Friday, May 11, 2018

Review: The Home for Unwanted Girls

The Home for Unwanted Girls The Home for Unwanted Girls by Joanna Goodman
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This book is based on the Duplessis Orphans, a truly dark period in the province of Québec, Canada. Approximately 20,000 orphaned children were falsely certified as mentally ill by the government of the province of Québec and confined to psychiatric institutions in the 50's and early 60's. Maurice Duplessis, premier of Québec at the time, signed an order-in-council, changing orphanages into hospitals in order to provide them with federal subsidies. The federal government contributions were only $1.25 a day for orphans, but $2.75 a day for psychiatric patients, offering a strong financial incentive for reclassification. Doctors falsely diagnosed the children with various mental illnesses while ignoring their actual mental state. Children in Québec orphanages were therefore declared "mentally deficient". Schooling stopped, and the orphans became inmates in a mental institution where they were sexually, physically, and mentally abused by lay monitors and nuns. Seven religious orders participated: the Sisters of Providence, the Sisters of Mercy, the Gray Nuns of Montreal, the Sisters of Charity of Quebec, the Little Franciscans of Mary, the Brothers of Notre-Dame-de-la-Misericorde, and the Brothers of Charity. (Adapted from Wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dupless...)

The Home for Unwanted Girls tells the story of Elodie who ended up in an orphanage after her fifteen-year-old mother, Maggie, was forced to give her for adoption by her family. Due to health issues, Elodie was never adopted and suffered the fate of many orphans during the Duplessis era. This is a story of courage, resilience and forgiveness. A must-read!

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Thursday, May 10, 2018

Review: Her Pretty Face

Her Pretty Face Her Pretty Face by Robyn Harding
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

What if you find out your best friend is not who she says she is? This is what Her Pretty Face by Robyn Harding is all about. Frances has a past she wants no one to know about, but so does her best friend Kate. A young teenager is kidnapped, tortured, raped, and murdered. A plea bargain is made and one woman gets off with murder.

Those of you who are familiar with the serial killers, Paul Bernardo and Karla Homolka, will find a lot of similarities in this story. Although the similitude is there in the back of your mind; this book is not pervaded with gruesome details of the murder and focuses on the themes of deception and revenge.

I want to thank NetGalley and Simon & Schuster Canada for this thrilling ARC of Her Pretty Face by Robyn Harding. This contemporary suspense book will be at your favourite bookstore on July 10, 2018.

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Monday, May 7, 2018

Review: The Literary Handyman

The Literary Handyman The Literary Handyman by Danielle Ackley-McPhail
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

The Literary Handyman by Danielle Ackely-McPhail is filled with great advises for aspiring writers. The book is structured in small articles and very easy to read. Danielle is a fantasy and science fiction author and shares her experience freely (if you do not count the price of the book itself) and offers substantial insights on how to select your book storyline and characters and the different avenues where you can submit your work. She also provides perspicacious warnings on what not to do.

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Friday, May 4, 2018

Review: Magical Healing: Folk Healing Techniques from the Old World

Magical Healing: Folk Healing Techniques from the Old World Magical Healing: Folk Healing Techniques from the Old World by Hexe Claire
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I was told that my grandmother was a midwife/country doctor before medical doctors were readily available. I did know her very well as she was a very quiet woman and died when I was a teenager. Her medicinal art was not passed on to my mother and/or my aunts, so there are no records of her tools and remedies. I have been very curious to know more about folk remedies and was interested in reading Magical Healing: Folk Healing Techniques from the Old World by Hexe Claire to see if I could learn more about my grandmother's art. The book was not exactly what I expected. I was hoping for recipes using herbs, roots and other elements. This book deals with healing deities, spells, plants (no recipes), and magical stones. The information was very interesting and worth reading about.

I thank NetGalley and Llewellyn Worldwide, Ltd. for this intriguing ARC. Magical Healing: Folk Healing Techniques from the Old World by Hexe Claire will be available at your favourite bookstore on July 8, 2018.

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Monday, April 30, 2018

Review: The Lost for Words Bookshop: A Novel

The Lost for Words Bookshop: A Novel The Lost for Words Bookshop: A Novel by Stephanie Butland
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Loveday has suffered great loss as a child. Since the age of 15, she has been working in Archie's bookstore and found a haven amongst all the old books. As an adult, she is struggling with trust issues and must face her past in order to tackle her future. She is surrounded by loving people who have her best interest, but a threat lucks in the shadows and could cause her much damage.

When I read the book synopsis, I thought this book to be a light love story. I was not exactly that! Although this is a love story, this book deals with deeper elements such as domestic violence. Stephanie Butland delivers a heartfelt story of love, forgiveness, and poetry.

Many thanks to NetGalley and St. Martin's Press for this ARC of The Lost for Words Bookshop by Stephanie Butland. This delightful book will be available at your favourite bookstore on June 19, 2018.

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