low were those that said the story was boring. That the characters were not likable….HELLO!!!!????? That’s exactly why I liked it. I confess (this is not the first time I’ve confessed this) I am not the biggest HEA fan. Life is NOT always a HEA ending wrapped up in huge pretty bow. Life is full of people just like those you will find in this novel. In real life, we often find ourselves out of sorts with those we love the most. To me, THAT is HEA!!!! When we can see something not pleasant about those around us….yet, at the end of the day….no matter how upset we are… matter how much something seemed so wrong….no matter how unattractive we found a trait in someone we love….well…at the end of the day, we still love them….we are still committed to them…..a place where we face our mistakes….and we pick up and we move on….NO ONE IS PERFECT!!!!! How frustrating would that be? I mean seriously….if my spouse (I love you, J.) were perfect, I can’t even begin to tell you how annoying that would be! There’s only room for one of us to be perfect! bwhahahhahaha…I jest I jest! Seriously though, isn’t it when we are at our maddest….our most annoyed….where we are looking at someone and wondering WTH did this person come from? and then something happens and we laugh….well….that is the times when we know it’s all worth it, isn’t it?

This is a story that takes place during the last few days before the wedding of a youngest daughter….The story is mostly told in the oldest daughter’s voice….but we also have many others that pick up the story as well….including a notebook left behind by a mother that passed away several years earlier….

There isn’t a person in this novel that I loved completely…..but they weren’t my family…..This novel shows us what *real* life is like….how special events bring together all sorts….You have extended families….you have broken families….you have personalities of all sorts…and for a few days….or a few hours….you throw them all together and then you are forced to sit back and pray for everything to go smoothly… very often does not! Here, Hilderbrand presents all of these personalities….often giving them a voice at some point….current spouses, past spouses, children, step children, absent parents, adulterers and innocent bystanders!

I loved this story simply because it didn’t have a clean HEA ending wrapped up in a clean bow. All of the story lines weren’t finished in the end….but we all know that some people live for drama and as their stories started long before the wedding, it’s only fair that they continue on indefinitely as well….I suppose that’s why I don’t care for so many HEA books…. I realise that some people need them in their life…they need everything to be settled and happy at the end…but my life has never been that way….I need to believe in a story a bit (yes, even the fantasy stuff I read from time to time)…..I believed in this one…..

okay….my rant is over…..I think you should give Hilderbrand a try….I know I shall be trying more of her books…..

Until next time….

Urania xx

Buy it now Beautiful Day by Elin Hilderbrand